Friday, October 31, 2014

Current Obsessions


Where is the time going? I can't believe it's already Halloween and time to change the clocks back! We hope y'all have a safe and fun Halloween and enjoy that extra house of sleep.

Here are the things we currently can't live without!

Elissa:

Jamberry Nail Wraps:  Most of my adult life I have gone without polish on my fingernails because I cannot stand chipped nails. In my case even a nail salon manicure is not lasting more than 24 hours. Between work, kids and living - I always, ALWAYS chip my polish. Then over the weekend my little sister busted out all her Jamberry Nail supplies and let us all try them out. Applying the wraps took some time and getting use to but let me tell you, it's been 5 days and my nails still looks fantastic! There are a ton of different colors and designs to choose from and you better believe I bought myself some sheets! 

Gilmore Girls: I loved this show when it was on the air. A few months ago it was announced that the complete series was going to be released on Netflix for streaming. I was very excited and have been reliving all the good times in Stars Hallow with Loreli and Rory and all their friends. This is such a sweet show and this time around I have daughters of my own I appreciate the mother/daughter relationships on the show. Now I need to get through all seven seasons before Netflix starts streaming every Friends episode! (January 2015!!) 

Goodreads:  I do this to myself every year! I give myself a book reading goal. This year I set the goal at 75 books. I currently am reading book #63. I am so close. The website/app Goodreads is one of my most used apps! It is kinda like Facebook for readers. Here you can list the books you have read, are reading and want to read. You can also connect with friends to see what they are reading. I love that all the books I have read are saved chronologically with my own rating. I also love that I can pull up my "want-to-read" list when I am at the library, or double check to see if I have already read the new Nicholas Sparks (I have!). 

Irene: 

Gimlets: My latest alcoholic drink of choice is a delicious gimlet. Vodka gimlets are pretty straightforward and limey which means I love them. During a recent trip to San Francisco, I encountered a common drink bar after bar... basil gimlet and it was just as delicious as the orginal. If you love a hint of zing in your alcohol try a basil gimlet the next time you're bar-hopping.

Once Upon a Time:  With halloween coming up I was suddenly in the mood for a little fairy tale action. I began binge watching this show on Netflix about three weeks ago and I'm already three seasons in, CRAZY! I must admit the beginning of season 3 was a bit of a repetitive drag, but just as I was fading away... BAM, the teasers got good and I was on to the next episode. Overall, I've enjoyed the reimagined lives of Peter Pan, Snow White, The Wizard of House and so on. It's a pretty good show and the current season features the storyline from the animated tale Frozen.  I'm looking forward to that!

Road trips: I haven't been able to get my road trip fix under control, so this weekend I'm headed two hours away with family. I've enjoyed the time on the road with my little tribe complete with pit-stops and photo ops. My favorite part of road-trippin' is singing & dancing to top 40 hits with my littles one and bonding with my husband during long and productive conversations. Road trips also break the monotony of an uneventful weekend. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Don't let work get the BEST of you in the WORST ways

I was recently promoted, again. It's been a lot of upward and forward mobility for me in a professional capacity over the last three years. I am beyond blessed for the opportunities. I began as a lowly Case Manager and hit the mother-load paving the way in a never before chartered path. I became the Executive Director of my agency five years after my first interview where I told that ED I'd have her job one day. 

Now, it hasn't all been cake-walk evaluations and happy-go-lucky relationships. Working my way up the ranks came with its fair share of trials, issues and challenges. Every bump in the road was met with two things:

HARD WORK and INTEGRITY

It has truly boiled down to those two key areas of growth, focus and accomplishment. By working hard I ensured my work, not my words, spoke for themselves. Hard work led to not only more pay, but professional respect, added knowledge, and growth opportunities. I continued to work in spite of office stressors, common office politics and in times of uncertainty. All careers have uncertainty. Many times those uncertainties are in the hands of others or situations we cannot control. What can we control? How hard we work! So when all else fails, work hard, work harder than ever before. This way, work isn't getting the WORST of you as you continue to give your BEST!

Integrity was (and is) another key value in my professional life. Integrity doesn't mean always doing what's right and easy. After all, what is right isn't always easy; in fact, it's usually hard. I am a very honest professional. This honesty is rooted in integrity. How honest I've been didn't always equate to comfortable situations. However, personal integrity as a woman, as a professional dedicated to a non-profit career and simply as a human being meant doing what was best not what was most comfortable. My need to live in a way that is integrity-driven means being as transparent as possible. Sure, I could have been more ruthless in my career choices, but I wasn't. I'd like to think it paid off, and this way, I feel better with how I've lived not only my professional journey, but my life journey above all. Compromising my integrity would have gotten the worst of me and that was an area I was never willing to jeopardize.


What are your professional philosophies that keep the BEST you in business?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Younique 3-D Fiber Mascara Review

If you are on social media then you must have seen a post somewhere from someone talking about Younique 3-D fiber lashes. For a while there it seemed like every other post on my Facebook feed was about this stuff. It started when one high school friend started selling it, then another. Then a 3rd and by then my interest had kind of been peaked. When it comes to the latest in make-up trends and the latest "it" product to be selling I am a huge skeptic.

Huge.

I tend to roll my eyes at anything that says it can make something longer, or bigger.



Then my friend Angela sent an email out telling us that she was going to get in on this mascara craze and would be one of the first to sell it in the U.K. (Did I mention Angela lives across the pond?) Now Angela is one of my best friends. She is super smart, gorgeous, and is the type who will tell it like it is. Then she asked if I would review the product on the blog. I said yes because really I was dying to try this stuff out. I mean how can anything make my lashes longer? My lashes are as long as they are going to be. The only way that something could make my lashes longer is if they actually added something to my lashes, and that's crazy!

 Or is it? 

I received this cute black box with 2 tubes inside. The only other thing I needed to grab from my makeup kit (aka my caboodle) was my eyelash comb.


So inside the box are 2 tubes. One is the "Transplanting Gel" and the other is the "Natural Fibers" as well as a pamphlet with instructions. I recently had watched a youtube video about how to apply this stuff and it took the lady like 9 minutes and you know "ain't nobody got time for that!".


So I set aside 10 minutes to try it out. Here is what I'm working with in the lash department.


I start with curling my eyelashes because that is how I roll. Then I started with my first layer of transplanting gel. It looked like regular old mascara. Then I pulled out the "natural fibers" and I was like "what is this??" It looks like a hairy caterpillar. Then I realized what this product does. The gel is the base for these fibers to stick to. It is going to actually add something to my lashes.


Now the lady on the YouTube went through about 5 or 6 coats of this stuff and that's why it took her so long. I added gel, then fibers, then gel and then fibers and then gel and then I stopped because....


All I needed was 2 light coats and a few swipes of my eyelash comb and my lashes were longer than I have ever seen them. Here they are 5 hours later.....


I have to admit that I am amazed that...

1. this stuff not only works, but works really well.
2. it takes maybe 15 seconds longer to do than my regular mascara does.
3. It lasts all day long and comes off easily with simple soap and water.

My only concern was that my lashes looked "clumpier" than I liked but after a few more applications I am starting to get the hang of it and my lashes look better each time.

Besides the mascara being amazing Angela has even more reasons for getting involved in the company. It was the company's mission statement that convinced her to give it a go. The Yonique focus is "to uplift, empower, and motivate women all over the world." Angela has a "day job" that allows her to have flexibility and independence, and even though she never saw herself in direct sales this opportunity to be part of a company that teaches women how to run a business is exciting.

So now I am a believer and new lover of the Younique 3-D lashes.

The mascara is available in the US now and will be available in the UK on November 1st. If you want to buy the products or just learn more about them you can head over to Angela's website at www.AngelLashesUK.co.uk. Here you can check out all the products and even contact Angela with any questions. Or just to say hi, she is super cool and you should totally be her friend.

Head to www.AngelLashesUK.co.uk to order yours today.
 Tell Ang, Punk Rock Mom sent you. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Interviewing A Four Year Old…

As I sat down to blog my sweet four year old daughter lay next to me chipper as ever smiling away. This immediately led to me figuring out how to include her in my blogging. Here's what resulted…

1. What does love mean? When somebody loves you, you say "I love you!"

2. How does love feel? Good because love is from the heart and in your heart you are beautiful!

3. What's your favorite color? My favorite color is rainbow because I love all colors.

4. What's your favorite food? Sopita (soup)

5. How many numbers can you count to? (Counting ensued) ….1…. 10… what comes after 10 again? 11….28… mmmm, I can count to 29 (though she really counted to 100 with a little help)!

6. What's your favorite song? Let it Go from Frozen

7. Tell me about your brother (s)? Yesterday, my brother and I played star wars and dressed up in costumes. What's that thing again? Oh, I know... we were rebels.

8. What's your favorite thing about mom? I love you very much. I love you in my heart because you and me are girls.

9. What's your favorite thing about daddy? I love daddy. He moves stuff! I love my daddy.

10. What do you want to be when you grow up? A drum player!

11. How do you make a sandwich? You put lettuce, cheese, tomato, carnita (meat), ketchup all in bread.

12. What's your favorite show? I like… Dora the Explorer because Dora has fun with Boots driving, learning ABCs and at water slides.

13. Who is God?  God is the mother. My mother.

14. What's your favorite holiday? Snow… winter (I guess she thinks holidays are seasons).

15. Anything else you want to say? Yeah, mom, what's your favorite thing?

My answer: YOU!


Sometimes we just need a little Q & A session with our children. The actual questions and answers don't always matter, but the quality time spent together does. Besides, kids' honest answers are the best. Who knows? You might film a Q & A and strike gold with the next viral kid video sensation.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Breaking Bad Toys

A woman from Fort Myers, Florida was outraged when she found action figures from the Breaking Bad television show at her local Toys R Us. She did not want her children to be exposed to these dolls based off the characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. If you are not familiar with the show Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin. Jesse is his sometimes dumb, lovable sidekick. The dolls come with guns, bags of money and a bag of meth. This mother could not find reason for these dolls to be in a kids toy store. 

This mother was upset enough to take action. She began a petition to have the toys removed from the shelves. And it worked. Toys R Us has removed Walter and Jesse from their shelves. Aaron Paul, the actor who played Jesse Pinkman had something to say about it. On twitter of course.




Now I loved the show Breaking Bad. I binge watched it a few months back. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen. But I watched every episode without my kids. It is obvious that a show filled with drugs and violence is not appropriate for children. When it comes to these action figures I am torn on my opinion. On one hand, the toys are labeled for 15 and up and as a parent if you don't think these toys are appropriate then don't buy them. But at the same time should little kid have these toys next to their legos and Star Wars figures.

What side of the controversy are you on? Florida Mom's side or Aaron Paul's side? 


Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Costume Deals

I purchase five costumes every Halloween, okay, I purchase three but can buy up to five. I don't mind it, but wow are they pricy. Plus, they are usually pretty basic fits. Costume quality is pretty low leaving not much of an outfit after the "big show" on Oct. 31st.

Because costumes can feel like a huge investment, I've taken to shopping around for the best Halloween deals. If you're still shopping for the right costume (and price) this year, there's still time to snag a good deal. Check out these money-saving tips:

• Buy Secondhand: kids costumes are usually the easiest thing to come by secondhand. Consignment stores usually set out a huge gently-used selection around early September and options are plentiful up until just before Halloween. Yelp: consignment to find a spot near you with costumes 40%-50% off regualr price.

• Order online: be cautious here of high shipping costs. Give yourself at least a week to find the best online deal. For folks using Amazon.com you can buy secondhand costumes and if you have a Prime membership (which I love) you get free two-day shopping on a ton of inventory, new and used. Prime is an investment of $100 annually but it's well worth it. Before Prime I'd spend too much every Halloween season. This year I purchased three costumes my kids had their hearts set on and none cost more than $15 bucks. With free shipping, this was a great deal with mega convenience. I dodged scouring busy store aisles with highly overpriced outfits.



• Do-It-Yourself: this area isn't for everyone but if you're the crafty and creative kind then you already know how low-cost this route can be. My sister was just out shopping for one basic piece: a Tu-Tu and couldn't believe what a simple piece of bunched up tulle was going to actually cost. She went the DIY route and only spent $4 dollars. With Pinterest, do-it-yourself is easier than ever. 

These are three simple tips to not breaking the break this Halloween! 
Please share you money saving ideas with our readers. Comment below...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tiny Houses


I recently watched the documentary "Tiny: A Story About Living Small". This documentary followed a man named Chris and his year long journey of building his very own tiny house. There is this new movement that is fueled by environmental concerns, the want to live with less stuff, mixed with the decline of the housing market that has people building and living in these mini-homes.

So how small are we talking here? Well most of these tiny houses are between 100-200 square feet. That's it! Many are built from scratch on a trailer. To give you an idea of how small this is, the average three bedroom home in California is about 1500-1800 square feet. These tiny homes cost about $150 per square foot to build. This means that a 150 square foot tiny house would cost about $22,500 to build. This seems like a lot for such a small place, but after your initial investment the cost to live in them is minimal. Most of these homes run off solar panels and usually are set up in someone's backyard so things like property taxes do not exist.

Inside a Tiny House
The idea is very interesting and seems to be sprouting up over the western states. The people interviewed in the documentary seemed to be really excited and happy to be living in such a small space. One thing I noticed was that with the exception of one family, most people living the tiny house lifestyle were either singles or couples.

I know that I could never live in a 200 square-foot house with my husband and 2 kids. Really that sounds like torture to me. But the idea of living with less stuff is very enticing.

Could you live in a tiny house?