Things I Love Thursdays

Just a quick post to let you know about a few things I’m digging right now.

Jack and the Flumflum Tree by Julia Donaldson

This great kids’ book by the author of The Gruffalo is a new favorite in our house.  The rhyme scheme is lovely, the photos are colorful and goofy and the story is fun.  In order to cure his Grandmother’s case of the moozles, Jack and his friends go on an adventure to the Isle of Blowyernose to find the rare flumflum fruit. They run into obstacles during the voyage, but are saved by the items Granny has packed for them.  I love the line that repeats throughout,

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist,” said Jack. “Let’s have a look in the patchwork sack!”  

Of course, my children get a great kick out of the “knickers in a twist” part, too.

flum

(Aside: if you have a chance to check out The Gruffalo short film, do!  It is on Netflix and it is beautifully done.  The cast is stellar – Helena Bonham Carter and Tom Wilkinson to name a few – the animation is lovely, and of course, the story is great. Be warned: it is a bit scary.)

*****

Chatbooks

I am loving my Chatbooks app.  You download the app, link your account to your Instagram account (or use photos directly from your phone), and the app creates lovely 6×6 inch, color, soft-cover books from your photos.  Cost per book?  $6.  You can customize, take photos out, add more pages, etc., but I’m taking the easy route.  When 60 new photos are added to my Instagram account, it automatically creates my book, and ships it to me. Done.  Captions and dates included.  I don’t have to think about it, and I don’t have to DO anything.   My kids love looking through the books, which become like little journals.  And the price is right.

If you use my code to subscribe I get a $1 credit, and you get a free book.  No pressure!

 If you use my code to subscribe I get a $1 credit, and you get a free book. Everyone wins! Please note that Chatbooks 2.0 will be released in July.  At that point their services will increase, but so will their prices.  Books will be $8 each.  Sign up before the new version is released to be grandfathered in to the new pricing for 2 years! 

The negatives?  The cheap shipping takes forever and I’m not sure I’d think it was worth doing if I didn’t have an Instagram account.

*****

Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Shadow Stick

I should wear make-up more often, as evidenced by the WORST SELFIE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE that I took two weeks ago.  Yikes.  And no way am I sharing it. Heck no.  So when I saw these recommended in one of my feedly blogs, I figured I’d give them a try.  I’m not usually a fan of eye shadow pencils – I feel like I don’t have enough control over the amount of shadow applied, and sort of feel like I’m drawing on my eyelids.  But at $4.50 a shadow stick (or even less!) I figured I wouldn’t be too mad about wasting my money if I hated them.

But I love them.  They work almost like a creamy, colored, primer. The shadow doesn’t crease or creep.  They go on smoothly and easily, and can be blended by fingers.  The colors I’ve tried are lovely. My only complaint?  You will eventually need a special sharpener, since they are large pencils. (I bought one at Target for $5.)

Photo by Rimmel London.  Click on it to be taken there.

Photo by Rimmel London. Click on it to be taken there.

I have three colors so far: Trespassing Taupe (matte), Bulletproof Beige, and Bluffing. I think I’ll go back for a few more colors (though probably not the turquoise).

Happy summer!  And remember, don’t get your knickers in a twist!

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Things that would make me feel great…

#1 – Leaving the house feeling at least a LITTLE put-together in the morning.  Usually my hair is wet, my shirt is wrinkled, and I’m sans make-up.  I would guess that most folks think I look fine, but it isn’t how I look that irks me, it’s how I feel.  I feel like a running-behind, I-guess-this-shirt-is-clean mess most days.  Today it was cold, so I used that as an excuse to turn up the heat and the fan in my car.  Please raise your hand if you’ve ever attempted to use your car’s heating system as a blow-dryer.  (Sheepishly raises hand.)  More times than I’d like to admit.  Even in the summer.

#2 – Exercising more.  This is a no-brainer.  In addition to the physical and mental benefits, it would also allow me to catch up on the 175 podcasts that I have not yet listened to.  These poor, unheard podcasts cause me to suffer from psychic guilt.  A little time on the elliptical –> podcast listening –> a minor item checked off my to-do list every day + the feeling like I am not falling completely behind when it comes to popular culture.

#3 – Putting on make-up.  Even typing that makes me cringe.  I’m not the made-up type.  I regularly leave the house un-showered, wearing outfits that make me turn and run from anyone I recognize in the grocery store, lest they see me and wonder what has happened to my sanity.  But a little eyeliner, a little mascara does make me feel a little better – like I made a small effort not to look so tired and frazzled.  Instead, I always feel tired and frazzled, like I’m running behind the put-together train shouting, “Wait for me!”

I have one child.  A woman I know has three children under the age of four.  She always looks perfect.  And I’m pretty sure she exercises and is caught up on her podcasts.  In order to accomplish these things,  I imagine that she either has to (a) ply the kids with caramels, lollipops and TV; (b) lock them all in a small, child-proofed room for 30 minutes every day and allow the sound of the blow dryer to drown out their pleas and screams; or (c) wake up at 4am.  Maybe all three.  Actually, she’s probably already up at 4am sewing their little matching Halloween costumes, ironing her husband’s shirts and baking mini-souffles for her mommy-and-me group.  Me?  I’ll sleep as long as my little one will let me, and attempt to remember mascara tomorrow.  Baby steps, right?