Everyday A Choice Moved to Squarespace!

Hi there, my wordpress followers!

My blog has officially moved over to my main website that is hosted on squarespace.  You will be able to find all of my projects, podcast, book, and even upcoming childbirth classes over there now.  You can visit the new website at http://www.kelliejoy.com

If you would like to re-subscribe to the blog over there, I would love it if you joined me!  Just click the link below, scroll down, and enter your email. Easy peasy!

Today I’m over there talking about crafting, cooking, and why we should all just do what makes us happy!

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Trying to Enjoy Summer: Goals & Bucket List

  
Confession: I don’t really like summer. I know. I KNOW. I’m crazy. But hear me out. I hate, hate, HATE sweating. Unless the sweat is from zumba or body pump, it’s gross and I hate it. Sacramento goes well past 100 degrees on many summer days and I just want to hide in the cold A/C and never leave the house. I actually feel more claustrophobic in the summer than I do in the winter because the heat keeps me indoors so much. I’ve seen a lot of Summer Bucket List posts lately, and I thought I’d use that to try and focus on the positive parts of summer rather than just secretly count down the days until October 1st. (Because it’s still effing hot here in September!) 

The Fun Stuff:

  • Go to the State Fair (My parents got us a season pass)
  • Go to a Waterpark (Maybe a date day with Chris?)
  • Enroll Clare in Swim Lessons
  • Go to the Farmer’s market every week (Summer Fruit is something I do love)
  • Spend some time outside early mornings (because that’s the only time it isn’t gross)
  • Take at least one day trip to San Francisco.
  • Take at least one day trip to Truckee
  • Go to an outdoor concert in the park (There are so many good ones each week!)
  • Go to the drive-in movies (For some reason, we always seem to only go in the winter..)
  • Go to Yoga in the Park as much as possible (because it’s the best)

The Work Stuff:

  • Put together Teaching Outline for Childbirth Classes – I’m really hoping to do my evaluated teaching series in the late fall, so starting to prep during the summer is a must.
  • Launch new website. I’ve been working on a squarespace website to combine all of my stuff, blog, podcast, and a few other projects in one place. It’s almost there!
  • Back load Podcast interviews to avoid being stressed during the holidays. I’ve got podcasts recorded/scheduled solidly into August at this point. I’d really like to have the whole fall/holidays set by the end of summer, so I’m not stressed out trying to do last minute episodes.
  • Have a yard sale. Chris thinks I’m crazy, but we have so much crap we need to get rid of….so it seems worth a shot.

The Goal Stuff:

  • Insight Meditation 6-Week Meditation Online Course – I’ve always been curious about this meditation center in redwood city. And since my big main goal for all of 2015 is meditation, I want to try their free 6-week online course to supplement what I’ve already been doing each day.
  • Learn to sew a quilt – Meisner has a quilt series beginning in late July. I either want to do that one, or the one that starts in September.

Yay! Reasons to be excited about summer, and not just ‘get through’ it.

Do you have any big plans for summer?

Aloha! & Links for Your Week

We are in Hawaii this week for an early 5 year anniversary trip. (Yay!) and Clare’s first plane trip! 

So for my weekly post this week,  a post detailing the best articles and blogs I’ve read over the last few weeks.  So many good ones!

  • Mayim Bialik’s excellent response to the recent Similac commercial getting a lot of press. She says: “The ad shows breastfeeding as “just another choice,” ignoring that it is the medically recommended way to feed human babies. It’s not the same as cloth versus disposable diaper choices or deciding which baby shampoo to use. This commercial undermines medical and scientific fact under the guise of “It’s all the same, don’t judge. And if you do, you are the bad mom.”
  • I read a lot about breastfeeding because I am very much a breastfeeding advocate, but I love Elisha Wilson Beach’s response to the internet freaking out over her photo of breastfeeding her toddler in the bathroom.
  • This is an excellent, albeit long, article about a Welsh playground called “The Land” and a look at how much childhood has changed in the last 30 years.  Really, really interesting. Makes me wish American playgrounds would take on this idea, and expands my idea for what I want our kids to experience growing up.

Have you read anything awesome lately?

March/April 2015 Book Reviews

In an effort to not end up with a huge long post of books like this one from last year, I am doing book reviews every 2 months on the blog this year. Check out January/February here.

And now for the books I finished in March and April:

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The Secrets of Midwives – This was a great novel! It fed my love of childbirth stuff with my love of story. Well written, kept my interest, quick read. It really had everything. Birth, love story, family relationships. Loved it.

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers – I really like the premise of this research. Such a good look at the way our culture puts peer interaction on a pedestal while forgetting the importance of adult attachment. It was recommended by some attachment parent friends, and I definitely jive with the principles. The actual writing was a tad repetitive.

Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together – Listened to the audible of this short book. I really like how this author talks about ALL of our experiences, jobs, careers, hobbies as “ingredients” for our body of work and how experience from seemingly very different backgrounds can dovetail nicely into a career or path. Coming from someone who has a very Eclectic ‘ingredients’ that resonates with me a lot.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
– Since pretty much the whole internet seems to be reading this book, I figured I’d give it a shot. I was skeptical, mainly because I’d heard so much about it from blogs and podcasts, I wondered if there was more to learn. Turns out yes, there was! And I also wondered if it’d be similar to Joy of Less that I’ve also been reading, but they definitely have had different ideas.

My main takeaways –

-Only keep items that spark joy
-You will find a clickpoint where you have just the right amount of items
-Let unread books GO. They have served their purpose. Same with half finished books. Gave me the freedom to do that!
-Loungewear – don’t downgrade your regular clothes to loungewear (i totally do this) and some people have more loungewear than regular clothes and that’s okay. (I.e. work from home mamas!)
-Don’t leave your shampoos and stuff in the shower indefinitely. Only bring them in when you are using them. Helps with the slime factor.

All in all, great book, makes you really think about your relationship with your stuff and was a quick read.

Still Alice – This was a very vivid portrayal of what it’s like to be someone living with early onset Alzheimer’s. Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m looking forward to seeing the movie version that Julianne Moore won the Oscar for.

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination – This is a very short book form of JK Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech. Eloquent as always, I love how she is always fighting to help those less fortunate.

As of this writing I just finished Buddhism for Mothers, am working on Raising Your Spirited Child, am almost done with Better Than Before and have a whole slew of books on deck for vacation next week.

What have you read lately?

**This post contains amazon affiliate links, if you chose to buy a book from amazon based on my recommendation, Clare’s diaper fund gets a few cents.  Thank you for supporting my creative endeavors!

**If you want to try out Audible, please support my podcast by going to http://www.audibletrial.com/postpartum  where you can get a free audiobook and 30 day trial.

Bella Materna: Nursing & Maternity – A Review and Giveaway!

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I don’t know if I can even count the number of nursing bras I’ve been through since Clare was born. I can count at least 11 off the top of my head, but there’s probably more. It is so hard to find bras that are one, comfortable and two, fit larger chests. At the start of breastfeeding I was up near an F or higher. Probably the closest I had come to finding one I liked was Soma Intimates, and theirs did not hold up in the wash at all after many times wearing them – and now they don’t even carry my size anymore. WTH? Anyway, that’s not even including the possibility of finding a bra that actually LOOKS decent. I had given up on that a long time ago. There just aren’t really pretty bras for larger chests in general, and especially not nursing bras.

But I have been proven wrong with Bella Materna! Anne, their wonderfully sweet creator, offered to have me try a few of their bras to review. (And we are also working on some exciting stuff partnering with them for my podcast. Stay tuned)

I tried their Sexy T-shirt Bra in Rose and the Anytime Tank in Black.

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First, let’s talk about the bra. The first thing I noticed was that the straps are really thin. You typically don’t find this with bras for larger chests. I guess they figure if we have big breasts, we have linebacker shoulders too? Anyway, this bra has nice thin straps! And it’s super pretty. The lace trim adds some femininity to it without being itchy. I HATE itchy, so this was a big plus. I also really liked that it was rose colored and not that awkward flesh color that most neutral bras are. It was different and I appreciated that. It is also really breathable. The back part has an almost mesh-like quality to it, which coming from someone who despises sweating, this is great. It also has a whole extra section of clips on it, which is amazing. Usually bras don’t have this extra extension, and I could see that being really helpful especially during pregnancy and early nursing when everything is changing so much. Finally, it’s WAY more supportive than other nursing bras that I’ve tried. Support is a big freaking deal for those of us with large chests

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Now let’s talk about the tank. I was incredibly surprised how much I liked this tank! I was skeptical because I usually hate “built in” bra tanks because they are annoying, uncomfortable and not at all supportive. But this tank is the complete opposite of all that. It’s SO comfy and also really supportive. Even with my chest! I guess the best way to describe the material is that it’s like almost swimsuit like, but smoother and softer. It’s great! And because of the ruching on the sides, it’s flattering at any size, but also really stretchy in that it would totally fit over a growing pregnant belly. Highly, highly recommend. When we have more kiddos, I’d definitely want to have a few on hand during those early days. I think this tank and yoga pants will be my new mama uniform of choice.

Anne also told me that at Bella Materna they are committed to using quality materials that last a LONG time. Many of the moms who submit reviews to their site say that they used their bras through multiple kiddos and multiple pregnancies. Awesome!

They also sent me a racer back conversion, which turns their bras into a racerback bra. I personally don’t wear a lot of racerbacks, but I know that would be a huge plus to many mamas.

The first bras I tried didn’t fit quite right, I needed to go down a band size, and Bella Materna’s return and exchange policies are super convenient. It’s all free and very quick. The turn around both times was just a day or two.

They are also SUPER helpful in explaining how your bra size will change over the course of your pregnancy and nursing spans. This will be a topic we focus on in an upcoming podcast, and they also have information on their website about differing sizes.

All in all, I highly recommend Bella Materna’s bras, and I love to be supporting another mom entrepreneur while getting great quality products. Next I’ll be eyeing their sleepwear and underwear!

Thank you, Anne and Bella Materna!

I’m so excited, because Bella Materna has offered to giveaway a Sexy T-Shirt Bra and Anytime Tank to one of my blog readers! Just follow the directions at the rafflecopter link below and I will pick a winner on the 13th.

Bella Materna is also offering readers 20% off their first order with code KellieJoy20 between now and 5/31/15.

Yay!

Click for Bella Materna Rafflecopter Giveaway

Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

I’m finding posting about my capsule wardrobes a good exercise. One, because I do the backwards hanger trick (putting all the hangers on the opposite way and then switching them only after they’ve been worn during that capsule) so I’m able to see what outfits I’ve been wearing, and adjust. So far, the start of each capsule has been pretty fluid, I add in some new clothes (from clothing swaps/target/ross) and subtract a few after I realize I’m not wearing certain ones I totally thought I would. After finishing this book on tidying, I definitely want to go through all my clothes again, but I think I’ll probably time that to coincide with our summer clothing swap, and then switch over to a summer capsule. Though, with Sacramento already heating up in spring and the fact that I’ve been planning what to wear in Maui next month, I imagine my summer wardrobe won’t actually look all that different compared to spring. Spring came out even – 40 total pieces, plus 5 shoes.  I’m not much of a shoe gal, so I figured I’d include shoes this time around. No workout/Pjs/undergarments however. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5 tops
  • 6 bottoms (4 skirts, 2 pair shorts)
  • 10 layering tops/sweaters
  • 19 dresses
  • 5 pairs of shoes

So here it is, my Spring April-May-June capsule wardrobe:

Tops:

Tops

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Ross| Ross | Target | Clothing Swap | Target

Bottoms:

Bottoms

Target (last year) | TJ Maxx | H&M, a long time ago, was a dress| Ross | Target | Clothing Swap

Layering Tops/Sweaters:

Sweaters

Clothing Swap | Clothing Swap | Clothing Swap | Ross | Clothing Swap | Ross | ThredUp | Clothing Swap | Clothing Swap | Ross

Dresses: (always the largest section)

Dresses

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Clothing Swap | ThredUp | Clothing Swap | Ross | ThredUp| ThredUp

Stitch Fix | Ross | ThredUp | ThredUp |ThredUp | Target

Stitch Fix | Target | Clothing Swap | Target | Visions of Eden Old Sacramento | Ross

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Shoes:

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Clockwise from Black Sandals (that I’ve had for forever!)

Gottschalks Going Out of Business Sale! | Famous Footwear | Zappos for Karlee’s Wedding a few years ago | Amazon| Target

I’m pretty proud that nearly half of the wardrobe were either clothing swap or ThredUp meaning that I was a second, (sometimes 3rd, 4th, 5th!) owner.  Old to someone else, but new to me! The best.

Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? How did you like it?

**If you click the ThredUP links, you’ll get $10 off your first order and I’ll get a $10 credit also! Win, Win.  They are an online consignment store that carries like-new high quality clothing for budget prices! Some items are even new with tags. Highly recommend.

**If you would like to try out Stitch Fix, please use my link so I get referral credit! Stitch Fix is a personal styling company. You fill out a style profile and they send you five items. You can even share your style pinterest boards with them and they pick items they think might fit your style. You decide what to keep and send the rest back. You pay a $20 styling fee but that goes towards whatever you keep!

Favorite Baby Items: 9-12 month edition

Later than I’d planned, as usual, but here is the last edition of our favorite baby items: from 9-12 months. See 0-3, 3-6 and 6-9 if you’re curious! I’m sure there will be future toddler posts as well.

1. Trax the Train Rocker – My parents got her this for Christmas, and we love it. (Chris rolled his eyes of course when I first put in on the list because he thinks its silly that I pick up train things since he drives trains) Anyway, It plays a couple different songs and the great thing about this one compared to other rockers is the back part holds her on better.IMG_6533

(I promise that’s a smile. 😉 )

2. Pack ‘n Play – Some people really like these for younger ages, and use them as bassinets, etc. We totally didn’t. Between cosleeping and the fact that she really isn’t a fan of being contained, we didn’t need it. However, when she was too big for other chairs/jumpers/etc and not yet walking, the Pack and Play was great for showering and cooking. (and occasionally teaching piano)

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3. Tiny Diner Portable Placemat – One of my other mama friends had one of these when we went out to lunch, and it seemed really convenient, so we got one too. We really like it. It sticks to some surfaces better than others, but the little food catcher part is great for messy babies to drop food when eating out.

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4. Swinging Baby Gate – Once we childproofed our living room, this was a great gate to block her into just that room. It’s also very easily moveable. Now we have it in the kitchen doorway, since that’s where she seems to reek the most havoc.

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5. Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy – This is still a favorite as of 14 months when I’m writing this post. It helped her start learning to walk and now that she is walking, she loves to push it in circles and run all over the house with it. She also likes putting EVERYthing she finds around the house on top of the alligators to push them around. Socks, random baskets, rouge apple chips, remote controls, empty water bottles. I’m sure if she could lift our cat Bert, he’d be going for a spin.

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6. Blocks – She’s really starting to be able to stack blocks a bit and not just wander around with them in her mouth. And of course they also go for rides on the alligators (see #5) We have this squishy set from amazon and a similar alphabet wooden set from etsy like this one.

blocks

 

Any favorites toward the end of your baby’s first year? We’ll be keeping a running list for future kiddos! 🙂