Monday, February 28, 2011

Product Review - Purex Complete Crystals Softener

So, as I mentioned, I received a free sample of the new (as of December 2010) Pyrex Complete Crystals Softener.

Now to USE them:

First load - 1:20 PM, February 28

  • They're easy to use. You just toss them in with the clothes. 
  • Since this is a free sample, it didn't come with a measuring scoop. I just poured them into my hand until I reached the "load" line on the back.
  • Now my hand smells like "fresh spring waters" ... I keep sniffing it. Like, OBSESSIVELY.
    I'm not worried, obviously ... probably because the crystals are 92% natural.
    I wonder what the other 8% is? From the scent ... I'd guess "pure awesome." Just sayin'.
    (I also wonder about the other scents. Maybe, after pay day, I need to see if Target carries all three scents? Hmmmm. Just for the record, I checked over at to actually see the names of the other fragrances: Lavender Blossom and Tropical Splash.)
2:57 PM - My hand still smells wonderful. Just for the record.

Pulling out the first load - 3:00 PM
(Should have been earlier. But I forgot to start the dryer on the previous load! Ugh!)
  • I can't tell for-sure-for-sure if the fabrics are all softer when I remove them from the washer.
  • I can tell that they all smell great.
  • I threw in the other dark load that was waiting. ... Now my other hand smells delightful.
    I checked, just in case ... contact with skin? No warnings. Just don't get it in your eye.
    Consider yourself warned.
Pulling out the first load from the dryer (around 4 PM):

I had my helper, Bucket, assist me in unloading the dryer.
We noticed that the clothes smelled really good.
She affirmed that, yes, the towels and her pajamas were softer than normal.

I can't swear that the scent lasts for weeks and weeks, but I can agree that it's still pleasantly scented after coming out of the dryer. I'll check the first load again in a couple hours, after laundry is done.
The loads that I did this morning, before my sample arrived? They don't really smell like anything after sitting on the couch for a few hours.

After the second load is done (about 5 PM):
It smells and feels nice.
The first load doesn't smell as strongly ... but it still smells nice.

I'll have to check it again after a week or so.

Will I buy a full-size product?
Yeah, I think so. It smells nice enough that it makes me want it.

I did request 3 e-coupons for my friends. So, if you want one, speak up!
(I don't have them YET ... But I hope to get them soon. If I can't get them ... you'll still like me, right??)

As I said in my previous post, this is probably the best packaging I've ever received with a free sample. Bruise and Bucket were impressed.

It came in a shiny, blue box.

With a slide-out insert:

Inside was the bottle of crystals and the promotional material -- A letter from the Purex Insiders Community Manager (and she writes that this is the same sample that was sent to executives at Target and Walmart, as well as to editors of numerous publications).

It's a really good sized sample. That's five loads' worth in there!

No, my wrist isn't broken. It's just a trifle difficult to use a DSLR one-handed.
Especially if you're leaning on your (low) couch. The things I do for you. ^_^

There also is an informational sheet telling the benefits of using the crystals instead of liquid softener.
(Truly? I love soft towels. But everyone says that using softener makes your towels less absorbent. So I haven't been using softener for a LONG time. ... I wonder if you can use the crystals when you wash microfiber cloths? Because if you use liquid softener, you've pretty much ruined them. ... Don't ask me how I know. I'm sure you can guess.)

Click to embiggen. I figured that if you wanted to read it, I'd facilitate that desire.
Because you're so, so pretty. And smart.

 In short, the informational sheet attests that the crystals will let you use softener on things that you normally wouldn't: towels, children's pajamas (because of the flame-retardant properties), and sportswear.

Now, honestly? I don't have a lot of sportswear. And, really? The stuff I have? Not used so much.
But I have kids' pajamas and towels.

Another cool claim is that, because the crystals aren't oil-based (therefore they work by penetrating the fabrics to soften), the freshness is longer lasting. As in weeks.

I'm game for sweet-smelling laundry. (Especially if someone else folds and puts it away, amirite? ^_^)

Full disclosure here: I received this product as a free sample. And I didn't HAVE to blog about it.
I didn't have to like it at all. What I've written is my honest opinion. I refuse to sell out my integrity. Srsly.
Though, if Purex offered me a bajillion dollars? ... I might be tempted. A little.

And, really? It does smell amazing. I'll let you know if it keeps the clothes fresh for weeks. Remind me, if I forget.

And if you are really curious ... I washed these loads with Arm and Hammer Mountain Fresh detergent. And added Clorox 2 Color-Safe Bleach. And, OF COURSE, the Purex Crystals. And I have one of those dryer balls. The ones that looks like a plastic, curled-up hedgehog. ... I don't know where the other one is. Probably in my pile of to-be-folded laundry. Sad but true, I know.

I had to buy the bleach and laundry detergent myself. Just for the record.
The washer and dryer were gifts. 

Anything else? ^_^


Today is obviously my day for freebies!

I like freebies!

I checked my email inbox this morning to learn that I won a mini High Impact Mascara from a Clinique drawing.
Yay for mascara! And it'd fit in my purse! (For those days when you leave the house ... and THEN you realize that you've forgotten to put on mascara. Has anyone else done this before? ... If not, then A FRIEND did it. And told me about it. Yeah. *shifty eyes*)

And the FedEx gal (who knows my name ... and loves it. Aww!! ... so she doesn't even have to look at the address) brought me my first Purex Insider sample. I get to try the new Purex Crystals fabric softener.
And they get bonus points for packaging.
I haven't run a load with the sample YET (and there's enough for FIVE LOADS in it, WHAT? YES!) ... But it smells really nice. It's Fresh Spring Waters. And it smells nice and clean.

And, hey, they even gave me a coupon for a FULL-sized bottle of the crystals for free. (I'm kinda excited. Free?? TOTALLY my favorite price.)

If you want a coupon for $1 off, go to Purex's Facebook page. If you "like" them (not just, "Oh, hey. Purex. They're cool." I mean: You click the LIKE button.), you can print out a coupon. I printed one out this morning. It's good until the end of March. Just in case you wondered.

So, yes. I should go do a couple more loads of laundry and try this out. ^_^

Another blog in which I catch up ...

Since I've set most of the 30-day challenges to auto-post, I've not been blogging as much as I am used to lately.

We haven't been doing a whole TON of stuff, so (1) I don't feel like I have tons of blog fodder. And (2) [TMI ALERT], I was PMSing ... so my head was full of angry bees. Now that the painters are in, my mental health is approaching as-close-as-I-get to normal states.

Let's see ... what all has really gone on?

The kiddos think that one of the BEST. GAMES. EVER. is where I tell them, "Don't laugh or I have to tickle you!" ... Yesterday, we took it up a notch -- we started switching things up. "Don't snort/meow/smile/etc., or I'll tickle you!"

Bruise has started to make the "Puss in Boots face" ... With the big eyes, pouty lips, and hand balled up under his chin. Oh, that little boy kills me. Softly. With cuteness.

Bucket will try to do the face, too. But, since she's not looking in the mirror, she'll suck IN her lips and cheeks ... or end up doing fishy-lips. And she'll open her eyes CRAZY-WIDE. It makes her look kinda like an alien.
A really pretty alien. Don't get me wrong. :P

So, this week, Mom came up. I got to volunteer at the library again. We got snow.

The kiddos enjoyed playing in the snow. And eating it. And making snowballs. And throwing them at each other, Michael, and me. My mom got her hair cut. We got our free gift over at Bath and Body Works. This month it was a free mini shower gel, body lotion, and body mist. Did Mom get Butterfly Flower? I picked up Moonlight Path, since it reminds me of Cristall (she'd always have that scent of the antibacterial handwash in her bathroom in her apartment).

If I hadn't been freaking out (due to stupid, stupid hormones), we might have gone out and gotten ourselves a cat on Friday, after Michael got back from work and taking a load of trash to the dump. But, nooooooooo, I had to spend the day either crying or wondering WHY I felt like crying.
(Because I didn't have the emo-esque, "Huh, maybe I should just slice on my arm" thoughts, I wondered if maybe I was preggers. Then I found out Sunday morning that that was obviously NOT the case. And then I had this brief moment of "WOE IS ME! I AM BARREN! AND OLD! AND A FATTY! ACK! AND I STILL DON'T HAVE A KITTY CAT!" ... And then I pulled up my proverbial big girl panties. Because it could be worse.

  • I have hedgehogs. And that's pretty cool. Even though they're not all that easy to cuddle with.
    In fact, my mom avoids them. She won't touch them. Because pets need to be cuddly. Or fish. ^_^
  • I have a body. And I'm in it. I have control of it (for the most part) ... ergo, I'm alive. And I don't have a debilitating disease. So that's a plus. Who cares if I'll never be a size four? Or a size zero? (Okay, I do care a little. But I'd settle for a size 8. And not just in shoes.)
  • I have Bruise and Bucket ... so I'm not completely barren or anything. And they are pretty awesome. Even if I'm biased.
Oh! Speaking of Bruise and Bucket! I got a good chuckle out of this clip at Mompetition:

Heh, heh. So many replies of win in there.
And, yes, I have been asked just about all of those.

(Usually when the ask me who's smarter, I try to point out different strengths of Bruise and Bucket.
  • Bruise has REALLY GOOD pitch. He's great at video games. He's all about figuring out how things are made and how to put them together. He's good at playing with others. He'll put himself in timeout when he gets upset. He doesn't hit other kids very often.
  • Bucket is a natural at dance (so says a friend at church who's taught her in dance classes. When Bucket's wanted to go. *sigh* :P). She's got good pronunciation. She is motivated to read and write. She's been looking forward to going to school for a long time. 
  • They both love to make people laugh. They both enjoy playing with other children.
    I get compliments about how well-behaved they are in Primary. They both are toilet-trained (THANK GOODNESS, right?) ... and have been for over a year.
    They love technology -- they love playing on the computer or on Michael's iPhone or on the Wii.
But, really, when folks ask me who's smarter? I should totally be all, "I am.")

But, really, the whole "Oh, you have one of each! So you're all done!"
.... Yeah, that decision? Totally between Michael, me, and God.
And Michael and I aren't totally decided. We're waiting for some input from the One with the final say.
And, yeah, I've totally been asked by a few people if we were taking fertility drugs.
No, we weren't. Because we didn't have money for HEALTH INSURANCE. How were two college kids (okay, I had graduated. But I was volunteering! Don't get a whole lotta dough from that, just sayin'.) going to afford fertility drugs? Or a doctor to prescribe them?

Honestly? I wasn't trying with these two. Which is why, whenever I don't use birth control and DON'T get knocked up, I freak out and think that I'm BARREN!!!! ONOZ!!!!!
And, really? I'm not worried that the kiddos will find out that I wasn't trying when they were conceived.
It's not like I was upset when I got pregnant. I was just more flabberghasted.

Seriously? My mom was on the pill when I was conceived. She seriously thought she had cancer.
Her mom was all, "Sweetie? Just go get a pregnancy test."
"No! I can't be pregnant! I'm on the pill!!"

She and Dad hadn't been married too long at this point. And, when they did get married, they had enough money to either buy a double bed or a color TV. They opted for the bed.

When my mom got home from the doctor's, she was all, "I'm pregnant!! I'm pregnant!!!"
And Dad's all, "I knew we should have bought the color TV."
And he was serious!

Am I offended? Nope! I think it's funny. Hilarious, really.
And I understand where he was coming from.
My dad has a genetic disorder. He and Mom were going through genetic counseling. He was worried that he'd pass it on to his kids. This was unexpected. ... Also, really? He likes being taken care of. A baby is SERIOUS COMPETITION.

And, really? I never felt like he didn't like me. I know that I've said that I wasn't really and completely aware of the fact that he really DID LOVE ME until I was an adult. But he was my first friend that I recall (since Mom had to work, he was the at-home parent that I recall. After Nana or Aunt Sherrie watched me when I was a little baby).
(And the fact that he was that first friend ... and then, it seemed, that he decided that Mom and I weren't worth sticking it out for ... Yeah, that's where the bulk of my issues stemmed from, I think.)

I knew, though, that he liked me fine enough. We'd hang. He'd tell me that I was smart (and I still don't FEEL smart. There's TONS of stuff that I don't know. I just read a lot. And retain a decent amount, I guess. So people THINK that I'm smarter than I am). But, until I nearly totaled the baby-truck, I didn't really KNOW.
(I was so scared, calling him up to let him know. Especially since I didn't know that the truck was fully paid off. And when I told him, he said, "I'm just glad that you're okay. We can replace a truck. We can't replace you." And then I had to work SO. DANG. HARD. to keep it together. ... Even now, it gets me all verklempt. It's not that he didn't tell me that he loved me. I just didn't realize that he MEANT it, you see?)

But, yeah. My issues never stemmed from the fact that he wanted a color TV more (at least, at first). I grew on him.

Like a fungus.

Ha ha ha. (I obviously need more sleep.)

Let's see ... what else happened this week?
  • Michael took the trailer full of garbage to the dump.
  • He helped a young family move.
  • He passed his practice test for the HAM Radio exam next week.
  • He and Dad C did the federal taxes.
  • I went to T1's baby shower.
    T2 was in charge of the games. I did ABYSMALLY at the "guess the baby food in the jar" game.
    (Sis-in-law A did well. But she didn't win. There was a three-way tie. She did't guess the right number. But she did  a GREAT job!!)
    Cousin L was the closest at guessing the number of jellybeans in a baby bottle. (I TOTALLY lowballed it. There were around 110. I guessed 72. Ha ha ha. Estimation of volume? SO not my forte.)
    T1's sister-in-law, R, best predicted how T1 hoped baby C's attributes would be (like having her mothers' legs and her daddy's musical talent, etc.).
    Then, there was a The Price is Right game. And they gave a hint that the prices were from Wal-Mart.
    I don't shop at Wal-Mart all that often. Nor have I bought tons of baby stuff lately. ... Still, I wasn't the closest on the total ... but I was the only person who didn't go over. (And, I was 2 and 3 cents off on a couple items. I only went over on one.) ... So, yes, I am the proud owner of a Coldstone Creamery gift card. YES!!
  • Bruise came into bed with me around 3:30 Sunday morning. I let him snuggle for a bit and then sent him back to bed. And then he threw up, like, five times. Michael got up for the first two (including when he threw up on his pillow). And then I got up when, poor boy, he needed the puke bucket while ON the toilet. And he had thrown up, there, before I got to him, ON his underwear. Poor guy.
    He was fine, otherwise. So we can only chalk it up to his eating too much candy.
  • In other news, Bruise now likes BEANS! YES!!!!!
    It used to be "I don't YIKE WEAL BEANS. I onyyy YIKE HUMMUS!!"
    BUT during the last week, Bruise has eaten refried beans and two kinds of chili.
    *sings* HALLELUJAH!!!!!! ('Bout time!!!)
  • Bruise and Bucket both had responsibilities during Sharing Time in Primary yesterday.
    Bucket gave the scripture (Moses 1:39. She has it memorized. I was just there for moral support and to get her started. And to hold the mic.)
    Bruise help him to give his first talk. It was out of the February issue of The Friend.
    Bruise really could have read most of it. But he was nervous. So Michael whispered it to him. And Bruise repeated it all.
    It went pretty well.
  • My friend P sat next to me in Relief Society. When we were asked what we could do to simplify our lives, she whispered to me, "Just say 'screw it!'" ... And then I had to snigger into my fist.
    I love that I have HILARIOUS friends. It makes me happy.
But, yeah. I really should close this up and clean the house.
I don't WANT to clean the house. I honestly don't. 
But it needs to be done. 

If it weren't COLD and RAINING, I'd open up the windows for some fresh air in here.
I know that I BARELY EVER leave the house (except for, say, story time or volunteering or church or stuff like that), but really?
I'm ready for spring. I want to be able to have sunlight and go on walks and maybe clean up our yard.

Probably just the cabin fever talking. Since we didn't have a car for a while. And then, as soon as we got the van back for OUR use (not just Michael's commute), I came down with the plague.

Now I'm just trying to figure out what to DO with my life. *sigh*

Oh well. 

Wish me luck taming my wild house into some kind of Better-Homes-and-Gardens-type of submission.

30 Day Challenge - Day 28

Day 28 - A picture of you from last year and now - How have you changed?

I think Bucket took this one of me - January 2010
I should remember to wear makeup, take lots of naps, and not be so blurry. Oy.

I think that I took this one. Maybe.
April 2010
NO, there weren't ANY pictures of myself from February or March of last really. No lie.

Bucket, Bruise, and me.
Newport Aquarium - January 2011
Well, I REALLY wish that I could report that I lost the 50 pounds (or even 20 pounds) that I really wanted to drop. 

Heck, from those pictures, you can't even tell that I colored my hair quite a bunch. I had bleached streaks, pink streaks, dark brown, marmalade blonde, and ... what you can see, is that it's back to dark blonde.

What HAS changed? I can't really think of anything in particular.
I don't think I have any new scars. I haven't lopped off any fingers, toes, or other appendages.
My hair is shorter. That's about it.
I don't think that my wrinkles are getting any deeper (Michael will say, "WHAT wrinkles?" And I could try to point them out. But he'll deny that any are there).
My nails might be a little longer.
I do enjoy the effects of getting waxed. That's something different.
Since I hadn't tried it this time last year. It's not as scary as it sounds. 
(But maybe that's just because Melissa, who does my waxing, is just that good. And she is.)

Maybe this time next year, I could tell you that I've dropped some weight, that I've taken up SCUBA diving, that I've done something really, really, really amazing.

Here are the only things that really stand out to me right now:
  • I did mostly walked a 5K with my Jenny.
  • I donated to Heifer International.
  • Jenny helped me do my first Kiva loan.
  • Aubri fixed my awkward-growing-out hair.
  • Mom and I bleached out streaks in our hair and dyed them pink in support of a friend with cancer. Because "Pink hair kicks cancer in the face." ^_^
  • I'm no longer YW Secretary. *sniff*
  • I've gotten a little more experimental in my hair, nails, and makeup.
  • I've learned how to do some crafts -- making hats/scarves on the looms, a couple bags out of t-shirts, ... stuff like that.
  • I got my HAM radio license. Not that I've ever used it. But I HAVE it. So, that's something, right?
  • I learned that I can survive with just one vehicle. And I'm SURE GLAD that I don't have to do it anymore.
  • I became a cat-person without any cats.
  • I became the owner of two hedgehogs.
  • I turned 29 ... and I'm getting close to turning 30. Which is weird. It'll be the oldest that I've ever been. I never really every thought about being 30. And I'm almost it.
  • I made a blue velvet cake. And I've figured out hoe to make a Funfetti cake without a boxed mix.
  • I got bras that actually FIT. Which is a very nice happenstance.
So ... yeah, there are a lot of things that I have done that have made me different.
But ... still. I don't know that I FEEL that different. 

I don't feel like a HAM radio enthusiast. I don't feel like a runner. I don't ... I just don't know that I feel different.

Maybe I just need to get a cat again. Maybe then I'll feel different, changed, new, whatever.
Maybe I just need to turn 30 and get it over with. 

Maybe I need to figure out why the heck I feel like some emo kid. It's dumb.

But, hey, if YOU know of something that's made me different from the girl/woman I was last year, let me know. Maybe there's something that I'm totally missing. I'm open to suggestion.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 27

Day 27 - Why you are doing this 30 day challenge

As I told Michael, "Due to sheer boredom."

Really, what else am I doing? 
I can blog the minutiae of my life as a SAHM (which I still DO) ... but, you know, it's nice to shake things up a bit.

It seemed like fun, like the thing to do. So I went for it.

Since, really, being the HOUSE OF PLAGUE for the last couple of weeks wasn't all that fun. So, hey, I had a writing assignment. (A good chunk of which I did in advance. So I know TOTALLY know how to do the scheduled posts. Which I had been kind of scared to try before. But I can tell you that they do work. Phew!)

And, really, I don't post a whole lot of pictures here. So this was a good opportunity to work on that.

But, yeah, the big reason: I was getting bored. And it sounded fun.
I like fun things. I don't like being bored. Or boring.

And now you know.
(And knowing's half the battle. Go, JOE!)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 26

Day 26 - What do you think about your friends?

Um ... that's a kinda stupid question. What do you think I'm going to say?

I love my friends. They're the family that I wasn't blessed with through biological ties.

Yes, sometimes I don't get why they make certain choices ... Heck, I go through that with my biological family.

My job is to love them regardless. And I take my job seriously.

My friends are there for me. They love me (even when I don't deserve it). They make me laugh.

Why shouldn't I do the same for them?

My friends are awesome.
When I don't understand why they do things, it give me an opportunity to learn about a different point of view. And an opportunity to practice unconditional love. And I LIKE loving my friends no matter what.

I like knowing that they do have someone there for them (and I hope that they're aware of this fact, too).

The short of it is that I love my friends. I'm protective of them.
(And that's why it's REALLY HARD for me when I have two friends that don't get along.  ... I mean, I adore them both! Why can't they adore each other, too? Oh well. Like I said, it gives me opportunities for personal growth. And that's a good thing, too.)

And, yeah, it also explains why I get so sad about falling out of touch with friends that I had in the past. I do think about them and wonder about them.
  • Jamal, my neighbor. Who was patient and kind enough to have tea parties with that little blonde brat (me), even though he was older and probably didn't enjoy them at all.
  • Sabrina, my best friend in first grade. She had glasses and red hair. When she got Chicken Pox, it went into her lungs. And her family moved away once she was better. I hope she's okay. She was so sweet.
  • Billy ... the boy in first grade who was always in trouble. I hope that he's not in trouble. And that he has friends. He didn't really have any in our class. And that made me really sad.
  • Rosanne ... she and I were friends in Kindergarten. She moved before first grade started. She had beautifully thick brown hair. And she was so patient with me. Such a nice girl.
  • My Emi-chan. Her email stopped working when I was in college. And I'm a terrible snail-mail pen pal. I miss my Emi-chan. A lot.
  • My friends from fifth grade: Shaneeka and Katrina. I was the one that moved away. And I miss them. Along with quite a few members of Mrs. Summers' class at Thorndyke Elementary.
There are others ... lots of others. But, yeah, those are the ones that come to mind right away. Thank goodness for MySpace and Facebook, which let me track down a good deal of my old friends and classmates.
But, no, I haven't found everyone yet.

And I'd like to.
Because they are my friends. And I love them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 25

Day 25 - What I would find in your bag

This is what I do for you. Full disclosure. Yup.

So, here's the breakdown of what is CURRENTLY in my purse (which makes me REALLY GLAD that I just got a new purse and have cleaned it out):
  • Attached to my purse is the cute little Gwen fob that came with my purse (Gotta love Ross!). I also have a little flashlight attached to the zipper.
    The PocketBac in the picture is also usually attached to the handle of my purse. Makes it easier to dispense it.
  • There are my keys, with the Sailor Moon keychain ... and the Claire's handle. Back from when I started college. *sigh* Does that make it vintage? *pained smile*
Next column:
  • My wallet (also from Ross, iirc. If not, it's from Target).
  • The Hello Kitty pencil pouch from Bri for my birthday, what, seven years ago?
  • My Swiss Army Card (missing the toothpick)
  • Just shy of a bazillion hair pins (usually they're in the HK pouch).
  • My phone and iPod -- which is usually loaded with songs from Glee at present.
Third column:
  • My sunglasses
  • The PocketBac (Buttercream. Last month, it was Vanilla Bean Noel) on the new hanger-thing.
  • Foldable mirror/hairbrush from Sally Beauty. Since I always often forget to brush the kids' hair before we rush off to church or storytimes.
  • Comb (see above)
  • Hand sanitizer spray (also from Bath and Body Works. This is ... Spearmint Lime scented. Not too terribly obtrusive of a scent.
  • Headphones for the iPod. I don't often use them. I usually plug it into the car's cassette adapter. Yup, I'm OLD SKOOL.
Fourth column:
  • Coupon for Bath and Body Works. Which I will have been used by the time this is posted.
  • Mints and gum. (And another pack of gum is in the car, since it fell out of my purse the day before.)
  • (ONLY) Four lipglosses.
    The peach-colored one is Blistex Daily Lip Treatment. I've adored it for over a decade.
    The green dome-one is EOS Sweet Mint. There's the YW Values one. Kinda coco-butter flavored. And the C.O. Bigelow Raspberry Lemon. ... I like to have options.
  • Gingersnap-scented lotion in the tube.
  • Band-aids and  contents of a little First Aid kit. Plus cough drops from Nana and Tylenol (for me and for the kids. That's why there are two kinds.)
Fifth column:
  • Pocket calendar (that green book)
  • A nail file/buffer
  • Pens and a pencil
Sixth column:
  • My awesome gloves/mittens (THEY'RE BOTH!)
  • Tide-to-Go pen ... I have kids. Kids are messy.
    So am I.
Seventh column:
  • A handkerchief of Grandma Darlene's
  • A pocket pack of Kleenex
  • Pads/pantyliners
  • Tampons
Some things that I usually have in my purse, but are not currently in there:
  • old receipts
  • gum wrappers
  • packets of fruit snacks
  • emergency chocolate (Professor Lupin isn't the only one, okay??)
  • around three more lip glosses. Sometimes a lipstick in the mix. Or a tinted gloss.
  • a makeup compact
  • trial-sized mascara
  • paper and tape for leaving notes when I miss catching one of the gals I visit teach.
  • nail clippers
  • barettes or earrings
  • a book, usually paperback, since those fit the best. And are lighter.
  • coupons ... that I usually FORGET to use. *sigh*
  • an inhaler, when I'm sicker AND traveling
But, like you saw, I don't have any of those things in there. At least, not right now.

And people wonder why my purse is so heavy ... I'm a packrat. A PREPARED packrat.

And, yes, I have a hard time picking out a new purse. Because there are certain requirements that I NEED in a purse:
  1. It needs to have a main section that is zippered.
    I've tried purses without the zippered section.
    Those make me sad.
  2. It needs to have a zippered inner pocket, so I have a place to put my pads and tampons. Just in case I need one when I'm not at home.
  3. It needs to have a shoulder strap. I'm a busy woman. I need the use of both of my hands.
  4. It needs to have a LARGE ENOUGH shoulder strap. I'm not wearing it on my elbow, as much as I'd LOVE to come across as being one of those "ladies who lunch." 
  5. It needs to fit, at a minimum, my wallet, keys, lipgloss, Tylenol, nail file, sunglasses, and a standard-sized paperback novel. That's the BARE MINIMUM.
    (Suffice it to say, I don't find evening bags very helpful. Most are too small to fit my keys. *martyr look*)
Yes, I am picky.

But, as you saw, I actually got a Harajuku Lovers bag from Ross.
Mom and I needed new bags (One of the straps on her bag broke, so THAT was a DEFINITE NEED. And she bought me one, too.)

Aren't our bags CUTE????

Hers is a Betseyville ... by Betsey Johnson ... who I've liked since I really started knowing about designers. I don't have any clothes or anything by Betsey Johnson. Still, I can tell you that she's an adorable lady.
(How can you NOT like a lady who turns cartwheels down the runway? Or who, in her latest line, had regular-bodied people model her wares? And that new line, Pink Patch? All the pieces are under $100 each. How awesome is that? (Still a little rich for my present budget ... but I love the thought!))

But, yes, I am tickled that my mommy and I have bags by awesome designers. And that they weren't all that much. (Less than $30 each. Because, really, I think that over $30 for a purse for me is silly. Because I'm HARD on my purses. I'll admit it.)

And, wow, this is probably WAY MORE than you ever wanted to know about my thoughts on purses. So I'll shut up.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 24

Day 24 - A letter to your parents

Since my parents are divorced, there will be two letters.
And then a letter to my other parents, my wonderful in-laws.
And, for good measure, one to my friends' parents, since they also got to help raise me. ^_^

Dear Dad,

I love you. Sometimes I really don't understand you. But I love you, regardless.
Thank you for raising me, for taking care of me when I was little and Mom was working.
Thank you for giving me first-hand experience that just because a person can't see/can't hear well, that doesn't mean that they don't have valuable life experiences and wisdom to share.
I also will thank you for letting me know that sometimes the people we love will do things that we don't understand. 
I'll admit that I try not to take it personally that you appear to care so little for me that you'd treat the covenants that you made in the temple so callously. And that you requested your records be removed from the church. I know that you don't mean to give the impression that to have me as a daughter for all eternity isn't worth it. I still love you. And I know that you love me. Even though it took me until I was in college to really, REALLY realize this. And the knowledge that you DO love me so much is very humbling. And I thank you for loving me.
Especially because I was NOT very lovable right after your and Mom's divorce. Because I felt like it was a betrayal to the both of us. (And, really, Mom was right. You two didn't suit. You both had very different priorities. And that is okay.) Thank you for giving me an example for me to learn from, so that when I was old enough, I KNEW to chose a mate who would be a good match for me. And me for him. So that we wouldn't have to put each other (and any children we'd have) through that.

Thank you, Dad, for having a wonderful family that I love. I know that you didn't get to choose them, really. But I'm glad that I came to this family.
     Love you,



I know that I have been a punk, a brat, and many other words which I will not use here.
But thank you for loving me throughout my, at times, awkward and hideous metamorphosis into the woman I am today. I appreciate it.

You made sacrifice upon sacrifice for me. And, being the self-centered and oblivious child that I was, I usually wasn't aware of most (or any) of them. Not until I grew up did I realize what all you put yourself through for me. I am completely unworthy ... again, I thank you.

Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for pushing me. Thank you for raising me in the church, for making rules, for giving me your example and the examples of other wonderful women and men that I could learn from.

Thank you for teaching me to read. Thank you for teaching me how to run a house. Thank you for letting my friends come over. Thank you for all those slumber parties where we were so loud that you weren't able to get to sleep. Thank you for teaching me how to use a computer ... and for letting me play on the Apple IIc so much. Thank you for the traveling that we did.
And, also, thank you for being my mother and my friend. You are the sister that you wanted to give me. I love that we can laugh together, shop together, watch movies together. 

When I hear that Abraham Lincoln quote, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother," I think of you.

Love you, Mommy,


Mom and Dad C,

Thank you for raising such a wonderful son. You did a most excellent job. And I'm grateful, every single day, for him.

Thank you for also being my parents. I remember how nervous I was to meet you. (Especially you, Mom. I REALLY wanted to impress you. Or at least to not have you KNOW me for the flighty, vain creature that I am. ^_^)

And, oh, I really love and adore you both very, very much. It makes me so glad to know that I'm sealed to you, through Michael, that I get to have you as my family for forever.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for putting up with me. For letting me work my way into the family. Even though I was the daughter-in-law that you hadn't known for years and years. And you always treat me like I've never NOT been a part of the family. I'm really grateful for that.

I know that I can't ever tell you how much I really do appreciate you both. And, gosh, I need to work on changing that fact.

Love you lots!!

Really, as an aside, I am SO. TOTALLY. AND. COMPLETELY. BLESSED in that I have completely awesome family. They are so much better than what I deserve. It's totally true.
They're wonderful. And I love them so much.
And so do their grandchildren. ^_^ Even better, right? Bruise and Bucket are always THRILLED to see their Grandma and Grandpa, their Mutti and Poppi, and their Grandpa D and Grandma L. ... They have good taste, I know! ^_^


Last letter:

Dear other parents -- Kim, Ken, Linda, Don, Kim, Don, Joan, Stephanie, Larry, Becky-Becky, Doug, Lou, Mike, Sherrie, Donna, Chris, Carolyn, Elmer, Patsy, Betty, Nelson, Connie, Steve, .... and, oh, so many others,

Thank you. I know that you are really the parents of my friends or you have been my teachers ... but you are an influential part of the village that raised me.

You gave me love and guidance. You still do (even though I see you all FAR LESS than I'd like to).

You are wonderful. And I miss you. And I just want to let you know that I appreciate you. So much.



I am going to be very honest. I am loved much more than I deserve. And I'm grateful for that. And I love my family (and my not-at-all biological-or-legally-tied family) something fierce.

They don't have to love me. But they do. And I'm so completely humbled by this.

Like I've said. And I'll continue to say: My family is awesome.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 23

Day 23 - Something you crave often

Um ... this is harder for me to narrow down.
So I'll give you a list.

  • World Peace. Because it'd be really swell to live in a world where you didn't have to worry about genocide, racism, rape, assault, or anything else like that.
  • Having my high-school body back.
    Especially, since when I dream, I have it. And then I wake up. And that's a bit of a downer.
  • The opportunity and means to travel.
  • A clean, clean house.
    Like one in a magazine.
  • Motivation.
    There are so many things that I NEED to do. But that I don't WANT to do. *sigh*
    Like the dishes. Or exercising.
  • Massages. Or someone brushing my hair. Or mani/pedis.
  • Trying new things.
    Like those new feather extensions? Those sound pretty cool.
  • Laser hair removal. So I'd never have to shave or wax again.
  • The means by which I could end world hunger and all that sucky stuff.
    I don't even care about getting credit for it. I just want it over and done with.
    Because it'd be AWESOME if everyone had the means by which they could become self-sufficient. It would help them stay alive and FEEL GOOD. I like having a sense of accomplishment. I assume that everyone else might, too.
  • Just the RIGHT SHADE of nude polish.
    It's out there. I just haven't found it yet.
    And I want it to be JUST opaque enough, too.
  • That thing that will make me completely, completely content.
    So that I won't be rummaging through to cupboards, searching for whatever it could be that I am craving, that I don't know QUITE what it is.
    (Hint: It's not chili, Doritos, leftover Halloween candy, or cake. Because as nice as those are, I don't WANT them. I want something else. But I can't put my finger on it. WHAT IS IT?!?!?!?)
  • New furniture. And to have the rest of the walls textured and painted.
    Maybe new window treatments, too.
  • A cat. Preferably a grey one (have you noticed that grey cats seem to be softer than any other color?), with beautiful eyes, soft-spoken with a mild-volumed purr, that will be willing to play with the kids and willing to sit in my lap. And purr.
    I would also be willing to have a calico.
    (Okay, the fact that I started to tear up typing this lets me know that this one should probably [i.e., REALLY] be higher up on the list. I miss having a cat. It still feels really weird.)
  • To know what I really need to do. I mean, I love being a wife, a mom, a volunteer. I just want to know if I should be doing something else, too. Should I be writing the next American novel? Should I be ... doing something else?
    I'm still feeling a little adrift since I'm no longer the YW Secretary.
    And that being-sick-and-missing-church-for-two-weeks-thing didn't help.
    Especially considering the miscommunication (or would that be DIScommunication) that happened yesterday. *sigh* I hate being emotional to the point of giving myself a little migraine. But, hey, Michael gave me retail therapy (new mascara, eye concealer/cream, some movies [with coupons, what do you think of me??], and a few clearance scores -- eyeshadow, lipstick, and a nail polish. It was nice.)
  • To see Pop-pop, Grandma Darlene, Grandpa C, Grammy, Grandpa I, my Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Milton, Gingi-cat, Di-di, Rosie, Jazzy-cat ... all of them, again. I just have to wait for that.
  • How about everyone just realizing and KNOWING that we are all wonderful and precious. If we all knew that, then people wouldn't be mean to each other. Or to themselves. I mean, that would work, right? Because, when we feel good about ourselves, we are nice to other people. And that'd be a good thing. And I'd really, really, really like it if I could have that happen.
  • This last week, I've been really craving salads. Does that count?
But, yeah ... there are lots of things that I crave ... and it's hard to sum them up.
I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them ... or how to put them into words. 

Yeah, THAT's helpful. *rolls eyes*

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some People's Children ... (SCAM WARNING)

So, I got a call a few minutes ago ... telling me that I won a $5,000 grant from the U.S. Government.
Because I'm such an upstanding citizen (i.e., I pay my taxes and haven't declared bankruptcy).

A grant that I never applied for.

And, really? My father-in-law works for the IRS. They're not giving out money willy-nilly.
(They want what they are owed. If you pay more, let them know. They'll give it back. If YOU didn't catch the error in their favor, they probably won't look for it either.)

So, yeah ... if you're contacted to call 202-621-0644, be aware it's probably a scam.

I looked online (as I went through the proper channels of reporting this to the FTC [Federal Trade Commission ... we ARE on the Do Not Call list. And have been since it came out.] and our state Attorney General) and I'm not the only one they've called.

The people who HAVE called back to give Elzina Jones ("my accountant" was what I was told by the man on the phone) their grant approval code? They've been asked for their bank routing number. Or have been told to make a donation ... anywhere from $300-575 ... before they can get "their" grant money.

When someone asked how they could be sure this wasn't a grant, they were told to call 202-621-0600, which didn't work.

So, yeah. Just wanted to let you know.

(Yeah, I'm feeling kinda cantankerous and punchy today. So I was TOTALLY READY to be doing some legal-type paperwork. Bring it, scammers. I'm smart enough to RECOGNIZE a scam when I hear one ... AND I'm internet-savvy enough to know how to search for what to DO about it. Bring it. I will bring you down. And THEN I'll blog about it. )

(Though, honestly? I'd rather have the $5,000. ... But, *sigh* since that's not even REAL, I'll settle for a little internet-vigilante justice. Along with completely-through-legal-channels justice.)

Yeah. Just call me SuperLlanna -- slayer of spammy scams.

If you need me, I'll be working out my costuming ideas.
Until I get in total shape, I'm eschewing spandex.

Do you think that sweats and a ponytail would be too stereotypical?
... If I can get my hair to stay in a ponytail. It is a little short at present ... Hmmmm.

Counting ...

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