WFMW: Smooth, Soft Underarms

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So, I read this tip awhile back as a way to “make do” if you run out of shave gel, and I fell in love with it!

Instead of using shave gel on my underarms (or my legs), I use hair conditioner.

I love having less stuff cluttering up my shower! The conditioner gives me a smooth, burn-free shave, and it moisturizes my underarms at the same time! They’ve never looked (or felt) this good!

Moreover, I’m not contributing to pollution by using an aerosol can anymore!

You should totally try this – it’s easy, cheap (you can use $1 conditioners or ones you don’t like to save extra money), and it Works For Me!

A Makeshift Meal

I actually have a real MAKESHIFT meal over at Makeshift Meals this week! Go check out my culinary last-minute skills!

No “Specialty” Food for Poor People

Please come over to Budget Hippies and read what I have posted there today!  I really want to see some change…

It’s a Giveaway! – CLOSED – Thanks!

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Hello, all! Welcome to the first Bloggy Giveaway at Makeshift Mama!

Have you heard of gDiapers? They’re the environmentally friendly diaper alternative that is sweeping the U.S. They’ve recently been elevated to haute status when Vanity Fair revealed that Julia Roberts uses them!

Best of all, they are based here in Portland, and I can tell you for a fact that Kim Graham-Nye (co-owner) is the sweetest lady you will ever meet!

SOOO… this giveaway is for gDiapers merchandise! You will get a gDiapers beach ball, a gDiapers car window cling (“Leave less of yourself behind.”), and a gDiapers shopping tote made of organic cotton! Also included is a small pamphlet explaining how gDiapers work and how easy they are to use!

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This contest is open to anyone in the continental U.S. with a valid email address. Just leave me a comment to get in on the fun!

Good luck, all! And don’t forget to visit Rocks In My Dryer for more awesome bloggy giveaways!

Made in Thailand

As some of you know, my father-in-law lives in Thailand.
He moved there a couple years ago to marry a woman he met online, and every 6 months or so, he comes to visit. Usually, he’ll bring a gift or gifts for Ariel – often clothing. But one time he brought a doll.
Let me just say that I’ve always been entertained by items from non-English-speaking countries that have English words on them. The kind of products that are meant to stay in their home country, not to be brought here.
When I was a little girl, some family friends who live in Japan brought me several little trinkets. One of them was a Hello Kitty glue stick (this was the mid-nineties, and Hello Kitty was not the American obsession it is now). Inscribed in cutesy white letters around the glue stick was something like this:
“Hello. How are you. Good. I’m fine, too!”
Thus began a mild fascination with wannabe English products.
Anyway, this doll from Thailand was fascinating. She was hard plastic, white-skinned with bright blonde hair. She looked like a toddler, and she was probably about a foot tall. She stood upright in her little white shoes, and when you squeezed her stomach, she sang and walked.
At first, it was the walking that was so interesting. I mean, this doll did not have abnormally huge feet, and it didn’t seem like it should be able to balance. But it did! You could set her on the table and she would hobble around to the music. Wow!
Then I started thinking, Hey, this song sounds familiar! The sound quality was too poor to really make out words, just general tones and inflections, but the tune was so very familiar to me that I felt like the words were on the tip of my tongue.
After going crazy for a couple days trying to figure it out, it finally hit me!
Make me walk, make me talk,
Do whatever you please.
I can act like a star,
I can beg on my knees.

That’s right, this doll was singing Barbie Girl.

Just the one verse, twice through. Apparently, the meaning of the lyrics had been lost in translation, and this doll manufacturer was unaware that, despite being about a doll, the song was not actually appropriate for children.

The words would have been impossible to understand without prior knowledge of the song, so this discovery was not enough reason to boot the doll from our house.

Then, one day, maybe 2 months after we got it, I went to pick up the doll and felt something slimy beneath my fingers. The batteries had burst, and the back of the doll was covered in battery acid.

I quickly tossed the doll and washed my hands. And that was the end of the doll from Thailand.

There wasn’t really a point to this story…

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I have come to a decision.

I have felt torn about this for awhile, but I have finally come to a decision that I think is best.
I am going to continue nursing Felicity. For as long as she is willing to nurse.
This was a hard decision to come to, since she’s allergic to dairy, and dairy has pretty much been my life.
But there are several reasons for my decision:

1. Allergy-prone babies are less likely to develop more allergies the longer they’re breastfed.

2. I would like to become vegan someday, and the elimination of dairy is certainly a good first step.

3. I have finally overcome my cravings, and no longer drool enviously when I am around milk or cheese. In fact, the only “dairy” items that I still struggle with are synthetic items like Cheese Nips, which goes to show how chemical-laden those things are.

4. I will not look back 10 years from now and regret missing out on dairy, but I might look back and regret choosing to wean my daughter early.

I still plan to try dairy at intervals to see if she reacts, but if she DOES react, it will simply mean my diet must stay dairy-free. While I want to achieve an essentially vegan diet for the health benefits, I don’t want to spend my whole life asking people if there is milk in the cookies that they baked for Mom’s Group. I look forward to having that flexibility.

So… wish me luck! I’m in it for the long haul!

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A Mysterious Arrival

Yesterday, mom called me with some odd news.

She had received a curiously addressed package for me. After describing it, I told her she might not want to open it, in case it was a bomb. She didn’t heed my advice. She’s lucky to be alive today.

Anyway, I picked it up from her this afternoon. Check this out.

I’ve run a healing brush over the sensitive info, so that you can see that it’s there without being able to read it. Basically, the return address is my husband at our current address. The main address is to Jenni B—, my maiden name, at my parents’ address. The zipcode was only 9 and part of a 7.

There was no postage on it of any kind. It appears that our mysterious benefactor/perpetrator actually drove by and left it in my parents’ mailbox.

Inside, a thin plastic bag held shredded, multicolored paper.

Tearing the plastic open revealed this CD case for Illuminate by the David Crowder Band. It was not shrink-wrapped.

Now it gets even weirder (if that’s possible). Inside the case was a Chris Tomlin CD (See the Morning), rather than the album that corresponded with the case.

Upon further examination, I also found a felt letter “F” in the shredded paper.

Does this not read like a Sherlock Holmes book? I am so darn confused.

Dan says that he has never owned any music by either band, and he is just as confused as I am.

My one remaining POSSIBLE clue has already been thrown away, darn it! A few weeks ago, Dan and I received an envelope with no return address and a Portland postage cancellation (I think it was 97220, but I’m not sure). It contained a typed note, a 50 dollar bill, and a coupon to a steak restaurant. The note said that the $50 was intended for us to go on a date, and was signed “Your friends at Spring Mountain” (Spring Mountain is our church).

While I still have the bill and coupon, I have thrown away the envelope and letter. However, I THINK the handwriting on the two envelopes may have been the same. The writer on the package (and on the envelope?) writes their lower-case r’s like v’s, which is the main distinguishable feature.

The gift made sense – somebody wanted to give us some money anonymously because they love us – so I didn’t think anything weird of it. I just sent out an email to the church mailing list, thanking whoever our donor was. That was that.

But a mismatched CD with Dan on the return address and my maiden name? That is a little more mysterious.

Mom said that someone might be playing a practical joke on me. If they are, I really don’t get the joke. I’m stumped.

If you sent this, please come forward and save me from this bewilderment.

And if you know a good private detective looking for a pro bono job, please pass this post along!

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