Monday, July 30, 2012

dig my mani

I'm not big on bandwagons.  As far as trends go, most bath water is hotter than the ones I follow.  There have been a few exceptions (I was rocking skinny jeans in, like, 2005, thankyouverymuch), but for the most part I typically wait for something new to simmer down to a low, almost completely evaporated pool of so-four-years-ago before I jump in.   It's not because I'm just so ├╝ber cool that I don't follow trends - it's that I'm such a dork I don't realize how cool something is until everyone else is already over it.  That's why I didn't get an iPhone until just this year, didn't cut heavy bangs til ten years post-Zooey, and why I just tried nail polish strips for the first time last night.  I made the decision to jump on the nail art bandwagon after seeing some of the adorable new prints from the Sally Hansen line on one of my favorite style blogs, Sincerely, Jules (so in love with her).  Here are hers:

Inspiring, right?  But I really wanted to try them out before I invested in a new set, since they're kinda pricey at around $8 a box.  Then I remembered that Annie got a set from Santa last year.  So I snooped around her room and sure enough, they were still sitting unused in her little pink Kaboodle (yes, they still make those!).  Don't you just love stealing from your kids?  Me too.

The flowers are cute, if you're into that kind of thing, and the strips are so super easy to use - just apply and file away the excess.  It's fool-proof, really.  And they seem pretty durable - this set still looks flawless after dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom and wrangling the baby all day.  I know it's only been 24 hours, but my normal at-home polish job would already be dull and gross after all I've done today.  Plus, for my normal mani I do two coats of polish and a topcoat, which has me drying for at least an hour if I want good results.  These things, on the other hand (hehe), take about fifteen minutes to apply, but then you're done.  Easy peasy.  I did swipe a quick-dry topcoat over my stickies to add some shine, but that's just me.  It's an optional step.  The bottom line: for a girl who is never bare-nailed, these things are a major time saver.  And they're fun!  I can't wait to try these too, and these, and these

*Disclaimmmmmer:  I know this is my second product review this week (well, Plato's Closet is a place, not a product, but you get my point).  I swear I'm not getting paid or sponsored or anything, and I'm also not going to become some cheesy, super-chipper product whore either.  Promise.  I just happened to have tried some new stuff this week and I thought I'd share!  Now go stick some stuff on your nails.  Mwah!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

is this racist?

So this morning Estie and I took B's big manly pickup truck to go help some friends move out of their apartment.  Well, Estie and I were of no help at all - the truck was what they needed (Benny was at work).  Estie and I just played with the little man of the house, Sir, while the big boys moved couches and bureaus down the stairs.  I think some sparks flew today... 

Anyway, halfway into the morning Estie started to get that hateful, threatening look in her eyes that sleepy babies get right before an epic meltdown.  It was time for a nap, or else.  So I had Sir's dad, Joey, take us home en route to the storage facility.  Joey is [very] black, which has absolutely no relevance at all, except in this story.  Since the boys had been in the middle of a haul, the bed of the truck was really full.  About a mile from home we felt a sway and plop, there go a mattress and box springs onto the side of the road.  Here is the point of all this:  If you are a small white girl and you ever get the chance to help a large black man retrieve a mattress and box springs off the side of a busy street, I HIGHLY recommend that you do it.  The looks you get from passerby are freaking priceless.  Here I was in my Toms and hippie hair while Joey manhandled the mattress, lifting it over his head like a circus strongman as drivers and joggers openly stared, seemingly fraught with questions:  "Are those two... did they... and were those mattresses just laying there, and they're taking them home?  Or did they just rob a house?  Surely they stole that red-headed baby - that is not genetically possible... should we help?  No, definitely do not stop to help."  It was pretty great.  What was even better was when we pulled up outside my house and asked my neighbor for help re-tethering the bed of the truck.  I could tell the lad was wrestling with his conscience:  "Are they... is she... and in her husband's truck?!  With the baby?!"  Priceless.  I'm just waiting to see if the neighbor corners B. when he gets home tonight.  "Dude, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but while you were at work, your wife and baby were out with this strapping young African... with mattresses..."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

happy saturday!

What a gorgeous day it was here in sunny FoCo!  Hotter than two squirrels in a wool sock of course, but gorgeous nonetheless.  I'm usually really bad about taking pictures on the weekends, either because I'm super busy or because we do absolutely nothing (which is sometimes more fun!) and therefore there's nothing to photograph.  Today was somewhere in between - the hubs was at work, so Estie and I hung out at home for a while and then ran some errands.  Busy(ish) but nothing too exciting.  Still though, I made a point to capture a few moments for posterity:

We spend the morning tackling important questions,
like, "where is baby's belly button?"
(Spoiler alert: it's right where you think it is.)
Heading out to run errands with my little helper.
Sporting the cute sandals I unearthed in the basement
whilst gathering clothes to consign.
Do they make my feet look like butt cracks?

Pretty fruit at the farmer's market.
Breakfast for dinner - my fave!

Well, there it is - a day in the life.

Now it's time to cuddle up with the hubs, a nice cold Blue Moon, and Wilfred on DVR. 
No picures, please!

 See you Sunday!

Friday, July 27, 2012

plato's closet popped my consignment cherry

So... I have a lot of clothes.  If I had to guess, I'd put it at about a metric fuck-ton.  My husband refers to my wardrobe as his non-closet, since my stuff takes up most of "our" walk-in, the entire ten foot rack he installed in the basement, and five massive tupperware bins that weigh more than both my kids combined and would crush a grown man if they fell on him.  I never get rid of anything, okay?  I literally still have things I wore in high school.  I like to imagine that when their teenage years roll around my daughters will be the kind of quirky Molly Ringwalds who will appreciate my "vintage" dresses, bags and cheap sunglasses.  So you see, I save for them.  Plus, I pride myself on the fact that I can outfit my entire family for dress-up parties, no matter what the theme is.  We've done pirates, hippies, rednecks and rockstars so far, just to name a few.  I have everything we need and more... which is kind of the problem.  My collection is ballooning out of control at this point, and it's time to downsize.  I do a round-up every few years or so, usually attached to an address change, and in the past I've always just donated my clothes to Goodwill.  It's a noble cause.  But this time I decided to try consignment - maybe earn a few dollars [to spend on more clothes].  We've all heard the cheesy radio spots for Plato's Closet.  I thought I'd go see what the hype is about.  Here is what I learned:

  1. They take clothes, shoes, jewelry, and accessories like purses, scarves, and belts.
  2. Your stuff needs to be in good condition and in current style, though brand does not seem to mater.
  3. Take your stuff in bags - they aren't friends with hangers.
  4. When you get there, they'll take your name and give your stuff to a "professional consultant" to appraise its value.  You're not involved in the process.  They'll tell you how long it will take (anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how busy they are).  You can browse the store while you wait, or fill out a little sheet of info and come back later. 
  5. When they call your name, they'll give you back what they don't want and give you a total for what they're keeping.  What I gathered is that they typically mark things up three times for resale, so if they're going to sell your shirt for $12, you take home $4. You have a choice to take X amount of cash, or what seems to be X + 50% in store credit.  (Today, my options were $88 cash or $130 store credit.)        

I read some reviews online before I went (and then actually ran into a friend at the store who agreed) that taking your stuff to Plato's Closet is barely any more profitable than just giving it away to Goodwill.  One online review even said that if you don't have popular teen brand clothes like Hollister and Abercrombie, don't even bother going.  Well, I don't know about other locations, but at our local store that was not the case.  The brands I brought in ranged from J. Crew to Loft to Express; Gap, UO, The Limited, Anthro, etc - grownup stuff - and the appraiser not only accepted my items but raved over how nice they were.  That said, $88 is certainly only a fraction of what I originally paid for those items.  But when the other option is GIVING them to Goodwill, I'd say $88 is a boon.  And now there are a few free inches on that ten foot rack in the basement.  I'll definitely be making another trip to get rid of some fall items in a month or so.  

As far as the offerings on the racks at Plato's Closet, there are definitely some deals to be found if you're willing to dig.  And I do mean dig - there is ALOT of stuff there!  The location I visited was very clean, well-organized and maintained, with plenty of dressing rooms, but it's basically a big, more selective thrift store.  Which is great, if you're into that.  And I did see a couple of really cute things.  None of them were in my size though, which is of course the major downside to thrifting.  As for pricing, I found it to be fairly reasonable.  Jewelry was around $3 a piece, bags $10-12, tops and dresses from $6-18, shoes $6-18.  I didn't see anything over $18.  I'm not saying it's not there, I just didn't see it.  They have men's stuff as well as women's, though female was definitely dominant.  In the end, I'd say it was worth the trip.  I'd recommend the whole deal.  And I did find one thing in my size, these super-cute ankle biker booties - a steal at $6!

So Old Westy!

A little Febreeze and some [of my own] ankle socks,
and we're in bidness! 

Friends, I encourage you - 
go forth and hawk your shit!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

a bone to pick

One of the only nice things about my oldest daughter being away for the summer is that nobody ever asks me "what's for dinner?"  I can't stand that question!  So demanding, so assuming, so needy.  But baby Estie doesn't speak English yet, and the hubs knows better than to ask, so I haven't heard that question in like two months.  It's been nice.  Usually I just give B. a few options and we pick together, or he offers to cook if I don't say anything.  And sometimes there's nothing planned at all.  I call those "fend for yourself nights," and they usually end in frozen pizza.  Last night was one of those nights.  I let B. know ahead of time that there was basically just spaghetti and mayonnaise in the house, so he picked up a rotisserie chicken on the way home.  Such a doll!  Anyway, he asked me to save the wishbone when I was disposing of the carcass (gotta love that word).   Today when I got home from work I saw it there on the counter, all dry and pale, languishing in the lamp light next to the butter dish.  And I got to thinking... that's a bone from a dead animal.  On my counter.  Gross.  I'm no hipster vegan, I ate the hell outta that chicken - but saving its bone as a souvenir, to do things with later?  Like a war trophy?  What a morbid little tradition that is.  It's no different than keeping a scalp on your belt, really.  Yuck.  It got me wondering how the whole wishbone concept even started, so I went over to my shelf of encyclopedias... haha!  Anyway, I googled it, and it turns out the tradition is like 2,500 years old, originating with these dudes called the Etruscans who thought chickens could predict the future.  I won't bore you with the macabre details, but the point is: why are we still doing this?  I mean, I love my farm-fresh eggs, but I don't hang around the coop for one of the hens to read my palms after she lays.  It's just nonsense.  But then again, Christmas, Easter, Valentine's day, etc... I digress.

So I guess the takeaway lesson here can be summed up with two points, which I will illustrate photographically:

1. I got the bigger half when the hubs and I broke the wishbone, so I win.

2. Perhaps you remember Buck and Forrest,
the two former deer hanging on my living room wall?

So the lesson, in case you weren't paying attention, is
1 + 2 =
I'm a big fat hypocrite.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

smear of flying

Wanna hear a funny story?       I kind of thought you might.

So the hubs and I took Estie to visit my homeland a few weeks ago.  We were pretty excited to take our seven month-old busy-body baby on a 3.5 hour nonstop flight to Florida (this is why someone needs to invent a "sarcasm" font).  We only had two tickets, so Estie would be travelling on our laps.  Southwest doesn't do assigned seats on their flights, and our plan was to sit next to either an old person or a woman who looked like a mom - someone who was less likely to hate our guts for being "those people" who fly with infants.  As soon as we boarded the plane I spotted this kid who looked to be about Annie's age, sitting by himself in a window seat.  He had one of those unaccompanied minor badges around his neck.  Sweet, I thought.  Estie can be as annoying as hell next to a kid - what's he gonna say?  Plus, on a nicer-person note, I like to think Benny and I are very upstanding, kid-friendly people; the kind of folks I always hope sit next to Annie when she flies solo.  So I figured we'd be doing this kid a favor, really - saving him from some yucky old dude with pipe breath who wants to talk about his grandkids for an hour before slumping over his tray table to saw logs for the rest of the flight.  I imagined  this little boy's mother and how her heart would flutter when her son got off the plane and told her he sat next to SUCH nice people, who had a baby with them and so certainly did not molest him.  Maybe she'd even send us a nice thank-you note with some money.  So we crammed our bags under the seats in front of the kid and settled in for our flight.  I struck up a convo with him.  Turns out he was the same age as Annie and he was doing a cross-country mom/dad swap for the summer, too.  His name was... aw hell, who can remember stuff like that... and it was his first time flying unaccompanied.  I comforted him in a motherly but non-stranger-danger way, and we chatted for a while before he laid his head back for a catnap.  Estie was obsessed with trying to touch the kid while he slept, cause she's just a little creeper like that, but otherwise she behaved pretty well.  She basically just writhed all over the place across our laps the entire time.  About 45 minutes into things, I was balancing Estie's standing body on my torso when I sensed a kerfuffle to my left, coming from the window seat.  Before I could even react, Benny was snatching Estie's bag out from under my feet and flying out into the aisle of the plane.  I looked over at the kid just in time to see the first explosion of canned dog food-like vomit spew from his mouth and overflow his tiny, pointlessly-cupped hands.  WHOA!  People actually really do puke on planes?!  Those little white bags aren't just for sticking your gum and used Kleenexes into?!  Oh my God!  My first instinct, of course, was to get the hell away from this disgusting monster and the putrid bile spilling out of his face.  But I'm a mom - I know that all children are disgusting monsters, and it's not their fault.  I couldn't just run from the poor little dude in his time of need.  So I passed Estie to her dad, scooched over to the seat Benny had been in, reached out and placed my hand on pukeface's shoulder and told him everything would be okay.  He responded by hurling again with impressive velocity.  It was the kind of vomit that forms a pile, not a puddle.  A chunk landed on my shoe.  The smell was like someone had died and their body was rotting in an overhead compartment.  I stood up and signalled the flight attendant.  She smiled and gestured to the drink cart - would I like a Diet Sprite? I guess my husband standing in the aisle with our baby and carry-ons meant we were just REALLY thirsty.  So I pantomimed a barfing motion and pointed to the window seat.  The flight attendant wrinkled her nose and headed our way with one C-fold paper towel.  When she got to our seats, she took one look at the kid and I instantly felt awful for her, because she realized that A) this was more like a beach-towel kind of mess, and B) this was NOT my kid, so she would be cleaning decomposing-body-scented Alpo off the seats and floor by herself.  Bless her heart.  And bless his heart, too.  And my shoe.

In the end, the kid lived, though he'll probably never recover emotionally.  Benny and I had to find other, separate seats for the rest of the flight; poor B. poked his head out into the aisle every time he heard Estie make a noise, while she and I spent the rest of the flight gossiping with two teenage girls on their way home from a volleyball tournament.  It all worked out.  We never did see poor Ralph, which I've decided to name the boy, again.  I still think of him often.  I hope he's gotten the smell out of his jean shorts and is having a happy summer somewhere in Florida - and that whoever sits next to him on his flight home is wearing rain boots.

Maybe it'll be Annie!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

dearest dears, i have been gone too long...

Well, really only about three weeks.  But that is a lifetime on the internet, especially for someone who is supposed to blog every single day.  I’m sorry.  And I’m not going to make any lame excuses, like about how we’ve been travelling across the country or throwing surprise 60th birthday parties or meeting friends' brand-new babies and stuff.  None of that.  What I WILL do is get this majorly-overdue post out of the way to break this awful silence, and then get back to my daily (DAILY) writing routine.  Believe it or not, at least five to sevenish people have asked me WTF is up, regarding my suddenly nonexistent public rants.  Apparently a handful of folks actually look forward to reading my posts each day.  APPARENTLY, I have fans.  Raving ones.  And I've realized: I have a duty to uphold here.  This is serious.  This blog has become more than just some daily dumpsite for my spews of left-field word vomit; it is IMPORTANT.  It's a BIG DEAL.  I am single handedly responsible for my readers' happiness - quite possibly the only bright spot in your otherwise dreary and pointless lives.  I am your salvation, the light at the end of your tunnel, your reward for making it through the day without killing your kids or coworkers.  I am your amusement superhero.  It is my job, neigh, my DUTY, to fill your dull little lives with joy and laughter like a skinnier, slightly more cynical Santa Claus with boobs.  I wonder if I could get that on a business card...

I'm completely kidding, by the way.  But of course you know that.  I do feel really badly about my absence though, and as a peace offering, I'd like to share a treat with you: 

THIS... is "summer beer."  Forget family, forget friends, screw the Atlantic Ocean - summer beer is the best thing that happened to the hubs and me during the last month.  And because you are so very special, I will share the super-secret sacred recipe with you.  Enjoy!

from our dear, drunk friend Ash

>Twelve pack of beer,
whatever you have on hand (we used Bud Light)

>One 19oz tub of Country Time lemonade powder

>Fifth of vodka (we used strawberry Smirnoff)

Serves, um... like five people for an evening.  Probably.

A word to the wise: mix the two liquids first and then start adding the powder SLOWLY - like a spoonful at a time - and mix well before adding the next spoonful, to avoid a major foam explosion.  After you've mixed a good amount of powder in, you can start adding more at a time.

And CAUTION:  Summer beer is freaking delicious and its effects will sneak up on you.  Case in point: the clogging duet I talked my husband into performing after one (or four) too many glasses of what tasted like harmless, refreshing punch.  I am both supremely sad and intensely relieved that nobody got in on video... but yeah, summer beer.  Be careful.

So I guess that's that, for now. I really am sorry I dropped the blogging ball for so long - I'm back on track now and I won't let you down! Like I said, I've realized how incredibly IMPORTANT I am to you guys. And if there's one thing I'm really good at, it's letting shit like that completely go to my head.

Speaking of heads, one more thing: 

The second best thing to happen this month: 
Estie in my mom's wig. 
Who says cancer's not funny?
(And super creepy!)

PS - my mama is all done with her chemo now and she's doing great!  Time to start radiation and, hopefully, hair regrowth!  Thank you all for your sweet thoughts and words.  We were blessed - she's a fighter! 

See y'all tomorrow!