Monday, October 31

Halloween Pics and a Parent-Friendly PSA

We're not big into Halloween, 'round here. We're not like, anti-Halloween, we're just not huge fans. 
But we DO love any chance to dress up. And collect candy. For no good reason, other than to eat so much we puke. 
We love that.

It's a long-standing family tradition to hit up Jeremy's sister's church's (how many more 's's could I work in?) Fall Festival each October 31st-ish. 

Grumpy Old Man
This year, I totally forgot about the dressing-up part of Halloween. I guess I was just so intent on THE CANDY part. Luckily, the kids' Nana bought costumes for the girls. The Boy? His was totally original. He got the fake glasses/nose/mustache from the treasure box at school and came home all, "Do you think I could be an old man for Halloween?" and I was all, "Sure thing! Your old man dad will help you find clothes." but secretly I was all, "You're kind of a grumpy old man half the time anyway, dear firstborn, so it would totally make sense." 
In any case- he rocked the 'stache, and the suit jacket, and my dad's old walking cane, and then Jeremy dumped half a bottle of baby powder in his hair to turn it old-man-white. At some point, the "old man" turned into an "old man/professor/scientist," which also sort of suits The Boy.
And it was awesome.

Wackadoo Pirate

The #DestructoTot Baby was a pirate. Which also totally makes sense, since she yells ARRRGGHH approximately 17 times a day, and she's a pro at looting and plundering. Daddy did her make up, complete with piratey unibrow.

Pretty Pretty Princess (and her steed)

The Girl was, naturally, a princess. All effervescence and light, pinkness and smiles.
And she got to ride a white horse, so she was totally in her princessy element.


My (brilliant and very pretty) friend Kerri has this reminder for you today:
Parent PSA: Remember this Halloween, your kids live rent-free in your house. That means as Supreme Allied Commander, you get first dibs on the good candy.

What about you? Do you do Halloween? Do you steal your kids' good candy, like any self-respecting mother does?

Wednesday, October 26

The Importance of Being Nekkid

There is a difference between being naked and being nekkid. Naked simply means not wearing clothes. Nekkid is being naked and up to something

I think Mark Twain said that. Or maybe Margaret Thatcher. I get confused.

wearing my overalls, circa 1986

The Baby is NOT a fan of being clothed. I mean, she makes do in public- we have yet to experience a full disrobing outside the house. But when we're at home? 92% of the time, she's nekkid as a jay bird.

*side note* Jeremy and I have had a relationship-long dispute over this phrase: he thinks it's "naked as a blue jay" but I have always heard "naked as a jay bird." What say you, oh wise readers?

She and her siblings are so often in their birthday suits that my friend Audreya tweeted the other day:

Every single time Aud has visited us, one or more of my children have been nekkid. And, usually, it's The Baby. Okay, it's always The Baby.

Her naked booty normally doesn't bother me. In fact, this time of life is a blessing to my mother-heart. There is no sucking-in of the belly. There is no pushing out of the boobies. There is not a hint of self-consciousness in the way my babies carry themselves. Plus, really, we stay home most days and rarely have company that isn't kin (which may or may not be why I spend so much time on the twitters), so I'm pretty much okay with the naked. Saves on laundry work.

The only thing is, I have GOT to get this kid out of diapers. 

Potty training the first two was easy, or so I remember. With The Boy, I just told him to watch carefully and "do what Daddy does." With The Girl, I was anxious to get away from buying two sizes of diapers (since she was 2 when The Baby was born), and I don't remember much, except that she took to the potty (and the bribe-prize M&M's) quickly.

Both of the elder Bees were fully potty trained by their third birthdays. (Although, because I'm lazy I was always dealing with a middle-of-the-night baby, I kept diapers on both kids at night-time until their fourth birthdays. By then, they were old enough to either hold it all night or get up and go by themselves.)
The Baby will be three in 54 days. 

To be fair, she pee-pees in the potty 100% of the time... if she's nekkid. One hundred percent. But if she's wearing panties? She'll just pee right in 'em as if they're diapers.
Even though she totally knows they're not, and she totally looks at me with her demented little face and she totally laughs her maniacal laugh and then totally innocently asks for a bath, pretty pretty please. 

I thought maybe some new panties would work some new-panty magic. (Ladies, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout here, right? Sometimes, some new skivvies just makes you feel... better.) I bought her some Big Girl Undies last night instead of the thick cotton training ones.
This morning, she was ecstatic over new drawers. She shrieked with glee. She put on a pair and pranced, actually pranced, around the house.
And twenty minutes later, she'd tinkled all over them.

I just don't remember how to do this part.
How do I convince her not to wee-wee in her unmentionables?
She's too smart for bribery, she's too brazen for admonishment, and by this child -baby number three- we've learned that discipline is not a great tool for successful potty training.

So, help me out, you beautiful internet patrons, you.
What do I do now?

ps- we're not even going to mention the poop situation right now. just don't bring it up.       just. don't.


Tuesday, October 18

Hello, sweetface(s).

in a train car at Magic Springs

more Magic Springs last weekend

after EcoFest in September

They make my whole world happy.

Tuesday, October 11

Beautiful Fall

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit

It's fall, y'all!
(I love how that particular, pervasive Southernism is co-opted in the autumn, all for the sake of a few cute yard signs.)
credit: pinterest
I am a BIG fan of fall. I am NOT a big fan of seasonal extremes- you can keep your hunnerd-and-ten-degree July and your 22-degree January, thank you very much (I'm talking to you, Arkansas). In fact, you can keep your pollony, fake-Easter-egg-basket-grass springtime, too.
I live for fall. 

photo credit: my sweet friend Becke'

Cooler weather.
Warmer drinks.
Football games.
Heavy, carb-loaded meals.
Crunchy leaves.
Cinnamon smells.
New makeup.

Wait... what?

I don't generally spend a lot of time on my beauty routine, unless it's for A Big Event. I have friends who do not venture out to their mailbox without their full face on. Me? I'm lucky to take a shower before 2pm most days. But one thing I really love is the chance to buy new makeup for the fall new season.

While the temperature cools down, wardrobe and makeup colors warm up.

photo credit etsy
The names of autumn makeup are kinda gross: rust, olive, khaki, kelp, taupe (I really hate taupe), poop... you get the idea... the colors themselves are rich and bold and deep and subtle, all at once.
photo credit: talented Becke' again!

I have so much fun playing around with new eyeshadows and liners. I'm big into lipstick or blush, but I do love a good non-pink matte lip color. I am a classic Summer when it comes to facial color analysis. (Need a more in-depth makeup analysis? Read Amy's Southern Girl Academy post!) Which means I look best (and feel most comfortable in) a stunning array of colors from plum to charcoal. Drab? Never. Muted? Most of the time. Navy or chocolate? Nearly every day. Yellows? Not. on. my. life.

The foundation of my daily beauty routine is Clinique. My favorite mascara comes from Lancome. But for all other intents and palatte purposes? I'm a drugstore kinda girl. I can't justify spending $25 dollars on one compact of eyeshadow, but for $4? You bet your pencil-skirt bottom.

Fall is a great time to try new colors- the bright spotlight of summer has faded, and clothes tend to be thicker and more cover-you-up-ish.... so what better way to highlight some of your best features than to play them up with autumn's gorgeous hues?

Do you have a Fall beauty regimen, or do you wear the same colors year 'round?
C'mon... share your cool weather beauty tips here and on chasing my Bees' facebook page!

Thank you to Walgreens for sponsoring this blog post. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 10

Lovely Liz Owen + an excerpt from My (Not So) Storybook Life

Y'all. I'd introduce you to my friend Liz Owen, but you already read her blog and salivate over her beautiful pictures and craftiness, right?

Liz has an adorable dog named Mabel, a super-talented arty husband, and one of the cutest little girl babies to ever be a girl baby.
This is Jane. Hi, Jane!

Liz is a great blogger. By that, I mean that she actually blogs useful and cute and informative and inviting and honest things. And she does it more often than I do once a month.

And Liz wrote a book. And not just the kind of book that sits around on a hard drive and never gets any fresh air, but a real, live, funny, published book. Because I like Liz so much, I'm choosing not to be annoyed that yet another friend of mine is going to be a famous author before I am. (See: Kyran and Jerusalem)

Instead of being jealous and keeping Liz's talent and grace (and her love/hate of literary heroines I also happen to love/hate) a secret, I'm going to share.

She posted an excerpt from My (Not So) Storybook Life: A Tale of Friendship and Faith on her blog, and I'm swiping it.

Folks, you're going to want to read this book. It will be out and about, making people happy, next Tuesday, October 18th.

Pre-ordering is your friend.
You can find My (Not So) Storybook Life at any of these fine book-selling establishments:
(click on the links below, yo!)
Amazon (and, maybe in stores? I dunno)
Barnes et. Noble, inc
and BAM!
(ps- if you google "Elizabeth Owen" she is not the one with the book about clairvoyance. fyi. she's the one with the supersweet cover)

I haven't read it yet, but I've been promised an early copy. I'll review it here when I've read it, and possibly, since I was planning on buying it anyway, maybe, if you tell me I'm pretty, I'll give away a copy, too.

For now, enjoy. And pre-order. And thank me later. 

Once one has breathed in the deep pungent aroma of sewage, you never again forget the nose-hair singeing, eye clawing, throat gagging experience. It comes over you slowly. You begin to feel like a character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as your muscles involuntarily jerk and you run screaming and blowing raspberries. Anything to get away from the mind-numbing stench.
But let me explain.
It was 6:30 a.m. I was standing in my retro pink tiled bathroom trying to open my bleary eyes and ready myself for work. As I stood there, peering into the mirror and wondering what demented nighttime fairy had planted four new wrinkles on my face, I paused and sniffed.
“Matt… what’s that smell?”
Matt staggered from the bedroom in his underwear, eyes half shut. “I don’t smell anything.”
I pointed my nose into the air like a hunting dog. “Seriously? You can’t smell that? Did you go to the bathroom in here earlier? I told you to use the room spray when you do things like that.”
Matt puffed out his bare chest and gathered his pride as best a man can with sleep in his eyes and a small hole in the side of his underwear. “I just woke up!”
I frowned, catching a glimpse of my makeup-less hot-rollers-in-hair state and tried not to think about the fact that I looked fifty instead of twenty-nine. “Well, help me figure this out. Because something smells ripe.”
We sniffed the sink drain and ruled it out as a suspect.
“Is it coming from the toilet?” Matt asked, examining it from top to bottom.
“No, that’s not it,” I snapped. I’m not known for my milk of human kindness in a disaster. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a survivor. I plan on eating my radish like Scarlet and clawing my way out of the nuclear dust while dragging my loved ones with me. But I won’t be doing it with positive phrases and a smile.
“Hon, I just don’t know. We’ll call a plumber after work, maybe it’s coming from under the house.” Matt staggered a little, trying to get past me and out of our tiny bathroom.
“Well, that’s just great,” I moved aside and pulled the shower curtain back so I could perch on the side of the tub and give Matt room to move out the door.
That’s when the full brunt of nastiness filled the air around us, a swirling mix of excrement and acrid stench that would have brought the sewer dwelling Ninja Turtles to their knees. Where the normally slightly-clean-with-a-hint-of-soap-scum bottom of the tub should have been, there sloshed gallons and gallons of brown sewage.
I clutched the front of my sweatshirt and held my breath. Matt began to dry heave.
“Get out and shut the door!” I screamed as we bumbled into the hallway.
“I’ll deal with this,” Matt grabbed my shoulders, trying to talk and hold his breath at the same time.
I could feel my eyes glaze over, the horrors of typhoid and hepatitis in our bathtub filling my mind. But more importantly, I could envision our evaporated savings account. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, gray hallway at the bank. A worker shrouded in a black suit pulled a set of keys from his pocket and unlatched a small locker labeled “Owen Bank Account.” Inside were two small stacks of quarters and a few crumpled dollar bills. It was bleak, not only because the banker with an unimaginative wardrobe gazed at me with an expression that could only be interpreted as “You’re a Big Fat Loser,” but also there was a very definite possibility we wouldn’t be able to pay for a plumber.
I wasn’t necessarily a spend thrift. In fact, I was downright frugal when it came to decorating with thrift store furniture and rewired vintage lamps. But the fact was, we were poor. We were starting out at starter jobs with starter salaries. We were starter adults with a starter bank account.
“Okay,” I nodded numbly, thankful that Matt was taking the lead on such a disastrous biohazard. “But make sure the plumber is super cheap. We don’t have much money!”
I left for work like a wino stumbling through a fog, not really remembering my commute, not really doing any work as I sipped my coffee and stared blankly at the computer screen. A disaster of such gargantuan proportions had previously been unthinkable in my life, and now I found myself attempting to push the image of a vast sea of bathtub poop from my mind. But I was sure of one thing: Anne Shirley never had to get ready for work while breathing raw sewage.

It's gonna be so cool, right? I know. I'm excited, too.

Monday, October 3

Mechatar Robot Winner and Discount Code

And the Mechatar goes to.... Justin Wright!

Don't forget to visit to see their entire lineup of cool robots. 

And, the code MECHMOM is good until November 30 to get get 10% off! (Hellooo, Christmas shopping!)

I was selected to participate in this sponsored post series by Clever Girls Collective. I can only assume it's because I'm so pretty, but it probably also had to do with the fact that I have three toy-crazy kids that live in my house. Rent free! In any case, all of the opinions are my own.