Month: February 2017

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Let’s talk truth in motherhood, shall we?

As I sat drinking my coffee this morning and scrolled through the feed of pages I follow on Facebook, I noticed a theme. Endless pieces posted by “mom portals” with titles like Why I Will Never *blank* Again or Yes, I Resent My Husband For *blank*. And after reading each title, I would skim the comments and read the (inevitable) criticism of the writer’s point of view, etc.

Harsh criticism.

Like, people are effing mean.

But that’s what happens when you read the comments section of anything really, right? Vultures hovering to point out why your opinion/suggestion/way is wrong/damaging/idiotic.  I don’t usually like to breathe life into coined terms like Mommy Wars, but let’s face it: they exist. And, apparently, the causes of war are endless.

Endless.

If you write about feeding your child with a Little Mermaid spoon, someone will comment that Ariel is an anti-feminist child bride and terrible example for your daughter.

If you write about feeding your child homemade yogurt, someone will leave a snarky comment about proudly dumping a Lunch-ables on their kid’s lap as he zombie-stared into his iPad.

If you write about breast-feeding, someone will comment with 50 defensive reasons why they didn’t breast-feed.

If you write about not breast-feeding, someone will comment with 5,000 reasons why you should have.

How about rather than get involved in a heated conversation about heated baby wipes (pun intended), we all be a bit more “Meh. Live and let live.”

(*That is, unless another parent’s choice actually poses outright danger to their child or yours.)

I’m not saying ‘don’t have an opinion.’ I’m all for healthy debate.  But does that even exist online anymore? In all things lately, it seems, it’s either us vs. them. There is no middle ground – no in between. Not with politics and definitely not with parenting.

And in the (mom) blogging world, in particular, there appears to be two themes:

1/   Cinderella-mom.  Cinderella-mom lives in a mommy-world full of birds singing and perfectly dressed children and magical moments documented on social media. Cinderella-mom sings to you about the joys of cleaning and cooking and child-rearing, and she never ever discusses being tired or run-down or run over. Cinderella-mom and her little mice crochet blankets from leftover love and she makes organic moisturizer out of her (publicly unseen) tears. Cinderella-mom is happy, dammit. She is so… damn… happy. And she wants you to know it. You will know it, do you understand?!

And then there is…

2/   Daria-mom.  Daria-mom is sarcastic and snarky and likes to tell you how bad of a mom she is. Over and over. She makes fun of Cinderella-moms while throwing Cheetos at her kids for breakfast and then blogs about what a bad/badass mom she is for doing it. Daria-mom rolls her eyes at anything positive parent-related and physically gags when hearing the word “magical.”  Daria-mom loves her kids – when they are sleeping. Daria-mom laughs and points at anything handmade or homemade and loves to write about how anti-mom blog she is, and then posts all about it on her blog… about mom-ing.

Ok, so.

What if I were to tell you that both of these moms…

are equally f*cking annoying?

Why does it have to be one way or the other? Why is everything sooooo one way or the other lately?

*cough* politics *cough*

Listen, I get it. When writing, there’s a shtick… And I’m seeing more and more that the shtick is to either display perfection or anti-perfection. You can’t be both. Some moms want to be inspired. Some moms want to feel less alone. I get that.  But why are we stabbing at each other in the process?

Here is what I’ve learned through writing. Y’all aren’t one-dimensional. And you definitely appreciate honesty.

For as much good feedback I get on decor ideas for a playroom:

I get just as many (if not more) comments and kudos for the reality of what this playroom looks like on any given day (that a camera or guests aren’t present):

(I mean, you guys really liked the above photo…)

What this tells me is that all kinds of moms who put themselves out there are useful and have merit.  So I wish we’d all take a breath and stop dismissing one way in order to promote another. In fact, how about we stop doing that in life altogether?!

Puppies are cuddly and soft and fluffy and full of love. They also piss all over the place and sometimes eat their own poop.

There is no one way to be… except yourself – all of yourself . So, definitely don’t put yourself in a corner, baby.

(Also, don’t eat your own poop. That was just a metaphor.)

Ok, now I’m gagging.

And it’s not over the word “magical.”

For the record, Cinderella has always been my favorite princess and Daria is my favorite animated series.

Sweet and sarcastic.

You don’t have to choose, or be,  just one.

xo,

Jen

 

ps – Seriously, you haven’t entered my JORD giveaway yet? You know I’m not a big deal, so your chances of winning are pretty high, right? Click here and get on it!

 

***

Why is my house quiet? Why did I wake up this morning without my three year old, Ivy, staring at me ala The Ring?

The reason for this temporary euphoria is because my 13-year old step-daughter had a sleepover last night. And when big sister has a sleepover, Ivy considers herself a plus one and doesn’t leave her side. So, I have a house with teens and toddlers all sleeping away until likely noon.

Cue birds chirping and mice singing while making me a pot of fresh coffee.

A lot of people ask me how it is to have the girls so far apart in age, and my immediate response is always, “It’s great!” And I mean that. There is nothing I would change about their age difference, because the bond they have is so tight – even with those ten years between them.

This is what our family looks like. These two girls and us. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I think one of the hardest challenges for stepmoms may be the constant need to make our families feel whole in a dynamic where our husband or partner had a life before us that included a completely different family. I know it is something I have struggled with, especially in the beginning. It is absolutely normal to feel this way. Hey, the world is changing and what a family looks like is, thankfully, changing as well to encompass all sorts of lovely combinations. However, that doesn’t mean us step moms do not have human moments where we wish we were the first and last wife. The only wife, to be frank. And we wish we shared experiences with our spouse that he did not experience before.

These feelings are perfectly acceptable and no one should be ashamed of them. For some stepmoms, it can be really difficult to get over and past this mental hump. Your husband had a life before you. A wife before you. And I get asked quite often how I deal with it. This is always my answer:

Accept it. And respect it.

Respect it?

Yep.

Let’s be clear, I’m not telling you to throw your husband and his ex an anniversary party every year or have your spouse retell the story of how they met over and over.  *Shudder*  I am saying that it helped – and helps –  me, personally, to accept what was, compartmentalize it and move forward with a healthier perspective. Their relationship didn’t work out, but it did happen. Instead of dismissing it as a failure, so that I can feel superior, I choose to view it as a stepping stone that eventually led them down a better path. And bright side: that path eventually led my husband to me.

In the public stepmom world, we witness some pretty nasty views about “the ex.”

He never loved her anyway.
He was trapped in the marriage.
He was miserable the whole time.

I know every situation is different and there are definitely high-conflict situations where ugliness is being thrown about with reckless abandon.  However, if you are particularly struggling with the fact that your husband had a wife before you, then I urge you to look at it a different way.

Stop focusing on the fact that this woman is your husband’s ex and see her as the mother of your step-child(ten). 

Although I acknowledge my husband was married once before, that relationship had nothing to do with me, so it makes no sense for me to dwell on it or deny it.

And lets think about those ugly comments, in particular, for a moment. Would you want someone dismissing your marriage – whether it failed or not?  I’m pretty sure dismissing a first marriage feels just as lousy as someone dismissing the second. Also, and most importantly, let’s pretend that your step-child(ren) heard you saying those things. Is it okay to take one giant swipe to discount an entire relationship, one that happened to bring a child/children into this world,  whether it was successful or not? Children of divorce sacrifice so much.  Why would anyone want to dissolve or dismiss what may be one of the few happy memories or ideas they have of their parents being together?

Aside from a mindset trapping you in a sea of negativity and making you look petty and bitter, this outlook will also stunt you from growth, maturity and moving on, in general.

My husband had a wife before me. My husband had a family before me. And out of their love, I received one of the greatest gifts ever: a beautiful step-daughter and a wonderful sister for Ivy.  I will not discredit their relationship or past life. And though I certainly won’t dwell on it, I also won’t shut my eyes and cover my ears and pretend it never happened. Just as I wouldn’t want anyone to dismiss my marriage or family now.

If we accept our husband’s past and stop denying that it was real and that it happened, it will bring our mind peace moving forward.  More importantly, we will be a better step-parent for it.

Empathy is huge if you are to get by in this step-parent world. You have to have it or you will struggle constantly. Let’s push down these walls of us vs. them and put ourselves in their situation as often as we can (and, hopefully, they will provide us the same courtesy). I’m not saying this will solve all of our co-parenting issues, but I do promise – this will open a floodgate of newfound understanding, compassion and common ground.

Let’s do it for them and do it for us. But most importantly, let’s do it for our very whole families.

xo,

Jen

 

Ivy being Ivy.

***

See that photo up there? Funny, right? Ivy was literally trying out different “looks” for the shot. This is what she landed on intentionally.

After I took this and other photos, I uploaded them to my computer and I burst out laughing at Ivy’s face in this one. But then I looked over at myself in the shot and I immediately groaned.  While I saw nothing but beauty in Ivy’s funny little face, this is what I saw in mine:

Ugh, those puffy wrinkles under my eyes.
That sweater makes me look bulky.
I have a double chin.
I look really heavy.
Even my hand looks chubby.

I made myself post that photo anyway. I didn’t remove my wrinkles with a an editing app or “tweak” my double chin.  I posted it on Instagram – and every day since, I have willed myself not to remove it.

I’ve written before about my lifelong struggle with food and body image and, though I’ve come a long, long way from the days of checking calorie counts on sugar-free gum, I still have a lot of work ahead of me.

I promised myself the moment that I had Ivy I would never “diet” again and just find a way to eat better for my health instead of focusing on my weight.  I haven’t necessarily held to that promise, and so I’ve decided to right that wrong now.

Name a diet fad and I have done it. Every. Single. One. Some have worked (temporarily) for me, some have not.  What I do know after having tried everything is that I am at my most healthy when I am actually not paying attention to calories or fat grams. After I gave birth to Ivy, I actually whittled down to my pre-pregnancy weight without really trying. Why? I was busy.  And happy.  And not caring what the scale said.

I went back to work when Ivy was four weeks old. Yes, I work from home, but I work from home full time in the legal field. (Please don’t ever give me a wink and say “Oh, you work from home?” while doing the quotes sign with your fingers. I will cut you. I work from home.) And, while I work from home, I also decided not to put Ivy in daycare and keep her home with me. I look back at those early days now, and I have no idea how I did it.  But I did it.  We did it. And we’re still doing it three and a half years later.

Those days when she was a newborn were insane. And it’s no wonder I lost the baby weight so fast. However, as time went on and we fell into a rhythm of our schedule, each day became easier.  And I got lazier.  And, over the last two years, I’ve gained weight and just feel unhealthy.

It is a continuous struggle for me to retrain my brain to focus on health as opposed to weight; however, being healthy as opposed to being skinny is what I’m choosing to focus on moving forward. (But make no mistake: I’m hoping for a “thinner” benefit as well.) That said, I like trying new things – new challenges – and after doing some research, I landed on the Whole30 program.

* This is NOT a sponsored post. I am trying this solely on my own after reading the book. *

The Whole30 Challenge is not a weight loss diet and that’s why I chose it. It’s a program designed to make you eat healthier and find out what particular foods your body reacts to either negatively or positively.  It is not meant to be easy or a quick fix. It’s a challenge. For thirty days, you are not eating processed food, dairy, sugar or legumes.

Whole30 ain’t messing around!

Since posting about a private Whole30 Facebook group, I’ve had lots of messages and comments asking about it. So, I’m going to document weekly updates here with very quick breakdowns of my day. If you’d like to join our (very relaxed) Whole30 group online, shoot me a message and I’ll add you. We have people starting it on different days, we have people just prepping to start it, and we have people who are just eating healthier or creating their own personalized challenges, in general, and want to share recipes, ideas, etc.

Here’s my summary of Week 1:

Wednesday – It’s Day 1. I’m excited to start! I hard boiled eggs in my new Instant Pot (more about that later in this post) and I cut up two of those eggs, mixed them with avocado, olive oil and red pepper flakes and I’m good. I’m not much of a sweets person – especially in the morning – so this doesn’t feel particularly difficult for me. I would much rather be eating this on top of toast, but I’ll survive. Also, I drink my coffee black, which is going to be a huge bonus for me, since I can’t have dairy.  (Some people in our FB group who drink cream and/or sugar have found a fix for this.) Lunch is a salad. Dinner is a roast with carrots and potatoes (again, in the Instant Pot). I pass on the bread that Brian and the girls are eating. I go to bed feeling full. I got this! 

Thursday – It’s Day 2. It’s been a chaotic day with work and Ivy, and I forgot to eat breakfast. I have a late lunch of a cobb-ish salad I make and plan to cook a nice dinner. I forget it’s Hannah’s sports banquet where there will be a potluck.  I figure this won’t be hard for me to resist, because I have an aversion to food cooked by people I don’t know.  (I am suspicious of possible non-hand washers and spoon-lickers.) And then we get there. And everything looks good.  There’s fried chicken tenders and meatballs drenched in bbq sauce. I make a sad plate of vegetables (no dip), salad (no dressing) and three small pieces of salami. I remove Ivy’s cupcake wrapper for her and I get frosting on my hand. I wipe it off on a napkin instead of licking it. I want an award for this, but no one has noticed.

Friday – It’s Day 3.  I have the eggs and avocado thing again. For lunch, I have the same cobb-ish salad.  For dinner, I make this fantastic Butter Chicken in the crockpot.  Brian and Ivy eat it over arborio rice that I, again, made in the Instant Pot.  I eat mine over sautéed kale, which is actually really good. (I’m one of those freaks that actually likes kale.) I feel full and content – but I have a headache all day that won’t go away no matter how many Advil I’ve popped. I almost feel like I have a hangover, which makes me sad because I never got the benefit of wine for the hangover.

(Butter Chicken photo and recipe by One Lovely Life)

I am quickly realizing that food prep is key on this thing, so today I baked six chicken breasts in the oven and made Kitchen Sink Egg Muffins.  Just doing this (super easy and quick) saved me so much time for the rest of Week 1.

Saturday – It’s Day 4.  I eat two of my pre-made, glorious egg muffins topped with hot sauce and I’m happy. We get busy during the day and I forget to eat lunch (this is totally not normal for me, by the way, and unintentional). I grab a handful of almonds and eat an apple for a snack. For dinner, I make myself a spicy stir-fry while Brian and the girls order pizza. Normally, we all eat the dinner I make – however, my step-daughter is having a friend sleep over and what I made is far too spicy for the rest of the family. I have frozen grapes for a snack later, which curbs a sweet craving I’m having. It’s amazing how “sweet” grapes actually taste after having no sugar for 4 days.

My headache is still annoyingly present and I feel unusually tired. But I’ve read this is all normal.

Sunday – It’s Day 5.  Those egg muffins are worth their weight in gold and I’m not sick of them at all. For lunch, we go out to eat and I order a steak and steamed vegetables. I hear myself saying “no oil, no seasoning, no butter” to the waitress and I’m embarrassed and think she’s rolling her eyes (she’s not). I have leftover Butter Chicken for dinner and more frozen grapes as a snack.

My mood is super happy, but I’m …. soooo …. tired.

Monday – It’s Day 6. Hello, egg muffins. We meet again. And I’m still not sick of you!  I have another Chicken cobb-ish salad (ok, I’m starting to get sick of chicken…). I feel unusually hungry later, so I have an apple with almond butter. For dinner, I make a “hot wing” stir-fry. I totally made it up as I went. Brian and Ivy had pasta and Brian actually said, “Why does yours look better than ours?” 

Headache is gone and I no longer feel tired.

Tuesday – It’s Day 7. I’m quite sure someone put uppers in my coffee. I have endless energy and my mood is incredibly happy!  Food is same ol’ same ol’ – except for this fantastic Whole30 Chicken Salad I made (with homemade mayo that I also made – don’t be scared, it took five minutes!).

I’m not having cravings at all. Like, none. I see pictures of cupcakes and french fries online and I feel nothing. Later that night, I do feel really chubby and bloated, oddly. But, again, I read up online about the timelines of this program and this is normal. Apparently, my body is adjusting to the new way of eating and sorting itself out. This is why the program does not want you to weigh yourself throughout the 30 days. I weighed myself in the beginning and have been avoiding the scale ever since (full disclosure: I told Brian to hide it from me).  Besides, there is something about eating healthy that kind of erases the need to worry about that scale number. I’m doing my part. I’m hoping my body is following suit.

 

Whole30 Chicken Salad

 

So, here’s the deal: it may sound like I breezed through pretty easily, for the most part, this first week, but I’ve been lucky in that I have been unusually busy and when I’m busy, I don’t focus much on snacking or eating, in general.  Also, I have done Atkins before several times (told you… I’ve done them all!) and I am not unfamiliar with very restricted phases of eating, so I mentally prepared myself going into this.  If you are not used to restrictions, then this is going to be a bit tougher for you. You also need to be prepared to do a lot of prepping and grocery shopping. But I promise you, once you get going – you’ll hit a stride and know how to make this easier for yourself moving forward.

So, in summary, the benefits of this in Week 1 have been:

  • Increased energy (after initial slump)
  • Better mood (happy!)
  • General overall feeling of healthiness
  • My family is eating better as a whole (no more processed junk)
  • Eating whole, fresh food is changing the way I think about all food in general, especially what I feed my family

The tough parts:

  • I know I’m going to hit a rough patch soon – the Whole30 Timeline states that around Days 10 & 11 will be the hardest. I’m bracing myself.
  • This isn’t cheap. Buying fresh food is expensive. It’s ridiculous and horrible that it’s so much cheaper to eat crap…
  • It can be time consuming. Preparing ahead of time is key. But preparing ahead of time also saves you loads of time later – so this is actually a wash.
  • I miss wine. I want a glass of wine.
  • Did I tell you about the wine?
  • Wine.

So, Week 1 is down!  I’ll update again on Week 2. And, hey, consider our Facebook group… I love the little thing we have going!

***

Ok, onto the Instant Pot.

I posted on Facebook asking if any of my friends had a pressure cooker/Instant Pot and if they liked it.  I received a few responses from people who have it and love it, but the majority of responses were basically: “I’ve been looking at them, too – but I’m terrified, so you buy one first and let me know if you live.”

Assholes.

So, because I’m a loving, giving friend, I took one for the team (of assholes) and bought one last week.  I have to say, this thing is handy!  I haven’t made too many things with it yet, but each recipe/food I did make turned out awesome, so I give it a thumbs up!

Here is what I’ve learned so far:

1/ I will never make hardboiled eggs another way again. Put a cup of water in the instant pot, place eggs on the basket tray (included with the instant pot) and set manually for 8 minutes.  Eggs are perfect every time and peel perfectly.  I’ve done this twice now – and had flawless results both times.

2/ I will never cook rice another way. I made arborio (Italian rice) and, again, it took 8 minutes and it was perfect!  I got lucky on the amount of water to use (there are varying opinions online) – but you may need to tweak it on your results. There are instructions included with the Instant Pot that worked well for me.

3/ I made a roast and potatoes in under an hour. That’s pretty incredible. I was shocked that both the meat and the potatoes turned out perfectly. The carrots were a little mushy, so I’ll need to work on that timing.

4/  Drawback: Though the Instant Pot cooks super fast, sometimes it feels like forever for it to “preheat.”  I learned after reading a few articles online that this can be remedied by turning the Instant Pot on immediately before getting out your ingredients/food and setting it on the “sauté” mode. This will kick-start the pre-heat.

5/ Bonus: I have not blown up my house or scalded myself. The first night I tried it, I made Ivy go in another room just in case. Now that I have the hang of it, it’s pretty simple. Just make sure to read the instructions on how to release steam. You don’t want your hand in the way of that opening when you switch levers, trust me.

So far, I love this thing! I’m excited to try new things with it. In fact, I’ve been keeping it on my counter every day, because there is so much you can do! I still love my crock-pot, but the Instant Pot is a great tool for quick cooking. And the amount of dishes I save (no pots and pans to wash!) has been fantastic – especially with the amount of cooking I’m doing on Whole30.

***

Wow. That was a long, not-very-entertaining post.  Chalk this off to (hopefully) informative.

I’ll be back with my usual anecdotes again soon! Or maybe not… Day 10 is coming up. I may just come here to yell at you incoherently about cupcakes and wine. Stay tuned. You owe me… the Instant Pot thing and all.

I could have been maimed, for God’s sake. 

xo,

Jen

 

***

I hate scary movies.

HATE them.

I have enough anxiety in my life without the unnecessary trauma of monsters/zombies/ghosts/demons jumping out of nowhere and trying to kill someone.

For that very reason, I also hate Halloween haunted houses.  Once, when I was a kid, my friend Dani and I went to a nearby “haunted house” for Halloween. I was terrified, but she wanted to go through it so badly. We were with other friends of hers and I didn’t want to be the only wuss. So, we agreed to walk through it in a “train” formation. I kept my eyes closed the ENTIRE time and sang to myself as I held onto the girl’s shoulders in front of me, as Dani held on to my shoulders from behind.

When the nightmare was finally over, I stepped outside and turned around to celebrate only to find that Dani was nowhere to be found. About three minutes later, she came out of the haunted house and told me that one of the “zombies” had pushed her aside at the very beginning and was holding onto me the entire time. “His hands were all over you!” she cried.

WTF zombie?!

I’m gong to assume that the zombie was not, in fact, molesting me – but more so waiting for me to turn around, thinking I would see my friend –  and completely freak out when I saw him there in his (fake) bloody glory.

I think it is safe to say that it was best – for both of us – that I never noticed the zombie.

The moral of the story: I hate being scared.

Not in the “Oh, haha… don’t scary me… haha… I’ll hate you forever!” kind of I don’t like being scared. More like the, “I swear to God if you effin’ scare me, I will rip your eyeballs out, call 911 and then punch your shins for 20 minutes until the police arrive” kind of I don’t like being scared.

Do not, under any circumstances, scare me.

Are we clear?

So, the other night, I couldn’t sleep and Brian had just come up from downstairs and I suggested we watch The Visit, a “haunting story about a brother and sister discovering something deeply disturbing during a visit to their grandparent’s”, by M. Night Shyamalan.

Don’t ask me where this brilliant idea came from. I haven’t had carbs in four days, so I’m blaming that.

We watched the movie and, afterwards, I was obviously more awake than before – and completely terrified. I had to go the bathroom and I made Brian go in before me and turn the light on – as well as check for any stray Nanas or PopPops hanging around. (I actually first begged him to stay in there with me while I peed. Hey, I promised to turn the fan and sink on to mask the noise… I’m not a total monster!  He politely declined.)

Before he did leave the bathroom, I looked at him with the seriousness I usually reserve for Scientology documentaries (have you seen the Leah Remini series, by the way? So good!) and said, “Brian. BRIAN. Look at me. I swear to God with every ounce of my being, if you-“  I was cut off by his sudden burst of laughter.

“I won’t, I promise! I won’t scare you.”

“No, look at me, Brian. LOOK. AT. ME. If you choose to scare me when I come out of this bathroom, you will be single again. Do you understand me?”

And then I said something that I never, ever say – not even in joking.

I threatened him with the D word: divorce.

(I told you, I f*#@ing hate being scared!)

It didn’t even matter that I said divorce, because he was laughing so hard that he was bent over, struggling to breathe. It is super, super difficult to get my husband to laugh that hard (I try… a lot), so I was both endeared and also ready to kick his shins and make the 911 call.

But, he adhered. Either because he didn’t want to be single again – or because he was still laughing uncontrollably when I came out of the bathroom.

I spent the next thirty minutes telling him how terrified I was as he laughed his head off while trying to comfort me.

Let me just say that comforting while cackling is not effective.

That said…

…it felt so good to have those (hysterical) moments with my husband. As silly as that sounds, life has been getting busy.  The girls both have activities. There is lots of running around and, during the week especially, it feels like we get fewer and fewer moments all together – or alone with each other. On top of this, he is traveling more and more for work – and though I don’t mind it, I miss him.

Like, a lot.

I’ve said a thousand times before that I hit the jackpot when I met my husband. He’s funny, hilarious, kind… and hot, to boot!  There are more days than not that I know I don’t deserve him. He knows every dirty little secret about me – and he loves me anyway.

I recently told my sister, “I can be a bit much. I know this about myself.”  Hey, self awareness is a good thing, right?  But I can. I can be a bit much.  And I’m always going to be a bit too much of something to somebody, as the saying goes.

I am much too messy.
I am much too loud.
I am too much too irritable.
I am too much too stubborn.

Yet, with me being a bit too much of… a lot, my husband lets me be all of it. With no judging.

Ok, that’s a lie – he’s totally judging the mounds of my clothing sprawled across our bedroom floor right now. 

But other than that [slight] judgement, he has never tried to change me. He’s never asked me to… not be so much.

Yep, I landed a good one. And I don’t take the moments with him for granted.

He’s my very own Jake Ryan. 

And he didn’t scare me when I came out of the bathroom. So, there’s that.

Ok. Enough mush.

I’ve got a giveaway!

***

I just told you about what a saint my husband is. I also need to tell you that Valentine’s and his birthday are coming up this month and though he is a martyr for putting up with me, he is also the worst person to shop for.

This man is picky.

However, I think I finally found him a gift he loves. And it’s a win not only for him, but also for you!

Alright, so here’s the deal. I have made it a personal rule to never collaborate or promote anything on this blog or any social media that I don’t actually love.  I have turned down a few things in particular recently because they were not something I would genuinely use, wear or have Ivy wear.  SO… I was actually really excited when JORD Wood Watches contacted me to team up with them on a sweepstakes!

I love these watches. I keep seeing them online and in social media and I’m obsessed with how they look. They are unique and chic and incredibly well made. When I sent Brian a photo of one and told him about JORD contacting me, his immediate response was, “I’ve been seeing those and they are awesome!”  Since my husband is super, super picky when it comes to all things in his wardrobe – I knew this would be the perfect gift for him.

Buying something for Brian is hard. I am not exaggerating. He’s not a big “gift” person to start with – but he’s also super picky. (I’m sorry, did I say that already?)  We made a rule a long time ago to never buy each other clothing (we’re both super picky on that front) – and I’m clueless when it comes to buying him the right photography equipment, etc.  And let’s be honest, sometimes the ol’ Amazon wish list starts to feel a little unoriginal and ridiculous.

So, when Brian received his JORD watch (the Conway series in Kosso & Midnight Blue), it made me so happy to see that he actually loved it! It’s classic yet modern and it looks fantastic on him.

Brian has honestly been looking at watches for a long time, but he hasn’t been able to find anything that really felt like him.  This watch is undoubtedly him. And the bonus? JORD offers sizing and engraving. The engraving, in particular is awesome. They offer block or script or even your own handwriting. Come on! That’s pretty fantastic.

Here’s the thing: I really love this watch. I wouldn’t have teamed with JORD if I didn’t.  And I’m super excited that they are letting me do a giveaway and share the love!

One of my readers will win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD website!  EVERYONE who enters will get a $25 gift code to use on the JORD website after the contest. So, you win no matter what!

Click HERE to enter to win!

Listen, I’m not that cool. Your odds of winning the $100 toward one of these watches are pretty good, so go enter.*

These watches are a chic, unique and modern way to up your wardrobe and they aren’t just limited to men. Check out all of the women’s watches on the JORD site as well.  Also, no one said you can’t use that gift code on yourself!  (Do you think I could enter my own giveaway? Would that be wrong?) 

Brian is loving his watch and I’m getting extra love for this perfect gift. One might say he’s more affectionate than a rogue haunted house zombie circa 1987.

xo,

Jen

 

*The contest will close 2/26 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on 4/30/2017.
Luxury Wooden Watch