It was Buttercup’s first birthday this weekend! We had a Hello Kitty themed party for family and friends to commemorate the occasion. And it true “bad blogger” form, I was too preoccupied getting everything set up to take pictures, so if you have some good ones from the day, please feel free to send them to me!
She grew up way too stinking fast. And since this is the last first birthday party I’ll ever have to throw, I wanted to do a REAL party. With, like, decorations and planning and stuff.
Prepping the night before:
Hello Kitty totally threw up all over our living room.
Even Olive got all festive.
I still can’t figure out how to take a good picture of a black dog. She’s all shadow.
Anyway, the kids put on their party hats and were ready for a good time!
Squish was ALL ABOUT the hats. Buttercup, not so much. But how cute is this “Birthday Hat” my sister crochet for her?!?
She clearly did not appreciate it as much as we did.
But she did appreciate the cake. She started with dainty little finger-dips in the frosting before digging in with both hands.
It was a great party!
Happy birthday to our little miss Princess Strawberry Mochi Cream Puff Buttercup!
I meant to do a post on Wednesday. But then I forgot. Then I wrote a post for Thursday, but Squish came home from preschool with a fever and that didn’t go up. So now we’re going to cram everything in on Friday. Wheee!
I started out Tuesday with some yoga. Or as I like to call it, yogahhhhh …
I found a studio that has a 6:00 am yoga class once a week, which I figure I can handle getting up that early for yoga once a week.
Then Squish and I admired the neighborhood fog. Look, trees are finally changing color in California!
I’ve been doing a TON of Starbucks lately. It’s just too convenient to swing through the local shop in between preschool drop off and commuting across the bridge to work to grab a Christmas blend and a double smoked bacon sandwich. I’m savoring the convenience now.
New favorite coffee break snack. Just the right amount of chocolate-y goodness, marketed like it’s actually healthy and not a candy bar. It’s a candy bar. But with fruit!
Meanwhile on the baby front, she’s turning one year old on Sunday. And standing. Honey, remember what mommy said about growing up, about just stop?
She stands up unassisted for a few seconds, then plops back down. It’s great fun!
I’m off to get everything ready for a certain little miss’s big birthday bash. Go make it a great weekend!
Disclosure: I was provided The Level from Fluidstance for a product review. All opinions are my own.
A few weeks ago, I changed to a standing desk at work. I switched to a standing desk because I read so much internet fodder proclaiming its benefits, and I did notice some aches and pains developing that I attributed to my 12+ hours a day seated in a chair. Overall, I have really liked the switch. Sure, I can’t really wear heels to work anymore, but I never really did before anyway.
But aside from the usual transition period gradually building up and finding that sweet spot of standing time vs sitting time that works with my body, I discovered an unexpected side effect of my standing desk time.
Standing is boring. It just is.
And if I couple standing with some really mind-numbing work task such as spreadsheet work or data cleanup, it makes my day nearly unbearable. Normally I’m a super-geek that loves this kind of stuff, but when coupled with standing I get So. Very. Bored. I want to cry. That bored.
How is it that before I’m able to happily crank on the gangsta rap and churn away, but now when I’m standing I want to scream? Well, I’ve noticed that for me, sitting disengages a lot of sensations for me. To compensate, I’m not a passive sitter. I tap my fingers, jiggle my feet, and do other subtle and possibly cube-mate enraging fidgety movements when I’m sitting. But when I’m standing I just … stand there. This makes it harder for me to “zone out” and get to that trance-like place that work involving intensive concentration takes. Which makes me rage-y.
I had no solutions for this issue other than to limit my standing to email or other less brain-intense tasks. Which was lame, because I want to stand. Which is why I was stoked to try out The Level by Fluidstance*.
The Level is a balance board designed for standing desks, gaming stations, and pretty much anywhere you just stand around at a desk or table. It has a sand cast aluminum frame and wood finish options to match your office environment or personal taste. Think of it like a skateboard and BOSU ball had a love child, and you stand on the flat part and balance on the round-ish part.
When I stand on The Level to work at my standing desk, it subtly engages my whole body to balance. I can rock, swivel, or if I’m feeling really plucky spin around in a 360. I don’t really notice that my body is working any more than standing, but according to the Fluidstance website when studied, standing on The Level showed a 15% increase in heart rate than sitting at desk which is pretty cool. But who cares about health and science when my body can swivel and surf around while my brain is working?
It also has a very elegant design in a modern office.
The Level has really upped my game at work, and has made the standing desk an entertaining perk instead of the groan-worthy accessory I insisted on for my “health” as it was starting to become for me. Hooray, work is fun again!
If you’re interested in The Level or for more information about the benefits of standing desks, check out the Fluidstance website. They also have an interesting blog I’ve been following too if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’m off to go see how many times I can spin around now. Go make it a great day!
*Note: these are not affiliate links, I just want to point you to the right info and save you a Google search!
The other morning I didn’t get a chance to consume the umpteen cups of coffee I normally do while getting everyone up and out the door, so I am going to blame all of the following on reduced mental facilities.
I dropped off Squish at daycare and proceeded to autopilot on the drop off routine: help him put away his backpack and coat, sign him in, chat with his teacher, give Squish a hug goodbye, and leave. Well, he wandered to the classroom while I was chatting with his teacher, so when I went to leave my brain said, “hug time!” and I attempted to hug her goodbye instead of Squish. Fortunately, she’s a hugger but it was still pretty weird.
Then I got to work and as I stepped on my Level at my desk, I noticed something was off.
I have mismatched shoes on. I guess from now on I need to store these similar-styled shoes far away from each other in my closet.
At this point I decided to go grab a much-needed cup of coffee from the office kitchen. While there, a coworker came in and said what I thought was “how are you?” Taking the opportunity to be more conversational with people (eww, people), I answered the question at length, including my thoughts on the weather and other polite topics. Through his deer-in-the-headlights reaction, I realized that what he actually said was “excuse me,” since I was standing right in front of the fridge, chatting away as he was patiently waiting to get the milk out to add to his coffee. He probably needed coffee more than I did.
I wish I could say this all happened on a Monday. Or at least over several days. Nope, just all in one morning. Just doing what I can to maintain the “awkward situations” balance of the universe!
Yesterday’s post was a bit on the downer side. Let’s perk things up, shall we?
I know I should “respect the bird” and hold off until at least November 27th for this, but …. I am so excited for the holidays this year. Freakishly excited for Christmas to be specific. Like, I can’t sleep I’m so excited, which means 42 days of excitement-induced sleep deprivation until my sugarplum dreams are realized. But who’s counting?
It’s our first season in the new house, and I can’t wait to rope the kids in with all the festivities that will become our family traditions – decorations, wrapping gifts, cocoa by the fireplace, baking cookies (or non-sweet treats depending on how “Paleo” I’m feeling), and getting the tallest, most massive tree our vaulted ceiling can take. Hulk has already enforced a strict “lighting budget” on me after I detailed out my plans on how I want to decorate the front yard in Christmas lights. It’s fine if planes flying overhead mistake our house for a landing strip, right?
Plus, if I start all the decorating and planning now, that’s less on my mind when it comes time to actually celebrating. I really want to just sit back and enjoy the holidays. Last year Buttercup was super teeny tiny, so I kept things really simple.
So simple in fact, I just checked and I have no pictures from Christmas last year. That one was New Year’s Eve. But you get the idea.
Anyway, Before that, we were in our downtown SF apartment and there just wasn’t the space to really go all out.
So I’m pretty pumped to see what I can do this year. And it’s Olive’s first Christmas, so we must make sure to establish firm canine traditions so she knows what to expect from now on.
Now it’s time to inventory the tree ornaments to see what didn’t survive the move.
I’ve had a bit of “bloggers block” for a while now. I think about blogging frequently throughout the day, then become paralyzed when I actually have time to sit down and write. I’m having a hard time sticking to things, and with my inconsistency I feel silly talking about all of my failed attempts at Whole30, running, and other pet projects I like to announce with little follow up. It’s hard for me to blog when I don’t feel like I have a theme or direction. Sure, I can just blog about life, but it feels too personal to let everyone in to the hot mess that is my daily existence. Although entertaining, I’ll give it that.
Then I had a bit of a freak-out moment the other day at a party when an acquaintance casually mentioned to me, “So I read your blog the other day …” because suddenly I felt so exposed and vulnerable. You READ it? I sort of made up in my head the only people that read this are anonymous internet people, bloggy friends I’ve never met in person, and my mom (hi, Mom!) because otherwise I would never blog. I write this blog because this is the stuff I am not always comfortable talking about with real life humans. But of course it’s public on the internet, I share it on Facebook with people I know in Real Life, so I shouldn’t be surprised when I get Likes and Shares on my Facebook page from relatives and friends or a coworker stumbles across it. But it’s scary. This is who I am in my own head, and it’s hard to let go of the comfortable control I have over it once it’s on the internet. But I know my discomfort is coming from a place I’m trying to work on anyway, that “eww, people” part of me that refuses to be open with others.
So I talked to Hulk about how I felt when people read my blog and how freaked out I am. He calmed me of my worries, and with a laugh mentioned how funny it is that I get so wrapped up thinking about things that nobody cares about. Which made me laugh, because it’s so true. No one cares. Not in a “poor me” sense, but in a “don’t worry about what others think” kind of way. So I write a blog. And people read it. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? I guess it’s the same panic or fear that artists get when unveiling their work. This is who I am, please don’t hate it.
So I’m not consistent. I don’t have perfectly searchable tags on my posts. I probably talk about the same stuff over and over again with no reference. I’m all over the place with daily life posts, pictures of my lunch, dogs and kids, product reviews, other randomness, and proclamations of fun linkups or themes that I promptly forget about. It’s a hot mess. And so is my life. At least that’s consistent! And it’s fun. So as long as everyone is having a good time, let’s party.
Go make it a great day!
Last week, I teamed up with my husband to complete 30 consecutive days of working out. I made it through two whole days, then dropped the initiative. When I realized that it wasn’t happening, I was super annoyed with myself. Really? Again? I even buddied up with Hulk and publicly announced it this time on the blog. Why was it so hard to follow through with a commitment like this?
When I first read Better than Before several months ago, and learned about the Four Tendencies framework, I assumed I was an Obliger. I have a hard time following my own rules and expectations, but I thought I was better at doing what others tell me. So I started planning my new habits around that framework, leveraging external accountability by getting other people or organizations to set my own expectations. But you know what? Even when I have a deadline, announce a goal, or rope in my well-meaning family to hold me accountable, I still don’t always follow through. What is wrong with me?
Then I realized … I’m a Rebel. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I have to completely fly by the seat of my pants and my own motivation, which absolutely kills my plan-loving, spreadsheet-preparing, live-by-the-clock-and-calendar self. Because I only plan, spreadsheet, and live by the clock and calendar when I feel like it. And that right there just absolutely screams “Rebel” with day-glo glitter embossed highlighting.
Wow. I have no idea what to do with this information. Basically, there’s no way to get me to do anything unless I want to do it. Which explains a lot, actually.
Have you read Better than Before? Did your tendency surprise you?
As always, make it a great day (or if you’re a Rebel like me, make it a great day if you want to … or not … whatever, it’s up to you)!
While I’ve been feeling pretty good about life in general, I’ve noticed that a lot of healthy habits have been slipping. Despite constantly thinking about what I need to do, I’ve only been working out about once a week on average, and I may have had corn dogs for breakfast the other morning in a rush to get out the door. Darn adulty things and poor planning keep getting in the way.
I know I don’t have it in me to do a Whole30 yet. With the rabid Holiday season upon us now, I have some even to go to or host every weekend until New Year’s, including both of my kids’ birthdays.
I know I need to do something to pull my healthy habits back on track. I’ve been listening to the audiobook version of Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin on my commute to try and inspire me, and decided a challenge with some at-home support sounded like a good idea. So Hulk and I cobbled together what I’m calling a Workit30 (in homage to the Whole30), a 30 day challenge to work out every day.
Here are the rules:
Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes
Any moderate to high intensity exercise counts – running, weights, power or flow yoga, HIIT drills, etc
Low-impact stuff like walking only counts as a recovery day, and must be preceeded and followed by a moderately or high intense workout day
Warm-up, mobility work, and stretching/light yoga are encouraged, but don’t count towards the 30 minute minimum time
We started on November 5th. I went on a 2 mile run/walk using my Couch to 5k app. I have literally been doing a couch to 5k for ten months now, because I never finish the program, and when I want to get back into it I just restart at Day 1.
This morning I threw some weights around in the home gym. Olive participated by selecting random trash bits on the floor to chew up in her favorite garage spot, the trampoline.
Squats 3×10 @ 45lb
Bench press 3×10 @ 45lb
Assisted pull ups, 1×8
deadlift, 3×10 @ 45lb
Kettlebell swings, 1×10 @ 35 lb
I’m hoping by the end of the 30 days I’ll have more of a rhythm going when it comes to working out, and maybe get a bit of my strength back. Let me know if you want to join in, or if you’re doing a similar challenge right now.
This weekend, like most of America, we celebrated Halloween over here.
Gramma made the kids’ costumes, as she is a professional costume designer and has all the sweet hookups to obtain authentic gear. Squish LOVED his “real” fireman uniform complete with boots and a tool belt. Buttercup was less enthused about having to put on her Dalmatian puppy suit, but once she was in it she was pretty snuggly. And it had a super long tail, all the better for chewing/drooling on.
Squish came down with a touch of the flu on Thursday, so we had to skip out on a birthday party Friday night, and I wasn’t sure if trick-or-treating was on the agenda until Sunday afternoon when I was sure his mild fever wouldn’t be making a reappearance. He was a little slow, but still had a blast trick-or-treating with a pack of new neighborhood kids.
Or Auntie ‘Manda as a “Lazy Wizard”.
Sunday was my real birthday, but Squish’s flu had caught up to everyone else so it was a chill day. We went to brunch, then Amanda and I went out for some sister gossip and mani-pedis. Then while everyone was napping I went on a six mile hike out around Lake Chabot. It did not suck.
It’s been a while since I hiked that much, I think since our Alaska trip (which I’m still procrastinating on finishing the recap on. Only been two months, so whatever). Given that we are so close to some great day hike trails, I really need to take advantage of the great outdoors more often.
I’m pretty pumped about turning 33 this year. Normally I’m pretty “meh” about birthdays, but this year feels different. I’m pretty confident this is going to be a great year for me. Mostly because last week I decided that I was done with therapy. Yahoo! I’ve talked about it here and there, and I’ll probably put together an “ask-me-anything” type post on it one of these days, but I’ve been going to therapy for my postpartum depression since March. Lately I’ve felt that I have turned a corner, and decided to take the proverbial training wheels off and ride my own cognitive bike. While I may go back to therapy in the future if I need it, it feels pretty good to feel like I’ve made progress, and have the time and headspace to start working on other stuff now. Like blogging! And maybe exercise. Or I could do the laundry. The possibilities are endless!