Stop Waiting. Start Staining... Plus a giveaway!

This is what it looks like outside my house right now. It's raining cats and dogs which isn't exactly prime DIY weather. See that playground in the background being soaked to the core? It really needs to be restained but between waiting for it to be completely dry and then remain completely dry for 16 hours afterwards... well, there's a reason it's never getting done.

Sonnet James: Play Dresses for Playful Moms

When I first read about Sonnet James on Cup of Jo, I was immediately obsessed. Basically, they had me at "play dress." I LOVE to wear dresses, but I am the mother of three boys and these dresses need to be realistic. No short hems. No flimsy fabric. Something with sleeves!

So, if a company was describing their dresses as play dresses - as in I could wear these dresses and still play with my boys, I was all in.

Celebrating #PaducahProud for my blogiversary

When I launched bluegrass redhead two years ago, I knew writing about my small town life in Paducah, Kentucky, would be a huge part of the blog. We gave up so much six years ago to leave our life in Washington, D.C., and move back to my hometown. Since that time, my passion for Paducah has never wavered. 

I knew Paducah was something special, but it was always hard to explain to other people. Maybe I only loved Paducah because she was my home?

Since moving home, however, I have watched Paducah change and grow and I am now confident proclaiming.

Y'all, Paducah is having a MOMENT.

Baby products I'm trying out for the first time

On a stroll in our Britax B-Agile 3.

On a stroll in our Britax B-Agile 3.

Recently, I stopped by News-3 This Morning to talk about baby products I'm STILL using five years later AND baby products I decided to upgrade or try out for the first time with Baby Felix. I like to think that after three kids I'm savvier consumer and can spot the products that will really make a difference in my life - as opposed to the ones with empty promises. 

Britax B-Agile 3

After five years, I decided it was time for a stroller upgrade. I loved my previous stroller, but I knew that there had been a ton of improvements in stroller engineering that I wanted to try out.

I started by checking out the newest edition of Baby Bargains (the baby products BIBLE) which had high praise for the Britax B-Agile 3. I also talked to several friends who loved their Britax B-Agile 3. If you want something lighter, check out these Umbrella Strollers.

The biggest selling point for me was the one-hand quick fold. My old stroller came in two pieces and was a pain to get in and out of the car. This baby collapses in second EVEN with the car seat adaptor still attached. It's lightweight, has a reclining seat, and a huge canopy. I've been using it daily since Felix was born and I'm so happy with it.

Britax is giving one lucky reader a B-SAFE 35 car seat!

The next thing I knew I wanted to upgrade was our diaper pail. I absolutely hated the pail we had before. It was stinky and hard to use. And yet I didn't want to give up on the idea of a diaper pail altogether.

I had been intrigued by the Ubbi diaper pail since it came on the market a few years ago. The idea of steel pail that wouldn't soak up the smells like plastic made since to me and I like the fact that you can use your own bags. I also discovered Ubbi made cloth diaper liners, which was a revelation after using a regular trash can for my cloth diapers in the past. In fact, I've been using the Ubbi primarily for cloth diapers and think it's a great fit for that purpose.

My closest friend recommended I also try out the Dekor Plus. This baby holds a TON of dipaers and has a hands free design which is incredibly "handy" in the messiest of situations. It also can be used with regular trash bags, as well as having a cloth diaper liner. However, because the Dekor Plus holds so much and contains the smell so well I've found it works really well for disposable diapers.

UBBI World is giving away one UBBI pail to a lucky reader!

Boob® Nursing Wear

I had ONE nursing dress with Griffin and Amos and I about wore that piece out. It was the only one I could find at the time and I was desperately hoping there would be more options this time around.

Boob® to the rescue!

This company has been around for a while but has greatly expanded their offerings in recent years. They have cute stylish options in all styles for all seasons. The best part is that many of the items you can wear while pregnant as well. The B.Warmer Dress became one of my staples during the colder months and now that it's turned warmer I'm wearing the heck out of the Simone

I know for a FACT I have nursed in these dresses and people around me had no idea what I was doing. They offer great access without feeling like you are either showing your breast or your stomach. In fact, when I'm wearing one of their designs, I don't even bother with a nursing cover!

What new baby products do you want to try?

Baby products I'm still using after 3 kids

Recently, I stopped by News 3 This Morning to talk about baby product I'm still using five years after the birth of my first son. These are the products I've carefully packed away and pulled out to use with Amos and again with Felix because they are JUST. THAT. GOOD.

To Freeze or Not to Freeze

Photo Credit:   CarbonNYC [in SF!]   via   Compfight     cc

Photo Credit: CarbonNYC [in SF!] via Compfight cc

Over the Holidays my mom decided she wanted something extra special for Christmas. After watching an episode of Today Show, she shares with me the process of freezing eggs. Having received cartons full of her homegrown chicken eggs on a weekly basis for over 3 years now, I assumed she was telling how to freeze chicken eggs so they last longer. As someone who occasionally worries that I’ve had the eggs in my fridge too long, I thought she was on to something. I intently listened as she described the process of taking the eggs, storing and freezing them, until she got to this part in her story… “then you throw a party, like a baby shower, but for frozen eggs”.Then, I realized that she wasn’t talking about her chicken’s eggs, she was talking about MY eggs!  

I admit. I’m a junkie for ambition. I want to accomplish a great number of things. I’m 32, recently married and working to build a software company from the ground up. I have aspirations to get a doctorate degree, run for political office and continue to be active in my community. Many books have been written to help people like me realize that having children doesn’t mean you lose the opportunity to be an ambitious person. While I believe this in theory, I wonder how true it will really be for me and my husband. I’m grateful for the friends and mentors who have paved the way and continue to remind us that having children doesn’t really indicate “the end of your life”. 

And the classic “have fun while you can” advice isn’t always the case. You can have adventure and be ambitious while having children. But how does all of this really shake out? Are these frozen eggs the solution to following your dreams THEN having kids? 

Turns out the frozen egg cocktail party (what my mom describe as a baby shower) is either an informational gathering bringing together fertility doctors, egg storage companies, and women who are interested or who have experienced the process OR an event where you announce to your friends and family “don’t worry about my ambition, take the pressure off me, I’ve frozen my eggs”.  

Instead of the pressure to hurry up and have kids, I now have the pressure to freeze my eggs. But I’m only 32. Isn’t the 30’s the new 20’s when it comes to having children?  Can’t I just be 32without the pressure of having a kid or planning the future of having a kid by freezing it in a box until “I’m ready”. After all, most people, when giving life advice, also say, “You’ll never be ready”.  So who’s to say I won’t freeze my eggs then wake up when I’m 55 without children but with a container of my 32-year-old eggs that can’t be used?  

Can I not be ambitious while having children? Is this not possible? The assumption is that I will be the one to do the heavy lifting in our family when it comes to raising a child. What if my husband is willing to pick up that load so I can be ambitious and accomplish all of my goals without having to give them up? What if he is ok with being the one our kid runs to every time he/she gets hurt? This blurb from a Guardian article in response to Sheryl Sandburg’s approach in “Lean In” hits the nail on the head. 

It’s a normal assumption that women will have kids, and that mothers will become the primary caretaker over the father. It’s also normal these days to modify “mother” into “working mother”. But “father” is also a “working father,” yet we don’t seem to use that term very often. It’s normal to see the well-worn media image of a tired, hard-working father loosening his tie as he walks through the door to greet his wife and kids late in the evening, but a woman coming home late from the office is more often a punchline. It’s normal to call a woman neglectful for hiring a nanny, or lazy for taking maternity leave. It’s normal to make wild assumptions about women as a whole, regardless of the wide variety of individuals that the female gender encompasses.

The assumptions must be absent from the beginning. It must be accepted that a woman’s place is wherever she wants to be. The final frontier of gender equality is individualism. Just as a man is allowed to decide where his happy balance of home and work life is, so should women. Women’s place is no longer in the home. We all need to stop assuming it is.
— Sheryl Sandberg

I don’t have a profound solution on this topic. I’m still wading through the advice and options and deciding if I go with the “kids won’t ruin your life and ambition” or the “I better freeze my eggs in case they do” version. I welcome your thoughts.

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

This morning I was a guest WSIL News-3 This Morning talking about my favorite gift ideas for the 2014 Holiday Season! This year I focused on non-tech items because - honestly - don't we all have enough chargers in our lives? Instead, I found unique products that will make your recipient feel special in one way or another!

Toys that help your kids learn to code

Steve Jobs once said, "Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer... because it teaches you how to think."

Learning the language of computer coding was once thought to be a niche skill needed only by those wanting to pursue a career in programming. No longer. As our world (and economy) changes, computer literacy as valuable an asset to anyone in our information age as a second language and parents want their own children to learn this important language along with reading and writing.

Luckily, a degree in computer science is not required to teach your kids how to code. Initiatives like have touched off a wide variety of products that remove the intimidation factor and teach the basics of coding to children as young as 4.