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Winter Favorites 2019

Favorites: Winter 2019 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Today I’m sharing just a few of the things I’ve been loving this winter!

I had to ditch one of my go-to pairs of winter boots this year, as they were no longer waterproof. (I paid $40 for them a decade ago, so it’s all right). Most of my boots are lightweight/leather boots. I wanted something more heavy duty to keep in rotation in the winter. So I picked up this Santana Canada model, and they are amazing. They are so comfortable, one of those pairs of boots that requires no break in period.

They’re really warm but aren’t as bulky as my Sorel boots. I love my Sorels for shoveling and being out in the snow with Tommy but don’t love them for errands, appointments, etc. The Santana Canada boots are much better for running around town. And yes, I bought the navy/rust leather color combination with the orange laces because you know how much I love color. Nordstrom has a lot of other nice Santana Canada boots, too.

I have also been loving the Madewell turtlenecks this winter. I didn’t mention them in my Nordstrom for her gift guide. I’d just bought them for myself and was already talking about multiple Madewell items in the guide. But they are awesome. Unfortunately, they’re sold out right now. Hopefully Madewell will bring them back next season. They’re lightweight, which means you can layer them up or down for any type of winter weather. You can throw a cardigan, sweater, or even flannel over it or just put a tank top or long-sleeve t-shirt under it.

Jessica posted a sheet pan gnocchi recipe last month. I didn’t make this exact recipe, but it inspired me to try a couple of different sheet pan lunch/dinner meals with gnocchi. I can’t believe I never tried this before. As it’s tough to find good food combinations with the same cook time, I don’t do a lot of full sheet pan dinners. But I’ve been experimenting with a couple of sheet pan meals with gnocchi. I’m hoping to get at least one of them posted here later this year.

I went out on a limb and bought a couple of products from Jessica’s top 2018 beauty products post shortly after she published it in late December. (Yes, I’m talking about Jessica twice in this post. She’s the best!) The first is Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Peel Pads. I struggle a lot with facial products. I have mild acne and severe rosacea. It’s all but impossible to find something that works well for both conditions. I say this after 15+ years of personal experience trying various products and seeing multiple dermatologists who don’t have any more clue than I do.

Jessica has talked about the daily peel pads all year, and I finally took the plunge. I ended up getting the version for sensitive skin. It certainly isn’t a cure-all for my skin conditions. But I’ve been very impressed thus far with how much it’s improved the general texture of my facial skin.

I use the daily peel pads every other day, as that’s what they recommend when you first use them. I’ve been using a Cetaphil wash at night for years now and am not ready to give that up entirely. So most likely I’ll stick to alternating these two products and see how it goes. I know that the daily peel pads are expensive. The price point definitely held me back from pulling the trigger earlier. But honestly, I’ve tried so many skin care products over the years that just don’t work, I don’t mind paying more for something that works really well.

The second product I picked up after reading that post was the Dr. Jart Cicapair Color Correcting Treatment. I have tried a handful of products along these lines in the past, none of which I loved. Dr. Jart’s is way better than any of them. Again, I’m constantly struggling to combat pretty severe redness and more generally, uneven skintone. And again, Dr. Jart’s isn’t a cure-all. I still wear it under foundation. But it definitely helps, especially in combination with the daily peel pads. I bought the smaller size Sephora offers, which is plenty to last me all year.

I have to give one more shout out to Weleda Skin Food and Burt Bee’s Almond & Milk Hand Cream. They’ve been a complete game changer this winter. Usually I pour tons of Vaseline Intensive Care lotion on my hands after every hand washing, which isn’t enough. I love Vaseline Intensive Care. But my hands need more in the winter. I haven’t had a winter in years with hardly any chapping, splits, cracks, and hangnails. I talk more about these skin care products and my winter skin care routine here.

The only new show I’ve watched straight through in ages is the second season of Friends From College. I’ve been in a bit of a creative funk lately, and I needed a reset one afternoon. So I binged almost the entire second season while he napped and finished it up later that night. It was so good, up there with the second season of Master of None (although Master of None is still better).

I love the story arch through the entire second season. The parallel plot lines in Out All Night are fantastic. It reminded me a lot of The Office Diwali episode. Sarah Chalke as a guest star? Love her so much. The Office Space spoof? Dead. So funny. The soundtrack is amazing. And Fred Savage is the best. I love his character on this show. After blowing through the entire second season in a day, I went back and started at season one and re-watched the whole show more slowly.

Speaking of TV shows, I’ve been watching the Pete the Cat show (based on the books) with Tommy. Elvis Costello and Diana Krall voice Pete’s parents, which is all sorts of awesome. Elvis Costello does a very Bruce Springsteen thing (remember Bruce Springsteen’s cameo in High Fidelity? exactly like that), and I mean that in the best way possible. You can laugh at me for including this bit in my own favorites post, not a Tommy update. But it sort of made my week.

The only new music I’ve been listening to lately is Santana’s new EP In Search of Mona Lisa, which is fantastic as always. Seriously, does he ever make a bad album? Abraxas is one of my all-time favorite albums, and I have to re-visit Supernatural at least a few times a year. But there aren’t any Santana albums I don’t like. I’ve also been listening to the (not quite as new) album Seymour Reads the Constitution! by the Brad Mehldau Trio a lot.

I don’t consider this item a favorite exactly. But it has been a lifesaver. I broke down and bought a pair of convertible flip-top gloves. I’ve never understood the appeal of flip-top gloves. In past years, I’ve been really frustrated that some seasons, they’re all that Target offers. But it’s impossible to wear gloves and buckle/unbuckle a carseat, navigate getting in and out of a car with a toddler, and use my camera while out and about with a toddler. After suffering through multiple days without wearing gloves, I caved. I still don’t love them, but they have served their purpose. I think that part of the issue is that I don’t love this particular pair. Most likely I’ll try to find something better next fall.

Finally, I have to give another mention to Kristy’s twins because they make my day at least once a day every single week. She posted an Instagram story the other week of the two of them in the top part of the shopping cart, one on each side. I almost died. Cuteness overload. Go follow Kristy on Instagram. She’s amazing. She has five young kids and still works out and eats healthy every day. I’m in awe.

[Disclaimer: There are a few affiliate product links in this post. Thanks for your support!]

What have you been loving this winter?

Feel free to leave links in the comments!

Previous favorite posts:

Favorites: Fall 2018 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Fall Favorites 2018

Favorites: Summer 2018 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Favorites: Summer 2018

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10 Things NOT to Include in an Adoption Profile | https://www.roseclearfield.com

There are numerous resources on what to include an adoption profile book. It’s great to have some basic guidelines to get you started. If possible, look through a few existing profiles as examples. It’s also good to know the top things not to include in an adoption profile. A major faux pas will offset a lot of hard work, compromising your chances of moving forward with meeting expectant parents. The following are 10 things not to include in an adoption profile.

Personal contact information

Giving out your personal contact information to potential birth parents is a great way to set yourself up for scammers, hackers, and stalkers. When you create a profile book and other profile materials, don’t include your last name, address, or phone number. You can give potential birth families a feel for your community without giving an address or town name. On the chance that expectant parents want to contact adoptive families directly outside of an agency, they can do so through your adoption Facebook page or via an email address you use strictly for adoption purposes.

Exclusively posed photos

It’s perfectly fine to include posed photos, both professional and candid, in an adoption profile. Posed pictures are a great way to show off your family at its best in a favorite location at home, on vacation, at a special event (i.e., wedding, birthday party), etc. However, it’s limiting to have an adoption profile book made up exclusively of posed photos.  A mix of action and posed photos will give potential birth parents a more complete picture of your family.

Inappropriate or crazy unflattering photos

Showcasing your family’s silly side or sharing classic candid moments with kids, such as naps on the couch or water balloon fights in the backyard, is great. Sharing photos of kids melting down, you in a skimpy bikini at the beach, or you and your spouse drunk at a frat party in college isn’t okay. Your photos don’t have to be perfect by any means. But you should choose the photos you include with care.

Photos without captions/descriptions

It’s easy to assume that people know what they’re looking at in your photos because you know exactly where they were taken, who’s in them, etc. Expectant parents looking at your profile book can’t fill in these blanks. A phrase or single sentence caption such as “Celebrating Aunt Katie’s birthday” or “At the Wisconsin Capitol during our vacation last summer” adds enough context without being overly wordy.

Phrasing that puts words in expectant parents’ mouths

If you’ve put together a great adoption profile book, the book will speak for itself. Don’t give expectant parents words they might not be feeling, especially words that put them down, such as “We will love your baby more than you can possibly imagine.” I know that people mean well when they say this sort of thing. But it’s really offensive. Focus on making your profile book about you and your family. Let expectant parents process their thoughts and feelings without bias.

Promises you won’t be able to keep

An adoption profile book is the place to make a promise to raise your adopted children to the best of your ability. It’s not the place to make promises you have no idea if you’ll be able to keep, such as visiting birth parents monthly or inviting them over to your house on holidays. There are a lot of factors that will determine the nature and extent of openness with your child’s birth family. These factors may change over time. Don’t set up families for disappointment before you’ve even begun a relationship.

More emphasis on your infertility past than the future you’ll provide for your adopted children

For many couples pursuing adoption, particularly infant domestic adoption, infertility is a part of their story. It’s okay to share this part of your story with potential birth parents. However, it’s best to mention it briefly. Don’t go into specifics about the timeline, testing, diagnosis, and treatment. Then move on to talking about the future you’ll provide for your children.

Anything that isn’t 100% you

Your adoption profile book should reflect you and your family accurately. This isn’t the place to invent a character or try to portray the life that you want to have for yourself. If you have a great sense of humor, let it show through in your profile book. If you’re more serious and reserved, embrace it. Expectant parents don’t expect adoptive families to be perfect. They also don’t want to see a generic family that could be any family in any city in the country. Share your hobbies, passions, family life, and vacation adventures.

Pages filled with text and no pictures

You don’t need to tell your entire life story in your profile book. Expectant parents don’t want to read long back stories about your relationship or whole pages about where you live. Include at least one picture on every page with an accompanying caption or paragraph. If you pique their interest, they’ll have follow up questions when you speak over the phone or meet in person. You can get into more detail then.

Emphasis on your income

All parents want assurance that their children will have what they need, which includes financial stability. This doesn’t mean that expectant parents want you to be rich. Sharing explicit details about how much you make, talking at length about your luxury vacations or belongings (i.e., sports car) or going on and on about the material items your adopted children will have is inappropriate and tacky. Painting an accurate picture of the life you’ll be able to provide for your children will give expectant parents a good idea of your general lifestyle.

Adoptive parents, are there any items you would add to this list of things not to include in an adoption profile?

As always, I welcome your insight!

More adoption resources:

10 Things No One Tells You About Adoption | https://www.roseclearfield.com

10 Things No One Tells You About Adoption

Preparing a Bedroom for an Adopted Child | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Preparing a Bedroom for an Adopted Child

Adoption Doesn't Fix Everything | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Adoption Doesn’t Fix Everything

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19 Months of Tommy

Tommy Eating Snack in the Cozy Coupe February 2019 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

This past week our Tommy turned 19 months old.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tommy Valentine's Day 2019 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Tommy Valentine's Day 2019 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Tommy Valentine's Day 2019 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Happy Valentine’s Day from our little family! XO

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30 Healthy Dinner Recipes for Two

30 Healthy Dinner Recipes for Two | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Sometimes it’s great to make a big batch recipe. You put in one night’s worth of cooking, and you have lunch or dinner for the rest of the week. But sometimes it’s great to make a small batch recipe instead. Enter healthy dinner recipes for two. Most of the time, I’m cooking for myself, my husband, and my toddler son. We don’t eat that much at any given meal. And we don’t always feel like eating the same thing for three more nights. Most recipes are portioned for four servings or more. I’ve rounded up a selection of delicious, healthy dinner ideas portioned for two people. Enjoy!

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