|Photo from our trip to the aquarium last Friday. Marlie could not get enough of Mr. Turtle. She stared and stared and pointed and tapped the glass. She also screamed at other children who got too close to the tank. As far as she was concerned, Mr. Turtle belonged to her.|
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Dowtown Abbey is a British soap opera about what happens when members of the upper-crust and lower class coexist under the same roof of a grand manor estate. Fireworks! Artistocrats and servants alike scheme and scandalize against the backdrop of major world events like the sinking of the Titanic and the start of World War I. It's positively tantalizing!
My Five Last Girlfriends is a cheeky British film about an unlucky-in-love bloke who, after a silly suicide attempt, relives his last five breakups in an imaginative series of flashbacks. Each failed relationship is illustrated as an amusement park ride. It's not LOL funny, but it's amusing in that British humor kind of way..
Monday, June 27, 2011
It's been three years since a professional hair stylist touched my tresses. I can make excuses, but in reality none of it justifies neglecting my hair. So when I received the offer to visit Indira Salon in Carrollton for a review it was like being granted a wish by a genie.
I knew that my primary reason for going to Indira Salon was to perform a review of its services, but I was secretly hoping that I would meet a stylist who I could form a long-term relationship with, someone who would help me nurse my hair back to health. I am thrilled to report that both goals were accomplished!
I walked into Indira on a Saturday afternoon, nervous and slightly sweaty from the Texas heat (the climate here is murder on the hair!). I was immediately greeted with a big smile by the owner, Beth, who put me at ease with her Texas hospitality. She gave me a tour, offered me water, and seated me in the waiting lounge.
Indira is a full-service Aveda salon. I have been a big fan of Aveda for years because of their mission to provide products and services in harmony with nature.You know how this hippie mama feels about Mother Earth! Indira Salon embodies the Aveda concept from its intimate layout to its South Asian motif. Soothing Lite FM music softly pipes through the sound system. Everyone who works there is very friendly. The atmosphere is very relaxing. Noticeably absent was the smell of burning hair or harsh processing chemicals. I could tell I was going to have an awesome experience.
When I was introduced to my stylist Tishia, I knew instantly that I was in good hands. After Tishia sat me down in her chair, she explained the steps of the KeraGreen protein treatment I was getting. Then she gave me a shoulder and back massage! It's one of the complimentary perks with every hair service at Indira. Tishia washed my hair with a detox shampoo, blow dried it, applied the KeraGreen, and finally flat ironed it to seal in the moisture. I also received a trim and style.
My hair came out gorgeous! It was shiny, vibrant, and felt so healthy! I can go on and on about it, but you can see for yourself:
One more shot of my beautiful hair before I announce the giveaway...
One lucky lady in the Dallas Metroplex is going to win her own summer makeover courtesy of Indira Salon! This prize includes a color, cut, and makeup application. Sweet, huh?!
Giveaway ends 7/8/11 at 12:01 am EST. Use the Rafflecopter form below to record entries (click on Read More to load the entry form).
***UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that some readers are receiving an error message when trying to submit their entry. Please try refreshing the page. The programmers also suggest restarting your computer. If neither of these recommendations work, please submit a report to rafflecopter. I apologize for the inconvenience.***
I received this review and giveaway opportunity through Business2Blogger.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
What else happened this week:
- We've tweaked Marlie's summer camp schedule to 8:30-11:30 am so that she is not cranky when I pick her up because she is hungry and tired. Now she comes home, eats lunch and goes down for nap by noon.
- We went to the Aquarium at Fair Park. Marlie loves fishes and she gaga for turtles.
Yesterday, I visited Indira Salon in Carrollton for my complimentary KeraGreen treatment and style for my upcoming review and giveaway. I was very nervous since it's been three years since I've had my hair professionally done. A big reason I have avoided salons is because of my hair loss. While I knew a hair stylist would be discreet, I didn't want other patrons staring.
I could not have felt more comfortable at Indira. As soon as I walked in, I was warmly greeted by Beth, the proprietor, which put me at ease. My hair magician Tishia was uber-cool and did an excellent job as you can see in the after photo. The entire experience was A+.
If you live in the Dallas area, come back tomorrow for my complete review of Indira Salon (with lots of before and after photos), plus the giveaway for a color, cut and full makeup at Indira...who will the luck lady be?
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I am going to make this giveaway short and sweet. As the mandatory first entry, just visit the website then leave a comment on this post stating what toy you'd use the $10 code to buy. Simple!
As always, extra entries are available (but optional). Use the Rafflecopter form below to record entries (click on "Read More" to load the form). Giveaway ends 6/27/11 at 12:01 am EST
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
|I stumbled across this SUV in a parking lot on Mavs Parade day. It's clear by the message scrawled on the windows that the owner is proud of the Mavericks championship win. Even though I was rooting for my hometown team the Heat, no one has rubbed the loss in my face...that's what's known as Texas humility.|
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
It's official: Marlie is a Yo Gabba Gabba! groupie, and I've stopped trying to curb her enthusiasm for this TV show. It's just confetti...eye-popping, dazzling and over with in a flash. Besides, she is actually learning something from the Season 1 episodes. Her favorite one is Dance, of course. She loves doing the "Jumping Jellyfish" with Hector Jimenez. She also likes the hold still game.
All Good Things is another Ryan Gosling vehicle (I've had an actor crush on him since The Notebook). It is loosely based on the life of a NYC real estate heir and his marriage to a pretty medical student. She goes missing, but it's decades later before the authorities start looking at her disturbed husband as a suspect. The film is little aloof for a story about multiple murders and leaves a lot of loose ends, but worth watching to see Gosling's solid acting and amazing transformation from dashing young man on the edge to a weathered, middle-aged man forced out of hiding.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
She isn't hitting as much thanks to my new discipline method. I hold both her hands to her sides for 1 minute while saying, "since you can't keep your hands to yourself I will hold them for you." She hates this. When I let go she immediately says sorry. This was the scene on Thursday after she hit a classmate again at gymnastics. We have 3 more classes to attend this month and I am dreading it. I wonder if I am known and the mom with the mean girl. I might not re-sign Marlie for July. She's doesn't seem that into it. She hate's the big trampoline. All she wants to do on the tumble track is run straight across it. She won't stand straight on the balance beam to perform any of the skills. She becomes agitated after the first half of class and starts acting out. It's exhausting to chase and corral her for an entire hour in front of other people. Maybe she's not mature enough yet. All the other students are 2.5-3 years old. I think we should try again when she's older and hopefully past this aggressive stage.
Marlie is in love with her kiddie pool. I hope this is a sign that swimming class will be a breeze next summer. She is also loving the word sh!t. I won't say who taught her that word, but it wasn't me. Now whenever she drops something, stumbles, or gets frustrated out flies the sh!ts. It's sort of hilarious that she understands the context of using that word.
I came home from this lovely event to a sick baby. Well, she wasn't sick when I got home. I had washed up and changed and checked my email for the night. There was a message from her school warning about a stomach bug going around. I closed it and hopped into bed. I heard what sounded like an awful sneeze coming from Marlie's room a few minutes later. I raised my head to listen, surely it was in my head. That's when she started to wail. Damon woke up and went into her room. He called out that she had vomited. I got up and he was taking her to the bathroom. Her crib looked like a toxic spill zone. I put every sheet, toy, blanket and pillow case in the wash and wiped down every inch of that crib with disinfectant. Marlie proceeded to throw up several more times that night (including on the both of us alternately). She finally went back to bed and slept the rest of the night around midnight. She seemed fine the next day until she vomited her breakfast and her lunch. There is nothing that can be done to cure a stomach virus, but we kept her hydrated with coconut water and fed her crackers.
Damon came down with the bug on Saturday morning. It seemed to hit him harder than Marlie (she was fine by Saturday). I feel like I'm standing on the gallows waiting for my turn for the hangman's noose.
On a positive note, I have some exciting giveaways lined up on Marlie and Me. If you live in the Dallas area, be on the lookout for my review of Indira, an Aveda-concept salon. I will be hosting a contest for a makeover at Indira in the coming weeks. To get a head start on winning this awesome prize you can follow Indira Salon on Twitter and Facebook.
Then there is the Christmas in July Giveaway Blog Hop from July 25-31. The Jewelry Bar and Near the Williows etsy shop are sponsoring prizes on this blog. I'll be tweeting clues for extra entries, so be sure to follow me on Twitter @Mommy2Marlie!
Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful baby daddies out there!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Just to recap: flipflop makes great-tasting wine then sells it at crazy, low prices (around $7!). To top it off, each bottle sold in 2011 will support Soles4Souls effort to provide 11 million shoes to children in underdeveloped countries. win-win!
This time around, I sampled flipflop's Chardonnay, which I liked so much that it felt like I was cheating on my long-time friend Riesling.The flipflop Chardonnay is a medium-bodied wine with subtle hints of pineapple and vanilla. I made up a new word to describe the taste: de-luscious!
On the flip side, is the Cabernet Sauvignon. I am not a fan of red wines, but this one surprised me. Maybe it's the blackberries and cherries that give it a softer flavor than other Cabernets I've tried. I consider flipflop's Cabernet an easy dry. I could tell that this was one of Damon's favorites because he gulped his first glass instead of sipping it as usual.
Next time you have to BYOB, grab a bottle of flipflop wine! Connect with flipflop on Facebook and ask where you can buy a bottle or case.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
- Father's Day. I hardly ever celebrated this Hallmark holiday because of a deadbeat dad and a lousy step-father that is until Damon gave me reason to look forward to this day. TradingCradles.com is hosting a Father's Day Giveaway on their Facebook page. Please head over there, like the Trading Cradles page, and then vote for Damon by liking this photo.
- Unsung. This music documentary show on TV One explores the rise and fall of some of R&B's forgotten talents...stars who burned out too fast, struggled with personal problems that affected their careers or met untimely deaths. The season premiere featured Deniece Williams...that's was a flashback!
- I do believe that Tuesday Morning is my favorite discount store. Whenever I need something specific (rain boots, kiddie pool, nursery decor) I am guaranteed to find name brands for less at Tuesday Morning.
- What are you loving this Thursday?! Leave it in your comment :-)
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
|I'll pretend like I'm in the Bahamas|
|This is me chillin'|
|What's this valve for?|
|That's enough excitement for one day|
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Cosby Show is arguably the best sitcom in American television history.It certainly gets my vote for being groundbreaking and for simply being LOL funny. Watching the reruns was like time traveling back to my childhood. Seeing two black professionals raise five children in a loving home was a revelation for me. Back then it was okay to say that a TV influenced your kids because of shows like Cosby.
Killers is a movie with potential despite a premise that has been done before and better (see Jamie Lee Curtis' performance as the unsuspecting housewife married to a professional assassin in True Lies and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's sizzling hot double-cross in Mr. and Mrs. Smith). This films shoot itself in the foot by being cutesy. Spies are supposed to be sexy, but Ashton Kutcher as trained-killer Spencer comes off as goofy even with his killer bod and his chemistry with Katherine Heigl's Jen is a little off, more like best buddies than lovers. One redeeming quality is Tom Selleck's turn as Jen's no nonsense dad. He is the only sexy twist.
Monday, June 13, 2011
I think I had a psychological block against raw honey. I grew up with the copper-colored honey, sweet liquid that flowed like a river of lava from its bear-shaped plastic container. Raw honey is pale and looked rock hard to me.
My prejudices were shredded when my jar of Certified Organic Canadian Raw Honey arrived from Tropical Traditions. One spoonful proved how wrong I had been. This honey is so smooth and so rich! The best way to describe it is to compare it to condensed milk. It's sweetness is concentrated, so it only takes a little to get the job done.
I have been on a raw honey spree all week, making tea in this scorching Texas heat (it's the Jamaican in me, I can't help it) and smearing it on my Sunday pancakes. Everything tasted better with some of my organic raw honey!
This raw honey is produced under the most organic conditions in the Canadian wilderness to preserve its quality and goodness. You won't be disappointed!
Buy It: the 17.6 ounce glass jar of Canadian Raw Honey is on sale for $12.99 (regular retail price $19.50)
Win It: Tropical Traditions is giving one Marlie and Me a jar of Canadian Raw Honey! Thanks Tropical Traditions! Giveaway ends June 24, 2011.
Comments have been turned off for this post because I am using a new entry form for this giveaway called Rafflecopter. It provides simplicity and privacy of your identifying information. I hope you like using it!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Case in point...she has become extraordinarily violent. I had to admonish her for hitting another child in the face at gymnastics on Thursday and grabbing another girl's hair. But that's not the worst of it. She grabbed a fistful of my hair as we were going upstairs! No amount of yelling at her to "LET GO!" did the trick. Have you ever tried to pry open a child's Kung Fu grip while bending over with your head cocked to the side?! I had no choice but to pop her hand. It sprung open and tears sprung from her eyes. Do I regret it? No, but I sincerely hope it's the last time I ever have to do that. Marlie is also very particular, which is cute as long as it doesn't give me a headache. She made a federal case in the middle of a store over finding dried mud on the bottom of her shoe. Seriously. I found a roll of paper towel and gave her a sheet to remove it. She actually sat there and cleaned off her shoe bottom. She's weirder than me!
It's not easy to keep a toddler occupied all day when you live in a city that has next to nothing going on for children under 3. I know Marlie was bored, but it's so hot here that I prefer we do indoor activities. Every Internet search for nearby activities came up empty.
We went to Whole Foods twice just to walk around and eat samples. We even went to the mall...that's how desperate we were to get out. There is a really nice turtle and duck pond at the mall. Marlie really enjoyed that. We did some shopping for birthday presents because every kid we know was born in the summer. I told someone it's because all the parents are humping like rabbits in the winter when you are forced to stay inside more often. Then all the mommies get pregnant and the babies arrive in the summer.
Marlie is at an age where she is interested the toys on the shelves and wants everything. We won't be going gift shopping together again any time soon. We also stopped by Carter's and scored some super cute tri-color metallic sandals for half off.
The goal this week was to get serious about the potty. The results were mixed. She still refuses to poop in the potty...she'll remove her diaper and sit and sit and sit and sit and nothing. Then she'll walk away and poop on the floor or poop in the pants/diaper five minutes later. I also realized this week that my aversion to the bathroom is counterproductive. You spend a lot of time in the bathroom when potty training your child. I hate the bathroom. I don't care if I just cleaned it. It makes my skin crawl to hang out there longer than I have to. I like to get in and get out. Marlie on the other hand will sit her naked bottom on the floor, climb on top of the toilet seat, open the toilet while it's flushing to wave bye-bye to her pee or poop...all of which is supremely gross to me. I'm not saying that we're quitting, we're just not going full speed ahead. All passengers are not on board yet.
Friday, June 10, 2011
I remember when I took a pregnancy class at my local hospital the nurse instructor included a list of medicines to keep handy, including Ibuprofen for infants.
I also remember the first time Marlie had a severe fever in the middle of the night. I was panicking because the brand of fever reducer we bought had been recalled. Damon rushed to the nearest 24-hour Walgreens. He spoke to the pharmacist who pointed him to the Walgreens Brand Infant's Ibuprofen Drops. It was a huge relief to know that Walgreens made a similar product.
This was our first time trying Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products. It did the job and that made us and baby happy. Plus, it cost less which was an extra bonus. We now keep a bottle of Walgreens Brand Infant's Ibuprofen Drops in the medicine cabinet at all times.
It's reassuring to have over the counter products available to treat our various ailments, but we must also be mindful that an ounce of prevention can the best medicine. This is why I am so impressed with Walgreens Way to Well Fund™ which is bringing preventive wellness services to local communities such as free preventive health tests and education through the National Urban League Health and Wellness Tour.
Walgreens will contribute up to $3 million annually to the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™ and you can help too because every purchase of a Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Product supports this program. For details, visit walgreens.com/waytowell.
Several bloggers are hosting giveaways for Walgreens gift cards. Enter for your chance to win!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Just this past weekend I was telling my husband that it's time to upgrade Marlie's nursery. It's time to get a toddler bed and replace her baby toys.
I used to take our gently used baby clothes and toys to consignment, but Swap.com has a better idea. Instead of waiting for someone to buy my baby things before I can buy what I want, I can trade my stuff at the world's largest online swap marketplace!
You can swap any media at Swap.com such as books, music, video games, and movies. You pay to ship your swapped items, but you pay nothing for the items you receive! Joining is also free and so easy, just sign up with your Facebook account.
If you prefer to gift your gently loved books, Swap.com can help you with that too. The Swap4Schools program collects donated books for US public schools. Any US public school educator can create a free account, build a Want list, and members are given the option to donate instead of swap. More than 6,000 items have been donated to schools to date.
Swap.com has launched a new space to advertise local swap events where the inventory can include kids' gear and clothing, food and even wine! You meet up with other cool swappers and exchange goods like people did before currency was invented.
Swapping is a fun way to get the things you want while saving money. It's also helping the environment by recycling the stuff you no longer need instead of sending it to the landfill.
30-Second Bunnies Theatre is just what it sounds like...30 second clips of animated bunnies reenacting famous scenes from movies and tv shows. It. is. hilarious.
Blue Valentine is about a marriage crumbling under the weight of disappointments and unfilled dreams. In the present we witness the couple pick fights with each other while wrestling with their inner demons. In flashbacks, we are given clues as to why they might have been doomed from the start (both are products of dysfunctional relationships). These lovebirds make one last-ditch effort to rekindle the romance, but do they save their marriage or do further damage?
Monday, June 6, 2011
It's never too early to introduce children to community activism. Marlie dug up weeds and helped her mommy pick some mint for brewing tea.
*Mahogany Monday is hosted by Darcel at The Mahogany Way and shows how mothers of color live a natural, mahogany lifestyle (i.e. breastfeeding pics, homeschooling/unschooling pics, babywearing pics, clothdiapering, adhering to a vegetarian/vegan diet pics, etc.)
Sunday, June 5, 2011
- Marlie's hair is finally growing out. She now has a dope man fade (seriously!). I am fighting a losing battle with hair lint. Plus, I used to just run a comb through her wisps. That's not gonna cut it anymore. I have a low aptitude for hairstyling and she has zero patience with me trying. We are in trouble.
- She's eating like a farmer's horse these days and my back is starting to feel it loading her in and out of the car seat. I would bet she's gained a pound in the last two weeks.
- She is really a creature of habit. I can't do any of our morning or bedtime routines out of order. Otherwise, she'll remind me..."feed dog now" or "close door". The same goes for where things belong. If she sees her father's shoes by the front door, she'll pick them up and put them in the right place.
- She has many quirks (like me). Her latest one is to take all the stickers off the produce. She hates those little stickers! She also has to point out the same bulge in the carpet on the staircase every time we pass it. Oh, and when I am getting her dressed, she insists I repeat every step on her dolly like comb her hair, put shoes on her, rub lotion on her (I just pretend on that last one because I'll be bent before I use my expensive organic lotion on a doll)
- Marlie received her first bad report from school. She started hitting other kids this week. I even saw her do it at her school's party on Friday. Not cool. She's been hitting us too, which is doubly uncool. Her teachers say it's probably frustration since she is learning to talk and doesn't always have the words to communicate or feel heard. We are supposed to keep sending the message that it's unacceptable, use time outs, and redirect the negative behavior. Um, I'll let you know how that goes.
- We went lots of places this week: we walked to our neighborhood's nature preserve and saw lots of butterflies, but had to cut the outing short because poison ivy was growing near the path. We met up with one of my sorority sister's family at the Ft. Worth Zoo. Marlie enjoyed seeing her beloved giraffes again, but it was scorching that day...96 degrees! We only walked a quarter of the zoo because of the heat. Thankfully, it was half price day and I didn't have to buy Marlie a ticket because she is under 2. Another benefit of being a baby will be miss.
- As for me: I am working on a summer reading list. Oh, and I just joined the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop hosted by Just Married with Coupons, Matter of Cents and Money $aving Michele. The Giveaway Hop will take place July 25-31. So stay tuned!