Currently obsessed with…

1. 30 Day Shred– I am not trying to lose weight, but I am trying to get a full-body workout with a toddler at home, cold weather outside, and no gym within a reasonable driving distance. This DVD combines cardio, strength and abs all in a twenty minute workout (with three levels). Not to mention, it has gotten rave reviews! Oh, and I nabbed it for $.6.99 at Target. So far I’m loving it (despite my shouting and complaining at the TV, but that’s a good sign, right?) and Emerson loves doing it along with me.

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2. Pixi– I’m loving this all natural, reasonably priced makeup (available at Target). It was created by a mother of two who wanted to create fuss-free makeup that enhances natural beauty and makes you look like you got some extra sleep. I’m sold. The middle of winter always leaves me needing some extra excitement when it comes to my beauty routine. Right now I’m a fan of Pixi’s winter eye shadow palette and extra eye bright liner.

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3. Kiss My Face Clean for a Day Cleanser– This all natural, incredibly gentle face cleanser is exactly what I’ve been looking for for years! It is gentle, doesn’t dry my skin, doesn’t cause breakouts like pretty much every other cleanser does for me, and is non-toxic. I have tried so…SO many face cleansers and finally found one (within my price range) that delivers. It also has an uplifting vanilla orange scent (and I’m super sensitive to scent). Perfect for winter!

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4. The perfect lounge capri– I’m very discriminating when it comes to my lounge pants (perhaps because I live in them). I have been looking for a good capri length pair for years and finally found some…at Target. I might buy these in every color (the gray, which I own, is currently on clearance for $6!!). They are super soft, comfy, and flattering. As a mother, and woman in my mid-thirties, I appreciate clothing that hugs my body in key areas then falls away from the body in others—modest, but still shaking what I’ve got just a little bit. These capris fit the bill (more attractive on the body than pictured).

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5. A Gifted Man– I never watched TV…until I had a child. Now I almost always have a current Netflix obsession. Right now it’s A Gifted Man. There is only one season, but I love it and still thinks it’s worth the watch (though I’m sad that it doesn’t continue). It centers on a very gifted and competitive surgeon so it has that medical drama element, but with the twist that he is visited by the ghost of his ex-wife in every episode—a great combination of paranormal intrigue and intellectual stimulation. I can’t help but also admit that I really just enjoy watching a super good looking man (Patrick Wilson) use his super big brain. Am I the epitome of a mid-thirties stay-at-home mom? Hmmm…

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6. You Can Go to the Potty– Okay, maybe this is Emerson’s obsession. But, I am impressed by the effectiveness of this book, for sure. It written by Dr Sears and his wife so I appreciate the gentleness of it. It is full of good info for parents who are potty training and good info for toddlers who are interested in learning to use the potty. Emerson seriously cannot get enough of this book! Highly recommend.

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7. Learning to give hair cuts and my Wahl Clipper Set– My husband is the worst about getting himself to the barber. And it really bothers me. I recently realized that instead of continuing to nag him I could learn how to give hair cuts. Yes. So I took to youtube and after watching a few videos and reading a few articles I felt confident enough to set up my own barber shop at home. The kit I bought includes everything you need, more styling instructions and was only $17.99! It saves time, tons of money, and I get a well-groomed man all the time (next up, learning how to trim and groom beards). I plan to continue learning how to cut hair on my child(ren) down the road- it’s kind of fun!

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8. Ninja Blender– My husband got this for Christmas and since then the entire family has gone smoothie crazy. Our old blender literally got thrown out into a pile of snow when we fired up the Ninja. For us, it’s a cheaper way to “juice.” You can throw just about anything into it and it’s blended up perfectly (though I fear I’m going to lose a limb every time I use it). It also comes with single serving attachments, which the hubs uses to blend up a green tonic every morning, pops the travel lid on, and takes in the car for the commute to work. It may sound silly, but we are all healthier on the inside now that this appliance lives in our kitchen.

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9. Target home furnishings and decor items- I rarely have money to decorate anymore, but thanks to a generous Target gift card I was able to have a little fun recently. And I am amazed by Target’s home furnishing collection these days. The variety in personality, style and price point is so much more than it used to be. Not to mention, it’s pretty exciting when you can change and enhance the decor of your entire home for less than the cost of maybe one new piece at an expensive home store. It’s not a new obsession, but I’m feeling it pretty intensely right now. I love you, Target (even if you may have leaked my personal credit card information to scammers….get your acts together on that account).

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10. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work– Let’s be real: marriage is hard work. And after a child? For us, much harder. I recently discovered the Gottman Theory, which is a method of therapy for couples. It makes so, SO much sense. It is not your typical marriage advice at all. It is based in science and research and gets results. You can find a therapist who specializes in this theory, but this book is pretty amazing, too, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is married or thinking of getting married. It breaks down so many myths about what makes relationships work and last. Incredibly enlightening (and we’re having fun working our way through the information and exercises!).

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How about you? What are you currently obsessed with?

Currently obsessed with

1. Shea Moisture hair products. Shea Moisture users are pretty extreme in their love and devotion for these products so I finally decided to give it  a try. Now I can’t stop ordering more…and more (you can buy online or at Target or Walgreen’s). These shampoos, conditioners and styling aids are organic, natural, smell delicious, all while actually working (unlike a lot of natural haircare). I will say that these products probably work best if you don’t use sulfates or silicones. Shea Moisture also makes body care and baby products!

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2. BareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener. As I plunge deeper and deeper into my thirties and since I’ve become a mother (who doesn’t get enough sleep) I have begun to look a bit a lot more haggard. Enter Stroke of Light. It’s natural, light and sheer yet does an amazing job at brightening dark circles and erasing exhaustion. Bonus- it helps diminish fine lines over time.

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3. Sleep Pillow App for iPhone. I have struggled to fall asleep for decades. Now that I am a mom, I am totally exhausted and really need all the sleep I can get, but oftentimes I still have trouble drifting off. I just started using Sleep Pillow and I love it! There is a free version, but I opted for the $1.99 pro version to have access to all 75 soothing sounds. The app has over 5 million users and promises to have you asleep in minutes. So far, I’m a big fan! I especially like the mix feature, which allows you to create a mix of several sounds—I want to feel like I’m camping by a stream with rain falling on my tent and a fire crackling outside.

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4. Squeegees. Yes, squeegees. I know. But, it’s true. On a recent trip to the hardware store I decided to finally purchase one. The wall-to-wall windows in our sunroom were so murky and streaked and I dreaded cleaning them by hand. I hate washing windows. It’s so tedious, and even worse, they never look clean when I’m finished thanks to all the streaks, which I find impossible to avoid no matter what I try. Well, not with a squeegee! I’ve also started using one in the bathtub to prevent soap scum. It’s a small thing to be excited about, but I truly am.

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5. St. Ives Apricot scrub. This is an oldie, but a goodie. I haven’t used this scrub since high school, but while at Target recently I noticed that it was only $2.99 and come on. That’s a deal. The scrub I normally use is $28 so I thought I’d at least try St. Ives. Well, it works. It brightens and softens and it’s paraben-free.

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6. Yes to products. I recently started reading a ton of reviews for skin and haircare products while in the process of changing all my routines. Yes To is so highly rated, and natural (though it doesn’t have the best EWG rating) so I thought I’d give some products a try. I will say that I’m not a big fan of the scents, but the results are pretty great! I love the Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer and Yes to Blueberries Eye Firming Treatment.

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7. Shirts with decorative cuffs. I seem to have a growing collection of these in my wardrobe. Most recently I picked up this one by Free People, which coincidentally is where all of the shirts in my collection are from. I just love the look. The cuffs are not only pretty, but so unexpected.

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8. Flushable Diaper liners. I didn’t think I had a need for these, and have had a roll sitting around for a while. But, I decided to give them a try with my prefolds recently. I don’t know why I never considered using a liner before, but they really make cloth diapering convenient. I thought my diaper sprayer was a life-saver, but since I started using liners, I only need the sprayer for accidental diaper spills. They make cloth diapering as convenient as disposable diapers (with the exception of a little extra laundry).

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9. Baby Bee Multipurpose Ointment. While this ointment is great for bums, I mostly use it for other skin issues. My babe’s eczema spread to her face for the first time as the temperature dropped this fall, and I have searched high and low looking for something to help heal her poor skin. I wasn’t about to put a prescription steroid anywhere near her mouth or eyes, which is where the problem was. But, nothing I tried worked. Until Baby Bee. I use this in conjunction with a warm steam vaporizer at night and my child’s skin is beautiful and moisturized. It’s also great on cracked adult hands and any other little nick, cut, or rash that may pop up.

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10. The Four Agreements. I admit, I am a big fan of self help books. I always have been thanks to my father who has passed on all of his reads to me for decades. I’ve read The Four Agreements several times (and all the companion books), but this last time it really took. I kid you not when I say my life has been completely transformed by these teachings in the past month.

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What are you currently obsessed with?

Currently obsessed with

I always want to write posts like this, but for some reason always stop myself. Today I decided that since I personally love to read posts like this in the various places I visit on the internet, I would jump in and try it myself.

Currently obsessed with…

1. Justin’s Honey Almond Butter– I’ve been eating almond butter for many years given my slight intolerance for peanuts. But, truthfully I have never enjoyed almond butter. It’s usually tasteless and dry. I recently tried Justin’s (his peanut butter is also amazing!) and O. M. G. So, so good. I can’t get enough. It’s low in sugar yet tastes pleasantly sweet and has great (non-dry) texture. You must try it.

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2. Bailywick candle in Vanilla Silk– I love good smelling candles, and especially love Vanilla for fall and winter. The scent is so warm and soothing and just makes me happy. Bailywick are my fav candles ever after previously being obsessed with several other popular lines. They are made with soy wax and a natural cotton wick (your lungs and the environment will thank you).

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3. Carter’s toddler jeans. Emerson has pretty much lived in leggings and stretchy yoga pants her whole (short) life on account of her tiny waist. I am not sure why toddler and baby companies expect all children of a certain age and gender to have similar proportions. But, it makes it quite difficult to clothe a child with say….a tiny waist and long legs. Anyway, Carter’s makes it possible for my girl to wear real pants thanks to the amazing adjustable waist band sewn into the inside of their jeans. They will grow with her. Genius.

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4. Alba Very Emollient Body Lotion. I am big on moisturizing, especially during fall and winter. I am also big on natural, non-toxic skin products. I can’t stand the thought of my body absorbing nasty, carcinogenic ingredients through my skin. It can be rather difficult to find truly effective natural products, though. This lotion, however, is super moisturizing and does its job. I am sold.

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5. Naturallycurly.com. Um, if you have curly or wavy hair and have not heard of this (or the “curly girl method”) you must check it out. I guess I am late to the curly girl party, but I haven’t stopped exploring this website since discovering it. You can find a concise, easy to understand, highly informative summary of the CG method on Dorm Room Curly,which is how I found naturallycurly.com to begin with. I’m pumped to put some of these tips into effect!

6. Body by Victoria Demi bra. This is the perfect bra for every day. And it totally transformed my shape and the way I felt about my body. I had been wearing nursing bras for a long time (during pregnancy and afterwards), but tried this on at the suggestion of a sales associate and wow. I literally turned to her and said, “THAT is what my breasts are supposed to look like? They look awesome!” I couldn’t get over it for weeks. Yes, a bra can make that big a difference. The bonus for me is that I have ditched all my nursing bras (so over them) and wear this bra (I bought several) while nursing. I simply pull the cup down to nurse and it works perfectly.

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7. Rumparooz diaper covers. I have been a Thirsties Duo Wrap devotee for most of Emerson’s life, but recently decided to try out a few Rumparooz covers when I saw them in a store. So good. They are economical because they are (adjustable) one size fits all covers (rather than the also economical, but not as much, Thirsties Duo which is two sizes fit all or regular diaper covers which come in five sizes). The fit is amazing, they have double gussets to prevent leaks at the legs, the elastic is covered in cushiony softness, and the prints are beautiful.

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8. Drop Dead Diva. (Available to watch instantly on Netflix) Honestly, I am embarrassed to admit this one. But, I don’t know people, it’s pretty good if you fall into my combination category of “I secretly/not-so-secretly love chick flicks so so much” and “I am very cerebral and enjoy actual story lines.” It took me a few episodes to get into, but now I love following the legal cases on the show. And I love that the (very intelligent, successful) main character is super girly. Enough said.

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9. Printing Instagram photos. Did you know you can print the photos you take on Instagram? Awesome, right? I use ritzpix.com and have printed them in several sizes. They are beautiful and fun and you should give it a try. P.S. Follow me on Instagram (user name alexaislola)!

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10. My bread machine. We didn’t register for a bread machine when we got married. I didn’t see the point. Now I do, and I just bought one with one of the zillion 20% off coupons I have for Bed, Bath and Beyond. This is one of the less expensive models, but I am loving it. Fresh bread, super easy, and it saves us so much money! We happen to use it primarily for gluten-free bread, but there are so many options (and not just bread).

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So, what about you? What are you currently obsessed with?

honestly adorable: random diaper ramblings


We cloth diaper in our household, but not 100% of the time. I originally intended to commit myself completely to the budget-, baby-, and planet-friendly way of diapering, but have been afraid to put Emerson in cloth diapers overnight since she was born. I made the mistake(?) of buying a package of disposable diapers when I was setting up my nursery—the purpose was to spare my cloth diapers of the meconium that would be exiting my child’s bum during the first week of life. But, in hindsight, I think it might’ve been easier if I had just cloth diapered from day one. And now, I have a 5-month-old baby who is a heavy wetter so I cannot imagine a cloth diaper making it the twelve hours that she is in bed at night (cloth diapering mamas, if you’re out there, suggestions for making it overnight?). Even her disposable diapers cannot handle all the pee so we’ve been dealing with puddles in our bed almost nightly (and a whole lot of laundry, daily). 

I’ve tried every brand of non-toxic disposables that I can find, because, while I cannot seem to cope with cloth diapering overnight, I also cannot cope with chlorine-, petrochemical, PVC-filled disposable diapers on my child’s body either. I figure that I’m at least being a little bit kinder to the earth and to my child’s sensitive skin (not exactly kind to my wallet, though) by going with a less toxic diaper. If only they didn’t suck so much and could actually hold up to my daughter’s nighttime issues. I hate to say it, but I haven’t had a good experience with eco-friendly diapers….until I tried the Honest Company. I’m not going to say they are perfect, but they are world’s better than any of the other diapers I’ve tried.

We’ve been using Seventh Generation from the beginning (and have also tried the Whole Foods 365 brand and Earth’s Best), but have always had issues with them. So, I ordered the free Honest Company discovery kit. These are some seriously well-made 100% non-toxic, planet-based, biodegradable diapers (not all “eco diapers” are, by the way). AND they are so incredibly adorable. I’m a sucker for anything that comes in a pretty package.

My mini-plug continues. The Honest Company is subscription based so it is not very economical unless you sign up for monthly shipments. This bummed me out, until I called Customer Service and the bubbly, friendly, incredibly helpful girl on the other end of the phone (I sort of felt like I was actually talking to Jessica Alba-who owns the company if you didn’t know-they must only hire people with the same personality as her character from Good Luck Chuck). The Customer Service rep told me that since I cloth diaper and cannot use a full monthly supply of diapers and wipes (we also use cloth wipes) they could send me a shipment of diapers in multiple sizes since I’d be using them for several months instead of one AND they would postpone my next “monthly shipment” for several months. Love this company. 

End of plug.

I really just wanted to post pictures of Emerson modeling the adorable diapers….