10 Reasons why your kids are like law school roommates from Hell

As I transition into this season of my life where I spend more of my day surrounded by children than adults, I have noticed some striking similarities between my darling young children and another group of people with whom I was privileged to spend a good number of my days as well. Wait for it… law students.

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Now, you may think “whoa, whoa, whoa my kid is definitely not a blood-thirsty litigator-to-be or self-righteous mumbler of constitutional convictions!”  I hear you. But truly, neither are most law students.  Actually, based on my (dare I say, experienced?!) observations, law students and young kids share some pretty similar day-to-day living habits. And really, this list just makes me laugh out loud.

10 Reasons why your kids are like law school roommates from Hell:

1. They attempt to use words in discussion that they don’t really understand yet.

2. They try to pass off pajamas as proper clothes. (Particularly to school.)

3. They pass out in random places, at random times.

4. They try to steal, and subsequently lose ALL your notes.

This includes lists, calendars, and pretty much anything else in paper form.

5. They start arguments over the smallest issue for no apparent reason.

6. They seem to exist entirely on snack food.

And leave said snack food in ALL the couches.

7. They say they “want to read” with you and then bolt after the first few pages.

8. They unapologetically raid your groceries.

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9. They continue to debate an issue ad nauseum long after a decision has been reached.

10. They can, without fail, think of 998 other things that urgently need doing before homework.

In reality, I had two super-fab law-school roommates who are now both super successful #lawyermoms and (unlike myself) fully understood the words they used and did NOT pass out in random places. But let’s be honest, we were all kind of like this all “knew someone”

Keep laughing friends, Monday is already partway through! Cheers to your week (perhaps with your littlest roommates) from REAL AS A M*THER!

fullsizeoutput_658Christiana is a Navy wife and mother of 3, attorney and former realtor, world traveler, home renovator and decorator, yogi, fitness enthusiast, and recipe and fine wine explorer.

Photo credit: Tara Liebeck Photography

Friday Fails

This week was a doozy ya’ll.

And today I am just drowning in a swamp of mom guilt and “not enoughs”.

I left Mimi crying for me not to go at Daycare this morning so I could get things done without the extra walking and lifting of bringing the girls with me. Cue severe mom guilt for being selfish.

I need the help today because I didn’t do enough rehab on my knee this winter when we were selling the house, moving and I started a new job and I tore a ligament again. Cue severe self guilt for not being stronger and more disciplined.

I didn’t get a “real” Friday post organized because I was late at work and then bedtime and my husband has been at work till 10:30pm every night this week and I crashed. Cue professional guilt.

I have a house that’s a wreck and still only 3/4 unpacked from moving in May, a mountain of laundry and a poor sad dog who hasn’t gotten a walk in weeks because of said knee and the fires even though it was his birthday this week. Cue alllllll the rest of the guilts.

It’s so so stinking easy to focus on the ways we are not doing enough and so much harder to give ourselves permission to celebrate the wins.

I also worked incredibly hard at my “day job” this week and helped over 60 people with their problems. I fed my family mostly healthy food. I stayed well hydrated. I did not push myself too hard on my injured knee (my default is to ignore, hence why the knee got so messed up to begin with). I caught up with several friends I’ve been missing. I organized things for my side business. I got dressed and brushed my dang teeth every. single. day. I know what Jen Sincero would tell me…

Why do we feel this need to push push push and not in the productive “make my dreams come true” way, but in a nit-picky, judgy way?? Why do we talk to ourselves in a way we would never let someone else talk to our kids?

I honestly used to do a lot more of this. I would drag myself down with the negativity until I felt more worthless than a slug marring someone’s garden walkway. I did a LOT of cognitive behavioral therapy learning to reroute those negative pathways. I have gotten WAY better at balancing the inner demons, but they still creep in now and then. And I know I’m not alone in this.

This is why I’m writing this today. We all have our down moments and there are ways to fight it. You can turn the negativity train right around. Try a few things that work for me:

  • Say the thoughts out loud. To someone supportive of you can or to an imaginary supportive friend if not. Let them reality check you.
  • Read inspiring books. I have had my life changed by The Science of Happiness, The Happiness Project, The Universe Has Your Back, Girl Wash Your Face and now You Are A Badass.
  • Write down the positives. See them. Internalize them. Pat yourself on your damn back.

Happy Friday everyone! May you be filled with positivity!!

Dr. Annie

Friday Faves: Rainy day “bored games”

If you’re like many of us East Coasters here lately, there are only so many interesting muddy puddles to be found in a rain-filled summer like ours.  With the weekend forecast looking something like this for um, the ENTIRE coast… we thought some of you parents out there might be in need of some rainy-day entertainment for the kids.

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 So,  here is our list of favorite rainy day family “bored” games when the weather takes you and your littles indoors, again.

Kristy’s picks

Chutes and Ladders

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This classic game is simple enough for the youngest players and nostalgic fun for the whole family. If you have a competitive guy, like I do, they’ll have so much fun laddering up to take the win!
 And, um, consider yourself warned if you have more than one competitive guy (or girl)…

Hedbanz

This game has us using our brains, laughing, and teaching our kids how to ask relevant and out of the box questions. We love it for the laugh factor, and the fact that there are moving parts that can be delegated amongst all the kids.

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One kid is on timer, one divvies out the winner’s coins, and the oldest plays the games. Our little one has the job of the main “yes, no, or maybe” regulator which adds an extra element of fun while teaching her how to spell and understand the word that is in play.

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Annie’s Picks

I’m not afraid to say that I may be a bit of a board game traditionalist. These oldies but goodies keep us (and more importantly) the kids coming back time and time again.

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Candyland

Everyone still plays this game for a reason. There are simple instructions for the youngest players,  bright colors, matching, and a little healthy family competition.  (The health of said competition may depend, however on your sibling situation…) “WHY DO I ALWAYS GET THE ICE CREAM?!?!” You know the feeling. We all do.

Uno

Another classic. UNO is awesome for one, because it is a card game with NO board to take up space in avalanche that is your board game cabinet. You’re welcome.

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UNO is also super educational and can easily be played at whatever level suit your child’s abilities. Players take turns matching one of their cards with the color or number card shown on the top of the deck, and first player out of cards wins. You can write your own rules with customizable wild cards that older kids love, too. 

Christiana’s Picks

I will just come straight out and say that both of my picks here are for NON-competitive games. As a mother to fiercely competitive brothers who turn life’s most mundane daily activities into a competition, some days I really just don’t need another “I WON!!” in my life. With that in mind…

Hoot owl hoot

Hoot Owl Hoot

Hoot Owl Hoot is an adorable, award winning cooperative matching game that encourages players to work together instead of compete against each other to win.  I wasn’t sure if my boys would go for it, but BEHOLD! They love it. 

Our family has fun working together to “fly all the owls back to their nest” and our middle child loves the suspense of moving the sun toward the dawn as we race to the finish. As a bonus, this game can be played at two difficulty levels so it can grow with your children. Highly recommend!

Wooden Dominoes

I love the look and feel of this sweet wooden domino set. Our kids love matching, playing and building with these, and the illustrations keep even our little 18 month old engaged.

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These sets are durable, fun, and great for teaching animal names, as well as counting, hand-eye coordination, and word recognition. Perfect for a rainy day!

Oh, and muddy puddles aren’t all that bad either. 😉 Happy summer showers, friends!

 

 

Dear Teacher: An Open Letter to My Son’s Teacher

Now that it’s summer time, and we have the time to reflect upon a successful kindergarten year for my son, I have been thinking of you, his teacher, a lot.

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A few years ago, I took my son to his preschool friend’s birthday party.  A few of the other moms in attendance were complaining to one another about our kids’ assistant teacher. They were saying, “She’s mean. She doesn’t like children.”   I said, “She isn’t mean; she is strict. Discipline is black and white for her – there is no gray area. She doesn’t harm the children, and she doesn’t say discouraging or disparaging things to them.  She is tough. I am ok with that. Structure in the classroom is good.”  No one seemed to agree with me, and that’s ok.

My reasons for feeling this way stem from a few things, not the least of which is due to the kind of mom I am.  I work long hours. When I get home I want to enjoy my children.  However, if they have been unhinged all day, it’s impossible to do because I spend all evening trying to reel them back in. I would rather spend the evening enjoying them, eating dinner, reading books, playing games, riding bikes, rolling around on the floor and snuggling on the sofa watching a movie.

I do understand viscerally the emotions these women are feeling, so my sharing this story isn’t meant to shame them for how they feel. I feel it myself sometimes. When my son is on the playground and another child shoves him aggressively to get by, I feel an intense desire to intervene and protect my son. “Wait,” my husband says, “and watch. Let him handle it first.” I stand by, my palms sweating and my heart beating, imagining myself march up to the parent of this kid and ask why they haven’t disciplined their kid for putting his hands on mine.  Then, something magical happens.  The kid does it again, and my son turns calmly to him and says, “Hey.  Don’t push me.  Ok?”  Just like that, it’s over.  As I’ve shared here, I learn very important things from my kids every day – usually, and especially, when I let them try to resolve their own issues.

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We were watching reruns of Friday Night Lights recently. There was a scene where the coach is yelling at the kids in the locker room.  Not speaking words of encouragement – straight up yelling at the top of his lungs.  The team members shrunk in their seats, feeling the heavy weight of disappointment on their shoulders.  Then, they worked harder, they ran sprints, they rolled in the mud.  They learned their lesson and they tried harder.

As I was watching this, a light bulb went off in my head.  I thought about my husband’s volunteer coaching gig at a local high school and remembered him telling me a story about a kid’s parent who wrote him a strongly worded email, chastising him for “yelling at” his son.  My husband is not a yeller.  He explained to the parent that he expressed dissatisfaction to the kid because he was disrespecting his teammates, but he didn’t yell.  And so I thought to myself, what is our obsession, as parents, with trying to prevent our children from being disciplined by the very people that we are asking to teach, coach, and discipline our children?  When I played sports, I got yelled at by my coaches.  I didn’t like it, sure.  It didn’t make feel good.  But you know what?  I am so glad it happened.  It taught me so much.

I want my kids to learn how it feels to do something wrong – to feel the consequences, most intensely and piercingly being when you disappoint someone you love and admire. Your teachers. Your coach. Your mom. Your dad. I remember those feelings in the pit of my stomach. I don’t want to protect my kids from that. It’s better that they make mistakes and understand the consequences in a space where those consequences don’t result in life altering outcomes like injury, jail, death, addiction. Teenagers are emotional and impulsive creatures.  I don’t want the first time for my son or daughter to be held responsible be years from now when he/she is a teenager and makes a bad decision like drinking and driving which can result in a DUI or worse, hurting themselves or others.

Emotional intelligence is more important to me than book smarts. Responsibility. Bravery.  I teach my son to stand up for what is right especially when it is hard. When he comes home and tells me that his heart hurts because someone was mean to his friend, I revel in that moment. He needs to understand empathy. Not sympathy. He can learn his ABC’s any day.  It doesn’t take a genius to teach ABC’s, but it does take a great teacher to teach empathy, kindness, bravery, humility and leadership.  Those things don’t develop when teachers are only allowed to dole out positive reinforcement instead of appropriate discipline.

I want that when my son is given accolades for an accomplishment that he feels true pride in knowing what he did was exemplary. I want him to motivated by this feeling over and over again.  It’s impossible to know this feeling if everyone gets a sticker, award or trophy. It’s also impossible to know this feeling if you are never disciplined for doing something wrong.

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We find ourselves in interesting times. We are begging for leaders of strength, kindness, good-heartedness and intelligence. However, we aren’t fostering the growth of them. We won’t allow our kids to fail. Parents handle everything for their kids. Strength is not made when you don’t have to work for things. Our children must learn how to effectively communicate with their teachers, how to stand up for themselves, how to ask for help, and how to learn how they can do better, be better and reach higher.  Minds, souls and bodies are all like muscles. You must work them to grow them.

I am sorry, dear teacher, for the precarious situation you now find yourself in. I was surprised when my son’s amazing preschool teacher called me one day a few years ago  to talk to me about my son’s day. No, not because he is perfect. He most certainly is not, and I am thrilled that in our household we do not have those ridiculous expectations. But because she felt it was necessary to proactively explain to me that he was reprimanded for doing something mischievous with his friends (climbing a fence) and against the rules. That call made me so sad.  Not because my son did something wrong.  He was four, and he’s a very fun little boy who values his friendships above all else, so I wasn’t surprised.

The call made me sad because the teacher likely has to make dozens of these calls a week, if not more, in an attempt to protect herself from angry parents who want to know why their perfect child came home and told them that he/she was disciplined in the classroom.  You, teacher, must spend your evenings making these calls instead of relaxing after a hard day of being paid WAY less than you are owed.  What, my fellow parents, are we trying to accomplish with this intense oversight?  This is not a rhetorical question – I actually want someone to answer this for me.  Parents: What are you trying to accomplish by making our teachers and coaches afraid to teach and coach our children?

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I don’t want my son and infant daughter to be me. I want them to be better than me. In whatever way that means for them.  As I see their shiny faces, looking up at me, happiness and interest and calm, I want the world to be a safe place.  But it isn’t. I can make my home safe but I can’t control the world. I don’t want to. Don’t get me wrong, if someone harms my child (physical abuse or worse), I will intervene (and God help whoever has to deal with me in that type of situation, believe me.)  But, that’s not what we are talking about here.  We are talking about normal discipline in a school setting.  Warnings, time outs, privilege revocation, etc.

I want my children to be equipped to thrive in the real world. To know triumph. To know disappointment so that the triumph is sweeter. To search and work toward a solution. To lose. To win. To be bad at some things. To be good at some things. To be prepared. To be unprepared. To love and innovate and shine independently from me. They don’t need to change the world – just themselves, and always in a positive direction. For as they become the best version of themselves, they will change my world, their world, and your world. All teachers are not the same.  Some are loving.  Some are strict.  Some are silly.  Some will like my kids, and some won’t.  But THAT’S LIFE.  My kids will learn, just as I did, that not everyone is going to like them, and that’s OK.  I want my kids to be prepared for the WORLD.

So to you, dear teacher, your role is an important one. You are my partner, and I am yours. We work together and support one another.  You aren’t the mother – I know that that’s my job. You are their teacher, and I am so glad you are.  Don’t give them the answers. Help them learn. Don’t let everyone win. Help them grow. Hold my child accountable. Hold us all accountable to ourselves.  I support you, and I hope for a world where you can do your job without fear of being fired because a parent is upset that you hurt their child’s feelings by moving them to the back of the line when they couldn’t listen or follow the rules.

Otherwise what is the purpose of school?

With Great Gratitude,

Margo

The Tale of the Contaminated Pool

My family and I just had a wonderful camping week at the beach. The sun, swimming, tiki bar (what what?), and nights by the wonderful campfire with extended family were all relaxing and rejuvenating.

We reflected on the the fact that the only things we took away from camping were wonderful memories, big smiles, sun-kissed skin, and a better understanding of a need for personal space.

“Well,” we thought. “That one day was weird when we had to leave the pool because it had been contaminated.” We had just thought some kid (even though “it” happens, amirite?🤣) had pooed, which is awful in and of itself. But what it turns out to be, oh, is much worse.

Resuming daily activities Monday morning is when I quickly realized that sunsational vibes were not the only thing we brought home with us.

Phone rings: 10:00am

“Hi, Mrs. Wright…….little #2 has HEAD LICE and needs to be picked up immediately”

<Screech screech screech horror movie noise>

Those who really know me understand that I have an incredible visceral repulsion and hair-trigger panic button when it comes  to flying insects and now also to tiny creatures you can barely see that latch on for dear life and suck your bodily juices for sustenance.(Is that too graphic?)

I panic. BIGTIME. We’ve never had lice in our house before!

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It’s coming from INSIDE THE HOUSEEEEEEEEEEE

I immediately stop my work and go to get her, all the while assuming I am going to pick her up and she’s going to be covered in these horrible blood thirsty pests.

A little History with my bug hysteria can be explained in the flea “epidemic” of 2015 when my dog had two fleas. I assumed the whole house had been taken over and went a little nuts and replaced all our carpets and our couch, bought a Dyson cordless and vacuumed six times a day. Totally normal behavior…

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So, I vow to go immediately home, burn all clothes, shoes, beds, pillows, couches, carpets.

“That won’t be enough. The whole house will have to go up in flames. BURN IT DOWN”

So instead of going back down the road of epidemic, I reassure myself that I should assess the situation first, then react. High fives for rational thought.

Restoring my wits, I remember the thousands of other parents/kids/humans that have dealt with this issue in the past. And I got a lovely suggestion from our daycare provider (who was an angel and bagged two to educate me since this was our first time dealing with it) for a service we have here in Virginia called “The Nit Fairy”  They searched for, treated, checked me and my daughter and scheduled a follow up with us! I paid for it….$300 to be exact…but the peace of mind that someone did a thorough job in finding them and treating them while teaching me what to do step by step feels priceless to me. Hopefully y’all have this in your area as well! It’s worth the search.

Now…..the aftermath. As soon as my son and husband get home, they are checked and treated. I use the OTC RID lice treatment on both, and vacuum and spray all carseat heads, and regular seats, seat belts, bike helmets with the home spray included in the kit.

Now, we wait….

24 Hour Report: So far so good. All have been checked several times with combing twice.  Bug and egg free for today.

1)Mental itching and feeling of bugs all over level: expert.

2)Shampoo game: on point

3)House cleaning status: laundry done, things bagged and tagged, brushes/toys/ shoes drowned for two hours and counting.

What Do I Do Now?

I am not going to lie to you, looking through photos to show you what one of these things looks like made me throw up in my mouth.

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HOWEVER! For the sake of me never wanting YOU to have to question “what the heck do I do?” upon the words “Mommy/Daddy, my head itches.” arriving at your door, here is a guide on what to do:

Step one: Saddle up, you’re riding this suck fest for two weeks plus.

The average lice egg takes up to a week to hatch. Meaning, if you don’t get the nits (lice eggs) out, you’ll have a brand new harvest in a weeks time. You’ll have to go through the WHOLE rigamaroll again if they go unnoticed.

Get a treatment kit either OTC, call for a prescription from your pediatrician on what they recommend, or go to a place like I did that treats you there. To decide, think about how you feel about chemical OTC treatments versus using an oil based solution such as a blend of Rosemary and Tea Tree Oil in a carrier Olive Oil.

Step Two: Treat yo’self and your WHOLE FAMILY

Get enough kits for your whole crew. Even if you don’t SEE anything on them, chances are there at least one. After you treat, wait seven days and treat again.

********Always follow the FULL instructions on how to treat in the pamphlet. Better yet, call your doctor and ask them!***********

This Comb is pretty legit as a replacement for the normal comb! Not necessary, but made me feel like I was doing more to alleviate my irrational tiny bug abhorrence.

Step Three: Housekeeping Diligence

The second most important step is to be violently and insanely diligent with cleaning up anything that anyone treated has touched in the last two days before finding the, gulp, infestation.

Wash: All clothes, sheets, pillow cases, hats, princess dresses, gloves, blenders, miniature schnauzer-doodles, goldfish… I don’t care ….WHATEVER THE KID(s) or y’all HAVE TOUCHED, wash it in 130 degree water. High heat for 20 minutes and roast the little things.

Dry Clean: Anything you cannot wash at 130 degrees and put on HIGH heat in dryer for at least 20-45 minutes, should be dry cleaned. Comforters, pillows, dragon pillows, fort roofs, fort sides, fort anything.

Bag: Anything else such as toys, tiaras, magic wands, and seal it for FOUR weeks in a bag and shake it like a polaroid picture when you take it out before use.

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Vaccuum: Everything. Everywhere. All the time. Carpets, floors, couches, mattresses, headrests and car seats, your desk, headboards on bed. Just get an iRobot and call it a day.

Step Four: Pete and Repeat.

You know the old joke, “Pete and Repeat were on a boat. Pete fell off, who was left?” Yup…..basically you can clean and wash and vacuum for as long as you want. But everyone needs to be checked daily until you see no more lice or nits. Up to two weeks after last treatment. If you still see lice or nits after the two treatments, get your butt to a doctor cause you’ve got a superbug.

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You could also just shave your head if you want. Believe me, in my initial freak out mode I told the day care provider that I was going home to shave everyone’s head. I mean, why not?

Please Share what has worked for you and your family to rid yourself of these evil effers that can hold their breath for TWO HOURS under water. Unless you say Powdered Sugar is delicious and the lice hate the sugar. (name that movie??) download (8).jpeg

<Kristy mumbles “holding their breath for two f$%king hours?” BLEEECCCHHHH >

Hope this helps you not to freak out like I did. Do as I say, not as I do:)

48 hour report: One sluggish bug found……Repeating steps above….AGAIN.

Godspeed good soldiers…

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Frugal Friday: Drugstore Cosmetic Finds

Ever had that feeling when you find EXACTLY what you want at the cosmetic counter or drugstore for way less than you thought it would cost?

No?!? 

Ok, so we usually don’t either. But oh man, when it happens…

Cosmetics shopping is one of those things that somehow seems to constantly disappoint. All that money spent, and everything fits in a bag the size of my socks?!? Great

Every. single. time.

Yet, in life, and this world we live in, there are plenty of things worth stressing over. (See Wednesday and Thursday’s posts if you need reminding.) Make-up just isn’t one of them. So when that $40 mascara dries out in a week, or when your toddler drops your fancy mineral powder (worth more than their whole outfit) and it decorates your bathroom floor?? Fughetaboutit. We got you. 

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Here are the Lockers to Littles’ tried-and-true, best-ever drugstore cosmetic finds. No disappointment, and no stress necessary in the case that toddler-cosmetic-sabotage should occur. (Well, no financial stress anyway. Good luck cleaning your tile… and your toddler for that matter.)

Christiana’s Picks

Maybelline Tattoo Studio Waterproof Eyebrow Gel

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Maybelline Tattoo Studio Waterproof Eyebrow Gel, $10.99

True story, I have only been using this product since the beginning of this summer, and I have already been asked about it more times than I can count. In short: you apply the tinted gel to to shape and color your brows for a natural looking, perfectly groomed, smudge-proof brow that legitimately stays put. Period. All day, in the pool, on a long run, or at the beach. Seriously, this stuff is amaze-balls. Eyebrows on fleek all summer long. Poolside mojito please! 

Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun

Tan Foam
Jergens Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse for Body, $12.99

As an active mom and outdoor enthusiast that still likes to get dressed up every now and then, this sunless tanning mousse has saved me from more than one serious fashion faux pax. I run (a lot) and as of late, most of it is outside in the summer sun. So despite my best sunscreen efforts, my racerback tan line is bad. news. bears. This miracle foam has literally taken my tan lines from sports bra to off-the-shoulder-black-tie in minutes. No messy slow-drying cream, and with an instant tint there are no streaks to fear. For only $12.99, I am a big fan of evenly bronzed décolletage for this summer’s return of the the off-the shoulder trend!

L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara

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L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black, $8.44

This little guy has been my go-to mascara for YEARS now. Every so often I get lured into trying a new fancy-looking mascara (that typically costs a LOT more) and I have yet to find one that compares to the clump-free, perfectly black, lengthened lashes I get with this product. At under $10, it has been and will remain a very affordable and permanent staple in my bag!

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Annie’s Picks

Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker

Lip Smacker Lip Gloss, Dr Pepper [640] 0.14 oz (Pack of 3)img_2054

This little bit of magic came out at some point in middle school and I have never found a chapstick with better natural color and artificial taste since. It gives just a little rosy red tint. Thank you also, Snapchat, for making the rest of my face as nice as my Dr.Pepper tinted lips.

Maybelline MasterPrecise ink Metallic Liquid Liner

Maybelline New York Master Precise Ink Metallic Liquid Liner, Black Comet, 0.06 Fluid Ounce

I took this with me on vacation to a wedding in Hawaii where I knew there would be swimming and sweating followed immediately by dressed up events. It did not budge, my eyes stayed glam through the whole day and night. It then washed right off with my (super awesome Nerium) facewash when I was done.

Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor

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Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor, Stay Currant, $10.49

Don’t we all want pretty, perfectly shaded lips that last through long work days, evenings of mommy-kisses, and dare I say a date-night?! Let’s get crazy, people. ColorStay Lipstick actually stays! Between patients and parenting, this doctor mom appreciates a lip color that only needs to go on once. Work smarter, not harder! (Even better, you can get it on the cheap!)

Margo’s Picks

NYX Under-Eye Concealer for Dark Circles

If you have olive-toned skin like me, one of the things you might battle is under-eye darkness.  I have found that sometimes the only thing I need to walk out the door is GOOD under-eye concealer, a bit of mascara and some lipstick.  But, not all under-eye concealer is created equal!

In comes NYX.  It’s usually between $5 and $6, it’s in a teeny tiny container, but it will last for a LONG time.  It covers well and comes in awesome natural colors.

Revlon Matte Lipstick

See Annie’s above pick that’s Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor?  I use that AND this Revlon Matte Lipstick together.  Why, you ask?  Because I love the staying power of the ColorStay, but I want a matte color.  So, I put the ColorStay on first, and then, while it’s still wet, I overlay the Matte Lipstick in my favorite color.

Voila!  It stays ALL day (no lie) and it’s the color style and type that I like best on me.  (Make sure you let it dry thoroughly before eating and drinking, though, otherwise, you’ll get it on your cup!)

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That’s a wrap! Your wallet and killer summer looks thank you. Happy Frugal Friday from the LtoL crew!

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Dr. Annie Answers: A Child Separated, Part 1

Unless you’ve been living under a log, you’ve probably seen the heart-wrenching controversy about families being separated at the border. Over 2000 children have been taken from their families, from teenagers down to nursing babies. I don’t know about you, but I can’t help imagining being unexpectedly separated from my own little girls and it breaks my heart.

Part 1 of this post is about how to help these families being pulled apart at the border. Tomorrow, Part 2 deals with our personal anxiety provoked by imagining being separated by your kids. I’ll go over what you can do to prevent a child being lost or taken, and what to do in the moment of pure terror (I think most parents have), looking down to see your kid is not where you left them.

Part 1: Do Unto Others

Regardless of your political leanings and stance on the underlying policies, every human with a heart can see that these children and parents need our help. It can feel overwhelming to even know where to start, though, right?? There are two concrete things you can do right now, in a few minutes time to help ease this time of horror for them a little.

Donate

Giving even $20 – that’s just skipping lattes once a week for one month – can be the difference in one more family getting aid. We can all afford this. I would even say we can’t afford not to donate. You never know when you’re going to need that karma coming back your way.

Border Patrol Agents Detain Migrants Near US-Mexico Border

The ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU has raised over $1,000,000 to help with legal representation for the families. The ACLU is not itself a charity so to make a donation that is tax-deductible, give to the ACLU Foundation. They have a four-star rating from Charity Navigator signifying your money goes directly where it helps most. Click the link above for direct website.

RAICES Leaf Project: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services

This nonprofit is a Texas-based group using the money to pay the bond for parents being held away from their children and to pay for legal services for the children in the courts. They are a more ‘boots on the ground’ option, directly working with the families as I type. Click the link above for website and more information about the Leaf Project.

RAICES

Registry by Baby2Baby and KIND

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and Baby2Baby have also set up a Target gift registry to send diapers, soap, formula and other supplies to aid organizations at the border and with the detention sites. Most places say monetary support is more helpful, but if this feels right for you, do it!

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Neither of those speaking to you as the place you want to donate? This Article by Dahlia Lithwick and Margo Schlanger lists several other options.

Call

Again, this step is quick and important regardless of your political leanings. We all want this stopped and a better solution found. Call your Senators and Representative and tell them to get to work! It literally takes 2 steps and less than 3 minutes, promise. Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 2.36.32 PM

  1. Click THIS LINK to find your Representative by searching for your zip code. Use THIS LINK to find your Senators. On the Senatorial page, use the drop-down and select your state. Or get all the contact info from 5calls.org by searching for your zip code.
  2. Call. You’ll likely get a voicemail and that’s ok – it counts too. I like 5calls because they break it down and give you an exact script you can read. Helps if you get paralyzing phone call anxiety and have a tendency to stutter and clam up like me. However, it does have a left-lean politics-wise, so if you don’t like their message, you can also just say something short and sweet like,

“Hi, my name is [First and Last Name], I live at [full street address and zip code so they record your call] and want [Representative or Senator’s name] to know as a [mom, teacher, doctor, human…], I oppose Trump’s policy of separating families at the border and demand they use all of Congress’s authority to come up with an immediate solution.”

Do something. Today. Together we can make this right. Most if not all of us reading this post are incredibly blessed to not have anything like this to face in our life. Most of us will have a moment, though, of having your child wander off in a crowd and not being able to find them, which is scary enough. Check in tomorrow for how to prevent and fix this situation for yourself.

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Dr. Annie is a married mother of 2 and family physician in the Sacramento area.