Here's another case of "better late than never," as we drove all day to get to central Utah for the Young Living Fall Festival here, tomorrow. We're in a no-tell motel for the night, where the wi-fi doesn't work, nor is anything on TV, so here we go! Link up here if you're playing along this weekend!
1) This song contains many weather references (clouds, rainbows, sunshine, rain). How's the sky where you are today?
It rained a lot today, coming down through the mountains, but the sunset was clear and beautiful. Hopefully, it won't rain all day tomorrow!
2) Bobby Sherman sings that when he's alone, he imagines his "Little Woman" is right there beside him. Do you often daydream?
3) Bobby had a very bright smile. Do you ever use whiteners on your teeth?
I use whitening toothpaste. The enamel is stripped from my teeth, and the Diet Coke or coffee I'm always drinking will stain my teeth.
4) He was beloved for his shiny hair. If we were to peek in your bathroom, how many haircare products would we find?
I really only use shampoo and conditioner anymore. I comb it out and let it air-dry, usually. However, if you asked about my skincare routine... ;)
5) After high school, Bobby attended Pierce, a community college in the west San Fernando Valley. For culinary students, Pierce offers courses in canning -- specifically apples and peaches. If we were to peek into your pantry, would we find canned fruits?
Not right now. I can't keep canned fruit in the house for long. My kids would eat it all in a day!
6) As an actor, one of Bobby's earliest performances was on the TV show Honey West. That series revolved around a female "private eye" adept at martial arts. Do you have any self-defense moves (that don't involve a weapon)?
Nope. All I learned was "grab, twist, pull" in high school. Never used it, though.
a. People who have read this blog for a long time and feel like they know me inside and out (so, basically, me - haha!) should remember my #1 pet peeve are those drivers who take a half an hour to make a right turn in front of me. Oh, my God. I could write a day-long rant about this! I should not have to come to a complete stop behind your dumb @$$ if there is nothing impeding your progress except wishy-washy driving. Commit to it and GO, already! (See?)
b. Following right up close on the heels of "a" is smoking. I have a zero tolerance policy for it. Especially when there are designated smoking spots and you are not in them. Or you're clustered around a restaurant or, even more crazy-making, medical establishment entryway. GTFO!
c. Racism, unfair prejudices, intolerance, all of that. The world is shrinking when it comes to coming into contact with "The Other." Get over it, people are different. And yet we are all the same.
d. Apologies to fiddler crabs, but asymmetry. OCD is alive and well within me, and I like symmetry, gosh darn it. Some asymmetry is tolerable for me, as long as it is a resolved, balanced form. Gross asymmetry, though, just drives me off the deep end.
e. Judgy Christians. As a Christian myself, I find it abhorrent to be misrepresented by this more vocal and more populous group.
5. What you ate today
There was a sale on colossal shrimp at Fred Meyer today when I went for a few staples, so I took advantage and brought home a pound. The cocktail sauce was way too spicy - thank you, horseradish - so it was all shrimp and no cocktail for me. I think I was full after three! (I just found out there were five left in the fridge. Um. Make that four...)
6. How important do you think education is?
Immensely important. People who think a college degree - in anything, really - is overrated probably don't have one themselves.
7. Five people you find attractive
a. & b. Hubs and our older daughter, Chloë, for starters
c. Our son, Jack
d. Our younger daughter, Sophia
e. and, my celebrity boyfriend of course, Matt Damon
8. What you wore today
I got this pair of Old Navy royal blue velour lounge pants from the thrift store, and Hubs teased that I should get the matching sweatshirt so I can complete my, uh, well-aged look. I think this model (and plenty others on Google) shows that velour is not just for the geriatric folk! I'm wearing the pants with a heathery gray Eddie Bauer shirt, also from the thrift store. I'm going for "comfy" here.
9. Something you always think “what if” about
I play the "what if" game in regards to my mom's early death, as well as my son's, all the time...
10. Something you’re proud of
We're in our eighth year of homeschooling. I'm pretty proud that we're still going strong. This year may be our best year yet!
11. Something you lust after
Well, I don't know if it counts as lust or more like "coveting," but I want allll the oils! I just love my Young Living essential oils so much for how they have improved my quality of life. I want them all.
12. A word/phrase that makes you laugh
The word "peepee" always gives me a giggle, especially when I get Hubs to say it. So silly!
13. A quote you try to live by
I try very hard to live by the Golden Rule, as my mother taught me while she was still here.
14. Something you like and dislike about yourself.
a. Like: I love to organize and plan the dickens out of a thing - anything, everything - but I am also quite wacky and spontaneous all the time. I like that about me. I'm not completely rigid at all.
b. Dislike: On the flip side of the coin, I'm very impulsive, and that has gotten me into some very hot water at times. Especially when it's my Bipolar Mania kind of impulsiveness. I try to tamp that down as soon as I feel it happening, but I can't always control some of the nutty things I do.
15. A problem that you have had
That quote is so me. I am terrified of success, and therefore I am a huge procrastinator. But by the same token, I'm also a get-shit-doner, so I'm pretty fabulous a pulling excellent work out of my hindquarters at the last possible moment!
Hey, party people! Welcome back! I'm in Week Two of Tonsillectomy recovery, which, let me tell you folks: At 41 years old, as excited as I was when the ENT told me I needed those mofos out, I'll be waaaaaay more excited when I'm fully recovered, can swallow regular food and my pills again, and have a freakin' voice that doesn't sound like that lady in Throw Mama From the Train!! Remember her? OMG.
1) This song begins by stating that he met her on a Monday and his heart stood still. How did your past week start? It may be a lot to expect you to report that you met someone who made your heart stand still, but did anything noteworthy occur?
My week as a homeschooling mother of three teenagers started with me, recovering already, getting aspiration pneumonitis to boot. So we skipped church because I was coughing too much that I'd be disruptive, and my girls went off to play Quidditch with their team, the Lap Giraffes, instead. Weird enough, right?
Oh, my gosh, yes. I had alllll the Nancy Drew books as a kid. My girls have read a few, and my son has read a couple of the Hardy Boys books on a recommendation from their grandmother.
3) Shaun went to Beverly Hills High School. Over the decades, BHHS has had many good football teams. Do you remember what sports your school excelled at?
Pretty much all of them, as I recall: Football, soccer, lacrosse, gymnastics... Baker High School in Baldwinsville, New York, had many athletic trophies in the case. They were always in the morning announcements at school. I was not among them. Not an athletic bone in my body.
4) Shaun followed his older half-brother, David Cassidy, into TV/records/teen stardom. Do you have siblings? If yes, what career paths did they follow?
I had an older half-sister I'd never met, whom my dad just found after decades - 4.5 of them! - of no contact. She's in a home for adults somewhere in NYC. He knows; I forget, but I think it's in Staten Island. I really want to meet her someday; she's my blood. (She is mentally disabled.) My older whole-blood sister, Stacey, is a hair and nail stylist in Jamestown, NY. I had two older stepsisters, Mindy and Aarin, for 10 years; I flew the coop and left all the step-nonsense behind at 17, so I honestly have no idea what they do.
5) His middle name is Paul, after his maternal grandfather. Tell us something about one of your grandparents.
I never met my paternal grandparents, both of whom died before I was born. My maternal grandparents were everything that did NOT suck about my childhood, and I loved them with my whole heart. Grandpa was in Russia during WWII and came back learning only the two phrases, "Do you speak Russian?" and "What time do you get off work, baby?" He taught me those when I was a kid, haha! He had a massive heart attack and a sextuple bypass in his 60s, and he was supposed to be in one of the twin towers on 9/11/01 but was called off that day, thank God. He died a few years back at the ripe old age of 81, and I miss him terribly.
6) Shaun's mother, actress Shirley Jones, reports that he was more than 3 weeks late and born by Cesarean. Have you heard family legends about your arrival into the world?
I had a heart defect when I was born. My parents were told that I would die if I did not have surgery to correct it, but they refused it because of their "religion," Christian Science. My grandparents freaked out my whole life whenever I did anything exertive, and they hit the roof when I became a SCUBA diver! I recently saw a cardiologist and went through the whole 30-day monitoring, stress test, etc. rigmarole and was deemed "abnormal" (duh) but with nothing to do at the moment. Rest easy, Grandma.
7) "Da Doo Ron Ron" was originally recorded by The Crystals. Can you think of another song that has been a hit by more than one artist?
First thing I thought of was "The Locomotion," made famous by Little Eva, Grand Funk Railroad, and the one I know best, Kyle Minogue.
8) In 1977, when this version of "Da Doo Ron Ron" was popular, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporated Apple. Are you Mac or Android?
We had iGadgets at first, including several generations of the iPhone, before we jumped ship to Samsung Galaxies. They are everything I wanted my iPhone to do, but it wouldn't/couldn't. I lurve it.
9) Random Question: You're exhausted. You collapse into bed and are about to drift into slumber when you hear the drip-drip-drip of the bathroom faucet. Would you kick off the covers and go turn it off? Or would you stay in bed, letting it drip until morning?
If I couldn't nudge Hubs awake to do it and didn't fall asleep first, I'd have to go turn it off. The waste!
Great fun this week, Crazy Sam! Thanks for the quizzy!
We have eggs, y'all! We haven't figured out which of our now-eight hens are laying, but we're sure it's more than one. We're thinking Daisy and my Athena (our white Silky), but that's all we know so far.
The eggs are so tiny! They're about half the size of a store-bought Large egg. I don't know what that translates to in official terms, but they're really small. Do chicken eggs grow as the chickens grow? I should probably find out - or I guess I will, that is.
So far we've collected 8 eggs, I think. Which is good, because since I've had a tonsillectomy just 6 days ago, I haven't been able to eat much beside the omelettes Rob has been making for me. They taste delicious, and I feel good knowing we've been feeding them the best food and treats available (shout out to Zamzows on Federal Way!) and nothing that isn't the best for them - and us.
So other than my major medical issues going on right now, that's about it from Team Odette at the moment. Every morning is at least one new egg, which is so fun. Sophia is usually the one who finds them. She comes in victoriously with the egg, joy written all over her face.
1) When did you recently have a conversation with a complete stranger? What did you two discuss?
Well, I haven't been out of the house much since I had a tonsillectomy on Thursday morning, so I guess that would have been then with my recovery nurse. I was on a lot of pain medication - and still am - so the memory is a bit hazy, sorry. Oh, but I do remember both Hubs and me asking the surgeon if we could take my tonsils home and feed them to our dogs. Unsurprisingly (but amused, thankfully), he said no.
2) In the video for this song, a woman is having a "hot" conversation on a corded, rotary dial phone in her bedroom. Do you have a landline? If so, do you have an extension in your bedroom?
Nope! We haven't had a landline since February 2003.
3) This week's artist, Rick Springfield, says he wrote this song when he was worried that his girlfriend (now his wife) would cheat on him when he was touring. Would you describe yourself as suspicious or trusting?
I trust very easily. Entirely too easily; I'm extremely naive. But "I'm sensitive, and I'd like to stay that way," as Jewel sang on an album once.
4) He became a daytime heartthrob as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. Do you think it would be cool to have a really attractive doctor? Or would it make you uncomfortable?
I've had terribly attractive doctors. It didn't make me uncomfortable at all, even the one was my OB/GYN with Baby #4!
5) He's discussed how sad he was when, as a boy, he had to leave his dog Elvis behind when the family left Australia. While you were growing up, did your family often move?
No, but as a military family, my kids have had their share of moves. My oldest child has had SIX major moves in her 16 years!
6) In 1982, when this song was popular, Italy won the World Cup. Do you ever watch soccer?
No, but since my nieces Karen and Hanna are major soccer stars in their hometown of Jamestown, NY, I'm thinking I better start getting into it!
7) "Smiley," the first emoticon, was introduced in 1982. Do you use emoticons in your communication? Or do you avoid them?
LOL. See #1. I love emoticons and emoji, and I probably use them entirely too abundantly. But I don't care. ;)
Hey, guys. So you may or may not know, I have been a distributor for Young Living for just over a year, having been introduced to some pain-relieving oils of theirs by my awesome friend, Shana. Shana knew I was suffering daily with pain from what we didn't know (at the time), and she desperately wanted to help me.
Since that time, after being helped tremendously by the little kit Shana put together for me, she signed me up as a Distributor for Young Living so that I could reap the full benefits of the products. I've been gung-ho ever since, but never more so than I have since the 2017 International Grand Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, this past June.
After Convention, my fervor was renewed, as well as my desire to branch out and try more of our many products aside from the oils I have been mostly concentrating [pun intended] on buying and trying. Plus, we've had so many new products come out this year, I was eager to broaden my horizons and give some of them a try.
Full Disclosure: This post includes links to my personal Young Living Distributor page. I have not received ANY compensation from YLEOs for writing this post. All opinions expressed herein are, as always, 100% my own.
Instead of JAFRA, which has been my mainstay in skincare since I first signed up with them in, like, 1999, I've decided to give some of the Young Living skincare items a try. I've been using them for about a week now, and here are my impressions (left to right, as shown above):
Satin Facial Scrub Mint; 2 ounces and retails for $21.38, or you can also sign up under me as a wholesale distributor and get it for $16.25
From the website: "Satin Facial Scrub™, Mint is a water-based exfoliant. It contains jojoba oil, mango butter, MSM [Dimethyl Sulfone], aloe, and Peppermintessential oil to minimize the appearance of pores and invigorate dull skin."
My take on it: Oh, my gosh, I love this scrub. The minty aroma really wakens up my face as well as me for the day, so I am ready to go as soon as I use it. Just don't get it in your eyes, like I have - eek! It really works well to slough off dead skin, leaving my face soft and touchable. I can definitely recommend this.
From the website: "This gentle, soap-free facial wash cleanses the skin without stripping natural oils. It contains MSM [Dimethyl Sulfone] for softening and Lavender essential oil to soothe skin."
My take: Well, at $41 my cost, it's quite a bit pricier than I'd like to spend. However, the orange scent is plenty and also, it's highly concentrated so I only need to use a tiny amount per shower. I just started using it, so I don't know how long it'll last me, but I'm guessing at least two months. That softens the blow of the high price a bit. It does not leave a residue, leaving my face squeaky clean, so I do like it. I just wish it weren't so costly.
From the website: "An advanced formula powered by a sophisticated, proprietary blend of alpine botanicals and pure essential oils, Sheerlumé™ will visibly brighten and balance skin tone."
My take: Well, at $68 (my price), this was another big chunk of moolah that I wasn't quite ready to spend, but since I'm running low on my (also spendy) Jafra Royal Jelly skincare, I decided to bite the bullet and get the Sheerlumé™. It is very rich and creamy, and again, highly concentrated. I barely need more than a fingertip's dollop to cover my whole face and neck, and then I need to let that air-dry before I put my moisturize on top of that. I absolutely abhor dry skin with a passion, so I'm delighted with the moisturizing properties of Sheerlumé™ and the next item, and my skin actually does seem brighter and more balanced. If blotchy/spotty/irregular skin tone is an issue for you (I have lots of scar tissue on the sides of my cheeks from allergy booboos, tons of freckles, and what-have-you), then I would say you should give this a try!
From the website: "Add Young Living’s moisturizing cream, ART® Intensive Moisturizer, to your daily skin care and discover the perfect way to pamper yourself. This deep, ultra-hydrating lotion recaptures the qualities of younger-looking skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helping skin feel smoother and more pliable.
"Made completely from naturally derived ingredients, ART Intensive Moisturizer nourishes the skin with ingredients such as pracaxi seed oil and blue bird hibiscus leaf extract to even skin tone and promote hydration. We also add five premium essential oils to create a light floral scent and luxurious experience that leaves your skin feeling soft, refreshed, and radiant. Clinically tested and non-irritating, ART Intensive Moisturizer is sure to be a welcomed addition to your morning or evening routine!"
My take: Well, since I am admittedly vain about my facial appearance and just turned 41 this past Friday, fine lines and tiny wrinkles have become a BIG DEAL for me. I don't have many, but I do have some. Fortunately, since I have taken good care of my skin over the last 20 years, my wrinkles aren't so bad compared to some of my same-aged peers, but I do see crow's feet and smile lines when I, y'know, smile! I haven't been using the ART line long enough to notice any difference other than while it's actually being applied, and then I really do notice a less papery, more hydrated texture that makes making those lines harder to see.
If super-dry skin, or being in your 40s is not yet an issue for you (you pooper), then maybe the light moisturizer would be the way for you to go. If aging and/or fine lines and wrinkles are an issue, though, go for the Intensive. I really like it, but I will warn you that with this and many other YL products, the scent takes some getting used to. It's a natural, botanically-based aroma, obviously, not lab-created, and so you may not be accustomed to a natural fragrance such as these products provide. Take some time to get used to it; I think you'll be glad you did.
From the website: "Wolfberry Eye Cream is a natural, water-based moisturizer. Containing the anti-aging and skin-conditioning properties of wolfberry seed oil, this cream soothes tired eyes and minimizes the appearance of fine lines."
My take: Well, maybe like some others who are kind of, erm, obsessive about skincare and vanity, I tend to take notice of people - women especially - who are getting up there in years and whether they are using a (good or not) eye cream. So many people don't, and since this is the one area of the body that shows the first signs of aging, it mystifies me that people don't! Believe me, we can tell; it's altogether too obvious. I don't mean that to be bitchy, but rather to convince you to get one! Whether it's from Young Living, JAFRA, or some entirely different brand, just make sure to get one. As far as this wolfberry cream goes, I LOVE it! I sleep for crap lately - okay, I always have - and it shows up in my puffy, tired eyes. Using this cream makes an enormous difference! Also highly concentrated, it packs a punch in just a tiny, fingertip-sized portion and will last at least two months also. Blending into the lower lids - more like on the cheekbone and upward, and on the browbone down with the ring fingers for the lightest touch is what works best. This is a MUST-HAVE item!
From the website: "Rose Ointment™ is a deeply nourishing blend for dry skin. Rose essential oil improves skin texture, while Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) works to soothe rough, irritated skin."
My take on it: Now, this isn't really a facial skincare item per se, but I'm including it here because it does, well, get applied to the skin. I use it on my dry heels and the rest of my feet, my elbows, sometimes even my lips and hands. I have sensory issues and hate the feel of touching paper if my hands aren't exceedingly well moisturized. This Rose Ointment solves that problem well! Just a tiny amount is all that's needed to coat a large surface area. I put it on my feet and then wear socks, and my feet stay nice and cozy and well-moisturized for a long time. Love it!!
From the website: "Young Living’s Essential Beauty™ Serum for dry skin contains essential oils like Blue Cypress and Lavender, known for their ability to restore the skin’s natural moisture balance."
My take: Well, you either add a few drops to your moisturizer or spot-treat it without adding it to anything, for difficult to treat dry spots. i have been adding it to my Intensive Moisturizer, and that kind of seems like overkill. Especially when I add the Sheerlumé™ into the morning's regimen! So definitely be picking and choosing what your needs are and then you'll find it's not necessary to use each and every one of these items - unless, like me, you really love having a lot of choices and want to switch up your routine from morning to morning.
From the website: "Promote healthy skin with LavaDerm™, Young Living’s refreshing Lavender spray. It’s made with skin-loving ingredients such as aloe, Lavender, Northern Lights Black Spruce, and Helichrysum to gently support healthy-looking skin. Its mild and gentle formula lightly moisturizes while also soothing and rejuvenating skin. Incorporate its refreshing feel and calming aroma into your nighttime routine or use it as needed throughout the day. The compact and convenient design of this skin moisturizer spray makes it easy to store wherever you need it, whether in your purse, travel bag, bedside table, or office desk."
My take: Well, I had a hysterectomy in April 2008, which threw me into semi-menopause at 31, so hot flashes are definitely a THING for me. I keep my LavaDerm Cooling Mist in the fridge, so that when a hot flash hits, I am ready for that puppy. A spritz or two here and there is all I need, keeping my skin hydrated and better yet, cooled down! The price isn't bad for how well it works, either. LOVE THIS!!
YL Lip Balm Trio; Retails for ?? $5.26 or wholesale $4 per lip balm. It's not letting me see the price for the whole Trio at this time, for some reason. Shenanigans! It's a good deal, though.
From the website: "Give your lips the best with this set of three lip balm varieties—Cinnamint, Lavender, and Grapefruit. Each with their own unique blend of essential oils and other nourishing botanicals, these hydrating lip balms seal in moisture for smooth, soft lips."
My take: Well, I'm addicted to lip balms, so I have the Lavender one stashed in my purse, the Grapefruit one in my bathroom, and I've yet to use the Cinnamint since I'm still finishing up my Dr. Bronner's Naked Organic Lip Balm (which I also like) here at the desk. These are great, since they work well and combine with my beloved Young Living Essential Oils! If you're also an EO fanatic, like I am, these are also a MUST GET.
(Excuse the damn hair.) So here I am, at the ripe old age of 41, having just used all of the above products, and some of the cosmetics which I'll get to in the next post. Not too bad, I guess; I did get my ID checked the other day when buying beer for the Hubs!! lol. That made my day.
So if you're interested in becoming a Distributor for Young Living, or have more interest and questions about the products, please shoot me a comment (form below) or visit my personal web page for details.
Next up in this Review series: cosmetics and a few new-to-met oils!
I've shrunk a bit. I'm now 5'1.5" and my 12yo daughter is taller than I am!
7. What shoe size are you?
I'm about a 5.5 - 6, depending on the maker.
8. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I have about a dozen pairs, and at least 75% of those are different styles of Crocs. Yes. It's true. I love my Crocs. Shame on me.
9. What was your last dream about?
I dreamed there was no more chocolate to be had in the world. It was a horrendous tragedy.
10. What talents do you have?
I can knit and crochet quite well, although I'm not so good yet at designing my own patterns. I can also carry a tune, although my vocal cords are a bit damaged from years of sore/strep throat. I can't wait until my tonsillectomy on Thursday!
11. Are you psychic in any way?
I joke that I am, but nope.
12. Favorite song?
Right now, I'm digging "Praying" by Kesha a great deal.
13. Favorite movie?
Animated: Finding Nemo
Are you religious?
I prefer to think of myself as "spiritual" rather than "religious."
15. Have you ever been to the hospital?
At least on a monthly basis since... forever, yeah.
16. Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
Only inasmuch as my lead foot has caused me; other than that, no.
17. Have you ever met any celebrities?
Just Dave Barry. No one else really.
17. What color socks are you wearing?
Right now, I have a yellow and black one on the left foot, and a purple and white one on the right. :)
18. Have you ever been famous?
Oh yeah. I'm like, real tight with the Kartrashians.
20. Would you like to be a big celebrity?
Nope. Not one bit!
21. What type of music do you like?
I like a pretty eclectic variety of music, but I must admit, Top 40 is my favorite!
22. How many pillows do you sleep with?
I just got this new Sleep Number ComfortFit Pillow for FREE, and I LOVE it. It's the only pillow I need.
23. What position do you usually sleep in?
I toss and turn. Mostly on my tummy in bed, on my back on the couch, but I'm really all over the map.
24. How big is your house?
It's a fairly unassuming 3/2 ranch-style house. I want to work on making it more curb-appealing next year!
25. What do you typically have for breakfast?
I love avocado cheese toast, but I have a variety of things, often eggs, sometimes nothing at all...
Hope y'all have had a great weekend. Our prayers and positive thoughts go out to those affected by these latest Hurricanes to hit this season. Be well.
Birthdays, birthdays, everywhere! On Thursday, my darling firstborn child, Chloë Raine, turned 16 years old! I cannot believe it; I'm in stupendous shock. How can it be? And yet it is.
Though her birthday was on the 7th, we decided once again to go with "Birthday Season," as Rob's mom called it, and start on September 3rd. Her first present was from Rob, who couldn't wait to present it to her.
At first, Chloë was butt-hurt about the "For Dummies" part of the tiny book her dad gave her, until he reminded her there was a whole, huge series of the "Dummies" books. Since she is forever talking about her dreams, the dream-interpretation book seemed perfect for her!
I love this picture!!! On September 4th, we decided to give Chloë her present from Sophia. Well, Sophie helped me pick it out for her, so consider it a joint gift. ;) Anyhow, "Ro" is one of Chloë's topmost favorite YouTubers, and Chlo wants literally everything in her new collaboration line with Wilton. Sophie told me to get her the logo cookie stamp, and my eldest just about flipped out when she saw it. Yay!
Chloë partly helped me design this present, which I gave her on September 5th, by picking out the exact Harry Potter image she wanted represented thereon. The rest, namely the caption, came from me. She's been putting it together here and there ever since.
Also on the 5th, we started to redeem goodies from our looong list of Birthday Freebies. The first one was a no-strings-attached free dessert from Chili's, so Sophie and I ran down there to pick up a slice of cheesecake for her sister. Chloë had no idea what we were doing, and she was delighted, having been hankering for some cheesecake for weeks now!
You gotta forgive me. I've been having entirely too much fun playing with the new editing software I've got for my images. ;)
During Birthday Season, we get so many freebies, sharing is key. Rob and Sophie helped dig in to the cheesecake, while Jack pouted in his room for God-knows-what. He's not really great at sharing these days ever. :\
On Wednesday, September 6th, I gave Chloë not one, not two, but five gifts that all kinda went together. (Of course, I got hot deals on all these gifts, hence their being part of our celebration. Ha.) Chloë adores infinity scarves, so I snagged five for her recently and decided to give them to her for her birthday instead of Christmas. Why not? Here's the first one...
The second one, which is really soft (actually, they all are), may be one of my favorites.
Basic black is a necessity, am I right?!
I think this patterned scarf looks amazing on her. I love it!
And finally, I gave her a tomato red-orange scarf. I think it'll add some great POP! to whichever outfit she chooses for it!
That evening, Chloë and I decided to head over to Boise Mall to redeem some more birthday freebies. We stopped at the massage chairs, where I dropped a dollar in the slot for baby girl to have a 3-minute massage. I'm not entirely sure she even liked it! ha!
While at the mall, I noticed a Wetzel's Pretzels shop. We'd never eat one there before, because there were none near us in Miami, but I had a hunch. It proved to be accurate: I found and downloaded their app, and we got a free pretzel out of the deal as a "welcome" gift. Turns out, I received another one today for a birthday present! (P.S. Chloë believes they are even better than Auntie Anne's!)
I received a $5 Kohl's gift card in my email inbox a few days ago, so we stopped there while in the mall, too. Hm, what can I say? We're girls, and we wanted chocolate. And behold, it was good.
Chloë was emailed a BOGO Orange Julius coupon in her inbox, so we redeemed that for a couple of medium beverages. Oh, my. Sooo, so good. I filled up on half of mine and gave the rest to Chloë. Next time (which may be soon; I just got another one for my birthday), we'll go with Smalls!
After that, we stopped at Bath & Body Works. You know those awesome coupons for free goodies they mail you sometimes? If not, you gotta sign up for those! Anyway, Chloë walked out of there with a wallflowers plug-in, a refill packet for that, a small spaces thingamajig, a refill for that, a hand lotion pour moi, and maybe something else I'm forgetting... for less than 10 bucks. Not bad!
So next, we headed to Olive Garden near the mall, as we had both received text message coupons for a free dessert. It was kind of a Bucket List item for Chloë to try Tiramisu, despite my constant protests that I, personally, detested it. She didn't care, as we don't share the same tastes on lots and lots of things. But, lo and behold, she didn't like it either and gave up after a few bites. Wahhh!
But, not to worry, as I had a dessert, too! I ordered the Zeppoli, which turned out to be way more enormous than I had anticipated. We munched on a few of those before deciding we were full enough to get the heck out of Dodge!
Chloë was much happier with the Zeppoli selection, so that made this Mama quite happy to see!
Following our Olive Garden desserts, we had just enough time to race to the nearby Michael's store before it closed, wherein we wanted to use our birthday 50% off coupons. When Chloë spotted an endcap with more Rosanna Pansino baking goodies, I knew where her coupon was going! She chose these sugar Gems and has been nomming on them here and there ever since. Hopefully she can use her stamp and gems soon ... maybe even today?!
A brisk trip through Michael's, we ran to Panera to claim our freebie birthday pastries. The young lady was so nice and gave us extras of everything! We were given two cheese Danish and several chocolate croissants! YUM!
Driving back home, we decided to stop at Arby's to redeem another coupon for a free birthday shake with the purchase of any sandwich. Chloë had a yen for a chicken sammy, so we bought that and decided to gift the chocolate shake to Jack and Sophia upon our return home.
I had reward points to spend at Walgreens, and Chloë wanted a masquerade mask for giving out Halloween candies, so she chose this one. Personally, I think she looks beautiful with it on!
After midnight, I asked Chloë to model her "Birthday Diva" sash and outfit for me, and of course she obliged. Behold our newly-minted 16-year-old daughter!
TWe had a free order from Pizza Hut in my Yahoo! inbox, so I placed the order and had Rob go pick it up when it was ready. Delicious!
I could not wait to give Chloë her next present, which I knew she had been wanting for at least two years. I wrapped the box in paper from one of our pups' Barkboxes!
I had gotten a hot deal on a Fujifilm Instax Mini camera, and the joy on her face was not at all staged. She's been thanking me for it for the entire two-plus days since!
For a gift that kinda-sorta went with Chloë's new camera, I used more paper from yet another Barkbox. Hey, it's pretty!
I wish I had remembered to turn off that darn lamp! You can't see this too well, but it's a Dr. Seuss-themed "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" frame. Doesn't quite fit the pictures from the camera, but she doesn't seem to care.
Unfortunately for Chloë, the film I had ordered for her camera was coming under separate cover hadn't arrived yet, so she had to defer her total enjoyment of it for the time being.
It's not just Birthday Season for some of us - everyone benefits! (Especially when I can match a candy sale with a good coupon, heh.)
Chloë did not want birthday cake this year; instead, she opted for lemon meringue pie! We picked it up at Albertsons after r unning some errands, along with this adorable cake banner that seemed more fitting than 16 candles in pie.
Instead, since I wanted cheesecake (I'm not much of a traditional cake person, myself), we used my cake for Chloë's candles. And then, since I wanted to eat said cheesecake, we used it again for mine that same night!
Make a wish, sweetheart. I hope it comes true...
We set the cake up for me; I had no designs on being able to blow them all out at once.
And yet, somehow I managed!
Check me out. I did it!! Hahaha!
Pepper would not like to have his Golden Birthday on the 5th forgotten about, please.
Zero calories in cake or pie on your birthday. Betcha didn't know that, didja?
Friday's mail finally brought the film that goes with the camera received the day before. Phew! Not too long a wait.
Daddy and Paco were some of Chloë's first subject when her film finally arrived.
For dinner on my birthday, I didn't feel like cooking, and Papa John's saved the day by adding points to my online account. I had enough for a free pizza, breadsticks, and cinnamon pull-aparts! Delish!
We had just enough time to slug down a quick dinner before heading off to Julia Davis park to meet our friend Becca for a free concert.
It was actually an Art in the Park festival, but Becca and I wanted to see the band, Red Light Challenge. Everyone else was just there because Mama told them so to join in the fun.
Sophia joined in the photo op when we found Becca, just as RLC were setting up and checking their sound equipment.
Had to grab a selfie with the Hubs while I was at it. Oh, and do you like my new new glasses? I ordered a pair last month, which Tapioca promptly ate. I'm hoping these will last a bit longer.
At last, Red Light Challenge began to play. I loved their music! Very upbeat and danceable. The boys in blue and red are brothers from Hawaii, and the rest of the band formed once the two moved here to Idaho.
Brothers Sean and Kyle played together while the rest of the band members took a break.
After a bit, Becca and I went off in search of cheesy fries. One of the artists was a metalworker, and I dug the peacock and guitarist combo posing here. I'm really into peacocks lately, FWIW.
I ate my share of curly, cheesy fries (Becca's were the garlic ones) before passing them off to Chloë and the rest of the crew. Jack bought himself a hot pretzel but then ended up not liking it (Why? Shizz was good!), so Rob and I were the beneficiaries of the remainder.
After the concert ended, Chloë and Sophia decided to go up, take a picture of Red Light Challenge with Chloë's Fujifilm camera, and then ask all the bandmembers to sign it. They happily obliged, and it was a really cool picture... but then we lost it. I was so bummed for them when I discovered that.
Becca had parked at the mall and ridden the shuttle over to the park, so we decided to drive her back to get her car after the concert/festival ended. While there, we redeemed for a free birthday Wetzel's Pretzels, and Becca bought Cinnabon minis. Yum! There are still freebies to redeem, of which we'll probably do few now that the occasions have passed.
All in all, our 2017 birthday season was pretty, pretty good.
Hey, everyone! Welcome back for another edition of Saturday 9. Link up here if you're playing along this weekend!
Saturday 9: Sign of the Times (2017) ... because Cat recommended Harry Styles Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) In this song, Harry sings, "We don't talk enough, we should open up before it's all too much." When you have something serious on your mind, who do you share it with?
Definitely this guy, the Hubs! (Here celebrating my birthday with me last night at a concert in the park - fun!!)
2) As a kid, Harry wanted to be a lawyer because he can see "both sides." Are you good at seeing both sides of an argument?
Generally I am, and I like to play devil's advocate. Sometimes, I like arguing for arguing's sake, just to further the thinking and discussion about an interesting topic. This, as you might expect, drives Hubs crazy.
3) He can't decide which is favorite color -- orange or blue. Help Harry out: which of those colors do you prefer?
I'm going to have to go with... ORANGE!!
4) Harry says he prefers older women, but would never go out with someone older than his mother. Do you think age disparity matters in romance?
I actually think it does. Maybe not just a few years, like in Hubs' and my age difference of four years, but I've seen several unhappy marriages where the difference was well over a decade. That's not to say that it can't work - I'm sure it can - but it definitely does make relating to unshared experiences interesting.
5) He admits to a big crush on Adele, who is six years older than he is. Who are you crushing on right now? (It doesn't have to be a celebrity.)
Oh, yes it does! No one seems to "get" my crush on Matt Damon, but I don't care. He's such a cutie!!
6) It makes Harry's skin crawl when he sees people use their teeth to open bottles. What creeps you out?
When people scratch their pants - jeans, especially - with their nails. Drives me crazy!!
7) When he's on the road, his go-to food is tacos. Do you like Mexican food?
I didn't before I met Rob, but it's one of his favorite cuisines, so I've come to love it. I always order off the vegetarian menu and get plenty of beany, cheesy goodness!
8) Harry has never smoked. Have you ever been a smoker? If you quit, how did you successfully kick the habit?
I have never smoked and told Hubs, a smoker when we met, that I would never marry a smoker. He quit that day. I abhor the habit and am a little (lot) judgy about those who do it. I've watched several people die long, arduous deaths from smoking, and so I can't understand the younger people who still start. Come ON!
9) Random Question: As she pulls out of her parking space, an elderly woman in an old car scrapes an expensive car. Then she drives away. You witness the whole thing. Do you make a note of her license plate and leave it for the owner of the expensive car? Or do you just mind your own business?
I would absolutely leave the note! Wrong is wrong, no matter how old. Shame on that elderly lady! ;)
Hey, y'all! Make sure you link up with Claudya over on her blog today to show off your hometown, so we can travel the world together!
So, here in Boise, Idaho, there is an annual hot air balloon festival, called the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic.
This year, the event lasted from August 30th (which happened to be Hubs' 45th birthday) through this morning, September 3rd.
On Friday, September 1st, we all woke up at the buttcrack of dawn for the morning balloon launch. Let me tell you what: Team Odette is not a morning family! The kids were all grumbling about being tired, moving poky through their morning-rush routine, barely wanting to go. Meanwhile I, who have an extreme adoration for hot air balloons, was chomping on the bit to just get there already!
When we arrived at 6:45 AM, before the sun was really sure about whether it was even going to be making an appearance that day, there was absolutely no parking to be found at Ann Morrison Park in downtown Boise. I was just about to say f*** it and park illegally somewhere when we finally happened upon a legit spot in Bumfecking Egypt. Let me tell you what else: because of my Lyme Arthritis, or whatever the hell you want to call it, my body does not like to walk that far. I told Rob he'd have to swing by and pick me up after it was all said and done, because I was a hurtin' puppy!
When we arrived at the balloon area of the surprisingly large park, plenty of people were already gathered. Many were standing, like we ended up doing, while others were sitting in chairs or on camp blankets. A family near us even brought a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a gallon of milk! Apparently this was not their first rodeo, and they actually came prepared. Unlike ourselves.
After that first balloon was launched - which, to be honest, we didn't understand because we were so far from the announcer that all his words were a jumbled mess to our ears - we waited and waited a while before anything else fun happened. The kids were still grumbling about being bored and why did we have to get up early for this, and the whole nine. And then... the field around us started showing us billowing colorful fabric everywhere we looked.
Some of the tie-down ropes for the tops of the balloons had an interesting thing here and there, but this one balloon behind us had many countries' flags on there. We could only guess that maybe that was all the places where the balloon had been.
CapEd, a local credit union, was one of the major sponsors of the event. I guess they ran some contests for kids, but all of mine were too old to participate in them so I didn't do much research into those.
As the sun was rising and the balloons joined in, the kids' grumbling waned. They were just as enthralled by what was happening all around us as I was, methinks.
Pretty rapidly, the balloons started filling up with air and then, one by one, filling up the sky.
Behind Rob, there's that balloon with all the flags on it, getting ready for lift-off.
I don't know about you, but I have always been excited by hot air balloons. Looking up in the sky that Friday morning, I was as giddy as a kid in a candy store!
Sigh... They're so beautiful!
No more grumbling on the kids' part by this time. They were as enthralled by the spectacle as I was!
Chloë and her dad ran over to the nearest balloon to ask a few questions, but the basket was up in the air juuuuust before they arrived.
A few interesting characters made an appearance, too. Can you spot them?
It is absolutely on my Bucket List - since before I'd ever heard of a Bucket List - to ride in one of these doohickeys before I die. Maybe next year, we can make plans to do just that. It's a bit spendy, though: these ballooners pay tens of thousands of dollars for their lighter-than-air aircraft and have to pay that off somehow!
C'mon, Darth, get on up there with the rest of them!
My favorite was Yoda. Since I inadvertently speak backward like Yoda, as Hubs frequently points out to me, he's kind of my hero.
Chloë really liked the owl one, and I had to admit, it was pretty cool.
Up, up where the air is clear, up in the atmosphere...
Well, shucky duck, right back at you, Road Runner!
Everywhere you turned, there was beautiful eye candy. It was impossible to capture the whole event in one snap; the field was immense and bursting with color!
Fairly soon, almost all the balloons were up in the air. This one was the last holdout.
None of us could make heads nor tails of this crazy creature. For heaven's sake, who would pay that much for such a fugly thing? What even is that? It had a bloody finger in its "mouth"! Ew. Of course, ugly or no, it warranted a snap from my Nikon.
Chloë, Jack, and Sophia went to check out a gorgeous German Shepherd Dog nearby, but then here they came running back as fast as their little legs would carry them.
So that was our bit of fun on Friday. Jack and Rob went back again this morning, the last day of it, but apparently parking was absolute madness. I'm glad I opted out! It brought me absolute joy to go the one time we all did, and I'm thoroughly pleased we went. What a fun festival!
1) This song begins with the clacking of a typewriter. Did you ever learn to touch type -- beginning with your fingers on "the home row" -- or do you hunt and peck?
I learned to type in my junior or senior year of high school. I'm very thankful for it! It saves me so much time! I need to get my kids to learn to type now...
2) Much of the video for this song revolves around the office coffee room. Are you enjoying a beverage as you answer these 9 questions?
I am enjoying some Kroger-brand Diet Cola, which reads on the bottle, "Zero calories - Drink freely!" I'm sure every nutritionist would love that sentiment.
3) This week's artist, Dolly Parton, loves telling the story of how she once lost a Dolly Parton lookalike contest. What contest or sweepstakes have you entered lately?
When the Powerball was nearly a billion bucks recently, Hubs and I bought a ticket. We almost never play. No surprises here; we obviously didn't win!
4) Dolly is one smart blonde. Early in her career she set up a company so she could retain the publishing rights for all her songs. Two alone -- "9 to 5" and "I Will Always Love You" -- made her a multi-millionaire because they have been recorded so many times. Do you have a good head for business?
Hell no. It drives my business-minded dad crazy, but I just wasn't cut from that same cloth.
5) Dolly is a crusader for childhood literacy and her organization, Dolly's Imagination Library, has donated more than 10 million books all over the country. What's the last book you read?
Right now, alternating between answering these questions, I'm perusing a book called The Art of Paper Weaving. The kids and I are currently studying South Africa in Social Studies, and we're doing some paper weaving in lieu of basket weaving as many do in that faraway country.
6) This weekend may offer a golden opportunity for napping and sleeping in. Do you snore?
I do. I'm supposed to use CPAP, but I can't keep the damned mask on my face. I just rip it off in my sleep. I stopped snoring after my gastric bypass surgery, but Hubs reports I've begun again in earnest. Awesome. In a couple weeks, I'm having a tonsillectomy; I wonder if that will change things.
7) Labor Day was introduced to celebrate the achievements of the American worker. How many different employers have you had?
Seven or eight? Maybe ten? I've worked as a grocery store cashier in several different chains (Publix was the best); I worked in a SCUBA dive shop; I've taught Biology Lab to college undergrads; I've worked at the law firm... I could go on, but that would bore you too much. I think maybe a dozen, now that I've remembered a few more.
8) Will you be attending a Labor Day picnic or barbecue?
So far we have no plans. It kind of snuck up on me! Hopefully we'll find something fun to do in or around Boise.
9) Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the new school year. When she was a kid, Samantha was crazy for her brand new box of 96 Crayola Crayons. It even had a sharpener in the back! What do you remember about preparing to go back to school? If you're a parent with school-age kids, are they ready?
I loved those crayons, too! I adore getting new school supplies and now, office supplies, so much. That was always an exciting time of the year for me, even if it did mean most people forgot my (9/8) birthday. My older daughter is exactly the same way (and happens to have a 9/7 birthday, to boot), so much so that when she turns 16 in a few days, she'll apply to Office Depot for her first job.
As to whether they're ready, we homeschool year-round, so while I gave them a couple weeks off, we've been schooling all summer! When I have my tonsillectomy, I think they'll be getting a couple weeks off then, too. I hear the recovery is miserable.
Thanks, Crazy Sam! And now for some Sunday Stealin'!
Link up here if you're playing along this weekend!
1. What kind of school did you attend? (Big? Small? Public? Private? Specialty? One-room schoolhouse?)
This was my (public) high school, in Baldwinsville, New York. I think we had about 583 in our graduating class of 1994? So I'm not sure if that's big or small; medium, I guess.
2. What did you wear to school? (uniform? dress code? Whatever you wanted?)
I don't remember anything about a dress code - though I'm sure there was one? - when I was high school, and we didn't have to wear uniforms. I wore pretty much whatever I wanted, but nothing too crazy.
3. How did you get to school?
I took the school bus. Some of my friends drove, and my older sisters did, but I didn't get my license until after I was in college. I had even bought my first car when I was 17 and starting Senior year, but there's a whole long story that I'm still kinda bitter about there, so we won't go there. Anyway, fortunately, my school bus was quite a bit roomier than this one! ;)
4. Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
One of my very favorite teachers was Señora O'Toole, my Spanish teacher for several of the years from 7th through 12th grades. I still keep in touch with her, though now she has her doctorate and teaches at Syracuse University. I'm so proud to call her my friend. She is just a good, kind-hearted soul.
5. What was your favorite subject? Why?
I was definitely a nerd in high school; I was good at and liked almost every subject. Math and the sciences were my favorites; they just came the most naturally to me.
6. What was your least favorite subject? Why?
Social Studies was my least favorite subject. Remembering all those dates did not come easily to me, plus I am a pacifist. I loathed learning about war after war after war. I still do. It hurt me right in the feels to learn about people struggling deeply all over the world, while I lived my (relatively) cozy life in the United States.
7. Did you belong to any clubs?
Several. I was in choir from sixth grade on and was a Soprano. I only sang Alto when I (frequently) got Strep throat, and my choir director did not want me to strain my voice. That was tough on me; I hated that part. Otherwise, I loved chorus. I was in the girls' choir, too. I was also in the National Honor Society, Drama Club for a short while, and... I think I'm forgetting something.
8. Were you a picky reader?
I loved to read and absorbed most books fairly rapidly with enjoyment. However, a few, like The Red Badge of Courage, were about war and were therefore the bane of my existence!
9. What did you do in your free time?
I had a really shitty life at home, so I tried to stay away from there as much as possible. I stayed after school when I didn't have to go straight to work. I worked at the grocery store whenever I could, hung out with my friends when possible, and then, if I had to be home, I tried to hole up in my room and do my homework. Even extra homework, lots of it, just to avoid interacting with my evil stepmother. Sometimes that worked. Not often.
10. Did you get good grades?
You know I did! I was at the top of my class, maybe third or fifth... I forget which.
11. Did you like/participate in sports?
No, not really. I liked a few things we did in gym class, like archery, golf, and badminton, but I was fairly decent at those. The more "team" sports, I was no good at.
12. Did you have a boyfriend/girlfriend in high school?
I had the same boyfriend, Ben, throughout my Sophomore and Junior years, but I fecked that relationship up at the end of Junior year. In my Senior year, I dated someone else, but I fecked that relationship up, too; he's now married to my best friend, Lisa. I fecked my next relationship up, too. Oh, yeah, I had really great role models for relationships - or have I mentioned that?
13. When did you get your driver’s license?
I was 19 when I got it, finally. My dad said I'd never get it and would probably fail the road test a dozen times. Ha, I showed him: first try!
14. What kind of kid were you? (Popular? Class clown? Shy? A nerd? Teacher’s pet?)
I was a shy, nerdy Teacher's pet, although I had friends from all of the different cliques and groups.
15. Who were your heroes?
My more "normal" friends' parents, many of whom had an inkling about what I was going through at home and took me in as much as they could. They were my actual, literal heroes at the time; they rescued me more than once.
16. Were you ever bullied?
A little bit here and there in high school; a little worse in junior high, but never too badly.
17. Did you learn how to touch type?
Hey, Crazy Sam just asked the same thing! Yes, I did, and I am thankful I took that class.
18. Who was your best friend? (Are you still friends today?)
Lisa and Shana were my BFFs, and yes, we are still friends.
19. What is one thing you regret about high school?
Though I know it wasn't my fault, I was pretty fucked up in the head and therefore fucked up many of my friendships and relationships. I regret that.
20. What were you most proud about?
Aside from my good grades, I was proud that I was voted "Class Giggler" in 3rd Grade. No lie; I still have the certificate!
Bonus: Did you like high school?
I liked being in high school, but I did not enjoy my high school years at home. Does that make sense?
So that was fun. Thanks for stopping by, and forgive me for doubling up on the memes this week!