Thursday, November 29, 2012

Adoring the simple.

A month or so ago, on a Friday, I had had quite a challenging day. When school was out, I picked the kids up & decided that even though early, we were heading to Chili's to just chill out (& so I could drink unlimited amounts of Diet Coke, but I didn't tell them that). I called my husband & told him my plan - my husband can pretty much make his own hours & it was Friday, so he told me he'd meet us there as soon as he could slip away. His office is a good 40 minutes or more away in Friday afternoon traffic, so I knew we would be there for a while. We ordered chips, queso & drinks, & let the afternoon drift away while we sat in a corner just being together, doing a lot of nothing.

Since then, I've repeated our little escape a time or two. Yesterday, as a matter of fact. As I sat there in the large corner booth, having an in-depth conversation with my 8 year old about a series of books he's interested in, I realized how very much I love our Chili dates. Early afternoon, the restaurant is quiet. No cartoons blaring, no phone ringing, no computer, no homework, no piano, no french horn, no loud pots & pans prepping for dinner, no dogs running amok, just us. Talking. Laughing. Sharing. Tic-tac-toe'ing. Listening. Enjoying. Yesterday, I recognized the fact that there are not near enough of these amazing, simple moments. 'Busy' has become our normal. My kids are growing very quickly. Time is fleeting. And I truly feel they need & desire our little dates as much as I do.

It's a true blessing what developed out of an exhausting, challenging day. And tonight, I'm truly, very thankful, for the simple. ♥

Monday, November 26, 2012


I took this one evening, several weeks ago. The weather was just beautiful, early evening, & I sent my children outside with play-doh. I snapped this with my cell phone & it's one of my favorites. I forever want to remember these simple moments.

Though I don't desire a 'mommy blog' any longer, I do desire to continue to post photos of my children every now & then. For quite some time, I have focused so much on my business, I've significantly decreased the amount of photos I take of my kids. Time to refocus & reprioritize. And now that Christmastime is upon us? I better charge my camera battery real good.

I'm almost finished decorating for Christmas, so I'll be posting those photos soon. I love Christmas. So much fun, anticipation, beauty & love! Time to live! ♥

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Some little things I do to save our family money!

Saving money is something I strive for, but I'm not great at. I'm still learning as I go, however, & do what I can to cut back in certain areas. I tried the coupon thing but gosh, it didn't work for me. It took so much of my time & I burned out quick. Finally, I gave it up. I do not use coupons unless there's one on the item I'm purchasing or I just happen to have one handy, for whatever reason.

But. I do try, & here are a just a few things I do:

I rewash & reuse plastic utensils. I send them to school in my kids' lunches, they bring them back & I toss them in my dishwasher basket. No need to buy more when these get washed & work just fine.

I reuse grocery bags. Not only do I use them at my garage sales, but I also empty bathroom trash cans in them, I empty vacuum cleaner canisters in them, I throw out leftover food in them, & then I walk them straight out to the garage trash can. I use these to save my large, kitchen trash bags. I don't have to purchase my kitchen trash bags as often.

Bar mops. I love bar mops! I use them for almost everything. These are strictly for my kitchen. Instead of dirtying a plate, wasting a paper plate or paper towel, we use these for quick snacks, fruits or in place of a napkin. We use the same one throughout the day (unless it gets icky) & at the end of the day, we shake them out & toss them in the laundry. You can get a bundle of them for around $5 at Walmart.

Shaklee's Microfiber Window & Mirror cloth. This thing rocks & saves so many paper towels! And no, it doesn't leave streaks whatsoever. Wash & reuse, wash & reuse.

Plastic containers for school lunches. I've looked at many options & I'm considering some of them, but for now, I use these. Sandwiches/whatever go in the large ones & the smallers ones hold raisins, carrots, ranch, whatever. Wash & reuse & it saves from using so many baggies.

Homemade shaving lotion. Yes! We use it. My husband uses it! Cracks me up. I'm experimenting still to make it thicker, but it totally works & saves so much money from having to purchase shaving gels. Recipe here.

And of course, I am saving a bundle using Shaklee's cleaners. Seriously. I purchased my kit in May & I have not had to reorder anything but the Germ Off wipes (I use those all around my toilets) & Dish Washer Concentrate. I can pretty much guarantee I won't need to purchase Basic H (makes THREE amazing cleaners!) or Basic G (disinfectant!) for another 6 months, at least. My Scour Off is running low, so I may need to reorder that in a month or two. Not only are they non-toxic, they just last forever & they work incredibly well.

So that's it! That's what I do as of now & like I said, I'm always searching for other ways to save. What do you do to save money? Please share!

Wishing you & your families a very blessed, happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Running behind my own schedule!

I have a blog post coming regarding little ways I attempt to save our family money. I wanted the post up last night, but I'm really running behind. My husband had Bronchitis & I now have Bronchitis & now my youngest son has Bronchitis (his is more allergies) - we were a little busy last week & I've just run out of time. Tomorrow, my husband heads up north for a few days, while the kids & I stay behind. Monday, we'll be gone all day with my mother. So, we have this & that & this & that & I'm pooped! But I'll have it up just as soon as I can!

Happy weekend!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I have a secret!

My name is Melissa & I'M A HOARDER. Of certain items. Ahem.

What you are looking at is new, unused plastic utensils that I have gathered along the way for the last - TWELVE YEARS. Or so. I lost count.

We used to be very active in our church group & I used to save these because they came in handy for fellowship gatherings. When we'd run through a drive through or go on vacation or whatever, & because we rarely used them, I'd always hang on to the utensils (& obviously, some straws) the restaurant provided. And I could never get out of the habit. And I currently can't get out of the habit.

To put it in perspective, here's the pile next to my 4.5 year old daughter.

In my defense, in the first photo, they are 'organized' nicely, right? These have been taking up space on the top shelf of my pantry. And recently, on the bottom shelf of my pantry. (Well, heck, to be totally honest, we were beginning to have more utensils in there than food! Just kidding. Kind of.) Because I'm trying to declutter (now you know why), I decided it's time to break the habit. Let it go. Let them go, Melissa. Just let them go.

I know many of you are thinking 'well thank God. I'm not as bad as I thought I was.' You're welcome.

Wait until I show you my bank statements from NINETEEN EIGHT-FIVE.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shaklee is offering free shipping for a limited time!

Starts tomorrow! Free lifetime membership with any Vitalizer purchase or shop for Christmas presents. :) This is also the perfect opportunity to join as a Gold Ambassador & become a Distributor! Get on my team & do this with me! :)

If I can help you in any way, please holler at me!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I cleaned my freezer!

This here is one exciting post, let me tell you. I cleaned my freezer! Fun stuff.

Our poor, little frig/freezer. This thing is old. We've lived here now for 7 (I can't believe we've made it this long!) years, in the previous house 7 years so - 14 years old. A few weeks ago, I thought it was going out. But so far so good! We don't have an ice maker. It went out years ago & we just never got it fixed. We use ice trays! Remember ice trays? Would it be more convenient for a family of 6 to have an ice maker? Of course! But I don't complain. We are so completely blessed - I'll take the ice trays. :)

Truth - I don't clean my freezer (or frig) often. I'm a 'wipe as you go' kind of person, so deep cleaning isn't something I really think about. That said, a few weeks ago, my husband left the freezer door open all night & we lost all food (ouch!). So I took the opportunity to scrub it up.

Here's the before:

Pretty icky under the bottom basket & in the side trays.

And the tight areas? I clean them. All. Everywhere. I find something that will fit in the tight area & clean away! Those spaces, wherever they are in your home, need to be cleaned, too, not ignored. That's a butter knife I have stuck inside my cleaning cloth in order to slide it inside that tight area. I use knives, toothpicks, q-tips, whatever for those itty spaces.

Here's the after! It really did need to be cleaned - I'll definitely be cleaning my freezer/frig now on a regular basis.

Even though inside a running freezer proves challenging to keep surfaces wet, I went ahead & used my favorite (Shaklee) Basic G. I at least made an attempt at killing any germs inside the freezer, even though I couldn't leave it wet for the standard 10 minutes. I sprayed G on my cloth, getting it good & wet, & wiped away! I switched to a new cleaning cloth, after the cloth was soaked & dirty, before continuing to clean.

Next on the agenda? The frig. Can't wait!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Introducing Shaklee 180 - launching Jan. 1, 2013!

This so exciting! Shaklee has rebranded their 'Cinch' plan, which as of January, will be called 'Shaklee 180'!

90 days to lose weight!
90 days to learn to keep it off!

Facts! -

2 out of 3 Americans are overweight or obese. I am one of those Americans! Are you?

Obesity is an epidemic!

The typical dieter makes 4 weight loss attempts yearly.

Weight loss is the largest, single health issue confronting our country today.

Weight is the entry to health!

This new program inspires people to make a total turnaround from unhealthy to healthy!

This program is going to be affordable for every single person in North America!

All products continue to be all-natural - Shaklee 180 is a Holistic program!

All natural products, powered by Leucine, help you burn fat, not muscle!

Shaklee promised the most advanced technology & they delivered! One of the most exciting features is the new Shaklee app! This app allows you to:

Enter your food(s).
Take photos of what you're doing.
Every time you enter, it will get updated to your own personal Shaklee 180 page.
It tracks your progress!
Enter when you eat a meal, when you exercise, you can even talk to yourself!
And, it can be uploaded into a Facebook post, so others can see what you're doing - they will inquire & it builds & builds & builds!
Earn weekly, motivational rewards.
Significant winners get flown to one of the fashion capitals in the world - they get a whole new wardrobe & photos by a famous fashion photographer!

Weight loss is social marketing! Getting on this phenomenal weight loss program & losing weight allows you (& me!) to be your own walking advertisement & others will desire it! I am finally, slowly, losing weight - you bet your bootie I will continue on & I'm so looking forward to incorporating this new program!

2 kits will be available:

The 'Turnaround' kit - to lose the weight you don't want & reach your goal(s).


The 'Lean & Healthy' kit - to stay lean & maintain.

Shaklee tested this weight loss proposition & it was a huge success! I am so excited about this! No other company can even come close to what Shaklee offers! Shaklee is the best of the best!

Because this is a new, incredibly amazing new weight loss program, they anticipate it going viral! I want people on my team who want to share this new program & here's just one more fabulous incentive - when you get 3 people to join this program, you get your Shaklee 180 products free! Become a Distributor, start using the Cinch products, begin losing weight now & you'll have one heck of a testimony to pull others on board, because they will want it too! Do you know some people who need to lose weight? They need this!

Email me & let's talk further!

Friday, November 2, 2012

How I apply pencil eye liner!

I love my pencil eye liner & though I'm no professional, I thought I'd share how I apply mine & my thoughts on the pencils.

I only use eye liner pencils that can be sharpened. I've tried the others & I was never satisfied. The cream liners, that you twist as you go, didn't get sharp enough for me. The liquid liners, well, there's no way. My hand is not near steady enough to make it look decent. So pencil it is for me & has been for years.

I've tried many pencils & for the smooth application, as well as price, Cover Girl it is. It's creamy, it's smooth & it's great coverage. I like dramatic, so I like dark & thick. Cover Girl's pencil eye liners is perfect & it costs $5. Win/win. (I have very thin, wonky eyebrows, so I usually use this same pencil to lightly color in my eyebrows & then blend it in with my eyebrow brush.)

I think a common misconception about pencil liners is that they smear/smudge, & this leaves people thinking the liner is no good. Sometimes, yes, they do smear & smudge due to quality. However. What you are applying your liner on, also plays a part. Meaning, if you are using an oily eye makeup remover and/or an oily moisturizer under your makeup, that oily access is playing a huge part in how your liner performs.

Also, it's nearly impossible to apply a pencil liner to bare skin. Applying to bare skin, or attempting to apply to bare skin, is going to have stop & go results. There won't be a smooth, solid, thick line. Your liner needs a smooth surface in order to glide smooth & consistent across your lids. On a clean face, I apply moisturizer, then foundation, then powder & then my liner. And then I take a little wedge sponge & use one of the corners to smear my liner. The more you do this, the better the sponge becomes & it creates a soft, dramatic line. (Actually, all sponges get better the more they are used & fyi - latex-free sponges do not work well! You need latex sponges.)

Yet again, please pardon my bloodshot eyes. Due to chronic dry eyes, they always look like this. Always. It's icky. I go back to the eye dr. in a few weeks & will ask for some prescription drops. Again. Sigh.

I know you can't see the liner well. I was looking straight into my makeup mirror, but because my cell phone is lower, the photos look as though I'm looking up, hiding the liner. I was running late, so I'll try to get some more shots on another day.

In case you are wondering, I use $6 Maybelline mascara. I have used Maybelline mascara for a good 20 years & I'll never use another brand. I have never lengthened my lashes or used an eye lash curler (ow!). When I apply my mascara, I make sure to extend the wand all the way to the end of my lashes. I manipulate my lashes, using the wand, to get them where I want them to go. If they clump & they almost always do, I use a needle to separate them. No, I've never poked my eye, but I've come close!

There is nothing better than having a fab eye lash day! I got blessed in the eye lash department & I'm so thankful, considering I hate my hair!

Happy lining!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Please allow me to show you - my underarms!

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to this:

Shaklee's amazing antiperspirant cream. I've used it every day, since Oct. 13th. I will use it every day for my remaining days. I began using this antiperspirant because it contains no parabens - a chemical that is present in 99% of breast cancers. I never even considered the impact it might have on my 'permanent' rashes I have had under both arms for years. So many years, in fact, I don't know the exact number. It's something I just lived with. That said, thanks to this antiperspirant, my rashes, under both arms, is completely & utterly GONE. Gone!

The first day I began using the cream, I raised my arm to apply. And nice & bright stood my red rash. Out of curiousity, I thought, I wonder if this might help my rashes? Just in case, I took a photo, having no idea what the outcome might be.

Say hello to my underarms. (Oh Lord. Am I really doing this?)

Can you see it there? In the crease of my underarm? I would circle it & put an arrow pointing to it but low & behold, I don't know how to do that. Ha! Image two:

In case you are curious, it is no easy feat taking a photo of your underarm. My after photos didn't turn out as well as my befores, but they're good enough that you can tell there is no longer any red rash!

Still not sure?

Just one more?

Is that not stinkin' terrific??????

This afternoon, I added a personal disclaimer to my blog. A disclaimer that states I do not use any product that does not work. Period. I am a product junkie so if it ain't working, it ain't stayin'. This product works & works well & is safe! Safer than what you are using. Get your Essentials Antiperspirant Cream here! This antiperspirant is $12. Twelve dollars. It contains no parabens & my photos prove what positive changes transpire when changing brands! Need another incentive? I have used this product for weeks now & haven't even made a dent in the cream! I'm assuming this one container will last me 6 months or so.

Visit my Shaklee store here!

Happy sweating!

*The color in these images has been altered in no way. Because these photos were taken with my cell phone (meaning, they were kind of dark), I lightened & sharpened them only.