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If This Then That

February 7th, 2015 · Family Life

I have discovered the greatest app for my phone.

It is called IFTTT-that stands for If This Then That.


The brilliance behind it is if This happens on my phone, then That happens.    The This is called a Trigger and the That is called an Event.

So, for instance, I have a Recipe on my phone, that when I take a picture on my phone IFTTT automatically uploads it to my Microsoft Cloud.  Or I have another one where when I have an appointment, or a meeting, on my calendar, it automatically sets my phone to vibrate.  Sometimes I wish everyone had this.  Unfortunately, I have to remember to turn the sound back on, but some days I feel like I spend more time with my phone turned to silent than I do to having the sound on.

It is available on the iTunes store for you Apple folks or the Google Play Store for all you Droid folks. I really does seem to work as designed.  I’ve not found any bugs.  And it’s free!  Who could ask for more than that?

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Chap Stick is Anti Aging?

February 3rd, 2015 · Family Life

Who knew?

Chap Stick

I mean, I guess I knew in a general sense that soft lips were young looking and dry lips were…unattractive, but anti-aging chap stick?  En-biggen the picture, the one on the right says “anti-aging” right there in the red dot.

Usually, I buy the regular, old fashioned, chap stick.  In the bulk packages of 3 or 6 or however many you can buy at one time.  Because I always have to have a chap stick with me.

Chap Stick

But this Sunday while I was out, I had a coupon, and it was on sale, and I was there buying some hair products that were on sale too.  So, I bought these two.

The web page is calling them Duel-Ended Hydration Lock.  One end is “moisturizing,” the other end is “renew” on one.  The other is “night” and “day.”  The “day” one has an SPF 12.

I use lots and lots of chap stick.  I’m not sure whether I am genetically predisposed to having dry lips or what, but I almost always have something on hand to put on my lips.  I’ve tried a lot of the lip moisturizing products but almost always come back to plain old chap stick.

For a little while last year I was on a quest for a lip gloss that had moisturizing properties and that I didn’t have to reapply all the time.  I didn’t really find that and gave up that quest.  I didn’t like the tacky way it made my lips feel.  None of them were really moisturizing.  I felt like I needed to reapply them about every 15 minutes.  It felt vain to be putting shiny stuff on my lips all the time.

I’ve tried all four ends on the two Dual-Ended Hydration Lock.  My general impression is they are pretty nice.  They aren’t twice as big as a regular chap stick, so I’m assuming there isn’t twice as much product as you would get in a regular chap stick.  But what is there seems nice.   The “renew” side of the one seems a little gritty; noticeable but not irritating.  The moisture side is very nice; smooth, moisturizing, not too greasy.  The moisture side of the one stick and the night side of the other feel very similar to me.  The day side feels very nice as well.  None have a bad or bitter taste to them.  I really appreciate that because some of those lip moisturizers taste nasty.

I think at $3.49 each, they may be a little expensive to carry around in my pocket, purse or backpack.   To sit on my bedside and be my night time go to lip moisturizer, maybe.

I think next I’d like to try their other new product, the Hydration Lock.

Disclosure:  Chapstick did not pay me or provide me with anything to write this.  In fact, I doubt Chapstick knows that I exsist.

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Oatmeal is the new…

January 28th, 2015 · Family Life

Can’t really think of a pithy comparison…probably because there is nothing new about oatmeal.  Plain old bland oatmeal:


I read on the interwebs recently that eating one serving of oatmeal a day will help reduce your cholesterol.  My cholesterol isn’t over the recommended limits, but it hovers on the high side.  I’ve heard about Cheerios benefits:


But.  It requires a pretty big serving a day to reduce cholesterol and frankly, I can’t eat Cheerios without a ton of sugar on them, so it is, for me, very calorie dense.

I began a quest to see if I could find a recipe to make oatmeal palatable.

I’ve tried the non-cook oatmeal.  The idea is you soak rolled oatmeal, over-night in a liquid of your choice, milk, almond milk, soy milk, juice and/or yogurt and/or fruit and mix it together in the morning and you’d have a great, easy breakfast.  Moi?  Not so much.  I didn’t like the consistency.  It was still very sticky and gooey.  Not at all pleasant.

I tried mixing it with Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes I had left over from when I was running.  I think I actually liked that the best.  But alas, those Advocare Shakes are a little expensive.  So, when I finished what I had, I didn’t buy more.

I found this recipe for To-Go Baked Oatmeal on the Wholesome Dish I might try.  Sort of a muffin made out of oats instead of flower.  It looks like you’d have to eat three of these muffins in order to get a full 1/2 cup serving of oatmeal, so that too might be a little calorie dense.

What have I been doing so far?  Making smoothie sort of things.  Yogurt, almond milk, 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats.  Sometimes I add fruit or spinach or whatever I have around the house.  I’ve been using almond milk because it is much lower in calories than 2% milk.  I use Greek yogurt because it has more protein and fewer calories than regular yogurt.

I’ve experimented with the best way to manage this.  I have recently begun running the oats through the blender or the individual smoothie maker before mixing the yogurt and the liquid.  This seems to grind the oats to an almost flour consistency.  It makes the drink (a little) less gritty tasting.  This is especially convenient if I need to take it with me.  I can mix the yogurt and almond milk in a container, stick it in my lunch bag with an ice pack and put the oatmeal into a small container and mix them when I’m ready to drink it.  I wouldn’t recommend mixing them beforehand because I think the oatmeal would absorb the liquid and turn into that gooey consistency I don’t like.

I guess we’ll see how this goes.  I really don’t like oatmeal, but I do know it’s good for me:  Fiber!  Cholesterol reducing!  Making me feel full!

I guess next time I give blood, we’ll see if it really helps lower cholesterol.

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January 26th, 2015 · Family Life

I’ve done very little stitching since I was here last.  I’ve got a stocking for Celeste.


I’m hoping to finish it before she has a child of her own.  Graduate school really has eaten into my stitching time.

I did manage to finish the 2012 Christmas Ornaments for the kids.

2012 Ornaments

And I have almost finished the first of the 2013 ornaments for the kids.

2013 Ornaments-Jacob

Sorry my pictures are wonky.  I don’t know how to fix this and if I take time to figure it out, it won’t ever get done.

I didn’t even buy canvases for 2014.  Graduate school really threw me for a loop, so I didn’t even think about them.  Now, I’m trying to decide whether to skip 2014 as a sort of “lost” year and begin again with 2015.  Or go back and make up 2014.  Any thoughts?

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Remember when I did…

January 23rd, 2015 · Family Life


Well this week we had to do it AGAIN.

Only this time they only took two more.

Poor kid, I don’t think any of his back teeth came out without assistance.

This time we went to the dentist and she did it without putting him under instead of going the oral surgeon route.  I’d seen the x-rays and I told him if he’d just let me, I could pop them out myself.  Of course, he wouldn’t.  I was right, she just popped them out with this screw driver looking tool but with the benefit of gas and numb gums.

Luckily I was able to schedule it on a day when we were both off school, but he didn’t have any long-term effects and didn’t even require a Motrin.

Now if we can ever get all those teeth to grow in, we’ll begin phase II of the great braces adventure.

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Knock, knock

January 22nd, 2015 · Family Life

Anyone here?

Man! I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I’ve been here.  I remember when writing here was an important part of my life.

Since I was here last I have:

I became a Grandmother!  And yes I do have the most precious grandchild in the world.

Celeste 12.30.2014

Run a 1/2 marathon.  I know!  Moi?  Yes.  I trained and did it in the Spring of 2012.  It looks like I’ve written here since then, but didn’t write about the Marathon.  I was probably too tired.  It was good.  I don’t remember my time.  But my greatest fear, that I’d sit down on the curb at some point toward the end, cry, and call David to come pick me up didn’t occur.  So it was a win!  I looked and I don’t have ANY marathon pictures.  I know it happened.  I was there.

I rappelled off a 31 story building.

Me falling off a building

It was awesome, though a little scary.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about doing it.

I began full-time graduate school.  Which has largely accounted for me not being here.  It’s exciting and interesting.  I’ve met a lot of awesome new people who I would probably never had an opportunity to meet before.  I am scheduled to finish in December of 2015.

The BoyChild is doing great. He is in the 7th Grade.  He still likes me.  I fear, however, we are entering those dreaded teenaged years.  He can cop an attitude on a dime, and go from acting like he thinks I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread, to acting like he wonders what rock I just crawled out from under.

I would like to write more.  I enjoy it but I sometimes feel like I don’t have control over what I can do, and this is one of the first things to go when that happens.



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Things I wonder about. . .

February 13th, 2013 · Family Life

How come when the Orthodentist say, “we’re going to need to remove a few teeth” it suddenly turns in to EIGHT teeth?

As my son pointed out to me a few is two, three at the most; NOT eight.  He is an astute child but they are his eight teeth.


If anyone wants me, I’ll be wimpering under my desk thinking about the pain of pullin ‘a few’ teeth.

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Kindle Fire and Amazon

January 28th, 2013 · Shopping, Stuff I love

I got a new Kindle Fire from Amazon recently.

This is the second one I’ve had to have replaced since I bought it, I think in June of 2012.

Or less than a year ago.

The problem with both my Kindle Fire’s that caused them to be replaced was they reached a point where they refused to recharge.   The KF doesn’t have a replaceable battery.

They have changed the design, I’m assuming because of this recharging problem.  The new one they sent is charged by USB on my computer.  The power doesn’t seem to last as long as the old one.  And it seems to require longer to charge than the original one.

I am generally a HUGE fam of Amazon.  I have AmazonPrime and use it constantly.  But I gotta say, I was a little annoyed by my interaction with them over the Kindle.

This is apparently a problem they knew about, or had learned about at some point.  Even if we assume that they were replacing the 2nd Kindle Fire in June of 2012 (and I’m not at all clear they were)  it was only six months old.  Surely, they anticipated these things were going to last more than six months!

I I guess I was happy that they replaced it, but was a little disappointed that they didn’t handle it better.

One the one hand, the woman at Amazon did replace the Kindle and was generally nice about it.  But on the other hand, she sort of made it sound like she was doing me a huge favor by doing so.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE Amazon and I love my new Kindle as much as I loved my last.  I just sort of wish I could create a lasting relationship with one Kindle instead of having to make it my own every few months.

Anyone have any similiar experiences with Amazon?

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The Owl Morning-Addendum Added

August 29th, 2012 · Family Life

This morning I took an owl to the Animal Shelter. When I dropped him off, they told me they didn’t do anything for them but waited for someone to pick them up. At 3-4 o’clock this afternoon! This was at 9:00 a.m. this morning. When I called the Wildcare people to tell them I’d dropped him off, they said by Federal Law the animal shelter people can’t help the owl; you have to have a special permit to do that. I hope he makes it.

Yesterday I had to run home at lunch. While there, I let the dogs outside. When I went to bring them back in, Tandi had something and Bugsy was trying to take it away from her. I had to actually go into the yard to make them come into the house. I sent David a text that it looked like Tandi had killed another grackle and he’d need to deal with it before letting them back outside. Yes, I am a total wimp and that IS what men are for; to dispose of dead things in the back yard.

David calls me when he’s home for lunch and says, it wasn’t a grackle and it wasn’t dead. He thought it was an owl. He said he put it outside the fence, under a bush. I called around to see what we could do for the owl but they told me I’d have to have it to the Animal Shelter (which is a long way from anything) by 3:00 to make sure it got picked up that day. I couldn’t make it work.

I had a meeting last night and didn’t make it home until 9:30 or so. When I got home, David told me the owl was still there, except it was trying to get back into our back yard and he’d put it back under the bush. Sure enough it was creeping toward our gate, so we put it back in the bush and I decided if it were still there tomorrow, I’d do something about it.

This morning it was still there. The BoyChild and I checked on it before leaving for school. It was still alive.

As an aside, that sucker must have some kind of death wish.  He, again, was trying to get back into my backyard  with the big, bird eating, dogs.

After I dropped the BoyChild off at school, I went home, donned my husband’s work gloves, found a box and picked that sucker up. He wasn’t much bigger than my two hands put together. Still, I saw The Birds and was a little scared of him. He put up a fight, but didn’t scratch me or anything. I put him in a shoebox and put him into my car. He got the lid off the shoe box and jumped/flew out but then landed on my purse on the floorboard of my car and stayed there for the rest of the trip. We eyed one another suspiciously the whole way.  Me thinking of Alfred Hitchcock. Him thinking of. . .whatever it is birds think of.

The trip was ultimatley  uneventful though when he spread his wings and hopped out of the box, I thought I was going to wreck my car.

The Animal Shelter wasn’t even open when I got there but they let me in anyway.  I left him there.

I got no pictures.  Like I said, I was a little afraid of him.  I can’t really tell you from looking at the pictures on The Owl Pages what kind of owl it was.

I hope they can help him.


Addendum 8/31/2012

I called them the next day. They told me that OwlFred (which was what I’d been calling him) had to be put down. They said he had a skull fracture and his eye socket was ruptured. They said it’s possible the dog’s did it, but there must have been something else wrong with him in order for the dogs to get him.  It made me very sad.  Oh!  He wasn’t an Owl as I thought but instead was a Night Hawk.  R.I.P. OwlFred.

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Makeup I’ve been loving this summer!

August 25th, 2012 · Family Life

It seems like I change my make up frequently.

Do other people do that? I mean I don’t necessarily fall out of love with a particular product, or anything, I just kind of move on to something else without thinking about it much.

Some of it is the seasons. I tend to wear different makeup in the fall and winter than in the spring and summer. Then when it’s time to make the change back from spring and summer to fall and winter, I guess I forget what I was using and try something else.

This summer I picked up a couple of samples of Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen


on one of my trips to Sephora.

I almost passed this up. Origins has always been a little too “earthy” for me. But the guy at Sephora assured me it was a great moisturizer and who can pass up great, right? So I tried it.

The thing that they don’t really talk about on the web page or mention anywhere is that it can be worn like a light foundation. It goes on white, sort of like a sun screen, and it has SPF 15, but as you spread it around, it sort of attunes itself to the color of your skin. Add a little blush, a little powder and my face is done.

It stays on too. I’ve tried other tinted moisturizers before. None of them seemed to have much staying power. By lunch time, I look like I just rolled out of bed, put on my eye makeup and forgot the rest. I am not a “touch up your makeup at lunch” sort of girl either. I get one shot in the morning and it’s got to hold me all day.  This really does the trick.

The powder I’ve been using also came from Sephora.  It is their HD Microfinish Powder.


I got this in a kit I bought at Sephora. It came with a really soft Kabuki Brush.  A little of this goes a long way.  It makes my face feel soft, sets my makeup (or in my case this summer my tinted moisturizer) and wears beautifully.  It looks white but goes on transulant.  You can barely tell it is there, except it makes your face feel really soft and not like you are wearing powder at all.

I don’t just wear makeup from Sephora (though admittedly I really like their stuff). This summer I also tried Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain.


It comes in 12 colors (I picked Crush a wine sort of color). I often put it on, and then put my lipstick on over it. That way, when my lipstick wears off, I’ve still got some color. But sometimes, I wear it alone and it is just a sheer wash of color. It’s got a kind of minty taste I don’t particularly like, but it’s not so bad, and doesn’t last so long, that it is truly bothersome.

What are your favorite new products this summer?

*Picture shamelessly borrowed from Sephora.
**Picture shamelessly borrowed from Revlon.

Disclaimer:  Neither Revlon nor Sephora has any idea who I am or that I’d decided to write about their products.  No mony has changed hands nor have any products been provided.

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