Friday, July 29, 2011

Mom's "Spa Night" - L'Bri Skin Care Party!

I have been absolutely on overload for the past week or so, between a million projects at work and a million projects at home! We have family coming to visit this week, my 5-year-old's "friend" birthday party tomorrow, a trip to Niagara Falls with family next week, and my 40th birthday party also next week. I've used this as a personal deadline to get a bunch of household projects done, which is my own choice, but has naturally added to my current stress level. One of my dear friends has recently started her own business as a L'Bri Pure n' Natural consultant, and I've been promising her since she started that I would host a party. Why not throw that into the mix right now, I thought! Well, all of the racing around to get ready was WELL worth it!

It turned out to be just 3 friends from work who joined me for what I advertised as a "Pamper Yourself" party. Myself and 2 of my friends are moms, and my other friend is a mom-to-be, expecting her first child in November. We had a GREAT time! It was just what we all needed to relax toward the end of a stressful week! I tried to help set the tone for a spa-like atmosphere by having soothing music playing. We set up in the dining room and for a centerpiece, again, I thought spa, so I placed a framed mirror on the center of the table (one that used to hang on the wall), and I went around the house and gathered up all of the ivory candles (but any color would work!) I could find. I placed those on the mirror and then lit them -- what an elegant, quick display! My friend Kristin, the L'Bri consultant, came over a little early and set up a table with all of her products. She had asked me if she could use my crockpot for the presentation, and she took a bunch of white washcloths, wet them, and put them in the crockpot to warm them up (again, going with the spa theme). The girls showed up and Kristin began her presentation, giving us mirrors to use to look at our skin, and bowls of water to help with wetting our hands and faces. She let each of us try an appropriate cleanser to clean the make-up off of our faces, and handed each of us a warm, wet washcloth to pat our faces with. SO soothing! Let me tell you, I think a few of us are planning to relocate the crockpot to the bathroom!!

Kristin let us test different products -- we tried a facial peel which exfoliated our skin, and some of us tried the Facial Masque which was fun because we sat around feeling like our faces might crack -- there were some laughs... But the results were amazing! We were all thrilled with the products and even more thrilled with how wonderful our skin felt (mine still feels great today!). But most of all, it was great fun to have a night just for the moms to relax and pamper ourselves. If you are near enough to contact Kristin to host your own show, I highly recommend it! And if not, I would definitely encourage you to put together your own spa night for yourself and your girlfriends! As moms, we are always taking care of the kids and the family -- it's a well-deserved (and sometimes overdue) treat to take care of ourselves!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Repurposing A Child's Dresser

Do you remember this adorable little dresser? Well, as much as I loved it in my littlest girlie's room, as she is growing, so are her clothes -- it was time to move up to a larger dresser! We moved this dresser into her closet to try and give her some more drawer space, without taking up precious floor space in her (smaller than her sister's) room! That was a nice idea in theory, but we have built-in shoe shelves on the bottoms of our closets and the dresser was more cumbersome in there than helpful. I already have three other dressers that I am using for storage between the basement and the garage, and I liked the shape of this little dresser, so I decided to spruce it up and use it in the living room.

After dropping my daughter off at Princess Dance Camp one morning last week, my husband pulled out the painting stuff including a can of black paint that we had in the basement. I painted the dresser in no time, of course leaving the sweet baby drawer liners in place! I finished painting and left it to dry while we went back to pick my girl up (9:00 - 12:00 -- not bad!) and conveniently, her dance school is located just minutes from Hobby Lobby (my favorite store)!! I found some adorable vintage-y looking knobs for the dresser -- I was THRILLED to get them for 50% off! When we got home I put the new knobs on and voila, I have a lovely "new" piece of furniture that I am proud to use in my living room. Having the paint on hand and getting the sale price on the knobs allowed me to make this dresser over for only $17! Not bad for a new piece of furniture that I will use and love for years to come.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Easy & Kid-Friendly Game for the Pool

It has been hotter than hot here and we are counting our blessings that we have our pool to enjoy! This summer has been really great - not only has the weather allowed us plenty of opportunities to use the pool, but my youngest daughter has blossomed into quite the little swimmer! She took swimming lessons last year, and for two weeks again earlier this summer, but it was the week after the lessons were over that her confidence and skills grew tremendously. She is swimming like a fish, jumping into the pool (shallow and deep end) and it's hard to get her out! Her new independence in the pool has been wonderful - I commented to my elder daughter today, that this summer her sister is able to hold her own and really be a fun playmate in the water!

One of our favorite games to play in the pool (and we were able to play it last year even when my littlest girl wasn't as skilled in the pool) is "What Time is it Mr. Fox." This is a fun little game that my eldest daughter learned (on dry land) as a 3-year-old in preschool. She loved the game, and one day I thought, "Let's try that in the pool!" The kids love it! One player, "Mr. Fox", stands on one side of the shallow end, facing out of the pool. The other players stand on the opposite side of the pool/shallow end, facing Mr. Fox. They yell, "What time is it Mr. Fox?" and Mr. Fox will call out a time, such as "4 o'clock." The other players then take 4 steps toward Mr. Fox. This continues until Mr. Fox yells, "Midnight!" and then turns and chases after the other players. Whoever Mr. Fox tags is the next Mr. Fox.

It's a super easy game and it can be played with a number of players, depending on the size of your pool. It's also a nice counting exercise for your little ones.

I'd love to hear any ideas that you would like to share for kid-friendly pool games!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Birth Story

Mothers love to share their "birth stories" -- if you think about it, they are somewhere between a story of going to battle and winning the lottery... I have two, and one of them occurred 5 years ago today! I was pregnant with my youngest -- eight days past my due date. My husband had been off of work for two days and was getting ready to go into work when we decided that I should call the doctor because I was feeling a little "funky." I called my ob and he had me come in to the office. My husband and my daughter went with me and we arranged for my mother to meet us there, just in case! The doctor checked my progress and sent me right next door to the hospital. We said goodbye to Mom and my girlie (the only one at that point!) and drove two minutes around the corner to the hospital. I remember when I had my eldest, we got there at 9:00pm and it was dark (winter) and they had us go through the emergency room entrance. This time it was summer, 12:00pm and we went through an entrance in the back. I felt like I waited FOREVER for my husband to park the car, and I stood there in this entryway with 2 hospital workers hanging out on a break or something. No one offered me a wheelchair to sit in (unlike with my eldest daughter, where they met me at the door and whisked me off in one). I was beginning to think I might give birth in the entrance there waiting for my husband... I vaguely remember calling my friend Chrissy while I was waiting, and letting her know that I was at the hospital. Finally my husband came in and we went upstairs. I was so far along at that point that it was too late for an epidural. My doctor arrived, I pushed a little, and voila -- at 1:34pm my youngest daughter was born! It was such a strange experience compared to when I had my first daughter -- the length of time (I got to the hospital at 9pm and had her at 5am), the time of day (literally the difference between night and day), the people -- with our first daughter, my mother, father and stepmother were all waiting (from 11 - 5!) for their first grandchild to arrive. This time, my dad and stepmother were out of town and my mom was waiting at home with the big sister-to-be. It was so different, but a really amazing experience, feeling like it was just my husband and me.

Finally, our family is complete!

Happy 5th Birthday, Sweet Girl! We can't imagine our lives without you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

5th Birthday Frenzy

Where have I been lately, you may be asking? Well, here... Just not here on my poor, neglected blog! The past few weeks have been a blur of the end of 4th grade for my eldest, the start of summer, my busiest time of the year at work (which has involved bringing home work to do after the kids are in bed), trying to get the yard in shape, getting ready for visits from family this summer (which we love!) -- you name it! I've been feeling so frazzled the past few weeks that the invitation to my youngest's family birthday party was an e-mail sent out 7 days before the party (which is happening this Sunday...)!! Mother of the year... I guess I should be glad that I remembered to send a note out at all! We are having a family party on the 10th and her first "friends" party on the 30th -- spreading it out a little. (Better than 2 parties in one day, which was my initial idea -- what was I thinking?) My littlest one has also been to two birthday parties for friends from preschool, with two more coming up in the next week and a half! It's an exciting time for her, and we are looking forward to reciprocating with a birthday pool party (her choice) with a Disney's Tangled theme. I'm still working out the details -- like getting to the party store to find Tangled invitations! But, we're plugging along on the yard work, we had to get a new pool liner so the pool is looking party perfect, and her party will be followed by a visit from Nana and the New Hampshire relatives to celebrate my own 40th (yikes...) -- so we'll kind of kill two birds with one stone (that's a terrible expression) with the party prep! I have a long, long to-do list -- wish me luck!