Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lesson Learned: A Cloth Diapering Update

Lesson Learned: A Cloth Diapering Update — a Modern Mrs.
When making the decision to cloth diaper, I read it all. I read my manufacturer's information, checked with cloth diaper stores, read blog posts, and even joined a Facebook group. I was set! Well, I thought I was, but I noticed almost as soon as we began we had this musty smell coming from our inserts. When she would eliminate, and even fresh from the washer. At first I thought, "Maybe this is how it's supposed to be." Surely without all the chemicals of a disposable, you would be able to smell everything once your child has eliminated, right? Wrong! {But more on that soon.} I assumed it was my HE washer, as most of what I had read said HE washers are a pain when it comes to getting your diapers clean. I assumed I wasn't using enough detergent, even though I was following the instructions on the box, and the detergent was made for my diapers, since it was made by my manufacturer. So, I asked in group, read blog posts, and devised a wash routine that looked like this:
  • Rinse and spin, no detergent. {This was to remove the soil from the diapers prior to the wash.}
  • Delicate cycle, with an extra rinse, no spin, and towels added to "bulk the load" and to "trick the washer into adding more water," no detergent.
  • Heavy Duty cycle on warm {per my manufacturer's recommendation}, with one scoop of detergent {per the box's instructions, which is approximately 1-2 tablespoons worth}, with an extra rinse. 
Just to recap, that's three different cycles, with five rinses, and only one scoop of detergent.

Wrong. All wrong. So, so much wrong.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

My New, Crazy, Tiring, Exciting, Not-Enough-Time-In-A-Day, Wouldn't-Have-It-Any-Other-Way Kind of Life #OldSchoolBlogging

My New, Crazy, Tiring, Exciting, Not-Enough-Time-In-A-Day, Wouldn't-Have-It-Any-Other-Way Kind of Life #OldSchoolBlogging — a Modern Mrs.
Things I wish I still had time for:
  • Daily blog posting
  • Makeup
  • Regular housekeeping
  • Spontaneity 
  • Wine
Things that make the above list not that big a deal:
  • My husband
  • My children
This how I keep things in perspective. How I manage to not get down on myself when I look in the mirror some days. When I notice the dust/dirt/piles of laundry/dirty dishes/etc. When I'd love to have a drink with the girls, but in doing so means I have half a glass and wish I had more, or none at all, because E needs to eat. When we're invited to go somewhere/do something, but it's too far away, or it would take too long, and E doesn't handle long car rides well, and being away from home all day is just so much work.

This is my life now, but it won't always be this way.

One day E will be bigger, and less demanding of my time, so I'll be able to post daily, wear makeup, keep up on the house, go somewhere/do something, and have a whole glass of wine... or two. It will be here before I know it, so while I do miss those things, I remind myself they are so stupid and unimportant. None of those things are more of a priority than being here, in the moment, with my family. Taking care of my children. Trying to be a wife to my husband. {It's not easy in the midst of kids, commitments, and stress.} Sure, I'd love to have more time for my appearance, but I do the best I can with the limited time I have, and I keep it practical. As in, E constantly grabs and sucks on my face, and would I want to tell her no and miss out on baby kisses because it might mess up my makeup? Of course not! So, get over my large pores/undereye discoloration/shiny skin. My baby loves them.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Let's See If I Remember How to Do This....

Maybe by the time her first birthday rolls around things will be getting back to normal. Perhaps that's wishful thinking, but I was really trying there for a while, and then things got crazy with the holidays, and here we are two months later. I've been semi-active on Instagram, but I wouldn't blame you if you forgot all about me.

Where do I even begin? Well, let's start with... How are you? Doing well, I hope! I miss you all dearly! What's been going on? E turned six months old on Monday. Can you believe it?! I certainly can't. Six months... phew! She's doing very well, aside from a bout with a respiratory infection and now, shockingly, a staph infection caught from Lord knows where. I swear, we can't catch a break with this little one! Other than the weird bumps, she's as happy as ever. She started solids a few weeks ago, is rolling over, and learning all sorts of new sounds. She's hit or miss on sleeping through the night, but we have ordered a Zippy, and are hoping that'll be our sleep savior. Here are some other news nuggets for my youngest:
  • She loves television. Her favorite shows are Sesame Street, Octonauts, Veggie Tales, and The Busy World of Richard Scarry.
  • She also loves cell phones. I think it's because we usually have ours around all the time. #techbaby #theworldwelivein
  • Her favorite foods are breastmilk {of course}, green vegetables, pears, and bananas.
  • She's become quite the daddy's girl.
  • Her big sister is her best friend.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cloth Diapering: One Week In

Cloth Diapering: One Week In — a Modern Mrs.
We have officially begun our cloth diapering journey! Today marks one full week of using cloth diapers, although we aren't using them at night because I just don't have enough {yet}, so I guess I should say one full week of part-time cloth diapering. I'm terribly behind on posts, and I figured this was just what I needed to get back in gear. 

{Oh hey... It actually took me a lot longer to get this post written and published, so this is technically a two week update. I'm just too pressed for time to make a new image.}

We are currently using GroVia AI2 Hybrids with the hook and loop {Velcro} closure. We purchased these diapers from a friend who couldn't use them due to medical reasons. For those of you new to the cloth diapering world, AI2 means all-in-two, which is when there's a shell/cover and an insert that attaches to the inside rather than being stuffed inside of a pocket. The idea is to be able to use the cover for more than one changing, barring any soiling to the cover. We wanted to use this system to cut back on cost, as we imagined purchasing inserts would be cheaper than needing a whole diaper. We also have two BumGenius Freetimes, which are an all-in-one {AIO}, meaning there are no inserts to change; it's all one piece, and the closest you'll get to a disposable in function. Since we began I've purchased prefolds, flour sack towels {FST}, and covers from Flip and Econobum. These covers are wipe-cleans, which GroVia shells are not due to their mesh interior. 

I have tried different folds, combinations, and am still tinkering with a wash routine. I've tackled cloth on-the-go, and even went as far as to make DIY fleece liners to wick away moisture when using the prefolds and FST. {E was sensitive to being wet and was getting a little red.} There is still much to learn, especially once we begin cloth diapering at night, but with one {two....} week under our belts, I do have some preferences I'd care to share. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Post-Surgery, Cloth Diapers, and {Hopefully} Upcoming Posts #OldSchoolBlogging

I love my daughter. I really, truly do. I also love blogging, and I feel like it's impossible to balance the two. Not because I can't manage, but because E will have none of it. If she doesn't have 100% of my attention {and person}, then she must sing me the song of her people.... if you get what I'm sayin'. Needless to say, she has been winning, and I have been staring at my laptop missing the days when I could sit at my desk and blog to my little heart's content.

"One day," it has been said to me. "One day." While that may be true, I can't have the blog sitting here collecting dust. I have so much to say! So, while I have a rare moment, I thought I'd fill you in on what's been going on these last several weeks.

E Had Surgery

Last Friday, the 14th, E had her umbilical hernia repaired. It was a very rough time for the both of us, but she is healing wonderfully, and is almost back to feeling 100%! We were able to remove the bandages last night, and it was almost strange to see her belly with a normal navel. I had gotten quite used to how she looked with the large protrusion that was her belly button. I'm so glad it's over!

Cloth Diapers

Those fluffy, adorable vessels for housing pee and poo have consumed me. We have purchased a friend's nearly-new stash, and are expected to receive them next week. With the upcoming arrival of goods, I've been reading a lot, joining various cloth diaper-related Facebook Groups, and talking about it with friends probably way too much. My dear friend's new pregnancy and desire to cloth diaper has fueled my passion even more, as I've been sharing all I know with her.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Boulevard of Chic 2014 Holiday Fashion Event #BlvdofChic

Boulevard of Chic 2014 Holiday Fashion Event #BlvdofChic — a Modern Mrs.
This past Saturday was Boulevard of Chic's third event, which was targeted towards the holidays. I was really looking forward to this event! I expected to see tons of Baltimore-area boutiques, lots of clothes, and maybe even leave with some goodies. Sadly, this was not the case.

The morning started off strong and as planned. Then, when we got to Baltimore, we had to make all these pit stops before we could make it over to the event. So, while we should have been there around 1pm, we didn't get there till 3pm. By that time most other bloggers had left. We figured we'd make the most of it and putz around the park to see what was there. The park was really beautiful, and it was super close to the Inner Harbor Barnes & Noble, which is my favorite book store. The weather was a bit chilly, but it was tolerable, and the sun was plentiful.

There were tables and tents sent up, and only a handful of trucks left by the time we got there. I was super disappointed there weren't many trucks, but the one I was really looking forward to checking out was still there, which was Side Dish; Baltimore's first accessories only mobile boutique. You may have heard me mention them before - they're the one whose stock is $25 or less. They have super gorgeous accessories, and you just can't beat the prices considering they have vintage and handmade pieces.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Boulevard of Chic: A Free Baltimore Holiday Fashion Event #BlvdofChic

Boulevard of Chic: A Free Baltimore Holiday Fashion Event — a Modern Mrs.
Oh, hey! You know what occurred to me last night? L and I were looking through our movie collection deciding on what we should watch when she gets home today, and with Halloween behind us, we realized it's officially time to break out the Christmas movies! This realization produced another realization — we only have 49 days till Christmas! That said, 'tis the season for holiday shopping, and if you're looking for ideas for a special lady on your list, or just want to score some deals for yourself {hey, no shame in that}, you'll want to stop by Pierce's Park in Baltimore this weekend to check out Boulevard of Chic; a fashion truck rally and shopping event. I'll be there with my mom and Miss E, and we can't wait to see what Baltimore-area businesses have to offer this season!

I had never heard of this particular event before, though I have seen fashion trucks in my area, but this isn't Boulevard of Chic's first show. No, it's actually their third! I'm definitely excited to attend. The idea of an Inner Harbor park filled with mobile boutiques, fashion retailers, food, beauty products, and more is right up my alley! While I'm attending as a VIP Fashion Blogger, this event is free to the public, so if you're in the area, I definitely hope you'll swing by and say hi {if you see me}!

Want to learn a bit more about this event? Visit boulevardofchic.com for photos from last year's show, and browse the list of participating trucks and vendors. You can also check them out via Facebook and Twitter.

Are you going to join me? If so, here's the when and where-specific details:

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sound Sleeper: Your Solution to Sleepless Nights

Sound Sleeper: Your Solution to Sleepless Nights — a Modern Mrs.
Remember when I talked about what bedtime looks like at our house? More specifically, the bit about E's lack of sleep in the nap and 8-10pm department? Well, we're still adhering to our E.A.S.Y. and bedtime routines, but we were still struggling with naps and that 8-10pm window. There would be one out of every three or four nights where she'd actually sleep during that window, but it wasn't without much effort on my part. I'm happy to report that appears to be changing, and naps are happening, thanks to the Sound Sleeper App by Parents2ParentsApps! Yes, that's right. After several days and nights testing this app, I'm happy to report we are seeing improvements in both the nap and bedtime departments. It's because of this success that I'd like to share the app with you in hopes that other mothers with catnappers/reluctant sleepers will find relief.

First, a bit about the app in general. The Sound Sleeper App is a "3-in-1 sleep solution" available for your iPhone, iPad, and/or iPod Touch. There is a free version, which is wonderful for testing the waters, but it has its restrictions. To enjoy all the app has to offer, you have to pay, but the cost is low at just $3.99 {and worth every penny if you ask me}. The main feature, of course, are the sound options, and there are quite a bit to choose from. There's bound to be something there to soothe your little one! There's also a listen feature, which listens for your baby throughout the night, and if they start to stir, will automatically start playing your chosen sound to lull them back to sleep. There's even the option to record your own sound!

Sound Sleeper: Your Solution to Sleepless Nights — a Modern Mrs.
Here you can see the sound options, which are available for both the free and paid versions. The plus sign in the upper righthand corner allows you the option to record your own sound. I have yet to try this as we've been having success with the prerecorded options.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New: Sigma Fall Softly Collection

New: Sigma Fall Softly Collection — a Modern Mrs.
The Fall Softly Collection contains 11 products featuring modern pastels and unexpected pink hues. All products are available individually and feature 3 brand-new lip bases that are new to the Sigma product line.
Click to Enlarge
Fall Softly Eye Shadow Palette. ($39 USD) Includes 12 buttery pink shades created to bring forth a cozy, cashmere chic feeling transformed into a soft, effortless shade. Paraben-free. Shades are as follows:

» Kissing Cousin - Buttery bisque. Matte finish.
» Candied - Cool pink. Matte finish.
» Lyrical - Light pink. Frost finish.
» Gracious - Light golden peach. Frost finish.
» Austere - Almost white peach. Matte finish.
» Heart 2 Heart - Light salmon pink. Matte finish.
» Lovely - Mid-tone pink. Matte finish.
» Keen on You - Very light taupe. Matte finish.
» Silver Tongued - Light blue glitter. High glitter, sheer frost finish.
» Buddy Buddy - Slightly blue slate grey. Matte finish.
» Go Deep - Dark grey. Matte finish.
» Elderberry - Saturated dark purple. Matte finish.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Succulent Sausage Sliders with Broccoli Slaw
Pasta Salad Recipe - #BringHillshireHome

Succulent Sausage Sliders with Broccoli Slaw Pasta Salad Recipe — a Modern Mrs.

Disclosure: Thank you to Safeway, Hillshire Brands, and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post! All opinions stated are honest and my own. For more information regarding my policies, please click here.

What's dinnertime like at your house? Ours? Well, it used to be served around the same time each night, where I had ample time to prepare prior, and it may or may not be a new recipe I had time to search for, shop for, and meticulously prepare. Now? We're lucky to get something served before L needs to begin her bedtime routine, it's something quick and easy {such as a pre-made lasagna, hamburgers, bbq something with steamed veggies, or breakfast for dinner}, and I'm especially lucky if I get to eat it while it's still hot. Such is the way when you have an infant in the house. If you have a new baby that's throwing you off your groove, I'm sure you can relate.

All this considered, when I was presented with the opportunity to create a new meal with a product we hadn't tried before, I had to consider Miss E's rigid requirement; it can't keep me away from her for long. I wanted to prepare something quick, but healthy, affordable {diapers are expensive mmkay}, and something all the solid-food-eating members of my family would enjoy. Luckily, thanks to Safeway's awesome sales and Just for U program, I was able to purchase all the ingredients for this meal for just under $10! I simply logged onto Safeway's website, signed up for J4U {it's free, of course}, and chose a coupon for Hillshire Brands' Hillshire Farm Chicken Hardwood Smoked Sausage. {There are tons of valuable coupons there for just about everything you may need!} Then, I headed to my local Safeway and grabbed my goods.

Here's where it gets real. I had no more than 30 minutes to get this meal prepared and photographed. However, hubs didn't realize we were out of propane until he went to grill the sausage. The pasta salad and biscuits were ready to go, and then he hit me with it... no propane. We had to finish the sausage off in the oven, which I didn't have the time for. E needed to be bathed, nursed, and sent off to bed rocked for hours in an attempt to get her to bed. I figured all was lost, and went on with my regularly scheduled programming. Fortunately, hubs did his best to salvage the meal {and this post}. He finished off the sausage, plated the slider, and I got around to tasting it two hours later. It doesn't get any real-er than this, folks! A meal prepared with both hubs and I on max speed, only to have a curve thrown in, and I get to it cold. Yup.... #thisismylife. Despite the craziness of it all, the meal was quite delicious, even the room temperature slider! Honestly, I think that says a lot! The sausage was still juicy and flavorful, and didn't require any additional seasonings or condiments. {However, accessorize your slider as you wish!} J and L enjoyed both twists on the traditional slider and pasta salad, and I didn't have to worry about lacking in the nutritional department thanks to the protein in the sausage and the veggies in the pasta salad!

Now that my semi-disastrous back story has been told, on with the recipe!

Succulent Sausage Sliders with Broccoli Slaw Pasta Salad Recipe

  • Hillshire Farms' Smoked Sausage {I chose the Chicken Hardwood variety, but they also have Turkey and regular.}
  • 1 Can Refrigerated Biscuits
  • 1 Package Safeway Kitchens' Broccoli Coleslaw Mix
  • 1 Box Safeway Kitchens' Rainbow Rotini Noodles
  • Safeway Kitchens' Lite Italian Dressing {Per your desired consistency.}

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