Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: Eukanuba

Last month BzzAgent invited me to join their Eukanuba with 3D DentaDefense dog food campaign, and I was so excited because we were just about out of the bag of Beneful food that Bella has been eating on for quite some time and was just about to head to the store to buy a new bag of food anyway.

BzzAgent acutally provided me with a coupon for a free 20 pound bag so the kids and I headed to Petco to use it. We chose the Adult Small Breed Petite Race since Miss Bella is a 10 pound Shih Tzu (or something like that- we really don't know).

I have to admit that I have done much in the way of dental care for Bella. We do take her to the vet for her yearly check-ups and shots, but other than that, I haven't done anything specific for her teeth. (hides) I feel really bad about that now because when I read the info BzzAgent sent to me, I found out that tartar build-up is the most common health problem among dogs, with 8 out of 10 pups developing serious dental health issues by the age of three.

Did you know your dog may have dental health issues you can't see? In fact, 85% of dogs have serious tartar build up by the age of three. Plaque and tartar are often invisible to the naked eye, but with Eukanuba's help, you don't have to play pet detective to have a healthy, happyand smiling pooch.
Recommended by vets, Eukanuba with 3D DentaDefense keeps your dog in top condition from tooth to tail. Ensure your canine's canines are healthy — feed your pup the only leading brand that provides complete nutrition and superior tartar protection in every adult and senior diet.

 So I was very excited to see the dental benefits included with this food.

And Bella was very interested too.

So I poured her a bowl, mixing it together with her current food as they suggested we do to help her transition to the new food.

And she must have liked it, much more than the Beneful, because she ate every last morsel of the Eukanuba and left the Beneful behind!

I am very impressed and so glad BzzAgent introducted me to this dog food- and judging by how quickly Bella has been emptying her bowl at mealtime, I think my dog is too!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We Got Candy Caned!

I know it's a bit hard to see because this was an early-morning cell shot, but our family got Candy Caned! It was so cute!

The high school pom squad is using this as a fundraiser and I think it's a fabulous idea.

Once you get caned, you have three options:

1. Pay $15 to get the canes removed.

2. Pay $20 to get the canes removed and sent to a friend.

3. Pay $25 to get the canes removed and sent to a friend, as well as "insurance" that your home won't be caned again.

We chose option 3 and sent the canes to Mr. Sasha's sister!

Do they do this in your town? My drill team would have had so much fun with this!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Today I had tears in my eyes when I shook the hand of the uniformed police officer stationed outside the door to my son's elementary school. I simply thanked him for his service but there was so much more I wanted to say.

I am not well-spoken nor am I an author. In fact, expressing myself in the written word is not a strength.

So I send you to read an essay that says everything I wish I could say.

What Six Looks Like

I happen to know the author and had the privilege to work with her on a non-profit board for a few years. I often park next to her at school pick-up. Jennifer is a wonderful mom and her piece is touching. So go.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Starbucks at Home

It's finally cold here! Last week you could drive around our neighborhood and see people putting their Christmas lights up in shorts and tshirts. So crazy!
When it gets cold, I crave hot drinks. I ran across Starbucks Salter Caramel Hot Cocoa at Walmart last week and picked some up after seeing the weather forecast.

I am SO glad I did! This box of 8 packets was just $6 and oh-so-worth it! I made mine with skim milk and it was delightful.

Have you tried this?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dry Skin and Static-y Hair

We have "weird" skin in our family. Our derm even said so. 

Poor P- this time of year the tops of his hands and wrists get so red and almost raw, and almost any product we've tried stings. Even Cetaphil and Lubriderm.

In desperation, I pulled out a product from First Aid Beauty that I'd purchased in a value kit at Sephora- Ultra Repair Cream

It's a MIRACLE. It almost instantly soothes the skin, sinks in well and doesn't leave a greasy residue, and doesn't sting. It's a big pricey at $28, but the jar is huge (6 oz) and we use so little at a time, this should last us all winter and beyond. The kit I purchased included a large tube of their Face Cleanser and their Facial Radiance Pads and was a fabulous deal. The current kit includes a few different products and looks to be a great value as well.

Another problem that comes up this time of year is static in my hair- I've got baby-fine hair and if I even think about using a volumizing shampoo or conditioner, my hair absolutely stands on end. But I remembered using a product last year when we added some brown back into my hair that totally solved the static problem for me- L'Oreal EverPure Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner. These run about $5-6 each at Target or Walmart, and you can often find coupons for $2-3 off in the Sunday paper.

I do have hair that can get oily, so I was nervous about using a moisturizing product, but these are perfect- they leave my hair so manageable and shiny and NO STATIC. I'm sold!

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.... all products discussed were purchased by me and neither company knows who I am!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


On Saturday I went with my mom and aunt to see Pitch Perfect, and it was aca-awesome! We all LOVED it and I rushed home and downloaded the soundtrack.

If I had one magic wish, it would be for a singing voice. So sad that that's not my super-power.

There's some language, sexual references, and two gross-out humor scenes that warrant the PG-13 rating, but I wasn't too embarrassed and I was sitting by my mom!

Rebel Wilson is a comedic genius and I have to think that some of her lines were ad libbed.

Oh, and Elizabeth Banks..... she is divine as well as an a capella competition commentator. "Nothing makes a woman feel more like a girl than a man who sings like a boy." 

So if you haven't seen it.... I totally think you should- it's aca-awesome!

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose, except that my mama paid for my ticket!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips

I recently signed up with Influenster and was excited to get my first product to try- Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips. Discolored teeth have always been a bit of an issue for me- maybe that's because I'm a Coke drinker? I have bleached my teeth several times using the bleaching syringes and trays from the dentist and have been pleased with the results.

Since it had been a while since I had bleached my teeth, I was excited to get started with the Whitestrips. The box comes with 20 treatments, each individual package including a separate strip for your upper and lower teeth. I found them easy to remove from the package and pretty easy to apply- a few times my lower lip got in the way and an edge of a strip would stick to my lip, but was easy to remove without a problem.

Those suckers certainly stayed put! After I was done with each 30 minute treatment, which I did in the evenings, I use a Kleenex to help me pull them off. I did find that the treatments left my teeth a bit sensitive, which I remember is very common from when I bleached with trays. I found that if I waited a day in between treatment, the sensitivity was gone by the time I started my next treatment.

I'm halfway through my box and can already see a difference. I am so glad I got to try this product and will certainly be purchasing it myself a few times a year to freshen up my smile. 

Have you tried Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Busy busy busy

I need a few more hours in the day! I love love love the holiday season and am so excited for December to get here. Here's a few pics I have snapped recently on my new iPhone 4S, which I don't know how I ever lived without!

Have you seen the new Better Homes & Gardens Plug-in Scented War Warmer.... with lids? Genius! I love the idea of a lid because I have heard many a story of spilled hot wax.... The pic above is the one I picked up and it's darling... such a cute little wintery cottage. I believe they are $10.

The kids and I went to see Wreck-It Ralph and it's fabulous. All three of us loved it and I actually wouldn't mind seeing it again. I love the classic games and there are quite a few shout-outs to the classics during the movie.

And thumbs up to CVS and their new nail bar display! They really got this right (cough cough Sephora and their terrible lighting) and the display is well-lit and laid out beautifully. Someone just couldn't stay out of the picture and even picked up a bottle to pose with.

I'm stalking Amazon today and took advantage of their fabulous Kindle Fire deal- $30 off!  Use code FIREDEAL to get it for just $129.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ebates has added Amazon Toys!

Maybe I've been under a rock, but did we know that Amazon is on ebates?????? Toys are 4%! That's awesome!

Departments Cash Back
Toys 4.0%
Jewelry 4.0%
Women's Clothing 4.0%

Watches 4.0%
Men's Clothing 4.0%
Outerwear 4.0%
Personal Care Appliances 4.0%

If you haven't joined ebates yet, now is the time! Click here to join. Spread the words- the toys percentage may not last long, so let's take advantage of it while we can!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fall TV Update: Nashville!

Have you been watching Nashville? I haven't gotten this excited about a TV in a long time. I love when two of my passions can be united in one package.... a good TV drama and MUSIC! 

Friends, the music on this show is amazing and I am so hoping they release a compilation CD. I know some of the individual songs are available on Amazon and itunes, but I'd love to be able to buy them all together. Has anyone heard anything about a CD?

One thing you MUST watch is this scene from the show- the two girls who play Connie Britton's daughters sing a song in their talent show and they are AMAZING. Their names are Lennon and Maisy Stella and you will love them.

Friday, November 2, 2012

10 Makeup Products I Would Repurchase: TAG

I'd thought I'd join in on a fun tag video going around with YouTube beauty gurus. The question is, if you lost all your makeup (stolen, luggage lost etc), what 10 products would you re-purchase?

1. Foundation: Revlon PhotoReady in Shell - $14. This is a good, basic, non-oily foundation that wears really well on me.

2. Powder: ELF HD Powder - $6. We have discussed before how this is a dupe for MUFE HD Powder, which costs $30.

3. Blush: ELF Blush in Pink Passion - $3. Great pigmentation for a great price.

4. Eye shadow primer: Too Faced Eye Shadow Insurance in Candlelight - $18. It's a splurge, but it lasts FOREVER- I have used it everyday for about a year and am just getting low.

5.  Eye shadow: Maybelline Eye Studio Color Explosion in Caffeine Rush - $10. Gorgeous colors with great pigmentation that blends so well.

6. Eyeliner: Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Deep Brown - $11. I love love love this liner- it's so easy to get a nice straight line and even to do a bit of a cat eye with this liner.

7.  Mascara:  L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes in Blackest Black - $9. This has been my favorite mascara for a while- I have tried many more, but keep coming back to this one.

8.  Lippie: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush or Smitten - $9. I have a large container of lippies, yet I reach for these every day.

9.  Brushes: e.l.f. Studio 11 Piece Brush Collecion - $30, but you can often get it for 50% off. This is a fabulous set to start with. I'd add one of their $3 stipple brushes to use with highly pigmented blushes, but you can certainly make due with this great set.

10. Eyelash curler.... currently use Shu Uemura, which is no longer carried by Sephora. I have tried the cheapie ELF one, but did not like it at all. Any suggestions? What about the Shiseido one?

I tag YOU! I'd love to see what you'd repurchase!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Where To Start?

Hi friends! I haven't blogged in so long I don't know where to start!

First, and most importantly, Will is reading! The Irlen filters on his glasses are nothing short of amazing and have made a significant difference we can all see- his tutor, SE teacher, and regular teacher have all commented on how things have changed so quickly for him. Praise!

Second, I AM READY TO CHRISTMAS SHOP! Bring on the Amazon deals!

And you may already know this, I have really been struggling with my weight over the last few years, but I am ready to really do something about it. I realize, though, that I need a new mind-set. So I felt led to order Lesa TerKeurst's Made to Crave Study and am going to lead it at my church! Starting next week! Nothing like jumping into something feet first (leading the study!) to get you motivated.

One thing I did about two months ago was change what I was doing about taking supplements. For years I have been taking a regular Women's One a Day vitamin, but I struggle with a low energy level, and I already take a large Methyl B-12 supplement to help with B-12 Deficiency Anemia.

So my neighbor recommended I try Zeal Wellness, which provides antioxidants and vitamins in just one drink a day. On Zeal, I finally feel like I have energy again and I loved it enough to sign myself up as a consultant. If you'd like more info, here is a link to my Zeal website.

Lastly, I have really been enjoying watching Monthly Favorite videos on YouTube and am thinking about doing a blog version. I don't think I'm camera-ready, but I can certainly do a list of my favorite things during October! So stop by back tomorrow for that post! It's good to be back!

(And if you haven't already entered, I'm running a giveaway at Manicure Mommas for 2 shades from the Sally Hansen Gem Crush line. It ends tomorrow night, so stop by and enter!)

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon referral links.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Chuao Chocolatier

Shhhhh...... don't tell my family, but I've been hiding (and eating) some delightful chocolate!

Chuao Chocolatier (pronounced chew-WOW) sent me some of their newest products to try, and I didn't tell a soul (until now!). And ate every bite myself!

The first product I tried was their 60-calorie mini chocolate bar: the Sweet & Salty ChocoPod. This two-bite delight features a touch of sea salt swirled into Chuao’s premium blend of milk chocolate. This was so so so good. I discovered last year that I love the flavor sea salt gives to chocolate so I knew I would love this. I was not disappointed!

Sweet & Salty is sold for $1 at retailers across the country.

Next I tried their Maple Bacon Bar.... so unique! This was one I savored over several days... breaking off small parts to enjoy when a chocolate craving hit me.

“We have been repeatedly asked by retailers and customers to create a chocolate bar with bacon, but
have waited until now to put our unique ‘Chuao spin’ on that coveted combo,” said Master Chef
Michael Antonorsi, co-founder of Chuao Chocolatier. “Our Maple Bacon bar is about the chocolate
first and foremost— its creamy sweetness lays the perfect foundation for the maple syrup. Then, sprinkled
through, are delightfully crunchy little bites of uncured bacon with a bit of smoky salt. The finished
product is a divine handcrafted bar destined to go on everyone’s must-have list.”

The Maple Bacon Bar is available in Chuao Chocolatier cafes, major retailers and online at for an MSRP of $4.99.

About Chuao Chocolatier

Chuao Chocolatier, located in San Diego, Calif., creates culinary-inspired confections by blending
all-natural ingredients with its own premium blend of ethically sourced chocolate, featuring cacao from its founders’ native Venezuela. Master Chef Michael Antonorsi and his brother Richard started Chuao Chocolatier in 2002 with the intention of arousing the senses with unusual, unexpected and delicious chocolate experiences. And 10 years later, the company continues to delight with award-winning products, including the best-selling Firecracker bar and truffle, Potato Chip bar and Spicy Maya hot chocolate.

Chuao Chocolatier offers chocolate bars, ChocoPods (mini chocolate bars), hot chocolate, bonbons and other gourmet chocolate confections at Chuao Chocolatier Cafés and fine retailers nationwide including Whole Foods Market, Crate & Barrel, and Dean and Deluca. For additional information or to shop the company’s online store, visit

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Visit my nail blog for a BCA Stila giveaway

I recently received Stila's Positively Pink Cheek Palette to review and I've been wearing it pretty much everyday! It's a gorgeous pink with lighter pink embossed BCA ribbons in it that give the powder the slightest glow. Note that it's definitely not glittery!

I'm excited to say that I also have one to giveaway- and it's in a cute set with a Lip Glaze as well.

Stila Positively Pink Cheek Palette
This multi-colored pressed powder blush has a luxe, velvety finish and embossed pink ribbons for a positively glowing flush. For each purchase, $1 of proceeds will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Price: $16, Available in October 2012 at

Stila Positively Pink Set
This collectible, multi-colored, pressed powder comes paired with a Stila Lip Glaze to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For each purchase, $1 of proceeds will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Price: $18, Available in October 2012 at

Visit Sasha Says Nails to enter!

Disclosure: The Stila products pictured above were provided to me for PR purposes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Smell of Fall: Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser

I recently got invited to participate in BzzAgent's Glade Expressions Collection campaign and I was so excited because I LOVE my home to smell good.

BzzAgent provided me with a coupon to choose a free Oil Diffuser from the line, and I chose the Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice scent, described as a ripe, spicy blend of sweet pears and crisp apple with a dash of cinnamon and clove that warms and invigorates. It smells SO good!

I've got it in my kitchen, which is where we enter the house from the garage. So it's the first thing I smell when I come in! I am very picky about food odors- I don't want to smell my meal after I'm done eating it. I found that having the Oil Diffuser in the kitchen really helps makes the cooking odors disappear.

Glade Expressions® Oil Diffuser
  • The best non-electric oil diffuser for living spaces, delivering 3x more fragrance**
  • Refillable with your favorite Glade Expressions® scent — authentic, exotic ingredients like mangosteen and cardamom spice are unlike anything else in the fragrance aisle
  • Trendy holder (available in bamboo or white) matches home décor perfectly, allowing you to place true-to-life fragrance in any room
  • The intuitive snap-in-place setup makes the diffuser easy to assemble, refill and enjoy
  • The spill-free design fills living spaces with fragrance for 30 days
  • A wide and thin wick releases fragrance slowly, leaving you with consistent fragrance over time
  • Fragrance satisfaction guaranteed or your money back*
*Visit to learn more about the Glade Expressions® Money-Back Guarantee.
**Vs. Glade® Solid Air Freshener

The Oil Diffuser comes in three scents:

  • Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice - A ripe, spicy blend of sweet pears and crisp apple with a dash of cinnamon and clove that warms and invigorates
  • Lavender & Juniper Berry - Lush lavender blends with fresh juniper berry, eucalyptus and rose to relax the senses and open your home
  • Pineapple & Mangosteen - Evoke a tropical paradise with the blend of freshly cut pineapples and hint of tangy mangosteen, creamy coconut and passionflower
Have you tried any products from Glade's Expressions line?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We Went For Three

First grade, Second grade, Third grade

After figuring out we accidentally dressed P in the same shirt two years in a row for school pics last year, we decided to run with it and I got him another blue and white striped shirt for this year's pics.

Too funny!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Favorite Nail Products

I thought I'd update you a bit today and blog about my about my current favorite nail products. NYC Grand Central Station has officially replaced Seche Vite as my fast-dry top coat!

1. Sally Hanson Instant Cuticle Remover. To have a long-lasting mani, you've really got to prep your nails. Removing cuticle overgrowth is a key step. I apply this all around my cuticles, wait a bit (you can wait longer that it says), then use the thumbnail of my opposite hand to push back/scrape the cuticles. I typically do this twice.

2. Orly Bonder. This rubberized basecoat overrides any oily residue on your nails and gives your polish something to stick to, another secret of a long-lasting mani.

3. NYC Grand Central Station. This is my new HG topcoat... it works just as well as the pricy Seche Vite, but it's only $2! You know I love a bargain.

4. Poshe Cuticle Care.  Keeping your cuticles neat and free of hang-nails is another secret to making your manicure last longer. This product is fabulous and I massage this into my cuticles twice a day to prevent hangnails and prevent cuticle buildup.

5. Nail Polish Remover Dip-It. I change my polish pretty often, and this little treasure makes it quick and easy. Inside this tub are plastic bristles that really help scrub the polish off.


Now, if you are trying to remove a glitterbomb polish, that's another issue, and you'll need to visit this post on my nail blog to see the trick for that.

Do you have any nail products to recommend to me?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Perfect Birthday Gift: Neft FireVision Football

Have you seen the new Neft FireVison sports products? They are so cool!

With NERF FireVision Sports, the magic happens when you put the FireVision Frames on. To turn up the heat on throws and catches, slip on your futuristically cool NERF FireVision Frames and start tossing around your FireVision Football — you'll see the game in a whole new light. Literally! Thanks to innovative new FireVision Microprism Technology, you and anyone wearing a pair of FireVision Frames will see an illuminated football in the daytime and in dim or low lighting.

BzzAgent sent our family a football set to try and the kids have had a great time with it. The football comes with two pair of glasses- red and green. I had P and WC put them on so you could see what they look like. Now, when I took this photo, it was too bright out for the effect to really work, but I wanted you to see the lights on the glasses. 

When it gets a bit darker in the evenings, the ball literally glows when you have a pair of these glasses on. People without the glasse on don't see the effect.

P loved his set so much that we've purchased three sets to give as birthday gifts this month! Definitely a hit with my 9 year old!

Here's some more details on the products in the FireVison line:

Nerf FireVision Football
  • Foam football sized for kids ages 6 and up
  • When wearing the FireVision Frames in dim or low lighting, light can be seen from over 100 feet
  • Glows red or green depending on the color FireVision Frames you're wearing (so you can form teams!)
  • $19.99 SRP, includes 2 pairs of FireVision Frames

NERF FireVision Hyperbounce Ball
  • $9.99 SRP, includes 1 pair of FireVision Frames

NERF FireVision Nerfoop
  • $14.99 SRP, includes 1 pair of FireVision Frames
Additional NERF FireVision Frames
  • $5.99 SRP
  • Available in red or green

Disclosure: BzzAgent provided the FireVision Football set for word-of-mouth marketing purposes. The Amazon link above is a referral link.

China Glaze Giveaway at My Nail Blog

When Beauty Stop Online sent me some China Glaze purples to review, they offered to send me 3 bottles to giveaway as well!

Left to Right:
Royal Tease
Draped in Velvet
Let's Groove

The winner of this giveaway will win a brand new bottle of each of the shades pictured above. I'll use Rafflecopter to manage the giveaway and choose the winner over at my nail blog. Come visit me there and enter! Good luck!

Disclosure: Polish for giveaway was provided by Beauty Stop Online (thanks guys!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hunger Games movie companion books bargain

I saw these on Amazon for cheap and I'm such a nerd about Hunger Games, I had to order them. I LOVE them!

The smaller one is The World of the Hunger Games for $2.21 and it's hardback and 192 pages. Mostly pics from the movie. Some text that is just plot-summary and super-obvious and repetitive if you'd read the books, but I like it nonetheless because I love the book. There's a glossary at the end which is neat.

The bigger book is The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion for $1.54 and is soft cover and 8.5 X 11.

It has six parts and here's info on them from the review section on Amazon:

Part 1: "The History of The Hunger Games" details the film industry's immediate interest following the publication of the book, Suzanne Collins's selection of a producer for the film, and the hiring of Gary Ross as director.

Part 2: "The Cast of The Hunger Games" focuses heavily on the casting of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss and Peeta. The book also, ahem, pays tribute to the actors playing the other main tributes, as well as to the casting of major Capitol characters including Cinna, Effie, and President Snow.

Part 3: "The Look of The Hunger Games: Places and Props" details the areas in North Carolina used in the film and has many photos of various sets in District 12, the Arena, and the Capitol. One of the photos shows all of the tributes seated in the hovercraft, on the way to the Arena, and another shows the construction of the cornucopia.

Part 4: "The Look of The Hunger Games: People" shows Capitol residents in their garish clothing and makeup, along with the much more subdued residents of District 12. This section has photos of perhaps all of Katniss's outfits and costumes, from her drab District 12 duds to her "Girl on Fire" dress.

Part 5: "The Filming of The Hunger Games" details the challenges of filming in the summer heat and rain in the North Carolina forest. Particular attention is paid to the fireball scene.

Part 6: "The Legacy of The Hunger Games" sets the stage for the filming of the sequel, "Catching Fire."

Bottom line- if you like the book/movie, there are super cool and CHEAP.

Oh, and full disclosure- there ARE referral links. But I'd only make like 4 cents if anyone used them, so don't feel obligated to use them! :-)

The Hot Nail Color for Fall: Purple

Yesterday I posted some swatches at my nail blog of some new-to-me China Glaze purple shades that I think are just perfect for fall. Purple is a great shade for those that want to be a bit adventurous with their nail polish color, but don't want to go crazy with a color like blue or green.

So here's a few ideas for you, with three very different purples.

Left to Right:
Royal Tease
Draped in Velvet
Let's Groove

Each swatch is two coats, and I cannot get over how much I love all three- even though they are pretty different!

Royal Treasure - A light purple frost. I got good application with two thinner coats.
Draped in Velvet - Magenta with small blue and pink shimmers. Fabulous application.
Let's Groove - Deep purple with violet and red shimmer. Easy application.

Beauty Stop Online offers these shades for just $2.99. I'm planning a giveaway to post at my nail blog later this week, so I hope you can stop by and enter!

Disclosure: The nail polish swatched in this post were provided to me for review purposes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Will Not Rest (and you shouldn't either)

This is a pic of P in his new Irlen Filters.

It's been a long and winding road, folks, but I will not rest until this little boy reaches his potential.

School was so easy for me, I don't even think I ever took home a book to study until college. Really. I scored well on my ACT and was awarded a full 4-year academic scholarship to a local regional university.

And I always assumed that school would be easy for my kiddos too. Especially P- he's got a steel-trap memory and connects the dots in life so easily. But when reading wasn't coming easily to him in first grade, I started researching. And googling. And making appointments and asking questions. Time was flying by! I had to do something NOW!

And down the road of intervention we went.

We did bi-lateral eye muscle surgery for Exotropia, 28 weeks of Vision Therapy, followed by 16 weeks of Interactive Metronome. During this, P also received twice-a-week Lindamood Bell reading tutoring.

Things were better, but still not where they should be. For such a smart little boy, reading was so so so difficult for him. And time was flying by. Why was time flying by SO FAST??????

So I googled "visual processing" and found out about Irlen Syndrome. After two rounds of testing, we found out that P indeed had a visual processing problem and needed 6 filters added on to a pair of glasses to help filter out the wavelengths of light his little brain can't process correctly. Actually, he needs 7, but he wasn't able to tolerate the 7th during testing, so we will see about adding that one later.

I trusted my gut, knew something wasn't right, and found some puzzle pieces to fit together to help P. And we may not be done.... there may still be some puzzle pieces yet to be found. BUT I WILL FIND THEM!

I won't rest until I do.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Does your face get as red as mine when you run?

I can't believe I am posting this pic, but I wanted you to see how crazy red my face gets after I run.

Folks, this picture was taken ONE HOUR after I finished running a 5K. No wonder people ask me if I'm OK when they see me out for a run! I look like I am about to have a heart attack!

I recently received some information about this very issue from Dr. James Marotta.

Ever wonder why your face gets so flushed after you workout, and why this seems to happen to some people and not others? Moreover, you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do about it.

Patients who get pink in the face following exercise usually have more superficial blood vessels in the skin of the cheeks and chin. Exercise causes blood vessels to dilate all over the body including the face.  The result is that temporarily more blood is flowing through these superficial vessels resulting in a pink or ruddy complexion.  Rosacea is a common condition which causes more of these blood vessels to form in the face.  This condition is primarily related to accumulated sun damage.  Intense pulsed light or laser treatments can diminish the overall number of blood vessels, rid patients of unwanted spider veins, and diminish overly ruddy or reactive facial skin.

Here are some quick facts/solutions:
-Avoid things that cause facial vessels to dilate like alcohol, heat, or getting overheated.
-Ice or cool could alleviate the problem but only temporarily.
-Intense pulsed light can diminish the size and number of these blood vessels leading to less redness.

– Dr. James Marotta, dual board certified facial plastic surgeon, Marotta Facial Plastic Surgery, Long Island

Dr. James Marotta is a dual Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who specializes in facial plastic surgery with particular expertise and interest in minimally invasive (endoscopic) facial plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation/anti-aging (surgical and non-surgical). He attended Columbia University and graduated as president of the medical honor society at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. He trained at Yale University in head and neck surgery and was consistently recognized as the top head and neck surgeon in the program. He achieved board certification upon completion of his residency. Dr. Marotta then completed additional subspecialty training as a fellow in facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery at one of the leading facial plastic fellowships in the country.

Friday, September 21, 2012

September Birchbox

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? Just when I was about to cancel, the September box arrived and renewed my interest and I actually got some things I LOVE!

1. First was a sample of the Benefit Cosmetics Foaming Clean Facial Wash and Refined Finish Facial Polish. I have wanted to try these, so I am super-excited about this sample.

2. Next was a twistband hair tie- these are all the rage, and I've even seen people wearing them as bracelets. This is a cute taupe color.

3. A sample of Caudalie Vinexpert Firming Serum. I prefer serums to heavy moisturizers since my skin can be oily so this is something I will definitely try.

4. A sample of Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm. I actually have the full size of this and love it- so this will be perfect for travel.

5. AND A NAIL POLISH! Finally! I received Color Club Status Update, which is a Birchbox Custom Polish. I have heard great things about Color Club, but have never tried the brand so I'm excited to try it out.  It's a deep grey, and I'm wondering if it might be a bit of a jelly finish. We shall see.

You can see underneath my goodies is a decorated zip-lock type bag by tili.

Not familiar with Birchbox? Birchbox is the best way to discover new grooming, beauty and lifestyle products. Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice, buy new favorites and earn points with every purchase.

For $10 each month, Birchbox sends a new box with samples. Since I loved this box, I'll definitely be continuing my membership to see what they send next.
If you are so inclined, here is my referral link: Birchbox has a point system and rewards members with store credit using points earned from referrals.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Alice in Wonderland eos lip balm

Are you a fan of eos lip balm? WC and I are, especially the lemon

I was in Target last week and spied the cutest Alice in Wonderland set with three balms for $8 on an endcap near the pharmacy. How adorable is the Mickey silhouette on the side?

Here's the front of the package.

The three flavors are new and Alice-themed: Blueberry Potion (my favorite), Watermelon Wonderland (2nd favorite), and Sweet Vanilla Nonsense.

When you open the package, behind the balms is this adorable scene and phrase: "Very few things indeed were really impossible."

Here's a close-up pic I took of the Alice graphic detail. Isn't that adorable?

I would assume this set is limited-edition. Have you seen this set in your stores yet?

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Will I Be Watching?

Oh how I love the start of the new fall TV season. I think I've told you before of my love for TV Guide.... my mom and I would go to the grocery store every week to get the newest issues and I'd read it cover to cover. (Yes, that's weird for a kid, and also, why didn't we have a subscription?)

But lately I've gotten frustrated that the networks don't give shows a chance. If they aren't a big hit right out of the gate, it's cancellation time. So I'm a bit choosy in terms of new shows and what I'm willing to invest my time in. I pay attention to what's getting press and the most advertising time.

We've actually already seen two episodes of Go On and we love it. Of course, Matthew Perry in anything is fine by me. But can he play anyone other than Chandler? (Said in my best Chandler Bing voice.)  I'm not complaining, I love Chandler with all my heart.

We were big fans of Mr. Sunshine last year, which of course was cancelled. Here's hoping this one sticks around. It's got a crazy cat lady, March Sadness, and his character does sports radio, so Mr. Sasha's in.

We were so done with The Office when Michael left, so I'm glad to see Mindy Kaling elsewhere. I'm anxious to see this one and hope it lives up to the promo vid here. Pretty please?

ABC is playing so many ads for Nashville on their iPad app that they are practically insisting I watch it. And I'm gonna. Because Connie Britton is the bomb and my life has been empty without her since Friday Night Lights ended.

666 Park Avenue is the wild card here..... I haven't seen much about it but I'm intrigued enough to watch the first episode. Based on number of advertisements I've seen, this one wins the award for Most Likely To Be Cancelled Now That Sasha's Watching It, because we all know at least one of these won't make it past sweeps.

So what are you planning on watching? Any good ones I've missed?