Monday, August 14, 2017

Hair Today, Fantastic Tomorrow... A Monat Gift Package Giveaway!


Afternoon Readers,

I know what you're thinking."Two giveaways in a row? Things are getting fancy around here. It's a fancy, fancy blog."

Indeed.

Actually, when two people have children, and then they move into an old house, and then decide to renovate two bathrooms at a time, giveaways are perfect. I mean, my stress level is at a ten. Why should your stress level be at a ten? It shouldn't. So I say, let's give away all the things. Speaking of which, there's still one day to enter the Amazon giveaway, so hop on over and don't miss out.

Now then, today's FABULOUS giveaway is sponsored by my lovely friend, Megan Guertin. The way we met went a little like this...

Megan: I sell this amazing line of hair care products called Monat. Would you like to try some?

Me: Yaaaaaaasssss!

Megan: *mercifully still talks to me, even though I'm a spaz* Can I give some away to your readers?

Me: Yaaaaassss!

So, like the lovely angel she is, Megan sent me a huge box of extremely high quality products from Monat. It was pretty much Christmas in July. This was extremely exciting for two reasons.

1.) I buy shampoo and condition for two dollars a piece, and hope it cleans my hair.

2.) My new haircut (you can read about that traumatic ordeal here) usually looks like this...


Coarse, wavy, dry. Things that all describe a desert, but also my hair. It's not down to my behind anymore, but it still looks like I got caught in a tornado most days. "Soft" is way down at the bottom of the list of adjectives I'd use to describe my locks.

BUT...

I've been using the Monat system for two weeks now, and I'm pretty much in love. You can hop on over to their website to learn all the nitty gritty science that makes it awesome, but I can say with 100% certainty, my hair is softer, healthier, and even looks great when I let it air dry and wander to the grocery store. You guys know how I do.

Another perk of their line is that it helps decrease hair loss and increases hair growth. I'm looking at you, bald spots left after multiple pregnancy adventures. If I see a change in those, you guys will be the first to know.

So now the GOOD STUFF.

You guys, enter the handy little Rafflecopter below, because if you do, you win...


Blow Out Cream:
  • Works on all hair types to create a beautiful blowout that lasts.
  • Won’t weigh your hair down or make it feel greasy.
  • Does not create product build-up.
  • Restores softness and shine.
  • Reduces styling time and conceals the signs of damage.
  • Contains Dermofeel® Sensolv, a natural silicone alternative. 100% natural in origin.

Tousled Texturizing Mist:
Creates multiple styles with a variety of textures effortlessly.
  • Non-sticky formula
  • Helps to define layers
  • Adds volume without weighing hair down
  • Long-lasting touchable support

Rejuvabeads: Selectively targets and heals split ends and other damaged or stressed areas along the hair shaft, eliminating breakage and frizz, decreasing friction, increasing shine and helping improve color.   

On top of that, Megan also sent the lucky winner a brand new Monat round brush, complete with the CUTEST bag to keep it in. Just the products alone make this gift package a value of over $100.00!

So, if you want to enter fall with some fabulous hair, hit up the lovely Rafflecopter below. This contest is open to anyone in the USA. As soon as the winner's drawn, I'll mail you a big, beautiful box of happiness.

In the meantime, if you'd like to order anything from Megan, just pop on over to her site and have a
look at all the lovely things she has for sale.

As for me, I've got a date with a bucket of primer and a paint brush.

Until Next Time, Readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Just a Little Amazon Giveaway!


Morning Readers,

Sorry for the radio silence. It's back to school week and I'm labeling all the school supplies on the planet.

Or in my orbit. Basically the same thing. Tiny letters on tiny scissors.

In the meantime, it's worth noting that The Beer's Folded and the Laundry's Cold is now an audiobook! Yes, my darling little book has actually been narrated by a professional and meticulously put back together on Audible and iTunes. Excitement level? Ten.

To celebrate, I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and TEN chances to win a free download of The Beer's Folded on Audible. So if you like free money and books, this giveaway is for you. If you don't like either of those things, I'm sorry, I can't help you.

(But do come back on Monday, because I'll be running an even more amazing giveaway for, say, people who love free, high-end things. I can say no more.)

Ok, hit up the Rafflecopter below, and good luck. If you need me, I'll be writing names on folders and hoping the ink doesn't wipe off before next week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until Next Time, Readers! 

Friday, July 28, 2017

What My Thirties Have Tought Me So Far ...In Horrific Detail

Not me, but getting makeup on my hands and not my face is a pretty frequent occurrence.

Morning Readers,

I didn't mention it at the time, but I turned thirty-three a couple weeks ago.

It's ok. I'll take any applause you can give me for making it this far. My journey through life looks a little like a toddler trying to eat soup with a fork. Finesse.

This year, I had to accept that I'm solidly adrift in adulthood. For a while, I thought I could cling to the late twenties raft, but it sprang a leak, and, all of the sudden, I was an exhausted Rose, wrestling a worn out door, hoping my body fat reserves would get me through.

The morning my birthday dawned, the Kellerman children were twice as excited as I was.

"Can I have cereal?"

"Last night, you said I could pick the first show when I woke up. It's the morning."

"Did you wash any underwear yesterday? I think I didn't find any this week."

Finally, the four-year-old wandered downstairs, yawned, and glanced in my direction. "Your birthday today?"

I sipped my coffee and nodded. "Yep."

"You have a good one, k?" He thought for a second. "Oh, and I need a fruit bar and some milk. Oh, and Mom?"

I smiled. "Yes?

"I need underwear too."

All wasn't lost. I'd started my special day at 5AM, unable to shut my eyes after convincing Mrs. Jones that one-year-olds had no business being up that early. Three, solid hours of quiet had given me a chance to work out, watch a documentary on Dolly Parton, and drink enough caffeine to be perfectly aware of how old I felt. Not as old as Dolly, but she'd already made twenty gold records by my age, so who the hell was I?

Who, indeed.

In those three hours, I had ample time to examine my life thus far, and here's what I know about being thirty-three:

1. I don't care.

It took me a while to get here, but I officially don't care what anyone thinks of what I do, how I dress, and my day-to-day. Unless you're my momma or Jesus, I ain't got time for it. (Unless you see me talking to myself in the frozen food isle and I, clearly, forget to put on a bra. Even then, just look away or grab a Snickers. Whatev.)

2. Intimidation is a non-issue

When I was a teenager, walking past a group of boys always made me feel self conscious. Were they looking? Did they smile at me? Was my mascara sliding off, resulting in some sort of sad clown incident?

Now that I've rounded thirty, that's a thing of the past. At the pool the other day, a group of teenage boys was blocking a direct path to my ratty towel shaped like a whale. Without thinking about it, I walked right through them, a female Moses parting a sea of iPhones and acne. "Thanks," I shouted, while my stretch marks drove them back toward the concession stand.

3. Nature's taking its course

A few weeks back, an envelope arrived, bearing my new driver's license. Stricken, I called up the DMV, "Hello?"

A cheerful woman picked up. "Yes?"

"You sent the wrong license. Dull hair. Bags under the eyes. Papery skin. This is the Crypt Keeper."

"No returns unless you're dead."

"I might be."

4. Worry is like a rocking chair

Something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere. That ridiculous crap will work itself out.

5. Crow's feet are a real thing

6. Mortality Awareness

Life's too short not to go out and take a decent shot at your goals. Seriously. Haul out that bucket list and start checking things off, because the angels are gonna come get your butt one day, and the last words out of your mouth shouldn't be, "I wondered what would've happened if I had done x,y,z..."

7. I can't wear anything with rhinestones on it. I just look ridiculous.


Until Next Time, Readers!



And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fluoride, Take Me Away


Is this seat heated? Because I'm never leaving.

Morning Readers,

Motherhood does strange things to women.

And by "strange," I mean sick, sad, and often downright pathetic events that lead us to say things like, "How many cavities do I need to have filled? Seven? Can you make it eight?"

I had to put myself in check this year. After carefully tending to my family's well-being for months on end, somthing happened that made me realize I haven't been taking care of myself. It went something like this...

*Crack*
"A piece of my tooth just fell out."
"A PIECE OF MY TOOTH FELL OUT."
"Someone needs to fix this."
"My body is literally falling apart."
*Crawls in a hole and dies*

Tabulating on my un-manicured fingers, I quickly deduced that, while I'd made sure Husband the kids showed up for regular dentist appointments, it had been somewhere around the ballpark of  six years since I'd made time to have my teeth looked at by a professional. I called right away.

"My teeth are falling out. Help me."

The receptionist calmed me down. "Can you come in on Monday?"

"No."

"How about next Wednesday?"

"No."

"Friday?"

I leveled with her. "Listen, I have a billion children. The stars need to align to get me in there. Possibly may need to be a leap year. It's literally taken pieces of my body falling out to make this call. The best I can do is three months from now."

"How about July?"

"Done."

Putting off appoints is my stock and trade. Managing everyone else's business is my business, but when it comes to wandering off by myself during the day... well, my new dentist had seen my particular brand of sadness before.

"So you haven't seen anyone in a while, huh?"

I hung my head and stared at my tattered flip flops. "I'm sorry."

"Don't worry, I see this all the time. Moms get busy being moms, and, before they know it, twenty years go by, they lose all their teeth, and I'm fitting them with dentures."

"Really?"

He laughed. "Heavens no. But you do need a root scaling, three fillings, two crowns, and we don't have a payment plan."

Me: *throws confetti ironically*

It was a lot of work, but, somehow, I set up a babysitter, grabbed my Kindle, and headed out the door. Even though it would be a king's ransom, it dawned on me that this particular onslaught of dental work would take time. Lots of time. Child-free time. Armed with this demented brain jolt, I practically skipped through the glass door.

"Paige Kellerman. One-forty," I said.

"I apologize, Mrs. Kellerman. It'll be a few moments."

I padded excitedly over to a chair in the corner. "Take all the time you nee, my good woman."

By the time the actual procedure started, I was in heaven. The dental assistant wasn't so sure.

"Are you doing ok, Paige?"

"Uuuuhuuug."

"But you've had two shots of anesthetic, four numbing swabs, and I stuffed a lot of cotton in there."

I nodded and let out a relaxed sigh. Who needed a trip to the Bahamas? This would do.

Two hours later, my teeth had been scraped, drilled, and put back together like a jigsaw puzzle, the only drawback being the inability to move the left side of my face. The dentist did a once-over and asked some final questions.

"Are you in any pain?"

"Nobe."

"If you happen to experience pain, will you let us know?"

"I cab doob dat."

He smiled. "Because we can always have you back, right away, if there are any problems."

"Reabbby?"

He nodded.

Grabbing my purse, I gave him my best Sylvester Stalone smile and said. "Grabte. I call you toborrow."


Unfortunately, my dentist did a fabulous job, and I have absolutely no pain. I guess it's back to my regular mom duties. With better teeth.

But if I crack something again, it's good to know that my body falling apart comes with some perks.

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Old Anxiety Shop


Morning Readers,

How was everyone's Fourth of July?

All Kellermans are accounted for, and no one was hit by a rogue firework, so all's well until next year's fiesta. Nothing like mixing unpredictable children and sparklers, right?

Wrong.

This year, we decided to up our game and turn the danger to eleven. A rainy holiday forced our hand, and before one of us jumped ship and left the other to certain doom, Husband and I had to pow wow.

"I can't. They're literally climbing the walls."

"We have to get out of here."

"Can you hire a nanny on the Fourth of July?"

"This is a terrible time to break it to you, but Mary Poppins was fiction. We'll have to take them with us."

"The antique shop?"

"Sounds good. If you pull the other two off the roof, I'll grab the two on the banister. Wait. Never mind, I think I hear someone hammering in the basement."

The cookouts and plans had been nixed in favor of rain dates. After watching the children climb the doorways and attempt to ride the dog forty times over the course of Tuesday morning, we ran everyone through the downpour, secured car seats, and headed toward our new favorite past time. We simply had to go over the guidelines first:

Antique Store Guidelines

1. Don't touch anything
2. Don't touch anything
3. Don't touch anything if you value your life

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of wandering around a flea market/antique shop, please envision a backless room, stretching toward eternity, filled with nothing but old, yet fascinating things. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't some sort of heaven for me. I'm almost thirty-three. Sitting in a movie theater or going out to a bar doesn't hold nearly the appeal of rummaging around a decaying milk crate, extracting its contents, and shouting, "Are these doilies two for a dollar?"

Delightful.

So after going over the rules, all six Kellermans stormed into the shop and immediately began touching everything. Clay milk jugs and French sideboards. Geriatric barrels and boxes full of old toy cars. It didn't really matter, every grubby little hand held something it'd dug from behind an old radio or a headless dress maker's bust. We really only had one truly loose cannon to deal with.

"Mrs. Jones. No."

I suppose we haven't checked in on the baby lately, have we? She's closing in on two, highly mobile, and thinks she's in charge of the family. She has very curly hair and yells at us a lot. And that's probably enough backstory to get you to the end.

Taking a toddler into a store full of breakables is beyond idiotic, but she seems to have an affinity for salt and pepper shakers that have What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas! scrawled across the front, so it feels wrong to exclude her. But besides the constant picking up of glass items, she has one other habit that concerns me.

"Bae Bae."

Examining the contents of her chubby arms, I shook my head, "No bae bae."

Crestfallen but determined, Mrs. Jones put the highly creepy old fashioned doll in a headlock and glared at me. "My bae bae." 

It sounds mean, but Husband and I have a general rule about what we drag home from the antique shops - no weird dolls. We've seen the movies. Nothing with a bonnet and one, painted glass eye is following me home. Foot down. End of story. So, while Husband dug for records for our new/old record player, I tried to reason with our smallest and keep an eye on everyone else. 

"It's a creepy baby, honey. You have nice ones at home."

She pointed down. "Bae Bae shoes."

"I see the shoes. They look like they were stitched during the Civil War and have a curse on them."

"Preddy hair."

Two ratty, yellow yarn braids flopped over the doll's face, revealing a huge bald spot in the back of her porcelain head. "Sorry, kid. This thing's-"

Just then, one of the twins jumped out from behind a shelf he'd been digging through. "What's this?"

"It's a scythe. Don't touch the bla-"

"I touched the blade."

A crash on a nearby shelf spun me around to find the remaining Kellermans digging through a basket of Star War's toys being over-optimistically sold for forty dollars.

"Can we have all these?"
"If you spread them all out all over the floor, you can really see what's in here. Hey, tell that guy to step over our work area."
"Hey, Mom. If you look in this one's mouth, you think there's only one row of teeth, but surprise! There's two."

For the next hour, we shouldered on, sifting through piles of board games, lifting old roll top desks, and marveling at large collections of Looney Tunes juice glasses, McDonald's Happy Meal boxes, and giant, metal roosters.
If you visit Kansas, you can grab your own. Just ask.
All in all, it was a solid way to spend the Fourth. No one broke anything (I think), and Husband even bought me some gorgeous bedside lamps as an anniversary gift. Did I mention this was an anniversary trip as well? Stop it. You're not allowed to be jealous of our glamorous lifestyle.

But hey, we didn't bring home any creepy, woven dolls. So there's that.


Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cutting It All Off


If you get your hair cut in the woods, did it even happen?
Morning Readers,

So, I woke up on Saturday and cut all my hair off.

This is significant for two reasons.
a.) I've had my hair long for the last nine years.
b.) I've stopped sitting on it.

They say motherhood is the necessity of invention. Or something like that. But when it comes to hair and raising children, one can attempt to dodge the haircut bullet, or she can take it in the chest and join the ranks of functionality. I've spent the better part of a decade running from the gun and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you have waist-length hair, four kids, and have to go somewhere:

"Ok, is everybody ready? Of course you guys are ready. I've spent the last three hours getting everyone ready. How much time do we have left? Ten minutes? Well, I guess I won't put on makeup."

*Stops to change diaper and break up a fight*

"Right then. I have five minutes to find something to wear. This track suit from 2007 should do it."

*Pauses to add snacks to purse and find someone's lost shoe*

"Sixty seconds until I have to be in the car? Ok, I've got my flip flops and the keys. What? You lost the keys?"

*In the car*

"No, mommy didn't get a chance to brush her hair. She was too busy catching you flying off the bunk bed so we didn't have to go to the ER and be an hour late. Homeless ponytail, it is."

And so, you end up looking like this, every day of your life...


I'd had enough. And honestly? I'd become way too attached to it. I'd transformed into Gollum, brushing it out and braiding it in unattractive ways. "My precious," I'd whisper to it, while simultaneously never doing anything remotely alluring with it.Things needed to change. But because it's me, I decided to go about things in the dumbest way possible.

Me: Hi, I need to cut all my hair off. I decided this today. If you're wondering, it's only about half existential crisis, half split ends.

Salon: Your regular stylist isn't in today.

Me: I don't care.

Salon: So you're ok with having a complete stranger cut off three feet of hair, even though she's never even seen it before?

Me: Yes?

Doubt seeped in, but I made the appointment anyway. Sure, she wasn't my hair guru, but it would be simple. I had pictures. Who'd ever gotten a bad haircut when they'd brought a picture? The internet said close to zero. Besides, I'd only cheated on my stylist once before, and she'd forgiven me. So, I wished Husband the best with our little band of heathens and headed out.

"How much are we taking off?"

"Um." The plastic cape choked up on me while I dug out my phone. "Something like this?" I held up the picture of an inverted bob I'd been stalking for months on Pinterest. Managable, and it would only make me look a little bit like a frilled lizard.

She nodded while she grabbed her scissors. "Oh sure. I can do that."

Relieved, I settled back into the cool vinyl. "Good, because I- "

Snip

Unceremoniously, she'd grabbed my ponytail and chopped it off. For those of you who've never cut off butt-length hair, with a person you don't know from Eve, let me just walk you through the mental process.

1.) Oh sh*t. She just cut off all my hair.

2.) What was I thinking?

3.) SHE CUT OFF MY HAIR.

4.) This isn't my stylist. Mayday. Mayday. Jump out of the chair and run away. I repeat. Jump out of the chair and sprint to the van.

5.) I'm bald.

We'd entered uncharted territory. Trusting this strange woman's instincts, I let her cut, while I interjected with the occasional, "A little more here," and, "I'm feeling a lot of wind back there."

Pretty soon, I had very little hair left. Things were an inch shorter than anticipated. A slow panic began to build.

"I'm just thinning it out all over. You have so much hair."

"Had. I had so much hair."

"Ok, let me just course correct and match this side to that side."

It was clear we had slightly different visions for how I wanted to scar the public with my looks. Mountains of hair continued to fall and, just as I'd lost all faith in anything hair related, my stylist finished.

It was short. So short.

"Looks great." *queue crying internally*

"Glad you like it. That'll be thirty-five dollars."

I staggered back to the van and surveyed what I had left. To be fair, everything was pretty even, with only one questionable section needing to be lovingly grown like a Chia Pet. But most of my adjustment would need to be mental. Who was I? Where was I going? Did I look like Kurt Russell in Escape From L.A.?

One thing was certain. As I buckled up and settled into the driver's seat, realization dawned on me.

"I'm not sitting on it!" I shouted to the empty passenger seat.

And with that, I drove off.

Should I have waited for my stylist? Probably. But life's full of choices, and I chose to be rash and let someone take all my hair. The good news is it doesn't look anything like the time I asked someone to give me "The Rachel," back in 1999, and I ended up looking like a Kindergartner had used dull scissors to make a construction paper scarecrow.

Things can always be worse. And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some growing to do.


Until Next Time, Readers!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Searching For the Great White Whale

"La la la. Not looking at other people's abs. Head back, like a boat, that's the way we like to float."

Morning Readers,

So there I was, tanning my stretchmarks, when it hit me.

The concession stand at the pool sells candy bars for two dollars, and there's really no other way to label that besides highway robbery. But something else dawned on me. Namely, I was exhausted from my research.

What research?

During the summer, I make it my business to take on many, unpaid side projects in order to slowly drive myself crazy. Now that I'm raising four kids, managing the house, and trying desperately to paint my bedroom so I can stop seeing shapes in the drywall, it helps to occasionally look up and yell at the heavens, "Please, more unpaid work."

This year, my side project has taken the form of dragging all four children to the pool and comparing the state of my mom body to every other one wading around in the chemically-treated blue. Now, some women are incredibly pious, secure, and stroll through life not remotely caring what they look like.

I'm not that woman.

In fact, the only thing I'm incredibly secure about is my insecurity when it comes to my post-baby body. That, and my ability to make a decent sandwich. (I have an unblemished track record of people being extremely excited when I make turkey on rye, so I've reserved discernment for other things.)

Yes, I realize I've birthed four adorable humans. Yes, I love them. Of course I have great respect for the miracle of life and only want to mail my children to another country occasionally.
...or maybe three days in a row.

But I've never been the lady who wants to throw on a bikini and flaunt what I've described before as "the jowels of an unhappy bulldog." So this year, like years past, I've parked my cellulite on the zero-entry beach of the pool and continued my search for the mom with the kids in tow, who has amazing stomach muscles and the thighs of a gazelle who works out with Jillian Michaels every morning.

Last week's report reads as such:

Monday - Observed mother of two. Stretch marks on thighs. Wearing two piece. Looks happy and confident. (Probably an exception.)

Tuesday - Watched woman with newborn baby girl. Was smiling, laughing, and wearing bikini. Flaunted postpartum belly. (Second exception of the week.)

Wednesday - Mother of three scolds five-year-old for cannon-balling into old lady. Mom was happily showing off stretch marks on stomach and adorable shoulder tattoo. (Third exception of the week. Findings becoming ridiculous.)

Thursday - Looked promising. Fellow mother of four sat wrapped in towel, throwing fruit snacks at children. Upon standing, however, towel was shed, revealing sassy two-piece, stretch marks on hips, and yet another tattoo on her back, reading, "They're all mine. Quit asking."

By Friday, I'd almost reached the conclusion that maybe I was the problem. Perhaps, next year, it was time to throw away the yards of fabric I wrapped myself in and just put on the damn bikini already. But then, I met her. The Great White Whale.

"Excuse me," I said. "What's your secret?"

She looked at me, confusion spreading across her rested face. "My what?"

"Your secret." I motioned to every other woman at the pool. "Your hair's perfect. You're obviously a size four. And I don't see a stretch mark on you."

"Stretch mark?"

I was getting impatient. "Yeah, you know the things that show up on your butt like racing stripes down a stock car?"

"Mam. I don't have any children."

"What?"

She put my drink on the counter and backed away. "I'm nineteen and I run the concession stand."

"Oh."

"That'll be three-fifty."

Baffled, I grabbed my cup and turned to go. I took a couple steps and called back over my shoulder, "That's highway robbery, you know."

The search continues...


Until Next Time, Readers!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: