Lindsay Gill: 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Guest post by Erin: Work-at-home Mom with LuLaRoe and a GIVEAWAY!

I asked Erin to do a guest post because I'm so interested to hear how life is as a work-at-home mom! I met Erin years ago when we worked at the same dental practice. We crossed paths again when we each started a blog around the same time. We have crossed paths again now that she is my LuLaRoe consultant! I now have two pairs of leggings, a Sarah cardigan, and a Mae dress for Sophie! Without further ado, here's Erin!
Have you heard of the LuLaRoe craze? Those buttery soft leggings? The comfy Carly dress that women are swooning over? The Cassie, aka, the perfectly fitting AND comfortable pencil skirt? (Did you know there was such a thing)?! If you have tried on or own any LuLaRoe items, you know exactly what I mean about how amazing the clothing line is…if you haven’t, you have no idea what you are missing!  
I fell in love so hard that amongst a busy life with two toddlers, a part time marketing/management position, a home to take care of and dabbling in some other #momlife things like blogging, working out, play dates and kids activities to name a few, I decided to take a chance and jump aboard the LuLa train and start my own business….at the SAME time as having my third baby. Ok, it was two weeks after she was born, but still! Crazy I know but it’s been an amazing experience! With a three week old strapped to my body, UPS dropped off a delivery of 400+ clothing items!  I spent 8 hours photographing and getting ready to launch my business and now I’m full blown in it! Four months later I now am a Mom of three and work 100% from home running my own business (helping women feel confident and beautiful - it's actually my job - pinch me!) and helping other women with the same desires to work at home launch their businesses and it’s nothing short of AMAZING! I can’t even believe this is real life.

Here are some things about LuLaRoe and why I love it.  It's more than just the amazing clothes!  The mission is “where through fashion we create freedom, serve others and strengthen families. A place where lives are being blessed and dreams achieved through love, confidence, purpose and growth.”  This mission totally struck a cord with me because I have been searching for an opportunity where I can work from home making an actual income (not just extra cash) to help support my family while being with my children and work on MY time but also be able to do something positive and spread positivity! It’s been amazing because LuLaRoe has met all those goals!  One of their missions is to bless others and this business has allowed me to give back to multiple charities already and give away free clothes to bless others which makes my heart happy! :)
Another thing I love is that women feel so comfortable in the clothing. As a woman and having gone through 3 pregnancies, I know first hand the insecurities that women have and how amazing it is to find clothing lines and styles that flatter every body type and this line achieves that. There is something for everyone and sizes range from XXS – 3XL! The company is also very fashion forward!  At New York Fashion Week this year, women were seen wearing a pleated knee length skirt (specifically Victoria Beckham) which is identical to our Jill skirt and has been in production for over a year now!  LuLaRoe is staying ahead of trends!
The items are also “one of a kind” or known as “unicorns.” This is because LuLaRoe makes only 2,500-5,000 of each print, spreads it across all styles, is shipped to consultants across the United States and then never creates an item with that print again.  So, if you see something you love, you better claim it because the chance you will see it ("your unicorn") again in your size are slim to none!  This almost guarantees that you will not have the same item as someone else you know!

This has been a great business for my family and a way to teach my 4 and 5 year old basic work skills.  Specifically my daughter loves being my “business partner” in this. (She is asking me if she can do a live sale with the kids clothes soon! Stay tuned for that)!  I will give them tasks and give them $1 to save.  Believe it or not, it’s actually very helpful. Everything from sorting new inventory and counting the piles to compare to the original order, opening items, folding items, hanging items, handing me hangers. All these tasks are ways that my kids can be involved in my work day and they actually enjoy being my little helpers and I can be WITH them! Win Win!  And of course, being a Mom of three I also have to mention that the kids clothes are adorable! ;) My daughter who only wears leggings calls her LuLaRoe leggings her "comfy leggings."

I have met so many amazing women and grown relationships with other consultants and customers which has been so fun! I even met a 2nd cousin who happened to be added to my online shopping group by her friend! How ironic is that?! I am loving this business and the opportunity it brings to my family and is absolutely perfect for me at this phase of life!

My suggestion to you is if you have a goal, a dream or a desire, to jump in without doubting yourself.  Take a chance because it may be the best decision of your life!  If it doesn't work out, a lesson will be learned and you will be a more knowledgeable person.  If I had doubted myself too much, second guessed my decision, quit when things felt crazy (remember, I did have a 3 week old when that shipment came!!) or I didn't think outside of the box, I would be in a much different place right now.  But now, Monday mornings I can wake up and make my kids pancakes because I have the time, I can be at the bus stop before AND after school...every single day.  My husband and I get more time together because I'm home and can decide when I work.  I am so very thankful that I took a chance and I encourage you to take a chance on something too! It might just best the best decision of your life! ~Erin Leigh
If you would like to join my shopping group to see what this is really all about, you can join my Facebook group, follow on Instagram, or contact me via email at
And now for your chance to win $25 to spend during one of Erin's pop-up shopping on her Facebook page! See @lindsaykgill on Instagram for details! Be sure to "like" Erin's LuLaRoe page as she will often has free shipping, sales, and giveaways, too! Giveaway will run until 12:00 am EST Sunday December 11, 2016. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

(Easy) Gift Guide for Men and Women

Need a gift for someone who a man or woman in your life who is tough to buy for? Here are some ideas! This post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support.

1. An Audible subscription: Perfect for the friend with a long commute.

2. Beer of the Month Subscription: A great way to try new drinks, and great for someone who doesn't need any more things.

3. Stitch Fix gift certificate: Now offering men's clothes as well! Let Stitchfix pick out the perfect present for your special someone! I've kept a unique blouse and some great jeans from Stitch Fix so far.

4. Present Over Perfect: I am loving this book! We are in a time when racing to the next activity and being busy is so glamorized. This book is about slowing down and saying "no" to busy.

5. Name Ring: The artist is a friend, and I wear mine every single day. If you don't have their ring size, she offers a gift card to her store!

6. Stanley coffee thermos: This has been one of John Paul's favorite gifts! He loves hot coffee and this thermos keeps it that way!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A gift guide for children 3-5 years old

I find that once my children pass a certain age, I can't remember anything about that age. Their likes, their toys, their milestones... Here's to hoping that is normal "mommy brain." But I wanted to document all of the items that have been great for Luke especially at this age. He is almost 4. Here are ten things that I would recommend getting as a gift for children age 3-5. There are affiliate links in this post, thank you for your support. 

1.  Growums: I got the Fruit Cup Garden for our niece and I just love the concept! This is a gift that can be enjoyed even after the thrill of the holidays has passed! There are such cute options like grow your own pizza or stir fry. This is also available as a school fundraiser!

2.  Mix and Match Vehicles: This is one of Luke's favorites. You can interchange the parts to create different vehicles, and there are multiple sets. It can entertain him for a while!

3.  Plasma Car: This was recommended by lots of mom friends as one of the coolest toys and seems to stay "cool" and appropriate even as they get older (and bigger.)

4. National Geographic Kids Subscription: There are so many "why" questions at this age, these are filled with such interesting topics.

5.  MagnetiBook: A portable and fun activity that also helps with fine motor skills.

6.  Water Wow! Activity Books: These are perfect for church or the doctor's office. Keeps the kids busy, reusable, and educational. There are many themes to choose from!

7.  Magna-Tiles: These are all the rage at home and at school. Kids of all ages love these. Though there are other cheaper brands, these seem to have the strongest magnets, and are said to be worth the price!

8.  Little People Play House: Santa is bringing this for Sophie this year! Can't wait to see what she thinks.

9.  Tegu Blocks: Pricey but supposedly worth it. Just look at the reviews! Santa is bringing these for Luke this year.

10.  ALEX color changing markers Luke is so interested in colors and mixing colors right now (and selfishly, I have wonderful memories of these types of markers from childhood!)

10 things to know once your child is diagnosed with a peanut allergy

Sophie was recently diagnosed with a peanut allergy. I had read that early peanut exposure is now recommended, as opposed to waiting as recommended with Luke. We gave her a bite of Bamba, an Israeli peanut butter snack. She developed 2 small bumps under her chin. I was in denial and wrote it off as heat rash, and even hoped for a quick second that we didn't have bed bugs (???). Then, she had a bite of toast with peanut butter on it, and developed a full body rash. My mom quickly gave her a bath and gave her Benedryl, which luckily took care of her symptoms.

We told the Pediatrican who referred us to an allergist. For those in the area, we saw Dr. Bayuk who came highly recommended by a close friend. When we arrived, they took a quick history and then set her up for a skin test to confirm the allergy. She had to have her shirt off, and could not touch her back for 15 minutes, even though it may feel itchy. The nurse took the small piece of plastic with 6 different allergens and pushed it into her back. She barely noticed. She did seem to get uncomfortable by the end of 15 minutes. The peanut test was visibly positive, but luckily negative for the other 5 allergens.

Dr. Bayuk sent us home with an EpiPen. I wasn't armed with questions, mostly because I was in denial and expected different news. I did not feel like I was qualified to be driving home with a girl with a peanut allergy.

I reached out to some fellow moms and the pediatrician and learned so much in the next few hours.  I wanted to share their experience and advice, because it can be an overwhelming diagnosis. (I am not not a doctor and am not qualified to give peanut allergy advice.)

1.  It is possible they will outgrow this. 20% of kids will outgrow it. This is a scary allergy because it is in the most likely to be anaphylactic.

2.  All packaged food sold in the USA is required to label for the top 8 allergens including peanuts. But the law doesn't require that they label for all cross contamination (made in a factory or made on same equipment with). For example, Dunkin Hines don't say "contains peanut" but when you speak to the company, they cannot guarantee this because they are made on the same equipment.  Pillsbury and Betty Crocker are said to be safe, though.

3.  Some allergists are doing treatment called OIT to slowly desensitize patients. The process usually takes about a year. The child gets a daily dose of peanuts and is observed for two hours, no running around or hot baths during that time.  Our allergist did not mention this to us yet, he told us to return for a recheck in two years.

4. Sophie is only one, so I just ordered her a medical alert bracelet. This is the one I got her (in pink of course), but there are so many choices, even on Etsy.

5.  There are many support groups on Facebook and blogs to help. They can be frightening, but good resources. Here are a few: Peanut Allergy MomPeanut Free GaryNo Nuts Moms Group, and Dining Out with Food Allergies. There is also an app (I haven't used it yet) called Allergy Eats which seems to be useful when eating out.

6. There is an EpiPen which can be about $600 or an off-brand kind that is closer to $200 (depending on insurance.) If you register the EpiPen, you receive a free carrying case. Ours is bright yellow which helps to see it in the diaper bag. There is a Savings Card on their website which can also be helpful depending on insurance. I was told to keep the EpiPens as a pair because it is possible that the child would need a second dose in some cases, but I also heard that the second dose should only be given by a medical professional. Be aware that EpiPens do expire. My friend has an EpiPen in every room which seems ideal!

7.  There are many peanut free options like SunButter. There are companies that specialize in peanut free snacks! Also PNot Box and Skeeter Nut Free and Don't Go Nuts (we haven't tried these yet). There is also a company in Canada, I'll update this when I remember the name!

8. Travel with extra safe food always. I don't like trusting that people have read labels for me. Some family members have been bringing the package labels which was so thoughtful. We stopped at a rest stop on our trip to Buffalo and I felt so unprepared. Sophie was starving and I had to have her wait while I searched for a safe option. Next time I'll have prepacked food ready for her.

9. Our allergist told us to use Zyrtec rather than Benedryl due to Sophie's age. We keep it in our car and home.

10. You have to be a good advocate for your child! I've had to ask people to put food away, to not go near Sophie, and to leave their things outside of my house. It is awkward, but it has to be done. Good friends and family want to do what's best for your child and will do whatever they can to make things safe and comfortable. The allergies are so common that most schools are very aware and trained about allergies. I'm surprised that even Luke is very aware about Sophie's allergy and asks questions to try and keep her safe. Remember to train your babysitters and family on how to use an EpiPen, where they are located, and have a plan in place.

Please let me know if you have anything to add to this!

Monday, September 19, 2016

8 Diaper Rash Remedies (and a giveaway!)

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Sophie recently had a really bad diaper rash. It broke my heart to see her in such pain. And the problem with diaper rashes is that there is barely any time for healing in between diaper changes...the skin continues to get irritated with each dirty diaper.

An otherwise rational parent can become irrational and overwhelmed when their child is in pain. You would do anything for them! You go to the store, find the "baby" isle, and become engulfed in all of the choices.

This is when I felt lucky that I could reach out to some fellow moms with experience. I wanted to share their advice, because it really did work for Sophie. Now we have all of the products and knowledge on stand-by if and when this happens again!

Here are the top eight diaper rash remedies that some fellow moms shared with me:

1.  WaterWipes. These are baby wipes that contain only pure Irish water and grapefruit seed extract, and are chemical free. They offer an often safer and more natural option than other brands that might irritate the baby's bum. Available at Walgreens, I even feel comfortable using these to wipe faces and noses! These were fully stocked in two different package sizes. We have quickly discovered that Sophie has very sensitive skin, and the last thing we want to do is make the rash worse by putting unnecessary chemicals on her skin with other brands of wipes.

2. Diaper area spray.  We started using diaper area spray regularly because it cuts down on the the amount of "scrubbing" with any wipe. Especially when out and about, a bath is not always convenient and the diaper area spray is a good alternative.

3.  Diaper-free time. I honestly haven't tried this, but allowing the bum to get some air will promote healing. This would require some really good timing and/or luck.

4.  Take a bath each diaper change. I think this really helped Sophie. I put her in the bath each time I changed her diaper to let the bath wash away the filth painlessly.

5.  Dab breast milk on the rash and let air dry. I did not try this myself, but breast milk seems like magic sometimes!

6.  One mom made a diaper cream out of breast milk and coconut oil and kept it in the fridge!

7. Diaper rash cream both as a barrier for prevention and to promote healing of an existing diaper rash.

8.  Seek medical attention if it does not heal, it could be something that requires different treatment such as a yeast infection.

Now we have a healthy and happy baby girl again!

WaterWipes at Walgreens is having a giveaway! Enter below to win one of five $100 Walgreens gift cards! I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5 winners). The giveaway will run from September 16, 2016 to October 7, 2016. Learn more about WaterWipesWaterWipes at Walgreens, WaterWipes on Facebook, and WaterWipes on Twitter!WaterWipes Walgreens Giveaway

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Guest post by Lauren: 5 steps to a DIY children's art gallery

A big thank you to Lauren for sharing her experience making a DIY children's art gallery! Lauren is a friend from college who is now a beautiful mama and teacher. Originally, I saw Lauren's Facebook post, asking where to find something to display her daughter's artwork. The next post I saw was her finished product that she had done herself! I was so impressed and asked if I could share!  Thanks again, Lauren!

Hi everyone!  I’m Lauren, mom to a busy 15-month-old and a high school math teacher.  I’m blessed to have the summers off with my little one!  This summer I had lots of projects and decorating ideas (we watch lots of HGTV and it’s dangerous!) and so far I’ve completed one.  I’m pretty happy with that, though!  Plus, there’s still time for maybe one more!

I am a Pinterest lover and a while ago I found a photo of a creative way to display kid’s artwork.  I really liked this idea because even though my daughter is only 14 months old, we’ve already got a bunch of artwork projects to display!  Our daycare is great and she’s made most of them there!  They were starting to clutter up the fridge, and I felt that I couldn’t display too many at once.  Plus, I know we’ll only have more things to put up as she gets older!  Also, we have a big open wall in our dining room that I’ve been searching to fill and once I found this idea I felt it was the perfect fit.  I also liked how I could easily change the artwork (or pictures) out without worrying much about the size or shape of it. See here for photos that inspired me before I began.

1.  I went to Michael’s and got hanging kits (sawtooth hangers), eye hooks (screw eyes), and picture hanging wire (galvanized braided hanging wire).  I also found some really cute mini clothespins – I went with white but they have lots of colors!  

2.  Then I went to Lowe’s and got the wood.  I wasn’t sure where to look, and some very helpful employees found me with the decking wood (Not exactly what I wanted!) and helpfully directed me to the thinner, more crafty wood.  I wanted pieces that were 4 feet long and luckily they had that (although I believe they’ll cut it for you if the length isn’t right).  The wood I got is 4’x3.75”x.75”.  I also picked up some fine sand paper (220 grit), some wood stain (I chose Minwax’s Dark Walnut), and a polyurethane spray (Minwax Clear Semi-Gloss).

3.  Thankfully my Dad is very handy so he helped me with the steps for staining the wood, which was the part I was most nervous about.  It was much easier than I had expected!  I sanded the wood down and stained one coat on each side.  I wiped it off after only a few minutes, but you could let it sit longer or do more coats depending on the look you’re going for.  I really wanted a slightly more rustic look where you could see the knots and grain of the wood so I just did one quick coat.  After that was dry I sprayed about 3 coats of the polyurethane.  The spray was very handy and simple to use!   It was very humid when I did it, so I let that dry for several days before I felt it was completely dry. 

4.  The next thing I had to do was measure where I wanted the different hooks to go.  I decided to mark where I wanted the eye hooks first.   I placed them about 2 inches in from the edge of the wood and centered vertically (they actually ended up a little off center because I measured too quickly, but I did make it even on both sides so it’s not too noticeable!).  I pre-drilled the holes with a small bit on my husband’s drill to make screwing the eye hooks in easier.  Next I put the zig zag hanging hardware on the back of the boards.  I realized this was much easier to do without the eye hooks in so I waited to put those in until after.  I measured the hanging zigzags to be about 2 inches in from the side of the board and about ½ inch down from the top.  I put one on the left and the right of each board instead of only one in the middle, to provide more support and stability for the display.  They were super easy to position and hammer in!  The tiny little nails were a little hard to hold with my fingers so I just used a pair of pliers to hold the nail while I tapped it in.  Once that was all set, I went back to the front and screwed in the eye hooks.  It was easy enough to do by hand and then I just used pliers at the end to be sure they were nice and tight.  

5.  Then, I strung the hanging wire between the two eye hooks.  I had a few extra inches on each side which I doubled back and wound around itself.  I wanted to make it taut and again used the pliers to do the best I could to pull it tight.  I also had to flatten the sharp end of the wire so that it hopefully won’t scratch anyone! 

The last step was to hang them in our dining room, which my husband helped with, and then add the artwork!  I was extremely pleased with how they came out, and I’m excited to have a place to display artwork or photographs for years to come (and help keep my fridge a little neater too)!  It really wasn’t that difficult of a project to complete, I was able to work on it in short bursts while my daughter napped and it didn’t take long at all!  I hope that if you try this you’re successful and enjoy the process too!  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Making photo books through Snapfish in 10 easy steps

I just completed a photo book of Luke and Sophie from January to June of this year.  I had 4,770 photos for that time period and it only took me a few interrupted hours! I started making photo books when Luke was born, so I've had 3.5 years of practice to perfect my method. There is no better time than the present to make these books, it is such a concrete and organized way to hold onto these photos, and we already love looking back through them.

I think many people are overwhelmed by these photo books. And it is just recently that I feel like I have a less-overwhelming system for creating these books. I will break it down into ten easy steps.

1.  Buy an external hard drive such as this one that is designated for photos only. Otherwise, the photos get lost, or slow down your computer.

2.  Every time you need to remove photos from your phone or camera card, download them to this hard drive and save them by date. Don't forget photos from your significant other or family, too. This also helps when you go back looking for certain photos, you have a better chance of finding them. I read that one blogger even organized photos by who is in them. That sounds so helpful when it comes time to make DIY gifts, but seems a little more than I'm capable of!

3. When it is time to make the photo book, upload each folder of photos onto Snapfish under an album labeled by date range for the book that you are making (example Jan-June 2016). There is a max on each upload, so do it in sections. I made a photo book for each month of Luke's life until age 1, but now my plan is to make a Luke/Sophie combined book every 6 months.

4.  Once the photos are uploaded, move them from their dated folder on hard drive to a new folder on the hard drive labeled "done."

5.  Start your photo book on Snapfish. My current favorite is the 12x12 hardcover book.

6. Here's the crucial step. Select the photos you would like to use. Be picky. Choose the best ones. Originally, I deferred the "autofill" feature and added the photos manually to avoid including duplicates, bloopers, and random photos. This took forever. But if you do the selection work in the beginning, the autofill feature is a dream!

7. Click "autofill" and watch your book come to fruition in seconds!

8.  Go through each page and enlarge or swap photos as needed, showcase others!

9. Wait for a 60% off coupon on Snapfish. They always come around.

10. Buy book through eBates to get 10% back on your purchase!

Do you have a system for organizing photos? I'd love to hear about it. Please let me know if any of the steps need clarification!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Guest post by Nicole: Rainy Sunday Aromatherapy Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Today, my good friend, Nicole, is going to share her homemade aromatherapy play dough recipe! Nicole is a wife, mom, elementary art teacher and great friend!  She loves everything DIY, interior design, thrifty fashion finds, and she is a great cook!  To see more of Nicole, follow her on Tumblr

Hey guys! As a full-time working mama of two little dudes under age five, life is pretty hectic around here, and I will admit that lately I have a love/hate relationship with the weekend. 

Remember weekends before kids? A time to relax and re-coup for the grueling week ahead; a late morning trip to the gym after a cup of coffee that hasn’t been microwaved 5 times, followed by a quick pedi on the way home before getting ready to out to dinner-maybe throw a nap in there to mix it up.  

Yeah, not happening now. Typically, our weekends revolve around some planned activities like a birthday party or trip to see friends or family and then there’s the inevitable catching up on house-functioning stuff like grocery shopping and laundry. I try to "infuse" the weekend with a few little surprises for the boys to make it seem like a special time as we escape the monotony of the week. It’s not always easy because frankly I find it more tiring being constantly on as a mom vs. teacher, but it’s important and it is in fact the little things….right? That’s what they’ll remember. I keep telling myself that.

This past Sunday was a doozy. It was dreary, cold, and rainy and we were all in our PJs long enough to contemplate even changing out of them. I dug deep into my mom bag of tricks for a fun indoor activity and out came homemade play dough. Since we’ve been on an essential oil kick we through some of that in there along with some food coloring for visual stimulation. 

This stuff hits all the senses guys. Your kids will love it! Heck, you’ll love it!  Ok, here’s what you need…you probably already have all of it in your kitchen...
(I doubled the recipe so that I had enough to make two different colors/scents.

Play Dough Recipe

1 cup flour

1 cup water

½  cup salt

1tsp. cream of tartar

1tbsp. vegetable oil

 food coloring (the type A in me likes to match the colors with the scents)
essential oils of your choice. (I used 4 drops per batch-more would yield a stronger scent)

1.        In a medium sauce pan mix together all ingredient except food coloring and EOs.

2.        Cook over medium heat stirring frequently for approximately 5-10 minutes.

3.        Add food coloring and oils. Let cool for the kids, and voila!

A few months ago I ordered the Young Living essential oil starter kit. I love how versatile essential oils are, and how they have made my family feel. My husband loves it when I diffuse Thieves, a Young Living oil blend, in the house. I have also made some little natural remedy products that I really feel have enhanced our overall well-being. I use a pocket reference to look up the health benefits and therapeutic properties of each oil, because there are literally thousands. Lavender and lemon both come in the starter kit. They are completely safe to ingest and use topically with small children in directed amounts.  There are countless medicinal benefits to these oils, but for aromatherapy purposes these are the main influences:

Lavender-Improves concentration and mental acuity. (Calming, relaxing and balancing) What toddler doesn’t need a little of that?!

Lemon-Promotes clarity of thought and purpose. (Invigorating, enhancing, and warming)

Get your own Young Living starter kit here for 24% off! (a great Mother's Day present, too!)

We used a clay tool set similar to this Melissa and Doug one to play with the dough. I like this one because it has a variety of different texture makers, stampers, and cookie cutter tools. I try and take off my art teacher hat as a mom, but I couldn’t help adding a little coil rolling lesson in there as we explored the dough.  I think my oldest ended up making “a tower or something." He is three and likes to follow up everything with “or something”, because I guess everything is something. And we will leave it at that.  Enjoy moms, dads, and caregivers alike!
This post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support!

Monday, May 2, 2016

StitchFix: Just what I needed

I thought I covered everything in my first StitchFix "order."  Anything else we should know before we style for you? We're all ears! they said. Okay...Here's what I like.  Here's what I don't like.  Here are my measurements. Oh, and I have a shower to attend on this date.  Thanks so much!

My husband then muttered. "I'd hate to be your stylist!"

So my clothes arrived. How fun, how adorable.  A little box, just for me.  Filled with the cutest and most current styles.  I tried them on right away.  They fit!  They were great. This was the best thing ever.

Then Luke came running at me trying on the dress screaming, "What is that?! Can my hug it?!" with sticky hands.  I escaped just in time and folded it up quickly and put it in the return bag.  I'm not spending that much on a dress to have a sticky hand print on it! Return bag.

The sweater was adorable. But I knew the velcro from all of our diaper bags and raincoats would tear the strings out of place instantly. Return bag.

The shirt was ideal. Fancy enough for day to night. Chic with a feminine touch. But it didn't fit my nursing boobs at their fullest state. Return bag.

The white distressed jeans. The distress helped to disguise the distress that would soon be upon them. All I could think of was white jeans in a dirty sandbox.  Return bag.

Lastly, a gorgeous shirt that would require a strapless bra. Not happening, return bag.

I realized I hadn't been specific enough.

Anything else we should know before we style for you? We're all ears!

I have to be able to wear a real bra. The shirts have to accommodate my boobs throughout the day from a C to a DD. White will get ruined. Sweaters will get pulled. Luke wants to hug my dresses because he has never seen me in one.  Realistically, I'm going to get paint on something. Wine on something. Coffee on something. Spit up on everything else. Thanks so much! (no I didn't really send this)

I imagined the StitchFix team starting to tear up. Everyone trying to pass on my order to the next girl, or the new girl.  

I realized that at some point, I'm going to have to just make the purchase. To buy something with the 100% risk that it will be ruined.  But realized that there is something special about wearing something nice, something new. Something just for me.  Something to make me feel pretty.  Maybe it won't be a cost-efficient or a smart purchase.  I can see how easy it is to let everything go in the return bag when it comes to this knee-deep-in-mommy-stuff stage of my life. 

I am happy that I did keep a shirt from my second Fix.  I bit the bullet and kept a nice blouse.  I know I can wear it for work, date night, or a brunch with girlfriends.  I'll do my best to keep it "nice" but it might get ruined.  I know that I'll miss these dirty sandbox days. I'll miss my variety of stains, and miss the days when I get sticky hugs from my kiddos. 

I really think the StitchFix process was fun! It forced me to sit down and decide what styles I like and dislike.  It forced me to have some "me time."  I encourage you to give it a try!  Even if you don't want to keep anything, I think it is worth the $20 (that otherwise goes towards a purchase) just to "play dress-up" and have someone dress you!  Of course I would also encourage you to use my referral link so that I get credit towards my next Fix. Please share your experience with Stitch Fix, I'd love to see what you get!

P.S. Mother's Day is coming up, I think a gift certificate is a great gift for the mommy's in your life!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

What can my baby see?

I just returned from an Orthoptic conference, and I wanted to share this amazing app that I learned about.  It's called Baby See App, created by Boston Children's Hospital, and allows you to use your phone camera to see what your baby can see at different ages.  Our house is filled with bright and sometimes obnoxious-looking toys for Sophie, based on the fact that high contrast objects are necessary for normal visual development (not just clarity but also depth perception, the ability to use the eye together, and more!)  This app really makes it "clear" why a baby's environment is crucial for proper development. I focused on the most neutral item in our house, Sophie's swing, and the most color-contrast items in our home: a pile in the toy room:





I think the biggest difference is that the swing tends to look about the same as time goes on, while the contrast items start looking closer to normal adult vision as the eyes are brain become more fully developed.  Need to add some contrast to your baby's environment?  These toys are some of our favorites! The items below do contain affiliate links, thank you for your support!