Monday, November 19, 2012

Dry Shampoo & Scheduling

I've talked about dry shampoo before and how much I love it. My sister-in-law introduced me to it years ago and this brand is what she used and I've used it ever since. Smells like a lemon cookie on your head :)
 I just started doing something with it that CHANGED MY LIFE! 
Instead of putting it on in the morning, I put it on before I go to bed at night. This lets the powder soak up the grease and absorb it all so that in the morning, it looks like new! Here is a poorly lit bathroom self shot...my hair isn't red, promise. Self portraits are so awkward. 
This was Thursday night after washing my hair on Wednesday morning and putting dry shampoo in it that night.
It's like doing preventative work versus damage control. Give it a try & see for yourself! I gave a talk in church with 3-day old hair, and it looked good (I think...)! It also helps my slippery hair curl better. For Halloween as Minnie I curled it and it held for much longer that it would have with freshly-washed hair.
Moving on...I have a question for the moms. I used to get ready when I just had Ada during her morning nap. Now that I have two, they nap 12:30-2ish and I get ready then (most days). We have our fair share of lazy days around here :) It's so hard to get ready with my Lola because she has to be wherever I am. Which means she opens the shower curtain and gets soaked. When do you get ready? Shower at night? During naps? I'm curious to know what your routine is. 
Have a happy Thanksgiving! We are heading down south and I can't WAIT! :)  

Friday, November 16, 2012

PG&E & Opower Luncheon


I was recently invited to attend a luncheon for bloggers in SF hosted by Mom Central. PG&E and Opower were there and taught us about our energy usage and the new tools they have to help us monitor how much we use in our homes.
It was held at the Presidio Social Club which was lovely. The whole presidio is gorgeous and it was fun to drive around and see the historic buildings. 
I'm pretty sure they chose this butternut squash soup based on the fact that it matches the PG&E logo perfectly.
Here is the adorable Abbie from Opower who was out of breath during her presentation because she's due with baby #3 next month! She sat with us after her presentation and taught my friend Lynda & I about the new features that Opower is integrating with PG&E. I love that they are using technology to connect customers with our energy usage! We had a Smart Meter installed about a year ago, and I saw no difference other than it was digital. And I could see the numbers turn off and on when I had to go flip the circuit breaker :)
What you can do now is sign into your account and compare your energy usage with your friends and houses that are similar to yours. Nothing like a little friendly competition to get you to conserve energy! In studies that Opower has done, people were most responsive and apt to change when they heard that their neighbors were doing it. Not to save money, not to help the earth, but because their friends and neighbors were doing it. So - Opower & PG&E have the right idea by using social media (a huge part of most of our lives) to integrate energy usage with technology.
Here is my delicious Chicken and Arugula Salad with Candied Pecans & Avocado Dressing. I want to recreate this at home!
This German Chocolate Cake was killer! Instead of the coconut frosting on top, it was sandwiched in between the layers of cake. Then the whole cake was frosted with chocolate buttercream! More chocolate in a chocolate cake = awesome. 
I am more focused on the saving money end of things, so I am always turning off lights and anything else that uses electricity. In our energy report, it shows that we are higher than other homes that are similar to ours. I think it's because we live in Santa Cruz and those other homes have solar panels or something! Also in your report, you can look at the energy usage throughout the day. If you have a spike at a certain time, think about what was being used at that time and if it could be lessened or eliminated completely.  

I definitely feel more connected to our energy usage in our home after attending this informative luncheon. I am so glad that PG&E and Opower are reaching out to consumers to connect with us instead of just receiving a bill that is foreign to us every month.

Thank you Nikki at Mom Central for having me, and thanks to Darleen and Abbie for your wonderful presentations. It was great to meet you all and learn so much over a delicious spread of food! 

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"I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of PG&E and Opower. I attended an informational luncheon and received a promotional item to thank me for my participation."

Monday, November 5, 2012

On Fasting

Yesterday was Fast Sunday. In our church, we fast (or go without food or drink) on the first Sunday of each month, and anytime we need to draw nearer to Heavenly Father.  Our Bishop asked us to dedicate this Fast Sunday to missionary work and finding opportunities to share the gospel with others.
It was really difficult for me. I haven't fasted in over three years because I've been either pregnant or nursing!
I prayed for strength to not focus on my physical needs but to be able to fast with purpose. I really struggled because I woke up thirsty and have a water bottle on my night stand at all times. I reached for it out of habit and then remembered it was Fast Sunday. The thought came into my head, "Just one sip, then you can start your fast." But I put it down and walked away.
The time change combined with Halloween candy sugar high made for a very rowdy bunch of children at church! Primary was out of control & when I went to pick Ada up from Nursery, she was running full speed and throwing herself onto the table. "WATCH ME, MOMMY!" Ughhhh
Poor Lola was so tired and was wrestling with Matt. He finally took her for a drive and she fell asleep.
I thought I was imagining the smell of food during third hour, but the Singles Ward has a break the fast meal after church. Torture for everyone else in the building!
I had a throbbing-behind-the-eye headache on the drive home and Matt and I were talking about going without food. I was telling him how I hear of moms who forget to eat because they're so busy. I will NEVER be one of those moms! How do you forget to eat?! I'm always snacking especially since I'm constantly fixing snacks and meals for the girls. If I don't eat I become such a grouch. And I'm always sipping on water or something (Dr. Pepper) :)
It got me wondering if it's something with our genetic makeup...do men have an easier time going without food and drink than women do? That's how it is with Matt & I.
I felt so good after completing the fast and breaking it with a prayer for more missionary opportunities.
First order of business:
Nutella S'more :)
I'm hoping that I can work every month to get better and better at fasting. I know there is great power in fasting and have been a part of fasts that have resulted in miracles! The alternative is getting pregnant again, and that's not happening ANYTIME soon :) Is it hard for you to fast? Are you grouchy without food or just fine until you notice your stomach grumbling?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloweenpalooza 2012

On Saturday night, our Ward had a Trunk-or-Treat.
What is a Trunk-or-Treat you ask?
It's where everyone gives out candy from the trunks of their cars in a parking lot. 
It's nice because you know everyone (at least you should...if you don't ya might consider NOT trick-or-treating there) and it's a safe environment. 
Reasons I love the picture below:
1. Lola grabbing Matt's finger
2. Ada's face while holding her beloved necklace
3. Ada's glass slippers!
4. Lola trying to give kisses
5. Matt's wearing my old track spandex
We were Disney themed this year!
Minnie & Mickey Mouse with Cinderella and Princess Tiana..it's been fun. 
Ada makes us talk in high voices and calls us Minnie & Mickey while the ears are on. That got old real quick :)
Cinderella & Minnie
The Baers went as characters from UP! How adorable are their costumes?!
Trying to get a good picture of both girls...but all Lola cared about was that sucker :)
Ada saying, "Lola's dancing!"
Minnie & her Princesses :)
Then on Halloween, Chipotle was selling their burritos for $2 if you were in costume! You know we were all over that...it tasted 10 times better because of the price :)
Afterward we went to the mall for trick-or-treating, but evidently people were there at 3 PM and most stores were out of candy. The girls still got some, but it's not like they needed more anyway. 
Ada enjoying her "Potate" and Lola with my lipstick on her cheek.
The next two pictures might possibly be the best ever taken on Halloween!
Life is hard as a princess!
Excited to go trick-or-treating? :) 
That's better. 
Ada loves Yo Gabba Gabba and got very excited about this display at the Vans store :)
All Halloweened out!
And here are Ada's little glass slippers in action...the heels lit up :)
The older the girls get, the more fun it is to celebrate the holidays with them. We put fake crows and spiderwebs on the mirrors and stuck paper spiders on the walls. I love the holidays! I hope your Halloween was sugar-filled and fun :)
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