Dress Each Other Challenge

A while back Husband came across an article about a girl that let her boyfriend dress her for a week. He thought it was funny and asked if I’d ever let him dress me for a week. “Sure” I responded. I mean, why not? Husband has good taste and a good sense of style. He can pick out shoes I like and manages to dress himself well. As long as there’s nothing too important happening that week, I’d let him dress me. However, we soon forgot about the article and went on with our boring dress-ourselves lives.

Fast forward a year or so and the topic came up again. This time I decided we should try it, but only if I get to dress him too. So, the day after we got back from Texas we began picking out each other’s clothes. First, we had to establish a few rules.

1. It must be weather appropriate.

2. It must be occasion appropriate.

3. My outfit has to be breast-feeding friendly.

We dressed each other from head-to-toe for 7 days, and took to Instagram to create a contest. I let my friends on Instagram vote on who dressed who best, but then I thought some of you may want to put in your two cents. So today, the last day of our contest, I am posting all 7 of our photos so you can decide for yourself…who dressed who best?

Day 1 was an immediate disaster. I do not know what is wrong with Husband. How does someone who typically dresses himself so stylish fail so miserably at dressing me?! It began with him pulling out neon and floral together and me making disgusted faces and asking “Seriously?!” After a half-hour of me being horrified and Husband getting frustrated we created a couple more rules…

4. You must wear what the other person chooses without argument.

5. The “stylist” is allowed to make changes once their person is dressed because sometimes what you think will look great just doesn’t.

It was impossibly hard for me to not critique Husband’s choices. So instead of arguing with what he pulled out of the closest I just asked a few simple questions. Questions like this…

You know that’s my lingerie drawer, right? Do you want me to wear the neon pink bra under the white shirt? Did you know it’s 40 degrees outside? So, these 5-inch heels are for the grocery store? Do I get to wear shoes? Am I supposed to breastfeed in that? Pearls? Really?

Husband was less than thrilled with me, but really… this was his first outfit

Yup, there is a corset with garters under that see-through neon top. See what I'm dealing with here?

Yup, there is a corset with garters under that see-through neon top. See what I’m dealing with here?

Thankfully, he only improved after this first attempt. Here’s Days 1 through 7.

Day 1: We both dressed each other up for a fancy family dinner.

Day 1: We both dressed each other up for a fancy family dinner.

Day 2:  We went more casual for a day of shopping and running errands.

Day 2: We went more casual for a day of shopping and running errands.

Day 3: We went in completely opposite directions.

Day 3: We went in completely opposite directions.

Day 4: the lighting in this photo is awful, but we accidentally dressed each other in the exact same colors.

Day 4: the lighting in this photo is awful, but we accidentally dressed each other in the exact same colors.

Day 5: Easter Sunday! Clearly, Luna is best dressed here.

Day 5: Easter Sunday! Clearly, Luna is best dressed here.

Day 6: It's starting to get very challenging and a little less fun.

Day 6: It’s starting to get very challenging and a little less fun.

Day 7: Hallelujah, the end!

Day 7: Hallelujah, the end!

It actually wasn’t too bad to have my Husband dress me for a week. It was kind of a relief to not worry about what I was going to wear. Plus, he got me to wear some things I have neglected forever. But, let’s talk about what really matters…who won? Please vote “Hil” if you think I’m the best stylist and vote “Pete” if Husband is the best. We are both too competitive and we need a winner. Although, we haven’t decided what the winner/loser gets…any suggestions?

Vote for me!

Cheers!

 

 

Down by the Bayou

While visiting friends and family in Texas last week we had a crawfish boil! Crawfish boils are crazy popular where I grew up. Most of us are at least part Cajun and either had or were invited to crawfish boils for basically every occasion in the spring. Easter, Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Graduation, Memorial weekend or any get together that consisted of 4 or more people usually involves crawfish, corn and potatoes this time of year. It’s glorious.

flower

 

Since, this is a southern and mostly Cajun tradition I miss it dearly every year. People in the north jus don’t get it. My parents understand the importance of good spicy food so they put together a boil the second they knew we were coming to visit. Lots of family came over and we managed to eat 120 pounds of crawfish.

crawfish

Every time we have a crawfish boil or barbecue my Dad’s side-by-side manages to make an appearance too. Almost everyone took a ride through the yard, around the neighborhood and down to the bayou. I let my 5-year-old cousin control the wheel while I controlled the gas. Luna even had her first ride around the yard.

sidebysode

 

peter

Speaking of my little cousin, Abby, she was so in love with Luna! She followed me around all day wanting to hold her, comfort her, carry her, change her and even breastfeed her! She was completely intrigued when I had to feed her and by the end of the day she was convinced she could to do it too. I told her she needed to be a Mommy first, but she insisted she “could just try it, just one time!”

abby

Of course it was also a day for lots of our family to meet Luna. She was a little overwhelmed with all the traveling, meeting new people, parties and rides, but everyone still loved her fussy butt.

dana aunt mimi joe hat

Anyone else have a special tradition or something they like to do when visiting family?

Cheers!

 

Hoppy Easter!

happy easter

We celebrated Easter today by having some family and friends over for brunch. My friends Sara is in town from Nebraska, staying with us and helped me cook and get everything ready for our guests. It was a potluck brunch with a crepe bar, a crazy amount of toppings, salmon, monkey bread, fruit salad, bagels, cookies, coffee and mimosas. It was sooooooo good, like so good I don’t even regret the extra 8,000 calories I consumed.

probably should have uncovered the foil-covered crepes for the photo...

probably should have uncovered the foil-covered crepes for the photo…

guests

 
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I really enjoy having people over and hosting parties. It’s the same feeling I got when planning a new theme  in my classroom. I get to plan out the menu, decorate, coordinate everything, send out invites and basically have everything under my control. (mwahahaha)

table

this idea from Pinterest was so easy and cute

this idea from Pinterest was so easy and cute

After the brunch half of us drove to one of the local parks for a 3 mile walk. Our weather has been unbelievable this weekend! It finally feels like spring and I am loving it! It was so sunny we actually had to use sunscreen. Okay, I didn’t actually use sunscreen, but other people did… same thing.

granny white dandelions

this dog LOVES chasing sticks...all sizes

this dog LOVES chasing sticks…all sizes

Then, because we are badasses we all worked out together. Of course, we mostly did this because our friend Bella is a machine, workouts more than anyone I know and looks like a superhero, so when she asks us to workout with her we always say yes. You don’t tell superhero’s no.

workout

Easter day ended with another phenomenal home cooked meal by Sara, a Disney movie, some hair-chalking (more on that soon!) and tummy time with my favorite girl!

So strong! I cannot get enough time with this precious baby.

So strong! I cannot get enough time with this precious baby.

Such a good day.

Cheers!

 

 

Postnatal Workout Update

Alright, we did it. We completed the first 5 weeks of Focus T25, the “alpha” round, as it’s called. I have eaten healthier, not exactly healthy all the time, but healthier. In fact, didn’t eat any chips, except while we were in Texas. But, how can anyone go to the land of Tex-Mex and not eat chips and salsa?! They couldn’t and wouldn’t. Actually, we did a great job sticking to our “get healthy” postnatal workout plan except the time spent in Texas. We were on vacation and visiting family so we may have splurged a little when it came to food aannndd we may have missed a couple of workouts. Woops.

Even after having an entire “cheat week” I am still seeing results and feeling stronger. This T25 business is for real. It is an intense workout with zero breaks and I am still sore almost daily, especially after double days! Speaking of double days I’d like to point out this isn’t exactly a 25 minute workout.. Monday through Thursday is a 25 minute workout with a 2 -3 minute cool down. I guess you could skip the cool down if you are really set on only doing 25 minutes. Then, Fridays are “double days”, meaning you do not one, but two of the 25 minute workouts plus both cool downs. So, Fridays are basically an hour. Again, you could just skip the 2nd workout, but it seems silly to do the program, but not do it full out.

t25

Since we have a newborn there have been some challenges added to our daily workout regimen. Sometimes I squeeze in a workout while Luna naps, sometimes she’s happy to watch us from her oscillating chair and sometimes I have to stop halfway through to tend to her and finish the second half later. We often even hold her during the cool-down or while doing some modifications. “Whatever it takes” and “no excuses” are our mottos lately.

My health is better too. I am down from 16 blood pressure pills after having Luna to only 2 a day, and I will hopefully be down to zero in the next month. Yay me! I also feel 90% back to normal.

We still have about 2 months left (the beta and the gamma rounds), but here’s my progress so far:

sideshot

1month

First picture is 6 weeks postpartum and second picture is 11 weeks postpartum.

I’m 11 weeks postpartum and I’m proud of my progress and hard-work. I’d like to see my abs tone up, but I think that won’t happen until I really cut out the crap in my diet. Can’t wait to see how strong I am at the end of this program. I hope to be 100% feeling normal, off all my blood pressure medicine, happy and healthy!

Cheers!

New Friend Friday: Meet Stacey!

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to someone I have known since I was very young. In fact, she was actually close friends with my older sister. Nowadays, the two of us keep up through Facebook and one anothers’ blogs. This productive and creative friend of mine is a stay-at-home Mom of 3 who blogs and runs her own (Mom Upcycles) Etsy shop. She is super thrifty and crafty and blogs about how to turn the crap you would have thrown away into a holiday wreath or a new sweater. I’m getting ahead of myself. I should just let her tell you everything! Oh and she’s giving away one of her beautiful hand-embroidered hoops to one of you, don’t miss your chance to enter!

Meet Stacey:

I’m so excited to have been asked to contribute to Hilarie’s amazing blog! Thank you!

I am often asked, “how do you manage it all?” The blog (which has been on my back burner as I work on my new shop, with only once-a-week posts), Facebook and Instagram social networking, my new Etsy shop, cooking, cleaning, a marriage, 2 babies under 3 and a teenager, not to mention our monthly 4 hour round-trips in to see family. (Whew, that was a lot to type!)

Well, a hint is that I’m typing this in the notepad app on my iphone.

In my yoga pants.

With a baby in my arms.

The answer is that I don’t manage it all. I do the best I can, in the best way I know how, and have made peace with that.  This post is to reassure all the moms out there who may feel like they are failing if they can’t do everything that they are NOT a failure, and that it’s okay to do what you can, when you can.

I dream of leisurely days, where I can awaken, have a hot cup of coffee, shower, get dressed in real clothes, put on a bit of makeup, fix my hair, clean up the house, and then get to my other pursuits–my blog, shop, and social marketing and networking.  That’s all a day like that is, though–a nice dream.

The reality of my day goes like this:

Awaken to a baby crying, nurse her, give her something to play with so that I can put on a T-shirt and yoga pants or jeans if they are handy. Run a brush through my hair. Change the baby, set her in her bouncer, make coffee. Catch up on social media while I finish half of my coffee. At this point, my 2 year-old cries and I get him out of bed, to the potty, and his breakfast made. Finish my now-cold coffee. Run up to brush my teeth, run back down to tend to my usually needing-to-be changed baby. The toddler demands his last few bite of oatmeal be fed to him (please, let this stage pass soon), and then he’s off to play. This usually consists of him pulling out every toy he owns and littering it around the house. I start a load of laundry at this point, and throw whatever is in the dryer on my sofa to be folded later…much later.

IMG_4237

example of my chaos

I recently signed my toddler up for ABC Mouse online, so I do a lesson with him at this point and my next activity depends on if he is playing independently or not and if the baby is content. If both are true, I usually try to work on stitching an outstanding order. More often than not, though, my stitching waits for naps.  I’ll do some social marketing and networking during lulls in the day, usually. Also, while rocking the baby, I work online (like now). My Etsy shop requires daily maintenance, and my husband and I are even working on my very own store front as an alternate way people can shop for things he and I make, so that adds more online work.

Around 5:30, my teenage son comes downstairs to sit with the babies while I cook dinner.  I do enjoy cooking, and making my family home-cooked meals is important to me, so I rely on simple meals, many of which you can find in my blog. My slow cooker is my best friend. I also love “cook once, eat twice” meals. If all else fails, grilled cheese and tomato soup are a standard fall-back for dinner. I manage dinner by meal planning each week. I know exactly which meals I’m making, and shop for them, so there is no guesswork at dinner time.

The day goes on in much the same fashion, until bed time. My kids are big night owls, so this is usually around 8:30-9:30. Finally, ME time!

This is when I take my bath, package up orders that need to go out, work on things that require the desktop upstairs (a laptop is on my wish list), sew, and/or stitch as needed.  I go to sleep at around midnight every night.

IMG_4239

stitching up an order

The bottom line? No, I can’t be Super Girl. I can’t do it all. Things that are sacrificed in my life are housework and sleep.

My house generally looks like a train wreck and is in desperate need of a deep clean, and my laundry will never be caught up (did I mention that until recently, I cloth diapered two babies and now cloth diaper one?) but I refuse to worry too much about it.

My husband is incredibly supportive and helps me clean on the weekends, and my teenage son is a great help to me during the week, doing small chores like dishes, and picking up items on the floor, most nights.  It’s a team effort in my house, and I’m really lucky to have an understanding partner.  He doesn’t get angry about the mess and always makes me feel like I’m doing important work.

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As for the sleep? Well, I have 2 children under 3, that I’ve exclusively breast-fed. I wasn’t sleeping much anyway, haha! I am also a night-owl and the night time had ways been my favorite time.

I make it work; we make it work.  Some months we may not get to make the drive in to see family, and hopefully they’ll make the drive our way, or we’ll catch them the next month. Some nights are spent frantically picking up debris around the house, because I can’t take another second of clutter. Some evenings we have deli pizza or takeout.

My best advice for moms who are trying to maintain a household and a business, crafting, blog, strict fitness regimen, etc, is to not feel like you need to do and be everything. Let some things slide. You are human and your happiness matters.  A creative or physical outlet can be the difference in a happy mom and wife and a miserable one.  Surround yourself with people who understand this, and live your life doing the things you need to do to be happy.

I’ll end this with my very favorite poem, which is on my “to be stitched” list:

Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing and butter the bread,

Sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!

 

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby, loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due

(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew

And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo

But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.

Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.

I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.

 

Thank you Stacey! AND thank you for offering this giveaway…

photo 2

Stacey will send one of you this beautiful embroidered hoop and all you have to do to enter is:

1. Follow Positively Panicked and Mom Upcycles blogs.

2. Follow Positively Panicked and Mom Upcycles on Facebook.

3. Comment below and tell me where you’d like to hang this embroidered hoop. (I’d personally like this one in my entryway!)

photo 1

I’ll select the winner on Monday, April 28th. Good luck to everyone and don’t forget to check out Mom Upcycle’s Etsy store for more hand embroidered items.

Thank you Stacey for your wise words…I’m always learning from you!

Cheers!

Cloth Diaper Winner!

onesize

Yay! I get to giveaway another cool thing to one of you, woohoo! Now, before announcing the winner of the amazing Thirsties new one size pocket diaper I want to remind you all that the winner is chosen randomly by a name generator I find online. I very often want to pick the winner because of the cute comment, or the fact that I know them or because they’ve entered all my giveaway and have yet to win, but alas I never choose myself. It just wouldn’t be fair. Instead I let something cute and ridiculous like the fruit machine select a name a random.

Tonight, the fruit machine name generator selected one of you to win a diaper that Thirsties was nice enough to let me review, and the winner is….

Wanting to win for a friend who is due in July and wanting to go cloth.

Congrats Alicia! I hope your friend loves her gift and cloth diapering as well. Just email me your mailing info (positivelypanicked@gmail.com) and I will pass along your info to Thirsties!

clothdiaper

Stay tuned because I have LOTS of exciting reviews, giveaways, stories and whatnot coming up. Thank you to everyone who entered and huge thanks to Thirsties!

Cheers!

On the Boardwalk

kemah

While in Texas we decided to hit up Kemah and enjoy lunch on the Boardwalk. Kemah is a small town on Galveston Bay and is just a little south of Houston. There are lots of small towns in Texas, but they don’t all have the party on the water atmosphere Kemah has. The most exciting part of Kemah is definitely the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk has many popular restaurants, theme park style rides, food and drink carts, games, water activities and lots of little shops.

carasoul

We ate seafood from the Flying Dutchmen with a nice view of the bay.

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?

Afterwards we (well me mostly) had to have some Starbucks.

Luna and PawPaw enjoying some bonding time over coffee.

Luna and PawPaw enjoying some bonding time over coffee.

It was sunny and 80 degrees in Kemah that day so we spent the afternoon walking up and down the boardwalk, feeding fish, watching birds, window shopping and enjoying the warm weather that I miss soooo much. It was actually sunny enough that my shoulders got red…can’t even remember the last time I felt weather like this.

catfish boardwalk bird

It was a nice relaxing day with just the family. We don’t get many days like this, which just makes these moments even more special. I just can’t wait until Luna is old enough to get on the roller coasters with me. Scratch that…I can wait. She’s already growing way too fast!

looks like trouble...

looks like trouble…

the family

the family

Cheers!