Saturday, March 31, 2012

Update - The Truth about Sleep (Or, I'm STILL $&%*#-ing Exhausted!)


It’s been two months since I last wrote about the sleep issues we were having and since we hired a sleep consultant.  I’m ecstatic to report that Baby O is now sleeping 12 hours straight without waking up or fussing and is napping 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.  He’s a textbook case. 

And if you believe that, I’ve got a nice piece of swamp land in Florida to sell you too…

I think this post might be even harder to write than the first one was.  As you read in that post, admitting that we had sleep issues and talking about it was difficult.  But now after hiring someone to help, paying good money, and working very, very hard on sleep, admitting that O still isn’t sleeping well makes me feel like even more of a failure.

We have had some success.  There have been nights where O has slept 11 or 12 hours without waking and nights where he’d have a really good stretch of 7 or 8 hours.  The biggest success is that he is sleeping in his crib all night, and I can put him down awake and he falls asleep on his own.  Whether he wakes up in the night or not, this is a triumph.  Nap training proved to be EXTREMELY difficult.  I can’t stress that enough.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it didn’t work very well.  After three weeks, we abandoned nap “training” and just let the naps fall where they may.  They have gotten better but there isn’t a whole lot of consistency.  Again though, the biggest triumph is that O will nap in his crib instead of in my arms or the stroller. 

About three weeks into the sleep training O started teething like a mad man.  When this baby gets a tooth they come fast and furious.  He got 3 teeth in 10 days (for a total of six teeth before he was 7 months old) and all the sleep training went out the window.  Right after those teeth broke through, he got his first cold which lasted 10 days.  There was no chance that sleep training would work again, so I waited a little while to try re-training.  It went pretty well the second time around (and I did it without the support of a consultant) and we had some success with a handful of nights with no waking.  
This week, O celebrated his 8 month birthday and he seems to have reverted back to all his old ways of not sleeping and I’m feeling exhausted, bitchy and very stressed out again.  He is having a very hard time falling asleep for naps and at bed time, is waking three or four times a night and is having very short naps again.  


I need to RELAX I guess.  Easier said than done when the above-mentioned money and time and effort have been spent and desperation for a good night’s sleep is still looming. I am trying to accept the fact that this sweet, adorable baby of mine is just not meant to sleep through the night.  I am  also trying to take comfort in the knowledge that other moms with babies of similar age are going through this too.  Some had babies that slept through the night early on and are now not sleeping, some are going through the same challenges that I am.  I have not heard of ANY babies that actually have the textbook naps of two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon.  Where do the books and “experts’ get the idea that babies will do this?? 

I suppose that what we are going through is normal, but it is still difficult.  I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass and that one day O will be a 16-year-old teenager like his big brother B who could sleep all day if we let him and that these sleep issues will be a distant memory.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Our Menu: Week of March 24 to 30


Greek Salsa Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans 
Oh boy, was this GOOD.  If you like feta cheese and Greek food, you have to try this.  It’s a very easy recipe and it’s good enough to impress guests.  Our guest this week was my Mom and I think she was impressed with this one!  I made a couple of modifications to the recipe, but nothing major.  First, I only used one lemon instead of two and it was plenty lemony enough.  Second, it says to put the ‘salsa’ mixture on the chicken after it comes out of the oven (i.e., cold), but I put it on the chicken for the last 15 minutes it was in the oven.  Cherry tomatoes taste so good roasted and I think putting the cold mixture on the chicken wouldn’t have been as tasty.  For the roasted potatoes, I just cut a bag of mini potatoes in half and tossed them with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried oregano and roasted them in the oven alongside the chicken (in a different pan).  I bought some tzatziki to go with them too. YUM!!!!!   You can find the chicken recipe HERE. 

Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic White Wine Sauce, Baked Rice and Peas, and Candied Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad 
I have made this chicken dish a couple of times and it is really delicious – see this postThe Baked Rice and Peas was also easy and a great accompaniment to the chicken.  I also made my favourite salad with candied pecans and blue cheese. I usually add a chopped pear, but didn’t have one.  Still, an amazing salad!

Tofu Peanut Stir Fry 
This recipe is from Chatelaine magazine, which often has really good, easy recipes. It was tasty, but I’ll make some adjustments next time such as using firm tofu and cutting it in bigger chunks, not ‘French Fry’ strips as the recipe says, because it all fell apart.  I would also cook the tofu on high heat with oil in the pan first before adding vegetables, again to help keep it together.  The sauce could use a bit more flavour and kick too, so I would definitely add more garlic-chili sauce, teriyaki and peanut butter than it calls for.  Speaking of that garlic-chili sauce, if you can’t find it in the grocery store, just do what I did and use Sriracha sauce mixed with 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves.  I also added bean sprouts and green beans to the stir fry, but you could use any veggies really. 

Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce and Steamed Broccoli 
The last frozen container of that batch of sauce I made a few weeks ago.  I will have to whip up some more since the living basil I got from Plan B is still thriving! 

Indian Cauliflower Curry Stew and Steamed Asparagus 
This was a really delicious vegetarian meal.  If you like Indian food (or FOOD as they call it in India...), try it.  The recipe called for brown rice, but next time I’ll use basmati.  I also doubled the amount of curry powder. I love curry!  Click HERE for the recipe.

Pork and Pepper Stroganoff with Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower 
This is another Chatelaine recipe that I have made a couple of times.  It’s a very quick weeknight meal and delicious. Here’s the recipeI have made it with and without the jalapeno and it doesn’t really make a difference.

Bon appetit! 

(P.S. please pardon the spacing issues that occur regularly with Blogger.  Doesn't matter what I do, some posts just end up with weird spacing!)

 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Double the Cuteness!


Way back 16 years ago when Brayden was a baby complete strangers would stop me to tell me how cute he was.  He was a very happy baby and really was the cutest thing I had ever seen.  I can remember saying, “I can never have another baby, there’s no way it could be as cute and I would just compare him/her to Brayden!.”.  Well, turns out that cuteness has happened to me twice.  I know that probably sounds like gloating or that I'm conceited (for lack of a better word) but man, Oliver’s cute.  Some days I just look at him and can’t believe the cuteness, and I remember feeling that way about Brayden too.  Of course I have my mommy goggles on but I’m entitled, aren’t I!?

When I was pregnant with Brayden I KNEW he was a boy.  I had no doubt at all and even bought blue bedding and accessories for his room.  When the doctor announced, “it’s a boy!”, I thought to myself, “yah, I know.”.  When I was pregnant with Oliver, I really felt that he was a girl.  Or maybe it was wishful thinking.  At the time I thought to myself that I have a son already, a daughter would be nice.  But always in the back of my head I couldn’t help but think of how much I LOVE baby boys and that if it was a boy, I would be totally OK with it.  I don’t know what it is about baby boys (and all of you mothers of daughters – especially people I know – please don’t take offence!), I just love them to pieces.  I have a soft spot for them that I can’t explain.  When Oliver was born (by c-section) we asked the doctor and nurses to let Jason tell me if it was a boy or a girl.  When Jason said “It’s an Oliver” my heart filled with joy and I couldn’t wait to see and hold my second son.

I may never put pony tails in a little girl's hair or build a dollhouse with a daughter, but I’m so very lucky to have two sons and I wouldn’t change it for the world! 

Brayden - 6 months, August 1996


Oliver, 7.5 months, March 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Five Grain Rolled Cereal Daybreak Cookies


I made a batch of these cookies just before O was born with the idea to have them on hand for a quick bite to eat in the morning once he arrived.  It turned out that we were in the hospital for 6 days after O’s birth and Jason had to bring his own food so these cookies were great for that purpose.  I had all but forgotten about them until I started to organize my bookmarks in my web browser and came across the link to the recipe so I whipped up a batch today.  They are so good and really easy and only take 10 minutes to bake.  I made a couple of modifications to the original recipe – see my notes below. Here's my version:

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (original calls for 1 cup)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour (original calls for white flour)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup five-grain cereal – I use Grain Shop High Fibre Crisp (which is also one of my favourite cereals for breakfast)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pecan halves – chopped
1/4 cup walnuts – chopped (not in the original recipe)

(I also omitted the coconut in the original because I just don’t like coconut!)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Blend melted butter and sugar with a whisk until smooth. Add vanilla and egg to butter mixture and mix well.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cereal. Stir flour mixture into egg and butter mixture until just combined. Add remaining ingredients, mix until combined.

Drop 1 1/2 inch balls (about 2 tbsp per ball) onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake 10 minutes or until lightly brown on edges but still soft in the middle. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

ENJOY!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Our Menu: Week of March 17 to 23

Ah, the week of St. Patty’s Day!  My sister’s recent fascination with genealogy has uncovered that we are more Irish than anything!  I always knew we were at least a quarter Irish since my maternal grandfather was, but it turns out there’s good reason to raise a glass and say “Slainte” on March 17th!  What does this have to do with our menu, you ask?  Nothing, really!  Except that we went out to a pub on the 17th for some grub and a couple of pints, thus making the menu shorter this week.  Next year I really want to make an Irish feast on St. Patrick’s Day and these are the recipes I am dying to try:

Guinness and Honey-Glazed Pork Loin
Colcannon 
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting  

Only 360 more days till St. Patrick's Day 2013!   Now, on to the week’s menu!

Ham and Potato Soup and Salad
A repeat – see this post I used gluten-free all-purpose flour this time and the soup didn’t get quite as thick, but it was still very tasty. 

BBQ Meat with Grilled Veggies
It’s only March, but I’m so excited that it’s BBQ season already!  The best part of the season is the super easy clean up after dinner. Jason and Brayden each had a steak on the ‘Q and I had a pork chop that I sprinkled with Montreal Steak Spice.  We also had grilled veggies on the BBQ for the first time this year and I was reminded of how much I LOVE them this way!  I included mushrooms, purple onion, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and asparagus. Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and some garlic powder and cook them in a BBQ basket.  They don’t take long at all and they are so good! 

Rosa’s Lasagna!
I have mentioned Rosa a few times (my sister’s mother-in-law) and I was so very lucky that I saw her this week and she sent me home with one of her lasagnas!  Rosa is the pasta and sauce master and makes both herself.  We steamed some cauliflower and broccoli to go with it and had a Caesar salad.  Thank you, Rosa!

Jerk Chicken Thighs, Spanish Rice and Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower
Bev (my sis) keeps raving about Grace Jerk Chicken Sauce and picked up a jar for me.  I rubbed it on some chicken thighs and roasted them in the oven.  Delicious but be forewarned, the sauce is HOT!  I used WAY too much!  I was going to make some plain rice to go with the chicken, but I decided to whip up some Spanish rice instead. It's very easy.  Saute a chopped onion and a couple of garlic cloves in some olive oil.  Add a can of diced tomatoes, about a tablespoon of chili powder, a teaspoon of cumin and some salt and pepper to taste.  Then add 2 cups of uncooked long grain rice.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the rice is done. If it doesn't look like there's enough liquid for the amount of rice you used, just add some water.  I also steamed some broccoli and cauliflower to go with it.  
Saucy Green Beans and Sausage
A new recipe!  This was really easy and so tasty!  The ingredients are so simple but the flavour was fantastic.  We had leftover Spanish rice with it. 

Pita Pizzas and Salad
A simple supper for a Friday night.  See this post.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Menu: Week of March 10 to 16

Taco Salad
As easy as it sounds.  Cook some ground chicken (or beef if you eat it!) with taco seasoning and then make a big salad.  I like to add sliced olives, pickled jalapeno peppers (in a can in the Mexican section of the grocery store), diced peppers of any colour, some black beans if I have a can, cucumber, shredded cheese, tomatoes, salsa and sour cream.  We also crumble corn tortilla chips on top.  I’ve been making my own chips but you can just buy a bag instead to make it easier.

Mushroom Casserole
A hearty, delicious vegetarian entrĂ©e.  I would also consider making this to take to a large family dinner as a side.  Will definitely make again!  Click HERE for the recipe. 


Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans and Potatoes 
See THIS post. As I mentioned in the aforementioned post, I did go lighter on the lemon this time by omitting the lemon slices in the baking pan.  It was still a bit lemony, so will reduce the amount of juice again next time.  Love this dish, though!  

Cajun Stewed Red Beans and Ham
You may not know that my hubs’ Mom is from Louisiana and most of his family still lives in that area.  I hope that my version of this would be OK by them!  I took this recipe from a cookbook I borrowed from the library called $3 MealsNow I don’t know where this author shops because there’s no way this meal (or any in the book) could possibly cost $3.00, but it was good and I’ll make it again.  I used canned kidney beans instead of dried, which cut the prep time down by a lot.  I also used maybe 2 cups of water, not 8 like the recipe says. We had it over rice with a salad.

Here’s my modified recipe:
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions finely chopped
2 celery ribs finely chopped
1 red pepper finely chopped (original says green pepper)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups of water
1 pound cooked ham, diced into ½ inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot red pepper sauce to taste

Heat oil in a 3-quart sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add onions, celery, red pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until onions are translucent.  Add paprika, bay leaves and thyme and cook over low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add the beans and water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add the ham and simmer an additional 15 minutes.  Remove and discard bay leaves and season to taste with salt, pepper and hot red pepper sauce.  Serve over rice. 

Brown Rice Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce and Salad
As I mentioned in this post, I made a big batch of pasta sauce and froze it.  I think it’s better the second time around.



Photo a Day - April


I came across this on Pinterest (go figure, I spend a wee bit of time 'pinning' these days…) and think it is a brilliant idea!  I loved seeing my friend Alanna's posts over at fridaysoff.ca when she did the February Photo a Day challenge and have decided to give this a try for April!  I think I’ll post every 3 or 4 days, but will actually take a photo each day as per the list below.  Anyone else up for the challenge?

 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Our Menu: Week of March 3 to 9


Teryiaki Steak, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans
You probably know that one of my rules is, if it swims, I don't eat it, but I also don't eat anything that moos!  The men in my house crave a good BBQ'd steak once in awhile and last weekend was one such occasion, so, Brayden offered to cook dinner!  He marinated steaks in teriyaki sauce for himself and Jason (I had chicken), and he made AMAZING garlic mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.  It was a fabulous dinner, thanks Brayden!

Pasta with Homemade Meat Sauce, Steamed Broccoli and Salad

In our Plan B share last week we received some living basil that smelled so good so I decided to make a batch of pasta sauce with ground chicken.  I try to imitate Rosa's (my sister's mother-in-law) amazing home made sauce and I know it's nowhere near as good, but we like it.  It's very simple - 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, about half a can of water, some sugar, some salt, olive oil and a big handful of fresh basil leaves thrown in whole.  We had the sauce over brown rice spaghetti and some steamed broccoli and a salad on the side.  I made enough sauce to freeze for another couple of meals too. 

Santa Fe Casserole 
This was supposed to be a vegetarian meal, but I had an extra chicken breast thawed, so I cut it up and added it to this casserole.  We really liked this one.  It's very filling with brown rice and beans.  YUMMY!  Here's the recipe.

Mushroom Stroganoff
I have decided to try to make two or three vegetarian meals a week.  My reason is two-fold:  One, to eat healthier by eating less meat (not to mention the environmental impacts of eating meat), and to reduce our grocery bill.  This stroganoff was just as good as one with meat and I would make it again.  I used a mix of cremini and white mushrooms.  We had steamed asparagus with it.  Click here for the recipe.

Vegetarian Burrito Pie
Can you tell we like Mexican food?  This was another vegetarian meal that was really good. Would definitely make it again. Served with a salad.  Here's the recipe.

Butter Chicken with Cauliflower and Chana Masala over Basmati Rice
One of our favourites.  See this post.


Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Tribute to My Grandma - Violet Bramhall Alger


I recently read a very touching post by one of my favourite bloggers, Miss Mommy, about her grandparents.  It really hit a chord with me and inspired me to (finally) put down in words what my Grandma, Violet Alger, meant to me.  Grandma had a way of making you feel like you were her most special grandchild, gave me some of my best childhood memories and had a huge impact on my life in the 18 short years I knew her.  Here are some of the reasons why:

Grandma loved classical music.  The radio was always on in the kitchen tuned to a classical station.  She greatly influenced my appreciation for classical music by taking my sister and me to concerts in the park and to hear symphonies.  Also, one day when I was quite young (I want to say maybe 6 or 7), there was a knock at the door and when my mom answered there was a delivery truck and a piano waiting there – a ‘gift’ from Grandma for Bev and me.  This was probably also her subtle way of saying she’d like us to take piano lessons, and we did.  I took lessons for about 6 years and passed my Grade 3 Royal Conservatory of Music exam.  Unfortunately I gave up the lessons (I had “better” things to do with my time when I was 13, like chase boys...), but what the lessons gave me was an ability to read music which really helped when I was learning to play other instruments in junior high.

Grandma’s house was always clean.  I mean spotless.  Even her kitchen.  She was the world’s best cook and baker, but I don’t ever remember a mess in her kitchen.  She was that good.  There was always a formal living room in my grandparents’ house, but you were never made to feel like you couldn’t be in it.  There were lovely things that we knew not to touch and antique pieces of furniture but there was also always a full candy jar that could be touched as much as we wanted. 

Like classical music, Grandma loved the theatre (and even forayed into acting herself!).  When she and Grandpa moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake when I was probably about 10 or 11 years old, she would take us to see plays at the Shaw Festival.  I have some great memories of going to lunch and then the theatre with her.  To this day, Bev and I love theatre and take in a play at the Shaw or the Stratford Festival when we can.  One day I’d love to even follow in her footsteps and be in a play myself – that’s one for the bucket list!

Grandma also fostered my love of books and reading.  She bought my sister and I the complete set of Anne of Green Gables books and we devoured them.  I am still an avid reader and credit her for part of that.  Those Anne of Green Gables books also are what inspired my sister and I to take a trip to Prince Edward Island a couple of years ago.  You can read about that here.

If you were a child of the 80’s like I was, you probably had a Cabbage Patch Doll (or two, or three…).  Those dolls went everywhere with me for awhile and imagine my delight when we arrived for a visit and Grandma had made my doll a dress and matching hat!  She was very talented with the sewing machine and dresses for our dolls made by her were extra special.  She also made Bev and I dresses to wear ourselves when we were little girls.  I remember feeling like a princess in a long red and white dress she made for me to wear at Christmas.  I wore it for my Grade 1 school picture too.  





Dresses made by Grandma, 1978 or 79 - I'm on the left
I have just realized that this could be an extremely long post, so I will start to make my points shorter! 

Grandma and Grandpa had the entire set of Dr. Seuss books.  Oh how I loved to read them over and over when we visited!

Grandma passed away before the days of email, but I’m sure if she was here today, she’d still write letters.  I loved getting letters and cards from her and still have many of them in an envelope.  I treasure them.

She loved to wear hats and she always wore dresses.  She loved costume jewellery and getting dressed up and she always looked fabulous.

Grandma and Grandpa ate organic food.  Or FOOD to them.  They had a huge garden and when they moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake they also had a small fruit orchard.  Grandma would pay us to pit cherries for her pies.  She helped to instill a good work ethic and always rewarded our hard work.
 
As I mentioned above, she was the world’s best baker.  She made this amazing light green frosted Easter cake that had marshmallow bunnies on it.  She actually took scissors to the marshmallows to make the bunnies and painted faces on them with a toothpick and food colouring.  If you were lucky enough to celebrate a birthday at her house, she would bake you a money cake and of course the birthday girl or boy always had the coveted quarter in their slice (remember, this was the 70’s or 80’s).

Grandma was a fantastic gift-giver and was always very thoughtful. Her Christmas gifts were always adorned with a special ornament and often they were something personalized – like an engraved silver bell or a craft she made herself.  I loved getting her gifts just for the ornament on top. 

Sadly, Grandma passed away suddenly 4 months before I turned 18.  For each of her granddaughter’s 18th birthdays Grandma had given them a ring.  I realized I wouldn’t receive one of these special gifts because she was gone.  I was wrong.  When the family cleaned out her closet, there, wrapped in birthday paper with a tag with my name on it, was my 18th birthday gift – a beautiful pearl ring.  I treasure that ring and hold it so dear to my heart.  Thank you Grandma, for planning ahead and for being so thoughtful. 

A wonderful tribute has been made to her, initiated by my Dad, in North Bay.  A pergola leaf with her name on it and a story to go along with it will be part of the waterfront redevelopment.  You can read more about her here.  She truly was a remarkable woman. 
 
I wish she were still here so that I could have known her for longer and so that I could have told her how much I loved her and what an impact she had on my life. I hope she knows.   





Friday, March 02, 2012

Our Menu: Week of February 25 to March 2

This week saw a couple of repeats and a couple of new things!  Some hits, and one BIG miss (well, in my opinion anyway...).
 
Chicken and Vegetable Stew
This hearty stew recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks, Quinoa 365, and I have made it a couple of times.  The quinoa element to this stew is that it's thickened with quinoa flour (which is a tad pricey).  I don't use dill as the recipe calls for, I substituted some dry thyme and a sprig of fresh rosemary instead, but I'm sure it would be just as good with dill. If you'd like the recipe, leave a comment below.

Jen's Jambalaya
A rotating favourite that makes enough for lunch leftovers.  See this post.

Tacos (using ground chicken)
Nothing fancy, but we love tacos. See this post.

Skillet Rosemary Chicken
I didn't actually make it as per the recipe I found, but the original does sound good!  I was a bit lazy on this day so I just threw the chicken thighs in a roasting pan with some olive oil, lemon juice, mini red potatoes and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary and baked it in the oven.  It turned out quite well!  Served with a salad and steamed broccoli. Click here for the original recipe. 

Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole
Anyone that knows me well knows that my rule is, "if it swims, I don't eat it", so I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to make this!  Well, I do know actually.  It was in an effort to try to learn to like fish (which didn't work) and cook on a budget (a success, tuna is cheap!).  I knew from the moment I opened the cans of tuna that I wasn't going to be able to eat this.  And I didn't.  Brayden and Jason did though and Jason even went so far as to say it may have been the best tuna casserole he's ever had!  So don't let me dissuade you from making this.  If you like tuna, give it a try!  Here's the recipe.

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Oh, this was yummy!!  It definitely packed a lot of heat though.  I made my own cajun seasoning using this recipe.  I would make this again, but I would go much lighter on the cajun seasoning by adding it to the chicken OR the "slurry", not both.  Here's the recipe from one of my favourite sites, Skinnytaste.com.

Bon Appetit!

I Never Leave the House Without my “Face On”!


Call me vain, superficial, crazy, or whatever you like, but I never leave the house without makeup on.  I’ve been wearing makeup since I was 13 years old (unfortunately) and now it’s just how I feel most like me.  

How do I find the time with a young baby, you may ask?  I make the time, plain and simple.  I am pretty good at putting makeup on fast and it really does only take me five minutes or less to “do my face”.  Sometimes Baby O watches me while sitting in his bouncy chair in the bathroom, or I wait until he’s napping and then I do it.  I should also mention that 99% of the time Jason takes over baby duty for an hour or so in the mornings so I can have a shower and dry my hair before he leaves for work - bless his heart.

Why is makeup so important to me?  I feel like the best version of myself when I’m wearing it.  I feel alive and confident and good about how I look.  Since I am less than thrilled about how I look from the neck down (but that's a whole other blog post...), looking and feeling good from the neck up is super important to me.  

Maybe I look ridiculous in Mom and Baby Yoga class or at Parent and Tot Swimming lessons with my full “face on” but I feel good and that’s what’s most important.

What do you do to feel great about yourself?  I’d love to hear it!

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