Friday, September 25, 2015

7 Things I Could Use Your Help With Right Now

Hi, friends.

For the most part, I'm starting to get my new life as mom-with-infant-living-in-new-town in order. 

But there are still a handfulla things I could use some help with. Since it's Friday, I'll list my top seven . . .


Easy recipes, please! 

We're talking . . . 
  • ready in 30 minutes or less OR easy to prepare in pieces throughout the day
  • minimal chopping/prepping
  • moderately healthy
  • crock pot recipes are great too
Any suggestions? 

Some of our all-time favorites are Tortellini Salad, Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, and Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup, for reference, and because I like to share. :)


In order to finish my Creighton Model training on time, I need 6 more clients by December. Yikes! Do you know of anyone interested in learning the Creighton Model? If they don't mind long-distance learning (via Skype or Google Hangout), I'd love it if you could send 'em my way. Email me at stephaniecrms {at} gmail {dot} com.


What are some quick ways to make your hair look nice when it's still wet and you don't have time to dry it? (Or you have a baby who's scared of blow-dryers.) 

So far, my go-tos are buns, headbands, and braids. Is there anything else that makes wet hair look better?


John Paul is really weird about sleep. Like, really weird.

I probably already have an answer for this one: Read a sleep book. BUT if any of you have experience with a sleep-fighting four-month-old and have had success with making bedtime more pleasant, I'm all ears.

Some nights, John Paul goes to bed so easily. We put him in his bassinet, he wiggles around for a little while, then drifts off peacefully. But other nights, like the past two, he cries and shrieks A LOT. Sometimes he'll eventually drift off, other times he'll cry and scream for 15 minutes straight, and the only thing that works is picking him up and starting his sleep routine over again. We sit by his bassinet and try to help, but eventually his crying gets him so worked up, he's wide awake. It took us TWO hours to put him to sleep last night. Eek! He fought us until 11pm. We've tried putting him down earlier, starting at 7pm or 8pm, but he fights that even worse. We can tell he's exhausted because he falls asleep and stays asleep while I nurse him, and he's rubbing his eye and yawning a ton, but as soon as he's in his bassinet, if it's a night he's decided to fight, it's really pretty rough. 

Is this just a normal phase that babies go through?



When you're out and about, shopping with a 4-month-old who can't sit up on his own yet and therefore can't sit in the cart, what do you do? 
So far, my solutions are:
  • wear him, but sometimes he doesn't want to be worn.
  • keep him in his car seat and put him in the basket of the cart, but then I have hardly anywhere to put my groceries.
  • wait til John has time off and go grocery shopping together. I like this one. :)
  • carry him in my arms, but then I'm shopping one-handed and that slows me down a fair bit. I also worry he'll wiggle out of my arms.

Is this just a phase that gets way easier once he can sit up in the cart? What do you do before cart-sitting is a possibility?

(PS - Putting the car seat up on the front of the cart is a big no-no for me. I've heard stories of babies falling that way.)


While I LOVE the idea behind Blessed is She and the daily reflections they send straight to my inbox, I'm just not connecting with most of their reflections lately. 

What other daily prayer/Bible readings/reflection resources do you use?


Is there a special water bottle out there that makes you want to drink more water throughout the day?

I find that I forget to drink water verrrry easily and end up shaky, overheated, and faint before I remember to fill up a glass and drink some more. Eek!

I used to drink lots when I was using my Camelback water bottle, but then the spout grew mold several times (SO GROSS) and I've been against it ever since.

How do you remember to drink water throughout the day?


Thanks, friends!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fashion Box #11

I took a bit of a break from Stitch Fix after they sent me three boxes in a row of overpriced maternity items. The final straw was a fix that I disliked so much, I didn't keep a single item. Several dresses at around $100 a piece and items that definitely did not fit my style profile . . . not my idea of fashion fun. And when I wrote to them expressing my dissatisfaction, in as polite a manner as I could fashion, I heard nothing back. Nada, nil, zilch.

After that fix, I decided to give up on Stitch Fix forever. But of course, several months later, the itch returned. An itch caused by two things. First, two people had used my referral link, so I had $50 in credit to spend. (Darn you, Stitch Fix, and your all-too-sneaky referral program!) And second, I haven't bought many clothing items for myself post-pregnancy. So I was ready to give them one more chance to get it right. One more chance.

Well, thanks to a stylist named Justin (my first fix styled by a man!), my relationship with Stitch Fix may be on the mend.

I asked for nursing friendly dresses, a patterned maxi skirt, and a purse that could be used as a diaper bag. Here's what I got in fix #11 . . .

Maxi dress, teal dress, gray top, blue and pink maxi skirt, and tote bag.

Let's chat about each, piece-by-piece.

Maxi Dress - $88

This dress checks a lot of the right boxes. The fit was flattering. The colors are totally my colors. I love the design along the bottom. It was definitely nursing friendly, as I had requested. And I felt pretty good in it. BUT. There are a few big buts here. It was too long, meaning I'd have to pay more to have it hemmed. My bra was in plain view under my arms, tisk tisk. And, worst of all, I felt I wasn't going to get a lot of wear out of this maxi dress this season. The weather's starting to change here, so I'd probably get, tops, 4 more weeks out of it. Not worth it to me. RETURNED.


Teal Dress - $64

This dress did not check any of the right boxes. Ok, so part of it is that I'm not wearing the most supportive bra. But that's kind of unavoidable right now. I'm actually wearing one of my must sturdy nursing bras in this picture, so it ain't gonna get much better than this. Anyway, I also wasn't able to pull down the cowl drape front low enough for nursing, meaning I'd have to pull the dress up from the bottom to nurse. Big no-no. And finally, I already own 2 dresses in this color, including one I purchased from Stitch Fix about a year ago. So my wardrobe, plain and simple, didn't need this dress. RETURNED.

Gray Top - $44

While there's nothing special about the look of this top, I love it. I love how lightweight and stretchy it is. I love the feel of the material. I love the hi-lo hem along the bottom. I love the neutral color. And I love how I can wear this under cardigans or blazers throughout the fall. While I wouldn't normally spend $44 for a top, I had those credits to spend, so I went for it. Plus, I couldn't wait to cut the tags off and wear it. That doesn't happen often for me, so I knew it was worth holding on to. KEPT.

Blue and Pink Maxi Skirt - $58

Here's an example of "you get what you ask for." I asked for a patterned maxi skirt and I sure did get it. Unfortunately, I felt the pattern was a bit loud. And just like with the maxi dress, I felt I wasn't going to get much wear out of it through the fall. On top of that, I also didn't love the flow of the skirt along the bottom. AND they sent me a nearly identical maxi skirt  in a fix about a year ago, which I didn't keep. So, it was very easy for me to send this one back too. RETURNED. 


Reversible Brown/Black Tote - $48

When I requested a purse that could be used as a diaper bag, I actually requested this specific tote. I follow Stitch Fix on instagram and when I saw it in a recent pic of theirs, I wanted it stat. We have this diaper bag and it works quite fine, but it's pretty cumbersome when I'm just going on quick trips out and about with John Paul. I wanted something more feminine and versatile. So I requested the tote I saw on instagram and hoped they'd send it along. I was a little bummed when my stylist said he couldn't get it for me, but the tote he did send made me forget about it real fast. This reversible tote was love at first sight. It's the perfect size, I'm digging the easy magnetic closure, and it even came with a small pouch for smaller items. Just what this momma ordered. KEPT. (And already using the heck outta it.)


So, whatcha think?

I'm thinking I'm glad I decided to give Stitch Fix a second try (ok, technically 11th try :P). While they still haven't sent me a MUST KEEP ALL THE ITEMS fix (which, btw, gets discounted: 25% off), I feel like they're back on track again. I loved most of the items, felt they were all pretty much in line with my style, and the prices weren't that outrageous.

If you're interested in trying out Stitch Fix for yourself, feel free to use my referral link. I get $25 toward my next fix when yours ships. No pressure, just throwing it out there in case you're interested.

By the way, not pictured in the photographs above . . . my little fashion critic, who was hanging out by my feet through the whole fashion photo shoot. :)

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Quick Takes


I am currently obsessed with homemade cold brew iced coffee. I blame Kat

It's super easy to make and oh-so-delicious. I like to mix in 2% milk with 1 tsp of Stevia and 2 pumps of syrup (currently using Irish Creme syrup). Oh my word.

Extra points for serving it up in a mason jar.

Yum yum yum yum yum!

To summarize: Yum.


Am I crazy for wanting to brew Kombucha next? 



My husband does not like watermelon. He says it tastes "sickly sweet." WHAT IS THIS?!

FINE. More for me.


John Paul gives me this weird look while he's pooping. He smiles at me like he's only feigning interest in the sport of social smiling, while simultaneously staring daggers into my soul with his big blue eyes, occasionally with a squint. Then: poop.

Hilarious. Every time. 

This recipe --> Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

. . . is really really really really really good.


(Also, easy.)

John Paul is 4 months old today. 




We have recently become obsessed with the show Parks and Recreation. Like, obsessed. We watch at least 3 episodes a day and quote it approximately non-stop. We're about halfway through season 6 and I'm already SO SAD there's only one season left. Whhhhhhyyyyy? (That was my best Tom Haverford impersonation, obvi.)

Any recommendations for a similarly awesome show?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Welcome to Our Apartment! A Tour of Our New Home

Welcome, welcome!

Now that we're finally starting to feel settled in our new home (glad that only took 3 months. . . sheesh!), I'm ready to show off pics of the new digs. 

We're still working on a few things, like hanging more stuff on the walls and finishing the nursery, but for now, it's perfect. 

Won't you come in?

(Here are some pics of the model apartment I posted way back before we moved, for reference if you're interested.)

Upon entering the front door, you walk right into our wonderfully spacious kitchen. 

Behind the opened double doors you see above is our little laundry room.

And next to our laundry room, our happy hour station. :)

Loving this poster and drink cart combo.

We bought the poster during our 2nd anniversary trip to Nashville and the cart was a Christmas gift from John's sister.

The kitchen leads right into the living room and dining room.

We just hung that wooden wall art a few days ago. It's so lovely, it makes me feel the happies inside whenever I see it. Which is, like, all the time, because I live here. Cool.

See our overflowing shelf of board games hiding behind the table? And that beautiful, framed print of Madonna and Child?

Through the arched doorway you see above is a guest bathroom and . . . 

The nursery!

We finally have the bare bone pieces all put together, so now it's time to work on decorating the walls and bringing some FUN and COLOR to John Paul's room. Lucky for us, John Paul doesn't sleep in here yet, so we still have time. We're probably going to kick him out of the pack n' play in our room around 6 months, so I've got 2 months left to find some more nesting urges and jazz this room up a bit more.

This is back out in the main room, facing the other direction. On the left is the kitchen, on the right is our sunroom (which we opted for over a patio), and through that door straight ahead is our master bedroom.

While we miss our patio space, we love the extra indoor space this sunroom gives us. I have no idea where we would have fit the desk and office stuff otherwise.

Also, look at all that gorgeous sunlight! LOVE.

We're using this sunroom closet for all our kitchen gadgets and gizmos.

Ladies and gentlemen, the desk from which I am typing this post . . .

A view of the main room from the sunroom . . .

And some neat/funky/weird wall decor we bought recently at Target . . .

Finally, some pictures of our master, which were taken later at night because someone was napping in his pack n' play while the other photos were being taken.

Diaper changing central. A bit of a mess. Eep! Any suggestions for organizing?

And this is how we organize John Paul's wardrobe. Eep! Another mess.

The master bathroom is a bit more spacious than in our last apartment.

Bathroom mirror selfie!

And that's a wrap!

Hope you enjoyed your stay! It's too bad you can't hang out a tiny bit longer. I was just about to throw some cookies in the oven. Perhaps next time. ;P

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Parenting Fails *Facepalm*

Well, so we're all sick over here. All three of us have this dang pesty cold. Pretty sure I got it first, and then, like any loving wife and mother would do, I passed it off to my husband and son.


Anyway, to keep my spirits up, I'm going to write about all the things we've done hilariously wrong in the past (almost) four months as parents. There's a lot of opportunity for FAIL when navigating parenthood for the first time, so it's a good thing A.) We can laugh it off most of the time and B.) John Paul will never remember all these fails.


Let's start here, shall we? . . .

So, there was this one time John was carrying John Paul around right after a feeding, without the all-important burp cloth to protect his shoulder. That day we learned the hard way, ALWAYS carry a burp cloth.

We also learned pretty quickly that diapers are ineffective if we don't point his pee-producing part down and/or we don't check the tightness of the leg holes. Both result in one of two types of warm liquid being spilled over all the things, including blankets, pants, the couch, the boppy . . . basically whatever the baby is sitting on. Let's just say we've done a LOT of extra laundry since John Paul was born. It's a steep learning curve, folks.

Then there was this other time my son gave himself a hickey. I was carrying him in our Boba Wrap and he was soothing himself by sucking on his arm. I thought it was pretty harmless and also super cute, until later, when I discovered he had a massive bruise-like hickey on his arm. I was horrified. Good thing hickey bruises heal up fast.

Oh, and we also spent the first 6 weeks of his life not realizing we had to help him take naps during the day. We were wondering why he was SO fussy and needy all the time. Take note: if a baby is yawning and fussing at you, he's probably tired, and he probably needs your help falling asleep. Got it.

Also, if you're like us and you're too cheap to buy a changing table, you will likely have to be ok with getting poop on whatever surface you're changing baby on.

Exhibit A
Our bed, with poop on it:

We've also learned that people will judge you when you let your newborn have an iPhone. In our defense, it's an old iPhone that's permanently on airplane mode, solely used as a sound machine to soothe our sleepy baby. But mostly it just looks like 4-month old has a cell phone.

And most recently, we've been that couple who brings their baby out to bars/restaurants when we should be home letting him nap instead. At least it makes for some cute pictures!

Alright, that's enough fail for one post. I'm sure we'll have more to share as time goes on. Because it's basically impossible to get parenting 100% right, especially this first go-around. But at least it's (mostly) fun in the process!

I'll leave you with some recent pics of our little man, to balance all that FAIL with some CUTE.

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