Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The end of the diaper bag era, or why I want to make my own birthday present

Well, I'm surprised it's come so soon, but we're pretty much done with our diaper bag days! We try to remember to at least grab it and stick it in the back of the van on the rare occasion that one of the kids has an accident (and that means remembering to keep extra undies and bottoms in there too!), but more often than not it gets left at home and thankfully we've only had one incident that we needed it and didn't have it.

I'm not sure what to do without a diaper bag to lug around since I've been carrying one for almost 5 years! Our current diaper bag was bought when Munchkin was about 7-8 months old and is still in fabulous condition (thanks honey, for convincing me to spend what I thought was WAY too much money, it was a good investment!) so I'm not going to get rid of it since we can use it for trips and whatnot. Since I've had a diaper bag to carry, I haven't carried a purse in what feels like forever. I did both for a little while, but it got too cumbersome and I quit when I was pregnant with Lil Man. I just had my wallet and tossed it in the diaper bag, then when my wallet bit the dust, I moved everything to a wristlet and that's what I'm still carrying around now. Without the bag to just toss it in though, it can get in the way. So now I'm back to needing a purse. Trying to find one I like and am willing to spend the money on though? That's a problem. So now I've come to the conclusion that I just need to make one. Since I literally have a whole slew of Pinterest boards dedicated to sewing, and one with quite a few bag patterns/tutorials, I've decided to make a set for myself.

Here's where the making my own birthday present comes in. I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again, I HATE spending money on myself. I know I shouldn't feel guilty because I don't buy frivolous things and I only buy things for myself when I need them, but still, I feel like I should be spending money on the kids, Mark, or the house. Mark says I'm terribly hard to shop for, because I won't ever say that I really want anything (because again, that means spending money on me). Mark will tell me this isn't birthday present worthy, because it's something that 1) I have to make and 2) is utilitarian. Oh well, it's my birthday and I'll ask for something boring if I want to. So here's what I want to make!

So a bag, a phone pouch, a chapstick coozie, and an earphone pouch, all out of matching and coordinating fabrics. Oh, and also a new key fob, since the one Mom & I made (not long after Lil Man was born) is starting to fall apart.I am going to have to do this way before my birthday though, as we will start the moving process the following week, but hopefully I can do it all before we move! Now to find a chance to go to JoAnn by myself....hey, there's another part of the present! Of course I'll post the finished product once I'm done!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wardrobe remix

A few months ago, after reading different blog posts on jeans and such, I really got tired of the fact that jeans are so hard. It's like you can pick two: fits well, comfortable, affordable. I'm not going to spend $100+ on jeans. Ok, I'm super cheap, I don't even like to buy Old Navy jeans at full price. After being annoyed with fussing with my jeans for the billionth time, I decided I'm done. No more jeans for me. Now don't go thinking I'm in sweats or yoga pants all the time, I decided that skirts & dresses were my new best friends. Especially with moving to Louisiana this summer, jersey maxi skirts are awesome. I bought a couple chambray shirt dresses and a denim half button shirt dress from Old Navy and a couple new maxi skirts. Plus, a lot of tights!
It was a little more difficult in the winter months, but with my fleece tights, insulated Skhoop skirts, and leg warmers under my boots, I was ok. I only had to deal with February and some of March for the really cold weather, so I'm sure I would've done it a little differently if I'd started in the even colder times.
I joked that people are going to start thinking we're religious fanatics because Munchkin also prefers skirts and dresses coupled with our super long hair (hers is past her bum, mine is waist-length right now). I did run across a lot of religious blogs when I was searching for winter dress/skirt ideas and some of them were informative without being preachy, but others were just in-your-face. Then recently, Jessica at Beyond Moi shared a link on their Facebook page for a satirical piece about the purity culture. The sad thing was, when I read it, it read just like some of the blogs I'd come across! If I hadn't been made aware that it was satire from the get go, I would've thought he was just another zealot. I don't want people to think that this is where I'm coming from. I think that modesty is a mindset, not a list of rules. Every culture has different body parts that are considered immodest, for some it's breasts, for some it's knees, for some it's everything but the eyes (and even then...), so really, you can't please everyone! Even within the same religion, it varies by region and denomination! I also don't buy into the thought that men are little more than animals who can't control themselves and that I should be responsible for everything they say, think, and feel.
As it turns out, skirts, especially jersey maxi skirts, are insanely comfortable. With the dresses I've bought, I do have to be more careful when wearing them because they're just above the knee, but my maxi skirts, I can get on the floor with the kids just as easy (or easier, because they're not cutting my legs off) than if I was in jeans. I did keep one pair of my jeans for "emergencies", if we ended up doing something that really required them, but I don't know when I'll wear them again. I also still wear my workout capris (see, I'm really not buying into the purity culture modesty dress code!) for exercising, as well as my SkirtSport skirts. Pretty much whatever's clean and matches the top I want to wear! If you'd like to see more about my outfits, I'm always adding them to my Stylitics closet & calendar, which you can see a little bit of here. To be able to view the closet, you do have to sign in though. It's free and actually a little addicting once you get started, if you're interested!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Oh, Munchkin!

Our Mother's Day has been pretty low-key, but a good one for our family. We were excited to find out that the Anchorage Market & Festival (colloquially known as "Saturday market") opened yesterday, so we decided we'd head down to see how it was shaping up this year.
Munchkin got excited that they had sidewalk chalk and a big area to draw, Lil Man just wanted to walk around, holding Daddy's hand, and pick up pebbles, and we were happy to be out in the GORGEOUS weather. We talked to a guy at the Alaska Coffee Roastery table, got some coffee samples, and got invited to a tour of the facility when I mentioned that I love the smell of coffee.
We walked around downtown for a little bit and stopped for a treat at the Alaska Cake Studio (where Mark ended up buying me a treat for there and one to take home as a Mother's Day gift..hmm, he knows I'm a sucker for sweets!) and then decided to get some hot dogs from the corner vendor and eat lunch in the sunshine.
Munchkin had been having some problems listening this morning, but she was back to her normal self by then, and having finished her chips, she was ready to throw her trash away. She came to me, showed me her trash and asked if she could walk over to the trash can. I told her sure, since it wasn't far away. To our shock, she walked to the curb, stopped, looked both ways, and started to step off to cross the street! We started yelling her name to get her attention, trying to point to the trash can that was on OUR side of the street! Mark went to her and got her before she made it off the curb (and thankfully there was on street parking that she would've walked through, so she had a little bit before actually being in the road!) and the poor girl almost started crying! She couldn't understand why we were upset when she had asked permission--and received it! Mark explained he was scared, and that's why he yelled "at" her, and then I told her I had misunderstood which trash can she wanted to use. She spent the rest of lunchtime in my lap. I did tell her that I was proud of her for being careful and looking both ways before starting to cross the street. At least we know she's really learning some of the things we're trying to teach her!! Next time we'll be making sure that we're all on the same page about what she's trying to do!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Crowdtap Herbalistas Herbal Essence Body Wash

Thanks to Crowdtap and Herbal Essences, I got to try their new body wash! I received "Hello Hydration" as my sample and having used this scent in the shampoo/conditioner about 7 years ago (umm....where has time gone? I can't believe it's been that long!), it was just as I remembered, which is awesome. It's tropical, coconut-y, fruity, and floral.
My usual St. Ives (I'm not particular with scent/type usually) and the sample of Herbal Essences.
As far as body wash goes, it's typical. Since my sample was just a little travel size, I found that it was thinner/more runny than my normal body wash (St. Ives) and so I used more at a time than normal. I don't think this would be an issue with a full size bottle with a normal top though. Even with that, this little bottle has lasted me about a week. One thing I have noticed was that the scent stayed on my skin  most of the day. It's faint, which is good, because it's not an in-your-face type deal, but definitely there if you go for a sniff. Nobody commented on it, so I don't think it's something that people are going to notice, but I would get a hint of it here and there.
The new line includes "Body Burst" (invigorating citrus--this one sounds like something I'd love!), "Happy Go Lather" (floral), "Hello Hydration" (tropical coconut floral), "Honey, I Smell Good" (soothing honey & apricot), and "Totally Twisted" (juicy--whatever that means!). I do like that they've made the body washes match the haircare lines, so you don't have to worry about competing/conflicting scents!
Overall, I'm not sure I'll switch, because I've been happy with my recent choices for a few reasons. Also, the matching scents for products doesn't really have much draw for me since I've been "no-poo" for over a year now and my hair doesn't smell like anything. I will definitely keep it in mind though, and when I see it in a store, I'm stopping to smell them all!

*Disclosure: I received this product from Crowdtap & Herbal Essences to share my experience with others. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.*