You’ll love it, actually

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I had some unexpected downtime this afternoon, thanks to my reliable clumsiness in the kitchen.

It had been at least a week since  my last broken glass, so no surprise when the vessel slipped out of my soapy hands to shatter in the kitchen sink. Of course I decided to keep washing and clean up the glass when I was finished. This allowed me to impale my hand nicely on a jagged shard sticking up at me as I reached for a plastic cup.

An impressive amount of blood and superglue later, I thought I would give myself a couple hours of hand rest to make sure the glue was going to hold under the super tight bandage. Perfect time for the kids to nap and I decided to watch something on my kindle as I sat quietly and safely next to them.

I watched “Love Actually”, for probably the 5th time.

Honestly, I don’t think I could ever get sick of that movie!

It does an amazingly good job of exploring every emotion one can experience in a relationship. The agony of unrequited love. The happiness of mutual infatuation/love. Bereavement, hope, despair, hilarity, and tears as well.

You meet a group of people and explore their relationships with each other, their significant others, as well as families and friends….. all are somehow tied together as you follow along.

Every time I watch, I find a new focus.

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This time…. it’s this couple. Well, not a couple really… She’s been in love with him since she started working at the same office. Everyone knows. It’s been years, nothing exchanged but quick hello’s and furtive glances.

Finally. FINALLY at the office Christmas party, he asks her to dance. You watch them dance, see him play with her hair. See the smile on her face, she can’t believe it…. there is tenderness in the way he holds her, SOMETHING is finally happening.

Skip ahead, he almost drops her off at home and leaves, both still so shy… but he seems tired of this game they’re playing, offers to come in. This is her doing a happy dance around the corner from him, her dreams are coming true!!!

Upstairs, clothes are coming off. Wow, his arms!!

And then her phone rings…. as it rings throughout the movie for her. She tries to wrap the call up, explains to him she has a brother who is “not well”.  He’s understanding….. they proceed.

Rrrriiiinnnnng… RRrriiiinnnnnggg..

He asks her not to answer. She looks so torn, but no….she can’t ignore it.

And that’s it.

The moment is gone. She’s focused on the phone, to a mentally ill brother calling for her, needing her. She covers herself, sinks to the floor, and removes herself from the magic.

This reminds me of another missed moment in another movie…. remember the little Mermaid? Remember when she was soooo close to getting kissed by the prince, and breaking the spell? And then upset by the sea witch and her blasted eels.

It’s that hope, every time I watch this movie, that somehow, somehow the phone won’t ring, won’t interrupt, and this couple will find each other and be able to hold on. Every time that doesn’t happen I just die a little inside for them.

They go back to their lives. Working together. Being polite. That’s it.

This is one tiny moment in a movie full of moments. Big and small, all coming together to leave me feeling both sad and uplifted at the end. Hoping that next time I watch, every one will have a happy ending, and compelled to watch anyway because it’s just so good.

There are a few movies I love like this. An Affair to Remember, The Princess Bride…

Is there anyone out there who loves or hates this movie?

What other movies have you seen that you would never tire of?

 

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Kidpik Review

Oh guys, I couldn’t resist.

Somehow I stumbled across an ad for Kidpik….an online subscription box for kids fashion.

….can you see where this is going?

I signed up for Jenna. Of course I did. After I checked out the site and read that most pieces are in the 12 dollar range, it didn’t seem like such a bad deal, not to mention the 30% discount for keeping every item.

It’s quick and easy to sign up. A simple style profile to complete online, and we were all set for our fashion box to arrive.

It came today!

We wasted no time opening the box, and Jenna loved seeing a personalized message for her inside, along with some fun things to try on.

I actually didn’t have amazingly high expectations for this box, it was more curiosity to see what they would send. I have to say I was surprised because they sent things I really wouldn’t have purchased on my own, but I found really cute on my daughter. Of course I did…

Jenna loved everything, and found nothing too scratchy or tight. She loved twirling in the dress, the bright colors of the clothes, and the soft hairbands with cute flowers to accessorize with.

I loved that the pants had an adjustable waist, and also gave bonus points for the extras in the box for Jenna….. some iron on patches and coloring pages for her to play with.

checking out…also very simple.

Things I love about Kidpik:

  1. NO styling fee!  It’s free. Just pay for what you keep, you aren’t going to feel “stuck” buying at least one piece because you’ve invested a fee that you’ll lose if you don’t buy something.
  2. You can choose to get 4, 8, or 12 boxes per year… and cancel anytime with no strings. I signed up for 4 per year, so unless I change it, our next box will be for winter 😦
  3. It’s fun!!  And knowing we aren’t paying for anything unless we want it keeps me interested in trying it again..no strings!

Right now, Kidpik is styling girls from size 4-14, they don’t have an option for boys yet. Given that my boys hate wearing anything but the basic athletic shorts and Tshirts, I don’t think that’s a problem for me. If Sammy saw a box of nice clothes for him to try on, he would be wondering why he’s being punished.

There you have it! If you’ve got a girl at home, and especially if you ALSO subscribe to a fashion box service yourself…… your little one might love it too. Mine did, and keeping her box was about $58 for all pieces with the discount. Not a big investment for the big smiles it produced 🙂

 

 

 

Another stitch fix review

My last stitch fix box was spot on, almost too perfect for me I thought. So when I sent a note to my stylist for the next box to come, I asked for things like me, but a little edgy or different. I asked for help with different colors since I always choose the same ones that I love. I wanted more tops that weren’t too casual or too dressy. And I updated my Pinterest page with tops I liked or even loved that others had gotten from stitch fix. Here are some tops I pinned….

Merch Blog; don't know why, but this blouse reminds me of poor, doomed Ophelia.  Love the delicate, watery florals.: Like the mix of patterns on this shirt and it looks like a beautiful, light material.: #stitchfix @stitchfix stitch fix https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3590654 Daniel Rainn Estefany Lace Detail Split Neck Blouse $64: Got this Daniel Rainn blouse in my first fix, still my favorite thing!:

So I had a good feeling about this next box.

A few days ago, I got the email….my fix was on the way!!!  Of course I couldn’t wait and peeked at what they sent to me on my stitch fix app.

Oh. Well. Um……..

Maybe I’ll just wait for the box. Surely it won’t be so bad when I try them on.

I got my fix today.

Uh-Oh. That’s not a graduation cap….or a bookmark with a tassle….. It’s a shirt.

Ok, she’s right… I DID ask for something a bit away from my comfort zone. And more color.

But, I can’t. Just can’t do it. Not this one. It is just as bad as I anticipated. Words that come to mind when looking at/wearing this shirt include: Gidget, Baby-doll nightie, way too yellow, doily-esque….. and not me. For sure.

Weirdly fitted

This feels too much like dental hygienist, surgical scrub, hospital gown style, paired with an interesting split halfway up each side. I don’t know how this could be flattering on me, and I’d need to sew it together before I actually wore it.

This top is reminiscent of the furniture I had in the basement of my very first house. Except the flowered pattern was brown, and instead of crocheted lace, there was wood trim. But still. Oddly high waist with that little ruffle thing all the way around is also not flattering.

Ding-ding-ding-ding!!!  We have a winner!  It’s the black top I pinned, and I love the notched detail around the neckline. Thank goodness one can never have too many black shirts. At least I won’t waste my $20 style fee, right??

Overall a disappointment, but I at least learned more about what things I definitely don’t like. So, maybe if that was my stylist trying to find options out of the box, we can walk a bit closer to the box, or maybe off to another side of the box. But get away from this area for sure.

No, I’m not giving up on stitch fix. I think I’ll try to pin more, and give lots of good constructive feedback on the things I don’t like. I know, I just KNOW at some point I’m going to be completely wowed.

 

 

 

 

 

Xcaret, Mexican adventure park

MEXICO165we came for the parrots…….

We decided to go to this place, Xcaret, on our trip. It is kind of like our zoo, on acid.

Officially, the park refers to itself as a natural sanctuary, complete with Mayan ruins and underground rivers. There are also restaurants, shows, opportunities to swim with dolphins or sharks, river rides and plenty of swimming activities. So much to do! Check out the website, if you are ever near there it is worth it!

Cool thing-that we didn’t do- was to swim through this huge natural river from one end of the park to the other, about an hour long trip. Everyone has to wear life vests and you get flippers for your feet. If I were a little braver we would have done it, but of course I had to worry about the “natural” water and possible parasites…… but it looked awesome! At one point on our walk, we looked down and could see the people swimming far below…

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swimming in the river

One fun thing for all us tourists…. you can pay for access to cameras all over the park, they are marked with little footprints on the ground. You wave your wristband in front of a sensor, smile for the camera, and CLICK!

Although it’s really not all that simple sometimes. For instance, sometimes you can’t find the camera….or you don’t have time to smile, people don’t know what’s going on, it’s all happening too fast!!!  Which just adds to the fun when you look up your photos later and see how intelligent your family looks…..

Xcaret, Soy Mexico

umm…..

Xcaret, Soy Mexico

getting used to this…..

Xcaret, Soy Mexico

Don’t ask,

kukulCAM

success!!

So here is what I would do next time…. Stay ALL DAY until the park closes. We wanted to see the shows, but most of them start at 5pm, we chose to leave with the bus at 5:30. We could have left at 9:30 at no extra charge, but I didn’t have a stroller and didn’t think Jenna would make it. Found the stroller rental on the way OUT.

We did enjoy a tame but beautiful boat ride…

Also, the cost of the park includes the river walk/swim…. it’s kind of a big part of the appeal. Next time I might be brave enough to do it. The place is just breathtaking, and we still got to see a lot. Such as, a quick show where men climb a pole to the music of a flute and drum, then spin upside down around and around the pole until they reach the bottom.

I loved the Mayan village, complete with graveyard, living huts, and plenty of character

The fact that even the 3 year old was enthralled was a big deal for me. It’s a no brainer that we will  be back on our next trip,  ready to experience everything Xcaret has to offer.

 

Review of cardstore.com graduation invitations

My oldest just graduated from high school. I may  have mentioned this a few thousand times before….

We are now in the process of planning her party.

Being a girl, my first concern is getting the invitations done right-with the right pictures and the right wording…. we had to wait for little details like the where and the when to work themselves out…. but finally agreed on a date.

I’m into convenience, I’ll pay you to make my life easier…. so ordering invitations I could customize online was the only option for me. Enter cardstore.com, who asked me to review the invitations I ordered from their site.

The site was pretty easy to navigate. There were several graduation announcements to choose from, and we debated over a few of them. There are cards with pictures, and without.

I had one all picked out, pictures in place, ready for the final approval from the 18 year old “adult” daughter.

does this look like blood to you??

does this look like blood to you??

She didn’t like that part of the background was a red colored swirly/scroll design…. looked like blood to her and she wanted it a different color. It DOES look a little vampire-ish I guess. Problem… you can’t change any of the background colors or designs. Put a damper on it for me, as we then had to find another card she would accept.

I didn’t realize how picky she was!!

Didn’t like the lettering over here, didn’t like how something looked over there…..

We finally agreed on a design and fought briefly over what pictures to use.

Tada….. our finished product:

awwwwwww

awwwwwww

Don’t pay attention to the horrible photo quality. This is just my crappy go-phone camera as my iPhone is still MIA.

My next dilemma was wording.

The front of the cards don’t give much room other than the basics of name, school, year, and a one liner maybe….

I needed options on how to word our invitation, given that our family dynamic isn’t the traditional mom, dad, 2.5 kids version.

We had agreed to have the party at my ex-husbands house instead of having 2 separate parties. We both still share the same last name. How do I make sure we look separate, but together for our daughter….and equally hosting the party at his house?

Would have been nice to have some guidelines or tips on how to phrase that whole thing. That might be asking for a lot though….

I did my best with free script on the back of the invitation. Once that part was figured out, the rest was a breeze.

Awesome things about cardstore.com…. they will either mail you the invitations and blank envelopes, or they will MAIL THEM FOR YOU!!!!  I could not actually use this service, as I am still compiling addresses, and doing my best to just hand deliver as many invites as I can. It is nice though to have the option, and I’m sure people more organized than myself would love to take advantage.

The site is incredibly easy to navigate. In fact, along with all the positives that go with that statement, that is probably also the only negative. There is so much ease of navigation, it seems like there is a little lost in the way of choice. The backgrounds and certain parts of the text can’t be altered. This can be a problem if you love the invitation, except for one part that you just hate but can’t change.

There are plenty of options however…. ranging from text-only, to one photo, even up to 12 pictures. The styles offered cover a wide range of tastes, it would be hard NOT to find something you like. You can also shop for graduation announcements OR invitations…. and thank you cards can be personalized and ordered as well.

After reviewing the front and back of our card–nice because you HAVE to do that before completing your order–I clicked to finish and check out.

They were in my mailbox in just a few days, super fast shipping.

see what I did here?

see what I did here?

All in all, a fun and very convenient experience. Gives me all sorts of ideas for upcoming birthdays, and I can even make up my own holidays and create cards for virtually any occasion!

Now is the time to check it out, I’m definitely happy we did 🙂