Monday, April 9, 2012

Tell me how you care for your skin, and win $50!!

Oh yeah, it's another sponsored post and giveaway. I'm on a roll with these!  They are pretty fun, and I get to try stuff and give my honest opinion and give something away to you guys. 

I received a bottle of Olay® Total Effects Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer to try and review. I was pretty skeptical because I have skin like a freak of nature. I get dry and peely really easily, and my cheeks turn bright red if I use a product that doesn't agree with me. 

Quite honestly, this review would be a lot more amusing if my skin went bat-shit crazy while using this stuff. Sadly, it did not. I actually really liked it a lot!

My skin is crappy, as previously discussed. I have giant pores on my nose and T-zone, and I have a big ugly sun spot on my right cheek. I'm starting to notice the dreaded fine lines around and between my eyes. I have zero skin-care routine, so when this Olay opportunity came up I was all over it. This product is supposed to help minimize spots and fight the appearance of discoloration, while also combating the seven signs of aging. 

So let me tell you what I really think about this product, and then I'll tell you how you can enter for a chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card.
I'll go over the seven signs of aging and review the product based on each sign (I've combined a few of the signs).
Line Minimization: I can't say that I've noticed a big change in the appearance of my fine lines. I've been using the product everyday for about two weeks, so it might just take more time. Sometimes I notice that I have breakfast Nutella on my face at around noon, so I might not be doing a close enough inspection. 
Nourishing Moisturization & Dryness Defense: I am really picky about moisturizer because my skin is dry in places and oily in others. I really like this product for moisturizing! I don't know that it would work for me during the brutal winter months, but for spring and summer it would be perfect. It made my skin soft without making it oily, as some other anti-aging products have done.
Tone Enhancement: I've never used a tinted moisturizer before. I usually moisturize and then use a foundation. I worried that the color would look blotchy over my dry skin, and that the combination of a tinted moisturizer with foundation would make my skin look too dark. This went on really smooth and I do feel like my skin looked a bit more even after I used the moisturizer with foundation on top.
Gentle Exfoliation & Eye Puffiness Reduction: Meh. I didn't notice any sort of exfoliation. And my eyes definitely do not look less puffy. However, I am hugely pregnant and puffy all over the place. So perhaps I should reduce my salt intake and stop blaming this face lotion for not making my eyes look less puffy?
Free Radical Defense: This stuff has an SPF of 15, which is what I like. It does smell like sunscreen at first, which isn't my favorite, but the scent faded as it dried. So ... that's what I think about Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer. I like it and would buy it, especially for the warm spring/summer months when I need a lighter moisturizer.  
Now the good stuff: How to enter for a chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! Just leave a comment telling me about your skincare routine. How do you care for your skin? What products do you like for cleansing and moisturizing?   

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by email. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 4/9 - 5/16

Be sure to visit the Olay TE page on where you can read other bloggers' reviews and find more chances to win! While we're on the subject of looking good, you might want to check out the "Looking Your Best" posts in the Life Well Lived section of There are some great tips and expert posts!

I was compensated and provided free product for this post.  The opinions expressed herein are my own.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Bunny Made A Mess!

That's what Olivia said as she saw the path of eggs left by the Easter Bunny.  She may look like her mom but she's getting a cleanliness complex like her dad.

I was surprised by how much Olivia understood the difference between her basket and Ainsley's basket.  I was afraid she would want all of the toys to herself but she was actually really excited to give them to Ainsley.

Stupid Potterybarn with their Stupid Cute Expensive Baskets and Stupid Cute Liners.
Also, Stupid Pillow Pets.

Ainsley had a very encouraging few days on a Portable Ventilator - you know, the kind that can be used at home but are not called home ventilators - but when we walked in to the hospital today it was just very clear to me that she was feeling terrible.  However, she was such a trooper and played with Olivia and laughed and smiled for a few pics - you know, before she went directly down the respiratory shitter.

Ainsley finds Easter to be very amusing.
However, this portable vent can suck it, I guess.

I would like to note that my 15 month old former preemie is wearing a 12-18 month dress that could not be buttoned up the back.  It was wide open like a V.  And people wonder why I want to call her a meatloaf??  She smiles so big her cheeks make her eyes squinty!  I love it.  My little side of beef...the opposite of my teeny little Olivia, who I fear may blow away in a strong wind and who could probably rock that very 12-18 month dress as an adorable tunic with leggings.

Olivia: Look at this balls for ya!
Ainsley: OK, and also I can't breathe but yay Easter!
Olivia loves to go see Ainsley, and Ainsley seems to be mesmerized by Olivia.  They get along pretty well.  I hope that it carries over to the days when we eventually all live under the same roof with two ridiculous dogs and another little lady Knepper.

Best of, like, 300 attempts at a family shot.
Olivia acts like being photographed is corporal punishment.

Age 3 is still an appropriate age for me parents to eat all of the candy from the plastic eggs, right?  You know, only so Olivia doesn't get a belly ache.


One Year Ago:  Ninety Nine
Two Years Ago:  Should Have Purchased Three Sets of Ears
Three Years Ago:  Mister Yuck, Look Out!
Four Years Ago:  The Longest Post In The History of Infertile Whining

Saturday, April 7, 2012

NICU Graduate

Just not the way that we hoped!

Much like George and Weezy, we have moved on up to a de-luxe apartment in the sky.  And by that I mean that we moved up two floors in the same hospital.  From NICU to PICU.*

Around the end of February, we started thinking about moving to PICU.  Because at 14 months old, Ainsley was obviously not a newborn anymore.   She is a toddler - a toddler who doesn't toddle, but still.  Does this giant meatloaf look like a newborn to you?

Gettin a toof.

So the thought was that, maybe, she should be in the PICU where 14 month old residents are the norm, and not the depressing exception.  Where there are lots of bigger kids on ventilators.  And so we asked to be moved and apparently that is a big deal like, whoa.   Apparently?  There is no way to say to this group of people who have kept your super sick kid alive for the past 14 months that you want to take your critical illness elsewhere, without feeling like somewhat of an ungrateful douche.

This giant meatloaf rolls over now.
The scariest part of the move was getting to know all new nurses and staff.  For us and for Ainsley.  Ainsley can be a bit of a snob if she doesn't know you.  Everyone in the NICU knew that you had to make friends with Ainsley before you approached her.  And almost everyone in the NICU made friends with Ainsley because she is a giant attention whore and would perform for anyone willing to watch.

Ainsley's de-luxe apartment in the sky.

Surprisingly, the move went really well.  Ainsley didn't mind the change in scenery at all, and has made fast friends with lots of PICU people.  Her room is right across from a break room where people come and go all day, and she spends the entire day shaking her head no, dancing, and smiling at people to get attention.  She's got some new, fabulous primary nurses, and her NICU friends come to visit her all the time.

Big Room = Big Sister Dance Party
It has been interesting to watch the new doctors get to know Ainsley.  The first few days were a bit rough but overall necessary.  A few aggressive changes were made, and in typical Ainsley fashion, the bottom fell out after a few days.  Ainsley will try her best - she will chug along for days doing something that she doesn't like, and then all of a sudden she will stop doing it. 

For example: breathing.

Within the first week, the PICU people were introduced to my ugly cry and Ainsley's drama.  I was joking that it would be so satisfying for a NICU doctor to stand off in a corner and say, "SEE?!  See what we were dealing with?  HA!"  This child does not tolerate fast change.  Lesson learned.

But Ainsley won back her (super, ridiculously, insane) high ventilator settings and was her cheerful self in a few days.  And by cheerful, I mean ZOMG HAPPY!  She is such a happy and silly toddler, who doesn't toddle.  She's 15.5 months old and aside from not being able to breathe on her own, like, at all?  She is fantastic.

The cuteness.

We are hopeful that someday we will get her home.  But today is not that day.  Not tomorrow, either, or the next day.  But hey!  We have a super fun baybee so things could be a lot worse.

*I may have been in a hospital for too long, but I was surprised by the number of people who asked me what the difference between NICU and PICU is.  NICU is Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - for wittle newborn baybees.  PICU is Pediatric Intensive Care Unit - for kids of all ages, big giant teenagers included.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Perhaps I should bathe more often?

Our office moved to a new building...oh, 5 years ago? Maybe even 6. I don't even know what happened 17 minutes ago, so this is my best estimate: 5 or 6 or whatever years ago, our office moved to a new building.

Every spring, these trees bloom all over outside of the building.  They are all around the building.  Aren't they pretty?
Looks pretty.
Is lying whore.

And they are pretty, but they smell like cat pee.  Like burning cat pee, actually.  Like pee from a cat on fire.  Or, pee from a cat with a urinary tract infection.  Or, pee from a cat with an STD...a naughty little kitty (or maybe an unfortunate virgin kitty who failed to use the proper protection?). 

Anyway, every year these pretty but skanky trees bloom and every year, for five or six or whatever years?  I mean, every.single.year. without fail, I walk out of the building on the first nice, sunny day and immediately smell the burning cat pee and I think it is me.  Every year.  I get as far as doing the covert armpit sniff - like, hey, let me casually brush my hair out of my eye while looking to the side and breathing in a fresh breath of burning cat pee.

And then I smell the sweet smell of Secret Shower Fresh and realize that, alas, I have been tricked by a motherfucking tree.  Again.  Am clean but stupid.

I'm not sure why I would smell burning cat pee and automatically assume that I am the offender.  I bathe, I swear.  Regularly, even.  I'm thinking I should bathe more just in case I smell like Cat Pee STD though. 

If I start thinking that the smell of the fresh mulch is me, I am going to do a full sink bath every time I wash my hands in the office restroom.  Because my psyche is too delicate to handle the stress of thinking I smell like fresh cow shit.