Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just running Santa's errands....

Well I was about to put up a status about my trip to Wal Mart tonight, but I quickly realized it took more than a couple of sentences to explain what I'm trying to say. Folks... it's another rambly night.

Basically I just don't have a lot of time to go Christmas shopping. When Dan actually has time to watch the kids, that is when I have to work. Then when I get home, he goes to work, so I can't escape over to shop. I mean heck, I live literally right off Wal Mart's driveway so it shouldn't be that hard, right? Yah, well, it wouldn't be if I didn't have small children whom I can't leave alone or the CPS might haul them away and I just don't think I'd like jail that much either.

So, tonight I was in dire need of some printer paper. Oops, forgot to replenish my supply last time I was out. So, Dan had already left and I had 2 kids that were majorly on edge from not getting a nap. Apparently I'm the only one that puts my foot down about that sort of thing. It was an emergency though, so I packed up the kids and took that long 30 second drive over to Wal Mart. We go in and I promise the kids that if they are good we can go look at the toys and they can tell me what they like best so we can tell Santa.

After looking awhile, Ava and Corinne found a couple of cool things that were right at the price I was looking to spend. Since I absolutely hate having to make a special trip just for that (especially to Wal Mart with all 2 checkout lanes that are ever open and the long lines in them of people haggling over sale ads and whatnot), I decide to just grab the toys right in front of my kids and carry them up to the register. Of course Ava wants to carry hers, only I had to tell her it wasn't for her. She looks at me confused, so I have to tell one of those "parental lies." I told her that some kids don't get presents at Christmas (didn't go into any more detail... didn't want to have to explain why Santa might miss houses...) and that I was going to give those away. Ava didn't even argue, her mind was on some bath crayons that I had promised to get. I had grabbed a barbie for Toys for Tots, so I was truly getting stuff to give away, but I just can't believe that was the last I heard of it! By golly somehow I pulled that one off. I'm going to miss the days when you can buy presents right in front of your kids and be able to pull off Christmas morning telling them they're from Santa. LOL Ava saw me put the Barbie in the Toys for Tots box and for whatever reason she assumed I had put them all in there, nevermind that I was still carrying 2 bags.

I don't know why I'm rambling about all this. I just find it amusing that I get away with that from time to time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The sound of sheer terror...

Well what do you know... my mom found a box of cassette tapes in her basement that belong to me. In it was a recording of a small performance I did with Al Werner, who taught lessons at Beermans. He had asked me to come sing with him and a couple of friends at a senior living center. I was thrilled and yet terrified. I was also kind of sucky... lol.

So other than that, I really don't have much to say, but I made a video blog with Ava. Be warned, you can hear the sucky singing... next week I hope to be able to post a much better performance video.... stay tuned.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My first video blog

For this entry, you will have to watch the video if you want to hear the story of my 5th grade tutor and how I tried to convince him that NKOTB was poetry. LMAO


I promise you that I am not drunk, although I did partake of the Riesling today. I am a bit of a rambler.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Acne and Crows Feet. How do you fight that???!!!

This will probably be one of my more embarassing blog posts to date, and probably will be for a while. It is a confession about a little problem I've had for the past, well, since I was a teenager. Actually, the sad thing is that it wasn't too much of a problem when I was a teenager. This problem came on as an adult... oh yes, I'm talking about the dreaded adult acne. I honestly can't remember exactly when it started, but it has made a habit of showing up at the the worst times of course. Its always there, ALWAYS. It is gross, it is painful, and I have tried everything under the sun to get rid of it. What I'm going to tell you I hope gives you some ideas, in case you are possibly suffering from the same problem.

When I first started having some issues in high school, basically all I was aware of was Clearasil. The stuff was actually a little wicked, very drying, and seemed to aggrivate things a bit more. Then there were the salicylic acid spot treatments and face washes. These seemed to really help, for a few days, and then my face completely freaked out. I remember times when half my face seemed bumpy and sore, it was awful! My doctor gave me stronger concentrations of benzoyl peroxide and even some topical antibiotics. These did not help a bit. Then there was Tetracycline. This is kind of a wicked antibiotic that you have to take without food in your stomach, or it doesn't work, and then you have to let it sit there for 2 hours before you can eat. Keep in mind you're also not supposed to eat for an hour or two beforehand. This is pure torture for a nibbler like me. Oh and it was typically taken twice a day. You'd think I would have lost weight, but no, didn't even get a decent side effect with my torture... lol. The good thing was, Tetracycline did seem to work. However, it is not a long term therapy, so of course when I went off it, all the acne and redness came back.

Finally, my doctor referred me to a dermatologist. The dermatologist told me to throw away all the harsh soaps and just switch to Cetaphil soap and lotion because I have sensitive skin. That actually did help and my skin was MUCH more calm with gentle treatment and moisture! Who knew?! Still, there were times, off and on, when things would flare up and I would get prescribed Retin-A. That stuff didn't really work the greatest, but it helped a little. When I read that Retin-A is great for reducing eye wrinkles, I started smearing it all over my baby crows feet. Well, at least I tried to make the most of it! I still wasn't satisfied though. I was still getting those big nasty deep cysts every now and then, and when those came, look out... more were sure to follow.

So, over the course of the last 10 years, not only had I tried all of the doctors suggestions, but also did my own research and found a few home remedies on the internet. Folks, I have smeared toothpaste on my face, even dabbed apple cider vinegar onto trouble areas with a cotton ball. I've used plain old Neosporin and all sorts of funny looking clay and peel-off masks. I even started drinking a glass of water with maple syrup and apple cider vinegar in it a few times a day. The concoction wasn't the most pleasant of drinks, but it wasn't too bad. I was drinking that to help with heartburn too. It helped a bit. Thing is, vinegar erodes teeth and also lowers blood pressure. Great, right? Yah, for most people, but I have low blood pressure already and I'm not crazy about the whole prospect of passing out.

At one point, I tried some generic version of proactiv. The ingredients were the same. It worked great for about a month, then quit working.... just like everything else.

So, I'm happy to report that I have FINALLY found a few things that really seem to have cleared things up! First thing I did was switched to eating more whole foods like fruits and vegetables. I tried to eliminate HFCS, but of course it is in almost everything, even bread. I have managed to find things, with diligence, that don't have HFCS (high fructose corn syrup, or corn sugar) and preservatives. We've stopped eating things that come from boxes, for the most part. Sure, there are still times when it has been a long day and dinner is less than stellar, but the vast majority of time we try to eat things how nature intended. With this alone I have seen a vast improvement. I have also discovered that eating anything with too much sugar will cause breakouts. I did a little research and did see there is evidence that blood sugar spikes will cause acne. I definitely notice that if I've had a bad couple of days and eaten sugary things, I will have a breakout.

Still, a few of the pesky little buggers were still popping up every now and then. Thank you mother nature for your little "gift" to women **snort**, as I'm guaranteed to have something unsightly pop up on my face at least a few days out of the month. Oh but I have found something that actually seems to work as a spot treatment! It is made by a company in England called "Nelsons Pure and Clean Acne Treatment Gel." It has all natural ingredients and you can find it at some health food stores. Seriously, this stuff is the bomb diggety. It doesn't dry skin AT ALL, but I can see visible redness reduction overnight. I know this sounds like an ad but after years and years of issues, I'm super crazy about this stuff. Why oh why can't an American company make something so simple, yet so amazing? I pretty much always have to order this stuff over the internet because it is that or wait for 2-3 weeks for the local health food store to order it.

So, now that I'm finally starting to get that problem under control, I now see crows feet on the edges of my eyes and also strange wrinkles along the edges of my nose. In a moment of despair, I went off to Sephora, because I had read in a magazine that Kate Gosselin had used some sort of eye lift gel from there. Ok, so no one likes her, but lets be real, she does look like she's had something done to her face. I figured it wouldn't hurt to go there and ask about the stuff.

When I walked into that place, it was like beauty heaven. Yes, I tend to shop at places like Meijer, so places like this are like beauty heaven to me... lol. A salesgirl came up to me and I explained my problem to her. She says, "How old are you?" I say, "30." She laughs a bit and says, "Yep, that's what I figured because that's when all the ladies come in here acting all spooked." lol This wonderful girl explains to me that my lines are barely even visible and can be reduced simply with a very good moisturizing cream. I insisted that I needed to fight these things now, before they sneak up on me quicker than 10 lbs of blubber on an ice cream addict. She then recommended a retinol serum (Hmm.. so it was a good idea to use the Retin-A on the crows feet.. lol). Somehow I walked out of that place with a new, all natural and gentle face wash, an eye cream, and retinol serum. My wallet hurt a little, ok, a lot. The stuff is supposed to last for months though, which is nice, and I can see that it will. I tried it out the first night after getting it. No lie, within days my skin was glowing. Yes, GLOWING!!!! Elation! Oh, and I've always had dark circles under my eyes... its hereditary and also due to allergies. Even that was visibly reduced!

So, here is my routine, in case anyone out there wants to try something different.

Every morning I wash with Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser with Botanical Blast. I then put on a very light layer of Cetaphil lotion. I dab any spots that I have with the Nelsons Acne Gel. I then apply the eye cream, which is Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee - Eye and Lip cream. I usually give this stuff a few minutes to soak in before applying my makeup.

Every evening I wash everything off with the Boscia. It is amazingly gentle yet actually does remove all of my makeup, without having to use a seperate makeup remover. I then use a light layer of the Cetaphil lotion, do the spot treatment with the Nelsons, and apply the Caudalie eye cream. Every other night I use PeterThomasRoth Retinol Fusion PM and dab a light layer all over my face. This is the stuff that speeds up the cell turnover and makes your skin glow. This is very important to do since that Retinol stuff speeds up the skin cell turnover.

I'm happy to report that I now don't feel too embarassed to leave the house without heavy foundation. I literally HAD to wear it before or I would have never left the house. Now, I switched to a light foundation that just evens out my skin tone a bit.

So, I've tried a ton of things and maybe, quite possibly, someone else out there might find some of this information helpful.

Oh, and if you're all into fitness, check out this link. I found some good deals on this site. Yay!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I was going to write a blog tonight about this whole Prince William - Kate Middleton engagement. I quickly realized how mundane and boring that blog was shaping up to be after, oh, about 3 sentences so I scrapped it. To summarize, all it basically said was that I have no idea why any countries still have royalty. I mean, hmmm... what is our closest thing to royalty in the USA? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? Are we going to watch Zahara's multi-zillion dollar wedding on TV some day? I mean, her mom likes to draw attention to social and political causes. K, so Angie started out as a homewrecker but she's doing cool things now. I mean look at what a diverse family they have... that should make for a lot of really interesting weddings in about 20 years... :) But seriously folks, William is prematurely balding and not aging quite so well, and Kate, yes she is gorgeous but what exactly has she done that makes people even care what she's doing? I read somewhere she works with her family business, which is cool because they built up their own business which makes millions. I also read somewhere that they had been dating for like 8 years. Over on this side of the pond we'd call that woman a doormat. I can see why they started calling her "Waity Katey." Who wants to marry a dude that doesn't want to commit for like 8 years? But whatevs, he's loaded and she's pretty so lets all stare. We worship these people because they are "well-bred." They're like the world's show dogs only less cute. Britney and Lindsey are a heckofalot more entertaining. When this Kate girl starts doing lines of coke, flashing the paparazzi, and heading into rehab, then we have a story. Ok, ok, she could also do some humanitarian work but for gosh sakes she should do something interesting if we're gonna talk about them.

SSSSOOOOOOOOOO Enough about that. Ramble ramble ramble. I promise I'll come up with something better tomorrow!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wait has she been around for THAT long?

Every now and then I hear a song on the radio that brings back a memory from my childhood. Most recently, I heard this "oldie" from Janet Jackson that I used to sing in Junior High.

See, I always loved to sing, basically ever since I could speak. When I was no more than 4-5 I remember I used to take my mom's cassette recorder into her room and just sing a whole bunch of crap into it. I actually think that tape might be in my house somewhere if the sands of time have not decomposed it by now. I guess you could say that was the beginning of my musical journey (unless you're counting me singing the chorus to "Elvira" as a baby.. haha). I was always recording myself singing for as long as I can remember. The singing wasn't good, mind you, but it didn't matter, I just loved doing it.

Fast forward to junior high. This is going to really show my age but I remember I begged for a cassette walkman for Christmas and, much to my delight, got one. For some reason, I also had a Janet Jackson tape. I'm pretty sure my parents didn't buy me this (haha), but I'm thinking I had made a copy of one of my cousin's tapes. I freakin loved that tape and I was always singing along to it. Wait, I meant to say that I was always singing along to it in the confines of my room, with the door shut, or off in the orchard somewhere where I could be certain that not another soul could hear me! I even remember that one day, I got this bright idea that I could bring a cassette recorder into the storage room down in the basement of our house and record myself singing "Miss You Much", because, you know, a 3x8 room (or whatever it was) full of glass jars and canned goods makes a super awesome recording studio! Why, I was gonna kick butt at that Janet Jackson song! So there I was sitting in that tiny storage room listening to "Miss You Much" on the walkman, singing into a tape recorder. Folks, let me tell you, that recording turned out SO BAD... lol. It wasn't even necessarily because of the tools I used to make the recording, but the fact that I was gasping for breath and the singing was a barely audible whisper. I was terrified to even let myself be heard on my own personal recording! I wonder what ever happened to that tape. My guess is that I probably recorded myself singing over it, doing 2 part harmony with myself, because that's the way I roll.

But see, thats the thing about those old songs that makes them so awesome. I think back when I hear that song and I remember how thrilled I was, as a kid, be the superstar of the storage room. The best part is singing along to the song now and smiling at how far I've come. :*)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The deal with dogs

As many of you have noticed, I have been on the subject of dogs lately. I place the blame on Dan for this, as he has stated on more than one occasion that it would be cool to have a dog. Sometimes he says things like this just to see if he can get a reaction out of me, so it is quite possible that this is what he was doing, but nonetheless it got me to thinking about what it might be like to have a dog.

See, the thing is, I'm allergic to dogs. I've had the skin test and my arm got a nice little itchy rash right where they put the dog dander into it. Of course that allergy doc struck some major fear into me because he said, "You are allergic to a household pet. Can you guess what that might be?" I was super freaked out for those 5 or so seconds of silence, as I am a major cat person and couldn't bear the thought of not being able to have cats. I think I said something like, "I dunno...." out of fear that he might tell me I'm allergic to cats. That was when he informed me that I was allergic to dogs and everything started to make sense. I remember when I was just a kid I would decide to camp out in my backyard with our dog, Penny, only to wake up in the middle of the night feeling sick and have to go back into the house to sleep. Then there were the late teen/early 20's years when I was pretty much sick for 2 years straight with various sinus issues.... this was what led up to the allergy testing. I remember Dan and I would visit his friend Jay and they had a beagle. I remember always getting a headache going over there, and every time I went there with Dan, I just had to go play with the dog! It was at that point that I started to wonder if I had a problem with dogs. Like I said earlier, we had a dog when I was growing up, but she was outside all the time so I never really had any issues, other than when I slept next to her in the tent.

Now, I know I quite possibly come across like a dog hater at times, but those who really know me know that I'm CRAZY about animals. I just have a problem with listening to my neighbor's dog bark incessantly at odd times during the day/night. Cats are my #1 favorite, but I freakin love just about anything with fur. A lot of my problem with getting sick at dog owners' houses is that for some reason I think that I need to go buckwild playing with the dog, petting, hugging, etc. Even my friends who have had "mean" or "skittish" dogs say that their dogs seem to like me. So, I suppose this is a recipe for disaster. I'm drawn to dogs, but my sinuses disagree with dogs.

So, this brings me to the issue of adopting a dog. I honestly just never even thought about getting one after finding out I was allergic to them. My doctor told me to get a Poodle or a Shitzu, because they have hair and not fur... something about that makes them have less dander. Shitzus are completely out of the question... too little. Trying to make a shitzu jog with me for 3 miles would kill it... lol. Not to mention they are smaller than my cats. So hmmm.. I start doing a little research on poodles and I like what I see. I search out breeders. $1000?!!! OMG OUT OF THE QUESTION!!!! I don't need a champion bloodline, I just want a plain old family dog. Heck if I wasn't allergic, I would just go to the pound and get any old dog. However, I have to be picky about what kind of hair they have, and the dog has to be smart. We don't like dumb animals around here. I like dogs that can do stuff. I tought our dog Penny how to do all sorts of tricks. Now that was a cool dog. She was Samoyed/rat terrier I think. That's what she looked like anyway. Awesome mutt dog, but she was a furry little thing and I would have for sure been sick all the time if she was in the house. Honestly, I would LOVE a Husky or two, but that could only be if we lived in the country and they could stay outside the vast majority of the time. I hear they dig too... not so good in the city! So yah, getting a dog is an interesting challenge for us and we couldn't just get any old dog from the pound. Oh... forgot to mention Ava is also allergic and also has mild asthma which turns to not-so-mild asthma when she visits people with dogs.

So maybe you are reading this and saying that it would just be better to not bother with dogs and avoid them. I don't know about that though. I don't seem to have too many issues with little dogs, so I'm thinking a dog with minimal dander wouldn't be a big deal. I've never seen Ava have too much of a reaction with little dogs either. It's the great big ones with a ton of hair that seem to be the problem. Well, that and beagles. Don't know what it is about beagles but yah. I pet them and I can feel the oil from their fur on my hand... its gross... lol. Cute little buggers, but they can stay with the hunters out in the country.

This should explain to you why I've had so many dog statuses lately. We are not actively seeking a dog, but merely keeping our eyes open, just in case a low priced poodle or terrier should come along. It just needs to be able to keep up with me on my jogs. A dog might actually help in forcing to stay home and quit travelling thousands of miles because god knows I'd be the one potty training it... lol.

I'm thinking its time to get a different house on some land..... then I could have the Huskys!!! Dan even agreed to Huskys. He doesn't seem to think a poodle is a "real" dog. Neither do I, really. It's kind of a frufru dog, but they are smart, and we have allergies in this house so we have to take what we can get.

Right now I'm just counting my blessings that no one is allergic to cats!!!!!