Why I Quit My Big Kid Job

I need purpose and routine to feel like myself. I need to be able to get up, get ready and leave the house. I worked at my previous employer for almost 8 years and had no intention of quitting. I got pregnant, went on maternity leave and had my sweet baby girl. While on leave, I cherished every moment with her because I knew I only had twelve weeks of all day cuddle time. Twelve weeks to adjust to our new addition and find our new normal.

We thought we were on top of it. We toured several daycares and decided on the one we felt the most comfortable with. We put our deposit down to get on the wait list while being assured there would be a spot for our baby when the time came and we went about our merry way thinking, “daycare, handled.” SURPRISE… it didn’t work that way AT EFFING ALL. A month before I was set to go back to work, I called to check in with the daycare and they told me they would not have a spot open until the beginning of the year. Ummm what? Apparently my husband and I misunderstood how this works. What a sham, man. It’s March, and still no open spot, FYI. FUN TIMES.

We had to make a decision quickly. What the EFF were we going to do? I knew I needed to go back to work so that I could be the best version of myself, but how was I going to do this? Luckily my Mother was able to watch our sweet angel. I went back to work ready to get back into the swing of things. That did NOT happen. All I could do was think about what Penelope was doing and all the things I was missing. I would FaceTime with her every time I pumped and text with Mom throughout the day. My heart simply couldn’t handle it.

Real talk, this was one of the hardest decision I’ve had to make. Also, I know what I sound like when I say that. I know that the first thing that probably runs through your mind is “why is this lady complaining about being able to stay at home with her baby?” or “people have real problems, please stop whining.” Several Mamas have said “OMG I would have loved to have that opportunity to stay home with my kids, you’re so lucky.” I’m grateful, every day but it was still a hard choice for me. Others have said “wow, your husband must make a lot of money,” or my personal favorite “what are you going to do with yourself all day, you’re going to get so bored.” For the record, all of those comments made me feel about this big (-). My husband sets the world on fire every day and I just couldn’t imagine being someone who stayed home and had nothing to show for my “work.” I felt every insecurity you can think of. I was pre-mad at my husband because I just knew he would start expecting dinner on the table by 6 and a spotless house when he got home. This is NOT me. I am NOT a housewife. I only watch them on tv. I fought and fought with him over things that hadn’t even happened yet. My insecurities almost cost me my healthy marriage. The love and support he has given me is everything I could ever wish for in a partner. He’s my biggest cheerleader. A tall, dark and handsome one nonetheless.

The daycare not having an open spot was a blessing in disguise. Me quitting my job was what was supposed to happen. This has been hard. I have bad days where I question myself. But, oh… those good days. Those days where her eyes sparkle when she looks my way. Those chubby baby arms wrap around my neck and I know I’m right where I’m meant to be. I do miss the challenges my work days used to bring. I miss girls lunch and mani/pedi breaks too. These days I straight up get down to some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I’m using all of my old dance team moves to make my daughter laugh and giggle and thoroughly enjoy my thrice warmed coffee.

Here’s to the single parents. I see you. You need to know that you are doing the best you can and you are everything to your babies. Keep that hustle game strong. It’s all going to pay off one day when you’ve raised amazing kids who know their worth. I no longer worry about nothing to show for my “work.” You can just look at our happy baby and see that her heart and soul are being tended to and she’s loved beyond measure. That’s my definition of a good Mama.

Cheers, Lana.

I Like To Dupe, Dupe, Dupe Louis and Gucci

Hey honey bunny. You want to look fancy but it’s just not in the budget right now because you’ve got big kid bills? No worries, you can still ball, boo boo. Now, this is coming from a woman who has both and let me tell you, I feel just as fancy carrying my $2500 bag as I do my $30 bag. It’s all in the hips, baby. If you’re so inclined to spend a small fortune on handbags, belts and shoes, I support you. If you couldn’t imagine ever spending that kind of money on such frivolous things, I get that too and support you. No judgement from this lady. Here are my luxury dupes so you too can feel like a princess in Target.

#1. Louis Vuitton Toiletry Bag

Need a makeup bag that screams, “I don’t care if my foundation spills in here.” Or, “I wear dark eyeshadow and don’t have to worry about cleaning my brush before it touches my light tan velvet.” This is the one. The pattern matches perfectly to my real Louis and feels just as nice.

#2 Gucci Belt

I know, I know. Everyone and their Mama has one of these now. BUT, if YOU don’t and you want to hang with them and their Mom, here you go. I had to make the real one with a grey background so I could tell the difference. Imagine your insta picture possibilities. #guccigang

#3 Louis Wallet

I love a good zippy wallet, feels like all my cards are snuggled in safe and sound. If you’re like me, your poor wallet gets thrown around from diaper bag to purse to jacket pocket, etc. Having this dupe option, you can throw it around, carefree. You also won’t cry if you’re out at a bar and someone spills a drink on the table and gets your wallet wet.

#4 Gucci Bag

Classic and chic. I love the dupe, it’s great quality and has held up nicely. I have a baby people, I can’t be slinging around $2k bags. I need something that can take some drool without me losing my mind. The chain is annoyingly loud but the bag is perfect. It even goes with leggings.

I will be testing other products soon and will report back. I hope these make you feel like a million bucks and allow you to walk through Wal-Mart like you’re somebody who can buy all the makeup and groceries you want. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong and hold their heads high. Sometimes, a purse can help you do that. Do whatever works for you.

Cheers, Lana.

Organizing Yo Life

Organizing Yo Life

Have you heard of Marie Kondo? If you haven’t, she’s my soulmate and I want to say that up front. If you have and you’re just not that into her… keep on moving, crazy. This blog post is not for you.

I am a VERY organized and structured person, it’s one of my favorite parts about myself. I LOVE lists and cleaning out my house. Therapy corner: This directly ties back to my childhood and how I learned to cope with stress and anxiety, it’s really worked out for my husband. Back to my sweet Marie, she’s a tiny little angel who goes around to people’s homes and helps them declutter and simplify their lives by asking “Does this spark joy for you?” She has a show on Netflix and a website, highly recommend….don’t roll your eyes, it’s life changing.

Marie has basic rules for tidying up. Ah rules, thank you sweet, structured angel. I want to elaborate(how I interpret and apply them) on these a bit and bring them down to our undeserving level. I’m trapped in a rabbit hole people, I’ve cleaned out my Grandmother’s closet (hi, Grandma!), and have been working on my parents home for 3 weeks now. My Mom is completely opposite than me when it comes to cleaning out and purging so this has been super fun (love you, Mom!). Call me, I’ll come clean yours out too, I’m on a roll. Here are Marie’s rules.

RULE 01 Commit yourself to tidying up – Mind over matter here. Identify the areas that needs attention, mark off some time to get them done and dig in whole heartedly.

RULE 02 Imagine your ideal lifestyle You know how like on Real Housewives you see their homes and most of them have perfectly organized refrigerators, pantries and closets? And you think to yourself, “Wow, that’s really pretty, maybe I should do my areas that way.” Yeah, that’s not going to be your ideal lifestyle, boo boo. Those darling hot messes have staff. I know, one day we will too, damn it. Alright so for this rule, here’s what you should do. Take this vanity in picture #1 for example. What products do you use everyday? Give those some land on top of your space so that they will be easily accessible and in eyes’ view. What products or tools do you not use everyday? First of all, go through those and make sure #1 they haven’t expired and #2 do you really need them? The things you’ve decided to keep need to find a home in a drawer, cabinet, etc. See picture #2? Yes, like that. This will change your everyday routine and will make it so much easier to keep up with what you’re about to be out of and let you better utilize your 57 things of eyeshadow and samples you’ve gotten from our beloved beauty stores/subscription boxes. Ideal lifestyles for us normal people include baskets and bins to wrangle alike items in.

RULE 03 Finish discarding first –Have you ever gone through a box of paperwork or magazines and thrown pretty much the whole thing away? Or cleaned out your closet and had 8 trash bags of clothes you no longer want? Ahhh it gives me a high like what I imagine sniffing paint would be like. So therapeutic! I don’t know why, it just does. Crap weighs us down, people! So for this rule, attack those closets, junk drawers, stacks of papers, magazines, old pictures, etc and THROW crap away you don’t need or put it in a pile to sale or donate. Go through all those areas and then circle back around and organize later, or do it then if you’re so inclined. Here are a few pictures from our closet and how I’ve grouped and color coordinated AFTER I cleaned everything out.

RULE 04 Tidy by category, not by location- So Marie does this by going through clothes first, which is a fantastic idea because clothes take up so much space. She goes on to do books, memories, etc. I clean out one room at a time because that’s what works for my OCD brain. This method of category not location might work best for you. Either way, it gets the job done so do whatever will keep you motivated and productive.

RULE 05 Follow the right order- Clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items, sentimental items. This is Marie’s order. This may work wonders for you if you are lost and have no clue where to start on your journey. I will tell you again to do what works best for you but this list can keep you going in the right direction!

RULE 06 Ask yourself if it sparks joy-ย I know that I annoyed my family to no end every time this phrase came out of my mouth. BUT, if you’re stuck on a sweatshirt from high school or a pair of heels that kill your feet when you wear them, seriously, ask yourself if that item makes you happy. If it doesn’t give you that little inner squeal, part ways with it. For me, black leggings spark hella joy for me so I gave them a whole drawer to live in. Lean in to what you love and your days will be better for it.

I’m going to clean something now. Hope this post sparks some joy for you.

Cheers, Lana