Just like MTV’s unplugged, we’ve gone all acoustic up in this joint. We’ve unplugged. We are off the grid. Okay, we aren’t really off the grid. That was a lie. We did unplug though and powered down. We turned off the computers and put the phones down for awhile. We took a much needed break from technology and the incessant buzz it creates. We went acoustic. We hosted an intimate gathering full of our acoustic stylings and story telling. We were rockstars in our own right. Okay, that’s possibly a lie too but whatever.
The weekend was full of long days, longer nights and spending time with real people. People in real life. People living in real time. It was nice. It was simple. I didn’t miss my phone. I didn’t miss my laptop. When I checked back in, I didn’t feel like I missed anything. My inbox wasn’t full of treasures and trinkets. It was full of junk mail. It was clogging up my inbox the way Kentucky Fried Chicken clogs up your arteries.
This weekend, we endured many sleepless nights and some napless days. We attended a party with toddlers and a pumpkin patch. My totzilla ate hay and picked a pumpkin from my friend’s front lawn as it was the designated pumpkin patch. We spent endless hours with family drinking tea and catching up on lost time and recounting old stories. What we didn’t do was check in with facebook, instagram or twitter. We were too busy living in real time and enjoying real life.
Do you ever unplug and power down? Do you take a break from technology?
Hey friends! Check out this toddler size giveaway happening on Instagram! We are giving away a pair of wool moccs, leggings, tee and wool cowl in this giveaway! To participate, just click on my IG link here and follow the directions!
Easy peasy, right? Good luck!
It has been 11 months. Roughly 330 days and nights. I have logged a little over 1,350 hours of sleep in the last 11 months. An average of 4-5 hours of interrupted sleep a night. Sometimes less. Never more.
I am running on empty. I am exhausted. Running on fumes.
Yesterday was another epic of day of no napping. I lie…there was a thirty minute nap around 8:30 am. That was it. After waking up before sunrise. Waking up in the 5 am hour. There was one thirty minute nap. The nap wasn’t taken by me though. It was taken by my kid, the one that doesn’t sleep.
He doesn’t sleep at night. For the past 11 months, he has woken every 2-3 hours at night. Sometimes every hour. He has a habit of waking up at 4 am and not going back to sleep. Sometimes 5 am. Science Guy and I counted the amount of times he has actually slept any consecutive number of hours greater than 3. The conclusion….about 6 times…..6 times in the past 11 months.
Sleepless nights are compounded by sleepless days sometimes. Those are the days that I run on empty. I run on fumes. I feel like I have nothing left. I sometimes secretly wish that I could drop him off at daycare and someone else could handle him for a little bit. I could just have some quiet time. A minute by myself. A moment to think. Some time to regroup. Maybe even a nap.
Then, I look at my sweet baby and he fills my love tank up. The tank is full. The battery is recharged. I can keep moving.
So what do you a buy a one year old for his birthday? Obviously, you don’t need to buy him anything because really he has no idea it is his birthday or what a birthday even is. Same applies to all the other typical holidays that we commemorate with presents and gifts. Dude, he’s got no idea what’s going on.
However, in case you are the crazy type that thinks one year olds need gifts, here is a birthday wish list with some ideas. My kid put this list all together by himself based on his preferences.
Holy smokes! I have a soon to be totzilla (yes, I love that word too. I learned it from my friend, Natalie). Count down to birthday time is on like donkey kong.
Do you know people who always wait until the last minute? The people that wait until the 11th hour to do things? The people that have plenty of advance notice but never actually take advantage of it? The ones that don’t know the early bird gets the worm?
These are the same people that jam up the division of motor vehicles getting the car inspected on the 30th of the month even though they have known for 2 years now that this day was coming. These are the same people that don’t have bread or milk in the house and feel the need to jam up the supermarket when the weatherman hints at snow like the apocalypse is coming. The same people that require rush delivery on the their kid’s birthday invites even though they pretty much know that their kid’s birthday falls on the same day every year. You see what I am saying?
We all know these people.
I was never one of them though. I was a planner. I had to do lists. They contained tidy little check marks as I went through my days and weeks accomplishing tasks. I was a task master. I had a shopping list, a cleaning list, a schedule of yoga classes on the refrigerator and an appointment for a pedicure. I mean for crying out loud, I made sure we got our Christmas tree and holiday table runners before I headed to the hospital to have a baby.
That was then. This is now.
Now, I am the 11th hour mom. I am that lady with scraps of random paper free floating in my diaper bag. The lady that makes to do lists and subsequently goes the entire week forgetting to check said to do list. The mom that knows her kid’s birthday is one month away but keeps forgetting to plan for it every day that passes. I am the mom that had known for months now that my family was having their pictures taken on Saturday but waited until the 11th hour to find something to wear. I felt pretty victorious that my family showed up in clean clothes that coordinated. That was 11th hour luck, people. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
On an entirely separate note, let’s talk about my kid looking like an ewok. I am thinking that this could be his Halloween costume since I am also 11th hour-ing that….
This week has been unseasonably warm….again. I have no idea what happened to the fall weather mother nature promised. I am guessing it is stuck in traffic on the Turnpike or there was an accident on the GW bridge. I am still waiting patiently for it though and have dinner warming in the oven whenever it arrives. I am pretty much over the balmy weather and horrendous allergies…..in October!!!!
In the meantime, we did what we always do and played more dress up. I am pretty sure my neighbors are suspect of us at this point. I can be found in my yard wearing tank tops and uggs with wool scarves on any given 70 or 80 degree day at this point. I also made babypants join in the fun by wearing more woolen goods this week. This kid can totally pull off flowers. He’s such a hippie.
I’m really excited for this weekend because we are having out first official family photo shoot! I anticipate the use of cowls and woolen goods in my pictures even if it is 80. What’s on tap for the weekend, interwebs friends?
p.s. a cool shout out to my mother in law who offers endless support and love. I made my very first sale to her on Etsy! One transaction under the belt
It’s true. I’m famous. I’ve been nominated to receive my first award. It’s like the emmys, grammys, Oscars over here. It’s like I’ve just received the nobel peace prize. My writing on the interwebs has been recognized, people. We are going places. Make sure you are strapped in for the ride. It’s straight to the top for me.
I jest a little. Actually, I was selected to participate in something called the Sunshine Awards which is another blogger’s way of recognizing your efforts in the blogging community. Still pretty cool anyway you slice it since I was pretty much under the impression that 0 people actually read my blog.
“For the Sunshine Award, the blogger must:
Several people have inquired about my photo collage/inspiration boards and how I have made them. So today, interwebs, I am sharing my step by step tutorial with you. You too can create this montage (as seen below) without photoshop or relying on polyvore. I’ve tried both. Photoshop was way over my head. I don’t even have the full version. I have the watered down user friendly version known as elements and I couldn’t even handle that. And well, polyvore just isn’t my style. It’s an online community mostly of fashionistas not cloth diapering mamas. Today I will teach you how to use good ol’ PicMonkey!
So without further ado….let’s do this. Buckle your seatbelts kids. It’s about to get crazy. So above, you will see that we are going camping according to this inspiration board and I have carefully laid out the 5 necessary items that my 10 month old will need to survive in the woods. You are wondering how I made such loveliness, no?
Here ya go…
Step 1. Open up PicMonkey and select the collage tab from the menu. A white screen will pop up and you will save this blank background to your desktop or files. Once you have saved, return to PicMonkey and open up the collage menu. This time, you will click on the paint palette at the bottom left hand sidebar and select transparent. The white background will become clear now and you will no longer be able to see it but it is there. Save this background as well to your files and label it clear. You should now have one white background and one clear background saved to your desktop or files.
Now, go collect the items or pictures you want to use in your inspiration board. For best results, choose photos or images with white backgrounds. Once you locate your items, save them to your desktop or files. When saving, it is always best practice to rename the images so that you can easily identify them when you need to open them. For example: I would name these jeans “camp jeans”….easy identifier if I know I am pulling them for my camp board when scrolling through my files.
So by now you should have saved a white background to your desktop as well as all of the images you want to use in your board.
Open PicMonkey. This time select the “edit” photo tab. Go to “open” photo and select the white background that we saved in step 1. Once your background loads, your page should look like the photo above.
Now, you are going to begin adding all of the images and photos you saved for your board. To do this, click the butterfly on the left tab. This is the overlay menu. PicMonkey has a variety of overlays that you can use in your projects and also offers the ability to use your own. Click the “your own” tab at the top. It will prompt you to open your own image. Find your images and choose one to open.
Your image, once loaded, should appear in the middle of your white background. You can easily move and resize the image as you wish. Continue to open all of the images that you wish to include in your board.
You can arrange them as you wish and resize as you see fit. Most of your photos will have a white background which won’t be noticeable unless your images overlap. You can remove the white background for each image (overlay) by selecting the “darken” option in the Blend mode while editing. It might make no sense now but you will figure it out and wonder how it made no sense initially.
At this time, you can also add any text or visual images or overlays to your board. PicMonkey offers lots of free options. You can always upgrade to the paid version too for more options.
You may also wish to resize your image at this time. I normally resize my boards to 500×500 but today’s board is the original size. Entirely up to you and what your blog width/layout will allow.
My mood board is all spiffed up now with images, illustrations and text and ready to be saved. Click the save tab at the top, rename and confirm by selecting the save tab in green. Insert into your next blog post and look like a rockstar.
And just in case you forgot what it looked like in the beginning….
Easy, right? I know, I know. I have no idea why no one has posted this before, Maybe they have and I just can’t find it. So, hopefully this will help you create fantastic vision boards for yourself. At least you and your kids will be able to go camping now since I selected their outfit…
And in other news, tomorrow I am participating in a special post. I have been recognized by a fellow blogger and nominated for a sunshine award in which I will share a little more randomness about myself!
I stressed a little bit when I found out I was having a boy. I knew dressing my child would be a challenge. Boy fashion is hit or miss and not as easily accessible as girl style. You can pretty much find cute inexpensive girl clothing anywhere, but boys….poor boys. I understand now why so many men grow up without an innate sense of style. It clearly starts in their early years. Lucky for me, Gap and Old Navy have provided a bounty of cute inexpensive styles for my rugged little babypants. They are always running sales and specials which is a bonus for the bank account too. Take a peak at some of my fall favorites.
I could recap my weekend for you, my internet friends. I could bore you with more stories of how I have been sick. Stories of needing soup, tea and tissues. Or perhaps, I could tell you all of the awesome things I did, places I went and people I hung out with. I won’t do any of that though. Instead, I would like to tell you that in near mid October we experienced yet more unseasonably warm temperatures. Like in the 70’s temperatures. Like I think “I live in a warm climate” temperatures.
Last weekend, we hit temps in the 80’s. Naturally, I winterized my closet by bringing out all my heavy hitters and getting them ready for rotation. People, we are talking about wool sweaters and boots. Lots of them. Isn’t that what everyone does in unseasonably warm temps? Winterize their closet?
Not to disappoint, this weekend with our unseasonably warm temps, we fantasized about the cooler weather by dressing up in our sweaters, scarves, hats and mittens. Not a game for the weak and weary. Don’t try this at home…
That’s how we roll. Waiting for the cold to roll in only so we can complain about it and wait for the heat to roll in. Vicious cycle, people, vicious cycle.
Before I head out, I want to introduce you to my friend, Beth, at Structure in an Unstructured Life. She blogs about all things mamahood and wrote a great piece on what being a great mom is all about. I really loved the piece and wanted to share with you! Go check her out and let me know what you think!
boss lady with mittens