An Uncomplicated Life Blog: February 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Happy Friday on a Thursday!

Oh, hey.

This time tomorrow I'll be waist-deep in a sea of boxes and moving guys/gals and delivery men/women and cleaning supplies and a big hot general mess. So I thought I'd holler at you a day early, before my internet is disconnected, and say, "Happy Weekend!"

Don't get to cray cray with your Thirsty Thursday plans.

I'll catch you all on Monday, with a brand new and sparkly post. After the internet has been reconnected. From our new home. A home that actually has heat and air and plumbing that works.

It'll actually be like I live in 2015! Goodbye $2600/mo Amish lifestyle. You sucked.

The landlord put a black roof on this Texas house since this picture. Because that will do wonders for the $450/mo utility bills we paid all summer. Not my problem anymore!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Monthly Box Subscriptions

Alas, after over two years of receiving my monthly Birchbox, I'm cancelling my subscription.

I just don't use the samples anymore, and I'm not even excited about my boxes like I used to be. At first, I thought it was because I had just had a baby, and therefore wasn't interested in trying out all these beauty products I didn't have time for. But Henry is nine months old now, and is quite content to sit on the bathroom floor while I actually make myself up everyday again. (Hurray! Finally.)

So the baby excuse is gone. Which is all I had... Outside of "I'm sampled out." I wave my white flag. I'm beauty sampled out!

The Birchbox graveyard at the Leitch residence. I haven't touched the last two boxes.

Birchbox, you were a blast for a good long while. But I bid you adieu!

You know that means?! I'm on the hunt for another monthly subscription box! I love having a little monthly surprise and a fun "mail day." I'm currently looking into Stitch Fix and Happy Mommy Box.

I'm not a shopper by nature, so I really like the concept of Stitch Fix. Someone to send me things that might look good on me?! Yes please. I signed up and my first box is set to arrive March 4. Whoohoo! BTW, if you're interested in it and want to be a sweetheart, you can enter my referral code:

Stitch Fix asks you about your style preferences for your profile: This was my favorite set of "looks" for my SAHM lifestyle

The Happy Mommy Box is completely a new company. It's adorable and full of things that will make a mama smile. It contains a wide range of items, from stationary to edible treats to jewelry, so I think the variety could be a fun surprise. I'm also giving this box a solid trial run to see if it's a good fit.

Happy Mommy Box... Makes mom's happy? I'll find out!

Any other recommendations out there for monthly boxes? I know there's a ton of them, for every person, interest and age group! I mean, hubs gets a monthly box of craft beer, so I should be able to find something feminine for myself, right? Right!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mommy Monday: The Easy Phase of Raising a Baby

Henry turned nine months last week. And dare I say, we're in an "easy phase" of his babyhood. I might even go further out on this dangerous limb I'm on and say that we actually have fun every. single. day.

I'll stop now before this limb snaps and I fall face-first to the ground of motherhood. Fingers crossed I didn't just jinx myself and wake up tomorrow no longer in this phase...

Henry is happy! He's healthy! He sits on his own and OH MY how that made my life easier. Didn't know sitting was such a game changer for mommy, but it is. He's a big boy, thus isn't crawling or walking yet. Read: My life is still easy.

Teaching Henry to pose for pictures. He only looks semi-annoyed.

 He waves to people and smiles and "talks" to them. He says "dada" and "hi" (with a wave! *heart melts*) but I don't think he knows what he's saying quite yet. Soon. He eats every veggie I put in front of him with vigor and will choke down fruit (he's seriously my mini-me. I hate fruit. That makes me love my little hommie that much more. We'll fight fruit together!)

We have fun together! We talk to each other! When he see's me, his face lights up and he puts his arms up for me to pick him up. The ladies at the gym daycare adore him. Strangers stop me when we're out to tell me how handsome he is, and how well behaved he is.

Oh, just a nine month old picking up our lunch tab. So kind of him!

Am I living in a dream world? I know this phase will end. At some point, he will become mobile and I'll have a whole new world of problems on my hands. But for now, for however long it will last, the livin' is easy. Henry is a joy. And I'm loving every second of it.

Baby selfie lessons and a photo bomb from Otis

He kisses me on the lips. Gosh, I love him.

Ummmm, oooookkkkkk, I don't love every second. The kid is breaking in three more teeth and that's a bit rough. Screams, y'all, the kid screams in teething pain. My poor ears and his poor gums!

Did you think I'd seriously have an "all sunshine and rainbows" post?! Get serious, I'm not that kind of blogger. I live in the real world :)

*I love my readers and all the engagement, and am still replying to every single comment via email!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Five: Interior Design Inspiration

We move in exactly ONE week! Get me out of this dump and into our beautiful home ASAP, please.

We've spent the last few weekends furniture shopping. We're not taking much with us, as what we currently have was a blend of our two former separate homes and we want to get new stuff that we pick out together.

And by together, I mean me picking it out and hubs nodding his approval.

Here five of my favorite inspiration pins that have helped guide me through the designing, selecting and buying process. I can't wait to share what our new place looks like!

1) I know this is a vanity, but the desk I bought is very similar to this, sans-mirror. I'm going to carve out a little blogging office corner in the playroom for myself, and want it girly!

2) Our new bedside tables are mirrored, kinda like this picture. It will look killer with some charcoal grey and silver studded chairs we got for the sitting area in the master bedroom!

3) Henry is getting his own playroom, in addition to his nursery, so that we can get all the baby crap out of the living and dining rooms! I love this mis-matched look. We've already got some red "shabby chic" chairs for a little kiddie table and I hope to add two more of a different color to complete the look.

4) I LOVE a bold wallpaper in a small space (in a large space it's a bit too... Overwhelming). We have a powder room near the playroom and kitchen, and I plan on papering the walls with something bold. I'm just not sure if it should be all four walls or an accent wall. Thoughts?

5) I love sentimental home accents! Since we've become official Texans, I'm loving this sweet pillow. Should it go on the couch, guest bed or get a few for the playroom?

Linking up with the ever amazing Karli and the BRIDE, Amanda! It's her wedding day, y'all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wedesnday Confessional: The Worst Job I've Ever Had

Last week, I wrote about the perks of being a SAHM, my current job. Which got me thinking about the WORST (all caps necessary) job I've ever had.

I was extremely lucky/hardworking and graduated college in three years and got recruited by the massive Ameriprise Financial headquarters in Minneapolis for a sweet corporate gig right after graduation. My first boss, coworkers and job as a project coordinator in the event department were all fantastic. The problem was, it was boring. Event planning is not my calling. I just don't care how napkins are folded, y'all.

After just shy of a year in that role, I started talking to some peeps over in marketing strategy. They were smart! Witty! New Yorkers! Fast paced! {I thought} I loved everything about them. I knew I'd have more responsibility and get to use my brain more. I was offered more money and the chance to get my financial licenses, so I jumped ship (nooooooooo!) with my event planning buddies and went down to floor 13 (literally, the department was on the 13th floor. It was a bad sign from the start.) to become a marketing coordinator.

Awwww yeah, I thought! I've not even been with this company for a year and I'm already moving up! I'm going to be the next corporate rock star!

Ahhhh, the illusions of a 22 year old.

The shininess of the job rubbed off in less than three months. My manager, Robyn, had never managed anyone before. She had horrific communication skills, and was even worse in delegating tasks. Her manager, Mike, was a goofy-faced guy who got where he was because he had been with the company for, like, ever.

Bad sign #1: the management was a complete joke. My colleagues, on the other same hand, were like a dysfunctional, jealous family. "Who threw who under the bus" was a term used at every meeting. Everyone was so busy trying to out-do the next person that nothing got done. The sales teams hated us because nothing got done.

I tried my best. My manager rolled with the "popular" kids/coworkers, and loved playing mental games with me. I was miserable. It was literally worse than a Junior High lunchroom, with which employee was "in" and who was "under the bus" and who was the latest butt of the joke in the next strategy meeting. I had one friend, Monica, who I will forever be thankful for.

Seven months into the job, I knew it wasn't going to work. I DESPISED Robyn and the smug looks she'd give me as she threw me, her only direct report, "under the bus."

I applied to graduate school late in the spring of 2008. I found out I not only got in, I received an Honors Fellowship that would pay the bulk of my tuition. In July, I found out I would be gifted another scholarship. In August, knowing that my boss wanted me fired/gone/actually thrown under a real bus, Robyn wrote me up for not taking notes at a meeting. Shortly after, I handed in my two weeks notice, happily planning my soon-to-be move to Georgia for grad school.

On my last day, Robyn was supposed to walk me out and take my ID badge. I went to her cube and waved, signaling I was there and ready to leave when she was. She made phone calls. Started a conversation with the person in the cube next to her. Avoided eye contact. I waited for 30 minutes. Finally, I simply turned and walked out. Without her. And handed my badge to security, Monica at my side.

The marketing department fell apart in the housing market crash later that fall in 2008. Everyone was let go. I hear karma can be a real b***h like that.

Meanwhile, I moved to Georgia, met some of my best friends, rocked grad school, and transitioned my career into fundraising. Boom shakalaka.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Torticollis Baby Needed A Second Helmet

This post is actually coming a bit after the fact, but I thought I'd wrap up what I started.

Henry, the lil' chunk that he is, outgrew his helmet (DOC Band, as it's officially called) after nine weeks of treatment. Most babies get 12 weeks out of it, and that's the standard treatment length. Oh no, not my pumpkin! He's too busy eating all the foods. All of them.

Where'd he learn to give a look like that? He git it from he mama. Saucy.

We went in for a consultation on what to do next, as we really did see massive improvement within that short nine weeks. Of course, Cranial Technologies recommended another band (Hello, for-profit healthcare system! Oh, you'd like us to purchase another one? What's that, you'd like to make a bit more money at my son's expense? I'm shocked... Said no one, ever.)

Cliche saying inserted in post? Check.

We were on the fence about it, if you couldn't tell from my political stance on the company from the above anecdote. I mulled it over for a good week. Then I decided, you know what? We have a couple thousand. I won't miss the money in a few years, but I will kick myself every time I see the light shine on his still-slightly-flat spot. Time to pony up and make it rain with the Benjamins, P-Diddy and MA$E style.

(Y'all remember MA$E tho?!)

So I called to get all our appointments on the calendar. And that's when I learned that our insurance rejected the pre-approval letter. Meaning, we'd have to pay 100% out of pocket, it wouldn't go against our deductible nor our out of pocket max for the year. Basically, at this point (says the insurance company) it's purely cosmetic. And he may need two or three more helmets considering his growth pattern to complete the treatment fully. Read: this would cost us thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars.

The "bad" angle aka flat side of Henry's head, elbow dimples and a shaggy little Morkie dawg.

Needless to say, torticollis baby is NOT getting any additional helmets. Right or wrong, the insurance company determined that for him. Put a nail in that proverbial coffin for us.

No baby has a perfectly shaped head. When I pick Henry up from our gym daycare, I see babies with all kinds of goofy stuff going on with all this back-sleeping they're doing, and have to hold myself back from telling his/her mother, "You need to get that kid in a helmet, STAT! Don't you see how flat your kid's skull is?!"

You know, because I'm now a head-shape-connoisseur and am totally qualified to project my medical opinion unwanted-ly. Don't worry, I'm not *that mom*.

Can you still see a flat spot on Henry's head? Yup. If he wants to play football or hockey some day, will a sports helmet fit him? Yup. Life is imperfect. This is Henry's first lesson in that.

My perfectly imperfect little torticollis baby. I think his head is beautiful.

Friday, February 13, 2015

High Five for {Valentine's Day} Friday + A GIVEAWAY!

Psssssst, guys: It's Valentine's Day this weekend. Remember to pick up some flowers and a card for your girl (or guy), mmmmmk?

Let's face it. Valentine's Day is cheesy. It's full of hearts and cherubs and lace and chocolates in heart shaped boxes. Folks can love it or hate it. They're either anti-establishment ("Stupid Hallmark holiday!") or busy Instagramming the four dozen long stem roses they got (guilty as charged on this one) while all their friends roll their eyes (It's cool, even I roll my eyes at myself sometimes. No biggie.)

Regardless of your thoughts on this holiday, I want to wish you all a day of love and gratitude! Here's a Valentine from me to you, served with a side of extra cheese:

Also, our $120 Kate Spade Giveaway is still going strong through the end of the month! If you want to potentially get a big sumpin' sumpin' for yourself or a loved one, connect using the Rafflecopter tool below!
Big Picture Instalink giveaway
hand letter prints
This amazing giveaway is brought to you by:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a wonderful and love-filled weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Nightmare That Is Dating and Texting

In the spirit of Valentine's Day week, I thought I'd devote a post about love. Or, errr... Just dating.

Clearly, I'm married and no longer have to worry about these things (holluh!) but I have many single friends, and one of my girlfriends and I had a great discussion. On dating and texting. And what a nightmare it is.

She told me that she was really interested in this guy. That they hit it off emailing after meeting on an online dating site. And that they had exchanged numbers and were now texting regularly.

"So, he just asked me out about an hour ago, and we're going to meet for the first time!" She said to me. "Awesome! So he finally got the gumption to call you and ask you out?!" I replied. "Oh, ummm... No. He texted me to ask me out." To which I told her she should text him back and ask him to marry her. And be completely serious about it.

I mean, really? Are you kidding me?!

Guys. Guys guys guys. I fully support dating sites (I belonged to in my mid-20's) and I'm a big texter (just ask Making Mrs M or Meet at the Barre). But if anyone had text me in my single days and asked me on a date, they'd have gotten a big fat N to the O.

Here's what: We can meet online and flirt and text. But I'm not going to meet you before actually talking to you. Don't hide behind a screen, gentlemen! When you want to take a woman out, give her a call. Ask her out. And find out if she's more comfortable meeting you there or having you pick her up, and happily oblige to what she's most comfortable doing.

Call me old fashioned. Call me crazy. But look who's happily married...

For the record, I've never gone on a date with someone who didn't call to set it. There was ALWAYS a phone call. Always. Asking someone out is a personal thing, that deserves a phone call or in-person conversation. Gentlemen, pick up the phone. No, not to shoot her a text. Call her like a man. And ladies, set your standards and stick to them. Don't accept a text just because he's "really cute and funny!"

Because next thing you know, he will ask you to marry him via text.

Do you want this to be your future? Never accept a date via text. Never.

Monday, February 9, 2015

MM: The Perks of Being a SAHM

You've seen me talk a lot about the challenges of motherhood, the frustrations of staying home with a baby and the struggle accepting a post-baby body. But I haven't gone into what's awesome about it.

It's not all struggles, bad thoughts and gloom, I promise! At least I think I promise... Nah, I promise.

There are some fantastic things about being a stay at home mom (SAHM). For starters, I sleep until 7-7:30 and stay in my jammies until 9am. When I was working, I had to leave the house by 7:30, and was up around 5:30. Ugghhh, that was e-a-r-l-y, and I'm no morning person.

I take my time in the morning now, play games with Henry as I sip coffee (and mircowave it over and over and over), then we roll out mid-morning for the day's activities. All at a leisurely pace. Most days anyway... Sometimes *someone* vomits/poops/melts down and it turns into SAHM-rush-hour.

Speaking of, I never have to drive in rush hour. That's a huge plus when you live in a large city!

The best days include meeting up with my mom group, or grabbing lunch with a girlfriend. I can order a glass of wine at lunch if I so choose. Day drinking is a definite plus of the SAHM role! It can also be a very necessary one, if your day is set to the soundtrack of constant crying. Sometimes the wine gets cracked open at 3pm, y'all.

Our weekends are enjoyable. Since I've been home all week, there aren't piles of laundry to be done (lies, sometimes there are), the Target run was already accomplished and there's food in the pantry (also lies, I usually shop solo on the weekend. But it's a good theory, right?).

Bottom line: We get to spend quality time doing fun things - or even just relaxing - as opposed to rushing through the weekend to "get everything done." That is definitely true, especially compared to my working-mom friends.

The biggest perk for me being a SAHM is that I hit the gym/yoga/barre studio five to six times a week. It's an opportunity for us to get out of the house, I get to socialize with some other SAHM's whom I love, Henry gets to makes friends in the daycare... Oh, and mom gets to stay fit. Boom.

Dream job.

Being a SAHM is NOT easy; you don't get breaks. You microwave your coffee 14 times each morning. Your meals are interrupted by cries, and you mastered the art of eating with one hand months ago. Most of it ends up on your shirt. Your day ranges from tummy time to play time to diaper time, and lacks excitement.

But there are definite perks to the job. I suppose that makes it just about like any other profession: good days, bad days, fun tasks, mundane tasks. There is one major difference, however: I don't have to deal with any a-hole coworkers. And that's worth it's weight in gold.

Friday, February 6, 2015

High Five for {Wishlist} Friday!

Have you ever been in a bit of a holding pattern as you wait for "the next big thing" to happen in life? That's where we're at.

I have tons of things to do, and tons of things I want to do, but all is on hold... Until after we move. Why clean that closet when we're just going to pack it up? Why start to plan a garden when I don't know where my yard will have light? For heavens sakes, don't buy anything, we'll just have to pack it and move it!

You probably know how it goes.

Anyway, this Friday Five post is brought to you by my inner wishlist. Of all the things I want or want to do ASAP, after we move.

1) I'm donating TONS of clothes and shoes I no longer wear. You know, to potentially make room for something like:

I adore these worn boots! Too bad it's only boot weather in Texas for another four days or so.

2) The door to my new pantry is painted with chalkboard paint, and I'm excited to use the top part to work some artsy magic! Are there such things as chalk-art lessons? I should get on that...

3) My almost nine month old is... Not a slight child. In fact, he's massive. So, it's time to switch him to a convertible car seat (because swinging that infant seat into the old SUV is nearly backbreaking at this point). I found this gem and am in looooooove! Can't wait to transition him. After we move.

Clek Foonf car seat with Paul Frank design. Seriously?! Yes!

4) I was completely un-serious about starting a garden. I don't garden. At all. I hate digging in dirt, and kill just about every plant. That's why professional gardeners, landscapers, and lawn men exist. And I'll be calling one. After we move.

5) I can't WAIT to start decorating! I want to start now... But we'd just have to move it. Soon, my inner-interior-decorator can make an appearance again. Soon.

Love One Kings Lane for quirky home items at up to 70% off retail! They do send emails at obnoxious levels, so watch out.

Have a wonderful weekend! I pray the packing gnomes come out and play at our house, and stay until the job is done.

Linking up with Amanda and Karli!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February Instagram Link Up + GIVEAWAY!

Remember when Jaelan and I did our Instagram link up party, BigPicture InstaLink? We took the holiday season off, but we're baaaaaaaaack!

And we have three beautiful co-hosts, Meghan, Tiffany and Amanda.

Oh, and did I mention we're giving away $120 Kate Spade gift card and two prints from Meghan's Etsy shop, Maybe Meghan? SCORE.

Linking up is easy-peasy - you don't need to be a blogger to enter, just have an Instagram account! Link up your Instagram account URL below. Use the hashtag #LoveLifeBPIL on pics you post where you're "Living the Life You Love" all February long. Then enter the giveaway with the rafflecopter tool below.

Big Picture Instalink giveaway
hand letter prints

Winning is simple. Just link up to the linky tool and follow the hosts and co-hosts via the rafflecopter! We can't wait to see what kind of love February brings you. #LoveLifeBPIL

Big Picture InstaLink Giveaway
This amazing giveaway is brought to you by:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fighting Mommy Wars

I wrote this post before this video went viral... By now, you've probably seen it, or have seen 47 of your friends re-post it.

It's hilarious and eye-roll inducing, then finishes with a strong message. Even if you aren't a parent, you might enjoy it. Especially if you have, oh I dunno, a soul.

Anyway, it got me thinking. I've seen some RIDICULOUS "mommy war" type articles with insane comments circulating Facebook in the past few months. Articles that pit moms against each other by saying things like, "If you live in these states, ____________ (fill in the blank: you pay more for childcare, you have the worst public schools, your child is more likely to have autism. And on and on.) Basically, they're promoting a culture of complaint or superiority.

Both of which are particularly obnoxious, especially on Facebook.

Those aren't even as bad as the stupid circulating articles/blog posts on topics like breastfeeding, discipline, or the ever-obnoxious debate of "cry it out." Usually, the article takes a strong stance on why that way is the ONLY way, and how parents who do it differently than the article suggests are ruining their kids. And society. And probably the planet too, based on their logic.

I'll confess: I had strong ideas of "the right way to parent" before I had a baby, and even while I was pregnant. I couldn't understand why some women chose to formula feed their babies. Didn't they know breast was best? There's corn syrup in formula for the love of God! The horror!

Then I had the baby, and s**t got real.

I made it three months breastfeeding. My son wanted to nurse every two hours, around the clock. I was loosing my mind. Our whole day revolved around feedings, pumping, eating and drinking, then feeding and pumping again. Nearing my breaking point, I gave in and introduced formula. It was the best decision I ever made, and saved my sanity.

The point is, why are some women so righteous in her parenting that she would actually condemn another mama? Hasn't she ever struggled, and then knows that the other mama is struggling, and should cut her some slack? Can't she see that every baby and every mama-baby relationship and every family is different, therefore there is no one "right" way to do anything?

I've vowed to stop reading all these insane, pitting-women-against-each other articles. Enough already. We're all here doing the best we can with the information we have at the time we make the decision. How about we judge less and support more, alright? Cool.

 *This is not a sponsored post from Similac. I just thought that message was worth sharing.