Archives For On a Personal Note…

Happy Friday, party people! Today is an especially significant day because it’s Nick’s birthday–he’s 30 today! I’m so lucky to have had him around for another year. Here’s to many more!

Are any of my blog readers by chance more tech savvy than I am? Suddenly I cannot change the ads on my sidebar anymore, and I think it’s because the company behind my blog theme (8bit/Standard Theme) is closing up shop and stuff just no longer seems to be working properly. I think this means I need to find a new blog theme and I am terrified. If you have experience transitioning from one WordPress theme to another and are willing to help please let me know! I’ll pay you in free advertising or an item of your choosing from my etsy shop.

Speaking of sidebar ads, it’s that time of the month again! I’d like to thank the folks who help me feel slightly less crazy for spending so much time on this blog by helping me make a little money from it. And at the end I’ll be spotlighting a favorite nonprofit so stay tuned to see what do-good agency I’ll be featuring this time.

Sunday in Savannah Vintage is run by smart and stylish mom-of-a-toddler Laurie. She’s a real life friend and has a seriously huge inventory of vintage clothing. Bonus: a lot of it is totally practical for life with littles–buttons for breastfeeding mamas, full skirts that allow you to move around and sit on the floor, and patterns that hide stains and dirt. She has new stuff every time I check so if you don’t see anything that strikes your fancy today be sure to check back often. How she finds all this stuff is beyond me.

sunday in savannah 70s blouse

Vintage 1970s Pale Blue Gingham Secretary Blouse Shirt

sunday in savannah 60s tank dress

60s Navy and Cream Stripe Mini Tank Dress

sunday in savannah 60s pajamas

Vintage 1960s Pink Lacy Nylon Pajama Set

sunday in savannah 60s dress

1960s Full Skirt Cream and Gold Watercolor Floral Day Dress

Little Eli is the brainchild of Amelia and Meghan, two friends who craft jewelry, soaps, and things you would never imagine making out of concrete. So many of their offerings are just so charming you could eat them up. I love their aesthetic and the fact that many of their items could stand up easily to life with a toddler. little eli concrete vase

Organic Painted Concrete Bud Vase

little eli orange mint soap

Orange Mint Soap

little eli amethyst necklace

3 Stone Amethyst Necklace

And last but not least, an organization that’s near and dear to my heart: AmeriCorps! It’s actually a government agency, not a nonprofit or charity, but it certainly exists to serve the greater good and has had a huge impact on my life. I spent a year working part-time as an AmeriCorps member in college–during the fall and spring I tutored inner-city kids after school and during the summer I led groups of teenagers on service projects (serving meals to the homeless, playing bingo with the elderly, etc.). It. Was. Lifechanging. I learned more than I can explain here about myself, race, culture, poverty, and service. If you’re at a place in your life where serving in your community for a small stipend might be an option I encourage you to check it out! And even if you’re not, you can find volunteer opportunities on a small scale at serve.gov.

americorps

Thanks for reading, y’all. And I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Thank you all so much for your kind words of support and encouragement on yesterday’s post! Our society as a whole has so many issues surrounding weight and body image and I know that many of us struggle to stay healthy. I bought a groupon to a local gym with childcare and have been working out every day this week–I feel great!

I don’t have much to post about this week. We’ve been traveling a lot lately and I haven’t had time to do a lot of DIY projects or decorating. I’ve got plans, though, and hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to carve out some quality time with my creative side! In the meantime, I thought it’d be fun to share with you a few things that have made me smile lately.

Have you see this viral video? Bizarre and surprisingly catchy, it reminds me of the silly songs that Nick and his brothers still make up (they get it from their grandfather). I’m pretty sure this tune is going to be parodied several times in our household.

This post about Whole Foods had me cracking up. Namaste! I avoid that place like the plague.

hell is whole foods

source
Brunch is kind of a big deal around here. I haven’t had any booze with my brunch in a long while, but maybe a bloody mary would help me cope with the stress of eating out with a toddler (why do we keep trying???).

brunch without booze

source
I took a free online Myers-Briggs on a whim the other night and for the first time ever I felt like the results totally nailed me. Maybe this a sign that I’m finally maturing into a stable adult personality? What’s funny is that even though the descriptions all say that it’s a rare type, a social work friend of mine posted the image below on facebook the very next day. I also couldn’t help thinking when I was reading that this type describes my friend Casse (also a social worker) pretty well too. I guess we INFJ’S tend to gravitate toward one another, or at least similar careers.

2013-09-18 07.07.03

I hope you each are having a wonderful week. Thanks as always for reading!

Maybe some of you can relate to this. I have lost and gained the same twenty pounds several times over the years. I’m only five feet tall so twenty pounds make a big difference in the way I feel and the way that clothes fit me. Right now I’m on an upswing, as in I’m actually overweight according to my BMI. In the interest of simplicity I’m just going to put the real numbers right out there.

Age 18: 105ish pounds. Lauren, look how young and fabulous we look!

summer 2003 (570x380)

Facebook didn’t have photos (except for profile pictures) until I was like a junior in college, so I don’t have very many pictures of the in-between here. I didn’t gain any weight my freshman year when I lived in the dorm, but after I moved off campus it was a slow and steady increase that continued through grad school.

Age 23: 138 pounds. Ugh, this is not a flattering picture but all the ones I liked were from the shoulders up. I wonder why.

summer 2008 (372x570)

I lost twenty pounds in a year for our wedding. I still wasn’t going to fit into my prom dress, but I was okay with that. I felt like this was a healthy weight for me.

Age 24: 118 pounds

Charlotte and Nick Wedding

I actually kept the weight off for over a year after we got married. But in the summer of 2010 I started a new job that had me based out of my car instead of an office. I started eating a lot of fast food lunches and my weight crept back up. By the time I got pregnant with Jack the next year I was back to 138.

Age 26: 138 pounds

3 months (414x560)

Surprisingly, I actually did not gain an unreasonable amount of weight when pregnant. I don’t know how because my sugar cravings were so intense that I was practically diabetic. Jack was born at 8 pounds 15 ounces.

9 months pregnant: 165 pounds

9 months

I was amazed to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by my six week checkup. Don’t let the flattering angle of this photo fool you. I had some junk in my trunk. 138 pounds is still overweight for my height.

A few months postpartum (age 27): 138 pounds

Sept 2 2012 southport ct (420x560)

With breastfeeding and halfhearted efforts to watch what I was eating I managed to lose another ten pounds.

May 2013: 128 pounds

may 2013 (380x570)

But I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was all those half price shakes from Sonic that Nick brought home to me all summer, maybe it was all those deliciously cold beers I treated myself to after Jack was in bed for the night, maybe it was the Zoloft I’ve been taking for the last six months, or that I went from nursing Jack every couple of hours to only twice a day. I gained ten pounds this summer and I. Am. Miserable.

September 2013: 138 pounds

003 (406x570)

Out of focus and there’s a weird look on Jack’s face. This was the best self-portrait I could do at 8am with a toddler underfoot.

I’m not asking for advice, but encouragement. I know how to lose weight. I’ve done it before. Part of me wonders if the fact that I keep returning to this exact same weight is a sign that it’s just what I was meant to weigh, but I don’t like it. This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about wanting to lose weight and it probably won’t be the last, but I feel like making my intentions public helps motivate me in some small way to make it happen. Thanks for reading, y’all, and if you’ve had similar struggles I’d love to hear about it.

It’s that time of year. Folks are starting to think about their family photos for the holiday season. If you’re like me you don’t actually get around to it until December, but if you’re planning on having photos taken sooner then props to you. I know not everyone does holiday photos, but for some reason Nick and I started taking them years ago (even if it was just a friend snapping a pic with an iPhone) and I love that it’s become a tradition for us. After we sent out last year’s photo we got lots of compliments on how impressive it was to get all of our pets in there together. If you have any experience with cats you know that they are not exactly obedient creatures.

family cropped (570x407)

My secret: they’re photoshopped. I don’t actually own photoshop and have no idea how to use it, so I’m just using “photoshopped” as a verb there to describe what I did with the photo editing software that came with my laptop (Windows Live Photo Gallery). After many, many “blooper” shots trying to get all three humans and three pets into one photo, we gave up and took one with just us and Juliet.

060 (2) (570x380)

I left my tripod in the same spot, spent a few minutes soothing Pistachio from the trauma of the botched photo shoot, and then perched her on the arm of the couch and ran and snapped a picture before she could move.

005 (570x380)

Then I repeated with Sheila. You can see by her tail that she was still a little bitter over the whole experience., but I called it good enough.

016 (570x380)

Here’s where the magic happens. I went on my computer and picked out the best photos, then opened Windows Live Photo Gallery and selected the two cat pictures (I recreated the process and took screen shots to show y’all for this post), then clicked “photo fuse” near the too left of the screen. You can see my mouse over it in the screenshot below.

Untitled1 (570x320)

It pulled up the picture of Pistachio as the main image. Then all I had to do was select the blank space where I knew Sheila was hiding in the other photo, and it asked me which one I liked best. I chose Sheila.

Untitled2 (570x320)

Bam. Two cats, one photo. And Sheila’s angry tail disappeared in the process.

cats (570x380)

I saved that photo, then fused it with the picture of me, Nick, and Jack. I brought the cats in one at a time by drawing a rectangle around where they sat. It was just luck that Pistachio didn’t mess up my hair, since they overlapped a bit.

Untitled3 (570x320)

untitled4 (570x320)

Ta-da!!!

family (570x380)

The letters on the pillow behind Sheila were a little messy from all that editing, so I cropped it before adjusting the lighting and colors a bit. If you look closely you can see that the curtain behind/above Pistachio is messed up a bit, but I don’t think anyone would notice unless they were looking for it.

family cropped (570x407)

So there ya go! An easy tip to get unruly pets or children into photos with software that I think comes standard on Windows computers these days. I hope y’all each had a lovely weekend. We are back from Austin and ready to get back into the swing of things. Well, I am, at least. Poor Nick was a little bummed about having to go back to work after an entire week off. He and Jack enjoyed spending so much time together. I know he’ll be counting down the days until next weekend!