Monday, December 30, 2013

my love hate relationship with facebook & the beginning of the great purge

Lately I find myself spending WAY too much time on facebook. I feel like it's unhealthy and defining my daily life far too much. It's so easy to do, especially when you stay at home all day with a 5 month old for company.

I keep telling myself I can't help it, I need facebook, my brain is turning to mush without social interaction. Especially the mom groups that got me through the roughest stages of the newborn baby/mama phase.

But here's the thing. I think my brain is turning to even more mush by spending so much time on facebook.

So I've started what will likely be a massive facebook purge. I've left the mom group that I was starting to feel addicted to (or rather, had an unhealthy obsession with). That's step one. Step two: I logged out of my facebook app on my phone. I'll be honest, I feel a little like my day is a lot emptier but I'll adapt. For now I still keep reaching for my phone, out of habit, to check in on facebook.

I think that empty, knee jerk habit is telling enough as it is and honestly, reason enough to cull facebook from my daily life.

I suspect that within the next few days I will delete the facebook app completely and start removing myself from even more pages/groups. After that... I'm not sure. Maybe removing photos.

I don't know if I'll ever completely leave facebook, but I am definitely going to minimize it's role in my life.

Who knows, if I stop spending so much time on facebook I might surprise myself and start blogging regularly again. Or find more time to get outside, do yoga, or crafting. Or spending more time being present with this little one:

Friday, December 20, 2013

diy Christmas cards

A while back, I did a Stampin' Up class with Claudine and learned to make these gift card holders that I immediately thought would be perfect, if adapted, for my holiday cards this year.

And we ended up with the cutest holiday photo of Liam from our Magenta photo shoot..

I just love it when I good plan comes together!



Materials used:

Red cardstock : cut into 10 & 5/8  x 3.5 inch strips
Kraft cardstock : larger round punch
White cardstock : smaller round punch
Washi tape
2 round punches (one bigger than the other)
foam tree stickers
Stampin' Up envelope tool

I folded the paper at the 2 inch mark for the bottom and 7 1/8 mark for the top flap.
Punched slots into the bottom flap to hold the top portion.
Wrapped washi tape around the front and back of the bottom in order to create a pocket
Added washi tape to the top only before layering with the circles and tree sticker.

Pretty simple really.

Here's what it looks like on the inside:


The best part of the card is really the photo inside. Hopefully most of those receiving cards from us this year will have received them by the time this post goes live. If not, well here's the sneak peak of what you're getting. If you didn't get a card, please don't be offended. We only did so many, and generally sent them out to immediate family or people who sent us cards last year. We didn't want to start card exchanges with people who might have felt burdened to send one back if they got one...

Card giving politics can get tricky, you know?

Regardless of whether you got/get one, we wish you a happy holiday season!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand

Either motherhood makes you an idiot or people really are stupid.

Why you ask?

Because about at least a third of baby clothing seems to come with tags telling you to keep the item away from fire.

Say what?

I'm not making this shit up.

Yeah... keep away from flame. Because apparently there's a slew of baby roasting parents out there. Them witches with their baby eating ways, I tell ya!

Seriously. WTF? How close to an open flame are people getting with their babies that clothing makers feel the need to warn parents to keep away? And why, pray tell, are children's clothes flammable when none of my adult clothing seems to be?

in case you didn't believe me that the above was baby clothing


Either they're making baby clothes with the intention of making said baby roasts easier or my clothes are just as flammable but they don't care to warn me. Cause apparently I'm supposedly smart enough to dress myself and keep away from an open flame but not my baby.

Yup... they don't tell you that your brain apparently turns to mush. Once baby has arrived all common sense goes out the window and they don't want to get sued for my stupidity. Because lets face it, this is kind of like the getting burned by a cup of hot coffee. If you hold your baby so close to an open fire that its clothes can catch on fire ....  I'm going to put it out there and say that maybe, just maybe, you weren't so smart about parenting in the first place?

I'm just saying.

Welcome to mommy land, apparently it comes without a brain...


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

pinterest hack: chai concentrate

I love me some good chai and I'll admit it, I'm quite picky about my chai. Most commercial tea companies who make chai do a piss poor job of it. I'm just saying. They overload on the cinnamon and drown out the other flavours, notably the cardamom.

just a few of the spices involved
That said, I've been eyeing up chai concentrates for a while now. When I found this chai concentrate recipe, it seemed like a delicious mix. And while it is by no means a substitute for the chai I drank in India, it's a pretty good take.



I think in the future, I'd cut a bit of the sugar from the recipe, or recommend a different concentrate/milk ratio. I find the half/half mix a bit too sweet for my liking. And I love sweet, so it's sweet!

In the end, I did a 2/3 concentrate, 2/3 milk, 1/3 water. I don't know if it's the ideal mix cause it waters it down a bit too much. So I will play with the sugar in the beginning next time. She says you can cut the honey, but honestly it adds a nice depth so I think I'll keep it and just reduce the sugar by a bit.


Overall though, it's a win. Yay, I love it when my pinterest finds work out. I think that next time though, I'll can it because it only lasts for a week in the fridge (apparently) and well... I missed that part of the instructions and might have made too much to possibly drink in a week.

Live and learn...

Monday, December 9, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand

Laughter.

It'll creep into your life and spread like an insidious virus, crawling into all the nooks and crannies of your world until you won't even remember what it felt like to not laugh most of the day.

That's right. Your baby will make you laugh and fill you with a sense of general contentedness that you might have never expected.

WTF, right?


I know. Who ever thought that goobery mouths and squirmy babies would make you catch yourself with the thought "Man, I laugh a lot more these days than I ever used to before baby came into my life."

Especially as you get past the newborn stage. And sleep deprivation either becomes the new norm or lessens (depending on said baby's mood that night).

Oh, there'll be mommy guilt and frustrations and resentments aplenty. But there will also be this crazy sense of just general well being that spreads to fill your days. And oddly enough, even though I'm more tired and feel like I have less "me" time, I'm laughing so much more in my life and my days are filled with so much joy.

So yeah, the shitty diapers, crying, and all that jazz... totally worth it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

diy odor eaters: pinterest hack

So I found these diy odor eaters for the diaper pail on pinterest and thought I'd give them a go. As a cloth diapering Mama I want to keep things as eco as possible so these definitely fit the bill.

Liam supervised my endeavours (demanding a lunch break... for him, not me in the midst of it)


I used:

2 cups distilled water (I had it on hand from soap making adventures)
3 cups of baking soda (which I have in abundance as you can see ... I'm an eco cleaner and baking soda is my cleaning bestie)
Random amount of drops of Zen Sparks Natural essential oil (it poured faster than expected)

I didn't expect the essential oil to be blue! I suppose it was the blue tansy?

Then I poured them into the silicone molds I have on hand. So skulls, pumpkins and flowers (extra went into muffin tin!


And then I left them to dry for way too many hours. They took forever to dry and honestly, I actually mucked them trying to take them out after about 3 days so I dampened them again and tried drying them again.

All in all about half of the tablets worked. They work in the room to some extent. But I think in the end, I would just take the baking powder, put it into a container, sprinkle the essential oil, and let it be as is in the container. The drying process wasn't worth it.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

on 3 months of cloth diapering

my little fluff butt
Usually the first thing people ask when I tell them we cloth diaper is: "that must be a lot of work and what about the laundry?"

The thing is, it really isn't that much work. In fact, it's less work than I expected it to be. Maybe this is partially due to the fact that we chose the simplest diapers out there (as in, closest to disposable diapers), AIOs (all in ones), or maybe it's because, as I mentioned before, I'm already doing a ton of laundry so honestly, the laundry isn't much of an issue.

I'm not sure, but either way, I really don't find it that much work, nor that messy. I mean, really, your hands are already in the thick of things anyways with the wipes and stuff so really the diaper isn't any more messy in the grand scheme of things.

We did make some compromises. We use paper diapers when we're out. We used disposables for the first 6+ weeks (he was too small for the diapers we purchased and honestly, we had enough on our plate at the time). And we use disposable wipes. We have cloth wipes too though, so we alternate between the two.

In the entire diapering set up, I would have to say that I actually find the disposal of these wipes to be the smelliest part of the equation, which I'm sure surprises people. I guess that's because the cloth diapers linger for 2 days at most in the pail while the wipes stay until the garbage is full, which takes longer.

I've made diy odor eaters, but don't know that I find that they work that well. I think they were more work than they were worth, and they weren't really that much work.

All in all, I'm glad we're using our cloth diapers. The fluff butt (as in bulkiness of the diaper) is the only drawback because it makes his pants fit a little differently than the paper diapers do. But that's ok, he'll have more padding for when he falls while learning to crawl, etc.

Monday, December 2, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand

Laundry.

Oh, they tell you about the piles of baby clothes you'll be washing. 

Sad but true, Liam's laundry proves that he has more clothes than we do!

What they fail to mention is the piles of your own clothing you'll be washing because of the various baby incidents that leave them dirty. I swear, I need 3x the wardrobe to keep up with the spit up.

Everything I have worn in the past 4 months feels like it's been puked on at least once, if not multiple, multiple times.

I have at least 1 to 2 wardrobe changes a day, that's how much this kid spits up. Oy Vey!

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