Just another Minnesota Mom blog.


Posted: September 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Living in the City, Parenting, Stream of Consciousness, Stuff I Like | Tags: Kitten | No Comments »

We told the boys they could have a kitten.

This doesn’t seem like a huge deal, except I have been saying for the past year that I am in no uncertain terms, done with pets.  D.O.N.E.  And then a friend with a pregnant cat offers up kittens, and half jokingly I asked Yogi Dad if we should get a kitten, only to be met with a very enthusiastic- Yes!

So, we are getting a kitten, and I obviously already started to read the Pet Hair Cleaning Guide to get myself prepared.

“Because all kids should have the experience of raising a pet.”

To prepare for this kitten, who is expected to come earthside sometime in late September/early October, we need to get the last of the carpet out of our house.  I can’t have cats and carpet even with a self cleaning litter box, no way, sorry.  More specifically, I can’t have Henry-Simon, and a new kitten, and carpet.  I can barely have Henry-Simon and carpet as it is.  He’s kind of a passive aggressive asshole that way.  I’m anticipating some angst-y days after our little furball friend joins us.  I have visions of him just giving up the cat box altogether to show his displeasure at the situation. When your pets stained your house with urine then you should use these products for
<a href=”https://www.odorklenz.com/pets/“>urine odor removal</a>.

That said, I’m hoping Henry-Simon enjoys this new addition.  He seems lonely without Audrey and Stanley.  He needs someone to bum around with.  He needs someone to get him up and moving instead of hiding under the bed all day long.  He needs someone to boss around.  Someone that isn’t me.


The major conversation around our house lately revolves around what to name this kitten.  We get first choice of the girls, so I’ve been rallying for Gertie.  I think it fits well with Audrey/Henry-Simon/Stanley.  So far I’ve only convinced Lincoln that *this* is the name for our kitten.  Wyatt and Judah have settled on Gnocchi, like the cat on Curious George.

It’s been almost 14 years since we’ve adopted a new pet.  Where will she sleep?  How will we contain her?  What if she gets out and is eaten by the neighborhood fox or one of those gigantic blackbirds that are everywhere?!  I need new cat bowls, and a collar, and something to scratch on, and heaps of catnip to keep Henry-Simon content.

I’m excited for the boys to meet this new addition.  I don’t know what I was thinking saying I was done with pets.  As if that could ever be good.


Scentbird: Making my Obsession Affordable

Posted: January 24th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Perfume, Stuff I Like | No Comments »

I’ve talked about my love of perfume on a few occasions. It’s still going strong, and I’m still working through my list of scents I need to smell. I’m actually adding to that list every week. There is always something new, always something new to fall in love with.  A lot of them are niche, or hard to find in the Twin Cities, but there is always something.

A few months ago, I came across a brand new subscription service called Scentbird.

Scentbird black

For $14.95 I get an 8ml vial of the designer perfume of my choice, delivered right to my door. Because I never seem to be able to get anywhere other than Target, and dragging kids to the mall sounds about as fun as twisting a rusty fork in my eyeball, this works perfectly for me.

The first month I ordered Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her- and I fell instantly in love. It’s like a sexy, spiced up version of Burberry Brit, which I wore for years. This month I ordered Bulgari Rose Essentielle, which I think I might like more than Stella. Which seems almost blasphemous, as Stella kind of made smelling like roses, hip again.

Each vial is supposed to last for 30 days. I honestly have the majority of each vial left, because I don’t use the same perfume every day, and I don’t wear perfume every day (just most days), so I feel like I’m definitely getting my monies worth out of this service.


I’ve done a few monthly subscriptions in the past, and this is by far my favorite, and the only one I have stuck with for more than a month. I’m five months in, and I can’t see myself stopping unless they discontinue the service. I really hope they don’t, this is my little indulgence. Even my lattes get sucked down by the boys- this is just for me!

Interested in switching up your scent? Please- click my affiliate link. This isn’t a sponsored post, I just really love this, and thought I would share.


Perfume, and a Book Rave

Posted: August 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Stuff I Like | 1 Comment »

A few months ago, I joined a book club.

I really needed an outlet that didn’t have anything to do with a) Autism, or b) parenting, and this was right up my alley.  The books have been fun to read, the company has been great (we’ve only have one meeting, but still- awesome group!).  The thing with reading, at least for me, is that once I start, I can’t stop.  I start seeing books I want to read everywhere I go.  It certainly doesn’t help that a certain member of the group insists on posting new lists every few days.  (I kid, I kid- I love the lists!)

This is how I ended up reading Coming to my Senses, by Alyssa Harad.

Way back in 2007, I kind of stumbled upon the online perfume world.  I fell.  Hard.  I was a review reading, decant buying, sample sniffing frag hag.  I couldn’t get enough!  And then I got pregnant, and promptly lost the ability to enjoy any of it.  Over the next few years,  my perfume addiction was traded in for a cloth diaper addiction.  There have been a few purchases since having kids, but no late night scrolls through forums discussing the new releases or where to find a bottle of a discontinued signature scent*.

But, this book!

This book brought all of that back.  It was like taking a trip down memory lane (although I admit she was much more hardcore than I ever was).  I absolutely devoured this book.  And then I promptly started trying to figure out what perfumes she was talking about in the book (she does not name them all), and then entered my fragrance wardrobe to Basenotes.

After six years of making babies, my nose is in perfect working order.  I’m wearing a new scent every day, and I’m loving it.  Well, except that Tarentella.  That was a scrubber, right up there with Chanel No. 5 (I know.  Blasphemy!).  This book snapped me out of my mom funk- it gave me back a little piece of me, before kids.  And I’m so thankful I stumbled back into this little world.

*Sensi- if you have a bottle of Armani Sensi wallowing at the bottom of a drawer, I’m your girl!

Ten Plus Five

Posted: October 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Stuff I Like | Tags: Marriage | 3 Comments »

Last Friday was our 10 year anniversary.

I wish I had something enlightening to say on how to get to 10 years, but I really don’t.

No top 10 lists of how to be a good spouse.

No deep thoughts on the work that goes into a marriage.

No “it’s tough work” pep talks.

But, I will say this: I am damn proud that we are here.

Not everyone can swing it, stick with it, keep going when things get tough.

(Pretty sure having two of your children diagnoses with Autism ranks up there as one of the tougher things to swallow.)

You don’t always know what’s around the corner when you get married. Of course, you have dreams and visions of how you would like the future to be, but for me, none of those dreams matter unless I have my husband there to enjoy them with.

I love my husband, every single part of him.

He has proved to be the absolute best person I could have chosen to spend the rest of my life with.

Here is to the next 10 years!

Dove! Take me Away!

Posted: July 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Stuff I Like | Tags: Product Reviews | No Comments »

This summer, and subsequently the boys not being in school every day, kind of snuck up on me.  I found myself flailing around trying to get into a rhythm, a routine, of any sort.  We didn’t need to be up at 6:30, so I let everyone stay in bed until 7:30 or 8 (if I was lucky).  Of course once I opened the boys bedroom door it was non-stop go-go-go until I fell into a chair exhausted around 7:06pm and opened up my laptop to blog.

At one point I realized it had been *days* since I had showered.  Of course we had been outside in the pool, but what had happened that I had fallen into the routine of a mother of a newborn?  I tried to make time but late nights blogging meant I was in no shape to get up early (I am not a morning person) and it didn’t occur to me that I could take a shower at midnight…

And then a box containing a bottle of Dove® VisibleCare™ Softening Créme body wash showed up on my doorstep.

It was the perfect nudge to make time.  Every. Day.

And I have.

I would be lying if I told you that every shower was luxurious and long and *exactly* what I need to recharge.  Many of them have included a toddler standing at the far end of the tub and tepid water (so as not to burn the toddler) but, I am making the effort.  I am getting back into a routine and on the nights that I can sneak an extra long hot shower, I relish it.

For the past year we’ve been using mostly locally made soaps- mostly goats milk soaps, and I love them for many reasons.  But they don’t leave me with that luxurious, moisturized feeling.  After a month spent outside in the heat and humidity, my skin is needing some extra moisture right about now, and I also need a facelift, but we will have to wait for that one.

I have many days when I close my eyes and scream “Calgon! Take me away!” in my head (I have days when I scream it out loud too).  I’m hoping 20 minutes for myself each day will help to bring some serenity back to my life.  And after the past few weeks, I may just be screaming “DOVE!  Take me away!” when I need a few minutes to recharge..  The Dove® VisibleCare™ Softening Créme body wash has brought that back to my skin.

If you are interested in trying out the new VisibleCare line from Dove, you can print out a $1.00 coupon! After that, check out this amazing giveaway to Spafinder- 2 lucky winners will receive $500 gift certificates to pamper themselves.

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Naming Babies…My Favorite Past-time!

Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Parenting, Stuff I Like | Tags: Baby Names, Just for Fun | 16 Comments »

Well, not all-time favorite, but it’s high on the list. Who doesn’t like to daydream about names? Don’t answer that, I’m not sure I want to know those people.

So, while we don’t have number 4 brewing just yet, I still get a my fill of baby name talk in my mom groups that I belong to and nightly reading over at Swistle: Baby Names. Since there isn’t a reason to write Swistle (right now anyways), I thought I would work on my letter here. Just in case we should find ourselves in baby naming hell one day in the future.


Baby Brother or Sister to Lincoln, Wyatt, and Judah

Dear Swistle,

My husband and I are expecting our 4th child (not really- this is pretend, play along), due in…I’ll say June ( just to emphasize the pretend-ness). Our last name is a typical clunky German last name- 3 syllables starting with a CL and ending with ER with a T right in the middle. My name is Erin, my husband’s name is John.

With our twins we did not know the sex (although we knew they were identical) and were able to decide on two sets of names fairly quickly- Lincoln Davis and Wyatt Josef for boys and Hazel Adeline and Charlotte Lucille for girls. Obviously we had boys. Of those names, Davis, Josef, Hazel, Adeline, Charlotte and Lucille were all family names (or derivative of family names). Our youngest son was named Judah Michael after my husband’s aunt and uncle (Judith and Michael).

As you can see, family names have played a fairly big part in our baby naming thus far. I kind of feel like we have bottomed out on good names we like though. My husband will try to toss Bonnie and Walter into the mix but I just can’t do it (and I don’t think anyone in his family would fault me for not using them).  As for girls names, a mom I met while I was pregnant with the twins has since named her 3 girls Adeline, Lucy and Hazel and although I do love the names, I’m kind of over using them myself. Hazel is the only one of the bunch that is still a possibility for me.

We tend to like names that sound somewhat traditional, maybe a little old fashioned. I do like the hard T sound in Wyatt quite a lot but don’t think adding a Charlotte or an Emmett would be a good combination- too much T. I really like that all 3 boys have a 2-2-3 syllable pattern and would like to keep that if we had another boy. I would be willing to go a different route with a girl (mostly because many of our favorite names are longer). Nicknames aren’t a must or a deal breaker, we’ve found with all of our kids that we end up with nicknames no matter what, it’s just not something we can fight!

Our backgrounds are Swedish, Norwegian, German and English (me) and Scottish, Croatian and Swiss-German on my husbands side. I would absolutely ADORE a Scandinavian name. While Lincoln and Judah seem to be climbing the charts- Wyatt was much more popular that I would like but I loved it so much I didn’t even look to see where it was at once we had settled (it was #19 in MN the year he was born- eek!). I would rather stay out of the top 100 if possible, but if I really love the name, it’s not a deal breaker.

I’ll start with girl names, since we haven’t been able to use any yet and they seem to give us the most trouble:

– Hazel (shortened from Hazelton, my grandpa’s middle name and his mother’s maiden name)
– Merit (probably my favorite)
– Solveig (although I’m not sure this rolls off my tongue very well)
– Waverly (my husbands favorite)
– Magdalene (probably for a middle name)
– Frances (Probably for a middle name)
– Pearl
– Ivy

And Boys. Up until now I felt like boys are easy to name but I kind of feel tapped out. I’m having trouble finding something that coordinates well with our names that are kind of across the board. Lincoln and Wyatt seem to be of the same era (albeit different styles) and Judah is the odd man out. I need something to tie them all together.

– Merrick
– Barrett (I love this but I do kind of think the nickname Barry sounds skeevy)
– Archer
– Ezra  (not my husbands favorite)
– Francis (middle name only)
– ????

See?  Tapped. Out.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

The Slacker Mom


So- obviously I’m not sending this to Swistle*- she has much more pressing things to do, like help people who are having naming dilemmas for actual babies that will be born any minute!

But, *you* can tell me what you think! What do you suggest? Are there names I am completely missing that seem to fit my criteria? Do you love to talk names too?

*Who am I kidding?  I’ll send and email or a tweet or something to see if I can get it on her radar!

Clutching my (imaginary) Pearls

Posted: March 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Stuff I Like | Tags: Preppie | 7 Comments »

Manic Mommy Monday!

So this is a space we can write about anything, right? I’m going to regale you with a little bit about my guilty pleasure: Town & Country magazine.

I’ve read it off and off for years when I want to escape my SAHM life into the world of The Haves for a few hours. I finally broke down and got myself a subscription and I couldn’t be happier. It never disappoints.

Every month I look forward to what I will find within it’s pages stuffed with glossy ads for high fashion and accessories. Mostly rich people problems like: “When your neighbors art collection makes you blush!” or how men can assert their style with “a peek of color at the ankles”. This month I am treated to a barrage of Reversal of Fortune stories- you know…tales of “reduced circumstances“. I had to laugh because, holy crap. WHO talks like that?

Well, apparently preppy people, for one. People with nicknames like Weezie and Bootsy. Which brings me to The Preppy Handbook. I devoured that thing when I was a freshman in college. I love(d) everything preppy (possibly for the same reasons I have a small obsession with the south). I watched Metropolitan about 50 times in high school (quite the feat when I was renting and re-renting from Blockbuster). I wore loafers when everyone was wearing Doc Martens. I have an unhealthy like of brightly colored madras and the mystique of boarding school.

And now, to quench my love for all things preppie; Whit Stillman (director of Metropolitan) is back with Damsels in Distress. I can hardly wait.

What is your escape?

And don’t forget to link up to Manic Mommy Monday where we are getting back to talking about ourselves and our lives and out kids and all the crazy thoughts that go through out minds (no reviews, giveaways or sponsored posts).

100 Things Part 2.

Posted: March 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Stuff I Like | 10 Comments »

So, I’m 34 today. It seems so, er, uneventful.

What did I do last year? What are my plans for next year? Should I be keeping some sort of journal as time marches on? I started a 100 things I want to do before I die list somewhere along the line. I never added to it and I haven’t looked at it since I wrote it.

Let’s open that up, shall we?

100 Things Part 1.

1. Travel in China (cliche I know but I’d like to)
2. Travel in Russia (can’t justify my major without it)
3. Live on the East Coast (retire to Annapolis, see 4)
4. Learn how to sail (actually, have a nice boat, sail to boat shows)
5. Spend Christmas in Virginia (John, Debby- don’t move!)
6. Make Christmas Eve tamales from scratch (I cheat and buy from restaurants)
7. Tailgate at Homecoming (10 hours is not a long drive)
8. Live on the water (lake, ocean, river, doesn’t matter)
9. Learn how to sew (relearn, I’ve got the machine…)
10. Own a big old house with nice woodwork, claw foot tubs and radiators (I love me some radiant heat)

OK, so I’ve done one single thing on my list.  ONE!  Did I mention this was written 4 years ago before I knew I was pregnant with the twins?  Why was there not “Have a bunch of babies” on the list? I must have been trying to preserve the surprise…

Anyways, I suppose I should add a few more things, you know…Part 2.

11. Have another baby (that would be 4 kids)
12. Have a VBAC (not because I feel cheated, but because there is no reason not to)
13. Learn how to can something (Pepper jelly? Pickled Cabbage?  The possibilities!)
14. Do something official with Breastfeeding (IBCLC? Aim high!)
15. Belong to a CSA
16. Work out regularly (at least 3 days a week)
17. Learn how to do my hair (properly)
18. Own a bonafide CUTE purse
19. Learn how to frost a cake (well)
20. Travel to northern Europe and see where my ancestors came from (Sweden, Norway)

Check back in 4 years to see Part 3!

Oh, and Happy Birthday to ME.  I’m going to celebrate with a super fancy lunch with the fam at Red Robin and I couldn’t be happier about it.  Oh how times have changed.

I can’t get it out of my head

Posted: February 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Stuff I Like | Tags: Music | 5 Comments »

I’m pretty sure my love for Adele goes back to my teenage obsession with girl groups from Motown. There is nothing I do not love about this performance. How many singers today can simply stand in front of a microphone and sing like that and make it look effortless?

I Smell Good.

Posted: January 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Stuff I Like | Tags: Perfume, Shopping | 7 Comments »

I have a thing with perfume. I love it.

Right before I got pregnant with the boys I had a slight obsession. I needed to try new things, all the time. I was always on the hunt for my signature scent. I bought decants from dealers online. I bid on lots of samples on eBay. I stalked the fragrance counters (I will never forget you Gypsy Fortune Teller!), I read Basenotes daily, I frequented Sephora, if only for the 3 free samples.

I’m not a Creed fan and I have a love/hate with Bond (love the scents, but hate the price), two of the bigger fragrance houses.  I like different but accessible and I’m all over the map scent-wise. Winter calls for something different than Spring or Summer. What I wear out to dinner with my husband is not the same as what I wear to read books to the boys on the couch.  If I could afford a bottle of Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle you can bet I would pull the trigger on that purchase in a second.

So, tonight I found myself at Sephora and as I stood in front of the wall of scents, contemplating my 3 free samples that were being made up, it struck me that I was off my game. Instead of walking out with the Lolita Lempicka that I wanted to try, I was leaving with an Armani that I wasn’t particularly fond of.

Armani Code

Also: Tocca.

Tocca Cleopatra

I have never liked a Tocca scent so I have no idea how this ended up in my hands, power of suggestion I guess. That and a quick chat about the difference between French, British and Italian perfumes.  (A quick scan of the review on Basenotes reveals that this closely resembles a few of my favorites, particularly Narciso Rodriguez for Her, maybe I spoke too soon.)

I did leave with one that I liked though:

Hermes un jardin sur le nil

This I like- and it’s not like anything in my collection.  Three hours later I  keep getting hit with new notes and I am still loving it.

I did manage to avoid one that smelled very much like Angel (and every other Thierry Mugler scent that makes my eyes water and my nose bleed) they were trying to get me to try. Close call.

Are you a perfume lover?  What is your signature scent?