50 Shades of Annoying

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I get it. The movie trailer came out last week.

Some people are REALLY excited about it and others are REALLY not.

Then there are people like me. People that think people are making a much bigger deal about it than it needs to be.

I've read a few articles, some better written and with more sound logic than others.

There are people, in case you haven't read, that are adamantly against this movie and are vehemently condemning all women who have read the books and will see the movie.

Then there are those who think it stands for women's sexual liberation and that the naysayers are trying to stifle women's sexuality.

Then there's me, who up until this point, didn't really think too much of it. It's a movie, that came from a book. It just happens to have a lot of sex in it.

Did I read the books? Yes.
Did I find them riveting and brilliantly written? Well no, but they were entertaining enough to keep me interested (although, progressively less so as I went through the series).
Did they turn me into a sex-crazed maniac? No (dad, this is one blog post I really hope you chose not to read) but the timing of my reading the first book on our honeymoon did us no harm.

I guess I'm struggling with what all the fuss is about. The articles I've read against the movie talk strongly about the 'meaningfulness' of sex and how it's supposed to be between married people etc etc. Um, have you watched a movie lately? I'm confident that the majority of movies I've seen have sex, between unmarried people.
I could understand if there was a deeper conversation, perhaps about how annoyingly submissive the main character is and repercussions of such a popular female character being so docile and compliant in all aspects of her relationship. How there's a constant desire of the leading lady to "fix" the damaged man. Cliche much?



Will I watch the movie? Yes, why not? I'm curious to see how they interpret the book in film.
Seriously, one famous blogger (who shall remained unnamed - *cough Matt Walsh*) suggested women boycott the movie for the sake of our children's future. Many, including Mr. Walsh, have likened the movie to porn. Did you get to attend some sneak peak that the rest of us weren't privy to? Yes, there's  a lot of sex in the book but I'm pretty sure it's not going to translate to film the same way it reads. Even so, who cares? So what if a bunch of women watch a R-rated movie? I somehow doubt that's going to mark the demise of humankind.

I've also read how the women reading and watching should feel ashamed of the way they're making their husbands feel. HA! While the book and movie may have some die-hard followers, that doesn't mean anyone who reads or watches is neglecting their husband or making him feel insecure. Come on people.

Why do people care so much about this movie? Watch it or don't watch it, love it or hate it, but we don't need to keep condemning people who do watch it (if so, I want to see an equally condemning post about all men who watch porn ever) or grouping them as bunch of sex-obsessed women. Some of us just read a trashy romance novel and might just watch the movie. That's it. Either way, I'm confident my daughter's future does not rest on my movie-attending decisions.





Monday in a minute (July 28, 2014)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mondays are extra challenging when you're away for the weekend.

Things don't get done while you're away that normally make-up the weekend. My house isn't clean, my fridge isn't stocked. I'm not organized at all and it sucks.

Lunches and dinner were purchased and grocery shopping was done with a hungry child in the cart. So hungry in fact, that she ate part of the cardboard on a box of crackers. Oops.

Don't worry, she ate dinner when we finally got home at 6:30pm.

Being working parents (because I always neglect to mention that Mr. B is a working parent too), it's so hard to function when you have plans other than regularly scheduled household duties on the weekend.

We did have a great weekend and mini-me had a blast... I just wish having fun didn't leave us so behind.

Ah well, there' always next weekend....


here's mini-me posing at the beach (pirate-themed beach birthday party)


new baby flashbacks

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I missed my "Monday in a minute" post yesterday. Blogging fail. I've been having a lot of those lately. I blame life.

Last night was a flashback to 15ish months ago when we brought our brand new baby girl home. And she didn't sleep. Not right away, anyways. I always thought new babies slept all of the time. They kinda do, just not when you want them to (like at night).



It started like any other night, dinner, bath, snuggles, story, more snuggles, a few songs and then sleepytime. Unfortunately for Mr. B and I, mini-me's sweet slumber ended at approximately 12:30am.

You know that feeling when you just get into a deep sleep and then are abruptly awakened? Not enjoyable.

Initially we thought it would be okay, she was happy, giving kisses and despite both of us being exhausted, she was too cute to be upset with. And then things took at turn around 2am. We suddenly had an inconsolable, thrashing, crying, miserable baby. This would be hard to deal with mid-day, feeling refreshed and having had ample caffeine. It's even more of a challenge when you're beyond tired and want nothing more than to just go back to sleep.

I think it was around 4 or 4:30 that she FINALLY fell asleep on Mr. B. This was after tylenol, water, cuddles, and a lot of crying. Oh, and mini-me got tylenol too ;)

Here's what I was reminded of:

  • As parents we have fun new super powers. Never  before would I have been able to go to work on so little sleep and I actually function. I even mustered up the strength to go on a 7km walk on my lunch with a coworker! 
  • One bad night of sleep, even among many good nights, is enough to scare the crap out of you. Despite how 'well' I was able to function today, I still find myself praying to the sleepy baby gods that this child is able to just miraculously go back to her 7:30 - 6:30 routine tonight. Mom and dad desperately need some sleep. Two nights of no sleep won't bode well for anyone.
  • I don't consider myself a patient person but sometimes I surprise myself how well I can hold it together when all I want to do is throw my own tantrum and cry and scream "I JUST WANT SLEEP". They make babies cute just so you're able to hold it together!
  • Once again, I can't say enough how much I respect single parents. Nights like last night are rough, but I had a partner in the misery. When I got too frustrated and needed a break he was ready to take over. I don't know how I'd cope with no one to take shifts.
  • I am so not ready to think about another baby yet. I need to have at least one child who can tell me what is wrong before I consider having another one who can't.

On that note, it's almost 9pm and this momma is hitting the sack.
Feel free to send sleepy baby vibes in our direction.


I have another confession... I took a week off work and sent my child to daycare

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I have a confession: I was on vacation from work this past week and sent mini-me to daycare every day but one. I'm that mom.

I have a number of what I feel are legitimate rationalizations for my decision, but they're just that, rationalizations.

The bottom line is that I couldn't get everything done I wanted and needed to do with mini-me home (I also have to pay for daycare regardless of if I send her or not but that's just one of my many rationalizations).





I dropped her off late and picked her up early, but I still sent her to daycare. While I was home. 

The reactions I got when I told people about this were varied. I got some blank stares, some judgmental eyes (or was that my own mom-guilt at play?) and even some "good for you's". I also caught myself explaining my decision every. single. time. 

I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I had hoped but I did get some key things done. It's so much easier to clean toilets without worrying about a toddler touching the toilet brush (I will never understand why that god-forsaken thing is so appealing to little people). It's so much easier to vacuum without someone chasing you trying to jump on top of it. It's a luxury to run something upstairs quickly without having to worry about leaving the gate open. The list could go on...

Don't get me wrong, I adore mini-me and I want to spend so much more time with her, but I also need to be able to wash the floors so that when she falls it's not into the sticky residue that is the remains of last night's dinner that was thrown because she would have rather had fruit.

Mini-me loves daycare and they love her. I didn't want to keep her home to watch me clean, accompany me to Costco etc. I love showing her off, but it can't be much fun for her. Ugh, I'm rationalizing again.

I did keep mini-me home on Thursday and made sure to dedicate the day to her. We went to a local indoor play center first thing and spent over 2 hours there. Mini-me and mom just playing all morning. We both had a blast. Naptime was inevitable - I tuckered her out and was followed by a joint lunch. Then, we met some friends down at the waterfront for a walk, snacks on a blanket, visit with the ducks, and playing in the park. We both had a truly amazing day and focused on enjoying each other's company. It wasn't rushed, it wasn't about anything other than spending time together. It was perfect.






when you're a mom it's important to:
  • still be a person outside being a mom
  • allow yourself the time and space to do things important to you (or necessary for the functioning of your household)
  • make your time count, for you and your little ones - if you have spare time, use it wisely
I took a week off work and sent my child to daycare and she loves me anyways because I made the most of all our extra time together. 



I took a week off work and sent my child to daycare BUT every moment I spent with her, the lingering in the mornings, the playing in the front yard before dinner because I picked her up early, and our wonderful girl's day together made me sure of my decision. I took a week off work and sent my child to daycare and I don't regret it. I'm still a good mom. I'm now just a mom with a cleaner house, a fully stocked freezer, a groomed dog, and cute toes (okay, that last one was a luxury but it is called a vacation afterall). 

my favs this week: tv shows (July 18, 2014)

Friday, July 18, 2014

So I'm a blogging failure this week, in case you haven't noticed.

I've also been a failure at the Friday favs. This week I've decided to pick a "theme", hoping it will make things a little easier!

Soooooo, who doesn't want to know my favorite tv shows?!?

I have to separate this into two sections because there are shows I'm loving right now and other's that won't be back til September (I'm close to crying because September seems way too close and way too far away all at the same time - where has summer gone????).

Here it is:

Shows I'm loving right now:

Bachelorette - I know, it's such trash but I seriously can't stop myself. I have to pvr it because Mr. B refuses to watch anything of the sort. In all fairness to me, I usually blog and peruse the internet while I'm watching it (I can't sit down and just watch it, I don't have the patience for that).

Hell's Kitchen - I have loved this show since it started. Yes, Gordon Ramsey can be a jerk, but that's why I love it. Plus, who doesn't like seeing all the yummy recipes?!

Masterchef - yes, another food show featuring Gordon Ramsey. I can't get enough. I just love watching people cook and the added drama is a plus ;)

Orange is the new black - I've mentioned this show before, I LOVE it. Currently watching Season 2 on Netflicks and can't get enough! Warning: it's not for the faint of heart, pretty intense story lines, it is about women in prison so use your imagination.


Shows I can't wait to come back:

Law and Order: SVU - I love all of the Law and Orders but this one is my fav. It can be hard to watch sometimes given that it's usually about sex crimes or crimes against children. After having mini-me I became a lot more sensitive to this show... but still can't stop watching.

Sons of Anarchy - another love of mine. I never thought I'd like this show based solely on the subject matter but then I found myself spending hours on end binge watching. All caught up now and eagerly waiting the beginning of the final season in September (there's still time to catch up if you haven't watched!!)

Grey's Anatomy - this is one of those shows that I sometimes don't know if I still love it or if I'm just watching out of habit. I've loved Grey's since the beginning and can't seem to stop watching. I'm not sure what I will do Thursday nights when this one ends.

Hart of Dixie - cheesy, guilty-pleasure. It's a cute, chicky-flick kinda show. I didn't watch every episode last season but hope to catch up one day.

Criminal Minds - LOVE! Mystery, drama, serial killers... what more could you ask for? I just can't watch it when I'm home alone!


What shows do you love?? Do I need to add to my watch-list?

dairy AND gluten-free chocolate macaroons

Monday, July 14, 2014

Super easy to make dairy and gluten-free chocolate macaroons.



I'm regretfully trying to cut back on sugar but I kinda love chocolate. I am also one of those people who feels the need to have something 'sweet' after dinner (probably all in my head, but nonetheless, I need me some dessert).

A friend of mine introduced me to these little bad boys and it's been a match made in chocolate heaven ever since (they're also free of gluten and dairy too). The BEST part, they're NO BAKE and super easy!!!

I won't gush on any longer, these warrant a try and you're welcome.

ingredients for dairy free gluten free macaroons

Low sugar chocolate macaroons

2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut oil
5 tablespoons of cocoa powder (make sure you double check the label if you're going for dairy-free, most don't have dairy but best to double-check)
1/4 cup of honey (or whatever you choose to sweeten with - I've tried honey and stevia powder - you could also use any kind of syrup as a sweetener and just add it to taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Throw it all in the Kitchen Aid mixer (LOVE that thing) and let it do it's thing. Then scoop onto waxed paper (I put the paper on a baking sheet). Put in the freezer. In a few hours you have some cool, tasty macaroons to enjoy!!!

sugar, dairy and gluten-free chocolate macaroons


Tips:

  • if you use sweetened coconut (which adds some sugar), you don't need much sweetener at all
  • I subbed stevia powder for the honey today... the honey was much better. I still need to try using agave syrup. Open to other low sugar sweetening options (comment below)
  • if they've been in the freezer a while, wait a few minutes before trying to shove a whole one in your mouth (ouch)
  • there is a lot of 'fat' in these little guys (healthy fat, but fat) so don't get too carried away (I may or may not have consumed a few more than I should have on one or two occasions)

ENJOY!!

dairy and gluten-free chocolate macaroons


We're a featured blogger!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

on this week's Social Media Mixer c/o Epic Mommy Adventures!!!

So excited!!

For those who aren't familiar, it's a great opportunity to meet up with other bloggers doing some connecting and networking!!

Please head on over and check it out (and see our feature spot!)

Happy Saturday

p.s. I'm aware I didn't do a Friday favs post yesterday, I was busy working overtime (yuck). I swear I'll pull it together next week ;)

xo

A letter to my fellow Summer Style Challengers

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dear fellow Summer Style Challengers:

First, I feel it's necessary to apologize and express some of my regret around this last challenge. I am sorry that I wasn't more active in the Facebook group. I did read a lot of posts and look at and 'like' many pictures, but I didn't comment as much as I would have liked to and didn't feel as engaged as I was during the previous challenge.

I have legitimate reasons but I'm still not happy with my lack of involvement.

Second, and most importantly, thank you, AGAIN. To the previous challenge participants who signed up for round 2 and to the new participants. You are all amazing. There were days during the challenge where I was so busy, barely had time to sit down and eat, but would check the Facebook group while I attempted to stuff my face and you all, always made me smile.

I didn't think there was a way that the experience of the first group could be replicated. I didn't think it was possible for another very large group of women to get together and never say a mean thing. Once again, you all continue to restore my faith and trust in my fellow women. Thank you, this alone is invaluable.

Some of you brave women posted pictures of yourselves in your bathing suits and you all freaking rocked it. I wasn't quite brave enough to attempt a bathing suit selfie, but I admire all of you beautiful women who did. You also almost motivated me enough to do it but I just never got around to it. But know, that every single picture was beautiful and every time I saw one and the amazing feedback, it brought me a little closer to also stepping out of my comfort zone knowing that I would face no ridicule with you. Think of the safety people must have felt in the group to be able to do that.



The personal comments I received have helped me feel more confident in my style choices and in my own skin. I wore white pants one day and felt super uncomfortable and then the feedback from you ladies started rolling in and I went to the mall in my outfit with confidence that I hadn't had earlier that day. You gave me that.

Alison - THANK YOU again! You made my life so much easier during what felt like a whirlwind. As I'm wading my way through that whole mom, work, life balance, I sometimes feel a little lazy when it comes to putting myself together. You've helped keep me motivated to put the effort in and made it easy for me by telling me what and how to do it. There's not been one day since I 'met' you that I regretted putting myself together. You're changing lives. Sure, it's about clothes and style but it's also about image and confidence and those are things many women don't work on enough. Thank you, from me and all of the other women you help feel great every day.

Once again, this challenge confirms to me the power of words, the importance of a genuine compliment, and that you never know when someone really needs it. YOU and your words could be the thing that changes someone's day or perspective. It's like magic and we all have that power.

with lots of love

Shaunacey


What I wore and what I learned (Summer Style Challenge)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 21 of the Summer Style Challenge was Sunday. It's a sad day when Alison isn't there to tell me what to wear on the daily.

Below are what days 17-21 looked like for me. I did deviate throughout the 21 days but mostly because I don't like wearing shorts to work or because the weather was crap (read: cold).

Here are a few things I learned this time around:

I can rock a fedora - I've always liked the look of these on everyone else but was convinced they weren't for me. Then I saw the fedora on the list and knew I had to at list give it a go. Now it's my new go-to especially for on the weekends. Sneaky fact: you can easily throw on a fedora if you didn't have time to wash your hair and no one will ever know :)

White pants are not the devil - I've previously written an entire post (HERE) about white pants and why I never wear them. Naturally, they were items on both the spring AND summer challenges and I think I might just finally be getting used to them. I used to restrict my white-pants-wearing days to the weekend in case there was some kind of unfortunate incident BUT I wore them to work last week. I'm happy to report that I did not sit in chocolate or spill apple juice down the front of me. Little secret: I may or may not have brought an extra pair of pants to work just in case.

Denim vests are cool - and not just in the 80s (although Mr. B isn't convinced). Seriously, they add a little something to an outfit to make you look a little more stylish/cool. See Thursday and Saturday's outfits below and imagine them without the vest, it's just not the same! Word of advice: get the smaller size, you'll never button it up and if it's fitted it'll give you the illusion of more of waist when you're wearing it (I really am learning stuff!)

I had a great experience this time around and loved linking up with some fellow participants (check our their awesome blogs at the bottom of this post). My only regret is how insanely busy I've been lately and how I wasn't able to participate in the Facebook group. I did read it lots and we were blessed with another amazing group of beautiful (inside and out) women.


Wednesday



Thursday


Friday

oh ya, that's a bathroom at the gym selfie post-workout. Apparently I have no shame.

Saturday


Sunday


Sorry to report, no pics since Sunday. As soon as the style challenge ends I fall apart. I swear I've been getting dressed every day, just not organized enough to take a pic. 
Although, Mr. B got so used to helping me with pics that he asked yesterday as I was getting into my car "don't you need me to take your picture?" Love this man! 


Shoe to Shiraz | Just Jordan | Blog by a Herzog | RSquared | Mishaps and Mayhem of Solitary Life |

Monday in a minute (July 7,2014)

Monday, July 7, 2014

This is gonna be real quick. For starters it's 8:30pm and I'm in bed.

Mini-me was outta sorts last night which meant a lot of crying and not a lot of sleep. Mini-me had a rough go too.

Then there were thunderstorms, Mr B was snoring and 6:30am came way to quick.

So tonight I'm taking a break from reading and writing to hopefully get some much needed sleep.
Fingers crossed for a sleepy baby tonight and I'll be back on track tomorrow


my favs this week (July 4, 2014)

Friday, July 4, 2014

I have to take weeks off from picking so many things I like because then I get all stumped up. I like A LOT of stuff, but I can never think of them when I want to. Woe is me.

This week I'm going to tell you about my discovery (and subsequent new favorite thing) this week.


Enjo Eye Makeup Remover

What it is: an eye makeup remover.
What you do: add water, rub on eyes, MAGIC

Okay, I buy waterproof eye makeup remover and I ALWAYS have leftover mascara. Always.

I received one of these little guys for free in my swag bag from the Face of Pink Ink contest (more about that here) so I decided to give it a go.

What can I tell you? This thing is freaking awesome so far! You literally just wet it, rub your eyes, and all your makeup is gone. It's that awesome.

What I can't tell you? How long these things last. I've only been using it about a week, so I have no clue how long it'll last but it's not showing any signs of wear so far.

It costs around $17. I figure that's a deal considering how much I normally spend on eye makeup remover AND the pads to use it with (and since I have to use it at night and in the morning to take off the left over).

What I don't love: that Enjo doesn't sell their stuff online. You have to find a rep in your area in order to order (which really isn't that difficult, but I like online shopping and I may be a little lazy at times).

Enjo sells a whole bunch of other cleaning stuff, none of which I have tried, but using this little guy makes me a little curious about the rest of their products because none of them reportedly require any chemicals.

Find more info about Enjo here.

ALSO, if you have tried any Enjo stuff, I'm very interested in your experiences. Fill me in in the comments!

That's it for now. Stay tuned for a post all about bras (because that's clearly related to eye makeup remover).

*DISCLAIMER - I have not been compensated in any way for this post. Nor was I asked to write this point. All the opinions expressed in this post are solely my own*




I feel pretty (mommy makeover)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I had another 'me' day this past Saturday. It seems like I have been doing that a bit lately.

As a mom, I walk the very fine line between what I need/deserve and feeling guilty about spending time away from my family. Mom guilt is a son of a.... I may need to dedicate a whole post to this at some point.

Anyways, this past Saturday I had an amazing day. Mr. B took mini-me to my dad and stepmom's house (2 hours away) and one of my besties and I embarked on a fun adventure. We entered a contest. I hesitated telling people about it because I was embarrassed. The contest is a 'beauty' contest. Not the "what you look like" kind of beauty, but it's about embodying beauty. So you get your hair and makeup done, a mini-photoshoot, a digital image of the pic of your choice, and entered into the contest (more info about the contest here). Winners are chosen not by what they look like, but who they are, and how they represent beauty and the empowerment of women.

So I'm trying to process why I didn't want to tell anyone. I'm going to be blunt (shocking, I know) but the main reason I didn't tell people because I was worried that people's initial reaction would be "oh, you think you're a model?" And now that I think about it, my fear about what people would think makes me kind of sad. Now I am embarrassed that I wasn't brave enough or confident enough to just say 'I'm entering this contest, check me out'.

I'm putting this out there because it forces me to be honest with myself. If I can fully acknowledge my worries about judgement, maybe one day I'll worry a little less. And I guess, by putting it on the internet, I'm opening myself up to all kinds of judgement and that's okay. I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone (regularly it would seem) because that's how we grow.



It may be apparent at this point in time that I have (and still do at times) struggle with my self-confidence. It's been an ongoing thing and I'm at a pretty good place right now but not where I'd want my daughter to be. I'm a work in progress, we all are. My confidence is no exception but I'm working on it. I truly believe that if mini-me sees me taking (and making) time to feel beautiful, she will do the same and know it's okay (and encouraged).

Regardless of the judgement I was worried about, I had an amazing time. I hung out with some awesome ladies who made me feel like a star. What woman doesn't need AND deserve that? Hair, makeup, a photoshoot. Honestly, I felt like a million bucks. THAT is what it was about for me. It's too seldom we take the time to really focus on ourselves, on fostering our self-confidence and self-love. This served as a great reminder and re-focus for me. I am worth it.



I am not going to lie, there were uncomfortable moments. Like when they told me I was going to wear a pair of pants as a dress (WTF?!) and then there's the fact it was short. BUT it all worked out.

What's the takeaway for me this time? Stop giving a sh!t about what people think and do what makes me happy. I had fun and felt more confident so already it was worth it. I would have done it even if there was no contest (and would do it again). ALLOW yourself the time and space to practice taking care of yourself and loving yourself. Yeah, it's cheesy, but essential to your well-being.

I need to worry so much less about how other people see me and the things I do and focus on making me happy and being a good mom, wife and person. ALSO, a happy, well-rested, fun-filled, mom and wife is a better mom and wife. That's a fact!

Do I think I'm a model? No.
Do I think I deserve to feel beautiful? YES, EVERY freaking day! And so do you!
Does being a mom mean I lose sight of me as a person? heck no! And luckily I have an awesome hubby who will take mini-me so I can have these experiences that remind me of that.

This is more about me and less about worrying about everyone else. Anyone who chooses to judge, that's more about them than me anyways.




Most importantly, I felt pretty!

what I wore Wednesday: Summer Style Challenge (week 3)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Week 3 already?! That means next Wednesday will be my last summer style challenge post :( On the positive, I now have a whole set of outfits to wear the rest of the summer (thank you Alison).

Fun Fact: Alison posts updates from the Style Challenge and I may or may not have been in her post this week. Go check it out here, it's kinda like where's Waldo, internet style.

I'm going to keep this on the short side. The real reason for that is because mini-me is napping and I want to finish this and have time to actually get ready before she wakes up - it's always a race against the clock in this house. So here's the clothes:
Wednesday
Bright pants. I originally had this one with my birkenstocks but figured in the name of style I'd rock the wedges. Luckily, I was able to wear them comfortably all day (wedges are great for that). 

 Thursday
oh tribal print top, how I love you. So fun.

Friday
My newest print top. Another Forever21 find. Notice the color of my pants? Oh yeah, I braved the white AND didn't sit in chocolate or spill coffee on my lap! SCORE!

Saturday
Mommy makeover day!!!!!! so so much fun and I felt so pretty!

Naturally, we got prettied up so had to make a night of it.

Sunday

Girl's night took it's toll. This tired momma was not posing for pics on Sunday. No way no how.

Monday
Print shorts!!! Accessorizing with cuteness!

Tuesday
CANADA DAY! Had to rock the red today. I was supposed to wear a maxi but it was too hot to be all covered up. 


My Lovely Linkups!! Check out their blogs, they're all amazing!
Linking up with all the ladies below for the Style Challenge.
Also linking up with Get Your Pretty On, Because Shanna Said So and The Pleated Poppy



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