eSalon

eSalon Custom Formulated Hair Color Review

eSalon custom formulated hair color is claiming to be the new at-home hair dye that we all must try.  They are claiming that their service is good enough to replace drug store brands, cheaper than going to a professional and somehow better than what a stylist can do in a salon.  After months of seeing these advertisements I decided to take the plunge and give them a try.  This is my experience and what happened when I ordered eSalon Custom Hair Dye.

The first step was signing up at their website.  I plugged in my email address and was confronted with a screen asking me what color is my natural hair color.  You have 3 pictures to choose from; a blonde woman, a dark brunette woman and a curly red headed woman.  As a redhead I chose the curly red headed woman.  (*Note – I noticed that when it came to the red, the women almost all of the time had curly hair. I worried that the dye for red hair was meant for a different texture of hair but that ended up not being the case.)

As I moved through the screens I was asked pretty much the same variety of questions that a stylist would ask.  What kind of color is currently on my hair.  When was the last time I dyed it. How much gray do I have etc. eSalon’s system asks a lot of questions to really drill down what you look like and at the very end I uploaded several pictures of myself from both front and back angles so they could really see my hair color.

When I completed filling out what felt like a contract for my soul I placed my order and hoped to god I had not just wasted my money.  There was nothing I could do but wait.  I had decided I wanted to go considerably darker than my normal golden red; I was going for a chocolatey auburn so at the very last part of the ordering process I made sure I included a note for the person that would be mixing my hair.

A couple of days later I received an email telling me something had gone awry and I needed to contact the company before they sent out my product because if they sent me the wrong product I would have to reorder.  I dialed the phone number on their website and was immediately met with a message saying they were closed.  I started to panic.  How could they be closed?  The lab has to be open for the custom color mixer person to blend my custom formulated chocolately auuburn hair dye!  I dialed again and again received the message they were closed.

With lightning speed I jumped onto email and shot a letter to their customer service box letting them know they asked me to call them but they were closed.  I expressed that I was worried about my transaction.  a couple of emails and a few calls later I receive a phone call from someone who claimed to be my own personal color mixer person.  He wanted to discuss my color choice.  He made a comment “since you have ALL THAT hair” and I laughed but I was secretely scared inside that there wouldn’t be enough dye in the bottle to color all of my hair.  He assured me they would be sending me two bottles of dye.  It’s complientary the first time.  After that I would have to pay for 2 bottles.  I have to say I don’t like this about them.  1 bottle is roughly $20 so after my first order I would have to pay full price and full price for 2 bottles if I wanted all of my hair dyed.  Not cool.  the first order was only $10 because of the promotion.  I couldn’t see myself paying $40 for hair dye when I can 2 boxes at Target for less than $10 each.  My debit card agrees.

box

When my order I arrived I received a box that had 2 bottles of color, 2 bottles of developer, 2 pairs of pink gloves, a brush, a packet of what they call stain guard but is really just vaseline, a package of stain rand a packet of shampoo and conditioner.  Included in the box was a set of instructions that claimed to have been specially prepared just for me by my custom hair color mixer person back at the eSalon lab.  The labels all had my name on them and said they were mixed just for me.  It was cute but I am not so naive as to fail to understand that is the justification behind the price point.  I have to say having my name on the product would not sway me to buy it.  I have deeper criteria than the packaging.  It honestly doesn’t matter to me that it came in a waste-of-space pretty box with plastic gloves made to hold these specific bottles.  They  could have shoved the ingredients in a bubble-wrap lined manilla shipping envelope and I would have been okay with that because the packaging is not what matters.  What matters is what condition my hair would be in when I was done.

IMG_2220
Nice touch putting my name on the bottle but honestly I can do this with my printer.

 

IMG_2235

Before I got started I brushed my hair out and took a picture.  Bear in mind my hair was dirty.  I had not washed it for 2 days in preperation for this day.  Here’s my hair from the back before dying it with eSalon hair dye.  There are white spots on the photo because I was in the middle of working on my bathroom and construction grime was on the mirror and I didn’t notice.

backhair

 

Now, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.  This was a product I had never tried, had no point of reference for and knew nothing about.  As you can see I have long hair.  I cut it to just below my shoulders and went light brown in January 2013.  I missed my hair and I have no intention of frying it off now that it is long again.  You better believe I did a strand test.  I tested a good sized swatch of hair and it went well so I took the plunge.

sectionedMy custom prepared instructions told me to seperate my hair into 4 sections.  so I did as told.  I mixed up the bottle for my roots and got started applying it.  I was instructed to leave the dye on my roots for 10 minutes and then apply the other bottle to the ends and let that sit for another 15 minutes.  When the 15 minutes was up I was to add water to the roots and massage it and rinse it out completely with warm water until the dye stops coloring the watering.  This is all normal stuff but it bothered me that the dye time was short but I guess it wasn’t really considering it was just broken up into 2 sessions of application.

Once my hair was dryed and brushed the texture was nice.  It was still soft and silky but I noticed it had a touch of courseness to it that wasn’t there before.  I am okay with that bit of courseness even though I know it means damage because it will help it not lay so flat.  The smell of the product was stinky but it wasn’t any worse than any boxed brand I’ve ever bought from the store.  One thing I do want to point out is that this dye is extremely messy.  I’m a veteran self dyer and this was the worst in the mess factor.  It dripped everywhere. I was very irritated with the mess.

The overall color of my hair was okay but it was certainly nothing to write home about.  the roots were darker than the ends.  There wasn’t much dimension to the color.  Within days it felt flat and dull.  Now 3 weeks later the color is gone. It was gone by week 2 actually. My hair has a small amount of barely brown showing through but otherwise it is as if I never dyed it.  Except the grays.  I can’t deny that it is covering my grays but keep in mind I only have a few silver strands.  I don’t see them in there right now.  I ended up cancelling my account and removing any auto replenish settings.  I won’t be buying this product anymore.  Not at that price for the color to wash out that quick.  I would say to someone else though, give it a try.  it might work for you.  Just because it isn’t for me doesn’t mean it isn’t for you.

Below are a couple of pictures of my new hair.  I haven’t taken a pic at week 3 but I will get one soon and get it posted so you can see the color is gone.

 

backgrown

 

front front2

How to Travel with A Vibrator & other Sex Toys

coupleThe Proper Way to Take a Vibrator on a Plane

Traveling with sex toys, vibrators in particular, has the potential to turn from greatly anticipated vacation to sexually humiliating nightmare rather quickly. Airport security is working more diligently to find strange, possibly dangerous, items in passenger’s luggage these days. Here’s the right way to travel with your favorite sex toy.

Packing sex toys and vibrators

You should never just toss your toys into your suitcase. Each toy should be packed with precision. There are two kinds of packing materials to take into consideration.

  1. A cloth bag. Any soft, clean cloth bag will do. You can even use those purple drawstring bags that Crown Royal Whiskey comes in. A cloth bag will protect your vibrator from getting travel grime on it as well as keep any existing cords from getting tangled in your personal items.

Note about ordinary cloth bags. These will not keep your vibrators from showing up on the x-ray machine.

  1. Cleverly disguised sex toys. You can purchase vibrators that look like ordinary hair brushes, a tube of lipstick or even a sports massager. Typically security sees these things and pays them no attention.

Where to pack a vibrator

First of all never pack your vibrator in your carry on luggage unless you have no other choice and I can’t image a scenario where you will be tortured and shot if you don’t bring it.

If your trip is so short that you don’t have any luggage to check in then check in your carry on and only carry on what you can put in your pockets.

In other words don’t ever carry on a vibrator or sex toy, always check them in. When you go through security checks at the airport, your carry on bag, shoes and anything in your pockets have to be put in small bins and passed through an x-ray machines. Some toys have the potential to look like weapons as they are x-rayed.

Any questionable items that pass through the machine are alerted to security officials who will pull you aside and examine every item you brought with you. This may mean your vibrator will be on public display and if it is a really strange sex toy you may have to explain what it is and what you are doing with it.

You also stand the chance of being singled out for a random search. If this happens the last thing you want to have found is your vibrator.

When you pack your vibrator, put it in the soft cloth bag and lay it gently between folded layers of clothes for protection or in a discreet pocket intended to protect items.

What about personal lubricant?

Personal lubricant is allowed in both carry on bag and checked in bags. If you chose to pack it in your carry on bag it must be less than 3 ounces stored in a quart size zip lock baggie. Anything larger than 3 ounces will be tossed out. The best way to carry on personal lubricant is in sample sizes.

Personal lubricant packed in checked baggage can be carried in larger sizes. You will want to pack them in plastic zip lock bags to avoid any spills or explosions that may be caused during altitude changes.

General vibrator travel tips

Never leave batteries in your vibrator when you pack them. Strange buzzing noises coming from your luggage will most definitely cause you to be pulled off a plane to explain. Always pack newly bought fresh batteries in a separate place other than in your sex toy.

Choose your toys carefully. Do not attempt to bring toys with you that look like weapons such as whips and ropes. Leave the hardcore bondage gear at home and make do with ordinary toys. Nothing screams terrorist to a straight-laced security guard like bondage gear.

Anal plugs can sometimes resemble short knives when x-rayed. Watch where you put those things.

If you are a part of the mile high club remember to bring along some individually wrapped moist wipes for cleaning both yourself and your toys.

Never tell security that your toy is a bomb, looks like a bomb, smells like a bomb, is THE bomb or make any other references to bomb. What do you think will happen?

Sex toys can make an already fantastic voyage even more fantastic and business trips no longer need to be dull when you bring along your favorite vibrator. You should have no problems if you follow the simple steps outlined in this article. Happy travels and stay safe when you fly the friendly skies.

Cannibal Recipes – Cooking with Flesh

grillingPreparing human flesh for consumption can be tricky. It is vitally important to have knowledge of seasoning and cooking technique when you are preparing a cannibalistic meal and my easy to recreate recipes will give you just that.  Follow this simple recipe guide and you’ll be serving your friends and family in no time.

 

Marinated Leg of In-Laws

When it comes to in-laws, the meat can be tough and wiry. This comes from their illogical perception of you – the person who claimed their child as their own. Slapping the flesh while the in-laws are still alive can sometimes help tenderize the meat but cooperation is highly unlikely. Remember Culinary Gurus, fear tenderizes all meat.

Ingredients: The Stuff You Will Need:

4 legs, two from each in-law
4 cups white wine
12 chopped carrots
4 diced white onions
2 Bay leaves
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Combine half of the wine, bay leaves, 2 of the onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Slice the leg into pieces the width of a normal steak. Place in glass cake pan and cover with marinade. Refrigerate, covered, for 36 – 48 hours, turning the meat occasionally.

In a large skillet melt butter and add meat. Fry until the meat is golden brown on both sides. Remove meat from the pan and add the remaining onions and carrots and wine. Simmer until vegetables are soft.

Pour vegetables and meat back into cake pan and bake for 2 hours at 375. Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese, salad and wine. Feeds 4-6 people.

 Deep Fried Testicles

This dish is a favorite with the ladies. The guys don’t care for it so much. It makes a perfect appetizer for baby showers and wedding showers.

Indredients: Balls – What Else Do You Think You’re Going to Need?

8 – 10 ball sacks with testicles intact

1 egg, cracked and whipped in a bowl

Flour

Salt and pepper

Oil

Directions: This Ain’t No Porno So Be Delicate!

Dunk testicles in egg, drudge through flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil in a frying pan or deep fryer and fry until golden brown. Serve with barbecue sauce or ketchup. Ranch smothered cowboy balls are effin amazing!

 Crock Pot Crack Head Soup

At last we’ve resolved the Crack Head problem. Crack heads can finally be put to good use.   What better way to treat crack addiction than to serve addicts at charity dinners.   The next time you are planning the Fireman’s Ball or some other charity fundraiser, consider adding this recipe to the menu.

 Ingredients: Gotta run fast to catch a Crack Head.

3 freshly skinned and butchered heads from cocaine or crack addicted bums

1 large can chicken stock

4 cups chopped carrots

2 cups chopped celery

4 cups peeled, chopped and boiled potatoes.

1 16 oz can tomato juice

2 tbsp. garlic salt

Pepper to taste

 Directions:

Chop heads into bite size pieces and brown lightly in a skillet. Dump all ingredients into a large crock pot including the browned head pieces. Cook on medium high until vegetables are soft; usually 4 – 6 hours.

Quick and Easy Telemarketer Chili

Telemarketers are known for disrupting dinner with their sales pitches. If you ever manage to get your hands on one, serve them up with this easy to prepare telemarketer chili.

Indredients: You’ll Have to be Crafty to Catch a Telemarketer.

1 to 1 1/2 lbs. ground telemarketer (in some countries the eyeballs are a delicacy!)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
1 cube Beef bouillon
2   (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2  to 3 (15 1/2 oz.) cans dark red kidney beans
2  teaspoons  chili powder
1/4  teaspoon   hot red pepper sauce or dry pepper
2   tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
1  tablespoon  olive oil

Directions:

In large skillet, brown telemarketer with onions and drain off excess grease.  Stir in water, bouillon cube and tomato sauce.  Add kidney beans to the pot and season with Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 15 to 20 minutes, and stir occasionally. Serve over tortilla chips with shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, black olives and onions.

 Disclaimer: These are obviously not real recipes. Please do not attempt to cook real human flesh as it is illegal and disgusting.
sunburn

Summer Sunburn Remedies

How to Care for a Sunburn

redI’m a redhead and I have pale skin with freckles; that means in the time it takes to get Domino’s Pizza delivered, wash my car or dry towels, my flesh fries to an unholy-hell shade of red. It goes without saying that I’ve exposed my skin to the business end of a can of Solarcaine Spray and a jar of Neutrogena face cream.

 

  *I’m going to go off topic for a minute here because when I thought about Solarcaine I was reminded of Bactine.  What the Effin’ Eff IS Bactine? It was incredibly coldsolarcaine coming out of the can and stung on impact in this weird sandpaper-scraping kind of way but yet it numbed your skin for about 30 seconds and then you needed to be sprayed again. I remember when commercials encouraged you to spray it on bug bites, scrapes and cuts and burns. Did our moms ever question the validity of Bactine? Probably not. None of us glow or have super powers as a result of being sprayed with it. Funny how today’s mom would have a PHD in the ingredients listed on the bottle all the while their Little Johnny or Sally is the sickest kid in the class and has the worst allergies. Food for thought – I ramble. So, I googled Bactine and I found an old commercial. May as well check it out, you’re hear about sunburns anyway.

 

 

 

 

Sunburn Home Remedies and Treatments

Aloe Vera Gel – Aloe Vera tops Hawaii’s list of miracle treatments for Sunburns It is an antibacterial substance that helps stimulate the immune system. Hospitals are known to use this for burn patients because it contains aloectin B.

Apple cider vinegarUse a cotton ball or cotton cloth to apply apple cider vinegar to your sunburn. Make sure to keep your skin moist with cider vinegar to prevent peeling and blisters on the burned areas.

Baking Soda – Run a bath with the temperature as close to your own body temperature as you can get and then make it slightly cooler. You don’t want it to be cold, just cool. Add a ½ cup baking soda to the bath and soak.

Black Tea – The trick is to mix the black tea with peppermint tea. Brew black tea in a teapot or sauce pan and allow it to cool. Once cooled, pour into a spray bottle, shake and spritz your sunburn. Ingredients in the black tea sooth sunburns and draw out the heat.

Calendula Creams – Calendula is a healing plant. The healing properties of the flowers are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral.

Cucumbers – Rub cucumber slices on your sunburn. They have a cooling effect, taste good and will soothe your burn.

Lavender – Drop 20-25 drops of lavender oil into one cup of water. Add mixture to a tepid bath and soak the sunburn away.

Lemon water- Mix one cup lemon juice with two cups cold water. Use a cotton ball or cotton cloth to gently rub mixture over sunburned area. Lemon cools the burn and acts as a disinfectant.

Milk  – Soak a cotton cloth in cold milk, place in plastic bag and freeze for twenty minutes. After freezing, wring excess milk from the cloth and apply as a compress. Refreeze compress ever twenty minutes to retain coolness. Apply compress in twenty minute cycles for two hours. Be sure to wash the milk off of your body afterwards so you don’t smell like sour milk.

Oatmeal – Just like oatmeal is good for chicken pox it is also good for moisturizing and soothing skin that has been sunburned. Simply dump oatmeal into a tepid bath and soak.

Onion – Bruise a white onion and rub on the sunburned area.

PeppermintUse a cotton ball to rub peppermint oil on your sunburn. Peppermint is a cooling agent.

Potato  – Use grated potato shavings to apply to your sunburn. Starch is the element in potatoes that cools sunburns.

St. Johns Wort – For burns that have not blistered or caused open wounds use St. Johns Wort to make an ointment. Word to the wise, St. John’s Wort makes the skin sensitive to sunlight so you should avoid being in the sun if you use this remedy.

Vitamin E Cream – Creams and ointments containing vitamin E aid the healing process and shorten the effects of sunburn on your skin.

Witch hazel  – Make a compress using witch hazel to cool your burn. Just apply the compress as need to cool your skin..

Yogurt – Rub plain yogurt that has no flavor, but contains live cultures on your sunburn. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse off with cool or tepid water. You can also mix one cup mashed strawberries with one cup plain yogurt and apply for 15 minutes before rinsing

Realizations of An Empty Nester

tribeI remember that as a new mom it was uber important to be there to experience all of my child’s first moments, like when my daughter Alyssa spoke her first word or when my son rode his first two wheel bicycle or when the baby of the family cut off her long hair or Sam thought she could drive to Hawaii.  Those moments will stay with me the rest of my life.   Having The Tribe (Our 4 kids dubbed themselves The Tribe when we made a family bulletin board for the kitchen one year.) fly the coop and go separate ways has brought so many of those “firsts” to mind and I sometimes find myself lost in a memory so vivid I can almost hear their voices.  Watching The Tribe grow and accomplish and become the passionate, creative and strong people they are has been rewarding to say the least and while I’m so unbelievably proud of them and excited for the new adventures headed my way the realization that the nest is empty is threaded with sadness that my fledglings are living a life where I am only a part of it rather than the epicenter of it. Sounds selfish don’t it?  I thought it did as I said it but then I don’t feel selfish about it at all, I grew them and raised them so I get to be selfish about them but I won’t.  Instead I will cheer them on and celebrate that I too will live a life where they are only a part of it rather than the epicenter of it; funny how it works out that way.    What prompted this post was that I realized that after tomorrow August 17th 2013 I will no longer have mounds and mounds of laundry to wash, it will just be the hubs and I.  Here are a few other realizations that empty nesting has brought.

  1.  I will never change another poopy diaper in the middle of the night (no I’m not babysitting grandchildren – ever)
  2. There will never be 4 sopping wet kids fighting over dish duty in my kitchen.
  3. 4 radios on 4 different stations will never simultaneously reverberate off the walls of my hallway.
  4. I will never ever again say, “Blake if you don’t stop that I will pull this car over and make you get out!”
  5. A sippy cup will never makes its home in my cupboard again.
  6. A scared little boy will never bolt into my bedroom in the middle of the night and climb in bed with me.
  7. The only puke I will have to clean up will be either mine, hubby’s or the dog’s.  Still yuck.
  8. I won’t leave my front door unlocked while I go to bed, worried because so-n-so forgot their house keys.
  9. Never again will I drive a history textbook to middle school.
  10. I will never wake up in the morning to find my living room looking like a party happened in my sleep, unless a party really does happen in my sleep.
  11. You won’t hear me ask, “Who did this (insert crime here)?”
  12. School will never dial my telephone number again to ask me why my student hasn’t been there for 3 weeks.
  13. I have no one to give “the sex talk” to.
  14.  4 little hands will never again shake me awake on Christmas morning to scream “Santa came!”
  15. The only person in my house that will ever wear my underwear or socks will be me.
  16. I have to do all the housework by myself unless the hubs helps out.
  17. When I travel or go on vacation I no longer have to plan and pack for 6 people.  Someone should probably warn the hubs that he’s on his own for packing from here on out.
  18. Barney the stupid purple dinosaur will never again sing I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family….
  19. Never again will 4 kids burst through my front door on roller skates – 3 to tattle on the 1 that pushed the other…again.
  20.  I will never again receive another school report card in the mail, or by accidental discovery of said report card being taken out of the mail and hidden in the pocket of a pair of jeans in the laundry.

DIY Make a Bow Bandeau Bikini Top Tutorial

Bandeau tops are everywhere right now, they are a hugely popular.  My daughter has been ogling bandeau tops on the internet for a couple of months and she kept telling me that she really really liked one she saw that had a giant bow on the front.  I off-handedly retorted that in my day they were called Tube Tops to which she rolled her eyes and reminded me that I’m old and in the same breath asked me if I could make her one for the 4th of  July.   She showed me a photo of a bandeau she found at this Etsy.com shop and asked me to duplicate it.   Long story short, I did duplicate it; it was easy and I’m going to show you how to duplicate it in this DIY bandeau tutorial.

bandeau1

Once my daughter showed me this photo she ran off to Joann’s and picked up the fabric for the bow, dropped it off in my craft room and ran out the door to spend time with Loverboy.  (The nickname is used with love.  We like Loverboy, he’s good to our daughter and he’s a sweet boy…I almost pity him) Luckily for both my daughter, Acacia and I, I still have the duct tape dress form I made from Acacia’s body that will from here on out be dubbed Acacia2.  Having Acacia2 allows me to sew for her when she’s not home…which is all the time now that she’s a wizened old college girl.  World, meet Acacia2.

acacia2
Click the photo for a tutorial on how to make your own duct tape dress form

 

To make this bow bandeau you will need 3 pieces of fabric.  My daughter bought half a yard of red striped fabric and half a yard of blue and white stars fabric.  I happen to have some scrap white knit fabric that I used to make the bra part of the bandeau.  If I were buying the fabric I would probably go ahead and grab a half a yard just to be sure.  If you make this top once you won’t use up the whole half yard but its good to have enough to make two just in case something goes wrong.  And believe you me, when you don’t use patterns to make clothes things can go horribly wrong.  I promised to never talk about the crooked crotch again so I won’t bring up those pants I once screwed up….

material

Fabric aside you are going to need a pair of good scissors, sewing pins, thread and a sewing needle.

 

The first thing I did to create a bow bandeau was to take my white knit fabric and fold it in half lengthwise so that I had a double piece of narrow fabric.  Like so..

white_fabric

 

I wanted my bandeau to have doubled fabric so that my daughter felt covered, comfortable and secure.   Plus it made me feel better to know if I was going to help my daughter wear as little clothes as possible I was going to make sure she was as covered as I could get her.  She’s almost 19 and has a killer body so I can’t blame her for showing it off but as long as I can help it there will be no  No see through, nipple showing white tops here!   I took the white knit and wrapped it around the chest of Acacia2 with the fold being at the top.

body1

 

From the back I simply pinned it together so that it was tight.  A word to the wise here – make sure you pull your fabric as tight as you can.  In order for a bandeau made like this with no top or bottom elastic to stay up on the body,  the fabric has to be pulled as tight as it will go.

body3

 

When I had my fabric pinned as tight as I could get it I cut a slit, horizontally in the side about 1 inch BELOW where I wanted the bottom of my bandeau to be.    This will be where I’m going to cut off the excess fabric and sew together the tube part of this.  I gave myself an inch which is more than needed for a seam allowance but again, it’s all about leaving myself room to maneuver.  I can always make it smaller but it’s a hell of a lot harder to add fabric back once it’s been whacked off.

body2

Next I unpinned the fabric and removed it from Acacia2.  I laid it flat and made sure the slits were lined up.    Like below..

white_fabric2

This was the only white knit scrap fabric I had but I figured there wasn’t any use being a chicken about it, might as well just chop it up and call it a day.  If I was wrong, I was wrong and i’d have to run to the store and get some knit fabric.    Now I had 2 pieces of white fabric.  One fat and one skinny.

 

white_fabric3

 

Next, I flipped my fabric so that I had right sides together (the sides that everyone sees on the outside.) and I pinned it together along the lengthwise edges.  You won’t be sewing the ends together just yet so there’s no need to pin the ends unless you just like to pin the shit out of things and then by all means, pin away; don’t let me stand in your way of good pinning.

white_fabric4

After you get the bandeau pinned go ahead and sew it together. For the sewing newbie this means you are going to sew down the edge you just pinned.  Give yourself about half an inch of seam allowance.  Then remove the pins.  For the long time seamstress – you know what to do.

Once the piece is sewn together I had a tube of white material.  Flip it inside out so that the seam is on the bottom and wrap it around whoever’s chest it is that will be wearing the bandeau.  Since the real Acacia was still out and about with Loverboy I wrapped mine around Acacia2 to see if I had measured right and got it wide enough to cover any escaping boobage.  Well, good ol’ Acacia2 spared me, my material was okay and my size was alright.  I think it could have been maybe an inch or so wider but it was okay.

body4

If you like a simple white (or whatever color) bandeau you could stop there, sew up the back and call it finished but if you want to know how to make this a bow bandeau then read more of my nonesense.  (I do appreciate it when you read my nonesense btw)

One simple way of adding a bow to this bandeau is to take the leftover swatch of white knit fabric that we cut off and tie it into a bow on the front like this..

white_bow1

After step 4 in the above mini-pictorial tutorial you just fluff a bit and you end up with this:

white_bow2

To make a bow like the one on the etsy store you need to cut your stars and stripes  fabric into rectangles. For my daughter’s chest size I cut my fabric to 15 inches by 13 inches or 15″X13″.  To determine what your measurements will be you will need to measure from the center of your chest  (towards your armpit) to where you want the bow edge to be.  For my daughter this was 7 inches.  I doubled that and then gave myself again 1 inch for seam allowance so thus my width at 15″.  the same applies for the height of the bow.  Here’s what mine looked like:

stars1

You will need to cut both pieces of your bow fabric this way.  Once you have them cut to size you will fold them in half, lengthwise with right sides together like such:

stars2

Just like we pinned the white bandeau fabric together we need to make sure we pin along the edges of our folded bow material.  Once it’s pinned sew it together and flip the insides out again so that we have the following.stars3

If you look very closely at that photo you will see that the seam runs down the length of the center of the fabric.  That’s because when we fold our bow we don’t want heavy, bulky, ugly seams to show, so we hide them inside the middle.

Next you’re going to need to fold your fabric in half again but this time you won’t be folding it lengthwise and you need to make sure that the seam you see in that photo is on the OUTSIDE when you fold it.  look at the next photo to see what I mean.

stars4

 

Now sew along that edge this edge:

stars5

 

 

stars6

 

Flip it back inside out.  Do this for both pieces of fabric and you will have two pieces that look like this:

bow1

 

Stack these two bow pieces on top of each other so that the seams are arranged on the ends.

bow2

Sew one end together.  This will create your middle seam.

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Unfold your newly sewn pieces and you should have one large tube with stripes on one side and stars on the other.  Use your fingers and thumb and pinch the center together tightly so that it looks like a bow.  Using a sewing needle (the hand kind, not the machine kind) sew the center together .  The easiest way to do this is to shove the needle right up the center of all that bunched up fabric and pull tight.  Still holding the center pinched between your fingers wrap the thread -with the needle still intact – around the pinched center.  Wrap around and around about 10 times and then tie it off with the needle.

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Now that you have the bow made somebody has to put the bandeau back on so we can figure out placement.  By this time Loverboy brought Acacia home so I made her stay put for fittings.  I had her put the bandeau on and hold the bow where she wanted it to be.  I pinned both sides of the bow in place.

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I sewed the sides down so that the center of the bow hung freely for the moment.  A quick note here – when you sew the sides of your bow down be sure not to sew through all the layers of fabric because then your bow will look funky!  Your bow should be hollow so even though it takes some maneuvering and cussing you should be able to get just the inside layers onto your sewing machine.  If you are following this tutorial and hand sewing then you should have no problems hiding your stitches.  Sew both sides down and then it’s time to work on the center.

I used leftover white knit fabric for the center of my bow.  You can use leftover stars or striped material or whatever you chose.  Simple hold the pinched bow in place and tie your fabric around the center of the bow being sure to tie it around the bandeau and the bow.  Tuck your knot inside and all should be secured.  this is what the inside of your center should look like.

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Once you have your bow in place the last thing you need to do is close up the back.  simply sew a straight seam right down the back.  My daughter expressed a serious dislike of the seam down the back and when I make another one of these I will be sure to spin the bandeau around so that the seam is either in the front hidden by my center piece or under the arms but for a quick project at the last minute, sewing it down the center served its purpose.   Here’s what the completed bow bandeau looked like.

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bow9

That’s Acacia.  Didn’t I tell you she has an awesome figure?  Yeah, well, she’s almost 19 so pfft.  Anyhow, Acacia felt very naked in this little top because she’s not accustomed to running around in public like that.  Inside the house is a different story but anyhow, she asked me to make it again only this time with a bigger bow and tails.   Normally Acacia would wear something like this over her bathing suit but its summer and she always wears something cute for the 4th of July.  She celebrates it with fashion LOL!  I have to say I like the first version better but if she feels more covered up by the second version then so be it, who am I to enforce nudity?  Here’s the second version with tails.

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We didn’t want to waste the first bow so I folded it in half again and made a smaller bow that she stuck on the back of her belt loop.

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And then she begged for me to make one more piece.  She just had to have a matching headband so in about 15 minutes I whipped up this elastic headband with the rest of the red striped fabric.  I’ll write a tutorial for that another day.

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How to Get Your Kids Off Your Couch and Out The Door

I have the easiest way to get your kids off your couch and out the door.  This works on teens and older.  You could use it on younger ones but you’d have to be less explicit and arrange caouch2for their care first.  With older kids you can say whatever it takes to get the job done.

One afternoon I found out that our youngest adult child was getting ready to go out with her older sister for the day and didn’t plan on returning until the next day so my husband and I decided we wanted to spend it relaxing and hanging out, watching movies, snacking, catching a buzz…naked.  We do that, we like to run around the house naked when its just us.

We went about our day while we waited for her to leave and it seemed like it was taking forever.  Finally my other daughter arrived to pick her up and we thought they’d take off pretty quick but as it turns out us old people, the parents, must be fun to be around because we couldn’t get rid of either of the girls.  They turned on the tv, got a snack, played with their hair in the mirror for an hour and just kept lagging behind.  Finally tired of waiting for them to get the hell out of my house I turned to my beautiful daughters and we had a conversation that went something like this:

Me:  Are you 2 still here?  What’s taking so long?

Them: Nuthing.  Just hanging out.

Me: Get out.

Them: Mom!!  (lots of sighs and eyeball rolling began)

Me: I’m serious.  Get out.  I love you but I have plans so I’m kicking you out.

Them: Alright, alright.  Geez mom.  (Now they started shoving crap in drawers.  A mess I will have to clean later)

Me: Dad and I have plans. We wanna run around naked.

Them: ewwww.  Mom!!  (they are now urgently throwing shit in drawers and grabbing purses and car keys)  That’s really gross mom.  We don’t wanna know what you 2 are doing when we aren’t here.

Me: We’re married.  We’re allowed to be nekkid.  Now get before I start stripping and you know I will.

Them: (Heinous laughter and cackling is coming from them as they zip down the hallway) We know you will!  (they ran out the door in a puff of perfume) We don’t wanna see your butt.  We’re leaving!

I have to tell you this trick really does work.  I’ve used it many many times.  If they act like they don’t believe you then just start stripping and I guarantee you they will make plans to get off your couch and out the door super quick!

It works every time.

 

The Boomerang Daughter

boomerangIts not uncommon in this day and age to hear about a twenty-something moving back in with their parents because they can’t afford to pay for rent and utilities on their own.   Businesses are working these young adults in short 3 hour shifts and only giving them a few measly hours each week; not enough to sustain themselves.  As an empty nesting mom on the cusp of rediscovering life without kids the last thing I want is for one of my kids to struggle so hard they have no other choice but to boomerang back through my front door.

One of my daughters has been having this exact struggle for a few months now and I have anticipated that she very well may darken my door with bags in hand.  Of course I would never turn my own flesh and blood away; I’m always happy to see them and hug them and send them home…to their own home where they throw their towels on the floor, grow mold in cups of forgotten fluid on the coffee table and leave pizza crust on the couch.

My husband and I have discussed at length what this will mean for us and our plans for new adventures and we have decided on a clear set of things we will and will not allow to take place in our home while we are there or while we are away.    We realize that it shouldn’t stop our plans to enjoy life and it while it doesn’t bring things to a screeching halt, it does delay things some.

I wonder sometimes about other parents and how they handle the issues that come with having grown kids.  We have friends who’s adult children live at home with them and we often talk about the difference between a home with a full family of grown adults vs our empty nest.

How’s things been for you since your kids grew up and became young adults?

Can I Make $100 A Day at Bubblews.com?

Do you want to know how to earn money working from home?  You probably found this blog post after seeing an advertisement that asked you that very question.  Working from home is a popular search term especially with the job market the way it is right now.  I am always looking for way ways to earn cash online and I have successfully found a few.  When I do find a legitimate source of work on  the internet I post about it.

bubblewsIf you’re looking to make some extra money being a stay at home mom/dad working at home on the internet you may have heard about a web site called Bubblews.   It is very reminiscent of when Cha Cha first opened up offering quick cash to those that got in on the ground floor.  There is money to be had but it is not as it first appears.

Right off the bat, the answer to the question “Can I make $100 a day on Bubbews.com?”  is no.  How about in the long term?  It is absolutely possible.

I have a group of friends who have been testing out the Bubblews.com platform and have been succeeding so I thought I would toss my hat in the ring and check it out.  I issued myself a personal challenge to see if I could make $100 a day.  With family and friends cheering me on I came up with a battle plan and the next morning I started my challenge with the intention of working one full 8 hour shift.  Here’s how it went.

Bubblews has a cap of 10 posts per day but there is no cap on liking, disliking, commenting and connecting so I worked out a schedule of what times of the day I would post and how much time I would spend on the social aspects.

My plan for the social aspect was to click on the posts of 10 other people and open all 10 in my browser at once.  I quickly read each post and then went back and liked each of the posts.  Then I facebooked them, then g+ and then twitter and so on until I had done all the social activity I could for each of those 10 posts.  Then I went back and connected with each of those posters and commented on their profile page.  Often times I would peruse their profiles for interesting posts and read a couple.  I limited myself to 3 posts per person so  I could reach more people.  Once I had all 10 I closed those browser windows and started another 10.  When my schedule called for me to post I stopped the social activity and posted real quick then went back to my social routine.  Yes it did get boring and yes at times I wanted to just say forget about it.  But I didn’t.

I need to mention one quick thing I learned about the facebook feature on Bubblews.  The Facebook like reccomendation button doesn’t post to your newsfeed.  It will only show up on your timeline.  I used the facebook button on the bubblews site to get credit for the activity but posts I really wanted to share, I copied and pasted the url directly into facebook status update box and shared it that way.

All in all this is what my schedule looked like.  When I completed each task I crossed it off.  My copy is handwritten on notebook paper.

8 – 8:30 a.m. – Post 1

8:30-9 –socialize

9 – 9:30 – Post 2

9:30 – 10 – Post 3

10 – 10:10:30 – socialize

10:30 – 11 – Post 4

11 – 11:30 – Post 5

11:30 – 12 – Lunch

12 – 12:30 – Post 6

12:30 – 1:30 – socialize

1:30 – 2 – Post 7

2 – 2:30 – socialize

2:30 – 3 – Post 8

3 – 3:30 – socialize

3:30 – 4 – Post 9

4 – 4:30 – Post 10

4:30 – 5  – Socialize.

Now not only did I have a schedule to follow  but I had also created the titles of all 10 of my posts the night before so when it came time to post all I had to do was quickly write up the posts and go about my business.

Here’s how I did money-wise.  I started my challenge with $6.20 already in The Bank at 8 a.m.  By 11:36 I checked in with The Bank and I had racked up a little money, my total was now $8.89.  woohoo!  Throughout the day I checked in with The Bank and it didn’t take long to realize that it was going to be very difficult to earn $100 in a day.  I just don’t have the connections to get the page views to make that kind of money but I kept plugging for the sake of the challenge.

At the end of the day The Bank was at $11.71.   That comes to a grand total of $5.51 at .68 cents an hour. Shocking isn’t it?    I checked in a couple of times later that evening and when I went to bed The Bank was at $13.34 without activity from me so I “earned” an extra $1.63 without doing anything more.  Keep in mind that my experiment was based on one day of activity and I have not taken the time to build connections and gather readers.

So can you make $100 a day with Bubblews.com?  If you have spent a few months making connections, posting and hobknobbing then yes eventually you CAN build up enough of a following to earn that kind of money but when you first start out just know that you are going to put in full time hours but you will be chasing pennies.  Literally chasing pennies.  If you don’t have pennies coming in from another source then by all means this can be a way for someone new to freelancing to get their feet wet and earn a few dollars.

The real “trick” –  if you want to call it that – is social activity.  Its kind of a popularity contest only you don’t really have to get to know all those people.  Chances are a large portion of the people you connect with will never actually read your post.  Its a job.  You develop a routine for clicking all the buttons, making comments and getting out of there.  The more people you connect with, participate with and interact with the more money you will make.   In the old days, before the internet, (Gasp!  Shut the door!  Before the internet? Pshaw!) we would have called something like Bubblews a pyramid scheme.  It still is really, it’s just that this is how internet pyramid schemes work.  You promote,  particpate, encourage others to do the same and all the while this activity earns you cash.

If you are interesting in giving Bubblews.com a try click on the following link to sign up and get started.  Don’t forget to read the How it works page and get familiar with the terms.

http://www.bubblews.com/?referral=51bb3cf2322f46.06771897

3 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Convertible

I bought a convertible but you probably saw that in one of my other posts.  I’ve learned a lot about owning a convertible in the last few months.  There are things I didn’t think about before I bought my car; things I wish someone would have mentioned.  Things like “you’re daughter might get pooped on by a bird while you are at a stop light.”  Ewww!  Right?  True story, that did happen – to my youngest daughter.  LOL  I didn’t find out about it until we got home and she went straight to the bathroom.  When she came out her head was wet and I questioned, “what happened to your head, kid?”  She laughed and blushed and said, “A bird pooped on my head.”  We both erupted into silly stupid laughter but it was me that had to go out and inspect the car for unforseen bird turd.  I thought that since I didn’t think of these things then other people might not think of these things so I wrote this quick read-along for you.

3 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Convertible

The Top – Hard vs Soft

While this might seem like a question of personal preference I can tell you it is more than that.  A soft top is stored on the car.  It is connected to the car and simply folds back to expose the interior cabin of the car while a hard top has to be physically stored somewhere when it is not in use.  Unlike a soft top, a hard top doesn’t fold back so it can take up a good amount of space if you don’t store it correctly.  There are available tools to help you store your convertible hard top but like anything else those are going to run you some money.  Hoists and pulley systems have to be installed and if you sit the top on the floor of the garage then you won’t be able to park the car in the garage.

When you’re thinking about whether to buy a hard top or a soft top, stop to consider that a soft top is a magnet to vandals and thieves.  Convertibles are attractive anyway but a soft top has the added potential of being stabbed which means higher insurance rates.

One more thing about the top; there’s this whole thing about carefree convenience when It comes to owning a convertible and if there’s one plus to owning a soft top its that if you suddenly decide you want to roll through town topless, you can easily do so whereas with a hard top you have to decide this before you leave home and should an impromptu rain shower strike while you are rolling through town with the top on the garage floor then you are going to get wet.  A weather app for your phone is a must have for convertible owners!

Exposure – The Wind in Your Hair

Ah yes, the reason every convertible owner gives as to why they bought the car; to feel the wind in their hair.  The first time I experienced this feeling I had second thoughts about having a convertible.  That’s a whole lot of air coming at you from all directions.  It’s loud,  it dries out your eyeballs and whips your hair into a rat’s nest in a matter of seconds.  It can be an acquired taste. I recommend that before you buy a convertible test drive one more than a couple of times to see if you can get accustomed to the feeling of driving around without a roof.  There are a few tips and tricks to minimizing the wind but let’s face it;  you are out in the open traveling at a high rate of speed – what do you think its going to be like?    If you are a woman or are in a relationship with a woman that will either ride or drive the convertible then she must know that with the top down the hair goes up.

One last word on being exposed and that is you are going to want sunblock.  For those of us that don’t tan the sunblock will help minimize the amount the sunburn you are going to get and for those that turn into golden brown beach bunnies – shut up!  I mean seriously, shut up, stop rubbing it in, some of us just turn into lobsters.  Also,  being out under the stars on a warm summer night is amazing.

To Cover or Not to Cover

When you own a convertible you have to think about covering it up when there’s no roof to keep leaves from being blown inside or to keep birds from pooping on the seats.  If it’s hot outside then the upholstery is going to be hot and you are going to get burned when you sit on it.  Covers can be found for about $25 and they are UV protective and somewhat water resistant.  They also keep leaves and poop from landing inside the cabin but they do not keep cats from climbing up inside the car.

Boy!  Having a roof is so convenient!  Yes it is.  Know this right now; having a convertible takes work; especially if you don’t have a garage.  When I bought my convertible I kept telling myself there’s a learning curve to having a car with no top and there is; the learning curve comes from taking the simple things for granted.  Of course there’s more to owning a car like this but for starters these are a few of the things I never thought about before I bought my convertible.  I strongly encourage you to talk to the owners of other convertibles and go for rides in them so that when you buy one you know exactly what you are in for.  Otherwise get off the computer and go outside, enjoy going topless.

Oh and Zoon Zoom.

Tapatio vs Tabasco Sauce

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Which One is Your Favorite?
I’m feeling a little spicy today but the flavor of my spice is running pretty specific.   I crave a lighter heat that makes your mouth hot but doesn’t warm your body.  I’ve got a chicken defrosting and I’m planning on making a chicken, hominy soup that has a modest amount of heat to it.  There’s only one problem with my dinner plans, it’s 93 degrees outside today and I’m sunburned from yesterday.  While most people would opt for something cool like watermelon salsa or a cold cut sammy I reach for jalapenos.

What’s all that got to do with Tapatio or Tabasco Sauce?  Well, while I was coming up with my chicken, hominy soup recipe I vaguely remembered a trip to the midwest once where I ate in a diner that had an assortment of condiments in the middle of the table.  That in of itself  is not out of the ordinary.  Most diners have small trays of condiments on them.  What I do remember about it being strange to me was that in place of Tapatio sauce there was a jar of Tabasco sauce.  That in turn, reminded me that growing up I was more accustomed to seeing Tapatio than Tabasco Sauce.   When I was 10
we moved to California where I learned about authentic Mexican food and that Taco Bell was not it! lol  I also learned the difference between the flavors of Tapatio sauce and Tabasco sauce.

As you can see, tonight’s chicken & hominy soup has stirred the pot.  I’m in a pickle, as they say, I have no idea if Tapatio sauce is second nature to me only because I have spent the majority of the years of my life in a place where it is as common in the white man’s refrigerator as ketchup or if I had moved to a different part of the world if I would even eat hot sauce of any kind.

So, help me put this issue to rest.  Vote for which one of these hot sauces you would be most likely to have in your fridge if I looked right now.  Do you have Tapatio or Tabasco sauce?  Which will it be?

Listerine & Shaving Cream Summer Feet Treatment – Does It Really Work?

The Listerine & shaving cream recipe has been all over the internet lately.  I belong to pinterest and I’ve seen it pinned over and over again.  I too pinned it with the intention of giving it at try as soon as I got some Listerine and shaving cream.  I had some generic Target brand mouthwash in the cupboard but I figured if I was going to try out a recipe I should at least do it justice and use the name brand stuff.  Sometimes that makes a difference.

I have scaly feet.  They get dry and they crack like the desert in the height of summer.   I have my regular ritual for dealing with it but I’ll be the first to admit it gets tiresome to put in all that effort 365 days a year so come winter I tend to slap some moisturizer on my lizard-lady skin and cover it up with socks.  I have tried a lot of different things to combat dry feet, things that include Saran Wrap and coffee grounds among things.  But what I’ve found that works consistently is simply soap, water and a good pumice stone.    That doesn’t mean I have given up the hope of ever finding a cure for dried, cracked heels so I’m always up for a good home remedy.

The weather has gotten warm and I’m ready for flip flips but my feet aren’t.  My feet are so cracked they’re cavernous.  I figured this would be a good time to give the listerine & shaving cream recipe a try so I ran to the store and bought mouthwash and shaving cream.  I would have taken pictures of my feet before I started but I got so excited to try this remedy that I forgot until my feet were already stuffed into ziplock baggies.

bagged_feet

Yes my toenails are purple.  It’s time for a change.  I decided if I was going to lay around for 30 minutes with my feet stuffed in bags I’d get all comfy in bed and watch some tv so that’s what I did for 30 minutes.  You could read a book, peruse my blog for other silly things to try or whatever but I recommend that you keep your feet at an angle so that the Listerine will soak the bottoms of your feet.

When the 30 minute timer went off I jump up and hobbled down the hallway to the bathroom where I had a fresh towel and washcloth waiting for me.  I unveiled my feet and I guess I wanted to believe in this remedy so bad I thought that my feet would be beautiful like removing mummy wrappings and finding a beautiful young woman underneath, like old movies.  It didn’t happen.  I hate to say it but this is one busted home remedy.  Not only were my feet every bit as cracked as they were when I started but scrubbing them did not make the dead skin fall off.  Here’s what my feet looked like immediately out of the Listerine.

bagged_feet2

So in the end would I take the time or effort to give this remedy a go again?  Absolutely not.  While my feet smelled minty fresh (which is a plus if you are spending your life with someone who likes to put your feet in their mouth) unless I had a specific fungus or my feet smelled really really bad I wouldn’t bother with this remedy.    My feet feel exactly the same way after a nice, long, hot soak in the tub.

once my feet were dry I gave it a good go with a pumice stone made for feet and applied a bit of lotion.  It’s probably going to take at least 2 more treatments to get my feet looking the way I want them to for the summer but for now, here’s my tootsies after Listerine, shaving cream and a good pumice stone.

bagged_feet3

Paper Mache Alice in Wonderland Cheshire Cat Tea Cup

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Check out my Alice in Wonderland Paper Mache Tea Cup.  I made 3 of them that were able to stack on top of each other.  I also made a saucer for each tea cup.    Here’s the the other cup, 2 saucers and a stand.  Notice the keys hanging from the edge?  Those are scrapbooking embellishments.  All of this is made from simple paper mache.  I used balloons to create my shapes and tin foil and newspaper.  I covered the top Cheshire Cat in duct tape and painted it.  I covered a small urn style vase in tin foil and saran wrap and paper mached it to create the white and red stand below.  I used a simple paper mache glue made by mixing flour and water and I used old newspaper  to make the actual forms.

teacup

An Empty Nest Means I Have Socks!

If you’re a parent then you know that nothing is sacred and that whatever belongs to you will surely be found in your child’s room or possession at some point.  As a mom that most often means you will find your clothes laying on the floor of your daughter’s bedroom and that includes socks.

Ever since my girl’s feet got to be close enough to that same size as mine they started stealing my socks.  I haven’t had my own socks to myself in over 12 years.  Forget having a pair that matches.  I mean look at this pic of my feet.  These are the socks I’m currently wearing because I can assure you that my youngest is wearing the mates to both of these or they are buried in her drawers somewhere.

socks

In 4 months my youngest leaves for college.  She’ll be living there, in the dorms.  I WILL HAVE MY OWN SOCKS!  You have no idea how exciting that thought is. LOL Celebrate that empty nest!

Prom Dresses for Sale

I have prom dresses for sale for cheap.  I have purple, white, hot pink, and 2 different shades of blue.  These dresses have been worn once and are suitable for prom, graduation, various school dances, parties, quinceaneras etc.   I bought 4 of these dresses for my youngest daughter and made one of them.    She’s getting ready to leave for college in a couple of months so we are tying to raise funds for some of her expenses and we figured selling her old dresses would be a good way to bring in a few dollars.

All of these dresses are a size small or a size 2.   My daughter’s measurements are 25 – 27- 27 so while the upper portion of the dresses were always a tad bit large on her, the bottom fit perfectly so if you are larger on top or have boobs then you may have to have alterations done.

My lighting wasn’t great when I took these photos and I’m not a good photographer but the pictures are pretty accurate colorwise. The purple dress is  dark and iridescent that it appears to change color as you move.

The light blue dress was for a different reason; I made it for my daughter’s 8th grade graduation.  she’s 18 and as you can see in the photos she can still fit into it.  That tells you she is tiny so please take that into consideration when you look at that dress.  The flowers along the top of the front and the small bow on the front are pink while the large bow and the mid-center section are white satin. The white bow has clips so that it clips to the dress, it can be worn with or without the bow and it comes with a small shoulder jacket.  the reason I made the jacket was because the school my daughter went to at the time would not allow a dress with straps; they had to have some sort of cap shoulder or sleeve.

If you’re interested in one of these dresses please leave me a message and I’ll email you with shipping and payment information.

I am asking $40 for each dress plus the cost of shipping.

Here are the dresses

Apostolic Pentecostalism; The Cult of Christianity

Photo courtesy of  Franklin Isabell
Photo courtesy of Franklin Isabell

A Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal is a person that believes in speaking in tongues – glossolalia – as proof that a person has received the Holy Ghost. Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals are people who believe in dramatic demonstrations of the Gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy or the interpretation of tongues. Pentecostal Oneness believers reject the concept of the Trinity and are convinced salvation relies upon the literal form of baptism; dunking rather than sprinkling and repentance of one’s sins. People who are not familiar with Oneness Apostolic Pentecostalism may think that the following descriptions are exaggerated and shocking, however the things depicted in this article are indeed accurate as I have witnessed it firsthand. I spent a part of my childhood as a member of this religion because my parents were, and still are, heavily involved in their local Apostolic Pentecostal church. This is my perspective of the methods used in brainwashing new members into the Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal religion and their indoctrination.

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Before I go any further I feel it is important to explain that this article was originally published on Associated Content now known as !Yahoo Voices.  The article received over 100k reads and was retired by !Yahoo.  The topic is still hot so I decided I’d repost it here.  It is open for discussion and I’m not the least bit hurt by any comment you can post.  This article had over 5,000 comments during its duration on the internet and I’d say the consensus as to whether or not I’m bat shit crazy or absolutely correct in this article was split right up the middle.  Just as many people agree with me as disagree with me so join right in and tell me what you think about this article.

 The other thing I feel important to explain is that this article is only referring to one particular group of Pentecostal people and that is the Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal group.  If you believe in the Holy Trinity, come from a Baptist Pentecostal church or some other affiliation of either Pentecostal or Apostolic then I am not specifically talking about you although I will say that there are parts of those religions that also meet some of the upcoming topics I cover in this article.

 For purposes of simplicity from here on I will be referring to this particular group of people as either Apostolics, Pentecostals, Apostolic Pentecostal, their, they’re, it, its, cult, organization or some other moniker that clearly identifies I’m not talking about every single solitary Pentecostal person on the planet.

Without further ado, the remainder of the article…

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 Social Bonds Must Be Severed

One of the things involved in being submerged into the Pentecostal religion is breaking bonds with friends and family. When a new member of the congregation is first converted they are bombed with love, compassion and new friends that tend to leave them estranged from friends and family and oftentimes are unsure as to why.

The reason for the separation is simple; family and friends think the convert is acting weird.  The new convert begins to take on religious jargon and the mentality of the church and in their enthusiasm overuse it. The convert is being taught to represent God in everything they do by using phrases like “Praise God” and “The Holy Ghost checked me.” Most people find this to be a bizarre way of talking outside of church.

Pretty soon the convert begins to push this new found religion on others. Typically the family reacts and tries to pull them back into the family fold and to turn the convert away from their new church and in turn the convert believes the family simply can not “see the truth.” At this point the convert will discuss this problem with other church members and may even testify in church about the resistance they have encountered. Church Elders will advise the convert to preach and teach and continue to behave the way they have been in an effort to convert those that have resisted.

The cycle continues until the convert becomes a pest, totally convinced that the devil has a hold on the minds of anyone that does not see the truth.  Church friends will instruct the convert that their family and friends have rejected the truth and separation is best because the Bible cautions us against socializing with the sinner.  From that moment on the bonds that keep families together will be broken because there will no longer be any commonality between them.

The new Pentecostal convert may become lonely, but never fear the congregation is near. This babe in Christ, as they are often called, will jump promiscuously into friendships in the church without taking the time to find out about the members of the congregation and many of these people have led lives of crime and drugs or worse. In the Pentecostal religion the bigger the reason you were saved, the better.  They brag about how bad their life was before they were converted.

The convert is taught not to worry about a Church member’s past because all their sins were previously washed away which makes them immediately trustworthy.  Of course that is not how they explain it but that is exactly what happens.  They put so much emphasis on how good someone becomes once they are saved that any entertaining any negative ideas about the church congregation is simply not going to happen.  Thus the convert will endeavor to build a new safety net of friends and claim the other church members as family which then makes it near impossible for the convert to just walk away.

To leave the church is to be cut off from this “brothers and sisters in Christ” idea.   Separation from the church can be devastating to a member who no longer has other family or friends as a support group.

Proper Church Procedure;  What Every Good Pentecostal Knows

Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals can be more easily spotted than their Trinitarian counterparts. They purposely have a precise way of being viewed by the outside world. They endeavor to separate themselves physically from the rest of the world in order to be seen for the church they represent. All Apostolics are trained right from the start to alter the way they dress. Women are warned away from wearing pants, jewelry of any kind, including watches and wedding bands, sleeves must reach half way between the elbow and wrist, make up is a no no and skin is off limits. Men are not allowed to wear shorts, jewelry or have long hair; their sleeves must be the same lengths as the women’s.  These rules also apply to children.

Rock and Roll music (this constitutes any music not played on the local Christian radio station and even some of that is off limits if it has too fast of a beat) is of the devil. It is not allowed in any form in the home, car or church. Any music that makes the body want to move in wantonness is considered soul threatening.  Church music, choir music, music performed in church and music performed by Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal churches is acceptable so long as it does not have a “beat.”

Sitting on the front pews as close to the pulpit is a requirement that is never stated or said but merely understood. The closer to the front of the church a member sits, the Godlier they are considered. Pentecostals will leave items on the pews or in chairs to mark their seat; this is done throughout the week. Sitting in the back of the church is a clear indication of being a backslider and heavy prayer is ignited instantly.

If one is to survive in his or her local Apostolic church, emulating the Pastor and his family is a must. This is also considered to be another sign of holiness. The more recognized by the Pastor the holier the church goer is.

Sensory Overload – It’s all about Hypnosis

There are two things that All Pentecostal churches use to manipulate and influence people with; sensory overload and expected response. When a person is blindsided by something that they have no time to prepare for, their instincts takes over and they react.

For example, when a sales person rapidly spews facts about a product at you, they are overloading you with information using things like the pitch of their voice and hand gestures. They are attacking your sense of hearing and seeing. Normally a person can not process all this information at a high speed; the one thing that can is the emotional response mechanism. Music is how they use this technique to create sensory overload.

Loud music with the right chord progressions causes the rational part of the brain to shut down.  Pentecostal musicians are masters at manipulating the energy of the congregations.  They play to the crowd just the same way any musician performing does; to help lower normal rational functioning long enough to stimulate a person to high levels of emotion. Simply put they are provoking emotion. Let’s face it, it’s easier for people to accept religious persuasion when accompanied by emotional music. The resonance of the music makes it feel tangible, real, and powerful.

Another technique of sensory overload is shouting. Apostolic Pentecostal Preachers are known for shouting their messages. This makes it unavoidable to a person’s consciousness. As the person shouts over the loudspeaker, the high state of sensory focus and overload imprints the message in one’s mind. During emotional releases in this kind of environment, it is easy to truly feel changed. This change is nothing other than a state of hypnosis.

The rational faculty shuts down for a moment, emotions soar to the highest levels and the person is left feeling liberated. The rational faculty is part of our brain that is designed to protect us from being emotionally controlled and that gets stopped from happening. Losing the ability to use rational, Pentecostals often lose control, run around, shouting and speaking in tongues as they climax in a state of ecstasy.

Once someone accepts this emotional state as evidence of Religious Truth, they are open to emotional manipulation and control. A person can eventually become a slave to this kind of emotional manipulation.

All of this is learned through the process of feedback. Positive and negative feedback are not rational instructions, but emotional responses to one’s actions. Sometimes there is childish glee, shouting, hugs, big smiles, and back patting for positive feedback received from the congregation and more importantly the preachers and pastors, and frowns, strange stares, and social estrangement for negative feedback from these same people. The particulars of feedback can vary from place to place, but the power of such conditioning is enormous in Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal churches. Churches manipulate people using emotional feedback because most people seeking religion are seeking feedback that they are okay.

Many Preachers like to say that they used to dance with the Devil, but now they dance with the Lord. This statement is a little revealing. Church has become their dope. In traditional Christian churches emotional restraint and self-control are a regularly taught lesson but in an Apostolic Pentecostal church acts of wild behavior are condoned, emotional ejaculation is encouraged.

Divine Authority

The term “authority” suggests an author, as in, what did he write? Most religious organizations require serious study before granting a minister his license – sometimes from four to eight years in seminary. Many Pentecostal sects do not require anything in the way of qualifications. Full institutional credentials are not necessary for pastoral duties, only the skill of verbal communication and a working knowledge of how to make the books look legal.

The idea that a church should be ran like the military with a commander at the top, lieutenants and generals guiding the ranks is a dangerous concept. In such a system, it doesn’t take long to realize that questioning the chain of command isn’t taken lightly. In a Pentecostal church questioning the chain of command is considered rebellion. It says it right in The Bible, they will argue.

If a board member asks a pastor to quit teaching on certain things this would be rebellion against someone higher than him in the “established leadership” of the church. Whatever the Pastor says goes because he has been marked as an official “man of God.”

The entire Apostolic Pentecostal movement is a fraud that drains the life out of people. Children go to bed at night crying because they are not allowed to live life like other children. Kids are labeled rebellious and are beaten because they don’t live up to the churches standard of holiness. Women are taken from their natural inclinations to make themselves up to being a plain person that becomes void of will and spirit. Men become emotionally manipulative because they are taught their wives are beneath them. Some will go on, read this, and still refuse to accept the Truth about the Apostolic Pentecostal way of life because it does not compute – it cannot be – not according to their Pastor.

 

How To Make Your Own Rhinestone iPhone Case

Everyone wants a personalized iPhone case.  I’ve seen Hello Kitty designs, Music Notes, Skulls, Monograms, Cupcakes, you name it.  Since I work at a craft store I see a lot of people buying gems and glue and heat tools and resin and all sorts of supplies so they can bling up their cell phone case.  I figured  it would be fairly easy so I designed my own case and for about $10 I made my own awesome and shiny bejeweled iPhone case.   I used a metal Bookmark charm in the shape of the letter K and a package of metal flowers that had clear rhinestone centers, a green acrylic 4 leaf clover and a sprinkle of tiny 2mm green rhinestones as well as a ton of clear flatback rhinestones to design my case.   I love the sparkle of the clear rhinestones and it looks amazing with a handful of green sparkles amidst the clear.   Here’s what mine looks like and how I made it.

 

 

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DIY Instructions: BeJeweled Cell Phone Case

Summary: Easy steps to adding jewels, gems and bling to your cell phone case

Supplies Needed

  • A few thousand 5mm flatback crystal gems
  • Assortment of gems, jewels, flatback resin pieces, jewlery charms etc.
  • E6000 Glue
  • 1 Silicon or hard plastic cell phone case
  • 1 wooden skewer
  • 1 Q-tip

Instructions

  1. Before you start gluing things to your sell phone case take the time to design your case and sketch it out. Your sketch doesn’t have to be a Picasso it just has to somewhat resemble what your case will look like. I free-handed mine and placed everything as I went along but I found that if you want a particular style like a skull and crossbones then you have to plan for the placement of each gem because boys and girls,  we will be laying down each and every gem by hand.
  2. Once you have your design finished set your supplies up in front of you because you will be spending some time in the same position.  Having your supplies at your fingertips makes the process faster.
  3. Have a paper plate in front of you so that you can rest your skewer on it and drop any loose gems on it. It also gives you something to wipe excess glue on.
  4. Cut your wooden skewer in two. One half should come with a pointed end, use scissors to trim the tip of the other half into a point. Now you have two wooden skewers.
  5. Squeeze a dollop of E600 onto the paperplate and immediately plug the tube with the Q-tip. This will keep your E600 from drying up on you. Air is what sets the glue up.
  6. Drag the pointed tip of only 1 wooden skewer through the dollop of E600. Wipe off the excess onto the paper plate. Allow skewer to sit until the adhesive begins to set and the tip is sticky to the touch or slightly tacky.
  7. Remove the Q-tip from the tube of E600 and gently squeeze the tube until you can see the glue coming out but it does not drip out. dip the 2nd wooden skewer into the glue oozing out of the E600 tube and rub it off onto the cell phone case. Immediately re-plug tube with Q-tip.
  8. *Tip – you must work quickly because E600 sets very quickly.
  9. Going back to the first wooden skewer that is tacky, press the tacky pointed end onto the top of one of your gems. It should be tacky enough to pick up the gem. Place the gem into the E600 you rubbed onto the cell phone case. Press and hold for a few seconds. The gem should stay put and be set in place.
  10. Continue applying gems, jewels, resin flatbacks and other jewelry design elements until you have achieve the look you are after.

Quick notes

You can order 3,000 gems from China on eBay for about $3 with free shipping. You’ll need at least a minimum of 1 set to completely cover your case like I did mine.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Production time:  It took me 2 days to place every single gem on my case.

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)