Catching up…

I hate to make people jealous, but life around here has been SUPER glamorous and fab-uh-less lately, so I’ll just recap a few highlights:

1) Decided not to do a “What I Wore” post this week because I didn’t think I wore anything particularly interesting.  A series of different circumstances meant that I wore jeans, tees, and athletic shoes to work a few days last week and actually even went to church in cropped athletic pants and a t-shirt on Sunday.

2) I put on a decent outfit Sunday afternoon, then got conned into walking to the neighborhood playground (of which I was completely unaware even existed until Sunday) with my children and some other kids in our ‘hood, and immediately regretted my fashion selection.  The humidity made it feel like a sauna outside.  After the playground, we still had to sit outside for M’s 7-on-7 football games, so I put on clothes appropriate for sweating at the game, then had to go straight to church.  I’m sure we smelled as delightfully fresh as we looked.

3)  Confession: I’m a terrible housekeeper.  The VERY LAST thing I want to do after work and on the weekends is THINK about cleaning.  Performing the action of cleaning doesn’t even register.  So I’ve spent a few too many days looking at the toilet bowl in our bathroom and thinking about how gross it was getting.  Is this TMI?  Sorry.  Tonight, something pushed me over the edge, though, and I sprinkled some Comet inside the bowl, swished it around with the scrub brush and had a clean toilet in less than 60 seconds.  I thought it would make me feel inspired to DO MORE THINGS because this task was so simple and not time consuming.  Instead, I just felt even worse about my housekeeping skills and the fact that I put everything off so long.  I won’t be doing that again anytime soon

(Don’t worry.  If you come over for a surprise visit, I promise I’ll at least wipe the guest bathroom down with some clorox wipes.  But I can’t guarantee that the “5 Second Rule” is a solid statute to abide by in my kitchen.)

4) Speaking of neighbors, we got some new ones a couple of days ago.  Bless Missy’s heart, with two older brothers, she hasn’t had many girls around to play with and she has recently made friends with 2 little girls on our street, one of whom belongs to our new neighbors.  About 5 minutes after she met the new neighbor, the little girl declared that she and Missy were BFFs.  Then there was some chalk drawing, prompting me to wonder how concerned I should be….

5) Is school over yet?  I know that tomorrow is May 1st, but shouldn’t we be done already?  I really need some sun, a pool, and a good book.  Because I’m always years behind the trends, I recently started reading Game of Thrones.  It’s pretty long, though, and I’m also a huge nerd and recently became addicted to this free logic puzzles app, so basically, I want to do nothing all day except read and do logic puzzles by the pool and then take a nap when I’m exhausted from all that activity.  Please, someone make that happen.  I was so close to realizing that dream this morning when J told me we won the lottery!  Turns out, it was only $2.  Vegas!


Warm Weather Woes

After what seemed like an interminable Texas winter (because a Texas winter usually lasts about two weeks, served in non-consecutive days from late December to mid February), the mercury in the thermometer is finally creeping up.

Today, the outdoor temperature got UP to a glorious 91 degrees.  In October, I’ll be saying it got DOWN to a glorious 91 degrees.

It has been an absolute blast to see my children playing outside these last few days, inventing new games with their neighborhood friends,  entertaining themselves until I break the spell by calling them in for dinner.  But as I have been enjoying the warmth outside with them, there has been a persistently bothersome notion festering in the back of my mind.  I’ve tried to ignore it, but the truth is I can no longer escape the inevitable.

It’s time to break out the self-tanner.

My genetic components do not contain the type of melanin that allows my skin to tan.  I’m not like albino or anything; I simply do not and can not tan.  My skin is so fair (see also: pale, peaked, ghostly, vampire-ish) that I rarely find foundation light enough.

And I’ve heard it ALL.

“Why don’t you go in the sun more?”

“You should try a tanning bed.”

“Hey, Casper!”

To add insult to injury, I have dark hair.  That might not seem like any big thing, until it’s YOU living with the fact that the dark hair in the follicles in your legs make it look as though you’re a perpetually poorly-skilled (or worse, NEGLIGENT) shaver.

Then there’s the cancer risk:

Family history? Check!

Fair skin? Check!

Light eyes? Check!

Light hair? I wish, but sadly, no. See shaving problems above.

So, when it’s time to break out the shorts, I know that it’s time to also break out the self-tanner.  The past few years, I’ve used a self-tanner from Bath and Body Works that was good enough.  My general motto in life is “good enough.”  Because I’m not Scrooge McDuck sliding down my piles of gold coins every evening, I don’t have a lot of time and resources to put into finding the “ultimate” or “best ever” so good enough works for me.

Recently, though, I read somewhere that another great drugstore brand to try is the Banana Boat Summer Color Self Tanning Lotion Deep Dark Color.  I usually avoid any self-tanner that uses the words “deep” and “dark” because I’m usually just going for a more subtle “just cuts down the glare a little bit” shade of color.  But because I’m crazy and spontaneous, I threw caution to the wind and decided to give this product a whirl.

31JTfYyENPL

My first impression is that this product looks EXACTLY like poop when you expel it into your hand.

(Sidenote: I hate the word sq–rt, particularly in the above sentence when paired with the idea of poop.  So I googled for synonyms, but is “expel” any better?  Any suggestions how to convey the action of “sq–rt” in a more acceptable term?  Evict? Emit? My neuroses have crippled me here.)

Seriously.  Every time I emitted (???) another amount from the tube into my palm, I was filled anew with a combination of disgust and intrigue.  My old standy from BBW was a lovely, glittery, bronze lotion.  This stuff looks like the “smiling pile of poo” emoticon (minus the smile).

The MAJOR plus side so  far is that this product is almost completely absent that characteristic self-tanner smell. In the morning, I’ll have a better idea if the color is at all flattering for my skin tone, although people may not trust my “good enough” definition of flattering, because when it comes to self-tanner, my philosophy is that even fake orange-y legs look better in shorts than fish-belly white legs.  Just the fact that I applied this product tonight is a win for all humankind.  Trust me.

 

 

*I’m not being compensated in any way for this post and I have no affiliation whatsoever with Banana Boat.       


What I Wore

Welcome to another Wednesday of What I Wore!  I tried to get this post going this morning before we all had to leave the house, but that was just because I went temporarily insane and believed I had time to do anything beyond our usual harried schedule of clothes, breakfast, teeth, and backpacks.  Those are the 4 things that never change each school morning, yet it all seems so far out of reach for my children until they have probed the limits of my mental stability.

Anyway, still no full length mirror and still no real photos, but I promise I have recreated my outfits as closely as possible to what I actually wore.

Still wearing a lot of jeans around here.  That sounds misleading:  I’m actually wearing the same 2 pair repeatedly for a lot of days.  Also, most of my clothing is stuff I’ve owned for awhile or thrifted, so I just recreate the outfits as closely as possible.  None of the links below are affiliate links because who are we kidding? I’ve been writing this blog for like 5 minutes.  I’m not making a penny.

Friday:

 

Black/Gold
Black/Gold by sturgmomsays featuring steve-madden shoes

Good Friday was an errand day, including the poorly-timed tattoo laser treatment.  That evening, I went to Happy Hour with some friends, then spent the rest of the evening watching movies with the kids.

I couldn’t find anything that even resembled the Gap tee I wore on Saturday, so just pretend like you see a neon peachy-pink long tee with skinny jeans and gold Sperry knock-offs from Target.

Easter Sunday:

 

Easter 2014
Easter 2014 by sturgmomsays featuring wedge shoes

I didn’t buy anything new for Easter, so I decided it was a stroke of luck that I already owned the above blouse, and that it accidentally coordinated with my kids’ outfits.  I usually build Easter outfits around Missy’s dress.  The boys have resigned themselves to the fact that Easter is THE ONE DAY of the year that they wear what I tell them to, no questions asked, no fits thrown.  And this year, I let Missy pick her own Easter dress, which is how we ended up with the dress I affectionately call The Rainbow Sherbet Monstrosity.

Exhibit A:

IMG_8559

I would have never chosen this dress for her in a million years times infinity.  But, because I’m trying to allow her to make her own choices (within reason) and not be too controlling, and because my mom agreed to buy it for her, THIS is the dress she ended up with.  So I went with the blouse above and some pinkish-peach pants.  My pants were actually from Target, but they’re from last year, hence no current picture.

Monday:

Casual Monday White/Orange
Casual Monday White/Orange by sturgmomsays featuring gold tone drop earrings

Another Jeans Day at school because I supported our Relay for Life team.  My orange wedges were actually (old) from Kohl’s, but I really love the option above.  Then a friend/former colleague told me that her mom just bought that same pair in black.  While I love friend/former colleague’s mom, it sort of reminded me of the time (not so long ago) that I was feeling young and sassy while shopping at Express.   The 10 year old salesGIRL who rang up my purchase (Cardigans.  So what??) said, “Yeah, my mom just bought these same ones.”  Sassy Bubble officially burst.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I wore a flowy chiffon blouse from Kohl’s with skinny jeans and gold sandals.  It was cute; definitely take my word for it, even if some of my clothing choices are on-par with retirees.   Just call me Mrs. Roper.

TCo2005

 

 


Nothing says Easter like the tattoo shop

At this point in the school year, it’s hard to decide if a three-day weekend is a wonderful time spent recharging in order to power through the next few weeks or if it’s pure torture, teasing me about the blissfully unscheduled summer months ahead.  While part of me thinks that I’d love to just charge through the next 34 school days (No weekends! Let’s just get this over with!), the part that slept late Friday morning was all, ‘”I could not have worked one more second this week.”

J ended up heading out for a brief side gig Thursday night through Friday, which threw a slight wrench in my Friday plans.  See, I have a tattoo that’s has a um….mistake (how this happened is a blog post for another day).  Long story short, I didn’t want to reschedule my laser removal appointment because I’ve been lazy enough over the past year and only had one laser treatment when I could have potentially had six and had the entire ordeal corrected by now.  Instead, every time someone looks at my tattoo I just continue to wonder if they notice that it’s wrong and are just too polite to say anything, or if they, like me, have poor attention to important (and permanent) details. And then I think, “I really should get that fixed.”

Because the removal place is in the back of a stereotypical  tattoo shop (complete with naked lady artwork on the walls), into which I dragged my three school-age children, I can’t decide if I win Worst Mom of the Year or Kick Ass Mom of the Year.  They made sure to tell me that they heard a few inappropriate words while waiting, but nothing worse than anything that’s come out of their own mouths (<—– not a joke, unfortunately).

Since J had worked practically 36 hours straight from Thursday morning until Friday night, I made the executive decision that we would skip the church Easter Egg Hunt Saturday morning in order to give him a chance to sleep in.  When we finally got moving at about the crack of noon, we just ran a few errands.  We picked up eyeglasses for the younger two, then had to buy dog food and Easter shoes.  But not at the same place.

That evening my precious mother-in-law took care of the kids while J and I ran more errands. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize this life of glamour we lead is real.  We had a romantic dinner at Taco Bueno before declaring ourselves “hard core next week” regarding our eating and exercising habits. Then we shopped for Easter basket goodies.

While we were at Target buying All The Candy (it really wasn’t THAT much), I realized that I should have boiled the eggs for dyeing on Saturday afternoon rather than take that glorious nap I enjoyed. But since I’m nothing if not a chronic procrastinator (see ‘purchasing Easter shoes on Saturday’ above), we ended up boiling and dyeing eggs at 9:30 on Saturday night. With an early wake up time on Sunday. It was as peaceful and grace-filled as you can imagine.

IMG_8531 IMG_8534 IMG_8536

Sunday was a great day spent enjoying family and candy, but only once we got past the “don’t you dare spill that on your Easter clothes before I take some pictures” breakfast hour.  For breakfast, we made Resurrection Rolls together, which is one of our favorite Easter traditions.  We had an Easter Egg Hunt after lunch, then spent time chatting with family.  The evening was quiet, and I got to finish reading a book, so that totally counts that as another Easter miracle to celebrate!

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Budget-Friendly Easter Baskets Ideas for Tween Boys

Easter Basket

(Sidenote:  It feels ridiculously weird to use the word “tween” to describe my 10 and 11 year old sons.  “Tween” connotes someone so much older than my baby boys.  If I think too long on how quickly they’ve grown and how quickly they’ll be leaving our house (make no mistake; they WILL be leaving), I start to feel a little panicky and my heart begins beating too quickly.  Then, I hear them yelling at one another in the next room and I wonder why I think they even deserve Easter basket treats to begin with!)

Unless it’s peanut butter and chocolate (which is the best dessert combination in the world), candy is a “take it or leave it” kind of thing for me.

Actually, I kind of hate candy.  Mostly because my kids always bring home boatloads of it from various school functions and holiday gatherings.

It all starts with Halloween.  I love that my kids have memories of dressing up and trick-or-treating, but, after school parties and door-to-door begging/threatening, we always end up with an obscene amount of candy. Once I throw away all the crappy stuff like Twizzlers, Now and Laters, and Smarties (keeping the chocolate), we still end up with more sugar than a family of 5 should eat in a decade.

By the time I get around to throwing away the vestiges of the Halloween candy, it’s time for Christmas candy.  No one eats those Starlight mints or candy canes, so more goes into the trash.  But the CHOCOLATE!

Just as I’m tossing out the Christmas candy leftovers, it’s time for Valentine’s Day.  Then Easter comes right around the corner and the candy is driving me insane and controlling my life and I need a Xanax.

My candy-related issues always cause me to seek alternative ideas for Easter baskets.  And boys, for whatever reason, are more difficult to buy for than girls.  And then OLDER boys are even MORE difficult to buy for because they want all the things that cost all the money.  I simply can’t afford to put video games and high dollar itunes gift cards into their baskets.

So I put my brain to work and came up with some ideas for older/tween boys that won’t break the bank.  Here you go!

1.  Sunglasses– Several stores have super inexpensive sunglasses.  My go-to shops are generally The Children’s Place and Old Navy.

2.  Flip Flops– You can’t beat 2 pairs of flip flops for just a few bucks.  Again, check out TCP and Old Navy.

3.  Cans/Bottles of Favorire Drinks- Yes, sodas and Gatorade-type drinks are special treats in our house.  My boys would LOVE to have a couple of bottles of Gatorade all to themselves.

4.  Movie Tickets– If I were to do this idea, I’d purchase tickets for the whole family and then each child would get one ticket in their basket. Make it a matinee and save even more!

5.  Pajamas- Target usually has inexpensive PJs, but you’ll probably get more mileage if you go to the store rather than shop online.  The current ones online run about $12/set, which is still a little steep for this cheapskate.  You can generally find sleep pants in store for under $10.

6.  Bandaids– Yes, my boys still want their own bandaid “style.”  Heaven forbid they have to use a Hello Kitty bandaid in front of their friends!  If I’m buying them for the family, I’m getting the cheap classic tan ones.

7.  College/Team Paraphernalia– We’re HUGE Baylor fans in this house, so I know my little bears would love a small BU token, like a magnet, temporary tattoos, eye black, lanyard, pen, etc.

8.  Office Supplies- My boys both love to write and illustrate, so they’re constantly stealing the printer paper, much to J.’s aggravation.  Having their own packs of colored notebook paper, composition books or spirals, colored pens, etc. would thrill them.

9.  Favorite Snack or Food Item- One of my boys loves fruit snacks/gummies. Another one loves chips and popcorn.  We don’t buy any of that on a regular basis, so getting snacks like these in their baskets is a special treat that’s NOT CANDY.

10.  Homemade Coupons- I didn’t appreciate the joy of having children until they were old enough to unload the dishwasher and take out the trash by themselves.  Now, there are chores that I simply won’t do because my children need to learn good work ethic…right?  But they might like to legitimately get out of those chores sometime, so I found some really cute ideas for homemade coupons to stuff in eggs here, here, and here.

11.  Earbuds or iPod accessories- We can never find earbuds and chargers when we need them.  These are a steal!  And if they’re crap, well, at least you didn’t spend much on them.

12.  Coins- Throw a few quarters in some plastic eggs, and BINGO!  Happy boys!

If all else fails and you’re at your budget but the basket still looks meager, just buy a smaller basket!

 


What I Wore

I’m so thankful that I work in a fairly casual environment, so you generally won’t find me in business suits, heels, and hose.  Cropped pants, cardigans, and flowy blouses pretty much sums up my spring wardrobe.  I’m far from a fashionista, but my style has come a loooong way in the past few years, thanks to stylish friends, pinterest, and various style blogs!

So here’s basically what I wore this week. I don’t own a full length mirror, so these are basic re-creations. I do not have any affiliate links.

Casual Terry Sweatshirt w/ Boyfriend Jeans
Casual Terry Sweatshirt w/ Boyfriend Jeans by sturgmomsays featuring a striped pullover
Sunday was church.  Our church is pretty casual, plus I was staying in the nursery, so I wanted to be as comfy as possible.
Boyfriend Jeans and Green
Boyfriend Jeans and Green by sturgmomsays featuring gold jewellery
Monday was a “jeans day” at work.  Our school has a huge Relay for Life team, and one incentive for contributing a certain dollar amount to the team was to get a jeans day every Monday for the last 9 weeks of school.  Score!  I love dressing jeans up a little, and don’t usually have an occasion, but I do now!
Khaki Crops w/ Turquoise
Khaki Crops w/ Turquoise by sturgmomsays featuring brown twill pants
Tuesday’s goal was comfort.  Who am I kidding?  Every day is a day for comfort!  This outfit is pretty simple, but I was warm in my freezing office.  It probably helped that I took my fuzzy slippers to wear while I was at my desk.
Black and Red

 

Black and Red by sturgmomsays featuring leather shoes
Wednesday (today) was one of my favorite outfit formulas:  neutral with a fun colored pair of pants!
I’m so looking forward to a long weekend.  Can’t wait to share pics of the coordinated outfits my kiddos are wearing for Easter.  But still no idea what I’m going to wear!  I guess this weekend will call for a little extra shopping.
(Linking up with The Pleated Poppy)

Makeover Monday

In January 2012, I joined a 12-week weight loss competition at work.  I’ve struggled with my weight as far back as I can remember.  I’m sure I was a perfectly normal size in high school, but it seemed like all my friends were thinner than me, so I always felt like a whale.  Then, after the Freshman Fifteen (or Twenty), the Newlywed Nine(ty) (I just made that up), and having 3 babies in 4 1/2 years (fun fact: No numbers start with the letter P), I didn’t think I would ever be (what I considered) thin.

The weight loss competition turned out to be the perfect jump start I needed.  I lost 50 lbs. in a year and began working out regularly.  By January 2013 I was in the best shape of my life, but I started feeling burned out and tired.  By the time the summer 2013 ended, I had gained about 10 lbs.  Then, in September, a perfect storm of stress of a new job, general exhaustion, and illness caused me to quick attending the workout group I had attended almost daily for a year.  I found myself no longer paying attention to what I ate (as if it didn’t matter) and exercising in a manner that calling it “sporadic”  would be generous.

So, here I am.  Probably 25-30 lbs. heavier than I was a year ago and determined to whip myself back into shape.  Well, since round is a shape I guess I want to be a different shape.  The first decision I had to make was how to eat to lose weight.  Previously, I counted calories, but I wanted something healthier to ensure I wasn’t too restrictive in my eating.  I considered paleo, but needed something that would work better for our entire family.  After additional research, I decided to begin counting macros.

Macro counting functions on the basic premise that a calorie is still a calorie (so all foods are fair game), and a basic calorie deficit is what’s needed to lose weight.  However, your daily goal is to eat the correct amount of your macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) so that you lose fat and not muscle composition.  You can eat anything as long as it fits into your daily allotment of macros, but that doesn’t mean unlimited junk food.  For example, last week I was able to fit in a classic chicken sandwich at Chick-Fil-A, but didn’t have enough carb or fat macros left for the fries.  Eating this way is forcing me to eat WAY more protein than I normally would, and considerably fewer carbs, but I don’t feel too deprived.  The high amount of protein keeps my hunger at bay most of the day, but I can still eat my favorite foods, like peanut butter and cereal (I have HIGHLY refined taste buds), as long as I plan for it.

Trying to reach a target macro is like a puzzle that forces me to be creative.  Sometimes by the end of the day I need more protein and carbs, but I’m out of fat macros, so I eat fat-free refried beans, nonfat Greek yogurt, or fat-free cottage cheese.  Other times I need protein and fat, but I’m out of carb macros, so I get to eat cheese, peanut butter, or almonds.  I almost always need more protein, which has forced me to incorporate foods like tuna fish, cottage cheese, chicken, and eggs on a daily basis.

If you want to read more about counting macros, there are a few good articles here and here, but a cursory google search will turn up many more.  There is a handy macro calculator here, if you’re curious to see how many macros you should have daily.  I like to keep track of my food via a smartphone app, but I haven’t found one I love yet.  I used to use My Fitness Pal, but that app was being kind of ornery when I tried to manipulate the daily macros.  The current macro app I use is not something that I just LOVE because there aren’t enough foods in the database.  I have to add almost everything I eat manually.  If I find one I adore, I’ll be sure to pass it along.

If you count macros, how is it working for you?  What are some of your favorite high protein recipes?