Labels for Little Boys +Giveaway


See that kid? It’s time for him to start preschool. When it came time to register him, we had to count several times to make sure we had it right. Is he really old enough? I guess he is, though it doesn’t seem possible. Already?

With some other pending changes, he might also be in daycare, at least part time. Either way, he’s going to be heading out into the world in a new way, and he’s going to have stuff, and his stuff is going to need to be labelled.

When Connor was labelling-things age, we bought some Mabel’s Labels because everyone told us they were the best. And they are, though I can’t attest to the quality (or not) of many others, because we really haven’t tried any. Haven’t needed to. Mabel’s stick to anything, and this many years later Connor’s are still stuck. (They’re dishwasher proof, microwave proof, waterproof and laundry safe.) So we got some for Ethan too.

We got a Little Kid School Combo pack and there are several different design choices to choose from. You can get fire trucks:fire truck labels

Or monkeys:

monkey labels

Or butterflies (he actually probably would have liked these):

butterfly labels

But in the end I chose trains, because he loves trains:
train labels

But not in that font. I chose this one:


There are lots of ways to customize your labels, with even more design and font options than shown here.

So now I’m sticking them to things and getting ready to send my baby off into the world. Sniff.


Need some for yourself? I’ve got a giveaway for a Little Kid School Combo – just enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Happy back-to-school time!

Mabel's Labels

Thanks to Mabel’s Labels for providing a combo pack for Ethan and offering one to my readers as a giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grace Under Fire

“Give yourself some grace.”

This is a phrase I’ve heard often lately. “You’ve had a rough few months.” “You’re going through a lot.” “Don’t beat yourself up about it.”

I’m eating way too much ice cream.

“You’ve had a rough few months. Give yourself some grace.”

I’m spending way too much time with my bed and Netflix.

“You’re going through a lot. Give yourself some grace.”

Sometimes I just don’t even know what to do with myself.

“Don’t beat yourself up about it. Give yourself some grace.”

I’m giving myself grace, but it’s too much. I just need to say that: it’s too much. Grief is one thing; grace is one thing. Giving up is something else entirely.

Staying in bed on a rainy day when you have no obligations and can indulge yourself by binge-watching your new favourite show is lovely. I’m all for it.

tiny pink clamshell

Staying in bed because you can’t figure out what to do with yourself and can’t summon the — the what? What is it that’s needed to not let depression win? Energy? Strength? Motivation?

Whatever it is, I don’t have it right now.

I stare in the face of JUST DO IT, and I don’t.

It – whatever it is – should be a simple thing, but it’s not simple. It’s a giant chasm, in fact. It’s the difference between maintaining mental health on the one side and just plain not coping on the other. Between staying in bed and getting up to do something. Between eating all the ice cream and not. Between eating, period, and not.

There’s grace and then there’s giving up.

“Perhaps your expectations are a smidge high,” a friend said.

“Just give yourself some grace,” they all say.

“You’ll get through this

Move past it

Be okay.”

“Just give yourself some grace.”

But not too much, I think.

After all, there has to be something left when I come out the other side.

Lost: One Happy Place

Twice in the last two days, completely unprompted and in totally separate conversations, two friends have mentioned that being near the ocean is their happy place. These friends are entirely different from one another, and in fact don’t know each other. But each made this statement so resolutely without even having to think about it.

It made me wonder where my happy place is.

sand bar

I’ve lost it, you see. If you asked me to think of the one place I can be happy, peaceful, content, no matter what else is going on, I’d say… I don’t know. I don’t know where that is. I don’t think I have one right now.

I have places I enjoy, but that’s not the same.

I have places I retreat to, but that’s not the same either.

I’ve been doing more retreating than enjoying lately. Since this.

It turns out you can’t just draw a line in the sand. There isn’t everything before and everything after. It’s more like a Venn diagram – everything that remains untouched from before, everything that will be new after, and all the crap in the middle.

It turns out the crap in the middle is both bigger and crappier than I had expected, and at the moment it feels like I will be in that middle zone forever.

Logically, I know that won’t be the case, but today I came face-to-face with something that has moved from the untouched zone into the crap zone. I should have anticipated it, or known that there would be places from before that would become tainted by the now. But I didn’t and so I ran smack into it and now a place that had good memories…doesn’t anymore.

Another piece added to the middle zone.

Another thing to grieve.

ocean at sunset

Right now I am near the ocean, which used to be my happy place. Less so, strangely, once I moved away from it, but definitely a place I still enjoy.

I ended up in this particular place quite unexpectedly. It has incredible views and amazing sunsets and an abundance of shells.

It’s beautiful here, but right now it’s not managing to be my happy place.

Maybe nowhere is. Maybe the peace and contentment that come with a happy place are elusive when you’re in the crap zone.

Regardless, right now, in this place, the sun is setting on this difficult day.

And for right now, I will simply enjoy the view with as much peace and contentment as it can offer.

West coast sunset 

The diaper days continue

I spent part of the afternoon on a search for newborn diapers – not for me, of course (because thank goodness), but for my sister, whose first sweet boy was born yesterday. Ah, newborns. My sister and her husband are already learning how many diapers babies go through in a day.

I forgot how hard it was to find newborn-sized diapers, especially when you’re trying to avoid the scented ones. After browsing the aisles in a few stores, I finally settled on some Huggies, which, as I mentioned before, is what we use with Ethan. Yes, we still use Huggies, because this child has no interest in potty training.

He’ll be 3 in October, so I guess that’s not entirely unusual, though I think his brother was trained by this point. Connor was, relatively speaking, quite easy to potty train, but I guess one thing doesn’t equal the other. Which shouldn’t surprise me, I suppose, given that in so many ways they’re totally different kids.

I think if we focused and bribed Ethan with new underwear (Spider-Man would probably do the trick) and M&Ms, he’d probably show some interest. I’m just hesitant to push it.

I’ve also always felt that I’d rather deal with diapers than accidents in underwear. Right? And there’s so much other stuff going on that this just isn’t a priority right now. Besides, some days he just seems so big.

chasing waves

And as long as he’s still in diapers he can stay my little boy.

wearing Huggies diapers

And I kind of like him that way.




We used cloth diapers with Connor but, for a variety of reasons, didn’t for very long with Ethan. These diapers we’re using now are Huggies Little Movers Plus, and here are some of the reasons I like them:

  • They’re really soft and really absorbent. No leaks here.
  • They have tabs called Double Grip Strips that hold no matter how active he is.
  • They have the previously mentioned Disney designs.

Huggies Little Movers Plus are available exclusively at Costco in sizes 3 to 6. They also carry Huggies Little Snugglers Plus in sizes 3 to 6 as well as 1 and 2.

Disclosure: I’m a Huggies ambassador and was compensated for this post, but all opinions (including those about baby bums) are my own.

RapidLash trial results

You know what I’m not good at? Taking pictures of my eyes. But I finished the RapidLash trial I told you about and want to show you how it turned out.

Actually, these are terrible pictures and the light is different, which is distracting. So I made them black and white, and I think that helps show the differences anyway.

RapidLash before and after pictures

The first thing I notice is that I look awfully tired in the first picture. Maybe eyes that look less tired is a nice side effect of RapidLash. But overall my eyelashes definitely seem fuller on the top, especially at the outside of my eyes, and stronger (darker? something) at the ends. I’m not sure if you can see all that in the pictures, but that’s my observation.

I’m pleased with those results, because as I said before one of my biggest annoyances about my eyelashes is that when I’m not wearing mascara you can hardly tell they’re there. RapidLash does seem to have helped with that, and my eyebrows feel better too. (And guess what? I finally got them threaded again after almost three years. Which has nothing to do with this post, but that helped too.)

I was skeptical about whether RapidLash would do anything, but it apparently it does work. It’s really easy to use, non-irritating, and you can’t even tell it’s there once you’ve applied it. I could sort of feel it on my eyelashes when it was dry, but by the time I woke up in the morning I didn’t notice it at all.

If you have eyelashes that don’t live up to their potential, I’d recommend giving RapidLash a try.


Disclosure: I am part of the RapidLash campaign with Influence Central and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions (and eyelashes) on this blog are my own.

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