Friday, January 31, 2014

January Challenge: Hip Hop Abs / Love it or Leave it?

January was the month of Abs for Rachel and me.  We figured if we were going to do something abdominal-related, we better get it out of the way at the beginning of the year when we were still simultaneously really motivated from New Year's resolutions and guilty from holiday over-eating. 

By absolute chance we had both purchased Hip Hop Abs (months ago) but had not managed to make much progress with the program.  In fact, there is a good chance that one of us had not even taken the plastic off the DVD and the other's DVD cover had so much dust on it, that she actually thought it was gray and not black.  But there is strength in numbers, so we decided to attack this one together.

Using the provided 30 Day calendar, we decided to start on January 1st and follow along with the plan as directed workout-wise.  (Does anyone ever really follow those nutritional guides?)  We weighed, took before pictures and measurements.  From the safety and comfort of our own homes.  Separately.  I mean, I love Rachel and she loves me, but I don't think either of us is ready to divulge all our secrets quite yet.

And then we did it.  For 30 days. Each of us missed a day or two along the way.  My reasoning was pure and simple.  I just didn't want to.  It was a tantrum day.  (I figure we're all allowed one--or two, or three--of those.) 

So here we are at the end, and the results are in.  They are below, along with our overall thoughts and whether or not we think you should give Hip Hop Abs a try.  



Inches lost--4.5, total
Pounds lost--5


Inches lost--6, total
Pounds lost--5

  • The 30 Day calendar is extremely monotonous.  There are seven different types of workouts on three DVDs in this collection, if you count the two short workouts, "Last Minute Abs" and "Last Minute Buns."  The calendar we used mainly utilized two of them.  TWO--"Ab Sculpt" and "Fat Burning Cardio."  That's a lot of the same thing over and over. Rachel said by day nine she was over it and ready to quit.  I'd say that it took me a little longer, but by day 15, I was done.  And by done, I mean DONE. 
  • "Total Body Burn" seems to be the best overall workout in the bunch, but it's also the longest at just over 40 minutes.  What we liked about the other workouts is that they seemed to be effective without taking up so much of our evenings. 
  • The "Hips, Buns and Thighs" routine was also great, but they only used it three times in 30 days.  It would have been an awesome addition to spice up this plan.  And it definitely worked those hips, buns and thighs.  I did feel like screaming when we started doing squats.  But you can blame that on December's challenge. 
  • Shaun T is a freaking hoot.  I mean, you cannot watch this guy and not feel like working out.  He is sassy and spunky and any other cheerleader-like adjective you want to throw at him.  And I mean that in a very positive way.  I'm telling you, if you're lucky enough to live somewhere that would make it an option to actually be IN one of his classes, DO IT!  Go.  He's a great motivator.  Even if you memorize the motivation by week two. 
  • I am not coordinated enough to do any of these moves flawlessly.  I'm what you might call a Back Row Fixture at any Zumba/Aerobics/Fitness class.  It's just better if everyone is in front of me, where they can't see me.  But none of these moves are so hard that you can't at least do them well enough to get the benefits from them.  And there is that one girl to the right of Shaun that always does the routine the "easy" way.  We were buddies. 


Was it worth it?  Well I lost six stinking inches of fattiness so I'm going to say yes.  Was it the most fun way to do it? Maybe not the whole time.  Was it the only way to do it?  Absolutely not.  But it was effective in that both Rachel and I lost weight and inches, just like we wanted to.  So, I'll take it.  I think it's a great workout, but if I did it again, I would not follow the 30 day calendar just as it is listed.  I'd change the workouts around and utilize more of them.  I'm sure there is a reason they did it like they did.  I mean, looking at Shaun T, and then me, you know which of us has more knowledge on fitness.  But look at me again, and you'll see that I need a heck of a lot more motivation to keep me going than he does. 

So, what's next?

For February we've decided to focus on our arms.  That's the one area that saw NO benefit from January's workouts.  Not for me, anyway.  Starting tomorrow, February 1st, we will follow the schedule below.  So, come along with us!  And watch for updates on Facebook throughout the month! 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Say Cheese! Queen E Comes to Town For Jett’s Baby Pictures!

As a new parent I learned very quickly that is it hard to load up your child, have them clean and picture-ready and have all the props and outfits packed and get to the photographer. My first experience was solo; Jason had a work emergency and couldn’t meet me at the photographer’s studio for Jett’s infant/newborn pictures. And it was one of those events that if anything could go wrong it did- about a 10 minutes from the studio Jett had a situation in his diaper so I pulled over and got that taken care of then starts the panic of when is the next bottle time- it can be SO stressful! He was on a 2-3 hour schedule at this point and the studio was an hour from the house so I felt like I was already on borrowed time (before we even started). The pictures turned out great and I love the photographer BUT this just wasn’t the ideal set up for us!

SO……I contacted Queen E Photography and made the appointment for Elizabeth to come to our house for Jett’s 3 month session. I had a list of poses and props from Pinterest and Jason was worried I was going to overwhelm her (I mean…I had really gone to town on Pinterest!)! She came in and asked if I had any ideas and I told her all of them and she thought they were great and didn’t say no to any of them (I was shocked)!!!! And she had her own props and poses as well!

She even carved the pumpkin herself! This picture required a quick shot as Jett wasn’t a big fan of being in a pumpkin! She was so patient with Jett (and me); Jett even took a short power nap and had a bottle break while she was there. She worked with Jett and even got a few family pictures with Daisy Mae and Jett both looking right into the camera!!! We were beyond pleased with the pictures!!!!


Needless to say- she did Jett’s 6 month pictures as well! And we will continue to use her for his pictures and family pictures!!

She lives in Charlotte but comes to the Raleigh area about once a month to visit family. She is very easy to work with and is always happy to schedule a session! Pricing starts at $75 including the photo disc AND IF YOU MENTION THE C&C BLOG, SHE WILL GIVE YOU $25 OFF!!!!! You can contact her at and check out her site here!

<3 Rachel

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: jamberry

New nail trends either excite or scare me.  When accent nails became the thing to do, I was pretty happy to jump on board.  But I can't quite bring myself to file my nails into cat-like claws a-la J-Lo and countless other celebrities and fashionistas.  (If it's your thing, rock it like you mean it.  It's just not for me.)
One trend that's been making the rounds for quite some time, and that's really found some staying power, is nail decals.  You know, stickers that are made to look like polish.  No bottles, no brushes, no drying time, no remover to use when it's time to switch colors.  Just a box of varying sizes, made for individual fingers that you slap on and wear until they either begin to peel off or you get tired of them and want a change.   Whichever comes first. 
Several brands carry similar products—some you can buy at your local store and some you have to order through a consultant, much like you would Mary Kay or Pampered Chef.  See where my mind goes?  Make-up and food.  Go figure. 
One such company, that sells exclusively through home parties, catalogs and online sales, is Jamberry.  I'd heard of it through a friend but was unable to go to her party that she held.  She was so excited about this product.  I mean, it's fun with nails.  So I get it!  Another friend and I went in together and bought a few sheets (one set for us and one set for our nieces).  I got them and they looked really great—sitting on my dresser.  And there they sat.  For a long, long time. 
I just couldn't really work up the nerve to do them.  To be honest, it looked a little intimidating.  I'd missed the demonstration and, though the instructions were pretty clear, I just didn't want to mess them up.  I mean, it's not like you get a ton of extras in there. 
Fast forward a couple of months.  My best friend, Tiffany, said she knew a consultant for Jamberry that had been reading the blog and saw my love for all things nail-related.  She offered to send me some samples so I could get my feet wet and try out the product.  And that's (finally!!) what I did.  So here's how it all went down.
Rachel came over to do the Listerine Foot Soak (read about it here) and showed me how to apply the Jamberry decals--they call them wraps.  She did go to that party a while back and learned how to do it. 
First I made sure that my nails were filed like I like them, clean and dry.  Then I pushed my cuticles back with an orange stick.  After the surface of my nails was in tip-top shape, I chose the size wrap that I thought I needed.  I peeled it from the backing, using the stick and not my finger
I then used a hair dryer, set on low, to heat the wrap up.  I don't have the heater that it is suggested you use, and I'm sure the results are always going to be better when you use the proper tools.  I then placed the wrap on my nail, starting at the cuticle, smoothing it to the tip.  I made sure to smooth the wrap down and then heated it up with the hairdryer again.  I smoothed the decal down, pushing out any imperfections. 
I cut off any excess decal the hung off the end of my nail and then, in a downward motion, using an emery board, filed the end of my nail until the excess was completely gone, leaving a smoothed end. 
I heated the Jamberry wrap up one last time and smoothed the end to be sure it was stuck down all the way.  I'm not sure if that last step is necessary, but I did it anyway.
This is the finished product.  That's my Jamberry--right there on my ring finger.  The other colors are from Essie.  Another personal favorite 
  • There are so many choices of colors and designs that it is almost overwhelming.  Really, Jamberry has thought of every possible personality type, want or need when coming up with these things!  You won't like them all, but you WILL find something you like.
  • To me, this is an accent nail thing.  Unless you're doing the solids, or French-tipped ones, the patterns are just way too busy to do on every finger.  The good thing about this is that your decals will last longer—but you will have to do more cutting to get them to fit.  I don't see many thumb accent nails.  But who knows?  Maybe you could be the one to start it.
  • Jamberry sells a line for young girls.  The patterns are adorable and age-appropriate for Elementary and Middle School-aged girls.  But I'm not sold on our girls being overly thrilled with the time it takes to get them done.  Depends on your little diva.  Accents are always an option for her as well! 
  • It seems like a lot of steps. Ok, it is a lot of steps.  But I have to say that once you get it down, it doesn't take as long as it seems.  Oh, it took a while on those first few nails.  But now that I have the hang of it, it doesn't really take too much time.  And it is faster than waiting for nails to dry. 
  • When in doubt on the size to use, go smaller rather than larger.  Overlap onto your finger looks plain dumb.  Trust me on this, ok?
  • Hairdryers, even on low, get HOT!  Be careful.  Or buy the dryer.  Really.  H-O-T. 
The important questions:
  • Would I use Jamberry again?
    • Well, I already did.  I finally dug into the wraps I bought.  And I have to say this—Love.  These are the clear Jamberry decals that can be used over polish or alone.  They seem thicker than the others and easier to apply.  And I love that you can see my polish through them.  Take a look à
  • How long did it last?
    • Jamberry says that it can last up to two weeks on your fingernails, longer on your toes.  I did the first set on a Saturday and it was starting to peel up on Wednesday—I took them off on Thursday.  Now, keep in mind my note on the dryer. Proper tools equal longer use? 
    • The clear ones with the stripes that I used have lasted much longer.  I put them on over eight days ago and they are still going strong.  In fact, if I keep them on, I will have to repaint my nails!
    • Now, I feel like I have to say this.  I don't usually want my nail color to last me a full two weeks.  Unless I've had it done professionally, I will end up stripping off the old polish and putting the new on in about a week (tops!) anyway.  So the fact that it didn't last that long, didn't really bother me. 
  • Was it worth it?
    • I don't know that I would buy the regular decals.  Due to the price (at $15 per pack of two sheets) I am just not sure they are for me.  However, I am totally falling in love with these clear ones.  They add a little something without being too much.  And they are kind of like the Energizer Bunny with the way they keep going and going and… So it's relative to what you want.  I would get this type again for sure. 
  • How do you get them?
    • Glad you asked!  The best way to get a little Jamberry in your life is to contact a consultant.  Don't know one?  Here's one:  
    • Vanessa Webster : or check out her Facebook page Wrap It Up With Jamberry 
    • Throwing a party is a fantastic way to get a lot of great stuff at discounted prices (including that dryer I was talking about)!  Vanessa can walk you through the entire process and can even help you do a catalog or Facebook party if you prefer not to something at home. 
    • And, if you mention Caffeine & Concealer to her in a private message and order the Buy 3, Get 1 Deal, she will offer free shipping through the end of the month!  So ACT FAST! 
So what do you think?  Would you like "polish" that isn't polish at all?  I can definitely see where people could get addicted to this trend.  And why it might just be here to stay. 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pinterest Trend: Mason Jar Salads

On my never-ending quest to find things that are both healthy and un-crappy (yep, it's a word) to eat, I ran across several Pins that raved about the wonders of Salads-in-a-Jar.  And, basically, that's exactly what they are.  You put all the ingredients for your salad, including your premeasured dressing, into a Mason jar, store it in the fridge, and take it out when you're ready to eat.  Really, it doesn't get any simpler than that. 
I was pretty stinking excited to try out this new trend on my own.  I mean, putting several salads together at the start of the week means less nightly lunch prep for me.  And I'm all about that. 
I started with quart-sized Mason jars.  Pints are just too small for a meal-sized salad.  However, if you are doing this as a side to a soup or sandwich, it would be perfect.  Also, I would look for the jars with the wide mouths.  It will not matter so much during filling, but it does make the dumping-out process much easier.  (My jars do not have wide mouth.  I found them at WalMart and they were the only set left.  Impatience is not a virtue and often leads me to settle when making purchases. The jars I have work just fine, but could be a bit better.) 
Put your dressing in first (I used this one. So yummy and only 60 calories per serving!), followed by your heartier toppings such as chicken (if you want to use that) and other protein-heavy foods and then any other veggies or fruits that you would like.  I put in cubed, grilled chicken, edamame, carrots, cucumber and broccoli straws.  Finish by shoving as much lettuce (I used Romaine) into that thing as it will possibly hold.  Really cram that stuff in there.  Here's a great diagram I found on Pinterest (no credit goes to me) on the layering. 

Right before you're ready to eat, shake the every-loving crap out of that jar to distribute the dressing.  Really get into it.  Depending on how packed in there your salad is, it may take a little more effort than you'd think.  Just look at it as your arm exercise for the day.  Who needs a Shake Weight, right? 
Then, dump all that yummy goodness out onto a plate and dig in.  You will probably be shocked at how much was in there.  And you've made yourself one heck of a healthy lunch. 
I made six of these bad boys on Sunday night—three each for the hubster and me—and they have lasted very well in the fridge all week.  The lettuce never got all soggy or gross.  I'm calling this a total winner.  Double winner because Steven liked it. 

Need some new salad-in-a-jar ideas?  Hit up Pinterest; these ladies have dozens! They've put whole wheat pasta one them, used salsa for dressing, dressed them up with fruits (not really my thing—but it might be yours) and used every type of green you can think of.  There are also lots of ideas for homemade dressings.  I made a few, and for right now, I'm going to let Kraft handle that part for me.  They seem to have that down pat. 
Let's see what you come up with.  What would you put in your salad jar? 


Friday, January 24, 2014

The Wet Brush – Product Review

So last week while getting my hair done Georgia (my hair girl- the best in the world) washes my hair and moves me back to the styling chair. She grabs a brush and is about to brush my wet hair- I am thinking she has lost her mind and I’m going to have to karate kick her but she explains that it is a Wet Brush and it’s made to detangle wet hair and will not damage my hair. I’m thinking, “This is going to hurt”, still in the mind frame of- she is taking a brush to my wet hair. And to my total shock- it painlessly cut through the tangles with no pull on my fragile wet hair!

I knew I needed one! Prior to this I had been using a wide tooth comb (which is still a fabulous option) but I really liked how easy this was and I think it helps to distribute product a little better than a comb! I got one (the chevron one) the following day and have been using it every morning since and I still enjoy it- I would confidently say it adds a little more fancy to my morning!

Where can you get one: Here is the Wet Brush website- they have more options and the prices average about $14 (the ones pictured above are from the Hipster Collection $14), I also found them on Amazon in solid colors for $9. You could also ask your hairdresser to see if they would pick you up one from the professional “shampoo store”!

<3 Rachel

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Meet Jessica!


Best beauty advice ever received:
Never sleep in your makeup. Oddly enough, I got this from Ivana Trump. I was only reading a magazine, but, you know, it was like she was talking right to me. ;)

Best beauty advice I’d give:

Take care of your skin-if everything is good on that level, the makeup brands aren’t as huge of a deal. And find what works for you. Just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean you should do it!
What shampoo/conditioner/body wash is currently in your shower?

Shampoo- TRESemme Split Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner
I really like both of them! 

I just finished using Sebastian Penetraitt Strengthening and Repair Shampoo and still have some conditioner left.  Sometimes I will use the Split rememdy Shampoo and the Sebastian conditioner.  I use a lot of heat when styling my hair and it can cause quite the damage.  So I've been trying to combat that with the shampoo and products I use.  These have been really good so far. 

I usually have multiple shampoos and conditioners in there at one time but this is what I've whittled down to lately.
Body wash- Dove Blue Fig and Orange body wash (Just so happens to be my deodorant, too. Love the smell!)

How would you describe your hair?

My hair is fine and pretty limp. It used to have a natural curl to it, but then I had Jack and that magically disappeared. Fresh from the shower and with no products, it’s practically lifeless, which is why I’m constantly on the search for something to give it lift while still letting it move!
Best parenting advice ever received:

“Let him cry it out!” Several people suggested we try this to get Jack to go down in his crib without having to be rocked to sleep. It worked well for us. He only cried two nights (about 20 minutes the first night, less than 10 the second), and we’ve had very rare issues getting him to bed since.

Now, we did this when he was very little- less than 3 months old. I realize that things like this don’t work for everyone. But it proved to be a wonderful thing for us, and I’m glad we gave it a go.
Best parenting advice I’d give:

Don’t over-compare. Other children will do things sooner than your child or faster or differently. But when they are little, just enjoy them. Don’t worry so much that your neighbor’s daughter has three more teeth than your son. It’s hard to do, and, yes there are some things that we as parents need to be on the lookout for developmentally. But, if your son doesn’t start walking at nine months like his cousin or it takes him a few months longer to work up the nerve to go down the slide by himself, it’s ok. He’ll get there eventually. Every child is different. And wonderfully special.
How did we pick the names of our boys?

Jack’s full name is Jackson Graham Cerame. Graham is my mom’s maiden name- you know us Southerners and our family name obsessions! I’ve always loved the name Jack, but it just didn’t flow with Graham. So we extended it to Jackson. Jack is also my great-grandfather’s name.


What items do you hoard?

I thought I hoarded nail polishes until I saw the portion of Rachel’s stash she brought to my house. She’s got me beat!
I would probably say that I hoard books. I love them. Love. And I can’t bring myself to get rid of them once they are mine-even if I don’t like them. There are boxes in our storage upstairs of books that didn’t make the cut for the shelves downstairs but I can’t seem to bring myself to let them go.

Oh, and Blistex/chapstick.  They are everywhere!  In the car, my purse, by my bed.  I even have one sitting on my keyboard at work.  It is sad how many little white tubes of Blistex have been washed in my house because I've forgotten to take them out of my pockets.  That picture is just of the ones I found in the pockets of my purse.  One bag.  All that lip-saving goodness. 


None at the moment. We keep getting told we need a puppy, but I think it would be far too hard to train a dog and a human right now!
Favorite gas station food?
Sheetz chocolate chip cookies. Yummo!  And Fristos Twists chips.  Seriously, those two things could be a meal for me.  But I would drink water.  You know, to keep it healthy. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Meet Rachel!


Best beauty advice ever received:
Always curl your hair away from your face. I asked a stranger at a party how she got her hair to look so good and this was her advice!!!! I’ve been doing it ever since and I think it works pretty well!

Best beauty advice I’d give:
If you have extra eye or face cream left over on your hand after application- don’t waste it by wiping it on a tissue or on your towel- wipe it on your bum!! It needs love too;)

What shampoo/conditioner/body wash is currently in your shower?
I have two choices of shampoo and conditioner currently in my shower: Pureology Essential Repair and Sebastian Volupt. Both are great! The Pureology is more of a repairing shampoo- great for ponytail days and the Sebastian is a volumizing one so it’s great for when I need extra volume!!! I have been using the Philosophy body wash in Amazing Grace, I like it pretty good! It lathers nicely and smells SO good. I got this as a birthday present but I’m not sure I would ever pay for it for myself as it is kind of pricy!

How would you describe your hair?
Fine, limp and oily. The good news is that neither I nor my hair girl has admitted to finding any grays yet!


Best parenting advice ever received:
Little Tummys Gas drops (find them here!) are liquid life savers! If Jett ever got fussy (and it wasn’t bottle time and his diaper was clean) we would give him some gas drops and he would calm right down! They are like $10 a bottle and 100% worth it!

Best parenting advice I’d give:
 Relax and cherish every moment! I think as moms and dads we constantly have our plate full of everything we need to do and we miss out on the fun things like sitting on the floor and playing with our kids or that extra snuggle time that leads to nap time together! Our kids (hopefully) won’t remember a half way messy house but they will remember the time we spent with them!

How did we pick the names of our boys?
Jett Armstrong Potts- my 7 month old bundle of pure sweetness! Jett was my great grandma’s maiden name and Armstrong is my mother-in-law’s maiden name. Jason (my husband) and I both love the southern tradition of naming your children after family and we think it is a very strong name!


What items do you hoard?
Hand soap (I love the Method brand hand soaps and they have seasonal scents that I feel the need to buy 5 of before they stop making them- bonus if the colors match the theme of the room), ink pens, undies and any and all beauty products!

We have a 4 year old lab- Daisy Mae. She is one spoiled rotten puppy and she sure loves Jett!

Favorite gas station food?
Anything Little Debbies, Nachos- with the hot nacho cheese sauce, beef jerky and Cow Tales!!!!!

<3 Rachel 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pray, Pray, Pray...

There are just some things that I know to be true.  Among them is the fact that I will never grow to love tomatoes no matter how much I try, I cannot seem to find the enjoyment in running, you can still be a "Daddy's girl" at 32, and I will never have the physical ability to roll my tongue to say, "Ruffles have ridges" like my Mama can.  I also know that life will push you until you feel like you cannot take one more thing right before it hands you three.

And there is, without a doubt, a God in Heaven.   

It is because of Him that I know things will be ok. 

The start of 2014 has proven to be somewhat interesting.  And I don't necessarily mean that in the most positive of ways.  Don't get me wrong, some truly wonderful things have already happened or been planned.  And the memories are already rolling in.  Really, in a house with a 2 ½ year old, there is no shortage of new adventure and fun. 

But amongst the new words, completed potty training, loss of the pacifier, the laughter and joy and countless episodes of The Big Bang Theory, we've had some challenges that just seem to keep on coming.  There's just so much meanness in this world, and my sweet family has been privy to quite a bit of it. 

Yesterday showed us a new form of ugly that is best left unwritten here.  Some people that we love more than I could ever put into words are under attack.  Things have been set in motion that cannot be undone and we are all at a point where the most we can do is hit our knees and pray.     

Because that is something else that I know to be true.  When you don't know what to do, where to turn, or how to move from where you are to where you need to be, stop what you are doing and pray.  You don't have to know what to say, because God already knows what you need.  Just start talking.  Ask Him for strength, for wisdom, for guidance.  Ask Him to sit with you in the quiet moments and make them bearable.  Ask him to calm the storm, or to show you the way through. 

Tell Him that you need Him.  Tell Him anything.  He can take it.  Ask Him to carry you.  You might just find out He already is. 

I don't know why things are happening as they are.  But I do know that God has a plan and He does not make mistakes.  And that is what I will cling to through this moment in our lives.  This will not get the best of us.  We have each other.  We have wonderful friends.  We have God.  And that is all we need.   


Monday, January 13, 2014

Good Job, Moms

As moms, we talk a lot about being moms.  It just seems to be what you do when you become one.  It's like the second you welcome that little one (or ones for those of you with multiples) into your life that your daily conversations will revolve around diapers and teething and tantrums and loving until you feel like your heart just might burst from your chest.  At least a good portion of your conversations will anyway.

And among all the really wonderful stuff—the "this little piggies," the goofy first smiles and steps, the giggles and rambling conversations of very enthusiastic 3 year olds—there is the not so wonderful stuff—the diaper explosions ("it got in his hair!"), the fevers that come out of nowhere, the crying for no reason, the sleep deprivation, and the way that your patience will be tested like never before. 

Through it all we talk.  We talk to each other for support.  Has yours ever done that?  How do you handle it?  We talk to others to explain.  Sorry, she's not in the best mood.  She's just so tired. We talk to ourselves.  Constantly.  Ok, after I drop everyone off, I have to get to the  store and then home before 4:00.  Then I need to make sure that the bathrooms are clean so that no one sees I left the pee in his little potty…again.  Us moms.  Big talkers. 

But what we've noticed lately, is that when we talk about ourselves and what we DO as moms, we're not being very nice.  No one is harder on Mom than she is on herself.  We don't think there is one mom out there that thinks she has thing mom thing in the bag.  That she's got it all figured out.  And that's probably true—no one's perfect.  But, we're also willing to bet that Mom's doing a heck of a lot better than she believes.

Just ask Kid President.  He'll tell you.  Video Link.


Or check out what these children said about their moms. Video Link.


See, moms out there, our children think we're doing pretty well.  All those moments you think go unnoticed:  when you let your toddler stir the muffin mix, when you get on the floor and do puzzles or color, when you sing along to their favorite songs over and over (and over and over…) in the car, or when you get them to laugh after they've been scared or hurt.  They notice.  To them, that's love. 

When you cheer on your little soccer player's goal like it was the winning point for his World Cup team, he hears you.  When you dance like a crazy person in the living room with your daughters on a random Tuesday, they remember.  What they don't notice are the doubts you have regarding just about every decision you make.  Is he old enough?  Should I let her go?  Was that a mistake?  Was I wrong to get mad about that? And yes, we will all goof up sometime.  And, we're sure, have to apologize to our children more than once.  But they'll notice that, too.  A mom that loves them enough to look them in the eye and say, "Forgive me." 

We're all doing this Mom Dance a little differently.  Some of us work outside the home, some are full-time stay at home moms.  Some of us are single, some are married, some live with extended family.  Shoot, some of us "Moms" are dads.  Dads are pretty stinking awesome, too.  But what we wanted to say, Mom (Mommy, Mama, Momma, Mother, Ma or whatever you happened to be called), is keep up the good work.  We appreciate you.  And those little people you love so much?  We're going to bet that they do, too.

Jessica & Rachel
Two Mommies

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Pinterest Foot Soak Review (Spa Day for the C & C Ladies)

Jessica and I tried out the infamous Pinterest Foot Soak. The recipe calls for equal parts Listerine, vinegar and hot water (we used a cup of each). Depending on which pin you read it might have called for apple cider vinegar or the plain clear kind, I have tried both and couldn't really tell a difference. And a few pins stated that the blue Listerine would turn your feet a smurf-ish blue, we used the purple "zero" Listerine and did not notice any discoloration. The directions say to let your feet soak for 15-30 minutes- I'd say we probably let them soak for about 20??? I mean it's hard to keep up with time when the conversation is so good, ya know? ;)

Meanwhile, we had a mask setting on our faces. I had received a sample of the Boscia Bright White (peel off) Face Mask so we figured today was the perfect day to try it out! The mask is advertised as an anti-aging mask that brightens, hydrates and smooths the skin. The directions are to apply an even layer to your face (avoiding your hair, eyes and lips) and let it sit for 20 minutes then to gently peel the mask off starting at the outer edges and rise off any residue with warm water.  (You can find it at Sephora and online here.)

The results...

The foot soak:

After we soaked our feet we used a foot scrub and pumice like stone to finish the job. We both agree that the soak primed our feet to be scrubbed. The soak alone will not give you fabulous feet but the soak and a scrub is a spa worthy pedicure (on the cheap!!)! We also both felt the refreshing tingle of Listerine for about an hour after we were done! So, we both agreed that we would do this again and think the refreshing feeling will be GREAT this summer!

The face mask:

The directions should have warned about ripping out your peach fuzz!!!! It was quite painful around the jaw line but our faces felt like babies' butts after! We concluded that the mask was nice and that it would have been easier to peel off if we would have applied it a little thicker! I probably wouldn't buy this product but if I received more samples, I would use them!
<3 Rachel and Jessica

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Perfect Hand Lotion

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but it's a tad bit cold outside.  Like the kind of cold that makes penguins and polar bears do happy dances.  The kind that takes less than two seconds to reach straight to your bones and stays with you long after you've come inside and bundled up. 

Cold like this doesn't happen often, especially here.  Shoot, we were just sitting at 70-something degrees not even two weeks ago!  And now the walk from my door to my car literally takes my breath away. 

So along with chapped lips, frizzy hair and a red, runny nose (wow, someone sign me up for America's Next Top Model!) that the cold weather brings, I also have terribly dry hands. The areas around my knuckles and between my fingers can become so itchy and cracked that it has been known to bleed in the past.  (Yeah, I'm not sure when this blog got so gruesome, either.)  But, my little blog-reading beauties, have no fear!  I have found the best  hand lotion ever. 

Well, I didn't really find it.  Someone gave it to me.  And I love her for it. 

A few years ago, my dear friend, Sandra, gifted me with a tube of Gold Bond Ultimate lotion.  And it's been my go-to ever since.  It is pretty thick, without being so thick you can't get it to move around on your hands and rub in. It takes it just a few moments to "sink in," if you will.  But once it does, it's awesome.   This stuff is pretty much instant relief to what ails your aching digits and it smells really nice.  The best part?  It actually stays on after you wash your hands.  You might have to rub it in a little again, but you can still see the affects that it has. 

There are a few versions of this to be found pretty much anywhere you would normally pick up your lotions.  We're talking WalMart, Target and the like.  There is one labeled as Intensive Healing Hand Cream.  I've tried it and do like it; however, it is not as thick as the original.  So when the weather is this cold and my hands are on the verge of this bad, I go for what I know will work the quickest. 

And Rachel and I have not forgotten your pretty little toes either.  Winter is tough on those feet, too.  Especially your heels.  We're trying a new foot soak this weekend, so stay tuned to see if it's a winner or a loser.  If nothing else, it might be a nice way to keep those piggies warm! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Spaghetti Squash: It's What's For Dinner

With the start of the new year and the restart of my better eating (Oh, Christmas, what did you do to me?!), I've been looking for ways to eat well without getting completely bored.  Let's face it, eventually the stuff that's good for you, starts to taste a little blah after a while.  And I am the ultimate creature of habit.  Once I see something works, I stick to it.  And that leads to a case of food monotony so severe that I would rather starve than bite into one more piece of grilled chicken. 
So with this in mind, I've been on  a hunt for something new—or at least new to me.  I'd heard of using spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta before but wasn't sure I was ready to give it a whirl.  Then my sister mentioned it a month or so ago and it really piqued my interest.  So, I tried it.  Um, yum!  I used it in place of regular spaghetti noodles to try and cut out my extreme overuse of carbs (I mean really, is there ever a bad time to eat bread?) and was very pleasantly surprised. 

I'm probably late to the spaghetti squash party.  But that's ok.  I'm here now.  

I've been on Pinterest and Google (probably in equal parts) trying to find what I consider the perfect recipe for lasagna that uses spaghetti squash.  Unable to find exactly what I was looking for (because I like things amazingly easy and with minimal steps), I took parts of them all and made my own.  The end result was a seriously good meal.  A little more baked spaghetti than lasagna, but who cares?  Bonus points for making it as healthy as possibly by using 2% cottage cheese as opposed to ricotta (even though I love it) and ground turkey breast instead of sausage or beef. 
Best part?  My husband actually liked it.  A lot.  The two-year-old?  Not so much.  But that's why I keep the makings of grilled cheese in the house. 

The texture is the biggest thing to get used to when you bite into this dish.  Spaghetti squash has a crunch to it.  So, don't expect it to have the consistency of your usual pasta noodles.  But come on, give it a shot.  I bet you'll be glad you did.  And if not, well, there's always grilled cheese. 

Here's the recipe. 
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic, pre-minced (Yep, that's a lot of garlic—feel free to adjust to your garlic taste)
  • 16 oz. carton 2% cottage cheese
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce, no salt added preferred
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups 2% mozzarella cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning

To Prepare the Squash:

  • Preheat oven to 375*
  • Cut squash in half.  Scrape out the seeds and pulp—just as you would a pumpkin. 
  • Place on foiled cookie sheet, cut side down.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • Let cool (I laid the squash on their side to expose the cut sides) and then, using a fork, separate the flesh from the rind. 

Note: I made the squash a few days before to cut down the prep time on this.  I don't like meals that take an hour+ to prepare on weeknights.  It kept well in the refrigerator until I needed it for this meal.

Also, these jokers are really hard to cut.  Make sure you have a good knife—or chainsaw, whatever.  I read (of course, after I cut mine) that heating it in the oven for five minutes can make it easier.  Haven't tried it, but will next time.  


  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Brown turkey over medium/high heat, drain when done
  • Turn heat down to medium and add garlic, stirring frequently for a few minutes
  • Add tomato sauce and tomato paste, stirring until well incorporated.
  • Add Italian seasoning, blending well. 
  • Remove from heat
  • In separate bowl, mix egg whites and container of cottage cheese
  • Spoon half the sauce/meat mix into a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Place squash on top, smoothing it out evenly over entire surface and flattening down as you go
  • Put all of the cottage cheese mixture over that
  • Top with remaining meat mix
  • Top with mozzarella cheese
  • Bake for approximately 35 minutes.  The cheesy edges should begin to brown just a bit.  
  • Let stand about 5-10 minutes after removing from oven

I really hope you enjoy this healthier alternative to the traditional pasta lasagna you're used to.  And if you have any more ideas for spaghetti squash, please share!  I'm kind of obsessed right now.