May 30, 2018

Amazon Finds That Make My Life Better

Do you guys online shop as much as I do? I find it helps me keep my budget (and sanity) in check by avoiding all the extra pretty stuff in stores and also from clothes-lining an obnoxious person in the process.

I have tried to curb the frivolous spending as much as possible, so I would categorize most of these items in the "need" section of my life. If you follow along on Instagram, I tend to rave about my favorite stuff sometimes, and most likely they have 2-Day Prime Amazon shipping attached to them.

Without further ado, here of some of my recent faves I buy on a regular basis.
(all items are affiliate linked...enjoy!!)

Tyler Brand - Diva Dryer Sachets
OK guys...friend's of mine RAVE about this laundry detergent. I was nervous to bite the bullet since I wasn't sure if I would love the smell, so instead I found they sold these cute little dryer sachets with the same scent.

YOU GUYS. They are heavenly and leave the same wonderful scent on my clothes as the detergent. They do an excellent job softening everything just enough, and each sachet last 8-10 rounds in the dryer. For under $9 you can't lose!

Diva Dryer Sachets

Hayward Tigershark Robotic Pool Cleaner
Obviously this won't appeal to anyone that doesn't have a pool, but for those who do?


The prior homeowners left us their old Aquabot, but it stopped working correctly last year and we knew we had to bite the bullet and get another one. So I purchased a few from Amazon including a Dolphin and another Aquabot, but the Hayward Tigershark was the clear winner.

We have a pool heater from Hayward so I knew the brand could be trusted, but the overall design and effectiveness of cleaning really won out with this model. We have a freeform, kidney-shape pool and this guy detects dirt on all surfaces. It has a full-clean and quick-clean mode and rinsing out the filter is super easy (as opposed to the aquabot diaper bag, which is how I refer to the old one) :)
Not cheap, but WELL worth it if you have a pool and want to offload some of the maintenance.
Oh, and don't bother with the caddy. It's not that heavy and can be easily stored in a pool shed when it's not cleaning.

I have been eyeing this solar-powered floating skimmer for the crap that keeps falling into the pool from the trees. If anyone has used one and wants to clue me in let me know!! We may end up buying it in the next couple of years.
Pool Vacuum

YS Organic Bee Farm - Bee Pollen
I heard a rumor that eating bee pollen can curb seasonal allergies. After some research and confirmation that I am NOT allergic to bees and bee pollen (you MUST ensure this is true otherwise please don't eat this stuff. You will likely end up in the ER), I found this company on Amazon and they just happen to be local to the Chicago area (which is ideal when buying pollen....local is best!) I take a heaping teaspoon of the pollen granules each morning before I brush my teeth (the aftertaste isn't ideal) and I must say...coming from someone that basically weeps all spring and fall....this year hasn't been NEARLY as bad! I also bought their raw honey and am obsessed!

Bee Pollen

Iron Out
If you have hard rusty water and get those nasty stains in your toilets, sink and shower areas....just do yourself a favor and buy this shit immediately. It. Is. Magic. (just make sure the area is well-ventilated while you spray). I tend to buy 4-5 bottles at a time we use it so much!

Do NOT buy the toilet tabs. They don't work at all. I accidentally bought the shake bottle of this stuff but that's really just for washing machines. Sometimes I'll throw it in with a load of whites since they tend to get rust stains from the water. It does the trick but this spray stuff works so much better!!

Iron Out Spray
EO Everyone Lotion

A long time ago, back when I was in the midst of fertility treatments, I sourced out as many chemical-free skin and beauty products as I could muster. I became addicted to this lotion in the process. They used to sell it at Target, but when they stopped, I found it on Amazon.
I love both this coconut lemon scent and the mint/coconut scent...smells like a mojito!!

EO Lotion

Finally, this may not necessarily be a NEED. But it IS SUMMER. So I can justify it as a need because it is awesome and fun and exactly what you NEED this summer.

A Pineapple Pool Float....DUH.

Pool Float

Hope you find some of these things as useful as I have!!
Thanks for reading, XO
May 23, 2018

My Brain Flipped a Switch

Oh, hey guys.

I took an unintended hiatus from writing, obviously. Not to rummage through a bout of depression or anything, more just because, didn't seem needed in my life at the moment.

But I'm here today. So glad you're here, too.

We left off in the week dedicated to spreading awareness in the infertility community and because of that week, I sort of hit a brick wall.

Like, I felt as though I kept running in circles and replaying all the shitty stuff in my head, and I finally had enough.

I had enough of the pity parties, of the constant need to sleep because my brain was exhausting me.
I had enough of the self-loathing, of the inability to think about the future and only focus on the past.

That's no way to live.
So about a month ago, I woke up one morning and decided I was done.

My brain flipped a switch and from that point on I started dreaming again about my future.
I committed to fully embracing my family, just as it is. I fully accepted that what we have is NORMAL and not to be judged, and I started making plans about OUR future, as a family of two. 
And I have never felt better.

I started really thinking about family, and motherhood, or lack thereof.

For the record, no one has scorned me, no one has lashed out at me or made me feel less than for not successfully procreating. I have not personally been victimized, but I have seen it happen one too many times in other's live's to keep quiet. No one has done anything to me in a negative way at all, to be honest. 
I am just attempting to dispell societal norms by giving a voice to the minority of women who are in the same stilletos as me. 

So go ahead and X out if you're unable to read a differing viewpoint without throwing a shit-fit.

I realized that I was trying to keep up with the "Jones's," so to speak, to become a mother.
I wanted to become a part of the in-crowd so badly it was blinding.
NO ONE wants to feel left out, especially when they can't control it.

Mom's these days have done such a wonderful job sharing all the up's and down's about motherhood and created this incredible bond with each other in the process.
There is SO. MUCH. written about mom-life and pregnancy and parenting and raising kids and everything in between.  You are all such wonderful, selfless people and should be acknowledged for your efforts no matter how you intend to raise your children.

But then there is this minority; the uncomfortable few that society wants to sweep under the rug and forget about. Women who either cannot have or do not want children.

And you can nay-say all you want, but what's true is true.

As a woman, you either attain your higher purpose as a mom or you might as well crawl in a hole and die because you are nothing worth talking about in society's eyes.

We non-mom's should just take all our money and free-time and sleeping-in and brunches and late-nights and shove it right up our selfish asses, right?

How often have you heard, "Welcome to the Club" cooed from the droves of other mom's, with a wink and a nod, when a new mom presents a newborn?

But what if you.....aren't a mom? What if you never make it to the club?

I understand this is not intentional, and that not everyone thinks this way, but I would fare to say that most women in society would look down on non-mom's with pity, or think they are selfish, or toss out really fucking stupid phrases like "well there's still time" or "better seduce your hubby" or "you can always adopt."

Because, obviously:
You have no real purpose until you are able to raise a child.
You have no business as a woman if you aren't crooning your brood.
You don't know the true meaning of happiness unless you are watching your child grow.
Your life couldn't possibly be complete if it doesn't contain offspring.

I am here to combat that stigma and tell those other non-mom's that it's not only OKAY but TOTALLY NORMAL to choose to stop fighting, or never fight in the first place. To back away from the chaos of trying to conceive. To move forward with your life sans kids.

Bra-fucking-vo for taking that scary step away from societal norms and putting your foot down.
Your sanity and your health are FAR more important than attempting to squeeze a watermelon out of your busted lemon vag.

I know damn well that life is completely fucking amazing without kids. Mark and I are living proof that you are only bound by what you're afraid of, and sometimes stepping outside your comfort zones is what attains the unimaginable.

There may not be droves of us women in the same boat, but there are more and more by the day. Just read the stats....the US is at an all-time-low birth-rate since the 50's.

And we need to stop feeling ashamed because of what other people might think.

It takes a shit-ton of courage to admit that maybe, JUST might be awesome if we're not mom's. Maybe it is EXACTLY what was intended for us. Maybe we DON'T need to conform. Maybe forging our own path was exactly what we were supposed to do in the first place.

But I know. I get it.
It's scary to not be part of the popular crowd.
It's scary to be the odd one out.
It's fucking scary because you KNOW you are being JUDGED for supposedly NOT CARING ENOUGH.
For supposedly NOT TRYING ENOUGH.

But you know what?


I will continue to make my voice heard that life as a non-mom is just as valid and hard and exhausting and exciting and fulfilling and productive and USEFUL as that of a mom, just in a totally different way.

It's NOT a competition.

No one wins in this game, anyways. We all just try our best every damn day and hope to God we die peacefully in our sleep at the end of a very long and fulfilling life, preferably surrounded by a pile of puppies. At least, that's what I hope for.

Only a pile of assholes would bother judging each other, anyways.

Now to hop off my soap box....

As I said, something flipped in my brain and I woke up one day and just fully embraced my life and my future and my family and all our beautiful time together.

We are making plans to eliminate all our debt and loans and do all the things I have hesitated to do in the past....just in case....I became a mom.

But now,
There will be no more hesitations.
No more focusing on the past.
No more focusing on the what-ifs.
No more focusing on the if-only's.

You don't evolve as a human by wishing things went differently.
What was supposed to happen in your life, happened exactly as it should.

I was not meant to be a mother.
And that is totally, absolutely 100% okay.
It's not a place for's a cause for celebration.

I now know and embrace my life path, and it does not include children.
So. What.

It's 100% okay to embrace the path less taken.
To carve out your own way.
To go opposite of the crowd.
To not be in the majority.

I am finding that I like the adventure of the unknown, anyways.
Thanks for reading. XO