Making water just a bit Sassy…

Everyone knows that drinking water is good for you. It keeps you hydrated, makes your skin look good and is excellent when you are trying to lose weight.

One of the first things I found out when i started working out and trying to live healthier is that sometimes I mistake being thirsty for being hungry. Sometimes just having a little bit pf water makes me realize that I wasn’t actually hungry at all. Which means I consume less in the way of calories, which I find really nice.

The trick is convincing myself to drink more water. I use several tactics. One is that I find water to sit less heavily on my belly if it is carbonated. As I don’t want to run out and get a bottle of sparkling water every time I need a drink, I purchased a Soda Stream. I’ve actually been using it for years and it is one of my favorite items in the house. It is a purchase I will never regret making.

But I don’t like drinking from the large water bottles that the machine takes. They are great for making the water fizz, but not so much for drinking. I can drink from them but I find that if I just use the bottle to carbonate the water, the bottles last longer.

To drink I will often use a glass. I am quite fond of a stemless champagne flute as my glass actually since it makes my water feel far fancier than it it. To this I will often add a twist of lemon or lime to the glass so the water seems almost cocktail like.

However when I make my water in this fashion I tend to sip the water. So I reserve the champagne flute for evening water consumption. I have also found recently that my water consumption has been slipping and I am trying to get uit back to where it needs to be.

Enter Smartass and Sass. They are a subscription service and do have a monthly box. They also have an on-line store where you can purchase various item, usually from one of the boxes. Recently I took advantage of one of their sales to puck up this water botte/glass.

I am sure it is listed as a water bottle, but i think of it as a glass. The container itself is made of glass and it dishwasher safe. I really prefer glass bottles as they are not only easier to clean but they last longer because they don’t retain off flavors and scents over time. Sometimes I add flavors to my water, other times I don’t. I like that to be my choice rather than the water bottle’s.

Over the glass is a silicone sheath so the glass will not become slippery. The lid is wood, bamboo with a silicone band to keep it in place and a silicon liner for the hole for the straw. I love that the straw hole is lined with silicone as it will help keep the lid lasting longer. The hole in the wood for the straw is often the weak point and I have had several unlined wooden lids for bottles that simply took a beating from everyday use. With the lining I think it will last longer.

The lid fits in snuggly, although I wouldn’t pick the bottle/cup up by the lid. The straw is also a reusable plastic. I love that the lid comes all the way off. It not only aids in cleaning (while I will send the bottle through the dishwasher I won’t put the lid in as it will last longer if I just wash that by hand.) It also lets me add thongs from Ice to fruit if I want.

The bottle/cup itself holds 17.5 ounces of fluid. I think this is a fantastic size. It means that it will not only hold a lot of water, but it fits my hand well. It is quite comfortable to use. All in all it is a very well thought out design.

And for me, it is good to look at and good to hold, both of which encourage me to continue drinking from it throughout the day. For me though the straw is the key to getting me to drink more water. I find that when I drink through a straw I tend to drink more. I don’t know if there is some sort of physics involved, if it is the memory of fountain sodas needing to be drunk before the ice melts or if it is just how I drink liquids, but I will drink more, faster with a straw.

Which means that with the purchase and use of this Smartass and Sass Water Bottle/cup my daily water consumption is back where it needs to be. This is going to be a favorite for quite a while.

My Favorite New Travel Item

Let me introduce you to my favorite new travel item, The soap Sheet packet from SOS Studios on the Shop Miss A site. I know soap sheets are not a stunningly new item in the world, they have been around a while. However this is my first real experience with them.

I picked this set up from Shop Miss A a while back when I went and just decided to order a whole lot that interested me from the site. As pretty much everything is a dollar it is a shopping spree where I got a lot for very little money. And I found several items I will most certainly be ordering again.

To be honest, I slipped this set of soap sheets into my order simply because I was curious. I’d heard of soap sheets bet never tried them/. The Shop Miss A site had many scents to choose from and I went with the Peach. And to be fair the soap sheets smell like peach. Slightly. Mostly they smell like soap that might have once been placed next to some peaches.

The sheets are thin and feel a bit like wax paper. I put one in my hand and then added water. The sheet starts to dissolve almost immediately. one quick hand rub and the sheet dissolved into bubbles. I rubbed my hands together, washing them and then rinsing them off.

Any peach scent went down the drain with the suds and my hands were just left freshly washed. I suspect that would happen with any scent that you tried these soap sheets in. Some might be stronger than others but i am pretty sure it is the soap that will count.

It is just soap. It isn’t a moisturizing soap, nor is it a terribly drying one. I did end up using hand cream after using the soap, but as after washing my hands I generally sprayed hand sanitizer on them, the lotion was more to do with the hand sanitizer than the soap sheets.

While I was traveling for Thanksgiving and this did let me avoid the mostly empty soap dispensers in the restrooms on the drive. While I was home I ended up washing my hands a lot more than when I was here. There were several children with stick fingers around, mostly because we had a make your own caramel apple event on the Saturday post thanksgiving while several parents went out shopping. There were also several people who had recent operations moving in and out of my visit so the washing and sanitizing was intense. Beyond that, this was an amazingly useful product to have on hand, not just for the trip but in everyday life.

I may have purchased this set of soap sheets from Shop Miss A on a whim, but it is now one of my favorite items and I will be stocking up so that I can keep one in my purse, one in the car and one in my travel kit. Sometimes it is the simple things that make all the difference.

Five Summertime Essentials

As summertime settles in and looks as though it will stretch on into forever, I always find there are some products that I simply can’t do without. Many of them in one size or another find their way into my purse and end up traveling with me wherever i go in the summer months. These are my current top five summer must haves.

1- Sunscreen: Always a number one item and always in need. My current favorite is the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50. It is described as the sunscreen for people who don’t like sunscreen and I have to admit I was in that camp for a long time. I simply hated the feel of sunscreen. I would use a spray as little as i could get away with and probably did some sun damage to myself because of it. especially since I would often forget to apply it. This sunscreen sits with my skincare and is applied as the last step of my morning skincare routine. Getting in the habit of adding it each morning regardless of what i am doing has done wonders for me. I still add an extra coat of spray sunscreen before going on my walk, but i like having that security under my makeup each day. While this is the original version, they now also make a mineral version.

2- Dry Shampoo: For me Klorane is my favorite. I’ve tried other versions and some have been good, others not so good. I always come back to Klorane. This did come with a cap but somehow i always loose the caps within a day or two of opening them. (I am beginning to suspect one day I’ll move the furniture around and find them having a party under my bed.) You may notice that this is the Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (extra Gentle) rather than my usual Nettle infused for dark hair. While the nettle infused is fantastic for darker hair, leaves less white residue and is my go to dry shampoo when I need winter touch ups, I tend to lean into the Oat Milk version in the summertime. It does leave a little bit more white cast than the nettle for dark hair, but it is gentler on my hair. The white brushes out quickly and easily. I am not saying the Nettle is harsh, it isn’t. But in the summer my bangs can get very oily looking very fast so I find myself reaching for dry shampoo to keep them looking good far more often than at any other time of the year, so I switch to the most gentle version available. Thus far, I have had very good results with this system.

3- Spray Thermal Water: To be honest, I used to think that thermal water was just for people sunning themselves pool side. I thought of it as something a bit extra rather than essential. Then I picked up a bottle to add to my bag for a pool party. I didn’t use it at the pool party, but when I got home I had it so I thought I’d use it. I fell in love and it has become a summer staple. While this travel size Uriage Eau Thermal is the one I keep in my purse, I also keep a bottle by the garden door. It is hot in the summer time and I sweat. With the high humidity, the sweat doesn’t evaporate and cool you off like it does in less humid climates. It just rolls down your skin leaving salt deposits on your skin. For me that always makes me feel both tight and itchy as well as hot and sweaty.

A quick spray of thermal water helps alleviate that. The water is far cooler than both the air temp and my skin temp so it is a quick but gentle cool down. I am one of those people who gets massive headaches if i am hot and sweaty outside and then go inside where it is air conditioned. I have to cool down a little first or that headache will more or less last the rest of the day. The thermal water helps. The water cools me down and it washes off some of the salt left behind so my skin doesn’t feel as tight and itchy. I personally like the fine spray of the Uriage as well as the slight scent of the minerals in the water.

4- Lip Mask: While I often think of dry chapped lips as a winter time affliction, it can be an issue for me in the summertime. I find I generally need a lip scrub more in the winter, where as a frequent application of a good lip mask will keep my lips from becoming overly dry in the summer. For me as soon as they start to chap I will pick at them absently when i am working. i never mean to and i yell at myself fiercely when I do, but by then the damage is already done and my lips are painful and need time to heal.

The best thing i can do is to not let them get to a stage where they ae dry enough to pick at. My current favorite lip mask is the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask. There is very little scent and no taste to it. While it is fantastic at night, a little dose during the day doesn’t go amiss. I will generally put a light coat on in the morning and let it soak into the skin before I do my makeup for the day. I do wile off the excess before I apply my lipstick. Often times i will just wear the lip mask as a gloss if I have a more natural look going on. It is a lightweight mask with heavy duty hydration and very little stickiness to it.

5- Sunglasses: I have reached an age where I am in a full out battle with the fine lines around my eyes. I know they are there and I know over time they will deepen because that is just the way that life works. However I am determined to put up as much of a fight as I can/ I know the Resistance will loose the war, I just want to draw out the battle as long as I can. while this has lead many plumping agents into my skincare line up, it has also led to a proliferation of sunglasses. Moving around in the sun without them causes me to squint, wearing them helps me not squint.

My current favorite pair are these aviator style pair from Tomahawk shades Marksman Class. I love the fact that the bottom of the lens is slightly flattened as this is a good shape for my face. My favorite feature though is the fact that the lenses are actually amber tinted. This means the sunglasses are cutting the glare but in their own way brightening the world around me rather than casting the world into shade. They are excellent for driving and it means that if i am outside and going from a sunny spot to a shaded one, i can still leave them in place since I don’t have to lift them out of the way when shade makes things slightly darker.

Kitchen Kit: The Coffee Press

I know, some of you are thinking, ‘But Mimsy I don’t drink coffee.’ I know, and I got you. I am a huge coffee fan and quite honestly I do love a cup of French press coffee.

And I will admit, I bought my first French Press because I had a cup of French Press Coffee and not only thought it tasted good, I thought it looked cool. and I do love a bit of cool Kit. I have several coffee presses and I will tell you that this is one of my favorites because it comes completely apart for easy cleaning, however the truth is i like the orange.

For those who have never used a French Press, You grind your coffee and place it in the bottom of the glass carafe. You then pour boiling water and let it steep (generally around four minutes) then you lower the plunger. The press pushes the grounds to the bottom while leaving the coffee clear and free to pour. The inside lid of my coffee press has a divot cut out for easy pouring. Most do. it should turn so you can keep the heat in while you brew and then turn to dispense. (at the bottom of the page is a diagram with measurements and timing if you are interested.)

I know, not an earth shattering revelation.

Prior to this I only had drip coffee (this was quite some years ago). I loved that i could play around with the strength of the coffee by altering the time I let it steep and adjusting the grind of the coffee. But most importantly I found i could adjust the flavor by adding things to the grind. I believe a cinnamon stick went first. I remember cardamom pods went second and then the third time i tried it, I combined both the cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods.

I played around with different additives for my coffee and then I finally thought, what about things other than coffee? i started playing around with beverages. There were things that needed to be boiled like blueberry simple syrup. I made the simple syrup, added the berries to the caraffe and let them steep then lowered the plunger. I also made cold things. I took out the plunger added a bunch of fresh black berries, filled the caraffe with gin and covered the top with plastic wrap. I sat it in the fridge for a week, took it out and used the plunger to seperate the blackberries from the gin. I actually tend to make that almost every summer so we can use it for cocktails.

However, once my brain switched out of ‘this is a coffee press’ mode, the world was my oyster. As long as the world fit into the coffee press.

the three pieces of the machine

While I love making coffee with my coffee press, my favorite thing to do is to use the press to adapt store bought stock. Chicken stock from a reputable brand is fine, but often it tastes very one note. It honestly tastes like chicken, which is what it should taste like. And Veg stock can often just sort of taste like salty water that might once have been near some vegetables.

But boiling up the stock and putting it into the coffee press with crushed ginger, a crushed garlic clove, lemon zest and some bruised rosemary turns it into something else.

Once you have let it steep you lower the plunger and keep all of the added bits in the bottom of the carafe while the delicious, freshly infused stock, tailored perfectly to your taste and your dish, is poured out and ready for you to use. You don’t have to wonder if someone is going to bite down on a chunk of ginger or garlic, or suddenly find themselves flossing with a bit of rosemary.(Although rosemary is sneaky, I suggest leaving it on the stem and using the back of your knife to bruise the leaves so they let out the oils into the liquid but stays as a branch.)

In my house we keep a couple of different coffee presses. We have both metal and plastic ones. Part of why we have multiples is that I had a couple and my babydoll had a couple and then when we combined houses we had many. This carafe is glass and the plunger is metal which doesn’t tend to keep flavors and if it seems like it isn’t getting clean enough by hand, we put it in the dishwasher which takes anything off of the metal, especially on sanitation mode. My babydoll thinks that the plastic of the carafe (which I don’t send through the dish washer) I use for stock smells like herbs, so we have a separate one so the coffee is never rosemary scented.

I have had to replace the glass carafe and places like Grosche International do carry the glass carafe separately. They also sell replacement plungers if yours has reached the end of it’s life. I know we had to replace a plunger on another one we have a while back. I keep thinking i will purchase a new one at some point, but honestly they are such a simple mechanism that if you take care of them they will last for a really long time.

Personally, I consider this one of my essential Kitchen tools. While I love it for coffee, it is a true multitasker. even if you don’t drink coffee, I would urge you to look into picking one up and playing around with it. they are fairly inexpensive models out there and they are versatile enough that I think they easily earn a place in even a non-coffee drinker’s kitchen.

Although if you are using your coffee press to make coffee, this helpful image from Grosche International has all the measurements and timing you need.

best french press

A few of my favorite things…

So often the focus is on the new and the different and the things I am trying out. I know, not surprising, this is a review site. But there are a few things that right now i use on a daily basis that I think deserve mentioning. At one time they were all things I tried out and now, they have become standards. So here are five products that I use day in and day out.

The first up has to be the Soda Stream. For a long time I used a plastic bottle for the Soda Stream. It was good, but after a time the plastic has to be replaced. So this past year I switched to the glass bottle for the Soda Stream. For those who don’t know, the Soda Stream is basically just away of getting carbonation into your water. It turns tap water sparkling. It’s called a Soda Stream because it lets you make your own soda at home. They sell all sorts of flavors. I like their flavors (lemon lime is my favorite) but honestly I use it to encourage myself to drink more water.

In general I find that carbonated water doesn’t sit as heavy in my stomach as regular water does. Occasionally i will add a lemon wedge or even a cucumber slice to the water, but for the most part I drink the water plain. And I’ve actually experimented with keeping tabs on my water consumption and found I drink almost twice as much water when it is carbonated than I d when it isn’t. So for me the Soda Stream is a valuable tool in keeping me hydrated.

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But if you are going to drink water, you need something to put it in don’t you? This is where item number two comes in. It is a stemless Champagne flute from the Rachel Zoe Collection. I love glassware. I do. I collect glasses of all kinds and I often have a real problem getting rid of class containers. Most end up repurposed to hold seedlings as I start my garden seeds indoors and then plant them outside. And I also like drinking my water out of a pretty glass as well. While I do use these glasses for cocktails (or mocktails) I use this one daily for my water. I like pouring it from the carafe into a pretty glass. It makes me feel as though the water itself is special and not like i am forcing myself to drink more water to stay hydrated. I love the rainbow sheen of the glass and the bubbles fizzing through it. I also love the way the glass feels in my hand. I think it elevates my water drinking and makes it feel almost decadent. And if you are trying to convince yourself to drink more water, why not make it feel decadent?

The next two items are always on my desk. Or at least within easy reach. The first of these are my ThinOptics reading glasses. They come in a variety of finishes, This set is the tortoise shell look. I like the look of them (although the black is stunning). I think part of why i like the tortoise shell is because when I was little we had a family friend who would always answer the crazy questions I would ask. He always had a good answer for everything and I thought he was the smartest person in the world. He wore tortoise shell glasses so even now when I wear them I feel like i am smarter.

Product of the Month of FEB

I know I’m not, just like I now know that some of the answers I got to my questions back then were made up (I still admire his ability to think fast though). But I still feel smarter. And my eyes have never been great. I wore glasses as a kid, switched to contacts as soon as it was an option and now need the reading glasses. These are thin and the case is actually clipped to the back of cell phone. The Thin Optics also don’t leave the nose dents in my makeup because they are so light. They are quite amazing and extremely useful.

Useful in a different way is the jar of peppermints. They are LifeSaver Peppermint candies. Occasionally throughout the day I will find myself wanting a snack. While I do have a snack most afternoons as it keeps me from over eating at dinnertime, I can’t snack all day. The problem is that I work from home so when I leave my desk I often have to pass through the kitchen to get anywhere. that means any snack foods left out are tempting. And let’s face it, the pantry and fridge are also tempting. It can spiral very easily. Having the peppermints on my desk not only gives me something low in calories to reach for if I feel like I want a snack even though I’m not hungry, it also gives me peppermint-y breath.

I know, my computer monitor doesn’t always appreciate the fresh breath, but the peppermint flavor helps prevent snacking. Most items that I would pick up from the kitchen quickly to snack on, taste weird with peppermint. It just isn’t a good mix. So if I put in a peppermint when I am craving something I can always tell myself, that I can think about a snack after the peppermint flavor fades. And by then I am usually in the middle of something else and have forgotten about the snack I didn’t really need in the first place.

And finally one of my current top five everyday items are my Tomahawk Shades. This particular set is my favorite. It just has that nice retro vibe to it. I actually have several pair of sunglasses from them. Not all of them look retro. And I do trade them out. What I love about them is that they are good quality sunglasses that I can pick up in a variety of styles without breaking the bank. I have seen a lot of fantastic sunglasses out there and there are several really expensive ones I tend to drool over. At the same time, I know me and sunglasses. With a new pair I will be very careful for the first few weeks. Then I’ll forget. I’ll shove them up into my hair or drop them in my purse without looking for a case. I’ll toss them into the passenger’s seat of my car if I am by myself. And then I’ll forget. They will end up scratched or even sat upon. I used to get one pair of sunglasses each spring and then I would be lucky if they made it through the year. If I made it to the next spring with only one scratch on the lens I was shocked.

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So I don’t spend a lot of money on sunglasses (or maybe i do if you look at the history instead of the pair) These sunglasses are not only good quality and inexpensive but they are durable. This retro looking one isn’t just my favorite because of looks but because the plastic is flexible instead of brittle. They have a bit of give to them. I’ve sat on them a couple of times at this point and routinely slide them into my purse without bothering with a case. Going into this spring they look just as good as they did last spring despite being my most worn pair of sunglasses. I actually don’t need to replace them this spring. I’ll probably still go on to the Tomahawk Shades Website to see what they have this year, but replacing them isn’t a requirement.

So there you have it mu darlings a few of the things I use on a daily basis, quietly working in the background as i go about trying out the new and the different. Somedays, it is good to acknowledge the fabulousness of everyday things.

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Starting 2022 off on the right foot…

Good morning my darlings and welcome to the first post of the new year. well my first post of the new year. I’m sure others were more on the ball and woke up early on January first to get things started as soon as midnight flew past. I’m not that organized. But I hope to be a little better organized in the coming year.

Every year millions of people make New Year’s resolutions. This is the year I am going to lose weight. This is the year I’m going to start…eating right…taking better care of myself…saving money…writing my great novel. Everyone always has something they want to do better or more of or try in the new year.

Personally I love this. The turning of the calendar year gives us all a fresh page. It is hard not to look at a brand new calendar filled with twelve months of days that have yet to be filled by the actions of daily life and not feel like this is the year where you can do anything.

One of my grandmother’s favorite phrases when i was little was. “If wishes were horses even beggars would ride.”

This always made me laugh as she was also deathly afraid of horses so I knew even if she had an entire stable filled with the finest horses she would choose to walk instead.

But the the truth is that a resolution without a plan is just wishful thinking. And planning sometimes involves picking up the right tools for success. I have many plans for 2022. Some large, some small, and some that are simply things I think i could do better in the upcoming year. I even have a few habits I’d like to build or leave behind.

I know that waking up on January first and starting every new habit off with a bang isn’t going to work. If I actually remember to do what I planned, and stick with it, then in a few weeks time fatigue will set in and chances are the plan will fall to the wayside. Instead I phase my plans, roll the new in slowly, building the habits over the coming months.

Think of it like training for a marathon. You don’t wake up on day one having never run anywhere in your life and suddenly decide to run twenty-six miles flat out. You have a plan and slowly build up to marathon level. You train. I tend to take this training into other arenas as well.

For me, organization is something I want to work on in the new year. I want to be able to find the things that I want to use easily. I want to be able to go through products, like sheet masks in a timely manner. I know that saying I want to be more organized isn’t really going to cut it, so I made a plan to deal with some of my worst offenses.

One of the things that makes me feel disorganized is having lots of little things floating around everywhere. Like hair pins and elastics. So I picked up a couple of jars to help contain them.

Putting my sheet masks in a drawer where they were laying flat made them easy to ignore. It also made the drawer somewhat messy and when I went into the drawer I just felt like I was digging through an overstuffed drawer no matter how many or few items were in there. So I picked up a small plastic bin where I can set the masks upright. Not only can I see them but I can flick through them easily to find the one I am looking for.

I also picked up a three drawer unit. The drawers have frosted plastic fronts so I can sort of see into them but not completely. I don’t need to have everything displayed as that would kind of bug me, but I can see enough to know what type of items the drawers hold. I have also divided the items up by category. Hair care products are in one, skincare products are in another.

None of these items were very expensive. I thing the three drawer unit was the most expensive of these items and it was less than $30. But each of them will help me be better organized. Does this mean that because I start off with it organized at the beginning of January that it will stay that way? No.

But in my planner, I have scheduled a time to put things away and to make sure they are in the right drawer. Do I hope that I can teach myself to put things back where they belong after I use them so things remain tidy? Yes. But I also understand that life happens and I may not put things away right after using them. So on my schedule every Friday I have written ‘Tidy up Beauty items.’

I scheduled it right before my Friday Face Mask. This way I stop what I am doing and get into the habit of putting everything back where it belongs, then I feel rewarded by having my relaxing face mask. I find a little positive reinforcement doesn’t hurt when trying to build a new habit. So while it may get messy during the week, I know that Friday it will all reset. The goal may be to get myself to remember to put things back where they belong each time I use them, but for now I will settle for the weekly tidy instead of waiting until things get so messy that I can’t find a single thing I was looking for.

There are of course other organizational issues I want to tackle this year, but this is my first step. As it becomes habit and no longer something I have to think about, more steps will be added making my world run just a little bit more smoothly and turning some of my wishes into reality.

Happy Hour: Cherry Ginger

Tonight my darlings is something nice and quiet for us.  After last week both my babydoll and I had plenty of treats.  I personally also had enough alcohol and will be going non-alcoholic until New Year’s eve (well minus the glass of Christmas Eggnog). This week, we are setting down with something that always feels special.  I know I have mentioned this before but we often pick up a bottle of Sour Cherry Syrup

While it is a familiar ingredient, I wanted to mention it again as you prepare for your own personal holiday gatherings.  The Sour Cherry is a big hit in our house because it can be used as a mixer for a wide variety of drinks, some alcoholic some not.  It is one of those mixers that when hosting a gathering it is great to have on hand.

When I want a nonalcoholic drink that looks spectacular, I add the syrup to Ginger ale. To make it alcoholic I will mix it with a spirit called the King’s Ginger. It also works well with vodka. I am partial to the citrus based vodkas with it as the tang of citrus works really well with it. Pairing it with Mandarin Absolute is quite a refreshing treat. It works well with gin because the bright botanicals really help lift the heavy sweetness of the syrup.

As I said, the Sour Cherry is a big hit at our house, but if there is one easy hosting tip I can give you for the creating drinks for a wide array of people, it is look into a good quality fruit based syrup. They tend to be able to blend with with everything from plain seltzer water to spirits. They can make a soft drink feel like an indulgent treat and you can make some super easy cocktails with them without having to have a huge array of mixers on hand.

This drink here is a teaspoon of sour cherry syrup in the bottom of the glass topped with ginger ale. The syrup will eventually break up into the ginger ale and you will lose the variegated color, but when first poured it looks stunning. While it will look pretty cool in just about any glass I have a weakness for pretty glassware and couldn’t resist. This is a stemless champagne glass (Rachel Zoe Collection). I picked up a set of them at TJ Maxx for not a lot of money and everyone I have poured a drink into with them, whether sparkling water with lemon or a multi ingredient cocktail, enjoys them.

Tonight is a quiet night for me and my baby, but even with my feet clad in fuzzy socks and propped up on a footstool, I will still enjoy my Friday night treat. In fact I think I’ll enjoy it more after spending so much time rushing around last week. I love getting together with friends, but sometimes, it’s nice to just stay home.

TWE Generic Christmas 2020

The Eyes Have it…with ThinOptics

ThinOptics glasses sent to me for the purpose of review

I have always had bad eyesight. I have a set of high prescription glasses that are thankfully fitted with thinner lenses than once existed so I wasn’t stuck with coke bottle lenses. I was fitted with contacts as soon as it was a viable option. There are days when I still wear my glasses, although I need to get them replaced at some point. For me, reading glasses were always an inevitability.

I have now reached the point where reading glasses are also a necessity. I tried fighting it, but it wasn’t a battle I was going to win. It was even rather silly to engage in the battle. I think the only reason I fought reading glasses at all was because I didn’t want to look like my grandmother. Which is silly. Especially when you go with a pair of non-grandmother looking glasses. Not that there is anything wrong with looking like a grandmother. I am just not there yet.

Luckily I found glasses that weren’t grannyesque and am no longer squinting at everything.

So, now even when I am wearing my contacts, I still need a pair of glasses around. And let’s face it, I do a lot of reading on a daily basis. There are issues with reading glasses that I never faced with my regular glasses.

The sleek packaging is kept to a minimum and fits in the mailbox

With my regular glasses, wearing them was a necessity. Taking them off and setting them down was really not an option. Without my glasses everything beyond a foot away is kind of an impressionistic painting in motion. while it does give me a better appreciation of Monet, it means that on days I wear my glasses, they stay firmly on my nose.

Reading glasses are a different beast.

You can’t wear them constantly. They mess with your regular vison if you do. They are meant to bring words into focus as you read them. So when you aren’t reading them, you take them off and set them to the side, you shove them onto your head and forget them. They go missing or turn out to be stashed in random places around the house.

In addition most of them are heavy enough to leave dents in your makeup. Or at least mine are. I’m sure my regular glasses do as well, but I can only see them, theoretically, when I take them off. Admittedly I have to get really close to a mirror to do that.

The solution to both issues?


At least in my case. While ThinOptics graciously sent over this new pair, I stumbled on the site a while ago and have been wearing one of their black pairs of glasses for a long time now. I’ve mentioned them in countless posts, but I’ve never done a dedicated post about them.

When in place, the glasses look just like any other pair of reading glasses. They are fantastically comfortable and quite durable. These are tortoise shell which I really like. They are however ultra thin and lightweight so there is no divot to the makeup on the face. In fact they are one of the few pairs of glasses I find easy to forget I am wearing.

In addition to being super light on the face, they fold up to be super thin. Seriously, the thickest part is the hinges holding on the ear pieces. And even that is only a few centimeter’s wide. In addition the glasses come with a case.

I know, not a shocking reveal. However this thin case is composed of thick plastic and magnetically clips to the back of your phone. Which means that as long as you don’t lose your phone, you don’t lose your glasses. It also means that when you need to get them to read your phone, they are right there on your phone.

I’ll admit, when I am working at my desk, I clip the case to the magnetic whiteboard so it is right there, but I shift it to the back of my phone when I go out. The glass case is durable enough that it can ride along in my purse without damage the edges of the case may get a bit scuffed up, but the glasses are well protected.

So for me, ThinOptics solves two of my biggest issues with reading glasses. Now they are always there when I need them and they don’t wreck my make up no matter how many times I take them off and put them on again. Well they also don’t look granny-esque so I suppose it fits all three of my main criteria.

They have even smaller ones if you can believe it. On their site they even have a set that folds up and has a case that clips to your keychain. There are also blue light filter glasses and sunglasses, all available in the thin format so you can take them anywhere with no muss and no fuss.

While they are also well priced, currently Thin Optics has a sale going on from today through November 25th, you can get 35% off plus free shipping on orders over $19.95. I know shipping is crazy right now but it took less than four days from shipping confirmation to arrival for these glasses, which at the moment seems like a minor miracle.

These glasses are the perfect gift for anyone you know who wears reading glasses (or needs a new pair) or the perfect treat for yourself this holiday season. Reading glasses are a necessity for me, but there is no reason they can’t be sleek and stylish as well.

And if you think you might need reading glasses, but aren’t entirely certain of the strength, ThinOptics just introduced a Clarity Kit so that you can find your perfect strength. I personally love these readers and am so grateful for ThinOptics for sending a new pair to me. I know I will get a lot of use out of them for a long time to come.

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The Daily: November 16th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope everyone survived Monday in one piece. It always seems like Monday just waits to jump out and attack while you are still relaxed from the weekend. Or maybe it’s just the time of year where the todo list seems to stretch on forever. Speaking of to do lists, I just popped onto the Sonix website (they have a 40% off sale going on right now) and even though they are known for their tech based things (I’ve been looking at the Magnetic Link Wireless charger in Pacific blue for my babydoll this year as one of his gifts) they also have a category called Paper on their website. In the Paper listing they have specialized to do pads.

I know, it sounds a little extra but I use to do lists to keep myself on track all of the time. The problem is, I don’t have a set place to put them. So they end up on random note cards and tucked into notebooks in between other information. I think a notebook specifically designed to contain my check lists is something that could really come in handy for me. Also i have a friend of mine who is a total organizational freak and this $10 notebook might be a great stocking stuffer.

My plan in the new year is to work on being a little more organized so now that all of the Christmas shopping is officially done (I’ll still pick up a few little things here and there, mostly for my babydoll since the items just come to the house and don’t need to be mailed out elsewhere again – plus he is like a little kid at Christmas. He likes the one big present but just gets such delight at opening lots of smaller things.) I am looking into things to help make the new year flow more smoothly. I’ve been looking a lot at the Sonix website and the Multitasky site for desk organization and accessories. Not only are their items functional but they are cute. The biggest thing though is that thee is a lot of height variation. I know that sounds a little strange, but if everything is down on my desk top the desk starts to feel junky. If there are different heights then somehow it doesn’t visually seem as cluttered to me. Right now I feel like I am being buried in stacks of things.

But maybe that is just me.

I do think the multiple elevations will help me out.

We are also looking at (finally) finishing up the bedroom. The painting is done, the rug is in and the curtains are hung. Not only are we looking at a new mattress, but we are looking at getting one of those copper infused gel toppers from Sleepyhead. It is supposed to not only be cooling, but it is anti-microbial and bedbug resistant and with my babydoll’s allergies, I think that may be the way for us moving forward. Of course at this time of year we are still playing around with thermostat temperatures as the outside temps fluctuate. For the last few nights I’ve woken up overheated. So at the moment the cooling aspect seems like a fabulous notion. I know they have other infused gel toppers (gel, Copper and Super) but I really need to look into the difference before committing to one of them. At the moment I think we are going copper, but that might change.

And of course once we are finished with the bedroom, I can look at redoing my office (along with several other rooms in the house). when we moved in we were just so exhausted from the constant bouncing around that we just sort of put stuff in places and just didn’t want to move anything for a while, just to regain some sense of stability. Now we are slowly making it more of our own space. Part of the slowness is because my babydoll and I have very different tastes and we have to debate and find things we can both live with.

I know that normally, this is where I would put my daily look and list out all of the makeup that I used today. the truth is I did not put makeup on today. I planned to wear it. However I had a little bit of an issue with the Hourglass metallic shadow. I forgot i was wearing it rubbed my eye and ended up irritating my eye. I don’t think the eye is technically scratched, but I took out my contacts to give it some space and am wearing my glasses today. I felt that the lack of products might just be a good thing for the day. I think I will be calling it a skincare kind of day. I’ve got the Vichy Mineral Face mask out so I can take advantage of the lack of makeup. The Vichy mask, for those who have never used it, is a clear jelly like mask that you kind of spread out like a thick serum on the skin. A lot of it absorbs but then you rinse off the excess. It is a deeply moisturizing mask and it is clear so you just look very shiny if someone happens to stop by to see you. Vichy also has a sale if you are looking to stock up. Personally I love the mineral mask but I also love the Mineral 80 Hyaluronic Acid Serum. That and the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid serum are my two current favorites right now.

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So there is no makeup today, just future planning, stocking stuffer shopping and a little extra skincare moment. there are worse things for a Tuesday. And with luck, tomorrow, my eye will feel better. I’m not sure what this means for the fate of the Hourglass eyeshadow, but we’ll see.

Three Fabulous Pairs from Tomahawk Shades

The box they arrived in

Growing up my grandmother was adamant that the two things every woman needed were a great red lipstick and an excellent pair of sunglasses. Finding the exact shade of red lipstick that suited you could become a life long quest, but sunglasses needed to always be on hand in a multitude of styles and change out as often as you changed any other accessory.

Dust cover bags inside

And yes I blame her for my current lipstick quest and my love of sunglasses.

There are of course worse things in life.

For the last few months I have been wearing an older and rather scratched up pair of sunglasses while lurking on-line and oscillating between multiple pairs of sunglasses. (Okay, technically, I wore the sunglasses out of the house and didn’t wear them while doing my on-line lurking. Even I know that sunglasses do not aid an incognito internet search. Nor does the fake mustache, but that’s another story).

foam protection – inside the plastic bag, inside the cloth dust cover bags, inside the box.

Last year I didn’t get around to ordering a summer pair as, well, last year was last year and many things were shunted off to the side. I try to pick up a new pair of sunglasses each year for my collection so that I don’t end up wearing only one pair. Partially so that I don’t scratch up and destroy the one pair, but mostly because not ever pair goes with every outfit or event.

Yesterday, there was a package in my mailbox from Tomahawk Shades. Yes my darlings, they sent three pairs to me to wear and review. I have to say they are delightful. The box they came in is sturdy so nothing arrive crunched or damaged in transit. Personally, I will be keeping the box for storage so I can keep the sunglasses looking nice when not wearing them. Each pair came in it’s own seperate little bag and there was protective foam pieces over the lenses so they could arrive unscratched. As far as shipping goes, they are really on the ball.

In case you have never heard of Tomahawk Shades, they are a company who designs high quality affordable sunglasses. Which, if you are like me means you can have multiple pairs to suit your mood and or outfit without bankrupting yourself in the process. They also have a really good Worry Free Warranty and replacement policy, which you might want to check out. I know it sounds a little strange to check that out, but accidents happen. I remember purchasing a really expensive pair of sunglasses several years ago that were accidentally destroyed by a two year old only a few weeks after I got them. It was from a different company and that replacement policy was not nearly as nice, so now I check replacement policies before purchasing and keep sunglasses out of toddler range.

The Elite Class: Neuralyzers

Which is just smart in general.

So to the glasses.

The first pair out of the box are from the Elite Class Range. They are the sunglass equivalent of the little black dress. They are black with a little silver detailing on the corners in the photo. However, when you hold them to the light they look like silvery blue smoke. The plastic has a translucent quality to them rather than being straight matte black. They are good quality plastic, sturdy and likely to last a long time.

In the light they look like blue gray smoke instead of matte black.

They also perfectly fit my head. There is no oddly wide gap at the sides when putting them on. They are simple looking, but it was clear that thought went into the design. And I personally really like having a pair of sunglasses that I can wear with virtually everything. So often when i go looking for a straightforward versatile design, extra details are added that I don’t necessarily want. This has minimal detail added to the edges for maximum versatility. Also sometimes when you look for elegant simplicity, all you find re cheap sunglasses. These may be inexpensive, but they aren’t cheap looking. I know I will get a lot of wear out of them.

The second set in the box is from the Marksman line. While these too look black with minimal detail they have a lighter frame and a wider lens. What you may not see in the photo are that the lenses are slightly amber colored and the earpieces have a tortoise shell design on them. While the Elite Style above is a style I love to use when driving, this is the style that I enjoy when I know I am going to be outside at an all day event.

Marksman Class: The Beholders

Actually it is very timely that they arrive now. while I generally purchase sunglasses at the beginning of the summer, or at least that is when it occurs to me that I might want to add to my collection, summertime where I live is not really conducive to a lot of outdoor events. It is too hot and humid for anyone to feel comfortable linger for long in the sun. However as the summer starts to give way, we generally have a long stretch of time from when the heat breaks to when it is too cold to be out of doors. I’ve actually attended Christmas parties where drinks were served in the garden.

Some years that works out better than others, but it is always a possibility. And with the complete absence of going anywhere for long last year, this year the list of events and gathering is quite long as everyone tries to make up for the lack of social time. And because the world is still a little wonky, many of these events are planned for out door events. These are the kind of glasses that work well with long events outside. The frame is light weight so there is less indentation on the face. The amber lenses cut the glare while not making the world too dark a place and even though the details may be lost in the photo, they look stylish and subtle in person.

Grasshopper Class: The Conners

And then there is the third pair. They are from the Grasshopper class and let me tell you, after seeing them, I think I need a pair in every color. These are The Conners with a tortoise shell frame and bottle green lenses. They have a 1920s-1930s vintage feel to them and paired with a red lip I feel like i ought to be on an episode of Poirot. Admittedly, feel more like the wealthy heiress plotting murder while on the seaside for holiday rather than the victim, but i think that is more a function of my personality rather than the glasses. They just provide the era of inspiration. I’m the one contemplating vengeance upon the evil Lord Stuffypants who tried to steal the secret chemical formula from my family behind the lenses. Perhaps with a different shade of frame I will just feel like the innocent and shocked witness. But I won’t know that until i try. So clearly I must get them all.

You know, just so I know.

In all honesty, I really do like them. They are stylish and well made. They fit perfectly and as soon as they were out of the bag I found myself contemplating outfits that could go with them. I also contemplated outfits to purchase to go with them as well. I have no doubt I will be getting a lot of use out of them. I also have no doubt that even if I don’t purchase the entire Grasshopper line, there are at least two I will not be able to resist adding to my collection.

So my darlings, these are the three newest sets of sunglasses in my collection, kindly sent over to me by Tomahawk Shades. All three are in styles that will see a lot of use and one has already spurred the planning of several other purchases. You will no doubt be seeing much of these sunglasses in the near future. They look fantastic and I will of course, keep you posted as I put them into use.