Friday, October 25, 2013

A Closer look at the Colgate Slim Soft brush

Colgate is marketing a new toothbrush. Its slimmer and softer than your average toothbrush. I had the opportunity to toss my current brush for the new one and give it a test run.

I was surprised when my box arrived. Inside were a full size Colgate Slim soft brush, a travel Colgate toothpaste and travel mouthwash.
The contents of my Influenster voxbox

My old toothbrush was also a Colgate. In a quick scan of the ones i still have since i usually buy my toothbrushes in bulk they are all either Colgate or Oral-B. I had just moved back to manual brushes at the beginning of the year. My current brush was only a month old but no reason why i couldn't switch it out.
Slimsoft on the left my old brush on the right

After using it for a week, i unfortunately am not happy. The good its extra soft and i love that about it. I prefer it and even some soft brushes are not soft enough to me. The downside was the slim profile. It felt like it took twice as long to fully clean my mouth. Because the brush head is so much slimmer i felt like i was usual a kid's brush. While the toothpaste and mouthwash were perks, i liked them both enough to switch from my usual brands.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Recharging with other Special Needs moms

Happy mama retreat via notthecar
Happy mama retreat via notthecar
Being a parent in general isn't a cake-walk. Being the parent to a child with autism feels some days like climbing out of a pit when they keep throwing dirt at you. Regardless parents usually fall into the trap of not taking time out for themselves. We may make excuses, I can't afford it, we don't have the time, the energy, anyone to watch our high needs children or we may have fallen into the mommy martyr trap. The problem with making these excuses is it speeds up issues within ourselves. We get rundown from exhausting of having to be always ON. We may get resentful of others who do get breaks or our partners or family. We may retreat from other friendships and then wonder where they went after the umpteenth invitation decline. When do we get to recharge?

Last week I attended the Happy MamaConference and Retreat. Its a retreat for mothers of children with disabilities. What??? Can you believe it? An event just for women who have walked in your shoes. Everyone there has the same life. The may be single or married, from various cities and backgrounds, they may stay at home or hold down full time jobs but they have 1 or more children diagnosed with a disability. Autism, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Visually impaired, Intellectual disabilities etc. You name it and it was represented. When I first heard about it I started putting money aside to afford this trip. The price wasn't too much, there was a payment plan, and bonus for me it was local so I didn't have to pay for the hotel stay.

Friday I headed over to The EmbassySuites Brier Creek for the opening reception and happy hour. When I arrived the lobby was full of people from 3 different on-site events. I grabbed my tag and mingled with several people who were also attending. The main thing I noticed while meeting people was this look of relief, like they were taking a breath for the first time in ages. I had dinner with a group I had just met an hour earlier. We chatted and laughed that night. The next morning were the start of conference activities. After check in and a huge welcome from Adrienne we did some group activities to 1-wake everyone up (I heard the beds in the hotel were amazing) and 2- get us to meet others who had children with the same disability. We then went into the agenda for the day. Topics ranged from Self-care for us moms to Student advocacy for our children lead by an actual special education attorney. There were also breakout discussions both days on various topics that each mom was allowed to attend 1 per day. Those ranged from Local Support Groups to newly diagnosed and the teen years. There was a free relaxation yoga class after the days events and anyone who had prearranged spa treatments had a nice block of time to get those in. I headed back home to take a nap in my nice quiet house then swung back for the dinner. Dinner tonight was provided and gave another opportunity to meet with others and chat. Afterward groups veered off while some stayed around just chatting either in the main room or at the bar.

Part of the agenda from the Happy mama confere...
Part of the agenda from the Happy mama conference.
Sunday morning brought another day of activities. Breakfast was provided for hotel guests, followed by lite snacks and drinks for everyone else. With a few more speakers and the 2nd set of breakout sessions you could see that the women surrounding me were unwinding. The session about finding ways to afford self-care really seemed to resonate with the group. After the last of the door prizes were given and the books were sold, everyone started to head home back to reality.

I am very active in my local special needs community. I even saw a few people who I knew from other circles but I still saw the value in this retreat. Moms came from as far at Canada. Many had no idea some of the services others are have used. Respite was mentioned a lot, school issues, local resources, we all had something to learn. I talked with a mom who has gotten her child into college, something that I still see in front of me and I’m lost thinking about. I talked to a few about middle school which is behind me and an area I feel you need tons of moral support. There was one common thread, we are no in this struggle alone and someone is there to listen to you with no judgment. We also aren't afraid to say what went easy and what was hard. We connected. And isn't that what we all want out of this world to connect with others who understand? I definitely got my money's worth and I’m glad I put the effort into attending. I decided I was worth this trip and you know what? If you've walked this road you are worth it too.  

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How a nail polish company convinced me to paint more than my toes

My #Julep maven box. 2 bottles of polish, masc...
My Julep Maven box. 2 bottles of polish, mascara and a sample of foot scrub. via notthecar
If you've ever met me you know i wear flip-flops, open toe shoes and sandals or walk around barefoot as much as humanly possible. Because of this my toes are always polished. I like polishing my toenails and i like to use vibrant, funky colors. I almost never paint my fingernails because they chip without days, sometimes hours. I made the mistake of getting a manicure for a close friend's wedding 2 days before the wedding, half my fingernails were chips or peeling by the afternoon of the wedding. I know that i am hard on my nail and so thats why i just don't paint them. Always bare rarely even have clear on.

When i came across Julep, i was pulled in my the colors. My toenails are currently aqua and were previously neon yellow. I figured i'd sign up at the very least to get some cool colors to put on my toenails. I took the Julep Maven quiz and got the result Classic with a Twist. Think Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Lean Lorne. While i love those classy looks i never keep my polish that tame. Turns out you after locked into it. I looked at the other introduction boxed and decided i was more intrigued by the Bombshell box.

The bombshell intro box came with 2 polishes and a full size mascara. Each box comes with free sample and in this case i got a foot scrub sample. The colors were lovely but we really roped me in was the staying power. it took a full  days before i saw any chips without a single touch up.

Trying out one of the shades in my #julep welc...
Day 1 (via notthecar)
My #julep polish 7 days later. I am highly imp...
Day 7  (via notthecar)

The Julep system is a subscription service, each month you get a hand selected box in your style profile to purchase for $19.99. You are given a few days to change to a different box, skip the box, buy a few discounted add-ons, or if you do nothing your box skips automatically to your home. Sounds simple right? Its really easy to sign up. Visit (afflilate link) and complete your style profile. Afterwards you can select the introductory box that matches your profile. Enter the code "FREEBOX" and your intro box will be free.

Take the style quiz and tell me what style are you?


DISCLOSURE: I received a free intro box and was not asked to review or compensated in any way for this review. I am an active subscription member of Julep and this post contains affiliate links. 
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