#momlife

It’s easy to squeeze by and keep up with your normal habits and pre baby lifestyle when you have one kid. Obviously the free spiritness takes a nose dive but after a while things level out. Then you have another one, and your a goner. Hygiene takes a back seat. White in your wardrobe is unheard of. Six minute eggs, toast and fresh fruit for breakfast is replaced with an Eggo waffle that you only managed to get warm on 3/4 of it. Damn toaster. And there is a really good possibility your toddler will eat pancakes for dinner more than once during the week.
There are some things I won’t budge on. I still tend to my feet (crunchy feet and bad toe nail polish are my nemesis) and unshaven legs are just unheard of. It’s a comfort thing.
What I have learned this time around is shortcuts are essential. Once you have children you will get so much advice it’s ridiculous, and a lot of it will be unwelcomed. But if you can condense your daily routines to, let’s say, 10 minutes, your golden.
Pregnancy #2 brought a lot of nausea for me so I was able to hone in on this task early.
Here’s a quick break down of my “I need to get out of the house with both kids and still look presentable while also attempting to be on time” routine.

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Marcelle BB cream. This is GOLD. Seriously. I got a sample in my Birchbox and never looked back. It’s an all purpose cover up. I personally use it in place of foundation. It’s easy to apply, has amazing coverage and it is so lightweight that I can pass out on the couch without washing my face at night and I don’t wake up with 75 blemishes already brewing on my face.

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Chela Highlighter pencil. I don’t have a clue really when it comes to makeup. I guess most of the time. But word on the street is that contouring your face helps make your face look better, or something like that. I watched a YouTube video on how to use this pencil like 10 different ways and it blew my mind. I’m that lame. But it helps me look “well rested”. Ha.

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Let’s be honest. Most everyone looks better with some color. There’s like 1 out of 100,000 people that looks good pasty, and I really doubt your one of them. I know I’m not. So this is a lifesaver. I’ve tried a ton of self tanners. The instant ones are a joke. If you already have a tan and need a quick fix those can manage. Remember I live in the arctic folks and our summer is looooong over. I don’t get lines with this one, it doesn’t smell horrible and I look sun kissed, just like they claim. Touché Nivea.

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Chuck Taylor “Shoreline“. Who doesn’t love shoes?!? I usually have 2 types of days when Andy is working and it’s just me with the kids. A day where I’m really lazy and don’t attempt to look nice and a day where I stupidly made an appt at 10 am. This is where a shoe that is super comfy, easy to slip on and oh so fabulous comes into play. These are the most comfortable shoes. For reals. I wore them the day I got them and didn’t get a single blister or toe rubbed. They go with everything and have that scrunchy back so I can literally shove my feet in them and walk out the door. Perfection .

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Keurig 2.0. Coffee is an essential part of my day. Of my life. I already have a drip coffee machine, an espresso machine, french press but you know what, simplicity is key here. Which is why I hit up my sweet loving husband for a Keurig for my birthday. It sort of feels like I’m cheating because it’s so easy. I literally need just one hand. Which is usually all I have available.

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Old Navy skinnies. Truth moment. I have this exact pair in a dark wash, size 6. They fit me perfect before I got pregnant. I wore them the entire time of my pregnancy with the help of a belly band ( so comfy by the way). And they are the only pair of pants I can wear post baby, that actually button and look presentable. By presentable I mean that I have a muffin top from them small enough that can be camouflaged by most of my shirts. Plus they don’t break the bank, especially since I get them on sale. I have a green pair, a purple pair, blue, coral corduroy, and 2 pairs like these.

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Meet Brittany. She is my post baby secret weapon. She is a personal trainer at my gym and teaches classes that after doing make me feel like I was jumped in a dark back alley and I’m dying a slow painful death. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic but it’s an immediate reminder when the class starts how out of shape I am.

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The silver lining is that she’s a good friend of mine so I know she’s in fact not actually trying to kill me. And because of her I was once in shape. So I’ll keep at it until I can get back in that bikini. Ha. I’ll settle for being able to button my pants without a couple jumps and deep breaths in.
My other must haves are deoderant on hand, granola bars stashed in the diaper bag and my phone charged so I can watch Hulu during those late night nursing sessions. But you can probably manage the rest. I can’t do everything for you guys. Geez.

halloweiners

We’ve been fortunate in the last few years in that Andy’s work schedule has him home for most of the holidays. This year though means he’ll miss out on trick or treating with us, so we decided to have a Halloween party.
Growing up my siblings and I didn’t celebrate holidays. This might seem outrageous to some of you, but we never lacked for things and have cherished memories of so many things other than what we would have gotten for Christmas or birthdays.
I celebrate holidays with my children now, but Andy and I share the common thought that holidays should have more than a materialistic meaning. It’s a time to give back and make it special for not just ourselves. I hope that when my children grow up, they have beautiful memories of the times we shared together and not just that they got a 14 lb chocolate bar from the kook down the street.
Halloween is fun because you get to dress up and you get oogles of candy. But it’s also a great reason to have a party. To gather your friends and family and spend time together. For me, that also means lots of good food and of course prizes! Duh.
I have a tendency to get a bit of anxiety and always want things to be perfect. I stress a bit and think everything has to be in exact order. Then it’s the little things that melt those stressful moments away. Like the smiles of our guests and the giggles of all the little kids. The laughter I can hear from inside the house and the glow in the dark tag session all the nieces started. Tiny people in adorable costumes and the smell of pumpkins that still lingers even the day after we carved.

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It had snowed the night before so we opted to set things up in the shop. Cans of paint and tools on the wall make the decor even better in my opinion.

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Chilly hayrides were remedied with a toasty fire and lots of hot chocolate.

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Pumpkins were carved and lit and the neighbor boy made for a delightful edition to our Halloween decor.

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The party died down long after the chili was gone and once the fire was just warm glowing embers.
Last nights marshmallows went in Hayden’s cereal this morning and straw scattered the yard and porch.
Not only are the pumpkins now warm from the morning sun, but so is my heart thinking of all the wonderful people in my life that I get to share this life with.

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diy: moon sand

Since having baby number two, it’s been a balancing act dividing my time between both kids. The perk of having a baby during the summer was that Hayden could go outside during the day and entertain herself. Now that the weather is getting colder, most activities are done inside. Despite my best efforts, after nursing and changing diapers, laundry and dishes, attempting a shower and eating a meal, Hayden often gets ignored. Thanks to Pinterest though I’ve pinned lots of fun projects for her. That way she gets something fun to do and it requires little assistance from me. It’s a win win for everyone. I don’t feel as guilty for not getting to spend as much time with her for the time being and she gets to be independent and creative.

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The highlight of this project is that it didn’t require I make an extra trip to the store for supplies. Flour and baby oil are really common products and I happened to have several empty totes on hand. I used one with a lid so that when she was done it could be easily stored until next time.
Measurements don’t have to be exact for this. I mixed roughly 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of oil. I opted to mix in a large kitchen bowl and dump into the tote but if you want you can certainly mix it in the same container your storing it in. It will only take a couple minutes to completely mix and it works best if you get your hands in there to mix it up. Plus you get to play a little bit yourself.

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Hayden has a large sandbox outside so we grabbed a couple tools from there and gave them a quick wash for the “inside sandbox” and she found all sorts of cups and Tupperware to build her castles with. She was busy with it for a good solid hour. An hour without asking me for fruit snacks 37 times. An hour that she didn’t ask to change the channel every 5 minutes. My living room stayed clean and I got to drink a cup of coffee in one sitting. She built and demolished over and over and when she was ready to be done, it was simply a quick washing of her hands and an easy sweep job around the kitchen table. There was no residue anywhere and her clothes weren’t destroyed. We threw the lid back on and set aside for another day of building!
For those of you that want to really go all out, you can change up the consistency and colors. Whatever suits your little ones sand box needs!

arctic life: october

So I decided on a new series of posts. You know, because I’m so awesome at Project 52 and all. This one requires a lot less effort though and that’s right up my alley.
Summers are pretty short in Alaska. May to August brings warm days and endless daylight hours. Autumn arrives and we all soak in the amazing colors and warm breezy weather. Then I wake up one day and head out inappropriately dressed because it’s now 30 degrees outside and I’m still wearing flip flops and cropped pants.
Documenting our ever so swiftly changing seasons seemed like a fun idea, or perhaps a really depressing one because I’ll truly realize how long winters are up here. Either way, it’s a way for all of you outsiders to experience a little bit of my life in the arctic.
Last month I posted about fall arriving and decorating the house for upcoming holidays, blah, blah, blah. I took some shots in the same spots to give a comparison.

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Though everything is still yellow and red, morning now makes for some very frosty foliage.

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It was 10:30 am when I took these pictures and a whopping 20 degrees outside. Which seems frightful. But believe it or not, I wasn’t wearing a jacket and didn’t feel like I would die of hypothermia. We experience coastal weather with lots of fog and rain but our cold weather is very dry making it seem warmer than it is.

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Most of the trees have only a few leaves left, and most days now have a shower of leaves falling from ones that remain.
Now here is a fun (or perhaps lame) tidbit for you. Most of our trees here are really tall and really skinny. I could be smart and find out what type of tree they are but really tall skinny ones seems like a sufficient name. Our growing season is so short in terms of weeks but we have so much sunlight in those few weeks that it makes for gigantic gardens and trees that grow tall but never have the chance to “bulk” before it gets cold again. Plus it allows for trees to be limber, if you will, since we have hurricane style wind at times. Maybe that’s extreme but it feels that way.
Don’t quote me on this information either, there’s a good chance I’m wrong on any part of it, but it’s not likely any one of my 7 followers are going to give a hoot.
There’s October for you in a nutshell. The hope is always that trick or treating won’t mean tromping through snow, and we won’t have to bust out the snow plow until at least Thanksgiving.
Now speaking of changes, this little guy is growing like a weed and it’s going by so fast!

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I’m doing my best to soak it all in and savor the sweet moments before he turns into a toddler that continually tells me “Your not my real mom. My real mom’s at work.” Like this one.

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See you in November!