Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Brunette goes a little less brunette

Not by choice. I have always had a stray gray hair or two. The odd strand hidden within my dark hair wasn't a big deal. At 15, it seemed to me that is was a sign of maturity. Now, at 38, they have started coming in clumps. Within the last few months, I've noticed an increase in the visible glinty silver hairs.

I've tried to hold off the feelings of vanity but, I seem to be losing that battle. I look in the mirror and see the glinting of my old lady future.

So, I am going to dye my hair, again. I've done it before but I did it for fun. This is a new plan, a new direction and new batch of dye.

Should I go for something a little funky like eggplant or should I go for a more sedate burgundy. My hair is, as the title of the blog suggests, dark. No, I'm not going to red or blonde. I make an awful looking blonde. I'm not looking to do something drastic. Just something that will tone down the silver and possibly give me a bit of vain fun.

If I were a good blogger, I would take pictures of all the steps and document the results.

I think I will start with the low-priced interesting colors. This experiment will probably take a long time to get decent answers and come to any result. Yes, I could use on-line color try-ons but, they never seem to look right.

I am goign to attempt to get a picture of the glinty silver as a 'before' picture and to compare to the new colors.

Well, off to do some research on dying hair and what I should do and what I should avoid.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Product Review - Little Debbie Petites Chocolate Cake

These little cakes are darn good!

I'm always on the look out for a low fat dessert but, because of the calorie count, I never bothered to look at Little Debbie. Tasty fatty stuff.

Well, because it was lower in fat than the Weight Watchers little cakes, I decided to give them a try.($1.79 at Target) I'm glad I did. I think they have a better chocolate flavor and taste like they have more fat. They are tiny and on one grumpy, low food intake day, I had two. I'm somewhat worried that they are going to discover that they have more fat and calories then reported and take them off the market.

I recommend them!

I read a review for the Strawberry Cakes and it wasn't a positive review. I didn't try the red velvet or the strawberry because they both contain Red Dye #40. No, it's not a knee-jerk reaction. My kid got hives when he had red and black makeup on his face. Both contained #40.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Party with the Rat!

I hate hosting parties. I get anxious about every detail and the attendance of the guests. Last year, I decided to off-load some of my stress and have my son's party at a 'party place'. It worked out so well, I did it again, this year.

Chuck E. Cheese rocks the birthday!

They will do almost all of the party for you. Depending on how much you are willing to pay per child, you can unload all your party stress on them. Invitations from e-vite, food, coins, cake, singing, set-up, clean-up and, my favorite, entertaining the kids.

The good: It's not in my house! We got a great party hostess, Cindy, and she made sure we knew when to expect the party parts and that we had everything we needed. There were other jparties going on at the same time so I got to see other hostesses in action. Ours was the best. The food is okay. The kids have a great time taking their cups full of coins and spending them on the noisy games.

The bad: The air-conditioner was broken and it was HOT. There were 3 other parties going on at the same time and it made it HOTter and tough to navigate. The bathrooms were filthy. The store manager came over and apologized for the air-conditioning and the bathroom. CEC is an assault on the senses. It is that way on non party days. You may end up with siblings tagging along with the invited guests. A week after I booked the party, they changed the party packages and raised the price per kid. I sent an e-mail and called to make sure I was going to be charged the lower price. I was assured that there was a note on my reservation and there wouldn't be a problem. It was. Thankfully, my brain was in working order and I printed my original party confirmation e-mail with the lower price. There computer system couldn't handle it but, they charged me for one less guest and it made up for the price change.

Book the party online when they are running a special. Usually, the specials involve extra coins if the party is booked for Sundays or weekdays. You can update your total guests and add extras like food and toys for the kids.

Monday, May 24, 2010

No Love - Felt Fun Pack

I just bought the Felt Fun Pack from The Kunin Group. I'm not happy. The assorted color pack is missing green and white. Some of the pieces are stapled together with pieces of plastic. The package says "Sizes may vary" but why bother stapling pieces?

The positives: The felt is nice and thick. According to their website, the felt is made from 100% recycled materials.

I'm disappointed in the pack, not it's content.

I bought the pack, rather than individual pieces, because I wanted to make a Darth Vader mask for a Zhu Zhu pet. I've made a test and it's kinda dorky looking but, I'm hoping to make a better, post-able one, soon.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

MyGetTogether - A New Kind of Party

Pillsbury is trying out a new type of advertising, direct marketing. They offered to send me supplies if I hosted a Pillsbury Crescent Roll Party for them.

I joined the Pillsbury site a while ago. I probably joined to enter a contest or get coupons. It was a pleasant surprise to get the opportunity to get free stuff and an excuse to have a party.

We loved the idea of having a food-themed party. Okay, we like any reason to have a party. We had a problem with the Crescent rolls because they contained Red Dye #40. My son, and a few guests, could not eat the foods prepared with the theme ingredient because of their food restrictions. I made alternative food but, I was a bit sad and disappointed with Pillsbury for using this unnecessary ingredient.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Fruit 2day - a review

I was looking for something to drink the the grocery store and noticed that a new product, Fruit2day was on sale. I grabbed the 2-pack of Cherry Grape and headed off with my son to music class.

In it's defense, it does not call itself a drink. On the front of the bottle it says "real fruit bits". On the back it says "It's not juice. It's a snack." It's true! My first mouthful had chunks of fruit. Not bits of fruit, chunks of fruit. This product requires chewing.

Positives: It has two servings of fruit. It has real chunks of fruit. It doesn't have artificial sweeteners or dyes. It makes it easy to get two servings of fruit without getting your hands messy. Easy to drink/chew on the run.

Negatives: It isn't thirst quenching. It is a little weird. (The first sip is the weirdest)

Would I get this again? Yes. It has a decent taste and makes it easy to get 2 servings of fruit. I wouldn't get it if I were thirsty.

Would I give this to my kid? Maybe. He might choke if he forgets and tries to drink it. He might like it as a snack.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Product - L'Oreal 360 Clean

Okay, I bought it because it had the little scrubby thing on it. Total impulse buy!

I bought the Go 360 Clean Deep Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin. I wanted something to replace my discontinued Avon cleanser and the 360 cought my eye. It was also the day before one of our (Maryland) big storms and I wanted to buy myself something beauty-related.

What I like: It is a nice gentile cleanser. My face doesn't feel stripped after using it. The scrubby thing is kinda fun and feels good. There is a nice storage hole in the bottle for the scrubby.

What I don't like: The directions are part of the wrapping and comes off to open the package. No, it's not a difficult product to use it's just a weird place to put instructions. The scrubby thing can be a bit slippery. A stiffer material for the handle would be nice.

It gets extra cool points for advertising during Project Runway!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Candy Bar Love - Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Butter Biscuit

This is my favorite candy bar. I get this when I am treating myself or I'm a bit stressed. I bought it as an impulse item when I was staying in a hotel one night. I ate half while watching movies and the other half for breakfast.

I like the one with the crunchy cookie center. Normally, I don't like stuff in my chocolate. If I am going to eat chocolate, I want to eat chocolate. Although, I do allow for peanut butter.

I have tried some of the other varieties but, I always come back to the cookie one. One of them has corn flakes in it. Not my favorite. I have not been able to find a la Mousse au Chocolat in my local stores. I might have to send husband out to look next time he is overseas on travel.

Official Page

I can't have it in the house and not eat it.

Snowmageddon update

We got our power back after 30+ hours. We turned on all the space heaters and started working through the laundry.

There is no firewood or D-batteries to be bought. :-P We're okay on the batteries, low on the wood.

The plows came Tuesday afternoon. Actually, they were front-end loaders and they scooped the snow on to the island in our cul-de-sac. I am hoping to get a picture of my son climbing the mountain.

I'm having trouble remembering the day. If my TiVo keeps up, I'll know the day of the week by the shows it records!

Snowmageddon 2: Electric Boogaloo / Snoverkill

Well, it's snowing again. Okay, actually it started snowing last night and it has finally gotten down to just flurries. The winds are high and we will probably lose power again.

It was an adventure. A difficult adventure but, an adventure. After we escaped the house, we decided to plan for this round using what we learned last time.

On Saturday, I cooked over coals in the fireplace (properly ventilated). We thought we had an hibachi but couldn't find it. I took an old baking pan and filled it with charcoal. It took over an hour to get it going. I've never been good with charcoal. I wrapped hot dogs, sausages, potatoes and eggs (yes, eggs) in tinfoil and set them on the coals. Not bad.

For this storm: We got a small grill/hibachi. There are only three of us so, getting a large propane grill doesn't make sense for us. Yes, it would be easier and quicker but, a waste of power and space. It's K-Mart brand so, I don't have high hopes. I just hope it works. This one will also go in the fireplace. It's too windy to attempt lighting coals outside. I still have the charcoal-lighting problem but, I will have a grilling surface and it might be a bit neater.

We've been doing dishes and laundry non-stop since we got power back. I am going to make sure we have plenty of clothes and layers to use for the next few days. Husband ran out of clean pants from the multiple snow-shoveling trips. Why not reuse? Too wet.

We gathered all the board games and bought a few new ones. My 5 year old can now play chess and Chinese checkers. He didn't like Clue but, he liked playing with the pieces. I have the Disney's Haunted Mansion Clue. :-)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Mom in a storm

Snowmageddon 2010.

Well, we bought food, we charged the chargeable stuff, we got extra batteries, we got a few bundles of wood and, we were still under-prepared. I think the final snow-fall total was 31 inches. We we in one of the heavier-hit areas.

We first lost power Friday night around 9pm. My son woke up and was both frightened and excited. We gathered all the flashlights and prepared ourselves for a dark night. The best part was my son running around with his Fisher Price flashlight helping us find things in the dark. We went around the house turning off the things that had been left on and went to bed. Son slept with me so I could calm him down after all the blackout excitement.

The power came back on around 2am and back out at 7am.

Here's where it got tough as a mom. At 7pm, the house was down to 54deg, by midnight it had gotten below 40deg. I didn't sleep well thinking about having to keep my 5 year old warm without electricity. We only have a few bundles of wood and it was still going to be very cold at night. I was able to keep him warm under the blankets but, he is a restless sleeper so, I spent a lot of my night re-covering him (as well as getting kicked and elbowed).

Montgomery County, Maryland is spending all of it's resources keeping the major roads clean. If it's not a major highway, it's not going to get done until Tuesday. Our development is usually one of the last to get plowed. Another snow fall is being predicted. If we can get out, my husband plans to grab as much firewood as he can. I'm guessing there won't be any kerosene heaters left in any of the stores.