— 1 —

A while back I found this on Facebook and saved it:

facebook I wasn’t sure I really believed it at the time. I didn’t even believe it last week. I was so down everything I could think about to post for 7QT was depressing, so I just didn’t post at all.

— 2 —

 Boss bit me. It wasn’t like he tore off a finger or anything – I think I just woke him up from a dream and he was startled and disoriented enough to snap at me hard enough to draw blood. I cried hysterically. I cried so hard Michael wanted to take me to the ER. John woke up and came running in to see what had happened. When I finally calmed down enough to talk all I could get out was, “My life sucks and my own dog bit me!” Talk about the straw that broke the camel’s back! Poor Boss followed me around being especially sweet and cuddly for three days after that. He wouldn’t even let me go to the bathroom alone.

— 3 —

Then the next day there was evidently a national yellow jacket convention in our back yard. Michael found it while mowing the back yard. He came in swearing and pulling off his clothes, slapping at the nasty things the whole time. He was covered in them. And, of course, he’s allergic to bee stings.  Meanwhile, I was still in my pajamas (yes, it was late afternoon) and expecting a friend to arrive any minute with a free sample of an anti-aging cream I’d been seeing all over Facebook and was dying to try. Michael didn’t have an anaphylactic reaction, so I got my cream (yes, I’m selfish like that). Then I felt guilty, so I went out to spray the yellow jackets.  I got stung worse than Michael did. Turns out they’d taken over a huge gopher hole near the garage. We’ve learned a lot about treating stings and killing insects this week.

— 4 —

The cream, though – oh my, the cream! It’s called Nerium, and my skin looked and felt so much better after three days I called my friend up and told her I wanted to sell it. Since I didn’t have the money to buy the Starter Pack she loaned me some literature, took me to a party, suggested some You Tube videos, and gave me five bottles from her personal stash to sell. I have four more to sell, but I’m trying really hard, because this is a miraculous product. It also involves me getting dressed and getting out of the house at least once a week, and interacting with some really positive, upbeat, generous people. That’s exactly what I need right now. Honestly, it’s what’s gotten me out of bed the past several days. (Please email me if you want to buy a bottle – I swear you’ll love it!)

— 5 —

One day I got carried away and sat at the computer too long without taking breaks to rest my neck (I really need to every thirty minutes or so), and I paid for it the next day. But I’ve figured out that I actually can do some of this while lying down (like watching the You Tube videos or reading magazines), so I’m feeling pretty productive. Of course since I was doing something different during the day the dogs had to remind me when it was time for meals and potty breaks. They are on a very specific schedule. I was silently congratulating myself on having this whole dog schedule running like a well-oiled machine when I realized I hadn’t trained the dogs – they’d trained me. It’s humbling to realize where you really stand with your pets.

— 6 —

On another positive note, I did manage to successfully fax from my printer the other day. I know, it’s not that big a deal for most people. But I have some sort of mental block with it. I don’t do it often enough, so I never remember how, and then I never feel really sure that it worked. And I realize was a horrible housekeeper I am when I’m knee-deep in dust-bunnies behind the computer desk :/

— 7 —

With this coming Monday being Labor Day I wanted to share a tidbit I overheard on whatever news show Michael watches while he’s getting ready in the morning. Forty percent of Americans don’t take all the paid vacation they’ve earned each year because they are afraid doing so will cost them their jobs. What?! I realize I’ve never been part of cut-throat corporate America, but do you know how many people work their entire lives without a paid vacation? If you get vacation as a benefit of your job use it! Even if you don’t go anywhere spend some extra time with your family and friends. Life is short and there’s no such thing as job security – trust me on that.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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baby shower gifts

I’m very excited about an upcoming baby shower. I just love the Mom-to-be, and I’ve had the good fortune of watching her grow up since she’s the daughter of one of my best friends. This will be her first child, and her mother’s first grandchild, so excitement is high! When I told John, my fifteen-year-old, that Lydia was going to have a baby boy he looked stunned for a moment. Then he furrowed his brow and shook his head. “It just doesn’t seem possible that she’s married and now she’s going to have a baby. I remember when she was teasing me about having my first girlfriend and telling me about things she did in high school.” I managed not to fall on the floor laughing, but just barely. He sounded like some old grandfatherly type, surprised at how the young’uns grow up so fast nowadays.

Anyway, I was poring over her online registry, trying to decide what I wanted to get her. My go-to choice for first babies has always been a Boppy Pillow . I used mine while pregnant to sleep on my stomach, and afterward I simply could not nurse without it. These were the days before Boppy covers, mind you, so the whole thing had to go in the washer, and it seemed to take an eternity for that thing to wash and dry!
boppy
A recent favorite is Sophie the Giraffe, whom I am told by reliable sources is the best teether in the world, and many a toddler’s constant companion. I don’t know exactly what makes her so special, but if it soothes a teething baby the details are moot.
sophie
Then there’s one I have to give with instructions. Whether you call it woobie, minkie, blankie, whatever – it’s an exceptionally soft blanket with satin binding that’s not so big it would trip a toddler. My best friend gave me one for John after having good luck with her daughter’s. I put it in John’s little hands every time he went down for a nap or went to bed at night from the moment he came home. Soon just the touch of Woobie would have his eyes at half-mast. If I’d had one of these for Aaron it might not have taken us seven years to try for another child. What better gift can you give new parents than a good night’s sleep?
woobie
So what are your favorite baby shower gifts to give, or that you’ve received? And do you always shop from the registry, or are you the daring type who buys or makes something the parents would never think of?

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
gillette flexball razor
Clean-shaven is the hot look for men this summer, and achieving it is easier than ever with Gillette Fusion Proglide razors, especially the Flexball line! Come along on my #CollectiveBias adventure as my ever-patient youngest son tries it out for me :)
My fifteen-year-old son’s first homework assignment of the year included documenting his family tree. Lucky for him I had a book in the cedar chest Michael and I had been given as a wedding gift. It included space not only for an extensive family tree, but sports family members played, degrees conferred, and details of military service. Both sides of our family have plenty of military men, but here are a couple of my favorite in-uniform pictures that hang on the gallery wall in our living room:
Tom sr and jr
Michael’s grandfather is to the left and his father to the right. His eldest brother is also retired from the Air Force, and one of our nieces is engaged to a handsome Marine :) Although the military does not require its members to be clean-shaven every branch has strict rules about grooming and maintenance. It’s just one tiny part of the discipline, courage, and dedication our men and women in the Armed Forces display every day in not just their appearance, but their thoughts and behavior. One of the most touching moments of my eldest son’s college graduation was when those graduates who would be entering the Armed Forces came forward to be sworn in. I hoped that all the other graduates that day understood how much they would be depending on the young men and women in front of them to protect them, their families, and their way of life in the years to come.
With that on my mind as I went shopping at Walmart, looking for Gillette’s new Flexball razor (you’ll find it near the Pharmacy, by the way)
location in store
I wondered if there was a certain brand of razors, deodorant, etc that was supplied to deployed troops, if everyone brought their own, or how that worked. I’ll have to ask my brother-in-law. Anyway, if you’re making your own selection (at least at my local Walmart) you’ll see an almost overwhelming number of options!
gilette flexball display
I checked out the endcap display first, and when I turned the corner to look at the rest of the display I was greeted by this:

Being the nerd that I am, I had to hang around long enough to figure out if it was motion-activated or on a constant loop. This involved me standing around the corner and peering at it for several cycles. (It wasn’t motion-activated, I deduced) By this time my fellow shoppers were giving me a wide berth, which was fine. I had the aisle all to myself to make my decision. That was good, since there was everything from the most basic Flexball razor to a battery-powered one, to this one, which would surely meet anyone’s man-scaping needs for a #SmoothSummer.
fancy manscaping
Bargain shopper that I am, I had my coupons and sale ad handy.
on sale
Since I’d decided to use my fifteen-year-old as my guinea pig I selected one of the simpler razors, but one with battery power out of sheer curiosity. As any dermatologist will tell you, shaving and teen boys is a battle. There’s acne, patches of dry skin, areas of oily skin, overall sensitivity, and, if they aren’t diligent about sunscreen (and almost none of them are) sunburn. Here’s John – exhausted, sweaty, sunburned, scruffly, and too tired to even stand for a picture after a day at marching band camp. John’s the one if the foreground. That’s Boss in the background, and since I have to muzzle him for clipping nails I don’t think a shave is in his future.
john and boss unshaved
Add to this mix a lack of experience and whiskers that grow in clumps rather than a beard-like pattern and it can be a recipe for disaster. Oh, and throw Mom taking pictures in – because that’s what every fifteen-year-old boy wants. Here’s the serious during-the-shave post. Notice the orange light on the handle is on – that’s the battery that makes the head of the razor vibrate slightly.
shaving
Considering all that, John’s experience with his new razor went extremely well. Soft as a baby’s bottom, no nicks, and no irritated patches. We have a winner! Mom-approved :)
mom approved
As a matter of fact, my husband Michael was so impressed with the results that he bought himself the exact same model. He shaved in the morning, and his face was still so smooth that night that we had to close the doors to keep the dogs out – they both kept licking his face every time he started to fall asleep. Even dogs like their humans to have a smooth shave! And a gorgeous guy with a smooth shave is always in style. Just check out this Pinterest board:

Follow Hairspray and HighHeels’s board Smooth Faces of Summer on Pinterest.

I was pulled in by the pics of Ian Somerhalder from Vampire Diaries, my celebrity crush *blush*. So do you swoon over men in uniform? Scruffly? Clean-shaven? And if you’re the mom of a teen boy how do you deal with their special skin needs?

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