5 for Five: Week 2

I'm back for this weeks round of 5 for Five. A little late, but such is life. Yesterday we celebrated Christmas with my mom, rounding out our holiday celebrations. We don't really have anything planned for NYE tomorrow and I think it will be the first year I'm not either working or on call in four years. 

1 // Send out my last round of Christmas cards. 
2 // Finish in schedule posts for this week. 
3 // Put together E's infant vehicle emergency kit.
4 // Update my EC with my work appointments, etc. 
5 // Edit Bryce's birthday photos. 

Only one out of five for the week. I have a bunch of posts in Draft and I'm in the middle of a Blogger to Wordpress transfer (gasp!). I still have a few more days off to get everything done. :) Tomorrow definitely needs to be a productive day in order to get everything done. I definitely slept in today. Oops!

Josh and I were supposed to go to Disneyland with my family this Sunday, but that's been postponed. No fun! But we're taking BFF out to dinner this week. I love spending time with her! 

1 // Spend all my gift cards. :)  
2 // Post WCMT to eBay or Spot's Corner. 
3 // Deep clean my room. It's a mess from all my Christmas gifts!
4 // Finish reading Insurgent. Omg, such a fantastic series! 
5 // Have no posts in draft before my transfer. 

Would you still send out a few Christmas cards even though the holidays are over? I'm undecided on what to do, but I know they'd all love to hear from us!

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After Christmas Coma

It's the day after Christmas, and Joshua and I are getting ready to celebrate Christmas number three out of four. Oh, the joy of us both having divorced parents. No really, it's fun to keep getting to celebrate after the real holiday is over. :) We plan on celebrating with my mom on Sunday when we get home. 

This year we both made out like bandits and we're so thankful. I got three new pieces from Vera Bradley to add to my collection, Joshua got a new computer, and we both got a bunch of gift cards and sets of movie tickets. And to think it's not even over! 

I hope your Christmas was filled with love, fun, and good times with the ones you love. I love picking out and giving gifts but my Vera Bradley items were definitely my favorite to receive this year. They're being used as we speak and are perfect so far.

What is your favorite gift that you received this year? 

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5 for Five: Week 1

Well well, it looks like I just couldn't stay away from the link ups. Especially now that I have the time on my hands! I see Paige do this link up every week and want to face palm myself for not planning ahead. I'm thrilled to finally be back! :) This link up is hosted by Jenn, over at Party of One. Head over to her blog to join in! 

This Week;
1. Send out my last round of Christmas cards.
I got some addresses kind of late and haven't had the time to sit down and write the cards out. Christmas is so close and they need to get mailed, asap. 

2. Finish and schedule this week's blog posts.
I have a few blog posts that I need to finish and schedule. They're all half way finished in my drafts. 

3. Put together infant emergency kit.
I've done one for preschoolers and one for toddlers, and now that I'm watching an infant it's time to do one for her too! 

4. Update planner with work appointments. 
Oh my goodness. I'm in charge of so many things at this new job, I need to update my planner to keep organized and keep on top of everything. I'm super excited, I just need to figure it all out. 

5. Edit Bryce's party photos. 
His 3rd birthday was at the beginning of November and I've barely started going through them. BFF fail, y'all. I'll be out of town at the end of the week so I'm hoping to do a bunch of blog and photography work while I'm gone. 

What are your goals for this week? 

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Oh, How Things Have Changed.

It's been a long while since I've written about things that have been going on in my crazy, very busy life. Let's start from the very beginning, shall we? 

I found out that the family I work for will be making a cross country move early next year. Meaning my position will no longer exist as of January 1st and I needed to find a new job. I found out in mid-November and began the resume revamping and job hunting immediately. I applied for upwards of twenty jobs, interviewed for three families and found a perfect match in the third family I interviewed with. I stinking love them already and I haven't even started yet.

After over four years as a professional nanny, I'm finally a #babygirlnanny! I cared for two older girls at my last long term job but they were school ages and I did a very part-time nanny share with a baby girl over the summer, but this is my first legit girl nanny experience. Hey, even both of their animals (a dog and a cat) are girls! I'm absolutely thrilled and so ready for all the frilly things that come with a girl.

I also had three math tests between when I found out my job was ending and December 12th. Can you say holy crap? Yeah, talk about stressed the f-balls out. I took my math final and I'm so happy for the semester to be over! I went in feeling pretty ill prepared but I was totally psyching myself out. I had no issues completing everything and actually thought it was quite easy. I'm feeling good and will find out my final grade for the class next week. I had a C going into the final. So we'll see!

All this was happening on top of working my normal forty hours a week and still having to apply myself as wholly as possible at work. There is so much more to share, but that's the gist of everything. I hope that I can get back on a regular blogging schedule soon :) I start my new job tomorrow and will be doing a nanny share this week with her and L, I'm tired just thinking about it. Two under two + toddler activities x3. You feel me?

Is there anything new going on in your life? How are you handling everything? 

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Every Nanny Has Fails

I had a very scary, traumatic thing happen to me tonight. 

I was babysitting my friend Molly's charge, when I went to go get a phone charger out of my car because my battery was getting low. I'd already been out to my car once to get my purse, literally five minutes prior...

I closed the door behind me, proceeded to dig through my car trying to find a charger [to no avail] and grab my backpack and go to walk back in the house. Go up to the door and turn the handle... *insert wide eyed emoji here* Jiggle the handle. Jiggle the handle as hard as I can. Nope. You guys, E (5mo) and I were LOCKED OUT OF THE HOUSE, with nothing but my car keys and a vague memory of "the neighbor map" and who lives where on their street. Side note: everyone should have a neighbor map. It saved us, kind of. 

We went to their go-to house and knocked on their door, no answer. Then went to another house that was circled as a go-to house, again no answer. One more house, but it's old people and they don't really know the family I'm sitting for -- awesome. But, he comes to look and see if any doors or windows are open for me, which was super nice of him. 

So we sit in my car with the heater on for a while then go knock on more doors, luckily someone answered on the first try. They're looking for DB's business card when E starts crying because she's hungry. You guys, I totally cried in some strangers living room. SO awkward. 

Then I have an a-ha moment. DUH. I can tweet/ direct message Molly, their normal nanny. Surely she'll have their garage door code and know where the hidden key is! So the neighbors kindly let me use their computer to log onto Twitter. Low and behold Molly did have that info and just like that we were back inside the house. After a bottle, diaper change, and lots of rocking -- E was off to dreamland completely un-phased. 

I, on the other hand, am completely traumatized and will never be leaving any sort of work house without my phone ever again. I felt like a complete asshole for not being able to feed E on time, and for getting us locked outside in the cold in general. But on the other hand, I'm thankful I had my car keys and the baby with me. Imagine if I had left her inside while I ran out to my car. I probably would've called 911 from a neighbors house, no lie. 

Have you ever stranded yourself outside before? 
What did/didn't you have with you? Hopefully I'm not alone in this!

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Handling Social Media

I was going through my blog roll yesterday, when I started wondering how other people handled their social media accounts. I post tweets, statuses, and photos to my various accounts whenever I want to, but have found myself going through my blog roll and YouTube subscriptions almost daily so I don't get too far behind. 

As far as blogging goes, it's usually on a whim. Like right now, it's 2:30a as I write this post. I'd like to try to get on more of a schedule, but that probably won't happen before the end of the year because things have so crazy lately. Maybe that will be one of my resolutions for the new year :) The only time things are scheduled and written in advance is during some sort of series or if I have a lot of time to write multiple posts. I also almost never have posts in my drafts because I'll start something, then forget about what direction I was headed in so I end up deleting it. 

Now I want to know what works for you, because I'm curious and totally nosy like that. Is your routine similar to mine, or totally different? Do you try to stay on top of everything by reading them as they come in? Or do you let everything pile up for the week and veg out on social media for an afternoon on a weekend? Do you set aside time for blogging or are you an "on-a-whim" type of writer too? 

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Happy December!

We're just going to ignore the fact that it was EIGHTY degrees yesterday in Southern California and pretend like it's blissfully cold like everywhere else. December means the official start of the holiday season for me. 

It kicks my booty into winter gear which, in turn, makes me want to wear all the black things. Color is definitely a seasonal thing for me. I wear a lot of black in the summer, but even more in the winter. Winter also means Supercross season! YESS. I am so stoked. Anaheim One is six days before our 4th anniversary and we will be going, obviously. 

My December weekends are chock full of things, from babysitting to work parties. I'm also really hoping to work on NYE since that night is a huge money maker for babysitters and nannies, but alas I still have no plans. Sad face. But, there's still a bunch of time to book a job, so no worries there. 

It's also Cyber Monday! I shopped online on Black Friday, and I can't wait to share a little bit of a haul with you when I get everything in the mail. This is my first year Black Friday shopping, and I will definitely participating in years to come. I had a blast!

Are you shopping today? Did you shop Friday? 
I'd love to know what deals you scored!

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Handbell Sub: Weekend Shenanigans

Remember back when I said if I did something exciting over the weekend, I'd share it? Well, a few weeks ago, my dad asked me to be a sub in the handbell choir he directs for his church. It was the ensemble's first performance in front of the congregation and it was televised! 

I only had two full rehearsals, about two and a half hours total, to become familiar with the pieces we were playing, so of course I was super nervous and just wanted to play and get it over with. I think it went pretty well. It not a well known fact, but I played the handbells for a few years in middle school. Ta-da!

Gotta love crappy church lighting. Just kidding, they make for an editing nightmare. Also, props to my paparazzi mother who was sitting behind some tall ass dude and still managed to get decent pictures.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope your day is full of family, food, and football :) The four F's, shall we say? I am beyond stoked to watch football, take naps, and eat all the green bean casserole my tummy can hold. I've been house-sitting slash dog-sitting this week, so I'm happy to be going home for the day. 

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My Christmas Wish List

It's finally that time! Christmas will be there in just over a month and I've finally compiled my wish list. There are a few more things I want, but that I'd rather pay for myself, like a pair of Lululemon pants and one of their half zips. The workout class I've been going to starts at 5:15a and is outside. It's only getting colder and Lulu stuff is made for cold weather activity. It also seems that the older I get the longer it takes me to compile my list, aaand the more expensive the items on it become. Quality over quantity?

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Clockwise from left:
1 // Kelly Moore 2 Sues Bag- I've had my camera for almost a year and I still don't have a bag for it. I'd also gladly take this Jo Totes bag instead. But omg, the 2 Sues would be a perfect everyday bag. Big enough for my camera, iPad Mini, and a few other misc. things I carry at work. 

2 // Tiffany & Co Narrow Twist Ring-  I've been wearing a left hand ring pretty much since J and I started dating almost four years ago. They've always been pretty inexpensive and get worn out really quickly, so this one would be my third (I think) and final ring. I know that I would be able to take this baby back into any Tiffany's store and they'd take a great deal of care in cleaning it. Note: I tried on this ring over the weekend and didn't like it on my finger. I'm on the hunt for something else. :)

3 // VS Pink Yoga Leggings- My go to work pants. All of mine are getting really worn out in the butt and crotch. These are a must buy, even if I don't get them for Christmas! 

4 // Glass Food Storage Containers- I've been wanting to transition over to glass for a really long time, but it's so much more expensive than plastic. But considering how often I eat left overs, I need to make the transition a priority. 

5 // Vera Bradley Large Duffle in Heather- I have a few other items in this print and I love it. I have a large duffle that's from another brand that I've been using for like ten years, it needs replacing. 

What's on your Christmas Wish List? I'd love to know! 

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Fitness Friday: It Starts From Within [3]

If you're new around here, welcome to Fitness Friday! My sister hijacks my blog every Friday, and writes about fitness and/or nutrition related subjects. She's a certified personal trainer and fitness enthusiast. You can connect with Kelly via her blog, twitter, or instagram. :)
Happy Friday, guys! Before I get into the fitness and nutrition posts, I wanted to take some time to share a few things with you. I'm going to use this time to talk about how I got started on my own fitness journey, as well as some of the highs (and lows!) I've experienced along the way.

I have been relatively active for most of my life. I got involved with Bobby Sox when I was 8, and continued playing ball through a majority of my high school years. I wasn't doing it for the sake of getting fit, I just wanted to play some good ol' softball. In the beginning of college my schedule was packed with classes and work, and fitness wasn't even a thought. In my mind, I seemed to look "ok".  But I can honestly tell you, that I wasn't happy. I lacked confidence, and I felt so sluggish and just...blah. I was over it.  Also, at that point in my life, I was facing some intense obstacles and I felt like I was losing control.  I desperately needed an outlet, something to fill my time. What I did next, surprised even me, and I had no idea just how much it would positively impact my life.

It was a cold and rainy night in December of 2008 that I joined my first gym. I remember it very well. I wasn't expecting to do that, but looking back on it now I can tell you that it is what kick started my fitness journey, and changed my life completely.  I signed up, and scheduled a free consultation with a trainer, who would later become my biggest supporter and is still a very close friend. 

The first night we met, he asked me why I was there, and what did I want to gain from all of this? Was it a rockin' bod, abs of steel, or maybe even confidence? The hot body and abs are wonderful results of very hard work, but nothing compares to confidence. The more I started to work out, the healthier I felt, the stronger I felt, and I felt more- you guessed it!- confident I became. 

I wish I could say that my journey has been easy, but I refuse to lie to you.  Sometimes I want to throw in the towel and just say "forget it!!" But I won't. Why? Because I have goals and dreams. There is a fire within me that is burning so bright that I cannot ignore. That fire has pushed me to run half marathons, Spartan Races, train for a bikini comp, and just live a healthy life. It is not always easy, but I keep on truckin because I want this.  And that's my point for today.

No matter what your reason is for getting starting on a fit and healthy lifestyle, make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons. Who cares what anyone else thinks! Do you. It's got to start with you.  It's OK to look out for #1. Take pride in the hotness that is YOU, and do something that makes you happy.  Just make me a promise, and hold on to the idea that you can accomplish anything you set out to do, but the drive and motivation, starts from within. 

Have an amazing weekend! 



Some things are personal, too personal to share here- right now. There is a major change going on in my personal life, nothing bad per se, just different and something I didn't think was going to happen so soon.
Of course, I will share what I can as soon as it's over and everything is back to normal again. But know that if I am scarce, even though I'm going to try really hard not to be, that's why. It's super stressful financially and I've felt very overwhelmed since I found out. Hopefully I will be able to share before the new year, but that's not up to me.
Today's Fitness Friday post will go live at 12:30p, keep an eye out! 
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PS- I'm not getting married, I'm not pregnant & Joshua and I are most definitely still together. No reason to get you all excited for nothin'. ;)


Cara Box Reveal: Fall 2013

I know this is late. Yesterday sucked. Don't be mad.

I've been waiting for this reveal for so long, you guys! I had such a fantastic time getting to know my partners over these last few months. Erica sent me a box and I sent Courtney her box. These girls are super awesome and fun, so make sure you go check out their blogs! I'm so lucky to have gotten to get to know them both!

I loove this scarf. It's right up my alley in terms of fall color, and I love that it's thin but big enough to fold in half. Black is my go to and I think the white splatter adds the perfect touch of "color"! I'm looking forward to pairing it with a cardigan for Thanksgiving festivities. 

I've already put this adorable list pad to good use. Same with the cute little coasters! I have drinks in my room all the time and may or may not leave empty cups around until I run out of desk/bookshelf/nightstand space. No judgies. I'm looking forward to trying the hot chocolate, but I need soy milk or something, since the directions say to add hot milk. Milk and my tummy don't get along. I'm sure it will be delicious! 

I'm in LOVE with this Julep polish in the color called Eloise. It's a really pretty navy, and you bet it when on my toenails a few hours after I opened my box. It's still there, chip free. I'm really impressed with it's staying power so far.

Cara Box

Thank you, Erica, for such a fantastic box! 
You can find more info about the Cara Box Exchange on Kaitlyn's blog

Happy Tuesday!

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Fitness Friday [2]

Hey guys! Unfortunately my sister is super busy with work right now and didn't have time to write her post for this week, so I'm going to be jumping in and sharing my go to healthy meals with you guys! Not to worry though, she'll be back next week :)

1. Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs with Potatoes & Green Beans- NOMZ, you guys. Add more garlic though, because it's delicious. Just don't be surprised when your mom tell you that you smell like garlic and your significant other doesn't want to kiss you until you brush your teeth after you eat. 

2. Hobo Meals- I can't wait to make this again! I'm definitely going to look up some spice mixtures and measurements to see what I like the best. I loved that it was super easy, prep was kept to a minimal as was the clean up. 

3. Chicken Noodle Soup- I'm totally tooting my own horn here, but it's SO yummy. I just made it last week and I already want to make it again. It's perfect for the cold weather that is quickly approaching, unless you live in Southern California where it was 80 degrees today. -_- 

4. Paleo Meatloaf and Cauliflower Mash. I've never made this before but my mom has and gave me some. If you're not one to cook everyday this is an awesome meal to have as leftovers! I warms up really well. Also, don't bash this if you don't like cauliflower, I don't but cauliflower mash is so, so tasty. 

What are your favorite go to meals? 
I'd love to add some new meals into my rotation that I can make in a pinch! 

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Vehicle Emergency Kit for Toddlers

Last summer, I created a Vehicle Emergency Kit for Preschoolers. The child I was watching at the time was four, and was likely to need items like bandaids, clean underwear or socks, etc. in a pinch. When I decided to build one for L, I decided to keep the word emergency at the forefront of my mind. I wanted to make sure I was ready for anything.

With preschoolers, they typically understand if something has happened and there is no food right now, they have to wait for a little bit, or that there is only a certain amount so they have to share. With infants and toddlers, and especially with L, that's most definitely not the case. Unlike my preschool kit, I made sure to include nonperishable food and water in this one. So that if something were to happen and L was with me, he would still be able to eat and we would have water.

I purchased two Sterilite Latch Boxes from Walmart, which work perfectly in this situation. The first bin contains various pouches and fruit snacks, as well as a pack of baby wipes. When picking pouches, I made sure to choose ones that had at least two grams of protein and bought a variety of flavors. I had a few coupons from MommyCon LA, so I decided that it would be a perfect time to buy what I needed to get this thing done.

I also felt it necessary to make sure I carried plenty of clothing with me. Remember, I'm thinking emergency here. I purchased a 3-piece set from Carter's that was on major sale, and also added a pair of leggings from Target, a sweatshirt from Walmart and a pair of mesh shorts from Walmart into the box. I wanted to be able to layer everything on at once if I needed to. I carry extra socks in my diaper bag at all times, so didn't feel the need to pack any. 

The second box also contains: a prepackaged emergency kit, sunblock, vaseline, infant pain reliever and a syringe, itch relief cream, eye rinse, a flashlight, pacifiers, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer.

I also store water bottles in the door cup holders and both boxes are kept in my car at all times. The one with food lives under the floor in my trunk, in the same compartment as my spare tire as to keep it cool and dry. The one with clothes and medication lives under the front passenger seat with the clothing side facing out.

Do you have an emergency kit in your car? What's in it? I'd love to know if you keep anything different in your kit than I do in mine!

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Bx3 Bites: Week of November 4th

Like I said last week, I'm breaking out of my shell and cooking new foods for the entire week of November. And that I did. I've been eating eggs and hashbrowns for breakfast, which is super yummy and perfectly filling for me. I'm just not a fan of the cooking instructions on the hashbrowns. So. much. oil. If you have another way (read: healthier) I can cook them, please let me know! 
Hobo Meals // where you create a steam pocket with foil and bake it in the oven for an hour. It was a good idea in theory. Buuut, I didn't put enough seasoning on them and my pieces of chicken were too small. It ended up being pretty bland and the chicken was dry. I even took it out 15 minutes early. 

Changes I'd Make:
- use full chicken breasts instead of frozen breast tenderloins
- switch out the green beans for broccoli
- maybe add butter
- use garlic salt or rosemary to season

Chicken Noodle Soup // To die for. Like SOO amazingly yummy. It was perfectly seasoned and flavored and you need to make this as soon as possible. Here is my pinspiration. I changed the recipe quite a bit since I like more traditional flavors in my Chicken Noodle. 

- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, sliced or halved
- 2 carrots, sliced 
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tbl. dried parsley
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 c. chicken stalk
- 1 c. water
- 3/4 bag egg noodles

Put everything in the crock pot in the order listed, except for the noodles. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours. Shred the chicken and add noodles with 1 hour to go. 

Notes: I cooked mine on high. I also added another cup of water when I added the noodles, as they were nowhere near submerged. I also stirred occasionally after I added the noodles and they took about 30 mins to cook. Mine came out with a lot of veggies/noodles/chicken and less broth (stew-like?), so if you like your soup with a lot of broth, you'll need to add more water.

 I can't wait to share what I make for this week. I have the meals picked out and will be grocery shopping tomorrow. What's on your meal plan?
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Fitness Friday feat. My Sister! [1]

I'm full of new things this month! My sister is a fitness goddess and all around badass, so I asked her to share her tips and tricks with you on a regular basis. From now on she'll be guest posting on Fridays, hence the name Fitness Friday. She'll be introducing herself, sharing her favorite training move and her best stress relieving workout this week. Stay tuned, we have exciting things coming! :)

"Hello! I am Kelly, a certified personal trainer with a certification from the National Council on Strength and Fitness.  I am a substitute teacher, and a part time shipping and receiving lead.  In 2010 I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton. 

In addition, I am a half marathoner and a Spartan Race finisher.  Currently, I am training for my very first bikini competition set to take place in the summer of 2014. 

My favorite training move is the front squat.  I love this move because it works the quads, gluteus muscles, calves and hamstrings all while helping to sculpt strong sexy legs…and a firm backside too! When life gets stressful, I like to put on my running shoes and go for a jog.  Fast or slow, near or far. It doesn’t matter, as long as I get up and get moving.  Sometimes I can’t get to the gym to lift all of my worries away, but I have found that running is the next best thing, and I totally recommend it.  It is quick, easy, helps get the heart rate up, and best of all- it’s free!

I am really looking forward to contributing to this blog, while sharing all fitness and nutrition info/advice that I have.  Please feel free to join me on my fitness journey, and allow me to accompany you on yours. We are all in this together!"

You can connect with Kelly on Twitter, Instagram, or her blog :) 
Happy Friday!

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Trying New Things!

I'm a creature of habit. If I like something, I'll eat it until I'm tired of it. When I cook, I cook what I know and don't have to think about. When I find a product or brand I like, I will only buy that brand until something changes about it. No wavering. Well, I'm breakin' out! I'm tired of eating the same thing week after week, so I'm going to cook new things for the entire month of November, with the exception of breakfasts. 

A lot of my meals will be coming from my Pinterest boards, called Paleo & Whole 30 and Oh No, NOT Paleo. Here is my grocery list for the week. Any guesses as to what's on the menu?

I can't wait to share my follow-up post with you at the end of the week. Hopefully everything is delicious so I can rant and rave about how much of an awesome idea this was. ;) And yes, this week mostly likely feed me for the entire week. #cookingforone 

What's on your menu this week? 

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New Blog Design & Happy November!

Have you noticed something different around here? Yepp! I had my blog design redone, I've been making some changes around here and a new design was one of them! I absolutely LOVE it and had such a fantastic experience with Brielle from 3 Eleven Designs.

Now for my inspiration...
My favorite wrap is my Kokadi Polarstern, pictured below. I sent a picture of the wrap to Brielle and told her that those were the colors I wanted and she did an awesome job at matching them!

As for fonts? I fell in love with Brooklyn's blog the first time I saw it, and she's actually the reason I chose Brielle as my designer. I told Brielle that I wanted to use the same fonts that Brooklyn's blog has, but in different ways. She accomplished everything I asked for, and more! Thank you so much Brielle!

You guys, it's NOVEMBER! How are the holidays beginning to happen already?! I'm so excited to start Christmas shopping! Maybe I should already be done, but I'm not. Oops! #sorrynotsorry

If you follow me on any sort of social media, you'd know I got an iPad Mini yesterday. Well, now I need your help- I want to know what your favorite apps are! I'd like to add a few toddler oriented ones onto it just in case, but am looking for mostly adult ones. I've already added a few of my favorites, but I want to know what your must haves are! :)

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5 Kickass YouTubers You're Missing Out On!

I love YouTube. I don't have a TV in my room, so I use YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu+ to make up for it. And let's be real, the only reason I have Hulu is so I can watch Bones. I'm also getting into The Blacklist, but I'm behind at the moment. We'll see how much I like it after a few more episodes. Josh and I each pay for one account and share passwords, also known as the most genius way to do things. Now, lets get back to the real reason we're here. YouTube! I subscribe to thirty-five channels, but I'm going share five of my favorites with you today!

1. dailyBUMPS with Brian, Missy and Oliver. Brian and Missy share their daily lives, the ups and the downs, with their subscribers. Before their son Oliver was born earlier this year, they had one loss and one stillbirth. I'm enjoying keeping up with them and watching Ollie grow, but since he's super cute that isn't a problem. They live in a multigenerational household in Southern California and I love that about them! Missy also has her own channel called Bumps Along The Way.

2. Alex G. This girl is so crazy talented. I don't listen to too much music on YouTube, but she's one I subbed to instantly! Some of my favorite covers include Royals by Lorde, and Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. I don't like the originals of either of those songs, but her covers are absolutely fantastic!

3. Beauty Broadcast with Emily. Emily is a news anchor turned beauty guru. She's absolutely amazing at what she does, and I love that everything she talks about is straight forward. If she doesn't like something, she says so. She's thorough but to-the-point and I absolutely love that. If I'm ever curious about a product, hers is the channel I turn to. Emily also has a 2nd channel called Beauty Broadcast Express, that made up entirely of reviews that are all five minutes or less!

4. JacksGap with Jack and Finn. These guys are awesome. They spend their time and the money they make through YouTube to travel the world and make films. They're using their popularity and presence on social media to change the world, which I think is totally amazing. Although they don't post that often, when they do it's the first thing I'll watch in my subscription box.

5. Plus1please with Colby, Kelsey and Nolen. I stinkin' love this family. Nolen is the cutest toddler ever, so full of mischief and character. Kelsey is super relatable, and real. They just announced that they lost their second baby and I love that Kelsey is so will to be raw with her viewers so other women who've also suffered losses know their not alone.


Some Blurbs

Oh man. I'm tired and daily naps have been a requirement, and even so I'm barely making it through class at night. Yes, I said naps. Just remember you get breaks, I don't. You feel me?  Tomorrow is my last day of work for the week

Lately L has been throwing all the tantrums. Yesterday there were too many to count. Today was much better at a total of three, even with a delayed nap. We've definitely hit the phase where he has opinions and knows what he wants, but can't communicate with me. It's frustrating for both of us, but I know it will be over soon. He's already got a few words, his favorite one being "more". Of course. 

L is also getting his seventh tooth, and I'm sure his molars will start pushing soon. I'm bring out all the stops. I'll be placing an amber order soon even though he already wears one necklace, and have been researching teethers out the wazoo. I'd rather be over prepared than under prepared, especially in that situation.

I made the decision to drop my Biology Lecture class. It totally sucks, and I really hoped that I'd be able to take two core classes whilst working full-time successfully, but it wasn't happening. I also think that because I need to pass my math class, biology was taking a back seat. I'm going to retake it next semester so I can focus on it wholly.

Christmas is coming, FAST. I'm trying to decide what to get everyone and I quite honestly have no clue, with the exception of a few people. A few being two. Have you planned ahead, or are you on the struggle bus like me?


Take Notice: An RSV Scare

Wednesday was scary. L had been congested for a few days. As I left for work I received a text asking me to meet my bosses at the doctors, because they'd had to call 911 because L was having trouble breathing. The paramedics came to the house and said he would be fine because he was still feisty- y'all, he's ALWAYS feisty- but to go to the doctors as soon at they opened. As an asthmatic, respiratory problems are nothing new to me.

As soon as the doctor came in she ordered oxygen, like immediately. Queue internal freak out. They ended up administering two breathing treatments, a steroid shot, and had him on oxygen the entire hour we were there. She said that over the hour he'd definitely improved but she didn't want to mess around so she was going to have him transported to the hospital. Queue major external freak out from both me and L's mom. I was already upset before that, but that was the holy shit, this is serious moment.

Before we left for the hospital, my boss told me I didn't have to go, but of course I wanted to and I'm really glad I did. I feel like I asked questions that they wouldn't of thought to ask and have my experience in childcare and my own fair share of hospital trips to thank for asking what I wanted to know immediately.

I have to say that the paramedics that came to transport L did a fantastic job at reassuring all three of us (the adults) that everything was going to be okay, and that this was just a precaution. We ended up spending just under an hour at the doctors and the hospital for just over three hours. They did a chest x-ray and it came back clear.

L was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis, which the doctor at the ER also called "baby bronchitis". It's caused by the virus RSV about 70% of the time. In my four years as a nanny and in my many years around children before that, I'd never had experience with RSV. Here's my PSA- keep an eye on your sick babies and if their breathing is labored in any way, especially in the winter (RSV season), make a same-day doctors appointment. L was only on Day 3 of being sick when this happened. We're very lucky that it wasn't worse and he didn't need to be admitted. We were sent home with an inhaler and chamber, and directions on how often to use it.

We had a follow up with his regular doctor yesterday, and he'll be cleared for activities and contact with other children starting on Monday. He's doing so much better already!

I hope that by me sharing this experience with you, it makes you more aware this fall and winter. That you don't ignore first signs of your sick infant or toddler wheezing. 
Pay attention, be aware, take notice. 


Babywearing: My Stash & Wishlist

Here it is- the last post in my Babywearing Series! I asked on Twitter if you were interested in seeing what I had in my stash and what was on my wishlist. You said yes! So here it goes...

 My Stash:
1. Kokadi Tosba WCRS, made for me by Emily. This carrier is my go to for doing quick things like walking to the park, running into the grocery store, or going to the library.
2. Kokadi Polarstern, size 5. The carry shown in a Reinforced Ruck. This wrap is in my perma-stash, meaning it will never leave. I love the colors so much, and feel like it fits my personality to a T!
3. Beco Soleil in Luca Black. I received this carrier at MommyCon LA, it's been on my wishlist since it came out and I'm thrilled to finally own one!
4. Earthy Bliss Wrapture in Barberry. Tied with a Lexi Twist. This was my third carrier. I love it a bunch, but haven't been reaching for it lately. It's actually posted on the swap, but I'm debating dating it down.
5. Girasol Mocha Berry, size 4ish. The carry shown is a Rucksack. This was my 2nd carrier, right after an Infantino Mei Tai. I've only heard about one other person having one. This colorway was an exlusive for a single store in 2009. It's here to stay as well. :)
6. Beco Soleil in Metro Black. One of the guys from Beco gave this one to me when I had to do nanny drop-off at their headquarters. I used to have a Boba Air on my list, but this has taken it's place. I plan on having the detachable hood embroidered with the phase "#nannylife". :)

My Wishlist:
1. Kokadi Ahoi v3, size 6. This isn't on my wishlist anymore! It's been pre-ordered, paid for, and woven- it's shipping from Europe next month (so I hear)!
2. Didymos Purple Owls, size 3. I've been in love with this wrap ever since I watched this video. I need to be able to that carry! 
3. Toddler Tula in Set Sail. Okay, so I'd really like to be able to get my hands on a Tula wrap conversion, but they're sold by random draw and are only stocked once a week. They sell out in seconds, literally. They're also unbelievably marked up on the swap & I don't know about you, but I'm not paying more than what I have to for what I want. I shall wait patiently and settle on this canvas one for now. ;)

Do you have a going wishlist? What's on it? Share with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

I had a wonderful time sharing all my babywearing knowledge with you. I hope I taught you something new! If I did, share my posts with your friends so they can babywear too. Happy Babywearing!
Babywearing Series: Basics & Benefits // Types of Carriers // Where to Buy // My Favorites // Helpful Hints // Go-To Carries


Babywearing: My Go-To Carries

I wanted to share a few of the carries I find myself using over and over again, even after I've learned new ones. I'd consider myself proficient at these two, and can do them without a real mirror, aka in public while using the side of my car to keep track of what I'm doing.

Front Carry:
Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC): This was the first carry I ever tried, and I still love it. Honestly? I don't even know any other front carries. I'm content with this one for the time being, especially because I rarely wear L on the front in a wrap anymore.

Back Carry:
Double Hammock: I LOVE this carry. It looks so fancy once you're all done, but is easy to do once you get the hang of wrapping in general. It still has enough passes to hold L (13mo, 24lbs) comfortably for a few hours when I need to. She shows some chest pass variations in the video as well, but I always stick with the original. 

Disclaimer: Always practice back carries with a spotter and/or on a low, soft surface (ie- kneeling on a bed) if you're still trying it out and haven't mastered it yet. 
Babywearing Basics: Basics & Benefits // Types of Carriers // Where to Buy // My Favorites // Helpful Hints // My Stash 


Babywearing: Helpful Hints

I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me along the way in this journey. I really don't know where I'd be without these things. I probably would've tried and failed. I've made some of my closest friends through sites like Twitter and Instagram, *ahem* Emily.

1. Wraps come in sizes. It's best to purchase your first wrap in what is called your Base Size, this wrap should allow you to do pretty much any carry you want. Your base size depends on how big you and your baby are. As an example: I'm 5'3" and 140ish pounds. My base size is a 5. You can find the wrap sizes and explanation here.

2. Join support groups on Facebook. They're the first place I turn to when I have questions about anything babywearing and there is always someone willing help me. I'm in Babywearing 102 and Babywearing Love and Support.

3. If you buy something and it doesn't work for you, don't freak out. Most carriers have a resale value that rivals their MSRP, especially in terms of woven wraps. Most people easily make their money back as long as it's in excellent used condition. Join the Babywearing Swap on Facebook. Buying and selling a lot of carriers is called churning.

4. ALWAYS practice safe babywearing. If someone has a horror story about a baby being in a carrier, chances are they weren't using it correctly and it was user error.

5. YouTube is an amazing resource, like really amazing. My favorite babywearing channels are BabywearingFaith, PAXmommy Jillian, SquishyMommy1 and WrappingRachel. If you need instructions on how to do a certain carry, type in the name in the YouTube search bar. I've never searched for a carry and not found what I was looking for.

6. Join a local babywearing group. They too, are an incredibly useful resource. It's a great way to get one-on-one help from other, more experienced moms if you need it. Most have groups on Facebook and meet regularly, just type "[your city]" and "babywearing" into the search bar. Babywearing is a huge, secret-like world if you know where to look. :)

7. Don't be discouraged if you don't "get" wrapping on the first try. We all have struggled at one point or another. I'd also recommend mastering one carry at a time. You WILL sweat, and you might cry. Keep trying! After a few tries, your muscles will begin to memorize and your baby will anticipate whats about to happen.

I want to do everything I can to help you succeed if you decide to try out babywearing. Are you keeping up? Are you lost? Have questions? Email me! :)
Babywearing Series: The Basics // Types of Carriers // Where to Buy // Favorites // My Go-To Carries


Babywearing: My Favorites

I'm going to share my favorites and carriers I recommend, as well as carriers I wouldn't personally spend my money on. Remember that everyone has different preferences and opinions and I'm just sharing my experience. This post is full of personal opinions. What you choose to buy is 100% up to you.

Brand: Kokadi. They almost always come out of the package buttery soft and only get softer with time. There have been complaints of irregular sizing, but I've never been unhappy with any of my purchases. I'd size up if you're really worried about it, since you can always have it chopped if it's too long, but you can't add more fabric if it's too short. Their designs are freaking gorgeous. 

Carrier: Woven Wraps. They're incredibly versatile and are really a one stop shop if you're not looking to spend a ton of money on different carriers. They range in price pretty widely depending on the size and fabric blend. Now that both L and I know what were doing, I can wrap him on my back and make it into the store faster than another mom can unload the stroller and put her kid in it. It happens all the time. Brand is a personal preference. 

Have I taught you anything new so far? I hope so! :)
Babywearing Series: The Basics // Types of Carriers // Where to Buy // Helpful Hints // Go-To Carries // Stash & Wishlist


Babywearing: Where to Buy

If a brand or store is based in the US, I'll buy directly from their website. However, a lot of companies are based in Europe, bringing up the issue with customs and the extra shipping charges. Not exactly a favorable position to be in as a customer. Thankfully there are plenty of US retailers to purchase from instead!

Popular Brands:
Stretchy Wrap- Moby, Boba, Wrapsody Bali Stretch, Baby K'tan
SSCs- Ergo, BobaBeco, Tula
Ring Slings- Maya Wrap, Snuggy Baby, Comfy Joey
Mei Tai- BabyHawk, Infantino, Connecta

Favorite US Retailers: PAXbaby, Risaroo, Granola Babies

I included the links to brand websites because there are times when a company will make a wrap exclusively available on their website, even if they're over seas. This is an often occurrence for brands like Natibaby and Kokadi. These wraps often become "hard to find" and "highly sought after" on the Babywearing Swap and their value skyrockets.

You can find a blog post dedicated to Splurge vs Budget Babywearing here.
Babywearing Series: The Basics // Types of Carriers // My Favorites // Helpful Hints // Go-To Carries // Stash & Wishlist


Babywearing: Types of Carriers

Now I'm gonna share the good stuff. There are many different types of wraps and carriers that I have to give them their own post. I'm going to try and keep it clear and concise, but we'll see how that goes. This post is meant to be purely informational, as I tend to be long winded with my opinions. I will share my favorites and unfavorites in a later post. :)

Stretchy Wraps- While similar in style to woven wraps, these are made of stretchy cotton. They are a long piece of fabric approximately 15 feet long that you wrap around yourself. According to the websites, these wraps are suitable for children up to 35 pounds, although it's not something I would do. These wraps are meant to only be worn on the front only, no back carries! 

Woven Wraps- "A Woven Wrap is called a WOVEN  because it is loomed (by hand!) by a skilled weaver..." [via] These puppies come in different sizes, starting at a Size 2 (2.7 meters or 8.86 feet) and going all the way up to a Size 8 (5.6 meters or 18.37 feet). In order to decided what size wrap to buy, take into consideration your size as well as what type of carries you want to do. Most woven wraps are weight tested to max out at 45 pounds, can be used with front or back carries, and there are lots of different ways to wrap. It's all based on personal preference.

Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)- A soft structured carrier, or buckle carrier, is a beginning babywearer's best friend. Easy to use and quick to put on and take off. Nothing to tie or wrap. These carriers can be worn on the front or back and typically suitable for children up to 45 pounds.

Mei Tai- The Mei Tai carrier is a traditional Chinese style carrier with a rectangle panel of fabric in the front, unpadded waistband and straps, both of which that tie. Can be worn on the front or the back. Mei tai carriers can also be made of woven wraps, called wrap conversions. More on this later. 

Ring Sling- A ring sling is a type of carrier that only has one panel of fabric and two metal rings secured to one end. Weaving the extra fabric through both rings, then back through one of the rings is what keeps the fabric "locked" and from becoming loose. These can also be wrap conversions. There are often two types of shoulders sewn, gathered and pleated. 

Wrap Conversion: A wrap conversion is when a woven wrap is purchased, then made into a ring sling or mei tai by a specialty company such as Sleeping Baby Productions and Shiny Star Designs.

Water Sling: Made to be used in the water (duh), and come in wrap or ring sling and are only to be worn on the front or hip. Find one at: BabyEtte or Sleeping Baby Productions.

For Splurge vs Budget Babywearing options, click here.
Babywearing Series: Basics & Benefits // Where to Buy // My Favorites // Helpful Hints // Go-To Carries // Stash & Wishlist
Note: There are many more places and brands of wraps/carriers that can be purchased. I am just sharing the brands I know about and are popular. I am not a babywearing expert, by any means.