Big Happenings

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I know I have said this before but isn’t it true when it rains it pours? Well we haven’t even hit the rainy season here in the Pacific Northwest but we are drenched. This month has been crazy with opportunity and big happenings.

As most of you know I am sort of obsessed with babywearing and although I don’t talk about it too much on RWT you can find me tweeting, instagraming, chatting about it on Facebook and blogging about it over on Naturally Family. For a few months now I have been thinking about becoming a babywearing educator and what do you know a local instructor was hosting a (last minute) educator certification course. Since the instructor had no plans of holding another course anytime soon and I really don’t have the time or money to travel to Utah for the course I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately Neil couldn’t take of work so Edith had to attend the four day course and it just happened to be right before our family getaway so needless to say we had a busy week.

To top it all off the week before my babywearing instructor course we happened to find a new rental. I know you’re thinking um didn’t you just move? Well yes we did but Neil got a new job (he was on contract now full time) so we are moving closer to his work. If you aren’t familiar with the Portland rental scene it’s brutal. Basically if you find a place you have to apply for it immediately and be ready to move in within about a week. So here we are back from our weekend away and we are in full on packing mode. Right now I am taking a much needed break from packing and cleaning to write this blog post while Edith naps.

For the past 8 months we have lived in a part of town that we hate, in an apartment that just didn’t feel like home, Neil was working on contract at a job he didn’t care for and then he found a job that he really enjoys but the commute has taken a toll on our family time, my work time, our workout time, our alone time and our partner time.

So here we are moving to a new beautiful townhome and I am starting a new journey as a babywearing educator. It’s a crazy time here right now but I’m so excited for our new beginning. Our home is in an area of town that is extremely walkable, it is closer in style and location to our dream home and I can already feel the stresses of Neil’s daily 3 hour commute starting to burn off. It’s amazing how just changing our career focus and living somewhere that makes you happier heals your soul.

What is happening in your life? Please share I’d love to hear!

Random Thoughts

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1. Running with friends is actually fun especially when it’s beautiful outside and they are also pushing a jogging stroller.

2. The weather is supposed to be insanely beautiful and warm this weekend so obviously that means we should go to the Oregon Coast.

3. Spontaneous trips means our fridge full of food won’t be eaten so I must make a dent in it today with some juicing and lunches….I should probably go work on that. Unfortunately it also means we are probably going to waste some things, not something I like to do.

4. Leaving the house means I should probably find something besides yoga pants to wear…it also means I should probably do laundry like now.

5. I finally feel like I got my running mojo back. I feel like a runner again.

Moving Out of My Comfort Zone

Lately I have been really stepping out of my comfort zones, pushing myself a little bit, whether it is to talk with other parents at OMSI, attend MeetUp groups or pushing myself to run harder or faster.

The other night for example I went out for the first time alone in Portland. I went to an event by myself, no friends, no husband no baby. I was shaking in my boots as I walked through the door but I was determined to spend my few ours sans bebe having a good time because I mean really would it have been worth it if I hadn’t?

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I checked in to the event, received my drink tickets and headed to the bar to get some liquid courage aka a beer. I attempted to strike up a conversation with another lady who seemed to be at the event by herself as well but in the end she just wasn’t interested in talking and quickly got her drink and found her friends. I honestly felt like I went to the bar alone and was trying to pick up, but in this case I was just trying to make friendly with other women at the event.motherrunnerbeer

I moved on and decided to go over to the merch table where I ended up buying myself two tops, retail therapy much? Again I tried talking with some of the women at the table but everyone seemed to be more interested in their friends who they came with.  At this point I was feeling pretty rejected but was determined not to give up (yet).

I walked over to a new are and saw a group of women sitting on an L-shaped couch near where the presentation would be happening.  There was one seat open on the end so I asked if anyone was sitting there and sat down hoping to strike up a conversation with them but again they were very into their small group discussion already.  At this point I looked around the room and everyone was grouped off and it was at the point where the rejection had set in and I really had no desire to try and interject myself into someone elses conversation (again). I decided to just sip my beer and wait for the presentation to start.

Then it happened. Someone who also was attending the event alone sat on the stairs next to me.  I had never been happier to see another (lonely) person, after how the night had been going. We got to talking and had a great conversation while we waited for the presentation. We talked about running, races, a little about family and moving.  It was so nice to connect with another mom about something other than breastfeeding and baby bowel movements. I can’t say that I walked away with a long lasting friendship, honestly I can’t remember her name (mommy brain much?), but I did have a great conversation.

A few things that I took away from this experience:

  • If an event is at a bar with (free) drinks flowing it doesn’t make people more open to talking.
  • If an event is at a bar next time I will find a friend or at least a MeetUp mom to go with.
  • Large events often make it harder (for me) to meet people, especially when I am new to a city.
  • I like small more intimate events.
  • I can go out without the baby and survive.
  • Trying something outside of my comfort zone is empowering.

Have you ever gone to event alone? I mean not knowing anyone AT ALL who is going to be there (and knowing people only via social media or blogging doesn’t count). How do you approach a situation like this?

Subscription Box Extravaganza

When I was a child I loved getting those little grab bags that were filled with random toys and things.  As an adult my love for surprise goodie boxes hasn’t died and I am now in love with subscription boxes. The only thing is not all subscription boxes are created equal. Before I start this mini review of the boxes I have tired please note that with the exception of the Citrus Lane box I purchased all of the boxes with my own money some with coupon codes that I found online.

Vegan Boxes

Vegan Cuts-I ordered the very first Vegan Cuts box available back this fall.  The box include a glass straw, a Simply Bar, Surf Sweets gummy snacks, KUR Delights and Berryplus laundry detergent.  The box cost $19 and honestly I didn’t love it and canceled after the first box. I have heard that they have made improvements on the box since the first one so if you are interested in the box don’t let this review completely turn you off.

(Vegan) Conscious Box– I was a little skeptical of this box after my experience with Vegan Cuts but decided to order one of the vegan Conscious Boxes.  To my delight the box was filled with a variety of tasty goodies and I liked it so much that I went ahead and took advantage of their Christmas special and subscribed for three months getting one extra box free (so four boxes for the price of a three month subscription).  My free box was the same box I had received in December but that was fine with me because it included baby laundry detergent, raw zucchini chips, mascara and a number of other goodies.  January’s box just came a last week and it was filled with lots of goodies including my favorite Hail Merry chocolate macaroons. I can’t wait for the next box to come in February and am thinking of continuing my subscription after the three months.

Mom & Baby Boxes

Wittlebee– Wittlebee was the first subscription box that I ever ordered.  The boxes are filled with six articles of clothing and one extra item like a headband or a trick or treat bag. I purchased two boxes from Wittlebee both using a coupon code so it made the box $25 rather than $40.  I have to say the cost was worth it as they were filled with clothes from Tea Collection and American Apparel and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tea Collection so I was in heaven.  The downside to the boxes however is the customer service sucks. I had read some reviews about the box and didn’t find very many favorable ones and after two boxes I understood why.  One of the articles of clothing we received which was so cute couldn’t even fit over Edith’s head. The outfit was for 3-6 months and let me tell you even as a newborn her head wouldn’t have fit through. I contacted them about it and they said they would send an extra piece of clothing in my next box.  When I told them that I was dissatisfied with the boxes (the second box wasn’t so great- lots of cheaply made clothing) and that I had canceled but could they still please replace the piece I had already paid for and I never heard from them again. Although we did end up with some cute clothes the quality definitely went down and the customer service not so great. Needless to say we stopped after two boxes.

Bluum Box This box I started getting a few months ago and I really like it. It is a box for mom and baby, so there is also at least two things for me and 3-4 things for Edith.  It has a combination of sample sizes and large items.  So far I really am enjoying the box, we are getting our fourth box this month and I am looking forward to it, per usual. Many of Edith’s favorite toys have come from this box including her little horse book, soft monkey rattle and walrus teether. It has also been fun trying out the different mom products like lip gloss, face masks and jam. This box is $12/month and I think it’s a pretty good deal. I usually get at least two full sized items that cost around $12-15 retail and then a few sample items.  Overall I am very happy with the boxes.

Citrus Lane No this box doesn’t contain citrus, rather its is similar to the Bluum Box in that it has both items for mom and baby.  The items for baby are based on the profile that you submit and the age and gender of the baby (you can also set the gender as neutral if you want).  I was sent this box as a sample to try and I have to say I promptly ordered another after receiving this one.  In the box there was a board book (one that I had planned to get Edith), a stroller toy, food storage cups (perfect timing), spf moisturizer for me and eco-friendly disinfectant spray.  Everything was full size or close to it and brands that I really like (Skip Hop, Juice, etc).  If you are interested in signing up for a box you can receive $10 off through this link.

Fitness

PV Body Okay so I never actually received this box. I know that a lot of people have had a good experience with the box and liked what they received but I have also heard negative things about it as well. I myself was interested in purchasing the box back at the holiday’s when I received an email from them saying I could receive 40% off my first box.  I decided to give it a shot and see what the box was like but after filling out the profile and going to pay I saw that the promo code they provided did not take 40% off the box.  I read that others via twitter had the same issue. I contacted them to let them know I was interested in purchasing the box but the promo code did not work.  I never heard back from them.

Do you subscribe to any boxes? What ones do you like? What ones don’t you like?

Minimalist Living

I know that those of you who follow me on twitter already know this but our things STILL have not arrive in Oregon. It’s a whole frustrating matter where the movers picked our things up on the 21st and were supposed to arrive by the 9th…here we are, the 17th of January, and now we are being told that the expected arrival date is the 24th. Needless to say we have been living very minimally.

Although we are really loving Oregon, Neil is doing well at his new job and Edith is adjusting it’s still been a pretty difficult process. You never know how hard it is to be without your personal possessions until you are going on a month without them. I am now regretting only packing a few non-lounge/workout tops because I either have to buy new ones or suffer through another week of clothing that is becoming more and more worn out.

The biggest challenge is not having my blender, cook utensils, pots and pans….basically my kitchen supplies.  I mean you know me I love to be in the kitchen. Currently, I have a spatula that is useless when it touches heat, a can opener that doesn’t open cans and only one small sheet pan that barely fits anything on it. We ended up buying some knives and frying pans to hold us over but it’s not the same.  Since I am without proper cooking materials I haven’t been doing much interesting cooking so no recipes…boo.

Although we basically have no furniture, no cooking supplies and I have been wearing the same three outfits over and over at least I have my running shoes and a few new workout outfits because I have been getting back at it. It is also great that we are in a really walkable area (Fact: Our apartment in VT had a walk score of 3; our apartment in Oregon has a walk score of 71).  I have been getting out for daily walks with Edith in the baby carrier, which really makes it a good workout.  Also we live in a third floor walk up so lots and lots of stairs (I’m working on those buns of steel).

Workouts this week have been lots and lots of walking including a tour around of the Japanese Gardens (so beautiful even in the winter).  I also have done some yoga on Daily Burn which was great. I am going to do some more walks and yoga this week and then next week I am back to running.  I even ordered myself a new foam roller today because my IT band has been driving me nuts and oh did it hurt so good to get my roll on.

Well since Edith decided she didn’t want to sleep last night and I’ve been up since 3am I’m off to bed but I’ll leave you with a minimalist tour of our apartment.

Oh and just for fun I’ll show you how I entertain myself by putting E in her new baby bath tub with a ton of Quaker Pop Samples #thingsboredmomsdo.

 

Portland: While We Wait

Since apparently our movers are off somewhere on a beach with their legs up and an umbrella drink in there hand, well that’s what I imagine they must be doing since they are already five days past due, we have been out exploring the area.  It’s pretty frustrating that they haven’t arrived yet but what can you do? Honestly this is probably the only time in my life I wish I had been unpacking my dishes than eating Voodoo Doughnuts….wait no I’d always rather be eating Voodoo Doughnuts who am I kidding?

 

On Saturday morning we headed downtown to get our Voodoo Doughnuts on and for good measure we chose 5 doughnuts to share between the three of us (my mom is here right now).  Although we ordered 5 we really only shared 4 because after a tiny nibble of one of the vegan cake doughnuts we decided it was awful and tossed it out and moved on to the vegan maple creme (hello yum). We also had to of course get some Stumptown Coffee while we waited in line for doughnuts which had us crossing off two of the top sites to see in Portland.

After crossing those two sites off we headed to Powell’s Books to cross a third top site off the list. This bookstore is insane and I could have spent days in there just browsing all of the books. The children’s book section is especially impressive and I can’t wait to bring E there when she is older. I am already planning a bi-weekly Voodoo-Stumptown-Powell’s tradition in my mind for when she is older where we will all share one (okay maybe two) Voodoo Doughnuts, Neil and I will get Stumptown Coffees and E will get a new book at Powell’s.

After Powell’s we all started to come off our sugar high and decided that we should eat some real food so we walked a few more blocks to Deschutes Brewery. I have to say I am in beer heaven around here and Deschutes has a really beautiful brew pub in Portland. Neil and I got the veggie burger and some avocado for E and my mom and I shared a sampler while Neil had his own. The food was good and the beer was so good- my favorite was the White IPA.

The remainder of of our Saturday was spent at Ikea trying to pick up some new things for the house but we ended up being pretty unsuccessful since our rental car is on the smaller side and our car doesn’t arrive until at least Friday.  So we picked up a few little things and made a list of what we need to go back for next weekend.

Since our things did not arrive on Sunday we headed out for more adventures, this time we took a little drive to Multnomah Falls. Neil and I have been dying to visit since our canceled Portland trip two years ago.  The drive was beautiful and the falls even more so although it was pretty icy and freezing so I can’t wait to go back in the summer when we can also do a little hiking.

So far we are in love with the area and I can’t wait to do more exploring and of course hit up a few food carts- any recommendations?

Head over to Naturally Family to check out more photos of our adventures this weekend.