Posts Tagged ‘things I love’

Laundry Is My New Hobby

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Every year that I’m an adult, I do a couple more adulty type things that make me feel like an actual grown up instead of someone just pretending to be a grown-up. Any time I have to call the insurance company is a big one. Having a hairdresser (as opposed to just going to Super Cuts) is another. I suppose giving birth to children should be on that list, but mostly I still can’t believe I’ve been allowed to create and become responsible for so many humans.

This year’s big accomplishment is finally become proficient in laundry. I’m not sure if I’m just suffering from an abundance of second-trimester energy or what, but our laundry baskets are empty a significantly greater amount of time than they’re full. Let’s just not talk about actually putting AWAY the laundry. That part is still a big nope. But washing? I love washing.

I can tell you what the turning point was. I have a friend who told me she doesn’t dry her kids’ clothes in the dryer. She might as well have told me she sleeps hanging upsidedown like a bat. I thought she was a CRAZY PERSON. Do you know just how many clothes my kids wear? MILLIONS. A million different articles of clothing a day. Where do you put them to dry? What’s so bad about the dryer?

THEN I discovered the world of children’s clothing resale pages on Facebook. If the idea of buying and selling stuff on Facebook is weird to you, you’re the last person in America who has never been invited to a LulaRoe sale. But beyond regular FB parties is the resale world – cloth diapers, leggings, baby carriers, fabric, purses, neighborhood yard sale sites where you can buy everything from a canoe to a car. I’ve taken part in a lot of this sort of thing but it never occurred to me there was a market for kids’ clothes. Since I’m a huge fan of “nice” brands, like Mini Boden and Hanna Andersson, those groups totally got me. I’m now fully immersed in the second-hand world, where a pair of kids shorts in good used condition still resells for $25 and I saw a hard to find toddler t-shirt listed at $100. On these pages, “we don’t use the dryer on our boden/hanna” is a standard listing claim and “wash wear” can cut your value in half. So after I had ordered a few things, I popped over to Amazon and ordered a drying rack. It fits nicely in our bathtub to keep it out of the way and can be moved to the guest room if the kids HAVE to have a bath. It’s also come in handy for my new cloth diapers as part of the Make Cloth Mainstream Challenge, especially for sunny days where I can dry them outside. It’s not actually that hard to just grab my no-dryer stuff as I put the rest in the dryer (I still dry probably 80% of our laundry) and everything gets dry in 24 hours. I don’t actually plan to resell most of my Mini Boden/Hanna, because selling is a pain and my children RUIN clothing, but keeping them as nice as possible for as long as possible is a good goal.

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Linc’s new shirt after he had worn it for 1 hour.

Another thing I got with the diapers is wool dryer balls. DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WOOL DRYER BALLS? They’re supposed to help your laundry dry faster and they TOTALLY DO. They’re supposed to make your laundry softer and they TOTALLY DO. And they’re supposed to reduce static and you know what? THEY TOTALY DO. I have three and that seems to be a good amount for my small-ish dryer, but I know nothing about them except that they’re magic. Allen’s Naturally also sent me a bottle of Stink Out, which is also magic. Takes the boat smell right out of E’s clothes and everything they touch.

My last new favorite laundry discovery is BunchaFarmers stain sticks. I have two, and I keep one in the couch storage compartment and one next to the washer. That way when Linc pours juice all over his shirt I can strip it off him and rub some Buncha on it immediately. Or I can use it on the throw blanket I keep over the ottoman to keep it from getting destroyed by dirty feet, dirty children, spilled cups and markers. I have no idea why it works way better than most of the less-crunchy stain removers, but it does. It’s probably because of coconut oil. Coconut oil is some sort of voodoo that makes everything better.

I realize this might be the most boring thing to be excited about ever, but it’s what’s making me happy right now while my toddler flings himself against his bedroom door refusing to stay in his crib and nap for the second time this week. I feel like at least ONE thing is going well around here. Also, Linc is wearing a VERY cute Mini Boden shirt while he tantrums, so there’s that.

Disclaimer: I don’t have an Amazon affiliate account, so those links (and everything else) are just regular links. I got the stuff from Allen’s Naturally for free because of the #mcmschallenge but I love them enough to pay real monies when I run out. 

 

 

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Oak Leaf Dairy – BABY GOATS 2016

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Apologies in advance for the many, many baby goat visit posts this month, but this is literally the best part of the spring and I am not actually sorry. I took the kids even though E was out of town, which meant I was watching or wearing (mostly wearing) Linc the whole time and means this first set of photos is very average. ANY pictures are inadequate to describe how sweet these babies are though. They’ve had more than 100 kids born in the past week or so, with 200 more to go (almost all mama goats have twins or triplets so it’s hard to know exactly), so in a couple weeks when the older ones are more like teenagers is when the barn gets super crazy and you’re in danger of being literally smothered by frolicking baby goats. IT IS THE BEST.

I’m a little sorry I’ve told SO many people about Oak Leaf Dairy. It’s gotten very popular and a little crowded now. I wish they were open either longer or on some weekdays so I could get my visits in when I didn’t have to share so much.

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Newborn goat in a box.

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THIS IS THEIR TINIEST BABY AND HER NAME IS GINGER SNAP.

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That is the face of a tween who just discovered the miracle of goat birth.

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Brand new baby goat!

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The baby goat barn is still sparsly populated enough that they’re keeping all the babies in the stalls

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Last year he just stayed in a bundle on my back and watched. This year he wanted down for a little bit to say hi, but then asked to go back up where he could pet goats without any of them trying to sit on him.

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Disclaimer: Caroline dressed herself.

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There are a lot of great things about the goat farm, but one of the best is that after all the goat snuggling the kids can go outside and run like crazy people.

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My children ate all of the cheese curds in the car on the way home. I didn’t get ANY. So it looks like we’ll see you again next weekend, Oak Leaf!

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Little Golden Boy

Monday, November 9th, 2015

While the big kids are at school, Linc and I get a lot of time together. I love it. Really really really love it. It’s been a long time since I only had one kid to take care of, and it’s such a pleasant experience. He’s a pretty easy-going baby (in broad, rose-colored-glasses terms) so bringing him with me to do my things or taking him places to do his things is fun. He likes walks, he likes people, he likes animals, he likes looking around. Things that might be boring alone are fun because I have a sidekick. A super cute sidekick.

I had an appointment last week and afterwards we had a couple hours to kill before nap, so I took him over to the arboretum at Conn College. It’s one of my favorite spots, I use it for photo sessions, but rarely do I just wander around. So we did. And it was lovely.

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Matching Pajamas Are Very Important

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, because I figured it couldn’t hurt to try to earn a few dollars to put towards actually ordering more pajamas.

IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS. START THINKING ABOUT THEM. DO IT. START NOW. CHRISTMAS IS COMING AND YOU CANNOT STOP IT.

Last year for our Christmas cards I did the kids in front of the twinkle light background while wearing matching pajamas. I am a huge fan of matching pajamas, both for Christmas and for photos. I have done a lot of matching pajama research, so I’m going to share some of my findings with you in case you are also in the market for matching pajamas. Let’s say MATCHING PAJAMAS one more time. It can be tricky to find them in all the kid sizes when kids span different sections of the store (*shakes fist at Target for making my 6 year old buy ugly stuff from the BOYS department*) so I’ve included that info too.

Hanna Andersson (Price: $35-$46, not on sale. Last year they got down to under $30 on Black Friday) – Oh Hanna. What can I say, these are my favorite pajamas in the world. I ordered two different sets for all 3 kids last year and they still wear them at least once a week. They truly have all the sizes, from baby to adult, although their Swedish sizing can be confusing at first. Buy big, they last forever.

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Our Christmas card photo

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STILL wearing last year’s Christmas pajamas in August of this year

This year, they have Star Wars Christmas pajamas. They look like traditional Swedish prints but are in fact Darth Vader heads. Unfortunately, buying ALL THE JAMS for my whole family would cost as much as our entire Christmas budget, so I’ll probably settle on the (still wicked cute) Dear Deer red reindeer ones.

The Children’s Place (Price: $13ish to $20ish? They always always have sales) – One of the challenges of MATCHING jams is that Evan is in boy’s sizes, and boy’s clothes are way less cute than toddler clothes. So the good news is The Children’s Place has red stripes in sizes from 4-14. Evan and Caroline could both match in those. The bad news is they (currently) don’t have the same stripes for Linc. Their toddler sizes run up to 5T though, so last year holiday stripes like these would have been perfect. I ordered Linc a couple pairs of TCP jams a couple weeks ago and they’re pretty nice. I love the not-feet style (like Hannas!) because then they fit for a super long time.

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The Children’s Place jams I ordered Linc – I love this pattern!

Land’s End – The first year we did matching jams I ordered plaid fleece from Land’s End for Evan and Caroline, as seen in this post where I announced I was pregnant with Linc OMG and also here, for our Polar Express train trip:

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BABIES, LOOK AT THEM

The have nightgowns that match the old-man style pajamas, which are both adorable on children. I love this green and blue plaid nightgown that matches the green and blue plaid jams for boys which match the toddler-sized jams (no baby sizes, but they go down to 2T).

Burt’s Bees Baby ($19.95+, which is less than Hannas but still organic!) – Have you ever looked at Burt’s Bees Baby? All my fancy photographer friends buy gorgeous, neutral clothes from them for their gorgeous, neutral photo shoots. I’ve stalked a few times but it wasn’t until I was looking for matching jams that I checked them out seriously. They have a whole family pajamas section! Toddler goes from size 2 to size 7, baby one-pieces start at newborn and baby 2 pieces go from 12 months to 24 months. They also have adult sizes, which is really tempting. Epic family photo, anyone?? All cream/white henley-style jams would be catalog-style perfect on Christmas morning. I don’t have action shots yet, but I’ll update when I do (because I just ordered the matching Candy Cane jams for all the kids).

If you have a secret source of adorable matching kid pajamas, please leave me a comment so I can also order those. There’s no such thing as too many pairs, since you wear them 365 days a year (even the Christmas ones). Happy holiday shopping!!

 

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Oktoberfest Fun at Foxwoods (Date Night!!)

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Sometimes, just because I have this blog thing, really cool stuff happens. Last week, that cool stuff was a special press event at Foxwoods to help celebrate Oktoberfest.

Even better than being invited was getting to tell my husband that we were going to drink free beer all afternoon. Plus bowling! Because who doesn’t love bowling?!

There was a beer expert to tell us about what we were tasting. He said they went out of their way to find cool, rare and probably unheard of beers for us to taste. I have to say, they did a great job with “unusual”. There was one beer that they described as “sour”, which was the biggest understatement ever. It was like drinking pickle juice. Luckily, I’ve considered drinking pickle juice in the past so I mostly liked it? Mostly. The beer expert also told us it was made in a brewery that is literally never cleaned. Never. They don’t sweep or dust or shoo away the spiders, so you get all that great dirt and spider parts in your tasty sour beer.

Like I said, “unusual” = accomplished.

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This one was extremely normal and fine and I liked it.

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Gueuze was the sour pickle one

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Social media-ers gotta soical media, even while eating pretzels

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This one was FANTASTIC. It was beer mixed with cherry liquor and tasted exactly like a cherry coke.

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I would like to state for the record I had nothing to do with that. Especially because 10 seconds later it fell over. Bloggers + 6 glasses of beer = poor choices.

After the drinking they encouraged us to “explore”, which to us obviously meant “play some blackjack”. We…did not win, but one of the other bloggers got $1,000 off a slot machine! Then we wandered around and checked out the updates. I hadn’t actually been to parts of Foxwoods in a couple years (Even though we saw the show a few weeks ago and I took the kids to the outlets earlier this month). It’s a HUGE place. They’ve updated the main shopping drag completely – it used to be very Vegasy with fake storefronts and cobblestones. Now it is all modern glass and wood and angles and soooooo fancy.

E and I walked over to Fox Tower to check out the new tattoo parlor, but before we made it he got a work call and stopped walking and talked about work stuff instead of paying attention to me. So I took his picture. This is his work call face.

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And this is one of the views out the window. The leaves are about 2 weeks away from peak color right now, it’s going to be STUNNING.

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Then we headed over to High Rollers, the bowling lanes. I knew in theory that they were there. I’ve definitely thought about going in the past. But for some reason we’ve never actually made it down there.

It is FANCY. I really really really wish there had been a place like this open pre-kids because I would have been a regular. It’s basically the opposite of every other bowling alley I’ve ever been in. It did not smell like smoke, it wasn’t dirty or old, the service was incredible. What kind of bowling alley has chandeliers, big screen tvs, and kale pancetta salads on their menu? High Rollers.

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That is a TERRIBLE picture of me, but I felt I needed to include my squinty bowling face for accuracy. I am willing the pins to all fall over. AND IT WORKS – I won a prize for being the first person to roll a strike. BOOYAH.

After bowling, we went back to Cedar’s Steakhouse for our Oktoberfest-inspired dinner. German food is meats, meats and more meats, so obviously our meal featured some classics. And more beer. Of course. (For the record, even though I was the invited media person – SO FANCY – and E was my +1, he did 90% of the drinking. Because I am a nice wife who knows he likes beer more than I do.)

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I never get tired of being called “press”, not matter now untrue it is.

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This was my favorite part. That mustard was on our pretzels during the beer tasting too, and it was SO good.

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I love being reminded that Foxwoods is RIGHT THERE, 10 minutes from the house, and a great spot for date night. I love date night. I do not go on enough date nights and I think we should fix that. It helps that we found a great babysitter my kids love and who swears Lincoln wasn’t a disaster at all while we were gone. I think she’s lying but lying is almost as good as him not being a disaster, so…. See you again soon, Foxwoods!

Disclaimer: I was invited to this special press event at Foxwoods that included beer, bowling, food and a $50 gift card to do some shopping (I spent it at the toy store buying Legos for Evan and coloring books for Caroline, because even at a fancy press event I am still a mom). No other compensation was provided and no one told me I had to write this post. In fact, you can’t even go to Foxwoods and order that beer because it was just for our fancy thing, so I’m…not really sure why they invited me?! Hey, I’m not going to question it too much. It was super fun and I hope they invite me to more things. 

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