Moving is Fun….Said No One Ever!

I am in the process of my second move in about 6 months and the amount of boxes have got me all….

crazy lady shooting gun

We moved into a temporary home while our new home was being built and since we didn’t unpack most of the boxes from the first move I thought the second move would be easier, ha, bullsh!t. It still sucks. I wish I had it in me to be humorous about this move but there is nothing fun or funny about moving. And since the boxes are piling up and the exhaustion is making me feel a little bit like…

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…so this will be a quick post but hopefully a helpful one. If you are in the process of a move or getting ready for one, here are my somewhat helpful tips, hopefully. If you aren’t in the middle of a move, then I don’t like you.

  • Find boxes on a local FB page or Craigslist. Some people will offer them for free, others will charge you but usually it is a very reasonable price. Only buy specialty boxes if you must for large or odd shaped items.
  • Wrap and protect things that you can with towels and sheets. Grab a couple of mattress bag from Amazon.
  • I highly recommend these foam padding sheets, they can be torn super easy and provide good cushion to protect those 4 sets of grandmas china.
  • I picked up these labels, but I think buying regular Avery labels in different colors and printing them yourself to fit your needs might be easier.
  • This wrap stuff helps keep things together so they don’t get separated from each other during transit.
  • Keep a supplies box handy with a box cutter, tape, labels, ziplock bags for small items, an allen wrench set, phillips and flat head screw driver, and a small notepad and pen for making notes of things you need from Home Depot/Target/Grocery Store/The Container Store.
  • A tool belt will help keep all these items handy and on you when you are packing so you aren’t constantly going in circles looking for things.

me and belt

  • Do your homework on moving companies, make sure you find a good one that has good reviews, a good BBB score, and is insured. We like to make sure there are donuts when the movers arrive and cold water or Gatorade, keep em happy and then they will take care of you.
  • Lastly, keep the alcohol out. You will need it, moving is a bitch.

What tips do you have to make moving as painless as possible? Maybe I should have written this before I moved to make life a little easier.

Amanda Sig

 

I’m Not Good At Decorating!

I hear this frequently from some of my friends. I don’t think I am that good at decorating either but my friends sometimes say differently. I think what I am good at is copying actual designers. So I thought I would pass on my trade secret. Pinterest and Houzz. Unless you have been living under a rock you already have a Pinterest and possibly a Houzz page. Good, you are half way there to being a semi-professional decorator.

First, gather all your inspiration boards and look over them for similarities in the pictures and why you picked them. For me, I didn’t know I loved white kitchens and baths until I started looking back over the things I had pinned.

baths
Clean, white bathrooms with a Traditional style.
bedrooms
Neutral, calm bedrooms also in Traditional style.
kitchen
Crisp white kitchens. Traditional in style again.

After you figure out what you like you have probably narrowed down a ‘style’. If you want, there is a quiz on Houzz.com that attempts to tackle your design style by asking random questions. It told me I was Transitional which I do think is partially correct although I do tend to sway a little more traditional than modern in my decorating.

If you are decorating a whole house start with a room and work your way through the house. If you are starting with a room, pick the larger items first and then find the little decorating details later. Go to local flea markets, HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Garage Sales or anywhere else you have access to home items, you never know what you will find. Look for items that go with your style or copy exactly what you want from the Pins.

If you want to know what to do and what not to do, here are some links:

details
It’s the little things that make a home. These were things we are taking into consideration with the new home we are building.

The question I get asked the most is how to pick a paint color. My suggestion is easy, look through your Pins and catalogs and see what color continually catches your eye for a space. Go to Home Depot, Lowes, or Sherwin Williams and grab a couple color swatches in that color. But here is the trick, what ever color you think you want, ask for a small sample in the color above. Colors on paper never look the same on walls. Your eye will tell you it isn’t too dark until you get it on the wall and it is too dark. So always start with a shade lighter than you would originally pick. Get several samples and then paint the colors in small swatches on your walls in every room you intend on putting that color. Then watch. Every morning, afternoon, and evening the color will change just slightly with the light. At the end of a couple of days (or weeks if you are like me) you will find the color that is just right. If you want to skip this step and go for my favorite gray, may I suggest Sherwin Williams Big Chill. I have many friends and family members who have this color in their home and I think it is THE perfect gray.

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Big Chill – Sherwin Williams

In the end, remember decorating is about you and your likes. Go with what makes you happy and brings you joy. If someone else doesn’t like your style, then they can decorate their space to their liking.

What are your favorite decorating tips and tricks? Any good places to shop for fun decorating items?

Amanda Sig

Budgeting or a Pap Smear?!?!

Which is worse? As Elisa said, they both leave you feeling violated. I have never been a budgeting gal. My college roommate would chase me around the house to take my credit cards away from me and cut them up per my momma’s request. I would try ridiculous things to not spend money like freezing the credit cards so if I really needed  wanted something I would have to defrost the damn things just to go shopping.  I was a sucker for a “wanna open a Victoria’s Secret, Ann Taylor, Gap, Harold’s, Express, Target, etc, etc, etc, credit card and save 10%?” Well heck yes I do, having that credit card will save me $30 on this purchase. (Never mind that I would pay that $30 back 20 fold in interest in the years to come.) That is exactly what those devil credit card companies wanted, and they hit a jackpot with this shitty spender. And we wonder how I ended up with 13 credit cards and in $30k worth of shopping, eating, drinking, and traveling debt when I graduated college?? I also foolishly thought to myself “when I get out of college I will make good money and pay off the debt in no time!” I guess I forgot I would have other bills to pay and that the government would want about 20-30% of that so called income. Fast forward to 10 years after college I FINALLY paid off all those damn clothes I no longer had and bar tabs I had recovered from.

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I have been very lucky that I have stayed out of that kind of debt for quite some time now and while we do have a couple ‘debts’ now, these are things we have 0% interest on and pay on monthly so we don’t end up paying more for them in the long run. With the building of the new home and what I am sure will be expenses I can not even fathom when we have kids in the future, I think we need to get our act together and ASAP.

I have taken classes through the church on spending and budgeting. I have a MINT account. I have tried a few different things but this blog series will be a chronicle of my experience with a new budgeting software and hopefully a new lease on life when it comes to money. I hope you will join me on this little rollercoaster ride as I am sure I am going to snap and need  want a new Mulberry or pari of Tieks soon because I don’t like budgets.

shop

So what are we doing here?

Kyle and I just had a sexy, steamy, 3-way WebEx date while he is in Oregon with YNAB. (You Need A Budget) Actually more like a 30-way but who is counting. What I find appealing already is there are WebEx classes to help you get started and continuing education once you do. While Kyle had already started looking into this and had cheated on me with the WebEx classes before, he decided to kick up the romance and invite me to join. I must admit, this approach sounds great! I think the YNAB logic aligns more with my mindset on budgeting and I am excited to get started. The WebEx allowed for questions and was very interactive. They also have a blog to help keep you on track and for information.

First things first.

This weekend we will be going through our MINT account to itemize our excessive spending to see just where we blow the most cash each month. Just a highly educated guess, next to car and home payments, Sephora and Nordstrom will be the top winners. Once we see where we are spending we will also have a good idea of what are top ‘priority’ line item budget items are and we can start working on our budget accordingly. Second educated guess, Sephora and Nordstrom won’t be making the cut. Super sad face. Once we start setting our budget we will have to be super diligent in keeping track DAILY with what we spend and if we are sticking to this budget. Luckily there is an app for that, shocker I know. So instead of looking at Facebook on the pot, I will be budgeting. You know you are old when…..

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The coach on the WebEx tonight said he spends about 5 minutes a day checking and updating the budget daily, surely I can do that if I can play on Facebook for much longer periods of time.

So check back in a week or so and see how the whole budgeting process is going. Kyle and I have another hot date/WebEx this next week on how to budget while putting everything on the credit cards.

What do you do for a budget? Ever used YNAB? Any advice?

Amanda Sig

Bloody Hell; I Got A Vampire Facial

**Please be warned, there are some slightly gorey photos below, if you have a weak stomach (Kendra) be prepared to look away**

 

Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way I will proceed with my description and review of my first vampire facial.

So what is a vampire facial?

Glad you asked! No one was biting my neck but then again I think that is just a Hollywood spin on what a real vampire would do. We all know after Twilight that vampires are sparkly! This facial was not. It is called a vampire facial because your own blood is drawn, spun down, and the plasma is applied to basically a giant open wound created on your face by teeny tiny needles. This is not for the faint of heart, there are needles and blood, and some down time. But it was awesome!

vamp4
Here are my torturers/ friends. Thank goodness I love these two people or this would have never happened.

What the what?!

You maybe wondering why someone would subject themselves to this. I guess I am a glutton for punishment. Actually not that much, I have just always been a face person. If you can inject it or apply it to my face to keep me young, I will try anything once. About a month before this adventure I tried a permanent filler called BellaFill. I wanted to work on my chicken pox scars and the filler was step one, step two was to abuse those damn scars and make them my bi@&!. I have had these scars since I was 3 or 4 and hate them, most people don’t even notice them. We are our own worst critics.

How this went down.

I got to the DejaYou spa ready for a good numbing. If you are keeping track, the spa is in Collyville, I just moved east of Dallas to the suburbs. That was an hour drive just to get my face beat with needles. I might be crazy. Any-who, the numbing is essential because while I like to think I am a bad a$$, I am more bark than bite. There really are only a few places that it gets somewhat uncomfortable but I think it is like child birth. The pain is worth it when you see the end result.

vamp1

So far so good, now it starts getting messy! That little DermaPen has 10 little micro needles that basically scratch the surface of your skin which is supposed to motivate your skin to repair itself. In doing so it brightens, rejuvenates, and promotes more collagen growth. While the skin is still ‘open’ my own plasma was applied to my skin to enhance the rejuvenation and repair. It looks worse than it is. That is basically a lot of dried blood and plasma that basically creates a mask over my face. It was super stiff by the time I got home.

vamp2

The whole thing took about an hour. While I felt fine, my husband wouldn’t come out of his office the rest of Saturday after the procedure. He said it hurt him to look at my face. Obviously not what you want to hear from your sweet husband but I know he still loves me. After waiting a few hours I washed the blood and plasma goop off my face. I felt like I looked so much better instantly. Kyle didn’t, he stayed in his office.

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The next day there was already some great improvement but still some puffiness. Day 2 I had to get to work so I found some great makeup and got after it. As with most things in life, I got crazy busy and didn’t do a good job taking post pictures after day 2 or 3.

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So was it worth it?

I think so!! There were some breakouts after that I expected just like after a regular facial. I felt great going without makeup most days or only a light powder, still do. I know that we opted to go heavy on a few of the big scars but if you don’t have big scars you won’t look as scary and will still see great results! I really loved it and look forward to finding another weekend soon where I can do it again.

I think I will wait until Kyle is out of town so I don’t scare the poor guy again.

If you don’t think you are brave enough, I highly recommend IPL peels or regular facials. If you want to save some money and get a good facial, there is always the ol’ Shave Your Face Facial.

What is your most extreme facial or beauty routine? I am always up for an adventure in the beauty department.

Amanda Sig

 

What Kind of Parent Will I Be

**Disclaimer, I am not pregnant and this is not me announcing that I am**

The hubby and I are ‘practicing’ making babies monthly now, hopefully soon one will stick and we will get a lil peanut but until then I want to share with you what kind of parent I will be.

What are my qualifications you ask?? Listen, I know everything there is to know about having a kid. I nannied starting as young as 15. I couldn’t even drive myself to my first gig however I was apparently responsible enough (or cheaper than good help) to take care of a 9 month old and a 1st grader every day after school from 4:00 until 6:30pm. I took care of kids in day care settings, babysat through college, and even post college on some occasions for friends with their own actual kids. I pride myself in being very knowledgeable as I have read a few books and ask my actual parent friends a ton of questions and pick their brains, so clearly I have this whole thing figured out. Plus there are the dogs, I think that in and of itself is great training, right?!?!

dogs bath
I hear my friends say you can never pee alone after having kids, clearly these two are warming me up for the big show.

Here is what kind of parent I will be and what my kids will and will not do.

I will not be the crazy new mom who calls her doctor for everything strange that happens to her body. I got this! Millions of women have gone before without the help of having their doc on speed dial. Who are we kidding, I call my doctor, my doctor friends, and nurse friends for anything and everything because being in the medical sales has caused me to become a hypochondriac. I have a feeling my doctor will fire me before 5 months.

I will not change my life for a kid, this kid will fit into our life. We will still brunch and travel and host great gatherings at our home as usual. Ha, I will be lucky if we get out of the house the first 6 months. I will have forgotten what a mimosa tastes like and forget having people over, I won’t even want a housekeeper to see what state of disrepair my house has fallen into.

I will have my kids sleep trained by 3 months at the absolute latest. Yeah, just like I have my dogs sleep trained. They never wake me when they need to pee, or when there is a thunderstorm, or when they decide it would be nice to play with their ball at 3am or when there is a full moon…I could go on.

I will not allow my kids iPads/iPhones at the table, in the car, or out in public as a distraction. I was raised in a time when we had to self entertain with stupid toys at the doctors office or play the ABC/123/License Plate game on road trips. If I can do it, so can my kids. Except when they can’t and I haven’t had a mimosa in 21 months and I want to snap and give in to their every whine just so I can sip on a damn OJ and Champs mommy drink.

office toy
Keeping kids distracted at the doctor since 1970’s.

I will not allow my children whatever they want for dinner, I am their mother, not a short order cook. And then I will be because after working all day and dealing with the craziness that is a 9-5 I won’t give a rats ass if you want hummus and Fruit Loops for dinner, if it will keep you from throwing a fit and get something decent in your stomach, I will pull up a chair and have the same.

I will keep my house and car clean. I can have nice things and kids too. I actually don’t think this one will be hard to accomplish. My girlfriend has discovered the perfect way to keep her adorable daughter entertained and her house clean at the same time. I mean, look at the genius mom invention!

No children were harmed in the making of this picture, actually she did this to herself.
No children were harmed in the making of this picture, actually she did this to herself.

I will not lose my cool and spank my child or raise my voice. When I was naughty I got a belt or a spoon or a hand or anything close enough to grab. Then there were the looks and the groundings. I don’t think those shaped me as a person at all! I don’t think learning to respect authority and what my limits were did any good for my development as a child or adult. Oh and being a strong willed child who pushed the boundaries never led to said spankings. Who are we kidding, I deserved everyone and probably more. And before I get all the emails saying spankings aren’t good for children, my husband and I  will make that call with our clones, you do you and we will do us.

I will not allow them to dictate what they wear or where we go. My kids will wear what I say and their very rare poor behavior will not cause me to change our plans and leave a grocery store buggy full of groceries. I think I have a decent sense of fashion and my children will appreciate that and agree with all my wardrobe choices for them. I will never let them leave the house in a Disney dress, a super hero cape, and their cowboy boots. Unless I am trying to get to a HH with a girlfriend and then I will care less what they wear as long as I can have one sip of a glass of wine, then they can wear what they want as long as they let me drop them off with a sitter, or a stranger. I will need the wine.

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His daddy loved the furry leg warmers!

I will not teach them bad habits or bad language. But if they do shout “Fu@&ing Move Dude” at random drivers then they surely picked that up from the nanny/day care/church pre-school because we all know I would never say anything like that, ever. Oh and I definitely wouldn’t wet my pants laughing when they do. And when my daughter reaches an age to start imitating me she wouldn’t do this.

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“Mommy, I want some fancy juice for NYE too!” *It was sparkling grape juice, don’t email me please.

Lastly, I will not stick to a single one of these because like every mom I know, you do the best you can to keep them happy and alive and not lose your sanity some days. But I know they will be worth it and I can’t wait!

What did you think you would or wouldn’t do as a first time mom?

If you are about to be a first time mom, this was actually a great article, http://www.parents.com/baby/new-parent/motherhood/what-i-know/

Amanda Sig

I love Work Out Accessories…..Working Out Not So Much!

As you may recall, I had a New Years “Wish” to do a better job of working out and eating better. I think I have tried to do better but seeing as how I did a pretty hard core Pilates class for 3 months last year prior to the wedding, I still have a ways to go this year to ‘do better.” But one thing I have gotten better about this year is all the fun accessories I am finding for working out.

First thing the hubby and I did in January was join Camp Gladiator. If you remember the American Gladiator show from the 1990’s, that is basically Camp Gladiator. Actually when it was revived for one season around 2008 (I think), the winner from right here in Texas started Camp Gladiator with the prize money. It has been fun to workout with my husband but one thing I desperately needed was a mat strap. He has a thin yoga mat that came with a strap but I am a giant baby and have a super thick mat since working out outside is not my favorite. Lugging that dumb mat was a pain, luckily ‘I have a guy girl for that!” My uber talented friend can sew just about anything and she started an online business focused on yoga and other workout accessories, HandmadeYoga! She is a lifesaver and made me an extra long strap for my mat which may seem like nothing to most people but lugging this thing around is so much easier and I think it is adorable! If you are in the market for anything Yoga, Barre, Pilates, or meditation related, there is probably something to pick from. She has even had requests for sock bags for after Barre classes, honestly I think that would have come in handy when I was taking pilates. Check out her Etsy Shop here!

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While I do love me some Camp Gladiator, some weeks just don’t go as planned. Be it work, travel, or stomach bugs and finding an hour plus for working out just doesn’t happen. Yes, I know, if I was super dedicated I would make time but until I can figure out how to make the same paycheck by working out, I have to find other ways to get moving. 4 or 5 years ago I somehow got talked into training and running a half marathon. I didn’t keep up with the running and now I am trying to get back into it, not half marathon crazy, more like a regular 5k kind of crazy. So I downloaded the Couch to 5K app.

app

But you can’t very well run with your phone in your hand so I found this SUPER CHEAP (look at me not spending a ton of money!) arm band for my phone. And while I imagine running with your iPhone on your armband would be the 2016 equivalent to this…

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….it really is beneficial to have some nice earbuds. I have a pair of the Bose Earbuds that I have had for some time. They fit in my little ears and don’t tend to fall out easily. My girlfriend also suggested the JayBird Wireless earbuds which will be a little treat to myself when I sign up and run my first 5k!

Lastly there is hydration! With all this shopping working out you need to hydrate. I have fallen in love with a certain water bottle by S’well. These things are AMAZING! I put some ice and water in one during a bachelorette party in NEW ORLEANS in the SUMMER and the ice didn’t melt THE WHOLE DAY! I may over use the caps lock but I can’t over stress how amazed I was. I also made some flavored tea one night and put it in the bottle hot and attempted to chill it over night in the fridge with the lid off. Nope, had warm tea the next morning.

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What are your go to items for working out? Elisa did a great post on her favorite workout pants and I like all things accessory. Share what you need to get through a workout, I am always up for more shopping working out. If you need help finding a workout program you love, check out Class Pass, it lets you try all the different gyms in your area to see what you love. I did just hear about a new workout on trampolines I think I need to go check out!

Good night, off to bed so I can make my 4:45am Camp Gladiator class.

Amanda Sig

 

When You Have Writers Block, Have A Glass of Wine…..or Three.

e and i
Elisa and I at a non-blondes awesome annual wine party, with photo booth accessories of course.

So I had two really great options for a blog this week, one super deep and and one about organizing. When I finally had time to sit down and write this blog, neither seemed to inspire me like they had earlier in the week. So I did a quick Google search on ‘what to write about when you have writers block’ and the first thing I saw was to write about something you love, so here is my blog on wine.

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I can’t say that my love affair with wine was love at first sip but at this point in my life I can’t see a future with out him. I have become so wine crazy I get weekly texts, emails, and FB messages/posts from friends and family that pertain to wine. I guess there is something to be said about those little grapes and how happy they make me. I do frequently wonder if I have a SWF attraction to this sweet juice but then again, there are much, much worse things I could have an obsession with, so those thoughts are fleeting.

wine to go
I have been know to use my large purse for good. This was a fun movie night with a girlfriend.

My taste in wine has grown over the years. While I like to think I know a little bit about wine I am by no means a snob. I know enough to be dangerous. I started off only liking the reds but as I have grow in my relationship with wine I have come to love the whites as well. I am a meat and potatoes girl most of the time so reds are my go to 90% of the time. I am trying to be an adult and eat more fish so I have really come to appreciate some nice Chardonnays and Pinot Grigio. Most recently I have found a fun new fling with rosé. I used to think all pink wines were for cheap dates at a pool hall but now I know and appreciate the differences of the pink wines. A blush or a white zin are still the pool hall floozy kind of wine where as a nice strong red blend rosé is a totally different story. It is like the debutant of wines. Smart, sophisticated, strong but a little sweet.

I have found many new gadgets to help me enjoy my wine and I feel as though I would be doing you a disservice by not sharing my secretes. For quick access I highly recommend the Cork Pop wine opener. It has a cutter, large needle, and CO2 cartridge for quick access. It’s the split crotch panties of the wine opener world. A little tacky but very appreciated when you are in a hurry.

cork pops
Tacky if you are a fancy wine drinker but useful after a crappy day of work when you can’t get to the wine fast enough.

Then there is the Food Saver. I originally bought it to help save money with storing food and canning in my mason jars but quickly learned there was an even better use, SAVING WINE! If you don’t go through a whole bottle a night (surprise, surprise, I usually don’t) then this is essential for saving that precious wine for the next night.

wine saver
Not a killer bottle but worth saving for tomorrow night.

 

Lastly is the handy, dandy app Vivino. I have this for three purposes. You can keep track of your favorite wines, see what your friends and strangers like, and also search wines when you are standing in the middle of Tom Thumb and don’t know which one to pick to go with dinner. I used to always say ‘this is my favorite wine, I will get this again’ and then couldn’t remember the next day what the wine was unless I had a picture of the wine. This is like Pinterest for wine.

vivino

While these are my favorite wine accessories and gadgets I have found there are many, many more out there. Does anyone have these? What is your must have wine accessory/gadget?

Diptic

Amanda Sig

Saving My Sanity

It's like someone is taking a picture of me at night, creepy but accurate.
It’s like someone is taking a picture of me at night, creepy but accurate.

Like all marriages and relationships, you learn new things about your partner almost daily. One of the things I learned about my darling husband is he hasn’t had his adenoids or tonsils removed. If you sleep next to a wonderful man who turns into a freight train at night you know those adenoids or tonsils could be the culprit. I am a light sleeper, a mouse fart will usually wake me up. So low and behold, my better half is a snorer.

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Thankfully mine doesn’t bitch he just rolls over.

As with all things, I have gotten used to the snoring for the most part. But there are always those nights where I couldn’t sleep or he was sick and it was worse than normal. Since our former home had extra beds/rooms, one of us would temporarily relocate. Now we are in our temporary rent house and the extra rooms are a home office and storage unit, we don’t have an escape plan when things get crazy. This led to a little research and a wonderful new discovery.

Ladies, if your man is snoring and you need some quiet, check out the SnoreRX. The hubs heard about this little wonder device from a co-worker and was interested in keeping me as sane as possible, so he bought two!

 

The SnoreRX reminds me of the mouth guards football players wear so they don’t end up looking like hockey players. And it was extremely easy to get ‘set up.’ Soften the gel in hot water, cool it just a bit in cold water, then put it in and bite down for a few seconds, then cold bath again and voila, no more snoring! What is so different about this device is the fact that there is an adjuster on the side that ever so slightly moves his bottom jaw forward just enough to shut him up help him sleep more soundly.

Tip: We had no problems moulding the first bite guard the second we learned a valuable lesson. Get the hot water to a boil then transfer it to a bowl before you dunk the mouth guard. We had a slight separation of the gel from the frame on the second one. Luckily it still works like a charm.

 

adjust side

 

My hubs is a man of few words most of the time and wouldn’t let me I convinced him to let me take a pic with his mouth piece in. This is his ‘interview’ on how he likes the SnoreRX.

So good looking with a mouth guard and stubble.
So good looking with a mouth guard and stubble.

 

Me: Do you think you are sleeping better with the SnoreRX?

Him: Um, it’s hard to tell. I don’t feel like I am sleeping worse but I don’t notice any changes.

Side note: I am a flopper in bed so that could be me moving all the time.

Me: How uncomfortable was the device in the beginning?

Him: It wasn’t super uncomfortable it was just big. It’s designed to fit everyone but not any one person really well. It is a generic medium. For some people it will be too small,  for some it will be too large. I have a smaller than normal mouth so it is a little large.

Tip: If SnoreRx could make these in multiple sizes like everything else in the world it would be much better.

Me: Is it less noticeable now? (1 month + of use)

Him: Yeah

Me: Would you recommend this to others?

Him: I don’t have a problem with it, it takes a little getting used to but I don’t wear it to help me sleep. So the question is would you recommend it?

Ahhhh, the things we do for love. #BestHusbandEver and way to turn the tables on the interviewer.

Me: I don’t think I would be blogging about it if I didn’t love it, so YES!

Me: What are the downsides?

Him: Having to buy denture cleaner under the age of 40. (A must to keep it clean and stink-less.)

Me: Any last comments?

Him: Negative Ghost Rider.

 

So ladies, who is ready to buy 12 of these for their husband? Or who has had success with something different?

Amanda Sig

What My Marriage Is Not

In April 2014 I walked down the aisle of a church with 12-15 friends and a couple of family members looking on. I married the most patient, kind, considerate, and wonderful man. In April 2015 I did it again, with the same man and with 40 friends and family looking on from a beach in Mexico. We have a little joke when things get crazy, “You married this, twice!” In the short time we have been married I have learned a few things. I am no expert by any means but this is what I do know.

wedding

Marriage isn’t all skittles and rainbows. One of my best friends told me this years ago but I didn’t understand it fully until I met the hubs. I don’t want skittles and rainbows all the time. That would be boring and scary. If all I ever had was skittles and rainbows I wouldn’t know how my husband would react when the world is shit storms and licorice. I now know how he will respond when loved ones get terribly sick and pass away, when I lose my job, when I am stressed to the point of tears at that stupid job, when you have to break up with friends or family, when the finances get tight, or when life gives you lemons and no vodka. I also know how he will react when he makes me do something absolutely terrifying like jumping off a cliff in New Zealand. I cherish the good times but also the bad because in those times you see a persons true character.

jump

Marriage isn’t about water bottles. One of our biggest fights as a couple thus far started out about a water bottle. What I learned (& I think he did too) was that when you keep things in and don’t communicate, it gets worse. I have always said communication was a key ingredient to a successful relationship and I didn’t know how true that was until I was married. I also know that can mean picking your battles wisely. There have been times when I was irritated at something insignificant and wanted to react and “communicate” but I have learned that if I give it some time and thought, I usually realize it wasn’t about the ‘water bottle’ but something I needed to let go of because it wasn’t worth bringing up. Communicate what is important to improving your relationship and let go of the rest.

us

 

Marriage isn’t about how you load the dishwasher. If you know anything about me, you know I can be strong headed, bossy, and somewhat of a control freak, in the most loving way possible of course. I usually think I know what is best and tend to ‘correct’ those who don’t do things my way. I had always heard that couples will sometimes fight over the dumbest of things and I found that out one night early on in our relationship after my wonderful husband loaded the dishwasher. I of course told him he did it incorrectly and showed him my way (aka the right way). What I learned that night is that there are two ways to load a dishwasher, just like there are two ways to skin a cat, and that neither are right or wrong they are just different. In attempting to keep the silly fights at bay we also have our own toothpaste so the other one doesn’t squeeze it wrong, when we make the bed I get more of the sheets because he ends up stealing them, and when we build the new house we will have a 3-car garage because I tend to park more in the middle. Learning to compromise on the little things makes it easier to compromise on the big things.

ocd

When I was young (& albeit a little dumb) I thought I wanted a husband that drove a certain car, had a certain type of job, did this or that, came from here or there and a few dozen other ridiculous things. What I have learned is that God knew what I needed and gave me a man that grounds me when I get irrational, calms me when I get impatient, and lets me run like a headless chicken but stops me before I jump off the cliff.

What are the biggest lessons you have learned from marriage or a relationship? We are only a year-ish in so I will gladly take any pointers you have to offer.

Amanda Sig

Free Alcohol!

If you go to Florida, got ya! But since you are already reading, why not continue and learn about my most recent trip to a rum maker in southern Florida.

My in-laws are cooler than yours. Granted it probably isn’t a good idea to start off bragging but it’s the truth. On a recent trip to Ft. Myers FL my mother and father in-law took us on a tour of the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery. The tour was free and you can schedule ahead online for a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday tasting. Wicked Dolphin

wicked group

I have been on MANY wine tours and even a couple of brewery tours but this was a first for rum. Honestly, I don’t drink a lot of rum or mixed drinks, other than tequila, because it seems to me if you are over served on those kinds of sweet drinks, the hangovers are always worse. So I was intrigued to learn that if you drink the right rum with the right mixers and accidentally get over served (I didn’t for the making of this blog) that you can actually survive the next day and be a functioning member of society.

The biggest take away I learned from this rum tour is that rum is divided into three categories. Heads, Hearts, and Tails. ‘Heads’ is the kind of rum you can find for $8.00 a gallon and the stuff that causes the worst day after, ever. IE, what we drank in college. The smell is terrible and I assume the taste is even worse. It sounds like there is enough acetone in the ‘heads’ that the nail salons could save a ton and use it to take off my nail polish. The ‘tails’ is the back end of the batch so to speak, you don’t want to drink it but you can use it in the next batch of rum.

wicked dolphin

The ‘heart’ is where it is at! I was never a big rum drinker but when Wicked Dolphin passed around their signature Wicked Rum Drink, I was hooked. The drink was amazing and healthy. I mean, how could perfect silver rum, naturally flavored with coconut milk rum, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice be bad for you? See, I am sticking to that whole ‘eating better’ in 2016 thing already. And Wicked Dolphin wasn’t one of those stingy places that thinks their recipes are top secret, they actually tell you how to make it. I call that genius marketing and selling. You can find all kinds of recipes on their website but if you are super thirsty right now, here is the Wicked Rum recipe.

While they are not in Texas yet, fingers crossed they will be soon. Good thing the old fashioned mail will deliver to Texas. As long as you have a bootlegging relative in southern Florida. I was throughly impressed with the process and the final product. Even these two scotch drinkers approved of our new found favorite spirit, rum! Here is to giving an old college drink a fancy adult face lift and finding something other than wine to drink when adulting gets to be too much.

 

wicked guys

Have you ever been on a rum tour? Or another spirit tour? What is your favorite?

Cheers,

Amanda Sig