because behaving is boring

Coffee Break

I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes type stuff today and if it weren’t for coffee, I think I’d be drooling on my keyboard. I guess I just don’t find updating my LinkedIn profile, doing research, and sending out pitch emails all that exciting.

At any rate, I did manage to accomplish some things,

While I was deep in a research rabbit hole, I found this nifty infographic about coffee in the workplace.

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Brewing Success: Coffee Makes the Workplace Go Round

So it basically confirms exactly what we’ve all been thinking about coffee all along. Feel free to send this post to your boss next time he says you don’t need another coffee break. You could also print it out and hang it in your cubicle…Or on your boss’s door if you really want to make a point.

Or maybe not, since you might get into trouble.

Bolder Band review

You know what’s great about long hair?

No, really, I’m asking…What’s so great about long hair? Because now that I have it again I am perpetually annoyed by it.

When it’s not in a ponytail, I find myself shutting it in car doors, getting it caught in the car window, tangling it around purse straps, and getting it stuck in my armpit. In my armpit, people.

I stretch ponytail holders out after just a few uses, and I have a million headbands that just won’t stay put. It seems that nothing will tame this wild mane of mine.

BUT WAIT.

I found Bolder Bands on Facebook. It may be the first time in the history of the world that a legit company actually advertised that way. Ok, maybe not, but the only ads I typically see involve generically named “colleges”.

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Not legit.

But Bolder Bands happened to pop up at the perfect time. That morning at the gym, my headband kept creeping back on my head, forcing me to fix it every five seconds. Every time I’d reach up to adjust I had visions of falling off of my machine. After coming home and showering, I was scrolling through Facebook while my coffee brewed when their ad caught my eye.

I was able to get my first band free, only paying for shipping. That offer may still be available,  so head over to their website to check it out.

My band arrived quickly, and I tried it out the very next morning.

It worked! I actually forgot I had it on until I got home… It kept my bangs back and stayed in place no matter how much bouncing around and sweating I did.

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Excuse the sweat and lack of makeup.

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The bands come in three sizes, so make sure to measure your noggin before you order. They are also machine washable (!). Just make sure to hang them up to dry.

I want to order a thousand more of these things… There are tons of awesome patterns and colors available. There are even Bro Bands for dudes!

Do me a favor, ok? If you order one, please come back here and tell me what  color or pattern you got so I can live vicariously through you. It just might keep me from going broke.

***This is NOT a sponsored post. I used my own money and a coupon code to order my band.***

Cheater Key Lime Pie

My mom used to make the best key lime pie… It was the perfect combination of sweet and tart, with a beautiful, fluffy, toasted meringue on top.

Good lawd, I miss that pie.

She hasn’t made it in ages…She did make me a key lime pie for my birthday a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t the pie. It was still delicious, but with no meringue it just wasn’t the same.

So recently I was wishing for something a little sweet, but a little tart, and I had key lime on the brain after having a key lime truffle from our new candy store.

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The problem was, I wanted something super easy that didn’t involve seperating eggs. I wanted a decent, but lazy, approximation of key lime pie.

I found it while aimlessly scrolling through Pinterest one day. The recipe was from Weight Watchers, I think, and it was a bunch of fat-free this and sugar-free that. Yuck.

I made my own version, and it turned out really well. It took me no time to put together, and cleanup was minimal.

Look, it isn’t real key lime pie, but it works in a pinch.

Cheater Key Lime Pie

1 box lime gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
2 single-serve containers key lime Greek yogurt
1 8 ounce package Cool Whip
1 graham cracker pie crust

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and let cool a bit. Stir in yogurt, then Cool Whip. Pour into pie crust, cover, and refrigerate until ready to eat. I think mine was in the fridge for a couple of hours and it was pretty good, but it was even better when I cut into it this morning to get a picture. I know because I, uh, accidentally got some on my finger and I had to taste it.

The sacrifices I make, people.

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This might be the perfect summer treat. Sweet, but not heavy…I’m already thinking of ways to fancy it up so I don’t feel like such a slouch next time I make it.

Now I think I’ll go accidentally eat the rest of that slice.

My 1st Years

Suddenly, everyone I know is having babies. Seriously, I can think of at least four ladies due this summer, and probably another three due this winter. I was starting to worry that I’d never find unique gifts for all of them until I found My 1st Years.

My 1st Years is a fairly new company, founded in 2010 and located in the UK, that aims to provide unique baby gifts that don’t break the bank…And as a huge bonus, they personalize your gift for free.

The selection of gifts is impressive… I had so much trouble narrowing my first order down that it took me a few days to decide. When I finally did make my selection, I was surprised at how quickly the package arrived. Ten days from my order date from the UK? I’ll take it.

By the way, if you are ordering a gift, have it sent directly to the recipient. Every order comes in a beautiful complimentary gift box, and the package itself will have a big ol’ Royal Mail sticker on it. I don’t know about you, but it certainly made me feel pretty fancy!

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Oh, just a package from my friend Kate…NBD

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This company really knows how to package a gift.

My 1st Years was kind enough to provide me with one of their lovely products so I could do a review. I agonized over the decision, drove The BF nuts, and finally…finally, I chose the Gingham Blue Trim Robe in the biggest size offered (2-3 years).

Oh my goodness y’all, this is lovely. The robe is beautifully made, with his name embroidered on the front. It fits perfectly, and the boy absolutely loves wearing it.

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It’s the hood that just really gets me, I think.

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He loves to put it on right after his bath so he can lounge around before bed in comfort and style. On chilly mornings, he will go find his robe and strut around the house with it on. I happen to love the fact that the belt is actually attached to the robe, so I don’t have to worry about it getting lost.

I could not be more pleased with this product, and this company in general. I have a number of items bookmarked for future gifts, and I just know that my friends will love them.

Do yourself a favor and check them out… Not only do they offer lots of beautiful, keepsake-quality gifts for babies and young toddlers, but they have some great stuff for mom and dad, too.

**My 1st Years provided the pictured product at no cost to me, in exchange for an honest review of their site. All opinions and photographs are my own.**

Because April is Cesarean Awareness Month

I’ll never forget how it felt to hear “OH, you took the easy way out!” during the first few weeks of my son’s life. He was born right smack in the beginning of the holidays (like, the week before Thanksgiving that year), and we were dealing with feeding issues. The swelling in my feet and ankles just refused to go down, I was exhausted (duh) AND recovering from a major surgery, and here we were dragging our brand-new, teeny-tiny little baby to family gatherings during cold and flu season.

In other words, the last thing I wanted to hear was that I “took the easy way out”. Not only was it said, but it was generally accompanied by a pat on the knee and a somewhat condescending wink. Sometimes that would be followed by a knowing glance the person would share with another woman.

I got to hear all kinds of stories from the women who were ‘real’ warriors. 30 hours of labor this, episiotomy that, blah, blah, blah… And of course the complaining was always capped off with a quick, “but it was all worth it” at the end. Uh, ok.

“I wish”, one woman said, “that I could have just relaxed on a table while a surgeon did all of the work!” She then laughed at her own joke. As if I had gone to some all-inclusive resort and sipped a (virgin!) daquri and had a pedicure during my c-section. Yeah, that’s how it went.

Here’s the thing. I know a lot of people think that c-sections happen purely by a ‘selfish’ choice made by the mom. That generally isn’t how it goes, though. A lot of women face c-sections for a number of reasons…Reasons, I might add, that are no one else’s business.

I actually did not have a choice. When it was confirmed that O was breech and couldn’t turn around (he was sharing a small space with a rather large tumor, after all) my doctor immediately scheduled the surgery. When I asked if there was anything else we could do, she explained how dangerous it would be to attempt to go the natural route and that she wasn’t really willing to do it. Not only was my life at risk, so was O’s. I even asked her to turn him, which she said would be ridiculously painful for me and likely totally ineffective.

Thanks to hormones and a lot of misconceptions, I felt like an absolute failure. I was so embarrassed to tell people outside of my family, and I was always quick to justify it by saying, “but I have no choice in the matter”.

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The morning of my c-section, I felt strangely calm. It was incredibly early, and the 30 minute drive to the hospital was a piece of cake…No traffic, no rushing, just the BF and I chatting calmly.

They did one last ultrasound to see if he had managed to flip… I silently prayed that he had, and asked if they would be willing to induce me if that were the case. The nurse said that might be an option, but then promptly confirmed that he was still breech. So much for a last-minute miracle.

The BF had to wait while they prepped me and got the epidural going. I don’t really remember the epidural being too terrible, but I do know that I was terrified I would move and paralyze myself. After all, that needle was pretty huge and it was going right into my spine. I was also perched rather precariously on the edge of the operating table and shivering because damn it was cold in that room. Also, probably from what ever they had in my IV. At any rate, the very first epidural attempt was successful and it took no time to work. In fact, they were instructing me to move my legs and I finally had to laugh and let them know I couldn’t, could they please help me?

Once I was situated on the table, a green curtain was erected to block my view of the lower half of my body. I remember my doctor asking if I felt something, and when I replied “What?”, she smiled and said I was ready to go. Apparently, she had pinched the inside of my thigh as hard as she could to make sure I was numb. Even though I felt nothing, I asked if she thought she should try again…She just smiled and told me everything was fine.

“Well, you’re not the one about to be cut open, you know?”

She laughed and made a big show of pinching me again, just to humor me. I was still nervous, but I hadn’t even felt her move my leg. I couldn’t stall any more.

The BF finally got to come in, all suited up, and sat on a stool next to my head. He and I stared at the green curtain while the final prep work was being done, and finally Dr. Stephenson let us know they were getting started. The BF and the anesthesiologist talked about hunting, and they passed the anesthesiologist’s phone to each other over my head to look at pictures of an elk he shot on some trip. It was all very surreal, and then I noticed smoke wafting up from behind the green curtain.

Oh yes, they cauterize your incision as they cut.

I felt absolutely nothing, and I was surprisingly calm. I thought, “this might really be a piece of cake”. There was a lot of chatting, mostly the BF because he can be a bit of a nervous talker. Then, the six-foot-tall, 185-ish pound doctor that was assisting said, “Ok, you aren’t going to like me much after this part.”

Then he leaned on the left side of my stomach with what had to have been his entire body weight. I’ll admit, I did panic a bit when I suddenly couldn’t breathe and thought  he was going to break my ribs. I made this ridiculous “OOF” sound as every bit of oxygen I had in my body was forced out, and then I realized that he was grunting a bit as well from all of the force he was putting into it. You see, a baby is definitely bigger than the incision they make, and it’s not like they come out easily. No, there’s a lot of pulling from the operating doctor and a TON of pushing from the assisting doctor. That part sucked and I hated every second of it. My whole body was rocking from the force he was using, and I swore I was about to fall off of the table. There is actually nothing especially gentle about a c-section, and the “piece of cake” thoughts I was having ended rather abruptly the second they started actually working on getting O out.

Obviously, I didn’t fall off of the table, and obviously, this was how they had to do it. I knew that, but I still didn’t like it.

Once they got him out, they brought him over so I could see him, then he was taken to be cleaned up and weighed. BF got to go over and watch, and on the way back to his seat I saw his eyes get wide. He told me later that when he turned around, he saw my guts all sitting on my stomach just waiting to be put back in my body. And blood. Like, a lot of blood.

Yeah, another fun thing. They have to pull your ab muscles apart like curtains and remove the organs that are in front of your uterus to get the baby out. Easy way out my ass.

So I did cry a little tear, but then I started to feel very weird. Everything sounded like it was in a tunnel, my vision was starting to blur, and I felt a bit nauseated. I tried a couple of times to tell someone before I finally managed to get the words out…If you’ve ever had one of those dreams when you’re trying to scream and just can’t, that’s exactly how I felt. The anesthesiologist said that was totally normal, pushed something into my IV, and within seconds I was fine again.

I don’t remember a lot about being wheeled back to my room, or holding my boy for the first time. We had to wait an hour before my parents could come in, and I do remember asking the BF to take a picture of me holding O. I look a little confused, maybe a little tired, but I don’t exactly look excited. Then again, I was mid-sentence when he took the picture so that could be part of it.

I was told I’d have to stay in my bed for the remainder of the day, probably, because even after the numbing wore off I wouldn’t be able to comfortably get in and out of bed to pee. I thought that was pretty stupid, and as soon as I could feel my legs I asked my nurse to let me try to get up. She laughed, but then relented and started moving blankets and getting my catheter ready. The look on her face when I successfully stood up and started shuffling around the room was priceless, and she was still shaking her head as she took me in the bathroom to take out my catheter.

That part, by the way, doesn’t suck at all. It’s just a little pop! and it’s gone. Pretty painless.

The time I spent in the hospital was great. Nurses were coming in to take a look at O because word had gotten around that he had a ridiculous head of dark hair. We had a few visitors, but nothing too crazy. The BF went out to get us ice cream and brought Blizzards to all of the nurses. I was kind of sad when they told me we were released.

The recovery sucked. I wasn’t in a ton of pain, but I there were definitely times when I was reminded I had been cut open. I also had some gas bubbles that seriously felt like they were ripping my stomach open. Coughing, laughing, sneezing, sudden movements…all were painful, even if I had just taken pain meds. I wasn’t allowed to pick up anything heavier than my baby. Do you know what’s heavier than an eight-pound baby boy? Damn near everything. I couldn’t drive, I had some trouble getting in and out of chairs by myself, and pooping was absolutely terrifying. I don’t know that it’s possible to overdose on stool softeners, but I’ll bet I came close.

TMI? Sorry.

Then there’s the stuff that happens no matter how you get the baby out. Nothing is worse than talking to your best friend when you suddenly pass the mother of all blood clots and have to quickly shuffle to the bathroom before it falls out of your diaper. Because, yes, you are basically stuck wearing diapers for a few weeks.

Oh yeah, that’s definitely TMI.

There’s also the long-term stuff that you never hear about. My ab muscles separated, so here I am over two years post-baby and they’re finally coming back together (it’s taken some work, I’ll tell ya). I also have weird sensations from the scar tissue (that’s also from my second surgery) that feel a lot like something moving around in there. I can’t feel the area around my scar…except when it itches. Then I can feel the itch, but I could attack it with a cheese grater and feel no relief. That’s a blast and a half.

So, over two years removed from my sweet boy’s c-section arrival, do I still feel like a failure?

Nope. Not even a little bit.

I realized at some point that, as long as your child is healthy it doesn’t matter how you got him or her here. Having a c-section was the very first thing I did as a mother to ensure my boy’s safety. It wasn’t fun, but if I could do it over again I totally would.

And yes, I have a gnarly scar to show for it. I have actually come to love my scar for what it represents.

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Photo courtesy of Portraits by Natalie, because it’s surprisingly difficult to take a photo of your own scar. http://portraitsbynataliegomez.com/

After all, if my kid ever asks where he came from, I can show him my scar. Certainly can’t do that if you squeezed yours out the old fashioned way, can you?

Good God, I’d hope not.

Did you have a c-section? How did it go?

Happy Cesarean Awareness Month!

Honey roasted peanut butter

You guys. This is the simplest, easiest thing I will probably ever write about. It has one ingredient.

That’s right. One.

Of course, you could make it more complicated, but it isn’t necessary. And you can really use any variety of peanut your little heart desires ( just know that any kind with a really hard coating might dull your processor blades).

Are you ready? Here goes!

Honey roasted peanut butter

1 can honey roasted peanuts

Empty contents of the can into your food processor. Put the lid on and press the button.

Yep, that’s it. You could pulse it a few times at first to get things started, but then just turn it on and let it go until it’s the consistency you want. It might kind of ball up and bounce around for a second, but don’t be scared! Just leave it running and it will smooth out pretty quickly.

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From peanuts to toddler lunch in less than five minutes.

As I mentioned above, you could easily use different kind of peanuts (or any other nut, I suppose) and add ingredients to customize it. I think a touch of maple syrup or maple cream would be a delicious addition to some lightly salted peanuts, and I plan to try that next.

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I like to store mine in an airtight container in the fridge… It generally gets inhaled pretty quickly by my “peeutt budder” loving toddler, so I can’t say how long it lasts.

So, go make some peanut butter!

Easy turkey meatballs

It seems like every post I write lately (few and far between as they are) begins with an apology and a line about how busy I’ve been… So I’ll spare you the broken record this time.

Instead, I’ll just get to the good stuff…The meat of the post, if you will.

Get it? MEAT? And we’re talking about meatballs?

Ok. Well I thougt it was funny, but I’ve been awake since five a.m.

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Back to the meatballs…

These really aren’t much different from regular meatballs, but I feel like they’re better for me than regular ol’ meatballs that are made with red meat.

I served these over pasta and this easy avocado sauce (next time, I’ll only use 1/2 of a lemon, though), but they are also good in soups and with tomato or alfredo sauce.

Turkey meatballs

1 pound ground turkey

1 large egg

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated parmesan

2 cloves garlic, minced

About a palm full of minced onion (feel free to use less)

A palm full of Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Using your hands, squish and squeeze until it’s all combined. Roll into balls (mine were about golfball size) and place them on the parchment, making sure they aren’t touching. Pop them into the oven for about 30 minutes, or until your quick read thermometer says 165° when poked into the center of your thickest meatball.

If your toddler has hidden your thermometer, just cut the biggest one open. If you don’t see any pink, you’re good!

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My kid loves these meatballs, and I think I actually prefer them over a more traditional recipe using red meat.

If you have leftovers, just toss them in a zipper freezer bag and freeze them. That makes dinner even easier!


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