Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Weren’t you listening?


Do you ever feel like your GPS wants to say to you “Hey Dumbass, what part of LEFT don’t you understand?” instead of “Recalculating?”

Mine did go seemingly off script once. I had to detour around a closed road and when I got back on track it asked: “Are you feeling tired?  Do you need to stop and rest?”  I was all “Don’t judge me!”

I argue with my microwave on occasion too.

My weekend was legend-[wait for it]-ary.  I’ll be back later to tell y’all about it.

posted under Misc. | 13 Comments »

Ice Cream Winner


The random number generator picked #5 – Mama K wins herself some Haagen Dazs!

posted under Misc. | 3 Comments »

We’ll try again in November


Albert Einstein supposedly said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Call me crazy.  I haven’t been to the mall since the last incident in November.  I thought perhaps since 6 months had passed I might be able to expect a better experience.  I was wrong.  I have a gift card and thought I might buy myself a summer top or two.  I made it into the mall, found the store, put my fingers on the first garment that caught my eye and it started.  Tessa began to sob.  I don’t mean her happy Screaming Mimi sounds.  I don’t mean fuss.  I don’t mean cry.  I mean all out, heart wrenching, making people look at me like I am a horrible mother sobs.  Her face was all mottled red.  Tears were streaming.  Breath was hiccuping.  Big blue eyes were turned up toward me beseeching release from the hell known as the back seat of the stroller.  We were birth control on wheels.  We left the store.  I got her out.  The crying stopped immediately.  Every single time her butt hit the stroller the sobbing began and the second I removed her it stopped.  Weird because she normally doesn’t mind the stroller at all.  I admitted defeat and we left the mall.  I hate letting children win in a battle of wills.

P.S. To the sweet salesgirl who tried to help by offering to hold her so I could look around…when a mom tells you that her child doesn’t like strangers, won’t got to strangers, and the mom makes no motion to hand you the child yet you keep reaching for said child?  It stops being sweet and helpful and starts feeling Lifetime movie-ish.  But thanks.

P.S.S. To the kiosk guy – quit sniffing your jewelry cleaning solution.  When you see a mom trying to steer a huge honking double stroller with one hand while carrying a baby in the other hand don’t ask her if she has time to stop and answer a few questions.  And when she kindly says “no” instead of screaming “are you f*cking kidding me?!?” don’t smirk and say “Bad day?” because you might just find this big honking stroller parked in your ass.


On a completely unrelated note, I’m not sure what their crime was but I think she is making an example of them.  This is what I found when I went to get Sabrina up from her nap:


posted under family | 13 Comments »

Optimism & Screaming Mimi


dsc09626Every year since I began this blog, I’ve proudly declared that my herbs were planted in their cute little pots.  In Pittsburgh, they were gorgeous and we used them often.  Since moving South? I’ve had to accept the death of my herbs well before their time.  Finally, last year someone told me to quit growing them in their cute little pots.  They can’t retain enough moisture in the pots because it is like living on the sun some days.  It makes perfect sense but it hadn’t occurred to me.  We had an azelea bush die last summer (not our fault…the people who do the planting when each house is built in this housing development should be flogged – badly planned, poorly done, over crowded, etc).  So I optimisticly put some herbs in that empty spot.  The selection of herbs at most nurseries around here is slim.  I did find some basil, oregano, cilantro, and flat leaf parsley.  We’ll see how they do.


dsc09608Send aspirin.  This cute face?  Looking all sweet, sucking on her fingers…don’t let her fool you.  She is the loudest little firecracker ever heard around these parts.  Sabrina was never a screamer.  Tessa is.  I call her Screaming Mimi often enough that Sabrina has picked up the nickname for her too.

dsc09610 I won’t post video because who wants to listen to that?  But this face shows the mischevious glint in her eye when she is getting geared up.  Be scared.  Be very scared.  And send ear plugs for Mother’s Day.

And this last photo I post just because it makes me laugh.  Sabrina looks like a little diva and Tessa looks like she is trying hard to not be forgotten.  Some days that isn’t far off…but Tessa is starting to fight for equal time and show some jealousy. dsc09621

Good, Bad & Ice cream


I didn’t get the Friday Haagen Dazs certificate up last week so we’ll start it today and I’ll draw a winner on Thursday.  There has been talk around the blogosphere about bloggers reviewing products.  In the interest of full disclosure, most of the time I talk about stuff because I love it or hate it.  But now and then, through Mom Central, I am sent a product to review and tell you all about.  Often, I receive the product and a $20 Amazon gift card for my time.  Sometimes, as with the Haagen Dazs, the compensation is something else – a donation to a charity of my choice or in this instance the certificates for more ice cream (which I am sharing with all of you).  I will never say anything I don’t believe and I only sign up to review products that interest me or are relavent to my life.  I always tell you if I am reviewing a product that was provided to me.  I’ve done just a few in the past year: Neosporin, Haagen Dazs, Horizons Organic milk boxes, and Clorox Green Wipes come to mind…there might be 1 other.  Anywhoo, just wanted to get that off my chest.

Now, to tell you about stuff that no one gave me because I like to know what others love and hate so I know what to try when I am at the store.

eyelinerOther than foundation, I hadn’t purchased make up since – well let’s just say I had no fewer kids.  With some coupons and some sales, I picked up a couple new things.  I have worn eyeliner since the days of melting it on the curling iron so that the black went on nice and thick.  I’ve obviously softened it over the years but I have always been unable to use anything but a pencil.  No liquid liner or shadows for me.  Until now. I love this stuff.  The brush really does allow you to put it above and below your lashes without it going every where.  (This is 12 hours after application.)  dsc09604It gets my endorsement.

tintedmoisturizerNext up is the tinted moisturizer I bought for summer foundation. It is Physicians Formula’s new organic line.  I have to give this a mixed review – mostly because it smells like ass.  Okay, that might be a bit overstated…I couldn’t smear it on my face if it really smelled like ass but it doesn’t smell particularly pleasant.  I love it for the first 4 or 5 hours I am wearing it and then it starts feeling rather greasy on my face if I don’t dust a little more powder over it.  If your face isn’t prone to shine, you might like it.

moisturizerSpeaking of things that don’t smell great, I love love love Philosophy’s Hope In a Jar (Moisturizer) but they really could put a little something in it to make it smell better.  I had to quit wearing it while I was pregnant because it was all I would smell all day long.  When not pregnant, the smell is only a minor annoyance.

soapNot to harp on scent, but this stuff is horrible!  It is Palmolive’s Spring Purity or something like that (neon pink with Oxy on the label).  It smells like a funeral parlor (the flowers not the peeps) soaked in beer.  And it is so strong, the entire kitchen smells like it when you use it.  My husband repeatedly told me how much he hated it (yes he does dishes – and he’s all mine).  I hated it enough to throw it away after using only 1/4 of the bottle.  Blech!

coffeeOkay, on to better smells.  I have been searching for a coffee that makes me sigh contentedly each morning like my Guatemalan coffee did.  I’ve tried a bunch of coffee.  I’ve tried 5 of Trader Joe’s and finally hit on one that is more than okay – Bali Blue Moon.  It isn’t any where near as good as the stuff from Guatemala but it is pretty good.

brazilcoffeeBut even better than that?  I tried 3 coffees from Camano Island Coffee last month (thanks to Metropolitan Mama).  I wasn’t a fan of the Ethiopian – not my taste.  The Guatemalan medium roast was quite good…just not up to my memory of Antigua coffee.  But surprisingly, the Brazil medium roast was very good.  It is my new favorite coffee.  I’ll be ordering some more once I finish the Bali Blue Moon.

desertcomoAnd last but not least, we found a great deal on Woot.com for a Recar Como convertible car seat right around the time we wanted to move Tessa out of her infant carrier.  These people design Nascar seats so they know safety.  Everything I read said they were comparable to Britax seats in ratings.  (Sabrina has a Britax Marathon and we love it.)  We decided to give it a try.  We’ve had it for 2 months now.  I really like that the seat seems to cushion all around her – especially her head.  There is only 1 complaint that I have – the damned straps.  Why doesn’t every car seat manufacturer use the same straps the Britax does?  The Britax straps are wider and thicker – having more substantial straps means they never twist.  The Recaro straps aren’t awful but they are no Britax.  Overall, we are happy with the seat – but I curse the straps at least once a week.

There you have it – a strange menagerie of stuff I’ve been meaning to tell someone about and you all are here.  If you’ve made it this far (or scrolled down to where I shut the hell up), tell me a product you are loving or hating in the comments. I will randomly select a comment on Thursday after noon central to receive the Haagen Dazs certificate.

posted under Misc. | 18 Comments »
Newer Entries »