Thursday, January 30, 2014

Simplify - social media

Here's the deal.  I am a big social media junkie.  I still love Facebook - I like keeping connected with friends and family and will admit to liking being able to stalk people I went to school with even if I am not really still "friends" with them. But, I have also realized that I had a lot of people on my friends list that I barely even know - or really don't care that much to follow.  I kind of decided if I am using Facebook's "block from News Feed" feature - then maybe I don't really need them on my friends list at all. 

So in the spirit of my simplify for 2014, I decided it was time to pare down.  One of my college friends put it best - if you haven't interacted online with someone in over six months maybe it is best to let them go. 

I don't feel that guilty about the folks I cut loose.  I want to work on cultivating relationships with people I truly know and like and I feel that way especially now that I have a child. 

Even though I use it less, I plan on doing the same with Twitter.  I already did it a while back with Instagram too. 

Maybe it sounds like I'm a bad person but I have to say, it just feels refreshing!  I recommend it, it's like doing a cleanse of your online body!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ollie overload

I figured it was about time for an Oliver update!  I haven't posted any fun pictures of him in a while now.  So, here are a few of my latest favorites.

This is from a fun playdate we had last week - I adore this outfit the Pants Monkey's aunt gave us - how cute is the sweater and pants set?  My boy is styling!

This next one is after an early morning diaper change - we sometimes call him Ollie-Monster, so I love this onesie.

A different aunt of the Pants Monkey sent us this adorable hoodie from Old Navy last week - right in time for another freezing cold day, so it was a nice to have an extra layer for him.  And it's crazy cute.  I'm glad it's even a little big yet so he can wear it for awhile as I don't think winter is done anytime soon.

He is mildly cranky in this next picture but I just love the outfit.  There are rhinos on his feet and an elephant on his hoodie and it totally fits with an episode of Black Books when two of the main characters write a children's book.  While drunk.  You kind of have to see it to get it, but anyway, I had a good laugh when I realized I put this together.

This next one makes me laugh so hard - I called it "Bed Head Baby" because he woke up with his hair all over the place one morning.  It was also his bath day, so his hair hadn't been washed in a while, resulting in this.

And this last one is from today.  He was kind of cranky this morning but then settled down for a nap while I had lunch with a friend and then was still super sleepy when we got home and after he ate he snuggled in, so I took advantage.  I won't be getting too many more moments like this after this weekend.  Back to work on Monday.  So not ready.  Can't I just cuddle him forever?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pump it up

Hey guess what?  I'm going to talk about breastfeeding again - so walk away if you want - but let's face it, this is my life 24/7 right now!

Specifically I want to talk about pumping - as this is something I'll be doing a lot of when I go back to work next week.  I have already been pumping a bit to try and get ahead and to allow Mr. Monkey and babysitters to feed the baby too.  I was soooooo thankful that my insurance covered the cost of a double electric breast pump (if you are pregnant or will possibly become so in the next year - CALL your insurance company, you won't regret it!).  Here's the deal though - the process of pumping is well, tedious and uncomfortable.  You hook up these horns to the pump that help express your milk into a collection bottle.  It's the next best thing to an industrial cow-milking farm, I kid you not.  Then I was on those annoying baby boards - they're good for something other than mama drama I guess - and saw people talking about this system called Freemie.

I decided to look into it and I'm so glad I did - Freemie makes collection cups that are more comfortable than the horns that come with your standard pump - and you can be 100% hands free when you use it.  With the other style, you need a special bra or you're sitting there holding the darn things until you're done.  I ordered the cups that were compatible with my pump (they work with most of the major brands, just an extra hose to hook up) and I have to say, I am in love.  You can totally tell when you're wearing them, the website does make it sound like it'll be more discreet - but other than that, you can totally wear them under your regular clothes (big deal for this fashionista!) and they are so much more comfortable for pumping!  I have been able to collect more milk in one go than I had before.  Also, if the baby wakes up or something before I am done, these are far easier to quickly disconnect, the cups just stay in place without leaking or anything until I can deal with them.

There are two things I don't like - 1. the hole that has the connection for the hose is also supposed to be your "pour spout" - the milk does not come out that spout very easily at all, it'll just make a mess.  I find it's easier to just pour it out the side.  2. They're not the easiest to put together, you need some "oomph" to get them all closed up.  Also, the very first time I used them I didn't realize the hoses need to be up above your breasts and so then milk spilled out everywhere - that was my own user error though.

Anyway, I feel that even though you can tell I'm wearing the cups under my clothing, that it will make pumping at work easier, I may even be comfortable enough to do it at my desk and keep working thanks to being so hands free and there is no need to expose any part of me to get all set up, so no real need for the lactation room.  So, I think it was worth the purchase, especially when I didn't have to pay for my pump at all!

It's a lot of work breastfeeding - I can honestly say I understand why so many people go to formula and I don't judge any single one of them - but I'm glad I'm finding some ways to make it a little easier to get Oliver the best food possible for the foreseeable future anyway!

*Freemie has not paid me or is even aware of this review - these were my opinions and I link because I love*

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


So you may recall earlier I mentioned my word for 2014 is "simplify".  I haven't always chosen a "word" for the year, but this year I just felt compelled to do so.  It seems easier than making any resolutions I think too.

So what does this word mean to me?  It means exactly what it says - making life "simple".  That was the big motivator behind combining blogs.  And I plan to simplify other things in my life - things at home, things regarding social media.  Maybe I'm looking at it as a way of "de-cluttering" my life.  Not just in a physical sense.  I'll share more on this as I work on various places of my life that need simplifying.  The blog was just a start.  Much more to come!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Inspiration Monday - Gleeful

I was pretty excited when I saw that the two birds picked this picture of Lea Michelle from Glee for Inspiration Monday this week.  Not only am I a "gleek" (though I think this season is pretty lame so far) I also had the perfect sweater to duplicate this outfit!

And hey guess what - it's actually a nursing sweater!  It's a little unusual, you can button and unbutton it a couple of different ways.  I love how soft it is and I can easily cover up the baby if need be.  And it strangely matches the picture of Lea!

Sweater - Motherhood Maternity
Jeans - Old Navy
Boots - Target
Bag - Coach via Poshmark

I wore this outfit to the final shower I had yesterday.  Yep, I had one more shower.  We have big families and my dad's side wanted to throw one and never had the chance before Oliver was born, so we did one yesterday.  It was very sweet, they did a book theme, so everyone brought books to start a library for him.  We got some really good ones and I can't wait to read them to him.

In other news, we're getting another cold snap this week, but not as bad as the one last week thankfully, so I guess it could be worse!  We have a playdate with a friend of mine tomorrow so I will just have to really warm up the car I guess!

For more Inspiration Monday outfits head to two birds here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Things no one tells you about breastfeeding

So this post is going to get a little real.  I'm going to talk about breastfeeding, so if that makes you uncomfortable, walk away right now.

I am breastfeeding Oliver.  I am fortunate that he took to it well - but that doesn't mean it's without it's challenges.  Yesterday and last night was one of those very challenging moments and it was while I was nursing him after only 2 hours of sleep that this post started writing itself in my mind.  So here are the things no one told me about breastfeeding that I wish I had known.

1. Growth spurts happen and they will be your hardest days and make you want to stop nursing all together.  I'm 90% certain we just went through that and holy crap.  It's like there wasn't enough milk in the world to satisfy him.  Also - after the growth spurt ends, your breasts somehow catch up.  It's strange.

2. Draining an engorged breast - whether by having baby eat or by pumping feels as good as emptying your bladder when you really have to pee or even as good as the big "O".  Yes I just said that but it's so true.  I'm happy when he sleeps longer but holy cow.  Relief when we empty is amazing.

3. You can have an OVERsupply.  They talk so much about you having an under supply and what you need to do to boost your supply - they never tell you that you could have so much milk in one breast that you can end up with it spraying your baby when he pulls off your breast.  Yep, that has totally happened.

4. Drink your water.  They will tell you this in breastfeeding classes and at the hospital but it's not a joke.  I had a day where I didn't drink as much water and guess what - my supply tanked that day.  Flood yourself with water.

5. Breastfed babies still need to burp.  You may think only formula fed babies have problems with gas, but no, breastfed babies can too.  And on that note, Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops are a god send.

There aren't all bad things about breastfeeding though.  Here are some things I love.

6. You really will save money.  I am not putting down formula - I was formula fed in fact - but man alive, the savings for nursing are really not a joke.  We have chosen to do disposable diapers though - sorry Mother Earth, I know - so we do spend a fair amount there, but having to not spend money on feeding him is kind of awesome.

7. Nothing beats the sweet looks you receive when your baby knows he's with you.  I can't get enough of those sweet eyes watching me while he eats.

8. 3:00 am can actually become your favorite time of day.  It's often when he's the most calm while he eats and is in the mood to snuggle.  Sure I'm completely wiped, but it's special time for just he and I.

9. It will help you lose weight.  I know it hasn't worked for everyone....but at my six week post partum check, I was my exact pre-pregnancy weight.

10. You will develop a bond with the baby you just can't put into words.  I was told this before hand but I didn't truly understand it until we started doing it. 

Overall, I am so glad I am able nurse him even with the challenging days like yesterday.  We have never had trouble latching and only had a few days with my oversupply problem that we needed to make adjustments.  I have even mastered the "nursing in public" for the most part and I may even blog some tips about that at some point.  Again, I certainly am not putting down anyone who formula feeds - you do what you need to do to feed your baby, end of story.  We hope to get to a year with breastfeeding if we can, but I'm going to let baby kind of dictate how that goes.  I know they sometimes self-wean when you introduce solids.  We have months to go before that time though!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter floral

So, we are truly having an old fashioned winter here in Minnesota.  We've been kind of spoiled in recent years - probably due to global warming or something but who wants to be technical - in having milder, gentler winters than the ones I remember growing up.  We have had snowy winters still, but the bitter, nasty cold weather that we are kind of known for here has been taking a hiatus.  Not this year!  It's been so cold all the way back to the week Oliver was born.  I have to say it's not been super fun having a newborn with super cold weather, but we're making the best of it.  To perk things up a bit today, I thought some winter floral was in order!

I found this cute hoodie at a consignment store a couple of weeks ago on a day that was still cold, but not so cold I wasn't afraid to venture out with Oliver for a little bit.  While I'm still away from work I find that zip-up hoodies are nice to throw over my nursing camisoles.  I was putting away laundry and saw this hoodie next to my floral jeans and it was like "Boom!" - outfit for the day.

Hoodie - consignment
Cami - Gillian O'Malley Nursing - Target
Jeans - Mossimo, Target
Boots - Merona, Target

Not that I really wore this out anywhere.  Not only has the temp been dropping today but Oliver has been in a bit of a grump mood as well, I'm surprised I had five minutes to take these pictures.  I won't complain too much though, I need to cuddle him while I still can and while he still actually wants it - I know it won't always be that way!  At least this outfit helped me think warm thoughts today!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Attractive Nursing Wear

My outfits these days are pretty much based on what I can easily nurse in.  This means a lot of camis and sweaters pretty much.  I was excited to find this sweater/tank combo at Motherhood Maternity shortly before Christmas.  I think it's funny, I pretty much avoided shopping at Motherhood the entire time I was pregnant because of cost - I just didn't think it was worth it when I could find items from Motherhood at the consignment and thrift store.  But when the Pants Monkey and I went mall walking with Oliver the week after he was born I found that even the big department stores were kind of devoid of nursing wear.  In fact, most of them were devoid even of maternity wear.  So, we ventured into Motherhood and they happened to be having a good sale.

Top - Motherhood Maternity
Jeans - LOFT, consignment
Shoes - Clothes Mentor consignment

I got this top and several others thanks to a buy three, get one free deal.  My in-laws found the same sale and ended up giving me several tops for Christmas too.  The nice thing about this one is it's stylish, but very practical for nursing the babe!  I like things that are stylish while being practical!! 

Thanks for the supportive comments re: yesterday's post.  We will see how things work out, you just never know.  In the meantime, shirts like this will be great for pumping when I'm at work too!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My little secret

Oliver is six weeks old today.  I'm not sure how that is possible!  And I can't help but think that many women end up going back to work right about now.  I am thankful to have two more weeks.  Actually, a little over two weeks so I can start back on a Monday.

I'll let you all in on a secret - I didn't think I'd feel this way - but guess what?  I'm absolutely dreading it.  I always knew it would likely be hard, but I figured, I'm a Type A person, I'm going to miss the workforce and having something to do each day.  But the truth is, I'm just loving my time with my little boy, he's only going to be this little once and it makes me sad to think about all I'm going to miss.  I'm beyond blessed and thankful that my mom will be doing daycare for me - and my parents live mere minutes from my office, so I can go see him at lunchtime every day....but it won't be quite the same.

If I could easily become a stay at home mom I'd do it in a heartbeat.  But it just isn't going to be in the cards for us.  Now this isn't to say that I dislike my job - that isn't true at all.  I just wish I could put it on hold for a little bit longer.  Mr. Monkey and I are talking about some potential options that might be a bit of a compromise, but all the cards would have to work out just right.  I'm not placing any major bets right now, let's just leave it at that, but maybe the cards will fall just right, you never know.

For now, I'm eating up the time I have left - even the days like today where he wouldn't hardly let me put him down for five minutes to get ready to leave the house for a playdate and was up every two hours last night to eat instead of the three to four he's been doing.   I'm beginning to be rewarded with smiles and lots of cuddles and those are the things I'm going to truly miss when I'm back to work.

Maybe tomorrow we'll win the lottery.  We can dream right?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Inspiration Monday - My current uniform

When I saw the picture that the two birds picked for Inspiration Monday this week I knew it would be easy to play along.  This super cozy laid back look from Katie Holmes is this mama's uniform right now. Oversized sweater/sweatshirt and leggings with boots?  Check, check and check!

It's also giving me a chance to show off my awesome new coat that I bought at Sam's Club of all places!  I tell you, sometimes those memberships pay off.  This is a London Fog and I love it.  What's neat is that it's not all that heavy - but let me tell you it is plenty warm.  I was able to wear it until we went into the huge deep freeze last week.  I'm back to wearing again and it's awesome.

Mr. Monkey has a similar jacket he bought up north this summer.  Lightweight and warm - perfect for running errands when you're likely to get warm inside!

I love that it has a belt too and it also has a hood.  This is one of the best things I've purchased in quite some time.  Plus, you just can't have too many coats when you live in Minnesota!!

For more Inspiration Monday outfits hit up two birds over here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Here it is

Drumroll please.....

Here is the launch of my new and improved blog!  I hope you like the changes!  You may be wondering where I came up with the new blog title.  Well - the friends and family blog I had was called Harmonious Chaos which I always said was finding music and harmony in a crazy life.  Then this blog was The Fashionable Adventures of Bethie the Boo - playing off of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh but using my childhood nickname instead as I blogged my daily outfits and life adventures.  So to combine the two - I tried to find a title that would fit both elements and came up with The Melodic Stylings of Bethie the Boo.  "Stylings" is a word used to describe a particular musical artists music works, such as the stylings of Beethoven.  I love style and I love music.  It fits!

My word for 2014 is simplify - and I will talk more about that later, but that is the biggest motivation behind combining blogs.  As a busy mama, I need to keep things easy.  I'm really excited about the new changes.  I will still tweak a few things as we go - but this is the grand unveiling!  I hope you'll keep joining me on the ride if you've been here awhile and I welcome anyone new as well!  Thank you for stopping by!

Just some housekeeping notes - you can access this blog under the URL but if you use the blogger address of, that will be changing soon to - just as an FYI.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Flashback Friday - Ah, Nostalgia

So I'm a 30 something right?  This means I was born and went through childhood in the 80s - but I came of age in the 90s.  And this week on Facebook my other 30 something friends have been sharing the latest BuzzFeed article - 55 Things Only 90s Teenage Girls Can Understand. Go take a quick read - I'll wait.  Yes I'm making you work for this post!

Ok, are you back?  Man - let me tell you - this list takes me back!  And it's all SO true.  I adore these BuzzFeed articles, so many of them are so well written and so very true.  I am guessing it's someone around my age who writes them!  My favorites from this list?  They are as follows:

Lipsmackers and Wet and Wild Lipstick - These were THE gift to give your friends at Christmastime in middle school.  Cheap and fun and so many flavors.  I remember they used to make these huge fat Lipsmacker lip glosses and those were the ultimate.  My favorite was always strawberry.  And then the Wet and Wild - middle school dances and hot pink lipstick.  Yep, that'll make the boys come a runnin'. 

Romeo + Juliet - I had the soundtrack and I knew every song by heart.  And I will admit to wanting to kind of be Clare Danes.  Actually, I still kind of want to be Clare Danes.  She's still gorgeous!

Teen Spirit - Do they even still make that?  I remember having this in my gym locker until I realized I needed something a bit stronger.  Eventually this stuff barely touched my BO.  Yes that is gross.  Yes I just said that in a blog post.  You're re-thinking continuing to follow me as I make my blog changes this year aren't you?

Taping songs off the radio - Yep.  Did it.  That was the original "pirating" I guess!  And the mad rush to your boom box when your favorite song was starting.  I still have some of those mix tapes and even better - my car has a cassette player in it.  For fun I pop one of those cassettes in every now and then.  It's good for a laugh!

Caboodles - I had a knock off Caboodle - I loved it though, I filled it with makeup, I spilled nailpolish on it.  The darn thing was so bulky to take with you to a friend's house though.  Kind of silly when you think about it!

Baby tees and slip dresses - oh yes.  I only wish I had the pictures to prove it. 

Mall Madness and Girl Talk - Best games ever.  I've actually been on the lookout for Mall Madness at the thrift stores - I am kind of kicking myself for getting rid of mine!

Away messages on AOL - I was still using these in college.  Which doesn't seem that long ago until I realize this spring it'll be 10 years since my college graduation - so I guess it really was another time wasn't it??

So there's my trip down memory lane.  Any other 90s gals out there want to chime in on any of these?  It was such a different time!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pinned and Did It - Bourbon Eggnog Coffee Cake

Yes you heard me right in that title - bourbon eggnog coffee cake.  Well ok, it's called Cinnamon Sugar Coffee cake with bourbon glaze, but this seemed easier to say.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and it's from the blog Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.  When I saw this pin, I was still pregnant and still dealing with GD - but I figured if the baby was born before Christmas, this would be a great breakfast treat for Christmas morning so I saved the pin.  I am so glad I did.

Now I have to tell you - I have made a few recipes off of Pinterest and truth be told, they haven't been anything to write home about.  But this one...oh man.  It was SO good.  It was done completely from scratch which I love.  You basically make a cake batter that includes eggnog (we used a NA eggnog since the alcohol would bake out anyway) and fresh ground cinnamon and nutmeg.  It doesn't need to bake terribly long and then you make a glaze out of powdered sugar and bourbon.  I'm not a huge bourbon fan on it's own - but it went VERY well with this cake.  The only problem was that the glaze is pretty runny, so we kept adjusting to get it to be the consistency that we wanted.

We served it on Christmas morning for brunch with my parents and they brought a bunch of savory goodies - so having something sweet was fantastic.  I would actually make this anytime of year for brunch, but you can't get eggnog year round darn it!  Anyway, it was a wonderful treat for the holidays, I totally recommend!!  Make sure to check out the link right here for the recipe!  And head over to Heather's blog for more Pinterest inspired blog posts!

This is not my cake - this is from the recipe blog - mine looked pretty close though!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Hi everyone!  I hope you are all doing well!  I've slowly been trying to get around to all of your blogs, it's tough when I only get an hour here or there to myself and there are other things to be done around the house!  I wouldn't trade these days with my little boy for anything in the world though.

I am very excited about some ideas I have for re-branding my blog this year and I hope to implement the changes soon.  It was something that came to me during a 2 am feed (what else can I do at that time, gotta stay awake somehow) and I'm so excited to share my ideas here soon.  I need to get a few things in place first.  As I said in an earlier post about this, there will still be outfit posts but there will be so much more.  Recipes, reviews, family life, deals and steals and so much more.  I will explain more once I'm ready to launch.

Until then, I will hopefully keep this space updated a little bit - on Thursday I am planning to join in on Heather's Pinned and Did It to share a recipe I made for Christmas Day brunch.  Otherwise, stay tuned, I'm so excited about where this is going - I think it will re-energize things around here just a little bit!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Oliver - One Month Old

Yep it's another all about Oliver post.  I swear I'll get back to posting about me one of these days!  I saw this idea on Still Being Molly's blog and I wanted to do it for Oliver - so I give credit to her.  Here is a look at my sweet boy at one month.

Weight - 9 lbs 9 oz
Length - 21 1/2 inches

Nicknames - Buddy, Buddy Boy, Ollie, Ollie-Monster, Little Man, Bubba, Monkey, Baby Boo

Sleep - We get some good three hour stretches at night now.  Not every night, but it gets better each day.  He's been on a bit of a daytime nap strike this week, but a ride in the car seems to fix it every time, so I've made lots of short trips to Target and other places just to get a few minutes of rest - love holding my baby boy but sometimes mama needs a break!

Eating - Pretty much still nursing on demand, but starting to regulate his feeding schedule to every two-three hours or so.

Diapers - We just moved into the size ones, they're a little big on him yet, but we ran out of our newborns and decided it wasn't worth it to buy a ton of extra when he'd be moving up in size soon.

Clothes - Solidly in 0-3 month things now, much of the 3 month stuff works best because he is so long.  That is ok with me though, I think I have the most of the size 3 month things!

Mood - He's pretty easy going for the most part.  He cries when he's hungry, wet or tired - so in other words, pretty much your average baby!

Loves - Car rides, being held, tummy time, looking around the room, lights (especially from the Christmas tree), looking outside, talking with daddy and talking with grandpa, bathtime, swinging or bouncing in his swing/bouncy chair

Dislikes - Getting bundled up for his car ride, being wet, staying still for too long, getting changed

What I want to remember/milestones - The birth itself, our first outing to the mall to walk, his first Christmas, the way he and his daddy light up when they see each other at the end of the day, the sweet look on his face when he sleeps

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from this little monkey!  Hope you're all not sick of pictures of him yet!  He loves watching the ceiling fan in our bedroom - this was from yesterday.  He was a good boy last night and even let mommy and daddy stay out until midnight at a friend's house.  We may be regretting that decision a bit today, but he was being so good - slept right up until we toasted the New Year!  I have to say he was good when we got home too, went down right after his feeding, but we're still dragging today.  Doesn't help that the Pants Monkey has a bit of a cold too.

I am looking to the future here as many do at the beginning of a year and I am thinking there may be some small changes coming to the blog here.  I have ideas and I just need to get my mind in order to work them out.  Small project for the remainder of my maternity leave I guess.  I promise that you will still find the same loveable Bethie the Boo as always and I do intend to keep sharing OOTD (at least when I actually get dressed) but I want to bring other content in as well.  So I guess for now - stay tuned!  Until then I wish you all a wonderful and blessed start to 2014!