Dress: Mud Pie

I'm testing out how dresses work in my life today. So far...so good. Later this afternoon I may have to wear running shoes for school pick up, which I'm not thrilled about because it means I'm running up to school and then back home after Baby Chewie who will be ripping down the street on his Strider. It really irritates me because it makes pick up/drop off so stressful and honestly, I just want this time to be down time for The Monkey. Baby Chewie wants his wheels and I want to rip them out from under him because they make me hate this part of the day. 

Vertical stripes look weird. But I bought this because I'm vertically challenged and it makes me seem a little taller, or so I'd like to think. Once a month I used to stop at my favorite boutique not far from here and I would buy something, this happened to be my something a few months ago, then I learned they were closing and I'm still so sad. It's not for a bad reason though, the owners decided to retire. But I loved shopping there, it was an old home that was turned into a boutique. So neat to wander around the rooms. I'm going to have to find another boutique to replace Lily & Violet that's close by. 



Open Cardigan - Old Navy
Striped T-shirt - Madewell
Jeggings - Old Navy
Socks - Probably Target and probably Hanes

Meh, I don't really need to add "Mom" to OOTD anymore. I don't want that to be my defining word. That doesn't really encompass my whole self, that's just one part of me and if there's something that I'm wearing BECAUSE I'm a mother, then I'll point that out in the future.

I need to get rid of all the cardigans that I own that are not open cardigans. All of my cardigans that button or snap just hit me in the wrong places and aren't friendly to my figure. I don't know why I never noticed that before. OH WAIT, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE OWNED A FULL LENGTH MIRROR. It's like I'm seeing myself for the first time! So I'm adding that to my list of things to do this summer - DITCH ALL THE CARDIGANS. Our local emergency program is going to end up with a shitload of button up cardigans that I should have never been buying in the first place. 


New Beauty Buys



Got it? Good. Did you notice there's no ads on my blog? I hate ads so I don't subject any of you lovely readers to them either. I'm sharing the love.

I added these three items to my online Target cart a few weeks ago and never tapped the checkout button until a few days ago when everything was on sale and I got a gift card. WOO HOO!!

Last year I focused my New Year's Resolution on skincare - but completely ignored the "beauty" aspect and I can definitely see that it shows in my makeup case because it's almost empty of makeup. I cleaned it out last year and then never bought anything to refill it...which means probably next year I'll tackle adding makeup back into my routine. GASP. MAKEUP. To my friend Kathy - we will go shopping at Sephora together. I promise. I'm slowly adding in more lipglossy thingys so I decided to try out a Burt's Bees lipgloss stick. We'll see.

But the stick sunblock is a necessary for my purse. I've always had the Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids one in my purse because that seems to be the free add-on for lots of Neutrogena items. A few weeks ago I used it on the kids and myself and all three of us broke out in a red rash so that one was trashed. I'm determined to find one that works this year. Alba Botanica has been nice to our skin here and none of us have been sunburned yet in the past few years that I've bought the sprays. I bought this hoping the same thing. Now we just need a nice day to try it out.

Badger is always recommended by the super crunchy granola moms in the FAcebook groups (insert eyeroll here because YES, I do belong to mom groups on Facebook). I have such a problem with all the "natural" sunblocks though. We always get a sunburn. ALWAYS. I've tried other Badger products and other sunscreens and not one of them have prevented a sunburn. I read the directions. apply liberally, apply after going in the water, waiting 15 minutes, etc... And it never fails, every single one of gets a serious sunburn so I don't buy the natural products anymore. We are Minnesotans, we NEED good sunblock. I'm not beneath buying the Target brand spray stuff because that is what WORKS and keeps us sunburn-free. I'm trying but...I can't buy stuff that doesn't work anymore. This Badger gets a chance this summer. 

Happy Friday!


So Much Waiting

With an older sister in a few activities, Baby Chewie and I spend a lot of time waiting around for The Monkey to finish whatever it is she's doing (swimming/dance/karate but I stopped going to karate, I want my Saturday mornings back!) Luckily The Monkey's dance studio is close to walking trails and the walking trails are also for bikers too. Yippee!!

Last year this area scared the shit out of me because Baby Chewie didn't have fear (he now has about thismuch fear, but still...not much). He would lean over the edge and I'd have to dive to catch him before he went over. The water isn't too deep here, but it's still scary because he hasn't had swim lessons yet, and those start in June (The Monkey will now be forced to wait!). 

The best part is being able to spend one on one time with each kid while waiting for the other one. I now have to run to keep up with this child on his Strider. Bimmer Man and I are thinking about getting a different type of Strider - one that you can attach pedals to. I'm pretty sure he'll be on the pedal bike by the end of summer. He currently HATES the pedal bike because it just doesn't go fast enough for him and he loves speed. I'm trying every day to get him on it so he develops the muscles in his legs needed to pedal and balance so that way he's set by the end of summer. I'm not going to fight him on biking, but I realized last year that this is his THING. He's good at biking. He does the adult bike ramps at The Factory which is an indoor bike park. He came in first place in Strider races. He throws a shit fit every time he's not fast enough, then gets back up and wants to race again and again until he wins. This kid is GOOD. We'll see where his speed takes him!



Navy blue crewneck sweater - Gap Outlet
Green V-neck T-shirt - Gap
Blue pull-on shorts - Madewell

I'm in the middle of sizes right now. I'm a bit angry about that because it means that half my clothes are too big, and the other half are too small. My shorts are too big - but they were also purchased secondhand and so the elastic is a bit worn out. It seems like someone squeezed themselves into the shorts daily and figured out they aren't stretchy anymore so threw them out. I just happened to buy them without noticing. 

That's a problem with buying secondhand - people donate and get rid of clothes that have been worn so much that the clothes need to be recycled but donation places don't notice how badly the clothes are worn. I'm struggling with buying off of ThredUp lately because of this issue. So be warned.

I've been working out quite a bit lately, but I really miss my cardio workouts. I'm ready for some really good sweat this year and I think I want to try the YMCA again this summer with The Monkey and Baby Chewie. I want to get on the bike and on the Elliptical machine and sweat. The Greenway in Minneapolis is closed for the next two years so I'm going to have to bike on more roads and safety really concerns me. Americans HATE driving by cyclists and don't give space, I've almost been hit several times now. I don't want to end up in the hospital but I also LOVE my road bike. If I could stick it in a bubble or maybe put a flag on it that sticks out 3 feet, that would be amazing. But usually when I do cardio my weight drops by 10 pounds and that's where I'm at right now - I need to do more cardio to drop the 10lbs so I can fit into half my clothes. Let's be honest here - I like my body, I like how I look, I just want to fit into my awesome skinny jeans! 



Flowered Bomber Jacket - Esprit (Good luck finding Esprit in the US! This is from Paris)
Pink T-shirt - Gap
Dark blue skinny jeans - Gap

Finally, spring has sprung here. I can wear my really bright clothes from Europe last year. I can wear everything that I bought when I was in a deep dark place over the winter. This jacket is just the beginning! 

A few years ago for New Year's Resolutions I decided to become more "stylish." I followed so many blogs - some now I know really aren't my style (like having capsule wardrobes...um...no...I like choices and this is Minnesota, today I'm probably going to shed this jacket and then find a skirt...maybe...we need clothes for four seasons in one day!). I cut several of them from my blog reader, especially the ones with too many ads and the minimalist wardrobe blogs. I love seeing what people can do with 30 items, but I'm not that person and I don't fit into that mold. I was thinking at one point I could totally pare down my wardrobe and closet but I realized that I really do wear a lot of my clothes. And I continue to enjoy looking for awesome pieces of clothing that fit me and my personality and that go with what I have. 

Happy Sunday!



It's a goal this summer to try to find all the parks in our city and figure out which ones are best for 3 year olds. I drive by this park all the time and we've never stopped before. It's a great park. 

Especially to bike to since it's fairly close and we have a few options for biking here - we can bike on a major road OR we can go the back way if I want a longer ride and get in an extra mile or two. 

But then he shit his pull-up and I didn't have enough wipes so we had to come home. He was so sad, but so exhausted that he napped for 2.5 hours. AMAZING, that hasn't happened since before he was two. So I was able to get plants into pots, get all the tomatoes and peppers into the ground and even  get some perennials into the front beds before he woke up. Unfortunately I didn't get the laundry folded, which is too bad because now the bags have been sitting in our living room for 3 days so I'm just ignoring them. Also, hindsight is 20/20, he naps way better on the living room couch than in his room, had I figured this out years ago, I think we might still have a napper. 

I'm super excited to bring The MOnkey with us on adventures this summer. She's old enough to bike herself so we're going to have to find her limits this year and maybe push her a little bit so we can go further and find more fun places to go!

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Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande was a very traumatic book to read. To note here, I read the Young Readers Edition, not the original memoir which I'm sure was filled with much more detailed information about her life.

Let's get a few things out of the way before I delve into my thoughts. This is going to be filled with spoilers. There is a lot of physical abuse in this book. There is a lot of emotional abuse in this book. This is not a book to read lightly. It will make you angry, upset, and the amount of emotions you have might be a little overwhelming. This also makes you want to scream BIRTH CONTROL. 

This book makes me so angry at the current Presidential administration. It also makes me realize how ignorant and narcissistic Americans are. I have so many thoughts and so many of them just race through my head before I can finish and then move on to the next thought. 

So, I guess I'll just jump in head first - Reyna's father first leaves the family and illegally immigrates to the US on the pretense that he makes enough money to build a house for the family and move back to Mexico, eventually he sends money for the mother to join him. The children see physical evidence (the building of the house) to know the parents are sending money. Then the parents have an American baby. The parents separate, the father gets a new wife. 

In the meantime, Reyna and her two other siblings stay with their extremely abusive paternal grandmother along with a cousin whose mother left her to go to America too.

As a mother, I can't imagine leaving my children for YEARS at a time. The mother pretty much only uses the children to get money from the father and uses the children to say mean things to the father. I am absolutely appalled at the way the parents mistreat these children and abandon them. Reading the Young Readers Edition I think upsets me even more because there aren't as many details that as adults we can handle, process, and understand better. I want more information that this edition doesn't have. The kids get tapeworms, cavities, they're malnourished.

This book makes me so angry with governments that don't want to help their people - by making birth control free and readily accessible (along with abortions), by making sure healthcare is accessible and free or low cost. Jesus Fucking Christ, no wonder why immigrants want to throw themselves across the border at any cost, it's because the opportunities are HERE.

So that's my take. READ IT.



Gray sweater - Gap, found on ThredUp
Gray/White striped tank top - Duluth Trading Company
Polka Dot pants - Madewell, found on ThredUp

Baby Chewie:
Red striped top: Burt's Bees organic pajamas from Target Winter 2019
Yellow striped pants - Hanna Andersson Wiggle Pants

Right now I just told Baby Chewie not to chew on a cord that is connected to an electrical outlet. That's right, when you're a parent of a toddler you're always on what I call "Suicide Watch." These kids will straight up electrocute themselves, drown themselves, or throw themselves off of very high platforms at parks just for the fun of it. I feel as though I'm always screaming no or stop. Unfortunately I don't think that will ever end with Baby Chewie. So be it. 

I re-pierced my nose after being hit in the face with a toy. Now my left eye won't stop twitching. I'm having a week where it seems not much is going right except for my meal planning and I AM WORKING OUT, though to be quite honest my heart isn't quite in it this week and I'm feeling a little fluffy (though the whole point of me working out is really to show my kids how to be healthy and to WANT to exercise). I bought a few new plain T-shirts at Gap last week because I realized I don't own many plain T-shirts and the plain ones that I do have are exercise and fast-dry tops. Meh. Whatevs.

Bimmer Man was out of town last week and I barely got by. By the end of every night I was ready to PEACE THE FUCK OUT. Baby Chewie only woke up during the night once, which was fantastic because I really needed the sleep. This week the weather is nice which means I can run him like a dog outside and seriously tire this kid out. TODAY my plan is to bring him to two different parks. 

I can't wait for summer to start. It will be so nice not having to be somewhere daily, though I'm pretty sure I can pat myself on the back because The Monkey hasn't been late to school yet this year!

Happy Wednesday!


He Found A Whistle

My life is ruined. 

He found a coach's whistle. 

My workouts last week included Baby Chewie blowing the fucking whistle with every new move/new weights/new pose. I mean really, he could have been Autumn. A little more cray cray, more words that I couldn't understand, but really happy to whistle.


2019 Student Showcase Fair

Horses. She chose horses. She must be mine.

Happy Friday!


DIY Hair Accessory Storage

Why do kids have a problem with hoarding and organization? I guess I never really did learn to let go of things until I was an adult (although growing up I'm pretty sure my mom threw away and tossed everything possible while my dad was the hoarder). As a parent it's part of my responsibility to teach my kids HOW to organize and how to KEEP it organized. But sometimes it takes 12,735 different ways of organizing stuff to find a solution that actually works. 

Right now I'm having trouble with hair crap. It's all in a bin, it's not organized, hair ties are everywhere and The Monkey can't seem to keep the bows in her room (I resorted to throwing them away when I found one on the floor because I AM SO FRUSTRATED FINDING CRAP WHERE IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE). 

I'm trying something new. We'll see if it works. 

I looked on Pinterest for ideas for hair bow storage - not all of it was exactly what I wanted and I didn't have a random picture frame lying around (who has random photo frames lying around????). I needed an idea for something that stores the bows/clips/headbands with stuff I already have.

You'll need 3M hooks, I used the clear extremely small hooks. I used 4, but you can use more or less. Hang those suckers on the wall where you want them to go. 

Next, find some ribbon (I used 4 foot long ribbon that is 1/4 inch wide. I would have used wider ribbon, but I couldn't find anything else in the basement). USE WHAT YOU HAVE. Don't make some special trip for this. If I had to, I totally would have used the holiday wrapping ribbon and The Monkey would have to live with blue snowflake ribbon. WHATEVER.

You'll also need something that's a ring - I used key rings, but I also had old shower curtain hooks and then book rings. Anything will work. These are used to tie the ribbon to, then hang from the 3M hook, so honestly, if need be, just hang the ribbon straight from the hook. No big deal. 

After gathering your materials, tie one end of a ribbon onto a ring. Hang ring from hook. Put hair bows onto ribbon.

For the headband holder - tie two pieces of ribbon together. Tie one end of the double ribbon to a ring. NEXT, every few inches, make a knot until you get to the end. The headband then goes between the ribbons in the spaces between the knots.

I had a helper who wanted to wear some hair clips, in BMW colors according to Baby Chewie. 

I'm hoping this small organization for hair stuff will help in the long run. She's really wanted to have her hair done in the mornings but then it doesn't end up happening because she can't find what she wants or needs. It drives me insane!

Happy Thursday!



3/4 sweater, found and purchased on ThredUp - Madewell
Short sleeve plaid button up, purchased last summer on clearance - Target's Universal Thread

At the end of this day I felt defeated, rumpled, and frankly, like I needed a drink. It was a long day. Everything went wrong, nothing went right, and I could barely get the dishes done. Bimmer Man was out of town, the kids were a hot mess, the weather wasn't all that great. Thankfully I had a good book to read at the end of the night (and a glass of wine, ok, two). 

I'm happy those days are becoming less and less but when they do happen, I feel like I've failed at something that I can't quite put my finger on. The kids are getting older and we're coming into new stages, which means more freedom and at the same time, less time for doing the simple things together. I think that's what has me rattled these days. 


Wacky Wednesday

You CAN use your children for entertainment, especially if they like being the center of attention.