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.}

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What Bedtime Looks Like at Our House #MomBloggersClub

Credit
Have you heard of Mom Bloggers Club? No? It's the "oldest and the largest social network dedicated to mom bloggers in the world." They post daily blog prompts over on their Facebook Page, which is a great resource when you have writer's block, or if you're like me, when you don't have time to get any new recipes to try {or cook in general}, printables created, or makeup/fashion-worthy looks made. Well, today's prompt was to talk about what bedtime looks like in your house. Considering we've been in the midst of sleeping training E {per se}, I thought this was a great topic to work on. With any luck I'll have this post written and posted within the same day....

Okay, as I said, we've been working on sleep training our now nine-week-old daughter, E. Naptime is pretty much when it happens, but I am trying to get her to nap in her crib as opposed to anywhere else whenever possible. What we're really aiming for is a bedtime routine. For the last two weeks we've been sticking to a particular regimen, and I had been planning on talking about it, so this prompt was the perfect push. But first, some back story.

E is a catnapper. 15 minutes is usually her norm, 30 when I'm lucky, but the only time she'll sleep longer than that is if she's being held or is riding in the car/out and about. Bedtime she was up and down whenever it suited her, but I desperately wanted her in bed at a reasonable time so I could have an hour or two to myself before starting the day all over. Especially considering she doesn't sleep much during the day. Having that time could allow me to finish up laundry, dishes, or just plain relax and try to catch up on the food and water I wasn't able to consume throughout the day. I looked into some schedules that had worked for breastfed babies and came across the E.A.S.Y Routine. It wasn't that far off from what we were doing anyway, but we definitely needed a consistent nighttime schedule. We began this journey on a Monday, and after reading it takes babies approximately a week to catch onto a schedule, I figured we'd have this thing mastered in no time. Well... it's now two weeks later and counting, and while we've made some headway, we are nowhere near mastered.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cold Coffee, Past Due Posts, and Surgery #OldSchoolBlogging

Cold Coffee, Past Due Posts, and Surgery #OldSchoolBlogging — a Modern Mrs.
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As I sit here with my first cup of coffee that's cold, and was brewed at 7:30 this morning {it's currently 11:40 a.m.}, I'm reminded of Amanda of Sweet Lemons' post titled A Mom and her Cold Coffee. What a hectic life we mothers lead! I've found myself wondering over these last several days how do these other bloggers do it? How do bloggers like Becky of From Mrs.to Mama manage two kids, a job outside of the home, household duties, and keep regular content on her blog? I stressed like crazy to get Monday's post written and published {by 7 p.m. I think I finally managed} and haven't been able to write anything until now! {Oh, it's 12:10 p.m. and I've only gotten this far.}

This is a problem I've been battling for some time now. I've been meaning to write several posts and schedule them out. Well, I need time to do that, and honestly, E doesn't allow me much time for anything outside of her needs. So, no posts get scheduled, and no posts get written, and the blog looks abandoned... at least for a few days.{It's now 9:43 p.m. Seriously....} My mind is busy with all the things on my to-do list..... the to-do list that's about five days behind. It's full of blog post ideas, including a review I said I was going to post this week, but haven't had the time for. Sorry, Felix + Iris, I'll get there eventually. I realize this too shall pass, but it's very frustrating for me that I can't stay regular, or get ahead.

And now, since it's almost 10 p.m. and I have had 9+ hours to lose my train of thought, I'm pretty much left with filling you in on E's surgery. We had an appointment with a pediatric surgeon yesterday regarding her umbilical hernia. It has been decided she will have surgery to repair it, somewhere in the next 4-5 weeks. It's a pretty straight-forward surgery, but any sort of surgery requiring anesthesia is a big deal for a baby, so if you're the praying type, we would love it if you lifted our E up in your prayers and ask she comes out of this healthy and happy. That's all we want for our little blessing... health and happiness. She has been quite uncomfortable these last several weeks, and we suspect the hernia is the cause. I sincerely hope that's true, and her discomfort will be relieved post-surgery.

Now, as I log off to clean up and take Miss E upstairs to nurse, I'm hoping she'll finally fall asleep... as she hasn't slept since 6 p.m.'s catnap.... and I can sleep a bit, and start all over again tomorrow. Cold coffee and all.

{Oh, if I manage to recall where I was headed earlier, I'll be sure to update the post. You know.... if I ever get the chance to write it... which could be weeks from now.}

Monday, October 13, 2014

#DueDateBaby 2014 Event

Due Date Baby 2014 — a Modern Mrs.
I do hope you were able to follow my experience at Due Date Baby yesterday! I was on Instagram and Twitter the whole time, and was posting photos of my favorite booths, as well as some of the interesting products I was learning about. It was a great experience, a wonderful time, and I was honored to be there.

I guess I'll begin by walking you through our experience step-by-step. When we entered Port Discovery, the first table we saw {aside from the registration desk} was the raffle table, which housed the swag bags and provided a preview of the goodies that were to be raffled off that day. These items included 4moms' Breeze Playard, a gift basket of assorted MAM products, a gift basket of assorted Lansinoh products, a Ingenuity InTrust 35 Pro Infant Car Seat {courtesy of Babies R Us}, a Medela Pump In Style Advanced on-the-go tote, and a Ripley's {as in Believe It Or Not} Two-Headed Plush Toy and admission for four to their Baltimore attraction. I don't know about you, but those are some seriously awesome goodies, and I can imagine the lucky winners are still beaming over their scores today!

Due Date Baby 2014 — a Modern Mrs.
After that, we worked our way around the room. There were tables set up on the left and right sides of the room, as well as a few tables down the middle. I'd like to share with you some of my favorite tables, and I'll begin with Relay Foods.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why My Front-Loading Washer Can Suck It #OldSchoolBlogging

Source
Remember when front-loading washers first came on the scene? They were sooo fancy, and sooo much better for your water bill {and, subsequently, your wallet} than top-loading washers. They were prettier, too! Anyone who was anyone had one. Well, I'm here to tell you.... they're not all they're cracked up to be.

Sure, when they came out, I really wanted one. I had heard nothing but good things about them, and when we bought our house in 2010, I begged hubs for one of those amazing new front-loaders. J, being the diligent consumer that he is, looked into it online and found they were indeed better than top-loaders, and anything that will save him money is something he gravitates toward. So, he bought me a sparkling new front-loading washing machine {and dryer, too, but I have no beef with that}. At first I was in love, but then things began to change, as does anything you've had a chance to really test... the rose-colored glasses came off, and I began to loathe my front-loader.

First, it was the annoyance that came when I was trying to load the washer with dirty clothes, and no matter what I did, they'd come tumbling out. Stuff in, fall out, pick up, stuff in, fall out, curse, rinse, repeat. Oye! Then, it was the aggravation that came from smaller items getting lodged in the rim around the door. They'd be soaking wet, and after wringing them out, still wouldn't be dry after a 50 minute trip in the dryer. Nevermind that you really can't soak anything in there, and you certainly can't add anything you've dropped/forgotten after that door has locked and began filling with water.... You know, unless you want water spewing out everywhere, and that's if you can get the darn thing to unlock in the first place. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about taking a crowbar to my washer.
 

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