Monday, September 22, 2014

5 Things - The Audra, Autumn Excitement, and Captain Obvious Edition

1. I put this up on all kinds of social media already, but I thought I'd go ahead and share it here, too. This is a set of photos I've taken of Audra next to her Simba plushie. Birth, 2 weeks, 1 month, and 6 weeks are represented so far. A month and a half of Tuesdays and look how big she's getting!

She still feels terribly small in my arms, though.

I'm preparing for the return to work here very soon, so I'm trying to spend extra time holding her. Which is handy, since last week was a growing-week and being held was the only thing that would calm her down most of the day. Otherwise... well, let's just say the dog spent a lot of time in the backyard because it's quiet out there.

The funny part is that the fussiness last week was almost entirely during the day. Jason went back to work last week, and whenever he would get home she'd mostly be calm and sweet and you'd never have known I spent half the day singing and rocking her.

Next week is two months! Kind of awesome that we've kept her alive this long, right?

2. Kind of seriously craving this cardigan from L.L. Bean, its matching undershirt, and all the things that this weight of sweater and color suggest; a true chill in the air, actual ice and snow, the need to wear gloves or at least the need to make a pile of excuses (or write a poem) as to why I don't.

I never said I was particularly stylish or fashion-savvy. In fact, I think I've said exactly the opposite about a thousand times. I love gigantic cable-knit sweaters whether they are "in" or not, and I love the whole two months of the year I can really pull my heavy sweaters out without feeling vaguely ridiculous.

There is something to be said for living in the Upstate of South Carolina - there are still times I can really get away with heavy sweaters. Last year we had a ridiculous snow-and-ice-storm that shut my workplace (and Jason's) down for days.

And, if it's not cold enough, we can just take a day trip up to Asheville and feel about 20 degrees cooler there.

So yes, count me in on the excited-for-fall bandwagon everyone else is on. It's true! I'm weak. I hate summer, to be honest. I hate the humidity and the heat of South Carolina pressing down on me, I especially hated it while heavily pregnant and hardly able to walk. I dislike sweating.

So I dream about late fall and winter all year long, and I dream about sweaters.

This sweater, specifically.

3. NPR, with an article on how chronic stress can seriously exacerbate or outright lead to all kinds of health problems.

The article's title? "Best Not to Sweat the Small Stuff, Because It Can Kill You."

Thanks, NPR. Those of us dealing with chronic anxiety and stress are just super enthused to hear that. The article is pretty interesting, although honestly most of us with anxiety issues already know all that already; we've been hypochondriacs for years. We know all about every single twitch, mole, freckle, or bump that could mean Something Very Serious, because we're pretty sure it is serious and we were already worried about our cortisol levels thank you very much.

Basically, this is all about how I need to stop reading articles about stress and anxiety, because they are obviously written for people who don't have it.

Which I do.

Let me tell you about my psychosomatic health problems!

4. So, the thing about being home is that I'm hungry all. the. time. Seriously all the time. The fun part about being a new mom is that I've been able to eat a shocking amount of food without gaining weight; I'm going to look back on this time as the best eating months of my life, I suppose. The downside to that is that if I run out of snack food (or rather, don't want to run out of it within two days) I have to actually cook something.

Yesterday, I ate lunch (a whole package of those Campbell's ready-made soup bags, which says it's for two people but it lies) and then two hours later found myself completely ravenous.

So I looked up the easiest recipe for food I could think of.

Beer bread!

I used this recipe, just the first google result.

I added the melted butter straight in, and used Magic Hat's Wilhelm Scream (their pumpkin beer for this year). It only needed about 45 minutes of baking and it was absolutely perfect.

And so, so, so easy.

This and Irish Soda Bread are my go-tos if I want something hearty with as little effort as humanly possible.

5. So, I basically always wear color. This should surprise no one who has met me, or even people who have read here for any length of time. I don't really like neutrals, except sometimes black (if my jewelry is very colorful.)

This has led to a problem.

All my purses are multi-colored (or incredibly tiny) and, as such, don't really work with a wide variety of my outfits. So I've been staring all over the place trying to find a nice, neutral brown bag. I'm thinking about saving up for this purse from Madewell; Franish, my favorite style blogger, has a Madewell tote she often raves about. I know next to nothing about grown-up purses (honestly, I mostly chose my purses by asking the question "is this big enough to carry whatever novel I'm reading?" for my entire life so far), so I'm kind of looking for advice on that.

Then there's Everlane.

I found Everlane through Franish as well - it's a clothing company that cuts out the middle-man, dealing directly with factories and selling directly to consumers. This allows them to sell their clothing and accessory items for less than they would retail for. Each item has a little blurb about the factory it comes from, which I find really neat. I've had my eye on some of their T-shirts as well, since they sell for $15 and I'm seeing people rave about them.

And it's where I found the tote above. Sure, it's not a neutral exactly, but it is a single-color bag and it is gorgeous, and incredibly affordable.


Winter is coming.

Which means Christmas is coming.

Which means it is time to daydream!

(eh, who am I kiddin', I am going to spend all our money on Audra's first Christmas this year. Audra needs a purse, right? Eh? Am I right?)

Full disclosure: If you click through the link to Everlane, create an account, and purchase an item - I will receive a $25 credit as a referral reward after your first purchase. Just putting that out there. And hey, if you like their stuff, maybe you buy a T-shirt or a sweater, help me buy a new purse? Eh? Eeeeehhhh? Eeeeeehhhhh?


  1. Freakin' beer bread man! Me and my mom would always make it in November/December. But I might have to do it a bit earlier this year..

  2. Beer bread = the best. The easiest and the best. Noms.

  3. OMG that cardigan! I wanna hold it close and nap forever!
    ps - found your blog through GOMI and now I will lurk there AND here! #notacreeper

    1. I need to live somewhere with longer winters, so I can own more sweaters!

      It's sad that I think things like that in all seriousness, right?

  4. If giant cardigans are bad then I'm the worst. I'm all for it!

    Also: Yeah, that NPR headline made me lol.


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