Monday, June 22, 2009

A few of my favorite things...

Being a wife and a mother of a VERY active 1 year old, I've found a few things that I absolutely love... and that make my life easier! I thought that I'd share them here, especially since many of these are great for just about anyone!

1. Oxiclean

Holy crap! This stuff is seriously magical. I had never used it before until we received it as a baby shower gift. The very first blow-out Campbell had, we soaked the clothes in a bucket of water and Oxiclean... and the stains were immediately REMOVED! Every single one of Campbell's onesies look brand new because of this stuff! We regularly buy the tub of this, and it takes out just about any stain you can throw at it!

2. L'oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara

Before getting pregnant, I never had a problem with make-up smearing, flaking, or rubbing off. As soon as Campbell was born, horomones went bonkers and I was having make-up meltdown, regardless of the weather. The final straw was when I was looking like a raccoon in the middle of the day, even though I was wearing "smudge proof, waterproof" mascara (a VERY expensive brand). My sis, Celia, suggested going with a tubing mascara. Basically, the mascara creates a "tube" around your lashes which will only come off with a combo of warm water and pressure as you gently pull on your lashes. I tried some expensive brands, and they were great, but at $30 a tube they weren't very realistic for every day use. Enter stage left, L'oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes. This stuff is amazing... even better than the expensive designer brands! My lashes are thicker and longer because of this mascara.... and it's only $8.99 at most big box stores (plus, there is almost always a $1-$2 off coupon in the newspaper!). No more raccoon eyes for me! I've even worn this at the pool (inadvertently), and it DOES NOT flake or run. You seriously have to use warm water and pressure to get this off! I highly recommend you go out and try it!

3. L'oreal Infalliable Never Fail Eyeliner

I actually was able to try this eyeliner because it came free with the L'oreal Beauty Tubes mascara (above). For the same reasons I explained above, I was struggling with make-up. Now, let me pause and say.... I ADORE Sephora. I love make-up, and I'm a Sephora addict. However, L'oreal might make me a convert if they keep it up with these products. I know that many people are anti-eyeliner, but maybe I'm old school.... I like eyeliner and it looks good on me. This eyeliner will not budge... it lasts all day, and does not smudge (unless you, of course, smudge it... but even then, it doesn't smudge well so it isn't a good "smokey eye" eyeliner). I haven't paid for this yet, since they keep packaging it as a freebie with the mascara (it's been sold this way at Target for well over 6 months), so it is definitely a steal!

4. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

If you've already tried these, you don't need me to explain how magical these are. They are right up there with Oxiclean. They will clean ANYTHING.... I have used them on the walls, the stove, the counters, the floors, Campbell's high chair..... they are awesome. We keep these in the house at all times because they are so essential to keeping things clean in a house with 3 pets and a baby!

5. Venus Spa Breeze 2-in-1 Disposable Razor

Now, I know it's not very green, but I'm a disposable razor girl. With the introduction of the Venus razor by Gillette some 10 years ago (?), I have ONLY used Venus razors. These 2-in-1 disposables by Venus are A-MAZ-ING. I adore that I do not have to lather up to shave my legs! These are such a great time saver, and at $6.99 at big box stores for a pack of 2, they help my legs stay smooth for a month! Plus, keep an eye out in your Sunday paper.... you can usually find a $1 off coupon at least 1x a month!

6. T-Mobile's Samsung Behold

I have to thank our wonderful friend, Brandon, for hooking us up with these awesome touch screen phones at T-Mobile. Ryan and I don't use our cell phones too terribly much, so we don't need phones that use 5 million apps or connect to the internet or whatever, and these phones are PERFECT for us! I love that the screen is nice and big, and the touch screen feature keeps us in the cool zone as parents. The QWERTY keyboard feature is awesome, too. I hate multiple clicking numbers to peck out a text message, and this phone makes me happy that I can avoid that frustration! I use the calendar app all the time.... it keeps me from missing appointments (which I am known to do!), and the fonts and calendar are big enough that I actually can see what I am typing and what the event is that I have scheduled! I have the pretty rose pink color that I picked out, and Ryan has the manly expresso brown. It packs a 5 mega-pixel camera, which also makes it easier for me to capture those spontaneous Kodak moments when I don't have my digi-cam handy!

7. Ikea Markor Bookcase

Take a quick look at my living room. Besides the larger baby toys in the far right corner of the picture, do you see random toys scattered about (and, no, I did not go around hiding toys before taking this picture... this is really how my living room looks as soon as Campbell goes down for a nap)?

No? Didn't think so! As any mother knows, every room is full of toys, and if you are like me, the living room is where many of Campbell's toys live (despite the playroom we have upstairs). I was going nuts with the baskets of toys that never seemed to make my living room look remotely close to adult-ish. Thank you IKEA for making the Markor horizontal bookcase!

The bookcase is a beautiful espresso wood with 10 open slots for your decorating and storage needs. I bought 10 seagrass baskets at IKEA that seem to be made for this bookcase, and viola! Toy storage bliss! The bottom 5 baskets are devoted to the toys and books Campbell likes to play with on a regular basis, and the top 5 hold DVDs and books. She is able to pull out the baskets (mostly) on her own, and when it is time to clean the house or just regain my sanity, I can chuck all the toys in the basket and make the house look less like a daycare and more like a nice home! Here's a shot of a few of the baskets in all their toy storing glory...

So there you have it, a few things that make my life easier. I'm sure there is more.... and when I think of them, I'll definitely share them!

Oh, wait... I DO have 1 more thing that makes my life easier....

Yep- the hubbs! He is the chef, the grocery shopper, the dog walker, the landscaper, and just all around awesome! :) I heart him!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Do I need a hobby?

So, as I'm sitting here reflecting on life as Campbell sleeps, I have recalled a convo with my physical therapist yesterday....

PT- "Ok, so you are a teacher (blah blah... insert something here about what grade I teach, or something like that).... And so what do you do in your free time? Like, what are your hobbies?"

Me- "Um... well, I chase after my 1 year old daughter. And.... well, I've just started to work out again. (long silence).... Oh! And I shop."

PT just stares at me.... then scribbles down on her little sheet. "Ok then. Let's get started."


So, do I need a hobby or something? I mean, you know, with all the "free time" I have and all? You'd think that the PT was expecting me to say that I volunteer at a soup kitchen or collect trash on the side of the road, from the reaction she had to my comment. I can't help that all I have time to do between diapers and feedings is to hop on an elliptical and find a good sale.

What do you all think? Shopping is enough of a hobby, right?

Perhaps if I called it "stimulating the economy" she would have taken me more seriously......


Yes! School is out for SUMMER! The sun is shining and it is HOT HOT HOT outside. Miss Campbell and I have lounge chairs reserved poolside at Woodlake for the entire summer, which I know is going to make summer break go by faster than necessary.

Our family joined Woodlake Swim and Racquet Club (, which has two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, a fitness center, AND child care! Campbell loves the childcare center because she gets to play with new friends and different toys.... I love it because I get to FINALLY work out! And of course, we both going to the pool (Ryan likes coming, too!). Campbell is a little water bug already! She loves to splash and play in the water... and the fact that the concession stand sells popsicles! :)

Speaking of.... it's perfect pool weather today, and Campbell has an appointment at the childcare center this morning (and I have an appointment with some fitness equipment!), so ta-ta for now!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Everybody's Free....

This morning on the radio, I heard a song that came out in '99 (ten years ago!) when I was graduating from high school.... I vaguely remembered it.... but just remembered that it was super lame. I remember thinking that if this was where music was going, I was not listening. But hearing it today was totally different.... I guess because perspective changes the way you listen and think about things... either way, here it is... (I've bolded some of my favorite parts)

Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)- Baz Lurhmann

Wear sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body,use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…