Sunday, March 30, 2014

Younique Moodstruck 3D Lashes Giveaway

I love makeup. Love, love, LOVE it! Two of my favorite stores are Ulta and Sephora. I can't walk by the makeup aisle at Target or Walgreens without browsing the colorful array of awesomeness, so when I was given the opportunity to try out a new mascara, I happily agreed. This mascara boasts a 300% increase in the thickness and volume of your lashes. Of course, I didn't believe that claim, but I still wanted to give it a try to see if I liked it more than my regular mascara. So my friend Kathy sent me this Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes to try. And guess what! Holy cow, it works! I mean, it really works! Like magic! No lie. See for yourself!

Yes, I took those pictures! It's for real. This stuff is AMAZING!

This mascara comes packaged in a beautiful, hinged case (I'm planning on using mine as a sunglass case when I'm done with the mascara.) This Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes is the most unique mascara I've ever seen. It comes in two separate tubes. The first tube holds the transplanting gel and the second contains the natural fibers. You coat your lashes with a layer of the transplanting gel and while they're still wet, you brush on the natural fibers which adhere to the gel. Finish off with another coat of the gel to seal in the fibers and voila! You're good to go! You can repeat the process another time or two for an extra-dramatic look.

I love how this Moodstruck mascara makes my eyelashes appear so thick without looking fake. Now I admit that the mascara is a little pricey at $29.00 for the set, but it costs a good $15 for a pair of decent false eyelashes and then an additional $5-$10 for the adhesive so in comparison to false eyelashes, it's not a bad deal. Plus, it makes your eyes look amazing, not fake. AND it's your own natural lashes so it's comfortable, unlike false eyelashes which can be annoying. And these won't accidentally fall off into your salad. Not that that's ever happened to me or anything . . . ahem. It only takes a couple minutes to apply this mascara; it takes me forever to put on false eyelashes though. Maybe I'm just a spaz, but I always get glue all over my face when I try. And if you must have this mascara, but don't want to part with the cash, host a virtual party and earn it for free!

The Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes stay put really well too. I was wearing this the other day when I went on some water rides at Universal Studios with my kids and it didn't run down my face at all. Not a smudge. Yet it's easy to wash off with a little makeup remover, or even just soap and water. Another nice thing about Younique products is that they are organic, all-natural, mineral-based cosmetics that are free of parabens, oils, synthetic fragrances, and cheap fillers.

Okay, now for the fun part. First, go to Kathy's page and check out Younique's products. (You can place an order on my party if you're so inclined.) Then leave me a comment here to be entered in a drawing for a FREE Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes mascara! I'll choose a random winner on Wednesday, April 9. (Make sure there's contact information so I can notify you if you win!) Good luck! 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fun with the Family (and a Little Hippo Poo Too)

My family lives in Chicagoland. My kids and I live in Florida. Needless to say, we don't get the opportunity to see each other very often. This week, my sister and her boys, and my parents have been in Orlando visiting us. I apologize to all my Florida friends because I'm pretty sure they're responsible for bringing Chicago's crappy weather down here this week. Don't worry, as Murphy's Law would have it, it'll be sunny and warm with a 0% chance of rain when they drive home (and we go back to work and school on Monday.)

Despite the weather, my sister and I took the kids who weren’t working to the beach. She and I went to Universal Studios for Mardi Gras one evening. My sister and mom took several of the kids roller skating while my dad and I went car shopping with Austin one day, and all of us but Austin and Savannah who were working, went to Homosassa Springs one day. I remember going to this state park with my sister, parents, and grandparents when I was a little kid many, many years ago. It was really fun to go back with my own kids. The manatees move to the warm springs during the winter months. They’ve pretty much moved back to the oceans now that it’s the end of March, but since it was a cool day, there were a few manatees in the springs that we got to see. There were trails, a boat ride, a tram ride, and many animals to see, but my kids’ favorite part of the day was seeing the hippo poop. There’s probably something wrong with my family.

Here’s a little slideshow I made with the Disney Story app. I love this app! Really, I’m not paid to say this or anything. It’s free, it’s super-simple to use, and it turns out a great little story using the pictures you take on your phone. (And yes, the hippo video is on here. There’s a reason there’s a “Splatter Zone” sign next to the hippo’s habitat!)


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How My Restaurant Was Taken Over by Robots

I was visiting with my friend, Ally who has an important position in HR at a major corporation. She was talking to my teens, telling them where the jobs are going to be in the future. "Technology and environment," she said. "You know what jobs won't exist in a few more years? Customer service," she went on to say. "Customer service jobs will be nearly non-existent." 

"That's okay. With his grades," I nodded my head toward my son, "my kids are likely to end up scooping elephant poop at the zoo," I joked. Then I thought about it for a minute. Could she be right? No customer service? Sure, you rarely speak to a person when you call a customer service line anymore. You get routed through an automated system, but I can't imagine customer service jobs disappearing altogether. Will they? 

Later that same evening, my kids and I went out to dinner with Ally. We walked into a Chili’s restaurant in Winter Garden, FL and were seated at a table upon which sat a small screen, not unlike an iPad. I saw several game apps displaced on the screen and immediately rolled my eyes. I made a sarcastic comment. “In case you’re not addicted enough to your phone, now you can also play on this screen in order to completely tune out your dinner companions.”

I talked with my friend and my kids, but my gaze kept getting pulled to this screen with the nonstop advertisements. My son quickly realized that, for .99, he could play a game on this tablet, and repeatedly asked for permission to do so. I adamantly refused to give in, citing that he had enough opportunities to play games during the day. Dining out with family and friends is a treat and a chance to visit with loved ones, not an opportunity to zone out with a game that costs a dollar to play. I moved the tablet off the table and onto a counter behind us.

After the waitress took our orders, she explained that we could use the tablet to order drinks and dessert whenever we wanted. “Well, whaddya know? Ally, you were right! Customer service WILL BE a thing of the past! Our waitress has been replaced by a computer. Robots are taking over the world! We’re all gonna die!” I dramatically announced.

My kids (and possibly a few dozen other patrons) stopped eating and stared at me. Our waitress delivered our food and reminded us that we could use the tablet screen to order drinks and dessert, pay our bill, and find a back door into a military central computer, mistake it for a game, and possibly start World War III.

We ignored the tablet through our meal. When it came time to pay, I asked the waitress, “Can I have the bill, please?”

She answered, “It’s on there,” indicating the tablet. You just swipe your card to pay. You can split it into separate bills first, if you’d like.”

Wow. There’s no getting around it. It makes me wonder though — is this something you find helpful? Do you like the idea? I imagine research and testing was done before this technology was implemented and since it was indeed implemented, I presume it was accepted by the masses. But how about the older generation? Do they shake their heads, confused by technology they may not instinctively know how to use? Do parents of small children applaud the apps that occupy their kids so they can carry on a conversation without them? Or do they think it’s ridiculous that kids today can’t hold a conversation and have the attention span of a rock, thanks in part to all the electronic stimulation they receive?

What are your thoughts? Helpful or a little ridiculous? My opinion? It all reminds me of the Jetsons. No matter what your feelings are, I’m sure these tablets won’t be going away, and other establishments will be following along shortly. Now if only they’d perfect the flying car of the future — today, so I could sail over traffic, I’d be a happy camper.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thirty-One Giveaway

A long time ago I was given a roomy, awesome, large utility tote. It's my beach bag. I throw in snacks, sunscreen, toys, and towels for me and the gang. A teacher at my school has one as well. She uses it to carry her lunch, tests to be graded, and other supplies for school. The tote is from Thirty-One and oh my goodness, they have stuff that makes my bag-addicted self drool. 

Anyway, I love this durable tote and use it often so I recently took a look at my friend Mendi's Thirty-One SITE to see what else was available. I want 2 of everything! Okay, so maybe it's an exaggeration, but I do really like their products. I love the variety of colors and styles. In fact, I found this purse HERE that reminds me of one I had in junior high! The one I had 30 years ago had wooden handles attached to a muslin purse. You buttoned different colored covers onto the purse to change up the look. I remember I had a reversible pink/green cover for it and a denim one. I loved that purse! Thirty-One makes a totally cute purse for which you can get different colored/patterned skirts to change up the look. I want this for nostalgia's sake!

Check out their catalog HERE. They have everything from eyeglass cases, tote bags and purses, containers for home organization, insulated totes for picnics, and more.

Here's a flier with the MARCH SPECIALS.  You get 50% off all totes shown on the flier, with a $35 purchase. Thirty-one is also offering a "Flash Sale" between March 16-22 of select items (everything in the pink column o page 34 of the catalog) at 50% off WITHOUT having to spend $35 first. And these "Flash Sale" specials count toward your $35 purchase in order to get any of the other March specials at half off!  

Order a Mother's Day gift for the special woman/women in your life and get a bag at 50% off for yourself! Or get gifts for your kids' teachers to thank them for teaching and caring for your kids all year. Order now so you won't have to think about it as the school year winds down because we all know how crazy it gets with all the end-of-the-year celebrations, field days, picnics, field trips, etc. Plus, anyone who places an order by 03/30/2014 will be entered in a drawing to win a tote like mine (15+ prints to choose from) or your choice of one of the totes shown in the ad. 

(As you can see, you can get your bags personalized!)

And, of course, if you order now, I'll get some freebies out of the deal. Just sayin'. I mean, if you love Thirty-One products and want to order some fun bags for yourself or as gifts anyway, you might as well do it now, right?  ;) Or bookmark Mendi's SITE so you can check out future sales and order whenever you'd like.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Relax, The Kids Are (Going to be) All Right

Austin got up early and made donuts this morning. That’s a simple statement, but it holds depths of meaning for me. The kid that never woke up on time and ended up missing the bus regularly got up at 5:00AM to make donuts. The kid who blew off his homework all the time in high school, practiced the baking skills he learned in culinary school just for fun.
Most of my kids are self-motivated when it comes to school. They do their homework every night with little to no prodding from me. They inherently strive to do well. They may not enjoy what they’re learning, but they know they need to do it, so they do. They earn very good grades; some with no effort, some with concerted effort. Most of my kids know what they want to be when they grow up (even though it might change a number of times before they reach college.) But Jackson (and Austin until recently) had no career ideas, had no plans, had no motivation, and just plain didn’t care about school or grades or graduating. I used to stress out so much over their lack of motivation and passion. I lost sleep, worrying that one day they’d be 40-year-old adults, still living with me, and working as the guy who twirls signs outside the mediocre cheesy beef restaurant.
I kicked myself. I should’ve pushed them harder in baseball. Maybe they could’ve had professional sports careers. Maybe I should have forced them to take piano lessons or Russian or tennis. Maybe they could’ve been on the Olympic curling team if I’d just focused more on keeping them busy with intense training, like sweeping my kitchen floor. I let them try out some sports over the years for fun, but I never got obsessive or signed them up for private lessons or anything. When my kids were running around outside hunting Woolly Mammoths, aka: the neighbor’s dog (What can I say? They have good imaginations), they could have been going to lessons to ensure their successful futures. But nooooo, I didn’t worry about my children’s future. I just let them be kids. I didn’t push them to do extra homework. I sucked at filling out reading logs and making sure they got their 30 minutes in every night. I kept thinking that eventually they’d learn. They had to learn someday, right? At some point, they’d figure out that education was important, they’d buckle down, and they’d be successful. Right? RIGHT?
Austin, the kid I worried wouldn’t graduate from high school last year, and indeed kept me guessing until THE WEEK OF graduation, is doing really well now. I mean, he’s doing 4.0 well! Austin joked around about being a hobo for years. In fact he wrote this guest post about his career ideas two years ago. AUSTIN’S GUEST POST Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait. Read it and you’ll understand why it left me wondering if it was too late to put him up for adoption. But here’s the thing. He was unmotivated and didn’t care about school while he was being forced to learn things that didn’t interest him. But once he started culinary school, he changed. He suddenly liked going to school. He practiced at home just for fun. He earned As on everything he did.
Looking back, I guess the signs were there all along. Remember those donuts Austin just made? When he was 12 years old, he decided to make donuts. By himself. He found a recipe, mixed up the ingredients, and proceeded to fry the dough. He melted my slotted spoon and spattered hot oil everywhere in the process. The outcome? These:
001 (1)
Yeah, they were less-than-edible, but still, you can see that he was into cooking several years ago. And now it’s his passion. Austin is who he is and I don’t think if I’d been pushier about his homework or other activities it would have made much of a difference. I don’t think it would’ve changed the outcome if I’d worked my butt off to ensure my child’s future would be successful.

Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t encourage your kids or offer them opportunities to try out a variety of activities. You should. You should push them to try their hardest and do their best. However, if the day comes where you’re waiting to see if they’ll even have enough credits to graduate and you start worrying that they’ll spend their adult years saying, “You want fries with that?”, relax. Things have a way of working out. Your kids will find their passion at some point.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Dos and Don’ts of Texting: A Must-Read Guide for Teens & Parents

My kids are all comedians. I mean, they don't get paid to stand-up and tell jokes at night clubs. But they sure think they're funny. I have no idea where they get it. It's clearly not from me, as I'm the model of solemn decorum. I know there's a time and a place for joking around and it isn't while texting each other. Texting is used for transmitting important and timely information between people. It certainly should not be used to joke with your parents that your house is full of sharks. Yet these are the kinds of texts my kids send.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Bullet-Proof Paper Makes Standardized Tests a Joy!

Savannah is learning about satire in her English class. I'm so proud of her example of satire. I've taught my kids well!

     West Orange High School is planning a new and improved standardized testing for the upcoming school year.  The department of Published Paper, DPP, has come up with an astonishing new material to replace paper.  It is literally bullet proof.  While students are testing they will be able to withstand a blast from a hydrogen bomb (if they cover themselves completely with the test).  Founders of the DPP have discovered an endangered tree in Greenland, which grows wood stronger than a brick wall.  They have been able to process this wood into thin sheets of paper just for school testing packets.  Government officials know how important it is for students to have the best paper in the world.  Alan Parkins, Director of Paper and Paper-Related Products Like Staples, but not Markers at DPP is excited about the new discovery. “This is the biggest invention in the paper industry since we stopped drawing on cave walls and started pounding papyrus!”

                 With this new paper, teachers no long have to give instruction.  All they have to do is give out tests, and the children love it!  Sophomore Damon Farren says, “I love these new tests!  I don’t ever have to worry about getting hurt from any dangers that I may encounter at school. With this new “cut-free” designed paper, there will be no more unnecessary trips to the hospital. Ms. Goldblum, teacher at West Orange High School is elated. “Last year, I sustained a paper cut while administering a benchmark exam and was on workman’s comp. for 8 weeks while I healed.” This new paper will save the school district untold millions in health-related costs.

Children around the world will finally be able to test at ease knowing that their paper could survive a nuclear holocaust.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pink Zebra Winners

Thank you to everyone who commented! The winners of the Pink Zebra giveaway are . . .

Blogger ariesangel said...
I love their Glimmer Candle Kits! It would be so fun to be able to mix and match to layer scents :)
February 24, 2014 at 11:56 PM

 Blogger Amy said...
I love the picture shade kit. I'd love to combine my 2 favorite things - my grandson and good smells :)

February 25, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Congratulations! Email me at with your shipping address and fragrance choices.

Suave Winner

Thank you to everyone who left a comment! The random winner of the Suave giveaway is . . .

Blogger Michelle said...
I love Suave but haven't tried this line of products yet ~~ would love to though *wink wink*
February 22, 2014 at 7:52 PM
Congratulations! Email me at with your shipping address.

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