Archive | December 5, 2011

Dedicated to Ashley

It’s been two + years my dear friends, the Lefkows, have endured a battery of Leukemia treatments for their little girl, Ashley. I’ve blogged before about cancer since I know many who are fighting cancer, have lost the fight to cancer, or have lost a loved one to cancer. So this is for Ashley and her journey. Normally I would say, “Hey cancer- knock, knock, mother f****r”, but this is about a 6 year old girl so I will keep the swear words to potty talk only.

Hey Cancer, you’re a poopy headed, boogery fart-face that needs to go down the toilet!

This week marks the end of her treatment, the end of daily chemo pills and weekly/monthly  trips to Children’s Hospital to access her port. The end of a lot for her mom and dad and big brother. But the start of something wonderful. Life as it should be.

I remember September of 2009, the text I got from her mom, my good friend Christin- it said, “she has Leukemia”. My knees buckled and my head started to swim. I have no idea what they were going through on that day. I can’t imagine getting that call from the doctor. Immediately they began her treatments, surgeries and making Children’s Hospital in Seattle their reluctant, second home.

There were late night fevers and trips to the ER, oh, on Christmas EVE mind you. There was the ongoing and whole summer of surgery and C. difficile. If you don’t know what it is- Google it. Nasty stuff. There was the steroids. Which was like having a pot smoking teenage wrestler in your house in the middle of the night with the munchies- 2 am nachos, sliders, ramen noodles, scrambled eggs, hash browns and waffles, for a SNACK!

The good thing about something awful happening to your life is that there’s a bunch of people that will come to help you. The Lefkows used all their connections and community that was there for them and turned it into a foundation to help others. Within months after starting treatments at Children’s, they began Ashley’s Team. A non-profit that gets video games, dvd’s, iPods, and other games and toys of entertainment for patients and their families. It’s not research, it’s not ground breaking medicine, but it makes those 72 hours, 12 hours or even 4 hours, that much better for everyone involved with the treatment of a child. Can you imagine what it’s like sitting in a hospital for 8 hours while your child is waiting for test results and you have their siblings with you bored out of their minds? Me neither. And God help me that I never do.

They used their company, Bacon Salt to promote a Bacathalon fundraiser that raised thousands of dollars for Ashley’s Team! It was a crazy bacon-eating contest, tricycle riding obstacle course of madness and Makers Mark, but hey- it worked!

Ashley today with blond, luscious locks, and her new kitty, Payton.

Little girls should be able to play, to wear their hair long and pretty in braids and pigtails if they want to, instead of wearing non-itchy fleece hats on their bald little peach-fuzzed heads.  They should get to go to a playarea or a birthday party without worry of infection.  They shouldn’t  have to worry about the sore on their leg that’s gotten infected. (oh that’s a whole other story!) But there’s millions of families dealing with this very crap. And for that I am truly sorry.

The blessing of Ashley’s story is that all her treatments at Children’s worked with textbook effectiveness. They can gratefully say she is cancer free. Which is like telling Leukemia it’s a poopy-headed fart-face. See ya Mother Fucker. Oh crap- and I was SO NOT going to swear!

But for today, it’s hooray for Ashley and her family of Christin, Dave, and her super awesome brother, Dean (7) to say- We did it.

I love you guys.

********

If you want to contribute to Ashley’s Team check out their website http://www.ashleysteam.org

Families need financial help for uncompensated care, if you’d like to help with this you can donate to http://www.miraclehouseguild.org

If you’d like to check out Bacon Salt, they’re pretty cool too. http://www.baconsalt.com

My top 5 favorite products. Or 10. There’s a lot I like.

Maybe some of you read my blog for my witty banter about my kids and husband. Maybe some of you like to hear what my super cat is up to. And some of you read it and don’t finish it because you’re like, this woman is an idiot.

For those that read for my shopping, fashion and beauty wisdom, this is for you. Because I can say I’m so wise when it comes to beauty because….well, because, I buy a lot of shit and I worked in cosmetics for like 5 years. There. Yeah. Basically, I’m a self taught makeup/product aficionado. Just so you know, there’s no real scientific explanation or actual certification I got. It’s just my opinion. ALSO, the cool thing about my recommendations is no one is paying me to endorse them. I think beauty editors and bloggers get paid by companies. SO mine are completely neutral and honest. If I do ever sell myself out, you know  it would only be to put my kids through braces, college and their weddings.

Here’s my list:

WEN cleansing conditioner (QVC.com)

Their slogan is ‘Friends don’t let Friends use shampoo”. I love this stuff. My hair is like flaxen strands of silk. (okay, that’s a little exaggerated)  I would bathe every head and follicle in my household in this ‘cleansing  conditioner’, (it is not shampoo), if I could afford to. This is a mostly natural, non-sudsing, shampoo- conditioner-detangler-deep conditioning treatment in one product. If you’ve used it and don’t like it, it’s probably because you didn’t use enough product and water to make it do it’s thing. It’s a tricky deal. But once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be hooked. If you don’t want to afford it, or bother, just promise me you’ll use sulfate-free shampoo. If you color your hair and are using shampoo with sulfates (even high end brands have it, check the label) you are not doing yourself any favors.

Jane Iredale Magic Mitt (Beauty.com)

This washcloth is a microfiber mitt with a million little grippy loops that take away your makeup and dirt. No cleanser needed. You wash it with hand soap after you’re done, rinse it well, wring it out to hang to dry and use it over and over. It’s made of antibacterial fabric.  Takes off everything- waterproof stuff too.

Nature’s Gate Glow lotion (Target)

This gradual self tanner lotion has replaced my Jergens bottle. I like it’s natural ingredients and it’s pump dispenser. It’s very subtle for my alabaster complexion but gives a honey-tinted glow.

Weleda Food for the skin (Target, Whole Foods)

This is like Aquaphor but natural and made by Germans. I love products made in Germany. If you need something heavy and slick for chapped areas but don’t like petroleum in a lot of products out there, this is very pleasant.
It seems to nourish your skin- just like the label says- ‘skin food’. Don’t eat it though.

Clean and Clear pimple paste (Target)

I’ve talked about this one before. It’s white so you can only use it at night. Dries up zits. Period.

Josie Maran Argan Oil (QVC and Sephora)

If you’ve noticed, Argan Oil is everywhere now. It’s like what soy was in 2005. You’re going to start seeing it in baby formula and cat food for crying out loud! It’s a precious oil from Morocco that is great for your hair and skin. You don’t need a fancy brand of it, it can be very expensive, just read the ingredients list that what you do buy isn’t full of fillers and preservatives. You want the pure oil.

EOS lip balm and shave cream (Ulta)

These lip balms come in these round balls they are so cute and roll over your lips soothingly. (That read kind of weird.)  Their lotion is similar in packaging. All eco-friendly, happy ingredients and no fillers.

Urban Decay shadow primer (Ulta,  Sephora, Beauty.com)

This is it. You will wonder why you lived without this product. It comes in four different formulas. All good. It just depends on your taste. Does your eyeshadow fade, crease, wander? This will stop it from doing all of those. Done. You’re welcome.

Bliss Oxygen mask (Sephora)

I love Bliss products. One day I want to go to their New York spa. This is their affordable version of your own spa at home. It foams up and makes your skin feel soft and look brighter. I put it on in the shower and let it do it’s thing while I shave my legs. And then I look like Heidi Klum.

Preserve Toothbrushes (Whole Foods, Trader Joes)

I love these little guys. They are made with recycled yogurt containers. When you’re done with one, buy a new one and pop the old one into the new one’s wrapper. Tape it shut and drop it in a mailbox. They will recycle your toothbrush into another toothbrush. Not in the gross way. They refab the plastic, not the bristles! No worries.

Oh, one more I had to squeeze in-

John Frieda Full Repair Flyaway Tamer

You know those little frizzy hairs at your part line? Or the baby hairs at your temples that are from when your hair grew back after it all fell out having kids and then it never grew in the same way? Well, whatever stray hairs you have- this product is for that. Some magazines and editorials say to take an eyebrow brush with hairspray and brush over them. What I don’t like about this, is, the hairspray evaporates and within a couple hours, my hairs are springing up like goosebumps in December. This is the perfect blend of control and non-greasiness.

Have fun and let me know how you like them. I promise I won’t say I told you so.