Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dye for you

On our Mom-Daughter Date, Emma and I stopped by Sally Beauty Supply. She's been wanting to put pink streaks in her hair for a while, with Kool-aid. I know people do that, but I just can't get used to the idea of using powdered drink mix for  hair coloring. Too many unknowns for me! One of the  hospital employees has multicolored hair, though, and I talked with her one day and she advised me about what to use for Emma and where to get it.

As we were walking up to the shopping center (it was near the ice cream shop) I asked her if she still wanted to do the pink streaks. She did, so we found the pink coloring. It is semi-permanent, which means it should last 4-6 weeks. Perfect for summer vacation!
This is what we used.
Tonight, we tried it out. One big thing we did NOT do according to the directions, though, was to bleach her hair first. That's just a little too permanent for my liking, and too damaging to her hair. I had bought a small highlighting brush also, and we got started after I got home from work.

First, I put a shower cap on her head, marked her part line with a Sharpie, and marked all the spots she wanted the highlights with the marker. Then I cut holes where we marked, and put the cap back on her. I pulled sections of hair through the holes, then laid each section on a strip of aluminum foil and "painted" the hair with the color. When each section was coated, I folded the foil over the hair and folded it up out of the way. I did seven sections total.

The instructions said to leave the coloring on 10-20 minutes. Since I had taken several minutes to do all seven sections, I split the difference and set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer went off, I unwrapped each section, removed the shower cap, and rinsed her hair.

She's hoping it changes when her hair is dry, but right now we can barely see the pink, and that is only in bright light! I warned her in advance it wouldn't be so bright because we didn't bleach first. I was right - it didn't take so well on normal hair.

She's happy, though, and that was my goal. She is getting to experiment with her hair and get it out of her system now, instead of surprising us one day after a visit with a friend and really messing up her hair.

If I can get the pink to show up in a picture, I'll add one later.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today was Mom-Daughter Day

Emma, my 13 year old daughter, and I don't get much time just the two of us any more. We would like to have Mom-Daughter dates regularly, but it's been a while. While she was at camp this week, I decided that today would be our next one.

After church, we took Sophie home to Daddy, changed clothes, and headed out. Our first stop was lunch at Newk's Cafe. We love this restaurant! I ordered a club sandwich with fruit, and Emma ordered a chef salad. It was huge! Her face was hilarious when it was brought out.
You can't tell here, but the bowl is as deep as her fork!

After lunch, we had a little setback - as we were getting into the car, my favorite jeans ripped down the back! Luckily Emma had worn a zip up hoodie today; I tied it around my waist to hide the giant rip. We crossed the street to J.C. Penney and I was able to find a replacement pair on clearance. She and I had fun trying on others things, too. We didn't get any others  but added a few items to our wish lists. 

Next was more shopping. We visited several stores, just taking our time looking at things. She had never been to Pier One before, so we went in. She was in love! We both loved so many things there, from furniture to little things. We did get some glasses while we were there, one for each of us. They are so fun! Each one has a little chalkboard square, and comes with two sticks of chalk. (Funny side note- one of the employees offered to help us in the furniture section and we told her we were just looking. She asked if we were getting ready for the dorms this fall! Emma told her she was only 13 - she couldn't believe it. I am SO not ready to think about college yet!)

Now everyone knows whose lemonade this is!

We eventually made it to our favorite ice cream shop, Marble Slab. The hardest part is deciding what to order! Everything is so good, though. We both were disappointed in our waffle cone/bowl today, though. They were both so hard it hurt to eat them! The ice cream did not disappoint, though.

We were getting tired, so we only went to one more store after our ice cream. Emma is reading a book series and was missing one of them, so we stopped at Borders and picked up the missing book. I'm pretty sure she'll spend a lot of time tomorrow reading, especially since before camp she was grounded from the computer, with "time to be served" after camp.

We had such a good time! We had originally wanted to see a movie, but everything was sold out. The earliest movie available was at 9:40 pm! Not happening. She may not have school tomorrow, but I have work. I'd never get up on time if we were out that late!

We really have to plan more regular days together. I am so thankful, though. I know how lucky I am to have such a good relationship with my daughter. I hope that it continues as she gets older.

More random pictures from today:
Stationery from Pier One

I love this cup! (From Target)

Can I get two of these please? One for Sophie, one for Emma.

Worn out! She fell asleep on the way home.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday randomness

Today while taking Sophie to the babysitter's house, I saw a tree on a house. Think about that for a minute - a tree ON a house. It wasn't there last night on our way home, so sometime during the night, probably while the residents were inside, a large tree fell on top of their house. How scary that must have been!


Emma has been at camp all week. Yesterday before leaving work I called to find out what time on Saturday we were to pick her up, since I forgot to ask when we left her on Sunday. I found out it was 7 pm... tonight. No way we could get there at that time! My husband could, but I work farther away. And I'm not waiting at home for them. So, tonight her Nana is picking her up (they live very close to the camp), and she's spending the night there. In the morning, as planned originally, the rest of us are going down to wash my dad's truck for his Father's Day gift and bring Emma home. Sophie will be very happy to see her sister, she's been looking around the house for her.


She doesn't know it yet, but Sunday afternoon we're leaving Sophie at home with Daddy and Em and I are going out for some mom-daughter time. It's been too long and we need it. I'm not sure what we're going to do yet, but I am sure we'll have fun doing it. I am very glad that she and I enjoy spending time together. I hope that never changes.


Next week Sophie will be 17 months old. She loves to sing now, and since she can't say a majority of the words she just sings along in baby babble. She knows the tunes, though, and claps and says "yay!" at the end of each one. Her favorites are the ABC song and Wheels on the Bus. She will sing along with any song she hears, though. Emma was the same as a little one - although she was making up her own songs at this age! Sophie is a little dancer, too. Last night after dinner my husband and I were watching a show on TV and she stood in her chair dancing to the entire theme song, shaking her little butt around and waving an arm in the air, finishing with a flourish and a grin. I wish I had thought to record her!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are we becoming a society of whiners?

Two stories in the news this week have stood out to me, but not for the reasons you'd think.

First was Roger Ebert. After the death of Jackass costar Ryan Dunn in a car accident, he tweeted "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive." He immediately came under fire for the comment, and deleted the tweet. Of course, the internet is forever. Other cast members and friends of Dunn raged at him, and people are saying it was too much, too soon. However, Dunn's blood alcohol content was more than double the legal limit, and he was driving over 100 mph (I've seen reports of 130 and 140, not sure which is accurate).

I don't think it's too soon. On the contrary, I think it was needed. The Jackass cast has a huge following of young people, who, whether the show is responsible or not, try many of the same stunts. They need to be told "Look at this - see what happens." This is not reality TV, but reality. Your actions have consequences, sometimes fatal.

Then there was today's news story about the Southwest pilot who was suspended after his mic was left on and air traffic controllers heard his rant about the lack of flight attendants to sleep with. He was rude, crass, vulgar, and insulting. Many flight attendants and customers are outraged (as they should be) and say the suspension is not enough - they want him fired.

But since when is being a pig a fireable offense? If that was the case, there would be a HUGE spike in the unemployment rate. Yes, his commentary was just plain wrong. But he didn't name specific people, he didn't broadcast it to the passengers or flight attendants. A few air traffic controllers heard it, and to be honest they've probably heard much worse. I know I have at various jobs I've held. But somehow this particular rant became public knowledge, and the public is calling for his job because they are offended.

This is where I see a problem: our society is moving towards a voluntary dissolusion of our hard-won freedoms of speech and expression. Yes, someone can get offended. But is it too far when they stifle the freedoms of another person BECAUSE they were offended?

I do agree that some "expressions" don't belong in our society. But we have to be grownups, too. If I get offended at what I feel is a stupid comment from a public figure, I wouldn't support that person. Mad at Ebert? Don't watch his show (is it still on?). Unfollow him on Twitter. Don't like that Soutwest only suspended the pilot? Fly on another airline. Write a letter to the company. But everyone has to remember that what offends you might not offend the next person, and what someone else finds offensive could be no big deal to you.

Remember in 2006 when Tiger Woods had to have a press conference to apologize for commenting after a bad game, saying he (himself, not directed at anyone else) played like a spaz. In other countries, that word is a derotagory word for people with disabilites. Not here in the US. Yes, he plays internationally. But is it realistic to expect an athlete to know every possibly offensive word in every country he plays in? How could it even be possible? In the US, if someone said they fell on their fanny, we'd laugh, picturing them falling down on their behind. If that person said the same thing in the UK, I'm sure they'd get gasps in polite company since the same word there means vagina. These things happen.

Let's just act like grownups, ok?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Sometimes, I'm just not sure who I want to be. I mean, I know who I AM, but the internal stuff gets a little mixed up. Is it possible to be both an extrovert AND an introvert? Neat AND messy? Quiet AND talkative?

It's like my personality just can't decide who it wants to be. I used to joke as a teenager I was two people living in one body.

Some days, I am all over the place, chatting with people all over the hospital. Employees, visitors on the elevator, anyone. Other days, I would give most anything to be able to spend the day in my closet-office and see no one all day. Even better would be to spend the day at home on the couch with a good book and my phone turned off. Some days, I just don't want to talk to ANYONE!

Then there's the neat/messy conundrum. I prefer things to be neat and clean. I like being able to find things when I need them, and not have  pet fur collecting in the corners (or on my socks from the carpet). I dream of an organized kitchen, toy cubbies in Sophie's room, shining floors, and no cobwebs. Especially in the mornings. Almost every day I plan a list of what I'm going to scrub and organize after work. Then After Work arrives. It's time for dinner, time with family, time for Sophie's bath, and then I'm just too tired. So, the list gets put off until the next day.

I think I'm just tired. When I'm tired I get introspective, and begin to question all sorts of things. Hopefully I'll get a good rest soon and caught up around the house and yard. That will make a huge difference in my mood I know.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day weekend

We actually celebrated Father's Day in our family yesterday, since today Emma went to camp for the week. We let Daddy sleep in, made his requested breakfast of pancakes and bacon, and gave him his gift. I took photos of the girls holding letters to spell out "Daddy" and put them in a 5-space collage frame. It turned out great!

Today after church, we loaded up Emma's bags (the girl can pack a lot for a week at camp!) and went first to my parents' house (they live near the camp). We gave my dad one of his gifts, a framed picture of the girls with "Papa" scrapbook sticker things on the matting. His requested gift was to wash his truck, but it was rainy today so we're going to do that next weekend when we go down to get Emma from camp.

The greatest thing happened today, too. Sophie has always needed a while to warm up to her Papa each visit, I guess because she doesn't see him quite as often. Today, though, even though she had just woken up, she went right to him and spent so much time playing with him today!
Sophie and Papa
We ate a VERY early dinner, and took Emma to camp. She had been saying for a few weeks that she didn't want to go anymore, but I told her it was too late - she was all registered and paid for, no refunds. She always has a great time, and I knew she would once she was there. From the time we pulled in she was so excited, and ran off to find a bed in her "usual" cabin. While she settled in, we took Sophie around the camp to check things out. I spent two summers working at this camp, and it's where my husband and I met and started dating. So this place is special to our family.
Toes in the lake

 Once Sophie was worn out, we found Emma to say goodbye. She had already made friends in her cabin and was having a great time. We will miss her, but I know she will have a great week.

Friday, June 17, 2011


It seems I have a doppelganger in our town. Even though it's been nearly 10 years since I first was mistaken for her, I have yet to actually meet her. Sometimes I wish I could, though, just to see for myself. Our town is not very large, either, just under 9,000 residents. You'd think in a decade we'd come across each other directly.

It all started when I was working at a department store in our town. I was one of the supervisors, and one afternoon when I was returning from taking our daily deposit to the bank, I noticed an older gentleman in a parked car looking at me very strangely. I figured it was because I had two umbrellas (had left mine in my car so borrowed a friend's & took both back in) and let it go. A little while later I was helping the cashier at the register, and the same man and his wife came through my line. It seems I looked so much like their granddaughter that he thought I was her in the parking lot! But he didn't recognize the car and obviously she didn't work for our store. His wife said that even our mannerisms were the same.

Not long after that a restaurant opened in our town. My husband, daughter and I went for dinner the weekend they opened. We walked up to the podium for a table, and the hostess looked at me and said "What are you doing back here already?" Guess who worked at the new restaurant - the granddaughter! She had worked all day that day, but was already gone. All the times we've eaten there, never saw her.

I had actually forgotten about her, but then something else odd happened.

I really like breakfast from Krystal. For those of you not in the south, it's similar to White Castle, and the little burger things are just as disgusting. Their breakfast, however, is great. Where else can you get scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, and grits and not have to go to a sit-down restaurant? There are two I'll usually stop at in the mornings, one near the babysitter's house or one near my workplace. I haven't been to the one in our town in years, literally. I don't like anything but their breakfast, so there's never been a reason to go to that one.

Shortly before school was out for the summer, though, my husband was out of town and I had to take Emma to school. The restaurant is very close to her school, and I pass it on the way back through town. I was hungry, so I stopped there. I ordered my usual  - Express Breakfast with no meat, toast, and either hash browns or grits, depending on if I'm eating in the car or taking to my closet-office.  When I got to the window the manager was working there, and he wanted to let me know that chicken could be substituted for the listed meats, since he knew I didn't eat pork. I thanked him, and left extremely confused. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I had been there, and I've never been inside the restaurant, only the drive-through! And maybe three times in the 12 years we've lived there.

Then it dawned on me: my twin must go there a lot, and order the same thing I do!

This is getting scary...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sleeping with a toddler

Last night, my husband was out of town, so the girls and I had a girls' night in. I brought home pizza, and we watched Sunday's Army Wives (Em and I love the show so much), then she watched Pretty Little Liars (ugh) and a new show, The Nine Lives of Chloe King (she liked it, to me it seemed like a not-as-good Buffy wannabe). We ended the night with the season premiere of Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Side note: THAT was a great episode. Very intense and real. Also Gene and Shannon were both live-tweeting about the episode during the airing. I love their relationship and that with their kids and hope this has a happy ending.

Sophie didn't last very long, though, and passed out in my lap shortly after dinner. She was still fully dressed, no overnight diaper of course, no bath, and no allergy medicine. I finally gave up and put her in her crib, just like she was. No way am I going to wake a sleeping baby for something like pjs!

Of course she woke up shortly before midnight, as Em and I were going to bed. I changed her then, and brought her back to my bed, thinking she'd nurse a little, go to sleep, and I'd put her back in her crib. I was so excited to finally sleep in the center of the bed instead of on the edge! (Oh the exciting life, right?)

This is what happened instead: She tricked me into thinking she was going to sleep. Instead, she sat up and giggled and tickled my belly button. So I snuggled her in next to me with her Bunny, and promptly fell asleep myself. Thankfully she must have soon after, but ended up laying perpendicularly on the bed with her feet near me and her head near the other edge. No clue how that happened, I was asleep!

I do remember waking up at one point and noticing how she was sleeping. Her legs were cold so I covered them, and she cried and kicked the blanket off. I rolled over to my other side, my back to her feet, but that didn't make her happy, either. She put both feet in my back and started pushing. Push-push-push-push until I almost fell of the bed! So I rolled back over. She was fine again. Guess I have to be looking at her even if I'm asleep. And I still spent the night on the edge of the mattress.

When the alarm went off, seemingly five minutes after I fell asleep again (isn't that how it usually goes?), she didn't budge. Ever tried climbing over a sleeping little one to turn off an alarm clock? I thought she was still asleep, since she didn't move, but when my husband called to make sure I was awake she rolled over and looked at me as if to say "Do you mind?!"

I made myself get up and get ready for work, and the little stinker slept until 8:45.

Tonight, if she wakes up like that again, I'm making myself stay awake to put her back in her own bed! *yawn*

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Getting to know me through my food

I read this fun post by Glenneth at Let's Talk and Walk and just had to do it, too. It's a fun little meme, and different from the ones I've seen around.

A is for Apple: What’s your favorite variety?
I love Fuji apples! Although I like most apple varieties - just not Red Delicious. Red Flavorless is more like it!
B is for Bread: Regardless of nutrition, what is your favorite type?
Ooohh... beer bread, whole wheat bread, sourdough bread, honey wheat... I love bread.
C is for Cereal: What is your favorite kind currently? (just one!)
Oh goodness. I like several cereals! I love Basic 4, Frosted Miniwheats, Kashi Honey Sunshine, and Lucky Charms
D is for Donuts: You might not currently eat them, but what kind do you fancy?
Rarely have them, but I do love the custard filled ones with chocolate on top. Or the apple filled from the school donut fundraisers.
E is for Eggs: How would you like yours prepared?
Omelet, scrambled, or deviled. Or egg salad.
F is for Fat Free: What is your favorite fat free product?
fruits and vegetables, tea.
G is for Groceries: Where do you purchase yours?
Target, Ingles, or Food City
H: is for Hot Beverages: What is your favorite hot drink?
hot tea, hot chocolate, cappuccino
I is for Ice Cream: Pick a favorite flavor and add a fun topping.
Marble Slab chocolate with cherries mixed in. Or sweet cream with cherries and chocolate chips. Vanilla with fresh peaches. Vanilla with a spoonful of peanut butter and chocolate syrup. Honey on vanilla. (I love ice cream)
J is for Jams or Jellies: Do you eat them? If so, what kind and flavor?
Apple, peach, mango, apricot, or cherry. Homemade grape is amazing, too.
K is for Kashi: Name your favorite Kashi product?
Honey Sunshine cereal, hands down. It's so sweet and crispy and delicious.
L is for Lunch: What was yours today?
Turkey and provolone on whole wheat, a small salad of spring greens, cucumber, carrot, raisins, and black beans with raspberry vinaigrette, and canteloupe.
M is for microwave: What is your favorite microwave meal/snack?
I really can't think of a favorite! I mostly use our microwave to defrost frozen things and warm foods for Sophie. I sometimes buy microwave meals for lunch at work, but don't have a favorite.
N is for nutrients: Do you likes carbs, fats, or proteins best?
Carbs for sure.
O is for oil: What kind do you like to use?
Olive oil mostly, sesame oil sometimes. I only use vegetable oil for baking, which isn't often.
P is for protein: How do you get yours?
Eggs, peanut butter, cheese, a little meat.
Q is for Quaker: How do you like your oats?
With cinnamon. It's also delicious with a handful of dried cranberries mixed in!
R is for roasting: What is your favorite thing to roast?
I have never roasted anything sucessfully. I tried to roast some pecans once, and ended up with little charcoal pellets.
S is for sandwich: What’s your favorite kind?
Club sandwich, if it's made properly with super-crispy bacon.
T is for travel: How do you handle eating while traveling?
Pretty well. I like to try new things. I've noticed, though, that when we travel I have a reduced amount of fruits and vegetables so I tend to get a little ill several days in.
U is for unique: What is one of your weirdest food combos?
Do I even have any weird combos?? I put ketchup on fried potatoes, does that count?
V is for vitamins: What kind do you take?
One a Day Women's formula usually. Still taking prenatals until the bottle runs out or Sophie is fully weaned, whichever comes first.
W is for wasabi: Yay or nay?
I'll pass.
X is XRAY: If we xrayed your belly right now, what food would we see?
The remnants of my lunch.
Y is for youth: What food reminds you of your childhood?
lefse, krumkake, rosettes, ice cream with chocolate syrup
Z is for zucchini: How do you prepare it?
I just bought one at the farmer's market today. I have no idea how to prepare it! Calling my mother later to find out :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

A fabulous view of parenting

Recently my 13 year old and I have gotten into Glee. Yes, a bit late, but we just never caught it during Season 1, then Season 2 was halfway over before we knew it. Between Netflix and Hulu, though, we're now caught up. One of my favorite parts of the series is the relationship between Kurt, and openly gay teenage boy, and his straight father Burt. They are as opposite as it gets. Burt is a mechanic, beer drinking and baseball cap wearing, sports-loving man. Kurt sings, loves fashion and musicals, and dishes about boys with his girl friends at sleepovers.

But since Kurt came out to his dad (whose response was "I always knew that."), Burt has been so supportive of his son. He's shielded Kurt from crank phone calls, stood up for him with the school when bullying occured, and then he and his new wife used the money put aside for their honeymoon to pay for private school when the bully made a death threat against Kurt. No questions asked. He has been the kind of father I wish every teenager could have - gay or straight.

Yesterday I read an interview with Mike O'Malley, the actor who portrays Burt.  The interviewer brings up how Burt is dealing with Kurt being gay realistically, in a way not usually seen on television. I loved his response and think it applies to parenting in general, to every child.
I think what’s the hardest thing for parents is to understand that their children are not just there to be improved versions of themselves. They’re individuals with individual drives, with individual fates if you believe in that sort of thing, with individual needs that have nothing to do with who you are as a parent. You have to get out of the way sometimes, but I think what you always fall back on, and I know this because I’m a parent of three children myself, is that you fall back on the idea that, okay, if you love these kids and you’ve lived, for the most part, a good life, then when they fall upon hard times or they struggle at times you can be someone who can be a lighthouse in a sense for them. ‘Avoid these rocks. Avoid these shoals over here. Steer yourself away from behavior or friends or influences that can harm you as much as you can, but I’m right here and I’m always going to be here for you.’
I think we do forget sometimes that our children, even though they come from us, are not us. I know I have a hard time with this sometimes. I've been so used to knowing everything my daughter has done, thought, and felt, that it's uncomfortable for me to not know what she's talking about with her friends or with *gasp* boys. But I just have to remind myself that she is a good kid, she knows right from wrong, and she is a strong person. It is still important to me to keep the communication lines open with her, and I am thankful every day that we have such a good relationship. It is still difficult to let go, though, and let her be her own person. And she is very much her own person. But no matter what happens as she gets older, I will always love her and will always be there for her. I'm her mother - that's my job! And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Giving the gift of a baby

There is an interesting discussion going on today on my birth board (message board for parents of babies born in the same month/year). A woman posted that her husband's sister and her partner (committed lesbian couple) want to use her husband's sperm and the partner's egg to have a baby. It would be a donor-only situation, they don't want to create a family like Arizona/Callie/Mark on Grey's Anatomy where one partner physically has intercourse with the man and it becomes a father/two mothers situation. Instead of the sister and her partner using an anonymous sperm donor, they want their baby to be genetically related to both of them.

The husband is thrilled to do this for his sister. The wife is very upset. She thinks it's incest, that he's betraying her by having a baby with someone else, and seems furious and heartbroken that he'd even consider it.

Personally, I think it is a wonderful thing for the brother to do for his sister and sister-in-law. Can you imagine a better gift to give your sibling than a family? It's not even close to incest like the wife implies - the partner wants to carry the baby. There are many replies on this discussion, arguing both sides. I wonder, though, if the ones opposing would feel the same if the couple was heterosexual? There are many instances of one sister carrying a baby for another who cannot, sometimes even using her own egg. How is that any different? As long as the legal side is taken care of and all sides are protected, I think the husband should go for it. Hopefully after the initial shock wears off, his wife will see the beauty in the situation and be supportive.

I'm curious, though, on others' opinions. What would you do in this situation?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Klout cracks me up

Just for fun this week, I finally checked my Klout score. I didn't expect much, but apparently I'm more influential than I thought. I laughed so hard (and had a real "wtf??" moment) when I read their list of topics I'm influential in, though: teens, shoes, movies, photography, turkey, clothing, coffee, Netflix, Israel.

Ok, teens, shoes, and clothing I understand. Netflix I can kind of see, also. But turkey? Not the country, the food. How in the world am I influential about turkey? I don't like the Thanksgiving version, I do like it on sandwiches, but that's the extent of it for me. Photography? I take pictures of my children, but I am no expert at all. I don't even have a great camera! Coffee - it's ok. Not a passion of mine. And all I know if Israel is what happens in the books The Hope and The Glory. Beyond that- nothing.

Klout is an interesting analysis of social media usage, though. First of all, some stats. On Twitter, I follow 286 people and 209 follow me. I have 320 Facebook friends. I don't use LinkedIn or other social media platforms. I was not expecting much.  According to the site, though, I influence 171 users of social media! I've had 111 unique people mention me, 37 unique users retweet my Tweets, 56 unique users "like" something I've posted on Facebook, and 55 unique commenters on Facebook. Klout concludes that I have "built a good sized network that is highly engaged."

Overall, it's good information to know. Knowledge is power, right? But the list of topics I'm supposedly influential in is hilarious.

Turkey anyone?

Friday, June 3, 2011

e.l.f. makeup - A review

Note: I have not been given anything by this company, either product or compensation, for this review. Although I wouldn't be opposed to either ;)

A few years ago a friend told me about this website she used to order dirt-cheap makeup. I looked at it, but didn't really trust it. How good could makeup be, when it was all $5 or under? I admit, I can be a makeup snob sometimes. When it comes to skincare, though, sometimes it's worth it!

Times are different, now, though. Family size is up, income is down, so discretionary spending is cut WAY back. And, our local Target started carrying e.l.f. products in store last year, so no shipping charges and I could see what I was getting. I still was cautious, though.

In April, Emma turned 13. For a birthday present, I gave her a green sparkly little bucket containing a mascara (Maybelline Great Lash), a powder foundation to give her a little coverage, and an e.l.f. lip gloss. I picked the Vixen color, and it really is a great color on her. It's not dark or bright, but gives just a hint of color to her lips. At 13, it's all she needs.

Then two weeks ago I found the custom compacts. I admit, I'm a total sucker for things like this. And, I had just dropped and broken my favorite eye shadow compact. Well, only two of the four colors shattered, but those were the two I used. The other two I hardly touched. So I had some replacing to do. And at $1 each, I had to try it!
The shadows (more options are available online, but my Target store only had the eye shadows available when I was there) have magnetic backs, so they stick in the compact easily. No forcing them in like with some other brands. I chose two colors, Moondust and Sage, leaving two empty slots to fill later. The color goes on well, and lasts just as long as more expensive brands. It is easy to apply and blend, and easy to clean up mistakes. I was pleasantly surprised.

I also tried the cream eyeliner. I've used gel eyeliners by other, more expensive, brands in the past and loved them. I only had one color left, though, and didn't use it often. I tried the Metallic Olive, which is nowhere near as tacky as the name suggests. It isn't a sparkly metallic, or overtly green. It's a good color for my fair skin and blue/green eyes. It even comes with a brush, although I quickly switched to a different liner brush I already had. I just couldn't maneuver the flat-edge brush without messing up royally. One downside, though, is that it doesn't dry as quickly as the expensive brands, so is easy to smear if you're not careful. Just don't touch for a few minutes, though, and you're good to go! It lasts all day without fading or running.

My current blush had broken, also, and since it was a mineral blush it can be a little high. I saw some blush selections and thought for $3, I could try it. Why not? I tried the Studio Blush in Pink Passion since it was the closest to my other shade.  It's not bad, but I must be careful. I can see someone not familiar with application techniques easily looking clownish. It only takes a tiny bit, and I must blend well so it's not too bright. I think I'll try it again, but in a different shade.

Overall, I'm very happy with what I've tried so far. I look forward to new eyeshadow colors, and may try some other products. And best of all, I can play with various colors without worrying about blowing my budget!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finding shapes in the (word) clouds

On Monday, the theme day from Blogathon 2011 was to create a Wordle from our blog posts and post it. I couldn't figure the posting it part out, though, so just posted a link to my Wordle.

Later, though, another Blogathon participant shared another site, Tagxedo. With Tagxedo, you can create word clouds from a blog, Twitter, Facebook, a news topic, RSS feed, or a search topic. You can also choose from many different shapes. One huge plus for me over the Wordle site? The save and share function. You can easily save the image file to your computer, or share on various social media platforms.

Here is the word cloud I created yesterday:

It. Is. HOT

Our six-day forecast
Summer has arrived early in East Tennessee, and with a vengeance.  It seems Mother Nature is trying to overcompensate for the unusually cold winter we had by cooking us in our skins like walking baked potatoes. And because our house seems to be rebelling against us, and apparently our air conditioning unit was jealous of the attention the refrigerator got last month, it stopped working sometime overnight or early this morning.

See those temps above?? This is NOT the time to have no air conditioning.

Our house is covered in a dark brown, composite siding. It's unbelievably hard, and absorbs heat. At the end of the day, the heat radiates into the house. Even with a working unit it's in the 80s in our house in late afternoon when it is this hot outside. It's miserable! I think it's a combination of poor insulation and the fact that there is only 1 vent each in the living room and kitchen. There is one in each bedroom, and they stay cool. It's the main living area that is a problem.

But anyway, I called the repairman that fixed our refrigerator. Yes, the mixup with what day the part would be in was frustrating, but miscommunication happens and I've heard many good things about this man. And I already know his rates are reasonable. So, I called. He could have come right then but it takes me an hour to get home from work, and by that time he wouldn't have enough time before his next set appointment to do anything, so he's coming first thing in the morning. Hopefully it's something minor (read: inexpensive) and easily fixed. We just can't take that much heat!

Oddly enough, the a/c unit is acting just like the refrigerator did - the compressor works (thank goodness!) but not the fan. Strange.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baby vs Bedtime, round 158 - the Crack Roast contribution

Earlier in the month I posted a recipe for Crack Roast.
That is what we had for dinner last night. It was Sophie's first time really eating it.

Results are at Adventures in Babyfooding - I don't think she'll be eating the sauce again for a while! Not when I have to get up for work the next day anyway.

She did have her cute new PJs on, though :)