Well, with this salad you do. I love this strawberry and quinoa salad. It's easy, filling, and delicious. I ordered it from Plated, it comes with everything in the recipe. The only thing you need is a hungry cook!
Before I had a bad fall (no, really, that's not a terrible pun, I really did fall), I did a little shopping to update my basics for fall and winter. Inspired by Danielle and Emma, I wanted to share my favorites, too. I'm bummed new clothes currently sit in the closet and I can't go out much to wear them. Sitting at home binging on Netflix in leather leggings just isn't as chic as it sounds. What I love about the pieces I added are they'll look great by next fall, too. I'm starting to dream about TV and book characters.
These are basic pieces but there's a little detail to them. Instead of the basic black pant, I went with a patterned pant, instead of a basic white button up, I went with a peter-pan collar with a peplum silhouette. I love wearing all black but add a little bit of texture, detail or shape to make it not so basic. I'll be adding my favorite accessories, and they'll work all year. I can't wait to wear them, as soon as I'm on feet and out of this boot cast, I'll be back to outfit posts *hair flip emoji*
Honorable mention that wasn't included- duh.
Sadly, child loss happens often enough and leaves an online community confused on how to help grieving parents. There is no standard for what to do in this situation, and I'm sure I'll go back and edit to add more. Every loss is different and I'm sharing mine. I'm writing this post with love. It's been one year and one thing Max's death taught me was to not sit down on this sensitive topic. It's awkward, unfamiliar, painful and with a little bit of awareness, we can make it easier for the next parent in need. People mean well, but that's not enough to merit the pain added. Let's change that.
What NOT to say and do
+ Hold your little one's tighter...but quietly. Sometimes the words don't come out right when I hear this, but this blog post nailed it. "Enough already." Please don't use their tragedy to highlight your life publicly. This goes along with the next tip...
+ Tagging them in your kid's photos- I see this a lot and even a year later, I'll get my name tagged on Instagram and Facebook on other people's kid photos. By other people I mean complete strangers who were moved by Max's story and while I think it's sweet, I don't know how this is supposed to help a grieving parent. Again, I know people mean well, but what am I supposed to say to that? "Aw, how adorable! You're using my loss to gloat on the baby you get to hold alive! Darling!" Please don't do this. If you really want to help, be sensitive about this.
+ Don't be positive- "It's for a good reason" I heard this a lot and I still can't wrap my mind around why there would be ANY reason for a healthy baby to be dead. Don't sugarcoat their tragedy. It's condescending and belittles their pain.
+ Don't be a stranger- You don't have to know someone to be nice to them. Sounds like common sense, right? It's a good reminder. If you've never even heard of the person or know who they are but it's on your heart to say something- say it. The nicest things have been said by strangers and I'll never forget that.
+ Don't be nosy- There's this cloak of anonymity online and it makes people a little too comfortable (and crazy). People emailed me asking for photos of Max, if I was selling his stuff, they wanted to know every detail and it was scary. Respect the family and this includes the child.
+ Never, never, ever ask for dibs on the crib. Or anything else that belonged to the child. It doesn't matter if you're family, best friends, church friends, or neighbors. Let the parents take that step on their own, if at all.
+ Don't tell them they'll be happy again- Part of the reason child loss makes it harder is people are trying to jump through hoops to make you happy instead of feeling the raw emotion of grief. Let them cry, let them be sad. Especially in the Christian community, it was worse when I was told I was going to be happy again in no time. Jesus never preached to be happy and was full of sunshine. He was a man of many sorrows and he preached love. And please don't scold them if they decide to take medication. I've been scolded for not taking it, but I've also been told I needed to. Just love them, their grief and their ugly cries.
+ Don't bring Jesus or any form of religion unless you know what they believe in. I found comfort in my faith but I also met mom's in grief groups who got angrier at the mention of it.
+ Don't be silent- Ask if they need help, let them know you are there for them. Even if they say no, again, it's not about you. I learned it's so much easier to say "no" than "you weren't there for me".
+ Don't expect a thank you- I'm pretty sure they're not shopping the card section at Target picking out their thank you card's anytime soon. Send your package, letter, email, comment without any expectation. It took me MONTHS to get around to my emails and cards.
What to say and do
+ Start with "I'm Sorry"- It's simple, it's beautiful, it's caring, and it's a start.
+ Email- Email was one of the things that helped me in my grief. It's FREE, it's quick, and it's something that I can look back to when I was in my darkest.
+ Visit, text, call- I remember when people told me they really wanted to visit or call but it was awkward... for them. It was a little hurtful because awkward goes away, but friendship doesn't. Sometimes I didn't want to talk, I just wanted someone there with me. Crying spells are normal, they will rival the ugly cry face of Claire Danes and if it's awkward, it's okay.
+ If you're going to send a care package- think comfort when you're packing it. Teas, soaps, socks, and mugs to name a few comforting things. Maybe even something to distract them like a movie, or an Apple or Amazon gift card.
+ If you want to send one thing- make it about their child. It's a small memento. There are a ton of etsy shops that make personalized and monogrammed pieces. There is also a service to name star after their child, plant a tree in their name, or help build a garden by sending a small pack of seeds and small basket of gardens. If you're good with crafts, make something in their child's memory.
+ If your friend has a stillbirth or miscarriage, I wrote a post on Melissa's blog about what helps. Pack it all up, put in a basket and allow them to mourn comfortably.
+ Send food- When the "love bomb" was sent (it was a package from a group of online friends and strangers who I am forever grateful to) inside were gift cards to my favorite restaurants. With everything going on, we were able to have a special Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the gift cards, I didn't have to worry about what to cook, bake, it was all taken care of. I also had neighbors and online friends send me delivery and home cooked meals. I was in a state of zombiehood and could barely think about food, let alone make a meal.
+ Honor special holidays with them but add them to your phone and computer for future reminders. It takes five seconds to open iCal and add a note with a reminder for the next year or two. I don't know what will be harder- acknowledging the first Mother's Day and the first would-be birthday or everyone forgetting the second and third.
+ Remind them they are good people. There's a common belief when people do good, good things happen. You put in the universe what it gives back. Positive thinking brings your positive things. Really? So am I not a good person because my baby died? Did he not deserve good things too? What did I do wrong? One of the things I had the hardest time dealing with was a nurse telling me "God loves you, he'll save your baby" and a few minutes later I was told there was no heartbeat. I couldn't help but think, "God doesn't love me". Scott wrote a piece on being "blessed" and it's a different perspective when "blessed" is everywhere. Remind your friend terrible things happen to good people.
+ Don't let them grieve your friendship, too- I had to say goodbye to so many friends and family members who I thought would be there when I needed them. They disappeared and I felt like I was grieving them, too.
+ Encourage. Send a letter, an email, a tweet, if you live close by offer to do their laundry, the dishes. I will never forget how my family stepped in and did everything from scrub my bathroom to sort my mail. It all helps. I'll also always remember how my close friends kept bugging me, they didn't stop asking even if I kept saying no.
+ Let them be themselves and not their tragedy- The best way someone described social media and child loss to me was like a bad car accident. Everyone is going to want to slow down and take a look. Some people will genuinely care and get out and help, but there are also those looking for morbidity's sake. Yes, it's a messed up analogy but after talking to dozens of mom's in my child loss groups, it has to stop. It's sad it happened but please don't make their tragedy your circus.
+ Let them be sad- Someone who I thought was a friend told me she unfollowed me because she couldn't handle the sad tweets I was posting and she'll follow again when I feel better. This is how I filter who friends are. If you love them, be there for them in dark times, and remember those sad times won't last forever. If you think they are suicidal or may harm themselves, talk to them about it. Let them know they have someone to go to.
+ Let them be angry- I think one of the worst things I've experienced with blogging is the feedback I got from sharing my anger. It was a story how I went a little crazy on a woman who told me not to worry about Max because I'm young and I'll have more kids. First, you don't ever say that to a grieving parent. If I had ten more kids, I would still be missing one. A commenter called me "terrible" for acting out on my grief, and I got a few emails from people letting me know how wrong that was. I already feel bad enough as it is but now you're telling me how to grieve? Unless you've buried your own child, this is not the time to prove what's right and wrong. I'm a little angrier on the topic but Diana is much more graceful.
+ Let them be happy- Just because they have a good few days doesn't mean they're okay and not breaking inside. Enjoy it with them.
+ They're still parents, just childless parents- It's really hard to jump back into social media. The babies you thought you'd grow with, the advice they want to give, I don't think I've wanted so desperately to feel like a part of something than motherhood. Especially online, whenever I chimed in on advice, I felt like a bad luck charm. My friends allowed me to share what was on my mind and treated me like a normal person. Child loss is terrible but the parent's aren't diseased and please don't treat them as such. It makes it harder to get on with our lives. Be their friend, act normal. Listen to them talk about their child.
+ What would you want?- Be sensitive. Be compassionate. This post doesn't just go for child loss but for a friend who's grieving over anything. Family. A pet. A friend. Be the light in a dark moment. Tell them you're thinking of them. Ask how they are. It may be a loaded question, but be prepared for a loaded answer. Even if they just tell you they're fine, they know you're there.
*I'm not an expert, I'm not a doctor, or a therapist. This is my own experience and after doing multiple Google searches, I've yet to find how a community can deal with the topic. This blog post is from my own experience, every parent is different but I hope this helps.
Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling.
+ This shirt.
+ Which is cheaper- Target or Walmart?
+ Do you live in the most educated town of your state?
Enjoy the weekend!
When you blog long enough, it’s going to happen; it’s probably going to happen several times over. And it will not stop.
It starts with an email that goes something like this, “Hey, I saw your photo online.”
And before you know it, several more emails follow saying the same thing.
Copyright used to mean something. But that was before Twitter, before Facebook, before blogs…before the Internet—a more civil time when people would respect content creators.
But then the Internet happened and copyright was lost somewhere in the shuffle. Suddenly it was all out there and that meant it was all fair game. Giving credit where credit is due is just a fancy term you steal and use as your own.
Earlier this week, many of you readers emailed to tell me about my photo appearing on StylishEve, who took two of my photos, and made a “pretty” collage; like so many social media websites begging for likes and shares, they shared it as their own. Thousands of likes later, they are still making revenue off a photo that is not theirs.
I’m not greedy, of course, but I can't imagine the missed opportunity when they have over 10 million fans; my blog is my livelihood, but it’s only polite to give credit to the photo you are sharing. So I emailed them asking them to do the ethical thing—to add credit. They didn't respond to the request.
It’s an all too common story; I’m positive hundreds of you are reading this post and have had it happen yourself. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me.
I learned this when I began blogging years ago, and I got a desperate email from a photographer. I thought Google images was enough of a source and even now, I try to use Pinterest with a credible source (because we all know there's nothing worse than an amazing photo of food with no link to the recipe, right?) I quickly deleted the post and was too scared to post anything else. A week later I bought my first DSLR. If you can't afford a camera and editing tools, look to photo memberships like Death to Stock Photo or Lightstock, my personal favorites.
Everyone likes to share things—photos, new stories, videos—it’s a new social world. But consider the source next time you hit submit to a share…seriously consider it. Because whatever you are sharing has a source—a content creator whose livelihood is their creation. There’s nothing wrong with sharing, but there’s something very wrong with sharing and pretending it’s your own. Before you share photos from your favorite blogs—before you tweet to support them—think about what you are supporting; if they don’t cite their sources then find a new place to get your daily dose of Internet goods…there are plenty.
Forget zombies, ghosts or witches. Edgar Allan Poe wins for Halloween. He's creepy for marrying his 13 year old cousin, and writing The Raven, one of the darkest poems ever written. As despondent as it is, the poem is beautifully composed. If Poe were alive today, he'd make millions on just his iconic look. His face is plastered everywhere from the USPS stamp to bags! Below are my favorite items
+ If your nails need the ultimate RBF and Poe doesn't disappoint. Nail wraps from Oosha Wraps.
+ One thing I've learned over the years are lunchboxes can be used as storage, not just for lunch. How cool would the Poe lunchbox to store your makeup or camera lenses? LOVE.
+ Kawaii Poe! Pillow from telahmarie on etsy
+ Even TOMS can look creepy with a little Poe. From HeartsnSoles on etsy
+ Book as an iPhone charger by Uncommonandnice
+ Nestle your Poe book collection in between these raven bookends, conveniently titled "Nevermore"
+ Tokyo Milk makes a fragrance dedicated to the poet. My first assumption was it would smell like death, but tea leaves, autumn apples and amberwood sound cozy.
With over a century and a half since his death, he still keeps it creepy.
I wasn't allowed to watch The Simpsons growing up, I think that's one of the reasons why I love it so much now, it's a bit of rebelliousness planted deep. Earlier this month, MAC released their Simpsons for MAC collection in honor of their 25th anniversary and it's amazing! Now, not only do I get to watch The Simpsons as an adult, I get to wear them on my face (as weird as that sounds). It highlights Marge, the queen of side eye.
Every year I try to do a fun giveaway to thank devoted readers. Because of you, this giveaway happened. I'm sincerely grateful to keep this blog and awesome blog content for free thanks to affiliate links and partnerships (you can read more about them here). They not only provided this giveaway but they also provide for my family, what a dream come true. THANKS!
WHAT YOU WIN:
HOW TO ENTER: Since it's illegal to ask for a "like" or "follow" to enter a giveaway, I'm just going to go with the good nature of people and hope already follow along. And just like my friend Kate says, "please, none of this follow-and-leave as soon as the giveaway is over jazz.. that's super rude!" Yes, Kate it certainly is. There are options to follow in the Rafflecopter entries (again, not mandatory, just trying to be cool about it but you and I both know I'd love it).
I was so excited when I heard The Simpsons family teamed up with LEGO for Simpsons 25th anniversary. LEGO and Simpsons are two of our favorite household items and of course, we bounced on the chance to add to our LEGO collection. The box comes with the house, and all the details pictured (not including Krusty the Clown), even the car!
Ok, so “Plasticland” sounds like their mountains are full of silicone and trees are pumped with fillers but Plasticland is a very cute online shop. I love what they carry and they have the perfect accessories for Halloween.
1. Cat Backpack- This has black kitty silhouettes wearing colorful bowties. Cute/kawaii Halloween at it's finest.
2. Creepy Zombie Gnome- This is the perfect accessory to greet people at the doorstep.
3. Zombie Dress- I don't dress up for Halloween (I know, I know, terrible) but I do love this to get in the Halloween spirit. I can't wait to wear one of their dresses to answer to trick or treaters. It's currently available only in the XS, but they update their shop often.
4. Skull Sneakers- These are the cherry on top. They're cheap and can be slipped on after those naughty nurse heels start hurting.
5. Poison Cardigan- I love this cardigan, it's feminine but will keep you warm and still keep the spooky festivities.
6. Skull Tights- Ok, so I may wear these all year long.
7. Spider Hook- It's all in the details. I may add a spray of black glitter to this.
8. Bat Dress- This is a new take on "batgirl".
I love Plasticland, and these items would be perfect not just for Halloween but for the spook in you.
One of the things people loved about my library-themed wedding were the book decorations we made. Instead of flowers, we had books to decorate and for guests to take home and a book that "fans" out. I don’t know if this is even considered a “DIY” or a craft, it’s so easy to make, and it's even a little therapeutic. All you need is a book, and a great podcast or Netflix show.
We have a few thrifted books we would never read again, and instead of giving them back to the thrift store or even throwing them out, we use them for decoration. For each book, just fold the top corner completely to the spine, go the to next page, and fold the bottom corner to the spine. Simple!
Located in one of the largest spaces in The OC Mix in Costa Mesa, is family owned Smocking Birds Baby Boutique, a shop filled with higher end baby clothes with so much more. Whether it’s a special occasion like a baptism or photos, they carry adorable outfits for a little wardrobe. I bought a ton of pieces for Max's wardrobe here, I can tell you it's a store I love and am excited to share.
Becky, founder of Smocking Birds, has been dressing kids for over 30 years, and her handmade gifts were on high demand, she took the plunge and opened up shop. It began with handmade smocked baby gowns, which are still her best seller, to unique organic lines exclusive to luxury shops. 3 years later and a much needed renovation and extended space, it’s as beautiful as ever! What I love about it is it's a shabby-chic mixed with glamour, not something you'd expect for a kids store, that's what brought me in.
Smocking Birds doesn’t end with clothes, though. They offer classes on how to make smocked baby gowns (I personally would love to do this, it’s like an heirloom to pass down). They also offer classes with story time, kids entertainment, science experiments, and other hands on activities in their busy calendar. Becky has successfully hosted Women’s Entrepreneurs Extravaganza (another great thing Becky has done is opened up doors to celebrate women in business of the OC ), Tea and Tots Fashion Show, and The Spring Fling. The OC Mix Mart is already a family friendly area and there’s something for everyone, but Smocking Birds is a great place to bring kids. You can check out what other classes they carry here.
Smocking Birds Baby Boutique located inside The OC Mix
3313 Hyland Ave Costa Mesa, California
Locals Only is a series on our.city.lights blog highlighting surrounding areas in the OC. If you're a small business and would like exposure on this blog, I love supporting local business'. Contact me here.
When I was in the hospital, the nurses kept coming into my room congratulating me after I gave birth to Max, put in the same room as other mom's having their babies, gave me Max for 5 (timed) minutes in a crowded hallway to say goodbye to, and sent me home with a "Congrats New Mom!" swag bag full of newborn goodies. The hospitals have a protocol for sending off healthy babies to their homes, but not many know bedside manner for a grieving mom.
Forever Footprints is an OC based organization I believe in. They help hospitals with the right protocol (like a separate room for stillbirth labors to have a moment with their child), bringing hot meals to the families, offering counseling, and bringing awareness and light to a dark topic.
On October 4, my family and close friends are going to walk in honor of Mordecai Maximus La Counte. It will be two days after the one year he died. Celebrating it is a weird way to say it, but remembering him doesn't fit because he's not forgotten. We're honoring him. Whether or not I can walk by this time next month, I'll still be there. I won't be there honoring just my son, but the thousands of other parents who are mourning their babies.
I feel weird asking for money (none of it goes to me, btw, it all goes to the organization), but today, I am asking. You can donate here. Thank you, friends!
Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling...
+ I'm obsessed with this TV show. I'm sure it'll drive me crazy if I lived in one but I love the fantasy of it.
+ My kitchen was featured here.
+ I'm a contributor to the new advice column on The Loveliest. I'm not a doctor, or have any experience in counseling but the questions have been on everything from how to use Twitter to jealousy. If you need to, reach out and talk someone or talk to a doctor.
+ There's a great giveaway on Sprit and Haven
+ Check out the new Harvey's and Disney collab
+ Do something small for something bigger
+ I've been eyeing this skirt
Enjoy your weekend!
Full disclosure: I currently use Amazon Fresh and I haven't used coupons in a few weeks but when I do go to the grocery store, I still use this list.
Yes, coupons for organic food exist. I knew it was possible when I watched Extreme Couponing and the woman who saved $150 at Whole Foods. I began searching online, subscribed to my Sunday local paper, and I was shocked I couldn't find anything. After a few months of constantly looking, I had a whole system I went through every week. I casually mentioned it on a blog post and a reader emailed me asking to post about it. I guess this isn't so much a "how to" but a list and some tips I've learned.
+ Be Prepared to Have Your Inbox Flooded- Facebook updates from companies will get lost in my feed so I opened up new email account just for coupons. Every week, companies and groceries that carry organic food, even produce, flood my inbox and I get to go through the ones I want to keep. I sign up for newsletters, mailing lists. When I know they're expired, instead of checking each email, I just hit "all" and delete. Here are the list of companies offering organic and/or natural food to sign up for
- Imagine All Natural Foods (they make great low sodium organic broths and soups and a staple in my pantry).
- Earth's Best Organic (I've never used this brand for baby formula but I buy their smoothies and always keep them in my purse for easy snacks).
- Earthfare Store Coupons These stores aren't in California, but they always showed up when I researched for more coupons.
- For California, Sprouts and Whole Foods offer coupons
- Dreamfield Foods They make great pasta!
- Country Choice Organic
- Hain Pure Foods
- Brown Cow Farms- I love their yogurt!
- Cascadian Farms
- If you're meat eater, decode what brands are healthiest.
- Non-GMO shopping guide if you want to do a little more research
- Mambo Sprouts and Health-E-Savers offer coupons from various organic food brands
- Earthbound Farm Organic we love their already prepped spinach to save time
- Amy's on those nights we don't want to cook, we love Amy's!
- Organic Valley
- Applegate Natural and Organic Meats
- Simply Organic
- Newman's Own Organics
- So Delicious Dairy Free
- Pacific Foods
- These are the ones I use most, but I go to this list for more companies (I'm not associated with this website, I just have it bookmarked and used it all the time).
+ Follow Coupon Blogs I love Money Saving Mom blog, she has a special section just for organic and natural coupons. I've used them at Target and my local Vons.
+ Check out Your Farmer's Market- Did you know most farmer's markets offer coupons and deals? Our local Anaheim Farmer's Market offers them through the Downtown Anaheim Association booth, and each farmer's market has one. Just ask!
+ Keep Asking... If there is a brand I love but they don't offer coupons, I email them and ask and most are willing to send them. Organic coffee, a dairy farm, even a CSA, they thrive and rely on happy customers. Email to ask, not to take advantage of them. If they don't offer any, I hope their day was made with a satisfied customer email.
+ Don't Give Up on Regular Coupon Offers Every now and then, an organic brand will pop up in the regular coupon section. If you don't want to subscribe to a local newspaper, print them online at Redplum, and SmartSource.
+ Stock up on printer ink- Most of these companies don't offer digital coupons. Plus it's good to have as a reminder to be ready to print.
I hope these help, if anything, I've made a reference for myself. Read more of my How To's here.
oh and P.S., This isn't a post on how much better organic food is, or an invitation to email me that an apple is better than packaged food, or what monster corporations own what organic food companies, etc. This is simply a list I've compiled that make it a little easier for families that are looking for healthier food options. Thanks for reading!
Let's take a look back at favorites for August.
Favorite Instagram feed is littleredbowtique. Besides the play on words with "bow" I love, Marlyn posts beautiful landscapes, cute dresses, and polka dots. She's been a favorite for some time and so happy to share her feed.
Favorite purchase was the subscription to Hatchery. I've been eating clean lately and Hatchery offers artisan cooking ingredients like healthy oils, spices, condiments like gourmet mustard (if you know me, I LOVE anything with mustard seeds), and sauces. The bottles last enough for a few uses and make a cheap meal like rice and beans taste gourmet.
Favorite TV Show was X-Files. With a broken ankle, I've been hanging out in bed watching the creepy show. It adds a little bit of excitement to my slow day. Plus if you miss Breaking Bad, this show is a great alternative because Vince Gilligan was a head writer. All season are currently streaming on Netflix.
Favorite moment was doing an outfit post. It was out of my comfort zone but I loved it! Even if it wasn't I would normally wear, dressing up is something I'm doing to take care of myself. And for the record, the TOMS shoes I was wearing did NOT make me fall. It was just my clumsy self. I love those shoes so much, they add the right height without making me feel like I'm wearing heels.
Here's to September 2014! Check out other favorites for this year here.
I've grown up with Minnie Mouse my whole life- but I only remember the cheeky, juvenile character. Even at my age, I love the polka dots and bows and Minnie was the first to wear those before they became a trend. Below are some of my favorites Disney has made. Grown women no need to fear looking silly in Disney shirts. These look good in and out of the park. Hover over the items to take you to the link.
This post is in partnership with DogVacay.
There are times when our parents can’t always watch our dogs, and this is where DogVacay comes in. They make it simple, just like booking a hotel online, but for pets. They make it even easier with an app. Search local pet “hosts”, and book your stay for your pet online. DogVacay includes free pet insurance, customer support for 24/7 and requires a daily photo from your host to know pets are having a safe and fun time.
As a reward for putting up with us leaving them occasionally, we like to take them on a mini vacation of their own—their favorite spot is the Dog Beach in Huntington Beach—a beach devoted to all kinds of pups. Leashes are “technically” required, but that rule is only enforced for unruly pups. It’s the perfect place they can run, swim, get dirty, and socialize with other dogs.
Frodo is the type of dog that is happiest anywhere she is, as long as we are around. She’s much more happy socializing with us then the other dogs, but even she can’t resist the atmosphere. Usually by the time we are ready to go home, Merry is all done barking in excitement and running in circles—she sleeps the entire car ride home…and pretty much the rest of the day too.
California- where dog’s life is a beach. Thank you to DogVacay for sponsoring my DogVenture!
These beautiful images caught my eye on etsy from DDSLLGirlsStore. Handmade lingerie is a luxury but these pieces are affordable and adorable. They also make them in larger sizes by request. I love how fancy their shoe clips are, too.
These images are so beautiful, but be sure to 'pin' them from the original source- here! Thanks!
I’ve been wanting to do outfit posts for awhile now, but I always believed I had to be skinnier, more charming, more graceful, less awkward, less this, more that. It turned out, I had to be less myself. I was starting to wonder why I wanted to do them. I get a lot of of “where did you get that?” questions, so I figured, okay! Plus when the internet witnessed my complete breakdown this year, there is not much else to hold back. I was even a little skeptical of showing off my legs since I have scars from skateboarding accidents, a Birkenstock tan, and pregnancy gave me varicose veins, or as Ruthie calls them, "nature's typography tattoos".
Photos of myself are out of my comfort zone so I may as well start with an outfit out of my comfort zone. I normally don't wear color but I love the cut of this dress. As for the ER visit, moments after these photos were taken, I fell and sprained my ankle. It's not broken thankfully, but I was told the damage was bad enough it would take as long as 12 weeks to heal. I wish I could say I was doing an awesome slam dunk during basketball and landed but nope, I was simply walking and my foot got caught on a cement crevice, and I tripped. I guess I won't be posting many outfit posts for awhile but this was fun!
I wanted to try Plated's service to deliver fresh food to your doorstep with the recipes. All you have to do is cook it! The basics are required like salt, pepper and olive oil. When logged in, you get to choose the date and the recipe, and they offer vegetarian. I chose a beet pita dish, and I can say it's one of the best things I've made, I made sure to save the recipe. It's a spiced deekuh beets with watercress on a greek yogurt with feta on a grilled pita. The photo below is what came with plated, along with the recipe.
I love Plated and I will use it again for special occasions like when I'm having people over or even when I know I'm going to have a crazy week and eating out isn't an option for me. They offer gourmet recipes but the prices are about $15 a plate, $12 with membership. I thought Plated would be great for a couple like Scott and I but for a large family on a budget, Plated isn't for every day meals- but then I added it up. By the time I go out to a restaurant (not fast food), with tip, pay for gas, it's the same price as going out. If you appreciate fresh food from local food sources for your family, this is a great option. Sign up here!