Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sometimes Life Is Uninteresting

I wish I had something very exciting to write about today; but, alas, I do not. The weekdays are rather boring and routine which doesn't provide great blogging material. This morning I went to the eye doctor for the third week in a row. The doctor and I had some trouble getting my prescription right. After eight years of the same prescription, I knew there would be a big change this go around and I was right. The first shot at my new prescription was unsuccessful, but we got it right on the second visit and on the third visit, I finally got to order some new glasses and contacts. Needless to say, I'm a wee bit poorer this afternoon than I was this morning. 

Thursday afternoon I head to see the orthopedist. I have probably mentioned at some point that I've been having trouble with my left knee. Back in July, I was working out with my favorite trainer Josh and went to do a squat and ended up yelling out in pain because of my knee. I've been hoping against hope that the pain would miraculously disappear but it has not and so I'm off to the orthopedist this week. I have no idea what he's going to tell me but I fear it won't be good. Mostly I've just got my fingers crossed for a diagnosis because knowing the problem is a lot better than not knowing. 
Speaking of my favorite trainer Josh, he has a blog and I promised him an eternity ago that I would share it with you all and I have failed to do that...until now! So, when you get a chance, check out JD the PT and leave him a comment or two. 

In other completely random news, people keep mentioning the fall weather and I think they've all gone mad. The last time I checked, fall weather was temperatures in the 60s, not the 80s. When there's a briskness in the air and I need a sweatshirt at a football game then, my friends, fall has arrived. Until then, we're continuing to experience a mild summer. If I'm sweating under the heat of the sun, it's not fall. 

I saw on the world wide web today that Birmingham is getting Alabama's first Trader Joe's. I'm jealous. That's all. 

Usually by this time of the year I am deep into my Christmas shopping and close to being done or at least I know most of what I'm getting everyone. This year, not so much. I'm struggling with trying to find some Christmas cheer in which to get going on the presents. I have bought a handful of things, but am not nearly as far along as I would like to be. Oddly enough, I'm almost finished with my mom's Christmas and she is the one who I usually have the most difficult time buying for. This year, however, I'm treating her to dinner and a James Taylor concert in Nashville and so that is taking up the majority of her Christmas allotment. We are both looking forward to spending some time together and enjoying a good show. 

I'm still on the lookout for a Diet Coke with my name on it so if you see a "Natasha" bottle, grab it for me. 

That's all the rambling I'm going to do for now. Have a good Wednesday evening and/or Thursday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Redbook L'Oreal House Party

Recently, I was selected to host a House Party for Redbook and L'Oreal. The party was this past Monday night, and nine of my favorite friends were in attendance for a night of food, fun and laughter. 

The party started at 6:00 p.m. and we kicked things off with, what else, food. I cooked a plethora of snack foods including a cheese ball, chicken ball, spinach dip, tea cakes and other goodies. The food was good if I do say so myself and I think everyone enjoyed it. 

During the party, two brave souls sampled the L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Eye Smoother. Erika and Leah agreed to let me take before and after pictures of their eyes. Sadly, I didn't get an after photo of Leah. I did, however, give the product a try myself the next night and have posted a before and after of me and Erika here. I'm not sure if you can tell or not, but the product works well. I even had some people text me the next day saying they tried it at home and that it worked and they liked it. 

During the party we all also received a full sized lip balm as well as more samples from L'Oreal which included shampoo and conditioner, and Revitalift Miracle Blur for the face. One of the best things we all received was a free one-year subscription to Redbook. I also sent the girls home with cards to give a friend for a subscription. Since I had a few cards left over, I also sent a subscription to my mom and my Aunt Linda. I think everyone will really enjoy the magazine. 

I actually have two free subscriptions left to pass out. So, if you are interested in a free one-year Redbook subscription, leave a comment and let me know and I'll see about sending one your way. If I get more than two comments requesting a subscription, I'll use random,org, otherwise, I'll contact you to get your mailing information. 

The Redbook L'Oreal House Party was a super fun night for me and my friends. A big thanks to all the sponsors, House Party, Redbook and L'Oreal for providing us with a fun excuse to get together and have some fun! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Slightest Hint of Fall

A cold front supposedly rolled through Northern Alabama on Thursday night/Friday morning and I was excited to wear jeans to the football game on Friday night. It's the little things, y'all. I left work early Friday to take The Pip to the vet as it was time for her annual shots. There is one girl at the front desk who always remembers Pippa and I really like that about this vet's office (although there are other things I'm not keen about). Pippa is "affectionately" known as "Wild Child" by the doctor that we see. She was very skittish when I took her in this time. I think she is afraid I'm going to leave her there. Clearly boarding her there during my trip to Hawaii was a very traumatizing experience because she hid behind me each time the doctor or his assistant came into the room. 

I had Dr. C. look at her paws which have been red and on which she has been gnawing. The last time I had her nails trimmed the girl told me she though The Pip probably had some allergy problems and it turned out to be true. She was put on Prednisone for the week to clear up the allergies and then she goes on Benedryl. I paid the outrageous bill (thanks to buying a years supply of heartworm medicine) and we were on our way. 

My dad came around 6: 15 p.m. or so to pick me up for the Friday night MA game; but, alas, the aforementioned "cold front" that came through wasn't so cold and I was back in shorts for another warm Friday night at the stadium. The game was supremely boring as MA was up 50-0 at the half and we left after the homecoming queen was announced. Sadly, the gal we were rooting for didn't win. 

On Saturday morning, I was up bright and early to start the day and the cleaning of the house. I had an appointment to take my car to the dealership at 9:15 a.m. The week before, I had taken the car in to be diagnosed and the result was that the left wheel bearing needed to be replaced. So, the part was ordered and I took it in to be repaired. I caught a ride home thanks to Billy and the shuttle service offered by the dealership. I watched some football and did some more cleaning before finding out the car would be ready around 2:00 p.m. Billy picked me up and took me back to the dealership to pick up my car. 
Before leaving, I went and checked in with Justin who was working. Sadly, they weren't selling many cars. I'm guessing football Saturdays in the South is not a good time for car salesmen.

I made it back home an hour or so before the Alabama kick-off and spend the rest of the evening watching football and tending to The Pip. Prednisone makes her kind of lethargic and mopey. So she wasn't too wild and rambunctious over the weekend. That evening, I did open the windows of the house for a while. My neighbors had an outdoor fire, I had football on TV and there was a slight breeze in the air. It was the slightest hint of fall, a tease of the good weather to come. 

Sunday morning was the usual trip to church and then the grocery store and then home for lunch and I did some cooking in the afternoon for a get together I'm hosting Monday night. That afternoon, I rode back to church with Paul and Leah for the Huddles kick-off for the 2014-15 school year. Huddles is a program we have at church with the youth kids. Since our youth group is so large, designated adults are Huddles leaders to help develop closer relationships with the kids and help to insure that no kids fall through the cracks. I'm a 9th grade leader and Paul and Leah have 11th grade. This is my first year helping out and I think it's going to be a lot of fun and and interesting experience. Huddles meets once a month for a time of fellowship and a devotional. I'm looking forward to seeing what this year brings.

Needless to say, it was a rather busy weekend as most fall weekends are. I'm definitely looking forward to cooler weather and bringing our the long sleeve shirts, hot chocolate, and cider. There's no better time of year!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

And The Winner Is...

I'm a day late posting the winner; so, I guess I should say sorry about that. Hopefully it was worth the wait for Comment #2, Candy, who is the winner of the most recent book giveaway. Congrats, Candy! I know your JC will love this book!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Tour of LST 235

This past Saturday morning, my dad and I ventured over to Decatur to tour LST 325, a Navy boat that landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in World War II. The boat is the only operational vehicle remaining from WWII; there are other vehicles from this time period around, but they are non-operational. The boat was docked in Ingalls Harbor in Decatur from Thursday, September 4 - Tuesday, September 9.

The tours began at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and we arrived around 8:40 a.m. There were already quite a few folks in line when we got there. A gentleman who served in WWII on a battleship was in line behind us. He served the country in the waters of the northern Pacific ocean and never actually saw battle, which I'd say was very good luck for him. 

The folks working on the boat actually started letting us in a few minutes before nine. The cost was $10 for adults and $5 for children, all of which go to the restoration of the boat, which is now called a memorial. The lower deck where we entered had various radios, equipment and uniforms used by soldiers on display. They also had a Jeep from the era which also happened to be used on the show MASH. They had replicas of the sand tables which the soldiers studied so they would know the lay of the land without (in theory) needing a map. Along the railing as you entered as well as in other places throughout the boat were pictures of the boat in action and sailors who served, I thought all of these were very interesting. 

The other decks included the places where the sailors would have slept and also the barracks where the army guys would have slept if the boat was transporting them somewhere. We walked past the kitchen and the captains quarters and also the wheelhouse. The tour lasted about an hour, maybe a little less and covered all decks of the ship. We even got to try our hand at what it would be like to work one of the guns on the top deck. There were lots of people in line to get in when we wrapped up our tour. I was glad to see so many people come out to see this old war boat. It was a very interesting tour and it was great that we were able to experience this little bit of American history before it left the shores of Northern Alabama. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Tervis Tumbler

I have to share with y'all a story of great customer service. It has to do with y very first and favorite Tervis Tumbler. Tervis is a brand of double walled tumblers that I'm sure you've seen in stores and in the hands of your friends and family members. They keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold and they are just generally all around great. They also come with a lifetime warranty. If your Tervis stops working, gets a crack, etc. they will replace it free of charge. 

I purchased my first Tervis at the 93rd PGA Championship in Atlanta back in 2011. It was the only souvenir I purchased from the tournament and I have used that Tervis more times than I can count. A few months ago, I noticed that there was water between the two walls of my tumbler. I  was so sad about ti because it is my favorite Tervis and has great memories for me and I didn't want to have to throw it out. I knew about the lifetime warranty, but didn't want a replacement, I wanted a new tumbler with the PGA Championship logo in it. 

Finally, last month, I contacted Tervis to see if they could take the emblem out of my Tervis and put it in a new one and what do you know, they could! I filled out a return form, mailed it to them in a bubble envelope and about three weeks later, my new and improved Tervis arrived in the mail. They were able to take out the emblem and put it in a new tumbler and I didn't have to pay one penny. 

I'm so glad to have my favorite Tervis back in action looking as good as new. If you have ever thought about purchasing a Tervis but were concerned about paying a high price for the tumbler, do it. The customer service alone if worth the price. I have been and will continue to be a repeat customer. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: The Desperate Diva Diaries

~~ This Giveaway is now Closed ~~

Today's book review is of a delightful book for the tween in your life. It's the first book in a series called "The Desperate Diva Diaries" . This particular book is subtitiled: "Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters!" It is written by Angie Spady and illustrated by Channing Everidge. Here's a blurb about the book and series...

"Meet Catie Conrad – a typical tween Christian girl with, oh, the weight of the world on her shoulders. And if it isn’t bad enough – no one seems to understand the social pressures of being the greatest at everything, donning the latest fashion and carrying the trendiest technology Catie’s dad is about to uproot her and her family to an Indian reservation during spring break for his job. Throw in a school dance, a major art contest and an arch nemesis known only as Miranda Maroni and there’s bound to be an epic meltdown of biblical proportions. Or, maybe not.

The first book in a new series titled "Desperate Diva Diaries," "Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters," chronicles both the small triumphs and general mishaps of sixth-grade Christian want-to-be diva Catie Conrad. While her Christian journalist father is often a co-conspirator to making Catie’s life interesting with mission trips and church projects, Catie never ceases to realize God’s hand in all situations."

There are so many things I love about this book. First, it's written like a diary, which is perfect for tween girls. At the beginning of the book, Catie is not even remotely thrilled about receiving a diary from her dad; but, as you might expect, by the end of the book, she really is enjoying writing in the diary, even though she may not say it in so many words. I also love that in addition to the actual words of the diary, there are also great illustrations. It seriously looks like something you might actually see in a young girls' diary. I love also that there is humor throughout the pages. As someone who loves to laugh and deals with most of life in some form of laughter, I can truly appreciate Catie's humor, especially when it is a little sarcastic. What I love most though, is that no matter the situation Catie encounters, she always sees that God is helping/has helped her through the situation through the love and support of her family, friends, and teachers. She knows God is watching over her and will get her through her difficult middle school dramas. 

"The Desperate Diva Diaries" is perfect for the tween girl in your life. I know a few tween gals who I think would love this book. I have no doubt I would have loved it as a pre-teen girl. It's so great that someone has written a book geared towards young girls which helps them understand God's hand is on every aspect of our lives. If you are interested in receiving a copy of this book, simply leave a comment on this post. The giveaway will be opened until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 12 and the winner will be announced on Saturday, September 13. 

Thanks for reading and good luck!