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Monday, October 16, 2017

Things I Believe in This Week.

Live music. I saw Mumford & Sons in September, and I saw LANY last week. Both were magical nights. Live music wakes something up inside of you. I always leave concerts so happy and full of life and ready to chase dreams. Anyone else?

Pumpkin spiced everything. Pumpkin anything. Pumpkin everything. All day, every day, from my morning coffee to dessert, I'm eating all. things. pumpkin. 

Drinking coffee outside, by a fire. I'm all about the everyday magic, and this is it.

Road trips. They are good for your soul. Take the trip. Eat ramen and subway if can't afford going out. Just go. See new things and make new friends and visit old ones and just go. 

Candles. I love candles all the time, but especially in the fall. I've currently got pumpkin pecan pie and warm apple pie candles all throughout the house. There's something so cozy about a house with candles in every room.

T-25. Two of my closest friends started this workout this month, and since I know one of the best motivators is some good, old-fashioned peer pressure, I joined them. It is kicking my butt, but I haven't felt this good in a long time. 

Friendship. I've been thanking God daily for the friends I have in my life. Some near, some far, all so precious. I believe in friendship. I believe it's necessary. I believe it's one of the best gifts we get in this life. I'm so thankful for mine. 

What do you believe in this week?
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Because That's What Friends Do.

A year ago, I met up with one of my college besties (Sam!) for dinner. We'd been so close in college, but life had taken us different ways. A lot had changed since we'd last hung out (I'd had a baby, for one), and we were both nervous that we wouldn't be close anymore, or that things would be weird.
They weren't. 

We met up at Target and by the time we got through the dollar spot, it was like nothing had changed. It made my heart so, so happy. While we were roaming Target, we ran into my new neighbor, (also named Sam) (yes, I have two friends here and they have the same name. It's confusing). She was having a bad day, so I invited her to join us for dinner. 

And we had the best time. 

We went to Chuy's for stuffed avocados and laughed and told stories and had a great night. I ended that night so happy to be reconnected to an old friend, so happy to have made a new one. 

I didn't know that it was about to be the hardest year of my life. I didn't know that in the next few weeks, my faith in everything I've always believed would begin to be shaken, and continue to be shaken like I'd never experienced. I didn't know that I was about to start walking through a horribly dark year. 

And neither did they. We were just eating stuffed avocados and drinking margaritas and laughing, because that's what friends do. 

Two weeks later, Sam (my neighbor) hadn't even known me for a month when she was over for dinner and I got a phone call with such bad news that it literally brought me to my knees. But that didn't stop her from getting on the floor with me and asking what she could do, who she could call, where she could take me. Because that's what friends do. 

Just a few days after that news, my grandma died. And even though it had only been a few weeks since Sam (my college friend) and I had been back in touch, when I called her crying, she got in her car and came to me. Because that's what friends do.

Neither one of them knew what they were signing up for when they became friends with me. I mean, I didn't know what they were signing up for. It was a bad year. Full of bad things. But that didn't stop them from diving headfirst into the bad with me, for better or for worse. 

Because that's what friends do. 

I've been thinking a lot about friendship. About how great of a gift it is. About how precious of a thing it is to find another human and think, "I'll help you through life. We'll do it together." About how, as we grow up and move and change and move again and change some more, so do our friendships. 

Honestly, it boils down to being there. 

Being there virtually, when you're not together in person. Sending texts when you have a second. FaceTime. Funny memes. 

Being there despite the mess. The mess that is my kitchen, my dirty dishes, my floors that are always a little sticky. 

Being there because of the mess. The mess that is life. 

Being there when it's hard and awkward and you don't know what to say. 

Being there even though they've canceled on you three weeks in a row because of family drama they don't want to talk about yet. 

Just being there. 

Because that's what friends do. 

We're all just people. And we all need our people. This year has blessed me with some of the best people. Some right down the street from me and some states away. But they've all been the best friends, because they've simply been there. 

Because that's what friends do.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

It's October, Let's Drink Coffee.

Guys, my coffee consumption is out of control right now. Partly because I'm just so tired, but partly because it's fall and pumpkin coffee is just my favorite. 

Anyway, I've been drinking all of the coffee. Allllll of it. But if you wanted to come over and catch up, I guess I could save you a cup. 

If we were having coffee...

...I'd ask you what fall TV shows you're happy to see back. This Is Us is killing me. I'm not emotionally stable enough for this show, but I can't quit it. It's so good. 

...I'd tell you that I saw Mumford & Sons in concert, and it was absolute magic. Seriously, a straight-up religious experience. Pure magic. There's no other way to explain it than that. There's something indescribable about being in a room with thousands of other people, all singing all the words to these songs being performed with so much heart. I'll never forget it. 
...I'd tell you that I visited my best friend from college and we saw a band we've been listening to together for years and it was MAGICAL. A weekend with friends that just get you is the best, best medicine. I slept less than I have in forever, but left feeling more refreshed than I have in forever.
...I'd tell you that having a nanny help out with Jack has been amazing. It gives me a few hours to breathe and get stuff done. And he adores her, which makes my heart so happy. Finding childcare was not fun, but I ended up with a perfect situation and it has been so great. 

...I'd tell you I chopped my hair. It's shorter than it's ever been, and while I'm happy I cut it (and actually like the length), it's a baaaaad haircut. Very chunky and uneven and just bad. I need to get it fixed, but I need it to grow out a little bit first, because I'm terrified of losing any more length. 

Your turn! What's new with you?
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Don't Apologize For Who You Are.

I say "sorry" entirely too often. It's something I'm working on, but I have a long way to go. A friend told me this summer that when you say "sorry" all the time, it cheapens your apologies, and that was really thought-provoking to me. I want my apologies to mean something, so I started looking at the types of things I apologize for. 

Wanna know what I found? I apologize a lot for who I am. 

Sorry, I shouldn't have gotten my feelings hurt over that. I'm too sensitive. 

Sorry, I'm a mom, so I can't go out with you tonight because I don't have a babysitter. 

Sorry, I'm a blogger, so I really want to go back there and take a picture of that so I can use it in a post. 

When you apologize for parts of who you are, it's like you're intentionally cutting yourself down. And it's really, really hard to love someone who is always cutting you down. And if anyone should be able to love you, it's you. 

I'm extremely imperfect. I'm very bad at making decisions, they take me forever. I get really emotionally invested in silly things, so I sometimes cry over stuff that is unimportant, in the grand scheme of things. I have hella anxiety that sometimes effects daily things. 

Do you know who I owe an apology to about these things? 

Not a single person. 

If you're like me and say "sorry" without even thinking about it, I want to challenge you to start paying attention to the things that get your apologies. And I want you to stop handing them out when it comes to who you are. 

You are amazing, flaws and all, and you should never apologize for who you are. 

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Friday, October 6, 2017

10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me.

1. I am insanely afraid of whales. Not like, "Oh I think whales are scary," but more like I get hot and clammy and anxious even talking about whales. Whenever I'm in the ocean, no matter how shallow the water is, every time my foot touches something (like, you know, the sand) my first thought is honestly always it's a whale and I'm going to die. 

I'm very rational. 

2. I write a to-do list every single day with every single thing I need to do on it.

3. I hate window shopping. I don't mind going shopping and not finding anything, but I hate shopping without the intention or option of buying things. 

4. When I was 22, I woke up one day covered in hives. Then really weird stuff started happening to me (like, my arms would randomly go numb and I would drop whatever I was holding, or my nose would randomly start gushing blood). Turns out, I developed severe allergies to basically everything overnight. To make a long story short, I had to do an extreme version of the elimination diet for about a year and a half, and was able to add most things back in. The allergies that have stuck around that suck the most are pineapple (because it's in every tropical drink ever) and cucumber (because it's in every sushi roll ever). 

5. Loyalty is insanely important to me. If we're friends and you're arguing with someone and I know you're wrong, I will still stand beside you and back you up until the cows come home. When we're alone, I'll tell you that you're an idiot, but I'll always have your back. 

6. When I started college, I was an elementary education major. I thought I wanted to be a teacher. Actually, I'm not even sure that's true...I think I just had to pick something and that sounded like something I'd be good at, so I picked it. I made it all the way to my student-teaching (horrid experience) before I realized I didn't want to spend every day doing this. I called my dad sobbing junior year and he calmly told me there was nothing stopping me from changing my mind, not even the thousands of dollars he'd paid for all those education classes and certifications. I hung up and marched right to the registrar's office and changed my major to English. 

7. My first memory is of being in my parent's wedding. I don't remember the actual wedding part, but I remember someone putting stick-on-earrings on me before pictures, and I remember playing with my Angelina ballerina set before the wedding with my cousin. 

8. I am an extremely laid back mom, which I did not see coming. Jack has never had a bedtime, I don't restrict screentime, and I let him eat anything. We're both happy, so I think it's working. The only thing I'm uptight about is who I'll leave him alone with...that's a very short list. 

9. I'm a Plexus lover. My friend started selling it awhile back, and I have a rule that if a good friend starts their own business/starts selling something, I'll buy from them at least once, because we should support each other! But plot twist, it seriously worked for me and I'm seriously obsessed with it. 

10. I passionately hated coconut until I was 17. Then I accidentally ordered pasta that had coconut in the sauce and now me and coconut are 8 years into our passionate love affair. 

Tell me something I don't know about you! 

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017


It is a freaking scary thing to be raising a child in a world where you wake up to news like Vegas. There is something so utterly painful about knowing I can't protect Jack from the evil in the world. I can't keep him from one day learning that people who want to bring terror exist.

But it's also the most motivating thing. Because no matter how bad things get, no matter how repetitive this narrative feels, I will never, ever stop trying to make the world a better place for him. 

Yes, there needs to be serious action. If you have money, donate it. If you're in the area and can donate blood, do it. If you're passionate about gun control, call your representatives. But also, ask yourself what you, in this little space where you live your life, can do, right now, amidst your normal day. While you're working, running errands, going to the gym, getting stuff done, what can you do? 

You can be good to others, and you can love. 

Be good to each other, because life is short, and all you have is right now. Love so loudly, so abundantly, so overwhelmingly, that people cannot leave an encounter with you without being so covered in love that they have to pass it on. 

Forgive way too easily. Love anyway. Love in spite of. Love even though. Love, love, love, love, love. 

I can't make the world a safe place for Jack. I can't shield him from the evil that exists in some people. But I can spend my days pouring out copious amounts of love into the world, and hope that it makes even the smallest difference. 

I'll never stop trying, and neither should you. 

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

just write: everything you are.

do not you dare shrink back 

from everything you are

your soul is a roaring ocean 

and your eyes are burning stars. 

you are magic, you are stardust

made from the best things that exist

so don’t you dare cut yourself apart

simply to fit in. 

do not you dare apologize 

for being loud, or brave, or true

for doing so robs the universe

of the one true precious you.
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Monday, October 2, 2017

Spending October: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through the Month.

1. Make a fall bucket list. The next three months fly by faster than any other time of the year, so if there's something you know you for sure want to do, write it down!

2. Treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte.

3. Then try to copy the recipe at home. 

4. Watch the sunrise with a pumpkin coffee (or tea!). 

5. Make an Autumn in New York station. There's something so nostalgically October about this one. 

6. Have a bonfire. S'mores are strongly encouraged. 

7. Make caramel apples. 

8. Go to a fair or festival in your town. Fall is prime time for these! 

9. Make an effort to be more positive in the way you speak. Especially when you're speaking about yourself. No more putting yourself down!

10. Read a thriller. 

11. Make it a priority to reach out to your people. 

12. Go apple picking. 

13. Host a dinner party. Fancy or casual, you choose! 

14. Work on being present. These months may fly by, but you can choose to be present and enjoy every moment, no matter where you are or what you're doing. 

15. Visit a pumpkin patch. I cannot wait to take Jack back to the pumpkin patch this year. 

16. Buy your pet a costume. Or at least go look at the pet costume section at Target. 

17. Go thrifting and find the perfect chunky sweater. 

18. Drive somewhere that really shows off in the fall. Colors colors colors! 

19. Carve pumpkins. 

20. Throw out all the weird bathroom stuff you keep, but don't use. Examples: halfway used old soap, old nail polish, the toothpaste that wasn't all the way gone, but you bought a new tube, etc. 
21. Go to Trader Joe's. Always a favorite, but they seriously shine in the fall. 

22. Listen to You Are a Bada** by Jen Sincero. It's like a pep-talk in your car. If you use this link you get two free books. 

23. Spend an afternoon baking all the fall treats. 

24. Try meditating. 

25. Make a pumpkin pie smoothie. 

26. Try some crockpot dinners. 

27. Start thinking about resolutions/goals. What are some things you wish you were doing better at / were different right now?

28. Buy Halloween candy.

29. Make soup. I could live off of soup all fall long. 

30. Bring someone a trick-or-treat basket filled with their favorite candy. 

31. Celebrate Halloween!

How will you be spending your October?
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Friday, September 29, 2017

Goodbye September, Hello October.

Goodbye, September. 

Goodbye, summer. You were one for the books, and it makes my heart actually ache to think about how full of adventures you were and how much I'm going to miss you. 

Goodbye to surviving my first big hurricane. Cheers to making it work and cheers to (please?) never doing it again. 

Goodbye, butter pecan coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. I was late to the game in discovering you, so our time together was short-lived. I look forward to the many summers we will spend together in the future. 

Goodbye to a month that taught me, over and over again, that I am way stronger than I think, but that I can't do everything alone. That it's okay to ask for help. That taking a break is so okay. That inviting people into your mess is so, so good. 

Hello, October. 

Hello, FALL. With your pumpkin spiced everything and cooler (maybe?) nights. 

Hello, kickoff of the most magical three months of the year. 

Hello, doing more creative writing for fun. You fell off my to-do list this summer (ahem, year) and I really missed you. 

Hello, bonfires and apple cider and pumpkin carving. I'm ready for you.
Hello to more adventures, more strength, and more love, always. 

What are you saying hello and goodbye to this month? 
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

4 Things You Need to Do in The Outer Banks.

Okay, it's fall, I get it. But it's still 90 degrees here, which means I'm still thinking about the beach and summer and all the fun places I got to go during this one. One of my favorite new-to-me experiences was going to The Outer Banks. I loved all of it, but here are four things you really need to do if you go.

Get a donut at Duck Donuts. Don't hate me for this, but I'm not really the biggest donut fan. (I know, I know, first I tell you I've never read Harry Potter and now this. I will accept the bad blogger award, hand it over). I don't not like donuts, I just won't go out of my way for one, because, meh. 

But these donuts. They made me think that maybe I'd never had a real donut before. Because these are my new favorite things in the world. They make them to order, so they're hot and delicious and really just straight up magical. 

I had a glazed and a maple bacon donut. And I have no pictures of those because I inhaled them in about three seconds. 

If you think I will not find some made up reason to visit The Outer Banks again, with these donuts being the real reason, you do not know me. 

Get an acai bowl from The Spot

I have The Spot to thank for awakening my acai bow obsession. They were absolutely delicious, and on top of that, it was the cutest little place. Be still, my hippie heart. 

Get lunch at The Bad Bean

More specifically: Get the pork belly jalepeno popper eggrolls and whatever margarita special they have, because they use fresh fruit. I had a watermelon one and it was mostly blended watermelon, no fake syrupy stuff. It was so refreshing and delicious. And I'm still dreaming about those eggrolls. My mouth is watering just typing about them, no joke. 

Go to the beach.

I love me some Florida, but I adored this beach. It was beautiful. And trust me, after you eat all that food, you're gonna need to lay down somewhere. Might as well be on this gorgeous beach. 

Have you been the The OBX? I'm obviously going back for the donuts, so if you have anything I should add to my list, let's hear it! 

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Encouraging Each Other.

"You're a really good friend. I appreciate all you do and I love you." 

I got this text a few days ago and it made my day. Why? Because we all like to be seen, and loved, and appreciated. 

You know how long it probably took my friend to type that text out? Maybe fifteen seconds. But it went on to impact my whole day (and I'm writing this post, so maybe even more than that, really). 

I've been thinking a lot about how easy it is to be there for each other because of the day and age we live in with technology. Ever since the hurricane, it's been on my mind a lot. To use all I have at my disposal to check in with people (hi, that takes me roughly ten seconds) and to love them better. 

I'm at a stage in my life where it's not easy to be a good friend in the traditional way. It's hard to plan ahead because I rarely know Chris' schedule. It's hard to meet up for lunch or coffee because I have a toddler who doesn't like to sit still. Some days it's even hard to talk on the phone. And we all have times like that, whether it's because you have a kid, or a busy job, or are traveling a lot, or are depressed...we all go through seasons where we can't drop everything to meet at Starbucks because our friend needs to talk. 

But, we have phones. We have computers. We have blips of free time throughout the day. And I've felt challenged lately to use those things to my advantage in trying to be a good friend. I know the kind of friend I want to be, busy or not. I want to be an encourager. A cheerleader. A you-can-do-it-and-I'm-here-for-it kind of friend.

Lucky for me, I was born in a time period where that's easy to do. I mean, I write pep-talks that people who I've never had the chance to meet face to face can read, and we can encourage each other. That's pretty amazing. I love that. 

So join me. Be an encourager. Use that phone that's glued to your hand all day for good. Text a friend and tell them you're thinking of them and that they're doing a good job. When you see something good in someone, say it. When your friend posts a picture and you can tell they've lost some of the weight they've been trying so hard to lose, tell them. When you see someone killing the parenthood game, say so. When you know someone's having a rough go of it, text them. Just knowing someone is thinking about you, someone sees you, someone loves you, can go the longest way, I promise. 

A simple gesture can be the biggest force for good. So let's spread some good around. 

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Books I Read in September (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

Let's just get this out of the way: I've never read the Harry Potter books. 

I know, I know. Please don't unfollow me. 

Last year, Helene read all of them for the first time, and I decided that I was going to read them this fall. So here we are. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Plot: "Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined." -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: 

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” 

My thoughts: I'll be honest, I was a little worried this book was going to feel very young. I mean, at the end of the day, it's a book about an eleven-year-old wizard. But it was, as everyone has been telling me for the last two decades, magical. The best books fully transport you to another life, another land, and that's what this one does. Even though I'd never read it, it somehow felt nostalgic. I can't wait to read the next one. 

Should you read it? I mean, I'm guessing you already have. But if you haven't, yes, it's worth it. Even as an adult. 

Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno 

Plot: "Lottie Reeves has always struggled with anxiety, and when her beloved Aunt Helen dies, Lottie begins to fear that her own unexpected death might be waiting around every corner.

Aunt Helen wasn’t a typical aunt. She was the author of the best–selling Alvin Hatter series, about siblings who discover the elixir of immortality. Her writing inspired a generation of readers. 

In her will, she leaves one last writing project—just for Lottie. It’s a series of letters, each containing mysterious instructions designed to push Lottie out of her comfort zone. Soon, Lottie’s trying some writing of her own, leaping off cliffs, and even falling for a boy she’s only just met. Then the letters reveal an extraordinary secret about the inspiration for the Alvin Hatter series. Lottie finds herself faced with an impossible choice, one that will force her to confront her greatest fear once and for all." -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: "I'm fine," I said quickly, because we are taught as children that automatic response: I'm fine, when we are not. I'm fine, when we are anything but. I'm fine, when we can't stop thinking about death, about dying, about ceasing to be."

My thoughts: This book was adorable. It was magical and relatable and left me feeling so happy. If you're a bookworm (or a writer!) you'll love this one. It does read a little young in parts, and is a smidge predictable, but I didn't mind. Bonus points: It had a really good representation of anxiety, which I always appreciate. All in all, a lovely little read. I loved it. 

Should you read it? Yes!

You Are a Bada**: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Plot: "In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you're ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Bada** will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them - it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it NOW.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you'll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can't change, how to change what you don't love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious a**." -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: 

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.” 

My thoughts: Guys. GUYS. I don't know why it took me so long to read this book. For some reason, I just assumed it was an overrated self-help book. But I FREAKING LOVED IT. It had the same effect on me that Big Magic did, and if you know me at all, you know that's about the highest praise I can give a book. 

I am so happy I read this. I feel like I can confidently say it changed my life. It was like having coffee with a friend who sees the best in you and isn't going to let you settle for anything less. I already know I will be re-reading this book many, many times. 

Should you read it? I'm probably going to buy everyone I love copies of this book and send them weekly quizzes to make sure they read it, so there's your answer. 

What did you read this month?
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Monday, September 25, 2017

What September Taught Me.

That I take entirely too many things for granted. Electricity, air conditioning, being able to fill my car up with gas anytime I want to go somewhere...the hurricane made me realize how much I miss these things when I don't have them, which also made me realized I need to acknowledge how blessed I am to have these things most of the time. More thankfulness, every day. 

That today, it is very easy to show that you care about someone. We live in an age where being there for each other is so easy to do and takes such minimal effort-a quick text to say hi, a snapchat saying I miss you, a funny meme sent to cheer them up when you know they're having a bad day-but it still takes effort. I want to take advantage of the day and age I live in by using it to better love people. 

That I feel better, look better, AM better when I work out. There is literally no reason to not do this. 

That sometimes, you need to blow off "important" things for what's really important. Once I got power back on, I made a list that went well beyond one page. I needed to clean my house and do all the laundry ever and go grocery shopping and catch up on emails and and and and anddddd. But my best friend still didn't have power, so she came to me, and instead of my to-do list, I ate comfort food and watched bad TV and hung out with her. I got nothing done, but was so refreshed the next day, and that is exactly what I needed after such a stressful week. 

That it's so important to make time and space for what you love. I got back to creative writing just a little bit this month with this and it felt so good. I love writing, it's a part of me, and I need to make more time for it. The things that make you feel more alive? You need to make time for those. They're important. 

What did this month teach you?

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Finding Childcare: A Step-by-Step Horror Story.

Step 1: Wait entirely too long to admit that yes, you probably do need some childcare help. It's probably not the best thing for your mental health to never not be taking care of a toddler, and your job is probably going to fire you if your kid doesn't stop banging on the office door during staff meetings. Start looking for part-time daycares.

Step 2: Realize that no one gives any info out over the phone. If you want to know the secrets (like, how much does this cost?) you're gonna have to tour these places. Set up some tours. 

Step 3: Dress in your most "Professional mom with v cool toddler you'd be lucky to have" outfit. Text picture to no less than three people to get approval. 

Step 4: Show up for daycare tour. Realize very quickly that this is maybe not the best place when you see there are garbage bags lining the hall, leaking onto the floor. When the director turns and screams down the hall for an employee to clean it up, and the employee screams back that she will not be touching that sh*t, you know this is not the place for you. 

Step 5: Since you are polite, decide to finish the tour. This is a mistake. When you open the classroom door, a cockroach falls off of the door and onto your face. You scream, brush it onto the floor, and look to the daycare director for some sort of reassurance. Instead, she watches as it crawls over to a sleeping toddler, right onto his blanket, and says, "Oh. That's gross." When she asks if you're interested in full time or part time, you pause, trying to think of a nice way to say, "I just watched you let a roach crawl onto a toddler, so no thank you." But you take too long, and she snaps her fingers in your face and says, "I'm not a f*cking mind reader. Speak up." So you feel like the polite explanation is no longer needed. BYE. 

Step 6: Make more tour appointments. Find the perfect daycare. Cry in your car when you find out they don't offer part-time. 

Step 7: Decide to try for a nanny. You join and are pleased by how many applications immediately come in. 

Step 8: Skip from pleased to overwhelmed. 

Step 9: Your first interview! Oh, it's bad. So bad. 

You: I see you're CPR certified! That's great! 

Her: Oh, I'm actually not. I just say that to get interviews. 

Step 10: Repeat a few times. A few notables: The girl who "really can't tell you" what hours she would be able to work, the girl who would definitely not be okay watching your kid if you were in the house, and the girl who just refuses to leave after the interview is over. 

Step 11: Fall in LOVE with a nanny. Who, of course, charges almost double what you want to pay. Try to negotiate. Fail. Tell yourself it's worth it and you're going to hire her. Decide to look her up on social media on a whim. 

Step 12: Panic. 

Step 13: Remind yourself not to judge. 


Step 15: The morning after a horrible natural disaster, when the entire city is without power, receive text from said-nanny. Hope you survived the hurricane! Still wanna hire me or nah? 

OR, you could skip steps 1-15 and go straight for Step 16: Pour yourself a glass of wine and cry about it. 
PS: Since writing this, I have found the BEST nanny. She is wonderful and Jack loves her. So don't stay stuck on step 16 for toooooo long. 
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

3 Things You Need to Know About: Beauty Edition.

1) Nip + Fab No Needles Serum. Oh my gosh, this is incredible. A little backstory: My skin has basically been going downhill since May. I breakout anytime I get stressed. I started working out to help with the stress, but then the sweat broke my face out. And I randomly got these really pronounced lines that made me look chronically dehydrated and older than I am. I knew I wanted to try a serum, but after an hour of looking at Ulta, I was very overwhelmed by all of the options and also by the range of prices. 

I landed on this one because I recognized it from a few blogs, and it was expensive enough that I thought it might work but didn't make me cry thinking about paying for it. (SIDE NOTE: The link I put here is HALF THE PRICE I paid for it at Ulta so I'm a little mad about that, but now I know!) Guys, it legit starts working right away. I started it on Saturday, after a night of pizza and wine and awful sleep, and noticed that I looked more glowy and not as tired as I should have. By Monday, the lines I'm talking about were NOTICABLY less visible. 10/10 worth it. 

2) NYX Lip Oil. I will forever sing the praises of NYX lip colors. They launched a new product that I finally got around to trying, and I love it. I loveeeeee wearing matte lip colors, but I do hate how they tend to get cracky/crumbly after reapplying. This oil is matte, but goes on like oil (duh) and it's amazing. It does fade faster than others, but you can just put more on without it feeling like you're piling on top of old lipstick, you know? I linked the color I bought, but tell me if you try another color! 

3) Egg White Pore Mask. I've seen this in the Korean beauty section of Ulta, but it kind of scared me. A friend bought it and let me try it and I am converted. It made me feel like it was working on my blemishes AND moisturizing my skin at the same time, which is not an easy feat. When I rinsed it off, I felt like I could go without makeup for days because my skin looked so good. 

Tell me something I need to know about! 
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

just write: seven letter lie.

you are not perfect;
anyone who has told you so was a liar. 
but they were also blind, 
and did not look closely enough. 
if they had, they would have seen you
and seen that your so-called-imperfections 
are what make you incredible. 
the crinkles around your eyes from years of laughing and
the chip in your tooth from that one time that one summer and 
your stretch marks from when you grew into yourself and
your anxiously-bitten nails because you care so much and 
your laugh that is so loud, so different that strangers must turn around to look at your joy and 
your splotchy birthmarks and 
your frizzy hair and 
your sometimes-stutter and 
how tears spring to your eyes over any emotion. 
what an insult. 
what a lie. 
you are a vast ocean of imperfection
and anyone who has been lucky enough to watch your waves crash knows
you could never be summed up in that 
seven letter
l i e . 
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