Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Year-in-Review

Another year has come and go.  As January 1st is quickly approaching it is time to get nostalgic over the events that happened in 2014.  So, enjoy my 2014 Year-in-Review.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Let's see, I'm sure there are a few things to choose from, but one thing that Peter and I hadn't done before (together) was go to Hawaii.  My brother and his family is currently living there and we thought we would never get another chance to affordably visit!  We took the two boys on a cross country trip to Arizona (it was a LOT cheaper to fly out of there) and we took two planes to get there.  We spent two glorious weeks in Honolulu.  The island was beautiful.  We hiked, went to the ocean, visited museums, saw a volcano, went to a luaua and had a great time visiting family.  We have since decided that if we ever find ourselves with 10 million dollars to spare, we would move there, run a bed and breakfast, own a macadamia nut farm, and enjoy our life there :)


2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't really do resolutions, but goals.  I got to cross a few off my list this year though.
*Finish Ezra's Quilt - CHECK
*Read three new books - CHECK
*Lose weight - CHECK, 20 pounds down
*Finish Ezra and Henry's 12 month picture frames - CHECK and CHECK

There will be more for this next year.
*Lose weight - would love to see at least 50 more pounds
*Finish Ezra and Henry's baby books
*Plus some other goodies I haven't decided on yet.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
NOPE.  Not this year.  There are two friends expecting babies in the spring though.  Can't wait!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one.

5. What countries did you visit?  Hawaii felt like a different country but we stuck around the USA.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Will power.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Ezra receiving the citizenship award from school (picked by his classmates and teachers).  Henry getting tubes in his ears.  He was plauged with ear infections, so Peter and I made an executive decision to go over our doctor's head and see an ENT.  He was not getting any vibrations in one ear due to fluid build up.  We had the surgery and it is amazing how much of a chatterbox he can be.  I also won't forget a feud over the cats in our neighborhood.  Plus, the AWESOME swing set Peter and I built for the boys.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
A co-worker saying that she knew I was a Christian by how I treated by students; how I showed them love and how it exudes from my personality.  Considering I maybe say a dozen words outside of my classroom doors to adults, I take that as a HUGE compliment. 
I also won "Grand Champion" in the Oklahoma Photo Shoot Out at the State Fair.  I was proud of that :)  Second time baby!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Biggest failure?  Not losing as much weight as I had hoped.  20 pounds is a good start, but I'm ready to knock a lot more off.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just a few colds here and there but nothing truly bad or life altering.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A swing set!  Mostly because it is neat to see something that I helped build.  For school I got new curriculum, new Orff instruments, new drums, a new sound system, and a classroom rug!  (District funded for the curriculum and instruments, school funded for the sound system, and Limeades for Learning funded for my rug).

12. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, student loans, credit cards.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Traveling!  So many great places, so little time!

14. What song will always remind you of 2014?
I (un)fortunately listen to pop music on my drive to school every day so I finally, kind of, know what is popular.  The song that will be in my head is "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift.  Ugh, can't get it out of my head! Or "Say Something."  It was everywhere.  The radio, at school, on TV.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
--happier or sadder?  Happier
--thinner or fatter? A tad thinner, but just a tad.
--richer or poorer? Currently the same

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exercise, spend more time outside with my family, and sing.  I miss singing :(

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spend countless hours on Facebook and spend countless hours in front of the TV.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas at home.  We all slept in the living room and after everyone was awake we looked through our new stockings and opened presents.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Sherlock Holmes (PBS), Grey's Anatomy, and The Goldbergs.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I read the Divergent series.  The first book was great.  The second was good.  The third was ehh.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
No idea!  There wasn't a particular one that I just couldn't get enough of.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
We went to the movie theater quite a bit this year.  It definitely helps having a $2.00 theater in town!  I think the favorite was Into the Woods, Lego Movie, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and probably a few more that I'm missing.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Ummm...I can't remember that far back.  I turned 32.  Family dinner I guess?  I may have had rehearsal that night.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
That's a hard one.  Life is pretty good.  I have my basic needs covered.  My family is healthy.  I guess if I had to pick something, I would say having my student loans paid off would make the year more satisfying :)  That would be one less stress in my life.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
So, I looked at my answer last year and chuckled because nothing has changed!  I love lounge clothes but now that I'm teaching I have to look a little more presentable.  Jeans is my go to though.  Sooooo happy that I can wear jeans to school.

26. What kept you sane?
Peter, Ezra, Henry, and TiVo.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Make sure your family knows how much you love them.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Colgate® Optic White™ Toothbrush + Built-In Whitening Pen


I was working on my Pinterest board for Influesnter and Spring Beauty.  I decided I was going to search for "white teeth" and see what I came up with.  Holy cow!  Pins and pins with all sorts of things you can buy in the store to homemade whiteners.  Gels to trays, pastes to natural food whiteners.  The pictures just kept coming.

Just a sample of "white teeth" pins

Hello world!  Haven't you heard of Optic White™ Toothbrush + Built-In Whitening Pen?

Seriously, have you tried to talk, or even just sit quietly and not do a thing with those whitening strip things in your mouth?  Plus, the more you think about it the more you just want to play with it while they are on your teeth!

Well, now Colgate has come up with a better solution.  The Colgate® Optic White™ Toothbrush + Built-In Whitening Pen.

It is a toothbrush with a built in whitener.  Let me explain that a little bit better.  The toothbrush really is just a fancy holder for the whitener (a little pen).  The toothbrush is a specially designed brush that has these great bristles.  Just brush as you normally would with your favorite toothpaste.  (I tried the Colgate Optic White Toothpaste.)

  Then turn the dial at the bottom of the whitening pen and apply the gel to your teeth.  It takes about two clicks for the top teeth and two clicks for the bottom teeth. It takes just a few seconds to apply and then you're good to go.



Don't you all just love my crooked teeth?  Honestly, I don't see much of a difference in the before and after photos.  I tried to have the same kind of lighting and everything but I just don't see a difference.  I feel like they are a bit whiter sometimes but not a big enough difference for me. 

The verdict?  It's worth it to try.  Super easy and hardly any mess.  Maybe the whitening is more noticeable on others.  While I don't have pearly whites they definitely aren't terrible either.

P.S. I did receive this item complimentary through the Influenster program, for testing purposes.  Everything written are my own personal opinions.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Welcome to the Suave Family

Thanks to Influenster, I was given a great box of Suave products to test out.  This box included:

WHOA!  That's a big picture.  Anyway, here are my Suave products.
-Suave Naturals Creamy Milk & Honey Splash Body Wash (for me)
-Suave Professionals Men 2-in-1 (for my hubby)
-Suave Kids 3-in-1 (for my kiddos)

My family has been using the products for almost two months now and here are our opinions.

Suave Naturals Creamy Milk & Honey Splash Body Wash
I loved the smell and it felt very rich when I lathered it on.  My complaint is that my skin feels dry after my shower.  I wish the richness lasted longer on my skin.  Maybe I'm using too much, not enough, or it just doesn't quite work for my skin type.  Will I still use it?  Heck yes, I like the smell, but I will probably switch back after this bottle is empty.

Suave Professionals Men 2-in-1
My  husband has been using the shampoo/conditioner.  He really likes it.  He likes the convenience of using just one bottle, plus it saves a lot of time....his showers usually take forever!  He also likes how it cleans.  He says that he usually isn't a big fan of 2-in-1 products because his hair feels greasy and heavy after using it, but this is the opposite.  His hair feels clean and light.  I think he'll stick with this.

Suave Kids 3-in-1
I'm all for products that make my life easier and give me a bit more free time.  This 3-in-1 is perfect.  I only have to deal with one bottle for my little ones.  Our only complaint for this product is the actual packaging itself.  My son, five years old, said tonight, "I wish it had a pump.  I can't get this out by myself without getting too much."  I know that changing the top to a pump might add a bit more to the cost, but I would pay it for my kids to have a little more independence during bath time.

Overall, I love Suave products.  They are a cost effective product that gets the job done.  There may be a few hits and misses, BUT if it is a miss I'm only paying $2+ instead of $10+.

***P.S.   I received the above products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  The opinions above are all mine!