Finkie Blog

What NOT to do the Day Before Your Husband Returns Home From a 7 Month Deployment September 15 2014, 0 Comments

If you're a military wife whose husband is deployed, you probably do what I do and dream about his return the second you see him walking away! I've had this blog post written in my head for 2 months and now I'm ready to share what's surely the most pitiful, and hilarious, thing that has happened to me EVER! I know, how can something be so pitiful and so hilarious at the same time? I want to share this true story and hope that no one else experiences the same beauty mishap!

After 191 days, I was counting down the hours to Jay's return home. By Saturday I had found the perfect Charming Charlie accessories. Check! By Sunday afternoon I had my white, strapless Banana Republic dress starched, ironed, and hanging ready to wear. Check! Even my comfy I-can-chase-my-toddler-and-still-look-cute wedges were waiting by the front door. Check!

Wanting everything to be perfect, I looked in the mirror at my face and realized it was that time again... Time to get rid of every little fuzz on my face using hair removal cream! For the sake of not wanting to put out any bad reviews on another company's brand, I made up my own military-inspired acronym. I'll call this brandless Hair Removal Cream the "HRC."

Throughout the entire deployment, we were lucky enough to have daily Face Time chats with Jay and everyday we would see him and his mustache. If your husband was deployed and grew out his mustache then you know what I'm talking about! Jay can grow a mustache in 2 days that would make Tom Selleck jealous! I looked in the mirror at myself and was shocked! The reflection staring back at me looked like I was competing with Jay and Tom for the Mustache of the Century Award! I quickly rummaged through my basket of toiletries for my HRC, found it, and with urgency, slathered on the HRC. I had a sigh of relief as if those few seconds I saved slathering it on would make a difference in making the Mustache of the Century go away!

Two whole minutes later I washed it off and that's when it began! I had the smoothest upper lip and temples but with stoplight-red irritated skin. Not wanting to panic, I told myself the red map on my face would go away and, if not, I'll put make up over it. I spent the rest of that evening trying to relax and went to bed looking forward to seeing Jay the next morning. 

Relaxing was impossible!

My face felt like it was on fire!!! I woke up from a sleepless night hoping it would be gone and instead it was worse! Nevertheless, I had to find a way to get ready that morning. I quickly got the Finkie Kids dressed and drove to pick Jay up with my foundation-covered, firey, red-mapped, non-mustache smiling face!

Like a lot of deployment homecomings, we stood around waiting for an hour under the sun. Maybe it would've been wise to have brought a hat to protect my sensitive skin... but in the rush and excitement of going to see Dada after 7 months, I didn't bother. Jay arrived and, self-consciously, for the first time in my life I was relieved that I was sweaty! The sweat beads were disguising the foundation-covered rash on my face. 

The car ride home was a little awkward and not because of the reunion, but because I was driving with my face angled away from Jay hoping he wouldn't notice. Then I heard him ask the dreaded question...

"What happened to your upper lip?" 

There was no hiding it from that point on! I confessed all about my recent HRC mishap and revealed the rest hiding under my bangs on my forehead. It was getting worse and worse by the hour as you could watch my face literally melting all the way home! By that point, it felt like a blow torch was being held up to my face!

For the next 3 weeks I had to learn how to balance an ice pack up to my face all day and all night. I even managed to balance ice packs while dealing with Finkie Boy's toddler tantrums! The stubborn rash wouldn't go away and I was starting to accept I'd be this way forever! There are avocados with waaay smoother skin than I had! At one point, the two quarter size red blotches on my temples were starting to grow and spread towards each other to cover my entire forehead! The red map on my face was starting to connect like Pangea... bumpy terrain and ALL! Not to mention I had trouble breathing! It wasn't just any old simple chemical burn. It was a chemical burn with a merciless, full of wrath allergic reaction!

Jay reassuringly said he loves me and tried to make me feel better. His comforting remarks didn't make it go away so we went along and carried on with life. Can you believe I went out in the most crowded public places like that?! To let my face heal, I went out only wearing Neosporin and Cortisone on my face. You can imagine that restaurant dinners were not so flattering with my shiny, Neosporin-covered temples reflecting the candlelight! The mornings were spent with my good friend, Claritin D. At nights, my other friend, Benadryl, was there to rescue! 

I tried not to let my HRC beauty mishap get in the way of anything so we managed to do the Sacramento Parent magazine interview and photo session in the middle of the entire ordeal. By the time we were halfway through our weekend-in-Las-Vegas-sans-kids date, it was starting to go away. Two amazing prescriptions from my Dr. Mom is what finally made it go away for good!

In the excitement of getting ready for your husband to return home from a deployment, just remember not to try so hard like I did. Your husband will love you and think you're beautiful no matter what! I hope my pitiful, yet hilarous, story saves even one overly excited military wife from this atrocious self-inflicted experience. After being one of those I-don't-go-anywhere-without-makeup girls, I now wear less makeup and appreciate my skin without anything on it. Be careful what you use the day before your husband returns home. I had been using this HRC for years and didn't realize a chemical burn and allergic reaction could happen out of the blue! I realize now that I had been making mountains out of molehills. I think I'll resort to plucking the 5 little strands of upper lip hair that, in my mind, was the Mustache of the Century! 


Finkie Futon's TV Debut on Good Day Sacramento! September 13 2014, 2 Comments

I'm so grateful to have been invited by Melissa Cabral from Good Day Sacramento to be on this weekend's news! Thank you, Cody Stark & Melissa, for the fun interview! Thank you to everyone at the Good Day Sacramento news studio for a wonderful experience!

Watch our Storage for Fluffy Stuff demo!

Special TV Debut Sale here


"I'm Just Grannie to Everyone!" September 06 2014, 0 Comments

The Finkie Kids and I had lunch at one of our favorite Nor Cal restaurants this week. When we were done eating and as we were getting ready to leave, a couple of lovely ladies at the next table greeted us. They stopped us to remark how well-behaved James was as he woke up from napping in his stroller, quietly colored with his crayons and ate his lunch. I thanked them for their kind compliments and felt relieved that we made it through another dining experience without disrupting anyone around us. With the Finkie Boy it's pretty much hit or miss and our dining experience all depends on his mood-of-the-moment! If you're a parent to a toddler and you've ever attempted to eat at a restaurant with your toddler (probably all parents!), you can most likely relate. 

Isla took it upon herself to introduce us as the Finkie Family, Finkie Kids with the Finkie Futons. Because I didn't want these sweet little ladies to think we had just landed from Planet Finkozoid, we ended up chatting for a whole 15 mins. It took me awhile to explain what and who this little spunky, enterprising Finkie Girl was talking about! It made my day chatting with Ms. Louise and hearing Ms. Bonnie say "I'm just Grannie to everyone!" I loved hearing all about their grandkids. The most heart-warming part was when Ms. Bonnie claimed that on some days, as an 83 year old, she wakes up feeling old. She only feels old on some days and not everyday! :) 

With Grandparents day this weekend, I would like to wish my grandparents in Australia "Happy Grandparents Day!"  Although we're far apart, I want them to know I think of them often and wish we could spend time together. I'm so proud to say they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this last July! Yes, you read that right... Sixty Fifth!!! Every time I talk to my Lola, she always, always, always says "I'm doing well!" and I admire her subtle, yet meaningful, example of optimism. When I was 9 years old Lolo taught me to always work hard, don't fear the competition, and in his words, "You must be the BEST!" They are an extraordinary couple showing our family and everyone the meaning of marriage, happiness, and success! 

Happy Grandparents Day also to Wowo, Wowa, Pap, Grammie, Grannie Fink, and all grandparents everywhere! 

Tell us in the comments why your grandparents are so awesome and what you learned from them!


Photo Credit: Sarah Rattenbury. Sarbury Photo/Design. Sydney, Australia


The 4th Grade Lesson I Still Remember 25 Years Later September 01 2014, 0 Comments

With Back-to-School Days upon us, I thought I would share the most life-changing thing I learned in the 4th grade. This lesson was so memorable that I still get nightmares from it and remember it 25 years later! 

One fall evening, I diligently did all my homework, casually put my assignments aside, and went to go eat dinner and play!

I arrived at school the next morning only to open my backpack and realize that I had forgotten my Trapper Keeper with my finished homework at home! With my 4th grader apprehension, I knew it was going to be a terrible day! The teacher went from subject to subject collecting everyone's homework throughout the day and I couldn't even use The-Dog-ate-ALL-my-homework excuse because we didn't have a dog! 

At my elementary school, we had those carbon copies which the teacher fills out for each assignment that wasn't turned in. I went home that evening with not just one, not just two, but a whopping THREE yellow slips for my mom to sign! It must have been a record!

At home later that night, my mom taught me how important it is to prepare my backpack before going to bed. To this day, as I prepare my stuff each night, I get flashbacks to those 3 yellow carbon copies and how it changed my life. I never forgot my homework again after that traumatizing fourth grade experience! There are always things to learn from failure and that day taught me how to be responsible and prepared. As I got older, I started to add planners and checklists to my daily preparedness routine. Now, as a work at home mom, I start panicking if my trusty planner is not within reach!

What's your grade school lesson that you still remember as an adult? If you're a teacher, do you have ways to teach your students about being organized and prepared? Share your stories in the comments! :)

We're Featured in... Sacramento Parent Magazine! August 29 2014, 0 Comments

It is such an honor to be featured in Sacramento Parent Magazine! Thank you so much to Shannon Smith, Editor at Sacramento Parent Magazine, and Michelle McDaid for the photography, Mom Next Door interview, and article. It was great working with you both and the whole Finkie Family had a great time! 

Check out the September 2014 issue!

Sacramento Parent September 2014 Cover



How to move ALL your household stuff in 4 days August 26 2014, 1 Comment

Thirteen days ago we were told that Finkie Dad's job is moving to another state! Even by frequently-moving military standards, we had very short notice! Jay and I were left to come up with a plan to move all our stuff, sans professional movers, in a matter 4 days! Life has been somewhat chaotic for the Finkie Family lately. If you're in the military or you find yourself having to tackle a daunting DIY move, I've come up with a list of things that helped us.

1. Find Storage for not-so-fluffy stuff. After months of planning Storage for Fluffy Stuff, I ironically had to find a place to store everything else in our house. We were lucky to find a storage unit that was located 3 minutes from our house! Any closer and we could have walked our stuff over there. This short trip made traveling and hauling stuff back and forth so much faster. We were able to make several drop off trips in the same day. If you need one, find a storage unit that's nearby!

2. Channel your inner truck driver. I have always wanted to be a truck driver... yes, I'll admit, it's on my bucket list! We rented a 20 foot U-haul and now I think I want my own 20 foot truck! I was thrilled when the lady at the U-haul place said, "You'll be driving a commercial vehicle." I had visions of myself road trippin' big-rig style into the sunset! So far this is the biggest thing I've driven and feet-wise, I'm just 34 feet shy of driving a full 54 foot container! When going from a sedan to a truck, just remember to drive slowly, cautiously, and defensively. Don't forget to make wide turns and check your blind spot. I even managed to back up on the driveway without guidance and without demolishing our house! There's no rear-view mirror, but those huge side mirrors are all you need. Just remember there are blind spots behind those!

3. Washable, washable, washable crayons. If you have kids like we do, you'll need a way to entertain them while you're moving. The Finkie Kids were coloring in their coloring books while we were busy running around. They had a box of randomly mixed washable and not-at-all-washable crayons. If you didn't know before, crayons can be permanent! The 'permanent' crayon scribbles, courtesy of Finkie Boy, only ended up on the tile flooring where I have yet to scrub it off with bleach. The crayon wall art masterpiece that Finkie Boy made was quickly removed because, luckily, it was a washable crayon. We now know we're never buying another non-washable crayon! Hmmm, if washable crayons are labeled washable, shouldn't regular crayons be labeled as "Non-Washable Crayons"? Haha!

4. Coordinate Ant Power. My biggest fear in moving our fully furnished 4 bedroom house was the giant dresser in our bedroom set. From the moment I realized we were doing this move ourselves, that 9 drawer, 300 lb dresser kept tormenting me each time I walked past it. I told myself if ants can lift things 20 times their weight I should be able to move this gigantic dresser just me and Jay! Jay cleverly gave me my old scuba gloves to protect my hands. It was the most use my scuba gloves have gotten in years! I'm glad he insisted I wear it because it really helped me get a good grip on the furniture while we were flexing our ant power! Don't forget to protect your hands, lift with your knees, and take short breaks every few feet if needed. I'm a small 5 foot gal and I was still able lift our bedroom set! 

5. Go sledding down your staircase. What's big and floppy and really, really heavy? You guessed it... a king-size memory foam mattress! Moving the 300 lb dresser was a walk in the park compared to this. It was a wrestling match: Team Finkie Parents vs. The Supersize Burrito! Jay was full of brilliant ideas and folded the memory foam mattress in half as we each grabbed our corners and scooted it towards the top of the staircase. In order to keep Supersize Burrito from winning this match, Jay jumped on top of it and went sledding down the staircase head first. It ended up being the highlight of our DIY move! I stood at the top of the stairs laughing myself to tears and cheering our team on! I don't know if I'd recommend this to anyone, but it seemed better than getting pinned under a 500 lb mattress . Don't forget to get creative and carefully leverage your power. +1 Finkie Parents, 0 Supersize Burrito!

6. Tetris Tower O' Stuff. All our heavy items ended up in our storage unit before the little knickknacks and odd-shaped items... and we somehow have mostly odd-shaped items. Getting everything to fit is like a fun game of Tetris! Think outside the box and get those odd-shaped stuff to fit together. Yes, we may have perched our wicker bench upside down on top of our grill but it worked in maximizing our cubic feet! I just hope our Tower O' Dining Chairs which touches the ceiling doesn't topple over in case there's another Nor Cal Napa earthquake! 

7. Taco Bell anyone?  In our frequently-relocating Finkie Family, we've managed to come up with moving day traditions! When we're tired of trying to eat everything in our freezer or pantry, which is hard to do in 1 week, we get Taco Bell! We've been doing this since 2007 and haven't missed a single Taco Bell moving day lunch break, even when we lived in Japan! Find fun ways to make the move all about the journey and enjoy the whole should-be-grueling process!

8. Use Finkie Futon as your furniture. Now that everything is in storage, we saved 1 finkie futon to use as a daytime lounger! At night we take our bedding, pillows, and stuffed animals out. I'm glad I still have a lounger even though we're down to our bare minimum stuff. Don't forget to save your finkie futon and fold it away when you're done using it! 

If you have a DIY move I hope this list helps you out! You can do it, too! We said several times, "This DIY move is crazy but let's make it happen!" We were up for the challenge and it ended up being a great husband and wife team building experience!


Welcome to the Finkie Blog!!! August 13 2014, 0 Comments

It has been 10 long months of planning and I'm excited to finally say....

Welcome to the Finkie Futon Web Store and Blog!!!

I want to start by saying thank you to everyone for following finkie futon on our facebook page! I'm so grateful for everyone's support and patience. I was thrilled to get orders through email while this web store was under construction. I'm going to be using this Finkie Blog for a variety of topics so don't forget to check back. :) I'll be blogging about family life, toddler and kiddie topics, military life, mommy stuff, home organization, stuff I love, and of course Finkie Futon products. 

Please browse around our store! I'm looking forward to building a network of parents. I love meeting other moms through finkie futon! Feel free to send me an email or comment. You'll most likely get a reply from me around 3am since I'm a night-owl and that's when I get my best work done. Don't forget to sign up and subscribe as a Finkie Fan! I'll be sending out promotion announcements and news on future finkie products in our Finkie Fan Monthly Newsletter!