I've always gone to a drug store to get my passport pictures done, "professionally". I was worried that I wouldn't be able to have the right size, spacing or focus to be accepted by the Department of State's Guidelines and that would set me back in the process. But looking over their website I realized that they never specified it had to be a $14.99 photo from Walgreen's, but rather the specifications were mostly regarding size, having a white background and not smiling.
So, in order to make the process easier (and cheaper!) on myself and my son, I decided to try to do it at home. I quickly grabbed my son one morning, put a fleece on him and zipped it up (he was still in his pajamas lol) and told him that we were going to take a picture so he could go on an airplane. Since he is a toddler boy and obsessed with all moving vehicles, that was enough incentive for my normally camera shy kid. I sat him on a stool adjacent to our kitchen oven and snapped a few shots:
As much as I enjoyed learning, I loathed the schedule. The very schedule I thought would be perfect for a mom, working part time on alternate days. It was hard to keep up with the schedule, I taught in the afternoons, arriving at school around noon. Some weeks it was Monday, Wednesday & Friday and others it was Tuesday & Thursday. I never caught on. Was I a stay at home mom? Or was I a working mom? Basically I was both and I felt like I couldn't keep up with either job description. Projects, grocery shopping and general housekeeping fell to the wayside as I squeezed in as many mom-like activities with my son on my days off. Other days I rushed out the door frazzled, trying to squeeze in grading, prepping, photocopying and meetings.
The wonderful thing about Aldi is it's price point on organic goods. I've been shopping at Aldi for about a year, and avoid going to the "regular" grocery store as often as I can, for fear of spending more on the same items I could buy at Aldi. People have asked me what it is exactly that I buy there, and how much cheaper is it, really? Throughout my time of shopping at Aldi, I discovered that I typically spend about $20-30 less per visit than at other grocery stores, all while buying many of the same items I would typically buy at any other store. In fact, I find that I am more apt to buy all organic at Aldi, whereas at another store I might skimp because of cost.
The reason Aldi is so much cheaper and concise is that they don't use brands for food. The foods they offer may very well be from a certain brand, but they are labeled with Aldi brands, similar to Trader Joe's (they are, by the way, owned by the same company as Trader Joe's). So, for example, you can buy Kind brand granola bars at Target for $3.09, but you can buy the same granola bar branded as an Elevation bar for $2.99. Or Organic Milk for example, a half gallon can be up to $5.49 at my local grocery store, whereas at Aldi, it comes at a price of $2.95. It makes eating organic affordable.
This past weekend I went with my sister and my sister in law to Boston for a fun handmade bouquet class. It was a beautiful spring day here in New England (finally!) and the florist we worked with was so helpful, I can't help but share some of her tips for keeping bouquets beautiful!
We started by going over the flowers we would use to make our bouquets. Included were:
During my time in the Bay Area I never knew about this gem. I discovered this hack via instagram and found it to be true during my last visit. You don't have to pay for entry into the de Young Museum, rather, you can walk past the admissions desk to the tower and ride the elevator to the observation deck for free. It offers 360 views of the city and the bay, it is stunning!
I am a yes (wo)man, especially when it comes to health kicks so of course I opted to try a cup of her tumeric tea when she offered it. I was expecting it to be bitter and strange, as I've only really consumed tumeric in curries, but it was surprisingly sweet and delicious. I felt great afterwards and found myself wanting to refill my mug. During my stay at her house we drank it daily, and since returning home two weeks ago, I haven't stopped yet. I find myself in the routine of making this every morning when I first get up. I like the routine, but mostly I like the way I feel starting each day off on a health kick.
As I slowly approach what would have been my due date, it still feels like I've been through an entire pregnancy. Turns out, I've been pregnant the entire time, only just with grief. It's almost as if I thought the pain would go away, but instead it grew with me every month that passed during the time I was supposed to be pregnant. What would have been a life is just the shadow of sadness over mine.
Within the span of 48 hours I discovered I was likely to experience a miscarriage and made it to the other side. I became a statistic. I became the 1 in 4 women who experiences pregnancy loss. It was strange to experience this loss because I pride myself in healthy living, and come from a long and fertile line of women. This miscarriage has been an emotional whirlwind, the following months were a complete blur and only now do I feel some clarity regarding the situation.
In an effort to better equip other women who may either experience a miscarriage or know someone who does, I decided to document what it was like to miscarry, because it was surprisingly traumatic and painful. I even took a few pics, because it was all so overwhelming, and mostly because I had never seen anything like it.
Ever since I turned 30 I've started to notice a few signs of aging: mostly the wrinkles around my eyes when I laugh (which is a lot). In a perfect world I'd never show signs of aging, or I'd whisk away the possibility with a quick dose of botox. But in an effort to live healthier and happier, I've really worked to switch out my beauty products for more organic options, unfortunately Botox doesn't fall into that category. As a young mother, I want my beauty to routine to be simple, effortless and effective all at once, that's not too much to ask, is it?! I've been researching and trying all sorts of products this past year, but here are the 5 I keep coming back to:
Healthy living, simplified.