Sunday, January 27, 2013

3-in-1 Refashion

With the holidays behind us, a new baby coming soon, and a tighter budget this semester, I decided not to spend any money on clothes for myself this month {not to mention any clothes I buy now will be obsolete post-baby bump}. However, I'm also in that stage of pregnancy when I find myself staring at my closet and, after trying on 7 shirts that just make me feel like a balloon, I throw on the one shirt that happens to flatter me that week and hope no one notices it's the third day in a row that I've worn it. Also, I've officially crossed the threshold of the closet and adopted husband's t-shirt collection as my own. 

So, in an attempt to stick to my promise and give myself a little self-esteem boost, I decided to refashion a pair of jeans I haven't worn {or liked} for a long time. Turns out, to get the kind of pants I've been coveting {see here}, there were three steps involved to get myself this "new" sassy pair of pants. 

Thankfully, one of my fave blogs provided me with all the instructions I needed.

Pretty awful right? Granted, they're not zipped because of the belly, but I think we can all agree they do nothing for me in this state.

Step 1 & Step 2: Make them maternity and skinnify them...{See links for the tutorials}

Step 3: Add some polka dots...

Aaand there she is. 28-week belly and all.

They're not perfect, but they make me happy. And they didn't cost me a thing!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Preggo Brain

Here are a few scenarios where I've noticed "pregnancy brain" is less than ideal:

1. While being a super-bossy-pants to your husband who promised to hang shelves for you a week ago, but even though you remember discussing the different design options at length and deciding very firmly you wanted it in a zig-zag pattern, you scold him and tell him to hang them in a step pattern because "that's what we agreed on." Poor, confused, affronted husband...

2. While playing Euchre. You will quickly put your partner and your opponents on edge with your constant, "Wait. What's trump?" and "Oh sh...oot. I didn't mean to play that!" and "Oops. Can I take that back?" and "That's not trump. Or is it?"

3. While calling your kid's doctor and saying something ridiculous like "Hi, my son is a son of the pediatricians and I'd like to make an appointment."

4. While administering a writing workshop with your students and, instead of flawlessly demonstrating your stellar writing skills, you labor for far too long over the spelling of "altogether." <--Is that even a word? The absence of the red squiggles tells me yes.

That's all for tonight. My absent mind can't think of any more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Home Remedies {and a confession}

My skin is always horribly sensitive in the winter. Who am I kidding? My skin is sensitive year-round. But this winter has been especially bad. Luckily, my future sister-in-law gave me this amazing home remedy for dry, irritated skin that has been a little miracle in a jar. The ingredients: sugar and olive oil. That's it. I'm not sure of the exact recipe, but some I have found on Pinterest suggest filling a jar about 3/4 full of sugar, then pouring olive oil in until it covers the sugar. Easy enough.

I have been using it on my hands once every couple of days and it makes that tight, cracked, winter-skin feeling disappear immediately. But the real miracle it's performing? That would be for my lips...

OK, I have a confession. I'm a recovering addict...of lip balm. You know, that menthol-infused stuff that gives your lips a cool blast before burning them juuust enough to make you want more? It all started when I was a young, naive teenager. By the end of high school I basically never put the stuff away. It would sit on my desk and I would reapply it every five minutes or so. It was bad.

My breaking point came in college when {and this is embarrassing, so please keep the judgment to a minimum} my lips started having some sort of crazy reaction to my habit. They turned red, started flaking, and even when I had the lip balm on, my lips felt dryer than ever. That's when I swore off Blistex and pledged my lip therapy to Vaseline. Always and forever.

So, this brings us to present day. I was recently without my trusty petroleum jelly {yeah, I buy generic}, so I reached for the only thing I had in my purse: lip balm a friend gave me that, although the ingredients are all organic and seemed perfectly harmless, gave the same sensation and gross side effects that my old Blistex did. {Turns out, I need to avoid peppermint oil along with menthol. Live and learn.} I only used it a few times, but my lips have been cracked and flaky ever since.

That is until I started applying the sugar scrub to them every morning and loading up with Vaseline throughout the day. The flakiness is gone and, even in the "feels like" -7 degree weather we're having {ugh}, I'm holding on to some semblance of moisture in my skin. I just really recommend making yourself some of this stuff. Or give it as a gift. But really, keep it for yourself.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What Just Happened?

Something big is happening this week. There are boxes {oh dear, the boxes} that haven't been opened, moved, or even touched since we moved in 3 1/2 months ago. But a few days ago I launched an insanely-ambitious reorganization of the closets and storage spaces in our home. I was blaming this surge of energy on the fact that I have much more free time this semester, especially now that the holidays are over. However, in a recent conversation with my mother, I got a serious reality check when she said: "Brenna, you're having a baby in three months. It's called nesting."

Ohh yeah...

So phase 1 {of approximately 25} was to organize the bathroom and linen closet. I only took a couple "before" pictures, but trust me when I say the closet looked like we just moved in yesterday and the bathroom was pretty much a blank slate. 
Before. Gross.
After. Less Gross.
After. Beautiful {to me}.

I decided to keep the bathroom decor pretty simple and just give a few splashes of fun, Springy colors. I cleaned some old candle jars out to store my cotton balls and makeup sponges and, after tying some random fabric scraps around them, added to my little girly display on the shelf. {The far right jar has an amazing scrub that I got for Christmas made of just sugar and Olive Oil. Try it, guys.}

We've had this wine rack from Ikea for a long time, but we don't really have a space near the kitchen to hang it, so I decided to use it as a towel holder in the bathroom instead. I like how it complements the painting I made and serves some function.

The candles were part of my Christmas decor, but I like a little sparkle, so they're staying year round.

The best part of this step in my storage revamp is that I finally found a place for things {like board games and DVDs, now sneakily hiding in the linen closet} that were taking up space in other parts of the house. Five less random boxes may not seem like a big deal, but it made a huge difference for the next few phases of the project. More to come...

...Until then, here's why naps are necessary for an almost-two-year-old.

I'm pretty sure this was all because
I made him a waffle for lunch...
Thaaat's better {post-nap and bagel in hand.
I guess I offered the wrong breakfast food}

Friday, January 11, 2013

Amateur Hour

So now that I've taken down the Christmas tree and accompanying decor that at one point threatened to stay up until Valentine's Day, I'm realizing that I have very little by way of every-day decor to take their place. Another thing I'm realizing: I'm too cheap to buy any sort of artwork to cover our empty walls. The solution? Make my own colorful little pieces that pass for just-good-enough to fill my walls and my desire to craft. 

This is in our bedroom and looks much brighter in real life. I have this thing for dots, so when I saw this on Pinterest, I felt the need to make something similar to fill the very empty space above the amazing bookshelf my brother-in-law made us as a wedding gift.  

And this guy is the first step toward coloring the very blank slate of our upstairs bathroom. I love the color of the walls and decided adding yellow accents will make it nice and cheery. Full b-room decor to be shared soon {when I actually finish it}.

And, just because you no one asked, check out this 25-week bump. Yiiiikes. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Break

I'll sum up the first week of Christmas break in several words: food, travel, family, grateful.
Oh, and we made cookies, too.
Week two was so much lamer, so that's the one I'll describe in detail. The day after Christmas we all {meaning nearly everyone we came in contact with over the previous 24 hours} came down with a nasty cold/cough/evil sore throat that has hung on and morphed into new and more advanced degrees of gross and annoying.  

What resulted was a week of laying around, listening to each other cough, eating ice cream, drinking tea, and watching far too much television. {alright, we did have a couple productive days when we were foolish enough to think we were "on the mend" and decided to re-organize our basement...which then resulted in us feeling even worse after stirring up dust and most likely overdoing back to the couch we went to continue our How I Met Your Mother marathon.}

One of our few outings to the outside world...
The upsides to all of this? I had lots of time to sit and stare at my husband and I'm not even tired of him. In fact, I'm pretty bummed he's headed back to work tomorrow. Also, more importantly, he had lots of time to sit and stare at me looking horrid in pjs and no makeup for a week and I think he still really likes me, too. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I'm all caught up with Downton Abbey, just in time for the season 3 premiere tonight. Whoop!

It will be the perfect companion as I finally take down our Christmas decor...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's Early January...what else?

It's my first post of 2013...what would I write besides an ultra-optimistic list of all the things I'm going to accomplish in the coming year? Get ready! Everything that follows is important and life-changing and will impact my life and those around me in only the most positive of ways. {I kid. Most of my to-dos are kind of ridiculous. But I'm a list-maker. I make lists. So read on if you so choose. You've been warned.} 

This is how I rang in the New Year...sick on the couch and in bed by 10:30. Wild!
In no particular order:

1. Read books: It's been an embarrassingly long time since I finished a whole book. Who wants to be in a book club with me? We could Skype or iChat or Google Hangout or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Or you could just recommend a good book I might enjoy.

2. Find a name for kid #2: This is proving more difficult than anticipated. I'm obviously not really worried the child will remain nameless, but I think it's an important item to have on the goal list nevertheless.

3. Run: After No-Name enters our life I fully intend to start running again. Seems like a 5k in the Fall could be a good thing to aim for.

4. Patterns Press: I'm going to make pretty things on my letterpress this year. If you know of someone who needs pretty invitations or other paper-based products, send them my way. 

5. Blog more: I like to write. I like reading blogs. Maybe someone would like to read what I write on this blog.

6. House projects: I'm not going to list them here. Too many. Too boring.

7. Potty train a certain someone: Yeah, I'm a mom. Something regarding the bathroom was bound to weasel its way in. 

8. Craft: I've been sewing and knitting more lately. There's a real possibility I could be a mediocre crafter if I really put my mind to it.

That's all I can muster at this very late hour of 9:30pm. {Should I add "become less lame" to my list?}

Anyway, Happy New Year!