Monday, June 27, 2011

Cars 2: Disappointment

In my opinion, Cars 2 is not much of a sequel. It is such a departure from the formula of the first movie that it's really a stand-alone. The first movie was slow-paced and sweet. Although there were some race scenes, I don't feel they were high-anxiety scenes. Both my kiddos can watch the first movie with little to no stress.

But the second one is totally different- it's very violent to me- there are "bad guys" and lots of good guy-bad guy stuff.

And it's confusing! WC, who is 5 1/2, really didn't understand it AT ALL. The idea of someone being "undercover" is really an advanced topic and she just couldn't follow the storyline. P, almost 8, actually asked me if we could leave in the middle of the movie because it was too stressful. I convinced him to stay, but as we left he said, "It was OK, but not at all like the first movie. We don't need to buy it."

Have you seen it? What was your opinion? Did your kids enjoy it?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Queen of Shortcuts: Reese's PB Cupcakes

Last week I ran across a recipe for some cupcakes with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup at the bottom, and I knew I had to try them.

The only problem was that the recipe I found was all homemade-y and had lots of ingredients that aren't typically stocked in the Sasha pantry.

So...... in typical shortcut fashion, I cut a few corners are created my own version. And they are YUMMY!

Here's the finished product.

Cast of characters:
Cupcake mix (the one I used made 12 cupcakes, perfect for one batch)
Ingredients for cupcakes per box- water, oil, and eggs
Foil liners (important!)
Full-sized Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Stick your Reese's PB Cups in the freezer for a bit so they come right out of the wrappers. Preheat oven to 350. Place one upwrapped PB cup in each foil liner.

Mix cupcake batter and fill liners. Be messy like me.

Bake for about 15-17 minutes.

I frosted them using the whipped frosting.... so so good!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pixi Lumi Lux Radiance Powder Review

Are you using your "Summer" makeup? I am, for the first time, really getting into bronzers and powders that add that sun-kissed glow to my skin.

I was excited to receive the Pixi Lumi Lux Radiance Powder to review. It retails for $26 at Target.

The design of Pixi products is always so cute- this is a slide-out powder.

However, you can see the downside to this--- I nicked the flower with my fingernail when I was opening it to photograph- see the part of the flower right by the P in Pixi?

I tried to swatch the powder on my skin, but it's so natural, it's hard to see! So here's a swatch on a cotton pad.... it's a nice rosy peach.

Per Target,

This silky, all-over illuminating powder palette adds light, radiance and
luminosity to the skin and creates an angelic sheen. It's ideal for
counteracting tired skin as an instant pick-me-up on cheekbones and

I used a skunk brush to swirl the colors together and applied like I would a bronzer.... to my temples, cheekbones, and nose. I followed with my normal blushes and loved the look.

If you are looking for a new illuminating powder to add some radiance to your face, this would definitely be perfect!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fun Week

This week I volunteered to take pics for my son's baseball team. We missed the official picture day (plus they are CRAZY expensive when you buy the official pics) so I thought I'd dust off the skills I picked up in my photography classes last fall and give it a shot (pun intended).

I am so pleased with how they turned out! Doesn't P look so grown up? He'll be 8 in August and I continue to be so proud of his good attitude. Baseball has been hard for him (there are 2 balls coming at him at a time you know!) but he gets out there and tried hard.

And last night at practice, he hit 11 balls! Amazing, really. Our end-of-season tourney starts Monday, and although I am ready to not have to sit in the 101 degree heat for games anymore, I will really miss it. Baseball is totally my favorite sport.

I didn't charge the parents for the pics, and emailed the hi-res images for them to print their own, or use however they like. Since I planned on ordering wallets and such from (they do rounded corners and use Kodak Endura professional paper), I offered to order anything the parents wanted at cost. Quite a few took me up on my offer and I just got them all sorted out and ready to deliver. It was fun!

How has your week been?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Too Faced Eye Love Eyeshadow Palette

I recently got the Too Faced Eye Love Eyeshadow Palette as a 500 point VIB reward from Sephora. I love saving up my points and redeeming them for something full-sized rather than those 100 point sample sizes!

Although I didn't picture it, this also comes with a mini sized Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which I love. It'll be a great size for travel.

Basically, this palette offers up two shades from each of the following palettes: Naked, Smoky, Natural, and Romantic. These palettes run $35 each, so this VIB reward is quite a steal!

(click to enlarge)
Also included on the inside is a diagram showing you an example for each look.

(click to enlarge)

The Muse has some more pictures as well as swatches if you'd like to see them. I am so pleased with my reward and suggest you snatch it up if you've got 500 points lying around.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The 5th(???) Edition of "Sasha's Been Living Under a Rock": My Drunk Kitchen

Have you been watching "My Drunk Kitchen"?

As usual, I am sure I am the last one alive to stumble on this, but OMG it's hilarious. So far there are 6 epis and a new one is out tomorrow..... I need a tshirt too. I am deciding between "The Cheese is Trapped" and "Jargaritas".


Monday, June 13, 2011

Music Monday: Hell on Heels

I'm joining in with Hairbows and Guitar Picks for Music Monday today.

Have you heard of Pistol Annies, the new girl group that Miranda Lambert is a part of? They just released their first song, Hell on Heels, and I LOVE it! It's available for download of $1.29.

What are you listening to today?

Friday, June 10, 2011

P's Vison Issues

It's been a while since I have done an update on P and his vision issues, and Kelly's Korner is hosting a Show Us Your Life about special needs today, so I thought this was a good time. Honestly, his Exotropia diagnosis just floored me, and the subsequent surgery and therapy have been all-consuming.

P turned 7 years old in August 2010 and started 1st grade. We knew when school started last fall that his reading skills weren't quite up to par with his peers. But since we were dealing with some Sensory Processing Disorder issues like his sister also had, we weren't too concerned. We figured that as his SPD issues improved, his ability to sit still in class and concentrate and learn would improve too. Testing after school started actually showed him to be at the level they expected for entering 1st grade. However, at home he still continued to have difficulty with reading, getting frustrated and often saying "I just can't!". So we took a pretty laid-back approach and didn't push him, and I most just read to him, rather than have him try to read to me.

After the holidays, I found out that he had been put in a remedial reading group at school. I was surprised, because he is so bright and to think that he had learning disabilities was just so unexpected.

I first thought we needed to rule out vision problems. Both Mr. Sasha and I started wearing glasses as kids, and even though P had a perfect eye exam report before K, I figured it wouldn't hurt to have another exam and see if there had been a change.

They gave us our diagnosis within a few minutes of seeing him- Exotropia. Basically, the muscles in his eyes were causing his eyes to turn out, and he was having to work extra hard to try to keep them focused. The condition had evidently been there for quite a while, and up until trying to learn to read, he was pretty good at keeping his eyes focused together. But because reading was a stress on his eyes, they would get tired and he was losing the ability to bring them together himself. And he had lost his binocular vision, which is the ability to use the eyes together.... so when he could focus, he was seeing double. No wonder he couldn't read!

The pediatric opthamologist said his case was severe enough to schedule surgery the next week. The suggest surgery when the measurement is over 10-12, and his was a 20. (I wish I remember exactly what those measurements meant, but I have so much info swimming in my head these days....)

During the surgery, a muscle on the side of each eyes was cut and moved to the correct location. The doctor said the surgery went well and he'd see us back in six weeks. So we left thinking that in 6 weeks, P's eyes would be able to work together and our problems would be solved.

FF 6 weeks, and sadly, he just wasn't where we thought he'd be. Cosmetically, his eyes were lined up correctly. However, his brain hadn't quite figured that out and he was still seeing double and didn't have any depth perception. The doctor said sometimes it takes the brain longer to figure out how to use the eyes correctly. I had read a bit on vision therapy and the doctor said he didn't recommend it because in his experience the brain would figure it out on it's own and he's see us at the 6 month post-op mark.

This is where my momma-bear tendencies kicked in. 6 months? We couldn't wait 6 more months!

Thank goodness for the Internet and Facebook! I posted about our struggles on Facebook, and a friend who has experience in things like this put me in contact with an out-of-state OT who was nice enough to discuss our case over the phone and recommended strongly that we find a vision therapist. My friend also referred me to a special needs teacher who does reading tutoring using the Lindamood-Bell method.

So we've been doing vision therapy (one hour long in-office session a week, with daily eyes exercises at home) and the hour-long reading therapy twice a week for a few months, and we area already seeing some progress. He even got a hit at the baseball game last week, which is quite a feat when you see two balls coming towards you!

What I am most proud of is P's attitude. He's excited to go to his therapy appointments, and has even willingly left a swimming birthday party to go to an appointment. Although the home eye exercises are hard, he tries hard and we are figuring it out together. I feel so blessed.... I know it may be a long road, but we'll get there!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This is Us

Last year I told you about my father-in-law, who was battling leukemia and preparing for a bone marrow transplant. The Be the Match Foundation was offering free signup to be on the national bone marrow registry, and amazingly, so many of our friends and family signed up to be on the registry in his honor.

Sadly, he passed away last week. Having some time to prepare, he let the family know he wanted his funeral to be a celebration rather than a ceremony filled with sadness.

And it was! My husband's cousin prepared a fabulous slideshow of pictures set to music, and it was amazing to see all the wonderful memories he created over the years with his family. He was truly a man who lived life to the fullest and enjoyed every single day.

One of the songs played during the slideshow was Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris singing "This Is Us". This was a song I had never heard before, and am now obsessed with. It's as if my in laws are singing it themselves! A perfection description of them.

(Every time I try to embed a youtube vid, my browser shuts down, so here's a link to hear the song.)

Hopefully we can all take something from this- make memories with your family. They are priceless!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Idea from Pinterest: Favorite Things Party

I saw this on Pinterest and can't stop thinking about how fun this would be.

Here's how it works: Each person brings their favorite thing (anything you like.. your favorite lip gloss, favorite kitchen tool, favorite gift wrapping supply, a gift card for your favorite frozen yogurt, etc.).

It can't cost more than $6, and each person brings five of the same thing.

When you arrive at the party, you write your name on five slips of paper and throw them in a big bowl.

The bowl is passed around, and each person takes five names (making sure you don't pick your own.. or two of the same name).

One at a time each person introduces their favorite thing and then reads the five names they picked from the bowl, passing out their gift to those five guests.

After everyone at the party has presented their favorite thing, each person should end up with five gifts to take home.

Doesn't this sound FUN?????? I totally want to do this and need to find a good night in the next month or so. Or does anyone local already have a kid-free weekend night coming up and want to host at their house?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Three Favorite Makeup Products

First off, full disclosure, I purchased all three of these products myself. This review is sponsored by no one other than my own personal pocketbook. I truly love these products and just wanted to tell you about them!

All of the sudden, Beauty Balms, or bb creams, are all over the place! Of course I had to try one! The general idea is that a bb cream is a moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum, that also hides imperfections.

I tried the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm, purchased from Sephora for $32. I've been wearing it as my foundation, applied with a damp foundation brush, and I love it. This only comes in one shade, and just seems to be perfect for my skintone (light/fair, with yellow undertones).

For a finishing powder, I am LOVING Too Faced Primed & Poreless. Absolutely loving it. Also purchased from Sephora, this is $28. I have somewhat oily skin, and I used to have to blot or re-powder my t-zone mulitple times a day. Somehow this powder seems to magically solve that problem, and I don't re-powder AT ALL. Love that.

Sometimes in the summer I don't want to mess with eye shadow application, but still want something on my lids. I have found that my favorite primer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight, looks wonderful on it's on. It's a light shimmery wash of cream shadow that lasts all day. So pretty! (Purchased from Sephora for $18.)

Have you found any new makeup this summer that you are loving?