Coffee Break #12
Hi there, friends! It feels like forever since I last sat down for a Coffee Break post. Although it’s only been 2 months, a single day feels like a year lately, doesn’t it? Today, I am really excited to catch you on life behind-the-blog, including how our little Jack is sleeping and our latest stay-at-home survival tactics. I’m also taking on an experiment I’m really excited about and have a mini survey I’m hoping you’ll chime in on! Let’s dive in!
Catch up on past Coffee Break posts HERE!
You all might remember in my last Coffee Break post, I was lamenting that our sweet Jack (who is now 10 months old, if you can believe it!) had regressed from being an awesome newborn sleeper to waking up three times per night. After working through a series of gentler sleep-training methods with no success, we resorted to the “Cry It Out” approach. Well…if I was writing this post 2 weeks ago, I’d report that Jack had been sleeping solid through the night…7pm to 5am…without any issue for two straight months. I’d even proclaim our sleep hurdle successfully passed. Then all of sudden, about 10 days ago, he started waking up in the 3am hour…again. Lord help me. He’s got 3 teeth coming in, is on the verge of walking, and is babbling away, so my hunch is that his little brain is just firing on all cylinders. As you saw in my video home tour, Jack’s crib is just on the other side of a sliding door from our bed, so we really need it to end soon. Send all your solid sleep vibes my way!
Speaking of our sweet third baby (who I thought was supposed to be the easiest!), we also just discovered the little dude has a peanut allergy. About 5 minutes after having some peanut butter toast, the babe’s face was all red and splotchy. Although terrifying in the moment, it thankfully didn’t get worse than that (this time). We had him officially tested and are now loaded up with Benadryl and epipens, and are trying to educate ourselves on what this means for him and our family since we’ve never had to deal with anything like this before. Any advice on having a child with a peanut allergy would be much appreciated!
Experimenting With a Capsule Wardrobe
If you know me in person or have ever caught a (rare) glimpse of me on social media or in video, you know that personal style is not really my forte. My house may look great, but my wardrobe usually consists of jeans or jean shorts with plain t-shirts, and my hair is in a ponytail 100% of the time. Every so often, I will do a shopping trip to find some fun wardrobe pieces that make me feel put together. But since I really don’t know what I’m doing, I almost always end up back in my same little collection of t-shirts, shorts, and a ponytail.
I will be the first to admit that fashion isn’t overly important to me. However, fairly regularly over the last few years, I have felt this urge to make more of an effort when it comes to my appearance. I don’t want to become a fashionista (because I honestly don’t have the time or budget), but I’d like to put at least some effort into my appearance so I not only look more pulled together but feel better and more confident too. Since I rotate among the same 10ish pieces of clothing on a regular basis, the capsule wardrobe concept has really, really appealed to me (a capsule wardrobe is essentially when you have a very small collection of clothes). When I stumbled upon the Style Me Pretty Capsule wardrobe guides (as part of an Ultimate Bundle years ago!), it seemed like the perfect way for me, a fashion ignoramus, to cultivate a stylish minimalist wardrobe in a way that was not just budget-friendly, but also foolproof and intentional.
I have wanted to pull together the Stay-at-Home Mom Casual Wardrobe Builder for a long-time now. But then we were moving, and I was pregnant, and then I was postpartum and in quarantine…so the timing was never really right. With stores opening back up and my postpartum weight (sorta) where I want it, I’m finally ready to assemble a capsule wardrobe and stick to it. I just know I will love being able to look great without a lot of effort (because the outfits are already decided for me), and I have a hunch my laundry routine and closet organization will benefit even more!
So why am I brining this up? I’m wondering if you care to follow along in this journey? Again, I have ZERO intention of adding fashion posts to my blog, but if you’re interested in reading a 3-4-part blog series documenting how I’m going to pair down my current wardrobe, invest in new basics, clean out my closet, and stick to a limited amount of clothes, please chime in on the mini survey below!
Our Latest Stay-At-Home Survival Strategies
Although our communities are opening back up, my family is still mostly hunkered down at home (I’m both a Rule-Follower Rosy and Nervous Nelly when it comes to the virus!) With school now over (thank God!) and the hot weather in full force, here are some things we’re using to stay sane these days!
- Water Fun!
- We are fortunate to have a trampoline in the backyard, but the boys get pretty hot jumping. I was tempted to buy a “trampoline sprinkler” but we discovered a plain ol’ oscillating sprinkler right underneath the trampoline creates a waterpark experience they can’t get enough of! Try if if you haven’t yet!
- I know swim and water toys are hot commodities right now, but if you can get your hands on this Splash Pad, I highly recommend it. It’s perfect for Baby Jack (since you can valve how high the water goes) but the big boys can’t stay out of it either.
- Nature is Our Playground. I am still not ready to take the kids to playgrounds, but our backyard is starting to get old. Greg and I’s most preferred form of recreation is hiking (most of our vacations are spent exploring National Parks), so we have been turning to nature more and more in recent months to entertain the kiddos. Every Saturday, we pick a new local trail to explore. We pack sandwiches, fill water bottles and head out to walk, splash in streams, throw rocks, examine fallen-down trees, and more. We all come home sweaty, exhausted, and mentally rejuvenated from being with Mother Nature. I share this only because hiking and exploring might seem like a lot of work with young kids (ours are 9, 3.5, and 10 months), but we intentionally keep it as easy as possible. Here are some of our best tips:
- This baby backpack is a must for keeping Jack happy, and these backpacks for the older boys allow them to carry their own snacks, water, maps, rocks and more.
- This compact mat packs up small, is lightweight, and it perfect for setting up a picnic whenever and wherever kiddos get hungry or need a break.
- 2 mile (shaded) loops seem to be our sweet spot, but the boys are champs at going up to 4 miles if there are lots of streams and rocks to climb over and through. We use the All Trails app to find new spots to explore.
- Keep your essentials always packed up and ready to go so you can head out quickly and easily. For us, this includes a mini first aid kit, the mat, a set of diapers/wipes, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and masks.
- McDonalds milkshakes are the must-have post hike reward!
If you’d like to see other quarantine-life favorites, check out my past few Coffee Break posts HERE.
I think it’s safe to say that 2020, so far, has been nothing any of us anticipated. And honestly, I’m not sure much of anything will get back to normal as we approach the Fall and Winter. Like a ton of small businesses, I’ve had to readjust my 2020 plans to accommodate what I can realistically get done with a house full of perpetual chaos. I’m personally feeling the urge to cut back on a lot of my excess plans and instead focus on just being right here, more often and more consistently, since it’s my favorite place to put my energy (compared to social media, product creation, etc). So that I’m creating the content you will be most excited about, I’d love your responses to the following (quick) survey!
Travel Posts and Projects
We haven’t quite figured out how and where to get in a little family vacation yet. But if you have one planned or need some help doing so, be sure to check out these handy printable resources!
Have a great weekend and see you back here next week!
19 Comments on “Coffee Break #12”
I have to add since there wasn’t a space for it – I loved the video of your house this month. Don’t need to see videos for everything but nice for a wrapup
I agree with Linda on this. I liked the video but it’s not that important to me unless you have a DIY that is very involved and would be better explained with a video.
Thanks so much for chiming in Linda! Yes – I think you’re right! Not needed for everything but they can add a lot for certain room and project wrap up posts!
I like videos, and do watch, but please don’t stress over adding them. I’m fine not having them, and the work to create them may not be worth it to you.
Thanks for chiming in, Heather! I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed the editing process (with the music, text, etc). I definitely don’t have the bandwidth to make them a regular feature but definitely want to start adding a few here and there!
Hope you have a great weekend!Megan
My oldest, now 42, had severe peanut and nut allergies at a time when allergy conditions were not well known. I researched and informed the school, other parents, and anyone I could talk to! I also made sure my son was aware of his condition. I was a royal pain at the school but I volunteered a lot to make sure he was safe. Over time allergy information became more available and people were more informed. It became easier. You are a great mom and a wonderful, strong advocate for your children. Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! Yes – in general, peanut allergies are much more common and schools are much better at keeping it safe for kiddos. Fortunately, we don’t have school to worry about yet, so I’ve still got all my fingers and toes crossed that he grows out of it!
Have a great week!Megan
Because I am working from home and using my work computer, I can’t disable the ad blocker, so I haven’t been able to see video yet. I am not a dedicated youtuber, but if it was posted there I could watch. But I understand not wanting your whole life on social media – it’s not safe. I feel like your home is extremely organized but wonder if you could share/barter this awesome skill with others in your community, especially if they wouldn’t mind your documenting it. Of course, now’s not the time for that, but maybe if the world gets back to normal…stay safe and healthy! Aloha, Tenney
It’s a bit easier for me to post the videos via my Ad Manager, which is why you likely need to disable the ad blocker to view it. Hope you can see it soon!
I’ve often had requests for friends/neighbors/family to help with their homes but I find it’s a bit hard. Not only are deadlines are to keep when you’re working with someone else, but I don’t have the freedom to make things exactly as I want them. That said, I’m living near my sister and a good friend right now, who have both asked for my help, so I might have some posts to share in the future!
Have a great week!Megan
Both my kids have nut allergies. A good peanut butter alternative to check out is Wowbutter (Walmart carries it). And I love the AUVI-Q epinephrine injectors so much better than Epi-Pens because …. they’re smaller and they talk!
Thanks so much for sharing, Gretchen! I will definitely have to check those both out!
Don’t worry too much about the peanut allergy if it was minor. Obviously take precautions now but ask the doctor to recheck in a few months. My niece was allergic to eggs and peanuts before she turned 1, but grew out of both by age 2. You’re doing great, Momma! Love your blog!
Thanks so much Katharine!
Yes – the Dr indicated he might grow out of it. We’re getting him checked every 6 months right now. I definitely have all my fingers and toes crossed!
Have a great week!Megan
Hi Megan, I don’t read many blogs but I like reading yours. I try not to get on social media because it becomes a time drain. I’d rather get into looking at Pinterest than Facebook. I do like your idea about specific day for specific types of posts, as long as I get them all! And your wardrobe capsule sounds like a great idea. I’m a stuck at home (especially now) caregiver for my 95 year old mom. But I sure would like to figure out a way to get rid of some of my clothes and come up with a “plan” that I can mix and match better, besides just jeans and tee shirts. That’s my everyday outfit too.
Thanks for your posts! Lynn
Thanks so much for chiming in Lynn! I got some awesome feedback to this little survey, and I’ll share the results in next month’s coffee break!
Thanks for all your support! Have a great week!Megan
We just got back from visiting friends in the Michigan UP and it was a great vacation for this time! 9 hours one way was a bit of a challenge, but no hotels, no restaurants, good friends and LOTS of nature for my boys! I hope your family is able to find some way to get away! Sidenote: do you have lots of friends in different places? I grew up in the military and my parents have friends all over. If they are in a different part of the country they might try to get together for lunch etc and they have been to several weddings over the years as well. And they receive the most diverse Christmas card collection every year!
I always blew off the capsule wardrobe idea (mostly because I wear blue jeans + shirt which always matches and the idea of buy a top and bottom that only match each other seems wasteful as well as finding an item to match everything else is overwhelming) however, I recently stumbled upon (via sewing) Whitney from TomKat Stitchery who hosted a “Great Module Sew-along” to produce mini-capsules, with the idea that you create 6 items (one topper (layering piece), two bottoms, and three tops) that go together. People created active wear modules, lounge wear modules, sleepwear modules, dress up/church modules etc. This clicked for me! I suddenly feel like I could expand to a pair of pants with a different cut/color if I then have/sew/buy 3 shirts to match. I haven’t actually done anything yet, but the ideas are brewing and I would be excited to see what you come up with as well. Good Luck!
Yes – we definitely have friends all over, and one of my best pieces of advice to new military spouses is to keep your address list current because it is indeed SO fun to get Christmas cards, grad announcements, birth announcements and more from people we were stationed with 10+ years ago!
That’s so fun that you found an idea that clicks for you – I love to sew for home decor, but the idea of sewing clothes completely overwhelms me! Keep me posted on if you go for it and how it works!
Have a great weekend!Megan
I echo the comments that I hope your organization for your sister + a friend make it to your blog!
Also want to mention that I made a costly mistake when I was building my capsule wardrobe: I bought cheap things in the stores because I’m cheap and it gave me the look I wanted NOW … but ended up all being donated. Better if you want gold flats, like you have above (and like I wanted!), to buy a good brand name gently used on Poshmark, and at least enjoy the better comfort (and compliments as your clothes will surprisingly look expensive from being “put together” !) while you are seeing if it is a staple for you or not. I also love TJMaxx.com for getting quality that is better than what the have in the store, and no digging! Plus crazy markdowns if you stalk items. Love, love, love having a capsule wardrobe.
Hi again 🙂
Thanks for the great advice – I, too, totally buy cheap stuff from Target, Old Navy, and BR Outlet and then am soooo disappointed when they don’t wash-and-wear or hold up. This time around, I *think* I’m ready to invest is good staples that will last me!
Over 95% chimed in that they want to read about the capsule wardrobe journey, so I’ll definitely be documenting and sharing as I go!Megan