Big day

Today my beautiful daughter starts college. I couldn't be more proud of her- from the start she was perfect, I went into labor at about midnight of her due date & she was born that afternoon. She did everything right about the time she was supposed to or earlier-- like she was walking at 9 months but still didn't have a single tooth. When she tested for kindergarten, the tester accompanying her back to the cafeteria to return her to me was shaking her head... I was thinking "uh oh, she's not ready" but then I got the results and the head shake was due to Paige's extraordinary readiness emotionally to attend school- she wanted to stay LONGER at testing. The only "ding" she had was that her birthday is in Aug. making her younger than most of her classmates. Before she could attend her first day of school, we moved from the Cincinnati area to South Central Kentucky which had started school before we had even moved. Paige had missed about a month of school but quickly became one of the top students.

My kids never attended pre-school-- they did not know how to read when they entered school. I taught them the alphabet & how to write their names but I felt my main duty was to prepare my kids to be able to sit still, listen and be ready to learn-- in other words, I taught my kids self-control & how to behave. This seemed to have served them well because all of my kids are top students and other adults & teachers rave about my kids' behavior.

So last Thursday I drove Paige & her stuff about 15 minutes away to the local university where she will be part of the honors college-- all paid for by scholarship. Yep, her nickname (from another parent) of Perfect Paige seemed to run true again. When she was considering colleges, she was guaranteed full tuition at most in-state universities due to her participation the previous summer in the Governor's Scholar Program. Paul (hubby) told Paige that we would pay for the rest wherever she went because she had done such a wonderful job working in HS to get the grades & scholarships. Even with this offer, she chose to attend local university because her first choice would cost (us) about $10k for room & meals whereas she was automatically eligible for free room & book allowance by attending local university. Her state money for getting good grades in HS would cover her meal plan. She checked into comparison of education because ultimately she plans to go into pharmacy school- the local school would provide her with the education without costing us anything. An incredibly mature decision made almost a year ago-- ironically latest Readers Digest has an article on "10 things every parent should know about college" "1. Beginning adulthood without debt is worth far more than a designer diploma" & "10- Honors colleges at public universities can offer as fine an education as the Ivy League." So she will get her undergraduate degree (Chemistry) for free as long as she keeps her grades up.

During HS she took 3 Advanced Placement classes- Psychology & Biology as a Junior, Chemistry as a Senior. She got 5 on all three year end tests- top score- meaning those HS classes would count as college credit. So for $90 test, she gets college credits-- well-worth it. As an incoming freshman, she is taking organic chemistry this semester!!!

On top of this, she has decided to keep working weekends at her newly acquired job at the Kroger close to home. She feels a certain amount of responsibility to stay on since her best bud vouched for her- Paige had no paid real work experience- although anyone that knows her would hire her in a minute-- she was Valedictorian and was a (paid) tutor since she was a sophomore. Her athletic career (3 years participant at state track meet- took 3rd place this year in triple jump) is a testament to her work ethic... though not exactly gifted physically, she worked her butt off so she attained these successes. It's funny because her supervisor gave her some grief over not having work experience- he obviously doesn't know how lucky he is to have Paige. He also was rather snotty when he asked about # of hours she wanted to work... she only wants weekends due to college starting. He asks "Are your parents rich?" to which she replied "I just need some extra spending money because I got full scholarship." Anyway, I am glad she will be working because it rather forces her to come home on weekends- she doesn't have a car so will need to rely on us to get to work. This may change if she learns how to drive stick- Paul's truck is a stick shift & rarely used because he has co. car for work travel but it only seats 2-- she can't take family (automatic) car to college since I need it to transport boys anywhere.

Saturday morning Paul & I picked her up after our workout at the track (we've been using the college track for years since it's rubberized.) She spent a few hours at home before heading off to Kroger to work her shift. Last night I drove her back after her Sunday shift so she could attend her first class at 8 am this morning. I didn't think I would miss her but it did feel weird-- maybe it was because Paul left for biz trip last night so it was first night without Paige & Paul being home in a very long time. I am sure I will adjust to the new normal-- Paige being on campus vs. up in her room. My little girl is growing up. As I type this my I-tunes is playing "Zoe Jane" by Staind-- this is a song that so reminds me of Paige. I once mentioned that if she has a wedding, she needs to have that song playing to dance with Paul- there won't be a dry eye in the place if that happens.

Last week's work.

Last week I had a break from window treatment jobs so I finally got around to some projects I'd been planning to do all summer.  One much needed project was staining the deck. The dogs mess up the deck itself while the squirrels scratch up the railings. So all the horizontal surfaces really needed new stain. First I scrubbed the deck with bleach & then applied a coat of stain. Of course I happen to pick one of the hottest days of the summer to do this project-- so one morning I started staining at 7 am.  Here's a few shots (for LT)
Deck after scrubbing but before all of it stained. 

I was waiting for the stain to dry a bit so I could move the grill onto stained part & finish the rest. Thought it was a good time to do before/after shot. See the neighbor's pool being so damn tempting in the background... no one uses the darn thing!!
Deck steps torn up by the dogs- deck table is in rock area waiting for this job to be done- you may notice Jack on the stepping stones- the dogs hate the river rock & actually use the stepping stones. 
Fortunately I didn't have to do the vertical surfaces- except a few uprights hubby added underneath the steps to support them more. You may notice the two chin-up bars on the supports behind the ladder-- hubby uses the tall one for chin ups  & "Bubka's" (exercise where he pulls himself up & inverted- so his feet end up next to the railing above his bar.) The shorter one is for me & kids. 
Aluminum framed chairs with plastic
"wicker" is easily updated with "Fusion" spray
I also spray painted the bejezus the weekend before staining the deck- enough so my poor little fingers hurt from holding down that little sprayer top. I used "Fusion" spray paint in True Blue on these very old (purchased about 10 years ago) chairs that have plastic "wicker" seats. Originally they were silver frames & tan wicker. Years ago I painted the frames hunter green to match the (then) deck table. Then the wicker that was wrapped around the arms started shredding off so then they were hunter green with silver "armrests" & tan wicker. Thought I'd try out the Fusion paint that adheres to plastic & I definitely like. I like the bright pop of color. These chairs are no longer used with the metal deck table because I found some metal chairs at Sam's club that matched  it for like $20 each last year. Instead these blue ones are used down at ground level for pole vault days. Hubby typically uses one along the runway to rest his poles on. Boys & I typically use the others down on the mat end  to catch steps (take off) & video.  Along with the blue chairs I sprayed the metal table (now black instead of hunter green) to match the chairs. Also touched up the chairs since there were a few little spots of rust-- this way they should last forever if I keep them up in this manner. I really love both the table (over a dozen years old) & chairs because they are such easy care if I just spray paint them every so often to keep the rust at bay.

I had to take this one to show you part of hubby's workout- see the white spots on the black runway mat? Those are chalk HANDprints from hubby walking on hands to increase balance & upper body strength. Things are a little different at this house. LOL The tally marks on the bricks is actually his work- not kids... he uses chalk to mark runway & to keep track of how many vaults or sets of workouts he's done. The kookiest part- in our basement shower is a 50 gal. trash can filled with cold water- hubby dumps ice into it & stand in there for about 15 minutes after workouts. I know, we are a strange household. 
Jack usually gets to eating right away- so he gets the pouch food with gravy & leaves Sully just the kibble-- yet Sully is the overweight one. You can see my tomato plants, dill (got ravaged by caterpillars) hot peppers and herbs (above retaining wall) along with one of the blue chairs and corner of table that goes back up on deck. 
Sully is more interested in keeping food away from Jack than eating... it was already pretty hot that day- Sully doesn't like the heat. 
Sully being hot. 
Thought I'd throw in a couple of photos of the pooches for your viewing pleasure since Jack was in other shots anyway. =)

PAN--- No-No!-- Blows-Blows!!!!!

So last time I blogged I was raving about Ready To Wear's mascara or rather Lash Extension product with mascara. Still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that! Let DD try it out (just Lash Extension w/ her other mascara) and got "can you get me some for my birthday?" I will be watching Ready To Wear on HSN for any bargains with this product!!

When I ordered the Ready To Wear kit, I also ordered the special value of the day from HSN... No-No! Hair remover. 60 days to try it out, free shipping and flex pay for long term hair removal- sounds awesome right?? The demonstrators were running this puppy all over with big smiles and words like "grows back finer and finer" coming out of their mouths.

About a week after my order it arrived. Whoo-hoo-- Hoozey is on her way to be this hair free goddess right? I read the directions and seems easy enough but starting to think "hmm?" because they recommend burning scented candles to mask the smell of burnt hair. NICE!! "Honey, what's that awful smell?" "Oh, just me & my No-No!"

So first I try it out on my arms with the smaller tip because in all honesty the stache & goatee are my least favorite "hair issues." At first the head kept popping up & down but I learned the correct way to "glide" it along my arm. On to the face! "OUCH!!!! WTF was that??? Is that little "slash" a burn??" Pull skin tighter-- "OK, maybe I'm getting the hang of this" as I roll No-No! along cheeks-- ah, the smell of burnt hair.  Back to trying on chin & stache -- "OUCH!!!" OK that's probably enough for today... time to buff and work on legs.

30 minutes later about a 3 inch by 12 inch swatch on right leg has been No-No!-ed-- I'll be hair free in no time......NOT!!! Buff, buff, buff... hmmm, seems like it missed some. Not even that area is "hair free." This may take some time to reach "hair free" status.

A few days later, I try again-- same results only now when trying to do my legs, the No-No! indicator keeps saying that the head is no working properly. Turn off, turn back on, & work on leg-- damn AGAIN??? As if when it is working properly isn't time consuming enough??? Face trial again-- OUCH!!! OUCH!!! OUCH!!!! Not even going to TRY this on my bikini area or armpits. WTF were these people thinking??? WTF was I thinking when I order this???

No-No! went back in the box and I gladly paid the $5.50 to ship that piece of $h*t back to HSN. Lesson learned-- facial hair removal will have to be the old plucking, waxing, whatever. And I would much rather spend the 5 minutes with my Venus razor to actually have smooth legs and pits!!!!

Here's a lovely photo of my face with all my No-No! burns...  & all the hair left behind too!

NICE Huh?? Isn't this a lovely look??

The kicker is that with all this pain & suffering (and time) No-No! does a horrible job actually removing hair- just doesn't seem to get all the hairs in it's path burnt so you are still left with stubble after it's use. And you are left with such a pleasant smell in the air/on your skin. Like I am just going to sit around my living room, watching TV & using my No-No! Only thing that would be nicer is eating bon-bons along with???

So after I made decision that No-No! Blows-Blows!! I am watching "Good Morning America" one morning and the woman is reviewing "as seen on TV" products. Low & behold she is doing No-No!-- after the review, I just count myself lucky that my burns were  as few-- her chin looked like crosshatching of little No-No! burns!! She ended her No-No! segment with "No-No! NO NO!!"

FAN & PAN-- Latest beauty trials

Been a LONG time since I blogged. Suffice it to say that I was very busy with end of school year, track season, & DD's graduation along with a large interior decor job and beach vacation. I finally finished up the sewing projects for customer the other day and wanted to take a bit of time to review two recent purchases. 
READY TO WEAR- L-R- Power Lash Mascara,
Lash Extension & Volume Lash Mascara. 
BIG FAN of READY TO WEAR Designer Volume Lash & Designer Power Lash Mascaras along with LASH EXTENSION. I recently purchased these off of HSN- these three products along with a eye shadow collection in a single case for $35. After seeing the performance of the mascaras/lash extension demonstrated on air at HSN I thought I'd give it a go. You may know what a mascara fiend I am so this may not surprise you. Plus they had the set on flex pay and free shipping. Even drug store bands of mascaras can be pricy so the price tag was reasonable in my opinion. The trio of eye shadow colors were almost identical to DD's favorites from Dayna's Minerals eye shadows- Rustic, Summer Highlight & Mahogany- in one little pan so I thought it may be a nice little gift for her to have in one handy container at college. I did try the eye shadows- the colors are nice but they do not apply as effortlessly as my own loose mineral eye shadows and not as much color payoff as the 3 Dayna's Minerals colors that they resemble. The Designer Power Lash Mascara has the multi-level bristled brush for application. This mascara is more lengthening. The Lash Extension has like a felted pad that captures the fibers and allows you to brush onto wet mascara. The Designer Volume Lash Mascara has a teddy bear brush to apply. I thought each brush worked very well for product it was to apply. 
LASH EXTENSION Fibers on "brush"
So about a week after ordering READY TO WEAR arrived and I am just GIDDY to share with you. The real powerhouse is the LASH EXTENSION so I am going to give a little detail on that one. LASH EXTENSION is NOT a mascara. Instead it is a small bottle filled with tiny black fibers. LASH EXTENSION cannot be used alone because it needs a base of wet mascara to adhere to lashes and then set with top coat of mascara. May seem like a lot of work but the results are amazing. 
Here is my before- I actually am rather blessed with long lashes. I think my use of emu oil as moisturizer also helps since my lashes are conditioned by this too. I always apply mascara last in my makeup routine and this is actually how READY TO WEAR works best because the Lash Extension fibers fall around eye area and are easily brushed away after mascaras are applied.
First I applied READY TO WEAR DESIGNER LASH VOLUME LASH MASCARA to my upper lashes. Demonstration recommends doing only one "lash" (single eye upper or lower) with mascara and then quickly applying LASH EXTENSION to the wet mascara. 
This is my eye with 1 coat Volume Lash and Lash Extension (fibers) applied to my eye. Already it's almost like fake lashes have been applied to this eye. Then a layer of READY TO WEAR DESIGNER POWER LASH MASCARA was applied on top.

Serious lashes when all three products are used without looking total spider eye and gunky. When I was watching on air I kept thinking "Twiggy false eye lash look" because the makeup artist applied to top and bottom lashes for very dramatic results. 
easily removed with a fluffy brush afterward.

Here's a side view of my lashes with all three products applied. The fibers lengthen and add "extra lashes" giving an almost false eyelash look without the trouble. 

Looks like I have tons of thick, dark lashes.
Crazy Length!!!
Fall out fibers brushed away. Tons of long, dark lashes. 
Don't you just focus on the lashes?

I keep noticing how open my eyes look with READY TO WEAR

Next up is review of my "Pan" item. 

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth...

Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. I have just been so busy with activities at home that I have had little chance to keep up.
Big events--

*DD graduated from HS Saturday. She was first Valedictorian of new school, Governor's Scholar, All "Distinguished" on state testing, National Merit Scholar  semi-finalist- so she was constantly standing up as her name was called. The sad part is that she didn't get the option to actually speak at graduation- to me, being Valedictorian should at the very least give you the choice of speaking or not, but they do a student vote- so it becomes a popularity contest. I guess I could kind of understand if DD was this nerdy, just studies, has no life outside of academia, but she is a well-rounded, successful young woman. At the awards assembly held the week before (which she didn't attend due to state track meet that day) she received many academic awards but also one for Women's Student Athlete. She has state indoor Triple Jump Champion and placed 3rd in the event at Outdoor. She also qualified in 100 Meter hurdles which is kind of crazy since she had never attempted hurdles before this year. The slight she took most offense to was that she did not receive "Most Fashionable" Senior Superlative- this is a girl that lives to dress up. As she says "There are not enough opportunities to dress up other than prom and one's weddding." and she'd like to be on Dancing With The Stars just to be able to wear all the outfits. She was also seriously offended by the gowns for graduation- thus her shoes were vastly important. He he he.

*Friday my mom, her BF and her cousin who was visiting from Germany came. It was a rather crazy day because the track banquet was that night and I had committed myself to helping set up & decorate at 3 pm. They showed up about 1/2 hour before I had to leave. The track banquet was very nice. DD ended up receiving both the top Women's awards- Outstanding Runner and Outstanding Field Event. My middle son ended up getting the Outstanding Field Event award since he placed highest out of all the field events at Regionals. My youngest son was one of the few middle school boys to letter this year due to his participating in many varsity meets and scoring points for the team.  My favorite thing about the track banquet is how different the girls look at the banquet than how I am used to seeing them (ponytails and workout clothes.)

*Thursday, May 26, was state track meet . DD competed in 100M hurdles first and was rather pleased because she was ranked 23 out of 24 going in and moved up to 20 and had a personal best. Triple Jump ended up running very late than scheduled. Her first two attempts were fouls- meaning she stepped over the "board"so her final attempt was crucial- she had to get a mark that would be good enough to get her in the finals for a chance for 3 additional jumps. Fierce competitor that she is, she hit a 33' 10" jump which was enough to get her in the finals (top 10.) In the finals she jumped a 34' 1" tying her personal best from Regionals, which was good enough to get her 3rd place. At Regionals she was quite disappointed that she did not make state in 300M hurdles- she touched a hurdle with her hand which disqualified her- since she is more competitive in that event (possibly top 8 in state.) This ended up being for the best because 300M hurdles coincided with Triple Jump Finals which could have meant not placing as well if she ran them or not running them to perform better in Triple Jump. In the end she was exceedingly happy with her 3rd place- her goal was to place top 8 in state this year. After she got her medal we stopped at a restaurant for a bite to eat & headed home. About 30 miles on our way home I realize my cell phone is missing... I dropped it at the restaurant- probably when I used the bathroom. Fortunately a server called DH back and waited until we showed back up. I felt like an idiot because poor DH was rather exhausted- he had drove home from a business trip the night before in horrible weather. When he got in at about midnight he had said "My knuckles ache from holding the steering wheel so tight in the high winds." So my oops added a good hour to our return home.

*Thursday, May 19, was Regional track meet. I had to drive to this seeing the bus drivers are forbidden to take the pole vault poles. We arrived rather early because I didn't  trust the head coach's leave time because he's gotten the team late to several meets due to his lack of proper planning. So DD wanted car keys to get paper out of trunk to write her cousin a letter. As she comes back into the facility I ask her where my keys are... she had locked them in the trunk. I call DH- who is at work about 3 hours away- since he didn't want to drive all that way he called a locksmith where we were (about 80 miles from home) to help me. Dave arrived and quickly unlocked the car door but the trunk button would not work (14 year old car so sometimes these things happen) so he had to literally take out backseat so my youngest son could crawl into trunk and retrieve the keys. All this was done in time for me to also still perform my commitment to officiate long jump since we got there so early but it did cost $65 for this mistake.

*Besides track and usual end of school activities, I have also been working on several other things. I  tore out the bushes that the builder had planted and replaced with ones I liked. Also planted roses, wisteria and other perennials in the various flowerbeds. I also have been working on a large home dec order for someone. Doing window treatments for living room and dining room, plus window treatments along with duvet, bedskirt, pillows and throws for bedroom.

*I haven't been doing much makeup stuff. I did recently work on a high coverage foundation because as usual, sun exposure makes my melasma issues really apparent. I actually like the formula so may eventually make this an option. So far I've only done it in "Dayna" and "Peeg" for myself and DD's prom makeup color. I plan to do "Tanya" (my now color) in this formula but have a tiny bit of regular formula to use up in my container. I did start using Ambi Fade Cream and it does seem to work. It does have 2% hydroquinone but seems to be the only thing that does even out my issue.

*Still using "The Belly Fat Cure" as my lifestyle way of eating. I still notice how the scale trends lower and lower. It's not so much the low number that occasionally shows up that I get excited about but the high number that doesn't show up anymore. It's so rewarding when you haven't seen a number for weeks, even if it is only a pound away from the number you do see, because it means that slowly but surely my new set point is going lower. I am looking forward to our beach vacation this summer although wish there was some quick fix for the saggy skin-- I know eventually it will tighten up some but it does make me seem less toned than I am just because of this issue.

*Off to work on sewing projects now that school and track are over. Hopefully I'll have more time to blog once this is finished up. Still miss Vox and the community there. *Sigh*

Awesome Fit Flop Alternative !!!

You may know that I have a slight addiction to Fit Flops- I have flat feet and they are the first flip flops that I found that had nice arch support. I wasn't fond of the Fit Flop price tag of $40 and up so I would wait for sales and still cringe at the thought of paying over $20 for a pair of FLIP FLOPS. So yesterday I was in WalMart and spied "Danskin" versions of Fit Flops for $12. Last summer I had purchased "Thera Shoe" version of Fit Flops and was slightly disappointed because the footbed of them were very textured- to the point where my poor piggies were a bit tender if I wore them too long. These Danskin versions have a very similar footbed to Fit Flops-- not hard and textured like Thera Shoe ones- so I picked up a pair in navy and a pair for DD in black (with black footbed.) The white footbed ones tend to get a bit grungy so I scrub routinely with nail brush and hand soap to keep from embarrassing myself in public if someone should see the footbed of my Fit Flops.
So yesterday evening I wore the Danskin version for several hours and I definitely approve. They had similar arch support as Fit Flops but at a much nicer price. They are obviously not leather uppers like Fit Flops but once again, they are flip flops so I can't really see spending the extra money for leather vs. synthetic.
I saw the "Walkstar" (original Fit Flop) version in a few colors- black/white, black/black, silver/white and navy/white. I also saw a black glittery version and a brown version that had a rounded piece around the toe area rather than the "v" of original Fit Flop. So anyone looking for a comfy but affordable version of Fit Flops, I strongly suggest checking out WalMart and the Danskin "Fitness Shoe."


A. Age: My year of Polamalu =) 

B. Bed size: Full-- people who see my bedroom laugh because the room is huge and the bed looks tiny.

C. Chore you dislike:Washing the dishes, started this chore in 2nd grade- rather work outside.

D. Dogs: 2- JRT (insane about UPS truck) Beagle (bites JRT @$$ when insane over UPS truck)

E. Essential start to your day: COFFEE--

F. Favorite color: Green

G. Gold or silver: Gold

H. Height: 5'2" almost ;)

I. Instruments you play(ed): I played sax for 2 years because that was instrument my brother picked. Hated it and even faked injuries to get out of playing it.

J. Job title: SAHM, track coach, MMU maker, window treatment maker, crafter, painter, maid, laundress, chauffeur, dish washer, window washer, lawn care, roadie, accountant, purchaser, chef, baker, organizer, secretary, scheduler,  -- worker bee-- I pretty much do it all. =)

K. Kids: 3 kids, Daughter, senior in HS, Son- freshman in HS, Son- 7th grade

L. Live: Kentucky-- really like it.

M. Mom’s name: Karin

N. Nicknames: Dane, Dynamite, Little D, Dayner,

O. Overnight hospital stays: Childbirth only thankfully.

P. Pet peeves: Rudeness, laziness, people who wear too much perfume- and what's with the older people wearing cologne that smells like rotting dirt???

Q. Quote from a movie: "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. " Fight Club

R. Righty or lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: Older Brother

T. Time you wake up: usually 6:30am

U. Underwear: Yes, preferably those that don't give me a wedgie.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Broccoli, brussell sprouts

W.What makes you run late: Checking email before heading out.

X. X-rays you’ve had: Dental and foot, finger when I was young and thought I broke toes/fingers.

Y. Yummy food you make: I'm a good cook- spaghetti sauce hubby says is why he married me, my pies are requested, my soups that I just whip up, meatloaf is a family favorite, my turnip greens I made Sunday are apparently the best hubby has ever had.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: rhinos

Still love

In this day and age of nearly everything being available at one's fingertips-- aka e-shopping- I find there are still some things that I don't think I will ever replace in my beauty regime.

Topping the list would have to be emu oil. I have very dry skin and emu oil really seems to be my holy grail for moisturizing. I don't have a particular brand that I am hooked on since I order from various places like Snowdrift Farm or Majestic Mountain Sage so I usually buy from whichever one I'm making an order with because I hate to pay extra shipping for this necessity. Since emu oil is from a bird, it does have a certain "chicken fat" smell but I add a few little things to it that masks the chicken fat smell. One thing I add is coffee essential oil. I love coffee and figure that maybe the essential oil has a bit of caffeine in it-- which is good for the skin. It does give it a nice earthy coffee scent. I then also add a bit of lavender essential oil. I am not a fan of lavender but it is very good for dry skin so I add a tiny bit to boost my emu oil's skin care properties. Mixed with the coffee it's actually rather decent. My dogs both enjoy smelling me when I have just applied my emu oil-- I think they like the chicken fat smell though. LOL After cleansing my skin, I apply a few drops of emu oil concoction to the palm of my left hand. I then run the fingers of my right hand under the tap water and sprinkle several drops of water into the emu oil. Then I rub my hands together and gently pat onto my skin. No matter what other moisturizers I've tried, I always end up mixing in my emu oil routine. An aside-- there's a blood type diet that has my blood type as being a meat eater-- it seems my skin is the same way because plant based moisturizers often make me break out. =/ Emu oil is actually very cost effective as a moisturizer for me-- a few drops really do the trick.

Along the same lines as emu oil is humidifiers during the cold months. In summer, there is plenty of humidity where I live even when we have a drought, but as soon as fall starts drying out the air, I get out the humidifiers. I have one in my bedroom. One in the main part of the house and one in the basement. The kids also have one in each of their rooms. I notice a difference when I go to bed without using the humidifier during the cold months-- my skin doesn't like it at all.

For foundation application it is always my own foundation-- you knew that was coming-- seriously it's the best for my skin because I formulated for my skin in the first place. But I have to give a big shout out to My Minerals Bath and Body- MMBB-- because I use one of the sprays every time I apply foundation. My favorite is the Concord Grape because it smells like a tart, freshly picked grape- reminds me of my childhood where I would visit my maternal grandparents. They had grapevines with I believe concord grapes-- the skins were actually rather tart so you'd squeeze the grape and it would pop out of the skin and not have all those tannins from the skin. I've used the rose, neroli, and various others but my favorite is the Concord Grape. Another must have from MMBB is the jumbo buffer brush. It is the best brush for damp mineral application EVER. You know I'm a brush-ho so I know what I'm talking about. Lisa talked me into it and I am eternally grateful because I LOVE it. I got my daughter one and she too was amazed at how fast and easy foundation application is using it.

Another longtime love is sugar scrubs. I have pretty much eliminated sugar from my diet but it still has it's place in my skincare routine. I make my own face scrub using the cheapest sugar I can find (Walmart brand) because the crystals are nice and small- much better for the face. Then I use a little honey to mix it into scrub consistency. Sometimes I will use natural unscented soap- lather it up in my hands and then mix in a little sugar for a quick scrub. This sugar scrubs does wonders for refreshing my dry winter skin. For body scrubs I like the natural sugar because it has big crystals- my body can take them. =)

Natural soaps are another must have for me. I do my own emu soap- a melt and pour base with additional emu oil added to it. For my face, I never scent it- although I guess I could use lavender essential oil. I try to stay away from citrus essential oils for my face because most of them make one a little sun sensitive.

Last is my haircare- my go to product, even though pricy is Wen cleansing conditioner. Since I color my hair monthly-- started seeing grays at 20 and just too vain to go gray- my hair needs TLC. Wen leaves my hair clean but well moisturized. I've tried going back to shampoos but quickly find that they overstrip my hair so I keep paying for Wen. Another booster for haircare is Argan oil. I purchase it at Sally's Beauty. I add a little to the color when I'm coloring my hair. A drop can be applied after cleansing. I sometimes even apply a little to dry hair-- especially in winter.

Those are the things you will always find in my beauty routine now, and for a long time in the future I am guessing.

DD's Xmas jewelry

Been meaning to post this for a while. For Christmas I got my daughter a lot of sterling silver rings and thought I'd share with you.

First is some yellow cabochon that I found at TJ Maxx for under $30. I love the stone because it is see through and kind of like a magnifying glass. Then it has various colored gems set along the sides. 

Next is an amber one. I love amber because of the inclusions. Later I found another amber ring at TJ Maxx that is more arty so I also got her that one too. 

Next is a created ruby- I didn't realize it was created until after it arrived but I liked the ring enough to keep it because it was also a cabochon rather than faceted gem. 

Here's the amber one that is more arty-- I bought myself one but the amber fell out a few weeks ago. It was really cool because it was kind of an east/west setting.

Last is a garnet with white topaz and yellow sapphires (I think) I really prefer garnet to ruby because most rubies are rather milky and pink rather than what I think is "ruby"All of the rings were under $30 each and DD loves them all. I also got her an iolite ring- really love the gray blue color of iolite-- it's like a good pair of blue jeans-- very wearable. Unfortunately I couldn't locate it for photos. Also got her a neat peridot (her birthstone) ring that was 2 square stones and 2 sterling silver squares in a diamond pattern but one of the stones fell out. =( 

Dieting Wins.

As most of you know, I have been using The Belly Fat Cure by Jorge Cruise for over a year now. Following the simple guidelines of keeping sugar- be that added or natural like fructose in fruit and lactose in milk- to 15 g per day and keeping carbs to about 120 g per day I have lost over 20 pounds and easily maintain it. I will never be considered "skinny" because I am very curvy. You may say, my cup (bra cup that is) overfloweth no matter what my weight. My waist was within the "BFC good" range (below 30 inches) even at my heaviest because I have always had an hourglass figure. For me, my tummy wasn't really a problem except for the pooch-- below the belly button- which is something I had even in high school. I have an extremely large ribcage- pre-adolescent I would be teased about "What is that?" because my ribs stuck out further than my chest. So even though I am only 5' 2"- I am not exactly a "petite." I actually prefer to wear regular length jeans because the rise fits me much better than short/petite ones and my legs are proportionally longer than my overall height so regular jeans are just a bit long on me. Much of my weight is in butt and thighs rather than waistline, so I wasn't expecting much from a diet that is aimed at Belly Fat. I am so happy I found it though because it really has made a huge difference in my life.

The thing I like about the belly fat cure is that it doesn't count calories nor limit fats. Counting calories would be too hard to keep after and I gotta say, I like butter, cream and fatty foods so I would feel deprived (or maybe even depraved) if I had to watch those things. Now the only sugar I use is sugar scrubs. He he he. A surprising thing that I've noticed is that I have not gotten sick-- this may be purely anecdotal evidence but I have not had a serious cold or flu this past year even when my kids and hubby have had them. Rather surprising seeing that I don't eat fruit because of the high sugar content and most people think of vitamin C as being THE cold prevention key.

Here's my own thoughts on why this works for me.
I'm starting to look at food as what it's purpose was in an evolutionary sense. High sugar foods like fruit was only available in late summer/fall-- a time when one would want to put on extra fat before winter. Another high sugar food is milk- before homogenized milk, people really didn't drink milk-- but cream/butter stores much longer. Bacteria tends to thrive in sugary stuff-- it's their food too. So to me sugary foods tended to spoil quickly so they were to be eaten at a time when one would want to put on fat. Also, the most sugar fruits seem to come from tropical areas-- wouldn't have been available like it is now. Even my own mother (in her 60s) talks about how an orange was a treat- usually at Christmas time- because she grew up in a small village in Germany.
Human breast milk is high in fat 4.5% (whole milk is 3.25%) and carbohydrates (mostly lactose.) The brain is mostly fat- over 60% so fat is essential for it's development and infancy is a time of rapid growth so high sugar/carbohydrates would make sense to fuel that rapid development.  People become lactose intolerant AFTER infancy- those that aren't lactose intolerant evolved from people that dairy farmed... makes sense huh? So high sugar foods like milk wouldn't have been part of the diet of most adults- but products that stored longer like butter, cream, cheese, etc would have made that food available more than the high sugar foods.
With refrigeration, food coming from all around the world and other such advancements we have foods that are available to us all year round that wouldn't have been part of our evolutionary diet. Plus there is a surplus of calories- US produces 3500 calories per day per person. Some foods that do store well- nuts, grains, starchy food like potatoes. Meat (& fat) would have been available- smoking and salting preserve these, plus one can hunt year round but only grow food when the weather permits. So to me, probably coming from a colder climate heritage (European decent) high sugar foods would not have been available to my ancestors all year long so I shouldn't probably eat then either.
Something I noticed was that I felt like getting through winter without gaining weight was a win. Since food production isn't limited in winter like it must have been for ancestors, if I was able to maintain weight during the winter months, I felt like I was on the right track. I think that the human body still tries to conserve fat during winter because it's hard to overcome all that evolution. Once spring and summer came and I was doing more physical activity because I enjoy being outside for a workout rather than inside, I would lose some weight and tone up without diet change. Like body says "OK it's summer- food supply will be OK- don't have to hang onto the fat right now." So to me- looking at food in this way makes sense of why my body can handle fats, proteins and such but can't take an overload of sugar without putting on fat.

 When I first started the BFC I noticed that I was losing a lot in the belly area- even though I wasn't in horrible shape there. For a while, finding pants that fit was NOT FUN. I already had an issue with finding pants that fit butt and thighs without having gaping waist and the quick loss of belly fat made this issue even worse. After a year, I am seeing slimming of thighs, butt and even a little off the bust- so that things are getting more proportional. I was even able to find skinny jeans to fit me.  am very close, w/in 5 pounds, of my HS weight- didn't think of myself as "fat" then.  Not bad for someone who will be 43 next week. I get a treat doing laundry sometimes  because I actually have to  look at the size of pants because I can't readily tell if they are my pants or DD's (and she's tiny IMO.) My size is only one larger than hers. My body imagine has finally had a breakthrough last week when DD & I went shopping for prom dresses. I took photos of her in various gowns and I was in the background of mirror in some of them and I didn't think "Wow, look at how big I look." I still think of myself as looking like I did a year ago. I guess that's why I'm always shocked when people talk about how thin I look now. Like yesterday the other assistant track coach says "Did you lose weight?" then goes on about how he wouldn't normally ask a woman that question but I'm a friend and it seems like a significant amount of weight that I lost. As he put it "I just looked over at you and thought where'd she go?" Most times I see him, I am usually wearing a coat or scarf or baggier clothes but yesterday I just had on a form-fitting long sleeved tee and jeans. In much clothing I look "bigger" because I do have to fit to my chest- still wear large/extra large tops- whereas my butt/thighs are mediums and my waist is actually in small size.
 So when I told him I'd lost over 20 pounds and that YES it was INTENTIONAL-- I am not sick or anything- it felt pretty good. Right now I am definitely maintaining but I am hoping that I will tone up/let go of a bit of the fat on butt and thighs this spring/summer. I definitely get more physical activity in the warmer months. As it is, I do try to get a little bit in during track practices. Like the other day the sprinters had to run 100 M, ten times. I was in charge of this on my own while the coach timed some 400 M sprints. So I would run the kids and then run down to the other end to time. I definitely see a big difference in that aspect too. I am able to run more and have less aches and pains than I did a year ago.
These are the Rocker Skinny jeans I found at Old Navy. They are a velvet spandex but still only size 4 even with my thighs and butt issues.

FOTD-- sorry I was MIA

Hi. Dayna here-- you may have forgotten who I am seeing that I have been pretty lame about keeping up with my blog. So I finally forced myself to do a FOTD today so you wouldn't completely forget me.

Just colored my hair today-- dark ash brown. My hair definitely goes red so every so often I have to hit it with a little ash to tone it down. Seeing that winter is coming to an end, I wanted to get another dark coloring in since I tend to go lighter in summer.

Feb. 21- FOTD
Serious Skin Care A-primer-- I'm trying to use up the last little bit of this. I actually use primer more in winter than summer-- counter-intuitve but for me I like a primer to seal in some of the moisture in my skin. I always like how my less dry summer skin holds MMU better and looks more natural.

Foundation- Dayna-- it's maybe a tiny bit peachy/dark but the days are starting to lengthen and warm up so I'm guessing I'm at my lightest and will soon be a match in no time. It's not an obvious mismatch- as you can see in this photo... doesn't look like the wrong head is attached.

Foundation was applied with MMBB new Neroli/Rose/Caffeine spray. You know I love MMBB sprays. This one has all kinds of goodness in it for my dry skin. Definitely rose scent. I like it but still partial to the crisp grape smell of the concord grape spray.

Sweetheart blush and Illumination Glow

Eyes- Just Browsing Brown for brow fill, Luscious all over lid below crease. Summer Highlight inner corner and brow highlight. Purple Haze outer corner. Lined with HIP Eggplant liner and then topped with e.l.f seal and Poy-ple. Bottom waterline e.l.f. ivory gel liner. Maybelline Full N Soft mascara.

Lips- NYC Lipstain in Persisten Pink-- I really like this one-- definitely a pink stain and prefer their tip-- longer and pointier to other lipstains I have. Topped with Sally Hansen Diamond gloss.

I'm still "assistant track coach" so I spend several hours each weekday doing that. Plus DD is trying hurdles out this year and coach usually has special  practice at local university track for those on Saturday. She still doesn't have drivers license so I go with her and get a workout in. Yesterday we made some hurdles for her to practice with out of PVC pipe. We also went to prom dress store on Saturday to get idea of what kind of prom dress she wants. She's thinking sweetheart neckline (strapless) with ruching (slanted) along bodice with it form-fitting to below hips-- somewhat mermaid style. She's very thin through the hips so this gives her the illusion of hips and more curves. Non-form-fitting dresses worked but just tended to make her look thin and delicate. She hates poufy prom dresses. It was fun shopping with her.

We recently got the pole vault pit back out. I've done a little training twice this week. I not very good but I am having fun which is the important thing.

Must get this posted and head out to track practice. I have lots of stuff that I need to blog about- African Black Soap being the latest thing