Tuesday, December 20, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things! (Part 1: Skincare)

Warning: This is gonna be the most rambling blah blah blah "Omg, how can she use so many words to make one small point?" blog you've ever read here! Be warned!

Sometimes mommies can forget to take care of themselves when they are taking care of everything and everyone else and I can say that I am definitely guilty of that. Ever since I moved to Kansas I have made an effort to take 15-20 minutes every night after Konnor goes to sleep to do some skin care (especially since after having Konnor, I started having a lot of breakouts which I didn't have to deal with too much before)! One reason why I wanted to try take care of myself more was because you can't properly take care of someone else if you aren't taking care of yourself first. I like to think of it like when you're on an airplane and the flight attendant tells you that in case of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others because it's hard to help others if you are passing out from lack of oxygen yourself! Same goes for parenting in my opinion. If I look like crap and feel like crap because I'm not taking care of myself, then I won't be running at 100% and Konnor deserves a mommy that is running at (or close to) 100%!
I think some mommies feel guilty spending time on themselves, but I like to think that taking care of myself in little ways helps me to be a better wife and mom! So I wanted to share some of my favorite skin care products that I use to "care" for myself! There are lots of products that I "like", but these are the ones that I will definitely buy again after I run out...that's how they qualify as my "favorite things"! Some of you might be thinking, "What's the big deal? I always buy the same products over and over." Well it's a big deal to me because I hardly EVER buy the same product twice. For example, I have never bought the same shade of hair dye before and I have never bought the same exact shampoo twice! I like to mix things up!
I love the Zap-it system which is made by the Melaleuca company. I use steps 1, 2, and 3 every night before bed. I have tried ProActive (waaaay too harsh on my skin!) and the Clinique 3-Step system (it was just so-so...didn't really see an improvement after months) but the Zap-it system just works the best for me. All three products contain tea tree oil which is a really amazing oil for your skin and scalp! I was introduced to this system by Steve who let me use some of the pore refining cream (step 3) stuff once when I had a huge pimple and it was GONE the next morning! I've used that stuff ever since!
This is a salt scrub made by Lush. I don't really like the soap that is made by Lush (and that's what they are famous for), but I really love this stuff. Steve bought this stuff for his eczema originally, but I kind of "borrowed" it. This stuff is non-irritating even on my sensitive skin! I can use it every day on my face and have no problems plus I don't have dry patches on my skin anymore! I usually use this in the morning when I wake up!
The Dream Cream by Lush is just that, a DREAM! Steve also bought this for his ezcema, but I use it as my night time moisturizer.  It's very rich and calms the skin.
This is the only product from the Clinique 3-step system that I love! It's moisturizing, but lightweight and amazing. Haha...I'm sure "amazing" doesn't tell you much about it, but I don't know how to describe it! It's not oily, it's absorbs quickly, I love it! I use this in the morning after I do the face scrub.
This stuff is a lot like Vaseline/petroleum jelly in texture and feel, but it's not like Vaseline in that it doesn't contain mineral oil! Mineral oil is not a very good product for the skin or the environment! Petroleum jelly is made from Petrol which is what people in European countries call gasoline. Yeah, not something I want on my face. This product however is made of wonderful, healthy oils! I use this mainly around my eyes or anywhere else my skin feels a little dry every night.
I love this stuff and have used it since I was a child. My dad always had a little pot of Carmex around and I loved using it! Nothing moisturizes my lips or heals chapped lips like this stuff! It's cheap, it's simple, and it's amazing!!! 
I have gnarly cuticles. I have never been someone who had beautiful nails and it's not from lack of trying. My nails are thin, brittle, grow unevenly, and my cuticles are dry and gross. This is the only product I have used that makes my nails and cuticles look and act somewhat normal! I have about 4 of these little tins scattered about because if I thought I lost one for good, I'd go out and buy another only to find the "lost" one a day later! Hahaha...but I don't even care because I love this stuff!
And finally...my favorite body lotions are the Bath and Body Works lotions. Once upon a time, my mom bought me a gift set from BBW for Christmas with bubble bath, shower gel, and lotion in the scent Cherry Blossom. I used to have this problem of having waaaay too many lotions laying around, all half used. I decided that I was going to get rid of some of them and promise to use up ALL of the lotion before I bought a new one! The Cherry Blossom lotion was the last one I had to use up and after using it a few times I realized how much I loved it! The scent was great and it made my skin so soft! I preferred it over all the other lotions I had used up. Also, does not contain mineral oil, score! The two scents I am currently using are Twilight Woods and Paris Amour. 
And that's it! Those are my eight favorite skin care products, hope you enjoyed and don't forget to take some time each day to take care of yourself!

-Michelle



*Disclosure: These products were paid for by me. I received no compensation for this review. I have no affiliation with any companies mentioned. All opinions are 100% honest.

Friday, December 2, 2011

What We've Been Up To On This Side Of The Country!

Here's what we have been up to! Remember that Holiday Fest I was telling you about in the last post!? Well I got invited to go! Tickets are like $40 per person and I got invited to go for free because I helped set up! It was so amazing and fancy! Very important people from the whole state of Kansas get to go to this thing, so I was very excited and honored to attend! The night before the event, we went to a Wassail party...
 Here is me and my mom at the Wassail Party. I learned that wassail (which is pronounced "wassle") is a hot, spiced, apple juice and it is delicious! The party was for people to come and preview all of the items that were going to be auctioned off during Holiday Fest and to watch a few musical performances by some of the clients from Tech.
 Me, my mom, and Jim at Holiday Fest in front of the pretty lights! I did my mom's hair and makeup for the night :D
 The boring ol' food court at the Kansas State Fair Grounds was transformed into a glamorous and beautiful festival of lights! It was so beautiful!
 We took Konnor to see the motorcycles during the Toys for Tots toy run! The people raise money for toys and then deliver them via motorcycle to Toys for Tots! He loved seeing and hearing all of the bikes!
 It was super cold, but Konnor was waving at all of the riders!
STEVE FINALLY GOT HERE!!!!! HOORAY X INFINITY!
 Konnor and his daddy being "cool dudes" in their sunglasses! That's one thing about Kansas, even in the dead of winter the sun is shining brightly and you should wear your sunglasses!
 The adorable Konnor sitting in his little chair outside...
 Konnor and his wagon...
 One side of my new hair style! I love it!
My family...me looking awesome and Konnor just finished "digging for gold" in his nose hahaha!!

Tune in next time to see what me and my family are up to in our new home in Kansas!!!

-Michelle

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Presenting the Unstoppable Konnor!

Today I tried to take some cute pictures of me and Konnor, but 95% of them turned out like this:
 
It's almost impossible to keep Konnor still long enough to get a non-blurry picture!
We call this one the big downward facing smile with double chin and scrunched up nose!

Speaking of noses...Where's you nose Konnor!? (Or...where's your boogers?!)
Me, Konnor, my mom, and Jesse (my mom's boyfriend's youngest son) volunteering for Holiday Fest! We were putting together all of the trees (there was like, a bazillion of them) and putting lights on them. Holiday Fest is something that TECH (the place where my mom and Jim work) puts on every year. It's some big, fancy winter land dinner thing where they auction off all kinds of awesome stuff like vacation packages, paintings, and jewelry to raise money for TECH.
My mom and Jesse quit bickering long enough for Jim to take this nice picture of us, hahaha! (notice how Konnor's foot is blurry!!! He's always on the go!).

After the Holiday Fest is all set up, I've been told it looks AMAZING!! I will hopefully have new pictures to put up when it's all decorated and beautiful looking!

-Michelle

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our First Week in Kansas!!!

I guess I will take advantage of this rainy day to finally finish this blog post!
Steve, Konnor, and I left Michigan October 21st and arrived in Hutchinson, KS on the 22nd! We were on the road for 30-some hours!! I got to drive a 2011 Chrysler 200!!! It was pretty amazing since I'm used to driving a '95 Taurus! If anyone needs to rent a car, I recommend renting from Hertz because their prices were amazing and they rent out awesome cars!
So we got to my mom's house on the 22nd and Steve had to leave on the 23rd in order to get the car back in time (Oh, and get my sister Katarra back in time for work. She secretly rode out with us to surprise my mom!).
Here is Konnor and Steve getting some pictures taken together before Steve had to head back to Michigan. He had to go back for a while to finish working and tie up some other loose ends...
Before Steve and Katarra went back to Michigan, we all went to eat at Fazoli's and this picture is Konnor thoroughly enjoying his left over ravioli from Fazoli's! He was licking the plate and being super silly...I got it on video too!

The first Saturday that we spent in Hutchinson was packed with things to do! First we went to a MONSTER garage sale at the fairgrounds (Hutchinson is home to the Kansas State Fair every year so the fairgrounds are huge!) The "garage sale" was in a huge building and different people came and set up tables. There were over 150 booths (which consisted of 3-4 tables each) in this building! I wish I would have taken some pictures! We woke up at 5:30am in order to get there early...and when we got there, it was already packed! These people take garage sales very seriously!  We got: a jogging stroller for only $15!!! Some awesome, vintage cat eye glasses with jewels on them (you'll see them later), a hello kitty purse (yes, I love hello kitty still!!), and some other stuff...I can't even think right now.

After the garage sale, we went to the annual Chili Cook-off! People set up tables all over the downtown area (I think there were 35 tables?) and people walk around trying all the chili's and at the end you vote for who your favorite was. It was really fun (and tiring!). The chili I voted for got 3rd place!
Konnor enjoying the Chili Cook-off...
The furiture store was having an ugly couch contest where the winner got $500 towards a new couch! I voted for #2.  I don't know who won though...

Next on the list of events was Trunk or Treating! It's just like Trick or Treating, but instead of going door-to-door, you go trunk-to-trunk! I decided to get dressed up too, so I did my best Barbie impression...a much shorter, chubbier Barbie! Hahaha! Konnor made for the CUTEST little puppy around, even though he refused to keep his ears on and everyone thought he was a lion.
Konnor did such a good job of telling everyone "thank you" in sign language, but most people thought he was blowing kisses! (You put the palm of your hand to your mouth, and then kind of drop it down in an outward motion to say "thank you".)

These are my new (AMAZING) glasses that I got at the garage sale! I just could not pass them up! They resemble the glasses Marilyn Monroe wore in "How to Marry a Millionaire" so I just had to have them. Jim took the lenses out of them for me so I can wear them without getting a headache, haha.

Here we are going actual trick-or-treating on Halloween night:
You can see me with Konnor and his orange bucket, and my mom in the blue jacket. Konnor didn't even care about the candy, he just loved running up the sidewalk and waving to the people who were passing out the candy! He loved all the lights and other kids running around...it just warmed my heart to see him having so much fun!

Another thing that warms my heart is watching Konnor get to play outside! He didn't get to go outside much in Ypsilanti (the one time I tried to take him out to play, we almost got attacked by a big dog because the owner thought she didn't have to follow the leash laws!)
Konnor loves playing in Grandpa Jim's garden, picking all of the veggies that didn't ripen in time.
So that was our first week (or so) in Kansas!

-Michelle

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wanna See A Cool Project I Did?!

Ok dang it. I'm going to write this blog post! I've been sitting on it for what seems like a week now and every time I sit down to type it out, my mind goes blank, then it wanders off chasing a butterfly, then it realizes that it's lost in the woods, miles from home.  I've had half a (large) glass of wine and I am going finish this thing!
Ok, so here is my spice rack and all of my spices sitting on the counter. Oh wow, I just realized something. Look at that little short space in the front, with the red lid. Now look at how all the other spices are standing around it in a threatening and menacing way. Especially the Curry Powder, he's kind of a jerk anyway, but dang. I think that poor little spice must be shaking in his little spice boots! He looks like he's about to get jumped! Probably because he's a ginger (Haha get it!? A ginger because he has red "hair" and because ginger..is...a..spice..no? Ok...moving on...)
Here is some baby food that may or may not be expired. So, you probably don't know this about me, but I LOVE GLASS JARS. Just something about them, I don't know what it is, but I love them. So I decided to take all of those spices up there, in their ugly, mismatched plastic containers and make them pretty.
Half a bottle of acetone and about 700 cotton balls later and the jars are label and glue free (And some hot water and soap)! The lids look like they still have food on them, but they don't! They were thoroughly scrubbed, but the rubber is permanently dyed on some of them from the original sealing process! (That part was typed a few days ago. Look at all the beautiful glass! So pure, so...clear. haha)
Lookie lookie what I did! I did a project and it worked out. What's that you say? This is probably the easiest thing anyone could ever do you say? How is this an accomplishment you say? Well, it's an accomplishment for me if I drink a glass of water so YES this is awesome to me.
Now they all "match" and look so nice with their cute little labels. So pretty, and they don't look so menacing anymore. Also, Fennel smells amazing, you should go smell some.
I discovered that not all baby food jars are the same size however. Some are different by like, a millimeter which was really not fun when it came time to put the lids back on. I spent about 30 minutes trying to find a lid that would fit the Cinnamon... stupid Cinnamon. That's also why I couldn't stack all of the spices like I wanted to, only some of them would fit that way.
Umm...I don't remember WHY Steve put those socks on Konnor like that, but it was cute therefore, picture.
And here we have Konnor making a big mess and laughing gleefully while he did it.

Yay! I finished it!

-Michelle

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lasers! Sparkles! Action! Adventure!

Good morning smiley face! I feel so blessed that I get to wake up to this smiling little face every morning! Konnor sleeps in his own crib now, but he usually wakes up around 6am wanting to come cuddle in bed with me and Steve. The good part about that is, he will usually fall back asleep until 9am! Yay! Three extra hours of sleep and cuddling!
Even though I look awful, I couldn't pass up posting this adorable Konnor face!
 In other news...I did something awesome yesterday. My mom bought me this cookbook that she also owns, called Make-A-Mix Cookery and it's amazing! It has recipes to make your own "mixes" that can be stored dry or frozen in order to save time, money, and sanity. Steve and I had a lot of rice lying around so I made three jars of "Chicken Rice Mix", three jars of "Mexican Rice Mix", and a jar of "Chili Mix". Now if I want to make the rice I just put one jar of the mix and 2 cup of water and some butter in a pot, boil for a while, and TA-DA! Chicken rice.
Plus the jars just look so pretty!
 The book has so many different kinds of mixes like a "master quick mix" that can be used to make about 40 different things (recipes for those things are included in the book!) basic cookie mixes, meat sauce mixes, hot chocolate mixes, etc. Also, have you ever seen those "Gift Jars" that have layers of ingredients for cookies or some other yummy treat, with a pretty label on it and baking directions? This book has the labels pre-made for you and teaches you how to make those jars! How cool is that?! (Yeah, I am really excited about this book if you can't tell!)
Thanks Mom!

Ok, less about food, more about who you actually came here to see! Today, Konnor reached a new milestone! HE PUT HIMSELF DOWN FOR A NAP! Steve put a pillow inside Konnor's "fort" because I mentioned how nice it would be if Konnor would just crawl in there and fall asleep and look what happened:
Magic.
 He crawled into his fort, played around for a little while, then fell asleep! It was amazing!

Until next time,
Michelle
p.s. The title of this blog is pretty much meaningless, I just couldn't think of a title so I wrote a bunch of exciting sounding words :D

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Packing Progress Report!

Now that moving day is a month (ish) away, my life consists of packing, organizing, cleaning, and GETTING RID OF STUFF! This is what we have packed so far:
It's mostly clothes, DVDs, and some of Konnor's toys. I can't pack most of our stuff yet because we are still using it or we are planning on getting rid of it! We are getting rid of: Our couch, 2 bookshelves, dining room table and chairs, hutch, another shelf thing, plates, pots and pans, glasses, TV, TV stand, and a bunch of other random things. Our philosophy is, the less stuff we have to move, the less expensive it will be to move (smaller moving truck, smaller storage unit, etc.)! Our moving plans aren't final, but we have to be out of this apartment on October 31st so we do know that!

Steve made a fort out of boxes for Konnor! He loved it! Notice his left hand in this picture...he was holding a gingersnap in that hand so he was crawling around on his wrist so he didn't get carpet gunk on his cookie. lol.
Here is Konnor and Steve inside of his "real" fort that we bought him at Ikea. He is in this phase where he likes to hide in little "cubby holes" around the apartment and stash his toys in little hiding places. It makes clean up time really interesting! 
(OK, I have to interrupt this paragraph real quick to say that Konnor is spinning/running around in circles right now as his way of "dancing" to "What's My Age Again?" by Blink 182 that I have playing on iTunes! He LOVES dancing! Oh, now he just fell down because he got too dizzy! Hahaha!)
Also, speaking of hiding things, here's a tip. Always check your laundry basket before dumping the clothes into the washer. Steve just threw them in there without really looking through them (I had already sorted them so I can see why he didn't think to look through them). There is a picture of my lotion up there to prove that "Clinique Dramatically Different" travel sized lotion can go through the washer AND the dryer and survive!! Konnor must have stashed this in the basket right before Steve went to put it in! After spending the night in the fridge, the lotion is back to normal! Yay!

Here are two of my favorite pictures of Konnor this week:
 
Soooo happy!!! I love his adorable little laugh and smile :D

Konnor and his glow worm fell fast asleep...


These pictures are from dinner tonight... Konnor "Pizza Sauce Face" D.!

My heart melts.

-Michelle