Friday, January 30, 2009

Be still my heart...

Is there anything sweeter than getting flowers just because; with a note that says, "I just wanted you to know I am thinking about you while I am gone." No, I can't wait until he comes home.

Frugal Friday Product Reveiw...sort of!

I had my Frugal Friday Product Review post all written in my head. It was one of those I am kind of excited about this one posts. I wanted to regale you with words of praise over my new frugal cosmetic find, to gush over its outstanding performance, and the miracle results I got, but I got the wind shot out of my sails when I logged onto the product website to find this amazing product has been discontinued! What???? How can this be??? For me to find this product felt like a major deal since I have been a department store cosmetic counter devotee for more years than I can count! The very act of venturing into the cosmetics aisle in the drugstore felt like sacrilege, but in an attempt to continue to streamline and reduce costs (and I had some hum-dinger coupons!) I thought I would give it a try. And try I did, to a thrilling success!

I found a foundation that was wonderful. I was so pleased with it that I wanted to share it here in blogland because even though we may all be trying to be budget junkies we also still want to be beautiful! The product I am referring to is Cover Girl’s Advance Radiance Age Defying Compact Make Up. It is fabulous, not too heavy but gives a super coverage and stays on; not to mention at about ½ the cost of my department store brand. Of course, the powers-that-be-in- make-up-land apparently like to mess with me and they are replacing it with Simply Ageless Foundation…hmmmph!Both of these foundations are a joint product of Cover Girl and Olay so there is hope that the new version will be even better.

Although, I have had a short stint with this product, I am so sad to see it leave. It does appear though, that the powder, which I also really like, is still going to be available. After having such a good experience, I will give the new Simpley Ageless version a spin. So, if you are like me and have always felt you needed to shop the cosmetic counters at the mall or Sephora I would encourage you to stretch yourself and give good old Cover Girl a try!

By the way, I would love to hear about any new (or old) products you have found in your search to beautify on a budget!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter in North Georgia

Last week, I headed north to Anna Ruby Falls to take some photos. It was a clear, sunny and quiet morning and it was absolutely gorgeous. This was a rare morning when I felt completely and totally indulged. It has been a long time since I planned a solo road trip like that.

There is something magical about the winter woods. The sounds are different and light falls at unique angles; so different than during the months when there are leaves on the trees. When I was younger I used to love hiking in the winter woods but haven't done a lot of it in the last few years (decades!). As part of my paring down and simplifying goals, I am hoping to indulge in some simple joys, like those found at the falls, a bit more in 2009!

Homecoming 2009

I wanted to show you some photos of DD as she was getting ready to leave for the Homecoming Dance.
I am not sure when she got to be this grown up????
DD seems to be a girl made for a red dress!
I love this picture!
All week at school there were special "spirit days" with themed activities leading up to Homecoming. My 3 really got into the whole Cowboy/Indian Day!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Seed Catalog Lust

Well, the bug has hit. No, we aren’t sick, but I have been looking at the recently arrived seed catalogs. Last week, even, I read a blog post somewhere that talked about Seed Catalog Lust and I thought to myself how weird that this year I hadn’t felt it. HA! Now, I do.

Today it is a beautiful, clear, sunny, 25 degree morning which has me huddled up looking at my spring seed catalogs. There is just something exciting about looking at all the plants, planning and plotting what to try, where to plant them and imagining the outcome. I love it. I am also a real sucker for those unusual (non-traditional) sounding offerings some of the catalogs offer…who wouldn’t be absolutely over the moon for a tree that produces 5 different fruits? Yes, I have had one of those!

So, do you think I need gooseberries or sea berries? Or maybe I should just grow my own Luffa sponges???

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Beauty and the Flea Market

A couple of weekends ago DD and I decided to wander off the beaten path (well, at least “our” beaten path) and headed to the “World's Nicest Flea Market”. Now, understand this is a flea market, with nothing in common with Brimfield, Round Top or even Lakewood Antiques Fair; rather this is a veritable cornucopia of ethnicities and 100% Made-in-China gobble-D-gook…not to mention some glamorous “beautification” kiosk/booths. You see all kinds of things there, and I mean all kinds of things! Oh, and if you park in just the right part of the parking lot you can walk through the “farm yard”, which I do love to do. I love to look at the chickens – you know the ones with feathers on their legs and look like they have on fancy pants…love them! I also like to look at the ducks…it all fits with my inner-fantasy of being a farmer, or at the very least an eccentric, old lady with a big straw hat and a pack of big dogs hanging around all the while I sell over-priced, rusted farm implements to tourists – can’t you just picture it???

Anyway, I digress, a few weeks ago I had a little venting session on the proliferation of teeth whitening kiosks at the mall – and NO,I haven’t seen anyone actually use those Southern Somedays: What in the world??? . I really thought that was gross until…you guessed it - I went to the flea market and saw their personal improvement/beautification/self improvement offerings! Oh, MY word…you just would NOT believe! There were booths for things like ear coning (which, if you don’t know, is a process whereas someone puts a paper (?) cone in your ear and lights a candle in there and something, something, something happens – that would be my technical understanding of it), make-up sales (apparently Clique and Elizabeth Arden are doing a booming business), and hair salons. The two that really take the cake for me, though, are the eyebrow plucking kiosk and the tattoo booth.

As DD and I made our way through the crowd we noticed a huge group of on-lookers gathered around a particular kiosk. Getting closer, we saw what they were watching; some gal was lying back in a chair while a lady was threading her eyebrows. It was even being viewed on the closed-circuit TV on the rolling cart next to the chair! I can’t help but wonder, did this gal plan on having her eyebrows done at the Flea Market or was this an impulse buy? Did her lovely, hunk of a honey, see this kiosk and look longingly at her and say, “Purdy, I will pop to get them thangs shaped like Pamela Anderson’s!” I guess I am struggling with seeing how you find yourself sitting in a chair at the flea market placing your eyebrows in the hands of??? Well…nothing says, I am a qualified, professionally trained esthetician like a kiosk at the flea arket…not even a booth – a kiosk!!!

This brings me to the next spot of lovelification – the tattoo booth (yes, a full fledged, semi-permanent, plywood walled booth!). I, personally, have had lingering thoughts about the cleanliness and practice of many tattoo artists, particularly those in questionable locales with signs made of poster board and using ball point pens as instruments. I mean, is there like a health department official that checks these things? Anyway, at the flea market you can get yourself a tattoo (don’t know if it is cheaper there or not!). As we walk by; there was a guy getting one…around his nipple, no less. He is there on display, getting a tattoo, in the middle of the afternoon, appearing to be sober, all the while trying not to make eye contact with the curious on-lookers, or in our case: stunned, open mouthed gawkers. I suspect if he had faltered, and made eye contact, the horror in our faces would have caused him to cry like a baby. All I can say is he is a real man, a real man with a tattooed nipple, but a real man, no less!

Geez, I thought teeth whitening in the shadow of Macy’s was bad.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Whole Megillah

I have been a bit lacking in my 2009 blogging so far. I could blame it on the fact that I had a sick child last week, or that both of my boys had multiple basketball games/practices last week, or even that I have been delving into a cure for a deadly disease, but in all honesty, it is because part of my New Year's resolution was to simplify my life and one big element of that is making intentional choices on how I spend my time. I imagine it makes me a major geek, but I could spend all day sitting at this computer reading blogs and other "important" stuff. Yes, I realize that would make me a super, well-rounded, and well-read individual but it doesn't work into my simplification ideas because it tends to make me less than stellar in other areas of, uh...laundry or actually talking to my family. Another area that I tend to compromise if I spend too much time online is my spiritual life. If I am not terribly careful I will literally give my Bible study time away to this machine.

In an attempt to really get into the Word this year I have joined in a new Beth Moore Bible study about the life of Ester. It is called "Esther - It's Tough Being a Woman" We met for the 1st time last week and even with only 1 session I am very excited about this study. I have done one other Beth Moore study, the one on Daniel, and really liked it; though it was challenging!!! The neat thing about this particular study is how it seems like it came at the exact time when I (yes, it is all about me!) needed it and it fits perfectly into where I am wanting to focus my heart, mind and soul. My MIL and and a couple of other family members are hopefully going to do this study at their church; so I am also hoping we can have some lively discussions on this study in the coming months. I would love to know if any of you are doing this study as well.