The Slobification of America

Books That Will Change Your  Life bb

There was a time when people would have been mortified to be featured on the People of Walmart website. But that was years ago. In fact, I wrote a blog piece several years ago about this very topic and I was blasted by the 20 something crowd for being insensitive, not minding my own business, or even worse, being a hater.

To set the record straight, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a hater. I am definitely a peace and love kind of girl. Perhaps I should just mind my own business, but I am a teacher by nature, whether it is teaching children, or sharing a tidbit of wisdom here and there with fellow adults.

Today’s bit of wisdom is to please put your clothes on. The truth is, people judge you in about 2.5 seconds based solely on your appearance. Your boss judges you, your neighbors judge you, the barista at your favorite coffee shop judges you. Have you ever noticed that a nicely dressed woman (who looks like she can actually purchase something) gets customer service rather quickly, while the sloppily dressed woman has to ask several times and gets told, “I’ll be right with you,” meaning the sales clerk is going to help the woman with money as opposed to the woman who didn’t even bother to brush her hair today.

Is this attitude of judging fair, certainly not, but is it going to go away any time soon?  Should people judge you? Probably not, but all the same it is happening, and it is happening every single day.

Also, I like to look at it from a different perspective, a more positive perspective. When I wake up 15 minutes early to put on some make up, fix my hair, and put on a pretty outfit I selected the night before, I am telling the world that I think I am important. I am saying that I am worth the fifteen minutes it took to look like this. When I see women in ripped sweats, stained shirts, house shoes, or pajamas, I don’t see a woman who is comfortable, or a woman who feels good in her own skin. I see a woman who has given up on herself. A woman who shows the world she isn’t even worth putting on a pair of pants or a swipe of lipstick.

I know it takes time and effort to look nice but you can make it happen. Working women have been doing it for years. I am a working mother of two. I wake up at 4:50 am to get myself ready, get my children ready, drive a 35 minute commute, and be in my classroom by 7:00 am every day. True, I could sleep in an extra fifteen minutes and go to work looking like a disshevled mess, but I care about myself, my appearance, and the message I put out to the world.

Believe me, I love pajamas very, very much. I spend a decent amount of money purchasing the softest and coziest of nighties, two piece sets, and dressing robes. One of the greatest pleasures in life for me is removing my day clothes and slipping into my jammies and my slippers. But pajamas are for wearing inside your home. I would never in my wildest dreams think of going to Target, or Kroger, or even Walmart for that matter, in my pajamas and slippers. Yet I see it all the time!

I already know what people will say, “but I have a right to be comfortable.” I agree with that, I truly do. I also love to be comfortable. If you go in my closest you will find several pairs of black knit pants with comfort stretch waist bands. L.L. Bean and J.Jill sell the best ones that hold up for a couple of years. They feel like pajamas but look like a nice pair of slacks.

Many of my shirts are glorified t-shirts. I get them with v-necks, boat necks, short sleeves, elbow length sleeves and 3/4 sleeves. I get them in solids, prints, and nautical stripes. On a hot sweltering day I might just wear a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, but in just a moment I can toss on a pretty scarf in a light weight material, a pair of sandals, and a cute clutch or hand bag and look very dressy!

I indulged this summer with some great tees from J.Jill and even purchased the matching scarfs. J.Jill is one of my favorite stores because the clothes feel like pajamas but are elegant and they do all the color matching and coordinating for you.

Another great way to look fabulous with minimal effort is to adopt a French capsule wardrobe. I am not a minimalist, I could never live with just a few pieces of clothes, but what I have really done is turned my wardrobe into two capsules. One capsule is very French, black pants, breton shirts, gray drape cardigans, white t-shirts, a red scarf, etc. The other capsule is my color coordinated capsule, with corals, lavenders, and a sage green color, along with a pair or white jeans, khaki pants in a stretch material that feels heavenly, and fun scarves. It took me a while to put my wardrobes together, but once it is done it makes getting dressed so much easier. You know everything in your wardrobe works together. You also know that everything in your capsule will be perfect because you only purchase clothes you absolutely love!

Dressing nicely is something I have tried to do my entire life. Recently though, I read several books written by Jennifer L. Scott that are truly little works of art. Her suggestions for creating you Ten Item Core Wardrobe and tips on the five minute face and hair are fool proof.

Also, a big part of her book series is not about advising you what to buy, but advising you that you probably already have a lot of what you need, and to hold on to your money and only spend it when you do find that piece of clothing that you simply have to have, but only if it works with the clothes already in your own closet.

Finally, her books encourage women to once again use grace, manners, and poise to get through the ins and outs of their day. She shows how you can be a lady even in the most trying times. Think Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, even Taylor Swift. When the going gets tough these women don’t throw a hissy fit and scream and curse like the Real Housewives or Wherever. They have a stiff upper lip, they give a pretty smile, and they walk away, all the while looking fabulous!

 

Madame Chic 1    Madame Chic 2   Madame Chic 3

To hear more on the topic click the Link below!

 

Stowaway Cosmetics Review

Stowaway Make-Up Review

I love Popsugar monthly boxes. It’s always nice to be introduced to new products and try them out for a fraction of the cost. Back in December Popsugar sent its subscribers a trio of little lipsticks in incredibly pigmented colors from a company called Stowaway. I instantly fell in love with the colors and the overall “cute factor” of the tiny trio. I am a girly girl so these little lipsticks were definitely my cup of tea!

Also in the box was a coupon for Stowawaycosmetics.com. If you purchased a Stowaway Basic Kit you could receive three free lipsticks in the colors of your choice. Well, I had three already, but I was dying to try the other colors and see if I loved them as much as the ones I already had.

I checked out their website saw the variety of products they sold and was instantly intrigued. I purchased the Basic Kit for $75 and received three more lipsticks for free using the coupon code. I waited anxiously for my delivery person to bring them to me. My first reaction when the box arrived was, “That’s it?” The box was so small it was hard to believe an entire face worth of makeup could possibly be inside it.

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Image curtesy of Stowawaycosmetics.com

But my disbelief turned to happiness as I opened the box and revealed all the tiny makeup items inside. Everything was so stinking cute! But the real test would be when I used them. Cute packaging didn’t mean anything if the products didn’t work.

The next day I did my makeup using all of them. Because I am fair, I ordered both the BB cream and the concealer in FAIR. The colors were very good matches. The BB cream gives a sheer natural coverage, but the concealer is truly amazing. You have to warm it up on your finger for a second or two to help it liquify, but then it goes on and it conceals everything! The redness around your nostrils, the circles under your eyes, the unwanted redness or blemish you wish to hide are instantly gone.

The blush is almost pure pigment. It takes such a small amount to give your cheeks that perfect flush. The first time I put it on I used way too much and had to start over. As small as the blush is, it would easily be a year supply!

The eyeliner goes on smooth and easy and sets after about a minute. I ordered the color spice because I prefer brown eyeliner usually over black. The mascara has become one of my favorite items, like the concealer. I suffer from sensitive, dry eyes, and a lot of mascaras will irritate my eyes. For about two years now I have used Tarte exclusively just for that reason. This mascara is equal to Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Flashes in every way. It goes only beautifully, curls, lengthens and thickens.

The reason why the products are small is because they are supposed to be right sized makeup, makeup that can actually be used up during its shelf life. Most people don’t think of makeup having a shelf life but it does. Products go bad, germs get inside, and bacteria can grow. This is especially true for eye products.

Another aspect of this line that I love is that it is EU compliant. The European Union has banned 1,100+ chemical substances. America has only banned 6. I appreciate that the items are safe for use. To learn more click on the link below to check out Stowaway for yourself, or click on the videos.

http://www.stowawaycosmetics.com

 

 

 

 

Cuddle & Kind

Cuddle & Kind

The amazing folks at Cuddle & Kind reached out to me a while back to ask me to review their products as well as their site. I was unfamiliar with the company so did a little research first, and what I learned about them made me proud to partner with them to bring you this post.

Cuddle & Kind has to be one of the best fair trade, socially conscience companies in existence. It was started by a mother and father who wanted to instill in their own children  a sense of kindness and responsibility. Cuddle & Kind’s primary mission is to provide meals to children, children around the world and here at home in the US.

The way they raise the money to feed all these hungry children is to make adorable hand knitted dolls. What makes their mission even more wonderful is that they employ over a hundred artisan women in Peru to hand knit their dolls. This provides the women with a livable income to raise their families and improve their homes.

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Cuddle & Kind was nice enough to send me one of their dolls, and since I have a young son who loves stuffed animals I requested they send me Scout, their male white tail deer. Casey loves Scout, who he quickly renamed Bucky, and has been sleeping with him ever since. The doll is made with high quality yarns and vibrant colors. Bucky the deer has now gone on several adventures outside with Casey into the woods behind out house as well as spent several days in the tree fort. The doll still looks brand new.

For every doll that Cuddle & Kind sells through their website it provides 10 free meals to children as well as pays their artisans in Peru. So far the company has been able to provide 210,598 meals to children as of this post. Their goal is a big one! They want to provide 1,000,000 meals a year to children every where.

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Besides their adorable dolls they also sell artistic prints suitable for framing and hanging  in your child’s room. Each print sold provides 5 free meals. The print I received was colorful, cute as could be, and made of good paper stock. My son loved the print because Bucky was part of the illustration.

If you want to learn more about this wonderful company or purchase one of their darling dolls for your child, a niece or nephew, or as a shower gift for someone who is expecting, check out their fun website here, www.cuddleandkind.com

To see more about Scout the Deer and one of the prints click on the YouTube link below!

**I was not paid money to endorse Cuddle & Kind. I received a free doll and a free print for the purposes of reviewing and sharing with my subscribers.

Love,
Tina

Elementary Box December 2015

Elementary Box December 2015

I was very lucky to receive a free box to review from the Elementary Box subscription service. I love, love, love subscriptions services and probably order more than I need to but this one really excited me. A box devoted strictly to teachers! How awesome is that?

A little info on the service, it is a monthly subscription and it is customized to your specific grade level. So the box I am opening is a 4th grade box but if you teach a different grade your items would be different from mine.

The cost of the subscription is $29 a month, $81 for three months, and $150 for 6 months. Shipping and Handling is free no matter which length of time you select. The longer you subscribe the cheaper the box becomes and the promised value of each box is $40+.

The contents of the box is mostly for use in the classroom, but they also make a point to tuck an item or two into the box for the purpose of pampering an exhausted teacher.

Here are the contents for the 4th Grade December 2015 box!

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The first item I took out were Snowman Myface Bulletin Board Accents. I was very happy these accents were winter/seasonal themed as opposed to be holiday themed. As I teach in a very multicultural district I tend to decorate my classroom based on the seasons as opposed to monthly holidays. Plus, a perk to season decor is I only have to decorate three times a year instead of monthly. Plus once you put pictures of your students faces in these they will be adorable. Retail value, $4.99 for 36 accents.

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Next was a package of Mini Polar Bear erasers that were just too cute. They are very small so they are more for prizes or rewards as opposed to being longterm useful erasers but children love to receive little trinkets like these. Again, I like that these are winter themed. Retail value, $3.00 for 48 erasers.

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I think the idea behind these Tasty Task Idiom, Adages, and Proverb Task Cards is brilliant. It is a pack of 50 two sided cards with a variety of phrases that people use everyday in context based sentences. Then students have to guess was the idiom means. An answer guide is provided so I would make two or three copies and laminate so students would have the ability to self check their answers. It also came with two metal rings so you and make two packs. This would be great for four children to work in groups of two and practice. One can be a reader and the other a guesser. Then the reader can check the answer sheet to confirm if the guesser was correct or not. After three chances the two students would swap roles. This item makes for a super easy learning center or even an activity to work on during a Daily 5 rotation. Retail value, $9.99 for set.

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The item I was most excited about was the Exploring Nonfiction set. It contained 24 glossy cards with a high interest nonfiction article on one side and then Common Core aligned questions on the back. The articles include many feature of expository text, such as words in bold print, tables, information charts, titles, subheadings, and the like. These would be perfect for projecting on to your white board and dissecting the text as a whole group, or even making copies of the front and back and using as mini assessments to see if your students are applying the different skills and strategies you are presenting during Daily 5 or reading in general. Retail value, $12.99 for a set of 24 article cards.

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The last item in the box was the pampering item for the teacher. This month is was a jar of Hanna Herbals Peppermint Foot Cream.

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This is a very thick cream made from peppermint oil, almond oil, jojoba butter, and shea butter. I like that it is all natural ingredients. The smell is wonderful and the peppermint would definitely feel good on tired and achey feet. Retail value, $10.99 from www.etsy.com/shop/HannaHerbalFarms

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I have to say I loved this box. I really thought the items inside were incredibly well curated, extremely useful, and things I will incorporate into my classroom almost immediately. I think I will order the three month subscription since $81 is easier to afford than $150 and that brings the per box price down to $27 a box! To order your own visit www.elementarybox.com.

I would love to know what you think of this subscription service.

To see more about this box click the link below:

https://youtu.be/hvHhCKV6k4s 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving the Boy’s Bathroom a Makeover

Bathroom Makeover

I love taking hot baths in the evening to relax after a hectic day but the only tub in our house was in the boys bathroom. I hated the boys bathroom. It really was the ugliest room in the house. I decided to turn it into a mom sanctuary but had a budget of $100 to work with. Since it will still be a boys bathroom there was little point in sinking a ton of money into it because, hello, boys! My boys have a way of breaking and trashing everything.

Still, after a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond, Costco, and finally Target, I scored what I needed and almost stuck to my budget. Okay, so I went over by $20. Still, I am very happy with the end product. Click the link here to see how I did it!
~Tina

https://youtu.be/1jeyGm33Qjs

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Miracle Gel~Sorry, No Miracles Here

Miracle Gel~Sorry, No Miracles Here

I love the look of polished nails and freshly manicured hands. It makes hands look clean and neat and more youthful. But really, I almost never have my nails done. I am always washing my hands, cleaning dishes or doing laundry. A mom’s hands seem to always be in water. I own several pairs or rubber gloves but never remember to pull them out and use them until I am halfway through cleaning something and can feel the skin on my hands wrinkling and getting rough.

I love getting the occasional manicure with Gel Nails. You leave the salon with totally dry nails and for me they really do last two weeks. However, I got my nails done twice in one month this past February, and the removal process completely ruined my nails. They were thin and fragile and quickly broke off. Even as they started to grow back I had to wait for the remaining damage on the surface of the nail to grow out before they were strong again.

polish 1Out shopping I came across the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish. It promised a 14 day Gel Manicure that removed like regular nail polish. I was super excited and quickly selected two spring time hues as well as the Top Coat.

That night I buffed and smoothed my nails and gave them a good filing. I followed the directions and used the pink color 310 called Shock Wave. The first thing I noticed was that the polish was thick and sort of goopy. It was virtually impossible to get a nice smooth finish. The color also went on uneven with shadow spots peeking through. I applied two coats of the color and really wanted to apply a third but it was already so thick that I didn’t.

Then I applied the Top Coat which did go on nice and smooth but did little to help the lumpy color underneath. After a couple of hours the nails seemed dry but I was not very happy with the over all look. It looked like a child had painted my nails because of the thick consistency of the polish. Even worse, the polish did not last 14 days. I started getting my first chips and cracks three days in.

I decided to redo my nails and use the peach color, Rosey Riviter, number 180. Maybe the pink was just a bad bottle? Maybe I didn’t apply it right?

The peach wasn’t lumpy and seemed to go on easier, but I still had the problems of shadows showing though the color. After two coats the polish was streaky. I decided to apply a third coat of color and finally I had nice peach nails. Next went on the Top Coat and I waited for them to dry. The drying time took forever, possibly because of the extra coat of color. Even the next day, which was Easter Sunday, preparing food and getting things ready to celebrate the holiday resulted in smudges and creases in the polish. I’m sorry but after 15 hours of drying time polish should not smudge.

I have now had the peach on for going on four days and it isn’t chipping, but it is starting to peel up near the cuticles. When I run my fingers through my hair it catches the hair and has become annoying.

The whole reason I like Gels is because as a busy working mom I don’t have to worry about them. They are rock hard the minute I leave the salon and last for two weeks. I really wanted to like the Sally Hansen Miracle Gels. They promised me the durability of Gels without damaging my natural nails but for me, this product takes way too much time (who has 15 hours to kill for drying time) and ends up looking sloppy no matter how hard you try to put it on. Keep your money ladies.
~Tina
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Fabfitfun Box Review

Fabfitfun Spring

Hi everyone!  I tried something new for my Spring Fabfitfun box review this time. Please check out my video and let me know what you think. This box was pretty awesome as usual so come and see all the great products they tossed in.

Click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZS41C9v0Bc#action=share

Also if you want to order your own box just click here: http://vip.fff.me/8Ccct and use code SPRINGME to save $10 off your first box!

Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Funny Stories by Sleep Deprived Moms

Today is an incredibly exciting day for me.  Today is the book launch for Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness!!!  It is my first time being a published author!!!

Several very funny mom bloggers, as well as myself, collected our best work along with some yet to be seen stuff and it is now available in paperback or digital editions on Amazon!  A big shout out goes to my editor, Lisa Nolan, who made all of this possible!

So if you want to read about sleep deprived moms, the crazy things we do while totally exhausted, and the hilarity that follows, click the picture below.  Please check back and let me know what you think of it.  I am dying to hear reviews.

-Tina

PS- Yes, that is me on the cover, as well as my six-year-old’s foot on my head.

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