Life Lately: April

We have gone through many an up and down in my house this month, phew! It’s been a doozy but despite the illnesses, the scares, and the breakouts, we’ve had a lot of laughs. Amalia is at this really fun age where she makes jokes and laughs hysterically at herself or dance around in her diaper giggling. It is the cutest thing ever. On the flip side, she likes to scream “no!” and “don’t!” at anything and everything so we’re navigating that as first-time parents and figuring out what kind of discipline she best responds to.

Work-wise, I am collaborating with some really cool brands in the next few months, and we have an exciting update with Anel’s business that I look forward to sharing soon. It feels like we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be right now. That is a really good feeling!

Here are some more life updates from the last month…

Sugar detox. I don’t know what happened but in the last four weeks, I became addicted to sugar in a major way. I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, but when I got pregnant with Amalia that all changed and for the first time in my life I understood why people have such a hard time quitting sugar. Since then I’ve been able to keep my newfound sugar cravings under control but with everything going on lately, I’ve turned to this vice and didn’t even realize how bad it was until my skin started breaking out like crazy.

I haven’t had acne like this in years and it was a big wake up call to cut down on sugar. I decided not to go cold turkey because it’s too hard for me at this point. Instead, I’m cutting down on my processed sugar intake every day while upping natural sugars in fruits and sweet veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes. The goal is that by next weekend I’m off processed sugar for the most part (except for small amounts of maple syrup in salad dressings) and then I can start cutting back on the fruit too. One or two servings of fruit a day is the goal for the end of the following week.

I’ll keep you posted on my Instagram stories as I go! Who wants to join me on this quest for sugar-free-ness?

Weaned. Speaking of detoxes (LOL), Amalia decided last week that she no longer wanted (goat) milk before bed. One night she just said “No milk mommy!” and hasn’t wanted it ever since. It’s been nice because now we can brush her teeth, read books, and just go right down. There’s no more heating up her sippy cup as part of her nighttime routine. I put the bottle warmer in the attic yesterday which felt like a really big deal. It’s so surreal to me that she’s grown up enough for bedtime without milk. Anel and I had been talking about when to wean her off of it but saw no reason to yet. I guess she figured it out on her own. Sob!

Who does number two work for? In other my-baby-is-growing-up news, she went number 2 on the potty 3 times last week and we’re so proud of her! We haven’t officially started potty training, but she asked to do it on her own all 3 times. I could hardly believe it. She gets one M&M each time and constantly talks about them so thanks for that tip, mom. It works!

All of the illnesses. Amalia had the flu for seven days followed by a week of Croup followed by two people in Anel’s family having major health scares (both are ok!) followed by Anel having a pretty intense health issue (he’s ok but on three different antibiotics at once!). It’s been the April of illness, but I think we might (knock on wood) be in the clear. Summer weather can’t come soon enough. All of that lead to a major lack of sleep for me which is definitely part of the reason why I amped myself up on sugar.

My little shadow. Because I was home with Amalia for so long and literally physically attached to her for many of the days when she was sick, she’s been having a really hard time lately even when I leave the room for a second. She follows me everywhere and wants to be held which I secretly kind of love but also know that it’s not great for either of us. My left arm might fall off soon if it doesn’t stop! I’m trying to create boundaries like going to the bathroom without her and letting Anel put her down for bed, but she cries so hard that it’s felt almost impossible. I know that it will all work out in time, but it’s been a tough couple of weeks for my girl! Despite everything she’s been through, look at her big smile in these photos. To me, it is the most beautiful site on earth.

Around the Web

Before you ask… My sweater (on sale for $17) and the bedding (gifted) from these photos.

These women are only on Facebook for the groups.  I rarely use Facebook anymore outside of work, but my Lemon Stripes Mamas Facebook group is the exception. It has been the one online resource as a mother where I can ask questions, give advice, and connect with other moms without any judgment. This article talked about how women are joining Facebook for groups like these to get away from online abuse elsewhere. This quote rang true for my FB group and others like it:

“People disagree, people ask questions, people ask for elaboration — but, with rare exception, people are not nasty or dismissive or horrible to one another.”

It feels different from many other corners of the internet and I’m so grateful for the community I’ve built there.

Saving the earth… one fleece at a time. I’m so proud of Lauren & Kaki, the founders of Dudley Stephens, and honored to call them my friends. They have officially recycled one million plastic bottles in making their cult-favorite fleeces. That is a million plastic bottles that could have made it into our oceans, but were instead turned into something fabulous. Incredible! For anyone who missed my light blue collab with them, they brought it back and you can buy it here.

The world needs fewer Cersei Lannisters. Elizabeth Warren writes about Game of Thrones season 8 and the differences between the two strong women fighting for the throne. One leads with the people in mind and one leads with only herself in in mind. It’s a politically charged GoT review, and I loved it.

Denim skirts are back in style. And I really wish I had saved my long-gone collection.  There are some great denim skirts on my summer wish list like this one ($98), this one ($69), and this one ($34). I also love this one ($32) for something a little different.

Baby news! I’m so happy for my friend Mackenzie and her baby announcement. Amalia can’t wait for a playdate! Her first trimester was rough but my fingers are crossed that she feels better going forward.

Keeping up. I loved Carly’s blog post about how influencers and social media can often make us feel like we have to have new and shiniest cars, toys, gadgets, and clothes, but in reality, we should all take a step back and make the best financial decisions for ourselves.

Desk chair. I finally upgraded my desk chair in my home office because mine was never really made for a desk and it was giving me major back pain! After months of looking for the perfect chair at a perfect price, I found this one on sale and it’s been serving me well. It’s super comfy and looks really nice with my white and gold desk.

How to survive as an introvert… in business and in life. Thank you, Jess, for writing this post. It resonated so hard with me.

Pineresting. Do you follow me on Pinterest? I’ve re-fallen in love with this social media platform and have gone nuts pinning over the past few weeks. I was in a rut, using it mostly for recipe ideas, but it’s again become one of my favorite places to get inspiration for everything from Easter baskets to home decor. And it’s way less stressful than Instagram!

Packable hat. My favorite packable sunhat (I have it with a white ribbon) now comes in navy and white stripes.

If you’re a new mom on the verge of breaking, read this.

When life gives you lemons. Make sparkly lemon slice earrings! Yep, gonna need these.

Currently watching. Anel and I watched Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary on Netflix, over the weekend and were both so moved by her dedication, hard work, and how she uses her voice in such a powerful way. This article is a great review of what she did. I also finished this season of Schitt’s Creek and love it more than ever #ewdavid.

Lately on Lemon Stripes

My go-to salad dressing recipes
What to buy at Trader Joe’s
How to combat seasonal allergies
How to support a spouse with anxiety

Photos by Julia Dags.

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  1. Emily said:

    These pics are stunning! I ordered my first fleece in February and now I’m hooked! Also, just started Homecoming and it’s so cool! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    4.23.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      The fleeces are addictive I swear 🙂 But a good addiction!

      4.23.19 · Reply
  2. T said:

    In regard to your efforts to cut down on sugar and eventually limit fruit, you may find this helpful:

    4.23.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      This is great, thank you!

      4.23.19 · Reply
  3. Alyssa said:

    I just want to say, that I always appreciate your posts and your honesty and just everything about your blog. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    4.23.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      That is so sweet, thank you so much for saying that Alyssa! Means a lot.

      4.23.19 · Reply
  4. Jules said:

    I am in the same boat, I hardly use Facebook but I might more in the future because a few of my favorite podcasts have groups (yours sounds great too, but I’m not a mama yet). I wonder if the difference in Facebook groups vs. online commenting is the anonymity factor. Like it would be harder to be straight up awful when your words are directly attributed to you and your face is right next to them. Whatever the motivation, I am glad that there’s a space for sharing ideas instead of ugliness.

    4.23.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      The anonymity factor definitely plays a huge role. I also think that it’s a group mentality thing. Because most people in the group are so positive, the negative people don’t feel comfortable being nasty.

      4.23.19 · Reply
  5. Brynna said:

    This is crazy, but I’m having the same sugar-induced break-outs, too! Any tips on how to stay strong and avoid the processed sugars? The struggle is so real since Easter candy is 100% a huge thing.

    4.23.19 · Reply
  6. Desire Uba said:

    I didn’t even know sugar breakouts were a thing! Need to do a check and balance.
    Oh yes, Homecoming was a real eye-opener!
    I can’t wait to do a post on it. I learnt so much!

    4.25.19 · Reply
  7. Julie said:

    Hey Julia,

    Love your bedroom. It’s so serene. Intrigued by your ceiling finish. What is it-paint, wallpaper, beadboard?

    4.26.19 · Reply