April 2015Back Home Again: April 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Ok April 28, 2015

Airing My Dirty Laundry

It's ok...that I get invites to go to your Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Partylite, Norwex, Discovery Toys, Mary Kay, whatever party and I go and order something, yet when I have one, only one person actually cares to order something from me.

It's ok...that I just laugh when people talk about putting babies on a sleep schedule. They're BABIES. There could be any number of reasons they aren't sleeping - reflux, teething, growth spurt, wonder week, sick - just go with it. It sucks, my kids STILL don't sleep through the night more than they do at 4 and 2.5 but I wouldn't trade those nighttime cuddles for anything.

It's ok...that I am so sick of my kids yelling at Alan and I. I know it's a phase, but ugh. 

It's ok...that I had McDonalds for breakfast yesterday (gasp!). My body hated me for it, but that hashbrown was delicious. 

It's ok...that I have started drinking Starbucks Via lattes at work. I can drink five for the price of one at the store.

It's ok...that there are four days until Winery Day and I am counting it down!

What's ok with you this week?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Saving the World One Cycle at a Time with Sckoon Cup

A big thank you to Sckoon Organics and Bookieboo for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

I know several women who use menstrual cups and more and more I have been thinking about trying one out myself. So, when I was given the opportunity to try out SckoonCup, I jumped at the chance.

I know I know, a menstrual cup?! That's way out there right? But, are you honestly surprised I would be eventually trying one? In my efforts to live more and more sustainably, it's the natural progression to transition to one. Not only are you not throwing pads and tampons in the landfill and waterways, but you're not putting hazardous chemicals such as dioxins, pesticide residues, adhesives and unknown fragrances that are known to cause cancer, allergic reactions and reproductive issues among other things. I try to limit my exposure to nasty chemicals in food, cleaners, hair and other body products, so why during my cycle too.

A menstrual cup is like a tampon or pad but instead of absorbing the flow it collects it. If you can handle a tampon, then you can insert a cup because it's basically the same thing. The difference is that you dispose of a tampon whereas with a cup you empty it and then wash it for re-use. The SckoonCup is made from FDA-approved medical grade smooth silicon and has a smooth outer curve so that it's easier to insert/remove and less likely to be felt. It also comes in bright colors.

In talking with some friends about the SckoonCup and from doing my own research, I discovered that it's shaped like a bell, whereas other menstrual cups are shaped like more like a funnel. I was also told that I would still probably have to wear a liner because it would leak. Except that it didn't. It was awesome. 

I will admit that the first time I tried to use my SckoonCup, I gave up because it wasn't easy to insert and wasn't comfortable. I could tell that it wasn't in correctly and researched other insertion methods until I found one that worked for me. There is definitely a learning curve for a newbie like myself, but once I figured it out, it was relatively easy. And I love the fact that I did not throw out one feminine paper product aside from the first day of my cycle.

If you're looking to reduce waste and limit chemicals entering your body, I recommend trying out a menstrual cup. You never know, you might actually come to prefer it, like I have. You can find more info on the SckoonCup website here

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's Ok April 21, 2015

Airing My Dirty Laundry

It's ok...that I got teary-eyed at Ewan's spring preschool program last week.

It's ok...that Cecily called me up four times last night before she finally fell asleep.

It's ok...that I have no idea who Lily Pulitzer is and why everyone went crazy at Target.

It's ok...that I went to bed before 9 last night.

It's ok...that I love the fact I don't have to water my garden because of all the rain. 

It's ok...that I wish the rain would stop because I want to run outside, not in the rain.

It's ok...that I cannot wait to go on Girls' Wine Day in a couple weeks!

What's ok with you?

Monday, April 20, 2015

I'm Not A Fashionista

As I looked around at the other moms at Ewan's spring preschool program Friday morning, I thought "Wow, I'm frumpy!" They were all decked out in their skinny jeans with wedges, fancy tops and accessorized. Don't forget their perfect figures and hair, makeup and nails. A lot of them seemed to know each other too and were being all social while I was quiet, chatting briefly with the woman behind me (who was just as frumpy, if not more so) before quietly sitting next to Alan and Cecily. 

They must have been the yoga moms as one of my co-workers says. You know them: the ones who wear yoga pants and carry their Starbucks, yet never actually go to the gym. Then there's me: wearing what's comfortable and fits decently, even if it isn't the most fashionable. And who usually has something on my shirt because I'm chasing around a toddler and fixing boo boos before heading out to work in the morning. It used to bother me a lot that I wasn't perfect like them.

But you know what? I'm glad I'm not. The time it takes to make myself "perfect" like that...well, I would rather dry my hair in 10 minutes and spend the rest of the time being driven crazy by my kids wanting breakfast and fighting over whose turn it is to watch Sheriff Callie v. Ninjago while I'm trying to pack our lunches for work in the morning and hoping I didn't get anything on my shirt.

I have never been into fashion and makeup. Ever. It's not my thing. Put me in a room with women who only talk about that and I want to gouge my eyes out and cut my ears off. BORING. I'd much rather sit quietly with my husband and daughter and then talk about things like science and history and art later with one or two people instead. While all the other moms in the room wonder who that quiet, frumpy girl is.

And that's ok. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

It Was Me All Along - A Book Review

As I have mentioned, I have been reading a lot lately. I'm not really big on writing book reviews, but this one has stuck with me and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell (who is also a food blogger) was on a list of books my friend Ashley posted that she wanted to read. I thought it sounded like a good read too, so I checked it out from my library. Let me tell you, this really resonated with me. While my childhood wasn't exactly the same, there are many similarities. The loneliness; the wishing I was a member of my aunt and uncle's family and realizing that no matter how well they treat me,  I'm not their child; the realization of being a burden to your friends' parents and then taking pity on you because of your home situation. The feeling of when it was time to get a prom dress and nothing fitting but the giant, most ill-fitted dress at the bridal shop. The realization that while your friends eat with you, you eat twice as much, if not more in the same time they eat one thing; the secret and not so secret binges. I can so so relate.

As many of you know, I lost 50 pounds ten years ago this spring and managed to keep it off until my son was born when I gained 40 pounds back. I am still on my weight loss journey and am using Andie's 135 pound loss as motivation. While there were some things I am curious about - what happened to her brother? - I really enjoyed this overall.

I encourage you to give it a shot. You might find some inspiration too!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It's Ok April 14, 2015

Airing My Dirty Laundry

It's ok...that I thought I was over the horrible sickness I had Easter weekend, only to end up with a cold this weekend. 

It's ok...that there is so much sinus pressure in my head that my ears are continually itchy...and driving me crazy.

It's ok...that I'm so over this sickness crap.

It's ok...that we are going to have to scrounge up the money to take down a tree in our backyard because half of it fell onto the wires connecting to our house. 

It's ok...that Alan and I have been having cake and ice cream after the kids go to bed.

It's ok...that I really wish Cecily would just go to bed instead of playing the game of asking for something every 90 seconds. 

What's ok with you?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

An Update on Life

I haven't written a real update in ages, so I thought I would catch you up. Life has been incredibly, incredibly busy. Honestly, I have been pretty much on the go from the time I get up to the time I go to bed, which leaves little time for blogging.

Some of the things I have been doing have been getting off my butt and running - and I'm coming to possibly enjoy it. At the very least, I miss it when I'm not out there every couple of days. I am five runs away from completing c25k and I am floored that I am so close to finishing. I ran 28 minute straight today and didn't feel like I was going to die at all, which is amazing.

We, well Alan mostly, have been cleaning up the mess of our backyard and put in some raised beds. 

We've planted more herbs in the herb garden, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, beans, broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, spinach and carrots. There is still a long way to go - the other half of the yard along the fence needs to be cleared out, but it's already so much better than it was. I am so excited not to have to go out there and hack down the overgrown jungle this summer.

I also joined a book club and have started reading again. A lot. I have been pouring through books from the library and it's been so nice to read again. I haven't read anything more than skimming through a magazine since Ewan was born. 

Work has been busy as well. One of us has been out of town almost every week in March and so far in April. May will probably be more of the same. We're not taking a vacation this year unless it's a weekend trip because I have to save my time for going up to help with my mom. So, we've just been living our day to day life, nothing all too interesting. Hence, the reason I haven't posted much. 

What's have you been up to lately?

Friday, April 10, 2015

March Miles

March was the second highest number of miles I have ever done, after the 64 in February. And 23 of those 44 March miles were RUNNING. Actual running, not intervals to work up to running for longer periods of time. 

As I say to my kids, that's crazy talk! I cannot believe I am able to run for as long as I can. It's seriously incredible because I think deep down I never thought I would be able to do it and here I am, doing it. I even ran on a work trip this week on the one day it wasn't raining. If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know, but if you don't (and you really should!) it was on top of a MOUNTAIN! I have said it before, but I must truly be committed. 

I really think I am committed. It's gotten to the point where I think about being able to do longer runs (and races) and I am itching to go out there. My friend Katie, a former runner, told me when I first started that who knows, maybe I'll be bitten by the running bug and come to actually enjoy it. I don't know if I could say that I enjoy running because it's still hard work. But, it's definitely not something that I despise anymore.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter 2015

We spent Easter this year visiting my family. The rehab facility where my mom is currently staying had an Easter egg hunt on Saturday afternoon, so we went and visited my mom and the kids had a blast getting eggs afterwards. Ewan was so excited because he got the golden egg that had a $5 bill in it. He has been telling us that we can get him all sorts of stuff ever since because he "has five dollars." If only things were that cheap kid!

After we visited with my mom, we went to my aunt and uncle's house and had dinner. My aunt had sidewalk chalk and bubbles waiting for the kids and they had a blast coloring on her sidewalk and chasing bubbles. It was so windy that all we had to do was hold up the bubble wand and the wind took care of the rest. 

Unfortunately, I don't have any fancy photos of us in our Easter best because 1) I didn't take many photos and 2) we drove back home on Easter because I had to go out of town for work the next day so we didn't wear our Easter best. In fact, the only photos I have are the few I took of the kids on the carousel at the mall. Slacker!

To be honest, I was so sick this past weekend that I didn't want to do much of anything. I had a fever, chills, body aches, headache and a sore throat that was so bad I could barely swallow. It was awful and if I was at home, I would've spent the entire weekend on the couch.

One thing I did do that was glad I did was visit my grandmother's grave. I haven't been since her funeral and it was much harder than I thought it would be. I miss her dearly and even though it's going on two years since she passed away, it's hard to believe she won't be getting in Ewan's face trying to get him to talk to her, saying "YOU-an!" It was a really good visit though, especially since I wasn't able to go this time last year.

Even though I was sick and it was a hurried trip, we had a good Easter. How was yours?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mont Royal

The last day we were in Montreal, we went to St. Joseph's Oratory and explored Mont Royal, the large hill named after Francis I and for which Montreal was named.

The church is HUGE and constructed into the hill so that you have amazing views when you get to the top. The top of the cupola is the highest point in Montreal.

The interior is also amazing. Since it was completed during the mid-twentieth century, it's all modern, a definite contrast to the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal.

After we were done gawking over the architecture, I had the bright idea to walk across Mont Royal. The majority of the western half of the hill is comprised of cemeteries, but the highest summit and eastern side are a park that was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead - the landscape architect who designed Central Park - although his design was only partially completed. 

I thought it would be fun to explore the park and wind up at one of the belvederes (lodges) that overlooks downtown Montreal before heading back to our hotel and out to dinner for our last evening in town. While I enjoyed the hike and the view was amazing once we got there, hiking three miles uphill wasn't so fun. Alan didn't believe me that we were actually going somewhere and thought we were just lost. But eventually we made it!

Something I thought was so cool was that it was a gathering place for the city. There were kids practicing martial arts up there, street performers and people just enjoying the view. I also loved the fact that there was a community piano for anyone to just sit down and play. 

I so wish my town would do something like this! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Goals and March Recap

How did I do in March? Let's see:
  • Finish c25k training. I have three weeks left. Apparently I can't count! I do consider this goal completed because I finished every week of my training.
  • Start and finish another 21 Day Sugar Detox. With everything that has happened this month, it was all I could do to track my food really. 
  • Develop and maintain a routine cleaning schedule. This went out the window too. Oops!
  • Continue to read at least one book a month. I read four. The Hunger Games trilogy and Orphan Train. I joined a book club with a friend of mine and this was our first book. I will have one book a month to read, which is very attainable I think. 
Here are my goals for April:
  • Finish c25k and register for my first 5k. I should finish training by the week ending on April 19, leave me plenty of time to register for a race in May or June.
  • Put together our raised beds and start planting our garden. We have been spending almost all of our time on the weekends in March cleaning out the yard and getting it ready for an expanded garden. We should have all of the raised beds completed within the next week or so. My spinach, arugula and lettuce have sprouted along with most of my herbs coming back and I can't wait to have tons and tons of veggies and herbs all summer.  
  • Sort items for our yard sale. We plan on having a yard sale in May and I really need to get on going through our stuff to figure out what to put in it. 
So I have even fewer goals this month than I did in March. However, I think that they are pretty big goals and will take all month to accomplish. I would much rather accomplish a few goals than set out a bunch for myself and feel like a failure for not completing.

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