Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review - Life Changing Shoes

Yes, you read the title correctly. A lot of the blogs that I follow have been doing Year in Review posts. Some are favorite moments or pictures, but others are favorite products or tips for organization. I LOVE these because I get great ideas to try.  I could attempt to put together a post about the important things in life . . . politics, religion, world peace . . . but I think I'll take a dip in the shallow pool and post about life changing shoes (and a few other random products) that I've discovered this year. Maybe you'll feel the need to try something new and love it just as much as I do!

The first half of 2015 was spent being pregnant. I can't really say that I owned any life changing maternity clothes. But, then again, maybe they are all life changing because they were definitely the most comfortable clothes I've ever worn. The whole world should get to wear elastic waistband pants, we'd probably all be a lot happier and more productive!

Because the first half of the year was spent being pregnant, and the summer was spent figuring out how to be a mama and wearing lots of yoga pants and tank tops, I feel like my feet really had a great year. Since I wasn't focusing (read: spending) as much on clothes, I had to harness that need to shop on something else . . . you're welcome, feet!

 I can think of five pairs of shoes that I got this year that are all amazing. Two were purchased by me, and three were gifts. It's not like I woke up one day and said, "Today I feel like buying a pair of Hunter boots, so I'm going to go do it." However, I'm fairly certain that's what my Heaven will be like. . . except I won't have to give money . . . I'll just take them from the display (because, obviously they will be the correct size) and put them on and call it a day. But I digress.

Anyhoo, so I am well aware that these shoes are a bit pricey. But as I've gotten older (ha!), I've realized that I've wasted just as much money on multiple pairs of subpar shoes as I could have spent on one pair of really good shoes. So now I spend more money on shoes, but buy fewer pairs. (I couldn't even type that with a straight face. Who am I kidding here?!) Honestly, though, my parents and mother-in-law are so thoughtful about spoiling me on birthdays and Christmas, so I wait for these occasions to ask for my shoes.

This past February, my mother-in-law gave me these Skechers Go Walk 2 for my birthday:

If you know my mother-in-law, Rita, then you know she LOVES Skechers shoes. She's always saying how comfortable they are and probably owns three or four pairs (Ha! No judgement from you, Rita, on the amount of shoes discussed in this post!)  As I was becoming more and more pregnant, it was becoming more and more uncomfortable to bend down and tie my running shoes to walk the dogs. I decided to give these a try, and am SO GLAD that I did. They really are like walking on a cloud, and they looked super cute all spring and summer with my black workout pants and capris. Hint, if you are going to buy a pair try Amazon instead of Zappos . . . they were $10 cheaper!

So when I wasn't walking the dogs (or Lucy!) the summertime was spent alternating between two pairs of shoes:

1. Sperry flip flops like these:

I wore these to many street fairs this summer. Walking around all day was not a problem at all in these flip flops. Plus, they pretty much go with everything so I think I wore them almost everyday. 

2. And these Ugg Women's Indah shoes.

I remember the day I bought these. I was about halfway through my three hour glucose test at 29 weeks pregnant. I was starving, antsy, and all sugared up on my glucose drink. Blame the sugar, not me! But they are super cute and summery, and dressed up summer outfits a bit more than flip flops would have.

Recently for Christmas I received a pair of Hunter Rain Boots in the black matte color.

I hemmed and hawed about asking for these for awhile, both due to the price and the way they looked on me. I went to Nordstrom twice to try them on before finally deciding to ask for them for Christmas. Then I tried them on at home after Christmas and considered returning them because I still wasn't totally convinced they were "me." I see them on other women and think they look so cute, but then I saw them on me and wasn't so sure. And then Matty asked me if anyone over high school age wears them . . . ouch! But we had some freezing rain the other day, and I had errands to run. It was cold and wet so I decided to just bite the bullet and throw on the boots. So glad I did! My feet were warm and dry and totally comfortable. If I looked like I was trying to be in high school again then so be it, because at least when I got home I didn't have to change my socks or pants!

And last, but certainly not least, my new slippers:

I wear slippers 365 days a year. We have all hardwood and tile in our home.  Walking around barefoot hurts my feet and makes them cold, and walking around in socks is slippery. I bought my first pair of Ugg slippers last year on major clearance for $35. And honestly, I thought that was pushing it for a pair of slippers. They were soooo comfortable and held up really well, except that, since I wear them everyday, they had gotten pretty dirty. Maybe I should spend more time mopping my floors and less time shopping? I'll consider it. Anyways, I selected a new pair during the anniversary sale at Nordstrom in September and promptly handed them over to my mom and dad to be given to me as a Christmas gift. I've thought about them every day since and we were finally reunited last week! If you wear slippers as much as I do and want to invest in a good pair, I highly recommend these!

Now that you know way too much about my footwear choices this year, let's move on to some other cherished items. First up is this eyelash curler.

I purchased it from Nordstrom earlier this year and really like it. It seems to do a better job curling than the traditional metal kind, and is more compact and better for traveling. BTW, I have several reasons why Nordstrom has become my go-to department store, but I'll save those for another post because I'm sure you'd like to finish reading this one sometime before 2017!

Next up is parchment paper! I have been baking cookies for years and years and have never once used parchment paper. I always put the cookies directly on the cookie sheets and then washed them at the end. My sister-in-law, Carla, convinced me to try parchment paper so I bought a roll and cut it to fit my cookie sheets. It was great! Not only did I not have to clean my cookie sheets afterward, but I also was able to slide the parchment paper off with the cookies on it and let them cool on the counter. It really was life changing! And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I discovered these:

They are already cut to fit a standard size cookie sheet! So far I've only been able to find them at Target or on Amazon. I'm hooked and will never bake cookies without them again!

Prior to having a baby,  I probably read a book a week. There's nothing I love more than lounging around on the couch reading. Since Lucy was born seven months ago, I've been able to finish four books. Ugh, so sad! I know this is just temporary, though, and I'll find the time and energy to read more sometime soon . . . I hope! But if I had to pick my favorite author of the year, I think I would choose Liane Moriarty.

I've read all of her books and have enjoyed every single one, but The Husband's Secret was my favorite. They are interesting, mysterious, and suspenseful but without the blood and gore of a murder mystery. It's like suspenseful chic lit . . . right up my alley!

So when you are considering your birthday and (gasp!) Christmas lists for next year, maybe keep some of these items in mind. Hopefully they can make your 2016 as great as they made my 2015! And if you discovered any life changing products this year, please feel free to comment about them. I love trying new things, and then everyone who reads this will benefit!

Now, because this is supposed to be a blog about Lucy, I can't write my end of the year post without including some pictures of that sweet baby. Two of Matt's coworkers had baby girls within about three weeks of when Lucy was born. We got them together for a play date when they were about a month and a half old, and this is what those silly babies looked like:

Lucy on the left, then Caroline and Sarah.

Here they were a few days ago at seven and a half months!

And the award for the most weight gained in 6 months goes to . . . . Lucy Belle! Oh my chubby wubby baby girl!!

I was looking back through the thousands (literally!) of pictures I've taken since Lucy was born trying to find my favorite one. This is a pretty impossible task because I love them all, but I always come back to this photo:

Lucy was about three months old here and in physical therapy for her neck issues. Matty took this picture at the cottage one morning while I was working on some exercises with Lucy. I just think she looks so darling and little and like an absolute doll. I hadn't showered yet, and she's not wearing a headband, but it's one of my favs!

By now you must be thinking, "is she done yet?!" And the answer is "ALMOST!" I started this blog as a way to share all the pictures I take of Lucy and to document my adventures of stay-at-home mommyhood. All of these mommyhood adventures (and the occasional post about a good purchase I made or gift I received) are made possible by one special guy . . . Matty!

Matt works so hard so that I can stay home every day and be with Lucy Belle, and for that I am eternally grateful. He sold his beloved GTI so that I could have a more baby-friendly car, he's the best daddy to Lucy, and he's gotten up early with us every morning of his two week Christmas vacation! I may joke around a lot on here, but I know how lucky I am and that the important things in life are my people, not possessions. Our years have definitely had their share of ups and downs as far as having a baby goes, but I can say 2015 was definitely our best year yet!

I wanted to find my favorite picture of Matty from this year, and I was pretty sure it was this one:

Taken about five minutes after Lucy was born, it pretty much makes my heart soar every time I see it. But I think the hospital picture is the runner up. The winner of the best picture of the year is this one:

Because what else could a girl want then to see the love of her life playing with his daughter while wearing a duck on his head? Here's to 2016 . . . an entire year of our new "normal!"

Happy New Year, everyone! To those of you who can still hang, say hi to midnight for me. I won't even try to pretend that I'll make it past 10:30!



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