Random Pictures, Random Thoughts

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1. I have super bad eye sight (like -6.25). I used to just wear my contacts daily, but I’ve been leaning more and more towards glasses lately to give my eyes a break. I will be honest and say, I do love my trendy, cheap eyewear but I’ve found that with constant wear they’re starting to feel stretched out and too big. They’re always sliding down my face. The lens aren’t the best either. They always feel like there is a slight film over them. I’ve been looking for something more high end and was excited when DAVID KIND eyewear approached me to try out their home try on service. You fill out a style questionnaire and then they’ll send you this lovely case of glasses to try on. What really caught my attention was their commitment to quality lenses. It really makes a difference for someone who is going to wear their glasses a lot. You should definitely try them out!! I loved almost all the glasses they picked out for me.

2. Ballet. Ballet. Ballet. Rowan loves ballet. We like to watch ballet videos on You Tube and Netflix and then dance along with them. Anyone know of cute ballet lesson type videos? She takes ballet but not during the summer and I think she misses it so much. How cute was she at her recital?

3. These mosaic kits (above) are like the best thing ever. They are made by a bunch of different companies and in a bunch of different styles but Rowan just loves them. She will sit for like an hour putting all the stickers on. It’s really cute and a total life saver on the plane! Here are a bunch we like on Amazon.

4. We’ve been keeping life pretty busy around here. I think it’s so we don’t sit around stressing about all the changes that lie ahead. Everything is done on our end for the foster care certification. We are just waiting on our social worker to finish writing our home study. Being in the limbo stage is weird and if I find myself sitting around too long, I start letting my mind wander to all the “what if’s”. Keeping busy with fun adventures has been a great distraction. Also, I just love spending time with my family.

5. Grocery shopping has been such a bummer for me lately. I have favorites from a bunch of stores and I try to buy organic and unprocessed as much as I can, but there isn’t just a one-stop shop to get all these items at a good price. I am spread out over Trader Joes, Whole Foods, BJ’s, weekend farmers market and our normal grocery store. The problem is that I hate getting the kids in and out of the car all day long. It’s exhausting driving all over town with them just to get our grocery shopping done. How do I figure out a better plan? Just go grocery shopping at night when Kev gets home? Just suck it up, pay more and shop at one place? Whole Foods would be the most well rounded place to get all the things I need I guess. There is only one Whole Foods in our area and it just opened. It kind of makes me all ragey on the inside when I am in there though. It’s packed, the aisles are too small and some people are just wackos. Hahaha. This really isn’t a real problem, I am just venting because we literally spent ALL DAY trying to get all the items we needed for the week. It just feels like a waste of time. Can we please make eating healthier less of a hassle?

6. Camping this past weekend was so fun! I have a whole post planned with some pictures but also tips on what worked for us with the kids. Is there anything better than being away from it all? No service on your phone, lots of stars, a good beer and a roaring campfire? I think not.

7. Why are decisions on where your kids go to school so difficult? Oh boy! I’ve struggled with what to do for Rowan next year for PreK. Mornings? afternoons? 4 days? 3 days? closer school? better program? The list goes on and on. And don’t get me started on kindergarten. Anyway, seeing her graduate preschool was about the cutest (and most ridiculous) thing ever. The family picture up top is from her graduation a few weeks back.

Cheers to a random post on a random Tuesday night in July.

  1. I LOVE the dress and shoes you are wearing with Rowan. Could you tell me where you bought them? Thanks!

  2. I feel your pain grocery shopping for clean eats! It’s exhausting making all the stops to get everything on the list for a decent price and I don’t have kids to shuffle around with me:) You’re an amazing mom to work so hard to feed your family well! …and whatever food is pictured on that plate above looks amazing!

  3. Lissy •

    1. I chuckle and think to myself every time everyone says they have bad eyes…I always think mine are the worst. Even with the “thinned” lenses, they are still thick. I always wear contacts.
    2. Great ideas on the videos. Looks like this one has good reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Petite-Feet-Ballet-Adventures-Liz/dp/B004W2OKUI/ref=pd_sim_mov_11?ie=UTF8&refRID=1J7EW4NEZ3YFGER2CA5X
    3. I added one to my Amazon cart!
    4. Keeping busy is good.
    5. I was doing that when my first son was little, and decided my time was more valuable. We only shop at WF. I buy a few things at Target when we are there (too often). Actually DH goes at 8:00 on Saturday, and it isn’t busy at all.
    6. Eek. I have a 1 year old. I think we would eat everything. Hopefully, we can go camping when he’s a little older.
    7. I HATE looking for childcare. We are in the process of finding ANOTHER babysitter šŸ™

    Thanks for sharing. šŸ™‚

  4. Sweet! I have been agonizing over preschool for next year- it will be our first. Totally freaked.

  5. Sarah •

    Yes! That dress! Where is it from?!?

  6. First, the ballet outfit. I MEAN. Can this be any more presh? Second…oh, man. SO true about the grocery shopping for organic foods. When I first started learning about seasonal/local/organic, I’m like “Ok, sign me up! Um, now where the heck to do I get it?” My friends listed like three stores, and I’m like seriously? So for a couple of years I did Trader Joe’s. That got to be a problem once I had to fit two kids in their tiny carts. Now I get up early on Saturday morning and hit the farmer’s market followed by Trader Joe’s…by myself. I leave the kids with dad and grab a coffee and a croissant. It’s kind of my mom date…I try to be back by 10. (Livin’ crazy. :0)

  7. I also love your outfit in the ballet pic with Rowan. Details please???

  8. I love your dress!

  9. #5 – I feel you on the grocery front. I try my hardest to feed my family organic and unprocessed foods but I encounter the same problems as you. Our biggest grocer in the area (Kroger) carries a huge amount of organics and I can typically get everything there on my list slightly cheaper than Whole Foods BUT I HATE shopping there! The store is so big and there’s so much stimulation (Starbucks, free samples galore, etc) that I end up spending a good two hours in there and end up having to mitigate a few meltdowns from my 5 year old in the process. I don’t know if they have these stores in your area but I’ve recently become an ALDI convert (kinda thanks to Ashley over at Never Homemaker – http://www.neverhomemaker.com/search/label/aldi). It’s SOOO cheap, it’s easy to navigate like TJ’s, and they carry some organics. My husband and I are trying to trim our grocery budget so I’ve been trying to choose whole over processed versus concentrating so much on organics (although we always choose whole and organic when it’s a viable option). For example, I got a quart of conventional strawberries from ALDI today for 99 cents (insane!) so I figure giving my son those with his breakfast over an organic strawberry pop tart is a much better option.

    #7 – Again, I can commiserate. We’re past the preschool age and I can only tell you that it gets worse. We’re six weeks away from the commencement of kindergarten and my husband and I are still waffling on our decision to send our son to the local public school. I will say that with our preschool decision, we ended up going with a school I never imagined we would. It was a school in the basement of a church – no frills, no educational philosophy, pretty traditional teachers. I was dead-set on the Waldorf school because I love their play-based approach to early learning and fell in love with their classrooms during my tour. But, alas, the tuition would have tightened our budget to the point that we couldn’t offer our son some of his other favorite extracurricular activities and it was a considerable distance from our home and our places of employment. The church preschool was in a perfect location, basically midway between my work and our home. We ended up loving it. The environment was so loving and inviting and our son had a really great experience there.

  10. Excited to hear about David Kind. I also have super bad eyesight (-7.00) and finding high quality fun fashionable frames is always a bit of a challenge.

    My daughter is also currently obsessed with ballet. We rotate between checking out these two videos (Buddying Ballerinas and Ballet Class for Kids: Fantasy Garden 1 & 2) out from the library. She also enjoys doing Cosmic Yoga videos on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

  11. Jennifer •

    I have a 3 month old and the only way we get grocery shopping done is that one of us stays home with the baby (mostly my husband) while the other goes out and runs the errands. My daughter doesn’t typically last long in her car seat…the stars have to be aligned perfectly! Don’t even get me started about daycare/kindergarten. I go crazy every time I think about daycare for my daughter, I don’t know what I’m going to do when she gets older.

  12. I love your dress in Rowan’s ballet recital photograph!

    And I hear you about grocery shopping! I don’t even have kids and find it a little annoying that I have to drive all over. We get the Field Goods delivery, which takes a lot of thinking out of the mix veggie wise (and is a great surprise each week to try new items). Otherwise, we do the majority of our shopping at Trader Joe’s. We visit the co-op once a month for bulk items- grains, flours, nuts and seeds- and stop at Hannaford for avocados! The new Whole Foods is great but I can’t bring myself to shop at the mall for groceries.

  13. I do the same thing grocery shopping and recently started getting 2 weeks worth of groceries at a time. I still have to do a once a week stop for the fresher things, but it saves one long day at least!

  14. Katrina •

    Amen to the grocery store problem! It’s such a nightmare trying to get everything I need

  15. oh gosh, i feel ya so much on the grocery shopping bit. it’s so hard! i’m in the same boat as you, stretched all over town in hopes of finding the healthiest options for my family. and just like you, i’m typically shopping alone with the kids, trekking them all over the place, in and out of carseats (ugh), in all sorts of weather. by the fourth or fifth stop my little guy is just ready to be home! why can’t it be easier?!

    ps. thanks for the info on those little mosaic things. my little will love them!

  16. Maria •

    Wow, I totally feel yah on the grocery shopping vent! It takes my husband and I at least two-three hours to grocery shop for one week. We start at Kroger, then Whole Foods, then another store called Earth Fare. Annoying. We try to get as much as we can affordably at Kroger in the organic section, but we ALWAYS have to make a run to Whole Foods for a mysterious ingredient that our very specific dietary needs require (LOL, our motto is; we buy everything organic and try to make everything from scratch).
    I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY (just moved a few years ago, miss it so much) but, I was a die hard Wegman’s customer (like obsessed with Wegman’s, I def. shed a tear over never being able to shop their again). We found a lot of what we needed at Wegman’s, I remember shopping being far more simple when I lived in Syracuse, but we have refined our diet more. We make sandwich bread from scratch, pasta, everything.
    I feel yah!

  17. Sarah S •

    I had the same problem with eating healthy – too many stores or it’s too expensive. Ultimately I settled on going to 2 stores – one a more generic store (albertson’s) for everything but produce and meat and another whole-foods type store for just produce, meat and dairy. I may pay a little bit more, and I may not get absolutely everything organic but it saves my sanity.

  18. Jessica •

    I’ve followed you for a while and just love watching your family grow. I have to say, you’re looking amazing these days! Your skin seems brighter and you look more fit than ever! Do you attribute any of this to your clean eating? I’m wanting to make the switch and just wonder how you find ideas for meals and the time to prep them with the little ones. Any tips?

  19. I had no idea that other people did the five stores a week thing! It’s worth it for your health though. But the tips about buying in bulk are a good idea. I also try to buy 2 of the non-perishable items instead of 1 every time I see them at that particular store.

  20. Take Rowan to see the ballet at SPAC this week! Kids are free on the lawn. My parents took me for the first time when I was three, and I haven’t missed a season yet.

  21. Annika •

    Jen, your dress is absolutely beautiful (as you are yourself :-)). Please tell us where you’ve found it.

  22. Julie •

    Ugh… grocery shopping is definitely rough, esp with kids in-tow. Sometimes i think i spend more time dreading it than actually just going and getting it done. When our girls were really little we only did a big grocery store trip every other week. If we needed something like milk or fresh produce in between we’d make sure we only went to one store or farmer’s market and bought only what we really needed. Since then though i’ve kind of fallen off the meal-planning bandwagon so i end up going every week. Grrrr…

    Have you looked into having a store deliver to your home? We’ve been really happy with ShopRite’s delivery service, but i know there are certain Trader Joe’s products that are not only better quality, but more reasonably priced. And of course, produce selection gets tricky.

    Not sure how close you live to Troy, but a friend of mine has her daughter in the Susan Odell Taylor School and LOVES it.

  23. I need that dress you’re wearing!! Looks like it was made for you.

  24. Thanks so much for letting us know about David Kind. I am totally going to order a pair of glasses.

  25. If you didn’t have so many brats to lug along then it might be easier. Plus, you had them one right after another. What do you expect? If you want to go to that many stores then spread it out.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

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