Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Five Favorites

I know that date stamp on my last post is wrong.  There is no way my last post was last month when this month is more than half finished already.  I've posted a dozen times in my mind, but I guess it only counts if you actually type the words and press "publish," huh?

Oh well, that's why blog memes were invented: a painless way to leave completely-mental-posting behind.  And with teacher conferences, rampant bronchitis, a family wedding, and one totally crazy baby, you better believe I am treading heavily on the completely mental side of things.

So I'll be all Scarlett-like and post about those things tomorrow.  Today, it is time for my current favorite things!


Every late fall/winter, my hands start to suffer.  I know it's because they are constantly exposed to water and cold air, but the skin on my hands turns bright red, cracks, and bleeds.

I know I'm not alone in this age-old affliction, and for years I tried every salve, cream, and lotion available for purchase.  My hands were so lubed up that I couldn't turn a door knob and children were slipping out of my grip like greased pigs.

This is my favorite, hands-down (see what I did there?):

It is basically whipped vaseline, so you get the water-repelling effects of Vaseline with the creaminess of a lotion.  It works fast.  Overnight kind of fast.  And it is cheaper than most of the other hand lotions.


Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Counter Spray in cranberry scent.

I am slightly obsessed with kitchen counter sprays.  I am constantly wiping down the kitchen and dining room table, and I need something that smells nice but is not too chemically poisonous.  Plus, I like the scent to coordinate with the season.  I don't want to be smelling lilacs in November.

This is my favorite Mrs. Meyer's scent so far.  It just smells like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is so good that even Rob noticed when he was wiping the table after dinner.  I've had to restrain myself from putting a little spritz on my wrists before I go out.


Shutterfly, you are my bosom buddy this time of year.  And I know that everyone knows about it already, but I have to say how much I love it anyway.

I love Christmas cards, and I love making our family Christmas card.  I do not love trying to get all 7 children in the same camera frame.  I'm not even sure it's actually possible.

So I pick my favorite pictures of the kids, give all of them an artsy-fartsy filter, click them into the template and bam, I'm back to drinking eggnog instead of saying "Look at Mommy!" one more time.

Plus, I think you get a lot of bang for your buck with the folded cards.  I know they are slightly more expensive, but on most of them you can put pictures on the front, inside, and back of the card.

Or you can switch it up with a text block on the inside. If you are not like me and you are a pithy writer you can fit your whole Christmas letter inside the card!

And they always have great deals or free shipping or free shipping AND great deals at this time of year.


I've been reading two books concurrently, which I almost never do because I am easily distracted and confused.  I like to devote myself to one book at a time.  I'm a monogamous reader.

So I started the new pick for my book club, but then another book that I really wanted to read came out and I started that as well.  Both of them are good . . . but don't tell the first book.

My book club selection is "The Fault in Our Stars," by John Green.  I don't want to give too much away, but it is about teenage cancer patients who meet in a cancer support group and fall in love.  It is written in the voice of a teen, which I find is very tricky for adults to make sound authentic.  Green does it beautifully.

The second book is "The Sinner's Guide to NFP," by Simcha Fisher.  If you are a frequenter of the Catholic blogosphere, then I am sure you've heard of Simcha.  Her writing pops up just about everywhere.

I love this book, mostly because I have a fierce love/hate relationship with NFP.   I love it because it is in accordance with the Church's teachings.  I hate everything else about it.  I know that there are couples out there who love NFP for all kinds of reasons, but for me it is a  . . . . cross, shall we say?

There are plenty of books out there that extol the virtues of NFP,  but I was waiting for the one that essentially said, "Yep, it sucks, but it's better than sinning and here's why."  This is that book.

I'm not selling it very well, especially since it is full of great reflections and sound theology, but I highly recommend it.  So far, there is only the Kindle edition available, but I know an audio version is almost ready for release and a print version is practically a done deal.


  1. You don't enjoy NFP? You must be the only one who feels like that ;)

    Shutterfly does make the best Christmas Cards, but I went the cheap route this year and got a Groupon for some random company, and I'm regretting it because their website is so so so hard to use!

    P.S. You are the ONLY person to ever say that being pregnant with a girl made you look better. Seriously. Everyone else tells me that girls steal your beauty.

  2. Okay, I am going to hunt down that hand cream because my hands are in horrible condition right now and my usual Neutrogena remedy isn't working very well! I also want to try that counter/table spray--anything to add a little spark into the clean routine :) I am also a huge Shutterfly fan for all the reasons you stated :)

  3. GeeGee3:48 PM

    Colleen, I looked terrible when I carried my girls, especially my second girl. No kidding- I hadn't yet told everyone that I was pregnant; I was carpooling my eldest to school and as I pulled up to pick up one of the children on my route, his mother walked him to the car, looked at me with a knowing glance and asked "Are you pregnant?" I nodded yes, and she proceeded to say "I thought so. And you're probably having a girl because you look like crap." She was right and I'll never forget her telling me !! My last baby was a boy and I looked great. Only after I delivered him did I start looking old and worn out and it's been downhill since then!

  4. I won't deny that NFP is difficult. But if it weren't for all those years of data I'd collected, I wouldn't have known enough about what's "normal for me" to be able to push past doctors who thought I was perfectly fine--when instead I had severe endometriosis.

    I want to try that Mrs. Meyer's spray. Sounds great. As to the hand-lotion thing, I swear by carmex cream. AND I wear gloves for dishwashing and any cleaning that involves more than just water.


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