The Ultimate Flat: Rothy’s Review

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If I had to describe myself in a few sentences, here’s what I’d write.

I am the cheapest–I love a bargain. I love the environment. I love classic styles. I love luxury products. I love things that make my life as a Mama and a wife easier.

As someone who lives in what I would consider a world of neutrals and “smart” wardrobe choices–the things that I really branch out into a fun pattern or statement are my jewelry and my shoes. I can buy a great quality J.Crew sweater and mix it up with some statement jewels, or with a fun pair of flats for a night out. That makes that sweater a good investment, right?

When I was a Freshman in college I found the absolute cutest pair of leopard print ballet flats from Forever 21. They were my size, they had the perfect pattern, they were a soft material, and they met my two major requirements. They were 6.99, and they folded up into my clutch to take to the bar on my friend’s 21st birthday.

They were amazing companions–and I wore them for the better part of 8 years…until they started dying on me. Thus the hunt for the perfect leopard replacement began.

As what I consider to be an ultimate consumer–I had very high expectations. I was ready to invest in a great pair of shoes–so they had to work for me, right?

The Ultimate Leopard Flats:

  • Will not feel like they’re made of “fur”
  • Will not rub my ankles
  • Will be gorgeous, the perfect neutral shades that will go with all blacks, browns, camels, and tans.
  • Will not make my foot sweat.
  • Will be easily cleaned.
  • Will not leave my feet aching after a long day of teaching.

I tried so many different brands. I purchased 3 pairs thinking they were the ones, just to send them back to where they came from each time. I loved my original flats so much that I needed something AMAZING to replace them.

I had previously had a couple of pairs of Tieks, but I didn’t find them to be worth the money. They weren’t washable, they gave my heels blisters during the wearing in process, and I never felt like I got more than a solid year of wear out of them before they began looking less than gorgeous.

Which leads me to where I found my holy grail Cinderella (ballet flat) slippers.

Social Marketing is such a thing ya’ll. No sooner had I started my search for the ultimate replacement I began seeing adds for Rothy’s. After reading some promising reviews and doing my research on the company–I ordered a pair.

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Aren’t they absolutely gorgeous?

So here’s the skinny on Rothys

They’re good for the environment.

As someone who tries to be very conscientious about what I purchase and from which company’s I support–this was an easy choice for me. They are made from recycled water bottles. For some reason I thought that this would make them hard or rigid, but according to Rothy’s .

“The bottles are sterilized, washed, and chipped into flakes that are spun into a soft fiber. That fiber then goes into a 3-D knitting machine specially programmed to minimize waste. The upper is knit to shape inside the machine and comes out fully formed… It’s then attached to the sole made from recyclable carbon-free rubber…”

The shoes feel like a very soft knit material. I personally LOVE them. They are very breathable.

The sizing can be tricky. 

In Rothy’s I (along with the rest of the consumers online) suggest you go up 1/2 a size in their traditional styles and a whole size in the pointed flat.

They’re machine washable.

When your flats get a bit erhm…scented…by the weekend you can just take out your soles, toss them in the wash on a gentle cold cycle with some great detergent and they’ll dry overnight.

Not going to lie-the first time I washed mine I expected them to take forever to air dry. However, they were dry as a bone when I went to grab them in the morning!

They keep you comfy and dry.

My feet sweat. So do yours, I gather. These seem to wick the sweat away from my feet. I love them! They also hug my narrow feet very nicely, but I also have plenty of friends with wide feet who say their Rothy’s accommodate  them so well, too!

They are so easy to style.

I’ve found myself planning my outfits around my Rothy’s, and not wanting to wear any of my other shoes. Seriously.

I have so many other pairs on my wishlist. They’re amazing.  I’m never taking these off.

Ready to give Rothy’s a try? Use my referral link to get $20 off your new pair of the best shoes you’ll ever have. Full disclosure: I get $20 off a pair for myself, too, when you use this link. 

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Top Sleep Tips From Our Sleep Consultant: Mama Likes

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I wasn’t always a Sleep Specialist, but for much of my life I’ve been a poor sleeper. Sleep is hard work for me, the stress of sleeplessness wears me down emotionally and physically, so I am overjoyed that it’s NOT something my girls will struggle with. Fierce independence and willfulness… yes. Sleep, no.

After teaching Social Studies and Dance/Yoga in the public schools for 10 years I moved to New York City where I began teaching Yoga to kids and adults. Soon, I was drawn to teach prenatal and postnatal yoga and became certified as a Birth Doula. I loved that I could support families in so many areas of their journey: pregnancy, birth, healing your post-baby body, and then teaching children themselves. Mindfulness, relaxation and support was a key part of all these benchmarks.

Then, I became a parent myself. And it was HARD. I found pregnancy limiting, uncomfortable, and anxiety provoking. I had an empowering home-birth and then I spent five months in a state of crisis as I attempted to function on very little sleep with none of the coping skills I had before. I was eager to get back to my work supporting families, but I was too tired to do it.  As my child became more independent, her sleep became increasingly dependent, interrupted and off balance. We were ALL exhausted, confused, and desperate. No matter where I looked for advice and information I was ineffective at successfully implementing it. Finally, at 11 months someone pointed me to a sleep consultant who turned our lives around in a matter of days.Kristine2

As it turns out, my first born is an expert sleeper – she went from sleeping 9 random hours a day to a solid routine of sleeping 16 hours a day. By the third night on our new routine she was sleeping all night long!! Life with kids isn’t always unicorns and rainbows, but the day to day chaos of parenting is much easier to problem solve when the whole family is getting the sleep they need. After a few months I felt like a whole new person, and I was so grateful each morning I woke up well rested. It was really fun to parent my patient and cooperative child who was no longer throwing baby tantrums and hurting other kids in her exhaustion. In fact, life was so dreamy that I began to scheme about two things: having a second child and becoming a sleep consultant myself.  

Now, I have a thriving business and two well-rested daughters. It’s really an honor for me to nurture families in this new capacity: to empower them with education, reassurance and support as they walk their own path to healthy sleep.

These Are My Top 5 Sleep Tips:

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Why the Mia Mily Hipster Plus Carrier Changed our Game: Mama Likes

When I was pregnant I spent so much time researching what baby carrier we were going to purchase. My sister in law (read sister in love) is a Physical Therapist who works predominantly with pediatrics. I have so many memories from before either one of us were pregnant about how she was seeing hip problems become rampant, and a cause of the problem is incorrect body positioning in a standard baby carrier. Whenever I would find a baby carrier that I liked I would immediately ask her if it met the “M” position that the best carriers have.

As someone who has a great deal of anxiety in public places before having a baby, that became amplified times one hundred when I needed to tote the baby, the idea of baby wearing was really appealing to me. When you hear so many crazy stories about people having their babies abducted or the baby walking away and that panicked feeling–I just thought baby wearing would make us all feel a little safer. It does, by the way…when we are in public make me feel less anxious about what is going to happen as we shop.

We ended up purchasing (or were gifted!) three carriers for baby VC. We have two Moby (stretch) carriers, a Tula, and the Mia Mily.

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Today I Miss You More: Mama Musing

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Did you know that every morning your Dad rushes to be the first face you see when you wake? It has become one of my most favorite parts of my day. I finish getting dressed while listening to him whisper sweet tidings of morning love into your ear as he gets you out of bed through the baby monitor.

Seeing the smile (and spastic for the boob juice) look on your face every morning always starts my day off in the best way possible.

This morning after putting your outfit and, of course, your coordinating hair bow and moccasins on we went downstairs to get packed for our big days. Mine teaching, your Dad’s at his office, and yours at daycare with the ladies who love you almost as much as we do.

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Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate: Review

 

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“In my multifold years of life, I have learned that most people get along as best they can. They don’t intend to hurt anyone. It is merely a terrible by-product of surviving.” 

I wrote that quote into three seperate places after I read it. If you loved that, you’re going to love this. I’m pretty sure that we all know by now that my favorite genre falls between romance and psycho thrillers. What you may not know is that I read a vast amount of books from different genres…I just never really feel like they are much to write home about. Well my friend, I have finally read something that is not absolutely twisted or sick over the moon love-struck. When Amazon suggested that I pick up a copy of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours I immediately imagined the story was about adoption. Which honestly is something my heart has always really felt connected to. Truth be told, we would love to foster or adopt in the future.

“One of the best things a father can do for his daughter is let her know that she has met his expectations. My father did that for me, and no amount of effort on my part can fully repay the debt.” 

I absolutely adored every single word of this beautiful portrayal of life. I felt like from the first three pages my heart was in the thick of it with both narrators. I’m going to tread lightly, because I genuinely don’t want to ruin any single aspect of this book for you. The most apparent connection I can draw for you is that if you liked Orphan Train you will most definitely like this even better. Seriously.

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Why Teaching Middle School Is Actually The Most Extra: Musing

 

“Oh you’re a teacher, what grade do you teach?”

“I teach middle school–English Language Arts and Reading.”

The “look” that usually follows this polite exchange resembles something quite Scarlet O’Hara in the “bless your heart” style.

Well in my fifth year of teaching the odd, really confusing wildebeest we call “preteens” I have come to learn eight (online appropriate) things that are 100% true to this career path.

1. We have smelled things that you can only imagine in your wildest dreams.

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Bet you didn’t wake up before leaving for work this morning thinking, “I really hope Johnny in the office next door put on his deodorant.” Teachers have, though. We also get really stoked when we get the smelliest of the kids right after PE. Before my kids ever hit their smelly peak I plan to buy stock in deodorant and body sprays. What’s even worse than the odoriferous smell of preteen is when it is covered in the hottest scent of Victoria’s Secret Love Spell mixed with some lingering Axe and unchanged sanitary pad.

Yep. That’s a thing.

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Self Lovin’ Back to You: Musing

As a type “A” planner, I am currently sitting and looking at my calendar for the past four months thinking, “Where.Did.That.Time.Go.” My blogging agenda notebook is wide open on my desk, with each Tuesday and Thursday topic highlighted in perfectly coordinating washi tape. Here’s what:

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At Least Someone was able to relax in the ocean this summer.

The blog posts range from book reviews, to baby product must haves, to a chocolate chip cookie recipe that took me three weeks to perfect. So many things I wanted to already have shared with you. But guess what? There have been so many nights in the past seven months that I lie awake at night thinking about when I would get back into the swing of things, and it just didn’t happen. “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll take an hour when she naps and I will write.” But I didn’t. I took a shower instead. I read another book on how to get your baby to stop being awake every 45 minutes at night. I researched ways to boost my breast milk production. I googled “sleep disorders in six month old babies” no less than fifty times. I lesson planned. I folded laundry so my husband would have clean work shirts. I picked up her toys…again. I learned tricks to get baby poop out of a white bed sheet.

I have been learning how to be this new version of myself that I wasn’t really prepared to meet.

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My Summer 2017 Reading List

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One of the questions I get most often from my friends, family, and you online pals is, “What should I be reading?”

Well…nobody told me that when I had Virginia I’d never be able to sit and binge read through a summer thriller like the days of my youth.

Just kidding, everyone told me this and I foolishly decided they were nonsensical and w-r-o-n-g.

Oh my sweet momma friends, how right you were.

On the rare and sweet occasion that my littlest decides to bless her mother with a precious nap here is what I’m reaching for this summer–or what I snagged into my hands over maternity leave!

IntoTheWater.jpgInto the Water  by Paula Hawkins

If you were every book-loving human being in the last two years you likely read The Girl On The Train. While I can’t speak to the film adaptation, I can tell you that TGOTT is a book that will be in my husband’s beach read bag as we prepare to vacate for a week! I am always cautious to pick up any second novel by an author that I love so much, but after a lot of back and forth I finally picked up Into the Water and read it on my Kindle a few weeks ago. I.Loved.It. I think that while Hawkins’ first book left me wanting more, this one really stuck with me. You meet Nel, who is a single mom to a little girl and found dead. Her daughter goes to live with her sister–who becomes obsessed with figuring out the death of Nel and finds out there is way, way, way more (think more bodies–more) in the entire story than she originally believed.

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Virginia Claire’s Labor & Delivery: Pregnancy

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Here I sit, six weeks postpartum and feeling ashamed and humiliated to write this down for you to read. The girl who so adamantly fought tooth and nail to prepare for a natural childbirth but begged (literally) for an epidural. I was prepared to labor at home, in my beautiful jetted bathtub. I was prepared to breath through my contractions, and use what I had learned from Bradley classes to labor my daughter into this world. My husband was prepared, too. We were so ready to do the dirty work to bring Virginia into this world without the interventions that we had read, debated,  and decided against for our baby.  We had a birth plan, written and even illustrated in certain points. We were so, so, so, so, so, ready for everything that could come our way. Except we weren’t. I was so, so, not ready. I wasn’t ready for a 28 hour labor. I wasn’t ready for over 48 hours with no sleep during that labor, and I really wasn’t ready to even entertain pain medication options. Bad combo, guys…bad combo.

In order to really give you the nitty gritty details I’m sure I’d want to read if I were you, we have to bump ourselves back a week with my 39 week appointment at the OBGYN office.

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Hospital Bag(s) Hits, Misses, and Regrets: Pregnancy

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When I hit my third trimester it seemed like all of my nervous first time mom energy was thrown into what needed to be packed into my hospital bag. I blame Pinterest. You can’t spend ten minutes searching for Chip and JoJo inspired home decor on Pinterest without seeing at least seven different “Hospital Bag Must Have’s”.  Believe me when I tell you that I combed all of them over at least twice. Some of them were so ridiculous that they included “straightener and round brush” while others seemed to lack the important addition of shower flip flops. Another massive “perk” of my crippling anxiety is the desire it gives me to make a list, achieve the list, and then triple check the list. So, in short order, we had a list for baby’s hospital bag, my husband’s hospital bag, my hospital bag, and of course–the ever so important snack bag. We kept putting off making the bags actually happen, and I also attribute this to the anxiety that once the bags were packed, she was shortly following.

I was positive that I would be the first time mother that showed up to Labor and Delivery with fourteen bags, and never got out of my hospital gown. I decided that I would walk on the edge of caution and pack lightly.

Here is the rundown of what we actually used, what never saw the artificial light of day, and what I wish we would have had at our disposal.

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