Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mystery Bag Giveaway

**This giveaway has ended. Thank you to all who entered.**

Using to pick a winner, it came back with #8. That would be Janet at MuffintopMommy. Congratulations Janet!

When I was a child (and last year) and I went to the penny candy store, I always gravitated towards the "Mystery Bags." You know, they're usually a small, white bag folded over with a couple of staples on top to keep you from peeking in. They sold for $1. I had to have one. I had to see what was inside. The suspense of it all was too much for me.

Fast forward to today. I thought it would be fun to put together my own Mystery Bag for you. It's chock full or fun, girly stuff, with a value of over $100!

To enter leave your first name, last initial and email address. 

Winner will be drawn Thursday, June 7 at 9:00 PM.

Good luck!

P.S. There may be some Puopolo Candies in the bag.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Sunscreen Soapbox

Skin cancer runs rampant in my family. Last year at this time my dad was just finishing up treatment for a rare type of skin cancer called Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Thankfully it was caught early and he needed only minor surgery and six weeks or radiation.

As a result of our family history, we are always mindful of wearing sunscreen. I always put it on if I'm going to be spending time at the beach or a pool, but I'm not great about putting it on everyday. I have to be better about that.

Buying sunscreen can be expensive. I always stock up when it's on sale. If I happen to run out before I can get it on sale, I head to the Christmas Tree Shops. They always have brand name sunscreen at a great price. You can also pick up some inexpensive beach toys for the kids while you're there.

At a recent trip to the dermatologist, I asked if he could recommend a brand of sunscreen. He said that the brand does not matter, one of the ingredients does. He mentioned avobenzone.  He said to make sure that the sunscreen that I buy has that in it. Avobenzone helps to reflect the suns most damaging rays. To keep your skin from being sunburned, it's best to use an SPF of 30 or more.  

I'm begging you to use sunscreen. I'm also begging those of you who still insist on using tanning beds to stop! It's so dangerous.  In fact, indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.  Switch to spray tans if you want that "summer glow." 

In conclusion, slather on that sunscreen before going outside. Your skin will thank you! 

Thanks for listening to my rant. I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hit the Sink

A couple of weeks ago I stopped at a "spa" to get a last minute eyebrow wax. Yes gentlemen, it takes a lot of pain and effort to be a woman.  But, I digress. This "spa" was also a nail salon; you know, the kind where you don't need an appointment. You can walk in as they're locking the door and ask for a pedicure and they're happy to oblige.

Anyway, I decided I was tired of the "two caterpillars fighting above my eyes" look, so I stopped in. I asked if anyone had time to do a brow wax and they guy behind the counter said, "sure." Within seconds I was whisked to a room out back and asked to lie down on a table that was covered with a dirty sheet. The woman who walked me to the room talked to me for a minute and then went to work on the wooly mammoths living above my eyes. As she was pouring hot wax on my face it occurred to me, 'this chick never washed her hands!'

Photo credit:

I was instantly skeeved out (is skeeved even a word? I think it is because I use it all the time). What the heck? Take the 45 seconds to wash your filthy hands. I have no idea what she was doing before this but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with someone else's feet. What is wrong with people? I think I wash my hands about 50 times a day. If I even touch money for a second, I'm off to the sink. I keep wipes in my car for those times that I go to the drive-thru and hand them dollar bills. Ick! That money could have been in a strippers g-string the night before. Oh my God, the woman who did my eyebrows could have just clipped someone's toenails and then handled money and then touched my face. GROSS!

Well, I'm off to take a Silkwood shower. After that I might boil my skin. Then I'll dip my entire body in Purell.

Moral of this rant: wash your hands people.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Bitchin' 80's

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love anything 80's. It was such a great time in my life. The awkward years of braces and acne gave way to the awesome years of Bon Jovi hair and a bad attitude. Case in point:

I'm the one in the middle. I was super cool with my big hair, Gucci bag and white pumps. 

I threw an 80's party a few years ago and it was so much fun. 

I thought I'd share some tips on how to make an 80's party totally rad. 

Start with the location. A lot of people love the 80's.  You're sure to get a good crowd, so make sure you have enough space. 

If you're doing it in a function hall, decorating is easy. Think fluorescent colors for the tables. Yellow, hot pink and bright blue will work well for tablecloths . For centerpieces I used a can of Aqua Net hairspray (available at Wal-Mart) and trivia questions scattered on each table. 

Music is very important at an 80's party. You want to get a DJ who understands that you do, in fact, want to Wang Chung tonight. 

I went to an 80's party this past weekend. It was a blast!

Apparently Kelly didn't get the memo that you were supposed to dress as if it was the 80's. 

If you're attending the party as a guest, make sure you take a trip to Claire's. They have all the 80's accessories you could ever need: fingerless lace gloves, giant hoop earrings, bright colored sunglasses, leg warmers, banana clips,  etc. 

If you're like me, you're hopelessly stuck in the 80's. Here are some warning signs:

  • You need a shopping cart to carry your personal stereo with you
  • You watch NYPD Blue thinking, "Well, they're no Crockett & Tubbs, that's for sure."
  • You want to live "in the valley"
  • Your bangs are teased perfectly to 7 inches above the rest of your hair. 
  • You have multi-colored earrings that touch your shoulders
  • You're still bitter that WHAM broke up
  • You have a tendency to turn up the collar of your polo shirts
  • You never go out for a night on the town without frosted blue eye shadow
  • People are constantly gagging you with spoons
  • You still watch things on Beta tapes. 

If you're a fan of the 80's, try your hand at these trivia questions. If you know the answers, leave them in the comment section:

  1. Where did Ronald take Cindy on their last date together in the movie "Can't Buy Me Love?"
  2. In the movie "Grease 2" what does Stephanie want in a boyfriend? 
  3. What was the name of the detective agency on "Moonlighting?"
  4. Can you name the 5 original VJ's on MTV? 
  5. What was the full name of Magnum PI?
  6. In "Dirty Dancing" what was Baby's real name? 
  7. What was the name of the tv show where Tom Hanks dressed as a woman? 
  8. In "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" what is the principal's name? 
  9. In National Lampoon's "Vacation" where were the Griswold's headed on their cross-country trip?
  10. In the movie "Sixteen Candles" what was the name of the exchange student?

Thanks for hopping into my Delorean with me for this trip back in time. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Harry!

In honor of my nephews 8th birthday, I give you, "The Letter."

Dear Harry,

Today was your 8th birthday. You've grown quite a bit in the last few years.

 This is how your started out:

Since you were little, we've compared you to your cousin Bryce. You're just like him.

Here we are when you were just a little guy. I love that sweet, chubby face.

 Your sister has always been all over you. She just loves you so much.

You were just 14 months old when Brennan joined the family. You have absolutely no concept of what life is like without your little brother.

Your mom is your favorite person in the whole, wide world. Your dad is a close second.

You love telling Brennan that you've been to Florida...even though you were too young to remember it.

You can roll your tongue. I  think you get that from your dad.

You're practically a man.

Here are some more of your likes and dislikes at the ripe old age of eight.


  • Your mom and dad
  • Your brother and sister
  • Me!
  • Your whole family
  • Sports, especially lacrosse, baseball and soccer
  • Playing outside with your friends
  • Your mom's cooking
  • Orange juice
  • Macaroni salad
  • Smoothies
  • Ice cream
  • Riding your bike
  • Your dogs, Maisy and Otis
  • Monkeys
  • All animals
  • Swimming
  • Going on adventures
  • Going to the cottage
  • Boat rides
  • Hearing stories about when Mom, Auntie Essie, Uncle Tommy and I were growing up. 
  • Stuffed animals
  • Skylanders 
  • Sharing a room with your brother


  • Your brother and sister
  • Bedtime
  • Homework
  • Taking showers
  • Holding my hand in parking lots
  • Sharing (especially toys or food)
  • Not getting your way
  • Sharing a room with your brother

You're a kind, gentle soul who feels things deeply and always gives 100% in whatever you do. You make me proud every single day. I can't imagine my life without you. I love you more than I can put into words.

Auntie Laura

Monday, May 7, 2012

Looking for Volunteer Opportunities

This summer I will once again be taking care of my sisters children on Tuesdays and Wednesday afternoons.  Since I'm with them for the entire day on Tuesdays, I like to plan our outings for that day. We're still working on our list of fun things to do.

This year I'd like to try something new on Wednesday afternoons. Since the kids are getting older, I want to introduce them to volunteering. As children (and adults) often do, they get caught up in the latest  gadgets or the coolest pair of sneakers that they HAVE to have. I want to show them that there's more to life than things.

First on our list will be an afternoon at Cradles to Crayons. If you don't know about them, check out their website by clicking here.  I like the idea that all four of us can donate our time. And it's really fun!

I have to admit that I'm coming up empty as far as other places to volunteer. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Keep in mind that the kids are 15, 8 and 6.

I'm hoping that we have a summer that's just as fun as the past few.