I am almost, almost past my holiday slump. The house as been as decorated as it is going to get for Halloween. Pumpkins have been carved and decorated. Brownies and pizza were made in celebration. And our little Babes DIY costume is in the works.
But there is still a part of me that feels slumpish (it’s a word, trust me). And I have come to the conclusion that for me, with a child and two families, the holidays fill me anxiety and dread trying to balance it all. I love to entertain, but now I find a houseful of people overwhelming and LOUD! Our families all get along, but we still find ourselves needing to split the time from one house to the next- attempting to keep everyone happy.
What I really want to do is bake Christmas cookies with royal icing (which never actually seems to happen) and dress up all fancy and stay indoors with my family of three while sipping champagne in front of the fireplace. Daydreamin much?!
Trying to put this all into perspective and back my holiday groove, here is a list of the things I am attempting to remind myself.
Remember Everyone has Good Intentions
There are things that I really want to do for my babe. I want to buy her special Christmas pajamas and a book every year to celebrate Christmas Eve. So if someone else decides to send over a book or pajamas that may make me want to cry in the corner. But that isn’t fair. They are not buying things to go above me, they are buying things because they love and want to spoil her! Same rule applies for wanting to spend everysinglemomentofeverysingleholiday with us. They love us. They want to be with us. Can I fault anyone for that?!
Decide What is Most Important
Decorating the house. Sending out Christmas Cards. Baking. Seeing Christmas lights. Creating traditions for my family of three. These are things that are important to me. I can let go of who cooks the turkey. I am trying to keep a mental list of what I really need from the holidays and letting go of the rest. I seem to want to do it all because it gives me a sense of control. Then I get upset when it doesn’t go as planned. I have to learn to take control only when it really matters to me.
Play the Balancing Act Wisely
It can be really exhausting to run from one house to the next. We tend to get our family together as often as possible to avoid this. But sometimes we each want to spend time with our families a little more one on one, and that is fine too. Most important to me is making sure everyone feels included.
It’s Okay to Say No
This is a hard one. It is hard to say no to family, and even more so to say no to your extended married life family. But I am learning if we stick together as our team of two and let it be okay to not please everyone, make it everywhere, attend every event my stress level is much lower. We try our best to get around to everyone at some point but sometimes we have to say no (or leave early) and that has to be okay too. The people that love us will understand. And if not eventually, they will get over it.
Like I said, I am new to this. Working my way through our second holiday season with a now very active toddler makes my head spin. Any advice and tips from the veterans is, as always, very appreciated!
Awhile ago I signed up for GlossyBox. I was a new mom, barely showering let alone applying mascara, and thought it would be a good way to feel pretty again. I also love the excitement of not knowing what you are going to be getting from month to month.
Two things happened: I now have stacks of boxes I cannot find another use for. And I ended up giving a way a ton of what I got.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the concept. I adore the packaging. I have a few new products from subscribing. But I am not sure how much bang I was getting for my buck.
I did however discovered through my experience that I love samples/travel/trial products. And with my thin hair and pretty weak daily beauty routine, I don’t often need a full size product. So on to my own sample size project! Sephora and Ulta both offer a ton of amazing sample sizes and trial products (as well as some great free gifts with purchase) so there will be no short supple of reviewable items.
Philosophy Clear Days Ahead™ 30-Day Acne Trial Kit
Lately my skin has been pretty crappy. I touch it a lot, don’t drink nearly enough water, and rarely wash my face at night. So basically, I am committing like the cardinal sins of skin care- and complaining about it.
I have been hearing some pretty rave reviews about Philosophy products lately so I thought this would be the perfect time to get my skin under control and test out some of their products. Both Ulta and Sephora (and a ton of other department stores) offer this amazing 30 day kit that includes a twice daily face wash, an AM lotion, a PM toner, and a spot treatment for $38.00.
I started using immediately Saturday night and now Monday morning by skin is starting to clear up nicely. The products smell great and don’t feel greasy or leave any weird residue. My makeup was washed right off by the cleanser and I am sure the toner took away anything it missed. Going on day three there are a few parts of my face that are feeling a bit dry, like around my mouth. I can already tell that this may not be an everyday routine, which would be nice. Or- I need to use the lotion at night as well. Overall I am very excited to keep using the product. I have a feeling that I may be purchasing some alternate skin care formula’s from Philosophy and saving Clear for once a day use or as needed to keep my skin a bit more hydrated.
Make sure to check back for a 15(ish) day update as well! And more sample size reviews to come!
Any experience with Philosophy products? Or favorite skin care lines? Love to hear it!
I would also love to hear your own experience with GlossyBox. I go back and forth with rejoining. Or any other subscription based services you are using. I know there are a ton out there now for just about everything. Please share!
I am trying really hard to get into the Halloween spirit. Okay. I lied. I am not really doing anything at all. I am basically sitting in my own holiday shit.
I have been excited to dress up my daughter for Halloween since we knew we were having a girl. So this slump is not fun! Holidays have always been “my thing.” But I am finding as I get older, blending two families, and having a child it is all just really stressful. A big pat on the back to my mother and grandmother who never let us see them sweat during this time of year. I guess I need to put my game face on and get to it.
To take the stress out of the holidays (and yes- Halloween is totally a holiday in my book) I think it’s important to step back and remember that it is supposed to be filled with family, friends and fun! Simple. Don’t overcomplicated it, don’t over-think it. This weekend will start the beginning of my mood makeover. And because I am a planner, here is now I intent to get er done!
| ONE | Decorate the House: So important to get into the spirit of things. We have a couple mini pumpkins on our mantel which look lonely and sad. Time to pull out the decorations from the garage and get the garland and lights hung up!
| TWO | A few simple DIY projects: I don’t have a ton of time that isn’t from 8pm on. Projects these days need to be low cost, minimal time with maximum results. Here are a few of my favorites that need to get accomplished asap. This also means a trip to Micheal’s! Did you know they have an App? Did you know they will text coupons to your phone? Mind. Blown. Go HERE to check it out. Make sure to follow my Halloween Inspiration Pinterest board for all sorts of great ideas and projects!
| THREE | Dress the babe: I was drooling over THESE costumes a few months ago, but now knowing Halloween falls on a Thursday (aka a work day) I don’t see it happening. Instead we are opting for Gap Leopard Print Leggings and a matching black cat shirt from the Gap Outlet. Pair it with some ears and instant all day approved Halloween costume. (Bonus points if Karen’s “I’m a mouse, duh!” popped into your head.)
| FOUR | Eat: Nothing gets me into the holiday spirit more then eating. I have big plans for soup (because I could live off the stuff) and special treats. Jessica at Little Baby Garvin never fails with the candy popcorn inspiration. Ready to stuff my face with some goodies.
Already I am feeling a bit more festive and ready to tackle the start of the holiday season. Any more inspiration or words of encouragement for me?
Halloween is ridiculously fast approaching. Not sure I fully believe that we are already a week into October. So far we have zero plans, other then of course a trip to the local pumpkin patch. I am super excited this year as last year was Mission: Photo Opt. We were in and out with few tears from our barely one month old babe. This year however will be Mission: Keep the kid from getting trampled by all the other little kids as she insists on touching just about every single pumpkin. I think we may need to come up with a different mission name.
I am working on getting the details of our First Birthday Party posted. The two different mood boards I made, see Here, have been a hit on Pinterest. Check back this week to see how it all turned out!
This week was also my boudoir shoot. A friend recently told me I have guts for doing it. My response was (and always will be) I am in a point of my life where I am simply embracing this body and all it has been through. The flaws and all. Will I hang these pictures on my bedroom wall? Maybe. Depends on how they turn out I suppose. But I will tuck them away for the moments I am feeling a little hard on myself, or maybe pregnant again one day far far away from now, and remember how awesome this body really is. I had a fabulous time- was totally at ease thanks to an amazing photographer (the most important part!).
Other then that we are plugging along- getting used to a new work routine as well as embracing the change in the weather. Oh wait… you mean the 80 degree weather. Yep, roll your eyes. Us California people like to complain about the weather if it dips slightly too high or even worse slightly too low. But I have a tub of Fall sweaters that are crying to be worn. Maybe we can blast the AC and pretend it is cold outside?! There are so many amazing recipes for this time of year I am dying to try but completely unmotivated. If you are luckily enough to be feeling some crisp cold air- try this Lentil Soup with Sausage recipe and let me know? Or these Spiced Apple Pie cupcakes!
I have been so excited to unveil my newest project. It has taken me much longer then anticipated due to my poor time management skills these days, BUT I am finally done!
Introducing our miniFASHIONISTA Memory and Reading Book.
Going through her clothes has been rough on me. She has such a cute and stylish wardrobe that was outgrown much too quickly. I knew I didn’t want to keep a ton of clothes. But I also didn’t know how to preserve the memory of these adorable outfits. I searched Pintrest and Google but I kept seeing the same thing over and over, making a quilt. I see a couple problems with that. One: I am nursery obsessed and it simply would not coordinate (silly I know). Two: I couldn’t ruin all of these cute clothes and could be passed to friends and family. Three: Oh yea… and I don’t quilt.
I knew I needed to do something digital. Back to Pintrest and nada.
Inspiration came from the weirdest of places. I had converted all of our pictures on the fridge to Instagram Magnets (a much cleaner look- highly suggest it) and it dawned on me that I could use this format to create something really unique using my iPhone/computer but in book form. A way to save a piece of her little itsy bitsy clothing without actually destroying. I now can stash away our favorites (aka the floral printed skinny jeans I was obsessed with) send others off as hand me downs, and sell/donate the rest.
I created a new private Instagram account and started snapping away as I went through her clothes. I made sure to pick pieces she had actually worn and that I really loved. Then I used Blurb.com to create an Instagram book (super easy and convenient). When appropriate I added a single word “elephant” or “button” that one day we can use as a reading tool. (If I ever actually let her touch the book for more then a quick photo.) And there you have it, an easy way to make those adorable, and often pricy clothes, last without cutting them up into pieces.
Looking back over the pictures spark an instant memory for me. I don’t need to see the whole piece or even be able to feel it to picture her hanging out in her bouncer in an adorable sweet pea onesie.
*Here are a few alternatives to the process*
- Use pictures of your babes in the clothes, cropping to highlight their cute style over their smiling faces
- Use one page as a close up of the item and the next page of a picture of your darlings in it. (I had high hopes of accomplishing this, but will require a bit more time and planning)
- Instragram was an easy “cheat” for me with their array of filters and easy uploading process. Photoshop fans can easily create their own versions using actions, brushes, typography, etc. PicMonkey is another online photo editing tool that would be really helpful. You get the idea. There are a lot of options out there!
I cannot wait to keep this tradition going and see how it morphs itself as her and her clothes grow.
Make sure to stay tuned for book #2 which is already in the works!
*Please feel free to pass this idea along, giving credit where credit is due. Also, all pictures are personal property of Liv With Roses. I in no way claim to be the sole person responsible for generating this adorable idea. The idea for this book came to me from out of the blue. Although I searched to see if anyone else was sharing something similar I found nothing. I am sure it has occurred to someone else as well so if you have seen this elsewhere please share!*
I LOVE the holidays. Love them. The traditions, the food, the decor, the wrapping paper. Sign me up.
Having a child did two things with my love of the holidays: Made me so ridiculously excited to explore celebrating them in whole new ways, and added a shit ton of stress to my life. You mean I get to bake an apple pie while trying to make sure the kid doesn’t knock herself unconscious on her own toys? Awesome! I joke. Kind of. It does make a lot more work, but also the amount of fun it adds is beyond. The older she gets, the more exciting it all becomes!
To kick off October 1st the babe and I gathered a few small pumpkins from our local Trader Joe’s. Not sure who was more into it (probably me…okay me for sure).
But the real fun starts now. I love decor pieces that can take us clear through Fall and these sparkly pumpkins are perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. I also can’t help but love the lace look (and could be an easy DIY!). And of course we will be sure to dress the babe in all sorts of festive wear!
I am usually pretty anti pumpkin recipe simply because I detest pumpkin pie. I think. Not sure I have actually ever had pumpkin pie. But this year I am seeing some pretty yummy looking recipes floating around, so I may be up for the challenge.