Friday, March 21, 2014

The Internet is for Complaining

Hi internet.

Can I complain to you for a little bit?

This week has been one for the books. The bad books.

It all started pretty well since I had just had a nice R&R weekend and I was looking forward to finishing a few sewing projects this week.

But Noni wasn't herself, and for all of Sunday and Monday I was confined to the couch with her. Breaking skin contact even for a moment brought swift and immediate retribution in the form of ear-splitting wails and attempted pummelings by her tiny fists. I even took her to the doctor thinking that she MUST have an ear infection, but they couldn't find a thing wrong with her besides her impending molars.

Then Tuesday afternoon I was sitting at my sewing machine while the kids were napping and I started to feel seasick.  By three o'clock I knew that after several nail-biting months, the stomach bug that had been going around town was happening to ME. No. Nonononononononono.

I will spare you the details, but this was not some trifling virus. It was a "can't get out of bed, lose 5% of your body weight in 8 hours" kind of virus. Luckily Nemo was able to come home from work to wrangle the kids while I was busy puking my guts out.

By midnight I was able to keep down some water and I was hoping to get some sleep, when I heard the worst sound in the world coming from CJ's room.
No. Just no.

It was like a horror movie in there, but instead of pig's blood it was half-digested hot dogs and blueberries, which I think is much, MUCH grosser.

Obviously I couldn't deal with the mess just then so I mopped up the pukster, banished Nemo to the guest room, laid down some towels on the bed, and tried to get CJ back to sleep.

Except he couldn't sleep because as sick as he was was, he was FASCINATED with the digital alarm clock. The next several hours sounded like this:

"Now it say twelve fifty and eight!....*excited squeak* Now it say twelve fifty and nine!...*puke gag puke* *very excited squeak* Now it say one hundred!"

I finally had to turn on the tv to keep him occupied, which surprisingly ended up conking him out--splayed across my poor, abused stomach, naturally.

So the remainder of the week was spent dealing with that nonsense. Oh, and then today I discovered that someone had smashed off the side view mirror of the minivan we've had for all of six weeks. And AND we had to pay for a lost library book. Awesome.

Does the fact that I survived this week mean I've leveled up as a mom? You know, I don't even want to level up. I  just want chocolate, except I can't eat any because I'm still too queasy.

Ok, I'm done now. Carry on.
 photo Signature1_zps6ee36174.jpg

Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

IntrovertFest 2014

I am writing this at the tail end of a lovely weekend off. Nemo took the kids to visit his parents for the weekend, and I took the opportunity to refresh and revive my introverted self. The activities included sleeping in, drinking lots of tea in an unhurried fashion, making/eating cookies, re-watching The Hunger Games (by accident; I thought I had rented Catching Fire), and going to Mass all on my own. It. Was. Glorious.

 Dress: Kohl's // Sweater: Thrifted // Tights: Target // Boots: Keen

Also in this photo is my rediscovered fireplace surround. The fireplace had been boarded up, completely covering the tile surround, and I took it upon myself to come up with a way to show off the tile and still keep kids out of the fireplace proper. I did it all by myself, table-saw use included! I blogged it over at Living in the Green.

Brooch: No clue, pretty though, right?

I've also got some new stuff on my face!

Over the weekend I also realized that I only own 2 tubes of lipstick and they are both the same color of my lips. So I took the opportunity to go to Sephora (for the first time ever) and try out some new colors. I ended up taking this one home...the sales lady assured me I could pull it off but I remain skeptical. Thoughts?

I am also currently rocking a super-cool DIY injury. Did you know that drill bits get hot when you use them a lot? Because friction. I knew that, but I guess my behavior didn't really reflect that. When I was working on the above-mentioned fireplace I was hurriedly changing a drill bit and the one that I'd just been using got too close to my face and...blammo. Nice burn blister that looks oh so like a raging zit. Fabulous.

Head over to Fine Linen and Purple to see some more WIWS posts that probably don't include facial injuries.
 photo Signature1_zps6ee36174.jpg

Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Makeup Without the Makeup {5 Favorites}

Hey hey! It's almost Wednesday and I'm linking up with the favorite maven Hallie.

Ok kids, today I'm going to talk at you about how to look your best. I am seriously under qualified to do so, but whatever.

Our concept of beauty is based around stereotypical signs of good health, such as clear, radiant skin and shiny, thick hair. So it follows that if you want to be beautiful, all you have to do is be healthy.

1. Get enough sleep.
They don't call it "beauty sleep" for nothing. Just clear your schedule and sleep off those under-eye circles.

2. Eat nutritious food.
Open your wallet and buy the good stuff, then clear your schedule and cook it, savoring every moment of the food experience. Your body will thank you for not poisoning it with Nutella anymore!

3. Drink a half-gallon of water a day.
Clear your schedule, because you are going to do a lot of peeing. That's how the toxins get flushed out of your body, you know.

4. Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol.
Your body doesn't need that delicious, life-giving poison.

5. Exercise 
Clear your schedule, because you need at least a half-hour a day of being sweaty and uncomfortable in order to look your best.

So there you have it! My 5 favorites for looking great. It is SO simple--I really don't understand why more people don't do it.

Ha ha, just kidding! Please don't kick me.

That stuff isn't simple or easy at this point in my life, and I bet it's not for you either. We're adults with adult responsibilities, and while it goes without saying that we should all work hard to take care of ourselves, sometimes it just ain't gonna happen.

So the only thing to do is to fake it til you make it, right?

I would "fake it" like most people do by wearing makeup...except I've never really been comfortable wearing it. It was verboten to me until I was in my late teens and I never got used to it. I like the idea of makeup, but if I wear anything more than the bare minimum (mascara and maybe some under-eye concealer) I get super self-conscious. Something I have learned over my adult life is that if you can't wear it with confidence, it's working against you.

Also, putting on makeup while toddlers are fighting over which one of your ankles they get to cling to is not ideal. 

So, with extensive makeup off the table, I had to learn to fake good health by other means.

Drumroll, please. Here are my real 5 Favorite ways to make it look like I'm making an effort without actually going through the trouble of putting on makeup.

{I don't actually use the particular brands shown in the graphic, because I buy the offest off-brands. Always.}


I recently saw this post over at In Honor of Design about how to grow your eyelashes naturally. The title was intriguing because hey, we all want longer, thicker lashes, don't we? I was expecting a manifesto about the benefits of a South American berry, but the answer was surprisingly mundane: Hair, Skin, and Nails dietary supplements. The active ingredient is biotin, a B-vitamin that is necessary for cell growth. Wikipedia stated that the research regarding biotin's effect on hair growth is a bit murky, but it also stated that biotin is thought to help regulate blood sugar. That would be awesome because I am allllways on a blood sugar roller coaster.

Anyway, I figured it couldn't hurt so I got me some off-brand supplements at Kroger and waited for my long, gorgeous lashes to grow in. Alas, I'm not seeing much improvement (yet?) but my skin is in its heyday right now. It's pretty awesome.


Remember in the 90s when no one had eyebrows? I was the worst of them. I cringe when I look at prom pictures and see my poor naked face. Thank goodness that full eyebrows are back in. I hope they get to stay for a while.

But in order to pull off the no-makeup look, I simply can't allow my eyebrows to fulfill their Gandalfian aspirations. Full, YES. "Long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat", NO. Hence the tweezers.

When my mom visited us a few months ago she left behind a magnifying mirror that I never mailed back to her because it made the whole depilation process so much easier. Sorry, mom. I'll buy it from you.

By a show of hands, who else is rocking the bleary-eyed "I pulled an all-nighter" look? Hmmm, lots of you. I thought so.

There are lots of products that "brighten your eyes" but since eye makeup tends to make my eyes red and irritated, I prefer to actually brighten my eyes. Eye drops: they'll make you look like a bright-eyed teenager.

 Don't let the toothbrush fool you: this isn't about dental hygiene (although that is a very important aspect of any beauty regimen, but I hope you already knew that). #4 is here to talk to you about exfoliating your lips. Here's a wikihow article showing 4 methods of lip exfoliation, but I am too lazy to make a sugar scrub so I just brush my lips a bit with my toothbrush every morning. A couple of scrubs takes away all the dead skin and improves the blood flow to the area, which means they will plump up a bit and have better color. It's like lipstick but...not.

I have lately started utilizing the age-old beauty trick of misdirection. I've started wearing earrings a lot more than I used to because when people see me I want them to think, "oooh, shiny!" rather than, "omg, does she have a wasting disease?"
(p.s. I don't actually own those earrings, but I want to.)


I'm not swearing off makeup; far from it. Someday I hope to pull off a full rockabilly look.  But on those days when, for whatever reason, putting on the ole' concealer and lip gloss seams like too much of a hassle, this regimen gives me the confidence to say, eh, screw it. Not putting on makeup today.

Frizzy, bare-faced, and loving it.
 photo Signature1_zps6ee36174.jpg

Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

DST: Impossible? {WIWS}

Do I look grumpy? Cuz I'm totally not, due to the fact that during Mass Noni was a little less

and a little more

Instead of the usual back-arching, screaming, and heckling her brother, all she did was snuggle up against me and suck her thumb. After Mass I was all like, who are you and why don't I feel like I've been running wind sprints for the last hour?

In other Sunday news, daylight savings time began today and we completely forgot. Luckily we use our phones for most of our time-telling needs, so once Nemo got up with the kids this morning (God bless him) he realized in enough time to wake me up and get us all to Mass. Once we corrected all the clocks I completely forgot it even happened, which is big news because when DST starts or ends I always obsess about what it will mean for the kids' schedules.


I fed the kids and put them down for their naps at the same clock time that I always do, and didn't remember until close to dinner time that we were actually an hour ahead of our usual schedule, and I said to myself, "Ah, oh well. Now let's get these kids to bed ASAP
 so I can eat some Samoas".

Kind of like how lately CJ has been sleeping in a different position. For over a year when I would put him into his crib, he would get into his favorite position and stay like that all night. Now he's shifted eighteen inches to the right. Eva from a year ago would have tried understand CJ's motivation for making this abrupt change in his sleeping arrangements until she was tearing out her hair and wailing, "but what does it all meeeeean?"

Instead I noted the difference, marveled a bit at the unknowable enigma that is the toddler mind, then I shut off the lights and left the room.

I'm kind of having an existential crisis over here. If I'm not worrying about things beyond my control, then who AM I?

Someone who has a heck of a lot more fun, that's for sure.

Linking up with my girls at FLAP. Pop on over and say hello!

 photo Signature1_zps6ee36174.jpg

Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Rap Sheet (7QT)

Linking up with Jen, as per usual.

CJ has always been studious, even as a baby.

Curious about higher math at 10 months old. Not staged.

When he discovered letters and numbers about year ago he became the quietest little nerd you can imagine (I use the word "nerd" very lovingly). All day long he would sit at the dining room table doing letter puzzles or writing on his magnedoodle. 

"What terrible twos?" I asked myself rather smugly. It seemed my little dear was going to skip over that bit.

Except he didn't.

Recently something shifted in his little head and all of a sudden there are hijinks galore up in here.

Here's a selection of the mischief he has gotten into this week:


A half-stick of butter was thawing on the kitchen counter in preparation for making frosting, and guess what happened. It was "dewishus", in case you were wondering. All 400 calories of it.

After he learned that dewishus things are stored on the counter, he pulled the rocking horse up to the same counter and used it to reach the sugar bowl, which was raided with great relish.

All of his alphabet puzzle pieces, which he used to love more than juice, graham crackers, and mommy combined? Yeah, they are all currently residing down the floor vent.

After a dinner party he climbed up onto the dining room table and tried to pour himself a glass of beer from the pitcher. Thankfully it spilled everywhere before he could actually ingest any.

Yesterday I found that he he tossed all of the storage bins of hats and mittens (that I had just organized, naturally) over the baby gate, in an attempt to bury the Pippin the Cat, who was on the other side.

During nap time one day I was siting on the couch during nap time and having a hot flash like you wouldn't believe. I was sweating through my clothes, beginning to get a dehydration headache, and wondering if it was possible to go through menopause at 29, when I realized that SOMEBODY had turned the thermostat up to 95 degrees. NINETY-EFFING-FIVE.

Leaving this one blank on purpose because I'm sure he's done something ridiculous that I haven't noticed yet. I'll get back to you.

I'm guessing this is the standard "I have a two year old" experience and right now it's a novelty for me. Sometimes it's even downright funny. But hopefully my crime prevention techniques keep up with his law breaking skills, otherwise we are going to be in BIG trouble.
 photo Signature1_zps6ee36174.jpg

Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Farewell to Ice Cream

I typically don't give up a specific type of food for Lent as many other people do. I have always gravitated towards things like curbing my bad language or always putting away the laundry rather than piling it on top of the dresser, and this is for a very good reason.

I come from a long and honorable line of sugar maniacs (you don't mind me saying that do you, Mom? Grandma?)  and I have always severely doubted my ability to go 40 days without my favorite food group.
Maybe the prolonged winter has driven me mad, but this year I've decided to dip a toe into the sugar-free waters.

I'm not giving up ALL sweets, mind you. That would be nuts. But I am going to give up ice cream.

This is kind of a big deal. I eat a big bowl of ice cream almost every night before going to bed. It's my prize for making it through the day and oh, how I do look forward to it when the toddlers are all screamy. Whenever I go to an event that keeps me out late, no matter how fun it is there is always a little part of me sulking, "but what about my icccce creeeeammmm?"

It occurs to me that this is perhaps not the most healthy attitude towards any kind of food. One might even call it an addiction. One would probably be right.

For the last several weeks I have been trying hard to wrap my head around the idea of ice cream-less evenings, but even though I am able to contemplate it at this point the actual sacrifice is going to be super hard for me (but I guess that's kind of the point, isn't it?). I put this graphic together to help keep me motivated during these 40 days.

And in case you are also giving up something for Lent that you dearly love, I made a graphic for you too:)

To insert your particular sacrifice, click on the above image to download, then go to and open the file.

Then in the left-hand tool bar, click the insert text icon (1), then scroll to the bottom of the font list and select the Amatic Small Caps (2), then click "Add Text" (3).

Next all you have to do is enter your text, move it to where you want, then hit "Save" (4). Done!

 photo Signature1_zps6ee36174.jpg

Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

In Which I Comment on the Oscar Noms (Without Having Actually Seen Them)

This is the seventh and last of my 7 in 7 posts. I did it! Hooray! Now I can go back to posting every 11 days like I usually do.


Back in my younger, very NOT wild days, I considered myself to be quite the film buff. During my junior year of college I made a goal to watch all of the movies that had ever won the "Best Picture" Academy Award. Every Friday afternoon after class I would walk to the video store, load up on classic movies, and hog the apartment tv for the rest of the weekend. Best roomie ever.

I also made a point to watch all of the films nominated for the "Best Picture" award before Oscar night so I could engage in well-informed smartassery about the choices made by the Academy.

I did eventually finish my "watch all the previous winners" project about four or five years ago...but jobs and kids and moving from the apartment that had a theater right down the street severely impacted my "watch all the nominated films every year" project. I would always put in an effort to watch a few...but you know how it goes.

So a few days ago I realized that this year's Oscars are THIS Sunday, as in TODAY, and I had no idea which movies were nominated. A quick google search revealed that I had seen exactly none of them, and not only that, but I hadn't even heard of most of them. Things aren't looking good for our hero.

But I am still going engage in smartassery; it just won't be of the well-informed variety.

1. American Buyers Club. I mean Dallas Hustle. Besides retro facial hair and taking place outside of the law, these two movies have nothing in common...but I still have a hard time keeping track of which one is about con artists and which is about illegal AIDS drug therapies.

2. Captain Phillips

I hate boats in real life. I get horribly, tragically sea sick. But I do love nautical stories, so I am willing to give this one a go. I heard really good things about it. It DOES break the rule I made up that Hollywood must wait a minimum of 10 years before turning an event into a movie (the events that inspired this movie took place in 2009), but perhaps I will let it slide.

4. Gravity
This one is directed by Alfonso Cuaron, whose other work includes the best Harry Potter movie (Prisoner of Azkaban, obviously. Don't argue with me). However  I am going to give it a resounding "nope".
It could very well be a great movie, but contemplating death while floating, untethered, through space is pretty much my worst nightmare.

5. Her

It's a little hard to get past this...

..but a "science fiction romantic drama film" about a guy that falls in love with a computer program? Sure. Why the heck not.

6. Philomena
I love me some Dame Judy Dench. I want to be just like her when I grow up. Unfortunately, closer investigation reveals that this movie features stereotypically cruel nuns. Total strangers will tell me all about their bad experiences with nuns FOR FREE. All I have to do is mention that I'm Catholic. I hate to sound snotty, but I seriously hear these types of things SO OFTEN that it is the absolute last thing I would seek out in my free time.

7.  Nebraska

IMDB says "An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize."

Could be great. Could be really, really terrible.  I do actually want to see this one just to find out which it is.

8. 12 Years a Slave

Historical = 1 point
Based on a memoir = 1 point
Features a fellow fiddle player = 1 point

Brad Pitt = 1/2 point
Benedict Cumberbatch = 5 point
Paul Giamatti = 10 points (how great was he on the season finale of Downton? He saved the series for me.) 

I hate to call it before I've seen it, but this could easily be the best movie ever.

9. The Wolf of Wall Street
This movie features securities fraud (yawn) and an extremely promiscuous lifestyle (blehhhh). Wikipedia has informed me that Kyle Chandler is in it, but with all due respect to Coach, even his presence isn't enough to make me pay $1.29 to get this from Redbox.

Ok, I have officially spent too much time on a post that is about nothing at all.

 photo Signature1_zps6ee36174.jpg

Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


As I write this, it is 7:12 pm. Both kids are in bed and quiet (for now).

Today I went to my boot camp class at the gym, cleaned the first floor of the house, got prettied up, went to play some music for some folks at the local Celtic festival, then had dinner with some of our good friends. Busy doesn't begin to describe it! Then there was this whole 7 posts in 7 days business...

I'm not going to keep you in suspense; I am completely punking out on this one. Will you forgive me if I show you something awesome?

ModCloth is always keeping it interesting.

 photo Signature1_zps6ee36174.jpg

Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.