Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Covergirl Blastflipstick Bzz Report

As a member of I was sent a bzzkit for CoverGirl Blastflipstick.

The kit contained 3 different flipsticks, coupons and information.

Have you tried this CoverGirl product yet?

It's a double ended lipstick with two shades that can be worn individually or together. One shade is soft for daytime, while the other is shimmery for night time. The shades are perfectly matched to look good together and have ultra blendable formula.

My thoughts: Since I have fair skin I didn't really get to try out the top or bottom swatches. The softer tones were very garish on me and the shimmery ones didn't have enough pigmentation to really show up. They did however have a strong pigmentation.  I could see how on darker skin tones they would look beautiful.

Vixen is the middle swatch above and the shade that I like the most.

I normally wear more of a mauve lipstick but have enjoyed experimenting with the pink tones. I liked the coverage but did not think it was very long lasting. I had to reapply after only a few hours.  I usually wear both shades and found that they blend very well.

Are you adventurous when it comes to lipstick or do you stick with the same shade for years?

I am way more adventurous buying lipstick than I am wearing it. I buy new lipstick with the best intentions but usually fall back to my old stand by shade. Wearing pink lipstick for the last few weeks has really opened my eyes. Trying new things is a good thing!

I was sent these items for free thanks to my membership at I was not compensated for my opinion only given free products to try. How, when and what I share is up to me.

January Resolution: Learn To Curl My Hair

Are you proficient with the curling iron or curlers?

It's hit and miss for me.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated by me!

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

I Almost Returned 3 of Santa's Presents Last Month

Emotions were so high leading up to Christmas. I bet you will be able to guess where I stand politically after reading this post and it's OK if you are not on the same side as me. I just want you to know that. While this post isn't about gun control, mental health or arming teachers, I did think about all of those things in the days leading up the Christmas.

I rode the roller coaster that most parents of small children did. I hugged mine close while sobbing every time I thought about the effect this one act would have. The lives lost, changed and forever altered. I don't think I will ever be able to look at my own kid's school and teachers in the same way.

It was on my mind a few mornings later while I was doing laundry.

I caught a glimpse of the BB guns that Santa was delivering on Christmas morning to my boys.

I spent days agonizing over returning them. They hadn't really expressed any want for them anyway so I knew that it wouldn't affect their Christmas in a negative way. They hadn't pinned after and asked for over and over.

No my kids want Lego sets.

They got those from their parents and grandparents.

No they were just getting to an age that I thought was appropriate for BB guns. They are young boys and I wanted them to have the same experience that I had have heard recounted countless times by Hubby.

We watch A Christmas Story every year and for the last couple of years I had been thinking that I might buy them.

This was finally the year I thought that they were old enough. It had seemed at the time of purchase such a great gift. We live in the house that Hubby's parents did when he was a young boy. He used to run around with his BB gun in this yard shooting pop cans, at birds and targets. Did I mention that we bought the exact same brand of BB gun that he has a child?

I wanted them to shoot pop cans in the backyard.

I wanted them to have the same childhood memories of their father.

Hubby and I were so lucky. I think that's probably something that most parents say about their childhoods. We were able to ride our bikes where we wanted, we were able to play outside all day without having to really check in with our parents. We were turned loose to climb trees, explore and just learn what we were capable of.

We were free to be kids in our neighbor hoods.

Don't get me wrong terrible things happened when we were kids too.

Jessica, the little girl that fell down the water well.
The Challenger exploded while we all watched on classrooms TVs.

The biggest difference between what happened then and what is happening now?

Intent and knowledge.

My kids are still talking about the school shooting every couple of days. They learned about the shooting that took place in the movie theater. They know that there is evil in the world. They know because I have to keep telling them when they ask if something really happened.

There is no way to explain what happened.

Evil exists in the world that my children are living in and they have to know it.

Our parents didn't tell us about every evil thing that happened. They didn't think that there was a great chance that things like that could happen to us.

I don't feel that way about my children.

I know that there are countless children lost every day through kidnappings and mass shootings are happening anywhere and everywhere. Across the nation violence seems to be rising.

I drill my kids about what to do if a strange car or stranger tries to talk to them while they are outside.

What would you do if...

What if they asked you to help them find their pet?
What if they asked you if you wanted candy?
What if they told you your parents were hurt and they were supposed to take care of you?

What would you do if someone was in your school shooting a gun?

I know that I can't protect my kids from everything. I hate it but logically I understand it.

What I can do is prepare them, protect them as best as I can and allow them to be kids.

I can make sure that I love and appreciate the time that I am given with them. I can make every effort that I can to make sure that they grow up to be part of the good in the world.

Returning 3 BB guns would not make a difference and after taking the time to think about it, I was able to realize that.

This problem that we have is bigger than any acting on emotion band-aid we try to fix it with.

In my opinion there need to be serious reforms in gun control, enforcement of gun control and the way that we deal with mental health as a nation and the punishment/reform of criminal behavior. In my area I see countless people break the law and only get a slap on the wrist. No one is afraid of doing anything anymore. The more that I think about that fact the smaller and less ineffectual I feel.

What I can do is raise my children in the best way that I know. What I can do is protect their childhoods as much as I can. I can encourage them to be children. I can show them the good in the world and make sure that they know how to be a part of the good. How they matter and can make a difference.

So Santa came and with it my kids entered the stuff of boyhood dreams. At least the antique ones that parents like us are trying to keep going.

After first they were in disbelief.

Are you sure this is safe? Will it hurt if we shoot each other?

Commence mini heart attack on their Mom's part.

Hubby took them aside to show them how to load. Talked a lot about friends of his that were shot with the very same gun. Talked about how to hold it while walking, loading and shooting. After playing with their Lego's, Wii games and other Christmas presents they all headed outside.

Can you believe that almost 25 years later Hubby's Dad still had his BB gun mentioned above? We were visiting them for Christmas and the kids were telling them about shooting pop cans in the backyard.

I cracked a joke about Hubby taking turns with each of the kids BB guns.

His Dad said you want yours? It's in the bedroom closet. I use it to shoot in the backyard every once in a while.

We brought it home and now when the boys ask to shoot their guns, they are not allowed to have them at will thanks to their second question being will it hurt if we shoot each other Hubby is right there with his BB gun too!

Do you talk to your kids about the dangers in the world? Are you honest or trying to keep them naive as long as you possibly can?

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Friday, January 4, 2013

#DeliciousPairings with Starbucks and The Bakery at Walmart

2 more sleeps until the moment that I have to wake up from my Holiday coma. T minus 2 days until my kids head back to school and I head back my volunteer positions with their schools and soccer club.

So this morning I sipped and enjoyed my breakfast for longer than necessary.

I relished the laziness of it. I relished that I didn't have to be up and around before the sun. I wasn't trying to come up with New Year's resolutions but one came to me right about the time that I was taking my second cinnamon roll and it was quite a revelation.

You know why mornings are so hard to deal with?

It's not that I have 4 kids.
I have become immune to the chaos.
I have become immune to the endless bickering.
I have become immune to the fights over what they will or will not wear.

No, it's the fact that I am trying to get so many things done before 7:45 on an empty stomach.

The more I thought about it, the more I focused on my coffee and cinnamon roll. I thought about how good it felt to nourish my body and mind with a little time, food and caffeine.

During the school year Hubby and I are terrible about skipping breakfast since we are so focused of getting everyone out the door on time.

Why not fix what is broken?

My resolution:

Wake up 30 minutes before the kids and have breakfast with Hubby. 

I know that we will be better equipped to take care of our family's needs if we take care of ourselves too.  Plus the added benefit of spending a few minutes in blissful silence couldn't hurt.

Want to join in with my on this resolution?

Check out #DeliciousPairings display featuring Starbucks Holiday Blend with cinnamon rolls from The Bakery at Walmart.

We don't have a Starbucks in our area so unless I brew at home, it's not something that I get to drink all the time like you lucky dogs!

It's delicious. I think it has a much darker and richer taste than any other coffee that I have bought. Did you know that the Holiday Blend has complimentary notes of ginger, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange and cloves?
I really tried to taste these with my breakfast...

It was no use. I am hopeless when it comes to picking out flavors. I can't do it with wine either. Holiday Blend paired with cinnamon rolls was a breakfast that I am going to have on constant repeat at my house. Hubby and I both loved the combination of freshly baked goods with awesomely bitter/sweet coffee!

Maybe you can though pick up on those flavor notes though.  Try pairing Starbucks Holiday Blend with any of the yummy looking treats in the Bakery at Walmart:

While I couldn't pick out the complimentary notes, I can recognize a delicious and easy way to turn back to school after Christmas break into a painless transition. By making time for breakfast before the kids are up I know that I will be better equipped to get them out the door on time.

How are you preparing for the end of Christmas vacation? Are you guilty of skipping breakfast for the sake of beating the clock on busy mornings?

I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias #SocialFabic All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Ups and Downs of 2012

Happy New Year!  Is it really already the first? I can't believe that this year slipped so quickly into the past. It seems like just yesterday I was snuggling with my family around a camp fire and talking about putting my camera in manual mode. I felt so good going into 2012. I didn't realize that it would be a year of ups and downs.

Down:  My youngest was put through a battery of psychiatric tests in May. We were told that not only does he have A.D.H.D. but that he was showing signs of Aspergers and mood disorders. We took the test results and recommendations to his teachers, school counselors and principle who worked with us to make his experience at school more productive and enriching. He is making quite a comeback in his school work and his grades are slowly but surely coming up. I can't tell you what a blessing this has been for him.  But I do count it as a down because I had to really take a look at the way that I interact and react to him. I had to realize that while he can't alter most of his personality traits, I can. I have to. I have to be the mother that he needs. I had to look back at the way that I have made things worse for him by simply reacting to his volatile or contradictory behavior. I can now recognize when all he really needs is more personal space, personal interaction and sometimes just a second to catch his breath and calm down. My kids are also having to learn not to react. I give them props. They are really starting to turn the page for their brother.

Up: I gave up blogging in March of last year. It got to the point that every waking minute was spent reading blogs, drumming up reviews or blogging. I was stressed out and so was my family. So one day, I just didn't do any of it and it felt really good. While I did continue to share bits and pieces via twitter, fb and was the great to step away from my computer.

Down: I missed blogging and am back at it now.

Up: I am much more aware of the time that I spend blogging. I am much more aware of the projects that I am taking on, the time that I am willing to dedicate. I also have a clear vision for my blog. I am planning on working with a blog designer to take Getting all my Ducks in a Row to This Family Rocks. I want to share my family, myself and my experiences. That's it.

Down: While I did take a step away from the computer, I did not get better at housework. My mantra this year is going to have to be: When in doubt, Clean something. I've tried different systems in the past. I've tried following the FlyLady, giving each room their own day of the week and assigning chores. The thing is...I'm just not that organized or motivated. This year I would like to change that.

Up: I took up running. At first I was doing it to lose weight and it worked. I left 31 pounds in 2012!

But now? It's a habit. It's a hobby. It's a great way for Hubby and I to spend time together. It's a great way to show my kids that being active is important. So far I've run a 5k, half marathon and am training for a full marathon in April.

This morning Hubby and I took on the inaugural Commitment Day 5k. In 30 different cities across the country people came out to make their health a commitment.

We are both committed to losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. We are both committed to being healthy role models for our kids.

I was shooting for under 30 minutes and came in just over my goal by 37 seconds.

Hubby came in at 35 minutes and 38 seconds.

I am so proud of us.

We are already planning on doing a 5k/10k couples race around Valentine's Day!

How was your 2012?

Were you glad to see it go or fighting tooth and nail to keep the calender from turning the page?

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Scary Thoughts and the Secret to Running a Mile or More

Last week I bought a couple of cheap light weight jackets and a pair of smaller running pants. I had been holding off on purchasing anything smaller just in case.

In case I lost more weight.
In case I couldn't maintain.
In case I won the lottery and could buy anything and everything I wanted instead of what I could afford.

None of these came about and I have shrunk out of everything I own so the purchase was necessary.  Even as I write that or see these pictures I don't believe it.

Not in the way that I can't believe that I have done this or look at me, but more in while my body is smaller - my mind refuses to see it or acknowledge it. It's scary.

So yesterday I shared these strange thoughts with Hubby and asked him to take a couple of shots of me before we did our 5 mile run. While I did throw on a tiny bit of make-up, which I don't usually do for running, but I didn't do any preparation.   I didn't think about how I was standing, suck it in or ask to look at the shots so that I could pose in a way that didn't make me look bigger.

You know why? I needed to see this. I needed to see that I look different. I needed my mind to recognize the work that I have put in. I don't look like the weight loss girls on pinterest, and that's OK.

In hopes of making it clear to myself the difference 31 pounds makes, I went through and looked the past couple of years photos and put them right next to these. I can see the difference but sitting here feeling my body from the inside - I just can't seem to make the connection. I catch myself being mean to me. I catch myself making fun of me in my head and out loud.

In all honestly there are glimmers of hope. After this photo was taken I ran my 5 miles all the while thinking about how awesome it is that my body is capable of it. That my mind is strong enough not to give up. But these thoughts are not thoughts that I have every day.

So starting today...I am going to be nicer to me. I am going to let myself off the hook if I want to eat a cookie or three. I am going to realize that I am in my target weight range for my height. I am going to recognize that I am only 15 pounds away from my fantasy goal weight. I am going to recognize that I look good at this weight. I am going to recognize that running and portion control are doable. They are a lifestyle that I am choosing and the benefit is a smaller me.

The secret that made running a mile to ten miles possible:

Slow down.

If you can't breathe while running you are going to fast.

Slow down.

That's it.

That's the secret to being able to do a mile.

Want to know the secret to doing more than a mile?

Run more. If you can do one mile for a week. The next week try two, then the next week three.

It's easy...well in theory.

You are going to want to give up, don't.

Slow down.

You are going to want to listen to that voice in your head saying your legs hurt, you can't breathe or you are not a runner.


Slow down.

You legs don't hurt as much as not liking what you see in the mirror each and every time you are faced with one. You can breathe if you slow down and if you want to be a runner, be one. Get out on a regular basis and take the time to practice running.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Influenster Holiday VoxBox 2012

A few weeks ago I joined a site called:

Basically it's a free to join community of invited people who give opinions about products to their social circle, brands and other members. I like to try stuff so it seemed like a good fit to me. If you would like an invite you can request one at

To my surprise I have already got a box of products. 

I will update this post as I try the products: Goody Quikstyle Hairbrush, NYC Liquid LipShine in Nude New York City 582, Sole Society, EBoost Natural Energy, Montagne Jennesse Clean-Up Mud, Kiss Nail Dress and Quaker Real Melodies.

Montagne Jennessee Clean-Up Mud - This isn't a product that I have bought before, but it is one that I have picked up in the store, looked at and then didn't buy. Why? I just didn't think that it was something that I would use. Turns out I was wrong. I liked the Aloe Vera and Willow mask. It was refreshing at first and once rinsed off left my skin feeling soft and tight at the same time. Since it's made for blemish prone skin it was a good one for me. I have always had problem skin but the amount of running and sweating that I have been doing is great for my body, not so much for my face.

This will be  product that I will buy again.  I just wish that I could figure out how to apply it in an artful way instead of just smearing it on.


Have you tried any of these products? Are you a member of Influenster?

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