Showing posts with label Best of the Interwebs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best of the Interwebs. Show all posts

Saturday, January 04, 2014

yours, mine, & ours: best of 2013


I was reading Dooce's year-in-review post a few days ago and was reminded that it's time again to do our year-end round-ups. 2013 was my third year blogging on a regular basis, so this will be my third year-in-review post (see 2012 and 2011). Time flies when you're writing about daily life!

2013 was the first year I felt like a real grownup, with a home of our own that feels like ours and a family that is growing in our lovely traditions and routines. This summer saw an unexpected  and delightful revival of my summer camp counselor days, and in the fall I began to discover where my voice might fit into the written world.

I am grateful for these days.

Monday, November 04, 2013

the ultimate healthy living sale!

Now that we own a Kindle, I have gotten into reading e-books. They are so inexpensive and don't require me to return them to the library! I especially love when these bundles of lots of books go on sale. You know how much I love a good bargain.

I've never signed on to promote a bundle before, but I love the idea of supporting the authors of healthy living ebooks because that's my own favorite writing topic. Plus this bundle really is a heck of a deal, and I don't put out that stamp of approval lightly.




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

la pharmacie


When we were in St. Martin, I made a wonderfully random decision. I decided to shop at the French pharmacies on the island (half is French, the other half Dutch) to purchase some fancy beauty products. I have no idea where the thought originated because I am truly the last person on earth to spend lots of money on myself, especially on girly stuff from a drugstore. But boy am I glad I did. So glad, in fact, that now I stare longingly at my bottles of delicious and feminine smelling French oils and sprays and wonder how I could ever do without them.

It's not entirely accurate to say I don't know how I got the idea because it actually came from reading two of my favorite blogs, Goop and Design Mom. Gwyneth Paltrow wrote about her favorite French products, and then Gabby purchased them and wrote about her favorites (here and here) within GP's original picks. However, I had read both posts a year ago and never thought of them again until I saw the bright green neon sign. I guess they had made an impression on me!

I'm sharing the three products I purchased, plus one that I received as a sample and mourned the quick passing of. I'll just share the links to where Design Mom discusses them because there's no need to redo their work.

1. Huile Prodigieuse: It calls itself a "multi-purpose dry oil for the face, body, and hair." My hair would look like I hadn't bathed ever in my life if I sprayed it on, but it works wonders on Charlie's curly and somewhat frizzy locks. I, on the other hand, spray it on my body after I take a shower and bask in the lovely aroma. It truly is dry, in that the moment I stop rubbing it in, I don't even need to wash my hands. I mean it when I say I love this stuff so much, I almost don't even want to tell you about it. The fact that I can get it on Amazon is LIFE CHANGING. It's only $33, and it lasts forever. Trust me (and Nate!) when I say if you are a woman--or if you are a man who is married to a woman--you need this in your life immediately. It would make a great stocking stuffer too.

2. Bioderma Crealine H20 solution micellaire: Nothing on this bottle is written in English, but it is an eye makeup remover. I like it better than my normal stuff because it never stings, doesn't smell, and doesn't take as much wiping to get the makeup off. Incidentally, we also used to it to take the sting out of Nate's hands after he chopped a bunch of spicy peppers for me to pickle. It worked like a charm.

3. Avene Eau Thermale: As far as I can tell, this is just a can of water, but it feels amazing after I've been in the sun all day or if I need to perk up in the morning. GP and Gabby say they use it for keeping makeup in place. I honestly have no idea what this means. Maybe it's for people who wear foundation. You can get it on Amazon, but I would stick to buying it in the store if you're ever in a French-speaking country.

4. Meso+ anti-aging serum by Laboratories Filorga (not pictured): This is the sample I received, and it smells almost as good as the Huile Prodigieuse and is even better on my face. It's like rubbing your face with a rose and leaves it feeling soft and moisturized but not oily. I can't say that I will spend what it takes to replace it, but the dream was heavenly while it lasted.

Are you still reading? Anyway, in the past I have struggled with the idea of what beauty is and what lengths I should go to in achieving it. Now I think I have struck a good balance of not becoming too obsessed with transient beauty but also spending a little money and time on myself to be more comfortable in my skin.

What do you think about beauty products? Do you have any you can't do without? Do you feel guilty spending money on yourself?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

{girl rising}: go see it!

I never embed videos in the blog two days in a row, but the exception is worthwhile because this film is itself so exceptional:



I saw it a few nights ago at our town's tiny theater with girlfriends. Find a theater near you to see it for yourself. I recommend taking your daughters too, so long as they are 13 or older. There are stories of sexual violence and a child giving birth in the film, but they are handled with discretion for the sake of minors watching. A few moms and seventh graders were leaving the theater next to us, and I overheard one say to the other, "Oh thank goodness! I was worried about where we were headed for a moment, but I think it was just perfect." I couldn't have said it better myself. Powerful, inspiring, important.

If, like me, you leave the theater wondering how you can donate, check out this website. The issue of girls' education is one that is dear to my heart. When I left Kenya the second time, I tried to assist in the creation of a Kenya girls' education fund, and I learned much about the process of becoming a NGO, as well as other great life lessons. Now in my thirties, I'm happy to see there's an organization doing good work in this needed area. I hope that some day, girls won't have to live their lives on the street, selling their bodies to feed their hungry families.

I wrote about this girl in a post last year

Thursday, March 14, 2013

p.s. I'm not raising toilets either

Among members of my dad's family, there are some well-known parenting phrases that came from my great grandmother, who had eight children and lived to be 92. It's hard to pick a favorite. When asked how she raised so many children so well, she always replied "With one blind eye and one deaf ear." I love that one because it's basically the only way I've stayed sane since becoming a mom.

The one I've got on my mind this week is "I'm raising children, not furniture." She would say it whenever one of the kids would spill, break, or generally mistreat an object in her home. I love it because it's so true! Whatever angry outburst that I am inclined to have when my kids break something is never worth it compared to the positive and lasting worth of the patience and love I can show them instead.

 photo ae6eefaf-4857-441b-8d8d-6994310809d8_zps42ef99b7.jpg

That's not to say I don't erupt from time to time, like when they combined forces to make the toilet overflow yesterday, just so they could "use the potty fixer thing like Mommy does," and I walked in to find water drowning the floor, the kids, and my humility. La di da, la di da.

I find another use of this phrase--perhaps unintended by Great Grandma--is an internal mantra when I'm pondering whether to play with my kids or clean up. Tonight we voted for playing dominoes at the dining room table instead of doing the dishes. And so, okay, dishes aren't furniture, but the general meaning is the same.

Random assortment of above-the-sink collectibles. Items change weekly but never disappear completely.


The likely reason I've got the phrase on my mind this week is that instead of doing my nightly cleaning and organizing, I've been writing and reading. I have gotten back into the swing of writing every day, even if it's only a paragraph, and I'm immensely enjoying myself. NaBloPoMo (the blogging every day thing) really helps me get the gears turning. Tonight I'm doing more reading than writing, since I am doing my part to vote for The Bloggies. Check it out, but don't say I didn't warn you about the potential for time suckage.

Be well and stay dry,
~J

Saturday, January 26, 2013

on saying yes

Image credit: Fwallpapers.com


Did y'all read Tina Fey's article in the Huff Post? I loved every word and read it twice. In fact, I just went back and read it a third time after writing the last sentence. She is a smart lady. Despite some criticism I heard before reading it, I also liked Bossypants. A devotee of 30 Rock, I pretty much adore everything she puts her stamp on.

Back to that article. I don't normally consider myself a yes woman. I don't go out on a limb. I play it safe. I'm not a trendsetter. I'm not an early adopter of technology, books, hairstyles, TV shows, leisure activities, or food. I suppose the only exception to that rule could be health trends, but I don't count that area because you're supposed to adopt trends in your field early. It's called a job.

Lately, as part of a non-resolution-resolution, I decided to pay attention to whether I'm saying yes or no to the opportunities that come my way and say yes to them when I can. That is, when my answer as to why I want to say no is lame, I say yes. This practice is harder than I thought it'd be, and it means I'm trying LOTS of new things.

Drink caffeine?
Yes. 

Learn childbirth education?
Yes!

Help organize the church auction?
Yes? 

Sprout potatoes for seed?
Yikes...okay.

Eat canned fish that isn't tuna?
Erm, I guess so. 

Have you tried anything lately that you hesitated to do at first? How'd it turn out? I have a hunch Ms. Fey is correct that saying yes just might make the difference for becoming a successful person. Well, that and 10,000 hours.

Pricey caffeinated loose tea and caramels? Yes, please!


Friday, September 14, 2012

did you read? {4}: lazy edition

Sweet thrift store finds for my future tweens.

Hey peeps,
Today I'm going to do that thing where bloggers phone in their post, i.e. share stuff they liked that week and don't say anything very poignant about it. I, however, typically love these phoned-in posts, so I hope you'll enjoy a few of my internet loves for your weekend browsing. You can read other more cleverly written {did you read?} posts here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chuck Norris believes it's not butter

The closet of doom, aka. the office closet.

I know I really should be paying attention to areas in my home like the closet above, but how can I begin tackling these kinds of projects when my Google Reader tells me I have 1000+ unread articles?

Sunday, April 01, 2012

canning round-up [squared] & my first of many mistakes

Making yogurt is easy.

I'm beginning with the above affirmation, both because it's the message I want you to walk away from this post with and because I am adopting it as a new mantra after my less-than-easy first experience. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As part of my Urban Farm Handbook challenge, I made it a goal to make yogurt (in keeping with the dairy theme of March) by the end of the month. It was a modest goal considering all I technically needed to take on the task was...leftover yogurt with active cultures and milk. Seriously, that's all. I say 'technically' because I knew there a few other items that would make the experience more user-friendly, so I opted to grab some canning jars and a jar-extractor-thingy from my favorite local hardware store.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

rollin' with my homies

Future surgeon, or future nerd?
Ha! Yeah, I went there with the ridiculous post title. Blame my cocktail (Gosling's black rum, grapefruit juice, ice. Muy delicioso). Who could resist, when the Apartment Therapy blog awards are called "The Homies"? A bunch of fantastic blogs are on these nomination lists, including yours truly on the Best Family Blog list. I recommend settling in and spending some time checking out these links. I've already discovered a great blog called bleubird. I'm late to the party, but what's new on the old frontier?

And hey, while you're on there, why not do a quick clickey-poo vote for my blog? You have to sign up for a free account, but it takes all of a few seconds, and Apartment Therapy is way worth the quick sign in. If you haven't seen their site yet, you're in for a night of some fun surfing. You're welcome!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday link love

                                                                                    Source: designcrushblog.com via Justine on Pinterest


My dad is coming in town tomorrow, so I'm changing things up a bit and sharing my linky love today instead of Friday. Look out tomorrow and Friday for my guest posts by Alice and Emily. I'm super excited they are stopping in to chat with us.

Are you as sad as me that we have to wait until September for the new season of Downton Abbey? I'm still walking on air after the Season 2 finale, which I may or may not have watched twice. Did you hear Shirley Maclaine is playing Lady Grantham's mother next season? I don't generally squeal, but if I did, now would be the time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

s'more Friday linky love...mmmm, s'mores....

                                                                                    Source: simplesong.typepad.com via Justine on Pinterest


Friday, February 10, 2012

sharing is caring: linky love

Hi everyone! Hope you've had a great week. Beantown seems relatively perky after the disappointing loss by the Pats at the Super Bowl. Here are some links to love for your Friday:


Pin It


A friend shared the site for this crafty blogger who's making stuffed animals out of children's drawings! I WANT ONE.

One of my favorite cookbooks, The Beekman 1802, has a website with recipes, blogs, forums, shopping, and more. Pardon me while I go browsing...I'll resurface again eventually.

Did you see Design Mom's Old Navy Giveaway? I think I might just be able to purchase clothes for the rest of my kids' childhood with $500.

I have already started logging when and where the spring consignment sales will be near me. Have you?

Do you read Family Sponge? It's a rabbit hole of parenting goodness.

I am already beginning plans for Vivi's birthday party, possibly because she wants to discuss it fourteen trillion times a day. More soon. I think we'll serve pink lemonade with these adorable mason jar lids and straws. Maybe I'll add some cookies or cheese crackers.

Editor's Note: This post is a part of 5 Minutes for Mom's Pin It Friday.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

a little humor helps

A few things have crossed my path this week which have given me true laugh-out-loud moments (I mean really, how many times do we LOL when reading a text message?), so I thought I'd share them with you. The first is one that my trusty friend Is it Old? told me is so old it's dead, but I don't care. I'm sharing it anyway! Maybe some of you are even slower at me to be introduced to funny things on the interwebs. It is a website called The Oatmeal; it came to us from someone in Nate's office who thought of him when they read this brain comic. I have been going back to it occasionally for more laughs (see here, or actually, all of these), and it never fails.

My second share is a book I read much of while we watched football this weekend:

Wishful DrinkingWishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Carrie Fisher is as delightfully self-deprecating and honest as she is hilarious and insightful. I so rarely get to use the word salacious, but it certainly applies in her accounts of past relationships. I typically shun the autobiographical works of celebrities, but I so loved her talented semi-autobiographical novels that I've read (Postcards from the Edge and Surrender the Pink) that I couldn't wait to read the real deal. Who wouldn't want to know more about a marriage to Paul Simon?

One seldom finds someone with mental illness who is willing to share the details of their struggle in such an open and eloquent way. I agree with the New York Post that "she has expert comic timing and, perhaps more importantly, better stories than most drug addicts." She describes her experience with the mood swings of manic-depression/bipolar disorder, and I sympathize with how troubled her existence must be at times.

My only minor criticism is that she went into a bit more detail than I cared to know about her parents' relationships, but I imagine this addition was for the benefit of the curious generations before me (her parents are the Hollywood celebrities Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher). It is a trivial complaint and one that's easy to forgive given how quickly I read the book. I immediately got her newest book "Shockaholic" so I can continue learning of her tales of having ECT, i.e. electro-convulsive shock therapy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

adorable kittehs

Circa 2002. Scope out the sweet 'burns Nate was sporting.

There is no point to this post other than wasting some time, so if you're on a busy schedule, move it along. Nothing to see here. But if you're looking for time suckage and are a cat lover, look no further. Check out kitteh roulette!

I know you've been waiting with breath that is bated for an update on our geese situation, so I won't keep you anticipating. We continue to have every Canada goose on the planet at our local playground by the pond, and we now have every swan too. Swans are so breathtakingly beautiful, and I've never been privileged to see more than two at once, so I've been enjoying the show. I'd also never seen them get ready to fly before. Have you? It's quite an awkward spectacle not befitting such a graceful bird. They run, actually RUN, across the water for like a mile before finally taking off. Think I'm making it up? See here! Proof that God has a sense of humor.

I'm just full of animal videos today, aren't I? While we're at it, did you ever see video of the hamster eating broccoli? It's worth a gander.

Happy Hump Day! Hope your week's going well.
Toodles,
~J

Friday, September 16, 2011

priorities

I've got no shortage of activities to keep me busy while Nate's out of town.

My bedside table is fully stocked with good reads (Jon Krakauer's "Where Men Win Glory" and Tina Fey's "Bossypants"), I've got movies from the library (finally checked out "La Vie en Rose" and also re-rented "It's Complicated" just for laughs), and I recently discovered all of the episodes of The History Channel's "American Pickers" are available to watch instantly on Netflix.

But I can already feel myself slipping back down the rabbit hole of the Interwebs. Right when I had begun managing my obsession with Pinterest, along comes another too-fun, time-sucking website, this time a mock blog written from the point of view of Suri Cruise, in which she puts down other children of celebrities for their sloppy attire.

Who needs intelligent books when I've got satire mixed with gawking at unwanted paparazzi shots of celebrities' kids? Surely a wicked combo. I should feel ashamed, but instead I'm sharing it with you. You're welcome!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm sorry, did you say something?...

If I didn't respond to your email or answer my phone or come to the knock at the door, it's because I have fallen in love with Pinterest. It may be the coolest thing ever to have graced the Interwebs and has rapidly become my favorite activity during nap time. You can "pin" anything you find that has an image associated with it, like a recipe, a nifty craft project, or an inspiration for a room in your house. So long disorganized magazine clippings, hello Pinterest. You should check it out! But don't say I didn't warn you about the potential for time suckage...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

need some help wasting time?

I'm too busy wasting time on the internet to write anything poignant. Two websites that have become daily reads for me in the last week are:

1) STFU, Parents! I definitely need an occasional reminder that just because my kids are the center of my universe right now doesn't mean everyone should hear about their every poop or temper tantrum. Hilarious and true.

2) Damn you, Auto Correct! Even though I don't have a smartphone, I can still appreciate this humor. Ok, ok, maybe they are fake, but who cares? Don't be a killjoy!

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