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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gabrian and the Sparkly Purple Tie

On a normal Saturday when we go to Gabrian's dance class, the parents are regulated to the waiting room at the studio. We have t.v.'s on the wall which allows us to see the class but we can't go in. However, today was not a normal Saturday. Today was the day that the costume's arrived and we were allowed into the classroom to see the recital dance in the classroom.

The best part about having a boy in dance class is that you can always spot him in the flock of girls! It was a great Saturday and I look forward to the recital in June!!

Walmart's Beauty in a Box

I love getting just about anything in the mail that isn't a bill. I especially like if it is free samples in the mail. A couple of month's ago I read a post on the blog Straight on Till Morning that mentioned she had just received a quarterly beauty box from Walmart. The samples themselves are free but you do have to pay $5 for shipping. Her box seemed pretty awesome so I decided I would give it a try.

I went onto their website that same day and signed up. I forgot about it until about a week ago when they notified me that they would be sending out my box that week. 

I got excited about the email and then promptly forgot about it again (no one ever said I had a great memory). 

This morning when I stopped back at my house in between errands, I saw a small box waiting at my front door. I couldn't remember ordering anything recently that would fit in that box and was surprised to see that it was my Walmart Beauty Box. I brought it inside, and you guessed it, I forgot about it until I got home. You would think I would remember that I had  a box of free stuff waiting for me at home.

When I got home and had all the groceries put away, I was finally ready to dig into my box. It had tissue paper in the box so you knew it was going to be good! I received the following items in my box.

There was a sample size of Dove Pure Care Dry Oil for Hair with African Macadamia Oil. Their website states that it is great for all hair types and it absorbs into the hair. It smells wonderful and I am looking forward to trying it.

There was a full size Hardy Candy All Glossed Up Hydrating Lip Stain. When I opened the package it looked browner than I was expecting. However, when I put it on it was a nice nude color. It just gives your lips a little pop of color which is what I prefer. It also has a nice smooth feel instead of the cakey feel you get sometimes when you put lipstick on. I checked on Walmart's site and it sells for $5, so I already made back my shipping cost.

Next up was a full size Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara in Black. This couldn't have come at a better time since I was due for a new mascara. I don't wear make-up nearly often enough but mascara is something I replace on a regular basis because it tends to get clumpy after awhile. This mascara sounds pretty awesome. It says that lashes look up to 126% longer (who doesn't want longer lashes). Walmart sells these for $7.97, so I totally scored on this one.

I received a sample size of Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser with White tea & Vitamin E. This is the perfect size to take with me to Chile. I am hoping that it lives up to it's claim that it won't over-dry. My skin is super dry and it can become painful with some facial cleansers. It smells awesome so I am looking forward to trying it out.

Finally, I received two samples of shampoo and conditioner sets. They sent John Frieda Luxurious Volume and L'Oreal Paris Color Vibrancy. These also will be coming to Chile with me. I plan on purchasing shampoo and conditioner while I am there and these will tide me over until I get to the store.

I think that this was an awesome first box from Walmart and I look forward to my next box in the Spring.

****This was not a paid review. I was just really excited about my box and wanted to share. If anyone would like to send me a free sample or pay me to try something, I am definitely open to it!****

Friday, February 27, 2015

Riley and the Specks

A few months ago I started to notice that Riley was making frequent trips to the medicine cabinet for head aches. It was sporadic so it took me a little bit to start becoming concerned. I decided it was time for Riley to go to the Eye Doctor. On Saturday we headed to the office of Dr. Ronald Cedrone at 335 Maine Mall Road, South Portland.

The staff was very nice at the office and they had lots of great magazines to look through. We filled out the paperwork and it wasn't long before Riley was called in to be seen by the Doctor.

Gabrian found multiple ways to amuse himself during the wait. I am not sure what led him to lay down on the floor. While we were waiting we noticed several people come in looking for a walk-in appointment. They were all turned away because they were fully booked. Just a note if you were interesting in going for a Saturday appointment. We had to book our appointment about 2 1/2 weeks out. 

Riley's appointment took about 30 minutes in total and the staff was great coming out to check on me and letting me know what step they were in the process. Dr. Cedrone came out when the appointment was over to let me know what he had found. Riley has an Eye Stigma in each eye. He said that Riley will need to wear the glasses anytime that he is concentrating on something. He doesn't have to wear them while walking around or while at work. He will need to get his eyes checked once a year or if the head aches come back.

The boys and I headed over to Eyemart Express which is conveniently located in the same strip mall as the Doctor's office. It was a zoo in there! It felt like it was wall to wall people when we walked in. We fought our way to the front and and signed Riley in. We were lucky to snag one of the tables and settled in.

Finally it was our turn and a staff member joined us at the table. We were down a seat so Gabrian got kicked out.

We explained to the staff that we did not have eye care insurance and we would be paying for the glasses out of pocket. She told us about the promotion they were running where you can add on a second pair of glasses (lenses included) starting at $10 extra depending on which frames you want. She had Riley pick out some frames that he was interested in and brought them back to the table. He then tried them on and narrowed down his favorite pairs. These are the two that he settled on.

Can I just tell you that Riley's face was made for glasses. There were only about 2 frames he tried on that I didn't like on him. Even when we were fooling around while we were waiting and tried on ladies glasses, he looked awesome in them.

Once our order was put in, I went to the counter to pay. For the two pairs of glasses and the lenses (we didn't do any of the upgrades they tried to push on us), it came to $129. They said normally they would have them ready in an hour but because it was so busy that day, they wouldn't be ready until Monday. I received a text at 5:30 that night that they were ready but at that point they were already closed for the day and wouldn't be open again until Monday.

On Monday we picked them up. They did a final fitting for Riley to make sure he was comfortable in them. They gave us free eye glass cases and clothes for the glasses. They also let us know that they do free repairs to the glasses.

Riley has now had his glasses 3 days and I am happy to report that so far the head aches are gone! The glasses makes his vision so much sharper that he actually prefers to wear them most of the time. I am so happy to have caught the cause of the head aches for Riley!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Breaking Into The Business

Gabrian loves the camera and even though I realize I am biased, I think the camera loves him. I have been toying around with the idea for awhile to investigate on how to get him into the world of modeling. 

I finally decided to turn to my friend Google and see what was out there. I was happy to see that Maine had a great Talent Agency right in the Portland area. Portland Models & Talent is one of the first ones to turn up in my search.

They are exactly the kind of company I was looking for. They tell you right up front that an agency should not charge you money to belong to them (they make their money by taking a percent of the fee you earn). That was one of my fears that I would join with a company that was really making money off their clients.

It was really easy to sign up. I initially submitted a short form with Gabrian's basics and one head shot and one full body shot to their website. These do not need to be professional photos. I was able to choose some of my favorite shots I had. They had to be under 3 MB each which required some cropping before I could submit them.

 An agent responded to me within 1 business day with another form to fill out. I also needed to sign a 1-year contract (which states I cannot work with another agent in the state of Maine) and I needed to resubmit the pictures (or pick new ones) and I had the opportunity to submit up to 50 pictures if I wanted. I picked out eight that I liked and in the end they only used 3 of them. I had to crop those pictures down to under 1 MB each. Which turned into a fun project for me. I never really played with editing of photos but I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be playing around with that feature in the future.

The agent again had a really great response time to my submission and Gabrian's profile was up on their website the very next day. I find myself visiting the site to check out his profile (because I am his mother and I get a thrill out of seeing him on it...imagine how I would be if he actually got a job!). All in all it has been a great experience so far!

Gabrian has his first audition tomorrow! I am not sure how many he will be asked to do but we are so excited for this one. He has a line he needs to memorize (he is auditioning for a commercial). I am still trying to figure out his outfit choice. I realized too late tonight that he needs to bring his head shot (the picture above) with him. I just ordered them online with Rite Aid and hopefully we can pick up the pictures on the way to the audition. Fingers crossed for Gabrian tomorrow!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Squirrel Sent Me To Crazy Town

Please don't be distracted by the cuteness of the squirrels in the above picture. Ignore their fluffy soft tails that I desperately want to pet and touch. Ignore the cute paws that can hold things in a human likeness. Ignore their athletic dexterity that allows them to do acrobatic exercises on my bird feeder. These adorable squirrels have pushed me over the edge.

If you are living anywhere warm or slightly warm or may have experienced warmness in the recent past or will in the near future. I am telling you now that I hate your guts and we can only be friends again once it is summer here in Maine (which lasts approximately 2 weeks immediately following 4th of July and then we can feel the change over coming again...than I will go back to hating your guts). That has nothing to do with my story but I thought you should know my true feelings about you and your stupid warm weather (that I would desperately like to experience).

We have been in a holding pattern in Maine. We get the delightful bounce between scary amounts of snow and frigid weather that makes you wish you didn't have to breath because it hurts so bad. Air should not hurt your face! In the good old days it would at least warm up when the snow came. The joke is on us this year because we get the balmy temperature of 10 degrees during the snow storms (can't wait to see my gas bill this month...have you ever wondered how much it would cost to heat your house a good 60-70 degrees from the outside temperature? No worries, I can let you know next month!). It makes me so sad to know how excited I am about tomorrow when we are supposed to get up to 28 degrees. I almost shouldn't bother with a coat if it is going to be that warm.

 Since Saturday night we have had on and off snow. Picture rain in Seattle or London but we get white fluffy stuff instead. It's ok, it is supposed to stop some time early tomorrow. 55 hours of snow, no biggie. If we were able to have numerous snow days, I would love the stuff. Because we live in Maine, it remains business as usual. Don't worry...the squirrels are making it into the story shortly!

This morning I woke up to every parent's nightmare. A young child with a fever. Gabrian was fine but the school won't take him sick (I am not complaining, its just stinks to have to use a PTO day when he was feeling fine other than a fever and sore throat). As a single parent, guess who has to take a day out of work? If it had been a snow day I could have left him home with Riley but they didn't even give him a delay today. At least we got to spend the day in our pajamas.

This past Christmas I received the most awesome bird feeder from my Mom. I have really started to enjoy watching the birds come to feed out of it. My favorite are the cardinals (I am attracted to red things). Yesterday I trudged out in 5 feet of snow to fill up the feeder (that may have been a slight exaggeration but it was up to my thighs). Since I was going to be home today I was looking forward to a day full of bird watching.

It was going great this morning until I noticed this tag team squirrel pair do Olympic Gymnastic routine to steal my bird food. I wouldn't mind if they took a nibble and then went on about their day. But not those greedy bastards. They were going to town and I snapped (cabin fever may have slightly played into this). I whipped open the door and started to yell at them. I screamed at them that I could see them and they better take their cute fluffy tails and take a hike. I started frantically looking around my house for a rock to throw at them (lets not question why I thought I had a rock in my house available). They took the opportunity while I was distracted to make their getaway.

They took off but I know they are out there. They are just waiting for me to blink and they are going to be back here like gangsters. I am thinking about investing in a gun. A nice pellet gun just to scare them. Everyone in crazy town has a gun right?