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Friday, August 30, 2013

Last Friday of Summer

I have nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

This post is going to be a bunch of nothing, really.

It's the kickoff of Labor Day weekend. At least here in the U.S. Which means it's unofficially fall. I'm pretty sure the other unofficial fall day was Tuesday with the Pumpkin Spice Latte coming back. So this is really just the farewell party for the non-Starbucks drinkers out there. Believe it or not, there are some.

By the way, totally ordered a grande iced coffee add white mocha AND pumpkin spice syrup with an additional 1 pump of cinnamon dolce and skim milk. A. May. Zing. Could have done a little less with the other pumps though, but I didn't care.

(Backpack all ready to go)

After the preschool orientation, we went to Target to get Pumpkin her back to school outfit and backpack. She picked 2. We were able to limit her backpack down to 1, but we have both outfits out for her to choose before we go today.

(Madison's first day outfit choices)

Snowflake didn't want left out of the backpack dress-up. She got some new shirts, too. I couldn't help it. Everything's so darn cute... and on sale.

In case you just can't wait to see what she picks out, you can follow me on instagram by clicking here: Instagram

I held it together pretty well at the orientation. It was easy enough since it was only an hour and half, and we were there the whole time. I actually think I was more nervous about G.G. watching Snowflake. But she said she cried for about a minute, watched some t.v. and fell asleep until we got there. So G.G. took a nap, too. That's definitely going to be the biggest adjustment with school: the waking up early part.

(Last night as a non-school goer)

Oh well.

You live; you learn. Then you start it all over again.

(Out of all her toys, she picks the squirrel to take with her)

Told you. A nice long post... about nothing. Enjoy your weekend. It's the last weekend you can wear summer white pants and swim (unofficially, of course), so enjoy that, too. I plan on it!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Era

Today's the day of a new era. Or the end of one. I'm not sure which.

It's the last day that Pumpkin doesn't go to school. Today is orientation day.

She officially starts tomorrow. But she's so excited to go to school today for the whole "meet the teacher" and figuring the stuff out day that it's kinda already starting.

We promised that after orientation she will get to pick out a new backpack and a back to school outfit all on her own. I almost think she likes that idea better than school itself.

I'm gonna cry and be a mess, but I'll wait until she doesn't see me. Probably while trying to type up tomorrow's post.

So since I obviously don't have photos yet (you did get this in your e-mail box around 1AM, right? School hasn't started yet), if you're interested, I have an Instagram account.

Also, a new era: I have a smartphone. I'm still figuring it out, but now I can have an Instagram account. Which is what I'm most happy about. So if you want to follow me along there and see my random daily postings (including today's), click here:

I hope that works.

Just so you can see what I'm adjusting from...

Yup... a normal, full keyboard so I can text phone, to an iPhone 5. This is HUGE.

Not only am I going from a regular phone to a smartphone, I've been using a phone that doesn't work when in high humidity for the past 16 months because of some potty training issues. So much so, that I have to put it on speaker phone to hear anyone, and a lot of times can only call my ICE contacts.

Wish me luck on this adventure (both phone and school) and follow me on Instagram. There will probably  be a lot of pictures of my kids. You know, the usual.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Avon's Calling

For my birthday, my Mom got me some Avon stuff that I picked out. I know, I only turned 29 and I'm buying Avon. I've bought things sporadically from there before, but nothing major.

This time around, I got hair products and make-up. How fun. Everything was on their popular lists, so I thought it couldn't hurt.

Advanced Techniques Damage Hair Repair Shampoo, Conditioner, and 3D Rescue Leave-In Treatment.

I've only used these once each (I just got them Monday) and so far I like it. I have damaged hair from dyeing it pretty regularly for the past 15ish years. I also have very thin hair. So, I was worried it would make me greasy instead of just smoother. Definitely wasn't the case. I was able to feel a difference before I finished rinsing my hair out in the shower and it still feels smoother a day later. My hair seems like it'll get a little bit greasier faster, but it still lasted a day before feeling like a greaseball.

This lipstick is the Shine Attract Shimmer Lipstick in Rose Shimmer. It's the color the model is wearing on the site, so I thought it should be a safe color. It's a bit bolder than I'm used to, and it tastes a bit like hairspray. But I haven't found too many lipsticks that taste good. The bad taste makes me not lick my lips as much though, which in turn keeps it on a good amount. So staying power's pretty good and the color's not too bad. It looks better on Pumpkin though (she wanted to try it), so I might just need to practice getting the right coverage with it. It's buildable, too. The above on my hand is about 3 swipes of color.

Next up is Glimmersticks Liquid-Glide Eye Liner in Graphite. It goes on so smoothly, no pull at all. But I don't know if it's the heat or the humidity or what, but it chunks off sometimes if you press a smidgen too hard (you can see a piece on the left side of the line). It's a pretty color though. Classic like black, but not as contrasting to my fair coloring.

This is smudging it right after I took the picture of the solid line. So it smudges nicely.

And this is waiting a little while longer and trying pretty hard to smudge it off without water or anything. This is NOT waterproof and my hand was starting to hurt from the pressure of rubbing it off, so it definitely has staying power. Will it last through allergy season and a sappy chick-flick? No. But a normal day at the office? Most likely.

I also ordered the Mega Effects Mascara. You don't see it, because they sent that Skin So Soft Original Body Lotion instead. That was a big disappointment, because ever since it was a Bobby's Buzz on the Today show with Hoda and KLG, I wanted to try it. But they're sending the mascara out to me, so I'll have it later. 

The lotion isn't bad, a bit thin but I can't wear lotions anyway. They end up wearing me. But the girls love it, so its not a total loss.

So that's that. Don't worry. I don't wear make-up enough to post too many make-up reviews. I was just so excited to get Avon products. It's like I was inducted to the "big-girl make-up club". I know, I'm weird.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Guess what today is? Come on.... guess. Yup! Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks. TODAY. The day after my birthday. I guess you can't get everything you want on the anniversary of your birth.

Well, at least at our favorite Starbucks, it's here today. So hopefully it is where you are, too.

This means a lot. It means it's officially fall, glorious fall! At least in the Starbucks lovers' book of seasons. Some people tell the seasons apart by the calender. Some by the weather. Some by what's available in stores. I go by the Starbucks menu. And the welcoming flavors of the Pumpkin Spice Latte means it's fall.

Apparently, some people didn't know that you can customize your Starbucks drinks. I do all the time and everywhere I go. I'm known as the "girl that changes everything." Maybe not, but I very well might as well be.

So, without further ado, I give you some new Starbucks recipes in honor of the pumpkin spice syrup and fall. (All recipes are copied from the links I have connected with the titles.)

Chocolate Pumpkin Latte

Ask for Pumpkin Latte plus 2 extra pumps of Chocolate syrup. More or less according to the flavor you want. Yes, these recipes are just that easy.

Apple Pie Frappuccino

This one's a little more complicated.

Fill to the first line with Cream. Fill to the second line with Apple Juice.
1-2 pumps of Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
1-2 pumps of Caramel syrup
Fill with ice then blend
Top with Whipped Cream, Caramel Drizzle, and some crumbled Biscotti for crunch if you would like.

Butterbeer Frappuccino

Ask for a Creme Frappuccino. Add 2-3 pumps each Caramel Syrup and Toffee Nut Syrup. Caramel Drizzle on top.
This one was for you, Harry Potter fans.

Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino

Ask for the Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino. Add 2 pumps of Cinnamon Dolce Syrup.

There's about a million more "hacks" for the Starbucks' menu at Hack the Menu: Starbucks.

I don't care much for frappes. Too much ice and not enough coffee for me, but I've learned that most frappes can be made as hot or iced coffees, and vice versa. My go-to drink right now is a Grande Ice Coffee add Cinnamon Dolce and White Mocha with skim milk, no extra sweetener. It's very on the sweet side, and sometimes they add a little to much syrup, so it needs stirred more. But soo yummy and not to expensive either.

So, welcome fall. Welcome Pumpkin Spice Latte. And welcome to all of you that now have new flavors to try. Be creative. Enjoy your drink.

P.S. Did you know that if you use your Starbucks Card, you can get FREE refills on hot or iced coffee/tea if you stay in the store? It makes the drinks even cheaper if you stay in the store, buy a tall, and keep getting refills. You just have to pay for the syrups.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival

This past weekend was the opening of Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival. They're open every weekend from now til September 29th. Plus Labor Day.

It's definitely not something for everyone, and we personally don't think our kids are ready for it, yet. But we have a blast when we go.

It's been 2 years since we've last gone, and some things have changed a bit. They expanded, but it could be filled up a little more. Cast In Bronze has been moved to the end of this new section, giving him a lot more room and privacy. Yes, THE Cast In Bronze that was on America's Got Talent last year. It's one of Brian's favorite, though I find the music beautiful but hauntingly scary.

The Washing Well Wenches were back. I love them. I've seen their show a million times and I laugh every time. Even the ones I know. They're just "good clean fun", although I don't think children should be there. Or at many of the shows period. A lot of "clean" jokes. Even so, I can't help but to love them.

Brian's favorite act is The German Brothers. They listed them as "new this year" so they must have taken a break last year because we know we've seen them before. They're also "inappropriate", but borderline so. These are 2 rappers I love watching perform.

Ye Klass Klowne was a new show for us. He's crazy. Frighteningly so. Couldn't take my eyes off of him. I know there's more danger acts out there, but we're in the middle of woods and he's throwing fire around while balancing on a ball as if he was in the middle of the ocean. I loved every second of it.

And of course, we mustn't forget about the jousting. They seemed to have been a little more daring this year with the violence, but it's jousting. Anything less, and it's just horseback riding. I love them. I love watching them. I love cheering, booing, and pretending like all of that matters.

There's so many more "acts" and stores around, that I can't see it all or type something about all of them without sounding like a broken record. It's all just amazing and fun. So I'm just going to put up some more photos of some of the other things going on.

(Love LOVE LOVE her work. She's The Wandering Muse. And I can't wait for her to draw a picture of the girls for us.)