Friday, October 14, 2016

Get the skinny on Skinny & Co...or Put The Lime In The Coconut.

In case you missed it, the Ceremonial Unboxing Of The Goodies video can be seen in the previous post.  (Yes, I realize this post is somewhat delayed but HEY I wanted to make sure I used all the products more than once to give you an accurate review. I DID IT FOR YOU.)

Skinny & Co sent me a nice box of samples of different coconut oil products.
I do like coconut oil and often cook with it.
This company makes beauty products from coconut oil too, so I was anxious to give it a try.

FAVORITE: The Sugar Scrub.
(This one was not a consumable but since the ingredients only listed the coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla bean, I tasted it. YES I DID. And it was good.)
ANYway.  I used this scrub on my footsies and it did make them so soft and smooth. No residual stickiness.  I would recommend it!

Now, a year or so ago my Facebook timeline was filled with people touting the Joys of Oil Pulling.
Google that if you don't know what it is...but basically you put a lump of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around like Listerine, only for like 10 or 20 minutes.
But I have friends who swear by it, claiming it is good for their gums and enamel and makes their teeth even cleaner when they brush.
I  have no idea if those claims are actually true, but the Skinny & Co Oil Pulling is infused with some peppermint and did not gross me out.  In fact after using it and then brushing, my mouth did feel clean and BONUS, my lips were nice and soft and smooth.
Downside: This product is pretty spendy.

The moisturizer/makeup remover was pretty okay -- it took considerable rubbing to get my lashes clean but on the other hand, my skin felt soft afterward without a leftover greasy feeling. That was one of my main worries going in. Plus it's infused with chamomile and some other oils and it smells really nice.

And last but not least, the moisturizer/metabolism booster that actually IS supposed to be consumed. Now as an external moisturizer, I had high hopes since my hands and arms get so dry...but (maybe it's just me) it didn't really absorb to my satisfaction.
The website says you can add this to a smoothie (which I don't ever make) or oatmeal (which I rarely eat) or even off the spoon (which...YUCK NO).  So a friend said "Try it in your coffee!" and I'm all "Okay!" and I did. It wasn't bad, and my coffee had a light coconut scent which was not at all unpleasant.

***LET ME JUST DISCLAIMER FOR A SECOND HERE: I do NOT like fresh coconut meat very much. I do NOT like candy like Mounds or whatever that is all made of coconut. I DO like the teeny bit of toasted coconut on top of girl scout Samoas cookies)

So the coconut oil in my coffee wasn't terrible, just had to give it a stir before each sip.  I did not notice my metabolism boosted, though.  I also rubbed it on a whole chicken in lieu of my normal olive oil before oven roasting, and it was tasty and make a delicious crispy skin which of course I pulled off and stuffed in my mouth like a hyena before it was even cool.

Overall, if you're a fan of coconut oil in general for cooking or beauty or both, I would recommend these products.
For me, they're a little too far on the pricey side - if you're on a tighter budget, you'd be better off just getting that big jar of coconut oil at the Big Box Store for $8.99 - although it won't smell or taste nearly as nice.

**stuff I have to let you know:  YES, these samples were given to me for free by Skinny & Co in hopes that I would review them, which I have. NO, I was not told what kind of review to post or threatened with waterboarding if I had anything bad to say, my opinions are aaaalllll my own because I DO WHAT I WANT.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The unboxing of the Skinny & Co coconut goodies

Got my freebie on today, with Skinny & Co coconut beauty products! Check it out:


#CoconutOil #RawCoconutOil #SkinnyCoconut #CoconutPulling #CoconutScrub

**Disclaimer: these products were given to me free of charge to sample, and any review I provide will be my own truthful opinion because I DO NOT PLAY.  You aren't the boss of me!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Dear Everyone:

I am SICK UNTO DEATH of Social Media and its denizens telling me what to do, how to feel, and who to be like.

If I don't speak out - loudly - on social media about THIS outrage or THAT situation, well clearly I am just "passively accepting" of the situation. Never mind what I say or do about those things in my real life.

If I express outrage or disdain about THIS candidate or THAT candidate - on Social Media - well then clearly I am a hater or stupid or a libtard or fooled by the media or just too naive to be allowed to live. Never mind that I back up my outraged or disdainful opinion with ACTUAL FACTS, usually video and audio with the actual words coming out of the actual person's actual mouth.
But that's just spin and propaganda, of course! Never mind that they actually said it out loud on video in front of thousands of people.

If I complain about these things - on Social Media - well I'm just WRONG! Don't like it, don't read it! Unfollow! Block! Ignore!
Never mind that some of the people attacking me are friends, and their friends, and their friends, and so on and so on and so on just like that shampoo commercial. Friends I've known since college. Since high school. Since ... Social Media.

So let me just say this one time - *I* am not trying to change YOUR mind or YOUR opinions when I state my own. HOWEVER, my (fact based) opinions are just as valid as yours. I'm not asking you to agree with me, but if you open a discussion and I take part by voicing my opinion, then you need to recognize your own shitty behavior when you go on the attack and try to make me change *mine*. You need to recognize that it only hurts your cause, it doesn't help it or make your opinion any more palatable to me.

And if you disagree, that's okay too. Maybe you can't help being an asshole. So I'll just leave this here for you:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fan Expo Dallas: A tl;dr Mostly Photographic Essay

I love getting away from work and kids once or twice a year, but you know how hard it is to say goodbye to these precious little children of mine:
We said our sad farewells as I dropped them off in some parking lot in Texas - but I knew their dad would find them soon because I texted him the name of the store.

Time to go meet up with Nicole and snuggle some fresh kitties!

AAAAND WE'RE OFF! Here we are in our Shiny (Firefly) shirts, ready to conquer the Expo!

The Fan Expo was a little different from Comic Con - also MUCH larger.  There were so many panels and QandA sessions, mostly more pop-culture centered than just comics and Dr. Who and Anime. It was very overwhelming and over-peopley for me.
Luckily Nicole had her Rainbow Claws Paws to keep me safe and sane. RAWR.

We tried to stealth-ninja some photos of Stan Lee, but as you can see we were not successful. He was a tiny man surrounded by some enormous bulky dudes, and he even had people on the lookout for ninja-photographers like us.
Those damn people behind Nicole were DELIBERATELY blocking our Stan-view.

Rob Schneider, on the other hand...

Well, he didn't exactly have prime space. We could just sort of walk up and take a photo through the curtain and no one noticed. Or cared. HAHAHA IN YOUR FACE $80 PHOTO OP and AUTOGRAPH! #FreePhotoIsFree

So we made it to the John Cusack panel and a guy came out to warm up the crowd...sort of the Q and A panel "fluffer," if you will.
The first time he came out he said NO VIDEOS.
WHAAAAAAAAAAA? Even Shatner let us take videos at ComicCon! WTF DUDE.

The second time he came out he said again, NO VIDEOS. And in fact NO PICTURES AT ALL. "Let's pretend it's really the 80s and there are no cell phones." Um dude, there were still cameras in the 80s.

BUT RULES IS RULES, so we put our cameras and cell phones away. I am nothing if not a strict rule-follower. So you will DEFINITELY NOT be seeing any photos of John Cusack from the Dallas Fan Expo here.

No way, no how.


It was weird - I wish you could see the back of his head. At first I thought he had on one of those Sherlocky-style deerstalkers with a brim on the front and the back. Then Nicole pointed out that it ACTUALLY looked like a strange distinct flap of hair, as though when he put on his hat it shoved a toupee out of the way and was hanging on the back of his head. As they do sometimes. #MrTudball (about 5 people will get that)
 (OH! And here's me taking a selfie with everyone in the Cusack QandA)

After that we decided to wander and shop and see what we could see.
Security seemed pretty tight. At least they generally hit what they're shooting at.
Also? PINK R2 UNIT. (PS I have not seen new Star Wars yet)

Unlike these guys - no one was really worried about them even though their guns were probably real and fully loaded.

Cool Guy thinks he is Cool. With Sailor Moon and Sailor Scouts.

DON'T QUOTE ME ON THIS: but I *think* this might be happening in TULSA OK! Woo WHO! [see what I did there?]

I think Red Flash needs a cup or at least a jockstrap. And maybe to lay off the bacon cheeseburgers for a minute or get a...less fitted super suit. He looks a little bored with Other Flash's shenanigans.

Weirdly (or perhaps not so weird), Nicole and I always end up in cemeteries when we're together.
Note the absence of Weeping Angels; they're all inside the Expo. This was a cemetery in THE MIDDLE OF THE CONVENTION CENTER. What's that about?

I think this one was fresh and just waiting for someone to dig a hole. The mortuary makeup artist did an awesome job, right? So lifelike! Although she was starting to smell a bit ripe.

OH! Here are they are!


My new boyfriend and newest favorite Superhero ever, #Deadpool. Also best movie ever...or at least in the last like 10 or 15 years. Also that is my Tardis mystery box, he was protecting it from villains for me because HE IS FUCKING AWESOME LIKE THAT AND SHIT.
#Unicorn #Shoop #Bananas

Here is Godzilla. He looks lonely. :(

Here is Godzilla about to eat some children. I support that.

Sassy Star Wars. #SaberEnvy

We stopped at one booth to check out some t-shirts and the guy said, "Here's the Question of the Day."
We thought he was going to quiz us on Firefly. (PS If you are not a Browncoat, you might as well skip the rest of this little section because you will be all HUH? *coffLISAcoff*)

"How do Reavers clean their harpoons? THEY RUN THEM THROUGH THE WASH."

We did not buy anything from that guy. #RIPWash #WeLoveWash #LeafUponTheWind

Prisoner Jayne is sad. #JayneCobb "Time for some thrilling heroics."

We noticed that crazy old Vigo The Carpathian up to his same tricks! Such a lech!

He tried to suck me in but I am waaaay too much woman for him.

Then Nicole got us one of the most awesome things ever - MYSTERY BOXES.
We got a Tardis lunchbox full of trading cards!
A Breaking Bad doll!
Wristbands and lanyards and popheads!
Weeping Angel tote bag! And MORE!

Also I am permanently changing my political affiliation for good and forever.

WTF with Robin's legs? Looks like he put his tights on backward. But I do like the Adam West Batman. KAPOW! ZOK! OUCH! BAM!
ChubbyBatman is Chubby.

By late afternoon, we were WIPED OUT. Nicole's skin was so dry I had to buy her a keg of moisturizer. Also she could stand to eat a t-bone and baked pertater once in awhile, amirite?
#DrWho #Cassandra

To cap off a fantastic day, we had a fun evening when we got to have dinner with one of my first blogging friends since around... what? 2004 or 05? The beautiful and smart and sweet Megan and her husband. ♥♥♥♥

Little did we know that there was ANOTHER (you totally heard a Yoda voice in your head just now)...another Con in town. It was A-Kon (not THAT Akon although how awesome would that have been??). Much like izumiCon in OKC, this is focused mostly on Anime, Japanime, and Manga. My daughter would've loved it, so guess where we'll she'll likely be next year.
The point of THAT tidbit of information is that one of my very favorite authors of all time, Taylor Stevens, was there with her family and OMG SQUUEEEE WE GOT TO MEET HER FOR A DRINK and spent a fantastic chunk of time in her company. I was happy (and UNshocked) to find that she is as warm and lovely and real in person as she is online.

***Quick #FANGIRL #PLUG: If you like strong, badass female lead characters with Jack Reacher-type lifestyle and a Mitch Rapp skill-set; if you like action and thrillers, GO. BUY. HER. BOOKS. The main character: sort of an heroic anti-hero by the name of Vanessa Michael Munroe, is dysfunctional, troubled, and bad to the fuckin' bone. YOU WILL LOVE HER. Get this one first - The Informationist - and just read 'em down the line. YOU ARE WELCOME***

All in all, one of the best weekends ever invented.
I feel so spoiled. ♥
You wish you were in my weekend.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

"That Moment When Your Heart Explodes From BlogAwesome" #FakeUpworthyTitle

**Yes, that was totes a clickbait title. MADEJALOOK

Every year before I revise and repost, I remember. I relive. And even if it's just for one shining day, these memories make everything else fall away: all the petty irritations and frustrations, the dislikes and grudgy feelings...all of the things that, in the long run of life, aren't worth the importance we place on them. 

This story is what matters. #TheseLivesMatter

It's been a long tough journey that has passed in the blink of an eye.


"On the roller coaster of life, your 21st birthday is like being at the top of the first giant hill with your hands in the air and no lap bar."
– Greg Tamblyn

My tiny little 1 lb babies are 21 today.
Some of you have been reading the Birthday Post since they were about 9 or 10 or 11, so wrap your head around TWENTY-ONE, if you can.

The most important thing, really, is that now I can send my daughter into the liquor store to buy me wine. I NEVER HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE CAR AGAIN. #SCORE


THE DUE DATE: June 4th
THE BIRTH DATE: February 13th. Preemies for pre-valentine's day.
These children clearly get their lack of patience from me.  They were born at 24 weeks, or about 3 and 1/2 months early. They weighed just over 1 lb. each, and were about a foot long. I'm talkin' teeeeeny tiny. Micro-preemie, I think is what they are called now.

Anyway, this is my boy, at about a month old:

I woke up the morning of February 12th, headed for the bathroom, and after about 5 minutes I called out to the baby daddy, "Either I've lost all control of my body functions or my water broke".
I'll give you a hint - my functions were still under my control.
So natch we rushed to the hospital, where the stupid ass snot face condescending nurse (actually I love nurses in general, but this one? NOT SO MUCH) had me lay on a gurney for an hour and then said that I was fine, no fluid was "leaking" (I know, gross), and the pains in my back and belly were just muscles stretching, NOT CONTRACTIONS...and then she tried to send us home. 
Me being me, I caused a scene.
Hey, guess who ended up being right about me being in labor?

Here is my little girl, at about a month old:

The doctors tried to stop my labor for 24 hours, but apparently my kids were having none of that. On the 13th of February, my boy arrived in the usual way - of course, I was knocked out for the entire thing. My daughter was still safe and secure in her bedwomb -- the idea was to let her 'cook' a little longer (which would have been weird to have twins with different birthdays, right?).  So they were wheeling me into recovery when Miss Contrary's heart rate dropped to zero, and they did a SUPERFAST emergency C-Section to get her out. Evidently she didn't like being alone.
So it was like Twins Two Ways, with extra Mommy Staples.
This is also where I discovered my love of morphine. MMMMMMORPHINE.

Their ears were still folded down (WEIRD! I didn't even know ears did that until my kids were born. It was like puppy ears or something), and their lungs were not completely developed, and their little hearts were working overtime/doubletime.

They struggled for every single breath. They fought to live.

And so they did. And so they have.
Thank you, God.

Thank you for this little miracle....(my girl at about 2 months)

and this little miracle...(my boy at about 3 1/2 months)

The doctors gave them less than a 50% chance of survival.
Fortunately they got my stubborn genes as well as my temperamental ones, because my kids wouldn't listen to percentages; they went all HAN SOLO and were like NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS!

Their hearts were overworked, their lungs were and are covered in scar tissue, they are cursed with keloid scars as well as scars from perc lines and picc lines and a million little junkie scars on arms and feet from being pricked with lancets every hour. They have scarred veins, they had damaging bleeding in their brains, preventing brain growth. And yet...    

Becca's first day home from the hospital! Nearly 4 months old and not even 5 lbs. I still have this amazingly tiny dress - I swear it's barely bigger than Barbie size. Those booties she has on? The foot part is less than 2 inches long. Each twin came home attached to oxygen and an apnea monitor - whenever we all went anywhere together it looked as though we were leaving home for a month, so laden were we with electronic equipment, oxygen tanks, diaper bags, strollers...which is partly why I became the hermit I am today. #Lazy

Here they're about 7 or 8 months old, I think (did I ever mention that I am TERRIBLE about labeling pictures? Because I am). Clearly Becca was already trying to wear some sort of tiara:

One morning I discovered that my daughter knew how to climb into her brother's crib.

When Becca was about two, this is what "Go get ready for bed" meant:

Josh had the softest, wispiest hair so I let it grow and grow... until that time I gave him a buzz-cut and he's been sporting a Greg Brady WhiteBoy 'Fro ever since. Unless I cut it myself, in which case he looks sort of like he's got the mange. #TrueStory

Josh 2007

Becca 2007

There were middle-of-the-night phone calls with doctors on the other end of the line telling me that they didn't think THIS twin or THAT twin would make it through the night- so we'd rush to the hospital to sit and put our hands in the "baby terrarium", as I thought of them, and listen to the beeps and the whooshing of the ventilator and wait for the inevitable.
There were six months in the NICU and 3 or 4 Thanksgivings and Christmases spent in the hospital. For awhile I thought they were going to name a wing of the children's ward after us, or at least keep "our" room in reserve.

There was RSV and BPD and ROP and a bunch of other things with initials that I barely understood.
There was double hernia surgery and laser eye surgery and surgery to correct crossed eyes. 
There were staph infections and even a broken arm that was caused by changing my son's shirt whilst in the NICU - he of the tiny little brittle bones. There were breathing treatments and nebulizers and oxygen tanks and albuteral and lasix and digoxin and tegretol and synthroid and constantly changing medications and frequent seizures and paralyzing fear (well, that last thing was *me*).

I remember a tiny Becca setting her pacifier down in something that had spilled...she picked it up, took a suck, and said, "What the hell is all over this?!" It made me laugh so much that I couldn't even correct her.

I remember one single sentence of absolutely clear speech from Joshua in 21 years...he was sick and angry and yelled, "I WANT MY BOTTLE!"  It was astounding and amazing and thank goodness my mother witnessed it or I would have thought my ears were playing tricks on me.

And now... TWENTY ONE
(or The One Where Joshua Gives Duckface)

This milestone is especially important for Joshua, as he has already outlived all early predictions of life-span. Though it's a little like living under the Sword of Damocles, we do not give in or give up. And despite the fact that they were and are so fragile health-wise, for the last 10-12 years I can count on one hand the number of times they've had to go to the doctor or hospital. 

How could I not believe in miracles? When I look upon those miracles every day of my life.
I love you, my babies. I have been and will always be thankful for every breath that you take, every blink of your eyes, every morning that you wake. I love you with everything inside me.

You still make me laugh, you still make me cry, you still make me want to smack you upside your silly little heads.

If all the world was a beach, I would love you more than all the grains of sand added together. Times infinity.