Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kids say and do the darnedest things

I have a few funny short stories about my girls. I still smile to this day when I think of these stories.

My oldest daughter over at http://armywife-style.com
was quite the loud rambunctious child. She was always singing a song or running around the house. She had this big blow up crayon that she won at a fair. She used to run in circles with that crayon and sing "Carry a dumbo, carry a dumbo". Whatever that meant. Maybe she meant a jumbo? Lord only knows. I know she wasn't talking about her brother and sister because they weren't born yet. She also liked to sing a song she made up and just keep repeating the same thing over and over, "dinga donga keeko". She made up a new verse called "dinga donga dicka" and would alternate with that verse sometimes. She is the vulgarity queen so maybe it had some meaning? I still don't know to this day.

My oldest also used to like to dive bomb into the middle of our bed every night. Her room was directly across from ours. She would get a running start from the furthest wall in her room and just charge full steam ahead and just fling herself into the middle of our bed. I was always the mean one and would send her back to her room. Sometimes she would go, sometimes she wouldn't. I was mostly too tired to care. We bought a gate to put in her doorway. She learned to climb over it. She didn't have as much running room so she would toss herself into the bed. It was one habit I couldn't break her of. Good thing I was a light sleeper back then. When we lived in that house she shared a room with her sister who was in a crib. When her sister started to stand and would want out of the crib she would cry. If I sent my husband in to see what was wrong, the oldest would say "knock her down daddy, knock her down".

My middle daughter, we will call her the non-reader. She would never read a book unless it was forced on her. I think to this day, the only book she has ever actually read for pleasure was Harry Potter. I am not even sure she finished it. She was so unlike my oldest who always had her nose in a book. We were watching TV a few years back and a commercial came on for some type of medicine. It was listing out what the medicine may do to you in scrolling print across the TV. She looked at me and asked me what fatiguayed meant. She pronounced it just like that, fat-i-guayed. I said "you mean fatigued?" This was two years ago. Did I mention she is a now a senior in college? She always makes the deans list? It baffles my mind. Her limited vocabulary is a problem. I encourage you all to FORCE your children to read. It really makes a difference.

When my husband comes home from work he is always so chipper. When the kids were little he would come in and start talking to them. The non-reader was probably two or three years old at the time. She would listen to him him speak and then turn to my oldest and say "What did him said?" She would not directly ask him anything. Like he was speaking a foreign language. It was pretty comical. She did that for awhile.

"What did him said?" He must have said smile and she didn't understand.

My girls had one of those motorized barbie jeeps. Do you have any idea how many times the battery would run out when I would be way down the street? Do you know how heavy those are to lug?
My oldest was usually the driver. She would put the pedal all the way down and aim right for the curb. Her sister would usually be in the passenger seat. It is a wonder that their heads are still attached. She would hit that curb pretty hard and scream while she was aiming for it. I would be yelling "turn the wheel". She has never been that great of a driver. When I went to visit her in Washington, she would give me a heart attack every time we were on the highway. She would drive so close to those big logging trucks that I swear i could stick my tongue out the window and lick the bark off of the logs.

Where is the nearest curb?

I was on the Fourth of July Committee in my town for years. It is the biggest event our town does all year. Everyone in town usually makes an appearance.  It used to take place right in the center of town (not anymore). It was a three day event that featured rides, food and different little events. It was a fun time. They did karaoke in the afternoon. My girls wanted to do karaoke, so I had my husband bring them down in the afternoon. I worked in the booth all day and figured they were old enough and I was close enough that they could handle it.
It happened to be a really busy afternoon so I was stuck in the booth. The non-reader wanted to do a song so i told the vulgarity queen to take her up to the stage and help her pick one. After awhile of listening to bad songs, I happen to look up and there is the non-reader up on stage. Oh how cute! I cant wait to see how she does. I hear the first few notes of the music (I am like the rain man of music, I can hear a few notes and know exactly what song it is no matter what era or genre it comes from. It is a gift). I hear the music starting.....oh no....sweet baby Jesus.....My 7 year old is going to be singing "Like a virgin". Seeing that she is the non-reader, here is how it went down. Instead of it being "Like a virgin" she was singing it "Like a virggggginnn" and pronouncing the g like a short g and really drawing it out. I cant quite recall but I think dancing was involved too. I was mortified and laughing my head off all at once. I wonder if the people in town found it as amusing. That could have quite possibly been the longest three minutes of my life.  I should have known better than to let the vulgarity queen and the non-reader pick a song. Another lesson learned.

"How did I do mom?" (I can't believe i found an actual picture of this event but I am glad I have it)

Kids say and do the darnedest things don't they?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hi, my name is Laura and I am a Yankee Candle addict

I love Yankee Candle. I am obsessed with Yankee Candle. I always have at least 14 tarts in the drawer at any given time. If I get below that number I start to panic. I have tried many brands over the years and they are just not the same. When I light my tart warmer, my whole house smells good. The candles are great too. I have bought different brands that the candle smells great but once you light it, you can barely smell anything. That is not the case with Yankee Candle.

Christmas scents, cinnamon and pumpkin are my favorites. I do not like the flowery smelling ones at all. I burn the Christmas scented ones all year long.

I am in luck because right now all of the Christmas scented tarts are half off. I am working on stocking up as you can see here. I will still probably make a few more trips to get more before they are gone. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quality over quantity

I believe a good bag and a good pair of shoes make any outfit. I have built up quite a collection over the years.
My husband may complain but he created the monster. He bought me my first Gucci bag at 18. I was hooked. To this day he still contributes to my bag collection. He usually picks them out on his own. He has great taste (obviously). I still have that first bag and I am not even going to tell you how old it is. It is still in usable condition. When you buy quality, it lasts. I could have bought ten bags but I would not still have them. They would have fallen apart.
It may seem expensive but I believe in the long run it is not as expensive as having to constantly replace poorly made items. I also believe in buying something classic, especially when buying a higher ticket item. I definitely like to be different. I usually try to find something that nobody else has.
I am not going to lie, I have made a few blunders over the years. Things I thought i had to have. They now sit in my closet because I feel guilty throwing them away. Never buy on impulse. Always think about your purchase. It took me years to learn this.
This was definitely an impulse buy. A backpack? seriously what was I thinking? I bought this on vacation in South Beach when Mr. Versace was still alive. Sometime back in the 90's. His store was fabulous. I don't even know if it is still there. In my defense, I never carried it like an actual backpack. I slung it over one shoulder. Will this ever come back in style? I cant just throw it away. It you know me, I throw everything away. Not this though.

 These are Gucci, direct from the runway clogs.
I love the look of these clogs. Comfortable? not so much. I put them on, I take them off. I don't think I have ever actually worn them. They are so high your foot is on a slant. Definitely walk around in shoes and don't say "I can deal with it, they are so cute" If they hurt in the store, you are never going to wear them. 

Enough with the blunders. Here are some of the best things I have found.
This is probably my favorite find of all times. It is a Prada evening bag. Believe it or not, it is probably about 15 years old. I found this in Coconut Grove in Florida. Have you ever been shopping there? It is a great area ! I still use this bag to this day as an evening bag. It is classic. I can use this bag until I am a hundred. It will never go out of style. It still looks brand new. I do use the little cotton bags these bags typically come with to store it in.

This is the bag I am currently using. I want to say I have been using this probably for the past two years. It still looks brand new. I love this bag. It has tons of room! I cant believe i am not sick of it but I am not. My husband picked this out for me. He is good like that.

Another bag that was picked out by the husband. I love this bag and have not used it in awhile. I need to fix the handle on this. It is worn because I used it so much. They have a customer service center at Gucci that I can send it to for repairs. I have heard awful things about it so I am afraid to send it off. Has anyone had any experience with the repair center?  I am thinking maybe I should just find someone who works with leather.

Now that I am done writing this post I realize I haven't had a new bag in two years! If you are looking for me today I will probably be doing some online "research".  Happy shopping!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Some great finds from your local drugstore/big-box store

 Remember how i said I am better at trying to stick with things that work for me and not buying every new product I see? I lied. I think winter boredom has set in. I have become a shopaholic. Lord help me. I cant drive by a Walgreen's lately without going in. Ugh! Today you will find me on the couch with my blanket. If I go out it will only mean trouble. Maybe it is a good day for that lunch time happy hour?

So here are some great things I have found.

This could quite possibly be my most favorite find. It is better than anything I have ever bought from the beauty supply for volume. I am typically not a "mousse" girl. I do not like a lot of sticky products that weigh down my fine hair. I use this on my roots only. I get incredible volume and barely need to do the hairspray/tease routine. It is made by Schwarzkopf which is a pretty high end product . I would probably recommend anything from the got 2 b line just because Schwarzkopf is involved.

This is the hairspray. Again, another fantastic item. I still like Pureology hair spray the best.

I found this product at Walmart. I only curl the ends of my hair. I spray this in before the curling iron. It protects your hair. It is also a setting spray that makes your curl last. This is my second bottle so I am liking it.

Now onto some makeup finds.

This is Maybelline Line Stiletto. I usually just line my top lid with this. It is very easy to use. It looks like a felt tip pen. Virtually mistake free if you have a steady hand.

Maybelline Illegal Length Mascara. This is one of the newer mascara's with fibers in it. You need a lash separating brush for this. I find it can get a little clumpy. It gives great volume though. I am a mascara junkie. I have a lot of eye issues and probably replace my mascara every 3-4 weeks. I am always game to try something new.

I have been buying Maybelline Lash Stiletto for awhile. I always tend to go back to this one. I have been combining the mascara above with this mascara. This is a great mascara for length.
And last but not least.

Sonia Kashuk lip liner in petal. They sell this brand at Target. Her makeup line is always written up in magazines. I line and fill in my lips with this color then add a clear gloss. Preferably a plumping one. It is a very natural color.

I hope you get to try some of these items. I am sure I will have a new list soon. It is winter after all.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Its OK Thursday linkup

Its Ok Thursdays

Its ok.......

To not really know what you are doing on your blog when you are new to it

To reward yourself after sitting in the dentist's chair with a manicure after

To think your grand baby is the best thing since sliced bread

To have pajama day at least once a week

To love the fact that your team is playing in the Superbowl

To make sure your son has clean laundry even though he is almost 20

To take extra time getting ready because you are reading while drying your hair

To miss the carbs you are not eating

To age gracefully

To want your children back home after they leave the nest

To save for a rainy day

To start happy hour before 5:00

To do at least one nice thing for someone everyday

The perks of my job

If you have read my previous posts, you know i work in a spa one day a week. Seven hours total a week.
I went back to work this week after a few weeks off. I couldn't even finish my 7 hour shift. I called the girl who relieves me to see if she would come in early. I only asked her to come in an hour earlier. I am sure she would have come in even earlier if I asked. She is good like that. I am just lame. When it is quiet and there are no appointments and the phone is quiet, I find myself falling asleep sitting up. I think its the spa music. I don't like just sitting with nothing to do.

The last time I had my eyebrows done was a few months ago. Be careful what you wax/pluck when you are younger because it has a tendency to not grow back after awhile. I do not have the Greek gene that one of my children has. She could literally wax once a week. I can go a long time. On the day I worked I asked one of my favorite estheticians to wax me. She always takes care of me. She will do it early or at the end of her shift. I just bring the phone in the room with me. If i need to take care of my ahem "mustache" I will just bring the phone in the bathroom and do it myself. So on the day I work I get my waxing taken care of.

When the girls need to practice a new facial, microdermabrasion, etc. who do they ask? Me. Gee I guess I can make time for it. When my boss/friend is interviewing, sometimes she asks me do the interview. That means even more facials, massages, nails for me. I am not going to lie, sometimes they just are not good. I am always very honest in my assessments. I have had pedicures where I have had to go get a pedicure after the pedicure. It is just like the hairdressing profession. You are either good at it or you aren't. It has to come naturally. Personality also plays a big part in this profession. You have to have one.

I have also been known to tell a new hire that she needs to do a facial on me so that I can recommend her to clients. I really do want to see who I can match her up with. When first time clients call I can kind of feel them out and know who to put them with. So it is to her benefit.

We also get gratis. Every other month we get to pick a certain monetary amount of products. The spa I work at has its own product line of skin care and makeup. I try and pick new things so that I can tell a client about them. If I like something I can sell it. If I don't like it, I am not so good at it. I do love most of the products.

A few of my gratis items

I can take as much time off as I want. I think I took five weeks off when my daughter had her baby.
They are thinking of opening another spa. That would mean more hours. I am not sure if I am ready for that. They have spoiled me by only having me come in once a week. I will work whatever they want me to work though. If they need a day off here and there I do fill in. I also fill in for them the whole time they are on vacation.

My job gets me out of the house. Even if it is only one day. I get to interact with the public on a different level than at the mall or in my lonely little cul de sac. It is not always good, but for the most part it is. I have something to talk about other than the price of produce or the new boots I bought. I can wear some of my favorite dresses. I have also made many friends over the years.

When I work I treat it as if it were my own spa. It is a great place to work. I love my job. I get all of this for working just one day a week. Not bad right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My love of plants and fresh flowers

When i was probably ten years old I asked for a plant stand, some plants, plant tools and a watering can for my birthday. I don't know why. Ever since then I have had a love of plants.

The more difficult the species, the more I want it. Any time I see something unique, I buy it.

When we built our house, I had to have a green house window. I had many bonsai trees that I had collected over the years. After each child my husband would bring me a beautiful bonsai garden instead of flowers. I have had some beautiful ones over the years. For some reason after I put the bonsai trees in their new home, they all died. I may have neglected them a little. I was so busy setting up the house. I was very sad. Some of them I had had a long time. I have since replaced most of them. I have not mastered the pruning part of bonsais yet but I am working on it. You cannot just water a bonsai. You have to soak them in water that goes a little over the top of the container they are in. They also like their foliage to be misted. The water cannot be too cold. They are finicky like that.

My newest love is orchids. I have probably 5 of them right now. They are all in different stages of flowering. This is another finicky plant. It has to have the right light and air circulating around it.They also need orchid food. I find that is how they do the best. I move them around a lot depending on what stage of flowering they are in. This is the kind of plant that when I see one that is beautiful or a color that i don't already have, I have to have it. They are not a very good looking plant when they are not flowering. You have to cut off the shoot after it is done flowering so you are left with a few leaves.

This is the spot I usually put my orchids when they are getting ready to flower. Air circulates around it and it gets sun all afternoon. The light above it is on when the sun goes down so it gets constant light. This particular plant has flowered about 5 times for me. It has two shoots now. It looks like it will have lots of flowers.

I like to think I have a green thumb, but trust me I have killed many plants over the years. It is trial and error. I buy flowers and or a plant every week for myself when I go shopping. I deserve them right? I love to have flowering plants in the house, especially in winter. Plants also help the air quality in your home. They can always dress up a bare spot and add color to your home.

This is a hibiscus plant I had out on my deck all summer. It flowered every day. It has been dormant since I brought it inside.

To my surprise I found this bud. I hope it flowers all winter too.
My favorite flowers I would have to say are tulips. Maybe it is the promise of spring? I don't really know. I like to plant them outdoors too. I live in an area with a  high deer population  I think they like tulips as much as I do. I need to plant more this year. The deer have destroyed them.
I buy cut tulips as soon as I see them in the store. They are usually pretty seasonal here. I have a tip for keeping your tulips from flopping over the next day. Find the shiniest penny you can find and put it in the water. It prolongs the life of your cut flowers. I notice it helps in daffodils too.

                       I bought these yesterday. Had I not used the penny trick they would all be flopped over.

Remember to water your plants once a week. Don't forget to dust the leaves and get rid of dead foliage. Plant food is good probably once a month. You don't want to over do it. Flowers and plants add a bright spot to my life. How about you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A flash of genius

I don't know about everybody else but living in an area that gets snow, I always like to have a winter project or two lined up so I don't get bored. Winter in New England can be very long.
Last year my husband and I painted the upstairs rooms. It was a big project. We took it slow. Being almost empty nesters, what else do we have to do? I had never painted before. We usually always hire someone. My husband has painted before and is very good at it. He is a perfectionist when it comes to things like that. It was a fun project.

Yesterday while cleaning up I was looking into my living room. A room that to this day has never been used. It is a formal living room and we all tend to hang out in the family room. I never even finished decorating it because I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. I was always in search of the perfect tables but I never found them. So the room sits with just two couches and window treatments.

What a waste of space. What can I do with it? If I could sew I would turn it into a sewing room but I do not. I am lucky if I can sew on a button right. My daughter was in Girl Scouts and they used to get badges for every thing they did. I had the genius idea of super gluing her badges on her sash. Bad idea. They were hard as rocks. and would curl up on the ends. The Girl Scout troop leader took pity on me and would not even send the badges home anymore. She would just sew them on so that they were not put on with super glue. The mother of the year title did not go to me that year. I wonder why?
I could make it a craft room but those days are over. I still do the occasional craft but I am just not into it as much as I was when my kids were little.
I kept trying to think....what do I do the most ? Then it hit me, turn it into a happy hour room! Yes, I like my wine. My friend and I do happy hour at least once a week. There was a time that I am ashamed to say, we had happy hour ALL of the time.
I want it to be a cozy and girly space. I made the mistake of telling my husband I am going to make it girly. I don't think he was crazy about the idea of a girly room. He did like my concept of having a nice place for happy hour though. I think he was thinking pink bows and ruffles. That is not what I mean. I want it to have a feminine touch but not so girly it scares guys away. I think I want to do a wine themed room but I am not sure how original that would be. That's just one thought.

This is what I have to work with.

I would like some opinions and maybe suggestions. Does anyone have any other interesting decorating schemes or ideas for me? Does anyone know of unique places online, or of any stores that carry unique items? I would like to start as soon as possible. The wine is chilling.

Monday, January 23, 2012

We won!

AFC Champs! After a nail biting win of 23-20, we will be in the Superbowl with the NY Giants. It is like deja vu but the outcome will be different this time.
I didn't have my Patriots underwear on yesterday and I am thinking that is why the game was so tense.
I will not make that mistake twice.
It is my work day so I will be back to my regular posting during the week. If it is slow maybe I can write a post or two. I hope it's not too slow because that makes me want to poke my eyes out.
Have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

AFC Championship

It is Sunday during football season so lets see, what will I be talking about?

  Today we are playing for the AFC Championship title.
The New England Patriots vs. The Baltimore Ravens

The only day of the week you can snack with abandon while watching the games.

My mom sent the baby a box of clothes for her Birthday. I am so glad she added this new sweatshirt for her. The baby has been carrying it around like her blankie all week, much to her father's chagrin. She loves the patriots too. She better be wearing her new sweatshirt today. I am superstitious like that.

I was in enemy territory all of last week while visiting my daughter. It was pretty comical watching their perspective of the game on the news every day. I usually only get to see ours. I am not lying when I say it made me mad. The old sea hag who said "Tom Brady needs to take off his skirt and get hit like a real quarterback" made me the maddest. I wanted to come home and hear how we are the greatest.

Bear with me, I will only have one more post about football when we are in the Superbowl. This is the last game before the Superbowl. A very important game. I am excited to watch but sad it will be over.


 The Ravens after the game

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sad but happy

Today is the last day at my daughters. It is bittersweet for me. I am always sad the day I have to leave. I love spending time with her, her husband and of course my favorite baby.
I have had so much fun with my grand baby! She is developing her own personality and it is a cute one. She is so funny and giggly. She has changed so much since they have been at my house for Christmas. She has been very cuddly with her Mimi which melted my heart.

I love coming here and not stressing about anything. My daughter is very laid back and not as neurotic as I am. I am glad she did not inherit that trait. When I used to visit i would  act like I did when I was at home and run around her house picking up after everyone.This time I ignored it. I let things go. It was very relaxing. I still get homesick though. As much as I love being with them, I miss my home.
The things I miss from home are of course my Husband. Being able to just get in my car and go. I miss my favorite slippers (I wouldn't bring them because of the dogs) and my favorite blankets. I have one for the couch and one for my bed. They are fuzzy with satin piping. I am an infant I know. At least I admit it.
I also miss running my washer and dishwasher. I miss being able to nap whenever I feel like it. I am sure there are other things but these are the things I miss the most.

When I get back home I will just have to exist off of phone calls and occasional skyping. I will come to visit in a few months. Maybe my daughter will come out before then. I can't go more than a few months though. I will miss all of them. Dogs excluded.

Friday, January 20, 2012

You can pick your friends but you can't pick your neighbors

We built our house in 1993. It was a new neighborhood. There were a lot of kids. It was a young neighborhood. There were a lot of kids that were close in age to my kids.

We had a party for everything. There were block parties once a year. Almost every house had a Christmas party, including myself. There were summer time barbecues, country and western parties (weird for our area) and Birthday parties. The whole neighborhood was invited to most of these events. We socialized a lot. As the years passed and the kids got older, the parties ceased. We all broke off into different groups. There were only about two other women that I had something in common with (we wore lipstick and heels). To this day, one of these two women is one of my dearest friends. The other one moved away and got divorced. Some of my neighbors down the road I have not seen in over five years. I probably wouldn't recognize them if I saw them. We are from a really small town but that is just how our town is. I find it very odd.

My next door neighbors are oddballs. When we first moved in, we were very friendly with them. We would all go out together. They were much older than me. Their kids were probably the oldest in the neighborhood.
I found out that every year they went to a nudist colony on vacation. It would be fine I guess if it was just them but they took their kids. Really? No kid needs to see that. You know the stereotype of nudist colony participants? People that shouldn't be taking their clothes off in public.
The husband was a very small skinny man with the biggest Adam's apple I have ever seen. I always got a weird vibe from him. I would watch my girls walking to the bus stop and if he was leaving for work he would drive along beside them and talk to them. Something you would see in a Lifetime movie. I warned them to NEVER get in the car with him. He used to offer all of the time. He was socially awkward and the kind of man with a perma grin. I didn't trust him.
In the summer months he would walk around his yard in a speedo. They had a landscaping service but he would water his shrubs. He would turn so that his back would be facing the street and take his speedo and pull it up into the crack of his bum .Who needs to see your old man ass cheeks hanging out? Save it for your nudist colony friends. I haven't spoken to these people in years and rarely see them. Its a quiet street. Did I mention this man is a Dentist? How would you like to be put under and have him in charge? I shudder at the thought. They are nut bags.

The neighbor that lived diagonal to me had three girls. They have since moved. They were constantly at my house. They would ring my doorbell ten times a day. I don't know if it was because they liked us or their mother was trying to get rid of them. I didn't mind at first, but after awhile it got annoying. Holidays, school vacation, it didn't matter.
It was Memorial Day weekend. My husband and my brother in law and I were just sitting out in chairs on the driveway because the sun moves in that direction. We were trying to enjoy some nice weather. I want to say it was the Sunday of that weekend. The girls from next door had been at my houses since Friday. They may as well have moved in. My brother in law had a box of Cheeze-its in his hand and was eating them. One of the little girls just came over and stuck her hand in the box while my brother in law had it in his hands. That's how comfortable they were at my house.
The movie The Lion King had just come out and they were very excited to see it. They told me all about it when they were ringing my bell at 8:30 am that morning. Yes it was a Sunday. They would run back and forth from my house to their own and they must have been pestering their father. We actually instigated it a little because we needed a break from them so we sent them to their house to keep asking their parents when they were going to the movies. They came back to my house and said "My dad said if we ask him one more time when we were going to see The Lion King he wont take us".  It was about 4:00 and I had had my fill of entertaining the neighbors children so that she could do god knows what. My husband and brother in law had had their fill as well. I don't remember who said it but they told the oldest girl  "Go ask your dad what time you are going to see The Lion King". They ran off and came back crying "My Dad said we aren't going now because we asked him too many times".  I am not one to dash a kids dreams but It had been a day of fighting and pestering.
 I was always a softy and my punishments very rarely stuck. I would have ended up taking my kids anyway. I know that's bad but that's just me. They really didn't go to the movies that day. I would have felt to bad enforcing that kind of punishment. It was a little harsh. It also made me realize that the parents did send them to my house. They didn't want to be bothered with them.
I am definitely ready for a new house. My house is too big with too much maintenance. I would have moved years ago but the kids don't want us to move from their "home".  Right now for me, I am thinking the smaller the better (as long as my favorite baby has her own room). I have better things to do than to clean all day. Another thing keeping me from moving is getting stuck with more weird neighbors. At least I can ignore the ones that I have now and not feel bad about it. I did my time already.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A year ago today

A year ago today was a big life change for me. I became a grandmother. To this day I still can't believe it. I am not one to cry very often. I cried that day. It was probably one of the most joyous days for me.

My daughter lives across the country so I could not be there right away. I could have gone to visit before the baby was born and be there for the labor and delivery or I could wait and get to enjoy a whole month with the baby. I could barely contain myself after she was born. I had booked my tickets months in advance and had already changed them once when my daughter was a little late. I waited a week to let her settle in even though it killed me. She sent me a video clip of the baby in her car seat with the hiccups to tide me over. I am not exaggerating when I say I watched that video a thousand times. I would show anyone that would watch. I think the bag boy at the grocery store really enjoyed it.

Having three children myself, I knew what it would be like for her. I didn't want her to have to lift a finger. I just wanted her to enjoy her new little princess and to rest up. I cooked, cleaned and did all of the laundry.  I told my daughter I would let her take care of the baby. I would take care of the house (secretly I wanted to just hold the baby 24/7) I  didn't want her to feel like I was taking over. I also didn't want to be a burden. Being in her house for a month would be a long time. I was there to help. It was also a long trip and I knew a week or two wouldn't be enough. I didn't know how long it would be before I got out there again. It was so hard being so far away.

This was our first meeting. I got in late that night. I was so glad I got to see her right away. Look at how alert she is for a newborn.

I totally forgot how all consuming having a new baby in the house is. There were three adults there so I figured out a system. We would rotate shifts so that the same person didn't have to get up with the baby every night. I failed to realize that I would be up every night no matter what. I was sleeping on the couch in the living room and this is where here feedings took place. I didn't really mind. I wanted to enjoy every second of it. It went by in the blink of an eye really. I don't think I have ever been so exhausted but I have very fond memories of that time.

My daughters husband tends to be on the nervous side.The baby's bellybutton had still not fallen off . He was in changing her diaper and he was calling my daughter into the room frantically. "Where is her bellybutton?" It had fallen off and nobody knew where it went. It wasn't in her diaper. We looked frantically for it. I knew it wasn't that big of a deal but as first time parents they were nervous. We never did find the bellybutton. I did see her dog chewing on something and I swear to this day he still has part of it caught in his teeth. Her dog is a scavenger and drives me insane!
I also had to teach my daughter how to give the baby a bath. I told her to take the facecloth and gently squeeze out the excess water into the tub before she rinsed her hair.. She took the facecloth and just squeezed it over her head without squeezing out the excess. The baby must have thought it was a monsoon and started to cry. There are a lot of things to learn with a newborn.

It was very hard for me to leave when the time came. I call my daughter every day just so I can talk to the baby. Sometimes she babbles sometimes she doesn't. I just want her to know my voice. Hopefully when she is old enough, she will pick up the phone and call her Mimi everyday. I will do everything in my power to make sure she is happy. I love my Bean. I am very fortunate to have her in my life! Happy birthday to my beautiful little granddaughter!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A wonderful man

My father in law was a great guy. He came to this country when he was 7. He did everything for his family. Sometimes he went without so they would have a nice life. He had three boys and a wife that also lived a very nice life. I never got to meet my mother in law. She passed away when my husband was 18. To this day, that still makes me sad. I have heard so many stories about how great she was but never got to experience it first hand. They did a great job raising their children. They are all successful.

My Father in law on the right.

My father in law always treated me like a daughter. He always had great advice. He always had the best stories. He was very active and loved to be out and about. I am guessing that was to collect more stories for us. He could turn the most simple story into something great. I guess it is all in the way you tell it. He was hysterical. He was always helpful and was the kind of man that would do anything for anybody. Everybody knew who he was.

In his late sixties he decided to move to Florida. He would come and stay with my husband and I during the summer. During this time he met a woman in her forties. No it was not Love and it is too long of a story to get into now. They ended up getting married. It lasted about a year. She was not in it for the right reasons and wanted my father in law to move to Chicago. He didn't like the cold weather at all. I am glad he was stubborn and would not move. That would have been a disaster. He was heartbroken though.

About a year or two later he started to go downhill.  My brother in law called me and told me I need to go to Florida and take care of a situation. Did I mention I was the only girl in the family? Neither of my brother in laws were married at the time and they all had to work. I was home with my 2 daughters and pregnant with my third child. We were all concerned because he went out and bought three cars in one weekend. It was not like him. He was starting to act odd. He also had another 40 something year old on his heels who was trying to scam him. My mission was to go down there and take care of the situation and bring him back. It took about a week to wrap everything up. Yes I did call the 40 year old and tell her off and told her to never contact him. My father in law was mad at me. Again, so not like him. He started to become snappish at times.

I brought him to my house to live with us. He was very forgetful. We knew something was wrong. I had to do everything for him. It is very hard when someone you know and love used to be so active. We thought it might be Alzheimer's. We were bringing him in for testing

Every day I would set up the bathroom for him to take a bath. I would lay out his clothes and put a towel on top and fill the tub and make sure everything was within reach. I wasn't sure if he would remember how to use everything such as shampoo etc. I would talk to him and remind him what everything was for. I don't know if it worked or not because obviously I wasn't in there with him. I wonder if he ever did use the shampoo.

We set up a doctors appointment for him at a testing center. We were all going. My two brother in laws, my husband and myself. I made him his breakfast and went to get his bath ready. I was in a rush that day because we would be gone all day. I had a sitter and I had to get everything ready for the kids too.
My father in law seemed to be taking a long time in the bath. Longer than normal. He came out and everything looked fine. He had his shirt on the right way etc. We get to the testing site and they have us in a conference room. They take my father in law down the hall. He went to pull open a door and his pants fall down. Oh no I forgot a belt! What was even more alarming was the fact that he looked like he had black tights on. What the heck? My brother in laws are laughing. "Dad, what do you have on?" He said "I don't know." They were my leggings. I must have put them in his pile in my rush to get him ready. No wonder the poor guy took so long in the bathroom. He was wondering what the heck to do with them. I can only imagine how long it took him to get them on.

After his diagnosis of Alzheimer's he started to have mini strokes. He needed to go to a medical facility. I could no longer take care of him. I have to say, taking care of him was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Not just the physical work but the emotional toll it takes on you. Watching someone so vibrant and full of stories just deteriorate like that is devastating. He passed away years ago. We still remember him for his vibrancy not the illness that got him in the end.

My dad is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. He is on medication and I am hoping it helps. I know I am in for another bumpy ride.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Superbowl here we come!!!

I am dedicating today's post to my boys. The New England Patriots. I LOVE THE PATRIOTS!!!
We are in the playoffs tonight against the Broncos. For those of you who don't know the Broncos, if I said Tim Tebow would you know who I was talking about? The Patriots spanked them a few weeks ago so I am hoping that tonight they will do the same.
I am off to visit my daughter today and I will be able to watch the game on TV for a change when i am visiting her instead of the computer. It is a national game. I am sure I will be banished to my daughters room but that's OK. If the game wasn't national I would not have left to visit her until tomorrow. That's how much I love my football.
I will be bringing my Patriots gear and I hope my daughter has my granddaughter in the Patriots cheer leading outfit I bought her when they pick me up from the airport!

This was the first outfit I bought for her
As soon as she was born, her Mimi made sure she was a Patriots fan. Even though we were not in the Superbowl last year, I made sure she was dressed appropriately for the game. Isn't she the cutest? I cant wait to see her this afternoon.

Here she is in all of her cuteness. As soon as she outgrows her Patriots gear she will be getting something new.  Did I mention her dad gives me a hard time because he is from NY?

Its our year!


Friday, January 13, 2012

I detest grocery shopping

If I never had to go grocery shopping again, I would be happy. If my family would just eat rocks I would go with it. I have tried to send other family members to the grocery store and it just doesn't work out. They either forget something or strictly just get what is on the list. I need to go because there is always something i have forgotten to add to my list.

I am usually just shopping for three people. My husband, me and my son. My son is never home. He will always ask for things and then doesn't seem to eat or drink the things he asks for. He eats what I buy special for myself.
I rarely buy meat. I have a stock pile of chicken breast in the freezer. Me and my husband have been on diets for about a month. I am not buying junk. Why can't I leave the grocery store without spending $200.00 a week? I fill my cart and think good this is a light week. When I get to the register its always the same, $200.00 with what I think is an almost empty cart. My husband will ask "what did you buy for $200.00?" and being embarrassed about my bad shopping skills I will reply "This isn't the fifties you know".  Prices have increased and I am just a bad grocery shopper. I can't believe I am admitting this publicly.

This week I went shopping with my daughter who is in college. She took this opportunity to stock up for herself for when she goes back to school today. The two of us together are terrible grocery shoppers. The last time she was home, they had to turn the light on at the register and approve the check because it was over $400.00! I think the only meat we bought was a turkey. It is disgraceful I know. I just don't know how to be better at it.
This was my bill for this week. A little higher because of my daughter. When the cashier announced how much it would be, my daughter turned to me and said "That's not bad". Oh lord I have created a monster.

I also want to add that just because you are only going grocery shopping does not mean you don't have to get dressed. You are still out in public. Have some pride in yourself. Pajama bottoms might be cute if you are in middle school but to be middle aged.....not so much.
Manufacturers shouldn't even be allowed to make "Hello Kitty" pj bottoms in her size.

I also dislike the 3 foot man that works in the cleaning product aisle. My favorite aisle of course so I like to spend time there. Why does he always have to leer at me like he knows what i look like without my clothes? Talk about uncomfortable. I now rush through that aisle. My husband must be paying him.

Even though I dread the whole grocery shopping experience I can still smile. Maybe I am just smiling because I do not have to go back there for another week. Wait I don't have to go back for two weeks I will be at my daughters. Yeah!

If anyone has any feed back on how to shop better, I would greatly appreciate it. Couponing is not my strong suite. I don't even get the Sunday paper. Some of you I am sure have tricks up your sleeve.
If you could make the 3 foot man go away I would be your friend for life!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I love dark colors in the winter. I am sad when summer comes because I have to put the dark polish away. I usually do a french manicure on my hands and a dark polish on my toes. Every third manicure or so I will put a color on my hands. I have been alternating with these colors.

From Left to right they are: Black Cherry Chutney (this one is probably my favorite, I have been using this color for a few years), Lincoln Park After Midnight, Midnight In Moscow, William Tell Me About OPI.

I use this as a base coat. I have long, strong nails. They very rarely break. I do not typically wear gloves while cleaning.

I love this as a topcoat. It dries your nails pretty fast. Seche Vite is also a very good fast drying topcoat but sometimes I find it gets too thick.

This manicure will be 2 weeks old tomorrow. There is not one chip or crack. It is growing out from the bottom a little. I will go get a manicure tomorrow even though I don't really need one because I am going to be at my daughters for a week and I am sure it will not last that long.

The secret to a long lasting manicure is Sally Hansen Hard as Nails.
As soon as I get home from my manicure, I use a coat of this and make sure i go over the free edge (the tip) of the nail. I do not touch my nails again until my next manicure. My manicures typically last at least 2 weeks, sometimes more. I swear by this product. I find it definitely preserves your manicure. Try it next time you do your nails and let me know the results!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tales from the spa

Let me start out by saying that I love my job. I work one day a week at the front desk at a spa that is part of a franchise. I do step it up and work a full week when my boss's go on vacation or if they need time off here and there.

My friend and her husband bought this spa about 3 years ago and asked me to come work for them. At the time they needed a Nail Tech so that is what I did. We do everything but hair at our spa. About two months into my job there, my friend said to me, "Laura, you are too old to be scrubbing feet come work at the front desk".  So that is how I began my job at the desk.

The older people that come to our spa are our most colorful clients so I will start off with a few of their stories. I am going to change their names to protect the innocent. I have always had a soft spot for the elderly. I love their stories.

"Edna" comes to our spa every few weeks to wax her lip and chin. She is about 85 years old. Her makeup is always flawless, her hair is always done and she dresses beautifully. She has an awesome personality. She lives in assisted living down the street.

 I want to say it was either February or March, for those of you who live with snow, you know how dirty the snow gets at this time of year. We had had a storm over the weekend so it was a mess. The snowbanks were probably 5 feet high. I see "Edna" pull up and go out to help her in. I cant believe she has even shown up for her appointment. Her windows on her car are a mess and she is complaining about how she cannot see. She goes in for her wax and comes out and asks me if I can help her. I say sure. She hands me this can to spray on her windshield because she is out of windshield washer fluid. I don't read the can I just do what "Edna" tells me to do. She is in her car with the windshield wipers going and if its possible whatever is in this can has made her windshield worse. Before I hand her back the can i see it is WD 40. YIKES. I say " hold on "Edna" I am going in to get some Windex". "Edna" Is stubborn and says "no, no I can see". How can she see when I cant even see her in the car? She backs up and as I am walking back into the spa I hear a constant stream of honking. I am sick to my stomach that "Edna" is driving with that windshield. The next time "Edna" came to the spa she was assisted by a nurse and to this day has a nurse with her. "Edna" has not driven since that day. I can only imagine what happened.

The next woman "Eunice" is a first time client and I did not know her on the level I know "Edna."
"Eunice" is probably in her late seventies. She came in while I was still doing nails. She was going to be getting her first pedicure. She was adorable. She seemed a little nervous to be getting a pedicure so it was obvious she had never had one. Who doesn't love a pedicure? I wanted to make her comfortable so I explained what was involved. I turn to set up my station. I turn back around to tell her to get in the pedicure tub and she is already in the seat with her pants off and the towel from the foot rest is on her lap. "What are you doing?" I asked her. I was in shock and now I was nervous. Did I have an older perv on my hands? Usually I am a good judge of character. She told me she thought it was standard to take your pants off so they don't get wet. I laid a towel on the floor told her to get out and put her pants back on. I rolled her pants up for her and put her back in the pedicure tub. She said "oh this is much more comfortable." No wonder the woman had never gotten a pedicure. I hope "Eunice" has started to get pedicures on a regular basis.

My last story is not about someone old. Well in my mind not old. She was probably 40. She called early in the morning and wanted a full brazilian wax. I figured she knew what she was getting herself into because I usually get the question "What is the difference between a bikini, a brazilian bikini and a full brazilian." Let me just add that a full brazilian includes you on all fours and a pair of tweezers at the end.
The esthetician comes to get her and 10 minutes later I walk by the room and the esthetician and client are still talking with the door open. What is going on? I have the esthetician booked in 20 minutes and a brazilian typically takes a half hour. I go back to the desk and 5 minutes later the esthetician comes out and said she is asking her a million questions  "is it OK to go in the hot tub later?" , " Will I get infected?" I told her to tell her to hurry up and decide because you are going to be running late. If it were me, I would not have waited until the last minute if I was unsure how a hot tub would affect my "bareness". She decides to go through with it. She started to cry. Yes I said cry. Full blown crying. The esthetician asked her "You have never had children, have you?" (Did i mention this is one of my favorite estheticians). The woman said no. I could only imagine this woman in labor. I know its a little painful, but to cry? In all my years I have never seen anything like it.

I have many stories but I will save them for another day.
Do something nice for someone today no matter how small.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some of my favorites

I have been in the beauty industry for 20+ years. I have my license and can shop at any beauty supply. Do you know that most of your shampoos and conditioners at salons are marked up at least 50%? I have kept my license up all of these years just to be able to go to the beauty supply. It is worth it.

I used to be a beauty product junkie. I always had to have the latest product, both high end and low end. I will give you an example. When vamp nail polish first came out by Chanel I HAD to have it. I couldn't find it anywhere near me. I finally found it in Las Vegas and they could not ship it. While on vacation in Florida I found it and bought it in the three colors it came in. Two of the colors didn't even look good with my skin tone. Just another product that ended up in my kids bathroom or the trash.

I still love my beauty products but over the years have learned what works for me and tend to stick with it. I still like to try new things but i never have to HAVE anything. There is no magic potion or serum it is mostly genetics and how you take care of yourself.

I am going to share my favorite shampoo/conditioners with you. I have fine, wavy hair. I love volume.
If my hair is flat I am not going to have a good day. Maybe I should be living in Texas or Jersey. Here they are.

I absolutely love pureology and if that was the only shampoo/conditioner on the planet I would be happy. Smell is a little different. More like an organic product. The conditioner gives a little tingle. I have tried the volumizing but hydrate is the best. It is a sulfate free shampoo and great for any hair type. It is great for color treated hair. I usually buy the gallon of shampoo (I ran out and don't have a picture to show) and the big conditioner (middle of pic) I refill it into the smaller bottles. I bought them in January of last year. I just refilled my shampoo bottle and am out. I still have over a quarter of a bottle of the conditioner.. It has lasted me a year. I do alternate shampoos/conditioners but I use this one the most. I use probably a dime size. It is very concentrated. Definitely worth a splurge.

I love the smell of Victoria's secret So Sexy shampoo. It gives great volume. I stopped buying it because I thought it was stripping my color. I knew they had changed the formula, packaging and discontinued the one that was stripping my hair.  I figured I would try it after the changes. So far I really like it. I wouldn't recommend using it every day. Like I said it has a lot of fragrance and that is not good for the hair. I prefer the one for color treated. I am not a fan of the conditioners that go with these shampoo's. I don't feel like its moisturizing enough. I use Pureology or Neutrogena with them.

For drugstore/grocery store shampoo I like Organix cherry blossom ginseng shampoo. It smells nice too. It gives great volume and is sulfate free. I originally bought it when i was low on pureology and didn't have time to go to the beauty supply. I ended up really liking it and added it to my repertoire.  I also like Neutrogena triple renewal weightless conditioner. It conditions yet doesn't weigh hair down. I like to mix and match all of my shampoo's and conditioner's.

And last but not least. Deep conditioners. I wash my hair pretty much every day. I have that kind of hair that after I sleep my hair looks awful. Its the texture. I try to deep condition every week. I also try to use a hot oil treatment once a week. Definitely a must if you style your hair. If I am going to be sitting around the house I just wet the ends and put deep conditioner in and let it dry and put it in a bun and wash it out the next day. With fine hair sometimes it is best to deep condition before you shampoo. One of my favorites is Dove deep repairing mask. For a drugstore/grocery item, this works as well as any of the high end ones I have tried. I also like So Sexy Nourish for a deep condition just in the shower if I don't have time. It has a great smell to it and does not weigh hair down.

So there you have it. My favorites at this point. I will save styling products and leave in conditioners for another day. This post is long enough!  Enjoy your day!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Monday's are like Friday to me. It is the only day of the week I work. Every day is like a Friday except for Sunday. Sunday is always Sunday.
This is what my day consists of. Go to work. Come home. Pop open the wine, cosmo or whatever I happen to feel like. I mean it is Friday right? I get dinner ready to put in the oven. Pour another drink. Get on the phone with my daughter or mother sometimes both.We love our 3 way calling. Pour another drink. Rush to get dinner on the table before 8. Clean up and watch some tv. Fall asleep 5 minutes into a show. Work is exhausting and I have had a rough work week. I hope everyone has a great Monday!