Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday

My husband found this on Twitter, and I had to post it for a fun #tbt! 

We're all so addicted to technology (as I write this on my iPhone), that I sometimes forget that for most of my life, there wasn't any!! My dorm hall had ONE payphone, and if someone was on it, you had to wait. We had an Apple 2e when I was in middle school, but we didn't really know what to do with it! Our VCR (lovingly known in college-yes, it made it that long-as the "Big Zenith") was huge, top loading, and the "remote" was attached by a wire.

If we had something to say to a friend, we wrote a note. There was even a huge bulletin board outside the Dean's office to pin said notes, or where you might get a message to call your parents, or to see a teacher. Now we text.

For all of you who lived life before the age of the cell phone, this is how we texted in the 80's....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why Blog?

The last couple of months have been pretty life changing for me, not to mention for my family. Basically, our entire life has been turned upside down. I started blogging a little over a year ago. I'm not great about blogging every day, but I always promise myself that I will. So, I've started thinking about my blog itself, and why it's important to me.

Why do I blog?
- To share stories
- To feed my subscription box obsession
- To promote companies and/or products
- To generate income (sort of)
- To build relationships
- To help ease stress

Honestly, I started my blog one day, as I sat at a miserable job, at my miserable desk, on a miserable winter day. Obviously, I didn't last more than a year at that job. I had been a pretty dedicated reader of a few blogs, and I decided that I had something to say. It may not be something super important, but I've always been a story teller of sorts. Rediculous things have happened in my life, and I've been told on many occasion that I should write a book. If I ever were to do so, I think most would assume that it was fiction. So, I decided that I would write all of these crazy things down to share with readers who may need a laugh, or maybe a cry.

I also have an obsession with subscription boxes, and I found that there are others out there like me. In the past several years, the subscription box market has grown tremendously. Pretty much, if you want it- there is a subscription service for it. I'm not kidding. There are tons of categories that I will just never fit into, so I don't blog about those. Gone are the days of being an expectant mother, but it would have been lovely to have a subscription box delivered to me while I WAS an expectant mother. I'm also never going to be a fishing enthusiast (yup, there's a subscription box for that), or someone who is interested in bizarre foods (I'm just NOT an adventurous eater). However, I love skincare and beauty products- that's a huge market for subscription boxes. I love getting things like clothing, socks, undergarments, jewelry, and lifestyle products in the mail. I used to love going to the mall, now I prefer to have things arrive at my doorstep. I have scaled back my subscription boxes because of finances, but there are several companies that send me boxes to review.

I have also started working with new retail companies to review their products, and to help them get their names out there. I work with a skincare company that is absolutely amazing. They hand pick products for me, and my skin looks and feels amazing. Why wouldn't I promote them?! If I were to ever own a business, I would love to have bloggers out there, spreading the word about my line.

Many bloggers are also affiliates for companies. This, basically, is to earn money from blogging. There are bloggers who make a ton of money from ads and links. I would love to say that I'm one of these people, because wow, we need the money, but I stink at this part. The little ads on the sides of blogs help bloggers generate income. You only get paid once you reach $50, and I've had $9.33 stuck for about a year. I'm not great about changing my ads, but I generally hand pick the ads that I run. They're companies and products that I'm interested in, so I assume my readers will be, too. If you're reading this, feel free to click through any of the ads to purchase whatever you might be looking for!

I wanted to make connections and build relationships. Other bloggers have tons of people comment on their posts. I'm not even close to that yet. I'd love to be though. I'd love for readers to reply to let me know their thoughts on what I'm writing about-I really do! So, if you have something to add-please do! If you think I'm full of it-tell me! If you love that eye cream-tell me! I'm sure you get it, but I really want to know.

Mostly, I started writing as a way to help ease stress. Remember that terrible job? By the time the school year ended, I was literally on the edge. I had worked at schools before where I had really connected with students and faculty. So much so, I'm still in touch with many. This particular position was not that at all. I was also pretty ill that year, so if I had been healthy, the year might have looked different. It honestly wasn't meant to be, but believe it or not, writing about a lipstick or a book, really helped me get through that year. 

So, that's why I do this. It's not a waste if time. It's really really important to me personally. Only a couple of my friends read, I think maybe a cousin. Otherwise, many of my readers don't really know me-that I'm aware of. I'm going to give myself the challenge of writing every single day for the next month. I hope you'll read along!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Derma MD Review & 50% Discount Code

Happy Friday everyone! I know that I've talked about Derma MD products before, but I wanted to do another review now that I've been using the products for a while. My results have been AMAZING! I'm a bit of a skin care snob, so this is a big deal. I fully admit it. 

Derma MD is a skincare company based out of Phoenix. I love them just for that-I miss the Valley of the Sun! The line was developed in 2001 by Sheila Malmanis, L.E., who is the president and founder of the company. Derma MD works with some of the leading clinical and technical chemists in the world. They use the latest, sophisticated and clinically proven anti-aging ingredients available. They provide result oriented skin care products using the latest peptide and antioxidant technology at affordable prices. How great is all that?

I work with Mindy at Derma MD, who sent me products to try and review. What I love about Mindy, is that she didn't just send me a few generic things to try. Instead, we've had lots of conversation about my skin, and what my needs are. That's pretty terrific.

Here is the skincare regimen that Mindy put together for me-

AM:
Enzyme Cleanser
Pink Silk
Peptide Eye Cre'me
Copper Co Q10 Moisturizer
Last Step Daytime SPF 50 Moisturizer
Soy Intensive Healing for eczema and extra dry spots

PM:
Enzyme Cleanser
Peptide Eye Cre'me 
Lightening & Brightening Cre'me
Soy Intensive Healing

**Please keep in mind that it's not always necessary to use so many products, so don't be overwhelmed. I LOVE skincare and makeup, like I REALLY love it. I don't mind spending the time and using products needed to make me feel my best. That's just me!**


To cleanse, I use Derma MD's Enzyme Cleanser. It uses pineapple and papaya to gently exfoliate. It also cleans while leaving my skin soft-not tight. It's also great to shave with, and it even leaves my legs feeling fab!!


One of the serums that I use is Derma MD's Pink Silk. I love this product-it not only leaves my skin feeling silky soft, but it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also hydrates and increases collagen levels. My skin tends to be really dry year round, so I love how this helps my dryness and makes my skin feel so soft.


My daytime moisturizer is the Copper CO Q10. It has antioxidants and peptides that help to reduce redness and inflammation, while it increases moisture retention, firms and conditions skin. For me-this moisturizer is amazing because I helps my redness and soothes my skin when it gets irritated, which is a lot. I'm allergic pretty much to "outside," so unless I want to be a hermit, I have to work with my symptoms. This helps a lot!


As my eye cream, I use the Peptide Eye Cre'me. This cream is formulated to reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, lines and wrinkles, while also increasing moisture retention. I'm starting to see my first age lines under my eyes, which are definitely made worse from dehydration. The Peptide Eye Cre'me definitely helps my eyes to look much more rested and hydrated. I love this eye cream!


I also use the Last Step Daytime Moisturizer. It is oil free, and it has an SPF of 50! I'm very fair, and I burn easily, so I love this. I remember when I was young, I would come in from playing or being at the pool, and I would have blisters on my nose and shoulders from sunburn. Now that I'm ummm...a little older-I never go out without a daily sunscreen. I always burn, and I not only don't want skin cancer, but I want to keep my skin looking young. Last Step is a must for every day!


If I had to pick my miracle product- it would be the Soy Mousturizer Intense Healing Cream. It has a combination of multiple anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and hydrating peptides to improve skin texture. My skin is kind of a nightmare. I've never been one to break out-and for that I'm thankful. I've hopefully long dodged that bullet, but I get red, blotchy, itchy and dry. Sounds like I'm a beauty queen, right? Well, I may never be that, but Mindy at Derma MD specifically recommended this for me. I use it morning and night wherever I need extra moisture or soothing. I use it everywhere I need it-from my eyelids to my body. It's amazing!


I also use the Lightening & Brightening Cre'me. I have a little hyperpigmentation on my cheeks. Not a ton, but some of my cute freckles from when I was young stuck around! This cream reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots. I use this at night a few times a week on my face and chest. It doesn't leave me feeling too dry, but I usually follow up with my soy moisturizer.

So, after about a month, my skin is dewy and beautiful. It's not flaky at all, and it definitely looks healthier. 

So, what's new with Derma MD? A lot! They've introduced some amazing new products that I'll be trying out. I'm so excited! 

Right now, one of their eye creams, Eliminate, is on Groupon for a GREAT deal. Eliminate is normally $58.95, and it's on Groupon for $18.99 until Sept. 6th or until sells out. There are only 500 units available - so this is a great chance to jump in and try Eliminate for an amazing price.

Eliminate revives tired eyes with Kojic Acid and Licorace Root. It also is loaded with peptides to reduce puffiness and to fade dark circles.

The link to the Groupon for Eliminate is:

If you're interested in trying some additional products, you can get 50% off by using the code "preppy mom" at www.dermamdskincare.com.

Keep a lookout on my blog, as I'll be reviewing new products and doing some great giveaways of Derma MD products.

***Disclaimer-I was sent products for review purposes, but was not compensated in any way. All product reviews are 100% my own. The links above are linked either to the company's website or to their Groupon sale. They are NOT affiliate links or referral links.***

Monday, July 21, 2014

Memebox Colorbox #1 Review and August Discount

I was recently contacted by Memebox (pronounced Mi-mi-Box) to see I would be interested in reviewing one of their K-beauty boxes. I had seen Memebox, and was hoping that I would get a chance to try one of their boxes. I love Korean beauty products, and I'm always excited to try something new.

Memebox(us.memebox.com), is a  Korean beauty box and e-commerce retailer that has created different beauty boxes for K-beauty lovers. Memebox isn't actually a subscription box, so you can decide when and what you want to purchase. Memebox ships directly from Korea, and ships to 45 different countries, but they cater mainly to US clients.

Memebox carries 4 main types of beauty boxes-

Memebox: The original Memebox comes packed with 4-8 full size products and deluxe samples.

Memebox Special Editions: Memebox special edition comes packaged with 4-8 full size products and deluxe samples that meet specific needs or concerns.

Superbox: Superbox was inspired by Memebox lovers who are looking for full-sized products catered to specific needs. Each Superbox series comes with its own special theme, or to meet specific needs.

Luckybox: Luckybox was created to give everyone a different and unique box full of their favorite products for you to feel lucky and special. Each Luckybox is unique and is filled with 4-8 full sized products and deluxe samples.

Memebox sent me Colorbox #1, which is their Red Colorbox. Their Colorboxes are $15, and were created for K-beauty lovers who are looking for a bold color look. The Colorbox is arranged with 3-4 full size products and deluxe samples of the box color.


My first look made me really excited to open everything. It was cutely packaged, and it looked so fun!


The first item in the box was a lipstick by Dearberry. It was their Flirt Lipstick in Red Parade. I'm very fair with pink undertones, and this is a red that looks good on me! I would consider it to be close to a true red with blue undertones. I've been really into bright lipsticks this summer, and this is perfect! It may be my new go to color!


The second item in the box was also by Dearberry. It was their Today Nail Laquer in Pink Sprinkling. It's a red with the tiniest bit of pink. It's exactly a color I love on my toes, and it's going with me to get a pedicure tomorrow!!


The next item was the one in the box that I wasn't quite sure about. It was an eyeshadow by L'Ocean in Red. I've never worn a red shadow before, but I know it's super trendy. I worked as a makeup artist for many years, so I decided to ease in with baby steps. I mixed it with a black powder, and wore it as a reddish-black liner. Then I wore it as a liner by itself, and it looked great! This weekend, I thought I would wear it as a shadow in my crease or on the outside corners of my eyes. 

The moral of the story is-don't be afraid of bright colors, just ease in to them or be creative. This color is super hot!


The next item in the box was an eyeliner by Tosowoong. It was a gel liner in Sexy Vampire Burgendy. This liner goes on so smoothly, and it is gorgeous! I lined close to my lashes with it, and it made my hazel/green eyes pop. The gel texture and application of the product were so smooth, I'd like to have this in more colors!


The final item in the Memebox was a Two Color Lip Gloss by Cheek Room in Red. This gloss is so cool! It's layered and gorgeous on! The bottom layer is an orangey colored cream, and the top layer is a sheer red with a bit of shimmer. This is my new favorite gloss. I usually wear it all together, but it's also fun to just wear the top red color for a different look. It's also very moisturizing and not sticky at all.

I was so happy to receive this Memebox to review. Everything was very high quality and fun. If you are interested in trying Memebox, click here. You can receive $5 off your order during the month of August by using code A1HXGU (only valid for one purchase per person). You can also follow Memebox on Twitter @memeboxglobal, or on their Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1nMifHW.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fab Fit Fun Summer VIP Box

Have you scored the Fab Fit Fun Summer VIP Box yet? 

Fab Fit Fun is a quarterly subscription box that is curated by Guiliana Rancic. For $49.99 a quarter, the box is filled with the season's hottest swag. The Summer box is loaded with beauty, fitness and lifestyle items, and it's awesome! The best part? It's still available!!


The promos for Fab Fit Fun are always tempting. They usually reveal one or two items ahead of time. I didn't get the Spring box, but Fab Fit Fun sent me a "come back" coupon for $5 off, so I ordered.


The main item that I was looking forward to was the Sonya Dakar Flash Facial. Being a skincare/beauty product addict, I had heard of Sonya Dakar, but surprisingly I've never tried any of the products. The Flash Facial works in 60 seconds to reveal softer, plumper, and younger looking skin. It's packed with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid. My face can be sensitive, but this was amazing. It didn't irritate my face, and it left it looking beautiful. The retail on this product is $95!


The next item was pur~lisse pur~protect SPF 30 daily moisturizer. It is very lightweight and moisturizing. This is great for my skin in particular, as it is for normal to dry skin. I remember having sunburns all the time as a child, but I don't get any sun now. I know I'm super pale, but I just don't care. I'd rather save my skin. This moisturizer is great-it provides good sun protection without being heavy or greasy. The retail on this is $55.


This item may be my favorite part of the Fab Fit Fun Summer Box. It's an adorable clutch/makeup bag by Thursday Friday. It's a canvas bag, and I will use it as an insert into my pocketbook/a makeup bag. It has a nylon lining and a metal zip closure, and it's SO incredibly cute!!! There is also a $30 gift card to Thursday Friday. The retail value of the clutch is $35.


Oh, how I wish I had straight hair that didn't frizz like crazy in the summer! Unfortunately, I don't, so I was glad to receive a bottle of Balanced Guru No a Frizz Oil. This hair oil is an organic combination of argan, jojoba, and tamanu oils. With just over a week's use, I can tell the difference in my hair. It's soft, but not oily at all. I haven't been bothering to straighten it, but this product leaves my waves soft and pretty. This product retails at $25.


I love water bottles, and I'm especially enamoured with fruit infusers. This water bottle by Fab Fit Fun says "Grab Life by the Exercise Balls." It's BPA-free, and is a great size. My favorite infusion is strawberry and lime, although there are so many options in the summer! The retail price of this bottle is $15.


How trendy is nail polish this summer?! I love super bright colors on my toes, and I was so happy to receive this Zoya nail polish in Maya. Maya is a gorgeous melony-orange color that is a perfect summer shade. The retail price of Zoya nail polish is $9.


The next item in the box was a pair of lip balms by KISSTIXX. I've never heard of this brand, but I'm a lip balm addict. These flavors are Sweet and Sour, and they smell amazing. They have SPF 15, and leave your lips feeling so soft and kissable! The retail on these is $5.99.


The next item in the box was a snack. It was a bag of POPchips in sour cream and onion. POPchips are popped instead of being fried or baked. These are light and delicious, and only have 100-130 calories per bag! The retail of a bag of POPchips is $1.29.


The next item was a can of Skintimate Shave Gel. This is one of the three sponsored items in the box. I use this already, and I'm happy to get another can. It helps guard against razor burn, and leaves legs soft and smooth. The retail value is $1.99.


The next item was also a sponsored item. It is a 12 count of Always Xtra Protection Long Daily Liners. These are made to help keep you drier longer, and can be used every day to help you stay fresh. The retail is $1.50.


The last item in the Fab Fit Fun Summer Box was a Slim Fast bar in Birthday Cake flavor. This was also a sponsored item. Slim Fast Bars have only 180 calories per bar, and are a part of their 14 day slimdown. The value of the bar is $1.


If you haven't ordered the Summer Box yet, you're in luck!  Three of my readers can get $15 off the box with code 5434308! Go to vip.fabfitfun.com to sign up. Enter the code above, and you'll receive $15 off the box, which has a value of $245.77!

***This review contains referral links. This box was paid for by me, and I was not compensated in any way for my honest review.***

Friday, July 18, 2014

July BeautyBox 5 Review

I recently received a code to try BeautyBox 5 for free. It's one box that I was never really dying to try, but I was happy to take advantage of the code and give it a shot. BeautyBox 5 is normally $12/month, and they send five samples. The July box was curated to celebrate the defining moments that we have had in the past year. I really like the theme chosen.


I actually didn't know what to expect from my BeautyBox at all. I hadn't seen any spoilers, so it was a complete surprise when I opened it. It was a mix of full size products and sample sizes.


The first item in the box was a full size Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara. I'm really careful to change out my mascara often, so even though I don't wear a ton on a regular basis, I do open new tubes often. I had actually never heard of this particular mascara, but I do like it. It doesn't flake at all, and I love that it not only plumps and lifts lashes, but it defines them. My lashes are pretty long, but I really like mascaras that define them. So far, I really like this! I admit, I usually spend a lot more money on mascara, but this may just convert me!


The next product in the box was a packet of HASK Argan Oil Intense Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment. I'm a big fan of Argan Oil treatments because my hair is thick and can get frizzy, especially in the summer. I'm growing it out, so this is not exactly my best looking summer as far as hair goes! I do like this conditioner so far. It says there is enough for two treatments, but since my hair is still quite short, I should be able to get 3-4 uses from the packet. I'm anxious to continue using it, and to see if it makes a difference. So far, it is definitely softer.


The next item I opened was a Body Drench Candy Licious Lips in Red Licorice. I've used Body Drench products before, but never their lip balm. This smells great, and leaves my lips soft. I'm a lip balm addict, so I'm always happy to have another one!


The next product was a deluxe sample of Anna Naturals Glowing Mama Walnut Face and Body Scrub. It is a vegan product - safe for sensitive skin, and moisturizing.  I used this on my face, and it did leave it feeling very soft without making it dry or itchy. I usually use an enzyme exfoliant with a Clairsonic, but it was nice to use a scrub with a little more texture. I don't think I'll be switching permanently, but I did really like this on my face. I really liked it on my arms and legs though!


The last product in my box was a packet of Miss Jessie's Multi Cultural Curls. I have a lot of curl in my hair that I've been fighting for years. This is a product that I would have never purchased myself, but I was glad to give it a try. I put a little in my hair and let it air dry. My air was soft and frizz free, and my curls actually looked nice! I had heard good things about Miss Jessie products, and I'm so glad that I was able to try this! 

I was very happy to try BeautyBox 5. I will probably try another month, but for the price, I think I prefer another monthly box that has higher end brands (at least from what I can tell), and where you can earn points to spend in their online store. I did find a few new things in BeautyBox 5 though, and I'm looking forward to another month in August.

Are you looking for a subscription beauty box that doesn't break the bank, and where you can try some new, fun products? BeautyBox 5 is a great one to subscribe to! If you'd like to try it, you can use my referral link here.

***Disclaimer-this review contains referral links, but not affiliate links. I was not compensated in any way for my review, and subscribed on my own.***


Monday, July 14, 2014

Sunday Social-July 13, 2014

Gotta love the Sunday Social written on Monday night/Tuesday morning!

Sunday Social

I always link up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social. Their questions are fun for everyone to answer, and it is a great way to meet other bloggers.

This week's questions...

 

1. Tell us about the family you grew up in, parents, siblings, grandparents. 

My family was pretty traditional, but not. That probably sounds odd. I grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa. My dad was a doctor, and my mom stayed at home with the kids. I never knew my maternal  grandfather, and my paternal grandfather passed when I was a toddler. My grandmothers were both great-very different from one another, so I loved spending time with them both whenever I could.

My dad passed away when I was 16, and it was (and still is many many years later) really hard on our family. He was so smart, kind and funny. My mom was a pretty typical mom when I was growing up, and we've always been really close. My mom moved to Phoenix when I was 16, so I spent as much time there as in Iowa.

I have an older brother and an older sister. We're all really close in age, which was a blessing and a curse. We all went to different boarding schools, which is really unusual for the area that I grew up in. My brother and I went to the same boarding school, and then the same college, so we've always been really close. I was never close with my sister growing up, but she's my best friend now. Isn't it weird how that happens??

2. Tell us about your husband, fiancé, boyfriend, significant other.

My husband is incredible. We grew up in the same town, and he was friends with my brother (one of the nice parts about being close in age-he had really cute friends). I don't really remember meeting M when I was younger than high school-I'm sure at that point, I was the annoying little sister to be kept away from embarrassing my brother! Anyhow, when I was in 9th grade, M's best friend was dating my friend. We sneaked off campus for lunch one day, and since my parents had only given me a lunch ticket (why would I need money in the cafeteria?), I had to borrow lunch money from M. We had our first date on Halloween of 1986, when we went to see Crocadile Dundee! We only dated about a month, but remained friends for years and years. When I was about 26, he came to visit me in Phoenix, and we were married about a year or so later! If you're interested, I'll share the story one day. There was a trip to Switzerland and a Swatch Watch involved!

3. Tell us about your children. If you don’t have children, talk about your fur children.

We have two sons, who are 8 and 5. They were both very hoped for and planned. They are so very different! One is sensitive, the other a wild child. One is tall and thin, and the other is a compact mighty mite! It's so much fun to watch them grow and become their own selves. I'm so lucky to have these two little guys!

4. Tell us about your best friends.

I think I've always had only a few good friends, but I have a lot of people that I am friendly with. I'm lucky to be in touch with so many people I've had as friends over the years.

My best friend is C. She lives in Tucson, and I don't get to see her nearly as often as I would like. We met in college, where we both majored in art education. We both moved to Phoenix to teach after college, and have always remained close. She has a great husband and two beautiful kids. She's so fun, and she's a fantastic mother. I know that she will be there for me in a split second if I need her, despite the mikes between us.

I am pretty lucky to have a few people that I can call good friends as a "grown up." Boarding school and college roommates, sorority sisters and former colleagues. They are all so different, and I think I really appreciate the value of true friendship in each of them.

How do you know you're besties? I hope yours are closer than mine! Arizona, California, New York and Germany are waayyy to far!

5. Tell us about any other special people in your life.

This will probably sound odd, but I'm part of an amazing online group. It started out as a group for subscription box swaps, and grew to add some mom/cosmetics lovers and bloggers like me. They offer great support and advice to one another, and we have lots of laughs all the time. Technology is amazing!

So, that's it for this week. These are huge questions, and difficult to answer without writing a novel!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday Social-July 6, 2014

www.ashleylately.com
1. What is your favorite genre of music? Ok-I'm just going to put it out there now, I pretty much have no taste in music. I can't dance unless I've had way too much to drink. When I was in high school, there weren't many radio stations in our small town, and I kind of just did my own thing. Except for Maroon 5, I like a total mishmash-Jimmy Buffett, Sting, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, etc. I eventually just accepted that music wasn't my thing.

2. What is your favorite genre of movies? Romantic Comedies for sure. I love watching old Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movies. I also am a sucker for pretty much anything with Reece Witherspoon.
3. Do you watch reality TV? If so what was the first show you remember watching? A little. I remember watching the first survivor and Amazing Race shows, the Paris Hilton/Nicole Ritchie mess. Now, I watch the Kardashians and The Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.
4. Who is an actress you’d want to be BFFs with? Reece Witherspoon for sure! She seems like she has it together, and like she's nice. 
If I wanted to party-Chelsea Handler for sure!
5. Who is an actor you’d be happy to be stuck on an island with? Max Irons. I can't help it-he's just so young and gorgeous. And he's got a British accent!


How about you? How would you answer these???

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thursday Thoughts-July 3, 2014


I'm not always great about blogging Thursday Thoughts, but since it's still Thursday on the west coast, I thought I'd go ahead.

Lots of thoughts right now- I welcome advice, or the occasional "get your act together" as needed.

-So the main thing that has been on my mind this week is a story that has been all over the news, a pilot carrying his wife and terminally ill son, crashed in Colorado. The family has been living in Ohio, but the father is from my home town. He was actually my 8th grade boyfriend. Not significant at all in the big picture, but to the memory of 8th grade, it was a pretty big deal. I used to go and watch him wrestle, and he was my first for most things to that point in life, and just an all around good guy. It's just so incredibly sad. I think this is all more real because I'm back in this town. I may be saying that for a while, as I go places and do things now that I'm an adult. They'll definitely be different!

-The 4th of July has always been a really big deal around here. I think, except for Boston, it's never been so celebrated in a town where I've lived. The last 4th I spent here was when I was 17. My mom had already moved to Phoenix and I came to spend most of the summer with my best friend, J. Wow, I wish she lived closer now. Anyhow, we met up with a group of friends and had a great 4th. I believe Boones Strawberry Hill and Purple Passion were involved, and I don't really remember what we did, but we all remember it as fun! One of my friends is driving in from Iowa City to see if we can get our game on again. I may need to take a nap first!
The boys are looking forward to the parade and there are usually silly games around. Then fireworks at sundown. Our poor Waffles will be scared to death.

-I've been watching True Detective. Wow-it's some dark stuff. Any recommendations either on HBO or Netflix? Maybe a book?

-Finally, I've been really terrible about leaving the house except to go to the doctor. I vow that this next week, I will get my act together. I will leave the house on my own, and maybe have lunch with an old friend or two. I will go to the cemetery to see my dad. I can't believe I've been here almost a month, but I haven't been yet. Time to start living here. Any advice??

Ok, those are about the only things on my mind tonight. How about you? Big Plans for the 4th?