Friday, November 6, 2009

New Feature: Mama's Health and Beauty Friday's

I talk about alot of mama things on this blog. Recipes, crafts, household stuff. We are more than that though... right? Somewhere between dust bunnies and Crayola shavings we lose ourselves. Which just isn't healthy for anyone.... especially our family when we lose it. :) So...... after talking to my girlfriends I have decided to start featuring Mama's Friday. ( Well at least a couple times a month) These tips are just for Mama's and no one else. Well... except your hubby who will undoubtedly love the results!

My best friend since the age of 13 is a makeup genius. She used to be a Esthetician for one of the fancy salons around here. People traveled long distances to get her take on facials, waxing and makeup. Trust me when I say.... the girl knows what she is talking about. I have asked her to write some beauty insight and to my great delight she agreed!

Today’s Cosmetic Quickie

Alright ladies and gents let’s talk about eyebrows. Notice this info is not just for the ladies, most men need a little clean up also, it’s called grooming. And no, it does not mean that you are a metro sexual. There’s really no discussion when it comes to eyebrows, WAX them, TWEEZE them, or THREAD them, just do something.

If you don’t want to do anything else to your face, that’s fine, but this is a must. Not only will it define your eyes and show off those beauties, it will also make you look awake, polished, and clean (that’s right people, I said clean). If you have a hairy beast on your face people assume you don’t groom, shower etc.

Now, you might say, “but I don’t know how to shape my brows or know where to start,” that’s understandable, but it’s not an excuse. If you can afford it, seek out a professional. Start by looking at other people’s brows and ask them where they had theirs done. When I say professional, I mean someone who specializes in eyebrows. Some cosmetologists say that they can do eyebrows, but they can’t, you have to be careful. Most likely, you will be safe going to an Esthetician because they do it all the time, and have had extra training in shaping brows. I’ve also seen places popping up that only do brows, some of them are in malls now, those are also great places because their reputation is on the line.

Make sure when you sit down with the professional that you ask for a mirror. Discuss what you are thinking and ask them their opinion. People used to bring me pictures from magazines and they would have certain expectations of what they wanted. Truth is, everyone’s eyebrows are different, and everyone has a different face shape, and get this, even your own two eyebrows are different from each other. I used to tease my clients; after I would wax one eyebrow I would go to the other and say, “OK, now let’s see if we can match this one to the other one.”

Another tid bit of information that you want to tell the professional is if you are taking any type of medication or using any topical medication. The reason, some medications can thin your skin. When you wax your skin, you are taking off the first layer of skin along with the hair. If you are using any type of medication or exfoliant on your skin, and then wax, it is going to take off more than one layer and can almost look like a burn. Not fun for anyone. This does not mean that you can’t get waxed; it just means that the professional is going to have to use a different kind of wax that won’t adhere to the skin. Yes, there are different types of wax. I won’t bore you with all the types; it’s just a matter of preference for the professional. One type is not better than another in my opinion, but that’s just my opinion.

Now, if you can’t afford a professional, or are one of those do-it-yourselfers, stay tuned because next time I will be talking about how to shape your own brows. Please don’t start tweezing your brows until you have all the materials and information. If you have already tweezed your brows or gone to a professional and your brows have been what I call “botched” grow them back out and start over. It will take a while (hint, use Rogaine on the brows to speed up the growing process) but you will be happy you did.

Monica, Liscenced Esthetician

Do you have a questionm for Monica? Send it to me at !!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Works for me Wednesday: Getting the Most from the Holidays

Since it gets cold and icy/rainy/snowy here in Ohio there is not much outdoor time. Which means crazy kids and even crazier looks in there eyes. I try to come up with fun things for them to do around here to keep the inmates from running the asylum.

Around Thanksgiving time I start to stock up on plain brown paper bags and plain white wrapping paper. ( I usually buy them from the $1 store.) I then get out my arsenal of craft supplies which includes but not limited to: Paint, stamps, brushes, foam cutouts, stickers etc. I then let them decorate wrapping paper and bags for their gifts to our family and friends.

We even go out and collect pine cones and little pine branches. We dip them in paint and decorate the paper. We also can paint the pine cones and dip them in glitter. Attach them to a string and you have a pretty decoration for your present!
Its economical, pretty and makes your little ones feel a part of the giving process! (If you are really really lucky it will keep them busy enough for you to pay a couple of bills or get crazy and use the potty by yourself.) And that works for this mama!

To see more great holiday help tips visit We are That Family!

Kroger bargain recipe of the week: Country Chicken Supper

Bargain Meal of the Week

I looovvveee recipes that happen all in one pan. That means only one dish to clean... woohoo!! With canned veggies being on sale this week, it also makes it very reasonable. ( Not to mention that I love seeing all those veggies enter my little peoples mouth.) Hope you guys have a yummy week!

I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon.

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (On sale $1.89/lb) $2.83
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion $.20
1 (15 ounce) can green beans (Del Monte Veggies on sale $.50) $.50
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (On sale w/c $.59) $.59
1 (15 ounce) can carrots, drained (Del Monte on sale $.50) $.50
1 potato, peeled and diced (On sale B1G1) $.10
1 cup uncooked white rice $.50
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese $.40

Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and chicken for about 3 minutes.

Add green beans, tomatoes with liquids (not drained), carrots, potato, rice, salt and pepper to skillet. Mix gently.

Pour water over top of chicken mixture. Cover skillet and simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until rice and potato are tender.

Sprinkle chicken mixture with cheese. Let stand covered for 5 minutes and serve.

Total Cost of Meal: $5.62

For more great bargain recipes click on the icon above!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rite Rug Giveawy!!

My girlfriend over at Stretching a Buck is amazing me once again with an awesome giveaway!!! Rite Rug has agreed to giveaway a $199 gift card to one lucky person!!! Just leave a comment and you are entered.

Enter here for your chance to win $199 gift card to Rite rug!!

Teacher Knows Best: Parent Teacher Conferences

I am blessed to live next to a elementary school teacher who loves my kids and we love her!! She has multiple education degrees and is the first person I run to when I am worried about speech, development or anything learning related!! She has agreed to write a weekly post for me on some common concerns involving little ones and just great tips! If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at

Parent –Teacher Conferences

This is the season for parent-teacher conferences. The set up varies by school and teacher, but here’s a general idea of what to expect.

-The teacher will talk about how your child is doing and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you have.

-The teacher should have work samples to share with you and be able to give you an idea of how your child is progressing academically and socially.

-If you have questions, ask! You might not be able to get an answer right then and there, especially for questions about special education or gifted services, etc.

-Take note of any areas your child may be struggling in and make a plan with the teacher to rectify the situation both in school and at home, whether it is reading more or running through addition flash cards.

- Remember that teachers are meeting with many parents in an evening and need to stay on time as a courtesy to everyone. If you have issues that you feel need more investigation, please set up an additional meeting for another time. Most teachers will be happy to accommodate you.

For older students, I encourage students to lead their parents through the conference because it gives them ownership over their work and answers the questions parents always ask (“What are you doing in school?) and get the same answer to (“Nothing”).