Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Ads on Facebook have been popping up for the TYME curling iron straightener for the last few months but it was one of those items that I scrolled past. I have always wanted a large barrel curling iron but honestly didn't know how much I would use it. I used a small barrel during high school to get tight ringlets but my hair was always fizzy and then it was brought to my attention I should straighten my hair first to help. Well it took me about an hour to do the ringlets and at that time I didn't have a straightener. I loved braiding and doing different things with my hair that didn't include coloring or cutting it.

As a freshman in college I had a friend show me how to use just a little gel or moose in my hair to give me my natural curl without excessive frizz. This started the phase of my life where I wore my hair either curly or in a ponytail...whatever was fastest.

College graduation, nearing 1st wedding anniversary.
It wasn't until I was married about that I got my first straightener and it took forever to do my hair, so spending 2 hours on it was not my ideal of quality time.

By the time we were married for 4 years my sister in law introduced me to a new flat iron...the Chi. It cut my straightening down to only 15 minutes! Huge deal for a new mom but I still wanted to have the elegant curls in it. Maybe it is my lack of experience with a flat iron but I couldn't get it to give me any curl except the ends and then at the end of the day when my hair began to take on its curl again.

I wanted a large barrel curling iron but couldn't justify the cost. We have been working on our self esteem (weight loss) this year and when the ad came up again I showed my husband. We did our research, let's face it it's a new company and very few reviews and what is there is all over the place. We went out and priced new straighteners (mine is slowly dying) and a large barrel curling iron. We found that buying both could be close to the same price as the TYME. I still wasn't sure but I saw they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. Not only that but if you don't like it they will pay for you to ship it back. 

I decided to take the plunge and purchased it on Saturday it was sent priority mail and should have arrived tomorrow but since I am just a state away received it today (11/18/15).

After making the purchase I prepared by looking at several videos on how to use it because Many commented that it does take time to learn how to use it properly and if you still have issues then you can Facetime or Skype (https://tyme.acuityscheduling.com) the owner Jaycynda Smith to help you.

As soon as it arrived I sent my kids downstairs to play...although they were in my room when I finished (figures), and like a kid on Christmas morning tore into the box.

Quickly tried to sit up a camera to record my first attempt, but failed. Well I managed to capture the first 10 minutes in a silent video. I have to get over hating the sound of my voice to actually talk. I took a shower earlier and let my hair dry naturally...

I don't blow dry my hair because I don't know how. It ALWAYS turns frizzy. Again I think it is one of those things that I probably should invest in one that is more than $10 and yet I'm not willing to unless I can guarantee I'll use it.

What I didn't fail at though was actually getting some curls! It took about 20 minutes and a burnt finger but I managed to get tame curls. I definitely recommend NOT burning your fingers as the iron heats up to 400 degrees. I ended up with a nice little blister.

So since I spent only a short time using it my first time I can't say anything bad. There is definitely a learning curve and remember to take your time, don't squeeze hard, and keep your fingers in the clear would be my advice. Other than that for my first time using it I am happy to go out in public without having to quickly throw it up or redo it. The thing you have to remember is that each person's hair is different so you won't get the same results as me. I can't wait to take it to my sister's at Christmas for her to try. Her hair is completely opposite of mine, perfectly straight, and see if it helps her have curls. My mom's is VERY thick so I'll try it at Thanksgiving and let you know how it works. For now I'm going to keep ice on my finger and hope the pain goes away soon.

I received several compliments on Wednesday night about the fullness and asking more about the TYME

2nd Try 3 days later: After taking a shower I wore my hair in braids until it dried and then attempted to use the TYME on my crimped hair. I may have been rushing it a little but it didn't seem to curl as well. The crimps showed through. I didn't get a good picture but here is one of us freezing at Mizzou's last home game...

I took a HOT shower after to warm up and decided to give another in the morning for church. Which turned out much better. It took around 15 minutes and I didn't burn myself! Still getting a feel for it and trying to figure out technique but I'll let pictures do the talking, let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 2: Grand Tetons

What a better way to start your trip than a 2 hour one way trip? It actually was one of my favorite days! We saw so many animals and breathtaking views.

We were making great time but as soon as we entered the park we came to a standstill. It took a while to figure out what was going on but once we did it was a perfect start. A bison crossing the road and walking right next to the cars. Granted the first sign you read as you enter says "Do NOT stop and block traffic" we obeyed and didn't stop but with traffic in front moving so slowly we had time to pray that he didn't just turn and ram our vehicle. Unfortunately our camera card went bad and we lost quite a few of our pictures. My brother in law captured the bison as well but I haven't asked for permission to use his photos.

Our first stop was around 12. I remember because it was lunch time and my son had a headache from needing to eat. Due to the delay we were about an hour behind schedule and all the food was in my brother's car...Lesson Learned! We took a quick stop to get him medicine and see if we could find a place to eat but it was pretty busy so we walked and took a few pictures before moving on. We spotted our first waterfall on the trip and snapped a quick family photo...minus me.

We are also missing my youngest brother who was not able to join us on vacation. Hopefully next time he will have some time built up.

On our way to the next picnic area which was just past the Grand Teton entrance we noticed a few cars slowing and saw a Bear! I looked down and there next to the road, maybe 5 feet from our car was a cub!

He was adorable and then ran off to join his family which was about 20 feet off the road. Mama was digging for food. We thought we were about to see a bear mauling when we saw a couple people get out of a car behind my brother's. Once they heard it was a bear they got back in but left their doors open.

Here you can see him joining mama and brother (or sister) bear. There are 3 cubs, one is on the other side of mama and you can barely see him. This was truly one favorite and most talked about parts of the trip.

I can't say what happened in my brother's truck but in our vehicle we had very little time we weren't laughing. My brother-in-law and husband really should film their interactions for youtube. 

Oh and we found our picnic spot...after the bears it was just around the bend. A little scary when you think about it but we took our chances, I think because we were all starving and the bears wouldn't have a chance again our hungry group. The view from the picnic area was...well here is a glimpse. 

The lake was created by glaciers. It was just a very peaceful spot to take in the view.

Although the one thing we did have to introduce the kids to the bathroom there. They were not the nice flushable ones that we had stopped quickly at near Old Faithful, or like the portapotties they use at football games. No they were more closely related to an outhouse...a very stinky and heavily used outhouse. We are thankful for Anti-bacterial wipes.

Our plan was to hike some trails but the ones we found were closed because bears were in the area (go figure) or the trail was being worked on. With how long we were already driving we were starting to look forward to heading back. So we decided to take the loop around and start heading back home, still taking our time.

Mount Moran was one of the outlooks we stopped at for the guys to get out and stretch. The kids were tired and the moms didn't want to vacant our comfy spots at the moment.

My sister and I were guarding the car ;) My mom is sitting between us and 2 of the boys were in back. My nephew and niece were in my brother's truck, the rest of the week my nephew joined our crew and my sister and mom took turns riding with my brother.

Our next stop was a quick trail walk/bathroom break. We were able to get more photos of the glaciers.

The stream which is much larger than it appears carrying water from the glacier to the lake. It was impressive site when zoomed in but the actual pictures were poor quality.

A park ranger brought a few wolf skins which the boys were fascinated with. My youngest was trying to figure out where their eyes were.

The first day we were amazed by all the animals, by the end of the trip we were saying "oh just another bison." On our trip 15ish years ago animals were very scarce so we were soaking up every one of them on the first day.

Just past where we had seen the bears earlier was this gorge. I stuck my camera out the window and started snapping, this was the 2nd picture I snapped and the only one without a tree in the way.

As we were exiting Yellowstone there was another traffic jam. This time it was harder to spot but it was an Eagle perched on a tree. So majestic looking.

After a long day, a delicious meal, and some great conversation we headed to bed ready for tomorrow...Old Faithful!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 1: Big Sky

In middle school I wrote an essay about "Old Faithful" and dreamed about going. As a teenager that dream was fulfilled but honestly it was not at all as I had imagined...although it could be due to me being a typical teenager or the fact I had a wild imagination of what I thought it would be like. 

Then again it was mentioned over and over by each of my family members how much better this trip was, the first time we barely saw any animals, we drove a van that didn't have A/C in the middle of summer, not to mention we tent camped so setting up camp and packing up each day didn't help my motivation.

When the trip was originally brought up we were not excited about going because of the camping aspect. I can do a few nights camping but at the end of the day I don't want to have to find a place and sit up my bed worrying about what critters may be lurking outside. My husband and first born get headaches pretty easy which also contributed to the thought that maybe we should just look into a lodge or cabin that would be near my family but have a/c and a place that if they needed to lay down they could. Then we found out my brother's family was thinking the same thoughts which helped turn the rest of our family into renting a house for the week as a homebase.

Once the idea of renting a house large enough for all of us was brought up we were all on board and excited. My dad and sister did the planning for our lodging and itinerary with the change that we decided to visit my husband's family in Boise over the 4th of July and then circle back to meet up with my family in Big Sky Montana. 

I had final walk through the morning we left so we didn't get to leave as early as we had hoped. Once we crossed into Nebraska it started to pour which helped me stay focused as I drove. At lunch I had received a text message with heartbreaking news so while my husband slept I prayed and kept my mind on the present. We stayed the night in Laramie, Wyoming at a very nice lodge "AmericInn Lodge" they had snacks out in the lobby and even though we had to get on the road before breakfast they had bananas and coffee ready. We made great time getting to Boise, Idaho but due to the holiday most sites we were going to visit were closed so we enjoyed catching up and getting to know my husband's aunt and uncle more.

On Sunday we had planned to meet up at Big Sky after church then go grocery shopping for the week but the first congregation we stopped at had cancelled services and the next was nearing the end so we ended up having lunch and going shopping for our group to help save on time. Here is where I would recommend before going on vacation or going on a roadtrip to make sure your credit card companies know that you will be traveling. We have never had an issue before but while checking out and having almost $400.00 in food we had not 1 but 2 credit cards declined! We keep cash on us but not enough to cover that let alone what else we may need the rest of our trip. Luckily the bank texted me and asked if it was truly us making the purchase and once confirmed allowed the transaction. Unfortunately this happened again on our way home but by then we knew the drill and how to override it. Can't say it wasn't embarrassing at the time but we can laugh about it now.

With having to spend extra time at the store fixing our credit issues we decided to meet my family in West Yellowstone at church for evening services. It was a lovely small congregation, very friendly. I love my family but was worried what a week spent in close quarters would do to us. The last time we had spent more than 24 hours together would have been at Christmas. It was my husband's first time meeting our niece who was 4 months now but so far so good.

Our first change to the group itinerary happened Monday. Instead of heading down to Old Faithful we decided to use it as a day to explore Big Sky and rest from the trip there, about 18 hours without stops. Considering that we had 4 kids under the age of 7 and we would be driving at least an hour into Yellowstone each day, it was a Great idea!

We went down the mountain explored the streams and a few shops. I think I'm the only one who bought anything and it wasn't anything related to our trip. :) New running shoes! We played games, relaxed, played in the hot tub (until my kid fell out) and worked together to make dinner and prep for the next day's travel.