Saturday, November 28, 2015

Live Ultimate Whole Sun Care Facial Sunscreen and Tinted Primer #Organic #LiveUltimate

I recently received  a full-size Live Ultimate Whole Sun Care Facial Sunscreen Tinted Primer to review. I don't usually use sunscreen in the fall and winter so I just recently tried some and I have to say I love it! I was afraid it would be too thick and would make my face feel like I had a bunch of makeup on or something but I don't feel it on at all! It feels nourishing and adds a burst of moisture to my dry, Midwest winter skin!

It has just a tiny bit of tint so it matched my face just fine. I can't wait to also try it out come summer when I am putting sunscreen on my 40-something face daily at the pool. Of course, I will also be breaking this out this winter when I go sledding with the kids or when we play outside!

Here are some of the great things I see about this product:

  • It contains astaxanthin and other powerful antioxidants that are especially great for aging skin like mine
  • It's all natural and mineral based
  • It's made with organic ingredients
  • Broad spectrum SPF 30
  • 21% Zinc Oxide
Check out their other products here on their Facebook page

Here's how you can purchase it! Update: April 24, 2016 used this product today on 9 people and a little goes a long way. The slight tint makes us all have a healthy glow in pictures but it doesn't look like some obnoxious fake tan :-)

P.S. I might make a small profit if you click the link and purchase. Just wanted to let you know!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

How to Have a Happy #Thanksgiving

1. Wake up and think of all the things you're grateful for.
2. Continue to think of all those things all day long, even if a family member makes you want to throw the gravy across the room.
3. Try to keep smiling and try not to stress eat..
4. When you are away from your family who may or may not annoy you, watch your favorite TV show or do your favorite hobby, like reading or scrapbooking or woodworking or WHATEVER. Try not to comfort eat.
5. Consider going for a walk after dinner.
6. Check out these awesome Thanksgiving crafts my kids made at their homeschool co-op.

Friday, November 20, 2015

How to Avoid a Sleepless Night

I love sleep. Who doesn't? But it's difficult to sleep well when your body is on a crappy mattress and your head and neck are on an even crappier pillow. To me, it's worth it to spend a little bit more for comfortable bedding, including mattress, pillow, and sheets because I spend roughly one-third of my life in bed! I need good sleep to be able to keep up with my busy lifestyle of homeschooling five kids and running several businesses, which include proofreading and writing, which really require my very best brain power and focus.

Something important you need to do that you might not be thinking about is ensure your mattress and pillows suit your sleeping style. Your sleeping style? That’s right! Think about these other factors, as well, when searching for a good night’s sleep:

  • Do you toss and turn or do you rest peacefully in one spot most of the night?
  • Do you prefer a hard or soft mattress?
  • Do you prefer one or two pillows? Flat or puffy? Feather or foam? When my kids were younger they didn’t want pillows at all. As they get older they always want one, and when they start to hit the tween years they insist on two pillows! My husband and I each use two pillows, and one of mine is a Tempur-Pedic that should probably have been replaced a long time ago!
  • Do you sleep alone or with your spouse? A Sleep Number bed might just be the answer if you and your spouse have differing opinions and tastes in mattresses.
  • Do you snore? Get a pillow that fits your neck well so that it’s more comfortable for you to sleep on your side, where you are less likely to sound like a freight train all night long!
  • Do you need a noise machine or fan to help you fall asleep?
  • When was the last time you changed your mattress?
  • What kind of sheets do you prefer? Super soft or anything goes? Maybe even flannel sheets in the wintertime might make you feel cozier and help you sleep better.

Better sleep tips:
·        Limit caffeine at bedtime, unless you are like me and are hardly affected by caffeine at all!
·        Stop smoking! Nicotine is a stimulant.
·        Avoid alcohol 2-3 hours before going to bed. Seems like a glass of wine would knock you out, right? But for most people it has the opposite effect, giving them the unwanted gift of restless sleep.
·        Know yourself. For some, exercising before bed helps them rest well, as it tires them out. For others, it gets them fired up.
·        If you just can’t destress but don’t want to become dependent on sleeping pills, consider taking the natural supplement of melatonin. You won’t wake up feeling groggy or hung over.
·        Make sure you go to the bathroom before going to sleep and also keep water near your bed so you don’t have to get all the way up out of bed if you get thirsty. You definitely want to be able to fall right back to sleep if you wake for any reason.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Lovely Candy Company Pre-Review

I'm so excited to the opportunity to sample and review six different candies from The Lovely Candy Company! Here is some information about the company. I love that it's gluten-free because then I can easily share with our gluten-free friends and neighbors. What great gifts!

The Lovely Candy Company makes premium, consciously crafted candies for consumers looking for indulgent treats which offer the best ingredients available. Lovely candies are all natural, certified gluten free, tested non-GMO, certified kosher and contain no high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. They have Chewy Caramels, Fudgee Rolls(think a better Tootsie Roll), Fruit Chews with real fruit pieces, and Gluten-Free Licorice. A great treat for you and a fantastic treat for the whole family. Live Life Lovely! Get your Lovely Candy for the Holidays TODAY! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

If My Kids Went to School ... (and Now They Go To Co-op!!!)

This is making the rounds about a mom who mixed up pajama day with picture day. And all I can think is, "Yeah, that might be me pulling something like that and I can see Samuel with these jammies and this put-out look on his face." Priceless!

**I originally posted this back in 2014 but had to share again today because it's co-op picture day so the kids are out of uniform for a day. I was thinking it would be funny to send them in pajamas. Just kidding! I wouldn't do it on PURPOSE for my own entertainment or anything like that!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#RoyalCelebration Recap Part Two #FriendlyBlueWalkingDead

PLEASE don't kill me for taking so long to post this! My mom is riding my case about it so here you go! You can thank her if you were waiting for part two! There were tons of pix to organize plus we were recovering from all this chaos and my proofreading jobs are going through the roof, which is great, but it messes with my blogging life!

Here is Part One of this saga, which started with us picking up our friends and heading to the Plaza to the shuttle. Think we are crazy to take 14 people to this situation, to include 10 kids? All I know is I wasn't going to be sitting on the couch while history was being made; that is NOT how my parents brought me up. My family was going to be a part of it and have a story to tell, even if it means that I have to put like $100 in each of my kids' Future Therapy Jars. Read my lips, all you haters griping about how people PARKED on the highway and how CROWDED it was: IT WAS WORTH IT TO ME AND TO MY HUSBAND. So here is the next part of our day!

The Metro! Woo Freaking Hoo! We were so relieved to get on that dang bus after waiting in line over 2 hours for it.

So The Metro dropped us off like inches away from where it picked us up. Just kidding. It took us from 47th and Pennsylvania to Main and Linwood. We could have walked that a LOT faster but we didn't know YET just how tough our kids were. Now we know. This is a photo of me trying to take a selfie and capture some of the crowd but it's a #fail. WAY MORE PEOPLE THAN THIS.

As we were walking toward Union Station for the rally, since we knew we had missed the parade, TONS of people were walking AWAY from Union Station. Yet still so many of us were walking TOWARD the rally, which just goes to show you how dedicated Kansas Citians were to being part of this event in any way at all.

Trying to capture history while moving a group of 14 through a crowd isn't the best idea I ever had.

Rather than have a view of the back of a bunch of heads, we bullied our way kindly down the hill until we were packed like sardines but had a view.

OUR VIEW!!!!!!

Here's a video of some of the event and of the crowd.

Here's a video of some of the ending fireworks.


Mass Exodus out of Dodge. Like a scene from Friendly Blue Walking Dead.
Bad Joke Alert: You know how we are so awesome because we didn't riot? It's because we are too LAZY to riot. Look at all this trash! Yes, the trash cans were overflowing but that's when you PACK YOUR TRASH OUT!

Photo courtesy of Jill Connors ... rather than wait another 2+ hours for a bus out of  Downtown, we just started walking. And walking. Our goal was to eat in Westport and we kept promising the kids we would stop SOON and eat. Instead we bought water from a vendor on the side of the road and Lamar's gave us FREE BLUE DONUTS!

Forget soon, kids. We walked our happy butts (part of the way without the guys because they ran ahead to get the van in Loose Park) all the way back to where we hit the shuttle earlier in the day. Then we tried to find SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE to eat in this town with no luck. I can only imagine what Jill and I looked like trekking through Plaza neighborhoods and Westport with 10 kids in tow. Let me tell you something, though: WE DID NOT CARE HOW WE LOOKED. We were exhausted and just wanted to get our crew to food and drink.

We ended up dropping off the Connors and heading to Winstead's in Overland Park, which was entirely dead. SWEET!

Doesn't Michael look like a good little Royals fan?

This is how far we all walked that day ... at least.

Julia Swayne made a little collage of how much Michael liked the day. He gets double money in his Future Therapy Jar for letting us drag him along. Poor dude. We saw ZERO parade and 100% of the rally but the players were dressed in black so they were even harder to see! Next year dress them in neon pink or somethin'.

The kids were AMAZING ... nobody had to go to the bathroom even! They were probably thirsty and hungry at points but they barely complained. Some had on crappy shoes and STILL THEY WALKED!

Next year when we win again we will consider getting a hotel room close to the festivities or even within a mile so we can get up early and at least one of us can go stake out a spot by a barricade on the road in front of the parade. We will also have walkie talkies since cell service was non-existent. We will also have a meeting spot in case someone gets lost. Like BACK AT THE HOTEL or IN FRONT OF THE CHOCOLATE OR COFFEE SHOP.

When you talk about having an EXPERIENCE, this was it. The bad and the good. The waiting and the griping and the impatience and the craziness and all of it ... I'll remember it fondly like my wedding day or the birth of each of my kids, able to recount the life-changing and character-building points along the way.

Two thumbs up.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Casual Aging

I don’t care if you get plastic surgery or inject fillers into any part of your body. That’s your business and your money and your body.
The thought of a needle in my face to plump out my wrinkles freaks me out. I don’t have the time for it, and I’d rather save my money for a trip to Paris.
Also, I WANT my face to show when I’m mad. I don’t want to be yelling at my kids or my husband and have them whisper to each other, “Um, can you tell if she really means it because her forehead Is. Not. Moving.” So I need those parentheses things between my eyebrows to instill fear into my family. To be taken seriously.
Of course my eye wrinkles show all the happiness I’ve had over my lifetime, so I’ll be keeping those.
I’ve had cellulite since I was born, so we’re old pals and I’ll just let it be, especially since I’ve seen TV shows of how they do lipo and it makes me vomit.
My butt dimples may also stay since I don’t see my butt all that much and my husband says he likes it. He might be lying, but that’s okay.
My belly has never been flat, so I expect nothing from it. In fact, I kinda appreciate it since it stretched to fit 5 kids. It’s a trooper, and I’ll keep it.
As for my boobs, well, hmmm. I suppose they are the one (two) things I would consider altering. The fact remains that I don’t have the thousands of dollars it would take to “reconstruct” (ahem, it’s still a boob job) my chest area. They nursed 5 kids nonstop over the course of 13 years, survived 5 pregnancies, and they are tough as nails.
My plan is to just grow out my bangs. Or pull my hair back into as tight of a ponytail as I possibly can to pull back the wrinkles with it. What’s your plan?

This post was previously published on way back in maybe 2011 and was taken down so I figured it needed a new life since I'm years older than I was when I first wrote it!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to Cope with a Colicky Baby

Babies are supposed to smile and coo before drifting off to sleep in your arms, so ending up with a baby that screams blue murder for hours at a time, for no apparent reason, is enough to drive even the most laid-back parent to the brink of insanity. And if this is your first child, it is even harder to cope. 

Colicky babies are a nightmare. The crying bouts can last for a few hours, or even all day, with very little respite. Your little one might eventually fall into a fitful sleep, only to be woken again by a barking dog or noisy toddler. Yes, it’s a difficult time, and for some parents with no access to help and support, trying to cope with a colicky baby can put a huge strain on their relationship at a time when everyone is supposed to be deliriously happy.

What Causes Colic?

All babies cry, but colicky babies cry a lot more than most and their crying cannot be explained away by a wet nappy, missed nap or hunger. The underlying cause of colic is not really understood. Some experts think the extended bouts of inconsolable crying associated with colic are caused by digestive upset whereas others believe the problem is an immature nervous system.

Tips for Dealing with a Colicky Baby

·         Carry your baby around in a papoose carrier all day – Instead of putting your baby down when you are not feeding him, carry him around all day long. Babies love the extra closeness and many are calmer as a result.

·         White noise CDs – Babies are often soothed by white noise such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners, but if you don’t want your washing machine on 24/7, buy a white noise CD instead.
·         Baby massage – Place your baby on a soft towel in a warm room and then massage him gently using massage oil. He’ll find it soothing and will probably go to sleep.

You are Not a Failure!

It is only natural to feel like a complete failure when nothing you do consoles your screaming baby. Modern parents put themselves under enormous pressure to create a happy family home and when something goes wrong, they usually blame themselves. However, it is not your fault and you are not alone: millions of other parents are going through the same trials and tribulations with you.

Ask for Help

Help is out there, but you need to ask for it. Coping with a screaming baby all day and night is torture, so try and persuade a friend or relative to look after your baby for a few hours so you can have a mental and physical break. Alternatively, look for support online in parent forums. Just knowing that other parents are going through the same thing will help enormously.

It is hard to stay calm when your baby is screaming his lungs out, but remember that this difficult period won’t last forever. However, if you do start to feel agitated, put your baby down safely in his cot and leave the room until you feel better able to cope.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

5 Books That Changed the World and so Will Change You

There are millions of books in this world, but just a small part of them made an enormous impact on the world’s history or even on people’s lives. And below in this article you will be presented with five such books you should also read! They might change your life a little bit too! And I can guarantee that it will change for the better.

But before the head to that, I would also like to take some time and appreciate some of these deals and coupons for Target. There might not be special books coupons you can use to shop for world-changing literature, but there are some other ways how you can save money on good literature. So get creative, shop for these amazing and truly unique pieces of literature and enjoy reading!

"Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank
A diary written by a little Jewish girl is one of the literature pieces that changed the world. And the fact that this is a true story makes this little book hard and scary to read. Especially since this book is a compilation of the diary writings of Anne, who hid with her family for two years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. So if you wish to learn how a small girl deals with growing up in such scary times – this dairy is worth to read.

"Origin of the Species" by Charles Darwin
No other book got so many attentions to it than this one. It is a study written by Darwin then he traveled to the Galapagos Islands and discovered one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 19th-century-world — the theory of evolution. It made a tremendous impact on many generations of scientists, philosophers, politics and other great thinkers. So it is also worth reading and learning what was that all fuss about.

"The Second Sex" by Simone De Beauvoir
"The Second Sex" is another book considered to be a real bible of all feminists and there is nothing to be amazed by. In this book, you can find a study about how history, philosophy, economics, biology, and other disciplines determine what a "woman" is and why women through many ages were considered inferior. This book also inspired many generations of women to stand out and fight for their rights in patriarchate society, and it still inspires many women today. So – it might inspire you too!

"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
This book not only changed the world a little bit but was banned for some time too. And these are two main reasons why you should read it! It is an excellent book that introduced the world to the racial situation in the United States and all the discrimination within it. With strong language, we are not very used today and the story line about atrocious crime, this book is an adamant literature piece that will change your thinking too!

"Slaughterhouse-Five" by Kurt Vonnegut

A satirical novel about one man’s journey through time and experiences during the second World World War had also changed the world a little bit. In general, Vonnegut’s books have a very strong message, and every one of his books changed a world a little bit too. Therefore, this book is recognized as Vonnegut's most influential and famous work what is loved by many generations and dystopian lovers. So check this book and discover what it would be like if you could travel through time and more. 

#RoyalCelebration Recap: Heading to Downtown KC with a Crew of Fourteen!!! Part One #FriendlyBlueWalkingDead

So for those of you living under a rock, THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS WON THE WORLD SERIES SUNDAY NIGHT! My family listened to the games from before the playoffs on, we watched the games we could, we cheered the Royals on, we wore our blue, we did our chanting and our clapping and our superstitiousness and WE ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS for 2015!!!

For those of you familiar with National Lampoon's Vacation, this was fitting because the city shut down! Schools were cancelled, work was cancelled in many cases, our religious ed classes were cancelled, people called in sick and took vacation days to attend the parade and rally for our Royals on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

Okay, so our morning started with me singing a song to get my kids out of bed. It went something like this:

"People say we are BRAAAAVE to go to the parade today,
But I saw we are CRAAAAZY,
Maybe kinda STUUUUUPID ...
Wake up!"

We knew if we did not have kids we would have been Downtown at 6 a.m. with all the other nutjobs but you can't do that with this many kids if you want to maintain a shred of sanity so we picked up our friends at 10 a.m. The parade was supposed to start at noon with the rally at Union Station at 2. Our original plan was we were to be dropped off as close to the parade as possible then I would park the van SOMEWHERE and hoof it back to my posse. But then friends and the news had us all freaked out about parking and it seemed like I wouldn't be able to park my huge van anywhere within miles of the city. So we opted to give the shuttle a try, even though we heard how long the lines were for those.
First stop: pick up our friends the Connors. Oh, and Julia was out of school and she's our go-to plus-one, so she is there also. My 12-passenger held 14 but don't tell the cops.

My gorgeous friend Jill. You know if she puts up with me she must be awesome and ever-patient.

We parked at Loose Park and walked to the Country Club Plaza. So far so good, still in good spirits.

A quick pit stop on some historical figures

Photo courtesy: Jill Connors ... the line for the shuttle bus to Downtown wrapped AROUND an entire city block and also wound down into the parking garage. At this point we were still happy but thinking maybe we had lost our minds.
Come back for Part Two to find out how our crazy idea went ... how long did we wait? How far did the bus take us? What will we do differently next year when we win again? How did the kids do walking (spoiler alert) EIGHT MILES PLUS IN ONE DAY? Did we see any of the parade? The rally?

Was it all worth it?



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