Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Social

1. What is one thing you hate doing?
Just about any type of cleaning. I always procrastinate cleaning and hate doing it... which is why my house is usually so messy.

2. What is the one thing you hate shopping for?

I hate shopping for stuff for the house, like paint, or new siding... boring stuff that costs way too much money and just isn't fun.

3. What is one thing you love doing?

I love to dance. Whether it's twirling around the kitchen with Fynn or hitting it hard in a dance class, I love to move to the music.

4. What is one place you love going?

Home! I am such a homebody and it's a relief to be when I get home at night or especially when I get home from a trip.

5. What is your favorite thing to do that you do daily?

Read. I read every single day even if it's just for a few minutes. It helps me relax and is often my only "me time".

Friday, August 29, 2014

I've been keeping a little secret for, oh, about 14 weeks now.

That's right, Baby Boo #2 is due March 1st, 2015!

Fynn is beyond excited to be a big sister, and Drew and I are a little pumped too. Let me tell you, keeping this a secret for so long has NOT been easy. We didn't tell anyone until I was 11 weeks and we made it "Facebook Official" just last weekend. So different from last time when we told everyone we knew (and some complete strangers too!) a week after we found out. Anyway, I've been blogging drafts all about it so far, so in the next couple of weeks you'll be able to read all about my first trimester (which was still is a doozy) and the craziness of being pregnant while staying home with a 2 year old.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag

Disclosure: This post contains referral links: you should probably use it :) 

I'm a little late posting about my Ipsy Glam Bag this month. It came last week when we were on vacation at the lake, and we've been so busy unpacking and getting ready for school to start that it kept slipping my mind.

The theme this month was Beauty Schooled- perfect for back to school. I love the adorable bag that it came in. It's the perfect little pencil holder and I plan on using it as that. Usually I just throw pens and pencils into my tote bag and can never find them when I need them. Then when I finally clean it out I find about 20. This bag will be perfect for keeping them all together and easy to find.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (~$5.50 sample)
I'm always excited to see mascara in my glam bag because it is my one must-have make up item and I love trying all kinds of different brands and formulas. This one didn't disappoint; it went on easily, wasn't clumpy, and looked good on.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer (~$11.25)
I'm really interested in trying this, and seeing if it does anything. I don't have huge pores, but I have some that are larger than I would like: I'll have to see if this actually does anything to shrink them or make them look smaller after using. From reading the info on it, it seems like it only makes your pores look smaller while your wearing it, which is great and all, but I'd be more excited if it actually shrank your pores.

Absolute You're The Balm Lip Balm in Green Apple ($2.99)
This is a rather large tin of lip balm, so it should last a good long time. I don't usually love apple scented items, but I did like this one. It's mild enough that it's not overwhelming. The lip balm is super smooth and feels great on. It says that it's tinted, but I didn't notice any color when I wore it, which I like because I'm not usually a fan of tinted balms. This will be great in my desk at work, because I'm always forgetting to bring lip balm with me. 

Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil
I have no idea how much this is valued at because their website is down for "Refitting" whatever that means. I'm assuming its a buck or two because it's a small sample sized eyeliner pencil. I have a ton of black eyeliner, so I didn't really need this... maybe I'll give it to my sister or a friend to try out. It seems like great eyeliner, just not something I need. 

Coastal Scents Forever Blush Sample Duo (~$1.99)

Again, not something I really need. Do a lot of people wear blush? I never wear blush. Mostly it's because I already have pink-tinged skin to begin with, so adding more just doesn't make sense. Also I'm lazy and adding another beauty product just takes more time than I'm willing to spend on my make up.  I'm curious about how many people use blush, I always think of it as an old lady product, but I could be completely wrong there.

Bonus Product: Teadora Rainforest at Dusk Shampoo and Conditioner 
Through referrals and product reviews I earned enough Ipsy points last month to get a bonus product. This shampoo and conditioner smells amazing and I can't wait to try it out! 

This month's Ipsy bag was worth about $23, not the most valuable bag I've gotten, but not a bad deal for the $10 spent on it. That amount is also not including the shampoo and conditioner I got as a bonus item. Interested in Ipsy? You can sign up here using my referral code. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gardening with a toddler: Getting the food

Our garden has been going strong all summer... well, kinda. We've put a lot of work into it, and ended up with far better results then we had expected, but it hasn't been perfect. 

It's amazing how a garden can go from a plot of dirt, to being full of actual food. We've tried to include Fynn in as much of this as possible. She likes to pull weeds, we just have to watch closely to make sure it's just weeds she's pulling up. She loves going out to check if things are ready, but she struggles to walk in between the rows. Several plants have been crushed by her little feet as she tried to run through the garden.

As things have ripened, Fynn has become more and more excited about the garden. She loves picking vegetables and eating them right outside. In fact, she'll eat things from the garden that she won't eat from the store. She loves snap peas and green beans from the garden, but won't touch them if they're store bought.

The thing I'm most excited about is the corn. We're actually getting real ears of corn growing. We didn't really think the corn would grow much at all. We did have a deer reach over the fence and pull up a stalk the other week, but other than that we've managed to hold onto the corn. I can't wait to have fresh corn right out of the garden. 

I was really excited about the pumpkins, but while we were away on vacation last week they all died. We had a couple of little ones that were growing well, and I had hoped to have a couple of decent sized ones for Halloween, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. 

I think next summer our garden will be even better. We have a better idea of what we're doing, the soil is established, and we won't have to do all the work to dig up a garden plot and put up a fence. We also figured out which plants grew well, which ones didn't and which ones Fynn enjoyed. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

We're not the type of family that does surprise visits.

The other night Drew, Fynn, and I were walking the dog. As usual, as we walk by Fynn's friend E's house, Fynn started calling that she wanted to go play with E. Unfortunately E wasn't outside, so we continued by. All of a sudden E's dad yelled out the window "Hey, if you guys are bored, come on in and play!"

So we did.

We walked in, we hung out, the girls played, and it was no big deal.

Except to me. To me it was a big deal. Because we've never been that type of family. We've never been able to be that type of family. Not because we don't love guests and visiting with friends, we totally do, but because I would never dare let people we like come into our home if we haven't had at least an hour to clean. Not that I think houses need to be immaculate to have guests, especially friends, but even my closest friends should not see our house on a typical day.

We're the type of family where last night's dishes are next to the sink because I was too wiped out to wash them after finally getting the kid to bed. So those dishes are piled up next to the ones from the night before.

We're the type of family where the headrest to a carseat sits on on the kitchen table for two weeks because I just don't know where I want to store it. Next to it is the pack of gum I took out of my tote bag last week and a little Parmesan cheese from dinner tonight.

We're the type of family where toys are scattered, playdoh left open and "artwork"  left on the counter after the 2 year old proudly gifted it to her father.

We're the type of family where the counter is covered with tools from a recent project, unopened mail, and bug poison for the garden because we're not done with them, therefore they're left out.

We're the type of family where the floors clearly need to be mopped or vacuumed or somehow cleaned the majority of the time... even if it was actually just done yesterday.

We're the type of family where clothes, both clean and dirty, can be found in just about any room and where more clean laundry is in baskets then in dressers.

So, you see, we're not the type of family who can just randomly invite neighbors in for a spontaneous play day, a drink, or a snack. I'd love to say it's because we have a toddler, it's such a valid excuse, but Drew and I have been this type of family since we were married. Despite well-meaning promises and well-intentioned attempts, we just can't seem to manage to keep the house clean enough for guests to drop in unannounced.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Social

1. What are you most looking forward to about Fall?
Taking Fynn apple picking. She had so much fun last fall, and I know she's going to love it again. Then there's all the goodies we get to bake with the apples. Yum!

2. What is your favorite sports team?

Honestly? None. I don't like to watch sports really at all. Sometimes I'll watch the Bruins with Drew, but that's usually only because he's taken over the tv and I'm bored... and even then I'll be reading or blogging too.

3. If you could go back to college is there one thing you would change?

Just one. I quit the dance team my freshman year because I was overwhelmed by the practice and game schedule and didn't know how I could do it all. I went back sophomore year and was on the team for the last 3 years of school, but I really wish I had done it that first year. 

4. What was your favorite class you ever took? HS or College

I loved a middle-level Ed class I took my junior year of college. It was an elective class all about teaching middle school and I just loved the way our professor taught, the discussions we had in class, and the units we created. 

5. Reach into your purse what is the first thing you grab?

My wallet. It's the biggest thing in there and it's always right on top because it's the only thing in my purse that I actually use. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I really want for my birthday

I'm turning the big 2-8 in just 2 short weeks, and I have a little wish list. As you can tell, I don't have expensive taste, I just like some little things to make me happy. If you're looking for a gift (or 2 or 3 or 4) here are some ideas. You're welcome.

1. Sharpies- I love sharpies. Something about the clear, permanent way they write just speaks to my teacher-heart. The more variety in colors, the better. 

2. Colorful pens- like sharpies, they speak to my teacher-heart. I love doing my correcting, to-do lists and plan book in pretty, pretty colors.

3. Earrings- Nope, I don't even want fancy earrings or gemstones. Just some simple studs. Now, none of that super-cheap stuff from Claire's that turn my ears funky colors, just some stainless steal/cubic zirconia studs. Small ones to wear in my 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th sets of ear piercings. 

4. Giftcards- I hate spending money on things for myself, but if you've already spent the money, I'm more than happy to buy myself something pretty. I love Old Navy, Kohls, Forever 21, Target, etc... or I love something yummy, some Dunkin', or maybe a little Sebago Brew Co.

5. Frozen- The movie, on DVD... I know, I'm shocked I don't already own it... that needs to be fixed! 

6. A jogging stroller- okay, this one might stretch the bank a little bit, but it would also allow me to take the mini on some runs... which means I might actually run... or at least walk at a brisk pace. Either way, I want.

And that's it. All my little heart desires. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gardening With a Toddler: Growing lettuce from the leftovers

I haven't been continuting my Gardening with a Toddler series, but I have a couple of posts lined up to talk about our experience this summer trying to garden with a two year old and teach her how it all works. Today though, I'm focusing on something amazing that I learned:

Did you know that you can grow more lettuce after chopping up a head of it? 

Yeah, I had no idea! 

A friend of mine posted on Facebook about it, so of course I had to try it out. All you do is take the root end of the lettuce (that you were going to throw away anyway) and put it into a small cup of water. You only need an inch or two of water in the cup. Leave it for a couple of days, then plant it in your garden (or in a pot, or wherever). Then, it actually starts growing again! 

Craziness. I didn't think it would actually work, but it started growing back when we just had it in the cup of water, and it has continue to grow since we replanted it into our garden. So, basically, you can buy a couple things of lettuce in the spring and then just keep replanting it all summer long to have fresh lettuce.

The things you learn

Monday, August 18, 2014

More animals with Fynn

In case you haven't noticed, Fynn loves animals. We've hit up every local farm I can think of in the past couple of weeks and she never gets tired of seeing more animals.

One we went to recently is a farm I used to visit all the time as a kid. They have a whole section for people to visit including multiple petting areas, tractors to climb on and wooden play equipment. Even better is that the farm also has a creamery, which means Fynn and I HAD to go get some ice cream after we were done checking out the animals.

My favorite part was the little tiny chicks. They have a hatchery where you can go see all the newborns and they were just so sweet. Fynn desperately wanted to hold them and got really upset that we couldn't. Not going to lie, I wanted to pick them up too!

I thought Fynn's favorite part was going to be the petting zoos since she had a blast a few weeks ago at the other farm we went to. She loved petting the goats and the cows, so I thought this would be the same. Unfortunately, I didn't anticipate how aggressive these goats were going to be. These ones get fed by the people who come in to pet, so as soon as we walked in, they started jumping on us and getting into our faces. Fynn freaked out of course, I was actually a little nervous too. 

We ended up visiting with the goats and sheep from outside of the pen. After a lot of coaxing I got Fynn to try to feed the goats, but she was pretty nervous and I don't think she really ended up enjoying it. She loved watching them, but she wanted to do it on her own terms. 

And then there was a slide. And ice cream. And the complete toddler exhaustion that leads to a 3 1/2 hour nap, which means a very happy Mommy. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Social

1. One item you wish you could splurge on right now
I want this:


Fynn actually likes going in the stroller these days, but I can't run with her in the one we have because it's very much not a jogging stroller and the front wheel wiggles a lot when you push it faster than a walking pace. 

2. If you had an entire weekend of no plans what would you do?
SLEEP! I would sleep about half the weekend and then use the rest of the time to lounge out on the deck and read a couple of books. 

3. Next place you are visiting outside of your current city?

The furthest place we're planning on visiting in the near future is the lake 45 minutes away from home. We have neither the time nor money for anything more exciting than that.

4. Are you a neat freak or a clutterbug?

I am an absolute clutterbug. Drew calls me a slob on a daily basis. I have the hardest time remembering to put things away when I'm done with them and I hate cleaning... I do it, but I'm not a fan.

5. Favorite Summer purchase?

I bought several adorable skirts the last two weeks and I'm excited to wear them to work next week... even though I'm really not excited for the school year to begin again. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Workout Plan: Week 8

I think this week will be the last in my summer workout plan series. Next week we're hitting up the lake, and while I plan to be active, it probably won't be full workouts/runs and definitely not 5 days a week! After that, it's back to work where I know my workout routine has to change. No more nap times to fit in my workouts means I have to push through my end of the day fatigue and make myself exercise. But, I digress, not the point of this post. Here are my workouts from the past week:

Friday I meant to workout during naptime, but I fell asleep on the swing out on the deck and woke up two hours later when Drew came home from work early. So on Saturday I ventured further into the Focus T25 workout series and completed Alpha Ab Interval workout. I liked the workout a lot because it wasn't just crunches or typical ab moves. There were a lot of different motions and movements, so it didn't get boring or repetitive. I definitely felt it in my abs the next day!

Monday I went to dance class and got my butt kicked. We added a ton of counts to our routine and it's pretty intense. I love every second of it. 

Tuesday I did Focus T25 Alpha Lower Focus workout. I LOVE this one. It worked every muscle in my lower body and I ached like crazy after, but it just felt so good. Yeah, I'm weird.
"The Plan"

Wednesday I did the Focus T25 Cardio workout again. It was easier this time which is always reassuring. I really like this workout series. I may not be doing in religiously according to "the plan" that comes with it, but I'm liking the variety and how short they are. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

The things that are on my mind this week (can you tell it's been an exhausting week)

  • Why do I sign up for optional summer trainings? Oh yea, I like extra money... except the one I'm doing today and tomorrow doesn't pay anything... I.Am.An.Idiot.
  • My mom is taking Fynn to her dance class this morning even though she knows Fynn has been a beast at dance all summer(clearly that idiot piece was inherited... I feel a little bad for her) 
  • We head to the lake Saturday morning...I can make it (oh, I hope I can make it) 
  • I still haven't finish my big final project for my class. Granted, it's not due until next Friday, but I had planned on finishing it before we left for the lake, so I wouldn't have to work on it there... clearly that's not happening. 
  • My plans to lose a bunch of weight this summer and be the ideal stay at home mommy? Epic fails all around. Go me. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying "So What" if:

  • The house is a mess, but I just don't have the energy to clean up. Fynn hasn't been sleeping well the past couple of days which has put her in epic Beast Mode. She finally went down for a nap, and I just can't get myself to do anything more than blog and work on grad school homework
  • I did, however, have the energy to eat a Snickers bar... priorities
  • I literally have 42 draft posts started that I just need to finish/publish, but I'm writing this instead just because.
  • I love watching Girl Meets World on Friday nights. On the Disney Channel. After Fynn has gone to bed.
  • I maybe shouted at the mailman yesterday when he rang the doorbell right after Fynn fell asleep. If he had woken that beast up, he was going to take her with him
  • Fynn has watched Finding Nemo at least 3 times in the past week... and she calls Nemo "Elmo", which I find annoying rather than cute. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How I wish I could live in yoga pants

*Disclosure: I received the product samples below in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received. 

I love yoga pants. If I could, I'd wear them all day every day. Okay, so this summer I may have been close to that. But why can't I wear them to work? They seem professional attire to me!

Anyway, when I was contacted by to help out with their end of summer promotion I was all over it. A chance to try out a new online store and score some free clothes? Sounds like something I would do. 

After browsing through their online store though, I was torn about what to buy. There were tons of great options from yoga shorts, capris, and leggings, to scarves, water bottles, and yoga mats. Their prices are good and there are a ton of sale items for super-low prices. They have free shipping if you spend $49 or more which I love because I absolutely refuse to pay shipping when I shop online. If I can't find a promo code or a free shipping minimum, then I find someplace else to shop. Some call it cheap, I call it practical. 

I finally settled on an adorable pair of yoga legging with a coral waistband and a cute infinity scarf in gray and white. I was even more pleased when they arrived just a few days later. Everything fit like it was described on the website and the scarf was even cuter in person than in the pictures. Both are high-quality fabrics and seem like they'll hold up for awhile. Fynn's already enjoying playing with the scarf and I'm not worried that she'll destroy it, it's pretty heavy duty. The pants are also thick enough that you don't have to worry about them being see-through if you move around a lot, so you can pair them with just about anything. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

July Reads

I was a busy little reader in July and I'm clearly going to meet my summer goal to complete 20 books over vacation, since I still have another three weeks left to go.

9. Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
If you've ever read a Nora Roberts book you know; they're cute and romantic, but totally predictable. This was no exception. You know exactly who is going to end up together in the end. That said, I still enjoyed it. The main character in this book was a cute, neurotic perfectionist so of course the man in the situation was messy and carefree. Roberts has a way with writing that makes you all emotional and attached to the characters which is something I always enjoy. Overall a good read, but nothing amazing.

10., 11., & 12. Waiting on You, The Perfect Match and The Best Man by Kristen Higgins
I found a couple Kristen Higgins books at the library this month which I was really excited for. The two I read this month are part of the "Blue Heron" series, so they both involve a lot of the same characters. I read them out of order, but honestly it didn't matter much except that one of the books gave away who the character ends up with in another book. Anyway. Usually I love Kristen's books, but the characters in these bothered me. Not all of them, just the three ladies who were the protagonists in each of the three books. They were all supposed to be adult women, but the often acted like spoiled teenage girls. Even more annoying is that instead of just swearing, they say stupid crap like "hemorrhoids", uh, yeah, no thanks. The thing is, the writing style and storytelling is just good enough to make me keep reading even when I hate the main character. So I guess that takes talent. I'm not saying I don't like her books anymore, but these three didn't do much for me. If all her books were like this, I would never have started reading her books. 

12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
If you haven't heard of it, this book takes place during the Revolutionary War. Since I teach that topic to my 5th graders, I wanted to read this book to see if it was a good one for them. I didn't personally love it, but it's pretty historically accurate and gives a good picture of what life would have been like in that time. I like how it's realistic to the war, but not overly graphic or gory as some books about war can be. 

13. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult never disappoints. Her books are always so intricate and complicated and full of twists and turns. This one is about a family torn apart first by the father's infidelity and then by the daughter's claims of seeing God. In the book you get to see the situation from multiple character's perspectives; the way she gets inside the heads of each character and gives them a distinct personality and background is amazing. I'm always blown away by the depth of her characters. The only thing that I didn't love about this book was the very, very end. It was left a little too open-ended for me. Usually I don't mind that, but for this book I REALLY just needed to know exactly what happened. 

14. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I could not put this book down. I think I read it in about a day. It's similar to The Hunger Games, The Selection, and Divergent books. It's a dystopian novel that takes place in Portland, Maine. As soon as I realized that I was hooked. I loved all the references Oliver made to things in Portland, it's rare that I get to read a book that takes place in Maine and actually mentions things accurately. Anyway, in this society, love has been "cured". You get the cure when you turn 18 and after that you're safe from it's potential horrors. The refer to love as delirium and scare the people into thinking that it will kill them. So, in true dystopian trilogy form, the main character, Lena, falls in love and starts to question everything she knows about life and the world around her. It's completely enthralling and addicting and I'm currently number 5 on the library wait list for the second book, Pandemonium, and I can't wait.

15. The One and Only by Emily Giffin
Initially I was unimpressed with this book. It started off slow and was a little obvious. However, after awhile I was really pulled into it and started to like the main character better and feel for her. I'm usually sucked into Emily Giffin books from the get-go, so this was surprising to me, but I still ended up loving it. The characters were complex and there were a lot of side elements to the story that add to the emotional element. 

16. The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau
This is book 3 in The City of Ember series, however it is completely different. It takes place with a whole new cast of characters and in a whole new setting. In fact, it's not until the last page that you actually see the connection between this book and the other Ember series books (though there are hints earlier on, it's not clear until that point). Honestly, I didn't really like it. It was very "doomsday is coming" and didn't have the optimism and emotion that I'm used to from this author. If you didn't read this book, you would still easily enjoy the rest of the series.

17. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
I think this was my favorite book this month. It was complicated and messy and full of emotion and drama. There are a LOT of characters in this book, and it was a little hard to keep track of them all at first. Once I got further into it though, I started to see all the complex relationships and emotions of each of them, Moriarty does an amazing job creating complex characters that you can relate to. The major part of this story is the secret of one character ("The Husband"). The secret is totally not something I expected, but eventually this secret affects every single other character; even when it's not initially clear how they're connected. Truly an amazingly well written book and I can't wait to read more of her books. If they're anything like this, I'm going to love them. 

18. The Giver by Lois Lowry
A classic. I've read this book at leave 6 times before, but it's been a few years. I love the subtleties of this book. The hints about the society and the ways in which Jonas doesn't truly fit. Every time I read it I notice something different and end feeling completely differently. They're making a movie based on it, and I was orignally excited, but I saw the trailer and I don't think I'll go see it. They're trying to hard to make it the next Hunger Games or Divergent, when this is a completely different style of science fiction.

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