Monday, January 27, 2014

Running with Kids

        Running with the kiddos. Good, right? eh..well...most of the time. Okay, when the ones who aren't forced to go don't come and when there's minimal complaining & whining. I have been taking the kiddos (any and all but the youngest two) out on runs (sometimes because the other adults need it and sometimes because they like it). 
        These "runs" (sometimes there's more walking involved than running) last anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. My goal is to get the kiddos outside and moving around and teach them the "rules" of keeping to right and not touching someone's dog unless they ask. And how to back up slowly when you see a moose (which they haven't seen on a trail yet).
    So the other day four of the kiddos went out for a run with me. I was late afternoon and icy and two of them were just wearing hoodies (granted, we've been having a bit of a heat wave here. and we were running). We were about a mile from home when I heard J start wailing "Mommy! Mommy!" from behind. I turned around to see that his nose was spewing blood. Everywhere. So, like any good Alaskan mom, I dug through the snow on the side of the trail to find some snow that looked "clean-ish" and packed it onto his face. Then tossed it on the ground as it grew red. I repeated this process a few times before giving up. My next decision was to use the sleeve of my hoodie. But the blood just. kept. coming. So we stood there for what felt like forever as I was trying to stop the bleeding and call another adult (none of whom answered their phones. Fantastic.) 
        Since we were only a mile from home, so we started walking back, three girls in front & me with my arm around J’s face (because my sleeve was still attached to his face). I finally decided that walking with J like that was uncomfortable, slow and…someone could mistake it for me taking a kid against their will. None of this was beneficial to us getting home quicker, so I ended up just taking off my hoodie & giving it to him for a massive handkerchief. On our trek back, we started finding a blood trail-a consistent pattern of fresh blood droplets which means J's nose must've been "just dripping" and he had to have been wiping it away. I think the gushing is what panicked him enough to draw my attention to it. 

         A few minutes (it seemed like 20) later one of the adults finally found a phone & remembered how to use it. I explained the situation, my concern for 1.bleeding child losing too much blood and 2.walking instead of running = cold kids {since 2 were just wearing hoodies}. Someone "rescued" us about half a mile out and brought us home, but not before we noticed that J’s nosebleed had started at least half a mile back. Oops. 
          So these are the types of adventures that I willingly subject myself to several times a week. Because I'm crazy like that. And...let's face it-the kids need it too.

                My crew!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rimmel London Retro Glam Mascara #Giveaway

       You're here! You're here! I'm so glad you're here!!! And I have a fantastic giveaway for you!!! I am giving away a Rimmel London Scandalous Eyes Retro Glam Mascara.

       Like the retro glam look? Always wanted to try it?? or jut want to add to your massive mascara supply?? Here's your chance to feed your addiction for free! All you have to do is enter the giveaway through the magical rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by me. BlondieChell. Because I can. Winner will receive one package of Rimmel London' Scandalous Eyes Retro Glam Mascara. For free.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Table of 11 + Autism

        Here is a brief snapshot of dinner conversations. In a household of 11. With a 7yo who has autism (which currently translates into social/behavior problems at school. Good times. I promise)

      Convo @ dinner table:
       Me:  "Josiah, tell me why you got in trouble in the cafeteria Friday and why you can no longer eat in the cafeteria this week"
       J:  "um...uh...because I sticked my head up my friend's butt"
       Me: (Quick, rationalish thinking here) "No more {insert channel} for you"
              "Wait...which friend??  Your NEW friend??" (This emphasis was because...I had encouraged Josiah to get "new friends" because his *only friend* was a trouble maker. which makes both of them trouble-makers.)
       J: "Um...uh..yeah?"
       Me: "Why in THE WORLD would you stick your head up someone's rear?"
       J:  "Huh?"
       Me:  "Um...uh...butt. There. I said it (and tried not to laugh) WHY did you stick your head up someone's butt??"
       Nina: (Chiming in to help) "You know, he's not going to be your friend anymore after this. Now he's your old friend. Kinda stinks, huh?"
       You can kind of see where this was going.
      The rest of the adults had to help out because I was busy stifling laughter. Seriously my maturity level only goes so far. But after that the conversation just seemed to be circling. And it didn't help that I burst into hysterical laughter 5 minutes after the "kind of stinks" comment (because I thought about it again).
         Story is, he saw a funny cartoon commercial-a cow stuck it's head up a cartoon character's butt. On a children's channel. And...he has a hard time distinguishing between what is socially acceptable, and what's funny only when it's on tv. At least he has a sense of humor, right??
         Sticking heads up people's butts?? Bad. Laughing about it?? Worse. We did our best to harass him about it at the table (make a big enough deal) so that he won't do it least for three months. ::sigh:: But we'll see what happens.

Monday, January 13, 2014

10 Clues That Prove You're Living with 10 People

             Since we find ourselves in a unique scenario (seriously. Still the crazy people up here in Alaska living in a 3 bedroom house with our friends), I find it my job to let you know (you know-just in case the random situation arises) how you would know you're living in a house with 10 other people:

               1. There's no hot water (unless you're showering at 3am)
               2. The word "privacy" is nonexistent.
               3.  You find yourself cooking for a small army.
               4.  There's always a line for the bathroom (even if no one's in there).
               5.  Expectations of "clean" and "neat" have drastically dropped.
               6.  The kitchen sink is never empty.
               7.  If  you can't hear the hum of the dryer, it's either broken or someone forgot to turn it on (non-stop laundry, anyone??)
               8.  You learn how to successfully "jiggle" *everything* off because there's STILL NO TOILET PAPER!
               9.  There's always a war over the thermostat.
              10. Coco Puff? Poop? Rehydrated raisin?? Sometimes, it's not not worth questioning what goes down the garbage disposal....

        ::insert bow:: Thank you. Thank you. This segment was brought to you by Late Night Brainstorming with the Hubs & I.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Braun Therms Forehead Thermometer Review

       A few weeks ago, Influenster & Braun sent me a new Braun Forehead Thermometer to try. I was told it was priced a little over $50 (Gah! I know!) but Walmart retails is for under $30 (whew!) plus, there was a $10 rebate circling around. 
               Now somewhere (um...I haven't seen it since the guys arrived here in Anchorage...but I'm *assuming* it made the trip) I have a cheap forehead thermometer (yep. gave in. why? because...Josiah.), so I was excited to get this one (you know-to replace the one that I can't find.).
              Even though I'm a mom, I'm not a forehead connoisseur, so I can't say for sure that this is 100% THE BEST FOREHEAD THERMOMETER EVER, but I think it is. Sure, it's battery operated, but it only has two buttons on the front AND INSTRUCTIONS! That's right folks, this new thermometer has the instructions right on the front, so even Dad has no excuse! None!



               It's so easy to use, I filmed a short vid of me using it on my daughter-one hand holding my phone, one hand on the thermometer. You just push the power button, wait for the initial beep, then hold the other button down while sweeping the thermometer across someone's forehead. I even tried it on the Hubs. Easy-peasy. AND.....the background of the screen changes color depending on the temperature-green if the temp is in the "normal" zone, yellow for "uh-oh" and red for "yeah, they've REALLY got a fever. Put them to bed". 
                I can honestly say that I do recommend this pricey thermometer because it's easy and it works. It's battery operated, so I would stash a few extra ones with it, but other than that, I haven't found any negatives to it yet. 

                Disclaimer: I received this product free from Influenster & Braun for testing purposes. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own!

Monday, January 6, 2014

What I Bought Hubs for Our 8th Anniversary.

          Last weekend I had a massive "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" moment (you know-the angelic-sounding one where the bright light from above shines down on someone. or something). It was fantastic. And magical. And happens once in a while when I shop. You know- you're searching for *that one thing*. And you can't find it. Until you do. And it's the last one of it's kind. And you know it was MEANT to go home with you.
          This moment happened while I was shopping for Hub's anniversary gift. I was specifically looking for a pair of snowpants for him because...well...we live in Alaska now, and he doesn't have any snow pants. Even though we've lived in a snowy state for the past seven years. Snow. Snow pants. Makes sense. (Plus the fact that I *really* had no idea what else to get him.)
           See, somehow I found myself in Kohl's with three kids on this secret snow pants mission (seriously. I told the kids it was a secret. and somehow, I had them all with me. Brave, I am).  So there we were, stalking the racks (I was stalking the racks. Hoping the kiddos were following me) searching for snowpants in the men's section. And IIIIIIIIII....couldn't find any (I am so sure my nagging, miniature troop had nothing to do with my lack of concentration) so I asked a sale's associate who was neatly refolding already neatly folded sweaters. Apparently he was only trained in neatly refolding neatly folded apparel. He had no idea where anything was in the men's section (except for the sweaters in front of him). Fantastic.
           So I retraced my steps and focused on finding what I was meant to find. And then suddenly, there it was!!! Right in front of me!!! The only one of it's kind!!! And in the exact size I was seeking!!! A black XL pair of snowpants!!! (And it obviously didn't belong on the rack it was on, but what did I care?? I found it!!! And I heard {Okay, it could  have been me. out loud.} the angelic "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"). It was meant for me to find that day. Because I was searching for it. And it was mine
           And it was also $70, but it was Kohl's, so it *had* to be on sale. Plus I had a coupon. SO I dragged the kiddos to the register and waited for another angelic "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" moment. And it happened-the pants were half off! Plus another 20%! Best day ever!!! And then the screen saiid "Ladies outdoor". Wait, WHAAAAA????? Surely that was a mistake. They were in the men's section. And they were black. And looked like men's. So, like a good wifey, I double-checked the tag on the pants after we got out to the car. And....the snowboarder on the tag was wearing pink. Like women's advertising. Oops. So I held them up, and sure enough, tey had a tell-tale flare in the leg. Oops.
           So then we went home. Yes, I know, bad wifey here, but seriously, would he even notice the flare?? They were half off, his size, and *maybe* they would give his rear that extra "somethin'-somethin'" he's been looking for. Who knows?? PLUS, it was an "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" moment, so it JUST HAD TO BE MEANT TO BE. (It did not help that our housemates only encouraged me).
           And, of course, as things would have it, Hubs accidentally found his gift. So I fessed up that I had gotten him snowpants for our anniversary. He then fessed up that he didn't want snowpants. At all. "Good," I said. "Because they're women's anyways." And...that was the end of everything. Hopefully we'll last 8 more years. We'll see!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 Jolly VoxBox Review

        For those of you who need to know, here's a quick review of the 2013 Jolly Voxbox from Influenster:

       Thats right! Inside was a To-Go pack of Puffs,
       a mini roll of patterned Duck Tape (aka "mini ducklings"),

       a Rimmel London Lip Lacquer in Celestial,

     a NYC HD Color Trio,

      aaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddd..............a box of SKINNY COW CHOCOLATES!!! I LOVE THESE THINGS!!!! (seriously, you wanna feel good abut eating some hocolate?? {or icecream??} Try Skinny Cow!!!)

     Seriously. The chocolates are my hands down fav. Now, I'm not tuned into the exact science of these voxboxes, but I believe there's typically something edible in them all. Why? Who doesn't love trying a new treat?? My next fav would have to be the "mini ducklings" Duck Tape. Because it's cute. And fab. I need a purse-size roll to carry. tape my kid's mouth shut?? And the NYC color trio is a treat-I love the NYC brand. Fantastic! It's quality make-up at reasonable prices. The Puffs with lotion? Well...I only use the Puffs brand but *only* the regular kind. Why? Because I detest touching the "with lotion" tissue with my lips or tongue because it was too lotiony. (And if you've ever done it, you know what I'm talking about) Now?? I can't even tell the difference!!! (Not that I eat them on a regular basis, but it seems that they've perfected their product!) 
        Oh, the Rimmel London Lip Lacquer? Well...the color's fabu, but it doesn't stay. Super glossy and smooth but it slides and smears all over the place and who wants that?? I mean, the poor Hubs ends up with a pink stripes all over his face! Not flattering at all!
        If you think you're Influenster-worthy & would like to do some reviews, just email me @ I have a few invites left to hand out!
        Dislaimer~ I received these products free from Influenster for testing purposes. All thoughts and opinions (and photos) are my own. I received no other compensation. 

Not Your Grandmother's Dry Shampoo (Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo Review)

         Growing up, my mother NEVER used dry shampoo. But my grandma did. She used it all the time. In combination with hairspray. As a teen, I never understood the concept behind dry shamppoo, and I didn't like the scent or how it made my hair feel.
          Now as an adult (and mom of 3t, I can definitely appreciate the simplicity and time saver that dry shampoo is. Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo gives my hair the extra little bit of attention it needs some days. After applying to my roots (and shaking my hair a bit) I brush it our and viola! Degreasy yet shiny (and who doesn't like shiny things??).
           See?? Magical...

         Disclaimer: I received this product for free from Influenster for testing purposes. All thoughts and opinions of this product (and dry shampoo) are my own.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Influenster Violet VoxBox

         I LOVE my Violet Vox Box that Influenster sent me! Inside was a Goody Athetique headband, Soy Joy bar, Sally Hansen Triple Shine nail polish, a Montagne Jeunesse clay spa mask and Not Your Mother's Clean Freak dry shampoo.

          And somehow, all pf those products fit into a tiny box! My fav? The Goody headband!!! Why?? Because I'm not an "athletic headband" wearer. Why? Because they all fall off. So, of course, skeptical me had to try this one. I spent over 40 minutes on a treadmill with it and it didn't budge an inch! It STAYED!!! So, it's now a staple with my gym clothes! (oh, it's also reversible, but IT STAYS!)
          So, that's my fav. I also enjoyed the Montagne Jeunesse clay spa mask because it's the best clay mask I've ever done!
           Sally Hansen's Triple Shine polish dries quick, isn't goey and really does shine! I love how smooth it looks!
          Soy Joy? Really? YES!!!! The kids and I LOVED the cranberry Soy Joy bar we received! It tasted like a cookie and the kids loved it too!
          And Not Your Mother's makes fantastic products, so of course their dry shampoo is awesome!!!
              I really enjoyed trying these products, and if you'd like to join me on Influenster, email me at
                ~Disclaimer: I received these products for free from Inflenster for testing purposes. All opinions, comments and experiences are my own. 

Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas Mask Review

              Today I'm reviewi Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spa's fabric mask. Really. It's not just a muddy ess on your face-it's a fabric-y paper-towelish face-shaped piece that has the mask stuff in/on it, so it's less of a mess! I was seriously amazed at how it turned out.
               So my first impressions of it were: "Oh, crud. Another one of these thingies. I hope it's not as messy as the last one. I really dislike the 45 minutes it takes to wash the stuff off". So I waited until I had the extra time to "deal with the mess" before trying it.
               Well, I opened up the package and squeezed it out...but just a tiny bit of liquid came out. Puzzled, I felt the package (which still had a squishy center) and then ripped open the hole wider to pull the obviously clumped together clay out. And then I pulled out the actual mask. Yes. There was an ACTUAL mask! Look at my photos:
                                       See?? French instructions:

                    And here's the mask!

          So I put it on....

        And then I scared the crap outta myself....

                   Taking my face ::cough:: mask off.

             See? Very little residue left on my face!

  After rinsing off, my face was squeaky clean!

                I mean sure, the mask could use some reshaping, but schematics aside, this was the best mud facial I've ever had! (Okay, so the fact that there were no legible English directions {only pictures} was a bit...different....but I managed to figure it out!) I LOVE this mask and would definitely purchase this product! (Assuming I can find it in Alaska, that is!)
                 ~Disclaimer: All thoughts, opinions and experience is my own. I received this product complimentary from Influenster for the purpose of testing it!