I received a full-size bottle of Ivory 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash about a month ago. I've been using it since then, and my husband and daughters have tried it too. I have to say, I really like it. I've used it as a shampoo/conditioner and as a body wash. My hair has been really soft and shiny, although it does nothing to tame fly-away hair. I use a leave-in moisturizing product on my hair to help it behave, so the fact that some people reviewing this product have said that it's not very conditioning doesn't seem to be such a big deal in my case.
As a body wash, we've all loved it. You don't have to use a ton to get it to foam up, and it is VERY foamy, which I love. My husband really likes it because it isn't drying, and doesn't smell all "girly" like a lot of body washes, it just smells clean.
My daughters have used it and like it as well. They both have very soft skin anyway, but the Ivory seems to keep them better moisturized than the bar soap we usually have in the shower.
I do use a separate facial cleaner, but I have been considering trying the Ivory on my face too. I was worried that it would be too drying, but now I think that won't be the case.
I've used a LOT of bath and shower products. I used to sell them from one company as a work-at-home mom. I have to say, this is the only one I've liked enough to use daily. Usually I start to use a body wash, then decide it's too much of a pain for too little benefit and go back to soap. I think the fact that I can use this as a whole body wash, including my hair, is what has made the difference.
I can honestly say I would recommend Ivory 2-in-1. I don't know if that will be the case with every review I do, but this was a good one.
Note: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
My kids are amazing, wonderful people who make me smile and laugh nearly every day of their lives. I got to spend time with all three of them today. My son, who is now 16, hugged me more than once. My older daughter, who is 13 now, spent some time snuggled up on the couch with me. And my youngest, now five, said "Happy Mother's Day" to me in sign language. She had practiced it at school all week.
We had brunch today with my mom here at our house. She brought appetizers and a cake, I made overnight french toast with strawberries, ginger chicken salad and cut-up cantaloupe. I love making brunch recipes, so I don't mind cooking on Mother's Day as long as it's fun. Chris cooked dinner later on, although I honestly wasn't very hungry after all of the food we ate during the day.
I really enjoyed my day, and was glad to have all three of my kids here with me. I hope all of you moms out there had great days too. Happy Mother's Day.
The best thing about working at a library is that I get to see so many books. I see the new books as they come in, and I see so many books coming through, getting checked in and out, that I am always discovering new and interesting things that I want to read.
The worst thing about working in a library is accepting that I can't possibly read all of the books I want to read in one lifetime.
This is possibly the best book I've read so far this year. Room
tells the story of Jack, a 5-year-old boy, and his Ma (we never know her name). They live in "Room," which is literally a single room that includes their bed, bathroom, kitchen, table, TV, etc. You quickly realize that they are being held captive there, something Ma knows but Jack doesn't. He doesn't, in fact, know there is anything outside of room. All of the other things are "from TV," not real. They are visited almost nightly by "Old Nick," the man holding them captive. The life that Ma has created for them in room is amazingly rich given the small resources she has. Jack knows how to read and write, draws, makes crafts, does P.E., and is only allowed one TV show a day. Doing all of this every day takes a tremendous amount of effort from Ma, but it also keeps her going by giving her something to focus on. She realizes, though, that Jack can't be kept in "Room" much longer. He is growing, and needs more than that small space and his Ma to be his whole world.What was most striking to me about the book is that the difference between knowing that they are captives and not knowing makes their experience of the same place and events completely different for Jack and Ma. Jack thinks of Room as home, and doesn't want or need anything but Ma, his five books, and all of the things in Room, which he calls by name as if they are friends of his, not just objects in Room. They are his friends, as are some of the TV characters he watches, especially Dora the Explorer.
For Ma, Room is a cell. She has been locked in there for seven years, away from her family and friends and everything she knew before. They have no windows except for a skylight so they don't even get to look outside. She tries what small things she can to try to get rescued, like standing on the table and shouting as loud as they can at the skylight in the hope that someone will hear them. She blinks the light on and off at night, a Morse code SOS, so someone might see. Jack only knows that sometimes they do shouting, and at night Ma blinks Light. He doesn't know why, and doesn't question either action because they have always been part of his life."Old Nick," as he is called by Jack and Ma after Jack hears the name on TV as a name for the devil, is a menacing figure. He comes in at night to visit Ma. She hides Jack away in Wardrobe at night until after "Old Nick" has left, not because he doesn't know about Jack, but because she doesn't want him even looking at Jack. Ma has a bad wrist because "Old Nick" hurt it once. She is careful to placate his anger if she causes any, and agree with him that she owes him so much because he takes such good care of Jack and her.The book is written entirely from Jack's point of view, but he repeats what he hears so we know what others are saying, even though he is too young to understand much of what grown ups say. Much of what makes the book so fascinating is that even though Jack is to young to understand some of the things said or things that happen, we as the readers know more than he does. We know how to interpret the conversations he overhears. We know how to translate some of the sounds or actions he witnesses into the actual events occurring. Jack tells us much more than he himself knows.I found this book to be not only a great read as far as the story goes, but very well-crafted. Emma Donoghue pulls the reader in from the very first page.
You want to know more about Jack and Ma. Donoghue takes what could have been a truly horrifying story, and changes it into something very different. The situation they are in is certainly horrifying, but since it is told through Jack's voice, there is a lack of horror to it. While you feel for Ma and of course hope that they escape or are rescued, you also know that to Jack, everything is perfectly normal. How can you feel horror when everything is presented through the eyes of this bright, enthusiastic 5-year-old boy? And it is that twist in tone that captivates you and makes this book one that is nearly impossible to put down.
Our budget, like most people's these days, is tight. We are a family of 4.5 (my son lives most of the time at his Dad's house to go to school in his town. He visits here, my older daughter visits there.) plus three cats, one with dietary issues. I try to spend as little as possible on food, but have not been very good at it. Eating healthy food is not cheap, however. This year, I decided to try gardening to cut back on our produce bill.
I have gardened in the past, but I haven't taken the time to do more than grow a few tomato plants and peppers for the last couple of years. One of the biggest challenges here is that although we have a lot of land, we have a LOT of deer also. Our record at once is 13, but generally we see between 4 and 8 visiting each day. Since we are still renting, I'm not going to invest in the amount of fencing it would take to protect a garden from deer. It's also out of my price range right now.
We will be planting a container garden on our back deck for the most part. While the deer are actually brazen enough to come up onto the deck, it is easier to keep them away than it is to protect plants in the yard. I had a container garden at our condo when we lived in one. It was very successful, and I'm hoping I'll have the same result here.
On Saturday, we bought seeds. I thought about what vegetables we eat regularly that would also be easy enough to grow in containers. I started with salad. I bought butter lettuce, a mesculin mix, and arugula (my favorite green), cucumbers, and tomatoes (of course). I also chose peas, which my kids love off the vine, green beans and zucchini. I like zucchini because it's versatile and prolific. It can be part of dinner, snacks and even dessert.
M. wanted watermelon and pumpkins. I'm not sure how well that will go because I'm not sure where we can plant them, but we chose seeds for watermelon and white pumpkins.
We also bought seed starter trays (cardboard), which I then kicked myself for buying because we could have used egg cartons. Oh well. I'll know better in the future.
M. was so excited that we planted the seeds Saturday evening. We had 10 seeds and 50 seed starters, so we started with 5 of each plant. I also color-coded the pots with Sharpies so I'd know what was planted in each. Here are our planted pots:
M. has checked them every morning, and watered them whenever they get drier. This morning, we saw this:
This is the arugula starting up in three of the five pots. If you want a quick return for your efforts, arugula is a very good choice.
Once the plants are big enough, we'll be moving them outside. I have large pots and window boxes, stakes for the tomato plants and trellises for the peas and cukes. I may try to trellis the zucchini too, but I'm not sure how well that will work.
I'm still deciding where to plant the pumpkins and watermelon.
Is this plan going to cut our grocery bill in half? No. But it will save us money on the produce we already buy, and it will be organic, which we normally can't afford. That's important to me. I hate exposing my kids, and myself, to pesticides and non-natural growth methods.
Next week, I plan to visit our local food co-op after I get paid. I will be buying some things that we need in bulk and concentrating on organic foods. I also plan to visit the farmer's markets more often, as long as I have a car available to drive there.
Are any of you gardening this year? What are you planting? Any tips or advice for the rest of us?
I'm obsessed with birds. Not real birds, although I do like those too, but bird crafts. I found these on Etsy. There are a ton of them, and I tried to narrow them down, but I really am not good at choosing. Here are this week's Friday Finds.
Rustic Ring-bearer's Box by Green Orchid Design Studio
Baby Products - because birds and babies go great together
Fitted Cloth Pocket Diaper by True Baby Designs
Three Little Birds Nursery Art Print by Galerie Anais
Bird Stack Nursery Art Print by Barking Bird Art
Cherry Blossom wall decals by Nature Style
Tech Covers - makes me want to buy an Apple product just so I can have these
Rainbow Birds iPhone case by Sodacase
Vintage birds cell phone case by Arete
Macbook Air laptop bag - Janine King Designs
Bird Artwork to liven up your walls
Watercolor by amberalexander
We Are the World print by Karan Karla Aron
Chicadees - Giclee Print from Betsy McClellan Studio
Birch Tree Love No. 1 by Kelly Bermudez
Bird Pillows and Pillow Covers - comfy AND pretty!
Bird Silhouette Felt Appliqued Pillow Cover by Pillowme
Color Birds Pillow Cover from Sukanart
French Retro Vintage Country Bird Cotton Linen Cushion Cover by Craftfabric030
Bird Pillow Cover with French Script by GatheredComforts
Bird Pillow Cover by Classic By Nature
Teal Bird on Cherry Blossom Pillow by Joom - Now on Sale!
These are just adorable. Or cool. Or beautiful. They're just some extras that I loved.
Felted Bluebirds of Happiness by the Feltasaurus
Chicadee Stained Glass by Glass Corner
Vintage Bird and Roses Handmade Gift Tags by Maison de Papeterie
Bird Digital Clipart by Lori Mittan Studio
Bird Earrings by Jugosa
Bird Watcher Necklace - Field Sparrow by HandyMaiden
If you are as big a fan of Etsy as I am, try to check out these amazing artists and crafters. If you've never been to Etsy, you definitely should. It's awesome.
After work at the library yesterday, I went out for lunch and shopping with my older daughter, H. I've been wanting to spend some time alone with her for a while, and we never have a chance. I get a lot of alone time with her younger sister, and since I drive her brother back and forth to work from either his dad's house or mine, we have a lot of time to talk also. But H. and I don't get to do any of that. So I planned some time specifically for us to be together.
First we went out for a sushi lunch, which is her favorite. There is a pretty good sushi restaurant here in town, and they have great lunch specials on rolls, so we headed over there. You get miso soup, a green salad and two rolls (whatever kind you want pretty much) for a very small price, so we both ordered that.
After lunch, we headed off to buy H. some shorts, which turned out to be a lost cause. She doesn't like denim because the seams in the waistband irritate her, so that cut out about 75% of what's out there right now. Most of the rest were "short shorts," and since she's only 13 I'd rather she didn't dress like a pole dancer. Plus, she hates those too. She's a pretty modest girl.
We did find two dresses that she liked for the Spring/Summer. One is a black shirt dress with white polka dots. The top layer is shear, and there is a black sheath underneath. We found it at JC Penney:
The second dress we found at Kohl's. I don't like it as much as H. does, but it's nice too.
After shopping, we went to The Farmer's Cow Calfé for ice cream. They are a local place that uses local milk to make the ice cream. They also have lunch and breakfast items. H. and I had a nice time sitting and talking, mostly just joking around. It was really too short a time to spend with her. She was late getting ready, and we had to pick her brother up at work by 5:00. Still, it was nice to spend some time with her. I'd like to do it again soon.
I love Pinterest. I could spend days hopping from board to board finding things I love, things I want to do, places I want to go, and just pretty stuff to look at. These are just a few of the amazing things I saw today.
These Birch Tree Toasting Flutes
from Mary Elizabeth Arts
are absolutely gorgeous. I love pretty things as much as the next girl, so when I found this throw pillow
in the Miss Modern Shop
on Society 6, I suddenly had visions of decorating my office area in the basement to look more like me and less like...well, a mess.THIS is probably my favorite upcycle project ever. Seriously brilliant. I found it on Upcycle Us, but it's orginally from Stitches and Nails. They took an old entertainment center, and turned it into a child's custom kitchen.I also liked these upcycled cork planters, but think they'd be very easy to make. With all the Mad Men-influenced styles out there, you'd think people would be sick of 50's/early 60's
fashion, but it seems they aren't. Which is good because otherwise I wouldn't find things like this vintage taffeta dress.I could go on and on, but I won't. At least not this time.
I realize this may come as a shock to many of you. I realize that some people talk about the giving tree in reverent tones as one of those wonderful books from their childhoods that they can't wait to pass on to their own children. For me, this book is an off-putting tale of a very selfish boy who grows into a very selfish man, and the tree who thinks that sacrifice is the same thing as love.
Let's look at the book, shall we?
It starts out innocently enough. There's a boy, the tree loves him, he plays in her branches and with her leaves, relaxes in the shade, and loves her back. Nice enough so far.
Then the nice little boy grows into a teen, and moves on. Still, perfectly normal.
Then the teen grows into a materialistic young man who isn't interested in playing with the tree, he just wants money. So the tree gives him apples to sell. And he takes them, leaves, and doesn't come back until he is nearly middle-aged and needs something again.
Now he wants a house, so the tree lets him cut off her branches. And he leaves. This time, he is an old man when he comes back. Now he wants a boat, so the tree lets the man cut her down entirely to build a boat. And he leaves.
You could say it all turns out well in the end because the now ancient man comes back, sits on the trunk (all that's left of the tree), and the tree is happy.
Basically, throughout the entire story the man takes and takes, and the tree gives and gives, and it's pathetic. I don't know if it's supposed to teach kids about selflessness, or just teach them that it's ok to be selfish because a good mother (the tree) will sacrifice and sacrifice for them until there is nothing left of her. That it doesn't matter if she's happy or not, as long as they get what they want. What kind of a lesson is that?
I have never read this book to my kids. I read it as a child, and reread it as an adult and was amazed at how screwed up the story was.
So where do you stand on this book? Do you see it as a great work of children's fiction, or as a lesson in selfishness and martyrdom? Do you read it to your kids? Why or why not? Feel free to answer in the comments section.
Kitty with her son, Thumbs
Our Kitty, the mother of the other cats we own, is having issues again. Part of her colon is blocked off by a bone that healed wrong after she was hit by a car. Most of the time she's ok, but a couple of times a year she stops using the litter box (or anything else) and requires medical intervention. It is unpleasant for her and everyone involved, and I spend the whole time worrying that this will be the time the problem can't be corrected. So far, I'm just not sure. I think she's getting a little better because she's at least eating again, which she hadn't been. But she is hating me right now for medicating her. I hope she's better soon, because she's the best cat EVER and I hate when she's sick. Of course, she's also the cat who got hit by a car, gets sick semi-regularly, and generally gives us the most heart attacks. But she's still the best.
Update: I woke up this morning and checked on Kitty, and she looks more bright-eyed and alert than she has in days. If she keeps improving, she may have the run of the house again soon. Keep your fingers crossed!