Holiday Shopping Guide: Indoor Herb Gardens

I’m sure if you have read my posts for any length of time you will have realized that I love to garden. And while I simply do love to garden, I also find that it helps me with my weight loss. I know the activity part is helpful, but once the summer fades and the garden is munched over for the winter, the physical activity is minimal.

Where gardening mostly helps me, is in the kitchen. If you have ever watched a lot of cooking shows then you have probably heard the phrase fat is flavor. Sadly this is true, however you know what else has flavor? Herbs and spices.

For me fresh herbs especially make something potentially very bland feel somewhat decadent, especially in the cold winter months. Think about rice, Plain old boiled white rice. On it’s own not so flavor packed. It is a blank canvas, usually to spoon something dripping with sauce on to. However, a little bit of chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon mixed in and it becomes a little less boring.

When you are trying to loose weight food can feel dull and flavorless. Everything it seems is taken out in the name of calorie reduction. Fat is removed, salt is removed, sugar is banned and sauces are kept to a minimum. For me fresh herbs are just a fantastic way to bring back some of that flavor. And in the winter I rely on indoor gardening. The herb bundles of fresh herbs you can get in our grocery over the winter are usually very pricy for what you get and the herbs are not always the best quality. They look like they sat in their little plastic boxes for far too long. which they probably have.

So I like to keep a few potted plants around to not only cut costs but because having plants around makes me happy. In addition if they are there I feel obligated to use them which in turn makes my dishes taste better without adding a lot of calories. The calories you add from fresh herbs is minimal. It is surprising how much fresh basil you can get on the plate for only three calories.

If you are looking to start an indoor garden this winter, or have a gardener on your gift buying list, Botanical Interest is a place you might want to check out. You can order their seed catalogs for free from the site, or just order directly from the site. They have all sorts of articles and tips if you are starting your own indoor garden. I found this one particularly interesting.

And for easy shopping they now have gift bundles available. They have the chef’s herb garden for a general array of the more classics cooking herbs. There is a bundle for those who want to grow vegetables in containers. There is even a bundle for those simply obsessed with chilie peppers.

these bundles are well thought out collections and a great way to start your own indoor garden, help someone else on their way to gardening or surprise your gardener in the family with something unexpected in their Christmas stocking. I really like these bundles and actually ordered the Butterfly Banquet Bundle for my mother this year. She has this one space in her yard that the plants included in the bundle will fill out nicely and with luck attract butterflies in the spring. which I know will make her happy to see well after the holiday decorations are put away and hopefully for several years to come. And that Makes Botanical Interests a great place to visit when filling out your holiday gift list.

Herbs: DIY Indoor Garden

The Daily: March 10th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings and Happy Dry Shampoo Day. Yes, that’s right March 10th is Dry Shampoo Day. Which I find kind of interesting. I tend to use loads of dry shampoo during the summer months, just to keep my bangs from looking greasy mid afternoon given the heat and humidity in my area. I do give my hair (and scalp) a break for much of the winter, but generally around March when Dry Shampoo Day rolls around I am ready to order my summer stock. Which is handy as my favorite dry shampoo s 30% off.

Actually Klorane has a full stop 30% off(CODE: NDSD30) so I may just order the eye makeup remover I love from them as well when I put in the order. I know I reviewed it a while back but it is still the best eye makeup remover I have tried. It not only took off the eye makeup but when it got into my eyes and contacts it didn’t make my contacts fuzzy with oils. they are disposable contacts and generally if makeup remover gets on them i have to change the contacts.

Not so with the Klorane. I am trying to remind myself of this so that I will add it to the cart when I order my dry shampoo. last time I got so excited about the sale i forgot. This time I will remember. I’ll link the sale down below for anyone interested. Klorane is a really good brand in general and have many things other than Dry shampoo that are worth checking out if that isn’t your thing.

Oh and I almost forgot Klorane is celebrating by releasing a Volumizing Dry Shampoo with Flax. You can read all about it here. And if you are looking to shop the sale code is NDSD30

The full sale is:

Get 30% off your purchase of a full-sized Dry Shampoo from March 10th through March 14th with code NDSD30.

· Additionally, from March 15th through March 31st, purchases of $50 and more will receive their choice of a FREE Travel Sized Dry Shampoo with code FREEGIFT.

Fabulous isn’t it?

There is also another excitement today. As many of you may recall, I love to garden and this year I started a lot of seeds early. Today I got to pick my first basil of the season. So for lunch I had a tomato and basil salad. Sliced Cherry tomatoes, julienned basil, pinch of salt dash of balsamic. It is essentially a caprese salad without the mozzarella.

Later in the summer I’ll add the cheese but for the first basil of the season, I wanted to be very basil forward. While I love the basil, it also helps me sort of determine the flavor of the basil. I planted several varieties out but when i shifted them from the seed beds to pots I forgot to mark which was which and needed to figure it out by flavor. It was the Genovese. In case you are wondering.

And yes, it was delicious. The first leaves picked are always so delicate inn flavor. Later when potted outside and the leaves allowed to grow large the flavor will strengthen, but right now it is quite delicate and delicious.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Marc Jacobs Undercover Blurfection Primer (currently on sale at Sephora for $23)

Foundation: Wander Beauty Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation

Bronzer: Ciate London Bamboo Bronzer

Blush: No 7 Damson Mist Blush

Highlight: Jecca Blac Glow Drops

Powder: Fenty Beauty Pro Filter in Cashew

Eyeshadow: Defiance By Karmela Cosmetics

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: Wet ‘n Wild in Sand Storm

Setting Spray: Benefit Cosmetics the Porefessional SuperSetter

Okay, lets get into todays products, because this was an interesting one. First up the Marc Jacobs Primer. This primer is clear and has an almost jelly like quality about it. It feels almost like a thinned out Vaseline when applied to the skin. It isn’t sticky though and glides on well. It feels weightless and is really good at blurring out pores without adding any pigment to the skin. Even though it is a coconut primer, the scent is now barely there in my product. It was really only noticeable when I first opened it. I enjoy the primer but it does need a minute to settle in and get comfortable, otherwise it will blend in with your foundation.

The Wander beauty is an old favorite. It performs well and lasts throughout my day. My day (wearing makeup generally doesn’t go past about nine hours – when testing it I found this foundation shows wear at about the 12th hour of wear, for those of you with longer makeup wear times). My only issue is that when you pull the doe foot applicator out, there is always a small spray of tiny droplets that come out as the doe foot pops free. I know that the seal keeps the product fresh, but that spray is fine and forgettable, until you put your hand or some papers or something in it and then they make their presence known. So just put down a wash cloth and open the foundation over it and you will be fine. And it really is a beautiful foundation. My bottle is only about half full so I will be reaching for it more often to use up the bottle. And yes, it is on my list of foundations to replace, even with the spray.

The Ciate Bronzer is not terribly pigmented but it is buildable. I like it because it is really easy to work with. I will usually lean towards buildable over pigmented. I prefer to be in control. Plus I don’t tend to go for dramatic bronze and contouring so often highly pigmented products are simply too much for me. This works and it comes in an adorable compact. It just makes me happy to look at.

The blush from No 7 is also a winner, but i tend not to reach for it. While it applies well and blends out nicely I always look at the product through the clear front and think ‘Bright’ then reach for something else. It looks brighter and more pink than it is. So I need to stop passing it by because of it’s looks. I know I like it, especially since if i don’t like a blush it immediately gets passed along. It is a good product, I just need to remember that and reach for it more often.

The Jecca Balc glow drops do make a really good highlighter. They are even better if you put them all over the face underneath a flat matte foundation. If you have a matte primer and a matte foundation, a drop of this between the two is fantastic. It is a product well worht having around. I prefer the champagne because of my skin tone, but the rose petal works well for a variety of tones and is also really nice. Plus I love having multi use porducts.

The Fenty powder is one of those powders that is okay but not something I will repurchase when it is done. It’s primary benefit is that it is one of my non translucent setting powders so if a foundation is too light I can use it to a subtle adjustment. The powder itself is okay. It is in fact kind of generic. The lid sticks a bit when I turn it and I have to make certain there is no product on my hands or my fingers will slide and it will be impossible to open. It is just the slick metal. I would personally put some decorative ridges around the side to prevent slippage, but no one asked me to redesign their packaging. Inside there is an inner lid, which I like, However it keeps the powder from flying out when you pen it, however there is enough of a gap between the inner lid and the holes that when you peel the inner lid up, there is already product that has escaped the holes. I think I may have actually spilled more product than i used. it is more useful to me in the spring as I need more subtle foundation adjustments than bronzers provide as my skin starts to tan. Then summer hits and I just switch products and forget about this powder until the fall.

Today was the first use of the Defiance palette. It is a good daily color selection for me and I think playing with it will be fun. It is the kind of palette I could turn into an everyday palette. If I like it. the jury is still out on that. i had a little trouble with blending this morning and the shimmer didn’t show up at all until I rolled in the setting spray and wet the brush down. It worked better. I will be testing this palette all week next week (and possibly longer). For a first use, I will say that it was interesting and that I am looking forward to playing with it.

The Stila Mascara I love. You already know that. It is rapidly becoming my go to favorite. the name is a bit much, but I can’t deny the results so if they want to double up their adjectives they can go ahead.

The lipstick I used today was the wet ‘n wild that came i my look fantastic box. I like it. I have used Cinnamon Spice from the line for a while and in fact had to repurchase it a while back because I used it down to a nub. It is nice to have a more neutral shade in the same great formula.

And finally the setting spray I rolled out today was the Porefessional Super setter. It is one of my favorites because of the fine mist and the ability to seal makeup on for longer. The fine mist is my favorite part though. It works especially well if you are trying to coax shimmers onto eyeshadow brushes so it will probably stay out as I test the Defiance palette.

And that was my look for today. Over all it is a good day for me. My lunch celebrated the first basil of the season and one of my favorite brands is celebrating Dry Shampoo Day with 30% off. Plus I did manage to take some interesting products from my drawer. what more could I ask?

I know someone to complete the rest of today’s paperwork for me. It would be great, but we can’t have everything can we my darlings? So it is back to work for me to hopefully clear out some space before the end of the day. Wish me luck!

The Daily: August 25th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings and I hope you are doing fantastic today. This morning I replaced my walk with some work in the garden. Pulling up spent plants may not be as calorie burning as a full on walk, but it needed to be done. And when working outside right now the only time the heat and humidity is bearable happens to be the time I usually take my walk.

I know, not a mega surprise reveal on that one. It actually amazed me how many small cucumbers were lurking beneath shriveled leaves. The biggest are the size of golf balls but sliced and mixed with a little diced onion, a little vinegar and a little sugar and left in the fridge until dinner time, they will be perfect for a quick side salad tonight. Tonight we are having bean burgers They will end up being lightly grilled on the grill pan in the kitchen because it is actually far too hot to fire up the grill in the back yard. The cucumber onion side salad will go well with it.

It’s light and the last of the summer veg won’t go to waste.

I managed to get the spend plants up and into the compost and to spread down some nutrient rich dirt on top in a thick layer. In a few days I’ll make sure it is all mixed up and then add in the seeds to grow over the fall and winter. The back bed already has small little rutabaga sprouts coming up as the plants there finished early. If you are looking for fall planting guides or seeds, you might want to check out Botanical Interests. They have a lot of really good advice for planning gardens of all sizes (as well as a really good variety of seeds). Their information is fantastic if you are just beginning to garden.

I don’t think the calorie burn is exactly equal to a walk, but i was drenched by the time I finished my morning garden chores, so I am considering that at least a half way decent workout. This morning I didn’t even use the hot water when I went to wash off. The cold water just felt so good I couldn’t make my hand reach for the hot water tap.

I’m going to call that energy saving.

Today’s Look:

Foundation: NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil

Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil

Blush and Highlight: Doucce Posh Powder Palette

Powder: No 7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder

Mascara: Florence by Mills Mascara in Black

Lips: KAB Hydrating Lip oil

Setting Spray Farsali Rose Gold Face Mist

I know, you look at the list and gasp, Mimsy, there is no primer on there! I know, me without primer. Practically unheard of. Often times I will use primer and skip foundation. With the NYX Bare with me Tinted Skin Veil though I tend to like it better without a primer underneath. It is just a super light barely there look. Which quite honestly I was in the mood for today.

Plus i wanted to try the Florence by Mills Mascara with a low makeup look to see how I felt about it. When I tried it with bright shadows on my lids, the mascara disappeared into nothing. Today, I dusted a little but of bronzer and a dash of highlight on my lids and called that shadow for the day. I figured it was enough to add a bit of contrast to the lids and allow the lashes to shine.

They didn’t.

This mascara is a very basic mascara. It darkens the lashes. That’s about it. There is no length, no volume. And while it is okay on a low to no makeup day, any color on the lids and the lashes are lost. If you are using this as the mascara on your lashes before you put on false lashes, then perhaps you would like it. If you are looking for just a darkening of the lashes in an otherwise natural look, then yeah, this could work for you. For me, I’m not a fan. I will continue to use it in rotation since it is open and I hate waste, but it will only really be used when I am going low key, like today. It isn’t my favorite formula.

The Doucce Posh Powder Palette is one that I will also keep for low key makeup days. The formulas are buildable rather than highly pigmented. So when I am using something like the NYX Bare with Me, it works really well. It lets me get a light blush rather than having clown cheeks.

this is my third day with the lip oil and While I used it over a nude lip yesterday and thought it might have some color to it, today I used it over my bare lips. My lips did have some foundation product over them though. I don’t think this lip oil has a tint now. I think the oil gloss of it simply enhances whatever is beneath the oil, like a magnifier. It does change the tone a little but I think it is more through the shifting of the light than actual color in the oil. (I know our perception of color is only really based on the wave lengths of light and so on, but you get what I mean, hopefully). Although to be honest, it very well might have a light tint. I can’t quite figure it out. I keep going back and forth on my opinion of color. I will say that as I have used it this week, the scent has changed. When I first opened it the melon was the top note with a sort of tropical, coconut undertone. Now it is reversed. when i open it I now smell Coconut with a light melon scent as an after note. To be honest, the oil itself is okay. I have better lip oils. What i love though is the shape of the doe foot applicator. The dip in the tip of the doe foot really cups the lip during application and makes the product apply smoothly. In all honesty it is the applicator that will keep me using this product. the oil is okay but not great. the applicator, I like.

I probably didn’t need a setting spray today, but I am slowly but surely using up the Farsali Rose Gold Face Mist. It is an okay setting spray but not my favorite. It is pretty to look at and looks nice sitting out on the dressing table, but I just don’t like the scent. and it has been lingering in my collection for too long. So I am trying to use it up. I’m getting so close too. I was hoping to finish it before the end of August, but I think it will be with me through the first week or so of September. It is a bit of a shame though. the bottle is lovely and the spray of the mist is quite good. There is a part of me that wants to see if I can take the mist from another setting spray whose dispenser I don’t like and put it into this bottle to use. But that is an experiment that will have to wait until the Farsali bottle is empty. Soon…soon… and then the home recycling experiment can commence. But for now, we wait. and use the spray.

And that is it for me today. It was a pretty basic day. Morning gardening/sweatfest followed by shower light makeup and working at my desk. It is a quiet, yet productive day, and quite fraknly, I’m rather pleased with that.

There are a few pre labor day sales going on that you might want to check out.

25% Off Select Textured Haircare (SheaMoisture, The Mane Choice, Curls, Mielle, TGIN, The Doux, Eden Bodyworks, Rucker Roots)

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

The Daily: February 10th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. The sun is shining, the temperatures are soaring high enough to tempt me outside and my kitchen is full of high calorie deliciousness. Because I was cooking for my Valentine’s desert post I now have fruit tarts, chocolate mousse and an irresistible caramel sauce. And that is along with the boxes of home baked goodies my mom sent and my babydoll’s mom sent.

Luckily the tarts can be frozen (and are currently sitting in the freezer right now (after they freeze I’ll wrap them up individually and then store them in a bag.) and most of the chocolate mousse is going elsewhere. Since I am uninfected and the desert is one that can sit in the fridge overnight after being portioned into containers, it is actually being sent to one of the groups of museum volunteers that work with my baby doll. They had a massive thing they all worked really hard on and he wanted to do a little something. Since I was making mousse for my post (and him) I made a full recipe instead of paring it down and dished it out in disposable containers. He took it with him today so there is only the mousse for the two of us tonight to worry about.

But oh that caramel sauce. It just begs to have something salty like pretzels dipped into it. Luckily we don’t have pretzels in the house currently. So I’m okay.

I have avoided the calories and stayed on course today. I did my morning exercise and went on a walk. In addition I wandered through the garden a bit, plotting out my spring planting. The warm weatehr is tempting me to start plants in the green house but it is still slightly too early for that. At least i think it is. I may have to double check that with the local ag center before I start my seeds. Right now all of the seeds are in and while the ordered bulbs have not arrived year, my tulips are pushing out of the ground. The pointed leaves are about two inches long at this point which is very exciting to see. Last year only one flowered so I don’t even know what colors of tulips they are. I know it is a small thing but it gets me excited.

I don’t know how many of you are gardeners but Botanical interests has ¬†free shipping on orders over $60 through the end of the month with code FREE60. They also have a free seed starting guide if you are new to garden planning or looking to get more organized. Each year I plan to use the gardening guide and then just scrawl notes on my wall calendar regarding planting times. But the guides from Botanical Interests are very well set up. Their selection of seeds and such is also very good as well. I’ll link it below. As for me, I may sneak out for another walk. I’d feel bad taking time off to walk in the sun, but as dinner will be ending with chocolate mousse tonight, an extra walk might not be a bad thing.

In the Garden: Using the Empties for more than just review and trash

In the past year or so, I’ve seen a lot of YouTube videos regarding ’empties’. For those unfamiliar with this, an empties video is essentially a person keeping all of the empty containers from the products (skincare, bath, makeup, and so forth) that they use and then once they have collected enough, they make a video going back over the containers to talk over their experience with the product and if they would buy it again.

For some it seems to be a final review of the product because they only made a first impressions video and for others it seems to be a way for them to commit to emptying a container rather than allowing product to go bad.

I like both of these ideas actually as at the end of a product’s use a person can really get a sense of if that product is worth repurchasing and I hate letting products go to waste. Incidentally, that is why I haven’t posted a moisturizer review in a little while. I had a couple of open products I liked and wanted to use up before I opened any more. There will be more skin care reviews coming soon as my last open jar is almost empty.

So I started collecting my empties thinking that I would challenge myself to finish some products before greedily opening new ones and thus give myself a more in depth feeling for many of them.

The problem is that I am a gardener.

And at this time of year, my thoughts start to slide in that direction automatically as I order seeds and begin to grow them into plants capable of surviving outside after the last frost.

I don’t know what people typically do with their empties once their video is uploaded. I suspect the trash or recycling bin. I put my empties in a small bin under my sink while collecting them. Well, technically to the side of my sink as it is a pedestal. So I see it every day. And I kept looking at them and various ideas started to circle in my head. As I get ready to start my early seeds in my green house a couple of ideas solidified.

And so today you get more of a DIY project than anything else. While I pulled both the Dermelect and the Farmacy containers from my empties bin, both products I would happily repurchase bu the way, my project concentrated on the Farmacy jar.

The jar is plastic and has a double walled bottom and a screw on lid. Simply put, I peeled off the label and washed the container really well so that no product remained inside and no glue remained from the label. Then I turned it upside down and used a dremel to drill a few holes in the bottom of the jar.

As a warning if you are doing this, the double bottom means there is a slight jerk in the drill between the first and second layers of bottom. There is just enough space between the two layers that you feel the drill bit drop. It isn’t a big deal just something to keep in mind so you don’t drop the drill.

Once I had drainage holes in the bottom I took the lid and drilled a hole in either side of the jar lid so that excess moisture could drain instead of sitting and becoming stagnant.

I then glued the lid to the bottom of the jar, open side facing the bottom of the container so the flat surface is against the wood of the window sill when I set the small planter out in the sun. The holes in the bottom of the jar allow for drainage and the lid on the bottom makes sure that any over watering doesn’t hit the window sill. It is like one of those plastic shields that you put under house plants.

The lid glued to the bottom of the jar. It is perfect because the lid is smaller than the bottom of the container and so makes a pleasing shape when glued together.

Then as I had a can of gold spray paint in the shed, I spray painted the whole thing gold and let it dry. Once dry, I planted a slow growing succulent inside. When it flowers, the flowers are a bright almost fuschia pink with yellow gold centers so I think it will look good in the gold painted pot.

I’m fairly certain this isn’t where most empties videos lead and I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Farmacy intended for their containers, but it did turn out fairly well. The product inside was excellent and one I will definitely repurchase. I will probably also empty that container and turn it into another planter. Maybe black next time to contrast with the gold. And possibly with something long and slender growing in it rather than a short and wide variety of succulent.

While the container served its original purpose well, it is sturdy enough to have a new life and I personally feel better about not just chucking it in the recycling bin when it is empty. And yes, I have a plan for the empty tubes as well. I just need to wait until there are enough of them to pull it off.

But that is a project for somewhere down the road.


Quick reminder, the Annual Smashwords Read an E-book Week Sale is still going on (March 1-7). My books are 50% off with some even being free. You can find them buy clicking this link or go to the main page to look for other new authors here.