An Uncomplicated Life Blog: March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Swooning For Stripes

I'm joining the ladies of The Creative Closet today to talk a little bit about stripes.

I love stripes! They're classic. They bring just enough interest to a piece to catch the eye, without going overboard to leave people thinking "Oh wow... Oh, no!" Just about every jewelry piece I own goes with a striped shirt.

When Stitch Fix sent me this shirt a few weeks ago, it was the only thing I kept from my style box. Because duh, it had stripes. It's flowy and easy to wear. The fabric is super soft. I didn't already own something with this particular cut - it's not just a basic striped t-shirt!

Shirt: Dahlya // Jeans: J Crew // Flats: Vera Wang // Bag: Louis Vuitton // Necklace: Summer Ellis

You know what else is great about a basic striped shirt? You can wear whatever you want with it. Including "statement shoes." I paired my shirt with some bejeweled Vera Wang flats (my wedding shoes, actually!)

When I saw today's prompt was "Swooning for Stripes" I knew I had to get in on the action. Stripes are my jam. You want to know a secret about stripes? I misspelled it every time I wrote it in this post. It's like my fingers don't believe there's a R in there! Stripes are quirky like that.

Do you have your go-to color or pattern that you enjoy wearing?   

Monday, March 30, 2015

What Never Bounced Back After Baby

Having a baby is an insane physical feat. Your body grows an entire human, then you push it out. You eat a ton of calories to accomplish this challenge and you gain weight. Your breasts get much bigger as they prepare to feed the human you just grew. Your hips widen as they make room for baby's exit.

And then in four to 48 hours (or, six weeks if you're me) you go into labor and the whole process is over. Just like that. Which is a speed race of an ending to a marathon of an event.

Me at 28 weeks, just entering my third trimester. Recognize the hair, makeup and outfit? I had just gotten everything done for the photos for this blog! I launched it a month before giving birth to Henry... Coming up on my one year here!

It's been ten months since I had my speed race finish six weeks of labor with Henry. While I "bounced back" in an amazing way, there are some things that will just never, ever be the same. They are forever altered by the physical feat of baby growin'.

I thought it'd be fun to share with you those things. So that all the other mama's can smile along with me and say "Yup! I'm with you, sister" and all you childless readers will shudder I mean, stay childless or ummmm... appreciate your own mamas and mommy friends more.

If you're faint of heart to the TMI/over-share, click on to the next blog dear reader.

Stomach skin will never be tight again. Mind you, I only put on 24 pounds. I didn't get huge. But that skin stretches like no other, my friends. While my abs are back and I'm prebaby weight, I can grab folds of skin around my midsection. And that's lame. It also causes unsightly muffin tops that refuse to stay tucked in. Sigh.

Last belly shot before my water broke at 36 weeks + 4 days. That's a lot to bounce back from, friends.

The girls dropped. There's nothing like glorious pregnancy boobs! They're full and round and lovely! And then you nurse, and they get even bigger! And then you stop nursing. It's like deflating a balloon...  You end up with a soft, squishy resemblance of a former glory.

What's up with the feet?! Mine grew a half size during pregnancy, which wad'nt no thang since I had small feet that are now still on the small size of normal. Growing a shoe size in pregnancy is very common. But mine changed shape, and now they're strange looking! My first three toes got longer (that's where the size came from) and now they look odd. Permanently. Boo.

Thongs? HAHAHAHAHAHA JOKE'S ON YOU. I used to wear nothing but cute fancy thongs. While I haven't digressed to pure granny panty territory (I still have self respect, damnit!) there's no way I'm wearing a thong all day. Sure, I'll don one if I'm wearing leggings. But only for a few hours a day. No full day wear-age anymore. Not after baby. Strings now be goin' and pullin' where no string should go.

One week after having Henry. Little did I know my hair would look like this everyday. Joke's on me?

I should note that all of these changes were totally worth it! None of them were so drastic that anyone other than me or hubs can tell.

But YOU being happy with YOU is the most important person to be at peace with. While I'm happy with my bounce back rate, I won't lie: I'd roundhouse-kick a stranger to the face to have prebaby Paige body back, even for a few hours!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Five Art Finds on

I was searching for Henry's first birthday invitations on when I noticed the site also has artwork. Well, we just bought a new home and happen to be in the market for artwork... But I didn't want any of that mass-produced cheesy and cheap junk typically found on online "art" stores.

I was pleasantly surprised! It hosts real, independent artists doing real photography and prints of watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings. Better yet, you can select what size you want the piece to be, so if you find something you love, you're not limited to the listed dimensions. Better yet again, you can buy it framed or unframed. Better yet times three, you can pick the frame. The website software allows you to "try it on" over your chosen artwork so you can see what it will look like before buying.

And the best yet? The prices are reasonable. Here are my Top Five picks off the site:

1) I saw this guy and y'all already know it's a hit for my Texas themed dining room!

2) This piece is cheery and bright and would be perfect for a kitchen or breakfast nook:

3) Perhaps because I hail from the upper Midwest, this number caught my eye. It looks just like rural Minnesota!

4) If we ever have a little girl, better believe this will grace her nursery walls (PS, mamas - there is a TON of great nursery/kiddo room options! It was hard to choose just one)

5) What I like about this one is that it's unexpected and versitle. You could add it to a collection of family photos to add some dimension and variety on the wall, or mix n' match it with other contemporary prints and photos.

Want to purchase one of these photos? Simply click it to take you directly to the seller's site!

Have you ever bought art online? I've purchased many thing via Etsy, but never any wall art. I love that is giving independent artists a marketplace to sell and share their work!

Per usual, I'm linking up with Amanda, Karli, Friday Five ladies, and H54F! Happy weekend blog reading to all :)

*I was compensated for this post. However, all reviews are my own and I hand selected each piece of art to share with you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Throw A Little Color On The Walls

When we bought this house, I was happy because there is very little work we need to do to it (minus gutting the master bath...) A few coats of paint and this little beauty will be in tip top shape!

I'm a big fan of color in a home. Maybe it's because I grew up in Minnesota and only stared at white for six-nine months out of the year, but I despise white walls, beige carpets and white trim. Unsurprisingly, I like homes with a bit more character.

I knew right away that our Jack n' Jill bath had to be one of the first rooms to get painted. The previous owners had two small boys, and they shared this bathroom. Let's just say that lime green isn't the best for the colors in the granite or the brick paver floor!

Green Jack n' Jill bath - before shot

Sample of the soon-to-be new color: Sherwin Williams Truly Taupe

I mentioned in this post that I'm doing a bold, Texas-themed dining room. We bought a gorgeous wood table that seats eight and have rustic metal chairs with leather seats. The head seats at the table are upholstered in a fabric that resembles burlap (but much softer!) I want the walls to POP, so I went with an orange...

New dining room table. I spy baby moccs on the wet bar!

Plush chair close-up and you get a glimpse of our green sideboard!

Metal chair close up

I started with the lighter shade (Sherwin Williams Copper Harbor) and decided that it wasn't the right shade! So I got a darker orange (Sherwin Williams Determined Orange) and started to like the lighter one better. What do you think? Lighter or darker? Help a sister out!

View from the dining room into the breakfast nook and kitchen. I want to pull out the lighter color of the brick paver for the wall color in the dining room. That's the goal...

Goal #2: Make the green side board pop!
So guys and gals, which orange would you go with given what I'm trying to do in the room and what we've purchased so far? Opinions, please!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Affordable Spring Fashion

Who's got two thumbs and loves her some affordable, cute clothes?! Better yet, clothes that were once quite spendy, but have been deeply discounted so that the quality is there minus the price tag?

Yup, this girl. Probably all girls too, if my hunch is correct.

So when I came across this post from Amanda outlining spring fashion finds under $35, I was thrilled. And then I found this dress from LAmade at and was like whhhhhaaaaa?!?! does high end fashion at everyday prices. Their sizing availabilty is hit or miss, so you might get frustrated when you find something cute and it's not in your size. But it's worth it to score serious fashion finds at rock bottom prices. Oh, and shipping is free. Bonus!

Dress LAmade // Bangles J Crew // Necklace Summer Ellis // Sandals Ralph Lauren

I scored this dress, thanks to Amanda, for dirt cheap and plan to have it on rotation all spring and summer. It's super lightweight so it will hold up in the Texas heat. I paired it with a tank underneath because it's loooooooowwwww cut. Real, real low. Too low for this mama with a handsy ten month old, but it'd be smokin' hot for date night!

Trying to give hubs fashion photographer advice mid shoot in the rain

I love green and gold together, so I threw on my J Crew bangles and Summer Ellis necklace for an easy, casual look that works for a Tuesday grocery store run or a Sunday brunch.

Now if only it would stop raining in Seattle I mean Dallas, I'd be set to rock this cute look outdoors on the reg!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mistakes I've Made In Parenting

I laughed out loud when I filled in the post title on this one, and nearly added a "thus far..." to the title. Because Henry is only ten months, and I've just begun to make mistakes.

I've got nearly a year of experience in this whole role called mommy, and looking back, I've made some dumb choices. Some things I just didn't think (lack of sleep perhaps?) and some things I just didn't know.

For example, I could have breastfed a whole lot longer had I known that I could have mixed formula into the breast milk at night so that Henry would have stayed full for longer. The constant nighttime feedings are what killed breastfeeding for me. Nothing was worth being that tired, even to this hippie-holisitic-health parent who is well aware that breast milk nutrition trumps formula.

Enforcing nap time has been a recent learning experience. I'm not sure what I was thinking - like, was Henry going to turn to me and say, "Mommy, I'm tired now. I'd like to nap?" No! He sure wasn't. Has any child (especially one who can only talk baby babble) said that to his/her mom?! Nope! Not in the history of children.

So why I was letting him dictate his nap schedule (after the newborn period, when these little monsters dictate everything) is beyond me. He was cranky and I was cranky because I couldn't get anything done all day. I now put him down for morning and afternoon naps. He sleeps for longer at night AND I get stuff done during the day. I won't be making that mistake ever again!

At Henry's nine month appointment, his pedi asked how much formula and solids he was eating. I told her, and she stopped dead in her tracks. "No baby should be eating 40+ oz of formula!" I responded that he demanded a full bottle, even after two jars of baby food. She told me to start to water his formula down so it didn't taste as good to him. After just a few weeks of that, Henry transitioned to eating normal people food, and beat his "bottle addiction."

Who knew these little babies could form addictions that needed to be kicked, right? Babies are sneaky little creatures!

I haven't messed up everything with my parenting, but I have learned some valuable lessons in my short tenure as a mother. I think that's why they say your first is your experimental baby... You learn all your lessons and become a pro for the next one that comes around!

Have you ever made any mistakes that became painfully obvious to you later in life?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five Fun Items From Waco, TX

Jaelan and I met up in Waco this week to hit up Chip and Joanna Gaines store, Magnolia (as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper). It's the halfway point between where we both live, and it was a blast to get out of Dallas for a day trip, spend a little girl time together (Henry crashed the girl party) and do some shopping for my new house!

And we were surprised at how... Small the store is. Like, 250 square feet small. So, for those who can't easily road trip to Waco, TX fear not! The online store is where it's at. We did spend the whole day in the small city, so we managed to hit up many shops all over the Bosque Blvd/Downtown area.

Alas, here are my Top Five finds and moments from our trip:

1) This adorable necklace was the first thing I bought, even though I was on the hunt for home goods. Oops.

Gold Summer Ellis necklace from Papillion boutique in Waco, TX // $58

2) We went to the house straight-up mansion of the dude who headed up the Dr. Pepper bottling company that resided in Waco in the early 1900's. This house was huuuuuuuuge, and currently houses an antique store. The owners ushered us to the BASEMENT (my Texas readers be like WTF is a basement; my MN readers be like aaaaaaaand....?) where Henry started to SCREAM. My kid is the most mild-natured child in the history of babies, and never (I mean never) screams. Clearly, that ish was haunted. It was creepy. I used my screaming child as an excuse to exit the building quickly.

He stopped screaming the second we got out of that haunted basement. He got happy the second we left the property. Something aint right there. Ghosts, I'm telling you!

3) I got these super cute dish towels! All of ours magically disappeared after we moved. Time for new ones.

World Market dish towels. Oooook, I got these in Dallas before the Waco trip! // $5.99 each

4) We hit up the one art gallery downtown (and possibly in all of Waco). It was... Ummmm. Well. Let's just say Baylor University doesn't have a robust art department, or they're all the rejects from FIT, SCAD, or (enter city/state) College of Art and Design - just about every other art school, anywhere.

As a SCAD Master's graduate, I judge art harshly. There, I said it. #sorrynotsorry

5) Look at this badass painting I got! Our new dining room is Texas-themed. It sounds weird and this painting is a bit bold, but I can't wait to share pics when it's all done. It's will look so rad with the burnt orange walls and cast-iron Texas Star I have planned for the walls. Intrigued yet in how I'll pull this off? Me too. I just hate beige walls and boring spaces.

Avery Trumon painting from The Blue Horse boutique in Waco, TX // $49

We had a great day trip in Waco! We wish we could have met Chip and Jojo Gaines... But they're probably pretty busy being famous HGTV stars. Or designing houses. Or both. So it's cool - I still love them.

Linking up with Amanda, Karli, Friday Five ladies, Tara and H54F!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ABC's of Paige

I saw this post on Kristen's site and thought it was such a fun idea! It reminded me of this post I did a few months ago, but with more bizarre and random questions.

So without further delay, here's a little alphabet soup for your Wednesday reading:

A. Attached or single?
Attached! Married. Duh.

B. Best friend?
I have a few, ranging from my sister to a some girls from Jr. High to grad school and even a few more recent friends I've made in Texas. Love girl time!

A few BFFs

C. Cake or pie?
Pie is foul. Cooked fruit?! Oh man, I want to puke thinking about it. Cake please!

D. Day of choice?
Saturday. Not a big shocker there. But for me, it's thebombdiggity because Kirk takes the baby and I sleep until 10am. I lovvvvvvveeeeee sleep!

E. Essential item?
iPhone. That's sad, but true.

F. Favorite color?
I'm a real big fan of gold. Yellow gold. Even before it was trendy, I loved it!

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Gross, neither. What are those things even made of???

H. Hometown?
Minneapolis. Yes, everyone sounds as funny there as they do in "Fargo" (The movie and the series.)

I. Favorite indulgence?
Spending the day by the pool sipping wine spritzers on, like, a Tuesday. With other SAHMs or teacher friends who have the summer off, or yogis who work irregular hours.

J. January or July?
Back in my Minneapolis days, this would have been July, duh. But now that I'm in Texas it doesn't matter - both are great! 4th of July is a great holiday and I got married in January, so both, FTW!

K. Kids?
I have my mini-me, Henry and two four-legged sons. I'm surrounded by boys.

My sweet boy when he was three months old

L. Life isn't complete without?

M. Memory you cherish?
Oh, there's so many! I should talk about Henry's birth... But seriously, one of my favorite memories to date takes me back to grad school. My Partner in Crime and I found ourselves picked up by members from a bachelor party (NOT the groom!) and ended up in a mansion on the tidal river outside of Savannah, GA. We decided it'd be fun to swim... But the tide was going out! And we were drunk. We nearly drowned, and have permanent scars (from barnacles) to prove it! Who knew nearly drowning would be a cherished memory?

This lady right here is my Partner In Crime... This is six or seven years after our "drowning" incident, at one of my baby showers. We're so responsible now.

N. Number of siblings?
A seester! We're 18 months apart.

O. Oranges or apples?
Again, gross. Fruit sucks.

P. Pet peeves?
I used to think chewing loudly was the most awful thing. And it is, just not the MOST awful. Now that I'm older, snarkiness really annoys me. It's being mean in the disguise of humor. No... As it would turn out, you're not funny, clever or witty. You're just an asshole.

Q. Quotes?
Meh. Not really into quotes, although when I see one that resonates I think, "Isn't that nice?! I should remember that..." And then promptly forget it.
R. Reasons to smile?
I get to me the mommy of the best behaved, happiest son in the world! Geez, I'm lucky.

S. Season of choice?
Summer! Give me heat and sun and more heat.

T. Tea or coffee?
Coffee, hands down. I don't like warm tea that much. Sweet tea is pretty delish, but not as good as a cup of coffee in the morning! Nothing happens before coffee. Nothing.

U. Unknown fact about me?
Ohh, this is hard! I'm brutally honest so most of my business is out in the open. I try to control it, but my favorite word is a four letter word... And I'm somewhat concerned Henry will learn it! I have to work hard to stay classy. Oops.

Workin' hard to stay classy Christmas 2012: Why dirty a cup when you can drink out of the pitcher?

V. Favorite vegetable?
All of them! I haven't met one I don't like. Corn on the cob is up there pretty high... I mean, I'm from the upper Midwest, what did you expect?

W. Worst habit?
I can go days without showering. Which isn't an issue per se, but I work out daily... So things get gross quickly. It doesn't bother me at all! My poor husband. He married a put together, beautiful woman and once she became a mother, she devolved into a dirty, greasy mess. At least I'm in shape?

Y. Your favorite trip?
Funny, I just wrote about this last week!

Z. Zodiac sign?
Libra. People have guessed it numerous times without hardly knowing me! They said I was confident and commanded attention when walking into a room. I am a very confident person, but I thought the "commanding attention" part came from the fact that I'm usually the tallest woman and sometimes just outright the tallest person around... Meh. I don't know what the factor is that drives "commanding attention" but I'll take it as a compliment!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

YSL Mascara: Worth The Price?

The kind folks over at Influenster seriously hooked me up when they selected me to sample the Yves Saint Laurent Mascara. This is the original fiber lash mascara, and YSL just improved the formula and wanted to get the word out.

Who doesn't love full sized beauty freebies?!

The thing is, I'm also super attached to my brand of mascara. (L'Oreal Volumous in noir, if you're wondering.) So if I'm going to change brands, especially to YSL with a $32 price tag (you can pick up L'Oreal at Target for about $9) this stuff was going to have to be good. Like, really good.

So I decided to test it. In a hot yoga class.

I put on one coat before class, and I have to say: This stuff didn't clump. It went on easily and had a pleasant scent. One coat lengthened my lashes wonderfully! Ok YSL, you've got me interested... But can your formula withstand an hour of 103 degree vinyasa yoga flow?!

One coat of YSL mascara before my hot yoga class.

 Drum roll, please!

It did. This was immediately after my class - I snapped a selfie in my car. There is NO mascara under my eyes and the product stayed put on my lashes. I *could* tell you how much I sweat in this class, but I'll save you the details. I was completely impressed YSL mascara didn't run halfway down my cheeks!

YSL mascara immediately following a hot vinyasa flow yoga class.

I don't wear much makeup these days, and I'm no beauty guru. But I DO wear mascara daily, and I DO workout daily. I was impressed this formula could withstand my workout abuse. I even got compliments when I walked into the studio, with the instructor saying, "Hey Paige, you look so pretty today!"

I'll take a compliment. And I'll take a mascara that will lengthen my lashes and hold up through an advanced yoga flow.

*I was not paid for this post, but I was sent this product free of charge via Influenster. All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mommy Monday: "Having It All" Is Bull$h*t

Recently, tons of travel opportunities have come up for me. Some of which are quick, easy day trips (Jaelan and I are doing one of these this week!) and some are expensive dream trips. You know, like to travel with the girls to the wine region of France.

If I were still single, or even just married without a baby, all of these options would be no-brainers. The biggest hurdle for me to jump would be "how much PTO do I have and can I squeeze all my travel in?! Will my boss let me have these exact days off?"

As a mom, it's quite different. First, there's the internal conversation you have with yourself - you have a big guilt battle to fight. After you've won (a fight with yourself, I might add) you start the external conversation with your husband. "So... I have this opportunity to go to {fill in the blank city} with the girls. What do you think about that? What's your work schedule like? Are you in town those days? Can we make that work?"

As a SAHM, it becomes a greater challenge, a tougher conversation. Who will watch the baby? Will my husband take his precious PTO days to stay home and watch the baby so that I can travel? How is that fair - or even reasonable? What's my budget for the trip? And who the heck is my husband to tell me what I can and can't spend on a trip?!

See the complexity?

Here's more complication: How do I book travel months in advance when we want to expand our family? How do I know that I won't be pregnant by then? Because let me tell you what is NOT happening: being pregnant while traveling in the wine region of France! So do I become more selfish if I ask my working husband to stay home with the baby, while I spend all our money traveling AND tell him our family planning is now delayed by at least six months?

I've seen a few bullshit articles floating around the internet about how to "have it all" as a mom. I'm here to tell you that's complete crap. You can't. By having a family, you make sacrifices. It's not all about you anymore. It's not all about your PTO schedule, or about your girlfriends' travel plans you want in on, or the restaurant you want to go check out, or simply getting out of the house by yourself for some alone time.

As a mom, making the baby falls on you, and that's a year-long commitment (ooook, it's 40 weeks, but that's close enough for me). As a mom, many of the childcare tasks fall on you (I've never seen a man breastfeed...) and that's a hefty commitment. That's biology. That's life.

You can't "have it all." You can't do everything that you want to do. It's no longer just about you, so inherently "having it all" goes straight out the window. You can be mad about it. I was mad for a good while recently.

And then my husband made breakfast for us, after letting me sleep in until 9am. We all sat together at the table and ate. Henry sipped from a real glass and looked proud of himself. And I realized that while I don't "have it all" I certainly have everything I could hope for. That's more than everything I could ever want. And far more important that "having it all."

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five Fitness Facts

Last week I decided to be bad. Real bad.

I skipped the gym. I peaced out on the yoga studio. And I sure as heck didn't hit up any barre classes.

Here's the thing though: I learned some things about exercise. Yes, by NOT exercising. I'm going to share with you the five key takeaways I gathered from my bizarre week of not working out.

Five Effects of Not Working Out {From a Workout Junkie}

1) Energy levels disappear. I had NO energy. None. It seems counter-intuitive, but dang if working out doesn't give you that extra boost no amount of caffeine will!

2) Moods get real funky, real fast. Now granted, it has been raining and snowing in Dallas nonstop, which is enough to make any of us Southerners cry, but I was not a pleasant person to be around. Even I didn't want to hang out with me! Sorry friends and fam.

3) Hard work disappears quickly. I was bloated after about my third day of not doing much, and after my first class back? Holy moly, I could barely get out of bed the next day!

4) Physical exercise helps to stimulate your mind. Maybe it's the blood flow, or maybe it's chatting with my friends after a class that gets me thinking, but I felt like I lost IQ points in my "off" week.

5) Motivation builds upon positive results. After my week off, I was more or less like, "Meh. Maybe I'll only go for a two mile run" upon my first day back. Whereas when I'm consistent, I think, "Pssshhh! Go for another five minutes." When you start to feel good, you get an extra boost of motivation to carry you through a workout, or carry you on to the next one.

Have you ever ditched your workouts for some free time? Did you notice a difference? Tell me how it effected you!

Linking up with Karli, Amanda, Miranda, Friday 5 gang and H54F!

Have a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Best Vacation Spot

I live in a Southern border state, and the weather here has been completely terrible lately. So I can only imagine everyone further north experiencing much of the same thing. Or, errr... Probably much worse, especially if you're in New England! It's gotten me thinking about vacations... And reminiscing about the best one I've ever taken.

Mocktail at Mama's Fish House, Maui HI

I'm a beach and oceans vacation kinda gal, so this was an easy choice for me. We went to Maui on our honeymoon, which was also our babymoon, since I ended up being six months pregnant for it.

It was perfect for a prego! Not the party scene of Mexico, so I didn't miss the cocktails and have to deal with loud neighbors. Not too hot like Aruba, so I wasn't miserable. Lots of hiking and activities to do (luau's for the win!) that were inclusive of pregnant women.

Jungle hike for three
Sunset Luau with ocean views
There were TONS of choices for food, which was pleasing to a prego like myself. The fresh seafood was incredible, and the luau offered new choices I had never tasted before.

When all the hiking and eating got tiresome, there was my favorite activity: laying in the sun on the beach. I ventured into the water once... Too cold for me. Can you tell? But look how blue that water is!

Rocking the Victoria's Secret bikini, six months pregnant
Speaking of the water, how could one ever get sick of this view? Everywhere we went had a beautiful view. Dramatic waves, blue water, cloudy skies and lush hillsides.

Looking back through these photos made me wish we could go back to Maui this year. It's a dreadfully long flight (eight and a half hours, direct from Dallas) but it's so amazing to step off the plane and immediately start enjoying the sun and the views!

What kind of vacationer are you - sun and sand, cultural cities or snow and fun? Are you taking any fun trips this year? Tell me about them so I can live vicariously through you!

 Pampers & Pearls

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hummus Crusted Chicken and Turmeric Veggies

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought it looked delicious. I can't ever follow a recipe without changing it (thus why I can't bake... My alterations don't work with the science of baking!) so here is my version. And I have to say, it was DELISH.

Hummus Crusted Chicken and Turmeric Veggies
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- 2 zucchini (is that plural already? Zucchinis sounds funny, but spell check says it's a word...)
- 1/2 of a medium yellow onion
- 1 yellow squash
- 3T hummus per chicken breast
- 1t paprika
- 4T olive oil
- 1t turmeric
- 1 lemon, sliced
salt and pepper

Always cook with wine. It's far more fun!

Preheat oven to 425. Cut up the veggies into bite sized pieces. Place in the baking dish, and coat with the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and turmeric.

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and place on top of the veggies. Spread the hummus evenly over them. Sprinkle the tops of the chicken with with paprika, and place lemon slices over them. Place any remaining lemon slices over the uncovered vegetables.

TIP: If you aren't going to use the whole package of hummus, take what you will use out and put it in a separate bowl. This way, you won't dip the spoon/knife you used on the chicken into hummus that you plan to eat later :)

Bake for 30 minutes. Let the chicken "rest" for another 5 to let the juices set in the chicken before serving. Volia! This is easy enough for a week night meal. Prep time: 10 minutes. Bake time: 30 minutes. You'll go from start to eating in 45 minutes or less!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mommy Monday: Gratefulness

I struggle with how to start this post.

Last week, a friend's husband committed suicide. Out of the blue. Shocked everyone. Their first child, a daughter, is only 12 weeks old.

After I heard the news and picked my jaw up from the floor, it brought back all kinds of feelings. After Henry was born, and I was deep in the fog of hormonal changes and a nasty case of the baby blues, I had griping fear. Fear that something would happen to my husband while he was traveling for work, and I'd be left to not only raise Henry by myself, but I'd also be left without an income.

This wasn't just a typical worry or a passing thought as my husband left for business trips. This was a looming sense of doom that hung over me for days before he left. I would shake in fear for his well-being in bed in the mornings before his flight would take off.

"What on earth will I do if I lose him?! How will I pay the bills? Who will help me with Henry? Who will teach Henry things a mother can't teach a son?"

These questions cycled through my head for the first three or so months of Henry's life.

In my irrational fear of impending doom, I never considered suicide. I only thought about plane crashes and car wrecks. Never once did my hormonal mind venture to consider suicide.

I suppose I thought I'd be able to tell if Kirk wasn't happy, or there was something deeply awry with his mental state. But that isn't always the case. Mental illness is a tricky, complex beast. Some are very private with their emotions, and can lead seemingly normal lives while trapped in the deepest, darkest hell of their own minds.

Learning to manage my fear after Henry was born

Kirk was away on business when I heard the news about my friend's husband. And all those fears of death and the confusion of "what I would do?" came back, full force, with the added element of suicide. "What would I do if my husband killed himself? It wasn't a natural accident, but he actually killed himself and left me and Henry on our own?"

I was saved from having to answer that question. I was spared from having to answer any of my darkest questions, or confront any of my deep-seeded fears. And I am so extremely grateful for that. Hug your loved ones a little tighter and kiss them a little longer tonight.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Five with Stitch Fix

I ditched my Birchbox and moved on to greener pastures!

Greener pastures being Stitch Fix, for starters. I signed up with my style profile and waited for my first shipment. Since I stay home, I opted for as many casual looks as I could get. It came a day early and I was so excited to see what they sent my way!

I was a tad disappointed as I opened the box. Everything was the same color. As in, no color. But I forged ahead and tried everything on anyway.

I thought this could make a fun Fashion Friday post. Linking up with Karli and Amanda to bring you my Friday Five fashion items from Stitch Fix:

1) "Betsy Cotton Jacket" by Andrew Marc $128

Why, yes that's a fussing baby in the corner. Lil H was on a bender, for real. And a makeup free, unshowered Paige. Perhaps I'll make my mark in the fashion blogging world by providing unstaged, real life pics... Oh, denial is a wonderful thing! #SAHMfashionbloggingprobz

Anyway, back to business. Loved this adorable jacket. But it didn't have broad enough shoulders for me, and the fabric didn't give/stretch at all, so I couldn't move in it. But it looked real cute if I stood still. So, it got returned.

Can you see how the jacket pulled across my shoulders through the grainy, low light iPhone pic?

2) "Steval Swing Knit Top" by Dahlya $58
When I pulled out this flowy striped shirt from the box, all I thought was "maternity!" But when I tried it on, I really liked it. The fit is unique to anything I have, and the fabric was so soft. Since I only wear skinny jeans or leggings, this top will work with anything I have. Keeping this one!

3) "Rizzo Skinny Pant" by Liverpool $98.
I believe these are supposed to be a full length pant. Obvi, not on this 5'10 chick. They're not even to my ankles. They're going back, especially for that price! Too bad, because they were super comfy and if they'd have been three or four inches longer, I'd have kept them.

4) "Rochie Hoodie Sweater" by RD Style $68

Nope. Not for me. All I see are weird white pull strings. Sending this one back for sure! Even Henry turned his head away so he didn't have to look at me.

5) "Azaria Circle Bib and Stone Necklace" by Zad $34
This photographed well! But it looked like it was straight off the shelves at K Mart in real life. So I'll pass.

Overall, I think Stitch Fix is a brilliant concept. And could it get more convenient?! I hope to provide some feedback that will get me better fitting clothes, 'cause that "long leg" check box in my style profile isn't cutting it. It will be fun to see what they send me after my comments. Hopefully, it will include some color!

Have you had success with Stitch Fix?