5 Pairs of Jeans for ???

Since I got my Fit Flop Super Boots Tall last week, I decided to actually look for a pair of skinny jeans. *Gasp!!I know, hard to believe* So Monday before going grocery shopping I stopped by the mall on my way (I am literally 2 miles from the mall, you'd think I'd spend my life there.) and hit Old Navy. I found a pair of skinny jeans in "The Sweetheart" in the main area- are skinny jeans going out?? there didn't seem to be many choices offered-Then I saw some clearance racks in the back of the store. So I grabbed a pair of velvety black clearance ones along with said Sweetheart ones & headed to the fitting room. Surprisingly both fit- but I have to say I was not exactly comfortable in them.. I really don't like how cloying skinny jeans feel all the way down the leg. I'm used to my thighs feeling like sausages in casing but not my calves and ankles. So I look at the prices and Sweetheart ones are $29.95 whereas clearance ones were $7.98- I'm not particularly comfortable wearing said skinny jeans other that with tall boots so do I really want to plunk down $30 for a single pair?. Hmm, maybe I can find a pair of jean material ones on clearance??? So back to the clearance rack to scour it for more skinny jeans. Eventually found a pair of skinny jeans in "The Flirt" and a pair of of black ones with zippers at the ankles in "The Rocker" which I actually went up a size because this particular one seemed smaller sized- with a zipper all of 2 inches long-- I didn't want to tear anything trying to get them over my rear. While looking for these bargain skinny jeans I notice the sign saying "Take an additional 40% off" so that definitely made me opt for clearance ones- bye, bye "The Sweetheart" hello 3 pairs of jeans for about the price of one.

 Then I thought, maybe daughter would like a pair of skinny jeans to pair with her leather boots she got for Christmas. She is a tiny thing but has never ventured into the world of skinny jeans because she didn't find them flattering. So in her size I found a pair of "The Flirt" like my own and another pair with the price tag of $0.97!!! Gasp, could that REALLY be the price???

 So I proceed to the checkout and immediately question whether said 97 cent pair of jeans is correctly priced. Clerk says "You will get them for 97 cents." Whoot!!! She scans in the price tag and says "Actually you get them for 58 cents." Yep, I got 5 pairs of jeans for under $36 including tax. Talk about hitting the shopping jackpot!!

Storage Solutions

January is usually a time when people make resolutions-- lose weight, start exercising, get organized are usually high on the list. Here's my little "get organized" solution that I've put into place at my house. With mineral makeup business and home decor business, not to mention my interest in anything crafty, storage solutions are necessary.

So instead of spending LOADS of money on prefab storage boxes, I have covered shoe boxes with contact paper to make pretty storage. With a family of 5 and all of us involved in sports, we have A LOT of shoe boxes. Then DD and I share the same shoe size, so I have a tendency *cough, justification* to buy cute shoes since we BOTH can wear them. I found inexpensive contact paper at Big Lots and figure for less than a dollar, I can make some really cute storage boxes. Most of the athletic shoes come in boxes that have an attached lid so I usually cover those with the same contact paper but if it's a box with a separate lid I like to cover in coordinating contact paper. My recent purchase of Fit Flop Boots came in an interesting box where it's a drawer-like container.

Covering is easy- cut a piece of contact paper large enough to cover box. I usually only peel back part of the release paper unless it's a 2-piece box. Center box on paper and push down in position. Make relief cuts at corners and fold onto sides. Continue this process until box is covered. Sometimes the sides need a little extra so I apply this piece last.

After covering I print out adhesive labels so I can "see" what is in each box easily and stack on shelving. These combine easily with prefab storage solutions as well.

Hard Candy Hot Smudge

So I've been tempted by Hard Candy Hide and Glow Cheek gel blushes, Glow All The Way, and Sheer Envy Primer so their Hot Smudge caught my eye in drop out (290) a purple combo. One side is purple, purple and the other is more brown/plum. Part of the reason I splurged on this is the little brush/smudger that comes with it. As a mineral makeup maker, I tend to be picky about buying eye makeup but I figure if I hated the makeup, I may find the brush worthy.

I do not like the packaging because I always seem to struggle to remember how it opens-- hinges on "Hot Smudge" end but I often find myself trying to slide the clear top off or some other lame attempt to open it. Definitely not a product I would be grabbing if I were in a hurry-- just chalk it up to dumb operator. LOL
No Flash

Hard Candy Hot Smudge in Drop Out (290) with Flash
I like the colors-- you can see a little better in the flash photo how the one color is grapy purple whereas the other is almost brown yet combined they make a lovely color that really compliments the green in my eyes. These are definitely NOT smudge-proof. I would definitely set with a sheer powder if you have creasing issues normally. I usually only use as a liner but would wonder how well this would work for a smoky eye considering this aspect. As you can see in the photo without flash, the brush/smudger is really tiny. I LIKE that.
Hard Candy Hot Smudge Brush/Smudger
Brush End-- look how thin!!!

Smudger end-- it's tiny. Most precise one I've ever come across

Hard Candy Glow All The Way and Sheer Envy Primer

In winter my dry skin tends to look rather dull. So I was tempted by Hard Candy's Glow All The Way in Doll Face (319)- a pale pink luminizer $8 (I think) for 2.7 oz.

I also grabbed Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer because at $8 (1.6 oz)  it's way cheaper than Serious Skin Care's A-primer ($22.50 for 2 oz plus shipping) and even though I like e.l.f. primer at $6 per bottle, the pump is pathetic- I think I used it 4 times before the primer was too busy clinging to the walls of the bottle rather than coming out the pump. I am using the e.l.f. up by pulling out the pump and using the primer clinging to the tube. Another thing I do not like about e.l.f. packaging is that the bottle is deceptively large and you can't see through it so you have no idea how much product is left.

Glow All The Way in Doll Face is a sheer pearly pink. I like to apply this all over my face after primer for a nice dewy start to my makeup. This keeps the look more natural. If I want a bit more glow I will swipe a tiny bit on my cheekbones.

Sheer Envy comes out a milky white but goes on really clear. It does seem to make lines and pores disappear. I actually use primer in winter to seal moisture into my skin rather than as a traditional primer. I like the consistency of this primer better than the e.l.f. one-- it's less slick feeling and sets quicker.

This is what they look like after being smoothed into the skin.  Do you see how the fine lines are smoothed out on my hand in the Sheer Envy part? I didn't apply it under the Doll Face shimmery part and there is definitely a difference in texture.

I would buy these again.

Hard Candy Cheeks

I fell in love with gel blush with Tarte- a little "Dollface" in the winter always perked up my complexion but I didn't love the Tarte price- $28 for a full size. Granted it will last forever but who wants to shell out that kind of cash for ONE blush??? So WalMart started carrying Hard Candy and I saw their dual ended gel blushes and yep, I bought all three. At $6 each, for 2 different blushes it seemed like a worthy chance to take.

Left to Right 316- Pillow Talk, 317-Hot Date, and 315- In Love

Not a ton of product in each end- most of the it is packaging but honestly it's enough for many applications and a Tarte full size is just about impossible to ever go through and do you really want to have liquid based makeup around for years?

315- In Love-- Peachy colors- The darker looking end is actually a sheer barely there peach color that has some pearly glow to it. The brighter peach has a bit of pink to it. This one is definitely a pop of color although it doesn't really suit my yellow undertones.

316- Pillow Talk- Bright Pink combo. Once again the darker end ends up being a sheer pearly pink while the brighter end is a bright pop of pink. These ones have become my "go to" ones since the pop of pink with a bit of the pearly end for highlight gives me a lovely bit of pink color to my dead winter skin.

317- Hot Date-- The darker end on this one is actually a sheer berry with a tiny bit of purple slant to it while the other end is a a brighter red berry-- like strawberry juice on the skin. The darker shade suits my yellow undertones a little better but my favorite is definitely Pillow Talk out of all of these blushes.

Application is pretty simple. I swipe a bit on the apple of my cheeks and blend towards hairline. Then I usually top the pop of color with the pearly side to give my upper cheek a bit of a glow. They do stay a bit tacky for a while but I have really dry skin so I hate using powder to set them. They last throughout the day for me but my dry skin doesn't seem to challenge makeup staying power.

Last but not least-- swatches on the skin. Above without flash- L-R Hot Date, In Love, and Pillow Talk
Below with flash-

For E-- BFC cranberry option

This post is kind of for E/Face Fab because I know she has a weakness for cranberry juice and we've been talking dieting. On "The Belly Fat Cure" by Jorge Cruise fruit juice is pretty much a no no. I've been using the BFC guidelines for a year now. I have lost over 20 pounds and have easily maintained this loss since it has become a lifestyle change for me.
Drinks can be a challenge on the BFC because those sweetened with aspartame aren't "good." So usually I find myself grabbing a water if I'm out shopping and need a drink because hardly any diet drinks are belly fat good. I like Target because they have Vitamin Water Zero (sweetened with stevia) in their coolers as a more flavorful option. My favorite is the orange flavored one because it has less aftertaste than the other flavors I've tried. Recently I found Fuze and I thought of E... plus it was really yummy. It has one gram of sugar per serving  (and a bottle is more than one serving) but this is the first fruit juice that is even close to fitting into the BFC program.
Typically I drink coffee with half and half-- 1 g of sugar but I figure the caffeine is burning that sugar up without my having to necessarily count it. I drink water. I drink unsweetened teas. Occasionally I'll get a Vitamin Water Zero but it has a funny feel-- kind of slick feeling. I hadn't had any diet sodas until I recently found Zevia at Kroger. I got the cola first. It's OK. I then got Lemon Lime and Rootbeer Ginger. The Lemon Lime is not very good in my opinion... I'd rather have La Croix soda water flavored with lime or lemon. I really like the Rootbeer Ginger. It's not too sweet and has a bit of bite like ginger ale.
I do tend to follow the BFC pretty closely but there are exceptions. I will drink an occasional beer and I don't care how many carbs there are-- I would rather have a real beer or no beer than a light beer. If I'm going to have the extra calories/carbs I would rather go for one taste.

A favorite cleaning product.

A very long time ago, maybe last spring, I was shopping at Target (Tar-jay) and ran across CALDREA cleaners.

"CALDREA ESSENTIAL COLLECTION invites you to enjoy every moment you spend caring for yourself and your home. Our products contain the finest plant-derived ingredients and are fragrant, biodegradable and never tested on animals." (As per the bottle-- you know I could never come up with something like this.)

There were several products like dish soap, countertop cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, hand soap and all-purpose cleaner which can be used as concentrate to make countertop cleaner. They also had candles in the various scents. So there's Hoozey sniffing away at the various scents- yes, I actually will refuse to use something if I don't like the smell.

Herbs of Provence- natural essential oils of rosemary, thyme and sage. "Refresh your senses with the sunny, savory fragrance of a kitchen garden. Complementary notes of lavender, lily of the valley and mint evoke the easy charm of the south of France." My take-- definitely herby and green with some floral. Reminds me of a Bath and Body Works lotion my mom once gave me that was basil something or other- which I never used because I am a foodie but on the yummy citrus, desert side. Prefer this one in kitchen use since the smell is quite herby. 

Citron Ginger- natural essential oils of grapefruit, ginger and basil. "Brighten your day with the spicy tang of ginger and a lively twist of citrus. Green notes of basil impart freshness and a touch of cool to set this fragrance apart from the ordinary." My take--- green but with a brisk citrusy finish. This is quite clean without being as bold as the Herbs of Provence. I use this in bath, kitchen, wherever because it is a really bright, clean smell.  

Olive Oil- natural essential oils of coriander and cedarleaf. "This green, uplifting fragrance adds an herbal twist to the heady scent of fresh-pressed olives. A fresh touch of coriander is complemented by base notes of cedar, amber and musk." My take-- this one is more soapy clean scented without tons green notes. Originally I passed on this one because in the candle form (that I was sniffing) it was rather dull. 

So originally I bought one countertop spray in Herbs of Provence and Citron Ginger (at $5.99) each. I took them home and started using routinely to clean my granite countertops in the kitchen. I really enjoyed the essential oils scenting the whole room and they really did clean countertops well.

Next Target shopping trip I picked up the all-purpose cleaner in both scents- $10 each but would make LOADS of countertop spray since 4 tablespoons is enough to make a bottle of the countertop cleaner. I soon started using this cleaner to do many of my cleaning chores. I used as countertop cleaner, tile cleaner, sink cleaner, tub cleaner, all around cleaner. I loved the room freshening aspect of them without the chemically smell that one usually associates with cleaners. A few months later I bought this 3 pack combo with countertop spray, dish soap and hand soap pump in a wire holder. I have this next to my kitchen sink. I have replaced the hand and dish soaps with conventional brands using the bottles that came with the set.

As I said early, I had planned to blog about this since it is a greener cleaning product and know that many of you like to get away from a lot of chemicals. Then last week when I was in Target I found these products on clearance. I hope that this doesn't mean the end of them but in any case I bought a countertop spray in Olive Oil (now ironically my favorite scent) and several bottles of the all-purpose cleaner at half price. I hope this isn't the end of CALDREA because it has become MY cleaning product. At least with my stocking up I'll have a few years of happy cleaning.

What I've been up to instead of blogging.

Thought I'd catch you up on what I've been doing instead of blogging.

Of course most of what was happening was just preparation for holidays. DD helped out tons this year with holiday baking since the kids had several snow days before Christmas break. It was kind of funny because she put her boyfriend to work helping... she's way smarter than I, she's training him early. I failed to do this and now can't seem to get hubby do much of anything that is considered my work. LOL
Here's one of her cutouts- she decided to do footballs along with the usual Christmas cutouts. Decorated with frosting, red hots for the holly berries and mini M & M's for Pittsburgh Steeler symbol. Almost all the goodies are consumed at this point. I made myself two sugar free treats to keep me from eating all the goodies she made. I made Russian Tea Cakes and Buckeyes using erythritol instead of sugar. Both were pretty successful- Russian Tea Cakes tend to be dry (buttery- MMM) so going sugarless didn't really affect the texture. The Buckeyes weren't too bad although erythritol does seem to give everything a bit of a minty effect- so the peanut butter middles are a bit minty. I used 90% cocoa Lindt chocolate as chocolate coating for them- so these aren't totally sugar free between the peanut butter (1 gm per 2 Tablespoons) and chocolate. These goodies were enough because I didn't eat any forbidden sugary ones and I didn't gain anything over the holidays either.

Kids really liked Christmas gifts. I'll do a separate blog on all the jewelry I got DD (and shoes/boots.) One of her favorite items was a leather messenger bag by Fossil-- DH used some hotel points he's racked up on biz travel to "purchase" this, watch for her and watch for middle son. Youngest son got a bass that allows him to play both precision style or jazz style. That was about the only thing he got since it was rather pricy. It does sound quite amazing.
I got upgraded software for my Mac and new router. DH thought that was terrible gift but it's what I wanted. Now he's eating his words because new software allows him to do slow motion on his movies. He puts together pole vault montages of his progress with an occasional slow motion section of a really nice jump. LOL Hopefully this will allow me to make some MMU videos. I have at least one request about brows.

A good friend of mine had a really tragic event happen in December. Her hubby, just turned 50 in Nov. died suddenly. He was seriously overweight and lived a rather indulgent lifestyle-- beer and cigarettes along with too much food. Also had asthma. She was awakened at 5 a.m. by him- hitting her, she tried to push him over to his side and quickly turned on the light when she realized something wasn't right. She called 911 & did CPR but he never recovered. She has two boys around the same ages as my own so it was absolutely heart wrenching. Fortunately he had good life insurance since he was the sole provider so she isn't facing the horrors of losing him and being destitute. He was originally from around where I live so he was buried here. She and the boys visited a few times while in town to escape a bit. The one night she was here, I was getting ready to put homemade pizzas in the oven when my oven BLEW. She saw this blue flash of light while I only heard a distinct "POP" as I was facing away putting some toppings on the pizzas.
The next day (Sat.)  I tried calling Sears repair-- they couldn't even check it out until after Christmas. Not acceptable since my mom and her boyfriend were expected for Christmas dinner of prime rib and yorkshire pudding!! Called one other local guy and got recording. Spent entire weekend without use of stove or oven... very difficult for me since I cook a lot. On Monday I called local guy again- he says he is no longer in business. I am freaking out because I didn't see anyone else listed. He starts rattling off other repair places locally. Dummy me- I looked in the wrong phone book-- we seem to get a bazillion phone books but one has 2 repair shops whereas the other has a good dozen. Called repair shop and she pretty much assured me it was the control panel, ordered the part for me ($350!!) and hubby had it repaired within 15 minutes after he got home from work. Did learn a very valuable lesson though- before buying any kind of appliance, call a repair shop for their recommendations. Repair shop woman said that my brand was known to have a lot of faulty electronic problems. Makes me think also that when buying a car, call a repair shop to see what they think. I took DH's co vehicle for new tires and ended up also having to replace the brakes- it had barely 50k miles on it but brakes were almost down to metal! Guy said he's replaced brakes after 20k because what the manufacturer puts on rather questionable quality ones.

Luckily my oven was fixed before Christmas so dinner was excellent. We had a nice visit with my mom while she was here. Also had best friend from high school visit over break. We had lost touch nearly 10 years ago due to a difference in outlook. She thought I had a really negative outlook because I assume that people aren't necessarily nice. I make people earn my trust and confidence. She thought one should always be assumed good until proven otherwise. Anyhoo, we lost touch. Then I heard from a classmate that her father recently passed away. So I contacted her through Facebook and we struck up our friendship again. DH is rather leery about this but I assure him that it's NBD. I'm such a different person from ten years ago- still have my "negative" outlook but just more confident in myself. Unlike before, if BF and I stopped our friendship again, it wouldn't affect my life all that much. I'm not too emotionally involved because I am really good with myself- with or without this friendship. I've always said the one most willing to walk away in any relationship is the one in power. So before Thanksgiving she came down for a brief visit while DH was out of town- figure it's easier since he's grown up with "outsiders bad" mindset. Then she visited again during the holiday break since she is a professor now and also getting her PhD- she had a lot of downtime between semesters. She is divorced and DD lives with ex- so I imagine her life can be kind of lonely, especially around holidays. DH is warming up to the friendship- he realizes that I'm different and it's not like I'm going to be running off to visit her. My priorities are still the same even with the renewed friendship.

In December the kids started track practice a few days a week. I showed up on the first day to tell the coach, guy I had helped run triple jump for years, that I was willing to help out when he needed. He asked how available am I... well as a SAHM with home businesses, I am pretty free with my schedule. So next thing you know, he's introducing me to the entire team as an assistant coach. My kids quickly came to my side at the first opportunity to ask WTH?? I assured them that I knew nothing about this until the very moment they did and I was only "coach" in that I would help the real coach with whatever he needed. So I head over to track practice for a few hours. I am actually enjoying it. I love the sport and the kids are really nice to me so I enjoy helping out. I know how overwhelming it must be for the coach because the real assistant coach can't be there until after his bus route is finished- so being the only adult with a pack of athletes would be very trying. I also admit that it gives me a little extra time with DD. Since she's a senior this year, it's becoming really apparent how limited our time is.
Although she is actually considering attending the local university-- apparently their honors program is really good and everything would transfer for pharmacy school. She recently took the ACT for the last time. She scored a 32 which actually guarantees her additional scholarships. Since she did that Governor's Scholar Program, she has tuition covered but these other scholarships would include rooming allowances and book allowances. She's really an incredible kid-- how many 17 year olds think in such mature ways? At first I was shocked she was thinking about staying in town but I am definitely warming up to the idea. Plus she said "It's not like I hate my home life-- so I don't feel the need to get away." so it's kind of a pat on the back that we're good parents. He he he.

January starts daily track practices so I have that going on. I am also working on window treatments for a client. Plus I still need to work on stuff to set up my online MMU store. Little by little I get things checked off the list.

I'm still hooked on knitting. My mom got a scarf, headband and throw knitted by me. She loved them. I knew she would, that's how my mom is. She totally loves the effort that goes into things, although I do believe her all-time favorite gift from me was an MP3 player. She just loves being able to listen to music while working out- either walking or on her exercise bike. She's so easy to please. It's really nice how we've become much closer as I've gotten older- one of the good things about getting older. Also knitted some scarves for various friends and am knitting myself loads of them in different colors. I like scarves-- warm and toasty, yet fashionable. LOL

I still haven't had contact with MIL/FIL. MIL called Dec. 26 but I wasn't going to answer and DH didn't want to either. BTW her gift to me was definitely too small-  so DD got it. Plus one of the sweatshirts she got for the boys was a pastel yellow (definitely feminine looking) Pittsburgh Steeler one. So he gave it to DD also. She made out like a bandit. LOL Then MIL called New Years and same. DH did finally call her on his drive home from work. It's funny because DH is actually relieved that we don't have to visit them- you kind of get a pass on that obligation when FIL threatens physical violence. I can honestly say that I don't miss them. Still have contact with the rest- funny because the kids are in more contact with each other now than before all this crap. Kind of telling how MIL tried to control info and who interacted with whom. So basically I've just been relieved of the really negative in-laws- including one BIL/SIL by marriage that I don't like... no Christmas card from them. LOL One SIL sent me jammies for Christmas as a thank you for all the MMU goodies. I feel loved. On a funny note- still single BIL has apparently been dating this woman for nearly a year. No one knew because he told GF he was an orphan-- although he must have fessed up since the visited the parents recently. Kind of telling about in-laws parenting skills- one actually denied they were alive, the others are pretty much content to have as little contact as possible, except for the one I don't like so much.

So that's what I've been up to. I have a long list of things I do plan to blog about and I am working on opening up a real MMU store. I guess that's about it.

Lippies from a friend

This post is FAR overdue-- a good vox buddy, Laurie, sent me a whole bunch of lippies that didn't rock her boat after my Avon lip review way back when. I have meant to blog about this for ages but you know how it is... life just seems to get in the way. Big "Thank You" goes out to beautiful Laurie first of all.

Laurie sent me-
Avon Glazewear in Coral Beat - (I think--- the writing is so small for my old lady eyes- not sure a teen could read this tiny type though so I don't beat myself up too badly about not being able to read the little label on the end.)
Avon Glazewear Sparkle in Rave
Avon Glazewear Intense in Crimson
Avon Plump pout in Mocha Kiss
Revlon Color Stay lip gloss in Nude
Also included in photo between Crimson and Mocha Kiss  is my own Avon Plump Pout in Nude

Overall I like all the Avon products as far as feel and smell. The Glazewear ones have little smell and the Plump Pouts have a rather minty smell to them. The Revlon one is a little different. First it has a petroleum like smell and goes on very thin/slick feeling but dries down to a heavier feel.

Here's Coral Beat



Mocha Kiss

Nude Pout

And Revlon Nude

Here's swatches of them in above order from RIGHT to LEFT (ie Coral Beat is far right) on my arm- no flash

Here's swatches of them with the flash

Overall I really like Coral Beat- rather sheer but definitely give a pop of coral, but I'm giving it to DD since she has these gorgeous pouty lips and loves corals. I may keep Rave for myself - undecided but the others are definitely going to DD since they are pretty dark on me and since I have thinner lips-- dark colors don't look all that stunning. Last is a full face shot (Flash) with Nude Pout to show you a bit of depth-- most of the lip shots are a bit faded out. So Crimson was really dark on my lips.