Stir crazy

Being a WAHM/SAHM can be somewhat isolating, if you allow it to be. Which, when your day flies off the rails and it's not even 8:30am, can also be unavoidable. So, you use music or TV as background noise, try to stay as current as you can with social media and hope tomorrow is a different story. Because let's be honest - days spent centered around someone who can't even talk back yet can be quite a challenge.

cartilage.jpg

On those crazy days, I find myself thinking about the most random things. Like:

Should I get my cartilage pierced, or am I too old for that? I had it pierced once, when I was 18. The piercer used a needle and so I had a hoop in. Turns out, I chose the ear that I slept on the most so it really bothered me and I took it out. It's since closed up, but I've always liked the look of a little stud up there. Thoughts? Is this a mom-gone-wild idea?

Isn't it weird to watch reruns of 7th Heaven, in which Stephen Collins plays a reverend, knowing he's a complete pervert in real life?

Why doesn't Bravo actually follow some REAL housewives - instead of thrice-divorced, over-filled-and-Botoxed women in their 50s?

Will I ever wear those 4-inch heels in my closet ever again?

Should I sell my wedding dress? I always thought that maybe I'd save it and try to pass it on to a daughter, but now that we have Owen, that may not happen. And, I always thought dresses were meant to be worn and enjoyed, not preserved in a closet for who knows how many years. I'm torn. On one hand, maaaaybe I'll have a granddaughter and maaaaybe she'll want to incorporate it somehow. Or, maaaaaaybe not, and the dress just winds up sitting there for nothing. Thoughts?

Star-Trek-White-Noise-Sleep-Machine.jpg

How do people have more than one child and still manage to shower regularly?

Is a white noise machine really necessary? Sometimes, I feel like it bothers Owen more than not. And, I don't really want him to grow up being one of those guys whose significant other is like whyy do you NEED a white noise machine to sleep - UGH. GROW UP as they silently curse me for subjecting him - and them - to it.

*Shrug* I better get out of here.

What I'd like to say to the driver of that car...

1080x675xeasytrip-motorway-habits-14.08.17-1080x675.jpg.pagespeed.ic.J94GYHKt5b.jpg

To the big, huge, loud truck: I didn't expect you, of all cars, to stop and hold up traffic in order to let those two women cross the road. I'm also sorry for car profiling you. The two ladies weren't even in a crosswalk, but you didn't care. That's badass. They were coming from a cemetery, and needed to get back to their car, which was parked on a street. It was really nice of you to stop, and I want you to know I didn't mind at all, and would have stopped for them if you didn't. I also want you to know it wasn't me who beeped their horn at you. I hope you have the best day ever.

To the silver Honda Accord: Relax. I'm doing the speed limit and have a kid in the car. Get off my ass and where are you going that's soooo important, anyway? Dunkin' Donuts?!

To the red Toyota something or other: I'm sorry I parked like a jerk. I know I did, and saw it as I turned around to head into the building. I almost went back to fix it, but I had my one-year-old with me and that's a lot to strap him back in for. PLUS, I was only running in and out and I tried to be quick but the girl behind the desk was super slow. By the time I got back out, you were trying to park and giving me annoyed looks. I almost apologized to your face but your dirty looks were scary. Anyway, sorry again. I'll do better next time.

To the minivan: Pay attention, please. You nearly sideswiped me while drifting into my lane. However, I get the whole mom thing and just want you and your kiddos to be safe!

To the blue Hyundai: Your taste in music is awful. You also shouldn't toss garbage out of your car YOU DIRTBAG!

To the black Mercedes: Thank you for paying for my coffee in the drive-thru. I paid it forward, just so you know. Also, I wish I knew what color you had on your nails because I saw it as you grabbed your coffee and it was so pretty. Like an off-white but not like Bic White-Out.

*If anyone has any nail polish suggestions that sound like this color, send them my way!*   

Daniel Tiger reminders (for adults)

dt.jpg

All too often, Daniel Tiger will be on, even if it's just for background noise/songs, and I'll be nodding my head like, THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE. And, I wonder if the people who make Daniel Tiger episodes know that the lessons taught are pretty awesome reminders for parents - and adults, in general.

It's OK to make mistakes...try to fix them, and learn from them, too. We're all human, after all. But, we can always be better humans.

Let's countdown...to calm down. Chill out.

When you wait, you can play, sing or imagine anything. Supermarket line too long? Doctor running behind? Had to go to the DMV? Imagine you're somewhere else or play a people-watching game. In other words...see above and sing the countdown song.

If you have to go potty - STOP - and go right away! Why are adults always the ones to be like, "I've had to go to the bathroom for the last 15 minutes!" ?? JUST.GO. It's nature and when it calls, it needs to be answered.

Think about how someone else is feeling...maybe you can help them feel better. Empathy. Adults need more empathy.

In some ways we are different...but in so many ways...we are the same. See above. Tolerance for differences is something I think we lose as we get older and possibly more bitter. To be clear, tolerance does not mean letting people treat you poorly. Instead, being tolerant of people who live differently, look differently, etc.

When you're sick, rest is best. You know that person that shows up to the office when they're coughing up a lung and their nose is red and running nonstop? AKA The Office Martyr? They need to be resting at home. If that's you...GO HOME.

You can change your hair, or what you wear, but no matter what you do - you're still you. DO YOU BOO. It's what's inside that matters most.

If you can't do it alone, work together. Teamwork makes the dream work. It's not a sign of weakness to ask for help at home or at work. I think it's a sign of intelligence. Because...friends help each other, yes they do - it's trueeee.

Thank you...for everything you do. Be grateful.

I could go on and on and on. Honestly, if I still worked a desk job, I would print out these Daniel Tiger ditties and tack them up in my cubicle for myself and everyone who would come to talk to me because I'm more fun than working to read.

That's not a bad idea, is it?! Feel free to steal it.

[Mom post] Can we talk about food?

meal plan for 1 year old.jpg

When Owen turned 6 months old, and started solids, his California pediatrician gave me a guide to follow: Start with orange veggies, wait 3 days, go to green, wait 3 days, etc. No fruits until 12 months. No meats until 12 months. No peanut butter until 12 months. No dairy until 12 months.

Then we moved to New Jersey.

Our pediatrician here is super adamant about trying everything - peanut butter, honey, eggs, dairy (now, at 12 months), etc. And, now that we're at that 12-month mark, I'm relieved that my food horizons have expanded. Owen isn't allergic to PB, thankfully. Also, we're obsessed with bananas. I feel like I have breakfast foods down alright, and dinner is squared away, too. But, what about lunch? I've never been good at lunch foods for myself, so...

HELP!

Can you give this mama some lunchtime ideas, please? I'll also take breakfast and dinner, too!

My newest obsessions

The title of the post says it all, so let's jump in:

HelloFresh. I didn't think I'd ever really try a meal delivery service, but I'm so glad I did. What led me to jump in? Well, they offered $30 off the first week, and I was tired of spending so much energy trying to figure out what was for dinner that night. And also - I'm not a great cook, even if I do enjoy it sometimes. So, HelloFresh was practically MADE for me. I love that there's fresh ingredients, I can choose what meals we want, that there's always just 6 easy steps when it comes to cooking the meals and that I feel so proud of making something so delicious. I have a bunch of free boxes to give away, so if you're interested in giving it a try, let me know!

It was this IG repost from Jessica Alba via JBeebeShoes that initially caught my eye!

It was this IG repost from Jessica Alba via JBeebeShoes that initially caught my eye!

Honest Beauty. Even though I've always thought Jessica Alba was ridiculously gorgeous, and one of my hair idols - I wasn't super intrigued by the Honest Company baby products (but I do love their hand sanitizer, even if I don't think hand sanitizer is really good for you but that's another story). HOWEVER, I follow Honest Beauty on Insta, and happened to see a bunch of comments saying how amazing the Younger Face moisturizer was. AND - I went to Target that afternoon and was delighted to see Honest Beauty is sold there. It was fate. And, I have to say - I'm in LOVE with that moisturizer, as well as the Magic Balm, Replenishing Mist, and Younger Eye Cream. So far.

Red Bull - the tropical flavor. Yes, I know Red Bull isn't GREAT for you, but it's so delicious and gives me that lift that an afternoon coffee could, except I can't stand the way coffee coats my mouth and makes it dry af. However, I do not drink RB's daily. Or with vodka.

Apple Smart Battery Case. I was getting tired of having to charge my phone every.single.night and sometimes throughout the day. I wouldn't get a text or email for hours and then when I'd go to charge it across the room, it would start dinging. Annoying. Now, I can go pretty much an entire day without having to worry about that. Worth the $99 investment.

evil eye.jpg

Evil eyes. Evil eyes protect you from jerks, says Greek culture. The evil eye is a curse and has lots of symptoms - headaches, nausea, dizziness, or just feeling crappy. It's given to you by someone who doesn't like you, is envious of you...or even by someone who is obsessed with you. I'm not worried about getting this curse, per se, but I do like to feel like I have some form of extra protection from a-holes in this day and age. I got this beautifully delicate evil eye necklace from an Etsy shop called ALTUJIN.

Those are just some things that are getting me though my days lately, and I'd love to hear yours! Happy Friday!

If you enjoyed this post, don't forget to 'like' and share! xo

The best 4th of July outfits

Maybe it's the diehard America and Ralph Lauren lover in me, but I've always liked red, white and blue together. I love stripes and stars, too. So, this 4th of July, I LOVE seeing everyone's outfits on Instagram (SN: I'd say Facebook too, but that's becoming more of a social media outlet for those in their 60s, isn't it? Anyway...).

Here are some ensemble inspirations for the 4th, whether you're going to a picnic, party, the beach or just relaxing in your own backyard! What will you be wearing?

Those after-baby selfies

Those after-baby selfies

"I don't know. I just feel like I should get a one piece, now. I hate my belly."

I nodded, understanding how she felt. Nothing is worse than a fellow mom being all, "hate it?! That belly produced your child and you should be SO PROUD AND SHOW IT OFF ALL THE TIME, MAMA!" Like, can those moms just stop with that preachiness? I personally know my belly hasn't gone back to what it looked like before baby and I'm not ecstatic about it, and I'm not going to pretend to be. Granted, I also haven't been going crazy trying to exercise it 24/7, either. I never really did, anyway. I guess I was just blessed in that department - but now, after baby? Meh. Kind of a different story.

"I got a bikini. I refuse to wear a one piece unless I want to" I said. And, I meant it. I don't think that just because a woman has a baby, that means she has to dress "like a mom." Even in a bathing suit. While some one piece suits are super sexy and stylish, I prefer my tummy to get a little sun and I didn't sign over my right to a bikini when I got pregnant.

I know you've perused Instagram or other newsfeeds and have come across photos and posts of moms proudly showing their extra-skin bellies with/without stretch marks in bikinis (or underwear, which is so weird to me but to each their own). I actually recently saw one where two of the mom's three kids were pulling and twisting her extra skin while she laughed.

Read More

Pores suck

Pores suck

I'm super into skincare. I love trying new lotions, masks, etc. I don't remember how I came across this Refinery 29 article from 2016, but safe to say I must have been deep into the beauty/skincare interweb late one night.

It's about pore vacuums. What are those, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. I hope you're not eating.

It's simply a tool that sucks oil and blackheads from your pores. It's big in Korea, which is like - the mecca of skincare, in case you didn't already know. So, I had to try it.

Read More

Quickies

Quickies

Here are some random baby posts that never became grownup adult posts:

I'm so backwards. When it's cold out, I want to wear a t-shirt for some reason, yet when it's hot AF out, I'm pulling on a sweatshirt. Am I alone? I've always been like this, per my mom.

What's on your playlist these days? I'm digging the new Liam Gallagher single, and I typically just check out Apple Music's curated daily playlists. But, I need a good "leave it on and don't skip a song" album. Shuffling my library is not an option, because I have Christmas music on there and it's weird to hear in June.

You know what's a really bad TV show? Two Broke Girls. I feel like every episode is the same and the jokes are predictable.

At what point does calling someone out online become cyber-bullying? Like, for example - if someone cuts you off, and you post their car, license plate and other descriptive details online, inviting a free-for-all of comments and namecalling...are you bullying? Nowadays, with social media...I tend to lean more toward yes, you are.

Read More

What happened to the stars?

What happened to the stars?

I reached my hand down and pulled up on the lever, feeling the inside of the passenger door slide against my hand as I dropped back. The sunroof was the perfect size to see The Big Dipper. He pointed it out to me like he'd done this before, and/or maybe it was some sort of high school inside joke of his.  But, I didn't care. Those sparkling, twinkling stars were too distracting to care.

The whole world - and now the whole universe - was right there, just for a moment. 

I shuddered as I wondered how big the sky stretched, and how small that made me. Coupled with the dizziness of tilting my head up, and I was giddy with sweet excitement. I remember feeling like I could do anything as long as I felt like that. 

Now, I wonder - what happened? 

Read More

Men's summer footwear

Love these... Via MaxMayo.com

Love these...
Via MaxMayo.com

With warmer weather, comes feet. Hopefully, those feet/toenails are fresh, clipped, lotioned and ready for viewing. And, while I think dudes deserve to let their dogs breathe, I also think those sandals should be just as fresh as their feet. I got used to seeing guys flip flop around SoCal pretty much all year long, but even those laid-back beach bums knew to change up their footwear for the occasion. As in, beach = flip flops. Dinner at night = nicer flip flops, or maybe some casual kicks.

I love shoes. They're the one item that I think can take an outfit from day to evening. So, here are some options for a comfortable, casual and good lookin' summer, curated by yours truly. Each photo is linked up with click-to-buy.

Are politics still off-limits?

Are politics still off-limits?

I don't know where or when I 'learned' that it was impolite to talk about politics, religion and finances at the dinner table. But, I can remember thinking it made sense. Those topics can become argumentative and thus - make someone lose their appetite. Plus, if you're at a dinner party with strangers, you don't know if your views will offend them. So, it's rude.

But, with everything that's going on in the world today - is politics still a topic that people avoid? And if they do...how?! If you bring up any topic - health, environment, social justice issues, etc. - all roads lead back to politics these days. And, it seems so awkward to talk about these topics without mentioning the elephant in the room, so you just want to be like, "Go ahead...just say it." Just like that - the 'no politics' rule is out the window.

What did not talking about these topics really ever accomplish, anyway? More small talk? More discussing the weather, TV and tales of the past? Yawn. So, maybe it's time to open up the dialogue over the turkey. Maybe the pepper in the potatoes doesn't have to be the only spice at the table. Besides, we're evolved humans, so shouldn't we be able to digest our food, as well as the differing opinions of others, at the same time?

Read More

What were they thinking?

What were they thinking?

When you have a napping infant, what will wake them up is always a gamble. One nap, you can run the vacuum and the next, closing the microwave can alter the course of your entire day. If you have creaky floors/stairs? Godspeed.

So, I find myself wondering why certain things exist - and if the person who invented them ever had babies. Like...

...those ceramic built-in soap dishes. Those rounded, smooth 'ridges' meant to hold the soap in the dish are a J-O-K-E. It's like whoever invented this genius idea forget that showers/baths get wet, you know - from WATER. And so, anything less than a spike will not hold that slippery bar of soap from dropping loudly onto the shower floor. Multiple times, if you're a mama just trying to hurry up and hopefully squeeze in drying your hair before the nap comes to an end.

Read More

Breathe

I had a slight bought of postpartum anxiety after having Owen. I had heart palpitations, slight OCD and would wake up in the middle of the night startled and sweaty. I had no idea it was anxiety, however - and thought it was my heart. I remember thinking, women go through so much during pregnancy and delivery - what if it did something to my heart oh my God I need to see Owen grow up and so I went to see a doctor. He strapped a monitor on me for 24 hours to see if it was my heart...and it wasn't.

"It's anxiety", he said. I welled up and thanked him. When he asked me if I had an idea of how I wanted to move forward, I said I did. I'm not a fan of slapping a Band-Aid on things, so I refused his offer of a prescription. I cut caffeine from my diet, consciously reminded myself to breathe and take things slow, started eating a little better, went a little easier on myself and did Pilates whenever I had a free 10-20 minutes.

I think being a new mom comes with so many unexpected emotions. It's like everything - everything - affects me differently, now. Or, it affects me NOT AT ALL because it's petty as hell.

Sigh. Deep breath. OK. The Manchester bombing rattled me hard. Those were kids. Those were kids at a music event. Those were kids at a music event just like I was once a kid at a music event. Those were kids at a music event just like my Owen could one day be a kid at a music event. No. It's unfathomable. I don't think I can understand where that type of hate comes from, nor do I want to. It's just evil.

But, sadly - it's also our reality. We went walking at a park. As Owen and I rounded a turn in the trail, I saw a group of young men talking and laughing and hanging out on a picnic table. Closer to the trail, was a backpack all by itself - a good 10-15 yards from the group of guys. It was most likely one of their backpacks, but I know I wouldn't leave my bag that far away from me at a public park. As we got closer, I debated what to do. Turn around? Keep going and take a chance? Rationality doesn't really have a place in situations like this because who the hell knows anymore?! It's the argument of "Do we let terror win? Do we let it make us afraid to live? Do we let it control us and cripple us with anxiety and paranoia?"

I honestly don't know.

I guess we do whatever we have to do to stay safe, and to keep our children safe. To me, that means listening to your gut (not necessarily your heart because if you have a good one, you think good things more often than not), keeping your head on a swivel and not letting fear control you, but let it keep you smart.

Just as I neared the laughing guys who were now saying goodbye to each other, one ran over and snatched his backpack up. He opened it and pulled out his ringing cell phone.

"Hi, mom. Yeah, we're just leavin' now. See you in a little."

Breathe.

Asking for a friend (me)....

IMG_0409.JPG

I need to know...

...your favorite dry shampoo?

...favorite mascara?

...favorite eye cream?

...favorite brand of baby clothes?

...favorite yoga pant brand?

...favorite t-shirt brand? (MOM ALERT MOM ALERT)

...favorite way to get a tan without lounging on a chaise outside for hours?

...favorite coffee?

...favorite wine?

...favorite body lotion?

...favorite nail polish color at the moment?

Hey, happy Friday and have the best weekend!

The *one* mom thing I'd hate to be without

The *one* mom thing I'd hate to be without

...besides Owen. Obviously.

The BEABA (pronounced Bee-ah-bah) Babycook is LIFE. It's literally the single most amazing invention I've ever heard of. If someone walked up to me on the street and asked, "What is the most amazing invention that comes to mind right this second" I would say "BEABA BEABA BEABA!" without even thinking.

What is it?

Well, I'll tell you. It's a lifesaver. This machine not only steams food like veggies, fruits and even MEAT...it then purees it. You do it ALL in ONE MACHINE. And, it's so easy for cleanup, too. There's even a little spatula hidden in the back of the machine that you can use to push down food while pureeing, and it doubles as a tool to lift up the steamer basket when the steaming process is done. Mind.Blown.

Read More

GIVEAWAY: Win Ray-Bans

These can be YOURS. 

These can be YOURS. 

Soooo, I bought these Ray-Bans and thought they were super cool. But, I didn't try them on and now I don't like them on me. Which, is a huge bummer because I LOVE them. They're denim, and different. So, Owen was napping and I was sipping some Ries and got a great idea...as I usually do while drinking Riesling.

A GIVEAWAY!

Because who doesn't like free stuff?! Especially Ray-Bans, just in time for summer!

Here's how you can win:

Share this post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging me, and/or with the hashtag #vandenvogue.

That's literally it. Oh, and the more you share, the more chances you have to win.

I'll announce the winner here, this Tuesday at 12 noon EST.

So, if you like free sunnies - share share share share share share share share and share!