Monthly Archives: August 2009

Young "Love"

Kylie, my 7 year old, has an admirer. Friday night, 2 of the girls’ friends stayed the night. It got a bit wild with 6 kids (a large and quite heavy mirrored closet door was seriously injured), but overall they were good. Saturday morning while we were enjoying pecan pancakes and cantaloupe, our doorbell rang. I answered it…surprise, surprise…no one was there. (We have been the victims of ‘Ding, Dong, Ditch’ quite often lately…I now know the culprits.) I looked down and discovered this.

A gift…for Kylie. It consisted of a years supply of friendship bracelets, flowers, and a ring on a sheet of paper with ‘To Kylie’ scrawled in the handwriting of a love struck 7 year old boy. Upon further inspection of the paper the words ‘I love you’ were written and then erased. This token of his affections was greeted by excited yet embarrassed screams of 5 little girls. (2 of the girls were the above mentioned boy’s sisters.) Kylie reciprocated his gift with a strange assortment…a marble, a giant faux pearl bead, and a green ‘mardi gras’ type necklace. Accompanying these gifts were various notes from all the girls consisting of questions about a date in our back yard, and hearts painted with berry juice. (Not sure what’s up with the berry juice painting, but they’ve been making ‘paint’ with berries from outside…Trinity actually had to clean up a mess that her friends (different friends) made by ‘painting’ our nice cream colored brick with purple berries. She was not happy.) But that’s a whole different story…
Anyways, I find it quite disturbing that I am having to discuss ‘dating’ with my 7 year old. Granted, I have already had to have ‘the talk’ with my 9 year old because of some quite graphically horrifying questions posed to me, but to have the ‘You’re not dating…until you’re 18′ talk so soon? I have avoided ‘the talk’ with the 2 younger girls because I thought their biological mother may want to have that discussion, but I don’t think I can really put it off anymore. So, I’m praying that God will give me the right words, at the right time, and it not cause some huge drama down the line…wishful thinking.

Pond’s Cleansing Towelettes ~ REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Katie from RocketXL to review Pond’s Cleansing Towelettes. I was actually looking for a better alternative to removing make-up…especially waterproof mascara. I had been using Visine Total Eye Soothing Wipes, and they were not working out for me. They didn’t do a good job at removing the eye make-up, and they actually irritated my eyes. This review came at the perfect time, and I eagerly accepted! Katie even shipped me an extra pack so I could bless one of my lucky readers! (But we’ll get to that later…)

Pond’s Cleansing Towelettes come in 3 different varieties: Original Clean, Micro Dermabrasion, and Age Defying. They come in a package of 30 towelettes and range in price from around $5-7 depending on which variety you choose and your local store. (I tried the Original Clean, and found they cost about $6.50 at Walgreens.)
These are wet, soft, towelettes in a resealable package. Simple to use, you just remove from package and gently cleanse your face. I used them for a couple weeks so I could give a thorough opinion. I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t irritate my skin over time, and I wanted to test them in a couple ways.
First of all, I dislike washing my face. I’m not sure what it is…maybe the water dripping down to my elbows, my hair always seeming to get wet no matter how I pull it back, soap/water getting in my eyes/up my nose…I just don’t like it. So, for me to have these nifty towelettes that gently yet thoroughly clean without leaving any residue behind? Fantastic. I may start wearing make-up more often.
Since they say they leave no residue, I tried ‘washing’ my face with them without rinsing. My skin felt clean and fresh. I did not notice any mascara or other make-up remnants. I felt comfortable going to bed without rinsing. Upon waking in the morning, I did not find any mascara flakes or make-up on my pillow or face.
The next night, I used the towelettes as before, but rinsed my face. After rinsing, I noticed a little mascara under my eyes. I’m not sure if this was because I didn’t wash good enough or what, but I would recommend rinsing if your skin is sensitive to make-up or cleansers. I probably won’t rinse because my skin is not very sensitive, plus the whole water dripping/elbow/eyes/nose issues I have.
Overall, I was very pleased with the quality and effectiveness of the towelettes. My face felt clean and soft after using, I had no skin irritations, and they removed much more make-up than what I was previously using. I plan on continuing to use these cloths as part of my regular routine.
Be sure to check out www.ponds.lifestyle.msn.com. The Pond’s MSN site has tons of useful information regarding the towelettes. It is organized in a very user-friendly way…enough that I decided against attempting to go into too much detail. There are study results, video, tips, and a moneyback guarantee!
Okay, on to the GIVEAWAY! Up for grabs is a package of Pond’s Cleansing Towelettes – Original Clean.
This giveaway will run from Aug. 28, 2009 – Sept. 12, 2009. I will draw at NOON on Saturday, Sept. 12, and will contact the winner via e-mail. If winner does not respond with shipping address within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
To enter (#1 is mandatory, #2-5 are optional. Leave your e-mail if it is not easily located on your blog or profile. Leave a separate comment for each entry…for example: I tweeted (link) #1, I tweeted #2.):
1. Leave a comment stating how you remove your make-up, and if these would be something you would consider purchasing. (1 entry)
2. Subscribe to my blog. (2 entries)
3. Follow me @jessalexander on Twitter & tweet the following message: “Enter to win Pond’s Cleansing Towelettes! Visit http://tinyurl.com/lmzmuq for a chance to win! ENDS Sept 12 @ NOON CST! @jessalexander” (2 entries) *be sure to link to your tweet, limit of 3 tweets/day*
4. Leave a comment with your favorite beauty tip! (1 entry) *NO LIMIT*
5. Blog about my giveaway! *MUST link back to this post, and include the link to the Pond’s MSN site.* (5 entries)
Good Luck! Spread the word about this giveaway…more entrants = more giveaways in the future!

Thrifty Thursday

This week was a good one for me at Walgreens. I didn’t get a paper this weekend, so since I didn’t have the coupons from it I had to dive into my stash. I researched and prepared before leaving by checking the Walgreen’s site (and printing the $5 off $25 coupon), Madame Deals Walgreens Rock Bottom Deals page, and STL Mommy’s Walgreens Weekly page. Okay…on to the thrifty-ness.
First of all, I took advantage of the Walgreen’s FUNDAY photo code and picked up an 8×10 photo collage yesterday for FREE. (Not sure why I was able to do this on Tuesday since it was supposedly a code for Wednesday, but I’m not gonna complain!)
Today, my friend Sarah and I (and Grayson, of course) went to Walgreen’s. I got the following items for $51.04 after tax and using $12 in RR from last week’s trip.

I’m going to go in order on my receipt so I don’t get confused…it doesn’t take much. ;)
Eggs – on sale for .99
Milk – 2.59 x 2 = 5.18 – .75 coupon (w/ purchase of Welch’s grape jelly) = 4.43
Lysol Fresh Matic – 6.49 (on sale 50% off) – 4.00 coupon = 2.49
30oz. Germ-X – on sale for 1.99
Housetop Erasers – .50 x 2 = 1.00 (on sale)
Kellogg’s Cereal – 2.50 x 2 = 5.00 – 1.00 coupon = 4.00 (+ $2 RR)
Smooth Away Hair Remover – 9.99 – 1.00 coupon = 8.99 (didn’t really need this, but I’ve been wanting to try it and review it…so we’ll say it’s ‘work related’ hehe)
ThermaCare – on sale for 5.99 – 3.00 coupon (w/ purchase of Advil) = 2.99
Advil PM – on sale for 4.49 – 2. 00 coupon = 2.49 ( + $4 RR when you buy ThermaCare + Advil)
Goody Hair Elastics – 2.99 (+ $2 RR – with 3 girls we can always use ponytail holders)
Welch’s Grape Jelly – 2.79 – .75 coupon = 2.04 (needed this & wanted to use the milk coupon)
Pamper’s Easy-Ups – on sale for 8.99 x 2 = 17.98 – 1.50 coupon x2 = 14.98 (+ $1 RR)
Child’s Benedryl liquid – on sale for 4.99 – 1.00 WG coupon – 1.00 coupon = 2.99
Child’s Benedryl fast melts – on sale for 4.99 – 1.00 WG coupon – 1.00 coupon = 2.99 (+ $5 RR when you buy 2 Benedryl)
Geisha Tuna – on sale for .59 x 3 = 1.77 (using WG in ad coupon)
Rimmel Lip Liner (not pictured) – 2.09 (on sale 40% off) – 1.00 coupon = 1.09
Listerine Smart Rinse – on sale 4.00 – 1.00 WG coupon – 1.00 coupon = 2.00
Listerine Agent Cool Blue – on sale 4.00 – 4.00 (B1G1 FREE coupon) – 1.00 WG coupon = + 1.00 (+ $3 RR)
Sun Laundry Detergent – on sale 2.99 (needed this & thought we’d try this brand since it was so cheap)
Total = 62.21 (before tax) – $5 coupon ($5 off $25 purchase) – $12 RR (from WG trip last week) = 45.21 + 5.83 tax = 51.04 total
I also received $17 in RR to use next week, and got a rain check on 50% off Airwick Motion Detector Spray thing…I can’t remember exactly what it’s called. I have a $6.00 coupon so it should only cost me a little over $1…we’ll see. =) According to my receipt, my total savings was $69.77. Woot!
Oh, before I forget. Somehow I remembered awhile ago I had won a $10 Gift Certificate to Alice.com. Shipping is always free on Alice.com, so I figured I’d grab a few things we needed w/ my GC.
I ordered:
Aim Anticavity Fluoride Gel Toothpaste, Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Concentrated Pacs, Suave Shampoo, Suave Conditioner, 2 Lady Speed Stick Antiperspirant Deodorants, 2 Cottonelle Toilet Paper 4-roll packs
My order is already on the way and was totally FREE. Plus I had a problem with my GC, and required assistance with my order. ‘Tara’ helped me through the online chat, and was friendly and helpful. (I will attach a pic of my order when I receive it.)
So there ya go…my ‘Thrifty Thursday’. I must say that even though I planned on taking it easy this week at Walgreen’s, I’m glad I didn’t…I’m pretty proud of my savings. Link up using the MckLinky below and share your savings!

To-Do Tuesday

I was really on top of my list last week…I even did some scrapbooking! I do have a few carry-overs this week, but nothing major. This week is going to be a little tougher because my allergies are terrible!
1. Deposit yard sale money…over half way to my laptop!
2. Inventory pantry & fridge.
3. Re-pot my pineapple tree.
4. Order more photos for scrapbook.
5. Locate scrapbooking supplies buried in the garage.
6. Play play-doh with Grayson.
7. Finish library book!
8. Order photo shoot photos & finish up review post.
9. Discuss budget tweaks with Greg.
10. Post a giveaway!
11. Get new and way cooler blog up and running…with my genius programmer husband’s help, of course.
I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

BNK ~ Back To School Bash

Last Wednesday was the first day of school in our area, and let me tell you…things in town were iNsAnE. Aside from crazy traffic from all the parents driving their kids to & from the first day of school, it decided to begin pouring right before school let out. The original plan for the evening was to attend and volunteer at the Brand New Kids ‘Back To School Bash’. At first it was supposed to be a huge water fight…squirt guns, water balloons, etc. We then changed it to a swimming party, and planned on taking the kids to the city pool for open swim. Then because of the sudden downpour, we had to come up with a plan’C’.

Since the kids were possibly going to be in their swimsuits already, we decided on a Luau theme. For having to come up with a whole new plan 3 hours before kids started arriving, it was hugely successful. Whitney, our Campus Pastor’s wife, searched all over town looking for a pinata with no luck. She did however, find some great decorations and picked up some snacks and the paint for the kids faces. I happened to have a large roll of ‘newspaper’ paper for their murals, yarn for the leis, and I whipped up a batch of home made finger paints. On our way to the church I ran into the store to grab some red food coloring for the finger paints and noodles for the lei’s, and I found some hula hoops for 0.75/each. I couldn’t pass that up. Our Children’s Pastor from the Bergman Campus (Bev) came for the event, and also brought hula hoops…there were enough for each child to have their own. Everything came together perfectly! I spent the evening cutting flowers from construction paper for the leis.
The kids made lei’s with noodles & yarn,
finger painted large tribal murals,
had a hula hoop contest,
enjoyed a snack,
and had their faces painted in a tribal fashion.
Their bible lesson was on peace, and tied in perfectly with the theme and the day’s events.
I would have to classify the ‘Back To School Bash’ as a total success. Thanks to all the volunteers and staff, the kids had a wonderful time and had no idea we were totally winging it the whole night…plus they learned about Jesus! Who could ask for anything more?

I survived the first day of school…

Yesterday the girls went back to school. This means getting up at 6ish, showering, getting the girls up and around, getting Grayson ready, and leaving by 7:15 to take them to school. They did fantastically. I am hoping to keep this routine up throughout the year. The kids were very excited. Trinity began 4th grade, Kylie began 2nd grade, and Kara began 1st grade. (Grayson is not happy that the girls get to go to school and he doesn’t. He keeps loading up his ‘packpack’ with books and toys to take to school.)

After taking the girls to school, dropping Greg off at work, and running by the bank, Grayson and I went to Walgreens then the park. At the park we fed bread to the turtles and then went for a little walk. He didn’t want to ride in the stroller, so our walk was short. We left the park and went to D&T Bargains…this is where I buy most of our canned goods and pasta. I can also find organic snacks for the kids for super cheap. Grayson likes to go shopping with me, and is really good company. He did not like that one of the guys pricing items yesterday kept looking at him. Pointing at the guy, Grayson unhappily exclaimed ‘He looking at me!’ I wanted to crawl under a rock. We were almost finished, so we zoomed past the guy, grabbed a couple more items, then headed to Walmart. Walmart. was. packed. Our shopping trip at Walmart was uneventful, except that I found 2 Thomas and Friends trains (Ben & Rosie) on clearance for $5 each. Somehow he didn’t notice when I put them in the cart, and then paid for them…convenient since those are going in the stash for Christmas presents.
Yes, I said it. Christmas. I have to start preparing early because we have Christmas, then 2 days later is Grayson’s Birthday, then the next day is Kylie’s Birthday…it is insanity.
I shopped too fast in Walmart, so it wasn’t time to pick Greg up for lunch yet but I didn’t have enough time to run home…plus I didn’t want to waste the gas. So I ran back to Walgreens to grab milk and another bottle of Softsoap Nutri Serums Body Wash which ends up being FREE after the RR this week. We then headed to pick up Greg from work.
After eating lunch and unloading all the groceries, Grayson and I left to go to one of my favorite places…Buffalo Coffee. Of our usual group, Grayson and I were the only ones…but we had a nice time. He colored and ate his organic smiley face snacks, and I drank my iced coffee and read.
The weather turned nasty right before we left to pick the girls up from school, so we got quite wet running to the truck. The drive to K & K’s school was rough. It was seriously pouring so hard I could hardly see even with the wipers on full speed. There was a truck in front of me in the right lane that was baja-ing through huge puddles…I sooo would have loved to get a pic of the ridiculously huge spray he was making, but driving and taking pictures w/ my phone in that rain would have been dangerous. I only had to sit in line for about 15 minutes to get Kylie, 3 more minutes or so for Kara, then after the drive across town to Trinity’s school only about a 5 minute wait to get her. We came home, emptied backpacks, listened to everyone’s ‘First day back’ stories, and then got ready for the Brand New Kids ‘Back to School Bash’. It was supposed to be a swimming party at the city pool that Greg volunteered us to supervise, but we had to improvise and come up with ‘Plan B’. All about that craziness tomorrow…including lots of pics!

To-Do Tuesday

Well, today is my 10th ‘To-Do Tuesday’ post, so I feel the need to make it one that I will accomplish much. I have been super busy with getting the girls ready to go back to school, and taking on random projects around the house…so I am also including some fun stuff in my list.
1. Finish cleaning tiles to dining room table & put back together.
Isn’t it pretty! Seriously, I love the look of this table, but it is not kid friendly. (Food crumbs get between the tiles, and if they spill anything, it gets under the tile and goes straight through to the floor…massive messes rather than a little spill. Boo!)
2. Inventory pantry & fridge.
3. Make menu for 2 weeks.
4. Make shopping list & gather coupons.
5. Grocery shop.
6. Take Grayson to the park to feed the turtles & walk the track.
7. Take time to read.
8. Get stuff ready for yard sale.
9. Discuss budget tweaks with Greg.
10. Post a giveaway!
11. Get new and way cooler blog up and running…with my genius programmer husband’s help, of course.
I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

LOVE?

I’ve been tossing this blog post around in my brain for awhile now, and have finally decided to write it. I’ve said before that God speaks to me in strange ways. Well, I have a guilty pleasure that I need to admit to so that I can fully get my point across. Here it goes…I watch Desperate Housewives. I love it. I watch the reruns I haven’t seen yet, and then explain to Greg what happened to each character that day when he gets home from work. Whether he cares or not, he listens to my ramblings.

On to my original point…LOVE…what is it? where can it be found? how long does it last? There are so many answers to these questions, that I honestly don’t know where to begin. How about one of my favorite passages in the Bible?

“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil; but it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).

Love is something so pure and so simple. It’s not fragile. Even though it feels like it, it’s not a feeling. It’s a choice. You choose to give it, you choose to receive it. You may have been ‘unlucky in love’ or whatever. You may be one of those who have been happily married for 50 years, or you may be like half the population (including me) an have experienced divorce. Regardless of past mistakes, choices, or consequences, someone in this world experienced love because of you.

Well, I heard a message at church while we were participating in the OnePrayer series. God is Love. It really is that simple. The word love has become twisted and overused. People use it as a weapon, they use it as a crutch, they use it as an excuse, they use it to express just a general feeling of enjoyment (as I did in the first paragraph when describing my feelings for Desperate Housewives).

To answer ‘where can it be found?’…this question has a million answers. It can be found in the beauty of a flower, the compassion of a stranger, the caress of a spouse, a favorite meal, a chore done without asking, a note from a friend, the gentle snuggle of a child, a thought, a song, etc…the list goes on.

And finally the question that inspired this post…’how long does it last?’ I already knew the answer to this, but an ending monologue during Desperate Housewives last week really spoke to me. God spoke to me. It clicked…I got it. Love lasts forever. It always has been and always will be. I as a mother, will love my husband and my kids with all my heart. I pass that love on to them. When I’m gone, the love I shared with them will live on. They will love others, and that love that I shared will be shared. It will go on forever.

Love is forever. It will go on with or without you, whether you want it to or not. Love is your legacy…love is all our legacies.