Shirudo Antioxidant Lotion

Shirudo Antioxidant Lotion
PMLE Symptom Prevention! With AGR!!

ABC Pure * Safe * Beneficial

ABC Pure * Safe * Beneficial
Arbonne Baby Care Set

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm A Believer

For years I've battled damaged hair due to highlights, low-lights, coloring, bleach, straighteners, brushing, etc...


For years I've been told by my wonderful hair-biz friends (Jennifer @ Phyto Salon "Vertu" and Jackie @ Aveda Salon "Jerry Heston's Salon") about how, not only how great their products are (and they are) but also how important high-quality, professional-grade styling tools are for the protection and wellness of our hair. **Also, I'm a firm believer that taking pre-natal vitamins also did a great service for my hair. Both my colorist (Jackie) and my hair-cutter (Jennifer) noticed a huge improvement in the health of my hair when I became pregnant.**

In an attempt to try to achieve great hair results without spending the big-bucks on a new dryer and straightener, I've been using Phyto's phytodefrisant everyday, and also Phyto 7 Leave-In Creme. I'm trying to grow my hair out, and although these products are awesome, I needed better results. I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and spend a little dough for some great styling tools!

So, here are my reviews of my two new hair styling gizmos that I seriously think are worth every penny! If nothing else, I am now a true believer that high-quality straighteners and blow dryers are SUPER important and DO make a big difference!

Hair Straightener: GHD IV Professional Styler - Not only does this straightener glide through the hair like silk, never plucking a single strand, it also heats up in less time than it takes to go pee. I'm serious. Literally, give it about 10-15 seconds and BAHM! beep beep beep ... it's HOTT!! There are so so so many benefits to this thing, it's crazy... you'll just have to read about it on the website link. With an ultra shock-resistant shell, auto-shut-off and swivel power cord as just extra little added bonuses, this puppy is a must-have!

Blow Dryer: RUSK Professional 1900 Watt Ceramic Dryer. OK, so I admit that I had been using a travel hair dryer that was less than adequate. This awesome dryer is substantial, but not heavy and very powerful, but not too loud! Love it! Far infrared heat and 1900 watts of power ... sounds great! But I was still skeptical. The box touted silkier, shinier hair in dramatically less drying time ... but I wasn't so sure. Turns out, this dryer made a huge difference in the smoothness, shininess, and volume and texture of my hair. In fact, I've even been blowing out my hair in this extreme humidity and heat the Ohio Valley has been experiencing these past few days! TOTALLY sold on this dryer!

I guess when you become an adult, it might be time to spend more than $19.99 on hair styling electronics! SOLD!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Part 2 - Confessions of a Shopaholic - "Best Dressed Baby" Edition

OK... so my point is... I LOVE and I mean L - O - V- E dressing Connor in super-cute preppy outfits! Almost as much as dressing myself ... almost! And there are 2 stores/ websites that make having a well-dressed baby and toddler super easy... and they don't break the bank!

Now, obviously since I have a baby boy, I know both these brands have AMAZING styles for little boys (but perhaps little girls, too... I just have no idea about that!) for a great price that look great and impressive... even to the most discriminating of shoppers! When we go out, Connor is constantly getting remarks like, "He looks like he walked straight out of the baby Gap catalog!" or "He looks like a Ralph Lauren model!" He might look like a million bucks, but the outfits probably cost $30 or less... thanks to these 2 websites / stores (and the 1 runner-up listed at the end!)

1.) babyGap!! Seriously.... you can get the BEST deals from baby Gap! We all have heard of babyGap, Gap, Gap Kids, etc.... but it wasn't until I had Connor that I became seriously obsessed with this store.

I heard someone at Gymboree class recently comment on the priceyness of babyGap and I just couldn't help but say (in my head of course!) "You clearly don't know HOW to shop there!" Sales at this store are phenomenal and they usually still have pretty good stock and selection of sizes once items are on sale or being clearanced out!

Not only do they have amazing sales, but they have tons of extra percents off! In my experience, the store prices on sale items can be up to 50% less than the sale prices online, but the selection online is *sometimes* better. So... you have to shop around!

This is one example where carrying the store's credit card can also save you additional money and on shipping ... plus gets your foot in the door for emails and mailings about special sales! Unlike some store cards which get you nothing, the benefits that come from having a Gap/ Banana card (free ship, rewards cards, extra percent off, etc...) really are worth carrying the card in your over-stuffed wallet. As an added bonus, if you get the Banana or Gap card, you can also use the benefits to shop for yourself and others ... while earning rewards... sweet!

Some of my best deals lately: short sleeve button-down collared shirt - $4.99 (in store), Chambray 3-Button Blazer - $9.99 (online), 3-Pack white bodysuits - $6.99 (online), Down-filled Puffer Coat - $14.99

... and now for my absolute fave...

2.)! Not only do they have great sales and *private* sales (which aren't really that private!), but the shipping is fairly priced and even free with a minimum order amount! As a great bonus, you can request gift boxing for certain items, which means they arrive in exquisite boxes, elastic ribbon and tissue! Very impressive!!

I never ever pay shipping with Ralph Lauren because there is almost always a free ship code on or elsewhere... and usually you get get at least 10%--- all the way up to 30% off (this is rare... but exciting!)

You CANNOT beat the quality of these clothes. I seriously wash and dry everything and they look brand new. There is an amazing selection of sizes and colors in both the infant and toddler sizes. This is another place where I only buy items on sale. Pretty much all of Connor's everyday basics are RL... their shorts, khakis, cotton sweaters, and polo shirts are unbeatable... and all of those things I've purchased for about $20 or less each season and he wears the crap out of them!

Best deals of late: Leather Fisherman Sandals - $15, Cotton Khaki Shorts - $9.99, Rugby L/S Polo Shirts - $16.99, Hooded Windbreaker Jacket - $25

PS - Macy's will also sometimes have amazing deals on Polo stuff with an extra percent off deal. Usually you cannot use their coupons on RL, but if they are having a sale with extra percent off sale and clearance, check out the little boys section and you could get lucky! Their selection isn't as great, but I've gotten some great pieces for cheap!

Now, if you are are a regular reader of this blog (or even if you aren't) you probably know that I love shopping at J.Crew (both in store and online). Unfortunately, we do not have a Crew Cuts in Kentucky, but I do 'crews' the Crew Cuts sale section online periodically! I'm not going to spend a lot of breath on this one b/c generally everything is WAY WAY WAY overpriced and I haven't been able to test the quality yet since the sizes start at 2T. But, this is why I love them...

I ordered about 12 items for Connor late last year during the Christmas season for about $150!!! And I don't mean t-shirts and such, but pants, sweaters, jeans, down coat, etc... With an extra-percent-off coupon code and free shipping, the deal way great enough that I will definitely be checking back this season to find more deals... which might not be as good if the economy picks up ... so we'll see!

Whooo.... time to hit this pool.... I'm beat from all this shopping talk!! ;)

I couldn't resist ... this is Connor at about 6 months!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

'Helpful' Confessions of a Shopaholic

There is no doubt that by any standard, I not only spend too much money on clothing and accessories for myself, but also on my child. However, I do think there is a lack of understanding of the part of most people about where the deals really are! Sales, overstocks, last year's version, eBay, online coupon and promo codes, Ebates, credit card rewards programs, extra percents off, etc... are all things you must be familiar with in order to, simply put, not get screwed while shopping ... especially when online shopping (which as you know, is a personal fave of mine!)

So many times, my mom has ordered something from Ann Taylor, LOFT, Talbots, or Banana without a free shipping or discount code! And I'm like, "What? You NEVER do that!" But she just didn't know!

Same goes with my J.Crew wardrobe obsession... while I adore shopping at JC, both online and in the store, it is a rare day that I purchase anything full price (or even close to it!) which is what allows me to buy so many pieces and spend so much time shopping without running out of money on the first summer sundress! I enjoy shopping, so for me, this is fun and kind if a hobby! Snagging a great deal gives me a high... I know this sounds like an addiction...hmmm... it probably is. Shh, don't tell!

Some people just simply buy things they like when they see them, never concerned with the fact that it's half-price the next week or whatever. That drives me crazy!! If that's you, that's great that you can sleep at night, but I certainly would not be able to! Obviously, part of the equation of getting a great deal is just experience in knowing what merchandise is going to stick around to make it to the sale, and what pieces most certainly will not!! There are tricks to the trade, but luck and timing also have a lot to do with it! A blog I read daily to make sure I'm getting the best deal on my JC purchases is! It is the BEST BEST BEST site for discussing JC sales, deals, specific items, fit, colors, etc... plus any time there is a great Banana or LOFT, etc... deal or coupon, someone always lists it there, too! I also love to find promo coupons for shopping online! Another aspect to snagging great deals is having the time to research and obsess over it!

Part 2 - Coming Tomorrow - "Confessions of a Shopaholic - Best Dress Baby"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What I Think About (are you prepared?)

A look into the thoughts that just pop into my head throughout the day. Some mundane, some funny, some gross. I carried a piece of paper around with me today, and these are some of the things that I wrote down:

* What did we do without Tivo? Seriously... I don't remember.
* What did we do without cell phones? I can't even comprehend this idea.
* Just because it's hot outside, does not automatically give everyone the go-ahead to wear short-shorts .... it may be hot outside, but not everyone is hot enough on the outside to pull off super-short shorts in a size too small.
* I really wish Sharon and Nick would just get back together already on the Young and the Restless... and not just because I like watching them make whoopee, but I really don't like Phyllis.
* The pool opens this weekend! Sweet! Ahh! Put down the coconut toasted marshmallows NOW!!
* Why did gas prices go back up? Damn!
* It smells like a crap-sicle in our backyard. Gross. I think it's because the farm behind our property has cows. Can't wait till it gets warmer...
* Why is there a huge sticky spot on the wood stairs heading upstairs? I don't even want to know.
* Be sure to put butt cream on Connor before nap and bedtime ... working on a tiny spot of diaper rash!
* It's time to take your NObama stickers off your cars, minivans, and SUVS. Seriously, give it up, you lost.
* Why do we pay all this money for satellite and cable TV, but there is nothing on. I've watched Tory and Dean, The Cosby Show, What I Like About You... this is bad. Why don't I just go to bed?

Wally World

I was in WalMart today, and I have to say, I was quite shocked (in a good way!) I usually try to avoid this place... especially since I heart alternative wonderlands like Target, etc... but it was unavoidable today... so we went! There was a super-cute coat and a backless / strapless bra with tons of gel padding! There were really nice looking black picture frames and great glass-looking plastic wine glasses for outdoor entertaining! Awesome!

Not that I'm going to go wardrobe shopping there by any means, because God only knows Wally World will never be a replacement for Pottery Barn, J. Crew, or Baby Gap, but in today's economy, who isn't looking to save a few bucks on everyday luxuries?

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Just Decided

While on a long, brisk walk around our neighborhood Friday morning in an attempt to both burn calories and catch some rays simultaneously (never stop multitasking!!) I made a parenting decision - of sorts.

About half way through our walk, I first heard, then saw, some little boys (hoodies) playing around in their yard. Oh what wonderful parents! Having your children play outside instead of those violent, fat-ass and carpal tunnel inducing video games all the kids (and some dads!) are obsessed with! Not exactly!!

They were playing what looked to be a game of "run around and pretend to shoot my friends" with what I'm assuming (and hoping) were fake guns. Said guns, however, looked real enough to stop me in my tracks for a couple of seconds while deciding whether to run the other direction, or smile and quickly scamper past. I chose the latter, all the while keeping a close and judging eye on the boys.

I know it seems crazy to immediately think that maybe a child has found his dad's shotgun in the garage - the one that was supposed to be locked up and unloaded - but how many times do you hear about that crap on the news? A kid thinks they are playing an innocent game with their brothers and friends and someone ends up hurt or dead!? Why are toy companies making such realistic looking guns for children to play with? (And, like I said, I'm taking the liberty of assuming these were, in fact, toy guns!! Who knows!?)

Those who know me, both from this blog and personally, know that I am not overly sensitive to things like this ... but these were no fakey looking guns!! (aka: Nerf, Super-Soaker, etc...) They were long, brown and had moving parts!! It was a bit disturbing to say the least.

So, long-term-parenting-decision #1: No guns!! Squirt guns ... fine (especially when used to squirt neighbor's cat who poops and digs in garden), but very-real-looking, scare-the-neighbors-half-to-death guns... NO WAY!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day!

So, of course I didn't have time to write an entry on Mother's Day because I was WAY too busy getting showered with gifts and kindness and compliments and having my feet massaged while shopping with someone else's credit card.... wait, that was in my dreams before I woke up. Uhm... so that wasn't exactly it. We had a great day though! We went to Panera for breakfast and Jamie watched Connor while I ran out to do some errands without my little sidekick! After Connor napped, we headed over to my aunt and uncle's house for some drinks and dinner! My sister Lisa is also back from Butler for the summer, so we took the opportunity to take some really silly pics (as seen below!) She is going to be my motivation (one of them) to get moving this summer - aka: training to run a 5K before summer is over! I've been seeing tons of people on my neighborhood hauling ass around the block and it makes me feel like I should be doing something more athletic .. so I shall ... try...

Our family!

Me and Lisa ... stopping to smell the flowers! ha!

Just the girls!

My first family! ;)

Me and Sis!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oaks & Derby Pics!!!

We are still in recovery mode from going going going for days straight, so I really have to go to sleep ... but I really want to post some pics from this weekend!! They are in backwards order ... sorry! The pics where I'm wearing a yellow dress and hat are from Derby, the pink pencil skirt and cardigan with pink flower headband are from Oaks, and the last picture is from the boat race!!

At our house before leaving for the Derby!

My outfit! I caved and bought a hat!!

Getting ready to walk into Millionaire Row!

Our view from Millionaire Row!!

Oaks Day!!
A great view from our box! It was breast cancer awareness day at the track, so were we all wearing pink!! My fave!
Gettin' cozy at the track ... drinking may or may not have been involved!

We were finally able to get an OK pic of both of us!

Last Thursday at the Great Steamboat Race! Me and my Little Buddy!! Notice he has a sailing shirt on... and also appears to maybe be picking his nose!! aww.... ;)