The Daily: May 2nd, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to May. With as much trouble as the April showers caused, the May flowers are beautiful. And of course more showers are on the way. we had on and off rain here this weekend so I did the last of my spring garden planting between rain storms. The bonus was that I didn’t have to water. We have a garden bed I am keeping my fingers cross for this year actually. It has been a battle to reclaim it from the weeds since we moved in. Last fall we stripped it out completely digging down about a foot to get rid of all the little weed rootlets. we then laid down a garden fabric to suppress weed growth and layered card board over that (a fantastic use of old subscription box packaging in case you were wondering) and then buried the lot of it in rich dirt, fertilizer and mulch. It sat all winter and this weekend I went and scattered bread seed poppy seeds. They are the poppy seeds you see in lemon poppy seed bread in case you are wondering. When the flowers are ready to seed they throw the seeds out in heaps and self seed themselves once they get started so I am hoping that the seeds will not only take, but take over. I would much prefer a bed of purple-y blue poppies to snarled masses of bindweed.

That has been one of the major house projects for a while so reaching the stage where i could just scatter seed was a major accomplishment. And now all I can do is wait and hope nature gets on board.

But with May also comes the need for the changing out of the bed linens. once we get a stretch of good weather all of the winter blankets will get washed one last time for the season, strung up in the sunshine to dry and then packed away while the spring/summer covers come out of storage. I don’t know if you have issues with blanket storage but as both my babydoll and I come from families who believe you can never have too many blankets, storage is always an issue. Until we picked up these vacuum storage bags. I picked mine up from Amazon (it is a general link, no affiliation) and they have been a life saver. Not only do they save space by compressing the blankets but my babydoll has major allergies and soring out blankets in the vacuum sealed bags has really helped. The UV of the sun kills any potential dust mites and then the vacuum seal protects them when not in use.

The park is once again flooded so I am back to Yoga today instead. May tends to be an indoor work out and then things dry out a little and I end up on the summer schedule, walking as soon as I wake up so i don’t give myself heat stroke. Even so with my muscles sore from the garden work, I feel okay with the stretching of yoga. I also feel rather virtuous for completing so many of my spring chores this weekend. Now if only my afternoon paperwork goes as smoothly, I will be all smiles at dinnertime.

Today’s look:

Pre Makeup Base: Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre

Primer: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: Yensa Super Serum Silk Foundation

Bronzer: Buxom Staycation Vibes in Rooftop Tan

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Highlighter: Iconic Illuminator in Original

Powder: Kim Chi Beauty Puff Puff Pass Set and Bake Powder

Eyeshadow: The Balm and the Beautiful from The Balm Cosmetics

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: Persona Cosmetics lip liner in 90210

Today was interesting as far as testing and favorites go. As for favorites I went for the tatcha silk canvas. I have the balm formula. I haven’t tried the liquid version and I am curious to see how it performs but I absolutely adore the creme formula of this one. It is pore filling and helps lock makeup into place. It also has that lovely Tatcha skincare scent to it. I generally find my skin reacts well to this primer as well. I did want a matte primer today because of the highligher, but I’ll get to that in a moment. The long and short of it is that I adore this primer.

One of my other favorites is the Bare Minerals blush. I am always happy to reach for this one. It can be a little too intense in color in the winter (I have the shade Mauve Sunrise) but as my skin gets summer tan it just looks better and better so I will be using this a lot in the coming months. Which is no hardship. I do need to look into a lighter winter shade though, but I have a little bit of time now before that is needed.

The Buxom Bronzer is also more of a spring summer product. It is of a tone that takes me into spring and early summer but generally isn’t worn after July when I am full on summer tanned. Or at least that was last year’s scale. I ended up spending more time outside last summer than I planned. I also wanted to try a powder product today with the Kim Chi powder. On my first use of the powder I overdid it and everything looked powdery. I was just so enthused but the actually useful powderpuff in the container that I couldn’t hep myself. And over use made things look powdery.

Then I tried a lot of cream face products and it worked fantastically well with them. So I wanted to see if it was me over doing it or if it was just layering with other powder products that caused the issue. I think it might be a bit of both. With one powder product and the rest cream the setting powder didn’t look powdery when used with a light touch. I think however it is the sort of powder I will prefer with cream face products. I also think I am going to use that puff with several other powders. I do like this powder though, it just needs to be used sparingly to avoid a powdery look.

I have been trying out the Saint Luxe liquid highlight and wanted to try it against another liquid highlighter. So today I picked out the Iconic Original Illuminator which is an old stand by. It was far more glowy a product than the Saint Luxe. The Saint Luxe is far more subtle of a glow. Which I don’t mind actually. I know that using the Iconic with Natural look makeup (which is sort of my go to in the summer) is too heavy a highlighter. I don’t think the Saint Luxe will be. While I am finishing up my Yensa trial this week, I think that after the trial is complete I will be trying out the highlighter with a tinted moisturizer instead of a regular foundation to see how it performs. I have high hopes. The Iconic was nice today and I like being able to make the comparison.

The stila mascara I love. It needs one coat and I am done. The fact that I reach for it a lot means the tube is almost empty and will soon need to be replaced. But it is now one of my favorite mascaras.

The persona lip liner worked well all over my lips. It is a creamy formula that can be used as a lipstick. After a few hours though my lips do start to feel a bit dry so I add a lip balm over them. That is enough to keep the lips moist. So I am good with this lip liner.

Today was the first use of the Balm’s The Balm and The Beautiful Palette. As a first use I did the one matte all over the lids with a lighter matt in the corners look. I love the Balm formula. The brush didn’t need tapping off and the matte blended beautifully without a powdery mess. I am looking forward to playing around with this palette.

And that my darlings was today’s look. I feel like I went a little long today but I have several products I am testing out. Hopefully you found it interesting. But now my beauty break is over and I must leave you and heed the call of my inbox. It is the first of the month and and it seems everyone has a new project to start. So off we go. Have a great rest of Monday.

The Daily: April 19th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to a chilly Tuesday. Tonight is supposed to actually drop low enough to freeze so the plant covers are out, ready and waiting to cover all the delicate spring growth. already in the garden. Surprisingly after this last snap of winter, tomorrow is supposed to get up into the seventies. Such rapid changes always mean a headache for me so I have checked the stocks of ibuprofen.

However today is glorious. Cold, but glorious. The ran stopped and even though the park is still flooded and curtailing my walking, the sun has blasted back the mold from the air. So no watery itchy eyes and sneezing fits today.

Oh yes, there will be mascara.

And if the weather holds then the grand spring plant out can begin this weekend. i have plants that I started early in the green house that really need to see more of the outside world. I started hardening them and they were able to spend the night outside up until Easter Sunday, but then I had to bring them back inside. Hopefully they can stay outside the rest of the week and be planted this weekend.

Tis the season where the garden dominates my thoughts. And much of my time. It also starts to take it’s toll on my nails. I think tonight I may paint them so I can have them looking pretty for the rest of the week. They’ll be wrecked by next Monday, but then I will remove the polish and start the spring strengthening treatments so they should remain healthy for the duration of the planting season and come out looking strong and healthy by the time I can paint them again and reasonably expect a manicure to last more than a day.

The nail strengthening treatments are on my list of spring and summer orders. It happens after every Easter. The summer gathering. I make sure I have extra sunblock on standby (this year I’m also going with a hat to wear gardening), I start positioning bottles of Avene Thermal Water and an extra spray sunblock by the garden door, one to use when going out and the second to use when coming in. I will check to see that my Aloe plant is healthy in case of sunburns and I will have the Missha Artesmisia Essence on hand for skin soothing purposes. There are more items needed to prepare for the spring and summer, but those are the highlights I am hitting this week. Soon the orders will go out and the stocking will begin.

I am also starting my sunless tan for my legs this evening, so I will keep you posted on how that proceeds. I have two different products I am trying out this year. even though my Easter dress from Ever Pretty (reminder: their major bridal sale ends on the 20th) was long enough to cover my legs, it was the first skirt of the season and reminded me of how white my legs are. I don’t need to be bronzed all over, but I would like my arms and legs to look like they are attached to the same body. And my arms are already showing a tan line around the wrist. So self-tanning we shall go. But first, today’s makeup.

Today’s Look:

Pre makeup base: Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre

Primer: Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch

Foundation: Yensa BC full Coverage Foundation

Bronzer: Trestique Bronzing Stick

Blush/highlight: Natasha Denona Cupid Cheek Duo

Powder: Elf Perfect Finish HD Powder

Eyeshadow: Revolution Maple Glazed Doughnut Palette

Mascara: Big Poppa Wet ‘n Wild Mascara

Lips: Wet ‘n Wild Mega Last Lipstick

After a day of sneezing and watery eyes it always feels good to be able to apply makeup again. I think its the fact that I know it might actually last more than ten minutes and not be decorating Kleenexes a few moments after I’ve applied it.

The Embryolisse as a make up base was actually very appreciated today. I think that the tissues I used pulled out all the moisture in my skin so adding a bit more out to smooth and soothe my skin before putting on today’s makeup was very much a good idea.

This is the second week I’ve been testing the Yensa Skin on Skin BC foundation and I am really liking it. It does have a bit more of a glowy look to it than I usually prefer in my foundations, but as long as I pair it with a matte primer. In looking through my primers I found I really only have three matte primers in my collection at the moment. They are the ones I tend to buy and use the most where the dewy ones come in subscription boxes. Actually I have several I have yet to test out. But that will require a matte foundation, so even though i now feel I know how this foundation performs, I’ll leave that for later.

I did go for one of my favorite cream bronzers and it was the Trestique. I know, no surprise. However i chose it not just because I love it but because cream products tend to work better with other cream products. And I wanted to test out the Natasha Denona Cupid Duo. It has a cream blush and a powdered highlight. I was worried about the cream blush. I do have another cream blush from the brand that I adore, but when I swirled my finger in the cream it didn’t seem to impart much color. then I tried it on my cheeks and I loved it. the color was there and it was very blendable and long lasting. It is something I will reach for. I will need to play around with the highlighter before I make a determination though. When applied with a finger it disappeared. I went over it a little with a clean brush I had on hand, and it did a little better, but I may need to work with it a bit more to figure out how it likes to be applied. It might take more work.

In keeping things simple I went for my Maple Glazed Doughnut palette from Revolution. I know I say this every time I use it, but I really need to pick up more of the doughnuts. They are easy to travel with and apply fantastically well and easily. they are easy to grab first thing in the morning and don’t require a lot of thought. the only reason that I haven’t picked them up is that I haven’t been into ULTA for a while. I looked at them on line and they are often sold out, but I know ULTA still carries them so next time I am in the store I may pick one up. It is just a great go to palette.

Wet n’ wild was the source of both my Mascara and lipstick today and I regret neither. They are both great formulas and I will use them repeatedly. The Big Poppa Mascara I will need to rotate in often. everyone knws that time starts ticking once you open a mascara, but with the Big Poppa you have almost exactly six months no matter how often you reach for it. which is fine as I don’t like to keep mascara longer than six months, but once you open this one it works fine for five months but that sixth lets you know it is nearing the end of it’s life. Sixth months in and it will start to thicken and clump. It is fantastic until then. You just have to commit to using it once you open it. I’m actually okay with that as I love using this mascara and sometimes I forget how long I’ve had products open. Having a very obvious indicator is not a bad thing for me.

But that was my look for the day. It applied quick and easy and is lasting throughout the day. It is comfortable enough that I don’t have to think about it and suitable for any possible meetings later this afternoon. There is a rumor of one circulating about one later today that I might or might not need to be a part of (digitally) So I have my Elf compact on hand incase a little shine needs to be powdered off and I am good to go. Until then, the paperwork calls.

Have a great rest of Tuesday my darlings.

The Daily: November 1st, 2021

November has arrived in all it’s chilly splendor. The last of the potted plants have been brought in and anything left in the garden has been left to overwinter outside. This weekend we are digging up two of the older flowerbeds. Mostly we are chopping all of the tops off, laying down cardboard and then covering it with very rich dirt and mulch. The cardboard will eventually disintegrate but it will smother the growth below before it does die off. It’s a technique called no dig gardening.

It is also a style that puts many of my subscription boxes to good use. The shipping boxes are actually useful for the cardboard barrier. So it’s less waste at the house. Always a good thing. Plus the bindweed has gotten out of control. I think I could dig all the way to China and still not get all of the roots. This Saturday I will be considering that part of my work out. This past Saturday changed over my wardrobe. That’s right my darlings, the short sleeved summer weight garments are all washed folded and put away. Well in the case of several of them, they had to be trashed.

Okay a lot of my t-shirts had to be trashed. This summer was absolutely brutal. And there comes a point where washing may get them technically clean, but they still are so dingy that they are not worth wearing. And many of them had seen too many summers already. I tended to reserve my older t-shirts for summertime walks. And I wore out a lot this summer. Honestly only a handful survived. I was actually shocked by how many needed to go to the rag bag.

In order to secure replacements for next summer, I am actually contemplating the t-shirt Subscription from Smartass and Sass. They have a great regular subscription box but they also have one for just their t-shirts. I checked the size range and it is pretty wide. It’s only $15.95 per month. I always love their slogans and think that it might actually be a fun way to bulk up my t-shirt collection again. They are the soft touch t-shirts too, which I like.

Of course right now I am loving the soft fabrics I get to use in the colder months. In case you hadn’t figured it out, I am a very tactile shopper. I have several garments in my wardrobe that I’m sure the fashion police would cite be for violation of the visual code should they ever see them, but they feel so soft that I just can’t give them up. I try to only wear the most offensive ones around the house though. It saves my neighbors from eyeball trauma.

Admittedly I will have to be replacing some of those items as well. One of my favorite sweaters has a pulled hole in it and needs to go and another fuzzy one had a hole magically appear after getting out of the wash. I hate to loose either of them, but I did see a couple of sweaters on The Gentle Herd Website that I really want So I am kind of taking it as an excuse. Plus The Gentle Herd actually has my size which is really nice.

But such shopping will have to wait until the last of my holiday shopping is done. I have two more things to pick up. One for my brother and one for my mother’s boyfriend. My brother is actually the hardest one. He just moved into a Tiny House a few months ago and has been working on jettisoning anything that doesn’t fit. Finding something he wants, can use and won’t overly clutter his place is somewhat difficult. But I will figure it out. I will purchase it, wrap it and then work on replacing some of my own missing garments.

Sometimes, you have to prioritize.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Benefit Cosmetic Porefessional Primer

Foundation: Ulta Youthful Glow Foundation Serum Drops

Bronzer/Blush/Highlight/Powder: Cover FX Perfection Face palette

Eyeshadow: Little Briar Rose Palette from Storybook Cosmetics

  • in case you are interested, this normally $55 palette is on sale for $15

Mascara: Roen Mascara

Lips M2U Matte Liquid Lip

Today I was happy to have a new primer. I finally finishe the one I was trying to clear out and reached into the primer drawer to pull one out randomly. Today it was the Porefessional. Always a good one to use and a favorite standby.

The foundation I used was the Ulta Serum Drops. I really like it and have just a little bit left to go before this bottle is empty. It is one that I will replace at some point. I’ll probably be rotating it in for the next little bit as I would really like to use it up. It is a great product, I’ve just had it for a while.

The lip I love and really do need more shades of this formula. I will be looking into that as soon as I clear out a few sample sized products and make space. I know resisting lip purchases is not my strong suit but I am trying to hold out. The Roen mascara is good, not spectacular, but good.

Today was mostly about the Cover FX palette and the eyeshadow. With the FX palette I often forget that I have it. I wanted to use it as I am trying to plan my travel bag for thanksgiving. It is one of the contenders as packing it means I don’t have to pack a lot of individual products. It is quite compact. I’m not terribly certain about the blush, but I do like the other products so it is still a contender. I might play around with it and alternate blushes before I make my decision. Even if I do add a blush it saves a lot of space.

Now to the eyeshadow. I know I took this palette out on Thursday and it has been out since (I really need to clean up my dressing table) The reason I used it today is because I realized I always reach for the same shades. I have three blue shades that I never reach for. So I decided today was the day. I love the color blue, but hate blue eyeshadow. Still I tried them. The Dark blue of Prince was kind of patchy but workable in the end. I love the shades Castle and Fairy but in the end I really don’t like the all blue look. I put the bronze Enchanted over them in the middle of the eyelid to sort of break it up. The shades blended well, but I’ll be honest, every time I pass a mirror I think. nope, gotta take off the blue. I think that the blue shimmers I will use as accents, but that matte Blue (Prince) is just killing me. I love the color, just not on my eyes. Blue eyeshadow is just not for me. Honestly though, Prince is the only color in the palette I wouldn’t really use. Which isn’t a bad commentary on a palette’s color story. I am just not a blue shadow person.

Live and learn, huh?

Top Ten Gardening Activities for Parents and Children to share

Klorane and their partnership with the Kids Gardening Non-Profit has put together a number of ideas to get you and your family involved with Earth Friendly Activities. Why not try out one, or several, to celebrate this Earth Day. For more information and more fun activities please visit Kid’s Gardening. And Happy Earth Day!

Kitchen Scrap Gardening – With little effort and a pinch of creativity you can devise some very imaginative indoor gardens from your kitchen leftovers. Kitchen scrap gardening is when you grow plants from items you’d normally throw in your compost bucket. Kids love this idea, and it’s a great way to reinforce the sustainable living concepts of recycling and re-using.

Seed Viewer – Simple and inexpensive to make, plant bean seeds in clear plastic cups to allow young gardeners to watch seeds sprout and introduce them to the life cycle of plants.

Plant People – Homemade “chia” pets are the perfect activity for a cold or rainy afternoon.

Grow Your Own Salad – Greens are one of the easiest crops to grow indoors. Grow spinach, lettuce, mesclun mix, mustard or kale and you can begin to harvest micro-greens within a month!

Pressed Flowers – Encourage a sense of wonder in young scientists at home by going on a backyard plant exploration to collect leaves and flowers to press and preserve. You can use your specimens to make a guide to the plants growing in your garden and landscape or to inspire a host of art and gift projects, including notecards, bookmarks and placemats.

Leaf and flower prints – Plant pigments provided some of the earliest dyes for artwork and clothes and can still be used to color our world. 

Make More Plants from Houseplants – Get growing and decorate the house with your favorite plants and planters.

Hydroponics – Kids are always amazed to see plants growing without soil. This simple kid-powered system gives them a chance to experiment and explore hydroponic basics.

Garden Scavenger Hunt – A scavenger hunt can be a fun way to encourage young gardeners to practice using their observation skills.

Soil Art – Soil can be found in a wide range of colors dependent on the parent materials from which it is made. People have been using soil to make art for ages (for pottery, paintings, to dye cloth, etc.)


Klorane USA

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.