Mexico 2004

Friday Favorites

I’ve had a monumental week, friends. After being in a spending freeze since early January, I went clothes shopping for the first time in 3 months…which is quite possibly the longest I’ve ever gone without buying a single article of clothing.

I write for a newspaper in Houston and am paid enough to make a little extra “fun” money for myself. I’ve been saving my money and had finally saved enough to warrant a shopping trip. I had been wanting some new, bright Spring tops and wanted to see what Nordstrom and Anthropologie had to offer.

So, I rounded up a few neighbors and we shuttled to the nearest high-end shopping center–about an hour from home–and made a fun day of shopping and lunching. It was much-needed and I found 3 great tops, which are a few of my Friday Favorites for this week.

This is what I came home with:

 

Tie cuff tee

I hate spending this much on a tee shirt, but the cut is terribly flattering on this tee and it’s just different-enough to keep it interesting. I love the bright red color too.

Milla Printed Top

I hate the way that this top looks on the Anthropologie website. I walked into the store and saw it on a mannequin and immediately fell in love–but I’m not typically a purple gal. I tried it on though and really, really liked it but wasn’t sure it was worth the $88 price. So, I walked out without it. Then, I thought about it the whole time we were at lunch. I made my friends go back and look at it with me and I was convinced that it was a “Jenny” top. I brought it home and I think it’s my favorite purchase of the day. I also happened to have a necklace from Accessory Concierge that matches it perfectly!

Kut From The Kloth Jasmine Print Blouse

This top I laid eyes on the second that I set foot into the ladies’ department at Nordstrom and knew that I wanted it. The colors are vivid, the material is sheer yet covers enough (I think? I might end up wearing a cami under it though, on second thought) and the cut is fabulous. Would you believe that I tried it on with my turquoise Kendra Scott earrings and it looked great? I told you those earrings go with everything…

And that’s what I came home with. Sadly, I spent most of my money on these 3 tops, but I’ve learned over the years that investing in a few high-end, truly special pieces always serves me better than buying 12 tops at Target.

 

My next Friday Favorite is the book that I’m reading: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


Eleanor & Park

I don’t think that I’ve read a YA book since I WAS a YA, so this is a bit of a departure for me. But, it’s set in the late 1980’s, so it kind of harkens back to that time in my life. It’s delightfully endearing, well-written and brings back a lot of those teenaged-angsty feels as well as those wispy first-love feelings. It’s not as fluffy as I’d thought–which is good–and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I even found myself YouTubing Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” the other night at 10pm, because of this book.

And, that’s about it for my favorites this week! It was a fun shopping trip and I’m excited to wear my new tops very soon.

Tell me what your favorites are this week!

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Mexico 2004

Am I judging moms who drink?

Recently, one of my more popular blog posts was featured on Red Tricycle. When I wrote it, it came from a place of anger. I was sick and tired of seeing drinking normalized among the mom-crowd.

When I posted “Mommy Juice” here on the blog, it was warmly received, because in a way, I’m “preaching to the choir” here. Then, when it went out on Red Tricycle’s page, it was met with resistance–a lot of it. Many women said that I was “judging” them for drinking and that, “just because I can’t drink doesn’t mean that everyone should abstain.

Honestly, I was a bit gobsmacked by the resistance. It hadn’t occurred to me that it would be such a divisive topic and it forced me to explore the question: “Am I judging moms who drink too harshly?”

I’ve thought a lot about it in the past couple of weeks and, honestly I think my answer is that I’m not judging other moms–I’m judging our society–and when I wrote “Mommy Juice” I wasn’t able to properly articulate that.

You see, when I was a new mom, I fell for that same schtick. You know, the “have a bottle of wine–you deserve it after the day you’ve had!”-schtick. Now that I’ve seen that that way of thinking can be really destructive, I have strong feelings about it. What I wanted to say in “Mommy Juice” was–“don’t be like me!”

But here’s the thing: I’m not talking about the moms who have the occasional glass of wine. Hell, I’m not even talking about the moms who have a glass of wine every day to unwind once the kids go to bed nor am I talking about the moms who go out and get wasted on girls’ night or in Vegas with their partners.

I’m talking about the moms who are lonely and feeling “off,” who are self medicating with alcohol and are slowly losing control of things.

According to WebMD, it’s estimated that anywhere from 10-20% of new mothers experience postpartum depression. Of those cases, only half of them seek treatment. This means that half of those ladies aren’t getting the help that they need from a doctor and are potentially self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

Even though doctors have come a long way in terms of asking the right questions and opening up the dialogue with new moms about feelings of postpartum depression, there’s still a stigma attached to that diagnosis. Motherhood is funny like that. You spend so much of your time second-guessing yourself and wondering if you’re qualified to be the caretaker of a baby. Then, if you’re having even mild feelings of sadness, you’re not bonding with the baby; you’re wondering if you should even be doing this at all…well, it’s embarrassing to tell someone that–even your trusted doctor.

So, yeah. I’m not judging moms. I’m judging our culture that demands that new mothers do it all perfectly and love every minute of it and then leave them woefully ill-equipped with support when it’s needed. When that happens, “Mommy’s Little Friend” becomes wine and it’s encouraged and heralded as a cure-all for moms at the end of their rope.

I think what I meant to convey is  this: I’d for like our culture to take us more seriously. To give us more credit for who we are and what we do for our families. Offering us yet another glass of cheap wine after a hard day feels like a patronizing pat on the head. I think what I’m really angry about is that mothers have become caricatures. Easily plied with wine and simple in our needs, when that’s not the case at all and this attitude is harmful for many.

There. I feel better now.

I’d love to hear your take on this. Do you think that I judged moms who drink too harshly? 

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Mexico 2004

5 ways to cope when you have a weird kid

My daughter is weird. Yes, she’s also incredibly bright, precocious and kind, but she’s undeniably weird. Granted, a lot of people don’t see Anna’s behavior as weird. Those who don’t spend as much time with her as we do probably just see a 10 year old with an active imagination but when you live with her, day in and day out, you would agree that she’s weird.

Understand this: I’m not necessarily using the word “weird” in a derogatory way. She’s not a “lurk in the bushes outside of your house and peep in your windows”-kind of weird. But, she IS a rub against your shoulder and purr in your ear-kind of weird.

Full-discloser: this was Halloween, but still, she felt like her “outsides finally matched her insides” that day

 

You see, my daughter is always an animal. Always. Ever since she was a toddler, she’s loved to play like she was an animal. Now, at the age of 10, it’s still consistently her favorite thing to do. While other girls are playing with their American Girl dolls, Anna is playing with her stuffed animals. While other girls were playing dress up in Disney princess ballgowns from Target, Anna was playing dragon with a homemade felt dragon tail and wings.

But, this behavior has not always been cute. There was the one time that my husband and I caught her licking a strange dad’s leg in the kiddie pool at a resort. She was pretending to be a dog and this kind man was playing along…until she started licking his shin. It ranks as one of the most horrific things I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to say who was more uncomfortable–us or the stranger. The good news is that this episode opened up the dialog about licking strangers and where to draw the line on animal games.

Over the years, I’ve made some mistakes in dealing with Anna’s imagination. I’ve had to learn as I go and consequently have come up with a few helpful tips for other parents who might be dealing with a slightly eccentric child:

1: Teach your child that there’s a time and place to let their “freak flag fly”. I’ve learned to strike deals with Anna. For instance: she needs to be a human in church every Sunday, but is welcome to gallop all over the house like a horse (or whatever creature de jour she’s pretending to be) for the rest of the day on Sunday. She seems okay with this and it works for me too.

2: Try not to make your child feel any weirder than they already are. I’m 100% sure that Anna has been called “weird” at school and, I’ve been known to call her a “little weirdo” (with only love in my heart) to her face, but by and large, I try to let her know that we love her no matter how she is and that won’t change. We’ve also stressed that “weird” isn’t a bad thing and now she seems to take it as a compliment.

3: Recognize that the current strange stage is just that: A stage. The preteen years are rattling at our shutters and knocking on our door right now. There are times when I see a flash of teenage rage in my 10 year old’s eyes, then, before I know it, she’s back to her sweet, 4th grade self. But I know that in a couple of years, we’ll be longing for the days when it was simpler and she was just a cat, trapped in a 10 year old girl’s body, and not an angry teen.

4: Don’t try to change them. Chances are, if you try and change their behaviors, you’ll only make it worse–believe me, I’ve tried. As long as your child isn’t doing something that’s harmful to themselves or others, I say, let them do what they need to do to be happy. There aren’t enough kids getting to be themselves these days, if you ask me.

5: Don’t try and over-explain your kid to others. So many times, when Anna has been in full-blown cat-mode in public, I’d try to explain her actions to people, “Anna is pretending to be a cat today. She loves cats and it’s her favorite game to play. She’s not always a cat though…she’s actually really bright and caring too!” The thing is, most people find children who are using an active imagination endearing and, to strangers who don’t live with it, it is cute and harmless. So, I’ve stopped trying to justify her behavior and just let it all happen naturally. Nine times out of ten, people say something along the lines of, “My son used to pretend to be a fireman all the time when he was that age.”

One of the harder things about being the parent of a weird kid is worrying about what other parents think of her and how that reflects on me as a parent. What I’ve learned though is that, as with everything else in life, it doesn’t matter what others think of you and also that most people think it’s really cool that we let her be who she is and don’t try to change her.

Now that I’m in the thick of it, I finally understand how fleeting childhood is. I’m proud of Anna’s confidence and the fact that she doesn’t give a flip what anyone thinks about her–that she’s willing to be who she wants to be and readily accepts others for their quirks as a result. One day, I know that we’ll look back on this age and have only fond memories of a little girl who loved animals so much that she wanted to be one. The way I see it, there are definitely worse parenting problems to have.

What about you? Have you  raised an eccentric child? 

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Mexico 2004

Friday Favorites

It’s good to be back with some Friday Favorites for you all today! This week, I have a podcast that I look forward to every week, a fashion item that pulls together an outfit like none other and a recipe that blew my skirt up indeed.

Watch What Crappens Podcast:

I’m proud to admit that I’m only watching a bit of trashy Bravo television these days. Real Housewives (of Beverly Hills) is a perennial favorite and I’m anticipating the return of Real Housewives of New York next month. Oh, and I’m also looking forward to the return of Southern Charm. But, aside from those shows, I’ve cut back significantly on “junk food” tv.

That said: I LURVE the “junk food” tv that I do still watch. The bad news is that no one else in my real life watches the same junk as me. What’s more fun than watching “junk food” tv? Talking about it with your friends! Enter: Watch What Crappens.

I don’t remember how I found this podcast, but it’s two guys who completely rehash each episode of most every Bravo tv show a few days after it’s aired. The guys are hilarious and spot-on on their assessments of what’s going on on these shows. It’s just like having these wonderful gay friends who share your passion for Real Housewives to chat with every week.

I treat myself to this podcast when I’m walking the dog and I often have to stop, mid-walk, to double over and discretely grab my lady-bits so as not to wet myself from laughing so hard at an impersonation of a Housewife or other snarky comment from the episode. Watch What Crappens is often the highlight of my day. And this is everything that’s wrong with my life.

Kendra Scott “Elle” Earrings:

I can hear a collective groan across the internet right now. “Is she REALLY talking about earrings that were popular, like 7 years ago?” Yes, yes I am.

I bought my Kendra Scott Earrings about 4 years ago and have worn them so much. They go with everything and they make an outfit “pop” like none other. Now that my hair is short, I wear them even more because they’re easily seen. And, say what you want about my out-of-style earrings, but I get complimented on them almost every time I wear them. So there!

I like the “Elle” style because they’re a bit smaller, but I know lots of people who prefer the Danielle because they’re bigger and look better with long hair. I will tell you this: I rented the Danielle earrings in cobalt blue from Rent The Runway one time and thought that my ear holes would tear, they were so heavy! I know that you can buy special support earring backs from Kendra Scott, so that might’ve helped but the Elle style is much more comfortable for me and appropriate for my hair length and face shape.

Here they are in a pretty mother of pearl color (if you click on the link, you’ll see many of the colors that they’re available in):

Kendra Scott “Signature” Elle Gold plated Ivory Mother-of-Pearl Drop Earrings

(Affiliate link above)

These earrings come in every color under the sun. I’ve rented the magenta Kendra Scott earrings from Rent The Runway a couple of times and I really love them too. In fact, I wore them to a wedding in the fall and a woman came from across the other side of the church to comment on them. It was flattering and very sweet, however, I was certain that everybody and their dog knew about Kendra Scott by now?

Dress and earrings from Rent The Runway. I adore Rent The Runway…have you tried it?

 

Lastly, a recipe that rocked my world:

Old Fashioned Donut Muffins

My Jack and I are obsessed with the Old Fashioned Donuts from Starbucks. Before he started school, we’d often drop Anna off at school and then go to Starbucks for a treat. The Old Fashioned Donuts were always our favorite. Now that we’ve tightened our purse strings a bit, we haven’t been to Starbucks for a treat in probably a year, so when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I had high hopes that it would offer a bit of a treat for us.

It did not fail to please. It was easy to make and tasted so dang good. I’m not going to lie and tell you that, because these have the word “muffin” in the title that they’re healthy, but I will tell you this: They’re delicious and use ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

I would make these for a brunch spread or even as a treat to take to a neighbor after an illness. They’re portion-controlled (assuming that you can eat just one) and great with coffee or after dinner. Make these and you won’t be disappointed! Promise!

What are your favorites this Friday?


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Mexico 2004

8 date night ideas that don’t revolve around alcohol

Before I quit drinking alcohol, back in 2010, a typical date night for my husband and I meant dinner (plus drinks) and drinks. Oh, and then drinks after dinner. Then, if we still had anything left in us after the date, more drinks at home after the kids were in bed.

Especially after we had our first baby, when we got a rare date night, we didn’t want to waste our time doing anything but drinking our new-parent frustrations away and trying to find the “old” us that was hidden under layer upon layer of sleep deprivation and Elmo-induced brain atrophy. In fact, back in those days, a date night activity that didn’t involve alcohol felt like punishment. Why even bother?

A rare date night out, sans babies, circa 2009. Lots of drinking going on here.

 

Then, I quit drinking, and I remember feeling very lost when we got our first, long-overdue date night. What the hell were we supposed to do on a date night now if I couldn’t drink? I’d be lying if I said that I remember what we did on those first few sober date nights, but now that I’ve been doing sober date nights for awhile, I feel like I have a better-stocked arsenal of date night ideas that don’t involve drinking.

So, here are 8 date night ideas that don’t completely revolve around alcohol, in case you’re a teetotaler (like me), maybe you’re pregnant and miss being able to drink on date night or maybe you’re just looking for ways to have fun without the hooch every now and then.

1: Go to the movies: There’s a new wave of movie theater “experiences” that incorporate drinking into enjoying a movie. We have Alamo Drafthouse where we live and fancier-versions in the larger cities nearby, but I enjoy a good movie on a date night. I think it’s a real treat to go and watch a movie that I choose, that doesn’t involve a Pixar character, nor an animated version of Justin Timberlake singing top-40 hits. Plus, I’m all about getting candy or another sweet treat that I don’t have to share.

2: Play mini-golf: Going to play mini-golf WITHOUT your kids might seem cruel, but nobody said that you have to tell your kids where you went on date night, right? I think that mini-golf is all kinds of fun. You want to know what makes it even more fun? When you can get fiercely competitive with your partner and play your heart out without having to give up a shot for your kid or wait, as your 1st grader takes 52 shots on a par 4.

3: Costco run: Lame, right? But, imagine this: Costco After Dark. Way less crowded than your usual Saturday, at 11am Costco run. Plus, you and your partner can carefully critique the differences between the latest and greatest televisions that Costco has to offer. You can wander around, gathering samples without having to bite your Kirkland-brand peanut butter cup into 4 equal portions so that your toddler and 4 year old don’t lose their minds in the middle of the store. Better yet? Pick up the toilet paper and kitty litter that you’ve been putting off purchasing and have your spouse load it in the back of your minivan for you. Now, that’s what I call foreplay! Meeeeow!

4: Go to the museum: Many museums offer an after-hours happy hour every month or so. Yes, booze is the primary focus of these events (because, of course it is) but you can take the opportunity to see the museum without the large crowds who are usually there during normal business hours. Typically a museum membership is required to attend these events, but museum memberships are awesome for families to take advantage of anyway. They always pay for themselves in just a couple of visits and they afford you the luxury of going to the museum on a rainy day to see the one thing that you kid cares about seeing and then leaving directly after. No need to try and get your money’s worth out of a single day ticket.

5: Linger at a coffee shop: Since I quit drinking, coffee shops have become a favorite place of mine. I never cared to have coffee after the hours of about 10am before, but now, an after dinner coffee is a pretty great special treat. Coffee shops are also good places to go and have a nice, uninterrupted conversation with your spouse. I love to people watch there also. All good things…

6: Take in some community theater: Most communities–no matter how small or large–have community theater. Some of the productions are really, really good and some of them….well, aren’t. But, on date night, it doesn’t matter. You’re out of the house, sans kids. There’s often beer and wine available in the lobby of these productions, but it’s not pushed on you like it is in, say, comedy clubs. Go check out a local production and remark at how talented (or not!) your neighbors are.

7: Church activities: I know, I know. Now that we’ve found a church that we like, we’re becoming “those people.” But, most churches have opportunities to be social with other couples every now and then (if not more often). I’ve heard great things about “small groups,” that give you the opportunity to meet other people from the church outside of services. Our church has classes and seminars as well that would be good to do on a date night.

8: Shopping: There’s something rather appealing about going shopping with your spouse without the kids in tow. To leisurely browse on your own time and look at what YOU want to look at, without having to divide your time watching the kids play in the indoor mall playscape while the other runs quickly into Sears to grab a refrigerator filter and a new shirt. Use date night shopping as an opportunity to pick out new dress clothes or new granny panties–whatever makes you feel good. Or, shop at a furniture store for your (perhaps fictitious) dream house. No purchase necessary.

I used to see date night as more of a “treat yo self” night. A night that I could escape my day job and drink to alleviate the stress of parenthood. Every time though, I’d end up feeling like a worse parent–especially when I was hungover the next morning and unable to properly perform even the simplest of parenting duties for my kids. Now that I’m sober, date night is truly a recharge night for me. I get to enjoy my husband’s company and then wake up refreshed the next morning, ready to do this crazy job called “parenting” to the best of my abilities.

What about you? Any sober date night ideas to share?

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Mexico 2004

Am I a hypochondriac?

In the past year, I’ve legitimately thought that I was dying on at least 2 separate occasions.

Does this make me a hypochondriac?

Backstory: My thyroid started giving me trouble a couple of years ago. Long story made shorter, I went to the emergency room with heart palpitations, thinking for sure that I was having a heart attack. After a litany of tests and bloodwork, it was determined that I wasn’t having a heart attack but that my thyroid was going crazy–which was causing the heart palpitations. Whew. Call off the undertaker.

Prior to this event, I could’ve count on two hands (I’ve had 2 pregnancies) the number of times that I’ve been to the doctor’s office. I’m a healthy person. I don’t get sick. I take good care of myself. So, the day that I went to the ER with heart palpitations and tingling in my left arm, I was certain that I was dying. It’s a strange feeling to feel something new and unfamiliar. My brain spun out of control.

After the thyroid diagnosis, I got used to the feeling of having heart palps. I take medication to help, but I still experience them and, knowing what’s causing them has put my mind at ease. Until January of this year.

I was having my usual heart palpitations, but this time, a new-found ache in my chest coincided with the heart palps. I had a lot on my plate during this time. My daughter was involved in a stage production that week and we had family and friends coming from all over to see it. I was also involved in getting her to and from rehearsals every night and trying to figure out how to do stage makeup that would make her best look like a “blue bird.” (Spoiler: I’m not a makeup artist)

So, I largely tried to ignore the chest pains and heart palps, as a busy mom does…until I lay awake in the middle of the night–the night before her first performance–going over the guest list of who we were expecting to visit for the performance, how to do bird makeup again and maybe there are some new YouTube tutorials that I haven’t seen yet that will make it all clear and, oh, yeah….that nagging heart thing.

All I could think about was if I was dying. If this was a heart attack. I knew better than to Google “symptoms of a heart attack” because, on any given day, I think it’s safe to say that any of us could firmly convince ourselves that we were having a heart attack (or maybe my imagination is just more active than most). Also, guess what? Laying in bed, working yourself into an anxiety attack over heart palpitations does not make you feel any more confident that you aren’t IN FACT DYING. It even got so bad at one point, that I was legitimately concerned that my kids would be the ones to find my lifeless body also, who would do the damn bird makeup if I died?

Finally, after realizing that I wasn’t going to get any sleep this way, I woke up my husband and told him that i was going to go to the hospital to get it checked out. The whole drive there, I went over in my head all of the possibilities. Best case–I’m not dying and they’ll admit me to do whatever they do after one survives a heart attack. Worst case: I was about to die.

How would Kevin raise my kids alone?

Would they even miss me?

He’ll never know all of the little things that I do around the house.

I’ll bet he won’t know to mush the cats’ wet food up a bit to help them eat it easier–especially Tino and his wonky teeth.

All of these thoughts are going through my head during the 1am drive to the hospital.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I did not, in fact, die that evening in the ER. As usual, everything checked out totally fine and I was given a baby aspirin and sent on my way (to the tune of a $5000 medical bill. But, I would’ve paid $10,000 just to know that I wasn’t dying.).

Getting old is funny like that. When I look back at everything that I did in my younger days: The bad decisions that I made. The questionable people that I hung out with. The risks that I took. Dying was very seldom something that I thought about.

Maybe it’s because the stakes are higher now that I have a family but dying is something that I’ve thought about more this year than ever before.

So, maybe I am a hypochondriac...and maybe I’m not, but one thing is for sure: These “brushes with death” have made me think about my life in a different way. Feeling like it was all about to end–like the rug was about to be pulled out from under me–has made me so grateful for everything that I have. Even the little things. Getting a shopping cart with smooth, fully-functioning wheels at the grocery store. Making it to the gas station with plenty of gas before filling up. Having made the decision to stop drinking, all those years ago, before I hurt myself or my family.

What about you? Have you ever felt like you were dying? 

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Mexico 2004

Frugal Friday Favorites

…in which Jenny tells you about all of the stuff that everyone else on the internet has been raving about for months. You’re welcome. 

(Also, this post contains affiliate links, which help to support the care and upkeep of this blog. Thank you so much!) 

La Croix Peach-Pear:

I’d heard about the La Croix peach-pear sparkling water, but hadn’t tried it until this week. I saw it at my grocery store and, since my kids really like sparkling water and will sometimes choose a sparkling water over a soda when it’s time for a weekend treat, I thought we’d try this flavor. Oh my word. LOVE IT. It’s perfect on its own, or, you could be like me and add a splash of orange juice, for a sweet afternoon treat before heading to the bus stop. My kids are similarly obsessed with this flavor of La Croix. I’m going to go ahead and declare it to be The Official Spring Break Drink of The Jurica Family. Try it and I promise you’ll love it too (unless you don’t like peaches or pears or, you know, joy in your life).

Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush:

I saw Megan and Wendy talking about Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush body lotion in their February Favorites video this week. Needing some new lotion in my life, and being a sucker for cute packaging, I found myself with a bottle of this stuff shortly after viewing the video.

Soap And Glory Sugar Crush 3-in-1 Body Lotion 500ml–$12.00

Two things have me crushing (Ha! See what I did there? Sugar Crush?)  on this lotion: First of all, the formula is good. Real good. I don’t like a thin lotion that soaks into your skin immediately, leaving you feeling as dry as you were prior to lotion application. This lotion is just thick enough for my sensibilities but not so thick that it feels heavy and gross.

And, most importantly, the scent. Cheese and crackers, you guys! I can’t even describe how much I love the scent! I don’t typically like to smell like food, but the lime scent is perfect and it has a musky, vanilla undertone too–just enough to keep it from smelling straight-up like key lime pie. I used this lotion before bed the first night that I had it and then laid in bed and sniffed myself for probably an hour. I haven’t been this excited about a lotion in a long time! I think that the price is very reasonable for this lotion too. At $12 for 16 ounces, it feels like a much more expensive lotion. As a result, these items are next on my list to purchase:


Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Moisture Extreme Body Buttercream 300ml


Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Fresh And Foamy Body Wash Sweet Lime Fragrance 500ml

 

And lastly, Blogilates:

Image: www.blogilates.com

 

I’ve been doing Blogilates for my morning workouts this week. Truth be told, I’ve gotten bored with my usual workout routine and needed to change it up. Blogilates has a zillion workouts, all with different target areas or workout styles. I’ve been enjoying the more Pilates-style workouts (holy ouch!) and then the other day, I did a 12 minute long stretching video, which was much-needed and really helpful.

Best of all, her videos are available on YouTube (link HERE) and are all FREE. I also really like that I can chose to do a quick workout or a longer one, based on how I’m feeling that particular day. Yes, Cassey is extremely perky and cute (perhaps a smidgen too perky and cute for 6:30am) and the music is a little too “pop” for my liking, but whatever. I love the versatility of the workouts. It’s just what I’ve needed to get me motivated after just “going through the motions” for the past month.

Hooray for Spring and new sparkling water flavors, workouts and lotion scents to obsess about! Tell me what you’re obsessing about these days!

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Mexico 2004

One True Love: Loungewear

(This post contains affiliate links that help to support the care and upkeep of this blog. Thanks!)

Loungewear and pajamas are my love language.

As I’ve probably told you before, as soon as I walk in the house, I go directly to my bedroom and change out of my “regular” clothes and put on my pajamas or loungewear. The older I get, the less I can tolerate being uncomfortable–especially not in my home–so loungewear is my favorite.

I picked up a pair of these loungewear pants one day during the Christmas season at Costco.


Felina Ladies’ Drawstring Lounge Pant–$18.00 on Amazon

Costco had them on sale for $9.99 (down from a regular price of $12.99). I took a chance–I mean, they were cheaper than the box of fruit snacks that I was buying–and threw them in my cart.

The particular day that I purchased them was cold and rainy. As soon as I got home and had unloaded my Costco haul in the cold rain, I wanted nothing more than to take off my jeans and sweater and slip on something warm and cozy. I decided to try out my new pants.

It was all over, folks.

These pants are the most comfortable pants I have put on my body in a long time.  They also wash well.  I was concerned that they’d shrink or pill, based on the material (they feel sort of cashmere sweater-ish) and the price point. After treating them with kid-gloves in the laundry the first few washes, now I throw them in with whatever and fry them in the dryer too. They’ve handled my abuse like a champ.

The next time I was at Costco, I purchased a second pair at full price ($12.99–gasp!) because I was having trouble dealing when the first pair was in the wash and I didn’t have a backup pair (#firstworldprobs).

These are the pants that I wore the most this winter. They’re my “wubbie”–my security blanket–the pants that I reach for as soon as I get home from somewhere; the pants that I put on when I’m feeling under the weather. Heck, I even wore them to the emergency room recently (no big deal. Just thyroid-related issues.).

As I was researching these pants for this post, I saw that Amazon also has a pair of the same brand pants in a style that looks a smidgen more “wear out of the house”-ish. These might be a good item for carpool, bus stop runs and even grocery store trips.

Felina Women’s Weekend Warrior Classic Lounge Pant, black $17.40

Tell us about your favorite loungewear! 

If you’d like to participate, post your One True Love either in a blog post, video, Instagram or Facebook post and add the #LSSOneTrueLove hashtag. The official linkup date is the second Thursday of the month, but you can post any time and come back and add your link here in the comments! Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Mexico 2004

Feeling excluded

Feeling excluded was a common emotion that I experienced when I first stopped drinking.

Now, let’s be clear: It certainly wasn’t anything anyone did on purpose. But it was the nature of the social scene. When people get together–specifically moms of young children–drinking is the main event. When I stopped drinking, I struggled to find things to do socially that wouldn’t make me feel uncomfortable. But it also made me very aware of how much alcohol plays into social events.

Continue reading “Feeling excluded”

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Mexico 2004

What it’s like being an introvert

I have people ask me often “how do you know that you’re an introvert?” I addressed that in THIS post, but I thought I’d talk a bit more today about what it’s like being an introvert–some of it might surprise you!

Believe it or not–I enjoy being social:

If you met me, you might find me to be rather social. I enjoy talking with people and can carry on a conversation like a champ. In fact, I can even be energized by good social interactions. However, BAD social interactions set me back. Certain personality types turn me off to a degree that I have trouble recovering and often close up my “shell” in the presence of those types of people. One step forward, two back.

I need alone time, but not TOO much:

I’ve started trying to save Mondays just for myself. If possible, I don’t make appointments or commitments on Mondays, so that I can spend some good time to myself, writing or just doing things around the house. But, I don’t think that I could do this for more than 1 day in a row. I’d be lonely if I had to spend multiple days without interacting. I know….I’m a mystery even to myself.

I really enjoy going out for coffee or lunch with friends:

Granted, two hours before I’m due to meet up, faced with changing out of my beloved jammies and putting on (gasp!) real clothes, I often consider canceling, but once I’m committed to going, I am typically excited to talk and socialize with friends over coffee or lunch. Some of my most invigorating days have been spent having long conversations with friends over lunch.

Truth

So, that’s my introverted life in a nutshell. I don’t believe that anyone is 100% on either end of the introvert/extrovert spectrum all of the time but I’m definitely more introverted than extroverted most of the time.

What about you? Are you more of an introvert or more of an extrovert? 

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