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Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

I Heart My…

So, I’m falling in love.

And, it’s not with my husband or my new baby.

It’s with my FitBit.

Love it.

Do you have one?

I have the FitBit Zip

I wear it on my bra every day.  It syncs to my iPhone 5, my iPad and my computer.  It tracks steps, miles and calories burned.  My favorite part is the week overview which gives you your week broken out into Sedentary, Lightly Active, Fairly Active and Very Active.  I’ve been slowly bumping my step goal up to 10,000.

Some days I hit the goal and some days I’m short, but wearing the FitBit has really helped me stay motivated and active!

Plus, it appeals to my competitive side, and let’s me track my steps against friend’s weekly steps!  This really motivates me to fit in extra steps where I can!

I’m hoping that I can use the FitBit to get back into the swing of exercising, while getting back to work and balancing Mommy-duties.

Do you wear a pedometer?  What’s your step goal?  How do you fit in a few extra steps?

P.S. The FitBit One is already on my Christmas List… if I don’t buy it for myself before that!

Why I Hate My Diaper Bag….

I didn’t do my homework when shopping for a diaper bag.

There, I said it.

It wasn’t that it was an impulse purchase, as much as when Brian nixed the Louis Vuitton diaper bag suggestion, I went with another one of my favorite (more affordable!) brands and didn’t really consider other options.

I figured that Vera Bradley would have it all figured out.  Boy, was I wrong.

I purchased the Make A Change Baby Bag- I love Vera Bradley products, they are well-made, intuitive in their design and, sometimes most important, come in fun colors and designs.

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But, they aren’t perfect.

Here are some of my complaints:

1) It’s too long/wide.  I have the UppaBaby Vista stroller, which I love, and is known for having the largest stroller basket on the market, and the bag doesn’t fit neatly underneath.  It’s too long, even without using the two end pockets (which would be perfect for standing up a bottle), which means that I have to wrestle it in and and out constantly- or leave it in the car and hope that I managed to shove everything I need into my purse!  It really needs to be about 4 inches narrower to fit in any stroller (I’ve tried it with a Bugaboo and Britax, and it also doesn’t fit in any direction!!).

2) One of the most appealing features was the changing pad on the outside with pockets for diapers and wipes.  Unfortunately, after one wash, the pad doesn’t fold back into place correctly and is too bulky to use the pockets for more than one diaper or a small pack (10 or less, or as we say, ‘one good shit’!) of wipes.  The pocket is held into place by two zippers and a magnet, but the zippers have to be left partially unzipped and the magnet doesn’t catch after washing the changing pad (because it’s so bulky).  It also means that I have to use one of my inside pockets for extra diapers, since I can only carry one on the outside (and that means more ‘rummaging’ for things!).

3) The inside pockets (and wipeable fabric) were a big selling point, but they aren’t as useful as anticipated.  There are 6 interior pockets, that are the width of a size 1 diaper (and can hold a max of 3 at a time).  That’s not a very big pocket!  And, if you use the pockets, you have virtually no other interior space!  That means you end up using the pockets to the max and cramming stuff in them, making it impossible to find things – or, you don’t use the pockets and everything is loose and you are digging around constantly.

I find myself keeping the bag stocked and in the backseat of my car.  I don’t even bother to put it in the stroller anymore or carry it, because it’s such a pain to try and get into the basket.

I do like the outer end pockets.  I think those are a must on a diaper bag.  And, internal pockets are important, but I think slightly larger pockets is better than the quantity of pockets.  And, I really like the wipeable interior- makes cleaning up bottle spills and other messes very easy!

The only ‘Mom space’ is really the zipper pocket along the back of the bag.  It’s nice to have, but again, poorly designed. If you are using the interior pockets.  My wallet and cell phone barely fit in and out!

I’m so disappointed that I don’t love the bag, because I really wanted to!  I think it was designed by someone who hasn’t carried a diaper bag in a while… And, I know I’m a first time mom, but (I think) I’m pretty minimal in what I carry (I hate carrying a heavy bag!).  Here’s what I like to carry:

For Maddie: diapers (3), travel pack of wipes, empty 8oz bottle, bottle of water, formula travel powder packs (2-3), onsie/pant, burp cloth, pacifiers (2), dog bags or ziploc bags for emergencies :-)

For Me: wallet, cell phone, keys, granola bar, travel-size hand sanitizer, travel pack of tissues

When I traveled, I used it as my carry-on, and added a small blanket, iPad, magazine, another bottle and two ready-to-feed formula bottles.  It was at max capacity, and like I said, the changing pad side was bulging and I could barely get my wallet out of the other side!

So, I’m at a loss as to what bag to get now.

What are you carrying or what did you carry when you had little kids?  What do you love/hate about your current bag?

Thoughts? Recommendations?  I’d love to hear them!



And, we aren’t talking about my work pants/suits (those SO DO NOT fit!).


Our new couch fit through our backdoor and into our living room beautifully!  Bravo to the two hardworking, hot, sweaty, built-like-a-brick-shithouse, ex-military men who made it work.  You can move my couch anytime ;-)

So the deal is that we really wanted to update our living room.  When we moved from our 596 sq ft. condo in Cambridge, we had very little furniture.  Very little meaning very few pieces…

When we moved, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on furniture because we were going to redo all the walls, remove wallpaper, and we wanted to get an idea of how we would use each space.  I found a couch/chair and dining room set on Craigslist for cheap and we loaded up a U-Haul to pick it all up one weekend.  The items have all held up, but 3 years with 3 dogs and the couch was starting to look a little worn.  Plus, it really wasn’t to my taste/style for a comfy living room.

So, enter Restoration Hardware.  I’ve lusted over their catalogs for years.  I met with a design consultant and plotted out the room I wanted.  I just about died when I started adding up an estimate for the room: $16,000.


Not only is that not in my budget range, but I also wasn’t sure how the furniture would hold up to the constant beating with the animals, the baby and the husband.

And, then it happened.  Last weekend, I was innocently sipping my coffee, pursuing Craigslist (no it’s not all crazies and rapist, Mother) and stumbled on a post for a Restoration Hardware Belgian Sloped Arm Sofa in Beige Linen.

FOR $400 at a Boston Consignment shop.

Mothers around the world, you would have been AMAZED at how quickly I got the infant and the hubby packed into the car and to the Needham store room to check it out.  I’m pretty sure it was like 15 minutes total, and that included a shower.

With visions of a neutral, beachy living room in my eyes, I slapped down my debit card, barely breathing and not even really considering how we’d get it in the house.  Oh, and I also bought the two armchairs that they displayed with it.  While Brian had heart palpitations.

The OH SHIT moment of: How the EFF are they going to get that into our house? That came later.

So, this is a really long way of saying that those hot, sweaty, gorgeous men tried the front door and failed, took the feet off, moved every piece of furniture on our first floor, removed the back door and all porch furniture and got the couch in the house.


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Ignore the other furniture placement in the first picture- that was temporary as we moved the recliner on the other side of the couch to the curb!  WOOHOO Good riddance, I’ve hated you since you arrived broken from Overstock.com!

I thought about doing a ‘staged’ photo shoot this morning, but honestly, I’d rather just natter at you while nursing a cup of coffee then rush around and stage everything to look perfect.

A new rug comes this week, so I’ll take more pictures then!

And, doing all of this moving meant that a lot of other things had to move around.

The dogs broke the bed in our spare guest room.  Like legit jumped on it so many times that the metal holding the headboard and base together was totally stripped.  They loved it!  It made a great bit of noise every time they wrestled on it.

It drove me nuts.  To the curb it went.

The sleeper sofa from the basement went upstairs and the room was *instantly* converted into a playroom for Maddie.  It gives us a great spot to store her toys and set-up some of the bigger ones without having them take over the living room (with the pack n’play and the swing, there isn’t much room…).  Moving the sofa up, means that we still have an extra guest room, but we also have a spot for sitting, playing and reading with the grandparents when they come for visits!

Here are some pictures I snapped when we were playing this weekend:

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Someone loves their exerciser or whatever the heck those things are called!

So we got that room set, then moved the leather sofa and chair into the basement for a ‘Man Cave’.  Brian and Chris (after a few beers) decided that the best time to move the sofa would be during the finale of the fireworks and right as Debbie sat down and put her feet up.  I think she rested her ankles for about 10 seconds before they literally moved the coffee table away and started picking up couch cushions.

LOL.  Timing is everything in life…

Before we got to heavily into the redecorating, we stopped for a quick photoshot with Meghan and Chris.  I call them our MA Family!  They are a part of our family and we have been welcomed into their families as well!  We met a lot of Chris’ family when we hosted their Wedding BBQ last summer, and then Meghan’s family at the wedding in October.  Chris’ Mom was the first one to send us a baby gift- a blanket for the nursery!  Chris’ Aunt sent a knit sweater with the most adorable kitten buttons!  And, as if that wasn’t enough, Meghan’s Mom sent a beautiful afghan- pink with white trim!  I treasure each handmade gift that we’ve received, and whenever we use one, I always tell Maddie what I know about the person that gave it to us (only the good stuff ;-) )

I’ve been wanting to snap pictures to send them, but I’ve forgotten the last few times that Meghan and Chris were over.  So, we had a mini photo shoot!

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And, I’m wrapping this up because it’s going WAY TOO long!

If you are still reading, I’ll say that we also spent some time at the outlets on the 4th, and if you were worried about Maddie having to go naked… you can forget that!

Her nursery is all organized and her drawers and closet are stocked!

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I think my nerves about going back to work are showing in the cleaning, reorganizing, redecorating…

Oh well… it gives me something to do and I’m going back to work feeling like my house is ‘in order’!

Hope you are having an awesome holiday weekend!

Friday Favorites: Ottoman Edition

So, I really, really, really want to redo my living room.

Like, drooling over magazines, pricing furniture in different stores, ready to schedule delivery ready to redo my living room.

But, I have a few issues (well, more than a few, but let’s focus on furniture here, shall we?!):

1) It’s got to be rugged.  With 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 infant and a husband, we are talking like military-grade fabrics.  Plus, one of the things I love about my couch is that it sits in front of a huge picture window that gets afternoon sun, which means that it’s got to hold up to fading…

2) I can’t quite decide on what the final product looks like, and I’d like to do a few pieces at a time, rather then redo the entire room.  Ok, well that’s kind of a lie.  I’d really like to take all of our current furniture and haul it to the curb today with a sign that says ‘FREE’, but realistically, I’d like to only have to buy 1-2 new pieces at a time.

3) I can’t find a dirt colored rug that I like!  This is substantially harder then I thought!  It has to be dirt colored, because our dogs have not yet learned to wipe their feet, but also light enough that it won’t be so obvious if I miss a day of vacuuming Croix’s super light dog hair…

4) There has to be enough storage to ‘hide’ some of the ‘kid clutter’ at the end of the day.  I’d like a space that we can pick up quickly at the end of the day (after Maddie’s bedtime!), and enjoy without stepping around tons of toys!

Oh, and we are getting ready to start daycare and have’t won the lottery, so price points have to be balanced with quality…

But, I found this ottoman on Pinterest and I’m seriously thinking about giving it a try!




Our Joann fabrics has a new section of indoor/outdoor fabrics.  I’m thinking of heading over there to see if I can find a rugged fabric that is fairly neutral that might work.  I also want to head to lowes and see if I can find slightly taller ‘legs’.  I’d really like to be able to put a basket or two under the ottoman- one for toys and one for blankets!

What do you think?  Am I crazy?  Ever tried something like this? Did it work or was it a complete disaster?  Any ideas on where I can get a wood pallet?

Happy Friday!

Argh… Monday!

Where did the weekend go?!

Did you have a nice weekend?  A wonderful Sunday celebrating the Fathers in your life?!

We sure did- although it went too fast, and I think I was a little too tired to really recharge my batteries!

It’s wonderful having Brian around on the weekends, but then I race around like a crazy person trying to clean the house, finish all the laundry, get all the projects I have been thinking about done and make sure we are prepared for the week!  And, exhausted.

Add that to some nerves about Maddie starting daycare and me returning to work, and it’s been a bit of a roller coaster (of hormonal emotion) around here.

Oh, and did I mention that my neighbors are out of town and whoever is taking care of their dog has just been leaving her outside to bark, and bark, and bark, and bark?

So, I think the bottom line is that I hope your Monday is going better than mine- fewer tears, more hours of sleep and a big, venti iced latte.

Maddie and I are off shopping today- she’s started to outgrown her 3 month sleepers, so we are in search or some bigger/longer ones!  Ahhh… my baby is growing up!

What are your favorites places to shop for kids clothes?!  I’ve been looking at Gap, Old Navy and Nordstrom online, but having a hard time with figuring out her sizing.  Of course, when I go in person, they don’t have the same sales as online!  Then I get frustrated and just buy it all at Target!

Here are a few photos from my weekend, to break up this wordy post!

Herbs from the garden:


Time in the Bumbo chair!

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Worn out from shopping at Nordstorm…

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Extra cuddles during an afternoon nap!

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