glitch, please

I don’t know how many of you saw the Jimmy Fallon video with Mitt Romney slow jamming the news, but “glitch, please” was definitely my most important takeaway from it.

Date night with Four’s lips.. err.. Ben

Anyway, I have some big news to share: We went on a date!! Without Allie!! To the movies!! It was basically amazing. I just put her down for the night, and all my mom had to do was listen for the baby monitor. She didn’t wake up at all. And I wasn’t even a total mess! In fact, I kept gushing to Ben about how exciting it was to feel “single” (my term for married without kids) for the night. We saw Divergent, and IT WAS SO GOOD. And let’s just talk about Theo James for a second. Seriously. I had instagrammed a pic before the movie started with the big news, and a friend commented with the hashtag #stillalittewoozyfromfourslips, which totally cracked me up. But I actually loved the movie more than the book, which is super rare. I’m in the middle of reading “Allegiant” now and just want to say thanks to every single person who’s read it for informing me how I will feel about the ending!

Are you a spoiler lover?

On that note, but not really, I’ve found there are two types of people in this world: those who like spoilers and those who don’t. Not judging or anything, but the ones who like spoilers are probably the ones who went hunting for Christmas presents in their parents’ closets when they were kids. I am not a spoiler lover! In fact, I go to great lengths to be surprised about as much as possible in my life.

In unrelated weather news

So.. a few days ago it was 70 DEGREES outside. We drove around with the windows down then came home and just sat out in the backyard soaking it all in. (See adorable Allie pics below.) The next day, it snowed. (Ben’s curse and all!) What. The. Heck. Granted, it was maybe only a quarter of an inch, but still. Today is thankfully back to warm and sunny (though not as warm as the other day), and it’s a good thing, because I think I am just refusing to wear coats at all anymore, snow or no!

Swap success story

I’ve already gushed about the My Subscription Addiction box swap site, but yesterday I completed a swap I am SO excited about. A few months ago, I saw this top on ModCloth and fell in love with it, but I had just bought another ModCloth top and couldn’t really justify getting it. Flash forward to this month, when I was scrolling through the latest listings on the swap site and saw the top in my size up for trade! Someone had received it in ModCloth’s Stylish Surprise Apparel grab bag, and now, a few beauty products I didn’t even want later, it’s mine! Or it will be, once it gets here. Yay!

Other things I’m happy about

  • I finished my quiet book pages!!! And having finished this project (with LOTS of help from Ben), I can now say with surety that I am really just not that crafty. I’ll stick with shopping, I think!
  • My white jeans got here!! They fit!! They still aren’t perfectly opaque, but I think all white jeans are like that. I’ll make it work.
  • This is my 100th post on this blog! Yay!
  • We discovered a Five Guys near here and grabbed some for lunch today! Now I might slip into a peanut-oil-induced sleep coma.

And since Allie is sleeping, I may just do that. Happy Friday, my friends!!

the travel lover’s love list

I used to always say that I love traveling, but as it turns out, I hate traveling. I love being places. But, for convention’s sake, this post is about travel in the being places sense. And also in the isn’t-the-world-amazing? sense.

Recently, my dear friend Emily shared a picture of this awesome push pin world map they got for their house, which I promptly added to my PLEASE BUY SOMEDAY bookmarks folder. But it got me thinking about a few other items I’ve encountered that pluck at the heartstrings of any globetrotter with a dream. In my case (and maybe yours, too), this is also closely related to a love of geography and maps. (As a sidenote, I am totally dominating in the geography categories on QuizUp. Feel free to join and challenge me.)

Without further ado, here’s my love list for travel lovers after my own heart:

  1. World push pin map: What better way to document your world domination/travels than a gorgeous, wood-framed push pin map? I jealous Emily hardcore for having this!
  2. Scratch map: This is along the same lines as the push pin map; let’s call it a starter version. A bit of a reverse life lotto ticket, as you scratch off the adventures you’ve already “won” (done).
  3. Travel Manager by Zero per Zero (image via): This urban, mappy wallet holds tickets, passports, and other travel essentials, with a few different featured cities as options.
  4. Pass Tag by Zero per Zero (image via): The more simple pass tag holds transit cards or doubles as a cool luggage tag.
  5. Travel journal: For me, a journal is a major travel must-have, and while the stampy exterior of this one isn’t necessary for collecting your travel thoughts, it certainly has an adventurous feel to it.
  6. Damsel On the Go gift set (image via): What’s a list from me without a surprise box? This Sesame Gifts box curated by the lovely Damsel in Dior includes a delightful assortment of travel goods in one fun package and makes for a great gift to yourself or a fellow travel lover!

I don’t know about you, but this is making me antsy for another trip here soon…

march and other madness

This line has no relevance to today’s post, other than I just TOTALLY LOVE SAYING IT. Like all the time. Sorry, Ben. And yes, I made the gif (pronounced jiff, as Ben keeps correcting me) all by myself! Sort of. A few things I’m thinking about this morning:

  • Consumerist’s Worst Companies in America tournament: If you can’t get enough March Madness, or if you’re like me and don’t follow basketball at all but enjoy bracket challenges, definitely check this out. Consumerist posts a couple of “games” each day, during which you can vote for your pick as the worst company in each match. It’s one of my favorite annual traditions! I’m rooting for Comcast.
  • Veronica Mars: I saw the movie!! I liked it, but of course I’m easy to please. I read an interesting article about the ending (it has spoilers!) and whether or not it was the right place to leave the story, but in any case, I was happy with it. Any other closet VM fans who have seen it?
  • Grown-up birthdays: Yesterday was Ben’s birthday, and I did shamefully little to help him celebrate. I had helped Allie fingerpaint him a card (that totally wasn’t a humongous mess), and I made him chocolate chip waffles… but that’s about it. Birthdays when you’re a parent are very different. I’m thinking I’ll train Allie (and potential future kids) to throw us massive parties once they get a bit older…
  • Piper Street maxi dresses: I saw these on Shannon of Bird a la mode, and I NEED one. I’m always looking for maxi dresses with actual sleeves, and these are so beautiful!
  • Quiet books: So, as I’ve mentioned, I was going to do a world map for my quiet book page exchange. But after giving it more thought, I realized this probably wouldn’t be the most interactive, compelling concept for 1-ish-year-olds. So I’ve changed directions and, based on Allie’s fascination with her high-chair and carseat buckles, I’ll be making a page with—you guessed it—buckles. This feels so much more manageable!
  • White jeans: I’ve made a decision that I can and will wear white jeans at whichever time during the year I deem appropriate, including after Labor Day! I ended up buying the jeans I posted about the other day, but when they arrived I found them to be just a little bit see through. So I returned them and have ordered these in their place. I also forgot to give credit to Alison of Get Your Pretty On for her amazingly thorough review of all the white jeans options out there. I opted not to buy her top pick because they look a little short for my neverending legs, but I’m hoping a similarly respected brand will meet my expectations!
  • Date night is (almost) scheduled: As I discussed in my last post, I’m trying to be better about leaving Allie with other people. Well, one of my sisters is in town this week, and, as she shares a lot of the same neurotic, overprotective tendencies that I have (no offense, Jen!), I’ve asked her to watch Allie some night later this week while Ben and I go out. This is HUGE for me, friends. I will keep you posted on the outcome…

Also, happy my half-birthday! Eat something sweet and scrumptious in my honor! 🙂

overcoming parenthood paranoia

When I was pregnant, I used to joke about the fact that I’d be a clingy, overprotective mom. I had no idea. Before we had Allie, when we would go on trips, we’d ask friends to either stay at our house or visit every day to feed and give a little love to our cats. I would ask them to text me pictures of the kitties every time they visited. (Seriously.) It wasn’t that I didn’t trust our friends; it was that my heart needed assurance our kitties were okay without us. If I was THAT obsessive about our pets, you can imagine how it’s been since Allie was born.

In her nine months out of the womb, I’ve probably only left Allie alone for an extended period with someone else (including Ben) nine times. I constantly have horrible scenes circling through my mind of every possible bad thing that could happen to her. And there have still been a couple of times she’s gotten hurt in my care (like the MOST AWFUL DAY EVER at Disneyland when she was just two months old [note to self: NEVER take a small infant to Disney again], and I accidentally dropped her as I went to sit us down in the mother’s lounge. I think I cried for an hour; Allie maybe cried for five minutes). The fact that even I—who spends every waking second worrying about Allie—can still not completely protect her has made me almost completely unwilling to let other people watch her.

Many people give me a really hard time about this. Others are understanding or admit it was the same for them with their first kids. Either way, I totally recognize that I will have to eventually let go. The other day, I had just decided that it was time for a real date with Ben, meaning neither one of us could watch Allie, when I read this article in The Atlantic. While it’s mostly talking about older kids, the article basically says that kids need to be left alone to play and potentially get hurt in order to be successful, independent, functioning members of society. I totally get it. I totally agree. But then, I tell myself, WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS? This cycle repeats itself in my mind over and over, and I just end up staying with Allie all the time. But, for Allie’s benefit, I think it’s time I try to loosen my grip a bit.

So the plan is that I’ll just start with small chunks of time. That way, it works her and me up to longer stretches of time. Yesterday Ben went to REI while I worked, and Allie stayed with my mom (upstairs) for about an hour. Allie was totally fine! I think I just need time to get comfortable with the separation (oh, and Allie probably does, too). Maybe one day, I’ll even let Allie go to preschool without me! At least here’s to hoping.

obsessions // vent session

Well hello! By the way, in case you’re wondering (or not), we are mostly recovered from our colds! Yay! We spent about 90% of the past week just lying around (with the exception of church and a couple trips to Target, because Target), so I feel moderately prepared to start contributing to society again. Before that, though, I have a few recent addictions and annoyances to discuss this morning.

Obsessions

  • QuizUp: Holy cow, friends, this app is ADDICTIVE. You basically take little trivia quizzes in a variety of categories, but you’re going up against random people around the world. Or your friends, if you link up with them. I spent a shameful amount of time last night trying to increase my ranking in the Geography section. And it is taking some serious self control not to play it right now. Okay, I might have just played a few rounds of “name of the pop star.” I can’t believe myself.
  • Cynthia Vincent shopper bag: For a shopping addict, there are few feelings more painful than discovering a product you love but can’t find anywhere to buy. This is my current situation with this Cynthia Vincent bag that was featured in a special edition POPSUGAR box* before I started subscribing. I’m looking for a specific pattern, and it is just GONE. There was one on eBay recently, but it’s of course sold! I experienced this same type of situation once with a pair of jeans but miraculously found a pair in a local boutique. I’m hoping my desperate email to Cynthia Vincent last night results in another miracle!
  • Rich & Skinny jeans: Speaking of those long-sought jeans, I just found another color of them on an insane sale at Bluefly. I am currently debating between these or a much less discounted pair in white but that I would probably wear with more. Help! Which ones do I get?
  • New products from ban.do: I’ve gushed about ban.do here before, but they have officially entered a whole new sphere of amazing. This adorable pouch and insanely cute charging cable are currently in my shopping cart, awaiting husband approval. The screenshot below from their homepage gives you an idea, but prepare to squeal with glee. (This is NOT sponsored by ban.do, FYI, it’s just a proclamation of my love for them.)

Vent session

  • Tuesday TV: There are just not enough good shows on Tuesday. I count one that we watch. Am I missing something? Also, it wasn’t long ago that I didn’t watch TV at all. Things change once you have a sleeping baby at home! But seriously, I need to get into a book!
  • Requiem for my house boots: My $15 Target house boots are dying!! Like, flimsy-foam-bursting-out-of-the-super-thin-heel-fabric dying. I should not be surprised, since, you know, they only cost $15. But now it’s almost spring, and replacements are nowhere to be found. And I should probably move on and embrace the warm, but they’re so dang comfy. Tear.
  • Video ads: It has now happened too many times to be a coincidence that I go to watch a video online and the obligatory ad plays just fine, but once it’s done, the video mysteriously can’t load. It’s a conspiracy, obviously.
  • Brand liking: Why are brands and products always trying to get you to “like” their Facebook page before you’ve even tried them? I mean, I get the concept of “following,” but Facebook is not Twitter. When I say I like a page, my friends see that and assume it’s something I’ve already confirmed is awesome. But if I have to “like” a brand before I even learn about it, it seems a little like jumping the gun.

On a more serious note, I should make clear that there is much that I love and sorrow over more than these things, but I like to keep things light here for the most part. I’ll just say Allie’s cheeseball smile and our current transitional living situation are high on the lists, respectively.

* My invite link

does mint count as green?

I don’t own a ton of green in my wardrobe. I do love teal and turquoise , but as for real greeny green, I’ve only got a few things. I think the reason is because I have blue eyes, and I’ve always had this idea that green would clash with them. This is ridiculous, I realize, so I’m starting to get over it. And one of the pieces of actual green clothing I own is a pair of colored denim jeans in kelly green. And so, with St. Patty’s Day coming up, I made a mental note to save these jeans for today. It would figure, of course, that when I went to change after church yesterday, the pair I just happened to grab were these same jeans. And even though maybe three people will see me today who saw me yesterday, I just have a thing about wearing the same thing two days in a row.

So I was a bit stuck today. Until I remembered a recent purchase of mine. Ben and I were walking Allie through the mall a couple of weeks ago, when I made him let me duck into Aeropostale for a second. He then said to me, “I think you grew out of this store 10 years ago.” But I barely heard him, because I was drawn to a section with my name plastered everywhere! If you’ve been to the store recently, you may have seen the Bethany Mota line. She is apparently some YouTube sensation all the kids know about. But despite not knowing who she was, the kid in me was SO EXCITED to see my name on a product, I decided I had to buy something. Since some mint jeans have been on my list for a while, I picked up this color wash jegging. Normally I’m super picky about jeans, but these fit really well, and they HAD MY NAME ON THEM, so obviously I had to buy them.

Anyway, my question to you is: by wearing these today, am I off the hook for green attire? Or is it only the real Irish green? Either way, happy St. Patty’s Day! For my friends in DC/MD/VA, enjoy your government-sanctioned drinking—err, I mean—snow day! (And you’re welcome!)

it’s aloha friday

When we were growing up, my brother used to wear an aloha shirt (basically a Hawaiian or floral print shirt typically worn by men, as on George Clooney here) every Friday, as per the custom. Sadly, he had to stop doing this after law school, he tells me, but I still sing the song in my head almost every week. And oh look, listening to it just now got me all nostalgic again.

Anyway, we’re still sick over here (though Ben is still the sickest—he blames a lack of red meat in his diet), but things are starting to look up, and the weather continues to improve, and it’s Friday! So yay those things. But taking this whole week off work has made me feel so behind on everything in my life. Here are a few things on my current to-do list:

  • New tote bagBefore Allie was born, and at the height of my chevron obsession, I ordered this for a diaper bag. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the bag, and it can fit A TON of stuff in it. But the thing is bulky. I used to take it absolutely everywhere, but these days we just keep Ben’s daddy diaper bag (read: military-style messenger bag) in the car, and I throw some snacks in my little purse. But after being caught without a diaper for Allie at her 9-month appointment yesterday, I realized it’s time to find a new solution. I spent all last night and this morning looking for something big but light that I can just throw a bunch of things into, and I think I’ve settled on either this one (Ben thinks it’s too big) or this one (sold out in the pattern I want, of course). I was also looking at this one. Thoughts? Alternative suggestions?
  • Quiet books: I’ve mentioned I’m participating in my friend Chelsea‘s quiet book page exchange, making 17 of my world map pages. I didn’t think about how insanely time consuming it would be to cut out 17×7=119 continents, then attach them to the page (I think I’m going with the velcro), then add ribbon as decoration… Ben keeps saying I can just switch my concept, but I’ve committed and I want to do the map. It’s just taking me foreeeever.
  • Swap package: Guys, I am a verified swapper on the My Subscription Addiction swap site! Basically it just means that I’ve completed swaps and received positive feedback. But it also means that when I swap with a new person, they have to ship their stuff first. I am anxiously awaiting a Rachel Zoe knot ring and a couple of other items from boxes before I joined the bandwagon, then I’m off to send a few of my less-loved items in exchange! I’m a swap addict!
  • Blogroll: Being sick has made me want to spend all my free time just watching TV in my yoga pants, so I haven’t really been reading any blogs. But a quick scroll through my feed tells me there is so much awesome content to check out, so I will be back on it this weekend. I realized recently that I count on blogs not only to entertain and inspire me, but also to keep me in the loop on my friends’ lives! I’m a slave to technology.
  • Baby book updates: My baby is nine months old! Crazy! And I have so much to add to her first year book for this month! And all our recent adventures with her have made me SO excited for summer!! It’s coming, people!!

Happy aloha Friday and pi day!

{Image via Pinterest}

vegas, baby

We’re back from our trip! Early! We had intended on spending the whole week away—a few days in Vegas, then a few days in Phoenix, but we ended up just spending a couple of days in Vegas and coming home. Allie had been sick with her very first cold since last Monday, and I had thought she was about over it, but by the time we got to our hotel in Vegas, ALL THREE OF US were sick. Ugh. But on the bright side:

  1. We were able to upgrade to a one-bedroom suite (i.e., twice the size of our first apartment together), with doors to close off the bedroom once Allie went down to sleep.
  2. We were in Vegas! With lots of things to do!

So we tried to make the best of things. Our first excursion was to visit the aquarium at Mandalay Bay, and Allie totally loved it! So did I! I can’t even remember the last time I went to an aquarium. But it was so fun!

After a quick lunch, we snuck back to the hotel so Allie could nap, then back out we went. We parked on the strip, loaded Allie up in the Ergo, and just walked around for a while. She loved the Bellagio water show, of course!

We enjoyed the amazingly delicious Bellagio buffet for dinner, then we went back to the hotel to put Allie down—and ourselves, to be honest. We were sooo sick. Poor Ben had it the worst, I think. Though none of us really got much sleep.

So we enjoyed a final morning in our fabulous suite, then headed home. Short but sweet.. and sour, because honestly, we are still really miserable.

But not too miserable to watch the finale of the Bachelor I missed! Oh my goodness. Juan Pablo. That show. I don’t even know what to say.

mailbox love + six inches gone

It’s official: I am a snail mail addict. Boxes, letters, all of it. Today was a particularly glorious mail day, and I realized it’s basically my form of a drug, because the high lasts for a day or two, then suddenly I WANT MORE MAIL. Luckily, I’ve found a new way to facilitate that (detailed below). Today’s treasures include my monthly POPSUGAR Must Have* box (contents not pictured to preserve the surprise for anyone who may be awaiting theirs), a gorgeous Gorjana scarf I snagged in a swap, and TWO pieces of snail mail via Ashley of One Fine Day’s snail mail exchange. One from my January pen pal and the other from my February pen pal, who, in a fabulous coincidence, is the voice behind one of my favorite blogs! Yay!

photo

A few other updates today:

Allie things

  1. Girlfriend knows what she wants. She isn’t crawling yet, but that doesn’t stop her from plunging out of my arms to see or grab things that catch her eye. She is very vocal about what she wants to eat or drink (basically just apple juice) and resents very much being told what to do (kind of exactly like her mother—figures).
  2. Allie’s latest love is the sound she makes when we tap our fingers or hands against her mouth while she sings/vocalizes (what is this called??). She does it to herself and sometimes even grabs my hands and makes me do it to her. Cracks me up. And her, of course.
  3. She hasn’t ever slept with anything in her crib, but this week we decided to give Allie a little lovey for naptime, and they are so cute! Stetson (the rescue dog of Park City, fyi) is her new BFF. She continues to roll absolutely everywhere around her crib, but she brings him with her and can frequently be found clutching him in her sleep. Cutest thing ever!!

The big-ish news

Friends! I CUT MY HAIR. Okay, so for me it seems like a huge deal, but other people may not notice much of a difference. It was a whole big emotional to-do at the salon, as I gulped and nodded, assuring the stylist that I indeed consented to a whole six inches getting chopped off. I do feel SO much better and lighter with my “short” hair, but at the same time I miss the familiar length when I look in the mirror. Ben was busy, so I had to go the iPhone selfie route to get a picture. You’re welcome.

In box world news

When it comes to surprise boxes, it is generally not uncommon to receive things you aren’t completely psyched about from time to time. That’s just how it goes. But, as the world is filled with all kinds of people and personalities and preferences, it’s often the case that someone else out there would totally love the things you don’t. Enter the My Subscription Addiction swap site. I was initially on the waiting list but got approved on Monday, and oh how my life has changed! It is a veritable bazaar on that site! I’ve already done three swaps, giving up things I was meh about in exchange for items I’d coveted for months (including the scarf in the pic above)! It’s so awesome. If you’re a box person, GET ON IT.

New favorite blog

Oh my goodness. Thanks to Katie for the tip—just read the latest Bachelor recap at Pinterest Told Me To and almost fell out of my chair, which would have been very hard, as it’s a recliner. Her blog cracks me up.

Upcoming events

We are taking a vacation next week! YAY! Our little Park City getaway totally whet our collective appetite, so we’re taking all next week to road trip southward (read: WARM) to visit some family, friends, and attractions. I am the following:

  • SO in desperate need of another vacation.
  • Kind of anxious about disrupting our routine right after the time change.
  • Insanely excited to visit my dear friend Tara, who is just a state away but still way too far!

Anyway, happy weekend to all! I may or may not post from the road. There’s only so much you can do at night in a hotel room you share with a sleeping infant, so we’ll just have to see.

* My invite link

love coordinates

Last week I read a post by one of my favorites, Damsel in Dior, about coordinates. In it she mentions the coordinates of where she was born and that she had them engraved on a bracelet as a gift for her mom. I read this idea and got SO excited. I am always looking for unique gift and design ideas, and there’s so much you can do with numbers.

So I looked up the address of the party where Ben and I first met (thank you, Facebook Events). Originally I was going to get the coordinates engraved on something for him as a surprise, but I was so excited about the idea I just had to tell him. For now I’ve just settled with a simple graphic we can frame and put on our wall.

I love this idea so much, because the numbers by themselves will only mean something to those who know what they represent. A few ideas for coordinates of a special place that have popped into my head:

  • Engraved jewelry (taking Damsel’s idea) as a gift
  • Artwork/posted or even huge wall stickers in a house
  • Print-screened pillowcase or t-shirt
  • Cut-out numbers as party decorations
  • Treasure hunt date idea

I haven’t really thought these through, but I am totally loving this new way to represent locations and special moments of our lives. Yay!