The Lilly Pulitzer Hype Almost Got Me

I don’t want to say I jumped on the bandwagon and I don’t feel like I jumped on the bandwagon, but I did. The Lilly Pulitzer bandwagon came calling for me like it obviously did for so many others. I don’t own any Lilly Pulitzer stuff now, it’s a little pricey for me. I do however, have a love of all things pink and floral. You can’t go wrong with either and if it’s both? It’s a definite must. So, like everyone else, I browsed the lookbook way in advance of Sunday’s sale opener. Pretty much everything was cute, but there was only one dress I wanted. All the shift dresses were adorable, but I honestly couldn’t see myself wearing them, but a maxi dress? I’m all over that. There was also a shirt I liked and my 6 year old was a fan of the giraffe print dress. 

So, I did want any normal, sane person would do. I stayed up really late. At midnight, I had the Target page up and started refreshing every few minutes. It wasn’t any big deal though. I got sucked into some articles about serial killers from 100+ years ago and then unsolved murders. It was perfect reading for being up by yourself in the middle of the night. I also had Twitter up with the search results showing for Lilly and Target. I would know if they went on sale. At 1:30ish, I said screw it and went to bed. After a little while, I checked my phone, saw the items were up, so I got back up to buy what I wanted. Between the site going down and then the app doing the same, I bought nothing and went back to bed somewhere around 3. I got up around 9 and headed to Target. I didn’t figure there would be anything left, but I can’t know if I don’t look. There was 1 swimsuit cover and a swimsuit top and bottom, that didn’t match. Nothing else. They had some girl’s stuff, but not what my daughter wanted. I had nothing better to do, so I went to another Target farther out. This one had some bags, accessories, and clothes left. It wasn’t anything I wanted, so I left empty handed.

While I was laying in bed last night, I was trying to decide if I wanted to get up and face the crazy when the store opened or just live without what I wanted. The dress I wanted was strapless. I don’t do strapless. I actually try to avoid anything that I can’t wear a regular bra with. So, why was I going to extremes to buy it? The shirt, yes, I would wear that. Did my daughter need that dress? No. She has too many clothes as it is and the girl is so rough on her clothes, she would most likely only wear it a couple times. So why? Why do we go through all the crazy? It’s like Black Friday. They hype gets to us and we get to the point where we don’t care what we buy, we just want something. I really can’t believe all the stuff that’s on eBay already. Why pay that much when you can just buy the legit stuff? I even found stuff on Craigslist. Those are the people who ruin it for the rest of us. I’m all for easy money, but who in their right mind would turn around and spend $100 on a dress that retails for $38? I don’t understand our fascination with stuff. We want just to want. Yes, I bought into the hype this time, but I didn’t spend anything in the process. All I lost was sleep (my knowledge of serial killers and crimes is up there though!). Maybe it’s because I don’t like carting crap around every time we move or maybe it’s because I’ve just realized I don’t need it all as I’ve gotten older and my money is better off in the bank, but I just don’t get it. I would still buy that dress if I saw it at the store though. Any store, it wouldn’t matter the store or the brand (as long as it was still $38), I just really liked it. I don’t however, like it enough to fight crazy women that early in the morning.

Understanding the Military Medical Separation Process

Anyone going through the process of being medically separated from the military knows what a pain it can be. It’s a big case of hurry up and wait, but there is also a lot of questions that arise during the process. Sometimes, you can find an easy, definitive answer to those questions, but most times, you end up more confused than when you started. 

My husband just went though the process and while every situation is different, I found that no one could give us a clear answer on the process, so I’ve taken the liberty to write down a basic guideline.

 1. The process starts when one can’t perform required tasks and/or can’t meet the annual physical requirements.

 2. You are then put on light duty at your doctor’s request, so your body can heal. If after 6 months you are not better and the doctor’s feel they can fix you, you will be put on limited duty for 6 months with a non-deployable status

3. At the end of the second 6 month period, if you are still not fixed, the medical board process starts. Your doctor(s) and your command will submit their paperwork and it will be sent to the Physical Evaluation Board in Washington D.C. If you disagree with anything your doctor or command said, you can also submit a rebuttal. They will determine you fit or unfit for duty, based on everything submitted. This process can take 3-9 months on average. 

4. If you are found fit, back to work you go. If you are found unfit, you will be given your ratings. If the rating is under 30%, the only thing you are leaving with is severance pay. If it is over 30%, you are put on either the Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL) or the Permanent Disability Retired List (PRDL). One can stay on the TDRL for up to 5 years, but must be evaluated every year. You will receive retiree pay and benefits. After 5 years, you are moved to the PDRL if considered permanently disabled and receive benefits for life. The service member has the option to appeal their rating if they feel it is not correct. At this point, a Formal Board is put together, as opposed to the previous Informal Board, and will reevaluate the findings. If one has enough time in, 15-18 years depending on the branch of service, they can request to remain on active duty until they are able to formally retire. 

This makes it look relatively simple, but trust me when I say it’s not. It’s a long, stressful process.

 

Riding A Bike Is Good For Your Soul

There are two things that instantly make me feel like a kid again. Swinging and riding my bike.

There is nothing like swinging as high as you can and then just laying back until you have to pump your way back up again. The same with bike riding. Yeah, it burns like a mother going up the hills, but going down them, pure bliss. Coasting down a hill at full speed, with your legs out on either side of you, wind in your hair, there’s nothing better. Why is it that we don’t do it more often then?

When we were in Okinawa, the husband and I bought bikes so we could go for family rides. The youngest was still small enough that she rode on the back of my bike. She and I used to go for morning rides along the ocean. We could easy go 7 or 8 miles and it was no big thing. The family rides didn’t work out so well. I have a child, who normally isn’t hardheaded, but when it came to learning how to ride a bike, he was beyond stubborn. His previous bike was a bit too big still, so we got him a new one. He couldn’t even do it with the training wheels. It killed us because we knew he could do it if he tried a little and we didn’t want him to miss out on any neighborhood fun. We moved to California and it was the same thing. We tried, grandparents tried, his dad tried, and none of us got anywhere. Last week, the husband fixed our bikes so we could ride again, bought him newer, better training wheels, and bought the little one a new bigger bike. He and I were riding around the block and he told the 9 year old he couldn’t play the Xbox until he learned to ride. 2 days on the training wheels and we took them off. He’s got this down. We rode all over last night and he loved it. He even admits how fun it is and he told me how proud he was of himself. I told him along he could do it, but he just didn’t believe in himself. It’s amazing what a little motivation will do.

I’ve been riding around so much the last week, that I wonder why I don’t do it more often. There is nothing better than coasting down a hill, passing your laughing kids in the process, all while they are shouting they are going to beat you, it’s really the best thing. It’s good exercise too and that plays into it, but I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun. I’m not big on exercise. I walk. That’s about it. Family bike rides though? I think it’s our new thing. 

That feeling always makes me think of this song. It’s one of my favorite Randy Travis songs. It wouldn’t let me embed the video, but it’s a good video. The song also came out when I was 12 or 13 and my sister and I watched a lot of MTV and TNN (back when it was The Nashville Network, before it became Spike) and videos all day long. The boys in the video were kinda cute to 12 year old me.

 

10 Reasons To Treat Your Skin To Facials – Giveaway

Like any mom, I don’t take the time out for me enough. I don’t have spa days or get my nails done on a regular basis. Heck, I bet I only get a haircut 3 times a year. The first time I got a facial and a massage was when I was 28, right before the husband and I got married. The next time I got either was last summer, 5 years later. I love them and I feel great afterwards, but I just can’t seem to find the time to keep up with it. I need to take the time for myself though. It’s good for my sanity and my family’s. They need a calm, relaxed, happy mom and not what I can sometimes turn into. The older I get though, the more I think about the condition of my skin, especially on my face. I’m not a super vain person, but even I don’t want premature wrinkles and I sure don’t want to look older than I am. 

Last week, I went to see April at Shine Beautifully for a facial. She has a $40 facial special for all new clients. You can’t beat that. I think she may have convinced me to get facials on a regular basis too. It also didn’t hurt that she was super sweet and we had a great talk. 

Besides getting some much needed alone time in, here are April’s reasons for treating yourself to a monthly facial, some of which I had no clue about. 

  • The reason behind getting monthly facials is that the outermost layer of visible skin will completely renew itself approximately every 28 days.  In this time your skin cells are constantly being replicated from the treated cells to replace the old cells.  If you give your skin a head start by getting facials, your skin cells will begin to replicate the now healthier cells and thus give you a better complexion.  Also, most skin products can take up to 6-8 weeks to start to treat active skin cells, but by speeding up the renewal process with monthly facials, you can make these products work faster and more effectively.
  • Facials can help even skin tone and lighten dark spots. Dark spots age our skin’s appearance visibly.  You should always be using sunscreens, even in the winter months and when it’s overcast.
  • Facials decrease waste underneath the skin that can cause puffiness, ruddiness and fluid accumulation by manipulating the lymphatic system that lies just under the skin. Facials also aid in detoxifying the skin of impurities.
  • A good facial includes facial massage that can help smooth fine lines and promote collagen production, which is the building block of the skin that prevents premature aging, wrinkles and sagging.
  • Facials allow you to relax. They feel great and are healing to the mind, body, and soul.  The power of touch, massage, proper technique and professional products can be healing to the skin more than client realize.
  • Facials increase circulation of the blood under the skin allowing the skin keep healthy and facilitate the renewal process of new skin cells.
  • Facials slow the aging process. They allow your skin to feel healthier, smoother and look more radiant.  Facials reduce fine lines, age spots and relieve dehydrated skin.  With these benefits, facials make us feel better about our skin.  With the use of exfoliation, massage and the penetration of nutrients and antioxidants, facials also fight to reverse aging.  We will all age, but we can do it more slowly with glowing, firm and hydrated skin.
  • Facials are not a miracle in an hour but they do give you a fresh start to a healthier and balanced complexion. Monthly facials will help you maintain optimal skin health. Facials are especially great for those that have an issue with breakouts.
  • Facials will cleanse the pores on a much deeper level. Extractions/cleaning out the pores can help to maintain clear skin, stop acne formation as well as to help change your pore size.  Often times left unchecked, pores can start to stretch and widen with the accumulation of oil and impurities (blackheads/whiteheads).
  • Facials provide deeper exfoliation than you can achieve at home because professional grade products are used. Exfoliation smooths skin, allows for great penetration of products, unclogs pores, improves skin ability to retain hydration and evens skin tones.

For those in the San Antonio area, April is located at 123 Southbridge Street. Check out the entire facial menu here.

She is also giving away an aromatherapy facial! You must be local or willing to by yourself a plane ticket to get here. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The New House

We’ve been in the new house almost 2 months. That’s just crazy. I can’t believe it’s been that long since we left California. We’ve settled in nicely though. The kids (and parents) are loving their school. They have friends on our street and can spend all afternoon outside playing, like kids should. The husband and I love it here as well. I’ve met a few people and I’m trying to go to everything I can to meet more people, but sticking to a 9-5 work schedule kinda kills that. We’ve been getting out and doing stuff and I think the move was the best thing for all of us. 

Anyways, back to the house. We are loving it! We have enough room that we have a living room and family room and I even have my own office. Considering I do actually work from home and sit in this room, in front of this computer for hours upon hours every day, I deserve my own office. It’s actually the formal dining room, but we don’t even have a fancy table to put in it, so my office it is!

I would love a legit front porch, but that’s not really a necessity. We do have a little space and I want to put something out there, I just haven’t found anything yet. 

The entryway. I don’t have a lot of room to work with here, but I wanted something to throw my purse on. Something that could be a catchall for our junk, especially the husbands. That man is forever losing his keys, so after a lot of looking, I settled on the cabinet from At Home. I also wanted to get the kids back in the habit of taking their shoes off when they get home. The little one also has a way of taking her shoes off and then forgetting where they are, so I bought little storage crate things for their shoes as well. I already had the key holder (it’s a gun, I love it!) and the picture. I want to get something for the kids to hang jackets or whatever on too, but it’s not a priority and I haven’t found what I want yet. I’ll get to my office next time!