Yaíll. I couldnít be more excited about the review I am doing today. First, I was excited because it was for… (wait for it, wait for it, wait for it)… TARGET! It’s like the mother ship has called me home! I am probably the most frequent Target shopper ever. I do my grocery shopping there, my birthday present shopping there, my clothes shopping there, my kids shopping there. I’m there a LOT. So, I was pretty stoked to be doing a review for Target in the first place.
But then I read the email about the product they were asking me to review. BEAUTY PRODUCTS!!! As my Grandma says, I was tickled pink! They sent me this little box full of a beauty line by makeup guru Sonia Kashuk that is available at Target. I used everything right there on the spot in my living room on my couch. I put on the Illuminating Bronzer (which I have now switched to after years of being a MAC girl), beautiful eye shadow with sparkle to it that is somehow still appropriate for adults to wear (remind me to tell you later about those years in high school when I went through a glitter phase with my friends and literally rolled glitter glue all over my face until my parents said I had to stop because I looked like a stripper… this isnít that kind of glitter, folks), and nail polish in gorgeous summer colors.
I was all prepared to rave about it all because I loved it all, but then I read the email again and realized all I had to review was the Sonia Kashuk Nail Colour! So, that is what I will review. But in my heart, I know that I love the whole line. So does my face. And my toenails.
The nail polish came at a great time for me because it’s in the 90s every day here and sandal season is in full swing. I have been badly in need of a pedicure, but you know how it goes with money and daycare and groceries and purchases of onesies for my soon-to-be nephew. The pedicure kept getting pushed to the back of the necessities list. But with the Sonia Kashuk Nail Colour, the opaque coverage is so thick and shiny that it looks like I had a pedicure in just one coat of polish. Fo’ reals.
Plus, it does not chip. At all.
I am terrible with pedicures because I chip them usually in the same day. But here is the day that I received the product almost three weeks ago…
And here is a picture of my toes today…
There is not one chip, and it’s still shiny, too! I figured I’d try all three colors over a few weeks so that I could review them, but this darn polish hasn’t chipped at all! And I love this color, so I haven’t had any desire to change it. It’s called Golden Ticket Nail Colour and it matches all of my summer sandals.
But just for you guys, I changed my polish tonight to show you the other two colors. I sacrifice so much for you all. I used the Tango Mango on my toes and they look delicious! These are definitely beach toes. You can’t lose these puppies in the sand.
And here are my nails with Fairy Princess Nail Colour. I’ve never been one for colors on my fingernails, but this is so subtle that I actually really love it. It adds a little punch to my everyday style, I think. And my students said it makes me look cool, so that’s something.
Overall, I can’t rave about these enough. And not just because they were from Target, although my devotion to that holy place is strong enough that I would have raved even if they’d told me to paint my nails in water and then review it. They just made my job much easier because this polish is so great.
As if all of this isnít fun enough, BlogHer is generously offering a $100 Target GiftCard to one lucky reader in a sweepstakes giveaway between June 4 and 30! To be entered to win, leave a comment below answering the question ìWhat new nail polish trends are you most interested in?î For more color selections and to view her entire Target line, you can visit her website by clicking here. Each comment posted generates an automatic entry into the sweepstakes.
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 6/4 to 6/30.
Be sure to visit the sponsor’s brand page on BlogHer.com, where you can read other bloggersí reviews and find more chances to win!
I wrote in my last post for the Huggies series about how we flew successfully with an infant, and I thought I’d follow that up by sharing some tips we learned about driving long distances with an infant, too. We primarily drove if we traveled with small babies, and we made some big mistakes before figuring out some great travel ideas.
MISTAKE #1: When Michael was a wee baby lad, we decided to drive from Connecticut to Virginia to have Thanksgiving with my family at my sister’s house. Our big mistake was thinking we could drive that entire nine hours in one go with an infant. We left around his afternoon nap time and figured he would nap in the car. Then we could stop and have dinner and change him into his jammies and he would just magically fall back asleep and we could continue the rest of the trip with a sleeping angel in the back. We ended up stopping at a hotel about two hours shy of my sister’s house because Bean simply could not go on one minute longer. We got so close but still ended up stopping. I was disappointed because I really wanted to be at Ginny’s house on Thanksgiving morning and wake up with my family like we always had, but we just couldn’t push him any longer. Nothing would make him stop crying. He was miserable. I was miserable. Chris was miserable. So, we paid the $90 for a roadside Holiday Inn and called it quits for the day around 8:00 pm, after six hours of driving. But we ended up having such a fun time in a hotel room, just the three of us! It was a great way to end a long, exhausting day. Plus, when we got up in the morning, we could take our time and relax and move at Bean’s pace instead of rushing to get somewhere.
LESSON LEARNED: Babies move slower than adults. They need time to stretch and roll around and play, even when they are traveling – ESPECIALLY when they are traveling. So, be prepared to give them that time. It’s THEIR vacation, too, and they should enjoy it.
MISTAKE #2: Another time we drove to my sister’s house (this time when she was living in Atlanta), we took the Pack ‘n Play for Gracie to sleep in because she was so small and we thought we’d let Bean Man sleep with us in Ginny’s guest bedroom. It was actually a pretty good sleeping arrangement. Except that we had never put Gracie in a Pack ‘n Play before, so when we laid her down in it, she flipped out. I’m pretty sure she was cursing something fierce in her hysterical sobbing fit. And why wouldn’t she? It was already a strange new place for her, and now she was lying in some strange new bed. Everything was weird for her, and she refused to sleep the entire time we were there. We ended up sleeping with her in our bed. Along with Bean. And me and Chris. Needless to say, no one slept well.
LESSON LEARNED: About a week before going on vacation, it you know your baby will be sleeping in a Pack ‘n Play, let her spend some time in it at your house. Set it up in her bedroom. Let her play in there. Let her take naps in there. Give her some time to feel comfortable around it so that when you pop it up in a strange place, at least she’ll feel familiar with what she is sleeping in.
MISTAKE #3: When we went to our hometown for Christmas last year, we knew there would be so many people to take her to see. And we wanted to see them all, too. We only get home once or twice a year to see Chris’s family members, and there are a lot of them. At the holidays, there’s always particular pressure to get around to see everyone. But Gracie was still an infant, and she just could not hang for too long. We stayed in Pensacola for one week, and our best days were the ones when we stuck strictly to the kids’ normal schedules at home. The days we skipped naps or had a late lunch or stayed out late with family and friends were always really, really hard on the kids. Their little bodies just don’t adapt to a lot of change at one time. Babies thrive on predictability. They feel stable when they know the routine. When we pushed Gracie too far, it wasn’t like she cried when she wanted a nap or she got fussy when she was hungry. She was actually pretty good with all the changes. Until suddenly she wasn’t. It was like one minute she was rolling with the punches and the next she was hysterical, with no stopping her.
LESSON LEARNED: Even when a baby seems like she is able to keep up with all the change, the over-stimulation is just pooling inside and will come flooding out when you least expect it. To prevent this from happening, try to plan your vacation as close as possible around the normal routines. I know babies have to learn to be a little flexible with their schedules, but they are already in new surroundings and meeting new people when they are on vacation, so give them their little schedule to help them feel safe and secure. Sometimes that will mean having to tell your family no. We were supposed to meet Chris’s entire family for lunch on Christmas day, but that was the day that Gracie hit the wall, and rather than put her through anything else, we made the decision to hang at his mom’s house all day and let her take her regular naps and eat at her regular times and see people she was familiar with. When babies hit the wall, the only way around is to stop, let them recoup on their own time, and then try again later. Banging your head against the wall doesn’t help you or the wee one.
MISTAKE #4: When Bean was only three or four months old, we flew home to Florida for Chris’s sister’s graduation from college. It was the first time the family had met Bean and they were all so excited to see him. But the thing about Bean is that he doesn’t really like people rushing up to him, and he definitely doesn’t like people he doesn’t know rushing up and taking him away from me or Chris. Family is tricky, though, because they love the babies, even when they don’t see them often. But to a baby, a stranger is a stranger, even if it’s family. Bean was getting passed around and fawned all over, and to an infant, that can be really scary and unsettling.
LESSONS LEARNED: First, bring a sling. Using a sling or some form of baby-wearing device is a great way to give your baby the personal space he needs and it is also a very polite way to keep people from snatching your baby from your arms without your having to say, “No, you can’t hold him.” Second, I also learned that I know my baby better than anyone else, so even when family would say things like, “Oh, I’ve raised babies before…” when Bean would start to cry and I would try to take him back, I had to remind myself that they hadn’t raised MY baby before. You know your baby better than anyone else, so don’t be afraid to step up to even the most seasoned mother and take charge of the situation. You can very politely and kindly take control of a situation by saying something as simple as “I think Michael’s going to hang with me for a minute until he gets used to the crowd, but when he’s ready to branch out, I’ll make sure to bring him right over to you!”
The bottom line in traveling with an infant is to be flexible when you need to and to stand up to people when you need to. Be flexible enough to cancel plans or change plans without being too disappointed, and be firm enough to draw the line as to what your baby can handle and when he or she needs some space. Travel is tricky for everyone involved, but remember that your first interest is now what’s in your baby’s best interest. If you keep thinking about that when traveling, you’ll make the choices based on the right priority.
Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app!
Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.
Let me tell you about this birthday party. It has not been my finest parenting adventure. And let me share a few reasons why:
A) A few weeks ago, I found these birthday invitations on sale on Vista Print. I had a great coupon on top of that, so I got them for super cheap. I think I paid 20 or 25 cents an invitation. The downside? The only kid friendly invitation on the discount list was a pirate invitation. So, that’s what I ordered. The problem is that my Bean Bean is deathly afraid of pirates. Hates ‘em. BUT THEY WERE ON SALE!!!! For the past three weeks, I have been trying to get Bean to warm up to pirates. So far, he’s warmed up mildly. He no longer cries when he sees them. Which is good. Cause that really would have been a downer at his party.
B) Not only did I order scary invitations and make a scary theme for Bean’s party, but I didn’t order enough invitations. I ordered enough for his classmates, but completely forgot to order enough for our family and friends. I didn’t even have one to send to my own mother. So, I ended up sending out an Evite to our family and friends.
C) When I sent the Evite out to family and friends, I put the wrong birthday number on the invitation. It says, “Michael’s Birthday!” and then it has a big giant number 2 next to it. (FYI – Bean’s turning 3.)
So, the invitations have been a bit of a mess. The next big obstacle has been the guest list. We invited about 40 kids to this party. 20-something were Bean’s classmates (from two separate classes at school) and then we had an extra 10 or so from friends who have kids. I really wasn’t expecting a big majority of those kids to come. I mean, no one comes to MY parties… But apparently that’s not the case with kids. We’ve had over 20 kids who have confirmed their attendance. And with each of those kids comes parents, and, occasionally, other siblings. So, our small, simple, inexpensive little party has quickly become a large, overwhelming, expensive soiree.
I ended up placing a desperate phone call to my sister this afternoon for a little planning pep talk. Ginny is the Queen of Organization, and has been known to put together pie charts, graphs, complex Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations for weekend family gatherings. No lie. So, Ginny talked me through everything I needed to do in the next few days to get ready for this party. Here are the details we decided on today:
We’re serving “pirate pizza” for lunch. Which is really just Hungry Howie’s pizza. We’re also having sliced watermelon. We’ll put juice boxes and water bottles in coolers for drinks. For Bean’s cake, I found this really cute “Little Pirates” cake design at the Publix bakery. Instead of having a sheet cake, though, we’re doing cupcakes with the tops all iced as one cake. It will make it so much easier to serve.
We are having the party at a local splash park because that’s one of Bean’s favorite things to do. The party is from 12:00 – 2:00. We’ll have pizza and watermelon ready for everyone as they arrive, and people can help themselves to lunch as they arrive. We rented a big pavilion, so we’ll be all set up with the food in the shade (super important in the Florida heat). As the kids finish eating, they can head on over and start splashing around. We’ll pull everyone out of the water around 1:30 for cake, before handing out goody bags and calling it a day.
I’m heading to Party City tomorrow to find pirate eye patches, Mardi Gras beads, and gold chocolate coins. Each goody bag will get an eye patch, two “treasure” necklaces, and a couple coins.
Because we’ll be outside at a splash park, I’m keeping the decorations pretty minimal. At Party City, I’m hoping to find a pirate banner or flag, and then some plates, cups, and table cloths. I’m also ordering helium balloons in black, red, and yellow to designate our pavilion. Chris told me tonight that he thinks there might be some pirate decorations in their prop shop at work, so he’s going to see about bringing home a decorated treasure chest, a giant sand castle built out of foam, and several 6-foot fake palm trees that we can affix to the pillars in the pavilion.
I’m actually getting really excited about the party, even if it did get off to a rough start with planning. My last day teaching is on Thursday, so I’m hoping that I can go out on Friday while the kids are still in daycare and pick up all the trimmings for our pirate party.
Monday was mine and Chris’s seven year anniversary. Seven years. That’s a long time. My sweet, sweet friend, Sarah, came over and stayed with the kids so that Chris and I could go out to dinner. We went to a new place, ate fish tacos, and did what we always do… talked about our kids. It’s what we like to do. We can’t help it. It was a really great night, and I felt like a lucky girl to be so happily married.
I was going to blog tonight about how much I love my husband and how happy we are and how each year gets better than the last, yadda, yadda, yadda. But as I sat down to write about 20 minutes ago, Chris came and sat down real close to me and leaned forward so that our foreheads were almost touching.
“It was our anniversary yesterday,” he said sweetly.
“Yep,” I replied.
“You didn’t even give me a card,” he said. He wasn’t accusing me, wasn’t snapping at me, wasn’t attacking me. It was just a simple statement. I was a little dumbfounded. I honestly didn’t think he even noticed when he got a card. And in all the hustle of traveling these past two weeks and Bean’s birthday party this weekend, I just completely forgot.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “Did that bother you?”
“It’s not the card,” he said. “But it was my anniversary, too.”
Chris had gotten me two dozen roses and one of the sweetest cards I’ve ever received. He took me out to dinner to a restaurant of my choice. And he was absolutely right. It was his anniversary, too.
I’m not a needy person. At least, I don’t think I am. (Do needy people know they are needy?) (When I read this post to Chris before posting it, he said that he does consider me needy. But that he loves me and my needs anyway.) But as un-needy as I am, Chris is twice that. He rarely asks for anything, whether it’s in his personal, professional, or family life. He just doesn’t ask for much. He takes what he is given happily or he takes it and makes due.
Being married to a person who makes such few demands is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because Chris works to make our lives enough with what we have in front of us. He takes pride in his ability to provide for his family. He rarely complains or wallows in things, and instead picks up and moves forward. He is the definition of a strong person. But having a spouse who doesn’t demand a lot can also mean that if you’re not paying attention, they may not be getting everything they need from you.
In seven years, I have learned is that one thing that separates happily married people from unhappily married people is their fulfillment at home. When they come home, do they feel loved? But the love is actually the easiest part of marriage. The harder question to ask is do they feel valued? Respected? Needed? Appreciated?
I’d like to think that most days – more days than not, at least – Chris and I both feel those things. But occasionally, one or both of us drops the ball and we forget to make sure the other feels those things. This time, I dropped that ball. And on our anniversary, no less.
But, thankfully, in seven years, I’ve learned how to apologize in my marriage. So, here goes…
Dear Sweet, Sweet Chris,
Thank you for my beautiful cards and flowers. Thank you for my dinner and for still filling an entire meal with great conversation even after all these years. I am really sorry that I didn’t make you feel special or appreciated on our anniversary. We’ve been together so long, that sometimes I forget you aren’t inside my head and that you don’t just KNOW how important you are to me. I’ll work on that. After seven years of marriage, you continue to make each day better than the day before. I couldn’t imagine being any happier than I am, and I couldn’t imagine living this happy life with anyone other than you.
I love you like a fat kid loves cake.
~ Your Wifey