Month: October 2012

Contest! Win $100 in Designs By Chelle Candles!

Win $100 in Designs By Chelle Candles

Are you excited? Well, I am! Who doesn’t like free stuff? Let the contest begin!!!!!

All you have to do is promote my Designs By Chelle business page on your wall, on your page, via message, or email, and ask that the person(s) to go like my Designs By Chelle Business page. Then they just have to come over here to the blog, and comment on THIS blog post, letting me know who sent them (please have your friends put down your name, if they don’t tell me who sent them you won’t get the credit). The person with the highest send over rate will win the $100 in candles. The more you post and promote on Facebook, the better your chances will be to win.. Friends can send friends over for you too.. the possibilities are endless.

I am keeping it simple, as always (well, maybe not always). Facebook has changed their rules on contests. So, I have my own rules to accommodate the legal stuff.

Here are the officially official rules – Please Read these before commenting below.

  •  The contest is open to any United States resident. We will ship but any shipping charges will be included in the $100 certificate.
  •  Any comments geared towards this contest, and posted on Designs By Chelle Facebook page will be deleted and not counted towards the total. The comments have to be posted on THIS blog post. No exceptions.
  •  We are not responsible for computer error. (i.e. comment not posting properly) If you don’t see your comment after a few days, post again. We will only count each name once.
  •  Anyone can like Designs by Chelle’s page, and comment. We will be checking that each name has liked the official page. It won’t be counted, if not.
  •  The value of this contest is $100 in candles and/or shipping and handling. It is non-redeemable for cash, non-refundable, and cannot be gifted to another person. Example: If shipping and handling is $25 the amount in free candles is $75.
  •  Winner must use the certificate by December 21, 2012 (December 17, 2012 if shipping). Sorry, but this is a seasonal gift.
  •  The results will be posted no later than 10 a.m. PST December 1st, or as soon as the comments are tallied, and double checked for accuracy.
  •  By commenting below, and stating your name, you are declaring that you have read the rules, and agree to the terms and conditions.
  • We are not choosing a winner. The number of comments for one particular person determines the winner.
  •  We are giving you a month to get your comments in. No comments will be counted after noon, pacific time, on Friday November 30th, 2012.
  • If you have been sent to this page by a friend and are wondering, “What’s in it for me?”, allow me to enlighten you (candle humor).  Your post counts as one entry for the friend whose name you have dropped, and as an entry for yourself!  You too are now in the running for free candles, go spread the word!

Another day in my life.

An Easy Toy Story Jessie Costume!

Marci told me her son Joshua was going to be Woody from Toy Story for Halloween.

Her husband Joe was going to be Mr. Potato head and she wanted to make a Jessie costume. We started to talk about it and I told her I could help her. Well, then I just ended up saying, “bring it over and I will make it for you”.

She bought a super cute pair of jeans from the thrift store, a white button up long sleeve shirt and a red foam cowboy hat from the dollar store. This is what we did…


I took yellow satin (the washable kind) and pinned it to the front and back yolk and then sewed it down. It helped to have Marci wearing the shirt while I pinned it on. I didn’t even stick her with the pins!


Then I drew on with a pencil where I wanted the sequins to be. I used Fabri-Tac fabric glue and glued the sequins on. You can see Delaney’s Jessie doll was our model. You have to be really careful with this glue because it can get really stringy and it gets EVERYWHERE!


Next I pinned the yellow satin on the cuffs and sewed it in place. Marci glued the sequins on.


I laid the jeans out flat and cut the cow print fabric (all we could find was fleece but it worked fine) to fit on the front. I flared the bottom of the fabric slightly.


I used the Fabri-Tac glue to flue the cow fleece to the front of the jeans. I also glued about a 5″x 4″ strip of micro suede to the bottom of the cow fleece (right about where it flared out). I cut the fringe before I glued but ended up trimming it to look right after the jeans were upright.


For the hat, Marci used a hole punch and punched holes (evenly spaced) around the brim of the hat. She then laced white cord through the holes.

With Marci’s natural red hair, this costume was perfect. She threw on some cowboy boots and was ready to go!

Yeeeee Haaawwww…Now aren’t they the cutest?!!!

Another day in my life.

Pumpkin Carving

Brad gets really into pumpkin carving and this year was no exception.

We went to the Howell’s the other night and carved pumpkins. We had such a great time with all our friends. The kids ran around and played and Dave grilled us some hot dogs. When we got there Brad realized he forgot his carving templates. Dave’s printer was out of ink, so Brad decided to run home to get his pictures (this is serious business). The kids had fun digging out the pumpkin guts and when we got home we toasted our pumpkin seeds (I am not a fan but they love them).


I told you he gets really into this.


Ours are the ones in the middle. The little Mermaid and the storm trooper.


I thought Brad did such a great job. Maybe he should be a professional pumpkin carver, heh heh. All he had to do for the little mermaid pumpkin was look at the picture and carve away.

Delaney wasn’t into modeling with her pumpkin. She would rather play but mom is snap happy with her camera!

Teagan was getting a little bored watching Dad carve the pumpkins so he went back to running around with the kids.


We ran out of time at the party and we had 2 more pumpkins that needed carving. So, Brad was at it again. Can you tell Delaney likes princesses and Teagan likes Star Wars?

Another day in my life.

My Girls Trip To Palm Dessert

This year, since I was turning 40, I decided I should spend the month of September celebrating. So, I rounded up seven of my girlfriends and we headed to the JW Marriot in Palm Dessert. It is kind of like mini Las Vegas for bachelor and bachelorette parties, but without the gambling, really posh clubs, and the fantastic shows (alright, so it isn’t like Vegas at all). I just wanted a cocktail and little sun by the pool, read my books and hang out with the girls. Be careful what you wish for.

The trip started out great.

Five of us met at my house and we crammed all of our luggage and crap in the back of my Tahoe. A little side note on the Tahoe, I bought it when I was single (10 years ago) to haul my girfriends around (not thinking about future kid hauling) and I still love that I can cram 8 girls into it (including luggage and shoes!). We picked up Karen on the way and we were off (Cortney was flying in from Texas and she met us there).

On the way we stopped at Carl’s Jr. for lunch (only the healthiest of fast food for these girls!). When we go to sit down and eat I notice that Naomi has a giant Jack in the Box cup she is drinking out of. I was cracking up. Did she really bring her Jack cup to Carl’s and fill it up? I had to call her out on that one. She swore she paid for the drink but she likes her Jack cup. She said, “Why waste a cup?” Uh huh, sure. She kills me (I love that girl).

We got to the hotel and we were going to be cheap, so we tried to take off with a luggage dolly. Come on, there are 7 of us, we are capable of maneuvering the luggage dolly. I guess not because they sent over this bellman (his name was Tim just in case you ever go there) and he turned into the annoying bellman who wouldn’t go away!

We checked in with Benjamin at the front desk and Cortney met us in the lobby. It was so great to see her because she moved to Texas a year ago and we all miss her like crazy. After our little reunion, we were on our way to our rooms (we had two adjoining rooms with two queen beds in each). Our bellman, Tim, ran his mouth the whole way there and when we got to our room he wouldn’t leave! He was saying things like, “What happens in Palm Springs stays in Palm Springs (I told you mini Las Vegas)” and “Ladies, I won’t tell your husbands”. Then he asked if he could bring us some ice and we made the mistake of saying yes. Then he came back and we shooed him out.

Cortney’s husband Josh (who is so sweet and thoughtful) asked her to call him when she was settled in the room because he had a little surprise for us. The next thing you know here comes the room service cart with 2 plates of HUGE chocolate dipped strawberries and 2 bottles of Dom Perignon! Talk about sweet, we felt like royalty. Just as we started the festivities the jack hammering started. Apparently, they were remodeling our wing of the hotel and it was LOUD. We thought maybe it would just be for a few minutes and then stop but it went on for about 30 minutes. Talk about putting a damper on our Dom! This was rediculous. We had to yell just to hear each other. We went out on the balcony to see if we could see what was going on and we were greeted with a cloud of dust. I looked down and saw I was standing in quite a bit of dust (I wrote Michelle was here) and caught the attnetion of a construction worker who waved up to me. Yep, this was not good.


Naomi called the front desk to see how long they planned on making noise and was put on hold and then sent to hotel phone la la land. When someone finally came to the phone we asked to switch rooms and asked them to send a bellman (we specifically asked for someone other than annoying Tom) to help us move our stuff. Naomi was still on the phone trying to talk to a manager (no one seemed to know where Justin, or maybe it was Travis, the manager went) when Phillip (the new, nice bellman) got there. He was super nice and not annoying (he also did a great impression of Tim the annoying bellman) and he trucked all our stuff back down to the lobby. While on the way down he told us that he couldn’t believe they put us in that wing because no one else was booked there and they were not to put guests where the construction was going on. Whoops!

This is where it got good. Benjamin (remember him? The one who put us in the closed wing of the hotel.) quickly got on the computer to find us a new room. I firmly expressed (Brad says I can get “volatile” so I tried to firm but sweet) that we were not happy. One of our husbands had spent a small fortune on Dom so we could have a fun time. Now our fun was ruined by noise and packing up our stuff and that we should be in a suite drinking our Dom instead of the lobby sitting on our suitcases (did you hear my say suite). I then told him the presidential suite would be fine. He straight face told me that the presidential suite only had one bed and that he was moving us to a suite that had 3 bedrooms so that we would have enough beds for all of us. Wow, sweet!

So now we were back in the elevator headed toward our new room (which is now a suite) and we have the nice bellman, Phillip, with us. Phillip is on his best behavior because he knows we were so irritated with the last bellman. He opens the door to our beautiful suite, unloads the goods and is gone. We rolled in our room service cart with our Dom Perignon and our strawberries (yes, we had been rolling the whole cart with us everywhere) and decided we were very happy with our new accommodations. Benjamin had hooked us up three bedrooms. One with with 2 queen beds and a bathroom, one bedroom with a king size bed and a bathroom, another bedroom with a king size bed and a couch (all with flat screen TV’s). We also had a huge living room with a giant flat screen, a dining room and 2 balconies (we later found out the suite was $1500 a night but we only paid the price of one of our old rooms we left behind). So, I guess they made up for our little inconvenience. Now we are spoiled and will want a suite next year when we go back.


We packed enough snacks for a week not a weekend.


Here is our dining area/mess.

We lounged in our room for a while and then decided to go down to the lobby bar/restaurant for dinner. All 8 of us sat at the table and the right half ordered salads, tacos and whatever and the left side, we all ordered sushi. Oh boy, here we go again. So, Naomi and I always order 2 rolls and split them. I think we ordered a dragon roll and a crunchy roll (I don’t know, it was something like that). I had about 4 bites and we are all talking and having fun when Naomi starts gagging and coughing. I look over as she is pulling a 6’x 1/4″ piece of saran wrap out of her mouth. Eeeeew! Gross. She said it was like when you were a little kid and you ate a piece of spaghetti and you swallow it half way and then you pull it back out. She could feel something not right going down her throat. She started to cough and gag and then she pulled it out. We completely lost our appetite after that.

Naomi Saran Wrap Sushi

The waiter came over and took the food away and said he would replace it. We looked at each other and both of us shook our heads. We both knew we could not eat any more. So we sat there talking about what just happened and you know what? No one came over to check on us. Naomi got up and walked over to the sushi bar and told the chef we didn’t want a replacement. We must have sat there another 10 minutes talking when the manager came over. She said she was sorry and said she was sending over a round of waters for all of us! Really? Waters? OK, that was nice but how about a free sushi roll or a cocktail or something? We were in shock over this.

The next thing you know a security guard came to our table. He wasn’t dressed in your typical security guard uniform but he had a name plate on that said security pinned on his polo shirt. He asked Naomi if she needed medical attention (she did almost swallow plastic wrap) and she told him,”no, I am fine”. He then began to ask her for her name and address. She was not having this and came back with, “am I under investigation or something?” He told her no, but that he needed to document the situation (as I was saying under my breath he needed to give comp our bill or something). I think they were just trying to cover their butts in case she ended up in the ER with her intestines tied up in saran wrap!

The waiter came over and apologized and Naomi ordered a shot (she needed to calm down after the little incident). Then Naomi got smart and said that her shot should be on the house for the trouble and the waiter agreed. He then told us if it was up to him he would comp our whole bill (ya, that didn’t happen). Naomi got her complimentary shot and we spent the rest of the night laughing and drinking and reliving the whole situation.


Here is a photo of all of us. It isn’t very high quality (all of our eyes are zombie white!) but you get the picture!

The rest of the weekend was pretty hilarious but that is a story for another day.

 Another day in my life.


My Garage Sale Find This Morning

We found a Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker at a garage sale this morning!

We were driving home from soccer and the kids spotted a garage sale (they actually spotted a stuffed sponge bob but that was not happening). Do you remember a few weeks ago when Delaney spotted Justin Bieber (the cut out) at the garage sale and now he is living with us? Well, I stopped and looked around and what did I find… a Mickey Mouse waffle maker.


Oh, you know we soooo needed it (NOT), but it was only $3 (so was the Bieb-$3) so it came home with us. I cleaned it up and turned it on and it worked great. I would say we got our $3 of fun out of it already. I used pancake mix (I have no idea if waffle batter is any different).

Since we are not going to Disneyland in the near future, this is going to have to do.

Another day in my life.


Izzy, Jake and the Neverland Pirate Costumes!

My kids wanted to be Izzy and Jake from Disney’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates. So, of coarse I am going to make that happen. Now, if it had been this Halloween, we wouldn’t have a problem because they have the costume at the Disney Store. It happened to be May of 2011 (Delaney wanted an Izzy birthday party) and there were no Jake and Izzy costumes to be found. I am always up to a creative challenge and it turned out to be quite easy. Here is what I did…


Here are all the pieces laid out so you can see.


For Teagan’s Jake costume I bought blue cotton velvet and some gold trim.I made a pattern with large lapels for the vest (I am sure you can get a kids vest pattern at the fabric store). I wanted to put giant gold buttons on the front of the vest but I ran out of time. I cut a 2) 36″ triangles of black cotton for boot covers, 1) 36″x 6″ strip of black cotton for the belt and 1) 36″x 6″ strip of red cotton for the headband.


The white shirt was actually a girls white cotton button up from the thrift store (don’t tell Teagan he wore a girls shirt, he will have a fit!) I cut the sleeves off in points to make them look “pirate-ish” and I cut small holes where the top three buttons were and laced black cord through the holes.


I made the pants out of polyester (again, I copied his pajama pants for a pattern but I am sure you can get a boys pajama pattern at the fabric store).

I am sure it would have looked great with black pirate boots that fold over. If I did it again, I would make some cool ones out of black duct tape (check this out for DIY duct tape boots).


 For Delaney’s Izzy costume I bought her purple leggings and a pink t-shirt from Walmart (the shirt has a heart on it because I couldn’t find a plain one but she loves it and doesn’t care). I cute 1) 36″ triangle of pink knit fabric for her head cover. 2) 2.5″ x 20″ strips of brown polyester (knit like fabric) for the ponytail wraps and the same brown fabric for the pouch.


 The pouch is 7.5″ wide and 4.5″ tall. I folded over 1.5″ and sewed a casing that I threaded a cord through. The cord is 24″ long (you have to make sure it will go over your child’s head). You can see I didn’t finish the ends where the cord comes out because this fabric doesn’t fray or unravel. The same thing with the ponytail wraps (you can see she has stretched them and they are snagged because she has been wearing this constantly for the last year).


Here is the finished pixie dust pouch when it is scrunched up (I had to dump the potato chips out before I took the picture).


 Here is the back view so you can see how we tie the ponytail fabric and the head wrap on. the pink knit fabric makes it a little stretchy and comfortable. The boots are cute but the same thing as the Jake costume, I would now make brown fold over pirate boots out of duct tape  (see how to link here).

So here is my little Izzy.

The most fun costumes ever!

My kids have had the best time with these costumes. In May of 2011 they wore these to San Diego’s Seaport Village Pirate Festival. At that time there were no Jake and Izzy costumes but every kid (and parent) knew exactly who they were. They were stopped constantly (not exaggerating here) by people wanting to take their picture with them. Teagan has grown out of his pants and shirt so I just sold his costume on Ebay and was shocked at the price I got for it (I would have never paid that much for a costume!). Delaney still wears her costume so there is no way I am getting rid of it. We are probably going to have to invest in some new purple leggings because her are now high waters!

Another day in my life.

Drama Mama At The Soccer Field

Ok, so let me just tell you that I am a low maintenance, non toxic kind of girl that has never been in a physical fight in my life. I don’t mind a little confrontation and I have been known to voice my opinion (sometimes loudly and sometimes under my breath) once in a while but I try to do it with tact and class. I am a straight shooter and I don’t play games, I’m a Norris and I just say it like it is. With that being said, this is what happened.

I was all amped up from the garage sale and the coffee and the donuts (I shouldn’t have eaten the donut, I know better but it was a gift and I couldn’t say no) and I was at Teagan’s soccer game. This is boys soccer for ages 6 and 7. (not the World Cup here people). We have been asked through email not to coach from the sidelines. We can cheer them on and say things like “kick it”, “get in there” Go Red” but we are not to say things like “move back in position”, “cover his left”, “get the back door”. They do this because the kids get confused and they are still at an age where they listen to their parents on the sidelines and sometimes it goes against what the coach is trying to achieve. My mom and my in laws were at the game with me and my father in law was on the sideline yelling encouraging (but kind of coaching) things to Teagan. I heard another parent say, “No coaching from the sidelines” but I don’t think it was directed at my father in law but it brought it to my attention that he might get in trouble. So, I got up and on the sly told him we were not to coach the boys on the sidelines and that I didn’t want him to get in trouble. Well, he didn’t like me telling him this very much and snapped, “I am not coaching I am encouraging him, he needs to stay in his position”. Oh boy, I decided to let that one go and sat down.

Now, the little goalie for our team was down at the goal and the rest of the team was down at the other team’s goal (about to score). This lady (who I know was not related to or even a friend of the goalie) gets up and walks from the center field side line all the way down to the goal and starts screaming (I am not exaggerating) at this little goalie. She had a thick accent of some kind and I couldn’t make out what she was saying (I am sure the poor little goalie couldn’t either) but she pointed her finger and yelled and he just looked at her (like whatever crazy lady) and she walked back to her chair. When she got in front of me I just snapped (what the heck I was on a roll from earlier) and I confronted her. I said, “Excuse me, are you his mom (knowing clearly she was not because his mom was on her phone next to me)?” She said, “No”. I said, ” I didn’t think so and I didn’t like the way you were yelling at that little boy and to top it off we are not supposed to coach the kids from the sideline (ya, like the screaming she was doing was coaching).” She then says to me, “I am helping the coach, he asked me to be the sideline coach. Do you see how the other team has a coach on the field and another coach on the sideline? The coach asked me to coach”. I then said, “Well, if the coach asked you to help them I apologize, but I still don’t like the way you talked to him”. She just turned and went back to her seat and sat down (she didn’t get up to coach for the rest of the game). The goalies mom got off the phone and said, “What the heck just happened”. When I told her how the lady was screaming at her son she was appalled and thanked me for sticking up for her son.

At the end of the game the coach came over and Teagan was thanking him (I always make him do that). I mentioned to him that I was sorry if I was out of line if he had asked this woman to help coach, but that I didn’t like the way she yelled at the goalie. He proceeded to tell me that, NO he did not ask her to help coach and that he would have a nice little chat with her. Oh MY Lanta! I swear, what is wrong with people? What the heck was that all about. Crazy lady. Then the goalie’s mom said, “I heard what coach just said, thank you so much for sticking up for my son, I really appreciate it”. At least someone appreciates my mouth. Oh, I forgot to mention Brad wasn’t at the game. He would have been mortified and he would have asked me (under his breath) to cool it. I think I embarrass him (I know it but hey, he knew what he signed up for when he married me) and the poor guy is gonna have a long road, with our son playing sports, if he is worried about what people think. I will try to simma down on the sidelines. I don’t want to be “that mom”.

I had to go home and take a nap. The drama from the soccer game about did me in and to think this is just the beginning of my soccer mom career.

Another day in my life.


Oh What A Garage Sale!

Cleaning out and getting rid of stuff just has to happen.

I have been needing to clear out the garage for months so I can get ready for my candle sale. The kids rooms are filled with broken toys and things they don’t use anymore. They have grown out of their clothes and it is time to purge.

I started cleaning out Delaney’s room first. I did it while she was at school. Wouldn’t you know, when she came home she knew stuff was missing! Then she cried and tried to tell me how she needed her Ariel ride on car so she could use it to stand on to get things that are out of her reach. Really? So that is what she has been using it for? The she pulled out all the clothes I was getting rid of. She told me she was still wearing them. She never wears shorts, ever. She pulled them out and put them on and cried that I couldn’t get rid of them. Sorry little girl but they have to go, along with the Ariel ride on car and all those broken jewelry pieces you didn’t see (oh if she would have caught me throwing that away it would have been the end of the world). vanity-chocolate

I also found her stash of chocolate. She had a stash in her vanity cabinet and also a stash in a purse. And she thought mom wouldn’t find it. Oh she was wrong.


She had a baggie with brownie crumbs, a little snack cake wrapper and this Kit Kat. I think we might have a closet chocoholic on our hands.


Here is what Delaney’s room looks like when it is picked up. Take a picture (oh wait, this is a picture). Normally the floor is covered with piles of clothes because she changes her clothes and put on costumes about twenty times a day.

Now Teagan is a different story. He brought me a whole box of stuff he didn’t want and I had to go through and explain that he just got some of this stuff and he might want it sometime. He is so funny. Unlike his sister, he likes his room neat an organized. I think he might be a minimalist. All he really wanted to keep were his Legos, light sabers, Star Wars toys and his books. How easy is this kid?

Mom's mess

Teagan didn’t make this mess, I did. I was sorting toys and throwing away stuff. I hate all the junky vending machine toys. Why do kids love that stuff so much. They bring it home from birthday parties and church and it magically disappears in a few days (I make it magically disappear). Do you think Teagan will figure out I threw away his yo-yo with the knots in the string. Let’s hope not.


Nice and clean and picked up. Knowing Teagan, it will stay this way for a while.


This is not all my stuff. Julia has been bringing over her junk to sell. She walked in and Brad says, “Oh great, now you are bringing your crap here? You better watch Michelle she is going to want to buy half of it, don’t let her.” Does my sweet husband not have any faith in my garage sale buying skills? Julie has some good stuff! I think I might buy that picture and put it in the salon. You will just have to wait and see.


The majority of this is kids clothes, and the pony. Everyone needs a pony. I will sell you one cheap.

 Garage Sale Day!

I should have known it was not going to be the best day when I woke up and it was misting outside. What is up with the California weather? It was 90 degrees two days ago! Anyway, my signs were made (did you see them?), the tables were filled with junk and the garage door is ready to roll up! We were going to start at 8am. I got up early but apparently it wasn’t early enough. Why do these garage sales have to start so early on a Saturday? Julia shows up at 7 and says my neighbor is having a huge sale and she already has a ton of customers. So I hurried and put out our signs and asked my neighbors (Terry and Al, who I have known since I was 12) to please tell their shoppers about our sale. We were throwing our stuff out on the driveway hard and fast, you can’t miss the crowd or the window of garage selling opportunity is over. These people are like animals looking for food and they just start going through stuff and throwing it all over the place. The organizer in me had to take a breath and just let these people wreak havoc on my beautiful garage sale displays (you know I had it all laid out neat and pretty!).

We advertised on Facebook.

I told everyone to look for the awesome signs and the two hot moms in the driveway! My friend Kristine saw my Facebook post and stopped by to check out our treasures. She brought us coffee (I don’t do caffeine very often and it amped me up good!) and hung out for a bit. Then my Aunt Kathie and Uncle John stopped by with donuts (yep, now I was amped up with a sugar high) and they left with some random junk, my brother’s kids baby swing and Teagan and Delaney’s old crib (not for them, for their soon to be grand baby!). Julia’s friend Jill came by to buy some baby things for her grand daughter and Marci stopped by to buy some of Julia’s stuff too (which I think Julia just gave it all to them because I hear some yelling and saw them throwing money at each other). At the end of the sale Jen, Nikki, Erin, Jeremy, Becky, Tom, Dan, Sheree and the kids (they were all down at Terry and Al’s garage sale) all stopped by. I tell you this garage sale was quite the popular place!

Stealing at a garage sale? Really?

So, we had quite a few people customers and these two ladies are just making huge piles in the middle of the garage where people are trying to walk. They are not bothering to ask us the price and when other shoppers try to pick something out of their pile (not knowing they were buying it) they got mad and said it was theirs and they were buying it. The one girl had asked me how much my Mary Kay makeup was (I was selling some old inventory but not super cheap because I wasn’t going to give it away) and I told her and she didn’t look interested. She just kept piling other stuff. After about 35 minutes of this I finally asked her to move her pile so we could give her a price and other people could walk through the garage. I started to clue in when she kept interrupting me and trying to make me lose count when I was adding up her mountain of stuff. Julia was also adding up a pile of stuff for her and this lady’s friend was translating for her (did I mention she didn’t speak English, only Spanish). I ignored her interruptions and came to a final count of $110 (I told you she had a lot of stuff), well she didn’t like that price and told me “NO, I pay $60”. I said, “No, you pay $110”. Then she is negotiating with Jules and her friend is saying something about the red bucket is filled with toys and she wants a group deal on all the toys. It was so hectic, we were frazzled by these two women and to top it off the other customers wanted to know prices and wanted to buy stuff. Everyone was handing us money and it was really confusing. Thank God for Julia. She is yelling at the lady to pay us and that our prices were fair (go Jules) and dumps the toys out of the bucket (it was a 10 gallon bucket) so she can count them up. The lady had stuffed a bunch of grocery bags at the bottom of the bucket and underneath was all my Mary Kay makeup! Really? The stupid lady was ripping us off. Then Jules asks me if I knew if the stuff was under there. I was trying to watch them and I hear Julia getting really mad and saying “You are a thief, I would rather give this stuff to Amvets than sell it to you, LEAVE”! The next thing I know they are gone. Thank God! I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Now we were left with two huge piles to put back on our tables. All this happened in that short window of opportunity, when all the other customers were there, our peak buying time was over. We could have sold so much more stuff if those two wouldn’t have been trying to scam us. We put the stuff back on the tables and discovered even more small items stuffed in clothes and other creative crevices. It makes me mad just writing about it.

When I told my mom (she sometimes works for an estate sale company) she told me that happens a lot. They start piling and distracting and then before you know it, the good stuff is stolen! I consider myself the garage sale queen (I try to go “sailing” often) but I have never witnessed that before. I will SO be ready next time. Don’t mess with me!

garage sale

It doesn’t seem like a lot of stuff now that I see this picture, but the garage had 5 tables and the counter tops  full of stuff.


 We were also fighting the misty drizzle and all our stuff was getting wet.

garage sale view

Julia didn’t want me to take a photo of her so she is running away!

At noon I tried to close shop and leave but the people kept coming.

Usually I am done and packed up for Amvets by 10 a.m. Well, with all the visitors, the thieves, and the customers it was 11:30 and we still hadn’t packed it up. I also had not taken down the signs and we had about 6 people show up (if you don’t take down the signs they will just keep coming). I needed to leave and go to Teagan’s soccer game but I didn’t want to leave Julia alone with these strangers in my driveway (you never know these days, after all, we did almost get robbed). Well, it was a good thing I stayed because the last little bit I was going to have to haul away, they bought another $40 worth of it. So, I was a little late to the soccer game but it was worth it.

I am not sure this was the best garage sale I have ever had but I can tell you it was the most exciting. I was still amped up when I got to the soccer game (that is a blog for tomorrow). I still have to take the left over stuff to Good Will or Amvets but I got the garage cleaned out and ready for the candle sale in December. Oh and let’s not forget I made $200. Sa-weet!

Another day in my life.


A few of my favorite things (nutrition things that is).

OK, so this is getting personal but I am pretty much an open book so here you go…

I was not loving my doctor at Kaiser so I decided to shop for a new one (one through Kaiser that is). I wrote down a list of questions and I figured I would interview this new doctor and see if it he is a good fit for me. I have all kinds of weird medical issues (not so weird that I will get to be on that medical mystery show one day, or at least I hope not) and I want a doctor who can think outside of the box. I have a naturopathic doctor that I LOVE and I want a Kaiser doctor that will work with my naturopath.

I love Doctor Bronner, my naturopathic doctor.

Now, let me back up a minute (eerrrpp, that is my back up noise, can you hear me making the noise?) I went to see Dr. Bronner about two years ago to see if he could help me with my headaches, irritable bowel and some issues I was having with my Multiple Sclerosis. He is so awesome. He is funny and personable and he knows his stuff. He helped me come up with a plan. He also has a blog if you want to check it out (click here for Doc Bron’s blog). I pay out of pocket to go see him and he is worth it.

I cut out all artificial sugar.

Artificial sugars were causing me to feel bloated and I couldn’t digest them. It was almost like an allergic reaction. My body just couldn’t take aspartame or dextrose or anything like it. I noticed a difference immediately.

I then set out in search of a meal replacement shake.

I am always in a hurry and I know that skipping meals is not good so I have always had a protein shake in the morning. Now that I can’t eat artificial sugars I needed to find a new shake. I tried a few that friends were selling (I wanted to be supportive and give my friends the business) but they still had small amounts of fake sugars and I swear my body knows. My friend Ellie (check out her site here) suggested I try Shakeology (from the people who promote the P90X) and I did and I am hooked. They are kind of pricey but so worth it. I drink at least one a day (sometimes two) and I feel so much better. They have all kinds of exotic ingredients (you can watch the video and read about it on their website) and they also have probiotics. This is when I discovered probiotics help with irritable bowel syndrome (they help me, this is just my personal opinion since I am not a doctor) and I swear I have not had irritable bowels since I started taking probiotics and drinking Shakeology.

I added 10 billion probiotics every day.

Primal Defense is the brand I use. Let me tell you (this might be TMI) how nice it is to not have to run to the bathroom when you are out with friends or at someone’s house We call it SAD (sudden attack of di…well you get it)? My brother and I both used to have this problem. We tried everything from no dairy, to tracking every food we ate (what time we ate and with what food combinations) and nothing worked. We (Derek is IBS free too) cut out the fake sugars and added probiotics and walla… success.

I don’t have headaches anymore.

I have changed the way I eat and I think that made a big difference. I cut way back on the real sugar and I am not eating a lot of breads or pastas. I have not gone gluten free or anything, yet. I did cut gluten out completely for a year and didn’t notice a big difference when I slowly added gluten back in so I think I am fine in that department (ask me again later and I might be on a gluten free kick again). My headaches are gone and I am happy with that.

 So, back to finding a new Kaiser doctor…

My brother went to see Dr. Martinez at Kaiser and he really liked him so I thought I would give him a try. He is at the La Mesa office and that is a lot closer than the Mission Valley office I was going to before. When I went in for my appointment I told Dr. Martinez I was interviewing for the position of my new doctor (this is an important decision you know). He laughed and told me if he knew it was an interview he would have worn a suit! He got bonus points for the good sense of humor but I am not wanting to date him, just have him for my doctor, so I asked a few more questions. My main question was could he and was he willing to work with my naturopathic doctor. He asked who I saw and when I told him Doc Bron he was quite enthusiastic. He told me Dr. Bronner was a colleague and a friend. Ding ding ding was going off in my head, we have a winner! Finally, maybe someone will listen to me down here at Kaiser. I know when hair clients come into my salon and they tell me that their hair takes color really fast, or goes straight easily or whatever, they know their own hair and I believe them. Why don’t doctors believe us? I had a doctor tell me I had allergies once. I argued and told her I don’t have allergies (never have) I have something else. She sent me home with allergy medicine and told me I would feel better within the hour. When it didn’t work and I demanded antibiotics and wouldn’t you know I got better? Hmmm, maybe we do know our own bodies?

I am hopeful this new doctor patient relationship is a match made in heaven. I will keep you posted.

Another day in my life.


We took a trip to Oma’s Dairy Farm Pumpkin Patch.

Every year about this time we take a trip to the pumpkin patch. It is weird to think we live in Southern California and we have this cute country town pumpkin patch (it makes me feel like I am in Texas or something). Now, this is no ordinary pumpkin patch. It is like the Disneyland of pumpkin patches. Oma’s is a working dairy farm and they have all kinds of fun things for the kids to do. The weekdays are usually crowded (lots of school’s there on field trips) but our day wasn’t too bad. We went with Delaney’s preschool and lucky for us, it was a nice cool day (we have gone in the past when it was 90 degrees!)



This is the cute store where you pay for your pumpkins and other harvesty items!


Oma’s has everything. A hay maze and hay to climb, tractors to sit on. Learn how to milk a cow station.


Delaney was a little hesitant at the petting coral. This baby calf was so sweet. They also have goats and sheep but don’t forget to wash your hands after!

One of our favorite thing at the pumpkin patch is the hill of cotton seed.

Delaney and her friends had a blast sliding down the cotton seed. She insisted on wearing a dress and tights (Delaney rarely wears pants) and the cotton and hay just clung to those tights. Maybe you should wear pants next time little girl.


Delaney and Joshua ran around with all the other kids in the soccer field. You can also see there is a play ground and a picnic area.

Delaney and her Daddy had fun riding the bikes and jumping on the horses.

In the back of the farm by the picnic tables there is an area where they have water beds to jump on. During the hay ride (scroll down for pictures) we learned that the cows sleep on these water beds (not the same ones the kids jump on, that would be gross). Delaney had fun jumping on the beds until she got hay stuck in her tights and she was done. Delaney is the princess that has to have every element of her clothing just right. Nothing can itch or “bug” as she would say. My mom (red hair) and I had to pick the hay out of her tights.

Look at all the fun things there are to do at this place.


Well, aren’t we the cute couple? Here is a photo of Brad and I.

This is my mom, Delaney’s Grammy. I thought this picture came out so good. The overcast weather made  perfect lighting for photographs (makes me look like I know what I am doing in the camera department). I had a hard time getting both of these two to look at me as I was trying to take their photos. My mom was the worst. I just kept telling her to smile and look at the camera and not Delaney. She kept looking at Delaney! I finally got a good one. Good job grammy, you smiled so pretty.

They have all kinds of cut outs at the pumpkin patch for photos. Delaney and Joshua really got into it. I love it when I don’t have to yell at them to make them smile. Sometimes I feel like (sometimes I am) the crazy mom with the camera who follows her kids around saying, “Smile, just one more picture for me…please, just smile, smile smile”.

I love this girl!

Here is a photo of my girl and I.


This gives you an idea of what the dairy farm is like. The Van Ommering family lives here and run the dairy. The tractor pulled us as we rode on the hay bales and took the tour of the farm. The kids liked looking at the cows and animals and I found it very interesting how they run everything. They do warn you that the farm does have a certain aroma (not always good).

Here is a photo of us (Marci, Joshua, Delaney and me) posing with pumpkins. Would that make us pumpkin posers? Do you know how hard it is to get everyone to smile and look the same way at the same time? The kids did good, it was the adults. We look to see if our kids are smiling and then they are and we are not looking at the camera!


At the end of the day the kids pick their pumpkin on the way out. This pumpkin picking is some serious business. You would think we were picking out a new car. These kids were funny.

I think we found a winner.

Good by pumpkin patch, we had a great time. See you again next year (or maybe next week, I think we will come again before the end of the season).

Another day in my life.