High Heels Are a Bad Call When Pregnant

All ladies face the same joys (and unpleasantness) when pregnant. Even the Kardashians. (Shut up you watch them too!)

As everyone knows, Kourtney has had two babies and Kim is pregnant with her first. Of course, she has been all over the tabloids. Yesterday, I saw a picture of her prancing around in six inch Christian Louboutin heels.  While I am the first to agree that the shoes are fabulous, I just cannot wrap my head around the sheer stupidity of six inch heels while pregnant. (She is claiming that flats are uncomfortable. I mean, COME ON!)

Sure, being pregnant is wonderful and life changing and blah blah blah, but there are parts that are terrible. Awful. There are moments when you question your sanity for voluntarily putting yourself through the hells that are pregnancy. Things like eating pretzels (high salt content), peeing every six hours, sleeping more than forty five minutes at a time; and having a visual on your feet become a luxuries one can only dream about.

In a recent episode, Kim bashes Kourtney for being too much of a mom; claiming she’s boring and frumpy and doesn’t want to do anything fun anymore.  She razzles Kourtney for her weight gain. She says she doesn’t understand why Kourtney still hasn’t lost the last ten pounds she gained- the baby is already three months old!

Getting out of the house with one child is an Olympic feat in and of itself; I cannot imagine the level of planning and synchronization that is required with two. She also chastises Kourtney for taking an entire eight weeks off since the birth of her daughter. The nerve!

I cannot wait to hear the changing of the tune when Kim gives birth.

One celebrity who deserves good wishes is Princess Kate. I cannot imagine having the entire planet fixated on me on my best hair day ever; let alone on me as my belly (and hips and thighs) swell.  Minus the stiletto heels, she is the vision of maturity and I applaud her for being a Mommy (Mummy?) first and a Princess second.  All that said…better her than me!

Overplucked Eyebrows Take Forever To Grow Back & Other Lessons I Have Learned

Teenage girls do have the forgiving luxury of youth on their side. Many mistakes they make are chalked up to inexperience and are forgiven. Sadly, when it comes to makeup, the world is not so forgiving…

I have waxed poetic on some of the common mistakes these gals make. I have given advice. I have practically fallen on my knees, begging for them to listen.

Here is one last lesson, that I myself have learned the hard way…

Please know that the area under the eye is as sacred as you young girls tell your fathers you are. Nothing is to ever go there, NEVER EVER! (Sounds a lot like Dad’s advice, doesn’t it?!) Unless you are an expert, there is to be no liner, and no mascara under the eye. You can obtain expert status via an endorsement from your favorite local makeup counter gal.

 

If you do not know what I am talking about, rest assured you are not an expert. The only exception to this rule is concealer, which does not require a sign off. One day, when you have daughters of your own and you are so freaking tired because the-Good-Lord-knows-you-haven’t-had-a-full-night-of-sleep-since-they-were-born you will be VERY GLAD you have a good one (concealer. Hopefully daughter too!)

And finally, let’s address your eyebrows.  While the Brooke Shields look isn’t in vogue today,

neither is the Pamela Anderson.

I know it seems very grown up to pluck your eyebrows, but, like driving a car, it is a huge responsibility. And it takes practice. Just as no one is born knowing how to parallel park (and, to be fair, who can now?), no one is a perfect plucker. Please remember that less is not more! I speak from experience when I tell you that LIFE LONG DAMAGE can be done by over-plucking. Also, do not attempt to pluck your eyebrows after enjoying an adult beverage (Indiana University, Little 500, April 2001). I am here to tell you that sporting only half of an eyebrow isn’t a good look, and it cannot be camouflaged with makeup.

little 5 Overplucked Eyebrows Take Forever To Grow Back & Other Lessons I Have Learned

The Most Fun In College EVAH!
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Girls, I don’t mean to be preachy, it’s just that I have made all of these mistakes (and many more), and I would hate for you to wander around, looking like a perpetually surprised weirdo sporting more mascara under your eyes than on your lashes. Trust me when I tell you to embrace your youth. Remember, I write this from the other side of thirty, and the other side of the hill isn’t so pretty. (In good news, however, you will have the resources when you are old and grey like me to pay for quality products.  Trust me, you will! Another lesson: DO NOT CUT CORNERS WHEN IT COMES TO SKINCARE. )

Until then, Godspeed girls.

Godspeed and a light hand with the makeup brush!

 

Good Skin Is Priceless (Or, Least $62.39)

Everyone knows that kids are mean. I can personally attest to this, thanks to the major breakouts I suffered as a teenager. In good news, I was not bullied as severely as some, but my breakouts provided plenty of material for the ‘cool kids’.  Back in those days, the only medicines available would turn my face into a bright red, swollen disaster- picture a swollen sunburn.  Granted, it was a pimple free disaster, but it was not the look I was going for.

When I looked in the mirror, I could almost hear them teasing me! I endured acne once; and I was not interested in enduring it again. (I did have the thought that if I ever broke the law and went on the lam, I would totally use terrible skin as a disguise.)

I ran to my dermatologist, pleading for a solution. “Fix this!” I beseeched her as I waved my hand around my face. “Please!” She took one look and then grabbed her prescription pad. Ironically, one of the medicines she prescribed was one I had used in high school!  The shame! As we discussed the mess on my face, the culprit became clear- the CeraVe. Target, you savings minx, you sold me out!

My attempts at budgeting, while noble, were not sensible. These attempts were actually expensive when the co-pay for the dermatologist visit and the prescriptions were factored in.

 Saving money or not, it became clear (pun intended) that skincare was not an area of economizing in my house.  After all, my self-esteem is priceless. 

My brush with youth was terrible. It was most definitely a waste, but not in the way my dad proclaimed. This ‘youth’ was red, ugly, and scaly. Not to mention a waste of time and money!

Thankfully, I had the gifts of age, wisdom, and American Express.

American Express Good Skin Is Priceless (Or, Least $62.39)

source

As I drove myself to Nordstrom, I silently mocked my dad- if this was the ‘youth’ he was talking about, he could have it! I am much more interested in being a grown up with clear (sometimes a little dry, to be fair) skin. As soon as I parked, I practically skipped to the Lancôme counter, knowing the my salvation was a mere $62.39 away.

That was possibly the best $62.39 I have ever spent.

As I write this, my skin is healing, and the evidence of ‘youth’ is fading. I no longer resemble a unicorn, and looking in the mirror does not reduce me to tears. I am confident that very soon, I will look the “young” thirty something that I am. 

The morals of the story: With age comes wisdom; and DO NOT CUT CORNERS WHEN IT COMES TO SKINCARE.

 

It’s All About The Pods

My life was forever changed when I tried Fancy Pants coffee.  In a few small sips, I understood why Starbucks is slowly taking over the world, one wanna be hipster at a time. Suddenly, all the glassy eyed folks in the never ending line at Starbucks didn’t seem like such idiots. Waiting forty five minutes for a coffee made sense! I felt their pain at the excruciatingly long wait for such perfection. I silently apologized for all the mean things I said to them over the years. I hung my head in shame for all the self-congratulating smug I had harbored over the years, thinking I was too good for Starbucks.

However, I maintained some of my smug, because I can make my own coffee, in my own kitchen, whenever I want it! True, I understand the siren song of the Fancy Coffee, but I do not have to stand with the masses and wait my turn because I have the Nesppreso. (Thank you again!!)

The Nespresso comes with a sample kit of all the varieties available in pods for use in the machine. The pods are darling- brightly colored, and shaped like little acorns they are very festive. I quickly found my favorites (Volluto and Decaffinato Lungo) (Thomas prefers the Roma) and was SO EXCITED to fill my appliance cabinet with colorful coffee pods instead of slightly sticky, never used waffle makers. I Googled “where to buy Nesppreso” and set off to the Cooks Warehouse store. And was DENIED. I tried Bloomingdale’s… and was again denied. (This hurt my heart because Bloomingdale’s always ALWAYS comes through for me. Always.) I realized: it isn’t me, it’s them! After a little bit of digging, I discovered that one can only purchase the pods online directly from the company.

Back home, I grabbed my iPad and navigated to the Nespresso homepage. I navigated to the coffee page, and tried to order but before I could complete my order, I had to fill out customer information. OK, that is fairly standard when purchasing something online. Most companies do not require the serial number of the machine to complete the order though! Yes, that’s right- you can only order the pods if you can prove that you have the machine to use them in. I went outside and retrieved the serial number on the box. (OK, Thomas went outside in the dark cold and got the number while I manned the couch.) Once entered, I was able to complete our order. Membership (and almost $10 worth of shipping fees) has its privileges, and the coffee was overnighted and delivered the next day, a Saturday!

nespresso pods Its All About The Pods

Now, I can count two more clubs in my collection of places I belong: the Fancy Pants Coffee club and the ultra exclusive Nesppreso (or the why yes, I pay ridiculous amounts of money for coffee pods, thank you) Club. And, that is the gift that keeps on giving.

empty pods Its All About The Pods

Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

1. Only Child. As much as I love my sisters, I have always wondered what life would be like as an only child.  This weekend, my parents came to visit us. Thomas spent the weekend in Boca (insert in-law joke here), so I had my parents all to myself. We had a wonderful time, and in small doses, being an only child seems like a good gig… however, there is no one to run interference and/or distract them… this would have been problematic in high school…

sisters Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

Laura, Julia, Jen

2.Coats. Here in Atlanta, most people do not need a coat. I am freezing cold unless it is eighty degrees outside, so I don’t count. I grew up in St. Louis, where one definitely needs a coat. And snow boats. Every time we left the house, my parents grabbed their coats… and then roasted. Isn’t it funny how a ‘good’ habit can turn into a ‘bad’ habit so quickly? Also, they looked pretty silly in coats because it was almost seventy degrees!

3. Shorts. My husband wears them year round. Regardless of weather conditions… Not only does he look a little silly in January, I have a tough time explaining why Daddy can wear shorts and Emma cannot.  We actually just had this discussion again five minutes ago.

4.  Bubble Necklace. I want one! I found two… which one?! Please vote!

red bubble necklace Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

navy bubble necklace Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

5. Another Necklace. Too much? I love it… but I have been wrong before…

 Six On (Just Missed It) Sunday, Version 26

6. Midnight In The Garden Of Good and Evil.  We toured the home last time we were in Savannah, and I am so looking forward to reading the book! I am about seven pages in, and am feeling very smug enjoying it more because I have been to many of the places referenced in the book.

Six On Sunday, Version 17

State Fairs.  My sisters and I were taken to the Indiana State Fair once. We were on a road trip and for some reason stopped and looked around. All I remember is the stink, a gigantic cow, and eating a funnel cake.  As far as I was concerned, that box had been checked. However, I might have checked too quickly. My sister and her boyfriend recently attended the Minnesota State Fair and had a ball. Lesson learned: Any food can be fried AND any food can be put on a stick. They looked at (and touched!) cows, butterflies, and other assorted animals. There was disappointment when my sister realized that she could look but not touch any of the prize winning cakes and pies.  I have also read several blog posts about state fairs. Everyone seems to have a wonderful time. The food is delicious, and the people watching is top notch. We might have to put “Attend State Fair” on our list.

thomas bff1 Six On Sunday, Version 17

2. Thomas’ new BFFs. 

3. BFF necklaces.  I always wanted one. I never got one. Ever. (Note to any of my friends reading this- excellent birthday gift idea!)

Best Friend Necklaces Six On Sunday, Version 17

4. Graffiti artists. I am not one. I have been spray painting baskets for Emma’s converted (upcycled I believe is the current buzz word) changing table.  I managed to get more paint on me than on the baskets. I thought I was to blame as I am a total spaz, but it turns out it was the can (and possibly the wine I was enjoying while painting). As with all Julia’s Math projects, this one required multiple trips to Michael’s (what is it with me and baskets and Michael’s?!) and to Home Depot. I thought I was finished with the project when I had everything painted this yummy pistachio green.  However, when I brought the pistachio green baskets inside and placed them next to the grass green flowers on the quilt, I threw up. Back to Home Depot for round two of paint.  Home Depot carries better spray paint than Michael’s and you will be glad to know that the second round of painting was much less messy!

5. Leftover paper napkins. I have gallon size zip lock bags FILLED with wedding bell napkins, Happy Birthday napkins, it’s a Boy, It’s a Girl, and even Thomas the Train.  I have too many of each to throw away the discards, and not enough to really do anything with them! I was at a friend’s house over the weekend and she told me she had the same problem, and that she was over it. So, she is using up all of her napkins regardless of the occasion printed on them. I followed her inspiration, and used happy graduation alongside it’s a girl at dinner tonight.

6. Finished Project. Finally! Yay!

emma finished projecg Six On Sunday, Version 17

You Can Be Too Dedicated

Before the epic FAIL of my wedding diet, I tried my fair share of diet programs.  Some worked, and some were not so successful.  Shockingly, the ones that actually did work were based on little known facts like eating less and exercising more.  Someone should think to market that…

exercise You Can Be Too Dedicated

I like to think of myself as disciplined. (I CRAVE routine and structure. I have eaten the same breakfast for five years.  I know that makes some of you shudder, but I like it. Sure, it’s not exciting, but it is predictable, and that counts for a whole lot in my book (or blog!).) I didn’t have a problem (mostly) following the rules of whatever diet I committed to; it was my family and friends who  did. I never followed a diet that had no nutritional value. Or that was so off-the-deep-end crazy. 

cabbage soup You Can Be Too Dedicated

I have never eaten cabbage soup. 

cayenne You Can Be Too Dedicated

I have never even had cayenne maple lemonade. 

Whatever I chose, I  embraced with dedication not seen outside of cultish society.  When I say I committed, I mean I committed. I followed the rules to the letter. If the rules had said, for example, to only eat standing on my head, I would have, no questions asked.  This level of commitment was not sustainable long term according to my family and friends. They politely explained the diet was making them bat shit crazy and I had to stop lest they kill me.

chicago You Can Be Too Dedicated

After I graduated from college, I moved to Chicago.  It had been a goal of mine to live there, in the city, in a darling apartment with several girlfriends. I got the darling apartment, but due to lack of interest (no one I knew wanted to move to Chicago with me), I lived alone.  A direct result of not knowing anyone is a total lack of a social life. Yes, I had co-workers. The only problem was that they worked for me, and therefore did not want to hang out with me. I cannot say I blame them…

I Heart You Sleep

I am often a stranger to sleep.  Except when I actually want to wake up and stay alert.  Then, I am Captain Sleep. I sleep the kind of sleep that only a sleeping pill and Chardonnay can induce. And sadly, Ambien doesn’t work for me; I have tried to take it twice, and both times I have been in that horribly exhausted, yet still can’t sleep but-eyes-are-closing, restless state.  The first six weeks of my daughter’s life were spent in this state, and I can tell you that it is awful!

sleepy kitten 01 I Heart You Sleep

so so sleepy!

Why is it that the best sleep always starts ten minutes before your alarm goes off? I can toss and turn all night, but about an hour or so before the alarm is scheduled to go off, I am Sleeping Beauty. I am the “after” in a sleeping pill commercial. If I could figure out how to bottle that sleep, I would sell it.

pills I Heart You Sleep

Sadly, Thomas does not experience this kind of sleep. Thomas is the guy who lives in fear of his alarm NOT going off. My husband has an erratic (I am being very generous here) work schedule, so he is not a slave to the alarm clock the way most of us are.  Half of the time, the man doesn’t even know what day it is and on the occasion that he does have to wake up early, he sort of panics about it.  His panic is displayed by waking up every hour, usually on the hour, to check the time. This does not make for a restful night for anyone involved. If he has to get up on consecutive mornings, the sheer exhaustion from the constant time checks allows him to sleep more soundly. The worst thing ever is when his alarm fails him. Any tentative trust he set in his iPhone is totally violated, and we start the process twenty steps behind.

iphone alarm I Heart You Sleep

FAIL

When he oversleeps (which to be fair isn’t very often. It is ONLY on the mornings when I am also in a huge rush.), he is one of those people who leaps out of bed, heart racing, breathing heavily, and in complete hysteria.  He rushes out of the house in record time, cursing under his breath (rather loudly) the entire time.  I am about to make a bold statement: I don’t oversleep. Ever. I am way, way too Type A (read controlling) to let that happen. What I do instead is fall back asleep…. I shut off the alarm, and close my eyes for just one more minute, and suddenly its half an hour later.  This does not create any stress.  The extra sleep relaxes me so much that I am immune to the panic sweats. While this is good for my psyche, it greatly impedes my ability to get somewhere in a timely fashion.

overslept I Heart You Sleep

Luckily (not really), we have gotten into the habit of waking up around seven regardless of the previous evening’s activities. Kids will do that for you. It is just one of the many benefits of having one! And, as everyone knows, nothing civilized starts before 8 AM anyway!

7 am I Heart You Sleep

Very civilized

Meet Me at the Pool!

Shameless post of how cute my kid is!!

em swimming 224x300 Meet Me at the Pool!

The Water is Perfect!

Errand Hell

Errands are such a bore. And they are never-ending… it seems like the more errands I run, the more errands I need to run. It is a self fulfilling prophecy.  Also, it seems, errands never seem to go smoothly- I leave a receipt in the car, or I cannot find a cart when Emma is with me, or the weather conspires against me, making things a soggy, miserable mess.

As previously mentioned, I spent the last couple of weeks on a Quest for the Perfect Baskets for my beautiful new furniture. Past attempts had resulted in an epic fail, so I was back to square one. As a general rule, when I buy something for the house, I buy two of them.  Things look better in pairs according to Julias Math.  When Emma was itty bitty little, we had toys all over the house (in conjunction with Operation New Furniture, I am executing Operation Take Back Our House From All The Toys Everywhere). A direct result of my OC-Do is that things must be put away, so baskets appeared everywhere. I even used a laundry hamper (that looked like a basket) in our Family Room for toys!) I found the cutest tan crocodile container for our bedroom. I bought one. Only one. At the time, I had a mental disagreement with myself- should I really only buy one?!- and the conservative Only One camp won.  Last winter, these containers went on clearance and I again had the mental argument with myself, and ultimately, I didn’t buy another one…. So you can guess what looked PERFECT in my new shelves- that’s right, the single, lonely container.  I spent one afternoon driving around looking for a forgotten, dusty clearance rack with my red container.  Total failure and waste of time.

I40 1 Errand Hell love saving money even more than I love baskets, so I was forced to wait a week until I could redeem the Michael’s 40% off coupons that I had hoarded from last week’s Serial Return episode.  On Sunday, I loaded Emma and the baskets that almost-worked-but-didn’t-really into the car, and reviewed our objectives: find the perfect baskets (Me) and not touching everything pretty and shiny in the store (Emma) and set off.  Did I mention the monsoon conditions? Once we got to Michael’s, I was faced with a choice: did I leave Emma in the car and get a cart or did I drag her and the baskets in the rain, through the wet40 2 Errand Hell parking lot, into the store? Because I am scared to death of DFCS (the GA Division of Family and Children Services), I opted for the latter and we trudged through the wet into the store.  Thankfully, one of us finds the rain amusing and so was in a great mood (guess which one of us?). We left our return (if you have your receipt you are exempt from the Naughty List restriction) at the front and went searching.

monsoon Errand Hell

Current Weather Conditions

We did it! We found baskets for the cabinet and for the shelves! Yay us! Outside, it was still pouring, and I again chose to rodeo a toddler and four baskets through the parking lot.  At home, we put the baskets in place… and… 50% success rate. Because we are the kind of girls who only settle for 100%, we reloaded the car and went to another Michael’s, hoping they had a better basket selection.  Same drill through the rain into the store. This trip (number two) was a total waste of time! This Michael’s had no selection from which to choose the perfect baskets! We would have been better off going to the original Michael’s.  Unfortunately, we were closing in on nap time. And as any mother knows, you Do Not F with nap time.  I don’t care if we could have gotten the perfect baskets for free- we were going home!

After Emma’s nap (during which I may or may not have turned on the baby monitor every ten minutes to check and see if she was awake), we set off. Thankfully, the rain had stopped, which we took as a good sign.  We were greeted like old friends at the original Michael’s, which, by that point we were.  I had the brilliant idea to cruise the clearance rack… and there they were! The perfect baskets. Well, visually anyway they are perfect.  They are not so great for storage because

happy basket 150x150 Errand Hell

SUCCESS!

they aren’t very big.  However, that does give me the added bonus of being able to throw more stuff away!

I believe Emma learned some important life lessons: to never settle, and to never give up. The ‘perfect’ whatever is out there; you just have to be dedicated (and maybe a tiny bit flexible).  Also, keep all of your receipts!