6 Snippets of Magazine Inspiration

So much of my mom life is spent in waiting rooms, lobbies, and my mobile waiting room (aka, the car). Yesterday, I found myself waiting my way through a doctor appointment followed by a haircut. Between books and sick of scrolling through Instagram, I picked up a couple of magazines. I LOVE magazines. Whoever says print is dead, is dead to me. I love the feel of the lightweight coated paper between my fingers. And my favorite magazines mean talented editors at the mast who curate inspiring, beautiful, and sometimes surprising content in a layout that’s at once striking and flowing. I. Love. Print. Magazines.

When I find myself playing the waiting game, and I actually have time to read a magazine or two from cover to cover (I read from back to front, does anyone else do that?), I devour them like a pint of Halo Top ice cream.

When I find articles or helpful tidbits, it’s not enough for my scattered brain to make a mental note. I might as well ask my three-year-old to write it down for me. I wouldn’t be so gauche as to steal an entire magazine from a waiting room or tear out a page, rather I take photos. Yesterday’s bounty was reaped mainly from the April 2018 Redbook with the exception of one recipe from a winter edition of Real Simple.  Not as simple as hitting a “share” button, but I want to spread the love. Here are my finds:

  1. What a friend we have in cheeses. I must admit, I borrowed that headline from an editor I worked for years ago in Charlotte. It’s still my favorite of all time. And it suits these beautiful appetizers that I think I could actually make myself. Look how pretty!
    Credit:Redbook

    2. Seedy. I can do so well with my diet, but lack of a good snack in the car or at night always gets me in the end. This spin on sunflower seeds sounds so munch worthy.

    Credit:Redbook

    3. Leaf conquers all. I’m forever in search of a salad that sounds better than pasta or a sandwich. This one fits the lunch bill, plus it makes enough for four days!

    Credit:Redbook

    4. Something in ramen. This recipe for ramen looks way better than the stuff I made in college (and let’s face it, still sometimes make late night), and it sounds like it could actually live up to its “easy” promises.

    Credit:Real Simple

    5. Shake what your mama made ya. They describe this meditation jar for adults, but I want to do this craft with my kids and make one for each of them as well!

    Credit:Redbook

    6. Here comes the sun (screen). And I say, it’s more than all right. All this time I’ve been looking for a daily SPF lotion to wear under my makeup. Why didn’t I think of something like this setting mist? Brilliant!

    Credit:Redbook

     

    I love websites, but print magazines will always hold a special place in my heart. Do you prefer print magazines or websites, or both?

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6 Things I Want on My Face Right Now

OK, so one of those is Robert Downey, Jr. But the rest have to do with the endless challenge of not looking tired all of the time. Everyone’s response to my sallow complexion and chin acne is, “Oh, well you have kids.” And until my youngest turned two (yes it took until she was two), it was, “You just had a baby! Don’t be so hard on yourself.” While I appreciate the blind support, this is not something that just started when I became a mom. There was the time I came off the plane from a bachelorette party in my mid-twenties, and I was mistaken for a young woman (then prominently in the news) who had been held captive in a third-world country for several months. While I love the idea of self care, and can even rationalize buying cosmetics and skincare products, they always seem to add up so quickly. So I’ve made a wish list that I can reference when I’m ready to treat myself:

  1. Weleda Skin Food

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Though Weleda’s self-proclaimed “best beauty secret” has been around since 1926, I’m just finding out about it. (Hence the secret, I suppose.) But if I had a product that was an all-purpose, cure-all skin cream, which gave that dewy glow with the tap of my fingertips, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. Customers rave about Skin Food for their hands, feet, cuticles, lips, and even to add shine to dry, curly hair (um, hello!). And I probably should have led with this, but Rihanna and Victoria Beckham don’t leave home without it.

2. The Magic Pads

I’ve decided that drag queens have the best makeup and skincare secrets. A former drag queen and makeup artist did my makeup for an event the other week. I told him the chin acne he was covering up had been plaguing my face since I was pregnant with my daughter four years ago. “Magic Pads, Magic Pads, Magic Pads,” he replied with confidence. “Say it three times, and you will remember it.” I did, and can’t wait to try them.

3. Cloud Paint

I admit I got lured in by the name and am smitten by the packaging. And any time, a product promises a “flushed-from-within glow,” I’m sold. This will be the next blush I buy.

4. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

My face is SO dry and dull, it’s like the skin equivalent of watching C-SPAN. This moisturizer doubles as a day and night cream, plus it hydrates and reduces fine lines. For the win: Drunk Elephant “never takes into account an ingredient’s synthetic or natural status, but instead chooses based on its safety and bio-compatibility.” That speaks to me.

5. The Ordinary Suncare

I was first drawn to The Ordinary through a post from The Cut about an easy, affordable skincare routine. Their product called The Buffet appealed to me the most because it’s the only one without a super sciency sounding name. Putting honesty and integrity above all else resonates with me, but if I’m being totally honest, I found the whole brand very confusing. However, after reading this The Ordinary Cheatsheet, I’m starting to wrap my head around what they’re all about, and I’m still on board. Now my sights are set on their sunscreen, which is supposedly due out anytime now. I LOVE a good, affordable daily sunscreen. Their site says “coming soon.” I will keep stalking them until it comes out. It has to be out before pool season, right?

What’s on your beauty wish list?

“I’m not a turd.”

I assured my son that not only was I not “a turd” as he thought I had proclaimed, but that I also wasn’t deterred. He stood next to me as I examined myself, staring at my latest purchase — a full-length mirror — wearing my second latest purchase, vintage overalls. Size medium. They were tight (these are not skinny jean overalls), and they wouldn’t button on the sides. I double-checked the label to make sure the size was correct. I’ve never not fit into medium overalls before, but then again I haven’t worn overalls since college. A psychological blow like this would usually send me face first into a bottle of wine, but there were two things to consider:

  1. My kids. I promised myself when I became a mom that I would not project my crazy body image crap onto them. Just like arguing with my husband, this was something for the “behind closed doors” category. And there, both my kids were, standing next to me. Deep breath.
  2. Today also happens to be the day I started yet another plan to transform myself: BodyBoss. It’s one of those seemingly brilliant one-word-that-should-be-two-words fitness methods that targets women like myself in our Facebook feeds. Hook, line, and sinker.

It’s day one of my 16-week journey, and my ill-fitting overalls came at just the right time. I’m still optimistic that I can complete all 16 weeks, even though today kicked my butt when I quite literally couldn’t kick my own. One of the HIIT circuit exercises was butt kicks and I could. Not. Do it. My best looked more like a hobbling running-in-place motion. Like I’d been clubbed in the shins with a tire iron by my kidnapper while trying to escape, tried to keep going, but froze up in a mix of shock, pain, and fear. So basically how I always look and feel at the gym.

As with any other overwhelming life change, I just need to take it one day at a time. I’m holding myself accountable, but I also told my kids as I shrugged in my Liberty’s, “It’s no big deal. When I put these on in November, they’ll fit.” So I’m now accountable to them as they look forward to seeing me dressed like a farmer (they don’t get fashion yet). And now I’m accountable to you. I won’t post on Facebook every time I check into the gym or complete a training circuit. But you might here from me when I’m particularly proud (or ashamed) of myself… or when I’m feeling a little like a turd.

 

11 (More) Baby Registry Tips From a Mom of Two

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Best upgrade we made: the Ubbi diaper pail

My cousins are expecting their first baby in February, so when they asked for tips, I was more than happy to oblige. (When I say cousins, I mean my first cousin and his wife, not two blood relations married to each other though I am from Kentucky.)

SO, I figured I’d share with all expecting parents while I’m at it. Because even after having two babies, there’s always more to learn through experience, and with new products popping up left and right, it’s enough to make any new parent’s head spin like an Exersaucer.

It can be so overwhelming and there’s so much stuff! I remember the first time Dave and I tried to register at Target, I dropped the registry gun and ran from the feeding aisle in a total panic. Here’s a couple of links from my blog that might help:

1. Check out this post from earlier this year before having our second and this one after our first.
Boon grass drying rack: the bigger, the better
Boon grass drying rack: the bigger, the better
2. Updates since that last post: We opted to hold off on this co-sleeper. Waited to see what kind of sleeper she was (not colicky like Jed was, thank the Lord) and didn’t end up needing one; ended up getting this activity gym instead; and this jumparoo (LOVE!); I hear they now have a larger version of the Boon grass drying rack. I recommend the bigger one; can’t say enough good things about the Ubbi diaper pail. SO much better than the Genie and so great to be able to use regular trash bags.
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3. Comotomo baby bottles. Love them HOWEVER what you won’t see in reviews for some reason is if you don’t screw the cap on just right they leak out everywhere. Can be frustrating, but super easy to clean and baby loves them!
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4. My other new fave baby thing are these Zippy bandana drool bibs. Abbie needs a bib on 24/7 or else she’d be soaked. These are cute and work well to keep her dry and comfy.
5. Pregnant Chicken: if you have not signed up for these emails, you must. They are hilarious, fun and informative.
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6. Got Aden + Anais crib sheets this time around. Super soft but snag very easily, which is disappointing considering how much they cost. Love their swaddles though! Also got one of their changing table covers. I do not recommend putting anything that isn’t wipeable on your changing table for at least the first month. If your baby is a projectile pooper like ours, you will be doing A LOT of spot treating:)
7. Never regretted not having a wipe warmer.
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Best value ever for something that can (and will) get pooped on.
8. Circo from Target makes my fave sleep-n-plays. They are cheap, cute (but not too cute), wash well, soft and zip backwards to make for easier diaper changes in the night.
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9. Abbie loves the lounger at her daycare. If I needed another hands-free option at home I would get one.
Twilight Ladybug from Cloud B
Twilight Ladybug from Cloud B
10. Also got these lights for her room at night. This one for middle of the night changes (so I can see but it’s not too bright for her) and this one for falling asleep time — she loves looking at the stars on the ceiling… and so do I:)
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11. Finally, for this winter, we got Abbie this down bunting from Eddie Bauer via Target. Keeps her warm and toasty but not too puffy, Maggie Simpson-style. Way cheaper than the all-too-tempting Fratagonia and it has a hole for your car seatbelt. (Took me two weeks to realize the hole was for the carseat… thought it was to check diapers. Hey, twofer.) Only wish they had one in my size!
And remember that for everything one mom feels strongly about, there’s another mom who has the exact opposite opinion. And all babies are different. No right or wrong! Just have fun and try not to go crazy. But if you do, that’s okay, too:)

Dads and Their Daughters’ Hair. The Last Two Videos Crack Me Up.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 4.26.11 PMI’ve come to the point in my pregnancy (33 weeks!) where I no longer have the space in my stomach for a full meal. And if I over eat, look out. Which brings me to my plight two nights ago:

I ran out of bed to puke and ask Dave to grab me a ponytail holder to tie my hair back. He comes into the bathroom, hairband in hand looking perplexed. “What are you doing? Tie my hair back!” I politely barked.

“I don’t know how to do this,” he politely responded.

That’s when I realized he has a lot to learn about girls. Thanks to being with me for 15 years, he knows what an empire waist is why SJP rules, but ponytails and My Little Pony are uncharted territory. One of the few things I remember from my own early childhood is showing up to preschool one day with one pigtail tied at my neck and the other above the ear. “Awww, your mom’s out of town, isn’t she?” my teacher said with pity before fixing my poor dad’s attempt at a little girl’s hairdo.

In my ultrasound this week, the tech informed me our baby girl already has quite the head of hair, so it’s time to get cracking on Daddy/Daughter 101. For all you dads out there who need to know how to make a ponytail, you’re welcome:)

I love how this dad does his daughter’s hair. LOL!

This dad uses a vacuum! I wouldn’t try this at home:)

Bicycles, Birds and Mustaches.

I’m not all that into cycling, have a healthy fear of anything winged and firmly believe that Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds and Ron Swanson are the only three people who can pull off a ‘stache (and one of those is fictional). But for some reason, I’m obsessed with things (mugs, stationary, clothing) with bikes, birds and mustaches on them.

I already have a pair like these, but I want this set:

mustache mugs

 

I have a strict policy of not wearing white before or after Labor Day (I’m a grass stain waiting to happen). First fashion rule: Know thyself. But I still had to stop and admire these when I saw them the other day in one of my favorite local stores:

Paige Denim Cycle Print Pants

 

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein wrote Portlandia’s “Put a Bird on It” sketch for me. I’m sad this sweater coat from Anthropologie is no longer available, but my savings are breathing a sigh of relief.

anthro bird sweater coat

 

Do you have an ironic fashion obsession, or is it just me?

Preloved Love.

I have been coveting this cardigan for a couple of years now. Gone are the days of spending a car payment on an article of clothing. Arguably those days never should’ve existed, but there’s nothing like a well-made garment. Canadian company Preloved creates their clothing from vintage fabrics. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and tailored to a “T”.

One of my favorite Asheville boutiques had an online sale last week and lo and behold:

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A Preloved sweater in my size and 50% off! If you missed their one-day online sale, but have also fallen prey to Preloved’s allure, they are having their own 50% off sale right now.

I Was Framed: My New Glasses!

I loved my modern cateye frames until a certain pint-sized someone decided to “see something.” Apparently he wanted to see how far back he could pull the ear piece before it snapped. In case you’re wondering it wasn’t far.

While at the optician’s, I learned that color is huge with eyewear right now. I love the idea of blue, purple or red frames, but I’m only budgeted for one pair and I was afraid I wouldn’t be in the mood for such a bold statement piece… especially one that’s on my face.

So I chose these frames from Legre.

legre glasses

I love the distinctive tortoiseshell striations, and the red on the backside adds a splash of color without going overboard. Like Louboutins for the face:)

I didn’t get the anti-glare coating, which made taking a pic of myself in them quite challenging, but I gave it my best shot (pun intended):

When I told a friend how Jed broke my glasses for the second time, said friend urged me to get lasik. He said it changed his life. But I honestly don’t mind wearing contact lenses and glasses. In fact I rather fancy my eyewear. If I’m ever lost on a desert island I might feel otherwise, but as long as I’m civilized, I’ll stick with specs.

I would love to have several pairs and accessorize with them like jewelry. (Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds is my eyewear icon.) If Jed can go more than a couple of years without breaking a pair then perhaps I can slowly create a collection.

What kind of glasses do you wear?

“Prepping” for Fall.

I’ve long since outgrown my Lily Pulitzers and Lacoste shirt obsession. (Literally outgrew those dresses. I will never be a size 4 again. Ever.) But fall in the South will always make me long for tailgating—I love a bow tie and bourbon in the morning. And when I saw these for only $9 at my favorite children’s consignment store, I couldn’t resist! I don’t think Jed will be sporting Nantucket red anytime soon, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for embroidered wide-wale cords:

baby Gap bear cords

For the Love of T-Shirts

After six years, I’ve reconnected with two long lost friends.

Before we flew out of Atlanta for our trip, we had to drop Jed off in Charlotte at his grandparents’ house. A two-hour detour, but well worth it to know he was in trusted, loving hands who may or may not buy him a pony before we returned.

Dave was upstairs rummaging through some things we’d stored there years ago and came back downstairs with these:

I thought the sock monster in the dryer had moved on to larger prey and two of my favorite tees had become its dinner. I knew I hadn’t thrown them away… who would toss an inside-out Cookie Monster t-shirt with “SJP Rules” ironed on the front? Honestly, I don’t understand the artistic statement of Cookie, but I couldn’t resist the SJP when I saw it (after all she does rule). And the McD’s tee, well, that’s a vintage original circa early 80s I found at a store in Colorado. Do you remember birthday parties at McDonald’s? With the paper hats and everything?

As a true jeans/skirt and t-shirt gal, I’m just so excited to have them back in my life (and wardrobe) that I had to share.

Do you have an absolute favorite t-shirt? What does it say? What does it look like?