Monday, January 28, 2013

Wrap Snap and Go Hair Rollers

I admit it. I see infomercials for As Seen on TV products, and I am mesmerized. Mouth agape, eyes round and glassy, I must have this amazing product. Sometimes I am impressed, sometimes sorely disappointed.

This time, I did not even have the opportunity to be entranced by the infomercial. I spotted the rollers on my weekend thrift store adventure. They appeared to be brand new and unused, and at 99 cents, the price was right. My daughter is always looking for some good curl for her straight hair, so I thought these might be worth a try.

Our first attempt was a total flop. After her shower, she towel-dried her hair and I rolled it up. After a night of sleep, I unrolled the hair. It was still wet, and not curly. Not at all. Boo. Ever hopeful, we tried it again last night, this time after blow drying her hair until it was just barely damp. This morning, we were delighted to see lots and lots of springy curls!

I imagine that any rollers would do the trick, but there are several things that I do really like about these. 1)They are comfortable to sleep in because there are no hard plastic parts. 2)Since there is nothing on top of the hair holding it onto the roller, there is no ridge in the hair from where the rod or clamp would have been. I give the Wrap and Snap Rollers an A+!

I've never bought something directly from the As Seen on TV website, but I have heard of people doing this with terrible consequences, from credit card issues to spam email and constant phone calls. If you don't happen to be as lucky as I was and find these babies at a thrift store or yard sale, you can purchase them at Walgreen's without the unfortunate side effects of dealing with a company that doesn't always have the best reviews.

Have any of you tried these? What other hair-curling methods have you found that really do the trick? I'd love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Yes, it is. But not too cold to hoop!  I took a clue from the weather when deciding on music to hoop to for Hoopcity's Flow Challenge December 2011. I'd begun the challenge hooping to Enigma's "Sadeness," which I absolutely love, but somehow I wasn't feelin' it, so I called on Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and they didn't disappoint.

The challenge was sustained spinning, meaning your body spins the whole time. It's harder than it looks.. the body tends to react in a very dizzy way! So I'm a bit stumbly, but I swear I haven't been hitting the eggnog early!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Budget Bytes: (not) refried beans $2.75 recipe / $0.31 serving

Budget Bytes: (not) refried beans $2.75 recipe / $0.31 serving: Have you ever had refried beans that were so good that you wanted to just eat them plain out of a bowl? If you've been getting them out of ...

I made these Not Refried Beans today. I am so pleased with the results that I wanted to share with you here!

I followed the directions exactly, using the full amount of jalapeno and chili powder, and it wasn't at all too spicy. I was way too impatient to smoosh the beans by hand-- and holy cow, a two-pound bag of dried beans makes a LOT of beans-- so I used a food processor to make them all nice and creamy.

We put them on flour tortillas to make burritos. I added cheese and hot sauce to the burritos. They were absolutely delish, and the kids loved them too. Afterwards, my daughter had another bowl of just the beans with shredded cheese sprinkled on!

I mentioned that this recipe makes a ginormous amount of beans.. I have some in the fridge for the next day or two, and more in the freezer. I'm told that you can freeze them in burrito form for convenient microwavable burritos. Like the ones at the store, except yummy and unprocessed.

The whole Budget Bytes blog is amazing.. I have also made pumpkin smoothies and hummus from recipes on that blog. I love how they cost everything out, and the step by step pictures are really nice too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Google Voice

I've just started using Google Voice, and so far I am really liking it. Here is my quick 'n dirty overview:
  • You get to pick from a list of phone numbers
  • You can use your existing cell phone number
  • Very easy to set everything up from the Google Voice website
  • Your one number can be used with multiple phones-- so theoretically this could be your phone number forever and ever regardless of how many times you get a new phone or new carrier
  • You can call and text from the site or from your phone
  • You can set up groups that get unique greetings
  • Excellent call screening that can be turned off or on, or can be customized depending on what "group" the person calling is in
  • You can add a call widget to your website, so that when people click it, google voice will call you and then call the person. They never see your number. 
I am one of the last people in the world without a cell phone (well, in a first world country, anyway), so the most awesome thing for me is that I can text from the website. People are always saying, "text me" and I have to go into the whole "I don't have a cell phone" thing. Now I can send and receive texts. Yay! Also, if I ever do get a cell phone, I can continue to use google voice, simply adding the new phone, and my phone number will not change. Win!

Good reading about Google Voice:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weddings Should Be HAPPY

I really hate the trend lately where women think it's okay to act like a total butthole about their wedding. It doesn't  make you look cool or chic-- but rather shows bad character. Nobody is amused.

To ensure that I would not be a stressed-out, miserable, angry mess of a bride, I came up with a very simple plan. What I wanted to accomplish (WHY I wanted a wedding), things I needed, and things I'd like to have. 

 Here is why I wanted a wedding:
  • To celebrate the decision to spend my whole life with the one I love
  • To share this celebration with those closest to us
These are the things I needed:
  •  A venue
  • A preacher
  • A wedding dress that looked great on me
  • A suit for hubby
These are the things that I wanted:
  • A sit-down meal as a reception
  • A cake
  • Small gifts for each guest
  • Photographer
  • A bouquet
  • Pretty decor
I found a package at a wonderful bed and breakfast just outside of Helen, GA that offered a preacher, cake, flowers, sit-down lunch, and gorgeous scenery, well within my budget. (Plus an extra night's stay for honeymooning in Alpine Helen!) All we had to do was show up.  Photographer was out of my budget, but there were 3 digital cameras among our guests, so we did get some very nice pictures.

I made lovely gifts for the guests (our immediate family). I put caladium bulbs and sparkly white confetti in wine glasses, covered in tulle, and tied with curled ribbon.

I did not even ASK what the color scheme was, what the flowers looked like, or what the cake looked like. Had never seen that stuff until I arrived an hour before the ceremony-- and it was all beautiful. The cake was small, fitting for our party of 10, and elegant, with real flowers picked from the venue's property on it. This was also where my bouquet came from, and it was gorgeous.

I could go on and on... But mostly I will say that we had a fantastic time. Probably my favorite day EVER. The ceremony was brief, but meaningful-- we weren't worried about anything, just focused on one another. The casual lunch afterwards with my family and his was so special and so fun. There was so much love and happiness.It was a day I will remember forever with a big smile and a warm heart.

What a shame it would have been if I had pitched a fit because the flowers were dark purple instead of light purple, or not had my precious little nephews there because they might make a noise-- and hurt my sister in law in the process. If I had spent that day being stressed out because some tiny thing wasn't exactly as I planned it, or being angry because of something utterly unimportant.

Television is glorifying really ugly behavior from brides. So impress upon your daughters, your grandchildren, your nieces the importance of good character. Teach them to be beautiful, happy, compassionate, graceful, and grateful brides.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cheap summer fun with the kids: Coffee shop patio

This one's not completely free, but it doesn't break the bank, and it's one of my absolute favorite family activities. 

Jaaxx and I gather up the two kids and head to the bookstore or library, pick out something brand-new to read (or sometimes we're already reading on something) and hit the local coffee shop. We choose a nice spot on the patio, and the kids and I settle in with our reading materials while Jaaxx orders coffee for the grownups and hot chocolate for the kiddos.

Going to the coffee shop may not sound thrilling, but we always have such a good time. There's the change of scenery, people watching, and warm sunshine. There is the little rush that we all get from just having picked out a brand new book or magazine to dig into. There's the sharing and conversation between the whole family that always ends up happening. One of us will read something interesting and share, or one of the kids will have a question about something they read, or something interesting will happen around us.

A free variation on this would be to take a big thermos of beverage, some cups, and reading materials from the library to a public space like a park or court yard. In fact, our library itself has benches outside that would do the trick.

For more cheap summer fun, see my earlier post: Mom, I'm Bored: Free Summer Entertainment

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pinterest: I can't get enough!

I'd been hearing rumors for a while in the crafting community about a site called Pinterest where you have your own virtual "cork board" on which to "pin" up pictures of things you like or found interesting. I think I attempted to check it out once before, but was turned off by the fact that you have to request an invite and be put on a waiting list.

Last night, I bit the bullet and signed up for an invite. I immediately received an email informing me that I was on a waiting list, and BTW, you might want to explore a few "pinboards." Ho-o-leeee cow. I clicked on the link to pinboards, and it was all over for me for hours! And I'm not even a member yet!

DIY has it's own category. The place is a mecca of how-to's and tutorials. I was 100% mesmerized. At 2am, I made my own pore strips. I bookmarked pages to show me how to make cute Halloween costumes for the kids, how to make all-natural pesticides for the garden, how to make scratch-off tickets, how to make a skirt from a men's button-down shirt. My mind was racing with all the awesome things that I want to do, and OMG, as soon as possible!

Bottom line: Check out Pinterest. Just do it. It makes you manic.