Favorites

I see all of the Vlogs about monthly favorites or seasonal favorites. I am in no way bragging, I just want to share some things that have brought some joy to my life.

I have been yet again trying to push myself to try new things and I have found some new favorites and of course my old favorites…..At least one of these will be from way back in high school. That’s been a few years! As of this May I graduated 15 years ago!!!!!! Amazing!!!!!

Foundation Makeup: For many years now I have used COVERGIRL cgsmoothers BB Cream tinted moisturizer+sunscreen. Every so often I get frustrated because everywhere I go it is out of stock. The reason for this is that they have gradually been changing the formula to have a higher SPF (15 to 21), and I tend to run out during the inventory change. I have used only one other brand and did not like it at all. It smelled like summer sunscreen,  that you’d wear to the beach, on your face all day long.I do not like the heavy scents. I would like to try other BB Creams to find one that has more coverage on blemish days, but I have pretty good skin so I don’t worry too much. It would just be nice to have.

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Lipstick: Ok I have never felt confident wearing lipstick. Honestly, I thought I looked like a poser/clown/fake/trying-too-hard/mess! I just didn’t have the charisma to carry that look. I was shy and mostly wanted to hide. So bright lips were not a look I would go for to blend into the crowd or whatever. I only wanted lightly tinted lipgloss. Now, I have two shades and a lipgloss! GO ME!!!! Not to mention I would like to try other shades. I have lipslick smoochies by COVERGIRL in #255 Sweet Tweet (it seems to have 3 names but I will just put the one), Maybelline New York colors 410 Blissful Berry and 920 Nude Lust. I do wear them each separately or I do combos. Blissful Berry stains my lips really well so even if it wears off quite a bit my lips still have color. I am not into reapplying all the time.

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Eye makeup and Bronzer: Still trying new things!!!!!! I have finally found a bronzer that doesn’t look like mud on my face!!! COVERGIRL copper radiance 102. It finally happened and I am now contouring my face! LOL!!! At myself! I have no sisters so I am learning how to do this stuff from good old Youtube!!!!!! I also have been loving a new eye shadow pallet from COVERGIRL country woods. It has a nice bronze shimmer that works well with the other colors on fancier days or browns for a more natural look. It is a change from my normal plum colors that are supposed to bring out my green eyes.

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Eyeliner: Again this is one of those things that I was not comfortable with wearing or applying. I had no clue what to get or how to use it. Just for reference, the only eyeliner that I ever saw applied up close was my mom’s back in the day, that had to be sharpened and then melted a bit with a lighter to make it go on. (She may still do this!) Um yeah……. Soooooo, after many years of trying various brands I finally found one that I love! What made me actually start wearing eyeliner was the fact that I have crazy eye allergies and dry eyes. I tend to rub my eyes a lot and pick at my eyelashes because it feels as if they are poking me in the eye. With the lack of sections of eyelashes I needed some way to give my eye definition to look like I had lashes behind my glasses. You can’t put mascara on lashes you physically do not have. So here it is! Maybelline New York Unstoppable eyeliner in the color onyx! If I don’t rub too much it stays all day!!!!! It does not come with a blending sponge so I I get cheap little sponge eye shadow applicators to blend with. It seems a bit of a hassle because I lose them in the bottom of my bag. That being said, I have to replace them out of the multi pack that is super cheap. It cuts down on the eye infections though, which is a good thing!!!!! Because, now I have eye lashes and can actually wear mascara.

DSCN4289Eye Care: A few other things that have helped on my journey to regrow lovely lashes are these two products. One helps to keep my eyes and lash hair follicles hydrated. I did not know that this product existed or that I seriously needed it until I came across it and now will always have it! It is Restore PM Nighttime Lubricant Eye Ointment  Equate store brand. I use it during the day if my eyes are really dry or at night if my eyes feel dry and itchy. When I first used it I freaked a bit because it is a gel and it makes your vision fuzzy until you work it thin over your eyeball. I also work it onto my eyelashes to moisten those hair follicles. I can not stress enough how much this helps!!!!! The second is lash and brow building serum from Mary Kay. I had tried Remmel London eye lash serum and it didn’t have a good applicator, it stung pretty bad, and it took forever to work the slightest bit. The Mary Kay on the other hand  has a soft applicator, doesn’t sting as bad, and works much faster. I used it straight for 1 1/2 weeks and had new growth from bare eyelids. The other was going on 2 1/2 weeks with new growth on bare eyelids (still shorter than the Mary Kay results). Using these as needed and with the change of eyeliner sponges my eyes and lashes are quite healthy!

DSCN4306Perfume: I have two perfumes that I have really been enjoying! I usually switch scents for spring/summer and fall/winter, but have not since my mom bought me these perfumes. Actually they were Mother’s Day gifts last year and this year. One is called “Yes, Yes” that is a knock off version of Paris Hilton’s “Can, Can” (which I found inexpensively and will get when this bottle runs out). The best that I can describe the scent is a sweet cotton candy/vanilla/musk. I am not doing it justice at all. Paris Hilton’s “Can Can” has cassis, clementine flower, wild orchid, nectarine, musk, orange blossom, woods, and amber. I assume this has similar ingredients. The other is an AVON scent called “Ultra Sexy Pink” (with the pink bow) described by AVON as “A provocative fruity floral scent with flirty raspberry and fresh blushing peony mingled with sheer, sexy musk.” I really like them both, but my husband says that he likes the scent of “Yes,Yes” better.

DSCN4285Vitamins: I have never been one to take vitamins on a regular basis except for when I was pregnant, because I had to. I hate the smell and the size of those horrid tasting things. I needed to start taking vitamins again and actually found some that I look forward to taking every morning. Seriously I feel as if I am eating candy!!!! They are the Walgreens store brand MultiVitamins Gummies for Women. They are fruit flavored gummies!!!!! I will so buy these again!!!! They were about $7 for a bottle of 70 gummies. Taking 2 per day. The first ones I could taste a bit of mineral, but after that they just taste like fruit gummies. This is a good thing!!!! I can now take vitamins without torturing myself.

DSCN4303Jewelry: I have several in this category because I dress very casual and jewelry gives my outfits a pulled together look. I’ve got to have the accessories! I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, but those special pieces make me feel like I actually put effort into my look. I have been wearing my gold/bronze/white combo lately and I love it!!!! I got the necklace when my daughter was little and I did not realize how fragile it was. It used to have 3 lengths of beads, but now it only has 2. I bent down to check on Bug and when I raised up it caught on the cabinet door pull and flung beads everywhere. ( I made a new necklace out of the pieces). The bracelet is painted enamel white with gold metal. It opens sideways so I don’t have to shove my giant hand through it! And the earrings are gold hoops to match.

DSCN4295Another set of jewelry that I have been loving is this green aventurine set. It was made by an artisan in Arkansas, named Mivhael Shanklin of New Stone Age jewelry. (email: Mivhaek1@yahoo.com)This was one of my anniversary gifts from my husband. It has many types of stones throughout its design but is mostly green aventurine.

The website http://www.crystalvaults.com says this about aventurine: ”

Green Aventurine is known as the “Stone of Opportunity,” thought to be the luckiest of all crystals, especially in manifesting prosperity and wealth, or for increasing favor in competitions or games of chance. Its winning energy makes it a great ally for boosting one’s chances in any situation – a first date, tax audit, even landing a promotion. One needs only to be near it to derive its benefits. [Simmons, 55][Eason, 285][Mella, 74]

This beautiful stone, however, is not merely an attractor of luck, but one that aligns conditions so “opportunity” is inevitable. Green Aventurine releases old patterns, habits and disappointments so new growth can take place. It brings optimism and a zest for life, allowing one to move forward with confidence and to embrace change. It enhances one’s creativity and motivation, and encourages perseverance in maneuvering life’s obstacles. It also reinforces one’s decisiveness and amplifies leadership qualities, injecting a sense of humor and openness to the ideas of others. [Ahsian, 56][Simmons, 55][Melody, 136][Hall, 73-74]

Well, this works out perfectly for my New Year’s resolution to try new things!!!!!

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Also in jewelry is my amber ring! It was a gift from my husband as well and I wear it every day!!!!  The ring is made of silver and has an antique looking setting. We got it at a spring festival about 5 years ago. I do not remember the artisan that made this beautiful piece, but it is now part of me and I doubt that I will ever stop wearing it.

DSCN4305Still in jewelry is a necklace that has been near me since I was 2 years old. My mother bought it from AVON around Mother’s Day for herself from us kids. I vaguely remember her wearing it, but I do remember when she was going to put it in the yard sale. I threw a tantrum!!!!! I was around 15 years old and this was not happening. She asked if I would actually wear it…….I have it on in a school picture that year and have worn it since. I am now 33 years old and have no intention of it ever leaving me. Until I pass it down in my old age. I wear it at least once a week. It is silver and resembles a cameo. It has a rose in the center and a bow on the top. On the back it says “I love you mother”.

DSCN4292Hat: Also an anniversary gift from my love was a totally spectacular fedora! It is made by Bailey of Hollywood. It is 100% Polypropylene, so it should do just fine in the rain!!!!! I love this hat!!!! It goes with my casual style very well and it would look good with a sundress if I want to do so.

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Shoes: I recently found an inexpensive pair of shoes for summer. They actually have soles that feel like I have something under my feet. My feet are really picky so these were an awesome find!!!!  They are the Faded Glory brand from Wal-Mart for about $12. They are slip-ons made of denim like material. I can wash them when they get gross, but they shrunk a little even though I dried them mostly in the sun before popping them into the dryer. They have stretched back out with wear though. I hope I don’t wear them out before summer is over.

DSCN4301Book: I am currently reading a book that I had seen raves about on book reviews. It is from the juvenile section of the library, but don’t let that fool you it is 587 pages. It is dealing with some pretty deep subjects and I am entranced by it. I am about half way through and love it. It is called “Echo” by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

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I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my favorites. If you have any comments please leave them for me! Especially any BB Creams that I should try. Sorry my nails look all yucky in the pictures. I’ve been washing dishes and haven’t redone my nails. <The nail polish is another of my favorites but I will try to do a separate blog about this new brand I like while I have my nails done all nice and fresh.

My tween girl’s book list

My now 8 year old has been able to read on her own for a while now so I figured it was time for an updated book list. Some she reads on her own and some we share by reading aloud. She has many book series started and is never sure which to continue when we finish one.

The Sisters Grimm series By: Michael Buckley
The Land of Stories series By: Chris Colfer
The Indian in the Cupboard series By: Lynne Reid Banks
The Dragon Slipper series By: Jessica Day George
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon By: Grace Lin
The Harry Potter series By: J.K.Rowling
The Bailey School Kids series By: Marcia T. Jones and Debbie Dadey

My recent and not-so-recent reads

I will let you know right now that I mainly read for entertainment. I like what I like! I don’t read really deep material. Some things may seem inappropriate, childish, or whatever. My list will be short because I try to stick with series, but to be honest what reading time I do get is reading longer chapter books with my 8yr old. Luckily there are some pretty good children’s books out there that won’t bore you to death.

The Faefever series By: Karen Marie Moning
The Hunger Games By: Suzanne Collins
The House of Night series By: P.C. and Kristin Cast
The Divergent Series By: Veronica Roth
The Host series By: Stephenie Meyer

Pondering…

I have not written in my blog for quite a while, and not even sure where to start… But! With that being said, I start out many of my journal entries this way because my mind is all a jumble. My thoughts and stresses just have to fall out of my head in a random dump to find a clear thinking space.

I am still home-schooling my daughter who is now 7 years old. We are still using Oak Meadow and will soon add in Singapore Math because it actually has workbooks and instructions. We joined a home-school book club with our local library. This will be the second year and our group and friendships have grown. Last year we went on field trips, read classic books and watched the corresponding movies, did illustrator studies creating art in their style, reader’s choice where the kids shared their current books, and had an art show/award ceremony. This year the plan is to go on field trips, study illustrators/writer combo, create art and writings in their style, and act out scenes from those works in what we call reader’s theater. There will also be an art show and and program at the end of the year. Now that my little lady is getting bigger and more creative I know that she will love these changes.

Speaking of my little lady…She is not so little anymore! She had really grown this year, 4 inches already since spring! My 4’4″ tall, 90 lb, 7 year old is getting some of my hand-me-downs. Before I get my messages blown up about my daughter’s weight, WAIT! She is mostly muscle, quite active, loves fruits and veggies, and she has ALWAYS been a strong child. She looked like a 7lb baby when she was born but tipped the scales at a strong 8lb 13oz. You could literally see the muscles ripple in her back during her first bath. She is one tough chick!!! She is amazing!

Blogging….well I haven’t done it is a while because my netbook (with keyboard died a horrible death, and my hubby’s could not hold up to both of our activities) Therefore no typing….Writing an article on a nook does not work. So having purchased a new tower for my desktop computer, I am back. I don’t know how often I will post but here I am for the time being.

Crafting!!!! I have gotten back into crocheting! The year before last I made crocheted gifts for family and friends (mostly fingerless gloves for the girls) and did very little crafting this past year. I have made a few things recently such as: boot cuffs, a beanie hat and fingerless gloves for my hubby (new design that will stretch over his forearm), a scarf, bootie house slippers, and simple house slippers. I have a sketch drawn up for a baby blanket to be finished by April 2014 for a dear friend. She is having a little girl and we are beside ourselves with joy for her. She needs another girl in the house.

Winter weather… Thankfully we have not lost power with this year’s storms, and our heaters are working as they should. We have been warm and cozy sipping coffee and cocoa playing Munchkin! A quite nerdy card game that can be added to many times over and is never the same twice. A friend of ours, who loves to play Munchkin with us, got us another version of Munchkin for christmas…. Munchkin Zombie with expansion packs as well.  We have so much fun playing these and plan to purchase many more tabletop games. We have been watching Tabletop, a youtube show that introduces  it’s viewers to new and some old tabletop games. Will Wheaton is the host and the show was created by he and Felicia Day. They bring in their nerd friends/family, most of them have made a name for themselves in the nerd community and they are filmed playing these games. It is quite fun to watch (there is some language and beeps, FYI). We want to get these new games: “Ticket to Ride”,  “Corcssone”, and “Settlers of Catan” <I may have the spelling of these all wrong but anyway, there they are.

Reading!!!! Oh my goodness we read a lot!!!! Over the past year or so (along with our stories for school) we have read “Winnie the Pooh”, “Peter Pan”, “Charlotte’s Web”, “Little House on the Prairie”,  “The Rescuers”, “The Bridge to Terebithia”, “The Journey of Dr.Dolittle”, “Mary Poppins”, “The Tale of Despereaux”, and now our current read is……”The Land of Stories, Wishing Spell” By: Chris Colfer. This story is making my daughter very excited to read at night. She is not reading this one on her own, because of it’s size and some of the words are too hard for her just yet. I am thankful that she is a very good reader though! She can enjoy reading on her own and also have quality time with me reading aloud at bed time.

Cutting hair…I am not a beautician but cut my own hair! Honestly I have been cutting my family’s hair since 2004. It is just cheaper that way considering my hubby needs his hair cut so often. I cut only his for a long time and only got my hair cut by a pro once a year. Then began cutting my own, our daughter’s, and eventually the dog’s.  If I did not do a decent job I promise you this would not happen!!!! I actually gave myself bangs the other day and thinned out the weight. It looked like I shaved my whole head by the amount of hair no longer attached. Crazy I know but I actually like the outcome! You can learn so many things on Youtube!!!!! Seriously!!!!

Some things I have learned from Youtube….. Some new hair cutting skills (to be able to do on myself and working on someone else), Crochet projects, hair styles/techniques.  You can learn things so quickly!!!! It is great!

I think my brain dump has come to an end……I know it is not very insightful but I am just getting back into it all. I don’t think I will be doing the whole huge article thing again or at least for a while. It really got to a point where it was all I would think about and do. It consumed my life for a while and not to mention I have lost my notes on all the articles I had lined up to post about. So who knows this may be a brain dump station for a little while as I work on getting my thoughts out and hopefully get quicker at typing again without backspacing and deleting so often.  I may start another book list, but this time it will be a to-do list. Kind of a list of books that I want my daughter to read…maybe many lists a Read to her list, a Read for yourself list as you get older, a Read for myself list…..Who knows we will see where it ends up…

Thanks for reading comment if you wish!

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