How To: Beach with Baby

So, what’s a new mom to do?

It’s June, which  means it’s unbearable in your house, and outside. Let’s just call this the month of “let’s just go somewhere with air conditioning.” It’s also the beginning of many northerners heading to the beach or the pool to cool off. So, what’s a new mom to do? I mean, we already pack up half of our lives every time we go to the grocery store, so what the heck do you bring with you on a day outing?

I’ve gotten my bags down to a science. Sometimes, for day outings– you gotta wing it. A few essentials, but if you pack too much, you’ll end up carrying things back and forth to your car. You’ll be grumpy and tired, and have to deal with a sun-kissed toddler(s). It’s not easy, but it’s doable. Let’s break it down:

Write a checklist the day before

…and go over it with someone, if you’re really crazy. Just read it a couple times to your self, and think about your situations that you’re going to be in. Here’s what’s on my list:

  1. 4-5 diapers
  2. wipes
  3. a change of clothes
  4. a towel/blanket
  5. sunscreen for face and body
  6. pacifier or favorite toys
  7. umbrella or mini tent for some shady snoozes
  8. a mini cooler or lunchbox (I snagged mine from my husband)
    1. 2 bottles filled with water
    2. Packets of formula
    3. If your baby is starting on solids– feel free, but I would save that for when you get home.

Here’s the thing about this stuff. You aren’t going to an island with no stores– and if you are, you’re lucky because I can’t stand people. If you forget something, get it asap from a store while you’re there.

Pack Up The Night Before

Make sure that you aren’t just throwing things in a pack. Let’s get some Monica action here: Yell check after everything goes in..not. Anyway, make sure that you have a ziplock bag for your sunscreen, and some plastic bags for your diapers! While your at it, pack up your stuff as well.

Eat before leaving

Make sure to feed the babes before going, maybe while someone else packs up the car. It is simpler than the baby waking up mid-way through the drive and SCREAM the whole rest of the way.  On that note, put on your sunscreen before putting on bathing suits, swim shirts ride up, and no one likes a crispy baby!

Keep It Short/Don’t push going in the water

You know my kid loves a good pool, but if the baby hasn’t napped, hasn’t eaten, and is hot– guess what you’re not having? A good time. The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was to have your baby fit into your schedule, but that doesn’t mean forget that you have a baby who does need to eat and sleep. Read the signs, and if he/she starts to cry– stop trying to get that perfect photo, and start your routine!

Take Pictures

But, as I said before– don’t push your kid. I can’t STAND seeing parents on the beach saying, “Just one more, I know you’re tired!” Like, seriously? Your kid is cooked. Just stick a fork in him, because he…is done. Wait until after their nap or after they eat to take some candids. Guess what? The beach is always going to be there– and just because you didn’t get a catalog worthy pic doesn’t mean you’re a failure as a mother.

Bathe Them

Here’s something I didn’t realize– bathing your babes after sunscreen. For those more experienced moms– sorry that I made you cringe. I really didn’t know! My mom told me once it started getting nice out. If we apply sunscreen, homeboy gets a bath when we get home. If he’s snoring hardcore, wipe him down and bathe him first thing in the morning. You don’t want to go two days without cleaning off that sweat from his/her body.

I know I’m being bossy, and my favorite thing to say to mommas is don’t listen to anyone’s advice and just do what you feel is right– but somethings, you need a couple stories/pieces of advice to help you decide what is right for you.

 

 

 

Love you, mean it.

 

K

 

 

Best Planners out There?

I must say, I’m still not a planner person.

So, we talked about stationary…a basic girl’s most used drug. However, we didn’t talk about their secret weapon: planners. Ugh, not this again…I know, I know. Planner talk means back to school– but with popular brands getting their planner options for the new year out NOW– it’s time for all of you guys to take charge and shop smart for a great planner. I’ve gone through a couple– and I must say, I’m still not a planner person.

Guys, I really try– but I can never seem to keep track of it, or keep up with it as the months go on. Let’s face it, I buy planners because they’re pretty. If you love planners, good for you– because I sure as hell can’t seem to get it together.

Even though I forget about my planners a month into buying them, I’m still on the look out for some bitchin’ ones for you all. That’s right– I’ve been doing my homework, and I must say, we have some pretty steep competition this year.

Here it is, the best of the best planners for everyone out there:

Lilly Pulitzer, kate spade, Emily Ley, Erin Condren

Let’s just talk about these guys for a hot sec, because you know I sprinted to Lilly the day the new planners were released. These are the staples of every instagram worthy post. The artistic details, and beautiful colors, and the cute sayings all make everyone forget about the most important thing: The price. These planners can run you from about $20 for smaller versions to upwards of $65-$70 for a personalized EC. I love to waste money on frivolous items, but that’s just ridiculous. If you need to have your monogram on everything, here’s a pro tip: Go on Etsy and buy your monogram on a sticker for like, $5, and stick it on your $35 Lilly planner. Sure, we all know the paper quality is good– but let’s all face the reality: You’re writing in your plans to get drunk with your one college roommate at 6 and calling your ex-boyfriend at 9. #notapologizing

Target

Sure, the paper quality isn’t like, resume paper..but it’s good enough for what it is. I walked into Target the other day to get cookies (don’t ask) and my eyes caught a huge display of adorable, gold leaf planners. Now, I like a spiral bound notebook..so I can get a bit picky, but these are fairly cheaper than the Lilly that I did end up buying. If you can do without a spiral bound– you have even cheaper picks. They can range between $7- $17 for the dupes of your favorites.

Walmart

Oh, no. No, no, no..I’m not becoming a Walmart person (not that I don’t like it- the prices are bomb, but the people sometimes aren’t) Interestingly enough, the ones that I saw at Target had a fraternal twin at Walmart. If you want a good price, you’re gonna get it here. That’s all I’ll say. I have a couple more jokes, but I’m leaving myself to be unbiased.

Blitsy

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WEBSITE? I’m not too sure about this whole..sticker thing, but the planners are so so cute! Low to mid $20 for these newly found beauties. There are a couple that are in the high $50-$60 range as well, so you do get a variety. First off, they bombard you with coups, and have pretty nice clearance that includes Rifle Paper Co right now!

Passion Planner

Ok, so these all have similar designs on them, but different colors. I’ve never seen these before, but they are super cute and pretty competitive in price. Right now, they have a simple black, purple, blue, gold, pink, brown, and turquoise. The options are straight forward, too. Academic, undated (who does that), and dated.  What I love? The questions that are featured for goal planning. Also, check out their mission statement below:

This is why for every planner purchased, we give one away. We’re more than just a planner company—we’re a group of goal getters making a change in the world. We’re creating something more than a community, we’re creating a #Pashfam that encourages one another to graduate college, land their dream job, plan their wedding, battle depression, overcome anxiety, and achieve their dreams. And we want you to be a part of that.

So here’s to helping more people, together.

– www.passionplanner.com

Since I battled depression for most of my life so far, I felt that this is a super great way to help out, even if they are “just” a planner company.

 

 

Anywho, just know– if you like planners because they’re pretty, you aren’t alone. If you like them because you use them: more power to ya. Just remember, an empty planner doesn’t mean you have an empty life, it just means you can’t get your shit straight to write it all down. (Like me!)

Love you, mean it.

 

K

 

 

Lilly Pulitzer, Emily Ley, kate spade, Walmart. (Links attached)

Cold Turkey

Three simple rules that could break any design guru wannabe’s spirit.

Alright everybody: I called it quits. As of June 14th– I have not been into a Home Goods, Kirklands, or..any home decor store.  That’s right, everybody. This bitch is taking her own advice, and NOT even walking into a store. On July 14th I will be free to go where I used to go every Wednesday or Friday: Home. Goods. Yep, a whole month.

It all started when I realized that my credit card was out of wack– on top of that, I realized that my house was a much bigger project than I let off to others. I need to clean and organize what I already have. I could potentially be on top of my laundry and home projects instead of hiding behind aisles of tablecloths and Rae Dunn Clay pottery (sobbing so hard)

I said to myself, “Kate, no more. You can’t buy any more pineapples…you’ve welcomed enough people.” So, no more– until I go up to NY for my nephew’s baptism and get to go to the REAL GOOD Home Goods up near my parent’s house. That’s right, I have a plan. Maybe by that point, the addiction will have subsided– and I can find other things to do on my days off…but I doubt it. I think this should be a fun experience.

Here are the rules:

  1. No MONEY can be spent in a home decor store: Since I have a sick, sad addiction– I will not be going IN any place either because I know myself.
  2. I have to make do with what is already in my house– get creative and clean and purge useless items!
  3. Buy necessities and home improvement (paint, etc) items. I’m not totally cured, guys.

Three simple rules that could break any design guru wannabe’s spirit.  Let’s think of this as a social experiment. If you see me foaming at the mouth outside of a Home Goods, ignore it. I need to do this cold turkey.

I’ll provide updates as I slowly break down from deprivation.

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

5 Websites You Need In Your Repertoire

Free shipping is yours for a mere $49..which isn’t hard to do once you find their selection of throw pillows.

We all know I created this blog to get better at saving money, and all I’ve done is help you guys save money while you laugh at my constant regression into Lilly Pulitzer shopping sprees. I’ve been clean for 12 hours at this point, and I’m feeling okay.

I’m here to give you a taste of the good life: 5 ~new~ websites for you to go spend your money at…and maybe feel good about?

The Charity Websites:

Ok, so I have two of these, and I’m not sorry. I’ve purchased from both, and I’ve never regretted it. Reason why? The profits go to something that you support. Each week, Sevenly.org chooses an organization or cause that is in need of support. From the website:

Sevenly makes a pledge of $7 per purchase in its 7-Day Campaigns and 7% for its cause-themed Collections to selected non-profits.

– sevenly.org

Under each cause, the website gives you some info about what you are donating to and how this purchase will help. Here’s what I like: They don’t lie about how much is going back to the cause. They tell you straight up that they do take some of it back in order to maintain the company, etc. If you’re still skeptical: here’s their FAQ.

On to the next: Serengentee.com

“By purchasing fabric from over 25 countries, we support artisans, their families, and ancient fabric making traditions.

And, by giving back 10% of our profits to a diverse range of grassroots causes, we work to improve lives in their communities.” -serengentee.com

You’ve probably seen these a bunch of places, or imitations of the same style. Basically, the founders of this company purchased fabric and patterns from various countries and communities around the world. With that, they used their t-shirt sales to give back to the community that the fabric/pattern came from. Each pattern is so beautiful and colorful. When you select the shirt you want, the information about where the fabric came from is on the page. Here’s my favorite right now.

Marley Lilly

marleylilly.com is one of those websites that you kind of miss when browsing around on the web. Not sure why, because everything is very reasonable and really cute. They even have a “monogram bloopers” on the bottom of the page that is for monograms that they made by accident and put up for sale at a discount. They even have a bridal party section! My personal faves? The 1/4 zip pullover, the baseball hats, and the earrings!

Society 6

Ok ,this place isn’t only on Ebates for a sweet 3.5% cash back, but it has just the kind of stuff that you know you shouldn’t even be looking at! Society6.com is literally the mecca for great prices on wall art, throw pillows, and mugs with smart ass comments on them. They support local artist’s work, and do a ton of collabs with artists, too.

Hayneedle

Ever go into a home goods and think…I feel like I need more? Me too. Here’s where you get it. But more…like much more. You could go crazy on here. If you want bougie for a buck, here’s where it is. Lighting, home improvements, or even just some damn silk flowers– you’re in business. Free shipping is yours for a mere $49..which isn’t hard to do once you find their selection of throw pillows. They even separate product based on styles.

I technically gave you 5 websites already– but here’s another, just for good karma.

Keep

This is sort of a mix of late 2014’s Looksy.com (where did they go?) and Wanelo. It has trending items, gift ideas, and great places to go this week for the best deals. It’s a blog, but it’s great to be in the know. There’s an app you can download so that you can be notified about sales near you, or upcoming deals. They have special deals for subscribers, such as Blue Apron discounts, etc.

 

That’s it for now, hope you go and get your browsing on. It’s okay to spend a little, as long as it’s not on a credit card!

Love you, mean it.

 

 

K

 

 

Wanna Save Money?

I wouldn’t call myself exactly…broke AF– but we’re scraping by…so I wanted to close that gap by trying out a couple of ideas that you always see on the internet– and see if they work: Guess what? They don’t.

I wouldn’t call myself exactly…broke AF– but we’re scraping by…so I wanted to close that gap by trying out a couple of ideas that you always see on the internet– and see if they work: Guess what? They don’t..and NO you can’t make $5,000 by doing surveys because you will literally kill yourself from frustration 10 minutes in.

So, I figured out that I should take out my daily spending money per paycheck in cash and leave the rest in my bank account– untouched. WHALE– that kind of worked– but if I didn’t want to spend my spending money because of something I just …needed…to buy, I would just swipe my debit card. SO, that didn’t work too well, but I did figure out that I am deathly afraid to be without a credit card for fear I’ll get kidnapped from work and need to pay for my way home after I escape. So glad I watch so much Person of Interest.

Anywho– here’s what I found works if you are looking for some extra cash, and you have no dignity– like me!

Stop Having Friends

Yea- I said it, but you were thinking it. Friends are super expensive. Weddings, Bar nights, dinners out– sure, you end up sitting home alone every night wondering what to do with the decor of your house– but at least you have your money. (Loljk)

For real though–

Poshmark

Yea, that’s right. Put your crap up for sale. No, not your crappy crap– but your clothes and accessories that you don’t need. And by that I mean– if you didn’t wear it this past season, and it doesn’t fit you…and you forgot about it– SELL it. It makes you feel good!Don’t just sell your clothes, sell your baby’s unworn clothes, or your husband’s clothes that he doesn’t like!

Granted, Poshmark takes out a portion of your profit– but you know what, the app is super user-friendly, and after a couple great reviews– you can shop their wholesale and really turn a profit! However, I haven’t tried that yet, because I’m not too big on the whole…risk your own money for a 50% chance of a reward. Knowing me, I’ll end up with 5 duplicate graphic tees that say “Barre so hard” and no one to sell them to.

Be A Guinea Pig

This too…you read that right. Look up research groups or research study groups. Guess what? If they’re willing to pay me $60 to taste their off brand peanut butter cup…I’m in, and you should be too. Check out local college unions or libraries to see if there are advertisments. They need people, and honey– we’re people!

Stop Buying

Guess what else worked? Not shopping at Nordstrom’s. Or Lilly, or francescas, or etsy…The easiest way to see money in your bank account is not to waste it away on something frivolous. You worked hard for your money– stop wasting it. (Says the girl who was on a mission to buy a new dress for a wedding today)

Well, we can’t all be perfect all at the same time.

Love you, mean it.

K

 

 

New Year New Me? Relax.

These “new year, new me” people. MY GOD. Is it just me or are people extra aggressive with their wishes this year?

Alright alright, so I spent too much at Christmas and I’m totally ready for my overly expensive trip to Jamaica (so my saving mantra is a bust)– but we have something to talk about:

These “new year, new me” people. MY GOD. Is it just me or are people extra aggressive with their wishes this year? First off, the line to sign up at Planet Fitness is out into the parking lot and the line at Whole Foods is even longer. Half these people haven’t eaten kale, but they read it’s a staple piece for starving yourself.

“I’m going to change careers”

“I’m going to stop being mean to my husband”

“I’m going to own a dragon”

…where do the delusions end?! Anyway, I have a couple of theories on new year new me, and since you’re already here, maybe you should stick around to read them.

First off, if you’re reading this, you are probably wondering if you are a “new year, new me” person that I’m bitching about. Guess what? You probably are, so stop it and set a goal when you are actually going to do it…like in July when you realize that your cookie pouch of a stomach is indeed not cute in your bathing suit. That’s a new year new me moment that will stick with you.

As for the other 4 people reading, you’re probably in the same boat as me– every day you say you’re going to eat different or less, work out more, stop gossiping…and then something always happens, and cookies are suddenly in your mouth while your dog silently stares at you judging your every move.

My thoughts? Stop trying to think that January 1st is magical. Yes; I get it, the first of a month can inspire change in some…some psychos. For all you normal people out there, stop pressuring yourself to make a change immediately. Change takes planning, change takes time, and sugar takes 3 days to get out of your system completely.

I applaud those who have stuck to their goals thus far, it has been 9 days and you are goin’ strong. I’m not going to encourage you, but you only have about 12 more days until it becomes a habit…and you’re on your way, so don’t screw up 🙂

 

xoxo

Kate

 

A Broke Bitch’s Guide to Gift Giving: Friends Edition

Broken down by category, your gift guide for the less than monetary blessed

We all know that when the calendar flips to December, most people and their saving accounts start shaking in their boots. Why? They haven’t budgeted, and it means that they actually have to use actual money to give actual gifts…instead of IOU’s.

So here it is: Broken down by category, your gift guide for the less than monetary blessed:

For the friend that lives beyond her means: Why not make her feel some sort of special? Let her ball out with a GC to Neiman Marcus Last Call. Better yet, YOU ball out at Neiman and get her a Rebecca Minkoff at a quarter of the price. She’ll be kissing your Bass outlet drivers in ultimate thanks. Not a fan of discounted designers? (Me either) Try a candle that smells expensive so she can feel like she’s in the VIP lounge at the 40/4 club. Wait, is that still a thing?

For the friend that’s clever/kind of hipster: Nothing like a pair of earrings to make her feel like she’s edgy and different. If that doesn’t work, try a slightly inappropriate mug because she seriously doesn’t understand her audience. She’ll make sure to drink out of this when she’s with her sister’s kids and feel no remorse for it.

For the friend that’s into passing out in bathrooms: Ah, my favorite. Even though you can give this one a hangover kit, the gift will be gone within 24 hours. Make it last longer, but make it cheap…because it’s guaranteed to be lost within 48 hours. A flask, bottle of alcohol, or a hotline to a self-help line are all viable options as well.

For the friend that’s Martha Stewart: If she has her own place, try a couple things for her kitchen, a ring plate, or a clever door mat. My favorite go-to gift for a first time home owner (apt owner or whatevs) is a personalized cutting board or some really nice coasters. I think the best gifts are experiences: get her a couple of cooking classes, and make sure to go too…because we all know you can’t cook either.

For the friend that’s a wine-o: This is dramatically different than the friend ending up on the bathroom floor. These girls/guys usually just end up in their bed cuddling with their dogs reminising about their times in college when they DID end up on the bathroom floor. Trust me, it’s a real type of person. Wine-o’s love a good bottle of their favorite white, red, or blush. But, let’s face it…blush is just for when you’re feeling fancy. There’s such a thing as WINE SOAP..so that’s gross, but it’s an option. Wine glasses, accessories, and wine bags to hide wine in are obvious but always a go to.  A better time would be a trip to a winery. Get a couple people together and buy a bottle of vino.

Anywho: The best gifts are outside the box. If you aren’t sure, here’s my secret. STALK their pinterest page, facebook page, and what they already own. Don’t over think it, or you’ll over buy.