Monday, October 22, 2012

New Blog Design | Starbucks & Target Giveaway

Notice anything different about my blog? Like it looks 20 years younger and [whisper-voice] maybe got Botox?

If you are on a RSS feed, I would love it if you clicked over to take a look.

I'm so excited to officially unveil my new blog design created by my talented e-friend Stephanie of Stephanie G designs.

Stephanie G Designs


I have honestly had this on my to-do list for two years, but I finally committed to doing it a month ago and I'm so happy I prioritized it. I'm feeling inspired to spend more time blogging and writing.

I love it, love it, love it. I had some specific ideas about what I wanted, but wasn't sure how to execute them. Stephanie walked me through the design process - which was very fun - and she was so helpful in making my vision come to life. I cannot recommend her highly enough and she is very affordable and flexible in the packages she offers. If you are looking for a change on your own blog, she is offering my readers $10 off any blog design package until the end of October - just mention my name or blog when ordering.

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I also wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU to those who visit and especially to my commenters. Getting comments and emails are such a bright spot in my day and I cannot emphasize enough how much I appreciate that. And don't feel weird or creepy about commenting - I swear it's very normal and okay to comment on random blogs.

As a little token of my appreciation, I'm giving one reader a $10 Starbucks gift card AND a $10 Target gift card so you can take yourself on a date. Or if you are international we can figure out a $20 gift card for something near you! Or if you would prefer to have $20 at J Crew or a restaurant or whatever...honestly, it's completely up to you. I just want to make someone happy.

To enter: Leave a comment telling me something about yourself - it could be anything, you all know I love me some randomness. Make sure to leave contact info if you don't have a profile or blog. Giveaway will close on Wednesday, October 24 at midnight CST.


XOXO,
The Mothership

125 comments:

  1. Love the makeover! Isn't fun what a new blog design can do for your self-esteem? Especially since this new "outfit" didn't involve dressing room mirrors, shopping with children, or static from trying clothes on (especially in fall). Caleb (2.5) giggled when he saw the changing photos on the blog header.

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    1. It is so much better than a clothing sort of make over! I had no idea how great it would make me feel.

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  2. Hi!

    First of all, I LOVE the new design! It's so perfect for your blog.

    About me: I'm a somewhat long-term reader (since well before Oliver was around anyway, though I can't remember at this point how I first found you), but this is my first time to comment. That being the case, I was a little hesitant (read: super hesitant, bordering on neurotic) to comment on this particular post for fear of looking like I'm just in it for the fabulous prizes! ;) You won me over by writing about how much you love comments. Happy to oblige!

    In all seriousness, I'm a 20-something grad student with a husband but no kids, and I love reading your blog. You have the sweetest little family, and you are a fabulous writer. I'll try to pop on over from my reader to say hi more often.

    Have a great week!

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    1. I get that weird, hesitant feeling commenting on others blogs and I have to remind myself every time that it's not weird. But really, the whole blogging business is weirdness so it's par for the course :)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  3. This is beautiful!

    I found you through Erin at It's All Happening, and it's been a joy to read your candid, honest thoughts. I have a 2.5 year old and am due for #2 in April. It's about to get busy up in here. ;)

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    1. Congrats on your pregnancy! And it won't be busy at all! (See post about how I like to lie to young parents.) Haaa :) Honestly, though, I think some things will be easier having a 3 year old vs a 2 year old (like Erin & I), but of course others will be more challenging. Anyway, yay for babies!

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    2. And I just clicked on the profile link and I realized it was Amanda. (Duh, I should have realized.) So hi again!

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  4. I've been reading your blog for a few years now...my daughter is just a few months younger than Bella, so I relate to your experiences!

    I am a 33 year old mom to one, high school teacher in Canada. Love my job and my little girl and husband more than I ever imagined possible.

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    1. Canada! Teaching is my alternative world dream job. My hang up has always been the fact that kids puke and my puke phobia means I get more puke experiences than the average Joe. (Pretend like this is reasonable/logical). Anyway, I admire your profession very much.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  5. I love the new look! I so want to get some nice professional pictures taken one of these days! Unfortunately we left our photographer in Vermont. Gotta find a remedy for that!
    Random fact? My hair hates Texas! So I've worn it in a ponytail every day since we've moved here. I've got to figure out a hairstyle that makes me feel 30 instead of 15! :)

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    1. Professional pictures make me so happy. A friend recently asked if she could use our family for some photos as she is building her photography business and I practically tackled her in happiness. Family photos for FREE? YES YES YES!

      I was thinking yesterday that I've worn my hair down like 3 times a year in the past 10 years. I blow dry it maybe once a year. On the plus side, I think a ponytail suits me and my hair is pretty darn healthy. On the negative side, uh...that's a lot of ponytailing!

      PS - Maybe consider a Brazillian blowout? I got one in April thanks to a Groupon and it gave me brand new hair. I'm going to get another at some point. Not that it stopped my ponytail obsession much!

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  6. I've been reading since you we're pregnant with Bella; my son is a couple months younger than her so I've always been looking at your blog for what may be coming. I refer to your blog all the time to my husband. On another note from your previous post, I was relieved to hear Bella can be a handful after preschool. My son just started preschool and he is a mess at home now, but wonderful at school. I wish I had any suggestions!

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    1. Hi zerodoll!

      The advice I have been getting/seeing/hearing is to provide food & drinks immediately and be more indulgent with things like TV to allow for decompression. Along time to reset another thing. But oof, it is tricky stuff. I did talk to another preschool mom who reported the same thing and that made me feel better :) Sometimes all we need is to know we are all dealing with the same thing.

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  7. I love the new design, especially the photos of you with the mehndi, and Oliver's chubs! I'm a rare commenter, but I have been reading your blog for 3ish years. Randomness: after some late night blog reading the other night, I had a dream that I ran into you at our local playground (in Chicago) and our kids played together. Awkward and creepy for the win?

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    1. I, too, have dreamed about other bloggers and wake up feeling like a creepster. Does that make me a winner, too? :)

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  8. I LOVE the new design - it popped up when I checked your blog and I couldn't believe the transformation. Makes me want to do something with mine.. but I'm not a big time blogger like you, so I think it can probably wait :) Random fact... hmmm... this will be interesting to you because you are the exact opposite, but I HATE being alone. Like, I get nervous when I have alone time, especially at night. This did not go over well when my husband worked nights and actually once I had Allie, I felt a lot better about being by myself at night.. yes, the newborn baby helped, isn't that sad. But, it's bad - like to the point that if Andy is going to bed and I'm not ready, I will just go up to bed too so I'm not by myself downstairs. Weird, huh? I don't know why this is because I'm not an extrovert, but I guess I just like the company of others. Thought you would like that given your need for alone time :)

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    1. We are so opposite with that alone/together thing. Husband is more like you, although he still needs some time on occasion. But he will want to be together even during stuff like bill paying or him fixing something. However, in his case I think it's cause he wants admiration and adoration. Haha.

      And I'm not a big time blogger! I'm small potatoes. I just happen to be prolific :)

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  9. I'm a mom to 2 little girls and love reading your blog and it's laugh it gives me.

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  10. Hmmm, random fact about me . . . I have a lovely sister who I don't get to see enough!

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    1. I heard she was a crepster. Your sister, that is.

      PS - During my DITL I forgot to include it but I said the word "mucus" to Bella and she started yelling "DON'T SAY MUCUS! I DON'T LIKE THAT WORD! It's a bad word! NOOOOO MUCUS!" And while her tantrumming was not a delight, the fact that she could identify mucus as a terrible word made me so proud. She is of our people, that girl.

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  11. Great new design! I just started reading your blog, which I found via Instagram of all places (your name kept popping up on a bunch of my friends' pictures)! You are a really, really good writer. Plus, I have a 2.5 year old girl and an 8 month old boy, so I'm totally enjoying your stuff. Also, I love Starbucks and Target more than a person reasonably should. Have a good day!

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    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Sounds like you are in a very similar situation with your kids & their ages. How funny to find me through Instagram! And I just subscribed to your dinner blog because I always love more food ideas. Thanks for commenting!

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  12. Love the new design! I've commented a few times (and am totally in it for the Starbucks card, ha!) and have wanted to share this story for a while but was afraid it would be kind of creepy ... I live in St. Paul and started reading your blog last summer. When I find a new blog I really like I tend to read many archive posts and even started reading your pregnancy blog (probably because I was thinking about getting knocked up with #2, my first was born Nov. 2010). So I saw a lot of pictures of Bella and Oliver. Last August I was at the Central Library in Minneapolis with my son and saw your kids there with the babysitter. At first I was like, "I know those kids ... but why?" and then I figured it out. Bella was really into my son Frank and kept wanting to follow around "the baby" and was very cute. Hopefully that was not too stalkerish!

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    1. Hahaha. That is funny! And so very Bella to be all intense and wanting to play with a "baby."

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  13. Hmmm...something about me.

    Well, I don't have a blog, but I've read yours since Bella was born. I never comment, but I read you all the time. Is that weird? I have an almost 2 year old daughter and you were very inspirational to me on the cloth diapering front. I think you're hysterical and I love to read your blog. That's it. :)

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    1. Not weird at all! And that's awesome about inspiring you to cloth diaper. I'm still doing it 50% of the time so I think I have officially made a return on my CD investment. Did you end up going the CD route?

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    2. I did! My daughter is still in diapers, but we're using dispoables now. Her butt was too fluffy for her clothes! If and when we have another baby, we plan on using them again. They're just too cute not to. :)

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  14. Thank you! I also live in the Twin Cities, which is how I found your blog in the first place. It's nice to read things with a local slant and I love your style of writing. Random fact ... I once saw you at Target and was like, "I know her! I read her blog!" To which my husband said, "What the hell? You read blogs?" He has no idea how much parenting information I get from total strangers - I just play it off like I'm some sort of expert, so thanks :) (Though I did give you total credit when he and my mom raved about the crib rail protector I made!)

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    1. That is really funny about seeing me at Target! I feel like I was probably looking all haggard and/or doing my usual push the kids away from me while yelling "WOOOO!" I don't always behave appropriately in public. So it's okay to admit if I was being a total weirdo :)

      I think the blogging world is so freaking weird to those outside of it. Just like the concept of internet dating makes no sense until you do it or meet couple who met that way. Then you just think it's awesome and makes a ton of sense.

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  15. The new design is beautiful! Love everything about it. Great job!

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  16. Oooh Fancy... Apparently I say fancy in a weird voice (so says my husband) too bad I can't speak it for you over blogs. I live in Southern Mn and am quite excited when reading about MN stuff :)

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    1. I was told I say "kitten" weird about 20 years ago and I remain very self-conscious to this day.

      Go Minnesota!

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  17. I love the new header! I am in the market for one myself...My graphic designer husband has been too busy to whip me up one... I am checking out Stephanie G Designs right now!

    Random tidbit about myself- I don't drink coffee but instead every morning at work around 9am, I crack open a Sierra Mist Natural. It's my sugar kick for the day!

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    1. Stephanie is a great choice!

      I daresay a Sierra Mist Natural is a far better habit than coffee. If I tried to pull that on myself, there would be a revolt. Haha

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  18. Love it! And those family pics are fantastic--something we are terribly behind on in this family....
    My friend Maggie referred me over, shortly after I had my first baby and right before you had Bella. I live in Houston and worked as a healthcare social worker until my son turned one--now it's all mama, all the time. Oldest is 4, youngest is almost 17 months. Currently we are battling molars and a stomach virus.
    Thanks for the fall pics--we dream of such things down south :-)
    Lisa

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    1. And now MaggStar is having a baby of her own!

      Hope everyone is on the mend at your house and/or in possession of some shiny new molars :)

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  19. I LOVE the new look! I may have to check out having mine done. You know I've wanted to for a while and $10 may just push me to do it LOL.

    OK a random thing about me....I have never set foot inside a Starbucks. I've gone to the drive through a few times, but always get back out because I have NO CLUE what to order. I'm not that big of a coffee drinker. ;) I'm a big wuss LOL

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. If you need some encouragement, and you like tea, try an Earl Grey Tea Latte. Don't be intimidated! It just takes some practice :)

      From a Starbucks barista turned SAHM ♥

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    3. S-bucks is ridiculous in how they are intimidating with what they call things. I get that it's branding, yadda, yadda, but over the top with the tall,grande, venti, etc!

      If you win we can arrange for $20 at Target and you can get a non-scary coke :)

      PS to Lisa - An Earl Grey Tea Latte scares ME. Hee :)

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  20. I only started reading a few months ago, but I really enjoy your writing style. I can relate to so many of the things you post.
    I enjoy reading blogs, but don't have one of my own. Writing is just not my thing. I'm a SAHM with a 2 year old and am due with boy #2 in 2 1/2 weeks. I'm very ready for this baby to come out, but I don't think I'll ever be truly ready for a newborn and a toddler.

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    1. Hi Ann! Ooh soon you'll be a family of four! Congrats! And no, impossible to be ready but it will all get figured out. Very exciting times for you!!

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  21. Lovely new design! Long time reader and fair-weather commenter, but I'm here in spirit and popped over from my reader. My new-ish job as a transitional housing case manager leaves little time to read blogs during the day, so I end up saving it for the weekends. Hello from the west coast! :)

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    1. Hi Cara! I remember you from your DITL. The new job sounds like a stressful environment but rewarding, too. I sometimes miss my old job where I could sit and read blogs & message boards...but that's about the only part of it that I miss!

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  22. Love the redesign! You crack me up with your "whisper voice - Botox?"

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    1. {whisper voice} Thank you!

      PS - Your website is randomnly a regular source of blog traffic for me. Kind of funny!

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    2. Ha! Not random - I follow my blogroll list to read my blogs daily. So it's probably mostly me linking through that way. Sorry to be a stalker!

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  23. I love your new blog design - it is beautiful!

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  24. I'm liking the new design. Long-time reader, first-time commenter here. Random fact: We used to be neighbors on 3rd ave and I really loved your house tours because I often walked my dog past those blue towers and wonder what they looked like inside. :)

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    1. Ooh - so were you in one of the townhomes? Did you see us outside on occasion? So random! When did you realize we were neighbors? That really is random!!

      Say hi to Surdyk's, Brasa, Lunds, and the whole St. Anthony Main area from me :)

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  25. I love it! I'm terrible at commenting, but I'm always reading! Random fact? Those huge electric windmills freak me out. I always think a blade is going to come flying off!

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    1. They are freaky and not right. I'm with you. Like weird electronic children of the corn, those things.

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  26. I've been reading your blog for a while... I think I found it when I was pregnant with my first in 2010. I went through a flurry of adding pregnancy/mom blogs to my Google Reader, and have stuck with yours. :) I've never actually commented before, mainly because of that feeling that it's stalkery or weird to comment on random blogs - even though, yes, that is totally the point!

    Anyway, I started a blog this past spring and have been terrible about keeping up with it. I could come up with many excuses for why that is the case (pregnant again! toddlerville! job! moving!), but now I can also add "need spiffy new blog design for inspiration!" to the list. I really like your new design, if you couldn't tell. :)

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    1. What a compliment!

      Congrats on the pregnancy and moving! But yeah, busy times.

      I choose blogging over things that really should get done (like REALLY should get done) so maybe add that to your list, too, and feel better about not blogging as regularly :)

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  27. Love the new design! So let's see, something random about me.. I do not know how to end a conversation, especially on the phone. I'll just keep saying something to avoid an awkward goodbye. How's that for random?

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    1. You want to know my trick for the phone? Never answer! Works so well!

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  28. I've been reading your blog for quite some time, and enjoy it because our lives (with a preschool girl and 1 year-old son) are so similar. Thanks for providing me with a sense of camaraderie!

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  29. Ok here are my random confessions of the day. This morning I was making cream cheese frosting for a carrot cake (for a dinner party tonight) and my breakfast was throwing extra chunks of cake into the extra frosting and eating it right out of the bowl. I tried to give Jane the mixer spoon to lick so it didn't feel like I was in it alone, but she wasn't interested.
    And now I'm letting her watch tv while I comment on your blog. Very sleek new design!

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    1. I debated having some cake for breakfast myself this AM.

      Cake happens :)

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  30. Cute makeover! I have been reading for a while and enjoy your blog! I'm doing a day in my life for the first time today and hopefully can get it pisted tomorrow so Icahn link up!

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    1. Hi Jenny! Thanks for commenting (and the DITL) - you are now in my reader!

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  31. I LOVE the new design!! I have been reading for about 2 years I think, and chuckly at so many of your posts. I work with dietitians (I'm a health educator at VA...loved the story about meeting your husband at the VA) and am SO impressed with Stay-at-Home-Moms. I am also not ashamed to admit that I am soooo jealous of your new house. Ok random fact about me: I have always secretly longed to have a blog of my own, but am too overwhelmed with the idea of generating readership, and keeping that readership. Instead, I over-share on Facebook ;-). My email is RachelMay23 at gmail. happy monday! (2nd random fact: I read your blog at work, among all the other blogs I read, and minimize the window when someone walks in, which just happened twice while writing this comment, teehee)

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    1. VA high five to you!

      As far as the blogging piece - I generally don't really think much about readership. I just blog what I want to blog. Maybe that will help you get started?

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  32. Love the botox! I usually see your blog through RSS but it looks so nice now I may have to always look at the real thing. :-) Random... Isaac saw me pull up the blog and saw a picture of Bella and asked, "Who's she, Mama? When we go to his house?" Gotta' love toddler pronouns.

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    1. Tell Isaac that Bella is happy to have him over anytime :)

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  33. Wow! The new design is GORGEOUS and SO personal! You have such a beautiful family and what a gift to get to show it off through your blog! Your posts are always a treat to read--informative and hilarious!

    Something about myself, huh? Hmmm...We're up here in Canada, about 10 minutes from the Washington border, and are having the most perfect fall season. It's always my favourite, but this year is particularly wonderful. I've been doing a Photo-A-Day project since June and am loving it. No guidelines, just committing to chronicling our life with our 3 young kids in photographs, so that one day I can look back on it and remember how wonderful it was. You know, after I've suppressed all of the horrendous memories about what it's ACTUALLY like to stay home full time with a preschooler, a toddler and a baby XD

    Hop on over and take a look!

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    1. Thank you Lisa! What a sweet compliment.

      And I will follow along now:) It will give me some more insight into life with 3 kids so can make our final decision on that front.

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  34. I love the facelift!! Go botox!!

    I've been reading your blog since before getting pregnant with my first troublemaker, like 3 years ago...now i'm pregnat with numero 2. I love that you are so open about your struggles as a mom, as a SAHM, as a wife...it makes me feel like i'm not the only one with hard times.

    One fact about me: i live in Chile, in the last corner of southamerica.

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    1. Congrats on your pregnancy!

      We have some friends in Chile, actually. Maybe you know them? KIDDING! ha :)

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  35. Awesome new design! I began reading your blog after stumbling through some clicking via urbanmoms.ca

    You're such an awesome writer. I began reading it before I was a mom, and I have recently just had a baby. Reading about your experiences gives me so much help. Reading these blogs is like a mini vacay for a mom, seriously!

    Love your recipes, and hopefully oneday I, too, will have the time to start a blog!

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    1. Hi Khatija!

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      I am looking to get that recipe blog back up and running - knowing people use/like them gives me more of a push to do that!

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  36. I love new design, esp.the header, very unique and pretty!

    I love reading and gardening.

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    1. Thank you!

      For the first time in my life I'm able to have my own garden and it's so overwhelming! I'm not-so-secretly hoping to foist that hobby on my husband and then I can sit back and admire the flowers and eat the vegetables :)

      Any beginner book recs or websites for gardening?

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  37. Whole. E. Crap. Your blog is beautiful!

    So... I've been reading you for a long time now, I realized. Bella's birth story on Everybody Births brought me over here, back when I was a parenting-curious grad student. I just came home from taking my baby to his one-year pediatrician appointment, so it's been a while!

    Also, your blog makes me want to move to Minnesota. Please tell me what the downsides are to living up there, because it's becoming a Life Goal and I need a reality check. (Don't say snow - we love snow).

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    1. Hi Schmei!

      Honestly, if you like the snow then nothing would stop me from recommending a move to Minnesota. It is a really nice place to live and the people are truly kind (well...most). Not a bad life goal at all!

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  38. Your blog looks amazing with it's little facelift!

    I've been reading since baby Bella times, when the thought of me having a baby was just a small thought in the back of my mind.

    Something you may not know? I work in a psych unit. I deal with crazy all day. I am a recreational therapist - and my facility also has a unit for eating disorders - but I have never worked over there. So, mostly adults and primarily geriatrics. Yay!

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    1. I didn't realize you've been around so long. I really like the way Instagram connects us in a way that Twitter never could.

      Interesting job! Do you find that you react to your stressful work situations differently now that you are a parent? I guess I'm wondering if you find yourself taking in less of work stress now? Just curious.

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  39. LOVE the new look! Love. I have been reading since Bella was a baby. My daughter was born in April 2009. Something about me, we live in California. Love it here. Love your new home, we just bought our first house, bought small and I swoon over your gorgeous new huge home that will never exist in California with all that land and a lake unless we strike MAJOR lotto!

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    1. Hi Courtney,
      Well, I swoon over your weather so let's call it even :)

      Glad we became e-friends back in the day - your girl is such a stunner!

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    2. I love that you replied to everyone comments! You rock!!! We would totally be friends if we lived close by, and could drink wine while the kids run around like crazy!

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  40. Wow, the design is beautiful! My husband gifted me with a new blog design for my birthday but I haven't researched a designer yet. Perhaps I'll ask about yours...

    Random fact about me: I have one less tooth than is normal. The baby tooth never came in and then neither did a permanent one. I like to think that I gave my mom a small break on the teething front :)

    Fun contest, seems I'm not the only stalker-turned-rare-commenter. I've never seen you at Target though.

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    1. Perhaps your day to see me at Target is coming now that we are in the same neck of the woods.

      My sister (and a couple cousins & my grandpa) are all missing an adult tooth. We'll have to see if my kids get that, too!

      And Stephanie G Designs is a great choice - I fully recommend her!

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  41. oooo I love the new format too. Random fact: DH and I built our house ourselves. As in living with his parents for 10 mos while we spent evenings and weekends building it with our own hands (and anyone we could con into helping)

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    1. Thank you!

      That is amazing about your house. My husband built a HUGE garage when we first started dating (uh...just occurred to me that you might know that since you read my blog) and he's still so proud of it.

      Do you feel proud about your work every day? Such a labor of love!

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  42. Ooooh, pretty blogginess!

    Random fact: I have a favorite fork. It does not match the forks that we got when we got married. In fact, I don't know where it came from. But I always choose it and sometimes squirrel it away so no one else in the house can use it.

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    1. Thank you!

      I have a favorite spork. It is the best for mac & cheese eating.

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  43. My dear mothership, my contacts feel like they are slowly gnawing my eyeballs out. That's what I get for trying to stay up past 10. There is also some odd, dripping versus chewing versus cellophane bag shifting sound behind the piano in this office- it's too messy and I'm too tired to check it out. Maybe it's the sound of my contacts gnawing my eyeballs out....

    Peace,
    Kirsten

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    1. Hi Kirsten!

      Yesterday my contacts were all dry at the end of the day and I thought to myself "Huh! Like an instagram filter on the world!"

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  44. The new format? Very beautiful and easy to read! Nice work. love, Val

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  45. I love the new blog design! I don't comment much, but I'll try to change that! :) Random fact - I live in Pretoria, South Africa and we don't have any Starbucks here. My first language is Afrikaans. I've always wanted to start a blog, but I'm scared that I won't have anything to post as I don't find my life very interesting. Love your blog!

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    1. Hello Ilze! I think the fact that you live in South Africa is quite enough to make your blog super interesting! Start one - I'll read it!

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  46. Love the new design very fresh!

    Ok so since I know, in the creepy I read your blog way, that you are a fan of the random here is my fact: I wore no underwear to my wedding! When I went shoe shopping my mom was so excited and wanted to buy them for me and once that was done she walked over to the hosiery department and started picking out nylons, she was so into the fact that this is what you wear on your wedding day and since she just bought me nice shoes I just found myself standing there nodding my head yes. So once my wedding day came out came the nylons and that is what I wore with no undies!!

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    1. Thank you!

      And I'm loving your blog look these days - the balloon thing is so cool :)

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  47. Long time lurker, but haven't ever commented. I adore your new blog design. I'm Natalie, I live in Southern Maryland right next to a river :)

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    1. I immediately pictured an idyllic setting for your house by the river, complete with dreamy light. It's like that all the time, right? :)

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  48. Beautiful new design. Although I always get thrown off when people change their blogs. It is as if you have changed your face. (Or maybe just got a haircut and new glasses?) Anyway, that is also why I do not really like to read blogs in a reader, because I associate the look of the blog with the writer, and I get really confused about whose post I am reading if I can't see the whole thing.

    I have been reading your blog for yonks, way before I became pregnant with my now-almost-2-year-old son. I love reading all of these comments, and getting to know the other ladies who join me here. I am a big nerd like that!

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    1. I know what you are saying about it being jarring to see a different blog look all of a sudden. It's like you went to the wrong house :)

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  49. So I somehow fell upon your blog about a year ago. I never thought I would be a "blog reader". I am not sure why I felt that way. Maybe I felt a bit stalkerish reading about strangers. However, I have now entered into the blog abyss and love reading about the things that other mothers go through, and people in general. So, then I started my own blog. I do not write nearly enough, but it is a fun way to keep track of life. So, the random fact about me....I cannot wink. Seriously, can't. My husband thinks it is funny to get me to try, probably because the face I end up with is of sheer pain, rather than cute winking. So there you have it.

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    1. Glad you came to the dark side (i.e. the blog abyss).

      Bella is very into winking these days and watching her wink is hilarious. I'm sure it's similar to your "affliction" :)

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  50. Love it! Great job on the new layout. I want to do one, too, so I might use your name to get $10 off;)

    About me: what can I say in this comment that I haven't already plastered all over my blog? Hmmm. I once almost drowned in high school. Near death experience, for real. My 17 year old self was not nearly as shaken up about it as my 31 year old self currently is. Silly teenagers! Gah. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this at least 5 times on my blog already, btw.

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    1. Thank you!

      So I have been saving your archives as a treat for myself. I have started at the beginning and I want to read them on my big computer (vs my phone). I will read about your near drowning on there very soon!

      I am constantly horrified when I think back to various teenage shenanigans. Ugh. And my husband was about 100 times worse than me in terms of dare-devil stuff. Scary.

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  51. Love the new layout! I came across your blog when I was trying to decide to cloth diaper or not! Love reading about your kids!! Bella reminds me of my daughter! Random fact - my daughter just started Pre-K today ahh (we just moved)! But there is a Starbucks on the way to her new school so that made drop off easier today!

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    1. Hi Sarah! I hope pre-k went great!

      Now, was it a S-bucks drive through? There isn't a drive through coffee place anywhere close by (not even a McDonald's) and it's the one downfall to my new neighborhood :)

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  52. I have commented before, and feel great doing so!! hahaha!! I have read every post in your blog from the beginning.. I started reading when I was pregnant.. and just dedicated a few days to immersing myself into your posts. You have an extreme talent for writing, it seems to come naturally. I admire your honesty and it is refreshing amongst bloggers who seem to have a "picture perfect" family life. Thank you for this blog, and please never stop sharing your words with us!!!
    p.s - LOVE the thought of taking yourself on a "date" what a cute giveaway!!
    email - mecka_lee@hotmail.com - TheZeelee on youtube, The411Mommas on youtube.

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    1. Hi Chrissie,
      I remember getting an email from you. Thank you for your very kind compliment!

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  53. I hope you took a screenshot of the enthusiastic blonde boater from your old blog header, printed off a copy, and put it somewhere very special, like on your front door as a welcome sign for all new neighbors or inside your husband's briefcase so it could pop out and say hello at the start of an early morning business meeting. That sassy lady sure oversaw much on this blog, which I'll have you know, I've been stalking for years.

    My fact: Once upon a time, my husband was in an uncharacteristically sour mood. To lighten his spirits, I rolled up tight in a ball then exploded into the most enthusiastic donkey kick known to mankind. And that is when our brand new expensive-to-us farmhouse frame bed literally snapped into two pieces, leaving us at an awkward 45 degree angle from the floor. I spent the next hour choking back tears and trying to explain to customer service via phone why a.) the bed broke and b.) we deserved some kind of refund. I did not enjoy that large serving of humble pie, but on the upside, husband constructed a platform beneath to fix the frame and now our bed will survive all future donkey kicks/the apocalypse!

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    1. I did save a screenshot for the memory books :)

      And your random fact made me LOL and sympathize. That is SO something I would do. Haha. Oof, so funny.

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  54. It looks awesome! I love the picture of you with henna hands.

    Fun fact: When I was a kid, I thought they put criminals inside of traffic lights and that's who changed the colors from green to yellow to red. ! Where I got that, I do not know.

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    1. Ally! About to email you to get an Ikea date set up (I *think* we are to the point of not being sick - maybe? for a day at least? GAAAAAH!)

      What a scary/hilarious thought to have as a child!

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  55. Love the new layout! I've been reading your blog since you were pregnant with Oliver. When I found out I was pregnant with my now 10 month old son Michael, I loved reading your archives to see what all you went through month to month :)

    Here's a fun fact about me for ya... I have to sleep with my feet covered because when I was little, my Grammy told me that her mom told her that when she died, she would come back and touch her feet while she was sleeping...my Grammy passed when I was 12 & I've had to sleep with my feet covered ever since! (Crazy! I know!)

    email-lbridge80@yahoo.com

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    1. Hello!

      Now that would make me nervous! I can understand why you might want to keep sweet old Granny from touching your feet at night :)

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  56. I looove your blog! I've been reading for...oh I don't even know how long.

    Fun Fact - I have been married for 6.5 yrs, we have 4 children and the oldest is not quite 5. Their names and ages are Carter(4), Caleb(3), Camden(2) and Cassidy(1).

    We have chatted via e-mail a tiny bit. sej8383@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Sarah!

      I wish you had a blog so I could peek into your surely packed & funny & probably crazy life, but maybe you are just the tiniest bit busy. Just the littlest bit.

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    2. Haha yes...a little bit. I have been contemplating the idea of starting a blog though. If I do, I will let you know. :) If I had your writing skillz, I would do it in a heartbeat!

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  57. Thanks for the giveaway! Love the new header and layout. Random fact about me: I make really good chocolate chip cookies!

    eemoody77 at gmail dot com

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  58. Whaa!? I guess my original message got deleted/didn't get sent properly!!

    Anyway! I LOVE this!! So current and pretty and clean!!

    I'm working on my own blog transfer at the moment. Can't wait to come back to my writing--and my readers!! Hope to see you soon :) Any chance you might be headed to Blogher this year upcoming? Need a roomie!??

    J

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    1. Weird - I saw that first comment, too, but I couldn't find it either. Maybe you left it on another social media site?

      ANyway - yes to BlogHer '12, especially since it's such a short flight for me. Let's plan on rooming together for sure. This will be fun! The only thing that could potentially stop me would be pregnancy (even that would likely not stop me because puking in Chicago would be easier than puking while watching two kids...plus I did a pukey Chicago trip with B!) but the thought of getting pregnant scares me so much that I don't think it will happen :) Let's get details sorted out! YAY!

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  59. Moira's entry: (commented on previous post by mistake)...

    I love your new design and layout! Here is my random comment to be entered into the contest: I got super excited when I saw that you are following me on Instagram! (Random and nerdy!).

    I think you're hilarious!

    P.S. I forgot the rules. Am I also supposed to tell you about myself? Besides loving the Instragram connection, I am a new SAHM to a 7 month old daughter. It's more fun than lonely, most days. And to make this comment even creepier, I kinda think we'd be good friends. If nothing else, we can share a bottle of wine :)

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