Right around the time I found out I was pregnant, a good chunk of my everyday wardrobe was in major need of overhauling. During law school most of my investments went to suits and “business formal” clothes, then I found myself in a job where things are decidedly casual (I wear jeans to work nine times out of ten) and quickly my “everyday” was wearing out. Then I was pregnant so everything got boxed up or pushed to the side and I had brand new clothes to wear! After Gracie was born I lived in that post-partum yoga pant/nursing tank phase, and then when I went back to work I found myself pulling things from an even older section of my closet, everyday wear from when I was more slender (thanks to nine months of throwing up on the regular), and besides, everything was in transition body-wise so it was no time to invest.
Which brings us to now. And the tragic state of affairs. Over the past two months I’ve been making myself pull the tired, the downtrodden, the fraying hems and spotty neckline (what did I spill there?) out of my closet. A few pieces at a time. Yes, Daisy, it is time to let go of the sad, stretched, off-color Gap “favorite t” that you would be mortified if anyone saw you in. When you do it slowly it feels less painful, and finally this past weekend I pulled some final plugs. That Target cardigan that doesn’t really fit anymore? Goodbye. That old tank top with the tiny tear “no one will notice” is in the rubbish bin (I’m not insulting a second hand store with things not fit for wearing out of the house).
My closet has a lot more room, and I pulled out every random hanger, moving them all to the front. Now begins the process of rebuilding. I’ve been working on that slowly- some extra room in the budget, a good Gap coupon, a younger cousin with a good eye for fashion, slowly but surely I’m adding back. This week Target has many of their tank tops on sale for $5 each, which was the kick in the pants I needed to replace some old white tank tops that had seen much better days. New riding boots are on the list (my last pair is worn through thanks to the great Winter of 2013), I have my eye on some Breton tops from Boden (not affiliate links) and I’m on the lookout for a great pair of courderoy pants. These things are all for me, and sometimes I struggle with feeling selfish (I could use this money on house stuff/Gracie/B/family fun) but I think I know that sometimes doing something for yourself is important to. Even if it is just a little shopping.
It is amazing how much better I feel in the morning when I open my closet, and rather than seeing it stuffed with things I don’t want/can’t/will not wear, it is trimmed down but has items that make me happy, that fit, that don’t make me feel the need to change five times before walking out the door. Sometimes it really is the little things, and that clean closet has inspired me to clean out a few junk drawers, a cluttered corner, a cupboard of towels put away without any thought. I pulled out shoes that need to go to the cobbler and found some that just needed to go in the rubbish bin. Lets just mark this whole thing down as a grand experiment in “yup, sometimes you gotta take care of yourself” and call it good, eh?
First up in the questions from readers…..a reader (hi KT!) asked if I could talk about traveling with Gracie and what has worked for us, as she has some travel in her future with her new baby. To that I say: sure! I know there are a lot of resources out there, but here are some things that have worked for us! (Amazon links affiliate, heads up).
Overall: organization! I make packing lists, try to do the math on diapers on wipes (I usually fail) and if we have a machine-wash item that we use daily (sleep sack, small bedtime blanket, pajamas, bibs) I make sure to pack 2 – so if a middle of the night diaper explosion (or similar situation) happens, I know I have a back up at the ready while I wash whatever was destroyed. More specifically….
Activities for entertainment
Food on the go
Sleeping on vacation
Other “big stuff” that you might need
Whew. I think that covers it. Happy travels!
I always enjoy when bloggers I read do Q&A posts- letting their readers ask questions that they answer in a follow-up post or posts. I realized it had been years since I’d done that, so I figured I would toss it out there: questions? comments? concerns? Ask away and I’ll do my best to answer. I’ll start with a question I got last week about traveling with a baby and tips I have for that, and if I get any more questions, I’ll go from there!
In other non-pressing news, I thought I’d toss together some of my favorite recipe resources (i.e. where all our good eats come from):
I also have some food blogs I love to peruse but have yet to use any of their recipes (which speaks to my organization, not their food)
And in final recipe news, I partnered up with Blendtec to try one of their blenders and create some recipes for their website. You can check out my recipes for roasted garlic spread and apple-sweet potato baby food!
Suckers for punishment, B and Gracie (and the dog!) and I got back in the car on Friday and drove back to Michigan. This time we even brought the Namby Pamby. After hitting ever imagineable traffic hiccup and then pulling over frantically to deal with dog barf (thanks buddy for aiming DIRECTLY INTO MY HAND AND LAP) we pulled into the driveway at B’s parents house at 1:30 the morning. This time Gracie decided to peacefully sleep the whole way there (unlike our drive from hell some months back) and we all put ourselves to bed to get ready for the festivities.
Andy why were we gluttons for punishment? Because we had tickets to the Real Madrid- Manchester United game in Michigan Stadium! Many thanks to our good friends and Michigan season ticket holders that were able to order us the tickets when they were first available. We spent some time in the morning with Gracie before leaving her for a fun day with Grandma & Grandpa, and after picking up another friend, the four of us drove to Ann Arbor for the day. After circling around for parking like fools we gave in, paid to park in a garage, and walked over to the Red Hawk for lunch where I had an unusual open-face pulled pork sandwich served on top of jalapeno cornbread – in a word, delicious. From there we meandered to my husband’s favorite AA haunt, Dominicks, where we enjoyed their famous sangria. We made a pitstop at the M-Den for some new Michigan gear for Gracie and perused the soccer t-shirts before heading over to the stadium.
Michigan Stadium is cool for a lot of reasons, but one of the neatest (for me) is the fact that from the outside it looks so incredibly small. You wonder how on earth in can be the nation’s largest stadium and then you walk in and discover you walked in at row 74, and the massive bowl in front of you becomes visibile. Still takes my breath away! In case you were wondering though, Michigan Stadium is uncool in its “no bag” policy and it seriously means, no bags, ladies, your wallet must fit in your pocket, and to that I raise a hearty bulls**t cough, becuase really? I took advice from a friend and after we all filled our pockets with necessities (wallets, iPhones, a backup battery charger -shutup- and a small bottle of sunscreen) I carefully folded a Ziplock bag and shoved it in there too. Once through security I pulled out the bag and we all emptied our pockets of things that did not belong, like, say, sunscreen.
We found our seats and squeezed in for the match among the other 109,000+ spectators. Although I am not a huge soccer fan, my husband and Namby are, and each of their favorite teams was playing (Namby = Man U, B = Real Madrid) so their enthusiasm was contagious. The game itself was great (and since it was sponsored by Guiness they even had adult beverages, much like my college football days, long live Tulane) and it was pretty cool to see so many world class athletes on the pitch- even Cristiano Ronaldo!
After the game we made our way back to the car and worked our way back to Detroit (seeing the team busses on the way to the airport) where we had dinner before heading home. All in all it was a great day, and from all reports, Gracie and the Grandparents had a nice day as well- a little Costco, a little pizza, a little play time. Sunday we had breakfast, took advantage of an outlet near the car (our Chicago parking situation is outlet-less) and vacuumed it out (it is the little things in life) and hit the road home, where we again sat in every traffic situation ever before finally walking in the door around 6 pm. We are exhausted but it was well worth it! I mean, it isn’t every day you get to be part of history!