Take a Stroll
Oblivion is often bliss. That is until you realize you have been oblivious, and that there is a better way! As a new mom, I truly encompassed the idea of oblivion is bliss. I made some pretty serious decisions based on, "Well, I might as well do it the hard way since I don't know any better yet!" For example, I decided to make all my own baby food, and went with cloth diapers. I am so happy I made those decisions, but I always get the reaction "ARE YOU CRAZY?!"
Why, yes. Yes I am.
One of the things that I never realized that I was missing out on was a good stroller. We found a cute, but cheap stroller and car seat combo at Walmart on clearance, and it was a score, but our bundle of joy outgrew the 22 pound wait limit in 2 months and the stroller was fine, until we got a sweet jogging stroller, and it made me realize how not smooth our original stroller was. I'm not one for needing the best of the best, but we go for walks pretty much every day, so having a good stroller is something I would have done differently from the get-go. This stroller offer is pretty sweet, and I am all for sales! It's great if you have one child, twins or even children that are spaced a couple years apart. It's only for one week, and it's on for $499.99 (reg. $850) and a second seat for only $99.99 (reg. $160).
It is only good until August 8th, so its worth your while to check it out!
This is me in a picture I swore I would never show anyone. I'm showing you now for two reasons. First off, it's the only picture that shows me with the stroller that I was quite happy with until a better one came along.
Second off, it's in retaliation to all those people who are giving Kate Middleton a hard time about her post baby belly. It was another example of oblivion for me. I admit, I was kind of under the assumption that as soon as you popped that baby out, your stomach would be back to normal. I nearly cried when I saw what my belly looked like after. Ok, maybe I did cry a little, but briefly! I got over it when I realized how worth my post baby belly was!
To those who are judging Kate for having a post baby belly, I will politely say, TAKE A STROLL. I'm sure she could have gotten a tummy tuck with the royal budget, but she didn't. In my eyes, I just gained a whole new respect for the woman. She is going through what pretty much every mother in the world goes through. I say, embrace the post baby bump! She looks so lovely and more importantly, real and happy. Will looks happy too.
Image via The Hollywood Gossip
Don't be sad about the post baby body, with some work and time, it gets better. It's been over a year for me, and I'm still working at it. While I strive to be healthy, I couldn't care less about the people who judge me for not having a completely flat stomach. I'm not losing sleep over it. I delivered a 9 pound baby for crying out loud (Ok, he was only 8 pounds, 13 ounces)! I am losing sleep, however, thanks to the little man. Sleep, baby, sleep!
Who Likes Short Shorts
Today, I was going through clothes that just don't work for me. I came across these jeans which were comfortable and had fit well but I attempted this awesome hemming technique that I was sure I had thought of on my own. I had heard about a way to keep the old hem on your jeans, and it totally came to me on how to make that happen. All you have to do is cuff them (see a tip below)** and sew as close to the original hem as possible.
It worked amazingly! Only one problem. **I had hemmed them where I usually cuffed them to wear them with a cuff. So the jeans were now about half an inch too short. You need to cuff them where the original seam SHOULD be once you are done. Total bummer. Lesson learned anyways. Two pairs of jeans later...
Also, it turns out that I totally had the technique figured out as I kept seeing pins on "how to hem your jeans while keeping the original seam". Of course, minus the measuring part.
So, these jeans were ready to be tossed into the bag headed for the thrift store, until I saw another idea, which I will post about later, which needed the legs of an old pair of jeans. I figured, why not turn these old jeans into two projects! Reduce, REUSE, recycle, right?
Besides, it is really hot out these days, and who doesn't need a pair of short shorts for the summer days? Plus, I had that Brett Eldridge song in my head... Had to post it, in case you don't know the tune. Had to laugh at the video though, do some girls really make eyes like THAT?? I'll have to ask Adam if I ever batted my eyelashes that dramatically at him!
I was really hoping I'd cut those shorts just right... So I chalk-marked them up while I was wearing them on just how short I wanted them to be. Just a tip about cutting jean shorts: keep the backside of the shorts about an inch longer than the front to compensate for the booty. When I marked the jeans on me, I awkwardly marked all the way around my leg, and so that naturally took into account the extra length needed for my butt. You can see it in the next picture.
Next issue with these jeans was the zipper. It never stayed up. And NO ONE likes a pair of jeans that always has you paranoid like white jeans around a certain time of the month. This is also why these jeans were my first experiment with my original seam hemming technique, that turned out to be quite the norm.
And, as you can see, here are my legs modelling the completed Project Short Shorts. I added a fold to the jean shorts because short shorts can never be short enough!
Now that I've got my new shorts on I feel like doing some summer living!
Beach time? I think so!
Happy Summer Days!
Happy Birthday To ME
Today is my 27th birthday. I know a girl should never reveal her age, but it's true. I'm 27. Or 25, for the third time. And for my birthday I did a few nice things for myself.
First off, instead of vacuuming during Keenan's nap, I showered. By myself. I usually pop Keenan in the bath with me and a million bath toys and try to shower without stepping on a toy or a baby. I got to shave my legs slowly this time and even got my knee caps!
After the shower, I got to blow dry my hair and do my makeup. Sad to say, but it's been a while since I've taken the time to put on more than foundation and powder!
Next off, I painted my toes with my favorite colour by Essie: Trophy Wife. All I'm saying is it's a great colour!
The whole time I was having this "me time", I was also thinking about all the wonderful things I've got in this 27 year old life of mine. The list was truly endless.
I am a super blessed being. I've got an amazing family- immediate and extended. I love my family. They bring joy to me every single day. This is one of my more personal blogs, so I'll straight up say it. To have joy everyday, to someone who has battled depression, is one of the best things you can imagine.
Adam and I have a pretty amazing relationship, and I am so lucky to have such an amazing man by my side. He is the the cheese to my macaroni. Wouldn't be complete without that!
We also have the cutest boy in the whole world! Just look at him! He makes my cheeks hurt every single day from smiling. I couldn't smile any more than I do!
I think that we (especially moms) need to take time for ourselves. Instead of wearing myself down, sometimes, just sometimes, I need that time to reflect, and then I'm refreshed and ready to get back at it.
Best advice I've ever gotten was this:
Love your neighbours as yourself.
The key part for me is the "as yourself" part. I find that I make myself so busy doing projects or things for other people that I don't take the time to love myself. In the past, the problem had sometimes been that I didn't even like myself, let alone love myself. So, without that basic self love, how can I be effective at, well, anything?
Like my motto with Aesthetica Design has been:
Take the time to remember what matters, so you can
Coffee. Oh, coffee. How I love thee! I know I'm not the only one in the world who has a slight addiction to the stuff, but I just can't get enough of it!
I enjoy it so much, I even have integrated it into my coffee table decor! We love it, but it seems like we drink a lot more coffee because of it. Just the smell makes you want it!
Yesterday, I didn't have any coffee. It was so hot out, so I figured if I am doing everything in my ability to stay cool, drinking coffee isn't going to help me out. But two o'clock rolled around, and I remembered why I love coffee so much. No migraines! Maybe it was more of a coffee withdrawal headache than a migraine but still... At about 2:10 in the afternoon, I was sipping on my morning coffee.
So, correction. Yesterday, I didn't have any coffee until 2:10. And at 2:40, another cup of coffee.
Set of Two Nordic Wool Thermo Cups design by Menu - $29.95
from: Burke Decor LLC
Geometry Espresso Cups (Set of 4) design by Ferm Living - $41.75
from: Burke Decor LLC
Happy summer coffee drinking!!
A Completed Project
From yesterday's ordeal with the random plumbing pipe that nearly put the shelf hanging project on the back burner, there are a few things I'd like to point out.. A. That was a run on sentence. And B. Something you think should be simple is not usually as it would seem. Which lead me to a eureka moment. This is why women complain about men never starting projects! (Not me though, of course!) Really, it's because men are smarter than we give them credit for, and they know how NOT simple our silly requests are. Yup, I said it.
I wouldn't be successful with like 83% of my projects if it wasn't for Adam. So thanks, baby! I love you!
Minus the two screw holes that hit the pipe and the place where my drill slipped and hit the wall, that now needs touching up, this is the completed project! Not bad. But man, that was a lot of effort for a shelf that just hold plants and candles!
Happy shelf hanging!
Stella & Dot's New Fall Line
I love summer, and I am by no means wishing it away, but I'd like to let you know that Stella & Dot just launched their new fall line! This collection features gorgeous jewelry, scarves, bags and more that are perfect for those fall outfits! Picture the leaves changing as you walk through the park, going to a pumpkin patch or drinking apple cider, all while looking fabulous in your new fall accessories from Stella & Dot. But only picture it in your mind for now, and be thankful that fall is still a few months away! But
P.S. I've been brain-storming for months about how to make a living from home. Become a stylist? Check it out!
Why I Start and Don't Finish
I fully enjoy doing projects around the house. It's more fun when I do them with Adam, but sometimes, I just gotta do it myself, for whatever reason. Bragging rights, mainly.
That, and my brain is constantly coming up with ideas and make-work projects that, if Adam knew about it, he'd probably kibosh it. Often for a good reason. I usually figure out the good reason after I've started, and then I just HAVE to finish it, as over my head as it might be.
To give you an idea of what I'm really referring to, is what I got up to today....
This is our main bathroom. I love it, and as small as it is, it surprisingly works. We installed this IKEA Godmorgen vanity in place of the turquoise sink, which instantly updated the space by about fifty years.
I figured that a nice little IKEA shelf over the toilet would be a great place to display some candles and a plant, because, who are we kidding? That plant on the vanity is only there for the photo and those candles straight up don't fit on the toilet.
Seahorse Shower Curtain design by Thomas Paul
from: Burke Decor LLC
Besides, how hard can installing a shelf be... Besides running around the house trying to find the level and anchors for the screws. I found all the gear and set to it, while the babe was having his nap. I love nap time for my crazy projects!
Here is the first bracket. Clearly, off to a good start! Next bracket... Not so simple. Whyyyyyyyyy?
I was just drilling happily away and bam! Hit something hard. Very hard. Called Adam at work and had to explain what I was up to (was hoping to surprise him with my handiness) and ask what this impenetrable thing in the wall might be.
Notice though, there are two holes. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, I always say. Maybe the drill was dying, so it wasn't going through the stud that I didn't think was there... Who knows! After the second attempt though, I realized it was something pretty solid. I actually called the dad in law first, but he wasn't home, so I had to wreck the surprise and called Adam. Darn.
Turns out, it was, in fact, some plumbing pipe. Darn, again . That really puts a damper on my shelf hanging plans because now I need to chop down the shelf, and blah blah blah. Simple project turned mission. I should have just stuck to vacuuming today.
Should I attempt moving this awesome, but overloaded Umbra shelf that is currently at our entry, to the bathroom for towels instead of sunglasses? Or just call it a day? Maybe I should try to finish some of my unfinished projects before I start another one.
To Finish and/ or Fix BEFORE I Start Something New
Adam will be happy to see me attempting to finish those ones before starting a new one.
And so will I. I know it's an issue I must work on. And so I work on!
Coniston Parchment Towels design by Designers Guild - $15.00
from: Burke Decor LLC
A Pirate's Life
Our boy is growing up fast! It was his first birthday already, and of course, we wanted to do something special for him, but honestly, it was a bit more for us. As much as I had been thinking about the plans for his very first birthday, I really let it get away on me, and I just sent out e-mail/ Facebook invites about a week before. Oops. Bad mommy move. Had I been more prepared, Smilebox or My Own Labels is an excellent source for party
goodies like these below. And for the all out moms, after the party,
how fun would it be to make a canvas print of the party by Easy Canvas Prints?
For the prepared mums!
As unprepared as I was, we still wanted to do something cool for our son's birthday. So we decided on a pirate themed camping party. The pirate theme was decided months before the birthday, so I did have stuff together for it. Yeah, me!
Adam's family has a tradition of cake smashing on the first birthday. This is something I don't remember doing on my first birthday, but I went with it. So I planned out am extravagant treasure chest cake, and it progressed into a much simpler Map cake. I'm still working on this whole cake decorating thing. I don't particularly like them, so previously, I didn't bother often with them. Now, apparently, kids are big into cake, so I caved.
Since the cake was going to be smashed (see above), and I didn't plan on decorating two cakes, I went with the mini version and did cupcakes. They were actually awesome. Can't go wrong with cake mix. I used an excellent recipe for the butter cream frosting that I got off of Savory Sweet Life. I tried this frosting recipe, and I am never going back from whatever I used to use. So perfect.
As much as I said I wasn't prepared, I was somewhat on track. I even had decorations. The only thing I was really lacking was the invites. Who needs invitations to a party? Oh ya... Everyone? At least we have great friends who showed up on late notice! I'll get on it next time.
Needless to say, it has been an amazing year having the little man around. We have so much fun together, and I couldn't ask for a better life! I'm the luckiest woman, I really am.
I don't mind the pirate's life. It totally works for me!
Hope you are having a great day.
Mojito Monday... on Tuesday
I don't drink often, but when I do, I want a yummy drink! It was so hot out yesterday, it completely warranted a mojito. Especially after our ongoing landscaping ordeal. By ordeal, I mean, weeding, watering, constantly adding. I think that's just normal upkeep, and maybe shouldn't be quite classified as an ordeal. Although last night, and the past couple nights, we've been tackling some craziness. Think a field of stinging nettle and thorns, and you get the picture. A mojito was totally and utterly deserved.
So I got out the equipment and got to work making this yummy bev. To switch it up a little bit from the classic, I added a handful of basil. Took it to a whole new level for me...
These are awesome juicers! Love em!
Add ice- try Whiskey Stones!
(Recipe stolen from my momma in law, and slightly tweaked-
it was by memory, so ya, it's obviously going to be tweaked)
Basil Cilantro Garlic Lime Chicken
I am so excited for dinner tonight. It has all my favorite summer flavours all in one! I got a little carried away with the title, but I did leave out a few ingredients...
Throw together a few glugs of olive oil, a few quirts of soya sauce and worcheshire (which, if spelt wrong, becomes witches hire, thanks to autospell). Then add a squeeze of horseradish Dijon mustard, or the normal Dijon, some lime and garlic.
Then I took the cilantro and basil and happily blended it up,
adding it to the rest of the concoction.
I sprinkled some sesame seeds on the chicken, hit the on button and voila. She's gonna be ready in approximately six action packed hours.
And yes, it was delicious. So very tender and juicy. It literally fell off the bone. Mmmmm
Ants on a Blog
By Jena Keenan