Love the Skin You're In.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

On Saturday I decided that I really needed to actively pursue a skin care regimen. I've always been a twice a day face washer, but I turned 30 last summer, and I really thought I should be taking better care of my skin.

Prior to Saturday, I pretty much used Olay face wash in the shower, whatever came in my ipsy glam bag at night, and Olay moisturizer in the mornings. Sometimes I'd also use it at night if I remembered, but I was pretty lazy about it. The best skin care thing I've got going for me is that I do drink a lot of water. With the exception of a cup of coffee once a day (and wine a couple times a week), I only ever drink water. So at least there's that.

My mom and I were in the Target skin care aisle on Saturday when I announced my intentions to find myself a skin care regimen. I wondered aloud if I should stick with Olay or move brands blah blah, and my mom asked one important question, "Has Olay been good to you?"

Why, yes. Yes they have. I use their moisturizer, my great grandmother used it, my grandmother used it, and my mom uses it. In fact, my grandmother says my great grandmother had the softest skin, right up until she passed away.

So good enough for Grandma Annie, good enough for me. Also, I've used Olay for a long time, and it's never led me astray.

Already at home I had the Olay Complete All-Day Moisturizer (for sensitive skin) and the Olay Foaming Face Wash (also for sensitive skin). I decided to stick with those things. To add to it, I purchased the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum, the Olay Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask, and the Olay Fresh Effects Deluxe Make-Up Removal Wet Cloths.

At first I was like forget this, this stuff is too pricey -- because I am super cheap, let's be honest. But as my mom pointed out, this is what happens when you start getting older, and having healthy skin is worth the cost. Point taken. I mean, it's my face.

I've been using this stuff since Saturday, and I can't say that I've seen a huge difference, but it's really not about the short-term is it? I can say my face feels really soft and moisturized, so that's good! I might switch and try the Regenerist Brightening Cream Cleanser when my current face wash runs out, but we'll see.

The only skin care product I use that's not Olay is body lotion. My mom got me this for Christmas, and please believe me when I tell you I'll never use another body lotion again. I honestly am not sure I've ever even purchased body lotion before. Doesn't it seem like one of those things that you just always seem to have and you're not sure where you got it? At any rate, like I said I got this for Christmas, and I had to go buy a new thing of it for myself a couple weeks ago because I use it every day. Amazing. It smells like Heaven.

Here is a place to get some Olay coupons to get you started if you'd like to try their products!

Anyways, what skin care products do you like?

(Note: I was in no way compensated by Olay -- or Boots -- for writing this. These opinions are all mine based on using the products myself. If they wanted to send some free stuff my way I wouldn't complain though. :) ) 

Most People are, Scout, When You Finally See Them.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My eighth grade class is pretty special. All my students are special, but the eighth grade is a small class and they are exemplary.

They are good sports about everything. Pretty much everything I've done this year they have been enthusiastic about. Back in late fall/early winter, when we were still reading short stories from our literature book, conversation turned to the novel we'd be starting in January, the classic To Kill a Mockingbird. The eighth graders caught wind of the fact that I was picking new novels for the seventh and sixth grades -- novels they themselves had been made to read -- so they asked me if I'd get them a new novel too.

As if.

Which is, in fact, pretty much what I said. I told them to trust me, they'd love it. So, as is their way, they said okay.

We started TKM in January when we returned from Christmas break. It was not long before they were hooked.

And yesterday -- yesterday we finished. We closed the book for the last time. And I'm not lying when I say there were some tears. It was wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time. And quite possibly the best teaching day of my life. After I closed my book I just sat there looking at them. And I just let them talk. And this is what they said:

"I can't get over it says 'fiction' on the side. It just seems so real."

"I'm going to find Harper Lee and make her give me the answers [to what happens next]."

"It's like my life is over."

"I will have these characters with me forever."

"It's like my family members died. What do I do now?"


They also came back today telling me they just went home and thought about it, and it's all they've been thinking about.

For an end-of-the-year gift I got all three grades a bookmark specific to their novel from this year. This is the one for eighth grade:

But I was also thinking today I may order each of them their own copy of To Kill a Mockingbird also. They are $5 on Amazon, and there are only 8 students. So I may do that for a graduation gift.

I miss them already.

Snickers, the Emotional Terrorist.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's pretty fortunate that Snickers has literally no friends or family or else he might have packed up all his belongings and left here a couple days ago.

Let me explain:

If you haven't had the pleasure (or been around me whilst I educate you) to have rabbits, then you may not be aware that rabbits produce something called cecotropes. Some might think they look like poo, but they really aren't. They are nutrient-rich dietary items pretty essential to a rabbit's well-being. Yes, the come out of the rabbit's behind, but they are nutrients, not poo, and usually the rabbit eats them directly as they are coming out. (Yes, I know that sounds gross, but that's the way God made them and they absolutely need them so they don't succumb to malnutrition.)

Occasionally, rabbits' cecotropes become too soft, and that's when you run into trouble. On Saturday when I got home from playing Snow White and going to the mall with my mom and sister, I noticed that Snicks had a mess stuck to his behind. Lordy day. Being a single parent of a fragile and quick rabbit, I struggled to hold him with one arm as I cleaned him off with a wet paper towel while facing the bathroom mirror so I could see. It was awful, for him and for me. I'm sure it was painful and uncomfortable for him, and it was difficult for me and also I felt bad for hurting him. Unfortunately, the same thing happened when I came home on Sunday after church.

Now, I know that digestive issues in precious bunnies are often life-threatening, but Snicks was eating, drinking, hopping, and acting just fine, so I was aware he was not dying. I did some research on the internet, and my buddies at the House Rabbit Society had the answer. Basically, they said that the bacteria in his intestines was out of wack, and I surmised the most likely cause was bad diet. (I'm relatively certain he has not been exposed to toxic plants, does not have cancer, and has no environmental stress. I mean seriously.) Their suggestion was to remove both commercial pellets and greens from his diet and feed him a diet comprised solely of hay. Snicks eats orchard grass daily (rabbits have to have unlimited hay), but he usually also gets some pellets, some greens, and perhaps some sort of fruit or oats treat. HRS says:

Treatment of ISC: The treatment of ISC is based first on a serious diet restriction to grass hay, which acts to return the GI tract to normal, and secondly a gradual reintroduction of additional foods after normal cecotropes are produced for at least a week.  This would mean you are no longer seeing the soft cecotropes in the environment or on the rabbit.

Game on, HRS. I took away the pellets, the greens, and the treats. I put grass hay in his living room bowl and his cage bowl. So, since Sunday, he's been on a diet of hay.

And He. Is. Pissed.

Luckily, HRS warned me about this. They said:

There is no doubt that your rabbit will not be happy with you for a while and will probably throw a few tantrums. After all, when you remove the pellets and treats from the diet, it is like taking chocolate away from a chocoholic! You need to resist your pet’s attempts to manipulate your emotions and remember that this treatment is for her benefit and for your benefit as well when you have the freedom from cleaning up the mess every day!

I tell you what, Snicks is a straight-up emotional terrorist. And I feel awful. He hangs out near the kitchen doors all the time and is always looking at me with his big eyes, wiggly nose, and floppy ears like I'm killing him slowly with the indignity I am forcing him to suffer. But I will not be manipulated by his floppy ears! He will eat that hay until he is good for at least a week. I'm trying to keep him alive until at least age 17 years, 2 weeks, and a day.

Another positive is that he may lose a few ounces, and he could probably stand to do that. So, if you've ever wanted to see a seriously teed off house rabbit, I know where you can find one! 

Being Snow White.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Every year the Junior League of Huntington puts on a Character Breakfast. It's a lot of fun -- all the princesses, superheroes, cartoon characters, etc. you know show up while families have breakfast. The kids can go around and take photos with the characters and get their autographs.

This year I played Snow White. If you know me, you know how I felt about this.

It was awesome.

Some highlights of the day:

- I'm signing several autographs for kids when I overhear two adults (looked like a mom and grandmother), who thought I wasn't listening, say, "She looks JUST like her. It's amazing."

- Two kindergarteners from my school showed up together and said, "Hi Miss Lafferre! You look just like Snow White!"

- My friend Summer's kids were there (Summer teaches at my school and she's also the JL president this year) and I told her little girl that she had to keep my secret at school. That everyone at school knows I'm Miss Lafferre, but she has to keep my secret that I'm really Snow White.

I have to say that I had a conversation with one little girl that is probably in the top five conversations of my life. Here it is:

Girl (looked to be about 6-7 maybe?): It was not nice that that woman tried to poison you!
Me: I know! And she was my stepmother too!
Girl: Really?!
Me: Yes! But it all worked out in the end.
Girl: Yes, and you found a prince too!
Me: I did! It's because good always wins. Don't forget that!


Me with my friend Dominique, who was (obviously) playing Tiana.

My coworker Stephanie played Cinderella.

This photo was taken by the local newspaper, The Herald-Dispatch. I kind of love it.

So this was pretty much one of the greatest days ever. 

Little Stinker.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It is an indisputable fact that Snickers the Bunny loooooves Brussels sprouts. Typically this works out really well because I'll peel off a few of the outer layers for him and then eat the rest myself. Sometimes, however, I don't want to eat Brussels sprouts because I just can't do it every day, but he can, so I'll just peel some of the outer leaves off for him.

I've peeled about a blue million Brussels sprouts leaves for Snickers throughout his life. I try to set time aside to do this, but, honestly, I'm busy, so I've been known to just peel a few leaves off and then toss a few whole ones in the bowl along with them and call it a day. I've noticed, however, that the whole ones never get eaten. And I realized that maybe it's because his teeth just can't get a good grip on the whole ones and he's not able to eat them like that. So I felt bad and decided to always peel the leaves for him so he can eat them.

Which brings me to today. I sat down today with his bowl on the floor with my bag o' sprouts and started peeling them for him. He noticed what I was doing and pulled a few out of the bowl and onto the floor to eat. Totally fine. So he's snacking and I'm peeling, and when I'm done I put his bowl into his cage. As I turn back from doing that, I realize he's sniffing around wondering where the leaves went. He's not the most logical thinker, so instead of hopping in his cage to find his bowl (where it always is) he knocks over the bag of sprouts and one goes rolling out. So I watch.

And WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT he starts chomping away at that whole sprout.  Nooooo problems. Nooooo difficulties. Just chomping away as if that was the sole purpose he was created by God. And I realized -- that craphead never had a problem eating those sprouts, he just prefers to eat the individual leaves and he knows I'll peel them for him if he holds out long enough.

Well played Snickers.

Checking in with Joseph.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

From time to time I like to post about my heart kid, the kid on Reece's Rainbow I'm currently praying for you. You might remember Anna Marie, the first kid I ever was assigned to pray for on Reece's Rainbow, and how she was adopted after I prayed for her and some of you did too! (Here she is with her family!)

Ever since Anna Marie got adopted, I've been praying for my new heart kid, Joseph. Like Anna Marie was, Joseph is at-risk of aging out of the adoption system in his country. Basically, if he doesn't have a family by October of this year, he will no longer be eligible for adoption. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!

I'd like to ask you to join me in praying for Joseph. Please remember him by name in your prayers if you would. If you're Catholic, would you consider devoting an hour of adoration to him or saying a Rosary for him? Or, better yet, maybe do the Novena to St. Joseph for him? I just can't imagine going through life without at least one parent.

Here is a picture of him, and you can read more about him here. Thank you!

Creepy Crawlies.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

So earlier this evening I was just sitting on my couch, eating some ice cream, and reading some blogs. You know -- regular stuff. Minding my own beeswax as we used to say in the mid '90s. (And as I repeat to my students now.)

When, out of the corner of my eye, I see something scurry across the floor from the kitchen and go behind my TV.

Now, if you know me, or if you've read this blog ever, you know that this is a heart-attack inducing event. It could be any number of things. Any number. (This and this to name just a couple.)

So, of course, I JUMP up, throw my ice cream down, and grab about three Vogue magazines. All the while I am, of course, hollering for baby Snickers who, I might add, is NEVER in a rush to come when I call. I stand there just telling God to help me out a smidge because I am just over it this week and to please help me understand I am bigger than whatever this offensive creature is. So first, I knock aside some DVDs that are by the TV. Nothing happens. So then I muster up all the courage I can find in myself and I begin to roll my TV away from the wall, inch by inch. (Messing up my cable, natch.) I turn my flashlight app on (not the mid 90s anymore) and go to look behind the TV, still armed with Vogues. Then I spot the offending creature:

This Christmas card from my grandparents. The one that was hanging above the doorframe that hooks my living room to my kitchen. One I haven't taken down because I sort of like looking at the Christmas cards I receive because they are nice.

Oh, and right about the time I Olivia Pope'd the situation, guess who comes strolling into the room?

I'll see myself out.

This Week in Snickers

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

As Snicks's very special holiday was this past Sunday, I thought I'd share a few pictures of a week in his life (a.k.a. I died of cuteness). Yes, yes. I know that Easter is about Jesus, but the way I see it God made Baby S and he is one of God's littlest, sweetest creatures, so ... yeah. 

First up, it is the Month of Snickers! Yes, it has been April in this house all year long, but now it is really April everywhere! I love to think of all the people who are enjoying a photo of the world's cutest rabbit in their houses this month! 

Next is his official Easter portrait. I really don't have much to say about this one other than it doesn't get much better than this! Look at those ears! All four of them! Erin got these ears for me, so I used them in the best way I knew how. 

Finally, a gift from my friend/fellow teacher Sarah. How cute is that bag? As we all know, Snicks loves gift bags, so this is the best gift ever!

Hope your Easter was the hoppiest! 

Thanks Again, Mel.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Holy Wednesday, while an important part of Holy Week, is not really as important as the Big Three. (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, natch.) However, all day long I've been feeling like Holy Wednesday just felt really important, and I just realized why.

Last year Easter was on April 20, so a few weeks later than this year. If you've been following this blog for a while that you might remember that at that time last year I was elbow deep in studying for my Journalism comps, spending every waking moment I wasn't at work at the library. It was a really tough time. I was exhausted, working a gazillion hours a day, and generally just emotionally and physically beat down. Then Holy Wednesday happened.

With that, I give you a re-post of the post I posted (I need a thesaurus apparently) on Holy Wednesday last year. It is simply entitled "Holy Wednesday."

It is 10:12 p.m. and I am still at the library studying for my exam. It looks like I may be home too late to publish today's readings from Jesus Today and Daily Reflections for Lent, and I'm sorry. But what's great is that instead I will share a brief story about God's goodness and answered prayers, and I cannot think of anything more appropriate for Holy Week.

I entered the library today a little before 6 p.m., plugged my computer in, pulled out all my readings and notes and settled in for a long night of studying. Once I'd laid everything out I realized I had forgotten to bring water with me. Now, if you know me you know this is a travesty because I have a huge fear of thirst. I can't go to a movie or anything without a drink because I am afraid of being thirsty. And being thirsty is the worst I think. Like being hungry stinks, but I can deal with it. Being thirsty, on the other hand, takes up allllllllllllllllll my brain power and all I can think about is how thirsty I am. (The only person I have ever met who shares this fear is Story.)

I panicked for one second because I am here alone and have no one to watch my stuff while I look for water. As I was about to enter full on freak out (Am I thirsty yet? How about now? Thirsty yet?) I realized that there was an easy solution: pray. So I quickly looked up and said to God, God please send me some water. I figured we should ask God to meet all our needs, so I did.

A short while later, my best friend Melissa and her daughter Mackenzie showed up at the library with, you guessed it, water. And also with donuts. :) The Lord really blessed me and answered my little prayer for water, probably shaking His head with what little faith I have. He showed me that if He can be faithful in the little things, He will be faithful in the big things as well. And the fact that Mel showed up with water AND donuts? Well, as Saint Paul would say: Now to Him, who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think.

A blessed Holy Wednesday indeed.
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