Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mom Moments: Such a Funny Age

I remember when I was pregnant people would come up to me and say things like "well, just wait until you get to 1 because it's such a fun age." People said that between 10-12 months was "such a fun age" so frequently, I've been really waiting to see what is so fun about it.

What I actually think they should say is, "it's such a funny age." Recently, my son has definitely become the root of a lot of laughter in our house (with not at... Ok, who are we kidding, at.)

1. "I'm reading I swear!"

2. Suction cup fail

3. "Well, what's this do?"

4. Working on my fitness


P.S. - Any funny moments from your little ones this week?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why Informational Interviews are Great for SAHMs

When I started talking with a life coach, one of the things that she asked me to do was set up an informational interview, which I didn't really want to do because I was kind of scared.

For me the context of information interview came from What Color is Your Parachute, where the author is basically like, "call somebody up that you want to know, ask them for a few minutes of their time" and then grill them on everything related to their job. Not really my cup of tea, I just feel bad bothering people and asking for favors.

However, my life coach kept bringing it up and not wanting to reveal that I wasn't planning on doing it if left on my own, I agreed to let her contact a friend in the career field I was interested. (In retrospect, I was curious about the industry enough that I had mentioned it during our sessions probably more than once.)

Well, once the emails started flying, it finally clicked that this was really going to go down. When we scheduled our phone interview, (which was best for me because I get super nervous in person) I figured I'd better start to prepare.

How I Prepared

This basically entailed:
  1. I wrote out a list of questions I had.
  2. I did some basic research on the career in question.  
  3. I planned on having my husband come home a little early from work to occupy our son (who ended up napping through the entire thing.)
  4. I googled around for some more questions in case I forgot something.
In order to save you time here is my list:
Whatis the role like?What is the industry like?What types of other roles are in the industry? Tell me about your day?Team or individual work?Do you put on programming?Opportunities for advancement? Next steps? Where do you see yourself?What kind of education is needed?What is the best way to get experience?Are there any volunteer opportunities available?Any recommended books? Things I should be researching? 

How It Went

When the day for the interview finally came, my computer literally breathed it's last breath, and I spent several hours freaking out about how I lost all my questions and research. Luckily, my husband is a computer whiz and managed to do some sort of craziness that enabled me to view my hard drive from his computer, all with five minutes to spare.

All the stressing I did, proved pointless, because the call ended up being a breeze. Stephanie, the woman that Joanna set me up with, was super easy to talk to and friendly. We literally just had a conversation about her job and I mostly did a lot of listening. She answered many of my questions unprompted and a lot of the things I asked about weren't on my list anyway. (I was still glad I prepared though.)


What I Got

After I wrote all about my experience, I was kind of reflecting about it and got to thinking, but what is the point? Why is this even relevant to me, the early stage career breaker? I'm not even planning on returning to the job market until at least 2014! I almost, for a slight second, felt guilty that I wasted Stephanie's time. But once I started thinking about what I got out of it, my guilt turned to extreme gratitude, because a lot of the things we talked about will help me out in the long view.


1. Insider knowledge. I got a great picture of what the job really entails, how to land a job in the field, and the experience needed; all things I would have never figured out without having spoken to an insider. I had a really different perception about some things and Stephanie really straighten me out. Essentially, I was able to learn a ton of juicy tidbits without the years of investment it would have taken for me to get to the same role. Had I decided to pursue this without her advice, my first instinct would have been to go back to school (all wrong!)


2. Resources. Stephanie shot me an email after our conversation with tons of sites and books and WAYS TO GET EXPERIENCE that I can start working on RIGHT NOW, (which I've actually implemented and have already gotten a great volunteer opportunity out of!)  


3. An industry contact. I have a new LinkedIn friend! 


4. Confidence. Most importantly, the call reassured me that informational interviewing is not hard and that I could still have a business conversation with an adult. It was actually kind of a self-esteem boost.


Overall, the informational interview turned out to be a success; and just like with my inability to stop applying for jobs, there are loads of benefits. I'd definitely do it again and most certainly recommend it to other SAHMs.



P.S. - Have you ever done an informational interview? Where you equally nervous going into it? How did it go?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Making Me-Time at Naptime

Making Me-Time at Naptime
My son's asleep and I'm just going to wait until he wakes to pick them up.
Just to preface this, I am not a certified expert on parenting, time management, or really anything else that I post. If I want an expert opinion, I usually link to my reference, because when I offer advice I'm basically just spouting off my experience from my one and only case study - myself.

That being said, I have some more advice.

A week ago, I was at a playgroup and told another mom that I had to return a bunch of books to the library (one being the untouched 2nd part of the Hunger Games because I really needed the third and cannot tell them apart for the life of me, whatevs.) She was really shocked when I said it and asked me "how do you have time to read? My son keeps me so busy." At first I kind of chalked it up to being stuck in the hotel room with nothing else to do but after thinking about it, I have time to read/blog because I am constantly working to make time for myself.


Finding Time for You is EASY

I never though making time for myself as a new mom would have ever been possible until I read Tracy Hogg's The Baby Whisperer and started implementing her EASY method. In EASY, she advocates that after S (the baby goes to sleep) you take time for Y (you.) In the beginning, this meant I took a shower but over time this has evolved into a really productive 90 minute block of time for me where I usually blog, read, or do whatever the heck I want! (And really, whatever routine you use, you can make time for yourself, although I guess this is pending your child taking a nap and how many little ones you have.)


Truly Make it Yours

Somewhere in the book, she truly advocates for making the most of this "you" time: don't clean the house, don't do something for the baby - take care of YOU: give yourself a manicure, read a book or work on your nap time project.

So I've started working on maximizing this 90 minutes by getting as much non-me stuff done around the house while my son is awake, (which I wasn't fully able to attempt until about 7 months because that's when my son decided he didn't want to play with me as much anymore/he discovered our dog.)


Maximizing Strategy #1: Make chores a playtime activity.

If we are playing in the living room, I clean it. If I need to go through mail, baby plays with the magazines while I rip up credit card offers. If I'm putting away groceries, my son likes to take stuff out of bags (which hopefully will become more helpful then chip-smashing.) I'm frequently surprised by how some of his favorite toys are just everyday objects, for example if I ever need to calm him down: puffs bottle. He LOVES it. Serious love too. It's astounding. Wish I would have realized it early because it would have saved me a bundle on toys!

Regardless, I've learned to not feel guilty about moving my son room to room with me as I clean or fold laundry (which he also likes to pull out of the basket) because I feel like it's getting him accustomed to our life routine (which I hope does more for me in the long term then just sounds good.) Now I wouldn't say I get 100% of the non-me things done, but it helps, and the rest I leave for the weekends or when my husband is home to tag team.


Maximizing Strategy #2: Find your prime time.

I get up early in the morning because it's my prime time. Usually, we get up at 6am, regardless.) Whatever your most productive time of the day, morning/afternoon, plan your sleeping schedule around it.

And to be honest, this system isn't perfect. Since I started writing this post last week (and I'm finally finishing it up now) my son has been off his schedule like woah - probably because of all the travel. So I've been attempting to try a couple more productivity tips in the coming week(s) to share with you as well.

In the meantime - I would LOVE to hear how you get some me-time, especially if you have more than one! Any tips or tricks?


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mom Moments: Exploring For Kids (and Moms)

Looking back at all the pics I snapped in the last week, it really hit me how many little moments provide my son with an opportunity to explore his world.

1. While in DC, we explored the Playseum, a huge used childrens book/toy store with tons of things for kids to do. While my son was too little for most of the activities there, he got a huge kick out of banging these marrocos against a drum that was about the size of him. I actually didn't realize this place existed until I happened to be exploring on google, and it was a good find!

2. Now that the weather is nice we've been exploring playgrounds! And we've learned that somebody really likes the swings.

3. My son LOVES to play with his socks, and he loves to clap. He usually tries to clap with a sock in his hand and so while I was changing him I stuck 'em on. I've never seen him so amazed while he explored his socked hands and it reminded me that the littlest change can create an entirely new experience for him.

4. I got a chance to explore a kids consignment sale - and got this Children's Place polo (new with tags) for $1! Hurrah!


P.S. - What have you and your little one been exploring lately? Have you been consigning lately - any great finds?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SAHM Style: Cleaning Out My Closet

My favorite detail on my pastel purple pants (still new w/tags)
Just to catch you up on this issue: I sort of realized how much stuff I have that I no longer use. It started with just clothing, while I was pulling out my summer shorts, but it quickly evolved into all of my old teaching supplies and other work related things.

I'm not planning on going back to teaching right now or in my near future so I should really get rid of all my materials. Plus, I have about a bazillion button-ups that I don't wear anymore, so that too. In addition to work clothes, I have stuff I used to wear out on the town when we lived in the city and the reality's not my lifestyle AT ALL anymore. However, I am having a really really HARD time getting rid of stuff from my former life (especially the work stuff.)

In googling around (my answer for all of life's problems) I found this mini online quiz that basically told me "you need to just MOVE ON!" (I basically answered true to everything.)

1 of the 4 denim skirts I own; I loved this one.

But I have so many good reasons excuses to keep things


Faux Snakeskin Dress from F21 - new w/tags!
Some of my clothes (that I didn't buy on sale) I would say, "I paid a lot for this and didn't meet my goal price per wear!" And then some of them...are just junk that I never ill fitting Forever 21 dresses that still have tags on them. I was surprised how many things that I got "on sale" that still have tags on them because while the price was right...the item was not. Obviously not a good deal in the long run.


Emotional Attachment

I also attach distinct memories to my clothes, like my favorite 7 denim skirt from college. (I swear I was probably this girl.) These clothes made me feel good about myself and I assumed that whenever I decided to put them back on again I would feel the same.


What Finally Worked

Too short, short sleeve button up.
At first I looked at my clothes and saw them as a part of me and my past memories but when I started trying stuff on, I realized my clothes do not fit correctly for my body and for my lifestyle! Too big, to small, to long, to short - what was I thinking not getting some of them tailored?! and how did I wear skirts (and shirts) that short?! I put on one pair of too short-flare pants and I looked ridiculous. My husband said he never noticed before (he must really love me) but now that I've pointed it out too him...well we both could not stop laughing.

I still kind of think this is cute, just not for me
Getting rid of things because of my lifestyle change was easy, work things were harder. I have a lot of stuff that needs to be tailored majorly overhauled, and it isn't worth the expense just to haul it around for the next two years. So I selected a few things to keep: two pant suits that need just a little hem, two skirts, one suit dress, some neutral button ups and two in my favorite colors. A bunch of things like sweaters, cardigans, blazers, and silk blouses I'm holding on to because they pair great with jeans. However, I was selective; I really considered how well it fit, if I actually wore it, or if it had been worn beyond repair. Overall, if I got called into a job interview on Monday, aced it, and had to start working the next day, I could hold off on a shopping trip until the weekend.

So bye-bye ruffled denim skirt, midriff baring lace top, purple pastel pants, all of my flared work pants, two suits (both two sizes to big,) red button-up, blue button-up, white sleeveless button-up, and so much more!!!

I'm preparing my next post on where they all my clothes are going and what I'm planning to do with all my professional resources - so check back!


P.S. - How long have you held on to clothes that you no longer use? This is so sad but my oldest item is an Old Navy Performance Fleece that is a kids size 14...I didn't even realize I still had it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The 3 Ways My Life Coach is Going to Help Me Find My Passion

Two weeks ago, I finished my LAST day of work and (after many months in the making) I am officially a full time SAHM!

Looking back, the process to get here was not easy: I had a lot of conversations with my husband, and list making, and after I spoke with my employer I even agreed to stay for an extra 2 months to help with the transition. For me the whole process actually took abut 4 months.

I really tried to make this decision as thoroughly as possible too and so when a girl in my moms group recommended that I speak with a life coach, I figured I'd try it. But at first I was like, life coach? What is it? Where do I find one of those?

Lucky for me, my friend Joanna is starting a life coach biz and offered to let me try it out her services. We scheduled an hour long phone call for one Friday night. Joanna started out by asking me how I was doing and then began prompting me with a few questions about life, work, etc. I talked for about half an hour, and we kind of debriefed about what I spoke about and I walked away with a lot from the session.


1. A neutral sounding board

A lot of time just hearing myself talk enabled me to discover things that, while they should have been obvious, I didn't even realize. For example: a lot of my friends I meet through work, so when I started solo-work in our new town, I had a really hard time making friends - duh!? That makes so much sense - I'm not just totally lame.

2. A list of action items

For the last 20 minutes of the session, we ironed out some action items to work on before our next phone call. It was helpful to have a professional to piece together all of the random thoughts I was having into an organized manner. A few of the things we decided upon: scheduling two social events, writing a letter to myself about my teaching career, reading the book: MWF Seeking BFF, scheduling an informational interview (scary! more on this to come) and a few other things.

3. Clarity and direction

Sometimes it just takes fresh eyes to help find what you are looking for and by then end of the conversation, I felt like my life had just sailed out of a fog. When I became a SAHM the days become the exact opposite of my old workday: rote, goal-less, and a little mind-numbing. But after just one hour with Joanna, I felt like my life had a little more structure, something to look forward to: I had a goal to work on and it feels fantastic to have some direction!

If your interested in Joanna's amazing services you can check her out at her blog or if you want to contact her directly, just shoot me an email ( and I'll put you guys in touch. (I was offered her services for free because she is my friend and she didn't know I was going to be writing a post about it someday. So just FYI, in case I am supposed to be disclosing anything: I've received no monetary compensation for this post - just friendship!)

I'm going to continue to post about my experiences with having a life coach because I've been really happy with the outcome.


P.S. - Have any of you ever used a life coach before? And liked it? Or not?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Feed Read: Fashion for Mom

Spring is here! Spring is here! It's so nice and sunny! So today, I decided it is time to pack up my winter clothes and pull out my shorts and flippers! (Secretly, I've been wearing my rainbows around the house all winter because I JUST.CAN'T.STOP. I'm from sunny FL and not meant for closed toed shoes! Except maybe these flats.)

However, all this packing/unpacking of winter/summer clothes made me realize that my wardrobe is a HOT mess: it's a jumbled up disaster zone of work clothes, three different sizes, maternity clothes, and a bunch of things I should have trashed when I graduated from college. Clearly I've got a lot of spring cleaning to do.

While I'm busy trying to figure out my plan of attack, here is this week's very fashionably feed read.

While nursing my son, I get about 3-5 min where I can just sit & read. Every week, I'm going to start you off with a Feed Read: links to sites that I enjoyed and would recommend to you whenever you get your own five minutes.

I love getting made up, but I do NOT have the time to stay up on products, wah lah: this = mail + makeup.

Quality over quantity: argument #1 (I like how Belle breaks out the numbers) and argument #2: why moms need more cashmere!

Tips for keeping your mom-drobe trendy and new!

Great advice for going shopping for yourself (I'd like to add: if possible - go alone. Haha...I know, as if.)

(Sorry for the overload of my favorite Ain't No Mom Jeans posts but they are great!)

Check out this new fashion/lifestyle blog for the mom who wants to stay chic.

And last but not least...kind of wanting a chambray shirt for spring (easy to unbutton for nursing too!)


P.S. - So...what do you think? I would love some of your great sources too - leave them below in the comments!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mom Moments (and a Rant on Smoking Near Children)

Our crazy travel schedule is starting to wind to a close. While it's been nice to enjoy the city (and I CANNOT.WAIT. to move back) I am excited to leave behind all the smokers. I never realized it before but there are a TON of smokers in DC! While the act of smoking isn't a soapbox issue for me (it's your life) the WHERE really irks me.

Today I parked in the special section of "expecting mothers, infants, and young children." (I've always wanted to take advantage of rockstar parking!) When we came out to our car a woman was idling in our section (sans children) with all her windows down, smoking!

Now, I don't care if you choose to park in the expectant spot if you are not expecting - it's not nice but it's not illegal, so whatevs. I also don't care if you choose to smoke. However, the combination of smoking in an area where kids going to be around - really bothers me. AND this isn't my only example - like playgrounds, why would you choose to smoke at a PLAYGROUND! Ridiculous.

Regardless, of my little rant on smoking near children, we had a FABULOUS time, with some FANTASTIC weather. We spent a ton of time outside enjoying it!

 1. We visited the U.S. Botanical Gardens, which was very stroller friendly. Baby loved trying to touch all the leaves.

2. I thought this was weird but it's been so cold where we are that this was baby's first time playing in the grass! He LOVED playing with the sticks; oh the joys of boys.

3. I wasn't sure what the age limits were for real kid swings but we did it, and I pushed him (but not too hard - he's only 9m.)

4. Lastly, baby LOVED the mirror on the elevator ceiling. Not sure if you can see it but there is a BIG smile on that little face.

I hope where ever you are you get a chance to enjoy the wonderful spring weather this weekend!


P.S. - Think I'm going overboard about the smoking thing? Let me know below or just feel free to share your thoughts!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Comeback: Stay at Home Moms Who Returned to Their Career

Spending the week in a hotel with a baby means a lot of very quiet, no-movement time during naps. I actually really enjoy it because if I was at home I would get distracted by things around the house but in the room I get the opportunity to not do much else but play on pinterest, read, or blog.

I'm not sure where I happened upon this book, but I recently picked up The Comeback by Emma Gilbey Keller. I've only made it through the first 11 pages of the introduction, but I already love it. This woman could be reading my mind.

"My work was my world."

Mine too! I was a self proclaimed workaholic and I lived and breathed my job, to the extreme (because of my strengths) but I LOVED work in general. Before we got married I told my husband, that no way in the world would I be a SAHM, some people can hack it - but not me.

The author has the same type of situation, essentially, her husband (by no fault of him and willingly by her) had a career that received priority and essentially caused her to become a SAHM.
"The biggest adjustment women face when they give up work - more even than loosing an income - is that their confidence starts to decline. Being in the outside world, getting paid, and communicating with adults is healthy and energizing. Giving that up is tough on the ego. Some women feel diminished and inadequate. Some get lonely and depressed. They can be very, very busy and very, very bored."
BINGO. I couldn't have said it better myself.

I think she highlights two main things about being a SAHM: that it can be mind-numbing and that it effects your self-esteem. There is a strong correlation between the two, being given only menial tasks at work feels like a demotion, and while child-rearing is a very important job, changing diapers and cleaning up puke can be demoralizing.

Eventually, the author gets to a point where her daughter said to her "I go to school. Molly goes to school. Daddy goes to work. And Mommy goes to...gym." And she realized that it was time to go back to her career; which leads to The Comeback, her search for women who "took an extended maternity leave," paused their careers, and successfully returned to them. Something that I dream of doing.

I always wonder if I'm the only woman out there that feels this way, which is why I started this blog. Just reading part of the intro to this book made me feel like there is hope for me, that this is the right decision, and that I will be able to return to an amazing job someday.


P.S. - I want to hear from you! If you are a SAHM - do you feel the same way? If your a career mom - what do you think? Or if your just a woman in general who has been there or may be here someday - thoughts? Advice? Am I all alone out there on this one?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ten Tips for a Hotel Stay with Baby

"What are these things on the floor and how to I get them in my mouth!?"
It's week two of our marathon trip to DC (we came for a week, went home for a week, and came back for another week.) Hubby came for work and baby and I came to enjoy the beautiful weather and sites. This might sound a little crazy but we actually travel back and forth and all over the place quite a bit (in our son's 9 months of life he's spent about one entire month in a hotel.)  You can say our son is quite accustomed to the hotel stay. I'd like to say that we have it down to a nice little routine that I think could be of some benefit. These might be common sense things, but they were huge revelations to us.

1. Get a room with queen beds

Why? Because King rooms tend to be smaller, and you need all the space you can get to put a little buffer zone between you and the sleeping baby. Additionally, having the extra bed is helpful to corral all of babies stuff.

2. Divide the room

Put all of babies stuff on one side, and all yours on the other (choose the side with the bathroom!) This keeps you from constantly having to make noise to go the bathroom, change clothes, eat dinner, etc.

3. Set up a visual barricade

When we put our son to sleep, if he sees us in his room he wants to stay up and play, even more so at a hotel. We recommend putting up a blanket or putting the crib on the other side of the bed so baby can't see you. 

3. Run the fan

AC units in hotels can be loud, especially when they turn on and off. If you can avoid it, do it, by leaving it on run. Additionally, it acts like a sound buffer for all the moving around you might do.

4. Bring a travel crib or a pack and play

We swore by this travel crib until our son was 7m old (at which we got too scared that he would try to pull himself out.) Some hotels have cribs (really just pack and plays) you can borrow but I've heard of bad experiences so we just bring our own.

5. Set some mood lighting

Our son goes to bed at 7pm which leaves us in a pitch dark hotel 7pm. Keeping the room pitch black is not realistic, so before you put baby to bed pick one small light that you are going to leave on and dim it as needed by draping a towel over it. Then turn on all the lights while getting baby ready. Once you are about to put him down, turn off everything except the one little light you plan to keep on - wah lah - something to read by, eat dinner by, check your phone with, whatever. Having the little light on also keeps your phone from reflecting light all over the room (which our son has a 6th sense for detecting) and will keep you from having to check Pinterest under the sheets or hang out in the bathroom all night.

6. Set up a changing station.

Bring an extra changing pad or use a towel from the hotel to set up a little changing station (on the spare bed or desk;) it's much easier than trying to unpack/pack the diaper bag continuously.

7. Load up on disposable bags.

Ask for extra trash bags at the front desk or bring disposable diaper bags, surprisingly some hotels don't line their cans.

8. Set up a feeding station.

We've come up for two feeding station options over the course of our travels. OPTION A - The Lobster by Phil and Ted. So light, so portable, so strong. We bring it EVERYWHERE. We love it. OPTION B - We use our umbrella stroller. We have to bring it anyway, baby stays strapped in, and we avoid any dramatic eat/playing so that everything isn't soaked in peas.

9. Towel the tub.

At home we have an infant bath for our son and the first time we traveled we brought the bath with us...and then promptly never took it out of the car. It was too bulky and annoying and a space waste. Instead, put a towel in the bottom of the tub. For infants, use this as a little nest to sponge bath them or if they are sitting up, you can use it to help them from slipping around.

10. Bring snacks.

I don't know if it's the blackout curtains or the fan noise but my son sleeps superbly at hotels. He sleep so well, that I wake up first and am starving for breakfast. So bring some snacks, you'll thank me later.

Hopefully, this leads to great sleep and a nice relaxing stay for mom, dad, and baby!


P.S. - Got any more tips? Leave them in the comments below!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby's First Museum Trip

After our long car seat-testing drive to DC, and the delirious never-ending day, today has been AWESOME! I finally got a chance to get out of this hotel room and explore the city with my little one. Even though I used to live in DC I never really had time to explore all the touristy things there are to do, so I was so excited when today I was able to take in a museum with baby.

Taking baby to a museum is a lot more doable and enjoyable then I ever would have thought. It's a great outing for a few reasons.

1. It's stimulating for you.

I really enjoyed checking out the Fossil Lab at the Natural History Museum. It's basically a window into these offices that have "volunteers specially trained in fossil preparation" working on thousands of year old fossils - crazy AND who knew?! They are can do it too! (It says that on the piece of paper that is hard to read AND you can get more information about reinforcing your employable skills by being a fossil volunteer or another type of volunteer here. Gosh, I miss DC!)

2. It's stimulating for baby, (or they can sleep.)

I was really surprised by how many newborns were strolling around. For the most part they were sleeping in their carriers or strollers, and since it's actually pretty quiet, that seemed to work out well. For my 9 month old son, he just got a hoot out of looking around. He LOVED the fish display.

3. It's an easy place to nurse.

I actually think it would be a great place to try nursing in public if you are a little nervous. My son is to the point where eating requires about a dozen smile/look around/play breaks. He needs a really quiet place with very little to look at and no people around - at the museum there are tons of little benches and nooks perfect for just that.

4. The bathrooms are really clean.

Let's be honest, using those diaper decks in public restrooms, they gross me out. I use them but I just feel kind of germy afterward and so I limit use to "have-to" situations. (Especially the ones at rest stops and airports, because you know they prob get a lot of use.) The look of the bathroom also correlates with my idea of how clean the changer is and museum bathrooms are super clean!

So that covers the basic eat, sleep, play, and change of the museum experience. Hope you are able to get out and try it yourself!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Feed Read: Travel on Baby!

While I'm nursing my son, I get about 3-5 min where I can just sit and read. Every week, I'm going to start you off with a Feed Read: a couple of links to sites that I enjoyed and would recommend to you whenever you get your own five minutes during the day.

We're on the road again this week, so here's a few reads about traveling with baby.

How to Survive a Road Trip with Kids: don't forget a car game, stickers, and lots of toys - (oh, and maybe some candy and bribery.)

This is INGENIOUS! Lost child - check for tattoo. Or if you just love temp tats...check out these awesome designer ones.

Try some of these cool baby travel essentials (plus some for you too!)

Advice for flying sanely with a newborn.

Our pack and play is super heavy and bulky so one of our friends who has this recommended we try it.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Not a Make Money From Home Scam

I searched our house high and low just to find enough to take this picture.
A few weeks ago I posted some recommended reading for career breaking, and in it was this article with suggestions about financially preparing for a career break. I thought all of the suggestions were pretty interesting but one of the ones that resonated with my SAHM-break was freelancing through an internet marketplace like Elance. (And I also re-posted the link in yesterday's feed read.

Elance is a digital freelancing site that allows you to make a profile and bid for jobs in a variety of categories like: IT, Design, Writing, Sales, Admin, Finance, the list goes on. What is really neat about it, is that all the work you do is from home and you can choose to work on projects based around your schedule (and what you agree on with your client.) This could be a perfect naptime project, mommy business, or a way to keep your skills up. And it's not one of those scammy ads: "make money from home."

I decided to try it out myself the other day.

First thing you do when you get to their site and sign-up is design a profile, this took me an entire naptime to complete (it was a shorter nap and there is a LOT to explore.) The site is packed with resources, including skills tests you can take that correlate to each industry, and after you take one it gives you a proficiency score that you can display on your profile. I thought that might be cool to take just to know where I stand. I tried one of the easier ones, I think it was called "phone skills." Somehow I got one or two wrong because I got around a 90%...oops. I also submitted two proposals and so I'm excited to hear back if I got the jobs. I just submitted for two little jobs that I thought sounded interesting and that I could get done within a nap or two.

I was actually pretty impressed by how easy it was and how little time it took to submit a proposal. Essentially, this site is a legit way to make some cash on the side, get some experience for your resume, and network.  Perfect for the SAHM.


P.S. - I didn't get paid for this or anything, this is just me trying out something and offering advice! Let me know what you think!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Feed Read: It's All About the Money

I swear I collect articles, blogs, apps, websites, etc.  (Figures, since I do have learner and input!) I usually find these things while I'm nursing my son and I get about 3-5 min where I sit and peruse my phone and explore links that I've been meaning to try out. My bookmark list is pages and pages long of things I want to try or recommend or just generally post about and at the rate I'm going, I might never get around to it. So instead, every week, I'm going to start you off with a Feed Read: a couple of links to sites that I enjoyed and would recommend to you whenever you get your own five minutes during the day.

This week my Feed Read has a theme - articles to help you save, spend, and earn some dough.

How much will your kids cost you? million dollars!

I was SHOCKED to learn the dirty tricks of outlet malls.

Find people to help you be better, or make some Benjamins helping others be better.

Another great SAHM opportunity - online freelancing: get gigs doing what you do best when you do it best. (Update: I tried it out here.)

Resources and a great plan for debt payment: here.



Friday, March 2, 2012

Mom Moments: Tourist Baby

This week baby and I spent the week site seeing all around DC.

1. Baby went on his first metro ride. 

2. We checked out the two boxwood trees from our wedding that were planted in front of the church we were married at on Capitol Hill.

3. My son LOVED the fish at the Museum of Natural History (which we totally recommend!)

4. We took a tour of the Capitol and got passes for the Senate Gallery; it was incredibly stroller friendly too. 


P.S. - How was your week? See anything exciting?