Sunday Confessional

Hey All!

What a week!  It’s been crazy busy at our house, and it shows no signs of letting up either.  The in-laws are headed to our abode this week, J2 celebrates his birthday on Saturday and of course, the 4th of July is a week from today.  This will be J3’s first experience with fireworks, so I’m super excited to see how he reacts.  We bought a new camera today (a Canon Rebel), so we should have some great pictures to share.  Anyway, enough of that, on to Sunday Confessional!

1.  The first is in honor of another big event this week-yes, I have to admit it out loud, I’m a closet Twilight fan and Eclipse is coming out on Wednesday!  I have always loved children’s books and I think the Harry Potter series is genius.  When I heard that “Cedric” was in a movie about vampires, I thought it to be silly.  Then my BFF T-Spot’s little sister kept telling me how great the books were, so I decided to read them over my maternity leave last year.  Well, I couldn’t put the books down!  Literally, I was reading them while breastfeeding (bad mom, I know).  The movies have been okay, am I have to admit I’m Team Edward, only because lusting after a 17 year old boy makes me feel dirty (and not in a good way, sorry Jacob 😉 )

2.  That leads to the next confession…J3 only breastfed for a little over three months.  Not by my choice, but by the choice of my birth control.  I was already having some problems keeping up with the guzzler and supplemented after he’d suck me dry with the free formula that Similac sent.  Then I went back on birth control at my six week follow up and my milk almost completely dried up.  I was fighting like crazy to keep going, but finally right before I was laid off, I gave up.  I was sooo upset.  Then on top of everything, he had a horrible reaction to the formulas that had milk derivatives in them, so he’s on soy formula.  So I’m the target of some controversy when it comes to breastfeeding.  Oh well!  We’ll see what happens when he hits a year and can have milk.  We’re praying he’s not lactose intolerant.

3.  Probably one of the hardest things for me when I was pregnant was not being able to drink.  See, I really like alcohol!  That sounds awful, but I like the taste-I hate the feeling I get when I drink too many.  If they made non-alcoholic drinks that taste like the ones with alcohol, I’d be all over them.  And if asked, I am a gin girl.  I love a good gin and diet tonic, especially if it’s Bombay.  I’m not a big beer drinker, Jack is not a friend of mine, nor is Jose, but Jose is directly related to a bad 21st birthday.  I like my gin, wine, vodka, rum and many others, but for fear of sounding like a lush, I’ll stop there…

4.  Hmm, what else.  Well, my big accomplishment for the month is letting my fingernails grow.  See, all my life when I’m nervous, stressed or just bored, I’ve chewed on my nails.  I was sick and tired of paying the money to get the acrylics done, and no other option seemed to work.  This time I got the nasty tasting nail polish stuff and since I’ve put my mind to it, I’ve left my nails alone.  Woo hoo!  They’re growing slowing but surely, but at least they don’t look like the dog sat and ate my fingertips.

5.  One more…probably one of the biggest challenges I face is my ADD-yes, attention deficit disorder.  I’ve had it all my life, but trained myself to focus when I was a kid and in college.  Now that I’m a SAHM, it’s out of control.  I have half finished projects all over my house and it drives J2 NUTS!  That has in turn led me to be a freaky list maker so that I get at least a few things accomplished.  I’m just frustrated that every night it appears that I transfer 75% of the day’s list to the next day.  If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears!  I’m thinking I need to assign certain hours of the day to certain projects-does that work for anyone out there that has little ones running around?

That’s it for today.  From now on, things will be a little more exciting, but this laid the groundwork for some funny stories.

Until next time!

Nicole

Thrifty Thursday

So, I just cleaned out my closet.  For the record, I have a pretty good sized walk-in closet that my husband gets minimal amount of space in (he’s a nurse, he wears scrubs that FOLD-that’s why he got the big dresser).  After looking through my clothing situation yesterday, I realized that there were a lot of things I didn’t have a chance in hell of wearing ever again, thankyouforruiningmommysbodyson.  Lots of cute clingy tops, form fitting dresses, and short skirts.  As in about forty hanging items that needed to go benefit someone else.  So I cleaned all those out…and headed to the thrift store!  HAHAHA!  You thought I was going to say I actually had space left in my closet.  Nope, no such luck.  I feel weird if there’s too much space in there.  And I heard of a new (Well, new to me) thrift shop from an article in our local paper, the Star Telegram, so I headed on down.

Double Exposure is the resale shop of the Junior League of Fort Worth.  They’re located just south of the downtown hospital district, and I must say, I was impressed!  Granted, I love hunting for things, but I didn’t have to do much hunting as there were a lot of items that I liked.  Unfortunately, J3 was practicing his howler monkey screeches that day, so I didn’t have much time to shop, but in the short amount of time that I did, I found four super cute items, plus a few more I didn’t photograph (like receiving blankets and sleepers for J3).  Now, keep in mind, we are currently shopping for a new camera, so this picture really doesn’t do justice…

Double Exposure finds

Double Exposure finds

From left to right… a 3/4 sleeve Maggie London tan jacket ($12), Velvet tissue weight black turtleneck ($9), Forever 21 top ($4) and a Limited black and grey pinstripe short sleeve top ($6).

I was praying the Forever 21 top fit because it PERFECTLY matches a pair of earrings I bought and had never worn because they didn’t match anything-now they do!  I can’t wait to wear the jacket and the turtleneck in the fall, and I’m excited to wear that pinstripe top with a pair of capris.

As for previous Thrifty Thursday finds, here’s a couple of pictures of one of the t-shirts from Goodwill that I refashioned:

Love is in the Air t-shirt refashion

Love is in the Air t-shirt refashion-back

Now I’ve never written a tutorial, but I’ve read plenty-if anyone wants to know how I refashioned this t-shift, leave a comment requesting a tutorial and I’ll (attempt) to show you how.  Notice the word “attempt”!

Sooo…I guess I wrote this, saved it, and then forgot to post it, so Thrifty Thursday is on a Friday.  Oops!  Sorry ’bout that…

Oh, and if anyone has any advice on cameras, I would LOVE to hear your opinions!  We’re currently looking at the Canon Rebel, but we’re open.  I’ve owned a Canon before and loved that camera.  Then my husband bought this Sony one and I can’t say I care for it at all.  It’s a point and shoot and it just doesn’t take great pictures.  If you have a Canon, Nikon or Olympus, I would love to hear about what you think.

‘Til next time,

Nicole

Neutrogena UltraSheer Liquid Sunblock Review

After seeing a few people on Twitter (like @Strawberrykidss) say that they had been chosen to review a Neutrogena sunblock, I knew I wanted part of the action.  See, as a former Phoenician and current Texan, I know what damage the sun can do.  I had a precancerous tumor removed from my neck in 2003, and ever since then have been one to stay out of the sun.  I wear makeup with sunblock and am religious about applying sunblock to the rest of my body even if I’ll be out in the yard for 15 minutes.  So I eagerly filled out Neutrogena’s questionnaire and was subsequently asked to try out their UltraSheer Liquid Sunblock.

The day after I got the samples, I put on the sunblock after my shower in the morning.  It was not at all greasy or heavy like most sunblocks and absorbed right into my skin.  Later that afternoon, my best friend called and asked if we (my son and I) wanted to head over to the community pool.  I said sure, and thought it would be a great chance to test the sunblock.  I had applied it hours before, but wanted to see what coverage the 70 SPF would give me.  It was amazing in the water-no running into my eyes, unlike the drugstore spray on kind my best friend was using.  It kept me protected with no additional coverage after an hour in the sun and best of all, it didn’t make my skin break out!  I have super sensitive skin and most new products cause the blemishes to multiply like crazy, but not Neutrogena!  Needless to say, I’m in love.

My next test of the UltraSheer Liquid Sunblock will be this weekend, as we’re headed to my husband’s best friend’s house to try out their new pool oasis and will be in the sun for hours.  Stay tuned for an update!

Sunday Confessional

This Sunday Confessional will be short…today has been busy and tiring, but well worth all the work.  My hubby loved his new golf clubs, favorite home cooked food and the homemade gifts from J3 and I, but cooking elaborate meals will wear one out!  I’ve been thinking about my dad all day long, and in addition, my mother as today would have been my parent’s 40th anniversary.  It’s been 13 years since my dad passed, but the awareness of his physical absence never stops.  I miss my dad’s crazy sense of humor, and the jokes he constantly played on all of us.  I miss sitting and watching the Atlanta Braves play baseball with him, as when I was young he taught me everything there was about my favorite sport.  I miss the yellow note pad he would get out whenever there was a big decision to make, drawing a line down the middle, and labeling one side “PROS” and one side “CONS”.  Most of all, I miss the dreamer in him.  He was the eternal optimist, always seeing the brightest side of everything.  He never let anything get him down, including cancer.  Unfortunately, it did, but not without a fight.

I think one of the saddest things for me is that my husband and child will never know him but through stories and pictures.  My husband has so many of the same qualities that my father did; the strong work ethic, the love of sports, and most of all, the firm hand and loving heart.  For that I am grateful.

So on this Father’s Day, I just want to say, Dad, I miss you so much.  J2, thank you for being such a wonderful dad and husband.  To all the other dads out there, Happy Father’s Day!

Thrifty Thursday

I said I was thinking about having a Thrifty Thursday post and here it is!  As I mentioned before, I love thrift stores.  I love searching through things to find the good stuff and I love the fact that I’m not contributing to more crap on the planet (although I do my fair share of that as well).  In Phoenix, I was a regular at Buffalo Exchange, but the Buffalo here (well, over in Dallas)  is not quite the same (sorry guys).  So here in Fort Worth,  I frequent a few shops; Thrift Town, Goodwill, Second Glance and we actually have GW (Goodwill) Boutique.  This week I hit all four but only found things I had to have at Goodwill, the Boutique and Second Glance.  Go figure that the things I found satisfied two of my biggest weaknesses; shoes and t-shirts, although I found a couple of dresses  and some tops too.

First things I found: shoes!  From left to right, Unlisted by Kenneth Cole cream with brown polka dot pumps ($4-Second Glance), white strappy Ralph Lauren kitten heels ($4-Goodwill) and black Guess peep toe booties ($8-Goodwill).  I’ve been looking for white kitten-type heels forever to go with a couple of dresses and these are perfect!

Next up, T-shirts!  I’m on a music/guitar kick, so the one on the right has a drum in the background and guitars in the forefront ($1.99-Goodwill) and then the Fender T-shirt will be super cute re-fashioned only because it’s pretty big ($1.99–Goodwill).  I’m thinking of some ruching maybe…?

Couple more T-shirts: Red t-shirt with a white heart that I will re-fashion because it’s a tad too short, but I love the design ($1 on sale–Second Glance) and a hysterical “Love is in the Air” t-shirt that features one dog sniffing another dog’s butt.  If I can figure out how to write “Spay and Neuter your Pets” on it without being obvious it was an added sentiment, I will ($1.99-Goodwill).

I also found a couple of really cute dresses and a cute top.  Gap dark green knit dress ($8 GW Boutique), Ann Taylor Loft strapless dress ($8-GW Boutique) and I love this Charlotte Russe plaid top, but whomever sewed it together did a horrible job.  It may become a pattern for another top ($4-GW Boutique).  It’s too bad that no matter what the lighting or setting I used on my (crappy and about to get traded in for a new model) camera, you can’t see the details on the Gap dress without a closeup.  Oh well, I probably won’t wear it until fall anyway.

The last picture is of a top that I bought because I love the halter neck and empire waist shape it has-I have another one just like it in a solid pink made by Arden B, but this one is a funky rust colored striped material.  I don’t know if this will end up being the pattern I intended it to be, or it will remain the way it is; I guess it depends if I can accept the color on me without thinking it screams 1998 ($2 on sale-Second Glance).

I also picked up a few baby things, but only some fall p.j.’s for J3, but nothing exciting enough to show.

So does anyone else have some thrifty finds they’d like to share?  I would love to link up!!

‘Til next time,

Nicole

Sunday Confessionals

Yes, I know it’s Tuesday.  Yes, I know that I really am the crappiest blogger on the planet.  But, alas, if I don’t sit down and finish writing this today, I will never get on a schedule.  And I love writing, almost as much as I love reading other people’s posts and since my husband makes fun of my blog addiction, I guess maybe I’ll write so he’ll stop.  So here I am, starting this little series I’m going to call “Sunday Confessionals”.  Basically, I get to “confess” all the things I love and hate and then let people discuss them (if I ever have any followers–hey, it could happen).  I’ll start off slow–10 things today and maybe more next Sunday, but for now, here’s some tidbits about me that might (or might not) be interesting…

1.  I have lived all over the western U.S.-I was born in Washington State, have lived in Oregon, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and currently reside in Texas (Fort Worth area to be exact).  I grew up in Spokane, lived in Phoenix for 15 years and moved to Texas four years ago.  I love Texas, but miss my family in Phoenix like crazy (and the food…and mountains…and the fact everyone has a swimming pool in their backyard…but I digress!  I could write an entire post on Phoenix and probably will some day-stay tuned).

2.  That leads me to #2-I grew up with my stay at home mom, retail big-wig manager dad and two younger brothers, whom shall be called Mom, Dad, Darth B and No Neck from here on out.  They’re a pretty funny bunch, although I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer in 1997.  Yeah, cancer sucks.  The same form of cancer got my dad’s dad too, so it really sucks in our family, as that’s all we seem to go from in the end.  Darth B has a long term girlfriend, Tree Hugger, and a little girl, Ry-Boo.  No Neck has a girlfriend that I hear he’s very serious about that I will call Sonnet for an inside joke.  She did graduate from Arizona State though, which is my school of choice (no, I didn’t end up graduating from there, but my blood runs maroon and gold as I attended there for many moons in the Jake Plummer/Chris Tillman years), so I can’t knock her too much.  Together, we are quite the dysfunctional, yet hilarious, family.  Just ask my BFF’s, T-spot and BBKF.  They are always highly entertained at our family gatherings.  We are rowdy, irreverent and are constantly bantering.  My poor, poor mom.

3.  I got married young to someone that wasn’t right for me, go figure, because at 22 you barely know your own darn name.  I divorced him a year later right after my father died, which is another story for another day.  I met my (now) husband in 2005, we were married in 2007 and in 2009, two days after our second anniversary, we had had our son.  From here on out, DH is J2 and DS is J3 (yep, he’s a third…).  Both are my world, my universe, the sun(s) that I revolve around.  I couldn’t be more lucky.  Granted, there are days where I wonder if I could put both of them on Ebay or Craigslist because they’re driving me nucking futs, but those days aren’t enough for me to sell either one of them (yet).  J2 is a registered nurse and works in the cardiac and regular ICU at the hospital where J3 was born.  He is one of the best nurses I know, and having worked in the health care industry for a long time, I know quite a few.  And I’m not biased, I swear, he really is that good.  He makes me proud to be his wife every single day.  And J3?  Well, he makes everything worthwhile.  🙂

4.  After having J3, I got about three weeks of maternity leave before I started working from home, and was back to work a month after his birth.  I got pretty damn screwed on the whole maternity leave thing, but when you work for a small company, that’s how it goes.  The upside of that is that I got to take J3 to work with me every day-until I was laid off December 19th from the company that I had worked for going on six years.  Best damn thing that ever happened to me (besides the usual things like marriage, baby, etc).  I never thought I could be a SAHM, but I am and loving it!  Take that corporate America!  I plan on being my own boss and watching my child(ren) grow up, not punching the clock to make someone else money.  I am done with those days.

5.  I am about to finish up all the prelims on my business (Mommy Moxie) and am hoping to launch by July 1st.  I am an anal, analytical yet creative person (there’s the Libra in me, gotta be balanced) and I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row so that I don’t have to go back and do things over.  I spent almost six years watching my CEO/owner of the company get screwed left and right by decisions that didn’t work out, so I’m trying not to go that route.  I know there will be some but I’d like to keep those to a minimum (insert sarcastic laugh here).

6.  Let’s see…what else.  Well, I guess you could say I’m really tall.  Like as in 5’11” tall and am a total shoe/high heels whore (which then raises the height to around 6’2″ or 6’3″).  I LOVE shoes.  I used to have about 150 pairs before an ex-boyfriend made me get rid of a bunch of them.  Now I have built the reserve back up to about 80 or so.  Granted, that’s not counting the flip flops that I am totally and completely addicted to, and Old Navy flip flops are my fave.  I have Roxy’s, Havaianas and many other designer ones, but Old Navy ones are perfect, especially the metallic ones.  Oh, Teva’s mush flip flops are up there too.  Flips flops are another 50 or so in the ol’ shoe collection, much to my husband’s chagrin.  When you live in Phoenix, you can wear them year round though and I’ve never  broken the habit.  Plus, I’m not a barefoot kind of person, so I wear them all the time around the house, which is all tile except the bedrooms, the media room and the den.  Because stepping on dog food grosses me out.

7.  That leads me to the hounds.  We have two Boxers, a 12-ish year old brindle female and a 6-ish year old flashy fawn male.  Both were adopted from a local rescue agency, Legacy Boxer Rescue, which if you’re in the DFW area and want to adopt from a great rescue group, Legacy is the one.  Our female was the first fur baby, adopted in 2006 a month after we moved to Texas.  We fostered for Legacy after that, and after five fosters, “foster failed” and adopted our male.  Currently, our boy is having thyroid issues, so he is Fat Dog and the female is Momma Dog.  They are the coolest dogs on the planet-neither of them bark, bolt out the door or fight, they stay off the furniture (when we’re home) and they love to be wherever we are.  Fat Dog lets J3 climb over him like he’s Mount Rainer, but not so much for Momma Dog.  She just gets up and leaves, poor thing.  Can’t blame her there.  Of course, them being rescue dogs and us once being volunteers, I am VERY pro-spay/neuter and am 100% for adoption.  I also tolerate professional, responsible breeders, but if you are a backyard breeder selling your puppies on the side of the road or in a parking lot and are selling them for what professional breeders sell puppies for, I will probably stop, get your info, and turn you over to the IRS, especially if I find out you’re using your female as a puppy mill and she’s on her fourth litter of pups this year.  Grrr….

8.  Another passion of mine is recycling and thrift shops.  I love finding new uses for old things and I have no problems shopping at thrift shops for clothes.  In fact, I’m thinking of doing a “Thrifty Thursday” post to show what I find and how I’ve re-purposed or re-fashioned it.  There is another blog that I read that does this on occasion, so I need to figure out which one does it and link up.  Some of my favorite finds are shoes (go figure) and t-shirts.  I love re-fashioning old t’s them into something new and funky.  Granted, I don’t have much luck with pants from thrift stores.  But when you’re trying to find jeans with at least a 35″ inseam, that’s not surprising.  I am frugal/cheap when it comes to a lot of things, but I will fork out for a good pair of pants.

9.  I am also an avid book knerd.  Yes, I know, I spelled that with a “k”, mainly because there is a really cool pub here in Fort Worth called The Flying Saucer that spells their knerd as knurd and I think it’s fun.  And it’s my dang post so I can do what I want.  Anyway, I was heavily into children’s lit in college (could’ve been that I was an education major at the time), and the love has never died.  J3’s room is filled with all kinds of books, many of them that were mine as a child.  My mom is now a librarian (she went back to work when the youngest, No Neck, was 12), and she has collected quite a few for me, so I have everything from Nancy Drew first editions to Chris Van Allsburg picture books.  I also read “grown-up” books and can usually be counted on to have my library card maxed out.  I don’t watch too much TV, so while my husband is watching, I usually have my nose buried in a novel.  Oh, and I read REALLY fast.  As in read-the-last-Harry-Potter-book-in-six-hours kinda fast.  That’s what happens when you’re the kid with the flashlight under the covers reading a book.

10.  Last but not least, I am also a music junkie.  If I’m working or doing chores around the house, I’ve got some tunes on in the background.  I’ll listen to almost anything, but my faves include Dave Matthews, Lady Gaga, Three Days Grace, Nickelback (don’t hate-Chad writes some thought-inspiring lyrics) and a band from Phoenix called Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.  Remember The Refreshments?  Roger was the lead singer for them and then broke off when they got too big to form his own band, taking the drummer, P.H. Naffah with him.  In short, they rock.  They put on a huge show in Rocky Point, Mexico (Puerto Penasco) at least once a year that we used to drive down from Phoenix for and it’s one huge par-tay.  I mean hell, Roger passes tequila around to those in the front row and partakes himself, so by the end of the show he’s having the audience sing because he’s a little tipsy.  The shows used to be held in a big vacant dirt lot with a stage put up in front, but since we’ve moved to Texas they moved to a different venue and I haven’t been able to go.  Still, they’re a riot and very fan friendly.  Maybe I’ll write a post on the time the bass player, Nick Scropos, tried to pimp me out to Mike Tyson at the bar.  No joke…I might have to remind him of that when T-Spot and I go see them play on the 18th of June up in Denton at the Boiler Room.   The Peacemakers have been a big part of my and J2’s relationship–in fact, we were married on the beach in Rocky Point because we loved the area after having been to so many concerts down there.  It really is a beautiful, sleepy little town, just south of the border (hehehe) and right on the ocean.  Where I would kill to be right now…with a marg in hand and a book in the other.  What a life!!

Well folks, that’s it for today!  I could go on and on, but J3 is up from his nap and I need to go to the fabric store (and maybe a thrift store or two).

Until next time!

Nicole