I’m Ready for a Reset | Olay 3-Step Reset

Olay 3-Step Reset

This post was sponsored by Olay. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for reading and supporting the brands that support A Short Blonde! 

December is always a little too full for me to spend a lot of time reflecting on the upcoming year. I’ve spent much of this month considering the areas of my life that need a reset. I’m slowing down and thoroughly thinking through my goals and aspirations for 2018.

I often resist the conceptual idea one has to make goals only in January. We can make small changes any time of the year, but with that said, one area in my life that immediately called for a reset is my skin!

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Day Dates + How to Find Babysitters

Day Dates + How to Find Babysitters

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

Saturday morning Jordan and I went on a day date. I had scheduled a babysitter, but instead of canceling when my work scheduled changed Jordan and I went out! Day dates, as parents, are far superior to evening dates. For one thing Phoenix is awake the entire time so it’s a legit break, but also I’m not nearly as tired.

We had a gift card to a coffee shop, so we grabbed coffee and breakfast and pursued several antique stores nearby. We arrived home just in time to put Phoenix down for a nap. Saturday morning dates are where it’s at!

Speaking of dates, the parenting question I get asked the most is “how do you find your babysitters?”

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Let’s Play in the Snow!

Let's Play in the Snow!

Growing up in Chicago snow days didn’t quite have the same special allure they hold in the south. Now don’t get me wrong I went sledding and made snow angels and igloos out of the mountains of snow, but there was always another snowfall to come. And life kept moving because of the use of snowplows and salt trucks.

People still act surprised when it snows in Nashville, but in the three winters we’ve lived here one or two small snowfalls have taken place. Here are photos from Nashville’s largest snowfall in 13 years. Ironically, this happened right after we moved here.

Schools are quick to close, grocery store aisles empty with urgency and adults frolic in the snow just as much as kids. The main danger in driving around isn’t so much snow accumulation, but ice and windy streets that aren’t treated. I used to make fun of the pandemonium surrounding an inch of snow, but I understand now!

Two years ago I got stuck going up a hill — I don’t want to relive that moment! I actually really hate driving in inclement weather, so I’m glad our winters are short.

Continue reading “Let’s Play in the Snow!”

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

Early on in our New York City planning stages, Jordan and I knew walking the Brooklyn Bridge was a must! While in New York City a few summers ago, we only spent one afternoon in Brooklyn and ran out of time. No sleeping-in on vacation with a toddler, so we started the day with a low-key agenda of coffee, walking a bridge and pizza.

The subway station was about a seven minute walk from our AirBnB in Bushwick. We took the subway to Williamsburg, where we grabbed coffee and breakfast at Devoción’s café. This was after walking around in a few circles trying to find a coffee shop that was stroller friendly. The first place we went to (per a recommendation) was basement level.

Devoción's café in Brooklyn

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

I love frequenting coffee shops while on vacation. I don’t need fancy dinners, but I want need my fancy iced lattes and artisan avocado toast or chocolate croissant. Phoenix was very much ready for a diaper change and snack break by this point. I made sure to have plenty of pouches and little bites, but I also gave him our food.

DEVOCIÓN’s menu is small (no syrups, etc) but their espresso is creamy and delicious. For a Brooklyn establishment  it was roomy, clean and fairly baby friendly. Several babies passed through (including TWINS!). It was easy to keep our UppaBaby stroller next to us and even though patrons were working, no-one appeared bothered.

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

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^ boob shirt. 🙂

After regrouping we walked a few more blocks to the ferry. Phoenix LOVED riding the ferry to the other side of the bridge. The ride itself was inexpensive and lasted maybe 15 minutes. I sat inside with the stroller, but Jordan took Phoenix out on to the deck. The ferry dropped us off in DUMBO — another part of Brooklyn we wanted to spend time in.

We walked down by the water for a bit. Jordan had to take a work call, so Phoenix and I found a nearby park to mostly stretch Phoenix’s legs. There are parks everywhere in the city. It’s really quite awesome.

Honestly, it took quite awhile to figure out how to enter the walking bridge portion of the Brooklyn Bridge. It felt like we were walking around in circles, but we eventually found it. The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway begins at the intersection of Tillary Street and Boerum Place. Don’t do what we did and type in Brooklyn Bridge in your map app — it won’t take you to a specific entry point.

Toddler Travel in New York City

Toddler Travel to New York City

Walking The Brooklyn Bridge with a toddler

Shop Avalon88 Boob Shirt

Phoenix fell asleep, while we were walking the bridge, for about twenty minutes. He wasn’t happy when he woke up (that was his only nap of the day), so we didn’t make it all the way across. I did love walking the bridge, but in the future I’d consider going even earlier in the morning to beat some of the crowds.

We decided to attempt to eat lunch at Juliana’s Pizza (which is right around the corner). A line was formed outside the door, but, thankfully, we were seated within 30 minutes. To keep a meltdown at bay, Jordan walked around with Phoenix. I observed a family order take-out and eat their pizza on some nearby benches. Now, that is smart parenting!

By this point Phoenix was so over-tired. Basically as soon as our Margherita pizza and housemmeatballs arrived we paid and placed everything in to-go boxes. We knew we still had to walk back to the subway and travel back to our AirBnB. Phoenix is a trooper and sleeps pretty consistently at night…when he’s home. He doesn’t sleep well on the go, so while I imagined he’d nap more while walking the streets of New York he didn’t.

Phoenix is pretty flexible during the day, but we couldn’t quite adjust his bedtime. Everyday we planned on getting back to start the bedtime routine around 4 pm. Our AirBnB had a balcony, so after Phoenix was asleep we reheated our (incredible) pizza and finished the previous days’ bottle of wine.

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

^ Waiting for pizza!

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

^ On our leg back to the subway Jordan found THE street in Brooklyn. We had to stop and take photos. By this point Phoenix didn’t want to be in his stroller, so out came the Sakura Bloom Sling. 😉

New York City with a Toddler: Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

Follow the adventure! Day One in Brooklyn.

Weekend Links / / Staying Warm

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

Hi Friends! Are you staying warm? It’s still really cold in Nashville. Phoenix’s school had a two-hour delay on Thursday due to the cold. Also, can we address the frustration that is finagling last-minute childcare arrangements?! I pray this winter is gentle on us.

We met Jordan after Phoenix’s nap on Friday afternoon to finally take our 2017 family photos! It’s still the beginning of January, so I think we’re okay. 😉 November and December are busy months for us, so I’m wondering if we should, in the future, take the photos in September. When do you usually have your family photos taken?

P.S. If you’d like our New Years card, DM me your address on Instagram.

Yesterday, Jordan and I went to a wedding. The ceremony was outside (it was maybe 30°!). Don’t worry, we were told to dress in layers. I basically brought a blanket. 🙂 The wedding itself was in the late afternoon, so Jordan and I had time to grab Jeni’s ice cream before relieving our sitter.

Onto the links!

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Currently / / January

Starting | Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge. She begins one every January and I felt like it’s the perfect way to reset my body. My left hip has been bothering me again (it pops out of it’s socket easily) and one way to alleviate my discomfort is strengthening all of the surrounding muscles.

I had this allusion that to workout effectively I needed to find time when Phoenix was asleep. But, honestly, I don’t want to use his bed or nap time to workout. Instead, I roll the mat out and Phoenix climbs on me while I’m in child’s pose.

Hoping | We all remain healthy this winter. The flu is running rampant around town and I pray we don’t get it. Phoenix and Jordan had colds in December, but thankfully their colds didn’t land them in the hospital like everyone I know who has had the flu!

Phoenix’s colds do lean towards turning into croup, but our humidifier and some essential oils appears to help. The key is keeping him from coughing.

Scheduling | I’m not working as much this month, so in-between beginning our taxes I also need to schedule doctors appointments. The dentist mainly.

Reading | I just finished Instructions for a Heatwave (which I really liked), but have yet to begin anything else. I’m sure I’ll discover a few recommendations from all of you!

Playing | Phoenix’s great-grandma and grandparents gifted him plates, bowls, cups and spoons for Christmas. He immediately started pretending to eat and drink from them. I’m having a lot of fun watching him begin playing imaginatively. I loved my play-kitchen as a child. Down-the-line, if we move to a bigger house, I’d like to clean to up and let Phoenix have it.

Linking with Anne.

Motherhood Right Now / / Seventeen Months

Motherhood Right Now / / Seventeen Months

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

It’s been several months since I’ve written an update on Phoenix. He is seventeen months, growing quickly — too quickly — and the joy of our lives. He’s sweet and particular. When he’s ready to sleep he is R E A D Y, just like his mama. He loves BB-8 and can say several words including: book, car, baby (or BB), bye bye, mama, dada, woof (for puppy), hi, girl and nana (for banana). He still doesn’t like long car rides, but is doing better when we’re out running errands. I think supplying endless snacks helps.

His favorite song is “The Wheels on the Bus” (which keeps him happy in the car!). His two favorite books are Zingy and The Little Blue Truck. He asks, “What’s That?” all day long. Transitioning to one nap a day hasn’t been as seamless as I hoped. Around 16 months (maybe due to traveling?) he started waking up at 5 am with a dirty diaper! Thankfully, it’s settled out again and Phoenix is back to sleeping 12-13 hrs a night. I wonder if we hit the 18 month sleep regression early?

I do enjoy the flexibility of doing activities in the morning. We go to Story Time at least once a week (sometimes twice!). Jordan and I are doing our best to encourage independent play. Per what I’ve read, we keep a limited amount of toys out at a time.

Phoenix will now somewhat pay attention to a show or a movie. He usually watches a little Star Wars on Saturday mornings with Jordan. His favorite show is Peg + Cat on PBS. He caught a cold in December and shows were a great use in keeping him from running around and coughing.

Continue reading “Motherhood Right Now / / Seventeen Months”

Weekend Links / / Happy New Year!

Weekend Links / / Happy New Year!

Weekend Links / / Happy New Year!

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

Jordan’s parents and youngest sister left this morning. We enjoyed celebrating Christmas 2.0 together. Phoenix (with the help of FaceTime) has developed quite a relationship with his extended family. It’s very sweet to see his excitement anytime we are all together.

It was a busy holiday season (or year rather) for Jordan and his business, so having a few relaxing days together was the perfect Christmas present. We went on a date to see The Disaster Artist. Have you seen it? The Room (the movie The Disaster Artist is about) is quite the tale of a creative vision gone wrong.

What are you New Years Eve plans? The past two years we went to a party, but this year we’re joining a few friends for dinner. Everyone will put their kids down and the adults will enjoy dessert and drinks. I’m already looking forward to it!

Onto the links!

Continue reading “Weekend Links / / Happy New Year!”

Short Christmas 2017

BB-8 Christmas Ornament

We had a relaxing holiday weekend. This holiday season has been Jordan’s busiest. Which, as a general rule, is odd for his line of work. Thankfully, the work was able to be put on hold for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We went to church on Christmas Eve morning. They gave veggie straws to the kids which kept Phoenix occupied for quite a while. Jordan and I watched The Holiday after Phoenix went to bed.

Jordan and I don’t really have traditions set for Christmas Day. I’ve worked six of the past eight Christmases and outside of those we were with our families. The one thing I do want to carry on is eating a big brunch. My mom always made a Swedish tea ring Christmas morning. I’ve attempted to make that or cinnamon rolls many times and they never turn out! I tried a new recipe and with the help of our space heater I finally reached success!

I wouldn’t call Jordan and I minimalists, but we are mindful of our space limitations. To keep Christmas simple, but still enjoyable, we bought Phoenix three gifts: a BB-8 ornament, crayons and a teepee for his room! Jordan’s parents are en route to Nashville right now for Christmas Round Two. We’re going to elicit their help to set up Phoenix’s room.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. And now for some Phoenix spam. 😉

BB-8 Christmas Ornament

BB-8 Christmas Ornament

^ Phoenix had a meltdown after he realized he couldn’t play with the glass ornament.BB-8 Christmas Ornament

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

^ Jordan loves Phoenix’s arrowroot cookies so we bought him his own stash.

Short Christmas 2017

^ Last year my attempts were thwarted with bad yeast. I used a good recipe this time around, but the major key was turning on our space heater while the dough was rising.Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas, all!

Raising Children in a Scary World

On Raising Children in a Scary World

“Why would you bring a child in to this scary world?”

I’m sure you are familiar with the above comment, an argument many use as reason to not have children. Before Phoenix was born, I didn’t ask myself that question but as I emerged from the newborn fog (and took a look at the world around me through my newfound mom perspective) I was scared.

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