Beautilicious Bath Bubbles Review

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Yes, I do realize this website is supposed to be about music…but has become my catch-all for whatever I feel like sharing with the world. Today, it’s another product review.

I found this bottle of “Beautilicious Sugar Coated Candy Apple Bath Bubbles” at a ROSS store for $1.99. There was a foil seal over the top of the bottle, so I was unable to do a smell-test before purchasing, but the description of the scent sounded good…and the cartoon 50’s pinup-style girl on the front had an heir of honesty about her. She looks like such a nice girl, right? How could this product not be anything less than wonderful?

Actually, it’s not a bad bubble bath. It doesn’t yield a lot of bubbles…even with a significant amount of it added to the running water. The liquid is a pretty pink. The smell really reminds me of cough medicine. The flavor could have easily been “Candy coated Robitussin” and I would have rated the scent as being exactly that.

So, it’s not amazing. But the cute pink bottle sure looks nice sitting on the side of my tub. And I didn’t have any adverse skin reactions to it.

Boston Market Swedish Meatballs Review

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In my quest to find easy-to-fix dinners, I came across this box in the frozen foods section at Giant (our local supermarket food store.) I figured since it was from a reputable restaurant, it might be good. I throw the term “reputable” around like the government hands out welfare checks …frequently and with little concern for validity. OK, so Boston Market is an actual restaurant. I’ve driven past it a few times. I’ve never stopped to eat there, but I am 100% sure it exists. So, based on this existence of a physical property where you can get food, I assumed that this boxed meal might be good. I even bought TWO boxes since I planned to make it as a dinner and hoped for leftovers.

The first indicator that this meal might not be the best choice was the color. The sauce is a strange orange color. I’ve made Swedish Meatballs before (from scratch) and there is nothing in the ingredients that would make the color orange. The sauce should be a pale white color from the sour cream or heavy cream, whichever you choose to use. So…orange colored sauce…erm, ok.  After checking the expiration date to see that it was OK, and reading other reviews that raved about this product’s value for the low cost, I resumed preparation. Heat in microwave, stir, heat again, let it sit a few minutes. Easy.

The second indicator that this product was not good…the smell. I can only describe this smell as “dog-foody”. It was readily apparent that there was no actual cream in this meal…heavy cream, sour cream, or otherwise. It was some sort of chemical that was made to have the “sharpness” of a sour cream. However, someone at the chemical plant was having an off day when they invented this concoction, which falls somewhere between the smell of dog food and hairspray.

It looked like a wholesome meal on the box….this is what it really looked like after the heat-and-stir…

Boston Market Swedish Meatballs

I hadn’t noticed before I purchased this that the serving size has 1290 mg of sodium…more than 50% of the daily value. So, eat this meal if you want to retain a lot of water or raise your blood pressure. Luckily, it was only about $3.50 a box, but since it was almost completely inedible, I won’t be buying it again. And my previous curiosity of “maybe I’ll stop at the Boston Market one of these days and check it out” has been thoroughly banished from thought.

Loreal Feria Haircolor Review – Extra Bleach Blonde

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OK, So I’ve had this box of hair color (or rather, bleach) sitting in my bathroom for a week now and finally got the chance to try it last night. CVS did not carry my usual blonde color, which seems to be a shade “cooler” than this particular box. But with a name like “EXTRA Bleach Blonde”, how could I go wrong, right?

The color I usually use is a Loreal Preference color…a blonde one. I never remember the number, just the picture on the box. This one is #205, but I probably won’t remember that the next time I go to buy  color for my hair.

 

The first difference I notice between the Loreal Feria bleach blonding and the Loreal Preference (besides the blonde chick on the front of the box) is that the Feria came with two packets of powder that I was to mix into the applicator bottle. There was ALSO a little bottle of some kind of oil that I was to mix in after the two powder packets. The applicator bottle of “creme”, or whatever they call it, is much larger in the Feria.

I cut the first packet along the dotted line only to find that it creates a hole in the packet that is much too big for the hole in the applicator bottle. I ended up taking a long time trying to shake all of the powder from the packet into the applicator bottle and still managed to spill some of it all over the bathroom sink. I tried cutting a second (smaller) hole on the other corner, but this didn’t help much either.  Luckily, I had those handy-dandy gloves on that come in the box, so I managed to brush what was spilled to the edge of the counter into my hand and then carefully dump it into the applicator bottle. They are not kidding about that warning regarding the powder becoming airborne being a breathing issue…it burns big time. With the second packet of powder I did NOT cut along the dotted line.  I cut just above the line, making the opening significantly smaller, and that packet was much easier to pour into the bottle.

 

 

The instructions say to add the two packets of powder, put the cap back onto the applicator bottle, and shake until mixed. Then, you add the container of oil, and shake again to mix. My problem was that I evidently shook the bottle for too long to mix in the two packets of powder. By the time I took the cap off of the applicator, the mixture had begun to expand and “foam”. This wasn’t so bad, except that there was no longer enough room for all of the oil to go in. I tried to pour in the oil, hoping that it would make the expanding foam “de-foam”, but with no luck. This just made it overflow. I ended up dumping some of the mixture out so that I could add the oil. At this point, what is supposed to be a relaxing beauty treatment has turned into what seems like a failed chemistry project.

Finally, all of the chemical components mixed together and smelling like it will burn the hair right off of my head…I apply it to my roots and to some of the lengths of my hair. Here is the before picture of my dark roots – – keep in mind I haven’t washed my hair for a few days in this picture. (I have a newborn in the house…self-care has become less frequent.)

Before dyeing with Loreal Feria Bleach Blonde

 

Dyeing with Loreal Feria Bleach Blonde

 

After Loreal Feria Bleach Blonde

This picture is incredibly generous to the “after” results of this product. Did it lighten? Yes. Did my hair look like the chick on the box? No. The resulting color was much more “warm” and brassy/yellowy than what I had anticipated, and what the hair sample and box color made me believe it would turn out. It may look better in a few days after it has had time to “set” and my roots show just a little. It does look a bit strange to have no root at all near the base of the hair shaft. Since this was one of the more expensive hair color boxes out there ($9.99 at CVS), I was expecting it to give me results that were a bit closer to the box color, especially since my hair is naturally blonde, just darker at the roots when it first grows in.

Here’s a picture of my hair before I had ever dyed it:

 

Sara Tiemogo (Sara Chappell) never-dyed blonde hair, 2000

Regretfully, I will not be buying any Feria products again, and will return to my “Loreal Preference” haircolor, which gives better results, requires less work, and is $3 cheaper.

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To Make You Feel My Love

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Last night I drank 3 cups of iced Lipton tea before bed and could not fall asleep all night. Zoey and Idrissa went to sleep at around midnight/1am. After tossing and turning alone in my plight against sleep, feeling too hot then too cold, unable to clear my head of thoughts, and occasionally checking the clock to see that more time has gone by without any sleep than I would like, hearing Zoey’s first little morning squeaks and stretches telling me that she wanted to get up for a diaper change was music to my ears. Finally! Someone can keep the insomniac company for a while.

I got up and got her bottle started in a cup of hot water, set it on the nightstand and took her for a diaper change. She stretched and squeaked and peeked at me with half-closed eyelids during the change. I whispered, “I see your snorkel button” to her, which I always say at diaper changes. Her belly button looks a little bit like a snorkel from that popular 80’s TV cartoon “The Snorks”. Not as much anymore, but it did stick out quite a bit when her umbilical cord fell off, giving it a snorkel-like appearance. Yesterday, she smiled at me when I said, “I see your snorkel button!” in my sing-song voice to her.

Night time is a little different. We don’t play or sing or talk in sing-song voices because night time is for sleeping. So I whisper to her. Sometimes about her snorkel button.

I sat on the bed with her in my lap on a pillow with my blanket wrapped around us both in the dark. We stay as quiet as possible at night so as not to wake her father, who goes to work in the mornings. I put one earbud from my ipod into my ear and set the other one on the pillow next to Zoey’s ear. We listen to Alecia Dixon’s “To Love Again” and Lady Antebellum’s “Ready to Love Again”. (We were listening via YouTube search, and it was on the results page.) I was planning on doing a search for Zee Avi’s “Honey Bee” when Zoey finished her night time bottle. We sometimes breastfeed and then finish with a bottle of expressed breastmilk or formula to make sure she is full, but we sometimes just go straight for the bottle.

So, this morning after only 3 ounces of milk and 2 pop ballads, I leaned back and pulled her to my chest to burp her. She fell asleep curled into a little ball with her legs drawn up to her belly and feet crossed underneath while I played Adele’s “To Make You Feel My Love”. It was then that I realized that someday I might miss these middle of the night feedings. The frequent spitting up on my bare chest in the middle of the night? Probably not so much. But the sweet sleeping baby smelling of Johnson’s shampoo curled up in a ball just under my chin…yes, I think so.

New Mom Basics

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Little FeetLittle HandsMy little angel – Zoey Lynn Tiemogo – was born on Feb 10th at 5:07pm. It took me a few days to get things together enough to have time to get online and post anything to the website. During the past 2 weeks of being a new parent, here is what I have learned:

1. Huggies diapers are 100 times better than Pampers. They have a wetness indicator that actually works. They have a notch cut out for the umbilical cord. The little latches on the sides are made of a velcro-like material so that they can be unlatched and then re-latched easily. They cost the same at WalMart.

2. Avent bottles (the expensive top-rated bottle) are horrible. They leak. Some babies have a hard time drinking with their nipples and have milk spilling out the corners of the mouth – like my baby.

3. Formula is really expensive. I’m eping (exclusively pumping and feeding my breastmilk in bottles) and supplementing with formula where needed. Formula is $25 for a big cannister…which really isn’t all that big by the end of the week…

4. Newborn mittens are always too big. The Gerber newborn mittens are so big that they just fall off of my baby’s hands. By the time her wrists are big enough for her to wear them, she won’t need them anymore. This is the case with all of the mittens I’ve seen in the stores, unfortunately.

5. Breastfeeding sucks. Unless you have nipples of steel, it’s going to hurt for the first 2 weeks, no matter how well your little one latches on.