The Desk Fairy? Really?


Just a quick note on this much-needed Friday. My kids just went back to school after being disastrously ill for most of the week. I was so happy to see the bus driver at pick up I could have kissed him. My house is in shambles and my fridge is almost empty. Just an overall crazy week.

My daughter is notorious  for her messy room. You can barely open the door. She hoards everything she can get her hands on. She told me her goal in her adult life is to have an apartment to house all of her ‘stuff’ and her cats(at present time, we have no cats that I know of, but they could be buried under the treasures in her pigsty  room.)

You can imagine my shock and surprise when she came home with this note from the Desk Fairy. WTF is a Desk Fairy? Apparently, she does desk inspections to make sure everything is neat and tidy. One would think this would not be the note my child would get from the Desk Fairy; I could totally see DF doling an eviction notice to my kid. Visions of jacked up, tattered books and broken pencils climbing out of her desk filled my head.

Did my daughter steal this note from another kid? Did I get sucked into a portal and end up in a parallel universe? Nope. This note was hers and came with a shiny, new Mardi Gras style bead necklace. Awesome. More stuff for the hoard. Then, a brilliant idea came to me. If my kid could believe in the Desk Fairy and the Tooth Fairy, why not a Bedroom Fairy?

As we walked home from the bus, I began my speech.

“You know, K, there’s a Bedroom Fairy too. Ya know, one who makes sure you clean your room?”

“Mom, no there isn’t,” she said as she gave me her best ‘whatcha talking’ ’bout Willis”look. Not that she knows what the ‘whatcha talking’ ’bout Willis look is’. That’s a lot little before her time. We will get there eventually.

“Yup. She makes sure you clean your room. Maybe she gives out prizes too.”

“No. She’s not real.” She sped up and raced into the house. I think that the Bedroom Fairy will be paying a visit soon. And re-decorating with some ‘caution’ tape.

Any advice on how to get a kid to clean his or her room is welcome.



Target Mini-Haul: NYX and Essie



I’ll spare you the details but I will say the winter blues have set in. Hard. Yesterday was the first day I’d been out of my house in awhile. So, of course, I hit up Target. In an effort to cure the blahs, I picked up a few beauty items I have been waiting to get my hands on. With Spring around the corner (and on my mind), I thought some color would put the kibosh on the dreary day.

Essie In the Cab-ana from the 2015 Sunday Funday Line

I don’t have too much to say here. I love the color. It reminds me of my favorite by the pool spring/summer cocktail – a Seagrams Escapes Calypso Colada. The color is a bit brighter and punchier than a Tiffany blue. To me, it screams tropical. I want to scream because of this weather and could use a little bit of the tropics in my life, so it’s a perfect fit.

DSC_0038NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm (L) and Istanbul (R)

Matte? Yes. Long lasting? Istanbul stayed on longer; Stockholm seemed to slide off my lips. Can we discuss the scent? I think NYX was aiming for a cake batter smell but it’s more buttery than sweet.  I am not a fan of the smell but I do the color of Istanbul.

NYX Eye Brow Shaper

It doesn’t really do much. Not a keeper. I’d truly rather spend money on Anastasia products that actually work as promised than blow $9 on a wax stick that does diddley.


Essie All In One (Base, Top Coat Glaze)

It works as promised. My nails look fabulous; too bad I paint them like a six-year old.



Skylanders Skystones : The Game



Recently, it was brought to my attention that there was yet another Skylanders product my kids just had to have. Luckily, the object of desire was much less expensive than any of the other Skylanders we had bought before; General Mills made the decision to put the Skylanders Skystones game in the boxes of their most popular cereals. Again, I was late to the game (pun intended) since the release was two weeks ago and  I was only able to get my hands on some Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch today.



You are probably asking yourself what the heck are Skylanders Skystones. In the instance of the cereal box prizes, it is a board game played with cards. The playing board can be cut from the back of the cereal box. Tucked safely inside the box and wrapped in plastic is the pack of cards. Cards come with Trap Team characters and have a red background on one side and blue background on the other. A ‘coin’ card (again red on one side, blue on the other) is flipped to determine which color side of the board the player sits on.



The goal, according to the directions, is to have more Skystones cards than your opponent. Cards are placed next to each other on the board and battle. Cards ‘attack’ and ‘defend’ based on where they are place and their ‘strengths’ are determined by arrows on the character cards. As an added bonus, a code is included on the Skystones’ card box (don’t lose this!) that unlocks exclusive characters on the Skylanders Collection Vault app, which is available on phones and tablets. Even cooler, coupons on the cereal box for $1 off Skylanders characters and $10 off of Starter Packs. Check it out wherever General Mills cereals are sold.




Skylanders Skystones: Available Now In General Mills Cereals

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 1.50.46 PMDefinitely behind on this one BUT General Mills released in North America on Valentine’s Day cereals with Skylanders Skystones in the boxes.

Skystones Info:

4 Sets of Cards, 10 Cards in each. Two cards are bosses which unlock exclusive content playable on the Skystones mini game, available in Trap Team and previous versions of Skylanders’ games.

Which cereals:

Honey Nut Cheerios

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Reese’s Puffs


Lucky Charms

Available now and while supplies last. Get on it, parents!



Open Letter To My Kid

24169_382271553434_260425_nAfter a long weekend of being sick, along with everyone in my house, this is the best piece of writing my brain could muster. If you are a parent, you can relate. If you are not, well, you may laugh or be slightly repulsed. Enjoy. I am going back to bed.

Dear Son,

For the love of all that is holy, please, please stop pissing all over the toilet and surrounding areas. God gave you a penis; it comes equipped with point and shoot capability. Use it. Hands help with aim. We’ve been over that a million times; the “I didn’t touch it so I don’t have to wash my hands” defense doesn’t cut it.
Remember those times in your toddler hood where we had target practice shooting at Cheerios in the potty? Your aim was spot on. SPOT ON. We’d high five (post hand washing) after all your successes. Does mommy need to break out the Cheerios again? Let me know.

Love and Kisses,
Your Exhausted Mother, Fresh Off Toilet Cleaning Duty Post Scary Virus Weekend


Germ Free Kisses to All Who Read This,


Plunge Time: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation,Audacious Lipstick and Beauty Blender

DSC_0031I am the first one to admit it: I read too many blogs and watch too much YouTube. In turn, I get swayed by the buzz generated around all different kinds of products(beauty and otherwise) and end up making tons of purchases. It’s hard not to get pulled into the hype when you repeatedly see the same products being called “The Holy Grail.” So, guess what I finally caved in and bought? Before I review, I’d just like to point out a few things about my skin. I have dry, sensitive skin with large pores in the T-zone. I will also state that I am in my mid-thirties so what works for my skin (or doesn’t) may not be a match to say, someone in their teens or twenties. Now, onto my reviews.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation: I tested this over a three day period.

Day 1: Really more of ‘night’ one since my delivery from Sephora arrived at 6PM.

Primed my skin with Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer, used Sephora CC Cream and Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer prior to applying. Used Beauty Blender to apply.

Result: A little dry and sinking into my pores. However, my skin had not been cleansed, exfoliated or moisturized since the morning. I felt that this wasn’t a fair assessment and decided to give it another go in the morning.

Day 2: Skin cleansed, exfoliated and moisturized. I used Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. Same CC cream and concealer. Used Beauty Blender to apply.

Result: Foundation held up through a 12+ hour period. I even napped on it and it was fine. (Here comes the ‘but’.) The foundation started to look dry and sink into my pores around the eight hour mark.

Day 3: Skin cleansed, exfoliated and moisturized. I used Porefessional by Benefit. Same CC Cream and concealer.

Result: EUREKA! We have a winning combo! I filled in my pores with Porefession by dabbing it, not rubbing it, gently in my most porous areas. Then I applied it to the rest of my face. I let it sit for a minute to sink in, then went into my routine. I used my new Beauty Blender to apply. Application was even and flawless.

Verdict: It’s a keeper, as long as I keep myself well stocked in Porefessional.

Cost: $48.00 from Sephora Color:Mont Blanc

DSC_0039NARS AUDACIOUS Lipstick in Anita

Result: Worth the hype! I applied this first thing in the morning, napped with it and it stayed on for at least 12 hours. Anita is an amazing nude rose color. I always choose makeup for everyday looks and Anita fit the bill perfectly.

DSC_0043Verdict: Keeper

Cost: $32.00 from Sephora Color: Anita


NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla

Result: Gave full coverage to my trouble areas. Fabulous for dry skin and long lasting.

Verdict: Keeper

Cost: $29.00 from Sephora Color: Vanilla

Now, just a few quick notes about the Beauty Blender. Jury is still out. I don’t see too much of a difference from copycats but I intend on using it for a while longer before making a decision. Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser has been creating quite a buzz in the beauty community so I figured, what the heck, at 5.99 I could give it a whirl. I definitely like it; the Porefessional fills in my pores better. I really love the way Baby Skin makes my dry skin feel. It’s light weight and not greasy. I will add this little tidbit: based on what I have seen from bloggers/vloggers with oily skin, Baby Skin may not be the best product for those who fall into that category. However, if you have dry skin, I would suggest giving it a shot.





BH Cosmetics Contour and Blush Palette 1: A Review

DSC_0019To be honest, Kim Kardashian’s contouring routine freaked me out. The end result is a flawless, chiseled face buried under pounds of makeup. It also takes a lot of spackling and time to achieve the look. As a busy mom, I don’t have time to stand in front of mirror for hours to bring out my cheekbones. That is why I avoided contouring for as long as I have.

I mentioned in previous posts that I have recently started to watch beauty gurus on YouTube. Gurus fascinate me because they break down these beauty tutorials and make the processes seem easy to do. Alas, I am no guru and things aren’t always as easy as they seem. I started to experiment, lightly, with some bronzer, just to get the basics down.

Once I felt comfortable with the techniques of highlighting and contouring, I wanted to find a great palette. Back to the gurus again. To be honest, I didn’t feel it was necessary to spend loads of money on a contouring palette just yet. I eyeballed the one current palette offered by Anastasia of Beverly Hills but at 40.00 I hesitated. I’m not quite ready for the big girl tools just yet.

YouTube Gurus Nicole Guerriero and Devan Skyles pointed me in a new direction. I had heard much buzz about BH Cosmetics but hadn’t yet checked them out. I liked the look of BH’s Contour and Blush palette and at 11.95, I couldn’t see the harm in making the purchase. Another bonus is that the palette is a multi-tasker – contour,highlight,blush and the colors and even be used for eye shadows.

The verdict: definitely worth purchasing. The colors are easy to build and blend. Colors were also long-lasting but simple to remove with makeup wipes. I use this palette everyday in some capacity and adore it. My future plans include order more BH cosmetics products to see how they stack up to what I already have in my beauty arsenal. For more information, you can check out BH Cosmetics here. I am not an Anastasia or BH Cosmetics Affiliate, just a fan. I get nothing in return if you click on the links 🙂



What Is An Amiibo? A Quick Parents’ Guide


I saw an ad for amiibos in one of the pre-Christmas catalogs. I thought, “Oh great, here we go again. More figures and another ‘portal’ to buy.” My kids are obsessed with pretty much every character in the amiibo collection so I figured there was no way around buying Nintendo’s latest addition. I started to research amiibo online and was puzzled when I didn’t come across any type of ‘portal’ that I needed to purchase in order for the characters to appear in a game. Basically, you touch the figure to the Wii U pad or Nintendo 3DS and voila! Character bonuses appear in your game. So, which games do the amiibos work with?

Here’s the current list of Amiibo games:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Super Smash Bros. for WiiU
  • Hyrule Warriors

In the works:

  • Mario Party 10
  • Code Name: S.T.E.A.M
  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
  • Captain Toad’s Treasure Trackers
  • Yoshi’s Wooly World
  • Super Smash Bros. for 3DS
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

In short, you need to purchase the compatible games and the amiibo figures. So what happens when you tap the amiibo character to the WiiU pad or 3DS? Depends on the game. For example, if you are playing Mario Kart 8, and you touch the Yoshi figure to the pad, you will now be able to change your racing suit to a variety of Yoshi racing suits.

Which Nintendo characters are in the amiibo line? Characters are available from the most popular games, including: Mario, Yoshi, Princess Peach, Kirby, and Link from The Legend of Zelda.

My thoughts thus far on amiibos are that it’s an engaging addition to the games. I’ve played Mario Kart 8 using the characters. Amiibos definitely add a dimension of extra fun to the game playing. My kids and I are eagerly awaiting the addition of Mario Party 10, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Captain Toad’s Treasure Trackers to the amiibo mix. You can find out more about amiibos at Nintendo’s website.  (Not an affiliate, just a fan.)



Spice It Up: Penzeys Spices

DSC_0006Almost 10 years ago, I married my wonderful husband. The months preceding the wedding contained beautiful gifts and well wishes from family and friends. It was an exciting time and I tried to relish every moment of it. One gift that was outstanding was a gift crate from Penzeys Spices. When I say crate, I mean crate. Wood and packing shreds. It seemed to be a bottomless pit; I just kept pulling out spice after spice, salad dressing bases, extracts and a wonderful pepper mill with our initial  on it.

I would love to say I jumped right in and started to experiment with my new seasonings. It took me a little while to get my groove in the kitchen. I had grown up in an Italian household where my grandmother and mom always manned (or woman-ed) the stove and I was not allowed near it. When it came time for me to have my own family, I had no choice but to get familiar with the kitchen. It was not always easy-going but in the last ten years, I have to say I have definitely come full circle. I love cooking as much as I love eating. Now, back to the spices.

Fast forward to this past weekend. We threw my mother in law’s 80th birthday party. A very kind aunt brought me a hostess gift: a small box of Penzeys Salad Dressing Bases. SQUEEEE! Seeing the familiar logo on the box brought back the excitement I felt when I received my wedding gift. I could not thank the aunt enough and am really excited to make some new dressing. While there is nothing wrong with bottled dressing, nothing beats one made from scratch with fresh herbs and spices.

I haven’t had an opportunity to use my dressings yet but I can vouch for Penzeys’ products. My wedding gift lasted me quite awhile and the spices stayed fresh. I love the packaging’s neutral colors – beige and black labels, black lids and clear containers. Penzeys makes great gifts for anyone who loves to cook or is learning (I speak from experience). I highly recommend you check out their site – Spices at Penzeys – for your cooking or baking needs.

As a disclaimer – I am not an affiliate of Penzeys and I get no compensation if you check them out. I am just a fan 🙂

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