Talking Instagram & a Quick Question for You

12 Feb

I’m just going to throw this out there into the world — because good things tend to happen when you publicly state your intentions — one of my blog goals for this year is to grow my Instagram page.

Oh, you didn’t know I had an Instagram page?

Well, click on over to find PocketfulofJoules over there too!
BOOM, one more follower.
I hope.

Anyways, I’m not really the type of girl to post pictures of my girlie bits to get followers… so I thought I’d just tell you all and hope that you’d like to follow me. It sounds kind of simple, but those plans tend to be the ones that work the best, right?

I love using Instagram as a way to do a daily check in. If you like my Stitch Fix reviews, well you might like to see how I style the items I buy. If you like cute kids and fuzzy rescue dogs… well, Jack and Ollie often make appearances. If you like emoticons, well I use ‘heart eyes’ and ‘wink face’ like a champ. If you like inspirational fitness pictures… you may see one someday. {wink face}

I also like to use my Instagram account as a nifty way for me to do kind of a ‘micro blog’ when I have something to share that wouldn’t necessarily make a whole blog post.

Like this:

Or this:

So, what else do I post?
Well, stuff like this:

IG stream

And now for the question… tell me WHY you follow someone on Instagram. Is it to get inspiration with outfit pictures, to see something silly, to get the behind-the-scenes stories on bloggers you like, or some other reason? Enlighten me!

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Thrift Store Haul

11 Feb

I love shopping at thrift stores. Back in high school, finding super cool ‘vintage’ t-shirts at the local Goodwill was the BEST. When I bought my first townhouse in my early 20’s, most of my decorations came from thrift stores or yard sales. There is just something about the thrill of the hunt… and the fact that everything is so inexpensive you don’t have to worry about regretting a purchase.

I’ve gotten out of the habit of regularly visiting thrift stores, but still keep them in rotation when looking for gently-worn kids clothes. For the past few years, I ended up getting Jack’s snowsuits AND swimsuits at thrift stores and many even still had the tags on them!

Over the weekend, after fighting a stomach bug and winning, I was dying to get out of the house for a bit. Jack and I went to the grocery store, and then before returning home I decided to swing by the local Goodwill to see what treasures we’d uncover. With groceries in the truck, we didn’t have a ton of time… but all it took was about 15 minutes and we found some awesome stuff!

I’d been eyeing a button up blouse on the J.Crew website for a while but I’m still not sure I’m really a ‘button up’ kinda girl, so when I saw this men’s version for $5.89 I snapped it up:

Thrift Store Haul - shirt

It’s a bit large on me, but I’m thinking some quick sewing will nip it in exactly where I need it. I’m imagining it under a cardigan with the rolled sleeves showing and some skinny jeans. Or maybe tucked into a high-waisted skirt. Would you be interested in seeing some style options?

Next, we breezed by the kid’s section and I checked both the 4T’s and 5T’s for anything that still had tags on it. I ended up finding two pairs of Car’s swim trunks that didn’t have tags, but look brand-new. Jack is a big fan of Car’s, so I had to check them out:

Thrift Store Haul - swim trunks

I always need extra swim suits for Jack since over the summer I have to send one to his school and one to my parent’s house, so for $2.50 a piece, these will definitely come in handy.

As we neared the checkout, we eyed our final bargain… a stack of 6 Hess Trucks, still in their original boxes were sitting by the register. Jack LOVES his trucks, especially the Hess trucks handed down from my brother, so I let him pick his favorite and he chose the 2010 Truck & Jet set for $15.00.

Buying toys is always a risk since you don’t know if they will work when they get home. But even after I explained to Jack that they might not make noises he was ecstatic to bring them home. In fact, he kept yelling “Thank you! Thank you!” in the checkout line and kissing the box…

Luckily when we got home we found that not only were they still bound in their original packaging inside the box, the batteries still worked too! Oh, and for anyone who thinks that these are expensive collector’s items, I checked eBay and they pretty much go for $10 – 20.

Our entire trip cost less than $30 and I’m super happy with everything that came home with us. Jack has been playing with his new truck and jet every day since we brought them home, which in itself is totally worth it.

Every time I have an awesome thrifting experience like this, I tell myself that we need to do it more often. Of course, many times we walk away empty handed, but that’s just how thrift magic works.

I’d love to hear your thrifting stories! Did you find a diamond in the rough (literally or figuratively)? Have you ever gotten in a fight over an item? What do you like to look for while thrifting?

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It Took Me a Year to Potty Train My Son

9 Feb

One of the absolute worst things that I’ve dealt with as a parent is potty training.

It was worse than trying to breastfeed my NICU baby who had no interest at all. It was worse than when Jack busted his chin open on the fireplace and had to have it glued back together. It was worse than when Jack had RSV and had to spend the night in the hospital in a full-on BABY CAGE.

It was the WORST.

And you know WHY it was the worst?
Because it was a never-ending hell of poop.

it took me a year to potty train my son

If you are one of those parents who potty trained their kid using the oh-so-popular 3 day method you can just click away right now because it’s about to get real.

It didn’t work for us. At all.

Sure, Jack got his peepee’s down pretty well within a week or so (you can check out our first update here).

But pooping was a problem.

Most of the time he would just poop his pants. I’d catch him making his ‘poopy face’ and suggest he try the potty, only to have him lie to my face about pooping. Then, 45 seconds later he’d come over with a turd in his pants and ask me to change him.

I tried charts.
I tried rewards.
I tried leaving it up to him.
I tried guilt trips.
I tried taking things away.
I tried EVERYTHING.

And I felt like a terrible mom because where every other mom was just CRUSHING the potty training thing in 3 freaking days, I kept failing.

A few months into it, he actually did really well for about 10 days and I thought ‘I’ve DONE IT!’ and then he started having a leaky bowel. Which is a technical way of saying that the kid was rocking skid marks.

Apparently this is super common (especially with boys) where the kid tries to hold his poop so long that he gets constipated and then a little poop will leak out around the blockage.

Didn’t anyone tell you how glamorous parenthood would be?
So, what’s the cure?

Well, you get to try to change their diet, add some stool softener to their drink for a month or two and pull out the big-gun suppositories when it gets really bad.

And let me tell you, when I thought about being a parent I never once imagined begging my child to turn around and stick his butt in the air so I put some ‘butt medicine’ up there.

Months went by.
Months and months and months.

Nothing worked.

Sometimes he’d poop in the potty and most of the time he’d poop his pants.

I begged.
I bribed.
I threatened to take him out of his beloved Spiderman underpants and back to pull-ups.

NOTHING WORKED.

I went to the pediatrician and asked her WHY I am failing as a parent.
She basically told me that boys take forever to potty train and to take the pressure off.

So I ignored it.
The problem didn’t go away.
More months passed.

And then finally when hanging out with my dad one day (Jack calls him “Dippy” and he is pretty much his favorite person in the world) he decided to poop on the potty.

And he continued using the potty for the next two weeks with only one accident.
Just like that.
Easy-peasy. {insert hysterical laugher here}

That was about 2 months ago and I’m still kind of afraid to type or say the words that my kid is potty trained. But he is. FINALLY. A freaking YEAR after we started.

So, why am I sharing this with you? Well to tell any other parents out there with a hard-to-potty-train kid that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It sucks and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. And that’s okay. One day it will happen.

Not the day YOU want it to happen, but when your kid decides to. It’s totally up to them. And that sucks.

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I Saw it On Pinterest: ‘Cat Eye’ Eyeliner

8 Feb

So far in my Pinterest adventures, I’ve tackled a braided bun, made some fire starters, tried to unclog a sink drain, made a t-shirt bag, baked some crappy s’mores pockets and made an awesome blanket scarf.

Well I received a liquid liner in my January Birchbox (review of box coming soon) and had the great thought that I’d use some Pinterest tutorials to try the ‘cat eye’ look. I mean, how hard could it be?

I found two posts that sounded perfect to help me figure it out: 22 Genius Eyeliner Hacks Every Woman Needs to Know and 18 Useful Tips for People Who Suck at Eyeliner. Considering that I use eyeliner on a daily basis, I figured that with these 40 new tips I’d be a PRO!

The girl on the pin is exactly the look that I am going for:

cat eye pin

I mean look at her… it’s perfect! And don’t even get me started on the eyebrow jealousy I have going on right now…

So with this exact ‘swoop’ in mind, I readied myself. I read EVERY SINGLE tip in each article. I steadied my hand on my face. I made small dots with the liquid liner and slowly smudged them together. I tried making the liner extend out on a curve… only to realize it was randomly curving down when I stopped pulling my skin tight. I wiped it off with makeup remover and tried it again.

And again.
And again.
Okay, so I got one side done and it’s not TOO awful.

cat eye 2

And then, I did the other side.

cat eye 3

What the hell just happened here?!
I’m not even kidding when I say that this is literally the best that I could do after trying over and over again.

Even when it seemed like I was doing a good job, I’d back up from the mirror to look and I pretty much looked CRAZY.

I mean, LOOK AT THIS:

cat eye 4

Maybe I just need more practice? Like months and months of more practice…

Have you perfected the art of the ‘cat eye’?

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