Currently, I have 79 total make up items (not counting 15 brushes or 6 perfume, including 4 roller balls I was just given at Christmas) and 36 of those are STILL powder eye shadows; I count each shadow individually. I’m SO CLOSE to finishing my first one and in this process, I have realized exactly how hard it is to really, truly use up a whole palette. I’d really love to half this number by the end of 2017. Doubtful without some serious effort.
I did finish up a few lip products this year, as well as two mascaras and a foundation. Those continue to be the easiest products to use up. Currently 35% of what I own is cruelty free and 19% is also vegan but 100% of everything I purchased this year is both. I am focusing on using up older, non cruelty free, non vegan items this year.
I know that this probably seems trivial to some, but this practice helps me be a more mindful consumer.
Likes: helping feed yourself, playing peek a boo, your jumperoo from Santa, chewing on board books
Dislikes: sleeping thru the night, being in your snow suit (you wanna go!)
Who You Saw: Grandma, Grandpa, your aunt, uncle and cousins, a great aunt came all the way from Texas just to meet you while we were in Minnesota
Places We Traveled: MINNESOTA!
It was such a wonderful first Christmas, celebrating with our family in Ohio and in Minnesota, and I’m astounded at what a good traveler you are. We also went to A Dickens of Christmas and ZooLights here in Central Ohio.
Milestones: you are sitting now! We also started solids this month.
Best Nonfiction Book of 2016: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Best Fiction Book(s) of 2016: The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle; Dawn by Octavia Bulter; Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Favorite trip of 2016: easily our trip to Great Smokey Mountains National Park in May. This year also saw lots of trips to Chicago, hosting great company and one awesome trip up to Minnesota
Our fifth wedding anniversary!
Movies Watched: pathetically few. Something had to give this year and being up on good movies was it. I’m not sure I’ll track movies watched next year but will still continue to listen to my film podcasts 😉
Best Movies of 2016: Rogue One was my favorite new movie this year by far.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik: Several friends recommended this young adult fantasy novel to me and I can see why they loved it. It is one of the most inventive stories I have read in a long time! Novik tells the story of Agnieszka, a plain daughter of a woodcutter. She lives in a valley protected by a cold and driven wizard from the encroaching and evil Wood, called the Dragon, who selects one girl to come live in his tower every 10 years.
What I Watched: Christmas Vacation, A Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
I purchased a set of Best Bottom Cloth diapers before our little one was due to join us that included 24 small Stay Dry inserts and 13 covers. Since then we’ve added 9 bamboo mediums and 16 organic cotton larges and a few more super cute covers to our rotation. Since we’ve had all three insert types that they sell, I feel very confident in reviewing them.
The Stay Dry was fine for those newborn days and do not really stain. However, these inserts are pretty bulky and I could see them getting in the way of more active older babies. The bamboo and cotton inserts are much more trim and more likely to stain (read: they totally stain). I love they they are natural fibers. If I were to do it over again, I would just buy the cotton in small and large. We used the mediums overnights with the smalls from 2-4 months and switched to larges during the day with a different brand cloth diaper for overnight (thanks to some lovely friends who shared from their stashes with us).
The PUL double gusset cover is really great – it buttons in a very similar way to a disposable diaper. You do need to get the flaps tucked in on the front in order to prevent leaks but we’ve been very, very happy with them. If you are looking for a straightforward way to cloth diaper – I highly recommend Best Bottom brand!
For the last two Black Fridays, REI has closed and encouraged their staff, members and customers, to #optoutside and avoid the frenzy of Black Friday. You can check out some pictures from others who also opted out here.
Last year, we went down to Clear Creek Metro Park for a good long hike as you can put together a nearly 10 mile loop and M was eager to try out some trail lunch ideas. It was a great day.
This year, we had baby C in tow but have decided that going to Clear Creak is now our Black Friday tradition. We did a different loop, one that was only 4 miles long, since it was a little chilly for the wee one. It is such a beautiful park and I’m glad this land is protected.
We are trying to say ‘no more’ to the destruction unbridled capitalism is doing to our planet, our wallets, and our relationships by opting out. We still buy – and make – presents for those in our lives for this holiday season but we do not need to do it on Black Friday. There is no crock pot deal on the planet that is worth bypassing family time – for myself and for the employees of the stores that are open on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.
Likes: songs, peek-a-boo, repetitive play, your keys
Dislikes: playing alone, being in your highchair
Who You Saw: Nana and Grampy’s neighbors – as a dragon! You did pretty great for the first hour of trick or treat but definitely didn’t make it the whole evening! You were your aunt’s date at our first hockey game of the season; can’t wait to take you to the rest of the games this season.
Places We Traveled: You and I flew to Chicago for work and to see some good friends. You did SO WELL on the flights. I can’t wait to fly with you again! J and her son drove down from Madison to meet you (& bring Mama all sorts of necessary baby gear I didn’t bring thru the airport) and we stayed with G in her brand new house. It was a very fast trip but so filled with love.
Milestones: You are rolling over like a champ now! You’ll roll across the living room to get to a toy or Kitten. You’re also working super duper hard on sitting up unassisted, although you can totally sit if someone is nearby to hold you if you become unsteady. You’ve also started to push off like you want to start crawling – which this Mama would love to put off a while yet, kiddo!
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald: While incredibly well written, I read this over the week preceding and following the election. It was nice to be reading a downer so I could escape into someone else’s melancholy for a bit but it didn’t leave me with too much of a great recommendation for this book, which frankly, it doesn’t deserve. Following Helen, an accomplished falconer, as she grieves the loss of her father by training a goshawk, one of the most fierce hawks.
Walk into Silence by Susan McBride: Jenny Dielman vanished from small town Texas and Detective Jo Larson wonders if it is a simple case of a bored housewife running away. As she digs deeper into this mystery, she discovers a controlling husband, a tragic past with its callous ex-husband. I really enjoyed this novel and found it to be a quick read but think the ending would not surprise regular mystery readers.
Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis #2) by Octavia Butler: I ADORED the first book in this trilogy and this book follows one of Lilith’s children, Akin, who is taken by resisters as a youngster. I loved this book and flew thru it.
Imago (Xenogenesis #3) by Octavia Butler: The final book in the Xenogenesis trilogy follows another of Lilith’s children, Jodahs, who grows up to be ooloi – something that isn’t supposed to happen. I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy and highly recommend it. We are so lucky to have her words and ideas with us.
What I Watched: A Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,
I bought this pattern almost a year ago (yikes!) and when my favorite fabric store, Sew to Speak, was moving I picked up some super fun pineapple fabric on sale. Lucky for me, they still have the pattern in store so I could purchase the length I needed (plus an extra yard, oops!) and bring home fabric that had a project already picked out.
I cut this out in an afternoon and was able to work on it in fits and spurts in the last two weeks of my maternity leave. I’m really excited with how this turned out – even if I did pick the wrong size. The pattern was straightforward and challenging enough that I learned a few new things but not too difficult I couldn’t stop and start over the course of a few afternoons. I worked mostly off the Gallery tunic view but added the pockets and collar from the dress view. I would definitely make this again, probably in a more drape-y fabric.