The Daily: August 15th, 2022

Happy Monday to everyone. I hope yours is going fabulously well. Today, when I woke, there were no watery eyes, not constantly running nose and only a minor cough. Which feels like a minor miracle. You know, when I feel well I don’t think about my health much. when I feel bad it seems like the only thing that matters.

Today I feel pretty good AND there was no rain so before the heat and humidity rose, I went out on a walk. It felt amazingly good to simply do what i normally do. I was able to go on a normal walk without feeling out of breath. Okay I was a little out of breath at the end so I am not going to try and push it with a second walk later this afternoon. I am just going to be pleased with 98% normality and not get over confident.

98% feels fantastic and made the entire day feel good. I hit Monday morning ready to go and I ticked items off of my to do list like no one’s business. well like my business actually, if you want to get technical. The point is, today worked and it felt good, really good.

simple and super fab salmon

Tonight we are having one of my favorite salmon meals. It is super quick and easy. I took two salmon filets marinated them in equal parts soy sauce and maple syrup and then sprinkled in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes on top. I put the marinade together at lunch time. It will sit until dinner and then I will pop it onto a sheet tray skin side up in the oven at 400 for about 10 minutes (or until it is the right doneness – that always varies based on the size and shape of the salmon.)While it is in the oven I will put the same marinade measurements mix into a sauce pan and add a dash of sesame seeds, let the sauce reduce and steam some broccoli. The sauce is fantastic on broccoli and as a little extra for the salmon. Simple and fabulous, especially now that my nose is cleared and I can both smell and taste again. That just makes the world a better place.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Tatcha The Silk Canvas

Foundation: Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

Bronzer: Kim Chi Thailor Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Georgia blush

Powder: Tatcha Silk Powder

Eyeshadow: OFRA Signature Symphony Palette

Mascara: Give them Lala Beauty Mascara

Brows: iMethod Beauty Eyebrow Stencil Kit

Lips: Lawless Beauty Forget the Filler Lip Plumping gloss

Okay the Tatcha, both primer and powder were still out on the dressing table. I know i need to put them away and rotate through products but I just love them both. The same with the Benefit Blush. It was out, I know I loved it so I went ahead and used it.

The foundation is a bit of a throwback for me. I opened my drawer and saw a box in the back. I thought, what new foundation did I pick up and forget to try. it isn’t a new foundation. it is one of my favorite older foundations. For a long time this Becca foundation was my go to foundation. I used it pretty much exclusively. And I know I said that when Becca was going out of business I wasn’t going to stock up. But I was curious as to how low their last process would go and while I resisted most of the sale but in the last days of the closing up shop sale the foundation was on deep discount and i couldn’t resist.

So I bought a bottle and then put it into the drawer thinking I could use it when I finished testing out the foundation i was currently trying and that I would use it on days I wasn’t posting my makeup. It remained sealed. Since it won’t last forever, even sealed, I have opened it and will be rotating it through. I’ll try to use it more on the days I don’t post since the company is no more, but I still love the formula of this foundation. It is glowy without looking wet and it really just works for me. I won’t spend a lot of time talking about it when i wear it, but it is the one Becca product i truly loved and will miss.

I did have a couple of new items to try. The first was the OFRA palette. I loved the shadows today. I think I loved them more because I used a shadow formula last week that tyook effort for me to use. This took no effort. It blended well, it layered well and this is a formula that lasts all day. I am a fan of OFRA products. And this palette works. I am pleased to see that it is for sale and hasn’t gone away.

The mascara was the Give them Lala Beauty. I tried it once last week but my eyes were watering so I tried to forget about the test. I had to apply several coats to get it to look as I wanted and it does take a bit of time to dry. While I didn’t sneeze today a hard blink left lash marks that needed to be cleaned up. this is one of those mascaras where I feel I need a hand fan. I’ll be using it this week and see if I like it any better towards the end of the week. For now it is just so so.

And then there is Lawless Beauty. I like the gloss actually. It smells like watermelon and has that tingly feel. I need to do a side by side look to see if there was any plumping, but it feels good on the lips. It is sticky at first but After a few minutes of wear the stickiness goes away. It just looks like a beautiful gloss. I have the shade Rosy Outlook which is a pinkish clear that looks pretty good on my lips. Kind of my lips but better shade. I am curious about the plumping so I’ll have to take some close ups later this week to see if there is any noticeable change. But it is a nice gloss.

And there are the highlights of both my makeup and my day, my darlings. It has been a good day and I think my makeup turned out like I expected as well. Somedays, that is all that takes to make me happy. I know I should probably seek to aim higher than ‘lack of illness’ but for today, it just feels fabulous. Now I just have to work on cleaning and disinfecting every surface in the house. But I’ll worry about that after dinner. Have a great rest of your afternoon.

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One Month of My Fitness Pal, the free Version

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Regardless there was a spate of time where the weight was put on. And it didn’t come off. It stayed. Then I decided to go on a weight loss journey. The reason was simple, I woke up one morning and got out of bed and couldn’t remember when my feet didn’t hurt at some point throughout the day. I decided that was not a good thing and that it was high time I did something about it.

I know, not as sexy as wanting to look good in a bikini or getting ready for a class reunion or even running a marathon, but it was my reason for losing weight.

the problem was where to start. while I am a full time writer now, I went to school for (and still write about) Architectural History. It means I can tell you a great many sociological reasons why American banks were designed to reference Roman architecture, but I can’t tell you squat about the human body aside from a third grade song listing the bones of the skeletal structure.

So I dove into the world of dieting and fitness.

I don’t know if you have been, but it is a terrifying place. It is also full of very opinionated people.

What I wanted sounded simple in my head. I wanted to shave some weight off of my body so my feet didn’t hurt shortly after I got out of bed. I wanted a program that I could maintain for a life time rather than a quick fix. As at my heaviest I weighed 246 lbs, I knew there wasn’t going to be a quick fix. I was in for a long haul. Crash diets weren’t going to work. Cutting out a single food group wasn’t going to work. i had over a hundred pounds to lose and I needed a long term solution.

What I landed on was portion control and regular exercise. I know, like ,making my feet not hurt it isn’t the sexiest of diet plans. There is no cool name or concept backed by pseudo-science. it is no magic fat melting pill. I just needed to balance my calories in and calories out. As simple as it sounds I have tried many ways to do this. The simplest way for me is a food diary. I have used a notebook and pen to record what I eat and how much activity I got, but then I had to look up the calories and while it was helpful, it is just plain easier to use an App for that.

mfp_dashboard_small UI

My problem with a lot of the apps is that they seem to assume that I am purchasing pre prepared foods. While this works for a few things, I tend to cook most of my meals. One of the things I really liked about the My Fitness Pal is that I can build a recipe. I can type the ingredients in and then tell they system how i portion out what is created. Then it tells me how many calories I consumed.

The recipe builder and food diary are the two elements of the My Fitness Pal app that I use the most. One of the things I like is that it lets me keep the regularly used items in the list so each morning I don’t have to input coffee I can just check the box and have done with it, easy peasy. I am sure most of the apps do that, but it is the recipe builder function that is in the My Fitness Pal app that I have found a lot better than most and the most helpful. It takes a bit to add the recipes in but once you have then you are done.

mfp_dashboard

While I have used these features for years at this point (off and on), this month I committed to using it and building the habit of logging in every day. For me, keeping track of the food keeps me on track. I also enter my exercise so I can figure out my calories in and calories out. Oddly enough the checking in section has been hugely beneficial. While I weigh in once a week officially for the Friday Weigh in, I really like the habit of getting on the scale each morning and just typing the info in to the system for a chart. I know there are going to be some points (like the holidays) that I don’t want to do that, but there is something i really like about seeing the chart grow and build. I think it is because while there is a degree of up and down in my dieting, I can look at the chart and see that even if this week I gained half a pound, the chart still shows an over all downward trend. I find that encouraging to see. It really helps me not get caught up[ in minutia.

The blog function has also been useful for me as well. It has been a way to just add quick thoughts about what is going on. New foods I’ve tried, things that go well or don’t go well. I have also found inspiration in the news posts about various exercises and foods that come up on the site. Overall it has been a really good tool for me to use and after a solid month of use, I am now in the habit of using it. It has become routine to log in and input what I am eating and to log in my work outs.

the version I have been using though is the free version. I have found that sometimes I use a free version of a program and love it, and then dislike the paid version. On the other hand, sometimes once I try he paid version I find there are parts I really don’t want to let go of and remain with the paid version. There are several items on the paid listing that are intriguing to me;. There is a greater depth to the food logging app and a guided nutrition plan. There are also recipes targeted towards my nutritional goals. As I am always looking for new recipes to try out, I am very interested in that. The paid version sounds like it would actually be a benefit. So now that I have gotten used to the free version i am going to give the paid version a trial and then do a side my side comparison to see if it is the right plan for me or if I was fine with the free version of the app. So shall we see if the paid version has elements that I really need, or if the free version is all that I need? I think we shall. Let the trial begin!

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First Use of the New Balance Ab Wheel

I fully admit that I have an odd fascination with random workout tools. I think it comes from a childhood where things like the Thigh Master and the rowing exerciser. Both still disturbingly on sale on etsy and e-bay, I checked. I actually broke my toe with the rowing exerciser. I wanted to see how far the spring would stretch then I lost my grip on the slick handles. I smacked myself in the face and the handle whapped my toe (I was barefoot). It was not a good day.

The fascination remains, although now I actually read instructions.

I have however heard good things about these ab wheels and heard no stories of tow breakage. I was looking into picking one up to try, mostly because I need to do some work on my mid section instead of simply walking for my workouts and I can usually count on myself to give any new thing at least thirty days to see if it does anything. Then I ended up getting the Fab Fit Fun Box (I used my referral link for this so I think I get some kind of store credit if you use it. If that bothers you no worries, just goggle it instead of using the link) and this New Balance Ab Wheel was one of the items. I selected it.

the three exercises

It was easy to assemble and I have to be honest, it looked a bit like a toy. Still I was glad that the handles are textured for a more secure grip and since it was here, I figured I would give it a try. Like skincare exercise tools aren’t magic, so even though I did give it a first try i know I have to commit to using it for a month before I see any results. So this is just a first impression of the work out and a recording of measurements before the month begins.

The first think i noticed was that the wheel didn’t really like rolling on carpet. It didn’t roll smoothly and was hard to control. So I lay down the yoga mat. This worked fabulously well. It provided a smoother surface with no carpet fibers and the slightly textured surface of the yoga matt helped with my control. So I can tell you right away that I will be pairing this with my yoga mat.

The booklet that came with the Ab Wheel has three exercises listed on it so I did one set of each. As I progress maybe I will add in more but one set worked well for a first try. I did notice that Even though I was working my abs while using the tool I was also very firmly gripping those handles. I don’t know why but the first few exercises I sort of felt like it was going to suddenly roll out from under me and then I’d smack my nose into the floor.

textured grip of handle a plus

I didn’t it behaved exactly as it should. My other fear was that as the athletic woman in the photo is much smaller than me, that the tool would not be good with my weight. while the wheel is plastic and the handles rubber, the shaft that runs through the wheels and is covered by the handles is metal. It was easily able to support the weight I put on it for the exercise.

I’ll admit, my focus was on the balance and not injuring myself. Which I managed to do and will hopefully not focus on so much moving forward. The first two exercises were on my knees and went fairly well. The standing workout pose “Pike Roll” took a little bit more time to get used to. And the next morning I felt that one in my calves as well as my abs.

carpet vs. Yoga mat. Go for the yoga mat as its textured surface provides a little grip and you can control it more easily

I did feel the efforts from the day before. The Ab wheel may look like a toy of some sort but my body certainly feels the effects of using it. As I feel the muscle stiffness in the abs where the tool is supposed to work, then I feel I have at least used it appropriately.

And so the month begins. Before I end this post, there are the small matters of the measurements. I figured Waist and Hips would be appropriate so those are the two measurements given for the start of the thirty days with the New Balance Ab Wheel.

Waist: 48 inches

Hips: 50.5 Inches

I suppose we will se if in thirty days wither of those measurements change. Let the trial of the New Balance Ab wheel begin.



Snacktime: Quest Cookies and Cream Protein Bar

That’s right today’s protein bar is aptly named Quest because that is exactly what I feel as though I have been on. It feels like a quest to find a protein bar I would actually like to eat. I know it seems like a strange quest to be on. There are many snacks that i can easily choose from. In fact I keep a variety of them in the pantry. Almonds, walnuts and peanuts. Mini sized bags of popcorn. Chomps meat Sticks and Righteous Felon Craft Beef Jerky and seasonal fruit are all available.

The thing is, I enjoy riding my bike and there is a group I ride with, most of whom it turns out are vegans. When I ride my bike I like to keep a simple portable snack, which for me the easiest is either Chomps or Righteous Felon, both of which I use when I am on my own. With the group I like to something a little more vegan friendly than a stick of meat. No one has any objections to what I eat, but I feel it is a bit more polite.

Hence my delving into protein bars recently. Many of them have not been my thing. For some it is textural. many protein bars seem to have the texture of playdoh which I simply do not find pleasant. A lot of them are overly sweet, or too dry and crumbly. And many of them seem to taste like a weird interpretation of uncooked cookie dough.

During my workday when i use an afternoon snack to help me control my dinner time portion size, I like to keep my snacks around 100 calories. When riding I am a little more flexible with the calorie count as I am in the process of refueling often during exercise.

This Cookies and Cream Quest Bar had 200 calories per bar. For the trail ride that is fine. At my desk I cut it in half. The bar is large enough that I am okay with cutting it in half. I can do so and still feel like I am getting a decent sized snack. As odd as it sounds, sometimes perception is everything. If I feel like cutting it in half gives me too small a portion it doesn’t matter what the calorie count says, i still feel like I’ve been cheated. This is large enough that I don’t feel cheated when i half it.

There is some of that playdoh texture on the outside, but I don’t mind it as much with the quest bars. Partially because it is a stiffer consistency and I can’t roll it up easily like a ball of playdoh and partially it is because there are solid pieces inside. The black pieces are the same texture and consistence of the chocolate wafer part of a sandwich cookie, like an Oreo. For all I know they could actually be cookie pieces added to it. They certainly have the right texture and taste. The white bit is not the same filling. It is sweet but it has a slightly aspartame kind of taste. It leaves an aftertaste like you get from a diet soda. While I can do without the aftertaste, I have to say this has been one of the best protein bars I have tried.

While I don’t think that i will ever be a huge fan of protein bars and I will probably not turn to them for my regular daily snacking, for an inoffensive eat on the trail snack, I would certainly pick this Quest Cookies and Cream Protein Bar up again. The flavor is good, there is enough textural difference between the components to make it feel like something it is okay to eat and not like you have taken the Playdoh food factory fun molds a little too literally, and it doesn’t crumble to dust as you bite into it. The only problem is that more than anything it does make me crave a big, cold glass of milk.

The Daily: June 23rd, 2022

Okay deep breathe my darlings. After yesterday, today has been a veritable ocean of calm. This morning I got up early, I walked when the temperature outside was only 75 degrees, which while still warm felt like a cool autumn afternoon compared to the last few weeks. Admittedly my walk was done before eight am. Then around eleven I slipped in some yoga. I had a delightful Smoothie for lunch (Yup, another Chocolate one from Smoothie box. I’m not normally a huge chocolate fan but this strikes the right balance for me and I absolutely adore them)

In a surprisingly calm day, work just flowed and even though my work load is heavier today to help makeup for yesterday, I did work a little late last night so it is not overwhelming.

Yesterday was just a flying mass of crazy.

There was car trouble on one end of town and the mechanics clear on the other side of town. So there was the drive to rescue, the drive to repair and since I was crisscrossing town anyway I just added in a few other things that I was going to have to do later this week and weekend anyway to the list since I was there. It will make Friday and the weekend feel luxuriously easy, which I suppose is the real birthday present for myself (Birthday is Monday).

So despite everything, mostly the heat making me crazy because the air in my car does not work so it was a very sweaty adventure, I actually got a lot done yesterday. It wasn’t what I expected and it wasn’t done in the order I planned, but they were things that had to be done. So that’s like achieving a goal unexpectedly. Which feels way more like a positive now than it did yesterday. Perspective, I suppose, can be everything.

But a cold shower often helps too.

Today’s Look:

Today’s Look:

Primer: ELF Poreless Putty Primer

Foundation: Givenchy Prisme Libre Skin-caring Glow Foundation

Bronzer: Trestique Bronzing Stick

Blush: Dominique Cosmetics Silk Tone Cream Blush

Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Honey eyeshadow palette

Mascara: Patrick Ta Major Volume Mascara

Lips: Yensa Super 8 Lip oil in Pink Shine

With one or two changes, this should look more or less like the rest of the week. I ran out of the Sephora primer so I chose instead a classic favorite with the Elf. It is a great primer and because I’ve used it so often for so long, I know exactly how it performs. Knowing how it performs (and loving it) as well as keeping the face products more or less the same are kind of key for me when testing a new foundation. Especially one that has a one shot sample try on. On Monday I used all of these products with a tried and true foundation that I love (albeit a discontinued one) and so I can compare the samples to how that performed. the same slate of products serving as a sort of control in the process.

I also really like almost everything on this list. I think the Patrick Ta is just okay as far as Mascara goes. It isn’t really blowing me away with major volume, but everything else on the list is either a long time favorite or a new product that is really impressing me. The Blush is blending well and lasting all day. And even though the Urban decay is a fairly Neutral palette my love of bronze colored shadows means that I really want to reach for it. I’ll still be using it next week and give a full review next Thursday but my personal preferences make it a really good palette for me.

The Laura Mercier doesn’t want to come out of the little holes and keeps bunching up behind the plastic screen, but the powder itself is really good.

Not my favorite look with this palette, but i was trying out the lighter mattes

Which of course leaves is with the foundation sample. This one is from Givenchy. It is a blister pack and I did have to combine two shades to have enough product to use. So how did it perform? It performed well. It stayed in place all day with only a little settling in the lines around the corners of my mouth. It was a little on the glow-y side but not too overpowering with the glow. It looked quite nice. It felt a little heavier than either the Giorgio Armani of Tuesday or even one of my favorite foundations the Yensa BC Foundation (which is rapidly what I am starting to compare foundations to actually it is the one I want to reach for most mornings.)

Admittedly part of that ‘weight’ might be the scent. With the scent I couldn’t forget I was wearing it. It is a perfumed foundation. It is a light and pleasing perfumed scent, but throughout the day I would find myself moving about and catching a whiff of scent and wonder what it was before I remembered, oh year, its my foundation. It is not a bad scent. I actually like it. I just don’t like the scent on my face. This week I am not wearing a perfume because I just didn’t feel like it (sometimes I get that way when it is hot, all scents become a bit much) I think I might have had a bit of an issue had I been wearing scent. I do not want to have to scent coordinate between my foundation and my perfume. (or hair products or skincare, etc.) If I was head over heels in love with the way the foundation looked and performed, maybe I would be more inclined to over look the scent. But the foundation is good, not spectacular and for me, the perfumed scent of it edged it into the probably not for me category. If it happened to come in a subscription box (although a not very realistic scenario as I have never seen Givenchy in any subscription box) I would use it for a more fulsome trial, but as a sample packet I have the one shot to judge and todays use does not make me want to pick up a bottle for a full test. while I am sure the Armani foundation will end up as a full trial at some point, I doubt very much that I will be seeing this Givenchy again. It looks good, I just can’t get past the scent.

But I find it helpful to know what I don’t like as well as what I do, so for me, this was a very useful test, even if I do prefer larger samples to test out. As I am already looking forward to removing this foundation tonight, that’s pretty much all the sample I need. And so it is back to work for me. have a great rest of your Thursday my darlings. I’ll see you back here bright and early tomorrow morning.

The Daily: June 16th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. Have you ever had a day where everything just chugs along as expected. No mishaps, no emergencies, no surprises? Just the day quietly moving along as planned? I know it is the sort of day that once it is passed will slip through the cracks in my memory and be forgotten in a haze, but to be honest it feels fabulous.

I think it has just been such a strange spring for me. Every time I turned around there was another large must deal with event coming down. There were some high points but there were some low points but it was a very spiky looking graph because there seemed to be no mid points.

The transmission on my vehicle started to slip and needed expensive repairs. I got a commission on a project I really wanted to work on. My brother died. I received an award. My heating and air conditioning unit needed to be replaced. One of my younger cousins had twins. One of my best friend’s father died. One of my cousin’s kid’s graduated with honors. A friend got married, two friends got divorced.

I’m sure there were a few more things in there. Some of them happened to me, some around me, but this was not a quiet spring. It was a season of emotional rollercoasters. It felt more like a cork had been popped out and everything just sort of spewed forth in one big gush. I think a lot of it might have been things that were delayed due to earlier lock downs and rescheduling issues and it just all happened to land at once. But it kind of makes me appreciate the solidly steady quiet days where things just go as intended.

Today, I watered, I worked out, I showered and dressed for the day, I worked, I had a a Smoothie Box smoothie (Orange – it was delicious) for lunch. I went back to work. Then I remembered I was going to marinade the salmon we were having for dinner (we just got a Vital Choice order, in fact because it came in around the same time as the Smoothie Box we are thinking of getting one of those small stand alone coolers Nothing large, but in the summer we eat a lot more fish so we order Vital Choice more often (plus there is a huge sale going on right now, I;ll link it below) so that it is on hand and my babydoll wants more room to stash his freeze pops. Yes those plastic tubes of colored sugar water and ice you freeze. He loves them and couldn’t find space in the freezer).

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The marinade is my favorite, equal parts maple syrup and soy sauce, freshly grated ginger, a couple of pinches of pepper flakes and that’s it. I put everything in a bag so it is easy to turn after two hours and I put the bag in a bowl in the fridge so if the bag springs a leak there won’t be sticky marinade in the fridge. We are having it with roasted green beans that have a dash of sesame oil and some sesame seeds on them. Beans are in season here so you can buy huge bags locally. I roast a whole pan and the left overs will get pureed and mixed with potato so so tomorrow we will have a sort of vegetable pancakes to go with our gochujang chicken.

Yup my biggest concern thus far was making sure I had a plan to use the leftover beans I know we will have.

Ah, normality, how I have missed you.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Sephora Smooth + Blur Primer

Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick

Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Blush: IBY Beauty Blush in Sun Kissed

Powder: Kim Chi Beauty Puff Puff Pass Setting Powder

Eyeshadow: Maybelline Color Tattoo cream shadow and Lottie London Metallic Pigment

Mascara: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir (the link goes to Sephora for reference but it is out of stock everywhere and discontinued)

Lips: M2UNYC Matte Liquid Lip and TYS Lip Treat Lip Plumper

Today was an interesting mix of new and old, or maybe I should say established. I started with the trial size of primer that came in my Allure. It is one of those tubes that is mostly empty. I might be able to squeak two more uses out of it. It is from the Sephora line and I have to admit when I saw it in the Allure box I wasn’t thrilled, but I did think that if it was there then maybe it was there because it was really good. It is the sort of slippy silicone feeling primers. It works well. It isn’t fabulous but it is functional. It is the sort of thing that if i was placing a Sephora order and needed one more thing to push me over a spending limit, I might add. It is not something that I would look for or specifically go to buy. It is a $16 primer so it is more affordable, but honestly I think the Elf primers are $8 or $9 depending on where you get them and they are better. So if you were looking for an affordable primer I would go there before going to the Sephora line. It does a decent job, it just isn’t rave worthy.

The Revolution Fast Base foundation stick on the other hand is a standby summer favorite. I finished up a tube last summer and then when Revolution had a sale I restocked. This was my first use this summer and I do love this foundation stick. It doesn’t need to be warmed up, blends easily and I found my perfect match (F11 in case you are wondering). It is something that I can wear now and will be able to wear throughout the summer and into the fall when my tan fades. I generally end up using up a tube of this foundation every summer.

The Too Faced bronzer, is a regular use product, it tends to work better for me when I am more tan so it does get more use in the summer. and lets face it the compact is beautiful too so it is nice to play with.

The IBY blush I saw in the drawer this morning and could not honestly remember using. I opened it and it looked untouched. It also looked like a good shade for me. I’m guessing it came in a subscription over the winter and I thought ‘summer shade’ and put it to the side. It is a darker tone and for a first use it worked well. It isn’t highly pigmented but it beldns without disappearing which is nice. I’ll play around with it and see if I am going to add it to my summer makeup, but first use seems promising.

I like the Kim Chi Powder. It is a good quality and with the powder pudd I don’t need to use all that much which keeps it from looking powdery. I did notice if I used a brush then it could look powdery, so I always use the puff with this powder.

Because I wanted to play around with the metallic foil I just used the Maybelline to give me a little darker shade towards the edges. I really do love these color tattoo shadows. It took me a while to figure out how to work with them but in the end they turned out to be fantastic. I need to figure out how to get myself to reach for them more. It is an on going problem with the single shadows. I paired them down to the ones I really like, but I just need to figure out an organizational system that works. So it worked fantastically as always. The gold was the pone I was playing around with. It is the Lottie London. When I used a brush, there was fall out. when I used my finger there was less fall out but it was a bit messy because my finger was just too large. Today I soaked a cotton swab with Setting Spray (Benefit Cosmetics Super Setter) and it was perfect. It had the rounded tip of the finger and the dampness locked in the powder so there was no fall out but it had the maneuverability of a shadow brush. I now want to try this with all of my loose pigments. I don’t know why I didn’t try it before. It was a fantastic solution and thus far I have had zero fall out.

Even though Marc Jacobs Beauty is no more, I found an unopened back up of the Velvet noir and decided to use it. I’ll try to use it more on the days when I don’t post a daily so that I am using products available to purchase if you find them appealing (I hate when I see something I like only to find it no longer exists). this was my favorite mascara for a long time, but Marc Jacobs Beauty has closed. Also I saw an article about Revlon closing too. Which I admit stunned me more than Marc Jacobs.

Revlon is declaring bankruptcy. That seems almost unfathomable.

So we end with lips. I chose the M@UNYC because I like it, it is matte and it dries fairly quickly. I wanted to try the lip plumper over it. The TYS doesn’t have a huge amount of plumping that I can see (but it does tingle a lot) and it has the same effect over lipstick as it did on bare lips. Which was what i was testing today. And it worked.

And so that is me. I was a bit long winded today, maybe with everything seeming calmer I just felt like chatting. I hope you don’t mind. I am tickled my cotton swab idea panned out and I will be trying it elsewhere. I am also thrilled I thought up an advance plan for the left over green beans. I know, not buckets of excitement, but today, that is an amazing thing. Have a great rest of your afternoon.

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The Daily: June 13th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. it is a hot one today. And I don’t mean summer is actually arriving. This year it seems we have skipped the early part of the summer and just umped headlong into the brutality of late summer. Each morning when I wake up I look at the weather. At this time of year it is kind of important for the garden. There always comes a point in the summer where i need to switch from watering just at sundown, to watering at sundown and then first thing in the morning before the sun really gets going so the plants can absorb the water before it evaporates.

Usually that point arrives mid July. This year, I had to water this morning. This is the earliest I have ever had to do a morning watering in the summertime since we’ve lived here. It was already eighty degrees at 7 am and the exclamation point near the weather report promised the heat index would be in the triple digits. Checking my garden records for last year we hit triple digits for the first time July 8th last year. I got up a little early today so that I could walk before the heat hit, but ended up using that extra time to water so there will be no walking today, just indoor workouts.

Which is fine. Not what I planned but fine. I am well stocked with indoor fitness gear so I should be able to keep moving forward on my fitness journey. I just won’t be doing it outside. I’m just sort of amazed that the first heat wave hit this early in the summer. I imagine it is going to lead to a longer and more violent hurricane season further south this year. (I spent quite a few years living in Louisiana and hurricane season sort of sticks with you even when you leave). For now I think it is going to be a balancing act keeping my vegetables and tender herbs from scorching in the sun. We are about to get our first paprika peppers for drying and I have a spate of carrots just now rising. This year I planted a variety called Parisian and they grow into small round carrots. I’m kind of excited about them. So right now it is one eye on the heat index and another on the garden. And fingers crossed that I can keep everything from shriveling up in the sun.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation

Bronzer: Trestique Stick Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush

Powder: Tatcha The Silk Powder

Eyeshadow: Lime Crime Prelude Exposed Eyeshadow Palette

Brows: Marcelle Nano Eyebrow Liner in Medium Brown

Mascara: ABH Lash Brag Mascara

Lips: TYS Beauty Lip Plumper

I’m actually quite pleased with the way things turned out today. While the Tatcha silk primer is one of my absolute favorite primers (and I noticed I am starting to hit pan in the center of it today which means a reorder is in sight) I chose it specifically because I wanted to try the sample of the Liquid Silk Canvas I received with my last Tatcha order (I am loving the Kissu Mask, btw). I thought I would try the original and then tomorrow open up the sample. That way I can do a close compare. Plus since I will need to reorder primer soon from Tatcha I can see if I want to go with my favorite or try the liquid. I think that one may be offered in the Travel sized products to try out so I may do that instead of the full sized one right off the bat. Of course that is if i like it in the first place. Which I won’t know until I try it out tomorrow. But I used the original today and loved it like I always do. It works well and the scent just makes me feel special too.

What can I say, I am a scent oriented person.

The Pretty Vulgar is also working well. The amount of product is low in the bottle and this is the perfect time of year for this shade so it will be in rotation often in the next few months.

The Trestique is one of my go to products and I will always reach for it if I don’t have something else in mind. I do need to set it to the side and rotate through my bronzers, if only to adjust the location so my summer wear ones are closer to the front of the drawer.

You know I love the Benefit Gold Rush. It too is starting to show pan. I am always surprised when this happens as the Benefit blushes last forever. But Benefit just released new blushes so maybe it is time to try a new shade or two. this one will be hard to beat though. It is just the right tone for me and I really enjoy it. However nothing lasts forever so new things must be tried.

Speaking of new things I am still using the sample of the Tatcha powder that came in with my last order. It is fantastic. Very fine milled and silk soft on the skin. And it doesn’t look powdery. while I love loose powder I have several loose powders to get through at the moment. I am limited on the pressed powder though and really wish this came in a pressed format as it would be amazing to have a compact in my purse at this time of year. With this heat a reliable compact is essential for not sweating through the makeup. I don’t care what products you are using, ten minutes outside and when you reach your location you need to stop by the ladies with a quick pat down with the compact. This powder would be good for that, but alas it is only sold loose.

I love this Lime Crime Palette and I think I am definitely getting the Immortals one. I was debating it, but their shadows are just such a good formula. I just have to do a shadow declutter first. Once I make some space, the new palette will be mine. And since Lime Crime has lowered their prices, it will be mine for less.

The ABH mascara worked fantastically well as always. I enjoy it more with each use and will be picking it up again. I just have to work through my mascara stock pile first. That’s another thing i need to take inventory of soon.

I am the first to admit that I forget about brows a lot. It’s the bangs. Most of the time they cover my eyebrows so I don’t worry. But I do have several brow products and i am going to be rotating through them to see which ones I am keeping, which ones I am letting go of and which ones I want to order again. This Marcelle is a keeper and a reordering product. I love the fine point and the fact that the product is soft enough to apply without warming up but not too soft so it doesn’t smear everywhere like a warm crayon. It is a very good brow product and I love both the shade and the fine point.

And then there is the lips. I had not tried TYS Beauty before but this was in my May bag from IPSY. I do love lip plumpers so I thought i’d give it a go. This is a nice gloss, not too sticky. It smells very peppermint-y and for the first 20 minutes it is very tingly. There is also an almost holographic sheen to it which I like. For as intense as the stinging is, there is only mild lip plumping. Given the intensity of the sting I thought for sure there would be massive results. There aren’t but it is a nice basic lip plumper and a good gloss. I will continue using it, but I might not reorder it. I am glad to hear about a new brand though, so that is nice.

And that was me today. Overall I am very pleased with how things turned out.

Admittedly with the heat set to melt skin off my bones and no video calls scheduled today it is just you and me that get to see it, but I’m okay with that. But now it is back to work for me. I hope your Monday glides through with no complications. And remember, if you go outside, drink lots of water.

Creatives to Promote Hint Still

Testing out the De-Stress Muscle Gel from Aromatherapy Associates

There are some products that announce themselves slowly, their scent gently wafting through the air to tease your senses. This De Stress Muscle Gel from Aromatherapy Associates is not one of those. it is a lavender bomb. Actually that isn’t enough this is a LAVANDER bomb. I’m sorry for shouting but there is nothing subtle about the lavender scent of this muscle gel.

It came sealed in it’s tube and even through the sealant, heck even through the closed subscription box it came in, the scent of lavender made it through. this gel came in a Boxycharm box and even before I opened the box I knew something lavender was inside.

The first thing you need to know is pretty obvious. If you don’t like lavender, this isn’t a product for you. I like lavender but even then I had to think about when i wanted to use it. However, I can always use a good muscle cream. while most of my workouts are walking based, as the weather heats up I have gone indoors more. I recently Signed up for Yoga Works, and online Yoga class website with more than 1300 classes (because I needed something a little bit more structured than what i could find on You Tube but still wanted an at home work out). It’s early days, but I’m liking it thus far. My muscles however have registered complaints, so it seemed like the perfect time to test this muscle gel out.

The product claims…

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel instantly cools painful and sensitive muscles, once cooled the gel then provides a penetrating warmth for a refreshed relaxed feeling.

Vegan, Nut-Free, and SLS-Free To use: Apply to aching muscles and joints twice a day.

Aromatherapy Associates

Pretty straightforward. Even though it says gel in the name I was surprised a little by the consistency. It isn’t what i would think of as a true gel and it isn’t really a cream. It has a consistency a bit like a water cream. It is like a hybrid of gel and cream.

Once dispensed, the lavender scent increases slightly but it brings a rosemary backer as well. The combination turns this from floral to medicinal almost instantly. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as rosemary is listed right behind the lavender on the ingredient’s list.

This gel applies very wet. The water gel texture just turns it to liquid as it comes into contact with the warmth from your skin. Then it takes a while to absorb. If you pull up a pants leg yo apply it to your skin, it will cause the material to stick to you. You need to allow a good five minutes to let this cream absorb.

Once on the skin, a menthol scent joins the lavender rosemary combo bringing it more fully into the medicinal scent arena. It applies cool, which I think is the menthol evaporating and the gel absorbing. The coolness of the gel is very helpful to sore muscles. The feeling doesn’t last all that long.

If you are looking for something that provides the deep muscle relaxing sensations that you get from something like Icy Hot then you will be disappointed. This is not a deep tissue sort of muscle assist. It did do a little bit of cooling on the skin and I did feel that my muscle aches were eased a little bit. It is much more subtle in its effect than something like Icy Hot. It smells much more pleasant though.

The scent is very strong. And it doesn’t go away. The scent lingers in the air and it lingers on your skin. I applied it before bed to ease muscle strain and it worked well enough to relax me enough to go to sleep and the scent was more pleasant than any sports cream would have been, but the scent remained into the morning. When I threw back the covers to get out of bed the next day, a waft of lavender was still present.

If you ae looking for an alternative muscle gel this does have some benefits. It does cool you down and temporarily soothes minor aches. Once it absorbs it isn’t greasy, although it does take a while to absorb. Th biggest drawback is it’s scent. It is strong enough that regular exposure gave me headaches. I know it is an aromatherapy type product so the scent is an important part, but they went overboard with it. It is simply too strong a scent. If the scent was halved I would enjoy using it more. As it is, I can only use small amounts and only in well ventilated places. While I would love an alternative to the scent of traditional sports creams, for me, this De Stress Muscle Gel from Aromatherapy Associates is simply not it.



The Daily: May 19th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. It has been a quite pleasant and productive day for me here. I got up a little early and took a walk first thing. Which was nice. It was humid but not overly hot when I started. By the time I got back to the house I felt like i was being smothered in a wet electric blanket, but that was at the end of the walk and I went straight into the shower. Admittedly the first few minutes I kept the water cool and then worked up to hot.

It is definitely time to start thinking about more indoor workouts.

I know, I say that a lot, but I really prefer the nice mind clearing walk in the fresh air sort of exercise to anything indoors. However as even early morning walks are now sweat and sun fests adaptations must be made. It was a great way to start the day. Lately my exercises have been pushed later and later, but I used to do them first thing in the morning. I really kind of miss that. I know I grumble, but that’s mostly because i really don’t like mornings in general. It is actually much easier to wake up, fall into the exercise clothes and get started before actually waking up completely then it is to convince myself to change clothes and begin the exercises mid afternoon.

It’s easier with walking as I can just walk when my brain needs a break. Less easy with planned workouts. I think it is because i am over all not a huge fan of perky people. And to be involved in fitness it seems you have to be perky. Plus they advertise goals that aren’t mine. I’m not trying to look bikini ready or run a marathon. I just want to get to a healthy weight zone.

I think I’d like to do an exercise video at some point. Instead of starting with things like, “Let’s get those bodies moving and feel those endorphins!” or comments about how fabulous you will look on the beach with your new bikini ready bod I think I’d start them with my own phrases.

They would include comments like “we know you’re here because your favorite jeans are a bit snug and you don’t want to break in a new pair in a larger size,’ or “You know moving is good for you after sitting in an office all day so stop whining and just get it over with.’

I admit, my workouts wouldn’t exactly be best sellers. Maybe i could just make them for me. Something to think about.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Lorac Light Source 3-in-1 illuminating Primer

Foundation: Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation

Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush

Eyeshadow: Tresluce La Flor de Mexico eyeshadow Palette

Mascara: Blinc Ultravolume Tubing Mascara

Lips: M2UNYC matte liquid Lip in SOHO

Today was mostly about the Lorac Primer. I went with the Catrice foundation because it is more matte. I really like the Catrice formula but hate the dropper dispenser. I usually just end up pouring the foundation onto my hand and dipping in with a finger. The dropper is why I don’t reach for it much even though it is a really good long wearing foundation.

It worked well with the Lorac actually. The lorac gave me shine under the matte which I like, especially as it wasn’t too much. I added a little bit of the primer as highlight over my cheek bones which worked well for me today. I have the shade dusk in the primer and the gold tones really work well with my skin. I am finding that with illuminating primers for me the gold tones work better than the clear or silver based ones. I think they look more glow and less wet and greasy. Perhaps it is just my perception, but I do like this on the high points. I am still missing the pore filling of other primers though so it is a trade off.

The Too Faced Bronzer is as always fabulous and we are entering the season where this one comes out more. It is a really nice blendable formula. It is a little dark for me in the winter but right about now it is edging into perfection.

You know I love the Gold Rush Blush from Benefit. And I know I reach for it a lot. I pulled it out today because i spend some time looking at their new blush releases. Yup that’s right, Benefit Cosmetics just released a new line of blushes. You can see theme Here. I am hoping this doesn’t mean that Gold Rush is going to be discontinued as it is one of my long term faves, but I have to admit that some of the new ones look fantastic. I am getting low in the Gold Rush Blush so I was going to order a new one soon. I may just look at one of the newer shades instead. I think they released yesterday in case you were wondering. I can’t wait to try them out.

The Blinc Tubing mascara I love. One swipe, fab lashes. What more needs to be said? Well perhaps that you need a waterproof mascara makeup remover to remove the mascara even though it technically isn’t a waterproof formula. It still defies water pretty well.

Then there was the Tresluce. I went for two of the darkest shades today using a dark green (Jardin) topped with the dark brown of Chocolate Cosmos. they blended well together, perhaps because they were so dark. But then I reached for the shimmer of green Nopal. I wasn’t expecting much but it is a beautiful green shimmer. I am in love. And I don’t say that about a lot of shimmers. I am over all a matte kind of person. But oh wow, I am in love. The dry brush didn’t work and I couldn’t find a setting spray so i used a finger tip and the green was just stunning. I can not wait to play around with the other shimmers. Nopal was just stunning and easy to use.

I think that is all of note today for both my look and my fitness plan. For now it is back to work for me. If I end up making that work out video, even if it is just for me, I’ll post it here for you to enjoy. Until then, it is back to work for me. Happy Thursday everyone.

The Daily: May 18th, 2022

Welcome to Wednesday my darlings. Truthfully my week is a little messed up and I feel that it is only Tuesday, regardless of what the calendar says. It is the danger of taking parts of Monday off. I’m just going to accept that I will be a little off for the rest of the week and then reset over the weekend.

Today however there is no makeup. As you can clearly see from the photo, it was an all natural day, just me and several layers of sunscreen. There was a follow up with the Avene Thermal Water when I came back in the house, but no makeup was going to survive today.

This morning I thought I would get some early gardening in since there was nothing done over the weekend. I pulled the weeds and most importantly the little treelets that were sprouting from the seeds thrown into the garden beds by the surrounding trees. If you don’t get them early they can be a real pain to uproot. They were still at the relatively easy to uproot stage, but there were a lot of them.

After they were gone I noticed a vine growing up and around some other plants. I don’t know what it was but I didn’t plant it and I wasn’t about to let it take over. So I went to pull it. It didn’t want to pull. So I went to the shed to find some trimmers. There were no trimmers. So I picked up the machete. I figured with a careful cut I could slice off the offending vine and be good. Then I got going, found the vines everywhere and just went a little crazy on the offending vines.

barefaced and soon to hit the shower

I can’t lie, it felt good.

I have no illusions about getting all of the weeds but I feel somewhat victorious, even if it is a temporary victory.

Unfortunately by the time I was done I was a sweaty mess. I figured since i was already sweaty I would go on a walk. It was kind of a mega sweat event. When I got back I washed my face and cooled down. In a little while there ill be a shower. (it would have been an earlier shower but there were several phone calls i was pulled into while I was cooling off.

After that i simply didn’t feel like wearing any makeup.

I did however revel in the use of my cleanser. I am currently using the new Clove and Hallow Cloud Powder and after cleansing I just liked my skin.

So bare faced today, but at least i can say that between the lengthier spate of gardening than I intended and my walk, I have certainly hit my calorie count. So I can’t really complain. But now it is off to the shower to get fully clean and into fresh clothes and then I will finish out the paperwork for the day. I took more time than expected but really, I can’t complain. It needed to be done, and it felt good over all to do it.