Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sing Into Spring with Last Minute Easter Basket Ideas from Disney!

Having small children in my house it would only stand to reason that Disney would have a significant place in my house.  Disney Soundtracks are a rather new addition to the repertoire, but a very pleasant one.  For as long as I can remember music has been a huge part of my life.  Music is attached to memories, sometimes in a very emotional way.  Music is the way I connect with a lot of things, places and people; and as silly as it sounds, it speaks to me.  Thankfully Disney always has good music, because it really makes the movies, and the tv shows.  You can't go wrong with good music.

These great Disney Soundtracks would be a great addition to your Easter Baskets!  Bringing music into your home is wonderful for you and your kids.  We get up in the morning and instead of turning on the TV we turn on some music!  Get our blood pumping and start the day off on the happy side of the bed.

These are some of the best albums and my kids love all of them!  On the top of their list would be the Frozen soundtrack and the DJ Shuffle.  The Disney Jr, DJ Shuffle album has the perfect mix of all your favorite Disney Jr songs, including two songs: a new Disney Jr. Anthem and a song performed by Sofia The First cast, Sofia and Clover; and who doesn't love Doc McStuffins or Jake and the Neverland Pirates!

If your Easter Basket is already full, definitely keep this in the back of your mind for your stocking stuffers (don't worry I'll remind you!!!).

You can purchase all of these albums on Disney's music site right now!

Disclosure: I received this "Sing into Spring" Disney CD pack in exchange for my honest opinion, review and product statement.  I was not compensated in any other way.  This is in partnership with Entertainment New Media Network.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

BA Star Make-up ~ Two Looks *Review*

BA Star Make-Up is professional make-up designed to stand out and stay put; specifically targeted towards dancers and cheerleaders.  Why, you ask, am I talking about it with you, as I am neither a dancer or a cheerleader.  However I once was a dancer, regularly performing and sometimes competing.  Having the proper make-up and making sure you don't have to continuously reapply it is very important.  No one has time for that nonsense.  Cameras, whether video or still, have a remarkable effect on what people look like, especially if a professional flash is used.  This is a huge goal for those of us that have spent any amount of time in theater, competitive dance and any performance arts.  Recently however I have begun to appreciate the value of this type of make-up and application.  Occasionally I have the opportunity to spend the day at press events, either behind or in front of the camera.  I meet a variety of people and I want to look my best.  Having quality make-up that lasts is important.  So, I was curious whether or not this make-up would work with an everyday look as well. 

BA Star make-up gets that; and by providing deeply pigmented make-up and a eye-shadow glue accomplish that.  BA Star has everything you could need for competition kits to create a uniform look that judges like.  You can order from them in bulk and create custom kits that include all you need, including mascara, eyelashes and bronzers.

The colors in this palette is remarkable, especially the blue.  They are bright and deep, and frankly I couldn't resist trying them out for everyday.  The perfect colors to create a smoky eye.

I decided to create the look recommended for a competition look, created by the BA Star team and uploaded on YouTube.  How easy would their suggestion be to recreate without having a professional make-up artist on hand to do it.  The look was very easy to recreate with the brushes I had on hand, aside from the glitter, which I didn't have.  I decided to use the shadow glue on one eye so that you could see the difference.  

The glue was used on the left-side.  You can see that the color is remarkably different with just one swipe of the glue.  The color, regardless of using the glue, is beautiful and bright.  

And here's your everyday look, which lasted remarkably well, and looked good over a period of time.

it's going on five hours and still going strong

~stay tuned for this tutorial on YouTube soon! (you can subscribe to my channel by clicking the link)

**I received this product in partnership with BrandBacker.  I was not compensated in any other way.  As always my opinions are my own.
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Rhe's Bookshelf - Lean Body, Fat Wallet

Summary - What would you do if you finally lost all your excess weight or had energy to burn? How different would your life be if you were completely out of debt and in control of your finances? And what if you could do both at the same time with just a few simple and sustainable lifestyle changes?
Ellie Kay and Danna Demetre are life experts in two seemingly different fields—finance and fitness. Working together, they have made a remarkable discovery—the principles and habits that are good for your wallet are equally good for your body.
The simple and practical teaching in this “two for one” bargain of a book will help you put those principles and habits to work in your life and create a sustainable and satisfying lifestyle.


Review - You might look at this book think, "what the what?! How could these two things possibly work together in a book."  I sort of thought the same thing, but was intrigued enough to want to read it.  Another thing that grabbed me was the fact that Ellie Kay is a military spouse, succeeding financially, getting out of debt, all on a military paycheck.  If you ask many milspouses they will probably say finances are hard.  There are a myriad of factors that play into this for sure - moving, difficulting getting jobs and uncertainty.  And for women this means stress.  I know for me this is true.  Struggling with whether or not to get a job, is it worth it?  Staying home with my children is really important to me.  So, what do I do?  Believe me finances and my journey in weight loss are probably some of the most stressful things in my life.  And for the most part fiances has always been.  Being scared to spend, struggling with the prospect of saving, buying a car, buying a house.  Who knew they were so related.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that not only does it talk about both of these things, that they are related and that you can change it; but the book actually tells you how to do this.  It does this with helpful tips and tricks that one can actually accomplish.  These are things you, I mean we, can do.  It's not easy and it isn't an overnight change.  It takes dedication and commitment, but it can be done.  This book can also be a pick me up, a recharge, when you need it.  It's also a book that you will probably find yourself passing along to your friends.

5 out 5 stars

**I received this book in partnership with Booksneeze/BookLook.  I was not compensated for this post.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Deployment Cycle....

Faced with more time separated from my Airman I began noticing patterns in my behavior.  My extreme highs and lows are finally under semi-control.  What I can tell you about that is if you are at all feeling even the slightest bit out of control, if you decide to be truly honest with yourself, get help.  There's no shame in it.  This life is hard enough without feeling extra out of control.  But I've noticed I go along a specific pattern each time.  The first week or two is spent keeping myself ridiciulously busy. On any given day you can find me cleaning, organizing, throwing/give away bags and bags of junk.  I might even make a trip or two to Ikea in an effort to please my Deployment OCD self.  Each time he leaves this is my pattern.  No matter the length of trip and each time he goes this is what I do.  The next week or two is spent not sleeping, which inevitably leads to me becoming sick.  I've become too busy taking care of everything and everyone but myself, no wonder I get sick.  My body be like, "woman, slow down!!! Do I have to make you sick to slow you down because I'll do it!"  And it does, so there you go.

Recognizing something and admiting it is a problem is the first step in recovery right?  I mean, I realize in the grand scheme of things this isn't a huge problem, or an addiction, but it is affecting me for sure.  My body is telling me something, and whether I want to pay attention or not its going to do what it wants.  And like most moms and women I never ask for help.  I'm the first to offer it or give it (totally not tooting my own horn here, but you get what I mean), but asking for it is hard.  Its almost as if I equate it with weakness, with not being able to handle all the things in my life I feel like I"m supposed to.  But we are designed to have a help-mate, someone who stands by us and lifts us up.  Mine just happens to not be here all the dang time.  So I need to fill that in with people who clearly love and care about me, who offer help.  I need to take it when its offerred.  So after going back in my mind I've come up with a possible solution (or at least a new path to try) to the current cycle I go through.

1. Take it easy!

this has to be important!  This time setst the tone for the entire separation (at least for me).  Don't try to organize or purge the whole house in the first week.  Do leave the house every day, dragging your kids everywhere.  Just be!  Read a book, paint your nails, doing silly things with the kids.  Get out that craft box and play!  There are more fun and relaxing things to do that can keep you busy after they leave then things that will run down your body

2. Stay healthy!

While you can't predict what horrible plague like death your child will bring home from school, you can do your part to stay healthy while you endure this separation. Keep up on those vitamins, echinacia or whatever! Get that coldeeze in there if you feel something going on. Eat healthy and find that time (see 1) to exercise. Leave the dishes in the sink and do a quick workout (find my favorite quick YouTube workouts here).



3. It's okay to feel

Typically I like to mask my feelings.  I know, so completely healthy right?  Since I went so long without getting help, my emotions were crazy out of wack.  So there is a part of me that wants to swing the pendulum the other way.  Any emotion is bad emotion.  It means I'm crazy and out of control.  No way man!!!  It's okay to sad.  Your parnter in crime is gone and you're alone.  This is for real and it sucks.  This all goes back to number one.  Keep busy so you don't feel is my interpretaion of Keep Calm and Solider On; although I don't think that's what it means.  It doesn't say Keep Calm and shove your feelings so far down that eventually you crack!

Now its time to Keep Calm and Soldier On....I have to totally rewire my brain to follow a road less traveled.  The one where I don't freak out, stay healthy and enjoy some me time.

Do you do the same thing?  How do you stop yourself for heading down the wrong path when you are by yourself?

Friday, March 21, 2014

First Lady Welcomes Military Kids for Muppets Screening

Last week the First Lady invited military children to attend a screening of the the new Muppets movie at the White House.  We were lucky enough to be included in this group.  It was a huge deal for my kids and watching their little faces register who it was that was talking to them was a pretty incredible expereince.  I loved it!  We were greated by the amazing Kermit the Frog.  He spoke with the kids and took a picture with them.  They were not at all distracted by the man laying on the weird contraption talking for Kermit.  The First Lady was introduced by the always witty and fun, General Martin Dempsey.  He is probably one of the most hilarious people.  I've never not heard him speak and it not be funny.  In fact my kids are still quoting the jokes he told to the kids.  His normal repitore of token Irish jokes about drinking and signing probably wouldn't work...but he actually took the time to come up with three jokes for kids.  It was perfect for them.


If you haven't had the chance to see The Muppets Most Wanted (it just came out in theaters), here's a little run-down.  

The Muppets are ready to take their show on the the road with a global tour.  But their new manager is actually a crook, and he works for Constantine, the World's Number One Criminal!  Constatine, who looks almost exactly like Kermit, plans to steal a priceless treasure and blame it on the Muppets!

I have to say I am a huge muppets fan, and remember watching the old movies...I mean, come on, Kermit singing "It isn't easy being green," is probably the most recognizable thing.  They are hilarious and I've always loved them. Introducing them to my kids is just a natural thing.  Their first "come-back" movie of sorts I wasn't all that impressed with.  I mean, it wasn't horrible...but what I loved about this one is that it really harkens back to the old days of the Muppets.   I mean, the randomness of it all, weird cameos, a live running of the bulls (Hilarious!).  It doesn't get any more Muppets than that.  The story line is engaging and funny, while maybe slightly over the heads of my two kids, there were lots of funny parts that they laughed out loud at.  Tina Fey is supurb and Ricky Gervais is perfect.  

Muppets Gets 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.  It would really be good for children maybe slightly older than mine, even though Brian did enjoy it.  Some of the plot was a bit complicated for him.  Adults who grew up with The Muppets will love it.  

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fall in Love with Some Jewels *Majestic Jewelry*

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 

Like most girls I love me some jewelry, mixing and matching them up with each other, with outfits and all that fun stuff.  When given the opportunity to check out some new jewelry and share that with you guys, well...what's a girl to do?  Majestical Jewelry sent me these absolutely amazing earrings.  They are absolutely beautiful to look at and make quite the statement.


The stones on these are beautiful and flawless looking at them.  These are their Beaded Drop Earrings and would set you back about $6.50.  Yes, that's what I said.  What is so great about these earings is that they feel really high quality.   The earings aren't flimsy and the stones are set well.  They hang about two inches off your ear.  Since they are such a statement all by themselves I decided to pair them with a simple necklace with diamonds.


I thought they went well together and you definitely do not want to overdo with with all your jewelry at one time, especially in a daytime look.

One of the reasons why I love the idea of companies like Majestical Jewelry is that they bring trends to everyone by making them affordable.  Majestical Jewelry was started by a small group of jewelry lovers in South Carolina that strive to bring amazing jewelry to everyone, at a cost people can actually afford.  High quality jewelry none the less.   After purusing the site I found so many thing that I would love to have, and tons of things I had seen in magazines and on tv.


These are just a few of the amazing pieces you can snag, and all for twenty dollars or less.  Now that is something that I can get on board with.  I see myself making a swing by Majestical Jewelry in the near future.  If you visit theirwebsite and sign up for their newsletter there just might be something in it for you.

Did you pay a visit to their website?  I wanna know what really cool thing you found!  Are you an earring girl or a necklace girl?
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Four Ways to Pretend You're Surviving the Toddler Years

They're so much fun right?  I'm convinced the "terrible twos" is a phrase we moms use to not completely go crazy and call them devil children.  "Oh he's just going through his terrible twos," is something I find myself saying.  Although I'm not sure if I'm saying it to the people who are giving me weird looks, or two myself.  Either way I'm saying it, loud and proud.  On Sunday I had an encounter with a sweet mama in the hallways of church.  She was dropping off her older son, and her sweet and adorable three year old was hiding in a little doorway alcove screaming her head off.  The mom looked slightly frazzled and I looked at her with a knowing smile.  The first thing she said to me was, "I'm so sorry, I don't know what's wrong with her." I laughed and said, "been there, done that, and doing again with my two year old."  I gave her a little squeeze on her arm and said, "you're not alone."

The first "mistake" she made was saying "I don't know what's wrong with her!"  Please raise your virtual hand if you've done this.  I know I have, and you aren't raising your hand then you're totally lying! So what do you do to pretend you're surviving?  After having three kids I can officially say I'm getting better at these younger years.  Don't get me wrong...I'm totally clueless about what's coming up.  That is for my friends with older kids to sort of figure out and then clue me in on thanks Sarah (go buy some of her amazing purses and accessories at Hands Full Creations - she has three boys between the ages of like 8 and a sister out.

1) Don't say you don't know what's wrong with them.  The absolutely best way to handle to survive anything that comes your way in parenting is speak the truth!  can i get a witness!!??!!  Say, "my child is currently going crazy," or "if I wasn't out I'd be hiding in the closet eating frosting right out of the container," something along those lines.
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 crying because he would rather drink juice all day long then water

2) Learn the power of ignoring.  Find your inner mom zen.  Now whether you do that by busting out the yoga mat while your child is screaming in the other room, yelling "mommies going to take a shower" and then secretly locking yourself in there while the shower is running and playing candy crush, or eating frosting right out of the container.  Find your mom zen and ignore the fit.  It's parenting gold I tell you.  For the most part kids will react to any attention you give them, whether it be good or bad.  They also know you're mom, they totally have your number and know how to push the buttons.  Case in point, my kids almost always behave better while with friends or babysitters.  I'm talking, "oh my gosh, Brian is the sweetest, quietest, most respectful child I have ever seen!!"  I'm sorry, who are speaking of?  Don't get me wrong, for the most part he's all those things; but the last time we had a friend out I was literally telling him, "please don't act like this, your friend is going to go home and tell his mom how crazy I am!!"  I later fount out that she was secretly thinking the same thing when my kid was other there.  So back to number one, talk about it!!!

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 crying because his sister in on his side instead of going around

3) Girls night/date nights:  Do it, do it now, do it often.  Coffee dates, dinner dates, dragging all the kids to Chick-Fil-A and then sending them all to the play area and praying they stay it!!  Talk about how crazy your kid is being, and if you're hanging out with the right people then they will probably start doing the same.  I love spending time with adults, but seriously who wants to spend time with someone who pretends their kid literally never does anything wrong.  This chick ain't got no time for that!  And since when did grocery shopping at 9 o'clock at night become the best thing ever?  I hate sacrificing time with the hubby, but for this I'll do it.  Find some good friends to swap kids with so you're not paying for sitters all the time and go out!  Heck, go out on double dates!  Just do it!!

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crying because he can't put his shoes on the right feet

The best thing about my little guy is on top of all the crazy he is the sweetest, most loving, best hug giver and cuddlier.  He does everything with extreme passion.  So that leads to my final thought....

4) enjoy the snuggles, the giggles, the hugs.  Relish in the moments when he picks up his toys, puts his dishes in the sink, goes potty like a big boy and plays well with his siblings.  That is really the secret to getting through the rest of it.

and just because I'm nice, I thought you'd like to see my latest video "Real Tales of Motherhood: Phil Phil wants my coffee."

Do you have a toddler, or a crazy kid?!  Tell me all about it!?  Or do you have a tip? I'd love to hear it!
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