The Big Change: We’re still adjusting

Two weeks.

We’ve survived. And for the most part it’s really gone well considering how big of a shift this has been in our lives.


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I’ll miss it, but then I won’t

It’s almost time to wrap up my three years at home and head back into the working world.

I’m so ready. I know it’s the right fit for our family. Yet, I’m kind of driving myself crazy swinging from one emotion to the other about the whole return.

One minute I’m anxious about the changes.  Then I get really excited for the changes.  Then I realize I’ve checked out here at home and I’m sucking at mom duties so then I feel guilty.  Eventually I come around again and I’m an awesome mom. But through it all I’m still a little nervous.  It’s a big change.  One I know we’ll survive and will be good for all of us, but it’s the fear of the unknown adjustment period that gets me.

I’ve attempted to write some sort of “closure” post about the transition several times, but I can’t seem to get into words how I feel – maybe because I feel so much right now. Read More


Honest Company Products and Bundles Review

It’s about time I wrote about my Honest Company products.  I’m on my third monthly bundle and I’ve tried LOTS of the products so I wanted to share here a  little about what I like and dislike.

First of all, you don’t have to do a bundle in order to buy products from The Honest Company.  But I wanted to try out a few different  items, so I went the bundle route to save money.  You can change what comes in your bundle each month and push back the date to come every 5 or 6 weeks, or even longer.  You’re also able to cancel the bundle service at any time.

I only purchased items I “needed” or was currently out of.  I didn’t want to just buy a bunch of products and waste what I already have.  And each month I include mainly new items I’ve only repeated lotion and sunscreen as of this post. Below is a list of what I’ve tried and a few thoughts about each one.

honest company dish soap and suds up

Cleaning Products

Dish Soap (Lemon Verbena)

The good: It cleans great.  Dishes are sparkly and clean and the scent is really light. Not over powering.
The bad:  It doesn’t bubble up like I like dish soap to bubble. In my mind bubbles = clean.  But I’m learning that’s not always the case.  Bubbles usually mean more chemicals, and I’m trying to reduce the chemicals in my home which is why I’m trying these products in the first place.  I also don’t like that it really dries out my hands after washing a sink full of dishes.

Suds Up

The good:  The brush is great for baked on gunk. For me it was the perfect solution for my Le Cruset cast iron skillets – especially the grill pan with all its little grooves.
The bad:  The little dish the brush sits in is supposed to create bubbles.  That doesn’t really happen with the Honest Dish Soap because bubbles are fewer with this soap.  My hubby put Dawn dish soap in it once for my daughter and the bubbles were incredible!

Bathroom Cleaner

The good:  It’s ALL good.  The smell is heavenly. Eucalyptus Mint.  Woah.  Fresh and not over powering.  Cleans great too!

Multi-Surface Cleaner

The good:  It’s ALL good too.  No streaks on my glass top stove.
*Note: I use this with my Norwex cloths sometimes.  I know you should just use water, but I don’t completely trust water to clean it all the germs.  Don’t worry.  I rinse my cloths out with super hot water after to make sure the cleaner is out.  And I figure it’s super gentle cleaner anyway…can’t be too bad.

honest company reviews

Bath and Body Products

Healing Balm

The good:  Thick and moisturizing.  We haven’t used it too much.
The bad:  Teeny bit of a funky sunflower/nut smell, hard to describe.  I don’t feel like it worked as great as the reviews said.  Mariah’s eczema spots didn’t seem to heal super fast with it like the customers claimed.  Her prescription cream works much better, but I’d like to get away from prescription creams, so I’m torn.

Conditioning Detangler

The good:  ALL good. Sweet, but light orange vanilla smell.  I thought it was a weird smell combo when I read the name of it, but I like it. Mariah has wild and crazy curls that can only be combed after a bath or shower.  THIS STUFF WORKS! to untangle and keeps the whining at a minimum.  We spray it on and let it soak in while she brushes teeth or puts on jammies to let it do it’s thing before we comb.

Shampoo + Body Wash

The good: Sweet Orange Vanilla smell is light and just right. Good for Lana’s fine baby hair.
The bad:  Not super bubbly (this is a theme for me). I’m not sure how great it would be for my or Mariah’s thick curly hair.  I still need to test it out.

Body and Face Lotion

The good:  I really like this lotion.  It’s not super thick, but leaves us feeling moisturized.  No strong over powering smell.
The bad:  Takes a few minutes to sink into the skin.

Sunscreen Lotion

The good: Not greasy at all! Great sun protection.
The bad:  Thick and white and kind of takes a while to spread.

Sunscreen Spray

The good:  ALL good!  same great sun protection in a convenient spray!
The bad:  It wasn’t available until this month.  So I bought two lotions.  BUT the lotions are small to throw in my purse and are better for faces than the spray obviously.  BUT they just came out with a sunscreen stick – going to try that next.

Bug Spray

The good: No good.
The bad:  It STINKS!  Literally.  So smelly.  The citronella smell makes me nauseous.  And it’s not very good at keeping bugs away in my opinion.  We still get attacked with it on.  However, keep in mind me and my girls seem to attract mosquitoes like no other.  It might work for you.  We use some essential oil sprays for bugs and the nasty deet stuff, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.  Bugs love us!

Adult Toothpaste

The good: It works. My teeth feel clean when I’m done.
The bad:  No bubbles. No strong minty fresh breath.  I like that about toothpaste, so I need to make up my mind about this one similar to my dish soap problem.

Kid’s Toothpaste

The good: It seems to work (we’ll know from the dentist in a few weeks). Mariah likes the flavor.
The bad:  No bubbles.  Hard to get a good “lather” in the mouth.  Lana just sucks on it and says it tastes like medicine.  It’s strawberry flavored.

Foaming Hand Soap (Mandarin)

The good:  It bubbles!  Cleans my hands well and doesn’t leave them dried out.
The bad: Mandarin scent.  I thought I ordered Lavender.


Whew.  Long list!  I still have the Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Bubble Bath to test from my newest bundle. Let’s hope the Bubble Bath delivers on the bubbles.  I can’t shed any light on the diapers or baby products because we’re past that stage, but I’ve heard great things from friends.  I started buying The Honest Company products because I wanted the sunscreen.  There will definetly be items I purchase again and a few I’ll leave behind.  Target has started to carry a few of the lotion, baby products and soaps and I’ve heard a rumor that Costco sells larger sizes of the lotion, but I’ve yet to see it.  I still think trying a few bundles is the way to go.  We’ll be done with bundles soon and will just buy items when we need them in the future.


Adventures in Urban Gardening

So, I made this the year of the veggie garden. I’ve never grown food before.  I mean, if you count some basil on the deck in a pot or the 7 cherry tomatoes that somehow showed up on the little plant from Home Depot despite my neglect, then I guess technically I grew food, but let’s be honest…it wasn’t much.

Normally I fill our deck with flowers, and then by the middle of June/early July I’ve forgotten to water them and they die. Last spring I started reading up on gardening in hopes that this year we’d be in a home with a yard where I could garden my little heart out. A new house wasn’t in the plan for us, so I had to make due. Read More


Wannabe Minimalist

I’ve written before about how I’m purging and letting go of all the extra crap in our house.  And surprisingly this phase hasn’t been just a phase.  It’s still going strong 6 months into the year.

I think part of the added oomph is due to my soon coming return to work.  I’m only ONE MONTH away! Do you know how long 12 months is when you’re waiting to return to your dream job?  SO SO RIDICULOUSLY LONG! I’m thinking my current situation is a bit like nesting that happens in your last trimester of pregnancy.  You want everything in order before the baby arrives.  In the same way I’m hoping to get everything in order/cleared out before I return to work and my life changes forever.

The other reason the purging fuel is burning strong is due to drinking the Kool-Aid reading more about minimalism. Read More


High Expectations

I always want the BEST.  Most of my Google searches start with “the best ______” – recipes, ways to garden, restaurants…you name it.  I want the best.  Why would I want anything less?

I’ve always had high expectations.

When I was five, I was in my first children’s Christmas musical.  I listened to the tape over and over again so I’d learn all the words, just like I’d been instructed.  But my imagination got going while listening to those songs.  A full Broadway show played in my head each time I practiced.  Dance numbers were beautifully choreographed, the scenery and costumes were extraordinary.  When we finally started rehearsals on stage, I was deeply disappointed.  We were standing in LINES?! Just a few hand movements?  We’d wear matching t-shirts? *sigh*

In fourth grade the school year was coming to a close.  I decided I’d bring my new camera to school during the last week so I could take some pictures of my classmates.  It had been one of my favorite school years and I wanted to remember my class.  I had a plan.  I’d have everyone on the playground.  I imagined different spots everyone would stand or hang or sit in front.  It was going to be epic.  The day came, I asked everyone to head to the playground for a picture, maybe about half of them went and it was nothing like my epic photo in my head.  I wish I still had that picture to post.  It was really terrible.  Perhaps that was a sign posing people for photoshoots is not one of my strengths.

Those are just two small examples, but I could list countless times I set myself up for disappointment throughout my life:  photo sessions, what staying at home would be like, performances I’d attend, how my children should behave, what marriage would look like…..  I’m a planner and a dreamer, so I can really build something up until it’s pretty impossible to make a reality.

That’s how it went with my race last week.

I’d really built it up.  BIG.  I expected a huge life changing event.  Music blasting all night,  everyone dancing it up, feeling so proud of myself for finishing a 5k.  But it was nothing like that at all.

Ok, ok, it was on a small scale.  The music and party atmosphere of it all was fun.  It definitely kept me from getting bored.  And because we were in the dark winding all around the fairgrounds in circles, I had no idea how long I’d run or how much further I had to go.  And I did it.  At a super slow pace and quite a bit of walking because it was SO crowded.

The strangest thing was I wasn’t proud of myself for doing it.  I thought I’d feel some sense of accomplishment.  But I didn’t. My friends asked if I’d do another race and I said no.  I have absolutely no desire to do a race again.

Maybe it was because I didn’t run without stopping which was my expectation when I signed up.  Maybe because it was the same distance as walking around the lake by my house which I’ve done in the past.

I can’t put my finger on it.  But maybe I just had too many expectations.


And maybe that’s why I have a hard time finding joy and excitement in my life sometimes.  I over think and build things up too much which lead to disappointment. I expect too much from others, so they end up “letting me down”.

So what’s a girl to do? How am I supposed to balance my love of planning and dreaming alongside healthy and realistic expectations?  I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but it’s where I’m at right now.  No “answer” or way to turn it around right now, just thinking it over and thinking out loud.

Anyone else set expectations too high?