Who has a lot of Bath & Body Works? *Sheepishly Raises Hand

Oh man, oh man, oh man! Since I decided to reformat my YouTube Channel to all demos (shameless plug — you can subscribe here) I decided to organize, declutter and reexamine my Bath & Body Works collection. Marie Kondo seriously needs to kick my ass.

Let’s just say I’m pretty much stocked up in the bath and the body department until about 2073 — of course I’ll turn 103 that year and might need all of those moisturizing products a bit more. Either that or they’ll invent a real working time turner in the next few years and I can just turn back time (now I’ve got Cher in my head) and use up all of this stuff! I wonder if Cher shops at Bath & Body Works. I bet she does.

What the what!!!!!!

So how on earth did I acquire over 300 Bath & Body Works product? Yes, 300! It’s actually easier than one might think. Most Bath & Body Works stores are located in the mall and they have really pretty eye catching displays to draw you in — AND the place smells amazing — AND I’m like a bird with a new shiny thing when it comes to Bath & Body Works.

Hypothetical story time — No, this isn’t me (yeah right)!

So there you are (coupons in hand) drooling like a loon over the latest fruity fragrance that you just can’t live without, then your mom says…oooo, this one smells good too and into the blue mesh bag it goes (and you often wonder if those blue mesh bags ever get washed), of course you really don’t care at this point. An ostrich could have popped in that blue mesh bag and you’d still use it! At this point you’re grabbing Ultra Shea Cream like it’s the last loaf of bread on the shelf in a hurricane. Then by the time you reach the back of the store (they always put the check-out in back) your blue mesh bag weighs like 600 pounds and you just know you’re going to need a chiropractic adjustment when this day is over but you hoist that bag up, fork over your cash and leave with a big dorky smile on your face.

So let’s just say my collection has bloomed and blossomed and over run my house like weeds over the years and I ended up cramming it into every crevice of my house, but I’m cured now, kind of, OK, not really. I’m still going to Bath & Body Works but I’m going to leave without over filling that blue mesh bag….yes, that’s the plan.

Of course it doesn’t help that they get new must-have products every single season and you can bet I’m there loading up on new scents. Tutti Dolce? Hot Cocoa & Cream? Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice? Admit it, every single one of you buys a new Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice every single year because of all that pretty packaging!!!! Well played Bath & Body Works, well played.

If you want to oooo and ahhhh and spy on my outrageous collection (you know you want to) check it out on YouTube and wish me luck! From now on I am ONLY getting a few things to demo on YouTube. No more huge collections. I swear on Marie Kondo’s tiny container collection. For real. Really. NO REALLY!

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The Chocolate Pen Is The Devil

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We just got done using the Candy Craft Chocolate Pen and my, oh my what an adventure. I am beyond flummoxed on how this little devil got a high rating on Amazon.

I got this device for my daughter for her birthday and today we had a chance to try it out. Yikes. 3 hours later and we’ve got pink goop in our hair, pink goop on the dog and I’m going to need a jack hammer to clean the kitchen floor.

I am horrified that this thing even made it to market. It simply does not work. Not only does it not work but it will drive you mad in the process of not working. Either that or I am the most dim witted person on the planet because after 3 hours of hard work we ended up with a pile of muck.

First the clip that holds the tip on does not clip. OK, it clips after you monkey with it for an hour. Second the “frosting” doesn’t come out unless your heat it up to a zillion degrees, then it comes out in a volcanic burst. Third, the “frosting” doesn’t even come close to popping out of the molds, it just kinda flakes out in little pieces. Ugh.

The above photo depicts the candy that turned out good, I can’t even show the rejects, too scary.

So do yourself a favor and just buy your kid a pastry bag and some frosting, it’ll be much more fun and  a lot less messy.

If you don’t believe me, listen to  Bunny.

15 things the vertically enhanced can do better

At almost 5′ 12″ I apparently qualify as a vertically enhanced human and I was reminded of this fact over the weekend by my very observant in-laws. Every single time they see me they inevitability say, “Boy, you are really, really tall”.

My husband’s Aunt also tactfully pointed out that I may have even gotten taller since the last time she’d seen me. Perhaps I was just elongating for primal purposes.

Luckily I was able to come up with 15 things people (like me) can do better than the vertically challenged folks (i.e. my in-laws).

  1. We can see your bald spot.
  2. We can put the star on the Christmas tree.
  3. We can touch Mars when we wear heels.
  4. All our jeans are capri pants.
  5. We can make amazing snow angels.
  6. We can date Mick Jagger.
  7. We can wear drag queen shoes.
  8. We can make big foot tracks.
  9. The air is better up here.
  10. We don’t need a step stool to get in our SUV.
  11. We can reach the pedal.
  12. We can drive with our head sticking out of the sunroof.
  13. That top shelf? Not a problem, ever.
  14. Playing keep away is fun and ridiculously easy.
  15. We can out walk our in-laws. Eat our dust…

And yes, next year I expect that my height will remain stable.

I’ve got turkey guts in my hair, welcome to my world

Ah the joys of Thanksgiving.

Today my mom and I decided to be proactive and cook the turkey to get some of the work out of the way. OK, let me rephrase that…my mom decided to cook the turkey to get some of the work out of the way. My big game cooking skills are wobbly at best so mom to the rescue, that’s the advantage of having your mom live with you. Sandwich generation win!

So I was the designated helper. Unfortunately our Fresh Young Turkey (that should be a band) was a bit on the frozen side so we couldn’t yank the guts bag out without an ice pick. So after 20 minutes in the oven we tried again. That sucker was stuck. By then I was determined to get the bugger out and did a huge yank. That worked. I also succeeded in spraying turkey guts all over my head. Here’s how it went down.

ME: AGGGGGHHHHH! I am covered in turkey guts.

MOM: Can you hand me the bag with the remaining guts?

ME: I. Am. Covered. In. Turkey. Guts.

MOM: Yeah, so can you hand me that pan?

KID: Mom, you’re covered in turkey guts.

HUSBAND: Gross…you’re covered in turkey guts.

THE DOG: My guess is she was thinking. “Cool, you’re covered in turkey guts”.

ME: *leaves room to decontaminate.

So there you have it.

Word to the wise, don’t yank on the turkey guts bag without protection.

 

How to have a Happy Thanksgiving without throwing anyone out the window

If you’re not one of those perky, perfect Wal-Mart pioneer woman commercial families (and who is?) than follow me. I’ve got some real world advice for handling Thanksgiving dinner with the relatives that won’t leave you crying, jumping out the window or heading for the liquor store.

Check out my Thanksgiving Family Dinner Solutions for the real world.

If this happens: Little Joey show up blowing green bubbles out of his nose and hacking up a lung. i.e. Sickness has invaded your home.

Solution: After years of having the walking dead show up at my house for Thanksgiving dinner I enacted “Code Green”. If someone enters my home with an illness I whisper “Activate Code Green for Joey” which means…

  1. Don’t touch the sick kid.
  2. Don’t touch anyone else who has touched the sick kid.
  3. Don’t go within a 2.4 foot radius of the sick kid.
  4. Don’t share food, toys, furniture or the dog with the sick kid.
  5. Don’t look the sick kid in the eye (he might approach you).

This actually works pretty good in years past. Lastly, don’t worry about offending anyone with “Code Green”. Better safe than sick.

If this happens: A mean person shows up.

Solution: Mean people suck and they come in all forms…the nasty sister-in-law, the angry spouse, the disgruntled Uncle…you know who I’m talking about, we all have them. Here’s what I do. It’s very subtle!

Blast a little Bruno Mars on the sound system. Not only a catchy tune and but the lyrics are pretty straight forward and will make you feel better about said nasty person. The cool part about this solution is that you’ll feel better walking around singing this song in your head and the nasty one won’t be the wiser! Or better yet loop the video on the TV!

If this happens: Aunt Sally tries to get you to man the kid table. Why there has to be a responsible adult at the kid table is beyond me. I mean so what if they make a mess? Also sitting at the kid table violates Code Green, “Don’t go within a 2.4 foot radius of the sick kid”. So whatever you do don’t get suckered in to sitting at the kid table.

Solution: This involves math. Under no circumstances do you put an extra chair at the kid table. Smash those little buggers in like sardines. This way no adult can be seated at said table. If Aunt Sally insists take away her big people chair and let her share a seat with the sick kid. That’ll teach her to butt in.

If this happens: People won’t leave! You slave away for hours making dinner and all you want to do after enduring hours with the family is get in bed, watch Harry Potter and eat Jelly Belly’s.

Solution: Fein illness. Nothing clears a crowd faster than some fake vomiting. Go in the bathroom. Make some retching noises and look clammy when you come out. Voila! Room cleared. Commence Harry Potter marathon.

I hope these simple tips help others in need.

May The Force Be With You!

Kohl’s You Are My Albatross

It’s no secret that middle aged suburban moms (like me) are addicted to Kohl’s and no coincidence that Kohl’s lives right next to Panera or Starbucks.

I know, I know I should be cooler than Kohl’s and shopping  for retro fashion with a unique flair. Nope I shop for Levi’s, cotton shirts and hoodies at Kohl’s. I suck.

Kohl’s is pretty savvy with their PR and marketing strategy too. They get me every single time with that 30% off + Kohl’s Cash offer that inadvertently arrives in my mailbox when I need something trivial like new socks. I am so weak. I cannot pass up that 30% off deal and they know it!

Then the Kohl’s Cash forces me to trudge back to the store (use it or loose it) only to be lured into buying some useless suburban mom crap like a 62″ R2-D2 or Darth Vader pajamas.

Today (armed with my 30% off coupon) I went to Kohl’s with a mission. My husband needed a new dress shirt and pants. I was feeling noble with a purpose. I was no longer that caffeine depraved mom uselessly trolling the aisles for a deal. Nope I had a goal, or so I thought.

Sometime in the past few weeks Kohl’s brought out the big guns. Christmas decorations, Star Wars Jelly Belly’s, shiny sparkly do-dads…everything that distracts me. So instead of just walking out with my husbands shirt and pants I managed to fill another whole grey bag with stuff. Leaving the store with Kohl’s Cash clutched in my hand I hung my head in shame, exited the store and headed to Starbucks.

Well played Kohl’s, well played.

Basement banishment and a broken toe

Ok, raise your hand if you have a basement.

OK, raise your hand if your basement is unfinished and essentially a spider habitat.

Last one, raise your hand if your mother won’t let anything back up from the basement after it’s been banished there.

If you raised your hand to all three, welcome to my world.

This is actually a funny story. As many of you know my mom lives with me and she’s got this old world notion that once something (especially a kitchen something) has been in the basement it’s banished there for life. A couple of years ago I bought a really nice stainless steel wok with a very heavy plexiglass lid. It worked great but took up a ton of room in the kitchen so one day I figured I’d move it into the basement for storage.

Fast forward like three months.

ME: Who wants woked (is that a word) vegetables?

MOM: You’re not bringing that wok back upstairs.

ME: Why not?

MOM: It’s been in the basement.

ME: So, I’ll wash it.

MOM: No.

ME: Why not?

MOM: It’s been in the basement, it’s probably covered in spider webs.

OK, and so the wok stayed in the basement.

No biggie, I can get my woked veggies elsewhere.

Except…

I refuse to actually get rid said wok, instead it moves precariously throughout the basement as I rearrange crap. Well today I did a huge clean up, carried a ton of stuff into the basement and wouldn’t you know the dang wok lid (which weighs about 17 lbs) fell off the shelf and cracked my toe.

The good news…no one (except Toby) really gives a hoot about a toe so I bandaged it up and put on a stiff shoe, problem solved.

Alas my poor wok is still banished to the basement.

I think I’ll be green today (Not!)

I am completely flummoxed by the green, yellow, red, purple, pink behavior system that most public schools seem to have adopted these days.

Old school

When I was a kid in the 70’s we didn’t have backpacks, books, red folders, earbuds, Clorox wipes or sandwich bags to lug to school every day. Heck, I don’t even remember having a pencil, I’m assuming those we’re publicly funded. The behavior system was simple. Classroom chair, stand in the corner, principals office. I think that system pretty much worked.

Here’s the gist of the new color system

Upon arriving at school you’re assigned green (nice color, kind of Kermit like) but most likely you won’t get to keep Kermit status all day. Things happen. Voices get higher, giggles come out, shoes fall off, the desk won’t close, someone gets poked, feet start swinging…you get the picture. Kids being kids. So begins the fall from grace. Green becomes yellow, yellow becomes red and perhaps if a foot manages to stop swinging…redemption, back on green. If you happen to be having a particularly angelic day you might even climb high enough on Maslow’s hierarchy to achieve self-actualization which equals purple or pink (i’m not sure the what the difference is between these two) which in turn earns you tickets to win candy or a Chinese made plastic action figure.

WTF

As I’m writing this post the sheer lunacy becomes crystal clear. Our educators are spending at least a quarter of the day assigning and moving the color system around the class. This feels harder than fantasy football and more stupid than a presidential debate. Jimmy, Kate, and Lois are on green, Stanley’s under his desk, that’s a yellow, Pam stole Ian’s iPad to read Dr. Seuss, that’s a red. Stanley’s back in his seat, green. Thank goodness for Liam, he’s earned a pink (and 10 tickets) for pulling the lunch cart which our incident…and so it goes on and on and on. All. Freakin’. Day.

I think I’ll be green today

Is this the new aspiration for life achievement? As my kid was getting on the bus this morning she actually said, “I think I’ll be green today”. She didn’t say…I think I’ll be a doctor, or a vet or a NASA engineer or a Wharton School graduate today. Nope. “I think I’ll be green today”. I would have settled for “I think I’ll be Pinkie Pie today”, because that’s way more creative.

I get it (kind of)

Teachers have 25 students to keep on Kermit status which I’m sure is no easy task. But does the color system work? I don’t think so.

Apply this system to real life

Now that’s laughable. Imagine the behavior color system for last nights GOP debate. Ugh Jeb, you’re on red for talking out of turn. Ben Carson, you’re on pink for using your indoor voice, here’s a Donald Trump action figure for your shrine.

Me?

I think I’ll be plaid today or a paleontologist but I’m not being green, sorry kermit.

The Mad Candy Spitting Machine or MCSM

OK so I’ve got Kohl’s Cash that expires tomorrow which means “use it, or lose it” and I am seeing nothing that I want or need. My goal is to declutter the house so what do I end up bringing home? The Mad Candy Spitting Machine or as I call it “MCSM”. The hand activated machine is supposed to spit candy out when you put your hand under it. Nice.

Well woah nelly, this thing is nuts!

We set it up. The kid starts putting her hand under to get candy and walks away. Yet, the MCSM does not stop. It’s now spewing M & M’s all over my house!

We got a bowl, that worked to contain the mess. Whew. But the MCSM completely emptied out and my kid suggests filling it up again, and again and again. Apparently this is fun!

Luckily (after about 15 minutes) I figured out there is an off switch. So now this little gem is going to bring fun and mayhem to our house until it jams or accidentally falls of the shelf.