New Etsy Shop!

Hey All!

I’ve decided to finally open up an Etsy shop!

CLICK HERE!!!

There’s not much going on over there right now, but I’m hoping to have a mix of different things up soon.

The plan is for it to be mostly party related items such as invitations, decor, and instant downloads. Then I’ll be adding some cute graphic onesies and such!

I’m hoping this will help me save up some funds to put toward the big move that will hopefully be happening!

Check it out and follow my shop to stay updated, maybe I’ll have some things in there soon that’ll peak your interest!

Pick Your Plum Review

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Last week I decided to splurge a bit. A little on myself, but mostly on Kayde, especially for his upcoming birthday party. I happened upon Pick Your Plum, which is a site that is dedicated to finding high quality items for low prices. Their motto is “get it before your neighbor”, as the deals they post daily are only available for a limited time and with a limited quantity. Most of the items I’ve seen on this site seem to be geared toward us crafty ladies, as well a lot of cute handmade items. I always see so many things I want to buy, but feel too guilty spending money (I’m cheap). But this time I felt it was okay to splurge a bit, as well as finally try this site out, so here is what I bought:

~ Circle Acrylic Ice Cream Cone Stand ($5.99) – This stand holds 16 ice cream cones (or eggs for Easter) and is PERFECT for this idea I had for Kayde’s Vintage Carnival Party.

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Here’s an example of exactly how I plan on using this (it’s even using the exact same stand):

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~ Crayon Pouch in Triangle and Aztec Diamond ($2.99 each) – How cute are these?! I really have no need for them, especially not two, but for only $3 how could I pass that up? Kayde does love coloring, so these will be great to toss in the diaper bag or in his overnight backpack. The only reason I bought two was because I couldn’t pick which design I loved more!

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MY THOUGHTS: I am incredibly happy with this site. Shipping is a flat $4.99, which is about average as far as shipping goes. I love the handmade aspect of a lot of the items they feature, really reminds me of things I’d find on Etsy. Including shipping, I paid $16.96 and I am very pleased with that. So go check out Pick Your Plum!

I’m a single, stay-at-home mom.

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Yes, that’s right. I’m a single mother and I don’t have a job.

Doesn’t make sense, right?! I’m sure you have many questions, or maybe you don’t have any.

I’m a full-time mother. I have my son five days a week, which equals out to be precisely 71% of the time.

But I’m consciously aware of where he is and who he’s with 100% of the time.

Sure, I could get a part-time weekend job. And I’m planning to. But here’s how it really is:

1. I don’t sit around all day, and I’m not jobless because I’m lazy.

I mean, I’m probably a bit lazy. But who isn’t? I sure as hell don’t just sit around all day without a job because I just don’t feeeel like working. Trust me, I hate working. Or at least I did about two years ago when I last had a “real” job. But sometimes I feel as though working and leaving my son with someone else would be a break for me. “But you get two days off every weekend!” you exclaim. It’s true, I do. But I still make sure I know where Kayde is and who he’s with. A mother’s job is never done, blah blah blah. Sad, but true. And working isn’t the best thing for me right now. Yes, I need more money. But we’re not suffering because of it. Kayde has more than any child would ever need, and he has the best of it all. I find ways to make things work and make ends meet. Besides, if I had a job, I’d just be spending that money on some stranger watching my kid. No thanks.

2. I don’t get to sleep in.

At least not every day. Occasionally, Kayde will snuggle me until almost noon. But that comes with a price; he was probably up every half hour with respiratory issues the night preceding. He also doesn’t go to bed until he chooses (the perks of sharing a room with your mom for the time being), which sometimes means 11pm. This means I don’t go to bed until at least 11pm.

3. I don’t get to shower regularly.

I’m lucky if I get more than four showers in a week. Yes, more than just showering every other day. For example, this week I’ve taken two so far. I know, I’m gross. But when you have no one to watch your child, and he doesn’t go to bed until almost midnight, that’s really your only chance to shower. What’s worse, is that he can sense when I’m not there while he’s asleep, so I have about fifteen minutes before he cries and doesn’t stop until I snuggle him. I’m not capable of fifteen minute showers.

4. I change every diaper, give every bath, and wake up every time.

Besides the one or two days that he spends at his father’s house, I am responsible for everything. That means every morning poop is mine to clean, every bath is mine to give and clean up after, and every time he wakes during the night, I have to wake up as well.

5. He is not my only responsibility.

Not only do I have to be consciously aware of Kayde every second of every day and tend to his every need, but I also have other things to accomplish at the same time. I take college courses online. I somehow manage to do very well in school, while being beat in the leg with a wooden train track. I do the laundry, and the dishes, and clean everything else, while Kayde is behind me making messes. I cook dinner and bake cakes, while Kayde insists he needs to be held every moment that I’m in the kitchen. Not to mention running errands and watching friends’ toddlers.

6. It’s lonely.

Even though I always have Kayde around, I still get lonely. 90% of my conversations are with an almost-two-year-old. The topics and vocabulary are very limited. Sometimes I want a job just so I can have more social interactions with anyone older than twelve. And at the end of the day, when Kayde finally passes out, I have no one to talk to. No one to share my daily experiences with, or share the tasks that come along with caring for a toddler. It’s exhausting, and I’m alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Kayde. He is the very best part of me. I wouldn’t change the fact that I have him, and I don’t regret a thing. But it’s not easy, whether you’re with your child’s father or a single mother, whether you work full-time, part-time, or not at all. Raising a child is tough.

March Stitch Fix Review

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Stitch Fix is the first fashion retailer to blend expert styling, proprietary technology and unique product to deliver a shopping experience that is truly personalized for you. Simply fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and our personal stylists will handpick a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste, budget and lifestyle. Simply buy what you like and return the rest.” The cost is only $20 for each fix. You can schedule them to ship every week or even every other month. The $20 styling fee acts as credit that can be used toward purchasing items from your fix.

This was my first month trying out Stitch Fix. I was super excited to try this out, but was skeptical as I’d seen other fixes and wasn’t quite sure the stylists would find anything that would fit my style, while also choosing based on my body type. I was pleasantly surprised!

WHAT’S INSIDE:

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Sherry Embroidery Detail Tab-Sleeve Top ($58) – The moment I saw this blouse(?) I hated it. Well, I guess hate is a strong word, but I really reaaaally disliked the embroidery, especially that ugly yellow right on the front. Yellow isn’t really my color, but I was trying to be open to more than just black, white, grey, and red. The blue embroidery I could do without, but it wasn’t bad enough to dislike it. I tried it on anyway, and was shocked. This top is super comfortable and soft, and had the perfect fit for my body. I usually stick to baby-doll tops to hide my midsection, but this cut and style works for me. I went from hating it to seriously considering keeping it. I’m still on the fence, only because I really really hate that yellow.

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~ Mira Skinny Jean ($78) – When I pulled these out I thought they were some pretty ugly jeans. The waist band is completely unattractive, and the material is jegging-like. I tried them on and immediately wanted them. These jeans are high-waisted and suck in your muffin top. I never wear jeans, ever since I got pregnant almost three years ago. I find them uncomfortable and not at all flattering on me, but these I had to have. I figured nobody will see the ugly waist band, and I’d actually have jeans I feel comfortable in. The only thing holding me back is the $78 price tag.

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~ Floria Split Back Knit Top ($48) – This was the first item I pulled out and I instantly liked it. The color is cute, and the floral back is just my style. It’s super soft and comfortable, but sadly, it isn’t very flattering on me. The back looks great, but the front just doesn’t do it for me, so sadly I had to pass on this.

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~ Jace Chevron Print Dress ($68) – I’m a huge fan of chevron, anyone that knows me knows this. The stylist did a great job picking this for me; I can tell she paid attention to my Pinterest board and my notes. This dress fit me very well and was very flattering. Sadly, I’m not a fan of the bulky, heavy fabric it’s made out of. So I’m going to have to pass on this one as well.

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Sofia Hammered Square Collar Necklace ($32) – I asked for statement necklaces and my stylist definitely delivered. It’s chunky and bold, without being gaudy. I tend to be cheap when it comes to paying for jewelry though, so I passed on this.

MY THOUGHTS: I was very impressed with my first fix. This subscription box definitely does what it intends to, which is encourage you to try things you generally wouldn’t. I thought it was ironic that I plan on returning the items I could see myself picking out, but desperately want to keep the items I would never choose to try on if I had shopped for them myself. It’s such a great way to expand your style and your closet, while also having a few days to decide what you’d like to keep. I haven’t quite decided yet, but that’s only because I’m frugal and can’t justify spending too much on myself.

SIGN UP: Interested in trying Stitch Fix out for yourself? You can try your first month for free, plus a $20 credit, if you sign up before March 31st! Just click here and enter “riskfreemarch” at checkout!

I’m not just self-conscious.

feb 2011 jack copy No. I am much MUCH more than that.

I am self-conscious, self-aware, and self-absorbed. In all the worst ways.

Every female I know seems to fit every social anxiety description “to a T”. What I find a bit funny about that, is that every one of them that I know fairly well seems to lack at least half of the things described.

You are not more than self-conscious if you tell me to stop obsessing over what I can and cannot wear, because “confidence will keep people from worrying about how you look”. If that’s how you feel, then you are not suffering.

Relationships and social interactions are not difficult for you if you insist on seeing each of your friends multiple times a week.

You don’t prefer being alone if you can’t even take a break from work without being on the phone with someone the entire time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure everyone suffers from some sort of anxiety at some point in their lives. But you don’t truly know the struggles unless you have experienced the severity of it first hand.

I am so self-conscious that I even question whether I really have anxiety or if I’m just like the people that claim they do for pity or an excuse.

But it’s not merely social anxiety. It feels like I have the worst of it all. I struggle daily from my social fears and body image problems. If you asked a doctor, they’d probably tell you I have Social Anxiety, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Depression, slight OCD, and I’ve struggled with eating disorders since I was 14.

Some days are worse than others. So much worse.

Being alone is almost a death sentence, but also so much easier to deal with than being with others. When I’m alone, I’m left with my thoughts. I pick at every part of me and try to dissect every social interaction I’ve ever experienced. Just a look that I can’t quite figure out the meaning of will send me into a panic. I need constant reassurance that I’m acceptable.

But being in public, whether it’s with close friends that I feel comfortable around or complete strangers, is anxiety inducing. I become hot and cold at the same time. I sweat profusely, while my arms and legs are covered in goosebumps. It isn’t always terrible, but the outcome depends on the event. Grocery shopping isn’t a problem, but a trip to the bar gives me sweaty palms.

I spend hours getting ready, trying to perfect every part of me. I never do, but I try. I make my hair look as best as I can, put on makeup that I rarely wear, and dig through my closet trying to find the most flattering outfit. Even in my most comfortable, baggy clothing, I still am constantly aware of my body and how it may look.

Even at 115 pounds, just 4 pounds away from being underweight and constantly told I look sickly, I couldn’t bare how fat and disgusting I felt.

The hardest part for me, that’s even more difficult to explain, is that I don’t know what I look like. I mean, I have a generalized idea. I know I have dark hair, black hole eyes, and more freckles than one would ever be able to count. But I can’t comprehend my body type or exactly how my face looks. I’ve seen so many different angles and versions of myself that I don’t know which is the most accurate. I ask people all the time if my photos even resemble me, or if I look much better in them than in person. I fear meeting people after they see photos of me, or even seeing someone I haven’t seen in a while. I worry they’ll be disappointed or surprised by how much less attractive I am in person.

I compare myself to everyone, which is pretty typical of a female, but it’s never-ending. I ask if I look like I’d fit in or resemble certain groups or individual people. I have judged every person I’ve ever looked at. It’s not malicious, for the most part. It’s me trying to find where I fit, and mostly trying to conceptualize how I look. It never works though, because nobody can be trusted. If someone says something complimentary to me, I assume they’re saying it to be nice or because they feel sorry for me.

I’m a mess. Just one big mess.

I act cocky at first to hide it, because nobody wants these insecurities, complaints, or constant questions in their life. But I’m not cocky at all, not even confident. And eventually, if you’re around me long enough, it all spills out.

I wouldn’t wish this upon anybody. This is a daily struggle for me. I’ve avoided getting my license, because I don’t trust myself enough to drive. At 22, I just began college classes, but only online courses, because being in school around strangers makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t have a job, because I’m afraid to fail, and I’m not even sure I’d make it past the interview. I’m just too socially awkward. Photography has always been one of my passions, but I stopped doing it and refuse jobs, because I lack the confidence.

I just never feel as though I’m enough. For anything or anyone.

But I’m trying. Even though it’s only online, I’m going to college. I’m forcing myself to accept photography jobs. I’m making plans to meet new people or hangout with old friends. I’m hoping that forcing myself into these situations constantly will get me through it.

I may never be okay with how I look or act, but I’m trying.

Dear Kayde, I’m Sorry I Don’t Write

Dear Kayde,

I haven’t written directly to you in nearly a year. I’m deeply sorry for that.

It’s been a busy year, so much has changed. You and I (mostly me) are in a transitional period in our lives. We moved out of Daddy’s condo and into Grammy’s house. Grammy got kicked out, which meant we got kicked out as well, after only two months. We had nowhere else to go but Auntie Kim and Uncle Pete’s dinky apartment. It didn’t go so well there.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t absolutely horrible, but it was bad enough. I didn’t pay rent, which meant I was obligated to babysit whenever asked, as well as buy 90% of the groceries for everyone in the house (six people). That was the manageable part of the whole experience. Auntie Kim was a crabby lady, and her and Uncle Pete fought quite often. You and Charlotte also fought, but even more often. Charlotte is a biter and a hitter, so you experienced the brunt of that. This made for a crabby Kayde, which made for a sad and frustrated Mommy. We were both crabby and miserable. I was desperate to get us out of there.

After about five months of suffering, Grammy found a new boyfriend, Mike (Grampy). She was planning on moving in with him and invited us to go with her. That’s where we live currently. We have the entire finished basement, which provides more than enough room for us, as well as our own full bathroom. We’re both so much happier. You behave so well, now that you only see Charlotte three days a week.

So that’s a summary of our living situations for the past nine months.

A few other things have changed as well.

Mommy has been seeing this guy, Craig, for about six months now. You love him. Like, absolutely love him. He’s good to you, and he’s good to Mommy. But he’s supposed to be leaving on Tuesday. This was inevitable, as he lives in Texas. It was really just a matter of when. Mommy has mixed feelings about this. I’m sad, because I know I’ll miss him, and it’ll be strange going from sleeping in the same bed as him every night, to him not being there at all. But I feel this is an important thing, because for now we are at a stand still. Have been for the entirety of our unofficial relationship. This will determine what will really happen with us.

Also, Mommy is bored. I spend all my hours, Monday through Friday, with you. And that’s not a complaint, I love it. But as the weekends approach, I get sad and lonely, even with Craig around. I never see my friends anymore. I know I’m a mother, but I’m still young. When you’re at Daddy’s for two nights, I should be going out and enjoying myself. So that’s what I’m going to try to do once Craig leaves.

I think I deserve it. I mean, I take care of you almost entirely by myself, and I think I do a decent job. I also started school at MWCC in January, and I’m doing really well. My classes are online, because I still don’t drive (working on it) and have you all the time. But I’m motivated to get a degree in Graphic Design, so I’m really pushing myself. I’m also working on finding a part time job for when you’re at Daddy’s.

You’re going to be two very soon, in less than a month. Mommy is working extra hard on your Vintage Carnival Birthday party. I hand stitched bean bags for games. I’m currently working on making your invitations from scratch. I even taught myself how to use fondant, so I can make your cake. I get way too excited. I just really love planning things.

Now let’s talk about you.

You’re perfect. I mean, pretty much absolutely perfect. Okay, you’re a little whiny and up my butt at times. And you can also sense when I really need to accomplish things in the kitchen, so you insist on me picking you up. I’m pretty sure it’s intentional. But that’s okay. You’re cute, so I’ll suffer.

Your favorite toys are currently Go! Go! Smart Wheels/Animals and train tracks. I love this, but also hate it. The only reason that I sometimes hate it is that you decide I NEED to set every single piece up for you repeatedly. The point of toys is for YOU to play with them, so that I can accomplish other tasks. Of course, I play with you all the time. But you insist it needs to be EVERY time.

Your favorite shows (you just started really watching tv) are Dinosaur Train, Chuggington, and Paw Patrol. Makes sense. You love trains and your world revolves around puppies.

Your favorite foods are probably pizza and sushi. You loooove pizza. Weird, because I don’t. I am incredibly pleased and impressed that you love sushi. Your favorite seems to be anything with raw tuna. Good boy. (;

Hmm, what else? You’re in a big boy bed now. Of course, you only sleep in it for half of the night, until you crawl into bed with me. Don’t worry, I don’t mind. I’m just happy you go to sleep in your own bed, even if you need your puppy pillow, a blankie, binky, cup, and cabbage patch doll to do it. Whatever works.

You talk so well now. I mean, for an almost two year old with a lisp (which is the cutest). You say pretty much everything. You’ve been speaking for a while, but within the past few months have been constantly picking up new words. Within the past week, you started saying “love you”, which may be my favorite thing you say. You can also name most of your plastic toy animals, which I find pretty impressive. You’re a smart kid, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

There’s more I have to tell you, but I think I’ll wait.

Love you, Bub.

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It’s been a long time, shouldn’t have left you…

Yes, that is from an Aaliyah song. Don’t judge.

ANYWAY…

Apparently, I’ve been missing from my blog since about May. I apologize. Although I’m sure I was not very dearly missed. A lot has changed in just three/four months. Here’s a quick recap:

I left my husband. Yes, like the husband that I was once miserable over for leaving me. I left him.

I moved into my mother’s house.

I then moved into my friend’s apartment last Friday.

I have a new boyfriend. I know, I know. Too soon.

I also just signed up to become a distributor for It Works!

Now that I’m at my current residence, I have a laptop to use. So hopefully that will mean focusing on my blog a little more. The plan is to start doing reviews/spoilers/deals once again, and I also plan on getting into more detail about the recent happenings in the lives of myself and Kayde.

So stay tuned! Or don’t! (;