Spread a Little Kindness

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From my view, we’re at no shortage of negativity in the world right now and while I’m still not sure what to do to support the political views I find growing stronger and stronger recently, throwing some positivity out in the world feels like a good step to take. Acts of kindness, whether random or not, seem so visible as we gear up for the holidays but I’ll admit that I let myself get so caught up in everything I need to get done that intentionally trying to brighten someone’s day isn’t something I feel like I’m good at managing.

So kudos to two local organizations here in Columbus, Ohio, The Columbus Foundation and Besa, for pairing up to keep the good vibes going and declaring February Columbus Kindness Month. I found myself joining in on it pretty passively – I wanted a cup of coffee last Monday and had some time before I absolutely had to be back on campus for work after an off-site obligation, so I headed to The Roosevelt Coffeehouse (my favorite place, for good coffee drinks and the good causes they support) for a treat and found myself with a cup in hand with one of the 1,000 coffee sleeves decorated with notes of kindness on them. And let’s be honest – I’d kind of be an a-hole if I didn’t follow through and complete the act of kindness my coffee cup told me to do, right? 🙂 So I went ahead and while I was out over my lunch hour, I bought a delicious looking brownie I would’ve loved to eat myself, and took it back for a co-worker and friend who recently had a birthday and earned a new position at work – two things worth celebrating I would say!

And then this weekend I finally took Jacob and did something I’ve been meaning to do for at least a few months. Candis from The Jones Market had done something that I thought was kind for me so I decided that I would buy one of her memento bracelets (I love the meaning behind them) and her I Am Mom print (plus one of these for me too), threw them in a bag with some chocolate (because who doesn’t love chocolate) and dropped it off at the hospital Jacob was born at, with the request that one of the NICU nurses give it to whichever mom seemed like they could use it most that day. Jacob only spent about 24 hours in that NICU when he was born because he had fluid in his lungs – I never once had to fight the feeling that everything might not be ok, and it wasn’t until later when I looked back and realized how lucky I was to not know what that feeling was like.

I think it can feel a little unnatural to do something kind and then talk about it, like you’re looking for praise or something – at least that’s a feeling I had to fight. But I think talking about it can prompt an act, just like being the recipient of one can do and that sure is something I want my son to be a part of – especially because we’re right in the thick of the toddler phase where everything is “mine”. Ugh! If you’re looking for ideas, I still love this post from Still Being Molly. In might not be Christmas, but most of these ideas could easily still apply – and some don’t even cost a thing!

 

 

 

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7 Things

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1. Is it weird that I’m a little bit jealous of the snow the northeast is getting? We’ve only had one day of real snow this winter and it was so beautiful that I spent my lunch hour wandering around downtown taking pictures like the one above. I’m sure that if we actually had enormous amounts of snow I’d be cranky about it, but just one more good snow would be fun (I think)!

2. I read Jolie’s post with her favorite beauty products and when she mentioned using coconut oil to moisturize her lips I decided to give it a try because I always have had some in stock from using it on Jacob. Best decision ever. Now I’m thinking of about buying a container and making my own tinted coconut lip balm like this because you know, carrying around a jar of coconut oil is kind of weird. 🙂

3. Is anyone doing anything fun, or crafty, or anything at all to celebrate Valentine’s Day? My husband and I don’t celebrate, but I’ll definitely be buying myself some flowers (I do that all the time anyway) and then if we get in the mood to be crafty, I think these Valentine’s are the cutest! But let’s be real, we’ll probably do nothing Pinterest-worthy and then I’ll go scrounging for clearance conversation hearts at CVS in a week.

4. Momma’s I know I’m not alone here and that we all have our own version of the sometimes strange ways we sacrifice for our children. This morning I went to make toast when I realized that in order for there to be enough bread left Jacob to have his usual morning toast as well and for my husband to have his sandwich he always eats for lunch, that my morning toast would have to be made with both end pieces of bread. So I took one for the team and I did it. A true sacrifice right there. 😉

5. Last week I talked about going back to mostly dairy free – I will never give up my Friday night (tradition in our house, we just go with light cheese), but with everything else I’m trying to be much stricter. I sometimes miss yogurt and even though So Delicious makes a coconut milk based version that I’m allowed to send to daycare for Jacob, I want to try this almond based one. Maybe then I can go back to a previous fav breakfast option of Trader Joe’s muesli and yogurt and avoid the whole toast shortage situation – ha!

6. I would like it to be known that I just completed a task I’ve been putting off for a couple of weeks in about 3 minutes flat. Sometimes my procrastination irritates myself even!

7. I’ve been trying to really watch what I’m spending, but I’ve just accepted that I’m a lover of the backpack purse when I’m somewhere I know I’ll need to be able to do some hands free toddler chasing and I’ll need a new one this spring. I have a burgundy/wine colored one that’s been great for fall and winter (not surprising since I just talked about my favorite winter color!) but I want a lighter option. I’m going to check out this one probably today, even though I really want to order that one and this one too (in black) because they’re buy one get one 50% off…but I’ll behave. I think. 🙂

 

Linking up over at This Ain’t the Lyceum

“Date Night”

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necklaceshirt / sweater (kind of similiar – mine is ancient! / jeans / boots (really similar) 

Not your average looking date night outfit, right? I’ve come to realize I need some time to myself to keep myself feeling balanced, but time together as a couple is definitely needed too. With both sets of our parents living two hours away, I’ll admit that my husband and I are the worst about making time to spend together without our son in tow. Alone time is typically reduced to watching a show together during that glorious couple of hours of afternoon naptime on the weekends.

But I can’t completely blame the lack of local family members to babysit, for a long time I was very much a mom who felt guilty giving up any time with her kid and I’m finally loosening up and getting so much better about this. So last Friday I finally stole this idea from another mom I know who also doesn’t have family right here in town, and that was to use that little sliver of time between quitting time on Friday afternoon and pick up time at daycare to sneak away by ourselves. We headed to our favorite bar that we used to head to pre-pregnancy/parenthood and even if we only had time for one beer and 45 minutes of conversation, it was just what I needed to disconnect for a bit and feel really good going into the weekend rather than the usual exhaustion that typically sets after a long week.

If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s to be flexible and take whatever small wins you can get. If that means that date night expectations shift from a nice night out and a typical date night look to a speed date in an outfit that had to fly for a work day spent advising (adult) college students then I’ll take it!

 

Linking up at Living in Color and Stylin’ in St. Louis

 

7 Things

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1. I love treating myself to flowers and because you can always spend less than $10 and get some beauties at Trader Joe’s, so that’s always my go to place. For at least the past month red alstroemeria and eucalyptus were my go to, but with the eucalyptus gone from their stock we went with white hydrangeas and those pretty purple flowers Jacob’s holding. He picked them out, insisted on carrying them, and then helped me put them in a vase when we got home. Little lovey. 🙂

2. I’ve been fighting the idea, but I think I’ve finally decided to go back to being about 90% dairy free. It was easy to do the first time around because we suspected our son had a dairy allergy (and it’s since been confirmed) and since I was nursing, me giving up dairy relieved the signs of the allergy for him. Now that it’s purely for my own benefit of feeling better and healthier looking skin, it’s much harder to stick to it. Wish me luck!

3. Reading news story after news story about all that’s going on in our country, catching this cute zoo animal tweet off was just what I needed to feel a little more positive. So much cuteness, and the sloth tweet made me laugh!

4. Speaking of everything going on in our country lately, Bridget and Hallie had posts about it that resonated with me this week for different reasons. Bridget’s post described pretty much exactly the same reasons for typically not being vocal about politics, and Hallie’s reference to the struggle of whether or not it feels appropriate to stay positive, feeling like you can’t ignore the elephant in the room, and encouraging feeling joy each day guilt free really hit home for me. The day of the women’s march I got my hair cut and couldn’t help but felt a little shitty as I watched all these posts and videos on social media of women who were doing something of actual importance. Ugh.

5. And back to the fluff…I went to the store the other day and Africa by Toto was playing as I walked out. I can’t for the life of me hear that song without picturing this video of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. Remember it? It really makes me want to be friends with them! They have to be incredibly fun.

6. I don’t remember paying attention to any of the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows since I was in college and watched Trista and Ryan’s wedding special, but I let myself get talked into watching Bachelor in Paradise last summer. Now we have a low stakes Bachelor bracket going on (the loser each week brings in a dessert to share) so I can’t help but watch this season of the Bachelor. Rachel, Raven, and Vanessa are my favorite and I’m getting so annoyed by Corinne. I picked her to stick around one more week but I wouldn’t mine being wrong and seeing her leave sooner than I thought she would. 🙂 Are you watching, and if so who’s your favorite?!

7. I found these boots in brown on clearance for $15 this weekend at Target. I’ve been in love with them since I saw Shea wear them (especially paired a black top, my fav combination of colors!), but I need to decide whether they look right on me or if my 5’9″ frame leaves the top of them not quite hitting me high enough on my leg. We’ll see!

Linking up over at This Ain’t the Lyceum

 

 

 

Favorite Winter Color

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As soon as the temperature dips below 55, I swear this is the color I grab for and want to live in. I feel like we’ve called it many colors over the years, but burgundy works just fine for me. While I have a few options in this color to choose from in my closet, this turtleneck is the coziest of them all so on those cold winter days when I really want to be curled up in pajamas but this thing called a full time job prevents me from doing that. 😉

This is sounds weird to say that a piece of clothing taught me something, but one lesson this sweater taught me is to never completely trust the size. I think it’s from the days where I had the time and desire to go thrifting and found it in the brand new Target stock. It’s a XXL but looked small, so I gave it a try. Maybe it was mislabeled, maybe it was meant to be a much slimmer fit, but either way I don’t care because it’s been the perfect cozy fit for years now!

Currently

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For a vacation! Especially after reading Anne’s post about her plans for 2017. August 2015 was our last true vacation (because I don’t consider two nights in a cabin an hour from our house then a night by ourselves in Cleveland a vacation) when we went out to San Francisco to see family. This picture was Jacob’s first visit to the ocean when the whole family stayed just north of the city for the weekend and looking back on this picture, the hiking path through a lot of sand while taking turns carrying a heavy non walking 9 month old was so worth it to see this beach we practically had to ourselves.

Packing

I wish I could say I was packing for that vacation I said I was jonesing for, but unfortunately the only packing being done around here this month has been of the Christmas decorations and sending them back down to the basement.

Texting

My girls! There’s a group of 3 of us who are childhood friends and all live in the same city now. Two of us have little ones who turned 2 within 2 months of each other, and the third just had a baby the beginning of January so we’ve had plenty of group messages covering the topics of labor, surviving life with a newborn, and coordinating food deliveries. It’s been a really fun time (says the one just witnessing that stage of motherhood, not going through it 😉 – haha!).

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Wearing

Ever since they made the policy change to allow jeans all the time permanent at work, I swear all I’ve been wearing is jeans or black jeggings. I’m getting a little sick of denim, but not so sick of it that I’m willing to put on the tights that would be needed to wear a dress or a skirt. So in the meantime, I’m happy to have this flare style to break up all the skinny cut jeans.  to mix it up.

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Hearting

So vain, but the length of my hair. After it all of a sudden hitting an awkward length, I made an appointment and had it cut a little bit shorter again. I don’t think anyone even noticed, but to me it’s such a huge difference and it feels so much better!

Linking up with Anne and Erin

Fighting It

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We took advantage of some really nice (like 60 degree nice, which is crazy for January in the Midwest) weather the other weekend and headed outside as much as we could for a welcomed change of scenery. It was great, but that Sunday night Jacob didn’t want to sleep unless he was within an arms length of me so it should’ve been no surprise that when Monday morning rolled around he had a really runny nose, then on my drive home I felt that telltale sign of the faint tickle in the back of your throat that lets you know it’s coming your way too.

Thankfully we kept it from being the knock you down kind throughout the week, his sleeping habits and personality bouncing right back through the constant battle of runny nose vs. congestion and I kept my hot lemon and honey water with a cinnamon stick right by my side everyday. Toward the end of the  week though I started to feel worse so I knew I needed to up my game. Cold medicine, Epsom salt bath, and Zarbee’s for some relief. Heating pad with lavender in it (like this one) which was a Christmas present from my mother-in-law years ago and turned into one of my favorite things I never knew I needed, and homemade chicken noodle soup.

Now I’m in the wait it out phase so I’ll keep the cold medicine and hot lemon water coming and try to take each work day in stride, not letting anything stress me out. Plenty of rest and plenty of fluids too. Maybe one I’ll learn that the toddler germs are no joke and do a little better job prepping my body to fight them off!.