Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Counting My Blessings.

Last night was a gorgeous, spring night.  I had one of my besties over for dinner, we enjoyed the nice weather, and I relaxed for the rest of the evening before falling asleep with the windows open to let in the fresh air.  At four o’clock in the morning, I was woken by the sound of sirens.  The sirens were long and loud.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on but I went back to sleep.  At five thirty, I was woken by the sound of my cell phone ringing.  Since no one ever calls at that time, I assumed it was an emergency and jumped out of bed.  Of course, a fifty pound brown dog was snoring on top of me and it slightly hindered my leap for the phone.  When I reached the phone, I was shocked to see the missed call was from my daughter’s school.  You can imagine my shock to listen to a message from our superintendant stating school was cancelled due to a fire at the elementary school.  The early morning sirens suddenly made sense.  Unfortunately, nothing else did.

scc1 Rumors and questions began to fly amongst the parents of students at Saint Croix Central Elementary School.  What happened?  Was it intentional or accidental?  Did anyone get hurt?  We are all scared, confused, and wondering how could this happen in such a small community like ours.  This town is hardly big enough for a stoplight (although we just got our first by the highway exit!), yet we have been hit by a tragedy like this.  As the day progressed, we have learned that no one was hurt, save for a few brave firefighters suffering from dehydration, there has been extensive damage to our library (a favorite place of all the kids), and to the front office.  This is even more tragic because our principal, Mr. Sanders, was retiring at the end of the year after 29 years at our school.  What a send off for this amazing educator.

Equally confusing, is what will happen next.  Classes have been cancelled for the rest of the week.  Our educators are currently struggling to figure out how to resume classes for over six hundred students, grades kindergarten through 4th.

happinessAs this crazy day starts to come to a close, I am taking some time to reflect on my blessings today.  They are many and they keep pouring in.  So here are some of the top blessings I have found over the course of the day.

  1. My children are safe.  Actually, all the children are safe, as are the teachers, the staff, the firemen, the first responders… you name it.  We were blessed that this was not an even bigger tragedy which resulted in loss of life, limb, or innocence.
  2. We live in a strong, supportive community.  Today showed me the strength of the community in which I live. The fire at the school was fought by volunteer firefighters from several different communities.  Businesses were offering crews for clean up, starting book drives, giving discounts to help with donations.
  3. I have great friends and family.  I have never received so much love, support, and offers to help as I have today.  And it isn’t even me they are helping, it is my community.  Every few minutes someone new does or offers something which brings me to tears.  I have received offers to help with the local book drive from blogger besties in other states and my dirty book club members (also bloggers).  A friend of mine in Illinois is even donating 15% of her store’s sales on Saturday, May 11 to the school.  She isn’t from my community, has never been here but feels the need to give something to others. 

Now since I don’t want this blog post to get long and rambling, I will stop at three blessings.  However, I do recognize many more blessings before me and will keep saying a prayer of thanks for each and every one.  Although it is hard to remember, please do not wait for a special occasion to do the same in your life.


Interested in helping support the St. Croix Central Elementary School recovery? 

Here are some ways you can contribute:

SCC Library Book Drive

Agave Kitchen in Hudson, Wisconsin, has started a book drive to help restock the library.  The book drive will continue until the school tells them to stop.  We will be in need of books geared towards kindergarten through 4th grade, as well as reference books and periodicals.  Books can be dropped off at or mailed to:  Agave Kitchen, 501 2nd Street, Hudson, WI.  54016

Chapter2Books, also in Hudson, Wisconsin, has offered a 20% discount on all books purchased at their shop to be donated to the book drive.  You can purchase books at the store, located at 442 2nd St or over the phone by calling (715) 220-8818 (ask for Brian). 


Wear Did U Get That

Stephanie Ormsby, owner of Wear Did U Get That in Crystal Lake, Illinois, will be donating 15% of her store’s sales on Saturday, May 11th to SCC Elementary School.  Wear Did U Get That is located at 66 N, Williams St. in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Please call Stephanie at (815) 455-7500 with questions.



A huge thank  you to all businesses and individuals for supporting our community.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Thong Song.

This morning Littlest lifted up the back of my dress.  (It was super fun and empowering for me, by the way….)

Conversation following:

Littlest:  Mom, you aren’t wearing any underwear.  I can see your butt.

SJ&YP:  Mommy is wearing underpants.  See?  (Lifting up the side of my dress to show my undies)

Littlest:   Oh…..


Now, I could sense the confusion in her, as if I couldn’t see it on her face.  Littlest, who has seen me in my undies a thousand times, has never registered the fact that Mommy wears a thong.  Now, how do you explain what a thong is to a four year old?  In my head, this conversation ends with Littlest hiking her Hello Kitty undies up her butt crack and announcing to the entire daycare that she wears her undies like her mother.  Yup, super fun.  I can see it now.

There are some things you are just not prepared for with motherhood.  Most of them relate to sex or weird body things.  I never thought my selection of underpants would be included in this category.  Maybe I should have know.  The first time that my kidlets decided to humiliate me was in the frozen foods section of Trader Joes, when they lifted my  skirt up and flashed my rear to the entire aisle.  This should have been my warning that a wearing a thong with small children was  a bad idea.  Thankfully, that day the aisle was filled with women who were most likely moms, based on their “oh that sucks” responses.

So now what?  How do you explain a thong to a kid?  Why does Mommy like to wear such strange and seemingly uncomfortable undies (which in reality are not bad at all)?  I have no clue.  I don’t think I ever will.  Let me know if you have any suggestions on this one.  Seriously.

Now I have no idea how to add an appropriate picture to this post, I thought I might try something kind of inappropriate.  Since this song has always made me giggle, here you go.  Enjoy.  Again, let me know if you have any ideas how to handle this one.


I would add the link for “Top Mommy Blogs” but it just seems wrong….

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Don’t Roll in the Doritos – A Guide to Self Tanner Success

Many years ago, I worshiped the sun.  I spent my summers at the beach, frying my delicate skin to a dark crisp.  I recall using items like baby oil to get myself even more tan.  Now that I am older, I am starting to fight that never ending battle against aging.  My biggest fear is getting those deep-set wrinkles that don’t ever go away.  Unfortunately, I am white.  I don’t mean porcelain, pretty French girl white.  I mean hospice patient, hasn’t seen the sun ever white.  But that is not any secret.  If you have seen any photos of me on the blog lately you know this.  My real secret is that I never tan.  I am horrible at it.  I don’t turn a lovely brown shade, I turn a weird shade of red (yes, even non-sunburned).  So why bother?  I will just end up like a scarlet colored alligator handbag!

Like everyone else, I just want to look bronzed and healthy.  So how can I get there without becoming said handbag?  By using self tanner.  Now, there are a lot of ways to do this:  spray tan, air brushing or DIY lotions.  I have never had luck with the spray tans, always walking away with spots I missed blotting.  I love air brushing, but it can get pricey if you do it enough.  So, I find myself, summer after summer, rubbing on my own golden bronze color.  doritos

Now, I get a lot of questions about how I do it, since it is not easy at first. There is always the risk of turning orange or looking like someone who just stepped out of a Jersey Shore episode.   But after several years, I find myself bronzing with ease, not even having to think about the steps I take anymore.  Like anything else, practice makes perfect.  So here are my tips for being a successful self tanner.  I hope they make your self tanning journey golden. 

  • Don’t drink wine (or any other alcohol) first.  I learned this lesson the hard way.  Two years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to apply self tanner after enjoying a glass (or more) of wine.  It was not a good idea.  Thank God for maxi dresses, because I had streaks and hand prints all over my legs.  I was lucky my upper body remained mostly normal.  My co-workers thought it was hi-larious. Ok, it really was.  God bless the maxi-dress is all I am saying.
  • Do it at night.  Yes, most tanners say “Apply me and you can go on with your day in 15 minutes.”  I say “Shenanigans.”  Apply your tanner before bed, sleep in a long sleeved shirt with long sleeved pants you don’t care about getting junky.  Some of the tanner will rub off on them.  You will also see it running off your body in the shower the next morning.  Don’t freak out by the brown water.  Your tan is not washing away, just some of the extra residue. 
  • gloves Put on gloves.  Seems common sense right?  If you want to avoid orange palms, put on latex gloves.  You can purchase them super cheap at Target and one box will last a while.  I never suffer from discolored palms.  Second tip:  Put a small dollop of tanner on the back of one hand after removing the gloves and rub your hands together, getting between the fingers, etc.  Do not forget to occasionally bend your knuckles when rubbing to avoid weird white spots on your hands.
  • Moisturize.  A lot.  Again, seems common sense right?  If you want an uneven tan which rubs off in weird patches, skip moisturizing.  If you want a tan that lasts longer and is more even?  Moisturize.  Important note:  do not moisturize immediately prior to applying self tanner, except in dry areas you do not want to absorb too much tanner.  Examples of these places are the knees, elbows, and the back of your ankles.  Remember to use the lotion sparingly and just on the driest areas.
  • Exfoliate.  A lot.  This is a similar tip to the one above.  This helps your tan apply and fade more evenly.  I try to exfoliate a couple of times before applying my first coat of tanner and again a couple days after.  Some products I use for exfoliating are body scrubs, either homemade or store bought, a loofah, and a nail brush.  These will all come in handy before and after applying tanner. 
  • xentan Use high quality products.  I cannot stress this enough.  Use a good product.  Yes it will cost you some money, but this is one of the biggest things which makes a difference between rolling in Doritos and looking sun kissed.  High quality products will look bronze not orange.  The better self tanners will also wear off more evenly, in most cases without simply rubbing against your skin (like some Jergens products which shall not be named).  My favorite is Xen-Tan Dark Absolute Luxe.  It has a great olive undertone which avoids the Dorito color often seen in self tanners.  I have friends and family who swear by St. Tropez tanning products as well.
  • Practice follow up care.  Continue to exfoliate and moisturize.  This will help to ensure your tan fades evenly and smoothly, as well as makes reapplication a snap.  I usually wait a day or two after application to exfoliate again.  If you use a body scrub that moisturizes (like a homemade scrub with coconut oil), that is very helpful.
  • Bring in back up.  I am not a contortionist.  I cannot reach my back.  Hubby is my designated back up tanner.  He graciously dons the gloves and helps a wifey out.  I have also used friends and family to get my hard to reach places.  There are tips and tricks to getting your back done solo, but I don’t trust myself to be successful at that. 
  • Seriously, don’t drink wine first.  I cannot stress this enough.  Feel free to get crazy afterwards. 
  • Don’t let your kids catch you.  There is nothing worse than standing naked in your bathroom, wearing gloves, rubbing yourself down and having your child walk in on you.  I think Biggest may now be traumatized.  Either that or she is spending the rest of her night questioning my sanity.

Now go forth and bronze!



Friday, April 19, 2013

Behind the Scenes at Sundar Imports

Last night while playing dress up at Sundar Imports, I was lucky enough to take it one step further.   I actually got to sit down and have a long conversation with Becky, one of the founders of Sundar Imports, about their business.  Unfortunately, I was not able to meet with both founders, as Stefani was home with kidlets of her own. 

sundar7 Normally, I am not an interview person, but thankfully, Becky isn’t used to sitting down for interviews and we had wine.  During our actual interview, we covered a myriad of topics, whispered ominously into my cell phone while it recorded, created a SJ&YP radio ad, and generally got distracted by anything shiny in our line of sight.  Somehow, I managed to wrangle our conversation into a format in which you will possibly be able to follow.   I was amazed by their story and hope you will be too.

SJ&YP:  How did you get started with doing Sundar Imports? 

SI:  We found the frill pants, and we fell in love with them.  They were fair trade and that was kind of cool.  Over a bottle of wine, we thought “How cool would it be to sell these pants.  Would anyone buy them?”  We originally thought it would be trunk shows.  Then we started searching information about becoming a vendor for these pants from Nepal.  We had our launch party on Leap Day with only pants at Becky’s house.  Our friends would ask, “Do you have any tops?”  And we would say, “No, sorry, just pants.”  Friends were so supportive and telling us they would have a trunk show.  It just spiraled from there.

SJ&YP:  How does your current business align with your original vision?

SI:  When we started it was all fair trade.  But then we would find a cool product that was from Texas, for example, that was fairly made.  Then we became a fair trade/fairly made boutique.  We loved the made in the USA products.  Then we expanded to supporting local products.  So now we are a fair trade-fairly made ecoconcious boutique.  We don’t see it expanding beyond that.  The name Sundar Imports comes from the pants being made in Nepal.  We started searching Nepali names.  Sundar means “beautiful” in Nepali and we liked the idea of “beautiful imports” and that will not change.

SJ&YP:  What has surprised you the most?

sundar6 SI:  Probably the support.  From two girls who had forty of our best friends from one house to the next house, our budget was low and now we have a line out the door by our sixth sale. It is overwhelming to know people make plans to wait outside!  And people are so understanding that sometimes the lines are long, we might make mistakes, there could be craziness, but people are still supporting that and supporting us.  It is also cool to build the relationships with the vendors knowing who is making the scarf or seeing a hand written card stating what made this possible for that woman to produce product.  There are stories behind it all and you are supporting women all over the world.  It is very powerful to support those women as well.

SJ&YP:  So where are you girls going in the future?

SI:  Million dollar question!  If you were to ask us a year ago, we would have said we would be in your living room with a trunk of pants.  We just kind of roll with it, taking it sale by sale.  We would love to have a traveling trunk show, having friends all over Wisconsin who are requesting it.  We get requests for a website, and that has been a fleeting thought too.  It is hard because we are two completely different personalities and this isn’t our fulltime job.  We say our vision was and is two girls with a brighter vision for making the world a little bit better. 

dreamer SJ&YP:  How do you pick the organizations you donate to and how did it become a part of your business model?

SI:  It might have been over a salad or a glass of wine that we thought “wouldn’t it be cool to have a sale and then donate things?”  We started question how do we give back. We love to highlight local non-profits that people might not know about. We research organizations the same way we research new product lines. Our first donation was Turning Point and that was found by researching local non-profits.  We will never forget the woman with Turning Point who said we might have people in the room who acted like they had never heard of them but had already been touched by Turning Point.  It was so powerful.  When we donated to the Hudson Food Shelf last December, they had no idea they were coming and couldn’t believe we were dropping the check off for them.  We don’t donate for the publicity so when we get it, it feels odd.   We are just happy to be giving money that is from not just us, but from everybody.

SJ&YP:  Everyday of your life, what gets you excited, motivates you, makes you happy?

SI:    Brown paper packages tied up with string (small town touches, like a note from the post office in my hometown), a sign from my daughter’s kindergarten class on birthday along with eighteen hugs,  my niece sitting in my lap while I blew out my birthday candles.  I think as you get older, it changes.  I just want to be with my family. I am very corny.  I love my husband.  Does he drive me bananas?  Yes, but he is a good guy!   (SJ&YP note:  According to Tyann, Becky’s bestie and a Sundar Imports staple, Becky is also born to bring joy to everyone everyday.  Even the Starbucks lady in town knows her order and she is amazed at how Becky spreads joy.)


So if you haven’t already, take some time to check out Sundar Imports

I know you will be glad you did. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Played Dress Up at Sundar Imports.

katespade Ok, when it it comes to fun, I am like a five year old.  There is nothing I love more than a good game of dress up.  This is one of the reasons I love working where I do.  I get to dress up all day long.  Now, one of the perks of being a blogger is begging for favors.  Since a new Sundar Imports pop up shop was looming this weekend, I begged for an early admission.  Thankfully, the ladies were feeling generous towards a nut like me and let me in early for a sneak peek.  Score! 

Now, this time around, the girls at Sundar Imports have all the favorites from past shops.  They will be bringing back the frill pants and frill hoodie, which they are now famous for.  However, there is a whole slew of new products which I am massively excited about.  This time around, the girls at Sundar will be featuring lots of new lines like LaLa Red, Thread for Thought, and Andean Collection, some of which you may find at several other large retailers, such as Nordstrom, Antrhopologie and Garnet Hill.  Um…..hello, fabulousness!

Originally, my plan was to go to Sundar and have the girls model a few outfits for me, keeping myself off the camera. Naturally, once I got there (and the wine came out) plans changed.  I let the girls convince me to try the clothes on for the camera.  After a couple glasses of cabernet, it wasn’t hard to do, even with my lack of self tanner (it is coming soon!) or my favorite pair of leg lengthening wedges.  So here are a few of the newest jems from Sundar Imports for a sneak peek at this weekend’s pop up shop!


Outfit 1:  I loved this dress.  What the photo does not show is the color blocking on the back.  It was a toss up to show that or the cute pleating in the front.  The dress itself was uber comfy and I felt very put together in it.  All I was missing was a great pair of wedges to add to my look!

Dress by Greenola

Izzy Necklace by Andean Collection

Riven Bracelet by Andean Collection

Talin Bracelet by Andean Collection 



Outfit 2:  When I threw on the cute hi-low dress (which came in a maxi version too!), I was in love.  It was super comfy, which is always a win for me, but also very pulled together.  I loved the inner liner, keeping me from feeling exposed.  All I needed was a great denim jacket and nude flats to hit Target for running errands or drinks with my girls.  Well, that and it to not be snowing right now….

Shore By Dress by Thread for Thought

Floral Tote by Mar Ysol

Rosette Headband by Maddie Rae of Light

Convertible Scarf by Foat Design



Outfit 3:   OK, This photo might not even do justice to this dress.  It was amazing!  My scary places were well camouflaged, the dress hit a a great place on my leg (yay, no hemming!), and the shape really maximized my figure, curves and all.  I kinda felt hot.  Just a little bit…..

Tier Dress by Synergy

Acai Bead Necklace by Andean Collection

Stoney Bead Bracelet by Global Mamas

Agra Bangle by Mata

Recycled Paper Necklace by 31 Bits


So if you are in the local  Hudson, Wisconsin area this weekend, stop by 226 Locust street to check out all the goodies from Sundar Imports.  Trust me, you will be glad you did. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How I Met Your Father.

anniversary Nine years ago today, I got married.  Can you believe it?  I know you are asking yourself, “Was she a child bride?  She can’t be more than 25 years old!”  Well, it is true, Hubby and I are celebrating nine years of wedded bliss today.  (Cue the “awwwwwwwww” sounds now).  Honestly, I am shocked that he has put up with me and my shenanigans for as long as he has.  The man has the patience of a saint.  It has to have gotten even crazier since we had Biggest and Littlest, who are usually smaller versions of me.

I occasionally mention snippets about Hubby in the blog.  I don’t talk about him overly much, mostly because he actually reads the blog and I don’t want to tick him off too much.  Well, this is one time I am going to take that risk, because I think we are in need of some advice.  Someday, when our kidlets get older, they are going to ask one or both of us the question, “How did you guys meet?” and I am not sure how we are going to answer that.  I don’t think I come off well in that story.

Flashback thirteen years ago.  A younger version of me was on a trip to Las Vegas with a few friends.  I think I was looking pretty good in my Betsy Johnson cropped top and khaki cargo miniskirt that night. Again, it was thirteen years ago, so don’t judge.  And yes, I was able to pull that look off a long time ago.  Very long time ago.  Pre-kids, pre-thirties, pre-everything.  Now imagine me, having a good time, doing what I do best…..dancing on a speaker at a club in Vegas.  Yes, I was on top of a speaker.  Again, pre-kids, pre-thirties…you get the point.  So I am on the speaker, having a good time, shaking my rear, when the crowd suddenly parts.  Through the parted crowd, I spot this guy at the bar.  He is pretty hot.  I think I should go meet him.  So I get off my speaker and march on over to the hottie.  I grab his arm and he turns and looks at me.  I have no clue what I am going to say so all that comes out of my mouth is “How you doin’?” in true Joey Tribiani style.  Thank God it worked.  That could have been embarrassing.  Four years later, we were married.  Not in Las Vegas, just sayin’.

Now, it was humbling enough to tell our grandmothers how we met.  Actually, I don’t think my grandma (GG) was surprised.  She was probably proud.  But it is a heck of a story to impress your in-laws.  Makes a great first impression, doesn’t it? 

Now that being said, how I am going to to share this story with my two daughters someday, while instilling a sense of values and decency in them?  The only redeeming things from this story is the fact that cell phone cameras and social media were still fairly underutilized at the time or I would be never living that night down, especially in pictures on the internet.  Maybe I can work that angle with the kidlets?  Nah.  I think we will just avoid the question until they are old enough and cool enough to understand.

Happy anniversary, Hubby.  I love you! 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Quality Time.

biggestpart Like all moms who work outside the home, I suffer from the guilt of being away from the family.  I work three out of four Saturdays a month, sometimes work nights, and have a long(ish) commute, depending on the time of day I am driving.  I miss the time with Biggest and Littlest.  I would add Hubby in there but he stays up past 7:00 pm most nights, so we can usually connect.  Since I have been sick for the past couple of weeks, I thought it would be important on my weekend off from work to spend some quality time with the kidlets.  Poor things have been stuck with Hubby (maybe I should reverse that?!) while I have been hiding in my bedroom under the covers, trying to avoid breathing the plague on my loving family. 

Yesterday may have been a bit of a flop at quality time, but I still managed to get the kids out for some errands with me.  Now to most adults, going to Trader Joe’s and Target may not seem like the most exciting morning but to a 4 and 5 year old, it is pretty darn sweet, especially when Mom caves in and buys Lunchables to eat for lunch.  In my defense, I was still feeling like crap and didn’t want to cook.  They had a healthy dinner though.  Of course, it was cooked by Hubby….

So today, I had a plan.  Earlier in the week, Cuz (the cousin who works at Sephora, I may have mentioned her a time or two?!) and I agreed to get Biggest and Littlest together with her son, who I shall affectionately refer to as A-Man.  We had a plan.  We were going to go bowling with the kids, to burn energy and have some fun.  When this morning came around, we had formed an even better plan, we were going for bowling and burgers at The Nook.  For those who aren’t local, The Nook is one of the best places in town for a burger and fries, especially if you are a Juicy Lucy fan like myself.   What adds to the excitement is that The Nook has a small bowling alley in the basement. 

So at 11:30 this morning, me, Biggest, Littlest, Cuz and A-Man met up in the basement of The Nook.  We had great timing, since the place was just starting to fill up with families.  We hurriedly ordered our burgers and fries to nosh on so we could get out on the lanes before they were full.  Thankfully, Cuz had the forethought to put our names on the list.  I have never seen three kids eat so well or so fast.  It is like they knew they were on a mission.  Or it could be the burgers are really that good.  qt4After lunch, we headed over to our bumper filled lane.  Yup, we had the bumpers.  What did you expect with two 5 year olds, a 4 year old, and two adults who can’t bowl to save their lives?  We needed those things!  Actually, we could have used a ramp but there was none to be found. So we started to bowl.  qt2 Do you know what it is like to watch a 4 year old try to push a six pound bowling ball down the lane?  It is like watching paint dry.  Slow and painful.  Just sayin’.  I love my kids but they are not coordinated bowlers.  God forbid, Cuz or I should try to help them speed the ball down the alley.   It is better for them to do it themselves and watch the ball roll back and forth between the bumpers like a bad pinball game moving at a glacial pace.  Actually, at one point the ball got stuck hallway down the alley and we had to have someone come roll it the rest of the way for us.  Yup.  That happened. And this all repeated for the 10 frames we played. qt3 But that was not the worst thing.  You know what is the worst?  When you are beaten at bowling, with bumpers, by two five year olds and another adult.  Yup.  That happened too.  I lost to everyone but Littlest.  I am not a good bowler.  The only strike I got I threw between my legs.  Biggest and A-Man were picking up spares and A-Man also got a strike.  I was also taunted by Cuz for hitting the bumpers almost every throw.  Um…..dude.  So did you, Cuz, so did you….

In the end, Biggest and Littlest finally got some fun quality time with me after a couple of weeks of missing me.  We were silly, we were loud, we just plain had fun.   They got the quality time they were craving.   I guess that is all that matters when all is said and done. 


SJ&YP note:  Littlest is not mad in the picture. 

She just was being a stink pants and refusing to smile. 

I don’t know where she gets this stuff from….




Thursday, April 11, 2013

Growing Older…..

The other day at work one of the best songs ever came on.  It was Pump Up  the Volume by MARRS.  I was ready to bust out my junior high dance moves, which naturally, I did.  What struck me as odd was the 20 year old I was working with at the time didn’t seem to know most of my moves.  He was perplexed that anyone could ever dance like that in public on purpose.  Doesn’t he realize how cool it was in the late 80’s and early 90’s?

I don’t want to admit it but lately I am realizing my age.  It is true, I am not 16 any more.  Hell, I am not even 26 anymore.  I have to face it, the things I knew from my youth are no more.  Much like generations before me, I am forced to face the fact that young people will start to look at me strangely for going into detail about things we did in our youth, like making up dance routines on our battery operated boom boxes at recess or trying to shot that God damned dog while playing Duck Hunt on the Nintendo (which I always had to play at my friend’s houses because I wasn’t allowed to have one).  Gone are the days when   I must get used to being met with blank stares when I talk about awesome movie/song/toy/whatever references from days of old.  Here is a list of things which have made me realize I not a youngin’ anymore:

  • I know what a card catalog is and have used one.  Do kids even have these anymore?   Will the classic library scene from Ghostbusters confuse the hell out of our kids in the future? cardcatalog
  • At one point in time, I had a large selection of the clothing line Multiples in my closet. And a pair of Zubaz (the zebra print ones) which I wore with a black T shirt, rolled the bottoms and donned a felt hat.  Oh yeah, I was stylin’.
  • I also used to tight roll or pin my pants.  I like to cling to the idea that it was the original skinny jean, so I was just ahead of my time.
  • I had a pager. Yup, I was cool.
  • I learned how to write cursive in elementary school. Apparently, this is becoming a lost art.
  • I have made mixed tapes by recording songs off the radio.  The trick was, start recording after the DJ stopped talking but before he started up again at the end.  Those guys always managed to ruin the best songs…  usedtoknow
  • Some of the movies I saw in the theater:  ET, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Big, Return of the Jedi, Muppets Take Manhattan. 
  • Email was still a relatively new concept when I was a freshman in college.
  • I remember when the first Sweet Valley High and Babysitter’s Club books were released (plus The Fabulous Five, Sweet Valley Twins, you name it). svh
  • My first cell phone was huge.  It held phone numbers, had a few basic ringtones, and I could play the game “Snake” on it.  That was all it did. I managed to survive.
  • I used to record TV shows on a VCR. It was a bummer if you accidentally recorded over something.  It was a bonus if you knew how to record on one channel and watch another.
  • Saturday mornings were the time for cartoons. They were not educational.  They were Kid Video, Gummi Bears, Smurfs, Dungeons and Dragons, Muppet Babies!cartoons
  • I don’t think I was ever put in a carseat or a booster seat.  Not sure what they did when I was a baby…..could explain a lot.
  • MTV played music videos.  You were only distracted (and slightly annoyed) when Kurt Loder did a brief news break every now and then.
  • My hair scrunchie (which was probably on my wrist, not in my hair) matched not only my shirt and pants, but also my socks.
  • Some phones had dials, not buttons.
  • We had the original Barbie Town House.  It was made of cardboard. townhouse
  • TGIF used to be something you watched on ABC on Friday nights.
  • My penny loafers actually had pennies in them. So did my Kangaroos. I also kept all my LA Gear key chains and buttons.
  • Cassette tapes I possessed:  Vanilla Ice, New Kids on the Block (both New Kids on the Block and Hangin’ Tough), Paula Abdul, a vast array of Madonna albums, Milli Vanilli.
  • I used to watch the NKOTB VHS tape, Hangin’ Tough, repeatedly.  It was awesome! hangingtough
  • I remember Mayor McCheese, Fry Guys, and the Hamburgler.   I even remember when they launched the Chicken McNugget.  I still have the figurine somewhere.
  • We had the original Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and My Little Ponies. 
  • I still have my Pound Puppies, including the ones you could buy at Hardees. 
  • I know who shot JR.

Younger generations, like Biggest and Littlest’s, you may laugh at these ideas now.  You may think you are so cool and advanced, that you will never be old and cling to your memories of times when nobody had an iPhone.  Just wait.  Someday, the iPhone will be outdated, you will be the only person who knows how to text, what Facebook is, and who Dora the Explorer was.  Then you will know how I am feeling right now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hello, Rosie!

Last week I watched a vlog from one of my new favorite bloggers, Kandee Johnson.  If you haven’t checked her out, I highly recommend it, both of her blogs are amazing.  She was rocking a new do, bleach blonde and short (sound familiar?), and was talking about her hair change and general acceptance of others personal style choices.  Sounds pretty cool, right?  Well, it absolutely was.  However, part of the way through it, I kept getting distracted by her hair and makeup!  Kandee was rocking a bandana in her hair with a adorbs cat eye and bold lips.  Um, yes please.  I just had to try it.

After a few attempts and a YouTube video later, I was able to master the bandana in my own hair. Even better, I mastered it for wear in public, not just around the house to cover up my frinkly morning just-liked-by-a-ninja-cow ‘do.  If you are wondering why this was such a victory, hair is one area I lack talent.  My poor kidlets are screwed if they ever want more than a basic braid, piggys, or a ponytail. Now, if they want to learn how to do a cat-eye or smokey eye?  That I can do.

So this morning while getting ready for work, I was feeling spicy and anxious to try out my new (borrowed) idea.  I was feeling like a bad ass Rosie the Riveter all day long.  Of course, no day is complete at work with out new clothes coming in for me to drool over and be inspired by.  You can imagine, today was no exception.  When a new striped jacket appeared at the store, I was absolutely in love.  I quickly shed my green Prairie Underground hoodie (for those who know me and my love of my Prairies, this is not something easy for me to do) and donned the new jacket, making the old outfit look kind of sad.  Sorry ‘bout it, Prairie.  I still love you though.  The fit of the ponte jacket was amaze-balls, giving my shapeless waist a shape!   Who would have thought it was possible?  Plus, I was loving the fun vintage feel to the outfit, the hair and the makeup.

Now if only Hubby would take me off the spending hiatus.  I think I have been good long enough!

(No, the store logo in the photo was not intentional.  It was purely accidental.)
Shoes:  Dolce Vita
Bandana:  I don’t know.  Possibly Fleet Farm?
T-Shirt:  Madonna concert (similar here)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Don’t We All? – A Review of “I Just Want to Pee Alone”

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the chance to review a book written by a group of mom bloggers.  Not just any mom bloggers, but a bunch of mom bloggers most of whom I already loved and followed myself.  Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to do a review of that?  I threw my name in that hat as quickly as possible!  Thankfully, I acted quickly enough, scored a free copy and was ready to indulge.  peealone

When I first started reading the book, I was lounging in a hot bath, just relaxing.  Imagine Hubby’s surprise to hear giggles and snorts emerging from our bathroom.  I couldn’t help it.  From the start, I was relating to almost all the posts in the books. Over the course of the next week and a half (I am usually a fast reader but in my defense, I have been sick), I have  followed the journeys of these moms as they traveled through various stages of embarrassment, self realization, basically, real life as a mom with one or more kids.  In many cases it was like reading my own story.

So what will you get?  You name it, you will probably find it in here.  Sex, pregnancy, toddlers, nudity, bodily functions, breakdowns….it is like watching reality TV on MTV and TLC all at the same time.  Want to bond over the pressure of a 40th birthday party?  You got it.  Want to cry over the things no one told you about being pregnant?  You got it.  These moms will shoot straight from the hip about almost anything.

What did I love? These moms are real.  They are not holding anything back, just telling it like it is.  These women are putting their vulnerabilities on the table and that is something damned hard to do.  For any of us, blogging is a lot like standing in public naked.  What some of these ladies write about is like standing in Time Square naked while being displayed on a jumbo-tron doing a sassy little dance.  That takes guts.  The moms were sharing such authentic and real stories which hit so close to home,  I almost felt like I could have written some of them myself (although they would have been way less entertaining and eloquent).

What did I love not so much?  Everyone parents different and views thing differently.  There were a few stories where I was uncomfortable about the way some moms were portrayed by others.  I will not get specific, since everyone has their own views of motherhood but a couple did not line up with some of my own personal opinions of what makes a successful mom or happy family.  But you know what they say, opinions are like……well….you know….

What is the bottom line?  Seriously, go buy the book.  Read it.  Love it.  I know you will not regret it.


Want to buy your very own copy of “I Just Want to Pee Alone”?  Here you go!



APPLE - Buy it at iTunes.

NOOK - B&N is taking its sweet time. In the meantime, you can get it from Smashwords. Just follow the instructions for NOOK. CLICK HERE.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mom Gets Sick.

It is bound to happen.  No one can escape it, not matter how hard you try.  Eventually, you are going to get sick.  Thankfully, it is rare for me.  Before kids I almost never got sick.  Even after we made the cutest little plague incubators in the world, I still rarely get sick.  Sounds great right?  Sure, except when I actually do get sick, I get sick.  Knock you on your ass sick.  World is about to end sick.

Of course, this past week has been no exception.  Last Friday at work, my throat started to hurt.  Naturally, I ignored it. At work on Saturday, I thought my head was going to fall off my shoulders and my throat killed.  After work on Saturday, I accepted the fact I felt like crap.  So I went straight to bed when I got home.  Hubby and kidlets understood.  By Easter morning, I felt marginally better.  If not, I would have some wine at Easter dinner and medicate my illness that way.  That always works right?  Monday, I still felt blah but it was Mommy-Biggest day.  We had things to do.  Again, by the end of Monday, I was getting back to feeling like crap.  So instead of going straight to bed, I wrote a new blog post (you’re welcome).  For the rest of the week, I pushed myself to get to work and back (speaking in what was described to me as a transvestite-smoking-a-pack-a-day-voice) and came home to crash.  By the end of the week, my sore throat/head cold/laryngitis had progressed to include a sinus infection.  Super.  Even now, more than a week later, I am still coughing and not 100% myself.  still-sick

On the bright side, I am surrounded by a great support system, lead by my Hubby. All week long, he has run the house, urged me to rest and relax, and taken charge of Biggest and Littlest.  He has brought me water, tucked me in, and even slept with Littlest when I coughed too much last night.  I don’t know how other moms do it if they don’t have a supportive husband.  Mine was a lifesaver.  The best part?  He will not hold it over my head when I am better or he wants something.  He just does it because he loves me.  Spoiled, much?  Yes, I think I am.

Sounds pretty perfect and easy, right?  Not at all.  All week I missed my kids and Hubby.  They were able to come in to give me quick smooches and snuggles, but mostly just gave me space (probably trying to avoid my germ-infested self).  Hubby and the kidlets got to hang out, play, giggle, have dinners together, while I slept, blew my nose and generally wallowed in my own misery. 

Today was no exception, being the first day without working to sleep it all off.  This afternoon, I forced myself out of bed to go play outside with the family.  I threw on a bandana, to cover the hair which was sticking up every which way, a sweatshirt and yoga pants and watched my girls ride bikes in the street.  We picked up dog poop (I should have went back to bed for that one) and the kidlets ran around like crazy.  I even rallied long enough to eat dinner with the fam.  Of course, immediately after dinner, I was ordered by Hubby to go back to bed.  He would probably not be happy to learn I am on the computer right now either.

This germ had better works its way out pretty damned quick.  Mom has a life to live.  And on that note, I am off to bed.  Again.




Want to make me feel better fast?  Click on the pic below to vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Preparation Must Begin.

It is that time of the year.  Temperatures are starting to rise.  You can now see the grass underneath the snow banks, creeping towards the sun.  We have started cracking windows open occasionally to start freshening up the house.  And, of course, the biggest indicator of all…..the piles of dog poop starting to surface in our back yard as the snow begins to melt. 

It is at this time of year, I have to start thinking about spring preparations.  For some, this means getting their spring clothes out of the closet and packing away the winter sweaters.  For others, it is a time when they being to clean their house from top to bottom.  For most men, it is a time when the promise of projects in the yard and drinking beer in the driveway will soon commence.  For me, it is time to start getting myself ready for spring clothes. 

I am sure you are thinking I am referring to working out.  Sure, that will most likely be included, but not for the reasons you may think.  I am less than concerned about getting bikini ready.  That won’t happen.  Not without a tummy tuck.  I am talking about getting ready for shorts, sandals, dresses, etc.  To be honest, I cannot simply throw on these items willy-nilly.  I need time to prepare myself for this transition.  The time has now come.  So you are probably asking yourself, what the hell does she need to do that requires so much work?  Well here is my list:

  • dosomething Jiggle control.  Yup, I am the woman who pigs out all winter long.  Hey, I still fit into my skinny jeans and rock them.  But I do not think it is any coincidence that all the fattening holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter) fall during a time of year when we are typically bundling up under layer upon layer of sweater.  Someone knew what they were doing with that one.  Honestly, I like working out in warm weather better.  I can get outside with our fur babies and give them a workout too or take the kidlets for a bike ride while I walk or run alongside.  The bummer is, to get into a great pair of Joe’s Jeans distressed shorts I bought on clearance at work, I need to tone up a little in the middle (where I carry all my weight).  And the thighs are looking thicker than normal too.  Nothing some effort and eating healthy can’t put a dent in.

(Fear not, I will not be posting every trip to Snap Fitness on facebook.  Then  you would know how often I go.  That would make me have to go more, which means I would be posting more and you would get annoyed.  So to save us all the effort, I have posted tonight’s first trip to the gym.  Unless something exciting happens, I will most likely keep future trips to myself, unless asked or unless a great blog post inspires me.)

  • Foot patrol.  I am a freak for feet.  Not in a foot fetish kind of way, mind you, but for a good looking set of tootsies.  I firmly believe that if a person is going to rock a sandal, take the few minutes in the shower to work a pumice stone across your heels.  In addition, it is not hard to slap some Vaseline or Aquafor on your feet, don a pair of socks and go to bed.  Takes about 2 minutes to do.  Of course, ladies, take a few minutes to slap a little polish on the toes.  You will feel better.  Your feet will look better.  Even Biggest and Littlest get on board with this idea.  Those two love a good pedicure, Biggest even got one to match mine tonight, construction cone orange!  How can you rock a pair of Dolce Vita wedges with frinkle feet?  I am just sayin’. pedicure
  • Hair removal.  I am fairly decent about shaving occasionally during the winter.  I try to hit that at least every other week on the legs (so as not to completely clog the razor) and once or twice a week under the arms (cut me some slack, I am a blondie).  The bikini area, however, gets ignored unless it is a special occasion where a bathing suit must be pulled out.  Now that warmer months are upon us, this hair removal regime must be stepped up a notch.  Under arms will be done every couple of days, legs twice a week or so.  Bikini area…..still up for debate.  It will get done eventually…. shavelegs
  • pasty Pasty skin elimination.  This is a big one for me.  I am fair skinned.  I don’t mean pretty porcelain skin.  I am pasty white.  My legs could glow in the dark right now.  Unfortunately for me, my skin is afraid of the sun.  I can’t tan.  I either burn and return to white or turn an odd pinkish-red color.  On the bright side, I am not a fan of tanning, in the sun or in a bed.  I put way to much work into my skin (thanks to my cousin at Sephora), to take the chance of turning into a leather hand bag.  My resource?  Self tanner, baby!  I love the stuff.  In the summer, I try to apply anywhere from one to three times per week.

I imagine at this point, other moms are starting to question why the hell I do this and where do I find the time.  The answers are simple.  Because I look and feel better and usually after the kids go to bed.  It is always about balancing things which make me me and being mom.  Plus, I think it is good for Biggest and Littlest to see that it is OK to take care of yourself to better take care of others.  Happy wife/mom, happy life, right?

So bring it on, Spring.  I will be ready for you.