Clickery for March 27, 2015

clickery header 2 copyWelcome to Clickery, a regular feature where we share things we like because maybe you’ll like them too.

Breanne’s Links

I love this idea: “Forget reducing stress, just add more joy.”

Speaking of added joy, I made this Irish soda bread with the girls this week and it was delicious. It’s such an easy recipe that they were able to help with all of the steps including adorably patting down their own loaves at the end (we split the dough into three).

This is a brilliant idea for meal planning that strikes a balance between my usual laissez-faire and Jen’s monthly binder.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

I’m reading Anna Quindlen’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake and it’s like a big warm hug from a mother/grandmother who has been there and done that and has only love, sympathy, and encouragement for you. Mwah.

Beatrice turned four! Her birthday was dive-bombed by stomach flu + strep, but she recovered and we celebrated throughout the next couple of weeks, culminating with a reschedule of her first friend birthday party at a gymnastics gym. And can I say it? Four is SO MUCH EASIER than 3.5. We are loving it. We caught her in bed reading by flashlight the other night, trying to figure out sounds and words — my heart just broke.

Blythe is so two right now — so very two. She’s liable to lay down on the floor wailing if offered the wrong eating utensil (always the fork, people. FORK). But she is suddenly, 100%, no-reminders-needed potty trained! That forgives a lot. That and the way she sings “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

bag

And finally, a PSA: if you find yourself with a six-week-long cold and decide to get uppity about fake sugars and eschew the sugar-free cough drops, you might just wind up with four (four!) cavities at your next check-up. Filling the first two hurt like crazy and I tried to distract myself thinking of all of the things I could buy with the $68 I had saved by not using the (non-insurance-covered) nitrous oxide. The second time I gladly spent it and enjoyed every minute of it.

 Jen’s Links

Breanne and I had a great email conversation (really the only kind we get these days) about this thought-provoker: Don’t want a promotion? You’re not the only one. It’s not that we don’t want to #leanin, it’s just that we’re so damn tired.

One of my favorite passages:

Lara (an example working mom) couldn’t give a monkey’s because, like most of us, she’s exhausted. She no longer reads articles bemoaning the lack of women in the boardroom, because she has to slip out of such boardrooms to field calls from school about her six-year-old’s new tendency to wet his pants. She could no longer care less about the gender pay gap (female bosses still earn 35 per cent less, on average, than their male counterparts) because she’s too busy grappling with the fact that working was easy when her children could be deposited in a nursery or with a nanny, but when they’re eight and heartbroken because their friend has left them out of a secret club, only their mother will do. When she hears that Apple and Facebook are attempting to woo female employees by promising to freeze their eggs, she gives a hollow laugh at the prospect of these same superstars, aged 70, dealing with their young children’s nits.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 8.58.07 PM

An empowering take on what our lives really are like is the Hello Ladies Mogul, Mom & Maid Manifesto. Read it here. A few of my favorites:

  • We define our own success.
  • We accept good enough. Perfection is overrated.
  • We pace ourselves. Having it all does not mean having it all at once.

I was really busy in January and February with several Go Red for Women events. The Minnesota’s Red Dress Collection show was the most fun of all of them — I wore a custom Thom Navarro dress, walked the runway, and got the chance to speak about women and heart disease to hundreds of people who, judging by the gasps in the audience, really needed to hear about it. I wrote about it on my heart blog and shared a ton of photos.

To do: Get yourself a real swimsuit

bahamas with a one year old
When my oldest was 13 months, we took her on a family vacation to the Bahamas. Upon arrival we headed out to the zero-entry pool. While another tot sat calmly and splashed in the shallows, Beatrice ran in full force until she was over her head and couldn’t breathe. We yanked her up so her head was above water and she laughed delightedly. “Again!” she cried. “Again, again!”

That was our crash course on swimming with young kids. Now that we have two we don’t even consider swimming as a family unless we have two adults — one for each kid. Beatrice and her younger sister, Blythe, are still the same at pools — constantly on the move and always seeking out water that is just a bit too deep for them.

Swimsuits for me used to be something I wore while lounging on a deck chair, a book in one hand, a drink in the other. Sure, sometimes I’d languidly dip in the water, but it was easy to find swimsuits I liked because I didn’t need to DO anything in them.

Then I became a mom and those little flimsy suits from Old Navy didn’t cut it anymore. I needed a REAL suit. One I can run around and scoop up my kids in without worrying about how my stomach looks. A swimsuit with enough structure on top that my two-year-old can’t yank it aside with one errant hand. I want to be able to be as active as my kids want to be, and don’t have time to constantly fuss with my suit.

But I want to feel attractive, too — the last thing moms want is a “mom suit.” Feeling self-confident is also important for me to model for my girls.

When Leonisa reached out to us to see if we wanted to do a review, I took one look at their suits and said YES. Here is what I had been looking for: swimsuits with structure on top that more closely resembled the care and quality that you select in a bra. Suits with a little helping hand in keeping those abs in. Cute colors and patterns that don’t look like you wandered into the teen section at Target, but also don’t scream mom.

Leonisa swimsuits

I ultimately selected this tankini because it’s super flexible — you can wear it long for that sleek, flattering one-piece look but still have the convenience of two pieces (YES!). Or you can synch up the sides to get some sun on your abs during lounge breaks. Also, that gold clip is removable, to dress it up (couples vacation at a swank resort) or down (local swimming beach with the kids).

Leonisa Tankiki Swimsuit

Swim season is coming soon (if you haven’t already been hitting the waterparks), so head on over to Leonisa and pick yourself out a great suit. (Or two —  I was wondering today why I always get a couple of suits in each size for the girls, and I only buy myself one good suit, when I’ll wear my suit for the next five years.)

Summer, and swimming with my two crazy kids: bring it on.

Clickery for February 6, 2015

dropcap_set

Welcome to Clickery, a weekly feature where we share things we like because maybe you’ll like them too. Breanne’s Links Penguin Classics selected 26 books – one for each letter of the alphabet — and designed them in a rainbow of colors as part of a special Drop Caps series. SO PRETTY. Also fun to see […]

{Continue reading…}

Vitamin Mama

Snuggle with girls after MW

Some days I am amazed by the huge, intense, real, deep NEED my girls have for me. I can love them up so hard, snuggle them so tightly they feel like part of my body again, and they come back the next day, ready for more. Sometimes I check to make sure it’s not just […]

{Continue reading…}

Winter hike-in cabin camping with children at Tettegouche State Park

Granite Gear pulk sled

Every winter some friends of ours hike into a cabin at Tettegouche State Park, and I’ve always wanted to try it. Their trips sounded so magical — sipping coffee while big snowflakes fall outside, taking long snowshoe or ski outings on the vast network of trails, reading in front of the wood stove. Our seven […]

{Continue reading…}

Top 14 posts of 2014

top 14 featured image

Today is the end of our third full year of blogging, and as is tradition, we end the year with our most-read posts of 2014. We chose 14 (seven each), plus one bonus guest post that was the most-read post of any we published in 2014. The top post of 2014 The gift of Hannah: […]

{Continue reading…}

Why we love our standing desks

10246249_749496516488_7649840456683390257_n

Like we often do, because great minds think alike, Jen and I decided independently to get standing desks this year. If you’ve read any of the research, they are calling sitting the new smoking, and saying that even if you exercise regularly you cannot overcome the adverse affects of sitting at your work all day. I’ve […]

{Continue reading…}

Saying Goodbye to the Buddy

buddies

Before we were actual parents, we were cat parents. When we found mice in our first apartment in Uptown, we brought my childhood cat, Rocky, to live with us. (And yes, he solved the mice problem). When he passed away two years later, we adopted Cadbury (Cat-buddy) and Stilton, two Siamese brothers. They were more […]

{Continue reading…}