March 2, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Tiny Written Permission

It's Wednesday, and we're all tired. OK, maybe it's just me. But they, the mythical "they," invented Wordless Wednesday for a reason, and that's because us incessant talkers/typers need a break in the middle of a week.

And so I give you some classic WP moments in time, with minimal wordage because, let's face it, I can never ACTUALLY shut up completely.

Fishin' with the Grandparents, circa 1980

See how happy we all look? That's because we hadn't left yet. My grandpa is a serious fisherman, and when my three-year-old squirmy self got bored and started throwing rocks at the fish, he was NOT amused. On the other hand, look at his wicked '70s 'stache! So awesome. Also awesome: My tiny, ridiculously-spazzy golf pants. Rock-throwing-scoldings aside, this is a great memory.

Tiny Shannon Reads the Classics, circa approx. 1978

Number one: Why do I look like a tiny Latino boy?

Number two:
Is it just me, or does the ceramic jug/chimney-sweep-broom combo make it look as though we were living in coal mining country? (We were in suburban Ohio.)

And number three: My mom still has that tiny rocking chair for my niece to use when she visits Nana and Papa. The ciiirrrrcle of liiiiiiiiiife!

Happy Wednesday, friends.

March 1, 2011

...and if I say no?

I've said it before: My mother-in-law's gifts might sometimes be strange, but they are almost always awesome.

I am a huge, HUGE fan of the practical gift. (Well, from anyone except T -- your significant other should only buy you fun things. Although I still love my food processor, honey. Really.)


Due to snow, work schedules and various other things (but mostly snow, because holy crap, SNOW OVERLOAD this year), we were just last week able to make the trek to Virginia to celebrate Christmas with T's family. Other than the seeing-the-family parts of these Christmas trips to VA, my favorite thing is replenishing what I like to call "The Stash."

Before you get any bright ideas, no, my in-laws are not cultivating the Ultimate Cash Crop in their backyard or basement-greenhouse.

My MIL? She cultivates toiletries. And I reap the fruits of her labor.

In the 10 years T and I have been together, I have never once purchased a razor. I can probably count on one hand the times I've had to buy myself soap, body wash or toothpaste. If I run out of something, all year long I can throw wide the doors of the magical linen closet or vanity in my bathroom and grab new supplies from The Stash. And at Christmastime (or sometimes in late February), when The Stash is running low? MIL to the rescue!

I absolutely love it.

This year, MIL absolutely outdid herself. Body wash, soap, razors, lotions, scrubs, shampoo and conditioner -- my poor little heart nearly pitter-pattered itself to death. I LOVE this stuff.

But as I gazed upon my new, lovely-smelling bounty, something snagged my eye.

It was a picture...of a carrot.



I don't read a lot of magazines or online health-and-beauty-type articles, so it's entirely possible I missed the Carrot Coup that's sweeping the nation. But this just seemed so...random.


Let's look a little closer:

OK. Something you should know about me: I'm totally down for anything with more natural ingredients than chemicals. And these Yes to Carrots marketers were speaking my language. Carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes AND mud from the Dead Sea? Awesome.

Second: I had no idea what a Paraben was. But since these Carrot Folk are super excited about NOT having any, I assumed it must be bad. And it sounds like it probably is.

Let's look at the directions and "Yay, us!" spiel on the mud mask:

Totally cheesy? Yep. And I'm not sure how accurate it is that everyone who loves vegetables has great skin (I'd like to see more research on that, Yes to Carrots executives).

But then I tried the Moisturizing Body Scrub.

And you know what? My skin looks AWESOME. The scrub doesn't smell like much (which you'd expect, since, you know: carrots and sweet potatoes and pumpkin bits and Dead Sea things), but it's delightfully scrubby and it actually did lovely things to my wintery-dry skin of despair.

I looked up the Yes to Carrots website, and apparently this "Say Yes to..." phenomenon has extended to tomatoes, blueberries and cucumbers as well, depending on your skin type. (And they have a Baby Carrot line for...well, babies. ADORABLE.) And in addition to face and body, they also do hair! It's actually quite fascinating.

So there. I have said YES to the awesome Stash-replenishing of my MIL and, subsequently, YES to the carrot. And since this is a completely-unsolicited and mostly-unresearched opinion piece that will in no way garner me free stuff, you can totally trust me. Or, you know, don't. It really doesn't matter to me either way.


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