We’ve met some new neighbours. I’m pretty excited about it. They are moving in today but I met them a few days ago – they were wandering around their new neighbourhood, and they’re babywearers, which of course immediately caught my eye. Their 9 month old boy was strapped to mama’s back in a beautiful carrier while I walked Sweet Pea in a wrap, desperately trying to get her to sleep. My husband met them today on a walk. In a lovely neighbourly gesture, the Mrs. of this family offered to sew his buttons back on his jacket.

“What?” I ask, when he happily tells me about this exchange. “What’s wrong with your buttons? I hadn’t noticed.”

“They’re kind of unraveling, and you did notice the cuff button because you helped me put a safety pin in it’s place about a year and a half ago.”

Well there’s the truth, folks. My husband has been walking around with a large silver pin holding his jacket cuff together for a year and a half and I’ve barely noticed.

I mentioned to the Mr. that everybody seems to be doing a great job of this stay-at-home mom thing but me. “Facebook is a terrible place,” he commented. “It serves no purpose but to make yourself feel inadequate in comparison to your friends.”

Let me help you out and make you feel adequate. Allow there to be no illusions that I have it all together here. As of this moment, the baby is in a disposable diaper because I’m behind on laundry. So behind on laundry, in fact, that my blouse for today’s memorial service is still drying on a heated rack in the bathroom, and we’re leaving in half an hour. So behind on laundry that my daughter is sleeping in a onesie and footed pants rather than one of the two thousand sleepers we have in her dirty laundry bin. So behind on laundry that I used one of her tiny hooded towels for my shower today. There are dishes in the sink, and I opened a new pack of bottles just to get a lid. And a terrible secret: my Christmas tree is still standing in the corner, brightly decorated, though I dare not turn on the lights for fear the whole thing will go up in a spectacular flash of fire, because it probably hasn’t been watered in about 10 days anyway.

My husband leaves for 10 hours or so every weekday. I consider my day with Sweet Pea successful if we’re both dressed and fed and relatively happy when he gets home.

I’m excited about our new neighbours, but my terrible fear is that they’re going to knock on the door one day, and I’m going to have pull a kitchen chair into the living room and offer her a seat in front of my Christmas tree (which by the way, we’re obviously never ever having one again).

“Anyway,” says the Mr., “I guess she sews!”

My home-ec teacher would be having a fit. Poor Ms. Anderson gave up a prep block to do a private tailoring class with me, and I don’t even notice hanging buttons. So did I sew, dear readers, so did I. But I will happily let our new neighbour fix my husband’s jacket… and probably I’ll manage to take a plate of cookies over.

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Esse Reusable Bags Product Review

I did a big shop today and I’m excited because I have something I’ve been wanting to show everyone. Not often does a product come along that is so cool that I think everybody needs to know about it, but one has. Today we’re talking about reusable bags.

I know, I know. You have your reusable shopping bags. Some you prefer for groceries, others are best for clothes or lighter items. Heaven forbid you need to stop in at the pharmacy for a new toothbrush and a bottle of tylenol. Nobody has reusable bags in THAT size, and so you mumble “yes” when asked if you need a bag and try not to make eye contact with the cashier – you can’t even use this one as a garbage bag later!

How many did you buy because you forgot to bring with you in the first place? Some big, some small, different styles and materials, and with a variety of endorsements printed on them, all scattered around your house (you were GOING to put them away right after use), or in a big messy pile in your trunk.  I can’t take it. Despite the chaos that often takes over, I prefer simplicity, tidiness, organization, and a little bit of style.

I have the solution. The Esse CarryAll Tote is changing my shopping life for the better. Here is my haul, just in from the car:

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The CarryAll Tote comes with a total of 7 bags: 3 big black Grocery Bags (the kind with flat bottoms for easy unpacking), 1 green Everyday Bag, and 2 white mesh Produce Bags. Missing from this photo is one produce bag (used recently and holding apples in the fridge) and the third Grocery Bag (because I ran out of money before I ran out of space). I’ll get to the small patterned bag in a moment.

The 7th bag in the set is the tote itself. and this is where the magic happens. The grocery bags, market bag, and produce bags all fold up (yes, even the giant black ones, which close with snaps) and fit into the little tote:

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Tidy, organized, and stylish, with a number of designs to choose from in either 3-pocket or 4-pocket styles. Did I mention all the bags are machine washable? Unpack, wash and dry if it’s time, fold them all up and tuck them in the tote. Use the adjustable strap to hang it on your door so you take it back to the car on your next trip out – mine sits on the front seat until it’s ready for use again.

That front pocket is best used to hold coupons, your shopping list, your loyalty card, or even your car keys. You could easily tuck your wallet in and get away with carrying just the tote instead of your whole purse.

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Oh, and that little patterned bag in the first photo goes everywhere with me. It’s the perfect size for a few things from the pharmacy or a speciality shop, and it makes a darn cute lunch bag. It’s called the Clip-It bag. It rolls up and is kept clipped to my keys for those impromptu buys:

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The 3-pocket CarryAll Tote retails for $35.95 US, and I would personally buy it with an extra set of produce bags. Now through August 20th, you can get 20% off your entire order, and a free Clip-It with a purchase of $20 or more. Use Coupon Code SCHOOL20 at checkout.

I am in no way affiliated with Esse, nor being bribed to write a good review – I’m just a happy shopper who loves these bags.

 

31 Days to Clean

I’ll be the first to admit it – I am not very organized. I love things that help me be better organized, but I’m still working on finding my system. And is it just me, or does each new home seem to need it’s very own system?

So, I’m always interested to know what others are doing that works for them. For a very limited time (I was not quick on this one, so the offer expires in a little over an hour!) you can get the 31 Days to Clean ebook for FREE by sharing this link on your blog, facebook wall, or through Twitter. So yes, I’m doing this to get my freebie, but also because… who doesn’t need a little more organization in their lives? I don’t know what “the Mary Way” means yet, but I love Martha!

I’ll let you know what I think of the book, too.