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Savvy Tips and tricks learned along the way...

 
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Welcome to little things

This web site is a culmination of things I have learned during various experiences in my life. I hope some of this information will be useful to you. There are a broad range of topics I have written about here. I have also included some things I made or found that I would like to share. Enjoy!

Beauty Blog (70 more articles.)
Derek Heart Juniors Rib Crew Neck Pullover Sweater Grommets Details

Derek Heart Juniors Rib Crew Neck Pullover Sweater Grommets Details Derek Heart Juniors Rib Crew Neck Pullover Sweater Grommets DetailsMy husband recently ordered this Derek Heart Ribbed Knit Crew Neck sweater for me online. Today, with rainy weather in the 60s, I decided to wear it for the first time. I love it! It is such a pretty shade of red. It gives a little much-needed color to my wardrobe during our gray rainy season. And it will be a festive top during the upcoming Christmas season, too.

The silver grommets and nail heads add interest to the sweater. With them, you don't even need a necklace, they provide enough bling on their own. I like how the shiny grommets are still visible when I have my jacket on, unzipped, of course.

With the summer being over, I was sad to abandon my cute Derek Heart dresses that I wore all summer long. They were so comfy and I always got compliments on them. But I was glad to find some fall and winter Derek Heart garb. I just love Derek Heart clothing. They are so well-priced and super cute.

I also like how this sweater is made using rib knit. It gives it a nice texture. It is fairly warm and sweater-like, but it stretches very nicely. I did wear a shaping camisole under this sweater because my jeans always squish my belly fat out, and with this sweater being fitted, it would show the rolls. The shaping cami just smooths out the muffin top :-)

As with a few of the other sweaters my husband recently treated me to, this sweater is 80% rayon, which means it will shrink when washed. The instructions say to hand wash and lay flat to dry, which is what I will make sure to do. I don't think I can afford much shrinkage on this sweater. I am 5ft and 105lbs, and I got a size Medium. Other than the sleeves being a little long, I really like how it fits.

Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick R49 Belly-DancingI also went ahead and wore red lips today. I just couldn't help myself! Regardless of what people say, I love to match my makeup to my outfits. This is the Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick in R49 Belly-Dancing. It is one of my favorite red lipsticks because it is not overly bright. It is a slightly muted and darkened red.

The lipstick is hydrating at the same time as staying put and not transferring too much. I felt my hair brush across my lips a few times while I was out shopping today and it did not drag fine lines of lipstick across my face, like other highly pigmented lipsticks have been known to do.

This lipstick also stayed off my teeth, even with smiling, talking, and singing in the car. I'm always paranoid about that because I've had it happen to me with other brands of lipsticks, and it is really a pain when it gets on your teeth. I think this Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick is really high quality, and I'm tempted to get other colors :-)

Health Blog (20 more articles.)
Riding the Stationary Bicycle on Lazy Days

Stationary BikeThis morning I was lazy so I rode my stationary bike. I should use it more often, but I tend to use it on mornings when I don't have energy to do my normal workout routine, or my mind is still asleep, and I just can't think of what I'm supposed to be doing.

I got this bike quite a few years ago, back when spin classes were a fad. I had had ACL surgery on my knee eons ago, and the stationary bike was what the PTs had me use for months for rehabilitation. Since then, I have always found the stationary bike to be the easiest way to strengthen the muscles around my knees.

Lately, when riding the stationary bike, I usually try to burn 300 calories in 30 minutes. I set the bike to the second level (low interval intensity). I enter my age, and it calculates my calories burned based on the revolutions of the wheels. It also measures my heart rate when I put my hands on the handlebars. When I'm feeling more energized, I go for 400 or 500 calories. But my old standby is 300 in 30. I work up a pretty decent sweat that way, and feel nice and energized after that.

We put the exercise bike in the living room so that I could ride it while the family watches TV. Doesn't always happen, I usually fold clothes while watching TV. But on the rare occasion that we are sitting there for more than an hour or so, I do end up hopping on the bike. Its my anti-couch potato weapon.

Preschool Blog (11 more articles.)
Colorful 12 Piece Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Sets

Melissa and Doug 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw PuzzlesThese puzzle sets are perfect for little preschool hands and minds. We got a Pet set as well as a Vehicles set for our little boy. Each set comes with 4 different 12-piece puzzles. The puzzle pieces are made of wood, so they are sturdy and easy for little hands to pick up and work with. The pictures are simple, bright and colorful, which really appeals to young preschoolers.

When we first got these Melissa and Doug 4-in-1 wooden jigsaw puzzles, he needed our help to put them together. But after some practice, he is able to do them himself.  Since there are only 12 pieces for each puzzle, a preschooler can feel successful putting these together. Our son enjoys putting together each puzzle one by one, until they are all done.

Puzzles are a great way for a child to play while also building their spatial awareness and problem solving skills. It challenges them, and with an age appropriate puzzle, it can help them feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete the puzzle. Our son likes to line up the puzzles we can admire them all together.

Toddler Blog (82 more articles.)
Painted Horsey Craft Project

We tried this particular arts and crafts about 3 months ago with no interest on baby J's part. But this time, he did it from start to finish. It was his third attempt in the past 3 months, and I guess the third time's the charm.

From Michaels craft store, I just got an unfinished wooden horse shape (they had many different shapes like butterflies, flowers, etc.), some kids washable paint, foam star stickers, and craft gems.

He painted it all by himself. And when it dried, he stuck the stickers on (he chose only green stars, his favorite color) and told me where to put glue drops so he could stick the gems on.

I was so proud of this accomplishment that I had to document it! I guess I will put magnetic tape on it and stick it to the refrigerator.

Baby Blog II (21 more articles.)
Rockin' in the Moses Basket
Baby Sleeping in Moses BasketBaby J spent a lot of his first few months in this cozy little moses basket in our living room. He was so tiny and fit in it pretty well. It was nice to have such a pretty little bed for him right there with our family in our living room. This one was really special. It had beddings made of silk. We set the moses basket on a really nice wooden rocking moses basket stand. We found a stand made of wood that matched the trim in our living room. It was a nice little additional piece of furniture in our living room. If we needed to, we could just bring the basket in the bedroom if it got too loud or crazy in the living room.
Baby Blog (63 more articles.)
Last Baby Blog

This is my last baby blog, and I thought I would list all the unexpected little surprises that I encountered in the first year of raising a baby. I will continue to add more of these as comments as I think of them.

I have also started a Toddler Blog to continue tracking baby's milestones and my ramblings about her. So you can read more about her there.

EASILY DISTRACTED
You can often distract a crying baby with a toy or talking to them to get them to stop crying. I always thought there wasn't much you can do about a crying baby other than feed them or rock them.

HATING DIAPER CHANGES
I didn't know they hated getting their diaper changed. The newborn and 1yo age seem to be especially so. I didn't realize that they wriggle so much during the change. I heard that newborns hate it because they get cold. But maybe the 1 yo hates it because they don't want to lie there.

LOVE MIRRORS
They are fascinated by seeing themselves and their loved ones in the mirror. This trick can be a great distraction from crying, too.

Baby Gear Blog (12 more articles.)
Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing
Baby J has slept in the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing since he was a newborn. I try not to rely too much on the swing, but its been a really good tool for getting him to sleep sometimes. We started out putting him in the bassinet, but it resulted in lots of spitting up. This cradle swing puts him at a little incline to combat the reflux that many babies often have. Plus it has nice music and white noise and a cute mobile.
Pregnancy Blog (14 more articles.)
Baby J is Born!

Turns out I didn't have time to make many posts here. I found myself involved in so many other activities such as entertaining the toddler, getting things ready for the new baby, doing Christmas shopping, etc. I was going to post lots of other pics of his 3D ultrasound and my growing belly. But alas, time flew by, and at 37 weeks, Baby J arrived, yes, 3 weeks early. But he is healthy and doing well. A little jaundice, but nothing that required the home installation of the blue lights.  

His birth story was goes like this:

It was about 10pm on a Wednesday night, and I had just put Bel down for the night. I got up and walked into the kitchen and got a really bad cramp. I walked into the bedroom to go down for bed myself and got a couple more breath-taking cramps. I could barely get onto the bed. When I finally did get on the bed, I started to feel fluid flowing out. My hubby called the doctor, and we went to the hospital, still leaking fluid.

The fluid was quite bloody, so they weren't sure if my water broke or if I was just bleeding. So they admitted me. Oh, and I was having contractions 2 minutes apart. At that time, I was still 36 weeks and a few days along. He would have been considered premature.

We spent that night at the hospital and waited the whole next day for something more to happen. My contractions had slowed to about 5 minutes apart, and they became less intense. But, the doctor didn't want to induce me until we were past the premature stage, which was just one more day away at that point.

So late that night, they induced me with pitocyn. That sped things along, and I got an epidural. They finally could feel that my bag of water had not yet broken, so they took care of that. That sped things up quite a bit (same as last time but even faster). In less than an hour, I was ready to push.

Pushing lasted about 2 contractions and he was out. It didn't take much, especially since his head was already visible by the time I started to push. Wow, what a difference from my first baby. It took at least an hour trying to get her past my pelvic bone, let alone crowning. But being more than 2 pounds lighter than his sister, he effortlessly slid right out. They plopped him on my belly and it was done.

It was love at first sight, of course. My sweet little boy. I love him so much. I am so happy to have him here. I can't imagine life without him. I feel so much more mommy-like having two children now. Sometimes I have one in each arm, and I don't feel myself anymore. I feel like somebody else. I feel more like a family. I feel like there is so much more love circulating around me.

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