My 7 Quick Takes. The Thinks You Can Think Up, If Only You Try.

27 Mar

I’ve been wanting to post a lot of things lately, but as I fantasize about what I’ll write when I have the time, and as my imagination becomes impassioned by what I’m going to say, I complete my day at work, spend my evening with the baby, put him to bed, and forget everything I wanted to do when I finally had a few moments of “me time”.

That said, I think an easy 7 Quick Takes is a must. So, here I go. My 7 Quickies are dedicated to all those thinks I can think, when only I try… and when I’m not reading a Dr. Suess book.

1. I wish I had more time to blog - The sad thing is that I DO have the time, I just don’t have the energy 99% of the time. If I do have the energy to blog, I should probably be folding laundry, sweeping the kitchen floors, or organizing the vast array of baby toys Remy has into multiple bags for rotation, etc., but instead, I just sit. Sometimes in silence, sometimes staring at a wall. Most of the time, on my bed staring at my phone and wondering if I’ll ever feel rested again.

2. Sleep Training - Though I need to write about this in detail later, for now I’ll just say “thank god that’s over.” Sleep training is the worst thing you could ever imagine for about a week, and then, it’s a magical wonder for your beautiful baby, as he slumbers in sweetness. Now, if only I could sleep train myself back into sleeping through the night, instead of staring longingly at the video monitor, wondering if my baby boo misses snuggling me as much as I miss snuggling him, while daddy’s at school. I swear, sometimes I wake up 8 times during the night just because I’m used to it, not because my baby is crying out for me. He’s stoked! Happy and sleeping. Now, I need to figure out how to do that again… maybe I need more wine in my life.

I never thought he’d be able to sleep without me, and I didn’t mind the idea of snuggling him well into his 20′s, but man. He just looks so peaceful and comfy. I love him so.

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3. I need more wine in my life - While we were living in the hotel for 2 months, I somehow lost my ID. Since my license expires on my birthday this summer, it is time for a new one all together. But, the lovely guy at the DMV said that I needed to wait a month to see if I could auto renew online, so he processed my paperwork without sending me a new physical license; just a little piece of paper that says all the important stuff, including “This Document is Not an Acceptable Form of Identification”. Thanks DMV. I’m 37 and  can’t buy my own wine. (PS. 20 minutes after I wrote this, my sweet husband called that he was on his way home from school early and would I like him to grab me a bottle box. Thank you, my love. Thank you.)

4. There aren’t enough blogs by law school wives - But there are! They just happen to all be in their early 20′s and their “advice on how to get through 1L” contain points like, “be social“. Clearly, there are no blogging 1L wives, who also happen to be working full time and raising a baby without said 1L daddy to help (mostly). It’s interesting to see how many similarities there are between all of the different wives, but they are similar to each other… not to me. Maybe it’s because people like me all exist in the aforementioned point #1. There is a good one I do like though. It’s a food blog and she seems pretty interesting.

5. Selfies on Instagram/the webs - Did you know that over 163 MILLION photos on Instagram tagged with #FollowMe? I processed that last night, in awe, disbelief and fear. 163 MILLION people (mostly youngins’) are vying for popularity so badly, that they’re begging complete strangers to follow their lives. Worst of all, this is just one of several different types of hashtags that follow the same trend of asking total strangers to be part of their online “communities”. What scares me most about this is the absolute void these people must feel to be asking for attention from people who will never be able to fulfill them. We’ve gotten to the point where there’s a desire to be liked by more than just your peers in school or in the neighborhood, but by the WORLD (thanks for that thought, Rachel) and it’s possible, but not valuable. How many people’s feed are full of kids faces as they selfie themselves for no reason at all, other than to hope people see them for a moment and tap that little heart shaped icon. I think the greater issue is that they just want to be seen (validated, appreciated, liked, loved, treasured, etc.) in general. SO. MANY. THOUGHTS. I could go on and on and do a deep dive into this, but this is a quick take, so… the end.

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6. Hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning spray, bathroom cleaner, dishwashing liquid, etc. – I don’t have time to be as crunchy or “Holly Homemaker” as I’d like to be, but I do want to supply my home with the best cleaning supplies, while keeping things natural, safe, effective and pure. If I had my druthers, I’d make all my own supplies, be a Pinterest godess, sell things on Etsy and wear long skirts and flip flops all day long, but that’s just not my life, SO, there’s Honest Company. Thanks to Zulily, I can now accomplish my goals of being the chemical conscious mama, while saving loads of bucks on supplies. I don’t think I’ll have to buy any household soaps for at least 6 months. Maybe a year.

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7. 7 Quick Takes, take time! I’m not sure who decided that these should be “quick” but having 7 thoughts to complete can be a little longer than that.  :) I’ve officially completed my first 7 quick takes, just in time for Friday.

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread….

20 Mar

… Is sliced bread with Chia seeds.

If you haven’t tried this yet, please add this to your shopping list for your next Trader Joe’s run.

Chia seeds are these little, amazing seeds that expand in moisture to create a gelatinous type of bubble. I use them to make banana chia pudding, and instant oaty breakfast cups, but TJ’s used them to make bread softer. Who would have thought! Typically, “good for you breads” are non-existent or taste like cardboard. Not this one!

Try it. It will change your bready life.

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Lent… For the non-Catholic

10 Mar

I’m not a Catholic, but there’s something I’ve always loved about Lent. The sacrifice for 40 days, the camaraderie of everyone doing something tough together, the passion behind those who try to better themselves… even if just for 40 days. It’s like a New Year’s resolution, only without the Halmark-esque-ness about the holidays and doing something because everyone else is doing it. It’s more of a personal decision based on individual faith and the ordinance of the church. It’s neat. It’s also only meant for a 40 day period… not for “as long as you can handle it” like NY’s resolutions; which in my life, have always failed miserably.

As I read though Facebook and all of my friend’s posts about what they would be giving up for 40 days, I thought about my own life and what I would give up, if I were Catholic. Then it hit me. I don’t have to be Catholic to give something up for Lent! I can join in as a human being seeking to better herself and her family and benefit from the group-mindedness of everyone else struggling through something together, but for slightly different reasons.

So, for Lent this year, I’m giving something up. I’m giving up cooking dinner after work.

You’re either bored by now, or think I’m odd, I’m sure, but hear me out.

I work full time. I have a 1 year old son. My husband is a night student and is gone Monday – Thursday. Every night, I rush home from work by 5:30, hug/nurse my baby, feed and walk our dogs, rush through cooking dinner, get my son fed (real food), then it’s bath time, story time, and bed time, BY 7:00PM! That’s a lot to cram into a 90 minute period, and in my opinion, the one who suffers most is my son. Starved of mommy’s love and affection all day, he has to share me with the dogs, and the kitchen and the bathtub and doesn’t get to just play with me. Ok, maybe it’s me that just doesn’t get enough time to play with him. He’s growing up so quickly and I want to look back on his life and remember every detail; not just our rushed schedule. I want to remember him learning to stand on a Tuesday, and not 4 days later on Saturday, after he’s mastered the skill. I’ve heard so many other working moms say that “it’s not the quantity of time, it’s the quality of time” and I say that’s a load of crap. Who get’s quality time while trying to get so many things done in such a short period of time? NOT ME.

So, for Lent this year, I’m giving up my rushed schedule after work and will be spending a lot of time with my crockpot and even more time playing with my little guy. It’s a great idea! I can chop up veggies and prep dinner the night before (after 7:00PM), then store everything in the fridge overnight and plop it all in the cooker on my way out of the house in the morning…

Which brought me to another revelation. Moms like me need to “meal plan”. For the last few months, I’ve been using Blue Apron to help me master this skill, but with my commitment to not making dinner after work, I have adjusted my delivery date, so that my heavy cooking days will be on the weekend.

I’m excited for my new found Lenten practices, effective tomorrow (ok, I’m 5 days late, but whatev. I’m not Catholic either).

Here’s my first week’s plan… careful. It’s super complicated:

1. Monday – Beef Stew (easy, peasy, pie)

2. Tuesday – Leftovers (better the second day, right?)

3. Wednesday – Chicken Verde Tacos

4. Thursday – Leftovers

I work from home on Fridays, so Friday is an easy day to cook whatever else I haven’t used yet, which leaves us at the weekend, when my husband is home, date nights happen and of course, Blue Apron deliveries will keep my kitchen lively.

If you have any great “throw it in the cooker” recipes, I’d love to try it out! After all of my research on crockpot cooking, I’ve learned that most things “need” more prep time before putting them in the pot than I have, so if you have a great recipe to share, leave it in a comment or email me (stephaniearnow@me.com).

Here’s to Lent 2014!

Rapper’s Delight by Jimmy Falon

20 Feb

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any videos (or anything at all, actually), but this video is causing a comeback, because Rapper’s Delight is amazing. And, I laughed a little too loudly at this one. Enjoy.

1:08 is classic.

Black Friday

29 Nov

Today, I experienced yet another first; Black Friday. For as long as I can remember, this daunting day has lived in other people’s worlds, but has been completely feared and ignored by me. The fact that people rage in effort to save a little money has dumbfounded me. The horror stories on the news have scared the bageezuz out of me so badly, that I not only don’t shop on this day, I don’t leave the house.

Until today.

A few months ago, a sales person at Joann Fabrics told me that Black Friday was boring and empty for them. Of course I was convinced that she was lying to everyone to drive traffic to her store. “Tell them it’s empty, then they’ll all show up and fight over flannel!” Or so I created the situation to be in my head.

I couldn’t shake her words though, “it’s boring. People would rather be buying electronics than fabrics.”

Not me.

As a new quilter and a baby blanket maker, I couldn’t help but fantasize about getting a great deal on fabric, but why oh why would I ever leave the house. And then I saw the add; 75% off of all flannels and 25% off your whole order. That was appealing! I contemplated more and more… And more. 75% off could really be fun.

So, I teased myself with the idea of waking up at 5:30AM and getting there before anyone else, for weeks and weeks and finally the day came. Grant had to work, so I had no babysitter. Hmmmm. I waited until Remy woke up, and called the shop to see how bad the crowd was and the associate said it was EMPTY!! Could it be true???

I changed a diaper, grabbed a beanie for the baby and one for myself, and off we went! It was EMPTY!! There were 10 other people besides us there and it was less busy than any other time I’ve been fabric shopping! So great!

And, I save $384. What.

Not only did I save money and buy a years worth of fabric, I got to experience an adventure with my son that got me out if my comfort zone. He was, of course, his typical charming self and wooed all the ladies in the store. Today I created a new tradition; go to the one place no one else cares about and you will have success.

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