nesting

Everyone talks about nesting when you are pregnant.  People ask, “are you nesting yet?” I often really don’t know how to respond to that question.  I feel like I have been nesting all of my adult life.  I am constantly evaluating the things I have and the things I don’t need, and the things I don’t want but still seem to have.  When storage bins start to pile up in my basement I feel like I really need to purge.

But right now I have the special circumstance of a changing body.  Growing a baby has been so exciting and I am really embracing these changes, but I look at all the clothes that don’t fit right now and my organizer brain says, “you don’t need this stuff”.  But, hello! I would be crazy to just get rid of all my clothes that don’t fit right now.  I don’t know if I will fit into them again. However, I can’t help but also think this may be an opportunity to do something that I have really always wanted to do, and that is reduce my clothes to a capsule, or if not so much a capsule really only keeping the things that I really absolutely love. A lot of things in my wardrobe that I can’t wear now may also be out of style come next year when they fit again, so maybe my idea isn’t’ as crazy as I think.

I know that after baby bee is here my body may be really different.  Then again, it might not be (there is a history in my family of women bouncing back to their pre-baby bodies pretty quick). I also know my life will be really different. I may not want as many choices, I may not have the time for them.

More than anything I want to embrace simplicity.  I have been checking out a lot of Instagram feeds and blogs lately of families living in small spaces.  I can’t even imagine this but 5 people living in a 300 sq ft camper.  If I lived in that much space I certainly wouldn’t have room for as much stuff as I have.  What things would I get rid of? I would surely only keep the things that I love, right? I would really like to embrace that attitude, imagine that I’m moving into a living space about 1/4 the size of what I live in now, we have about 650 sq ft in our upstairs, but our basement doubles the space.

Has anyone else wanted to do something like this, or have you? I would love to hear your thoughts, tips, tricks, or suggestions.

Unplugging

I have wanted to write about this for a long time.  But, be it guilt, procrastination, or complete lack of motivation I feel like now is as good a time as ever.

I want to talk about technology, smart phones being the heavy offender here.  And maybe it isn’t just the smart phone itself but the access that it gives us to things like social media, the news, and every little thing our mind can think of to Google.

Let’s start with the mass amounts of information available on the internet. Being pregnant with my first baby, I’m going to be a first time parent, and obviously I can’t help but wonder about lots of things.  When I have a headache I might look up if it is something to be concerned about, my tailbone pain that I have been dealing with for the last three weeks is researched thoroughly, and whether or not it is safe or not for me to continue sleeping on my back after 20 weeks. It is easy to see how my mind can run away with all of the little things that I could worry about, and having information available to me can either cause me to worry less or worry more.  Often times it leads to me worrying more.  My husband tells me, “you read too much”.  What he means is that I allow my mind to become garbled in the information, I can no longer focus on simple things and tasks. It’s a reminder that parenting is in our blood, that worrying about every little detail will not help but could actually hurt me more.

But, how do I break the habit? Is it as simple as just not researching things? No, because it is a bad habit, and bad habits die hard. I wish that I had more self control.  That I could make myself not look at my phone or iPad when I want the answer to a question, but I can’t seem to do that. In an attempt to pull myself away from the madness that can overtake me I have moved my phone out of the bedroom. This is no easy task.  My phone is my alarm clock.  I have a traditional analog clock that has a beeping alarm function, but this clock does not have a snooze button, just an off. My hope is that not relying on the snooze will help me to get up and start my day better.  My phone will not be scrolled through when I awake in the morning.  I can actually read something else that is on a physical page, not my phone screen.

This is just one small step.  Although I don’t plan on deleting my social media accounts, I am going to make a concerted effort to spend less time on them.  And if I can’t do that, perhaps I will install one of those parental apps on my phone that keeps me from using those apps for more than 30 minutes total each day.

All of this with the purpose of simply being more present in the real life.  When our noses are dug into our phones we don’t notice the things around us.  We miss out on important conversations and opportunities to better ourselves. I would like to set an example for my child that time means something.

So, I’m going to set down my time wasters, my phone and iPad.  Maybe when I want to “read” something I will just pick up a book, and when I say that I mean one that is not chock full of “useless” information that will make me worry more.

Energy/Quinoa Salad Recipe

Since being pregnant my energy levels have been below sub par. No joke! I really envy those women who feel great during pregnancy, because I am definitely not one of those people.  My skin doesn’t glow, I have acne like I’m a teenager again.  I have developed rosacea (spelling) and some other skin issues.  I’m tired.  And I was nauseated for over 4 months.  But this second trimester is now starting to be a little better to me.  I still have moments, like when my husband drives like a wild banshee in our Jeep and the sport suspension makes me so motion sick I didn’t know I could be that sick.

I have started to be able to do things like keep my house clean, cook, and actually do the grocery shopping myself so that my husband doesn’t have to take me on the weekend, because giving him a list wouldn’t work (tried it, it doesn’t work).

For this week I have a list of things to get done.  I accomplished a lot of them yesterday.

  • Plant the cherry tomatoes
  • Clean the hard wood floors
  • Wash the shower curtain liner
  • Make a menu for the week
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Make granola bars
  • Make quinoa salad
  • Make dinner and a dessert
  • Sit down (I didn’t do this one, which is why my feet were killing me by the end of the day)

So I did get a lot done yesterday, although yesterday it did not feel like it.

I’ve been working really hard (well hard for a 18 week pregnant woman) to give my husband some more nutritious lunches, and myself as well.  Plus save us some money, thus making sure I stick to our dinner menu for the week. We got really off track when I was first pregnant because I was so sick that my husband was doing a lot of the cleaning and cooking, or if he wasn’t cooking we were eating out which is not something we normally do and wasn’t really good for our stomachs or our budget.  I am happy to say we are getting back on track now.

If you are looking for a healthy lunch item to pack for the week try this…(sorry I don’t have any pictures to share)

Quinoa Salad

Cook quinoa according to directions, if you buy bulk you can do this…

  • Bring 1 cup quinoa (rinsed) and 2 cups water to boil
  • Reduce heat to simmer and add 1 teaspoon salt (I don’t really measure this)
  • Cover with tight fitting lid.
  • Cook on low heat for 15 minutes
  • Turn off heat, and let cool to room temperature, or put in fridge to chill

After you have the quinoa done (my directions make 3 cups) chop up some of your favorite veggies, season with salt and pepper, mix together with a little olive oil or a little of your favorite dressing (vinaigrettes work best for this) and divide into containers for easy access when packing your lunch.

This week I did a caprese style… tomatoes, chopped basil, fresh mozeralla cubed, olive oil, and a little balsamic vinegar. Last week was red onion, cucumber, basil, feta, and lemon vinaigrette. Try whatever sounds good to you, I have also done tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and black beans (or you could put edamame and corn in for something a little different).

Okay, enough of my energetic banter.  Have a great week everyone. The midwest is hot hot hot this week, so if you are in my area, stay cool with a tasty mojito (or mockjito in  my case).

Sprezza Box – January Box Review

Sprezza Box is a men’s lifestyle box.  Each month it features a different theme.  There is always a tie and a pair of socks.  There are usually added style accessories.  In the past there have been pocket squares, tie clips, lapel pins, cuff links, a flask, business card holder, and many more things.  The box is $28 a month and usually the tie and socks themselves are worth far more than the cost of the box.  They often run deals on your first box, so if you are interested in a box be sure to google them and see if you can find a coupon code.

The January box is the 4th box Abrham has received.  And up until now I have been really impressed with the items in the box, and there have been many items in the box that Abrham has really liked, even if it was just a little beer passport notebook to keep track of new brews he tries.  The box is titled The Kent. Because it is January I think the company was going for the “New Year, New You” theme.  The box seems to be centered around exercise and healthy living.  As great as that is, other than the socks and tie the items in this months box may not be as useful as things in past boxes.  There might be some people that are completely thrilled with the January box, it just wasn’t really things that fit in with our lifestyle.

Here is the run down on the items Abe got…

Twillory Necktie (retail $69)

This tie is a beautiful wool herringbone tie, definitely Abe’s style and I’m sure he will get good use out of it during these winter months. I could not find a tie similar to it on Twillory.com, it seems that most of their ties are listed at $39 (at least at the time of writing this).  So, I’m not sure on actual retail price for this tie, but it seems to be high quality and even if the tie is only worth $39 it already makes up for the cost of the entire box.

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Bedford & Broome Performance Socks (retail $16)

These socks are nice, Abrham really likes getting a new pair of dress socks each month as socks begin to wear out and then he doesn’t end up wearing the same ones over and over again. These are almost an in-between dress sock/athletic sock.  I like that because if it is a day where he changes from dress shoes to tennis shoes he doesn’t really have to change socks.  The material of these is more of a nylon and almost like a compression sock with some added cushion in the toe and heel. I also couldn’t find these exact socks on the company’s website.

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Thread Etiquette Anchor Bracelet (retail $27)

I thought Abrham wouldn’t like this, but he is now wearing it and thinks it looks good next to his watch.  This exact bracelet is currently sold out, but there are other options on their website, I really like the leather ones that the company offers.

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Smart Req Armband (retail $10)

This is the first item I don’t really see Abrham using, and even I won’t use it.  Abrham isn’t a runner, and for the most part my running days are over.  I prefer barre or mat exercising at home.  So I don’t really need to attach my phone to my arm for music.  And honestly this armband seems really bulky.  So, it will probably go to goodwill, or maybe onto a box item trading site. I couldn’t find the website listed in the detail card either, it doesn’t seem to exist.  The armband just seems cheap, and really this is the first time I have gotten an item from Sprezza that I’m disappointed in.

HyperGo Sports Wipes (retal $2)

This is a sample pack of sport wipes.  I don’t know if Abrham will ever use these or not, but I’ll probably throw them in the car, and there may be some day that he can’t take a shower right after work or something and finds them useful.

SPREZZA Water Bottle (retail $4)

A simple, lightweight, foldable water bottle.  Abrham will probably use it at work.  Not sure how long it will last, but I’m sure Abe will get some use out of it. It is not on the Sprezza box website, but will probably show up next month, as they add things to their store about a month after they are in a box.

The overall value of this box was $146, a good value for a box I paid $28 for. Hopefully next month will be more of a home run like previous months have been.

FabFitFun – Editors Box Review

Okay, so first lifestyle box review. I’m going to get right into it.  The FabFitFun box is a lifestyle box that is delivered seasonally.  It includes full size fitness, beauty, accessories, and lifestyle items.  Items in the box are valued at over $200.

This is my first FFF box and I have to say I am really impressed and happy with what I got and I definitely am looking forward to spring and my first seasonal box. I love that this box comes with full size beauty items, this makes this box totally worth the price. I paid $39.99 for my first box, I got a $10 off code from laurenconrad.com.  Future boxes will be $49.99.

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First item…

Modcloth Loch and Key Scarf (list price $34.99, retail price was $24.99 on Modcloth)

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I was already the proud owner of two blanket scarves, since I am somewhat of a scarf addict.  It was great to receive another one and it was actually in a color scheme that I do not have.  The black and white is able to go with basically anything and it is super soft.

Next up…

The Created Co. To-Go Coffee Mug (retail $19)

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This mug is from The Created Co. It really isn’t anything super fancy, it is made with BPA free plastic.  I use a lot of travel mugs so was happy to have another one, but can’t say I would buy one like this if I were shopping on my own.  I like the fonts though, I’m a push over for a good font.

FabFitFun Coloring Book & Colored Pencils (retail $14)

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I haven’t used these yet.  Although I do love having coloring books around for when I have kids at my house, so this one will just get added to my collection.

Manna Kadar Liplocked Priming Gloss Stain (retail $24)

The information card describes this as a 3-in-1 product, a primer, lip gloss, and lip stain all-in-one, plus it adds moisturizing treatment to your lips.  I really like this color, it is fairly close to my natural lip color with a little bit more to it, and once the shine of lipgloss wore off the stain aspect meant I didn’t have to have it with me to reapply.

Marrakesh Argan & Hemp Hair Oil (retail $22.99)

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I have been using this hair oil for about two weeks, and let me just say, I am in love.  My winter hair is usually a dried out and frizzy mess.  I have been putting this on damp hair and allowing my hair to air dry.  My hair drys frizz free and shiny, and my second day hair is not weighed down or oily looking.

O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel Face (retail $44)

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I had actually been wanting to try a product like this after seeing a vlogger review a mineral peel face.  Apparently these are all the rage in Korean beauty.  And once I got the hang of how to actually use it I really really like it.  I have been using it a couple times a week, usually in the morning to clear away the dead skin cells I wake up with. And I love the packaging of it.

Jook & Nona Tag Necklace (retail $65)

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I like dainty and simple jewelry, so this bar necklace was right up my alley.  It has the word “dream” stamped into the bar.  The necklace is 18k gold-plated stainless steel.  The necklace did not turn my neck green, so that is definitely a positive, and it was nice length, I think it is 18″ long.

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster (retail $56)

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I love Dermalogica products, so I was very happy and impressed to receive one of their products in my box.  I have tried hyaluronic acid items before that were cheap from the drugstore, and I could just not get past the perfume smell. This one is nothing like that, it’s unscented and it works.  I use it around my eyes as they dry out so easily this time of year.  But I could also see adding a little to my tinted moisturizer to add an extra boost of moisture for my whole face. There was also a bonus coupon attached to the box of the product for 20% off and free shipping at dermalogica.com which is good through April 1, 2017.  This is really a great coupon as Dermalogica products run on the more expensive side.

Zoya Nail Polish (retail $10)

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This nail polish is in the color Rue and is free of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate, and Camphor. I really like the color, it is a pretty pink that almost looks like a nude.  A good neutral color for everyday wear.

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Please excuse my sloppy manicure to give an idea of the color, I had freezing cold and chapped hands and I did not prepare my nails for a manicure. I pretty much just put it on and took it off after getting a picture. That said, I liked how smooth the polish was, it was not gloppy going on. And the first coat dried fairly fast, if I had just been patient and taken more time I may have actually end up with a nice manicure.

There was an added coupon in the box for $40 off your first box of Hello Fresh.  I’m likely to not use this item, it is supposed to be claimed within 30 days and I prefer to just grocery shop and come up with my own recipes for now.  Not to say someday down the road I wouldn’t try a food box service to see how it goes.

Overall a great box, value of the items was good, and I will actually use every item in the box which is an added benefit.  I won’t be leaving anything sitting in the cupboard and I was introduced to some new items that I may want to keep around in the future. Value of this box totals at $289.98 (if you take the $10 off that the scarf is actually being sold at it would be $279.98), really I think this is a great value for a box that I paid $39.99 for, even if I paid the full $49.99 I think it would be worth the price. Sometimes it is just about the little luxuries. We are able to live on a budget but get special things as well, my husband gets a Sprezza box each month, and he absolutely loves it.  I will be reviewing his January box soon.

Thanks again for stopping by.

 

My Beauty Routine – A Homemade Toner

I have always found that home remedies are quite useful. Maybe it is the old fashioned gal in me, but often times the simplest things work. Ever since I was a teenager and had to deal with acne there was a product that always worked, plain and simple, tea tree oil. Yep, and this simple product is a major staple in my beauty routine.  If I get a pimple, tea tree oil, that time I got ringworm (it’s a fungal infection similar to athletes foot, not an actual worm, and if you work with kids it is easy to get) tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a major cure all in my beauty hand book, it just works.

I recently discovered a new use for this beauty staple. Making my own toner.  For the last 5 years I have pretty much used the same toner, Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion (it’s a toner not a lotion) and although I did like this product, it also dried my skin out, which I always thought was okay, since I do have skin on the oily side. But more recently I have learned that breakouts can be caused by not enough moisture. So the alcohol in this product was actually drying my skin out leading to more breakouts, even though it did help a little to clear pimples.

And so I searched and searched and searched to find out what would be better. I discovered FAB Facial Radiance Pads, which I do absolutely love, because there isn’t any alcohol in these I noticed my skin wasn’t dried out after using them. I just started using some other products in the FAB (First Aid Beauty) skincare line and I really do like their products.  This product got me thinking, can I make an alcohol free toner that includes something to treat my pimples, especially after the breakout  I am dealing with after clogging my pores this last week with BB cream (checkout my post on BB creams).

Moving on, I decided to make use of my love of tea tree oil and incorporate this into a toner made at home. First I would need a base, and I found that green tea is an awesome skincare product, it’s possible some of you may have already known this.  So I brewed up a cup of green tea, added about 4 drops of tea tree oil and 3 drops of pure cold pressed argan oil, put it in a bottle and have been using it. My skin doesn’t feel dried out after using it, the argan oil does not clog my pores (there will be a post on this later) but doubles as a moisturizer, and the tea tree oil helps with clearing up my skin.

Here is the toner recipe in case you just scrolled through my post to get to it…

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A short note on argan oil, not all of it is created equal. It is best to find 100% argan oil that is cold pressed. Argan oil is high in linoleic acid that helps prevent excess skin cells from building up and clogging pores and it helps balance sebum production. I apply a very small amount of argan oil directly to my dry spots and have not had breakouts from using it.

Coming soon, I will be stepping away from beauty routine posts and posting a subscription box review.