31 May, 2011

Lazy days are the best kind of days.

My Husband is driven. He hates sitting around when there is so much he could be doing. So I really love the days when he decides just chilling all day is okay. They are good kinds of days. Especially when he takes me to Noodles&Co. Mmmmmm.

I hope you all had a good, long weekend. I hope you thought at least for a second about all the people out there, fighting for our freedom - whether you agree with it or not. We stopped by some graves; packed ourselves into the cemetery with the other hundred thousand people or so.

I've experienced quite a bit of death in my lifetime but yesterday was thinking back and I cannot remember a single burial ceremony, and barely any funeral services. I think I block it out of my memory or something. Probably not normal.

Anyway, back to reality today, where people have to work. Maybe since the snow cone stands and water parks officially opened yesterday, Mother Nature will realize it's supposed to be summer now and stop with the hijinks. Eh?

The weather screwing with me is causing me to be sick. And it's not fun. I've got this awesome cough that sounds like I am literally three seconds from losing a lung, and it HURTS! Like, all capital letters and an exclamation point and everything. HURTS.

Have a fantabulous Tuesday. I'll possibly be back tomorrow. If I don't die. I've got the black lung, Papa!

27 May, 2011

Off for the weekend. Don't forget the sunscreen!

We are going to the sand dunes for the Holiday weekend (of course). So I am off to get ready and hit the sand. Have a lovely Holiday! Go set your memorials out or do a scrapbook page or SOMETHING.

Just don't clean all weekend.

I said a LOVELY Holiday, not a horrible one.

You're stuck with the design as it sits right now. There are things I need to change and fix but I've got other things on my mind. You're welcome to leave a critique in the comments - I'd like to know what's good and what's not at this point. See you next week!

Stop the Burn summer campaign with Skin MD Natural‏

I think, eventually, we might start getting the summer weather that's typically here by now. I hope, anyway. And when that warmth and sunshine starts making it's appearance (seriously, fashionably late was three weeks ago) you need to make sure you take care of your skin.

I've talked about SkinMD Natural before and how much I love them. This summer, they are hosting a Stop the Burn campaign - you go pledge that you are going to not get sunburned and where sunscreen and take care of your skin. You can sign the pledge and/or read more right here. And to help people stay protected from the sun, they are going to randomly pick one person a week to receive a bottle of Skin MD Natural + SPF 15. Sweet, yes?

Want to know some scary facts about skin cancer? Just 3 sunburns during a child's adolescence significantly increases their risk ofdeveloping skin cancer. Just 5 sunburns during the course of a lifetime can double the chances of a skin cancer diagnoses. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancers and yet more and more people each year are being diagnosed. YIKES! Each week during summer Skin MD Natural will have tips available on their site, along with videos and other great content. I've dealt with skin cancer since I was little (runs in the family) and it ain't no joke, mmmkay?

Go check out SkinMD Natural and sign the pledge. And then, stay tuned for a possible giveaway from yours truly.

26 May, 2011

And I'm supposed to type HOW?

This is what I'm dealing with right now:

The cat is such an attention whore today. That's the furthest I can get him to go - a minute ago he was literally laying on the keyboard. At least now I am only screwed with the letters on the right side of the keyboard. Needless to say, this took a whole lot longer than it should have to type.

He is entertaining though - he watches the pointer move all over the screen and every few minutes attacks. That's pretty funny. What's not funny? He keeps holding the control key down so I try to scroll with my mouse and my screen gets REEEAALLLL tiny.

25 May, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - a peek into my mind.

This is my favorite part of my kitchen - the glass cupboards. It's where I keep all my treasures that I want people to see but NO TOUCHY!

24 May, 2011

Certain Dri's 100 Days of Summer giveaway!

Remember, like, 100 years ago when I did the Certain Dri review/giveaway? That was fun, wasn't it?

Certain Dri is doing a giveaway a day for 100 days - starting Memorial Day and going through Labor Day (summer, essentially). They are giving away... drumroll, please... Certain Dri antiperspirant! Who'd a thunk? Anyway, one random entrant will be chosen to receive a Certain Dri Anti-Perspirant (roll-on or solid) each day from May 27, 2011 to September 3, 2011. Every Friday at noon EST, all seven winners from that week will be announced on the Certain Dri Facebook page. You can also head on over there to see the official rules, and the entry form. Now, go enter, and be not stinky.

23 May, 2011

A reminder, and a coupon! Because I'm cool like that.

Just wanted to remind you all - Gnomeo & Juliet comes out tomorrow on DVD and Blu-Ray. It is a whole bunch cuter than I expected it to be, and I think you should get it. In case you agree, here's a coupon to save some money! You know I love coupons.

And while you're here, check out a clip of my favorite character, Featherstone:

Handmade Monday (...sort of) - easy peasy room redo

You all probably know by now that we're living in my MIL's house. There are two rooms in this house that she doesn't want us to change, and it's the living room and the kitchen. (Both of which are the rooms I would most like to change, but anyway...)

The kitchen used to be all decked out in geese that I remember from my childhood - the white geese with the blue ribbons around their necks. Do you remember them? Well, I took all of the geese stuff down because it's really not me, but there is a wallpaper border around the top edge that I can't touch. But I figure, it's high enough up there that maybe people won't notice I've got two different decors going on.

Here is the kitchen before:

And here is the kitchen after:

These cute little dandelions are from the Die Cuts With A View Wall Art line. They come in a package, and you peel them off and stick them up. The biggest downside is that they did not want to stick to my fresh, clean kitchen walls; I think because we have such a deep texture. But after a few days of being up, they are staying put fairly well. I also didn't realize they were going to match as well as they did - you can barely see the light blue ones unless you get close. You can find them all over the place for around $10 a package, and I used two packages for my kitchen.

Here are some close-ups:

What do you think? They look super shiny in the pictures but actually are more of a matte finish, to match the walls better. They were inexpensive and changed the look of the room to match more of my style. And, I can take them down anytime I want. Win-win!

21 May, 2011

Happy it's-not-the-end-of-the-world!

Although, I was pretty excited for the traffic to be better Monday.

Anyway, I hope you are all having a lovely Saturday! I got to go watch the little dance her heart out. Loved it. Then talked her into going on the Colossus with me, and she loved it. Which I love. Now she's talking about hitting the New York, New York coaster. WOOT! She wanted nothing to do with it last time we were in Vegas.

We were on the freeway when the Rapture was set to begin and I kept waiting for the skies to open up or people to start violently throwing themselves from their moving vehicles, but alas, nothing. What do you call it when you're a tiny bit disappointed but relieved at the same time?

Wicked wasn't as cool as I had hoped. I think Six Flags may have ruined Lagoon for me. But the weather was awesome all day and it was just warm enough for bare shoulders, so I'm happy.

I've got a cute room redo to show you but I have to pull the pictures off my camera and I'm just not feeling that ambitious currently. 4 hours of sleep and then 2 hours of driving and then 7 hours of Lagoon in the sun will do that to you, I guess.

This is the time of year that makes me batty and it's hitting incredibly late this time around - you need your heater one day and the A/C the next. It's just not healthy for a house.

I've never in my entire lifetime mowed a lawn. I just had to get that out there.

Have a fantabulous rest of your weekend! Enjoy the sun while it lasts; I hear it's going to be short-lived.

20 May, 2011

I know it's been done before but this rendition is pretty freaking cute.

I'm talking about Gnomeo & Juliet. I know you've heard the story and I know you know how it ends. But you have to see it. It's adorable. Lawn gnomes are so cute and to see them come to life? Don't miss it. Gnomeo is the cutest gnome ever; especially his white facial hair. And Featherstone (the flamingo) is hilarious and adorable. Makes me want a lawn flamingo. It is available in stores this coming Tuesday, May 24th on DVD and Blu-Ray. Both are packed with alternative endings, deleted scenes, and more!

But wait, there's more! (I had to.)

In celebration of the release of Gnomeo & Juliet, the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association is doing a charity benefit, "racing gnomes"! Riders dressed as the film’s iconic red and blue feuding gnome families will race for the right to be crowned the winner and present The Berrien County (Michigan) Farm Bureau Young Farmers with a donation earmarked for agricultural education in Berrien County schools. How cool, eh?

Go get Gnomeo & Juliet on Tuesday when it comes out. It'll help prepare your kids for the inevitable studying of Shakespeare in future years.

And for more information about lawn mower racing, visit LetsMow.com.

I got a copy of the Blu-Ray/DVD combo of Gnomeo & Juliet for review through Click Communications. But my opinions are all my own.

19 May, 2011

Need your lawn to look pretty and be healthy? Try Scotts Turf Builder.

Scotts has always been my choice when it comes to fertilizing my lawn. I got the chance to review their Turf Builder, which I hadn't used before, so try it I did!

The verdict? It's awesome. Like every other Scotts product I've ever used. One of the best parts about this fertilizer is that you don't have to wait to let the kids or pets out - they are safe to be on the lawn right after you spread the fertlizer. That's nice! Especially when you've been getting the gorgeous weekends we've been blessed with the last few weeks. (It can rain all it wants to Monday through Thursday; as long as it clears up Friday through Sunday I'm happy!)

Just a couple of years ago, the in-laws put sod in the front yard here. It's been iffy since then, and when the snow finally melted (like three weeks ago) you could tell the grass was struggling. It was patchy and very thin. I can already tell the difference after using Scotts - my grass is greener than it was before and it's definitely starting to fill out. I plan to get a couple more bags of the Turf Builder and apply it throughout the rest of the year. Scotts recommends applying it four times a year - once in early Spring, once in late Spring, once in early Fall and once in late Fall. That will help the grass stay lovely and healthy all year!

Here are a few more cool things about the Scotts Turf Builder:

• Nourishes and strengthens your grass to protect against future problems like weeds, heat, drought & family activity
• Apply any season to any type of grass - no guess work! (Sweet action. I'm definitely not a lawn guru.)
• All Food, No Filler! Scotts Turf Builder is made using a patented All-In-One particle technology that combines key lawn nutrients into a single small particle. Bargain brands can contain as much as 40% filler, but with Scotts Turf Builder there is 100% pure nutrition in every granule!
• Formulated with slow release nitrogen so you’ll get a beautiful, green lawn, without burning, even if you apply too much (very, very good for someone that may or may not apply this with a cup rather than a spreader)

Looking for a good fertilizer? I would most definitely recommend the Scotts Turf Builder. It's available in 5000 sq. feet bags and 15000 sq. feet bags, and can be found at lots of places, like Home Depot, Target or Walmart. They also have a specially formulated fertilizer for Southern Turf if you live in the South. Check out this link to sign up for tips, custom feeding reminders and special offers from Scotts.

I was provided with coupons to purchase a bag of Scotts Turf Builder for free through One2One Network. But the opinions here are all mine and are not influenced by the free-ness of my bag of fertilizer.

17 May, 2011

You wanna know what I did last night? You're probably going to be jealous.

I saw "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides". In IMAX 3D. It was AWESOME! I am not going to say much about it because I don't want to ruin anything but the movie is pretty great. You all really should go see it. And don't feel bad if you missed one or two of the others; you'll still get this movie. I hadn't seen the second or third and I got everything in this one. This was the first movie I had seen in IMAX 3D and that is pretty fabulous as well - not fake looking, just real enough for you to feel like you could reach out and grab the vines hanging down. Very cool! Go see it! It comes out this Friday, the 20th.

To get ready, I've got an activity pack for you! Yah, and your kids - whatever. But I can't post it here because it's in multiple-page PDF format so if you want it, either e-mail me (see that 'contact' button up there?) or leave me a comment with a way to get a hold of you and I'll e-mail it to you. It's got a pirate mask you print and cut out, and some coloring pages, and door hangers. Pretty cute, if you ask me.

Oh, and one of the coolest things ever? I sat a few seats down from this guy:

OMG! It's Captain Jack Sparrow! Okay, not really - it's his cousin, White Rock Willie. But he looks, talks, and acts just like Jack. He was great. Want to get in touch with him? You can! Check him out on Facebook or on YouTube. He's not for hire but he's definitely rocking the Pirate thing. (Sorry for the crappy image quality; it was taken with my phone. I got one with my pocket camera too, but I think that camera might be taking it's last dying breaths, because the one with the phone actually turned out better. Oh well!) Oh, and go see "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"! You will not regret it. Unless you hate pirates.

16 May, 2011

Day 30. Finally done. I don't have to forget anymore! Yay!

day 30- your favorite song

Punk asks me this question all the time and I can hardly ever answer. I love a very big variety of music. And my favorite music of the moment changes all the time. Daily, sometimes. So I can't answer a favorite song EVER, but here are some that I never get sick of listening to:

Hurt - Johnny Cash or Nine Inch Nails
We're In This Together - Nine Inch Nails
Gethsemane - Rise Against
T.N.T. - AC-DC
The Remembrance Ballad - Atreyu
Innocent - Taylor Swift

Some of the songs on repeat on my playlist right now:

Fix Me - 10 Years
Riptide - Sick Puppies
What Ya Gonna Do - Hinder
Sick - Adelita's Way
E.T. - Katy Perry
Pieces Mended - The Used

See? Random.

And finally, click here to see all 30 wonderful days of this mess.

Handmade Monday - dyed buttons (??!?!!)

This is halfa-handmade. Got it? Kinda handmade and kinda not. Just go with it, because I'm fascinated.

Did you know you can dye buttons? O.M.G! I never, ever would have thought to try this but now I'm scouring the internet for free white buttons to try a few different colors (because I'm cheap like that, yes). And they totally sucked me in with the color separation in the muffin tin - I'm a sucker for organization, okay? I took all of this straight from the Rit blog post.

Supplies Needed
•Rit Liquid or Powder dye: any color, or mix dyes to create a custom color
•White buttons
•Measuring cup
•Measuring spoons
•Disposable plastic containers for dyeing buttons
•Spoon for mixing dyes
•Rubber gloves
•Plastic table cover
•Paper towels

1. Cover work surface with a plastic table cover.
2. Decide what colors you like and prepare dye according to the basic recipe below. Liquid dyes are more concentrated than powder dyes so use half as much dye. Always test color with fabric scrap or paper towel before dyeing buttons. If color is too light, add more dye; if it is too dark, add more water.
Basic Recipe: Measure and mix 1 teaspoon liquid dye or 2 teaspoons powder dye with 1 Cup HOT Water. Shake liquid dyes before measuring. Water should be about 140°F. If your tap water is not hot enough, heat some in the microwave or a tea kettle.
3. Pour dye and water into a plastic container; stir. Make sure container is deep enough.
4. Immerse buttons in dye solution for 2 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and check color frequently. Remove buttons when desired color is achieved. Rinse buttons, then wash with soap and water, and rinse and dry with paper towels.

Take your plain, ordinary, sad white buttons from this:

To this (oh, help me Rhonda!):

And see this? Possibly the cutest thing I've seen done with buttons all day:

15 May, 2011

Day 29. I forgot again. Seriously, someone needs to kick me.

day 29- in this past month, what have you learned

You know when someone asks you a question and you are positive you know the answer but since they asked, you forget? This is one of those questions. I know I've learned a lot in the past month but I can't really think of anything...

I know. I learned loyalty given out is rarely given back. I don't necessarily want to go into the back story, just know I'm sick of being a loyal friend to someone and then having them turn around and stab me in the back. That is all.

Watch for day 30 soon, I swear it! For the rest of the circus, click right here.

14 May, 2011

Looking for NATURAL health supplements? Look no further than ReNew Life.

Brenda Watson is a digestive care expert. She is also the founder of ReNew Life, a company known for it's all natural health supplements. They carry all sorts of supplements, too - from probiotics to fish oil to fiber and more. They manufacture and distribute digestive care products that are sold in CVS, Walgreens, and Whole Foods markets all over.

Brenda Watson was recently featured in a PBS Special, "The Road to Perfect Health - Balance Your Gut, Heal Your Body", an in-depth look at how chronic diseases start with an unhealthy digestive system. If you're interested in that or want to learn more about Brenda Watson and her super awesome supplements, check out the TV schedule for PBS or Brenda Watson's website.

13 May, 2011

I'm sorry universe, Blogger hates you.

It's days like these last three days that irritate me and make me think twice about moving to WordPress. Yep, I said it! Comments? Gone. Draft posts? Gone. Scheduled posts? Yep, sayonara. (Is that even close to the way it's spelled? Probably not.) WTH, BLOGGER!?!!?!??!

I don't think I could move. I don't want to have to transfer all my old posts over and I don't want to lose them all, plus I'm just starting to understand the HTML Blogger needs to make it happy.

Anyway, I just got this and wanted to share because it's another super awesome movie I'm excited for this summer...

Click here for a hint.

Click here to go watch all of the trailers, because there are a ton!

Awww, I love Cars. I can't wait to see Cars 2. Remember - June 24th. In Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D and everything. Sweet action!

12 May, 2011

Bored. Plenty to do but I don't want to do any of it. So what?

I'm my own boss, it's okay if I'm unproductive! What am I going to do, fire me? I can't do that; I'm the only employee.

Trying to decide what to make for dinner. I've got a ton of go-to recipes and I'm bored with them all. I think boredom is the theme of my life lately. Again, I come back to the fact that I need a tattoo. I fully believe that would fix things. Bored with dinner? Get a tattoo! Bored with your wardrobe? Get a tattoo! See - total fixer.

Things were great for a while with RealMom and lately it seems off again. Not sure what the deal is. Sometimes I wish it could all be easy, but I know my situation is a lot easier than a lot of people out there. I'm sorry for them. Being a stepmom kinda sucks sometimes.

Going to a premier of a movie on Monday and honestly couldn't get any more excited about it. It's my first IMAX 3D experience, and a huge movie, and I can't tell you any more until after I go.

Favorite song lyric of the day: "Not only do I not know the answer, I don't even know what the question is." Can you guess the band? Here's a hint: Metall_ca. Now do you know?

I have this vinyl sitting here, waiting for me to cut 500 circles in it. Why, you ask? I have no idea. I just do what I'm asked to do and leave it at that. Don't ask why, that just muddies things up.

Going to Lagoon next weekend. Haven't been there since Shibrolet was in junior high and I went for their ninth grade day, or whatever. I can't wait to ride some roller coasters, but I wonder if it will be the same since I've been to Six Flags since then. It might suck.

I'm addicted to this trail mix from Walmart - it's got cashews and peanuts and almonds and white chocolate and milk chocolate and peanut butter chips and red raisins and white raisins and it's incredible. And now it's all gone. :(

Real Steel - have you heard of it?

I got an e-mail from one of the PR companies I work with, about this movie called Real Steel. I hadn't heard of it, but after watching the trailer, I desperately want to see it! Check it out...

It's release date is set for October 7th of this year. Add this one to the list of movies I can't wait for.

Here's their website, or you can 'like' them on Facebook or even follow them on Twitter.

10 May, 2011

Scunci Bendini hair clips, review-age

How the heck do you do the 'u' with the little accent mark things over it? I dunno.

ANYway, today I want to talk to you about these pretty little hair things called Bendinis:

They are by Scunci. Again thanks to Nicole over at Robin Leedy & Associates, I got some to review. The bendinis are nifty! They have the decorated part and then a little comb. You do your hair, slide the comb in where you want it to be, bend the clip over and ta-da! Cute hair clip that's not going anywhere. When you bend the clip over, it folds the comb into itself, creating a tight hold on your hair. Honestly, they are pretty cool. Punk absolutely loves them, too. Sweet!

For this style, all we did was curl her hair and then twist her kinda-bangs off to the side. The only clip we needed to hold the hair twist in place was the Bendini; that's how well they work! To see more on these lovelies, click here.

You can get them pretty much anywhere, from grocery stores to mass and drug stores. You can also get more information and take part in fabulous giveaways at their Facebook page or you can follow them on Twitter.

09 May, 2011

Handmade Monday - another DIY from my crafty cousin!

My cousin is the world's most ridiculously crafty person. For real. I feel like I'm pretty crafty, and she puts me to shame. Her latest creation I can't get out of my head... the Chevron t-shirt.

How CUTE is this! I freaking love it. Plus, I love Frederick (the doggie). He's such a stud.

I'm going to let the pictures tell the story of how to make this shirt. You can find Brandy's blog here or if you'd rather, check out her entire DIY section here.

08 May, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

To all forms of Moms out there - BioMoms, stepmoms, grandmas, foster moms, fur-moms; whatever.

Have a very happy Mother's Day and know that I think you're the best. :)

06 May, 2011

Fotolia.com - want to try it out? I've got a free code!

I was approached by a very nice Jenna from Fotolia.com to see if I wanted to review their site. And, seeing as how I'm starting to dabble in design (pretend I didn't say that), I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to build up my stash of design elements and junk. Eh?

I just started using it, so I can't really review it yet, but I do have a code for all of you as well! It's good for a two-week subscription for up to three downloads a day.

To get the subscription, click here and then enter the code CMSB55E8 and you should be all set.

I'll check back in with the review later, after I've had the chance to use the site a bit. If you use it, let me know how it goes!

05 May, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo! And that one other holiday that's coming up that's a sore subject for me.

Mother's Day is somewhat of a painful subject for me. I am not trying to take it away from RealMom and I'm not trying to say I have a right to anything that day, because I don't. But that's why it sucks so bad. Everyone out there celebrates Mother's Day. And as a second Mom, I sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else get their cards and their flowers and their sweet sentiments and I die a little inside. Aside from my own family, no one tells me happy mother's day. No one gives me cards or flowers, and I don't even get to spend time with my child because RealMom owns the rights to the day. I don't get the cute things that Punk makes in class for her mom. I don't get to have that special day.

I try to keep everything bottled inside because I don't want Punk to think she is doing anything wrong or that I'm mad at RealMom for anything, because I'm not. It just hurts.

This is the first year Punk is old enough to understand really what's going on with Mother's Day. She asked what day it was on, and when I told her, she said "so I finally get to spend Mother's Day with you?" I explained that her Mom will probably be here to get her early because that's her day, and her response surprised me a little.

"That's not really fair."

Wow. I don't think I'd put it that way, but there it was. My feelings exactly. I talked to her about why she always goes with her Mom and told her I appreciated her feelings but that it was the right thing to be with RealMom for that day. We talked about how they should make a Step-Mother's day and a Step-Father's day so that it could be fair for everyone. It's amazing how mature she's gotten just this year.

So, if you could all do me one little favor - if there is a stepmother in your life, whether it's your own or a friend or whatever, make sure to tell her Happy Mother's Day on Sunday. Although it may not show, it means a lot to hear it.

04 May, 2011

Wordless Wednesday. Not so much, but whatever.

I need this kid to stop growing up, ASAP.

Gnomeo & Juliet - have you seen it yet?

I was torn on this movie so we decided to wait until it's out on DVD to see it. Have you seen it? Is it good? This intro clip makes me giggle a little bit.

03 May, 2011

Centrum Get Fit sweepstakes - easy entry and great prizes!

Centrum is sponsoring a healthy living contest to GET FIT for summer and win a trip to LA and a one-on-one training session with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, creator of the 5 factor diet!

To enter the contest, all you have to do is text the word "CENTRUM" along with an image of a Centrum multivitamin bottle to 89800 for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to receive a personal training session with Harley himself, trainer to Jennifer Hudson and Lady Gaga to name a few. Contest ends June 14, 2011.

Here are five tips for looking and feeling your best, from Centrum and Harley:

1. Go global with your diet. Exposing your palate to different cuisines can help you find foods that are nourishing, slimming and never boring. Whether Greek yogurt, Japanese tofu, or Swedish rye bread, the world’s healthiest countries take pride in a few very special ingredients.

2. The healthiest solutions are often the simplest ones – like walking instead of driving, broiling instead of frying, and taking a daily multivitamin. Making commonsense decisions about the way you eat, move, and live can help you exponentially increase your health and wellness

3. Try to stick to low-sugar beverages and drink more water. Try all sorts of tea – black, oolong, and green - for an antioxidant flavor boost.

4. Every step counts. Walk everywhere, whether it’s to the grocery store or to work. Take the stairs whenever you can. If you have to be on the phone, pace around while you talk, or do jumping jacks during TV commercial breaks. Regular movement has an infinite number of benefits.

5. Enjoy one free day a week! Indulge in eating a treat such as dark chocolate and sleep in late. It will motivate you to keep up a healthy lifestyle during the other six days.

As the summer nears, there is no better time than now to start taking the right steps to reach a healthier you. Join Centrum multivitamins and Harley Pasternak and get inspired to rediscover a healthier you!

For blogging about this, I am entered into a sweepstakes with One2One Network but am not guaranteed to win. That is all.

Conair Infiniti blow dryer and You Style 2in1 brush - a review

Thanks to Nicole over at Robin Leedy & Associates, I was able to review the new Conair Infiniti blow dryer and You Style 2in1 brush. See?

That top picture is of the brush acting as a flat brush for straightening and smoothing, and the blow dryer ready to go. That bottom picture is of the brush acting as a round brush, for volume and waves or a curl.

First, let's talk about the blow dryer. This thing is intense! (Like camping. Get it?) Before this, I was using an older model of the Conair Infiniti and I really liked it. This new blow dryer is freaking awesome, even compared the older one that I already thought was pretty awesome. It's got two speed settings as most other blow dryers do. The difference? This one means business. I very rarely use the high setting on this blow dryer, as it's got so much power! For most of my blow drying needs, the low setting works just fine. It also has two heat settings - hot and cold. It has an AC motor versus a DC motor to provide faster drying and a longer lifespan. It's also got a twist-folding handle so it's easy to store or take with you on vacation. (Side note: Don't you hate those blow dryers on the walls of hotels? They never work well and you spend three hours trying to get your hair dry!) And, it's green. Green is a good pick, as long as it's not dark green. Along with all of that, it's got a removable filter for easy cleaning (which also prolongs its life). You can get this bad boy nearly anywhere - mass market and drug stores, as well as in their online store, and as far as blow dryers go, this one is superb. I would definitely recommend it! My only negative is I wish the A/C button was on the other side; it would work better for how I hold the thing while I use it.

Now, the You Style 2in1 brush. This thing is pretty cool! It's got two personalities - a flat brush and a round brush. To switch between the two, no pills are necessary! Just push the little tab up and either push the sides in or pull them out, then let go of the tab. It's got two types of bristles as well, to help smooth and add volume and also distribute hair's natural oils for added shine. Sweet! My hair is naturally wavy/curly and I brush it while I blow dry to smooth it out. I've used a ton of different brushes to find one I like, and this one actually out-performs all of them. It makes my hair incredibly smooth and shiny without making it staticy. I really, truly love this brush and use it every time I blow my hair dry. Want it? You can get this at any mass market or drug store, or in their online store as well.

Want more information about Conair products? Check out their Facebook page or their website.

02 May, 2011

Couponing, responsibly and ethically and most importantly, NICELY!

Total retail value of dollars spent in April: $646.34
Total actual dollars spent in April: $376.71
Overall savings: $269.63 or 42%

I did not clear a single shelf. I did not take more than what my family needs. I collected items to donate to a homeless shelter. I left coupons for other people, and gave people coupons from my own collection when I noticed those items in their cart.

I feel pretty decent about the savings for my first real month couponing. And that includes all of my Easter shopping as well. Total, I probably spent less than 8 hours over the entire month clipping coupons and planning my shopping trips. Not crazy. Would you spend 8 hours to save $269?

This month is off to a great start - I just went to Walgreens and spent $5.56, saved $33.28. That's 83.3% savings. Not too shabby!

Handmade Monday - the super easy Cricut style.

I made these stickers for my Dad for his birthday. He has a yellow Jeep; it's a two-door Wrangler but it's the extended one, and he calls it his short bus.

These were incredibly easy. I found a silhouette picture of a Jeep online, then made it into a cut file with Inkscape. It wouldn't let me use the font I wanted, so I had to create a .jpg file of the text in Paint and then convert that to a cut file as well. It wasn't as 'rock-looking' as I wanted it, so I added chunks and pieces missing until I was happy with it. Then I imported it into SCAL and cut it in yellow vinyl with my Cricut. I love the way it turned out!

If you want any vinyl cut, let me know. I have a crapload of vinyl in, like, every color known to man. And I enjoy making stuff like this!