Home, Review, Shopping

REVIEW TIME: Brandless

First, I paid for the entire order; this review is the opinions of myself and my family, there was no compensation or recognition. For more on my disclosure policy, click here.

Brandless was and is TOTALLY worth it. It came last Tuesday, as promised. I may have gotten a tad excited and forgot to take pictures of the box. It also didn’t really help that the box arrived mere minutes before the school bus and my eternally ravenous youngest two children. I did catch something that did accidentally get left behind in the warehouse; I contacted customer service via email, and they shipped another, smaller box behind the bulk of the order. No worries on my part, as they handled it quickly, and it was just the two bottles of melatonin, just delayed by a day.

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I will start with the snacks, which were devoured within days. The overall favorite goes to the Chocolate Chip Cookie Thins. I actually had to divvy those bad boys out, because the three offspring were all fighting over them and/or attempting to barter for them. They’re like the crispy, thin edge of a cookie. It’s basically the cookie equivalent of a muffin top. Everything else was equally as good, just not all unanimously adored as the cookie thins. I was the only one who got any Tomato Basil Hummus Chips. Those are M-O-M-M-Y-‘S. That is final. Ryli’s favorite was the yellow corn tortilla chips and salsa. Landry had an affinity for the cheddar cheese popcorn. Connor has been asking for cookie crisps nearly daily.

The toilet paper and facial tissues… the treeless paper products. Texas sized allergies made short work of the facial tissues, since they were the travel side. They held up well to the allergy spawned drainage for the kids, however. I’m not quite sure how to describe the toilet paper. Its got  nice feel to it; it feels thin, but it holds up well. The rolls seemed on the small side, however one pack of six with four to five people using it lasted a week. This second pack just may last longer, as the littles go to their dad’s this weekend. I was so impressed, I have a current order for boxes of tissues and six packs of toilet paper.

While I’m in the bathroom, let’s talk about the personal care items I ordered in this box. I was a bit leery as to how long the shampoo and conditioner would last when I plucked them from the box. Connor was the first one to use them, and it made his hair look so good. Next up were Ryli and Landry. I was instantly impressed, as I realized that a little bit of each does the trick, and it smells divine (tea tree and aloe). It’s also the same scent as the equally awesome body wash. The kids have decreed that they must use these products. The scent is neutral, so the boys liked it as much as Ryli and I. In case you were wondering, I loved the three of them at least as much as the kids did.

Rounding out the personal care items comes the facial cleanser & moisturizer and the toothpaste. The facial cleanser instantly makes you feel a surge of pep with its grapefruit scent. As with the shower supplies, it doesn’t take a large amount to do the trick. The moisturizer soaks in without the residual greasy feel, with no scent. Combined, I was happier with them than I’ve been with some of my other products, running the gamut from grocery store buys to MLM and Department store splurges. Thumbs up on that.

The toothpaste and mouthwash surprised me. I’m a bit picky about the flavors, and how long it affects the taste of everything. They are both a light mint. The smell coming out of the bottle and tube was stronger that what they left behind. I liked that very much. I also am fairly certain my teeth have already whitened some. The mouthwash left my mouth feeling clean, but not overly fried with the mint  and alcohol combination. I’m the only one who has used it thus far, as the kids are fully stocked in the dental department.

As for the kitchen, I’ve only used the olive oil spray to date. I used it to spray down the innards of my slow cooker before making my salsa-cheesy chicken. It’s looking like it’s going to be an easy clean up. I still have some olive oil left from Kroger, so I’m going to leave the jury out for that. The coconut oil will be used as soon as I make brownies, and lastly, that sturdy little whisk will be used on the eggs for said brownies.

I didn’t forget the melatonin. That works like a charm. The 3 mg caps are perfect for me.

I’ve already placed my second Brandless order. Next month, I intend on making a try with the dishes and table linens. My overall review… I’m in love.

Sorry about the delay. My time at the doctor’s office went long, then I came home, took care of my self-care, and prepped Ry and Lan to go see Avengers Infinity War with the kids. We had to take off early to get across town and to the theater early enough to get some excellent seats.

31 Day Challenge, Factor 5 Leiden, Home, Mama's Mission of the Month, Meal Planning, Mental Health, Organization, Parenting, Routine, Scheduling, Self-Care

Mama’s (tardy) Mission of the Month: May 2018

 

Hello May

Here it comes, May 2018’s Mama’s Mission of the Month. Sorry about the delay, but I may have fallen asleep before the prime time line up on the networks made it to their first commercial break. Then, I woke up soaked in sweat. Apparently, the kids felt the need to crawl in bed with mom, and each sleep on half of her. Last time I checked, they have each other in loose choke-holds; silly little cuddle monsters.

If this is your first time reading a Mama’s Mission, you can find out all the details about it here. Otherwise, without any further to do, here is May’s edition.

 

Self-Care (Physical)

  • Boho Berry Checklist *
  • 2,500 steps (minimum) a day
  • 64 ounces of water (minimum) a day

Self-Care (Mental/Emotional)

  • Boho Berry Checklist *
  • Minimum 7 hours of sleep a night
  • Read 30 minutes per day on average

Health

  • OB-GYN appointment to (hopefully) get scheduled for an ablation **
  • Keep INR *** appointments and keep my levels between 2.0-3.0
  • Schedule Landry’s 7 year well child check up (eeeeek)

Parenting

  • Get a routine going
  • Keep/get appointments and couseling as needed
  • Schedule for all the end of year events at school

Household

  • Continue streamlining storage and organization
  • Keep planners up to date
  • List of things to keep a look out for (make lists by room?)

Financial

  • Stick to budget
  • Meal plan
  • Keep registers up to date

Blog/Online

  • Self-Care Challenge
  • Schedule and stick to it
  • Clean up and keep up with social media sites

Miscellaneous

  • Tweak BASS
  • Take/give all medications daily and journal
  • Figure out what kids will need for school for 2018-2019

 

* I’m a member of Boho Berry, so I get free downloads of all manner of printables on the Boho Berry Tribe Free Resource Library. I printed out the May Monthly Tracker and use it in addition to the monthly tracker in my Academia. Feel free to check out Boho Berry here.

** An ablation is basically getting your uterus cauterized. I’m on blood thinners, and have yet to reach even a hint of menopause, so I have some monthly bleeding issues on a horror movie/crime scene level. I can’t do hormone replacement on account of the Factor V Leiden, so a hysterectomy is out, as is anything hormonal, leaving me this as my potential out.

*** INR stands for International Normalized Ratio, which is a measure of how a person’s blood clots. Being that I have Factor V Leiden that has reared its vile head twice, I should be on blood thinners for life. “Normal” is 1.1 or lower. For a person on thinners, its 2.0-3.0. I’m currently flirting with the high side… yikes.

Challenges, Home, Parenting, Routine, Scheduling

Slight change in plans (I want my bed back)

I have got to get the kids to sleep in their own beds. Ryli is pretty good about it, unless she’s ill or Landry is being obnoxious about it. Landry just climbs in my bed and passes out, and by the time I go to bed, I’m in no mood to transfer his butt to his own bed. I am sleeping horribly. The first thing I do when I get them off to school is take a nap. I use a sleep quality monitor on my phone. My sleep quality sucks with both of them in my bed, and improves a good deal if there is only one in bed with me. I can only imagine how much better it would be if they both were in their own beds!

So, that leaves me to come up with something to use as an incentive. I think I may try to see if I can use new bedding sets as the reward. I’m fairly confident that we could find something that both of them like that coordinates relatively well. We shall see.

The slight change in plans is that I will be putting the 30 Day Self-Care Challenge on the back-burner until next month. I am still making a conscious effort to practice better self-care, but there are a few tasks that are derailing me. I’m going to practice for now, and get those other things addressed. Then, I’ll just be in a better place overall. Things could actually go according to plan, however, and I could end up starting when I complete the few odd tasks. First on that list is kicking everyone but me out of my bed. Hell, once I get Landry out, Tiger will follow. He loves to sleep with his human.

I will give Landry some credit. Ever since the medication change, he has been a dream come bedtime. Now, I have to hound Ryli to go to sleep, because odds are good that come 8:00, Landry is already gently snoring his brains out in Dreamland. He’s even been known to wake up by himself in the morning, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Time to get ready to greet them when the bus finally drops them off. It was an end of six weeks testing day… yikes!

Challenges, First Day, Girl Scouts, Health, Home, Mama's Mission of the Month, Organization, Parenting, Routine, Scheduling, School

Coming back and doing so on a mission…

Life has been interesting as of late, to put it mildly. The new school year is wrapping up its first six weeks tomorrow. Dallas County Schools is still essentially clueless, as the little ones’ bus has yet to pick up or drop off within five minutes of the scheduled times. Things at the school have been better than the were last year, but there are still hiccups and road bumps galore with the transition to being an ACE school. The fledgling Girl Scout troop meets for the first time next week. I’m on two committees at school, plus on the PTO. I’ve represented myself in court and continue to wait for the trial of my dragon. Connor got himself a job. The kids pulled down a few nominations for TAG. I have been constantly running white uniform dress shirts through the wash since August 30, as well as the perpetual hunt for those wayward black socks and white socks.

I will officially be back here no later than Sunday, October 1, 2017. Truthfully, I will try to be back before then to go over what exactly I have up my sleeves for the month of October and onward. It involves more of what you may or may not have come to expect from me, such as Mama’s Mission of the Month, and some fun new little treats in the realm of a blog challenge or maybe even two, and the added gems of me being on all these committees and leading a Girl Scout Troop and everything else.

So, without any further ado, I will now be returning to my scheduled oddity of doing my own laundry so I don’t have to scramble any longer. The kinks are finally getting straight.

Here’s a few pictures from the first day of school. Landry is still loving the uniform, where as Ryli is a bit sick of it.

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Birthday, Home, Organization

“Baby Girl” turned seven this month

Ryli turned seven back on Super Bowl Sunday. There were two things that she begged and pleaded for: a real desk and a Baby Alive. The count of Baby Alives is currently at three, but since she had visitation with her father on her birthday, G’ma-Mom and Dacey chose last Sunday to come up and deliver the only thing she didn’t get the previous weekend.

Originally, my mom, my dad, Dacey, and I were going to go in on a cute pink and white number from Ikea with all the bells and whistles. Then, as luck would have it, my step-sister was ready to get rid of her old desk that she had hung onto since she was probably around Ryli’s age. My mom scooped it up and got to work repainting it and making it Ryli’s.

At first, Ryli wanted to keep it in the livingroom/dining room. After attempting to help her with her homework a few consecutive nights, I decided that her doing homework anywhere near her brothers and the television. It took an average of an hour to get through six spelling words and a math worksheet.

Yesterday, while she was off at school, I moved her desk and chair into the corner of our room. I set up her pictures on the wall as she had them in the other room, plus I added my smaller bulletin board, with a four little Erin Condren Compliment Cards in each of the corners. Ryli inherited my old desk pad calendar, as I can no longer have one on my desk and expect to be able to see much of it. I also divided up my desk set with her, giving her a paper sorter and a pen & pencil cup. She briefly had a coffee mug with a very appropriate Hillary Clinton quote, but swapped it out for one of mine that I got from Living Well, Spending Less that simple states “Love Your Life”. I also hung her two favorite pictures of late, both of Dacey as a baby, along with the canvas quote from her still #1 song to have sung to her at night.  Here is the finished result:

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Actually, I realized that I did add Dacey’s senior pictures hung to the right side of the desk. She kinda sorta worships her big sister. Now, all she needs is a cushion for her chair, because apparently, it hurts her butt. Before she got home, Landry helped pick up the floor around her desk and vacuum the floor. Then we dropped the plugs to her cell phone with no service (A.K.A. her really small, really cheap tablet) and one of my old iPods with all her animated soundtracks downloaded onto it.

Now, hopefully, I can make my closet-office look half as organized this weekend while she and Landry are off with their father.

Home, Office, Organization

One can dream, right?

thorton-office-1a

I’m sitting here, taking a much deserved break in my new “office”. I needed to be able to think while at my desk, as well as be able to utilize it while munchkins are in bed. They think that I must be within whisper shot, or else, they will be overrun by boogeymen from beneath the beds (or something). I also commented to Nicole the first time I showed her the apartment that my closet was almost big enough to be a third bedroom.

Well, after a bit of rearranging, some removal of shelving, and furniture moving, I have my very own office, tucked away in the corner of my closet. As much as I wish I could put something together like in the picture (someday… sigh), I will take what I can piece together. Right now, that admittedly is a little eccentric, political, campy, and just plain zany, but so far, it works for me, and that really is all that matters.

So far, I’ve got my desk and chair here, obviously. Some of my drawers and files on each side. My sound bar is playing my iPod. One bulletin board is up; the other is still in the living room with my printer, filing cabinet, and everything else that was left behind. I think this will work out nicely once I get everything back here.

An added benefit will also be that I have a place to hide to watch some of my shows. The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones were little ones can’t see (and the big ones can’t be annoying for the sake of being annoying), and my Masterpiece and others that the kids just think are boring. It also frees the television for Connor and Tucker to watch their stuff. Win-Win-Win.

Time to go get back to work. Once I get the office put together and the closet cleaned up, I’ll be back. I like my little hidey-hole already.

Birthday, Health, Home, Moving, Parenting

A VERY busy week

This week sure got away from me in terms of posting. There was, however, very justified reasons, as you will see throughout this post. I have definitely been keeping busy, along with the kids.

The week started in the wee hours of Monday morning when I stayed up until nearly two watching “London has Fallen” and waiting for Dacey and Jesse to arrive. When everyone woke up later Monday morning, Dacey and Jesse loaded the kids and two car seats into the back of Jesse’s truck to shop and get haircuts, leaving me behind to work on y et more unpacking, since some friends of mine had brought over the contents of the storage unit Saturday morning.

Tuesday found me getting up extra early with Ryli to go and get her started at school. I filled out all the paperwork, and got to walk her to her room. When we got to her class, her teacher, Ms. R. asked Ryli if there was anything else that she could call her, as there was already a Riley in her class. Ryli picked her middle name, and by the end of the day when she got home from school, she wanted to be called Elizabeth full-time.

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Wednesday, I got Elizabeth off to school, and then went to the high school with Tucker to start the whole process of getting him signed up to start. DISD is a bit more hardcore on the immunizations then is mandated by the state, so he will start this Wednesday after a shot and his 16 year well child check up and a shot in the arm. We also had two more beds delivered, along with all of our starter kit from the shelter right as Tucker and I got home from his school. A couple of hours later and the washer and dryer were FINALLY delivered. I started my insane amount of laundry as soon as the delivery men left the apartment.

 

Thursday made for a lot of trips to the dumpster for Connor and Tucker, as I tore through unpacking all of the boxes that were sitting around, in addition to continuing to plow through all the laundry we had. Everything had gone into storage clean, but after four months in storage, I decided that it all needed a bit of a refresh. Then there were the legitimately dirty things that we had used between leaving the shelter and the arrival of the beauties.

Friday was spent putting finishing touches on the living areas and taking a much deserved nap. I read more, played with the kids, and Connor, Landry, and I made a 9:00 p.m. soda run. It was a chill day.

Saturday, my mom came up for Tucker’s 16th birthday. Before she arrived, Elizabeth lost yet another tooth. Once G’maMom got here, we unloaded the final bed from her SUV, then headed to Garland for some Red Robin and a trip to Walmart to get Tucker’s birthday present and a few odds and ends for the apartment. We returned to the apartment to assemble the last bed and put our Walmart haul away.  Landry made good use of the time on the road and power-napped there and back.

Some chaos ensued after G’maMom left, but after the issues were addressed, everyone went to bed, and here I am now, playing catch up with the blog.