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Thursday, August 28, 2014

School Boogs...

Yesterday I took my little men to their preschool open house.  Let me be perfectly clear on my feelings about preschool.  I LOVE that my misters have the opportunity to go learn and play and be social.  I LOATHE the fact that they will be sharing germs during play time with community toys amongst a crowd of kids that pick boogers and wipe snot on the most readily accessible Lightning McQueen...  You know?  Heaven help us all. 
And as much as I'd like to think this is a Pre-K phenomenon and they will eventually grow out of it? Well, that's a far cry from the truth.  Ladies and Gents... people of all ages pick their noses.  Sometimes they even eat it.  (Excuse me while I dry heave)

And so, we present to you.... a Back to School giveaway, that is obvs in the vein of stopping germs in their tracks.  You need this stuff, even if you're in denial.  Introducing PureWorks Antibacterial products.  They contain no alcohol so they stay on skin for up to four hours and act as a defender against.... well, all the crap your kiddos come in contact with at school!  Regular antibacterial stuff evaporates in mere seconds... Did you know that?  #fountainofknowledge
Today we are going to be giving away a Mom's must-have... a gift package of 3 products by PureWorks that are the perfect size to carry in your purse. 
2.5 oz Antibacterial Foam
4 oz Antibacterial Lotion
4 oz Antibacterial Skin Spray (perfect for scrapes and cuts too)

Our girl, Melissa is a consultant for the company that produces these products.  She has generously supplied the goods for our giveaway, so it's only right that we give her a little online love in return.  That plus she's just one of thee genuinely nicest people you'll ever meet.

To enter to win, simply leave a comment here briefly telling us a nasty/gross kid story... {Hey listen, it helps us feel normal when we come across crusted boogs on our own walls}  #miserylovescompany Then visit Melisa's blog at www.amyoungevity.blogspot.com and let her know you commented here and you hope to win!

This giveaway is open for one week and we will select one random commenter and announce our winner next Thursday, September 4th.

Free stuff + Less Germs + Fingers crossed = Fewer viruses and colds this year.
Now excuse me while I go wash my hands like a surgeon.

XO
Amber

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Corn Cutting Contraptions...

As soon as school starts, you know that fall is just around the corner. And I'm not a season change hater. Nope! In fact, I'm a lover of change... in seasons that is..otherwise, I'm pretty much the most monotonous person..like if you come to my house on Mondays..you'll find me cleaning per my normal Monday routine..but I digress... So back to Fall...and the change of fall temps, jacket weather and changing leaves comes the garden reaping and plethora of squash, zucchini and tomatoes that your neighbors can't give away fast enough.   

And every year at this time, my family gets together for our annual corn shucking/corn freezing par-tay! And guys..we seriously rock it! We don't mess around and get right down to bid-ness! 

And I'm willing to place some serious bets that our corn trumps your corn. We guard this stuff like gold. I daresay it's better than candy..and that's a bold statement coming from me


We stand strong at our posts for the seamless production of wonder

Shucking...


one more side note..my girls are seriously professional corn huskers. especially my little Mags..she's got some corn whispering power and at 4 years old can out husk us all


Washing...


Stacking...


Cooking...

And we work hard the entire time, never messing around

And we never, ever eat a piece of corn throughout this process

And the finale wouldn't be complete without our team of amazing de-kernalizers (which is totally a word;) But here's the whole kicker. We have been doing this so for so many years that we now have a collection of corn shucking tools. If it's been made, we have bought and tried it. We have tried the standard knife, 


This donut looking contraption (which is by far the least efficient but one I was most excited for)

And this ol' standby which I give about a 7 outta 10



Enter this years newest tool member.. the Zyliss Corn Cutter 1000 (ok I added the 1000 part but it just makes it seem fancier right?)


And guys get ready for your mind to be blown...it was a winner all around. Fast, easy and it got 99% of those golden corn kernels off the cob and ready for bagging in seconds. It's sharp (which we quickly learned) but overall the most ingenious product out there. 

What? You don't put up massive amounts of corn like me but still want to use this cool tool ala corn? No worries..you can still put this tool to good use for those kids of yours who have corn on the cob eating issues like braces or those 1st and 2nd graders who have no front teeth right now. I think I'm becoming the next infomercial...but for reals...and the best part..I paid $1.44. Say whaaaa? 

I know..I know... I've changed your life haven't I?

Your Welcome

XO
Ashley aka the corn cob fairy

Thursday, August 21, 2014

To Thine Own SELF...


I did some tv watching this past weekend.  OK - Truth?  I totally binge watched Keeping up with the Kardashians because I was nursing a lame-o summer cold and, well, I haven't been "keeping up" as of late.  
P.S. I know that is pretty embarrassing to admit that I watch such quality television, so since it is a well-known fact, no need to comment and remind me.  :)

There was an episode where the fam went on vacation to Thailand.  Kim proclaimed she was going to be making a "Selfie Album" for her newly betrothed (or estranged depending on what rags you read) hubs, Kanye.  Insert some judge-y comment from me, "Really?  A Selfie Album?  OK, I would opt for a family album with a new husband and baby, but alas… I guess I ain't that SELFish."
Then, out she came to the beach with her golden bikini and her glam squad.  First, who brings a glam squad with them on a family vacation?  Those poor glam squad people... at the ready to beautify and primp every time someone gets the urge to take a selfie.  Which is hella frequent in that crowd.  Anywho, "her people" oiled up her a$$ cheeks and then proceeded to strategically press sand onto her butt so that she could do a "beach butt" shot with her heiny hanging out of an old boat.  Why didn't I think of that?

What I really thought to myself was, maybe I don't even know what the term "selfie" means?  I THOUGHT the phrase "taking a selfie" meant, taking a picture of yourself by YO-SELF.  No?

After I watched this little session of selfies on steroids courtesy of KK, I began to wonder if you actually have to do the deed on your own?  Maybe a selfie is just a picture of yourself... Regardless of who the photographer is? 

I'm confused.
And curious.

So of course, I must consult the great and wise intrawebs…
I mean I get it, SELFie - there has to be a "self" involved but do you yourself have to snap the photo of your duck-faced mug to earn the proper moniker?

Here's what I'm pickin' up in this in-depth research for the greater good... 
And aren't you relieved?  :)

sel·fie
ˈselfē/
nouninformal
noun: selfie; plural noun: selfies; noun: selfy
  1. a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website."occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn't necessary"
So, I guess this picture doesn't qualify because I didn't intend to post this on a social media site, but I did send it to the hubs to rub in his face the fact that I was eating a burger all by myself in the car while he was home with our crazies darlings?

I particularly like Urban Dictionary's definition of this entire phenomenon:

A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person's arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.

Exhibit A
Point for Kim:  Clearly I need more false lashes and bigger cleavage.
Other than that I feel like I nailed it.

This stuff is exhausting.
I'm takin' myself out...
XO
Amber


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fake Hair, Don't Care...

Getting back to school ready can really be considered an Olympic sport if you ask me. Marathon school shopping, school supply buying relays, orientations, and the epic hair cuts. I mean it's kinda like a right of passage..getting a hair cut so you look brand, spankin spiffy for the big day. And this year for us was no different...plus we had family pics scheduled so it was doubly important to get our locks chopped and trimmed. And every girl knows that a much needed hair appointment can change your world.

unless you have curly hair that frizzes when cut but you decide to not put product in it  to help with that, If I wasted 20 seconds of your life with this unimportant description, my apologies :)

So I booked out pretty much the entire day..since I have a whole herd of girls who hadn't had a trim since the beginning of Summer..can you say, "green, swimmers hair" and I was in desperate need of a cut and color. My roots were taking over in a bad way.

The kids' and hubs' went smooth as butta...and then came my turn. And before I go into any deets..let me preface with one bit of info...I've been trying to grow my hair out for the last little bit..and by trying I mean it's just barely to my shoulders..which is the longest it's ever been. When you are blessed with thin, stringy hair, your hopes and dreams of long, flowing locks are realistically out of reach. But I've pushed thru..cuz I'm no quitter. Anywho...I think I had a come to Jesus moment and finally realized my hair would never be like all the Pantene commercials and so I went into my appointment ready to color and cut my hair back to my ol' chin length standard.

Then this happened...




And guys..I kinda love it. I had always talked with my hairdresser about getting extensions. Just to fulfill my lifelong dreams and to see what all the long hair hype was all about. But it ain't cheap and really? Was I really this vain? Why yes..yes I guess I am. But, I kinda got the best of both worlds..my hairdresser had some extensions that a lady had ordered and never picked up...so she gave them to me for a fab deal and we used them mostly to make my hair appear fuller so it really isn't a huge shocker. Baby steps right?

So there you have it..my fake hair..don't care confession. And if you have been wanting to grow hair in an instant for whatever reason..I'm giving it two thumbs up. Life's to short anyways right?

XO
Ashley

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Love the Crap Out 'Em...


You guys, we don't often take ourselves too seriously in this space.  I am proud of that and it makes me happy to have a spot to land softly on the Internet for a good harmless laugh at life.

But every so often I just feel inclined to say something of real substance - just to get it off my chest.  This is one of those times. 

Please be nice and err on the side of love.  I heard from two friends this past week about their encounters with negative people.  And I swear I was completely blind sided by it.  I literally thought that being rude to a sista was a thing of the past.
Robin Williams-- our sweet funny entertainer-- just passed away.  I can't stand that he was hurting so badly he couldn't see a way out of his fog.  It is a tragic reminder that we should never judge.  Life is too short and too fragile.

So seriously', lets not forget the ol' Thumper mantra...if you can't say something nice and uplifting, don't say anything at all.  But know that you CAN say and do positive things. In fact… I'd like to suggest we love the crap out of people. 
{And maybe if you see a frantic blonde lady in Kohl's who is picking up an entire jewelry display because one little dude in her posse wanted to show her "a pretty" that would look "boo-tiful" on her -- help her reassemble.}

Please, please be nice.
Get your "bake" on and share some zucchini bread today with a friend (if you planted it you know it's coming out your ears anyway).  Use this stellar recipe because it's the bomb dot com and it makes two large loaves.  One for you to devour in an embarrassing fashion when it comes hot out of the oven and one for a sister friend.
Lemon Zuchinni Bread
1 Cup Vegetable Oil (I use 1/2 Coconut and 1/2 Olive)
2 eggs
1 1/2 C White Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 TBLS Cinnamon
1 tsp Lemon Extract
3 Cups Shredded Zucchini
2 3/4 to 3 Cups Flour

Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 Minutes.

OK Then…
Thanks for indulging me.
I feel the love, already.
.XO.
Amber


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to School...

God (or maybe just the superintendent) really knew what he was doing when he gave us just a 3 month Summer Break. And I really have loved it. I love sleeping in (wait..what?), swimming for days on end, snow cones, vacations, tan lines, blonder hair..you know...all those good things that scream we don't have a schedule and can play our little hearts out?

And then came August..and my Summer world literally started falling apart. My kids seem to completely hate each other (more than normal) and I'm convinced it is their sole mission to make each other as miserable as possible. They play games like "who can make who scream and cry the loudest" or "tag..let me take your toys away from you"...it's awesome really. Do you sense my sarcasm? OK then.

And don't even get me started about the state my home has been in. It's worse than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I kid you not..this is how I left my house looking last night.




I thought about tackling the massive amounts of Lego's, Lalaloopsy dolls, dishes and clutter..but then I just was too overwhelmed and tired. So I shrugged my shoulders and went to bed. That my friends..is a sign of things gone south. Not that I go to bed every night with a sparkling clean home..but this is ridiculous. And as my mother-in-law would say, "what if Jesus comes tonight?" which, BTW... I think is a load of crap..I'm pretty sure the state of my house would be last thing on His mind if he decided to come to visit. But ya know..food for thought I guess ;)

 It just seems that as of late, I just can't keep on top of it all. Having all 5 kiddos home all the time is drowning me. So I've decided that there just comes a time when seasons of life are a good thing..because at my house, the season for school to start can not come fast enough. 

So, as fun as our Summer has been and as much as I love my kids, it is time! Time for school to start, summer to end and some sort of order to be restored in this casa..or this mama is gonna lose her more than just her cool.

Im sure moms everywhere feel the same way!

So good luck to all us ladies who still have one more week to tough it out and to those of you who have already begun a lovely routine with the kiddos back in school...we are just a little green with envy.

Is it just me or did mo seem a little too happy about the first day of school?  (Is it just me or is this so true!)

XO
Ash

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Be Careful What you Fish For...

I feel as if it's my moral obligation to remind you to set your DVRs for this weekend.
Sunday at 7pm on the Discovery Channel to be precise.
It's arguably the best week of television of the year...
It's SHARK WEEK.
Do I work for the Discovery Channel?  Sadly, no.  Bio Sciences weren't necessarily my weakest subject, but the gathering of data and creating bell curves?  Yeah - I don't do statistics.  So a career as a marine biologist wasn't in the cards.  {Not to mention my irrational fear of all things deep water}

But this week is the only way I can play along with our marine biology friends AND add fodder to my dreams/nightmares every night.  It's worth mentioning that I've only had a handful of dreams in my life that have been repeats.  Cucumbers in the garden morphing and turning into sharks in the water with mutant powers is definitely one of those dreams.  So shark week brings with it that kind of rush you get from doing something you don't really want to do, but you do it because it makes your pulse quicken and your blood pressure rise, so you end up liking it thanks to those weird endorphins?  Yep, that.
Like, I hate sharks (and other oceanic animals from the deep blue) but I love them.  But I don't love them a ton or in the way that I want to plant a smackeroo on their noggin'.  I just love the intrigue, the danger, the weird creatures that they are, the way they devour a fat and unsuspecting elephant seal in just a few bloody bites?  Geez, who am I?

I do live in Utah by choice.  One of the main reasons is that it's a mountain land - not a land of ocean and coastline.  And you know they're moving closer and closer to our shorelines than ever before, right?  Dude, that's a fact you would know if you partook in Shark Week like a pro, like myself.
Holy Jaws.

And not that I've researched it or anything, but I hear they find the biggest Great White they've ever encountered this year.  OH.BALLS.  I've seen the sharks they've found in past seasons (because I'm a shark week addict) and I can't imagine finding any bigger than some of them I've seen before).
Anyway, they say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem right?
Ain't gonna happen.

What is gonna happen is I'm gonna take careful notes and try to avoid islands of paradise where the most recent shark attacks have occurred and where the biggest mothers have been spotted.  And then I'll try not to hear the Jaws music in my head as I put on my skis at the lake this weekend.

Get stoked!  It's way more fun that way!
I may or may not be serving ocean themed goodies Sunday night.
Just sayin'.

XO
Amber