Archive for the ‘sisters’ Category

Going to IMATS

Hi Lovelies,
For the very first time, I’ll be heading (with my younger sis) to the Pasadena Convention Center for one of the largest of all the IMATS events! IMATS stands for International Makeup Artist Trade Show. I first heard of IMATS a couple years ago, but the timing was such that I was always having or recovering from surgery. But this time around, I’m definitely mobile enough to be able to attend! I’ve been looking forward to this for months!

Unfortunately, I found out about press passes too late to be able to get one, but did hear back from a very helpful woman who reached out to a pro makeup artist that may be able to help me learn how to effectively cover the massive scar that runs from mid-thigh down to my ankle. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a press pass next year!

IMATS began Friday afternoon for pros only with Saturday and Sunday open to the general public. There will be NO ticket sales at the door as ALL tickets sold out a few weeks ago! We’re going to attend on Sunday only as I don’t think I have enough energy to attend both days.

I’ve been having a lot of stomach issues lately and haven’t felt very well. I had a intestinal flora transplant via colonoscopy plus an endoscopy procedure on Dec. 13th and while I’ve had significant lower GI improvement, they endoscopy seems to have flared up the upper stomach where I’ve had 2 Nissen Fundoplications (both ended up failing). I haven’t had such severe stomach issues in a very long time.

The last several weeks, I’ve mainly had liquids (lactaid milk), yogurt, some crackers, and lots of ginger chews (for nausea). I was told to add Carnation Breakfast Essentials at least once a day in order to get more vitamins and minerals, luckily the vanilla mix I bought actually tastes pretty good. When I had tried eating more “real” foods I’d get pain in my stomach almost immediately. I just saw both of the GI doctors and they changed/added medications so hopefully I’ll start having more relief very soon.

In preparation for IMATS, I’ve been getting myself familiar with as many of the different venders as possible in order to try to have an idea of which booths are most important for me to visit. I also ordered 2 sets of business cards (one with my address for brands/PR/etc and the other with social media information), but it looks like my social media networking cards won’t arrive until Monday.

I’ve heard that most venders will have discounts ranging from 10-40% (or more) for the general public (pros receive additional discounts) that are truly unique to IMATS. I can’t wait to see so many of the brands I’ve read about online in person! If only I had a significantly larger budget! We’ll be leaving here very early in the morning so as to leave ourselves plenty of time to drive, park, walk, and get in line. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

Have you ever been to IMATS or other trade shows? What are your favorite parts?

Update & The Talk Taping

I know its been way too long since I lasted posted an update. Fortunately, I’ve been busy doing many things which is why I haven’t been posting as regularly. However I really am going to try to post more consistently. After my sister and I attended a taping of CBS’ The Talk, I went back on their website to try to sign up for double taping tickets which always seem to fill up first. Luckily, I was able tto snag a pair of tickets for a double taping the week of Valentine’s Day. I don’t know if you’ve been to a tv show taping before, but tthey rarely post who the guests will be more than a few days in advance.


Once I had confirmed our seats for the show the next day, I decided to peek to see who the celebrity guest would be for the first taping since it is impossible to find out who the second taping’s guest is. I could NOT believe it when I read who would be there the very next day. She is and has always been (and probably always be) my most favorite actress EVER! And she had only been on The Talk once before. I was pretty sure she was there to promote the newest children’s book she co-wrote with her daughter. Anyone have a guess who I’m referring to?

None other than the incredible Dame Julie Andrews Edwards!!! It was as if I had handpicked the celebrity myself! I had the opportunity to see her at Disneyland about 8 years ago when they re-dedicated a carousal horse to her. And my sister and I actually had the chance to meet her a few weeks after she was at Disneyland at the annual Festival of Books (which at the time was held at UCLA, but since is held at USC)!! Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take a photo with her. Ms. Julie Andrews Edwards was promoting her memoir, Home, along with her new children’s book which she read (and I video taped) at the Target Children’s stage. We also were able to listen to her recount several stories from her youth which she wrote about in her memior. Afterwards, there was the opportunity to purcahse her memior and have it signed (which I of course did)! I even wrote her a letter which I was able to get to her, though sadly I never received any sort of response (not even a form letter).

Anyways, back to the week of Valentine’s Day this year which we were able to not only see Ms. Julie Andrews Edwards, but every one in the audience were treated to a whole bunch of nice goodies just for being their that day! I’vd watched The Talk enough to know that whenever they would show various items or gift ideas that the audience would also be leaving with those items. But this was the first time something like that had happened to me (with such an expensive set of gifts).

During the commercial break just before that segment, it was interseting to see who effient everyone is at getting the set quickly changed around! I find that in and of itself very iteresting. They hung red velvet drapes and brought out five tables. From all the items on the tables we each received, a silver picture frame and a decoritively topped silver candle (retailing for $80 and $60 respectively), a set of four crystal wine glasses with matching decanter, and the following gift certificates in liew of receving random items that we may or may not like. First we received a $100 certificate for a site that sells truffle oils and other fancy olive oils (I get that they were being ‘cute’ by having mushroom truffles instead of the more typical for Valentine’s Day chocolate truffles), $100 for a site that sells ladies undergarments, and a $155 certificate for a site that sells jewelry along with other various accessories.



Then they went to commercial break. Now I had seen segments similar to this one previously and so I was pretty sure that there would be one more gift. And when they said that Valentine’s Day wasn’t complete without a getaway I became bery excited! The only thing is that I would NEVER have thought of the trip we each were given. Any guesses of where the trip was to?



We each were given a certificate good for TWO nights at The Mirage along with TWO tickets for their Cirque du Soliel Beatles LOVE show! OMGoodness!!! WOW that show as soooo incredibly amazing! I was NOT at all excited about the prospect of a Las Vegas trip until I started looking into it. Since my sister wanted to take her best friend for her trip, I dedided to do the same. Since my bff and I both could REALLY use a vacation, we decided that we’d fly it would make much more sense to also stay an additional two nights. We choose the four star Golden Nugget hotel since she wanted to go to the Fremont Street Experience. I also couldn’t help but be drawn to the pool area. Relatively recently redone, the Golden Nugget actually as a large aquarium in the center of the main pool that has sharks in it! They also have a waterslide that actually goes THROUGH the shark tank near the end of the slide!



That waterslide was sooooo much fun!! It had been well over six years since I had last been in a pool and ten plus years since I had been on a waterslide. Once we had checked it, had lunch, settled into our room we made a beeline straight for the pool! We stayed for a total of 5 days and 4 nights. While I would have loved for our trip to have been longer, it definitely felt like a good amount of time. I am very glad we choose to stay in two very different parrts of Vegas, it was almsot like having two mini vacations back to back. The whole Vegas trip wasn’t even the laslt of the goodies we were given. We also each received her and her daughter Emma’s newest children’s book. All this was just for the first taping.

The second taping aired the following week on President’s Day and had Jenny McCarthy. During one of her segments, Ms. Jenny McCarthy all of a sudden started sounding like an infomercial. I turned to my sister and said I’ll bet we get whatever she ends up talking about. And sure enough I was corrent! We each also received the only FDA approved for home use depilatory (hair removal) laser, the Tria system. While it won’t get rid of 100% of unwanted hair with continued use, it should reduce the amount of hair by up to 70-90%! Unfortunately the Tria system can ONLY be used by those with fair, light, or medium skin along with dark hair only otherwise burns can result. I haven’t tried mine out yet, but will reveiw it once I have tried it and throughout the directed course of self treatment. The retail price for the model we received is approximately an astonishing $450! Would this be something you’d try? I’d love to hear what you think and if you’ve ever tried the Tria or one of the other depilatory at home devices?

So this post has now become very long, yet there is still sooo very much to tell you! I guess I’ll just have to post again soon tell ing you even more about my very first adventure since learning how to walk all over again (for *hopefully* the last time)!


To Shop or Not To Shop THAT Is The Question

Today was probably the most hectic, most insane, and the craziest shopping day of the entire year! So why you may be asking would I subject myself (and using a wheelchair nonetheless) to the mayhem? For the outrageous sales of course! ;-)

Well, I mainly wanted to go CVS and Rite Aid because of the amount of highly discounted, free, and moneymaker items! I started following several coupon sites that each list the matching week’s transactions (also called “match-ups”) and even go so far to list each [sale] item and put together transactions lists. This then makes it super easy for the user to figure out which coupons are needed and in what order to purchase the items in order so as to be the most bang from one’s buck!One of my favorite of such sites is Deidre’s Cuckoo for Coupon Deals though she didn’t have transactions listed for black Friday.

The super nice and helpful cashier at CVS was very impressed with the detailed transaction lists that I gave her Deidre’s website as well as my own. Who knows, maybe she’ll even read this post! ;-) My sister and I spent over three hours at CVS and Rite Aid between finding items and checking out. And in both stores everyone we encountered shoppers and employees alike were so kind and helpful! One woman in CVS noticed we were looking for the same items she was and brought us the items as she found them for herself as well!


I am pretty new to the whole stockpile coupon-ing thing. I remember cutting out coupons for my mom when I was 4 or 5 without ever being asked or shown how. I just did. So I’ve always been interested in coupons and tried to use them when I could. But in the last few months I’ve really been trying to use coupons to get items we use very inexpensive or free. I have found though that for most of the food products my family buys, that there are no coupons for them.

So my main focus is for non-food items like hair products, soap, cosmetics, and other toiletries. I have a couple shelves in one bookcase that I am using for these items and I have to say that we are good on shampoo and conditioner for awhile! Rite Aid had VO5 for $0.33 each after store rewards! Both stores were very patient while I sorted the items into the many transactions needed to take advantage of store rewards.

Did you take part in Black Friday? And if so, where did you go and what deals did you find?


Adjustments, Slips, and Spills

Tomorrow I head back to the surgeon’s office for yet another one of my bi-weekly visits. While it is a drag having to schlep up to their office and having to often wait hours to see the P.A. (Physicians Assistant) I know it is well worth it.

And I am very lucky to have such a close family friend who is just wonderful company and we often will go out for dinner or something afterwards. That really does help to make the whole experience so much better!
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Super Sister Sundays!

I love my little sister. While we are sisters by birth, we are friends by choice. I had always hoped that since we are nearly 10 years apart that by the time she neared 20 years old that a lot of the petty sibling rivalry would go away and it has! We have become extremely close throughout the last couple years as we have had to go through (and are still going through) some very difficult and trying times.

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