Monday, September 16, 2013

Please pass the salt!

NSalt is one of Joel's old mission companions, and we used to live close to him and his wife.  Then, they graduated and got a job.  1400 miles away.  

The day they moved was so sad! partly because they'd just had a baby, and partly because we love them.  But this summer, N2's sister got married close by, and they came to stay with us for a week!  It was soooo fun.

A point that should be noted: Remember my favorite cereal?  Well, guess what the Salts gave us as a "Thank you for letting us stay with you" gift.

I'll give you a hint.
It came from South Korea.

And this is why we love the Salts.*

*There are actually a ton more reasons why we love the Salts.  But their coolness in remembering my favorite cereal is definitely one. :)


"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking to a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."  - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Friday, September 13, 2013

shaving: the results show

The day things started coming in the mail was so exciting!  Also, I was incredibly nervous. TERRIFIED. that I was going to mangle my legs.  So the first shave took forever.  I was suuuuper careful.  Now it goes much faster.

Fast forward three months, and I couldn't be happier!  I absolutely LOVE Tabac.  I will never buy another shaving soap.  It doesn't irritate or dry my skin out at all, which is great.  I am also 100% happy with my boar bristle brush.  Some people complain about the smell of Tabac mixed with the Omega brush, but I find the smell of old man cologne + barber shops comforting.  And anyway, the smell of the brush gets less and less strong the more you use it.  

I know this is a weird picture, but it's to show you how short my hairs are after a WHOLE WEEK of not shaving.

My Lady Gillette is great; I love its long handle, plus it's pretty and easy to keep clean.  My favorite blade to date is the Israeli Crystal blade, although I haven't tried the Japanese Feather yet and am expecting great things from it.  

My shaving setup. I do better with my glasses on, so I shave outside of the shower.

Now for the part you're probably most curious about (as I was) - the shave.  

People, I have never had a closer shave in my entire life.  Ever.  Baby legs aren't as smooth as mine are now.  My legs are the kind of smooth that literally makes them shiny.  Two days after shaving, I have the tiny stubble I used to get the night or morning after shaving with my Venus razor.  I used to cut myself every once in a while, and there was this part of my left calf that I had to shave like, fifteen times to get close.  With my double-edged, I've nicked myself maybe.... five times ever, and I only have to shave the difficult part of my left leg once or twice.  ONCE OR TWICE!  That never used to happen.  

I put on a thin layer of Tabac first...

Also, I haven't had razor burn in a single place a single time.  In the past, after I shaved and put on lotion, my legs would often erupt in red bumps.  Now, nothing.

I change my blade every 2-3 weeks (that's 2-3 leg shaves and however many armpit shaves were in between those).  That's not when the blade gets dull; it's just, after 2-3 weeks, I start to notice that the blade doesn't feel brand new anymore.  So I always have a fresh blade.  You know how great it is using a new razor?  Imagine if you had that every single time you shaved.  For cheap.  My total setup cost about $55.  The replacement cartridges alone for a Venus razor can be $8-$16 for three or four heads, and if you replaced one of those every time you started to notice it didn't feel brand new anymore, you'd be spending a BOATLOAD. 

A can of shaving cream can be anywhere from $3ish to $20, depending on what you get (please don't spend $20 on your shaving cream, readers).  It doesn't last very long when you're shaving legs, which are quite a bit bigger than faces.  I've been using my puck of Tabac for the last three months and it's like.... a millimeter shorter than it was when I bought it.  A refill will be $15 when I finally need one.  

Then put on another layer and froth it up!

I will most likely never need to replace my razor handle.  Are you kidding me?  I bought it used from the 70's - 40 years ago - and it's in almost perfect condition.  As for the blades, the sample pack I bought has 40 blades in it.  If I change my blade every two weeks, they will last me 80 weeks, or a year and a half.  I can buy a package of 120 of my favorite blades for $18.88 on Amazon.   That's about 6¢/blade, and I will have the feeling of a brand new razor every time I shave for 240 weeks, or FOUR AND A HALF YEARS.  

And the craziest thing about it all?  I look forward to shaving.

Are you kidding me?!  No.  I'm not.  I get excited to shave.  Every single time.  Sometimes I wish I shaved more often; sometimes I shave more often than I need to.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is unheard of. 

Plus, you just feel so classy putting on shaving soap with a bristle brush and then using your double-edged.

This is also a weird picture, but I tried to take it at an angle so you could see how shiny
my skin is after shaving now! Without lotion.

The moral of the story is this: I would recommend a DE razor every single time.  If you want to try it out and have any questions about what else I learned while researching (there's so much more than I shared!) or how to shave with a DE (the technique is a little different), please ask.  :)  Especially if you're a girl.  While I'm hardly an expert, there are very few women out there talking about double-edge razors, so finding what you're looking for can sometimes be tricky.


"Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know I'll be in Slytherin, all our family have been - imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?"  - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

a close shave

In addition to being The Summer of Sequels, this summer was also The Summer of the Double-Edged Razor.  Having heard good things, I decided to research the double-edged razor because my Venus razor was dull and I needed a new cartridge anyway.  After hours of research - literally - I made my purchases.  

I chose the Lady Gillette to be my razor.  In all my research, I learned that there's basically only one razor made for women, and that's the Lady Gillette.  They haven't been made since the 70's, but you can find them for cheap and in good condition on eBay.  It's a good women's razor because it's longer than the typical face-shaving razor, making it good for maneuverability.  I looked at several razors made for men but ultimately settled on the Lady Gillette.

1 used 70's-era Lady Gillette - $17

For my shaving "aide," I decided on a shaving soap rather than a cream or gel.  I'd be lying if I claimed part of the reason wasn't because of the nostalgia of using a soap.  It reminded me of a barber shop, and I really wanted to have one of those sweet brushes used to lather it up.  But that wasn't the only reason.  I learned that shaving gels often have glycerin in them, which can make for a slipperier surface and be great for shaving, but it also tends to reduce the lather.  My personal opinion is that shaving through a lather is more comfortable.  And I mostly decided on a soap versus a cream because creams come in a spray can and are, therefore, more expensive.

When it came to choosing a soap, most reviews and articles I read said that the most popular women's soaps were those with a pretty fragrance.  I decided I'd rather have the best soap than the most feminine-smelling one, and discovered Tabac.  Many people refer to it as the "gold standard" of shaving soaps.  They also claim it doesn't cause irritation, lasts a really long time, comes in a ceramic dish (if you're going for old-fashioned, might as well go all the way!), and "in just a few brushes, it produces a lather so thick you could practically call it a solid."  I'll be honest, that last review was the one that really pushed me over the edge.

1 Tabac Original Shaving Soap with Ceramic Bowl - $20

I did a ton of research on blades because eeeeveryone said the blade you choose can really make or break double-edge shaving for you.  They recommended buying a sample pack, so I found one with five kinds of blades I wanted to try - Derby, Astra, Personna Platinum, the Israeli Crystal, and the Japanese Feather.

1 DE Blade Sample Pack, Choice - $10.50 (40 blades)

Finally, I bought myself a shaving brush.  Most of what I read said that, although badger bristle brushes are better quality, they're also more expensive, and boar can be just as good but is way cheaper.  So I got a boar.  I also researched brands and styles of brushes and decided on the Omega because of its quality for the price.

1 Omega 10049 Boar Bristle Brush - $9

TOTAL: $54.50

Tune in next time for the exciting finale!  Same bat time, same bat channel.


"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."  - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Monday, September 9, 2013


About me: I listen to the Christian radio station.
That's right.  And proud of it.  I appreciate that I can be reminded of Christ in my everyday life without just listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  

Also, I always pay more attention to movies, TV shows, and songs that refer to everyday activities and items.  If a TV show mentions "puffed rice cereal," whatever.  If it mentions Rice Krispies, now I'm paying attention.  If a song mentions specific actions, like in "Mr. Mom" or "You're Gonna Miss This," my ears perk up.  

Now that you have the background information... 
The other day was rough at school, and it was on my mind as I was driving home from work today.  Also while I was driving home from work today, this song came on the radio:

It mentions specific actions right at the beginning, so my attention was caught immediately.  The chorus started, "While I may not know you / I bet I know you wonder sometimes / Does it matter at all?"  And I thought two things.  First, That's exactly how I feel sometimes at school, and second, He's about to say, 'Of course it matters!' They always do in songs about parenting.  It's good advice for teaching, too.  Routines and discipline help and teach when you are consistent, so even when it doesn't seem like the correcting is working, it is.  Sometimes it just takes time to take effect.

He sang, "Well, let me remind you / It at all matters...," and I thought, Toldja! 

And THEN he said, " long as you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you."

Oh yeah.

Then, "Do every little thing you do to bring a smile to His face."

And all of a sudden, the reasoning behind discipline and routines and correcting and teaching respect... made more sense.  And all of a sudden, it seemed like less of a chore to go home and clean the kitchen.  Because Heavenly Father wants us to be clean, right?  Right.  So my cleaning the kitchen could literally make Him smile, right?  Right.  

I teach my Primary kids that our good actions make God happy.  For some reason, though, thinking about my actions putting a smile on His face felt more concrete.  Doing things "to make Him smile" makes more sense, feels more real.  This song reminded me that everything we do, we should be doing to glorify God.  Correcting students when they're disrespectful to each other?  That would bring a smile to His face.  Overcoming laziness and making dinner even though I'm tired?  That would, too.  

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."  - 1 Corinthians 10: 31


"Every man...doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God."  - Doctrine and Covenants 82:19

Friday, September 6, 2013

the next great screenwriter

J's family has a cabin up in some mountains where it is so nice to go and relax, and we got to go this last weekend!  It was great.  One thing we did while there was play with Rory's Story Cubes (thanks Michael and Brooke!), and let me tell you - we could totally write movies.  Potential plots include...
  • magic wishing well - medieval time period - peasant girl - peasant dad who sells chicken products - If you take a coin out of the magic wishing well, you become of the same economic status as the person who threw it in.  
  • medicine man named Wolf Who Howls At The Moon - Indian tribe that was friends with Pocahontas - lightning fire - magical moon tears
  • The Girl in the Red Baseball Cap - a ghost - 15 years old
  • fairy wands that either explode or turn into new fairies in fire
  • cavemen - the discovery of magnets - kind of like a compass that points "family"
If you steal our ideas, I'll go Hugo-The-Boy-Detective-Who's-Only-Trying-To-Prove-Himself-When-He-Finds-A-Dead-Body on you.


"As soon as... you are rejected, left alone, or abandoned for a short time, you might find yourself thinking, 'Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.'  What you need to realize is, these other people are NOT worthy of YOU.  Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of emotional growth because it contradicts the sacred inner voice that calls you 'worthy.'  And being worthy constitutes the core truth of every human existence. Say it out loud if you have to:  'This is my journey, and I am worthy of the trip.'" - Marc & Angel Hack Life

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I have some sad news, readers.

Really sad.


Yesterday, when I got out of the shower, there was only one of these left: 
That means today, if I don't get to the store, there will be zero.

Now that's motivation.

UPDATE: The situation has been remedied!


"I tend to be a storage junkie, with a dream of a bare house.  No stuff visible anywhere.  Everything has a place."  - Ana White

Monday, September 2, 2013

pet peeve

I don't mind if you complain or vent to me about a problem you're experiencing.  However.  When I (and/or others) present you with a variety of GREAT solutions and you don't even consider trying any of them, I hate that.  Also, you lose the right to complain or vent to me about that problem (and have me listen patiently) for the foreseeable future.   If the excuse you give for not trying anything is realistic and justified, you're okay.

Clarification: It doesn't bother me if you don't take my advice.  It bothers me when you hear everyone's advice and take none of it.  ...and then continue to complain (either about your lack of action or your bad actions).


"I have learned that we believe it is a strength to conceal weakness."  - Russ Hill