The Daily: June 22nd, 2022

Oh my darlings today is a day on the run. I think I drove more this morning than I have in the past month. And it is not done yet. It’s one of those days where errands are the order of the day. I started off the day with a quick dusting of powder and a plan to circle back and add makeup later in the day.

That never actually happened.

And I’m pretty sure I either sweated or sneezed off the powder. Pollen is high as are both the temp and the humidity. To be honest I nipped home because I sweated through my shirt and need to do a quick change before running out again. I am either going to have a late night with work tonight when the running stops or I am going to have a really long day tomorrow.

So no makeup, no fitness, just car repair and a whole bunch of other running around today. I did take advantage of a sale last night that i thought you might want to know about.

Tatcha is having a 20% Friends and Family sale going on right now: Code FF2022. I figured it was the perfect time to try a travel size of the powder and liquid primer I just tried in sample form so I ordered them. while I know from the sample that the powder is great and that I will more than likely enjoy the primer enough to want the full size, the travel size will let me test them out completely before purchasing the full size. Plus I am trying to use up several other powders and primers, several of which are almost but not quite used up.

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Because I rotate and test samples so much I have several products that are close to being used up but not quite there yet. So I know they need to be replaced soon, but I was more comfortable picking up a travel size until they are used up. Then if I really like it I can get the full size once the close to empties become empties. Plus with the 20% off I couldn’t resist. And since my birthday is this coming Monday i figured it was a nice little present for myself.

As I have been typing I was eating my lunch (a Chocolate Smoothie from Smoothie Box – BTW they just released a new flavor, Mango). Its a great way to eat lunch on the run and still post the daily. But the last of the Smoothie has been sipped and my shirt has been changed (now is not the best time for natural deodorants, light colors may be cool but black doesn’t show sweat).

I know a sale and a new smoothie flavor aren’t much to leave you with, but hopefully it will help you out. And tomorrow I should get to test out the Givenchy foundation. I am looking forward to that one. Until then, it is back into the heat for me. So an extra dose of sunscreen a newly filled bottle of water and I am off. See you tomorrow my darlings. Try to stay hydrated.

The Daily: June 16th, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, normality, how I have missed you.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Sephora Smooth + Blur Primer

Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick

Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Blush: IBY Beauty Blush in Sun Kissed

Powder: Kim Chi Beauty Puff Puff Pass Setting Powder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revlon is declaring bankruptcy. That seems almost unfathomable.

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

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

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Snacktime: Super Smoothie Berry from Smoothie Box

Smoothie Box very kindly sent me their monthly smoothie box for the purpose of review. The full subscription review you can find here. As I make my way through the box I am reviewing the individual smoothie types in the box. I received the Variety pack and it contained four separate flavors. This Super Smoothie Berry flavor is number three.

With these smoothies, each pack contains two portions. In general I will always make both portions at the same time, however if I am using it as a snack instead of as a meal, I will only eat half and save the other half for the next afternoon. I still mix them at the same time, then split them, put the unused half in the freezer and then the next morning transfer the un consumed half from the freezer to the fridge. By the time I am ready for my afternoon snack it has the right consistency again. It is super easy and something that really helps me out on days that I know are going to be jam packed.

This smoothie has the lowest calorie count of the smoothies I have tried from the brand. It has 90 calories per serving. For me this was an interesting one. I generally find that if my smoothies are too sweet, my brain thinks of them as a desert and I don’t really feel like I’ve had a lunch. It will feel like a snack rather than a meal and then no matter how many calories are in the mix I will still feel like i should eat something.

If I am using it as a snack then I am fine with the sweeter varieties. Thus far it hasn’t been a problem with the Smoothie Box Smoothies. They have had enough savory elements that I think of them as a meal. With this Berry Smoothie I mixed it up with Almond Milk (one of the recommended liquids). It was absolutely delicious. The issue was that it tasted like a fabulous berry flavored milkshake.

I think part of it is that I always find almond milk to be a little on the sweet side. Once I tasted it, I knew it would be too sweet to serve as a meal, so I went ahead and divided it into two and froze half. I’ll have the other half as a snack tomorrow afternoon.

It was absolutely delicious I just can’t think of something that sweet as a meal. which is my own personal preference. As a snack though, it felt completely indulgent. I found myself double checking the calories. (90 x2 + 60 for a cup and a half of almond milk = 240 for the shake, split in half is 120 cal). It felt like it should have been a lot more. And because it felt like a lot more, I did a little extra in my work out telling myself “Think about that milkshake you had as a snack”. which helped me out in other ways.

I think if I were to use this as a lunch, I would use skim milk and possibly throw a knob of ginger into the mix to make it a bit more savory. However that being said, I am okay with having one variety of these smoothies be designated as snack smoothies rather than lunch time meals. That may just be it’s lane. either way i was delighted with the taste and am looking forward to indulging in the rest of the Super Smoothie Berry bags from the pack.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Clementine from The Smoothie Box

Recently Smoothie Box sent one of their Smoothie Boxes over to me for the purpose of review. The full review of the box can be found here. This is a review of the individual smoothie, Clementine. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

At this time of year, time is at a premium. It is almost as though with the arrival of spring the world wakes up shakes off it’s lethargy and goes into hyperdrive. It is my busiest time of year and honestly, my lunch time game suffers because of it. While a lot of studies go into breakfast being the most important meal of the day, for me lunch time is key.

As anyone following along with my posts on a regular basis knows, I am working towards losing weight. I have no desire to run around in a bikini or imitate any form of model-esque appearance. My goal is simply to be a healthier me. And for me to be healthier I need to get some weight off of my bones. If nothing else it will help out my joints in the long run.

today’s add in

the thing is, I cook. I love to cook. Even before activities were curtailed we ate out at most once a month. Other wise I cook. Which, when paired with a weight loss program, means breaking down recipes by caloric intake and portioning things out. Time is often a factor (for everyone, I know) so a lot of times I will make a larger meal, and then portion it out into several meals, freezing portions so that on days when it is to rushed to cook, I have a meal handy.

In theory, this is fabulous. In practice it means that on the nights I cook I really have to monitor what it is that I am portioning out and not say to myself, ‘Well it wouldn’t hurt to have a little extra since there are so many left overs.’ The key to not doing that is a good lunch. And often an afternoon snack.

These smoothie packs are fantastic for that. The calories are listed on the back, all the ingredients are chopped and ready for blending and they are a great mix of ingredients. This Clementine Smoothie (renamed Orange Smoothie on the website)is 120 calories per portion and has loads of good stuff inside. There are two portions per bag. If I am having it as a snack I will only have one portion. If I am having it for lunch i will have two.

The ingredients in this smoothie mix are: Mandarin Segments, Organic Sweet potatoes, Organic Ginger, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Dates, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Lemon Juice, Carrots and Pumpkin seeds.

Smoothie Box

It is a really interesting mix. The carrots, mandarins and dates make up the sweetness but the ginger and lemon bring it into the savory category. It is a spicy carroty orange flavor which I really enjoy. While the back of the package recommends adding in bananas, Protein Powder, Banana yogurt Orange Juice or Pineapple juice, today I went rogue. I added coconut water and then added a scoop of vanilla bean Greek Yogurt (I am absolutely loving the brand Noosa right now. For me the Vanilla bean has taken the place of after dinner ice cream. It is my favorite.)

blend

The blend oddly enough ,makes it taste a little more like carrot cake. Which I have to admit is my favorite kind of cake. I have had this smoothie with orange juice before and the juice bumps up the orange flavor (obviously) but even with the added sweetness it still has that ginger spice to it.

drink

For me, I am okay with the sweetness, but if it is too sweet then my brain won’t register it as a meal. It will simply thing of the smoothie as a “treat”. Even though it was vaguely reminiscent of carrot cake, it wasn’t too sweet and it made the perfect lunch. As I knw this afternoon was going to be crazy, I went ahead and mixed it up in the morning and put the smoothie in the fridge to wait until lunch time. That’s actually why I used the yogurt. well besides added taste. It keeps the smoothie thick even though the fridge lets some of the frozen bits melt a little by lunch time. It is still just how I like it. This Clementine (Now Orange) Super Smoothie was a fabulous addition to my day.

The Daily: March 23rd, 2022

Have you ever had a day where the hits just don’t stop coming? As soon as you sit down and think, “okay now let’s hit that to do list,’ something happens and you have to go into emergency mode?

well maybe emergency mode is a bit strong. Nothing was technically an emergency. It was just a list of unexpected things that arose that it was best to get done right away so that things could be cleared off and not actually morph into emergencies.

It seems like for the past few months there has been one of those days every other week. I’m hoping things slow down a little but at least I have learned that dealing with them immediately is the way to go.

It does mean that there is no makeup today. I made it through my morning skin care before i had to hit the ground running this morning. And lunch was one of the Smoothie Box Cacao Smoothies mixed with cold brew coffee instead of milk today. I missed my morning cup and ended up needing the caffeine hit.

And because it is Wednesday, as soon as I am sure nothing else is going to go bonkers, I am settling in with my Bl’eau Face mask for fifteen minutes of mental calm. This is the second week of testing for the Bl’eau Glacial Oceanic Clay mask and not only am I loving the mask (it is turning out to be a really good one) but because I committed to testing this for a month three times a week, I feel obligated to take that fifteen minute masking break mid week.

I know that sounds a little strange, but even though I like using masks regularly when the days get busy I will push it off to the side. Because I am testing the mask it is part of a trial. Which means it can’t just be blown off and forgotten. It has to be done. And honestly I always feel better after I take that fifteen minutes down. It clears down my brain and actually helps me get all the things I need to get done completed.

That fact more than any other is a reason for me to keep doing month long masking trials. the skincare benefits are great of course, but the mental health break is priceless.

It is also something to look forward to when things are crazy. I have a few more things I need to do and then, I am taking my break (mostly because I want to make sure I don’t have to run out of the house again today before i put the mask on). And we will see where the day ends up taking me. So deep breath and back to work for me.

Unboxing the Smoothie Box

Smoothie Box sent over one of their monthly Boxes for me to review. It arrived and I can not wait to get started trying them out. This review is for the box itself, but as I try the smoothies out i will review them separately. The box they sent to me is the Variety Box which contains four boxes of Smoothies. Each Box inside the Smoothie Box contains five individual packets of smoothies. So it is a total of 20 individual smoothies in the monthly Smoothie Box. The cost is $129 for the box which breaks down to $6.45 per smoothie.

I love smoothies. For me they are my essential summer time lunch. I like them year round actually, but in the summer when the heat and humidity are both in tripple digits, they are life savers.

the box is insulated with recyclable material

But they can get expensive and time consuming to make. You have to peel chop and dice. You have to measure and add up calories. And I’ll be honest, when I make smoothies at home, I will end up just putting fruit in them because I get irritated trying to figure out if my orange counts as a medium orange or if it is large. So they end up overly sweet and don’t actually feel like a meal. So then I’ll think ‘that wasn’t really a meal’ that was just a milk shake, and then go back to the kitchen to get something else to eat and totally blow my calorie count.

what I like about the Smoothie Box smoothies is that they are a blend of fruits and vegetables. The orange smoothie for example has not only mandarin segments but sweet potatoes, ginger, carrots and pumpkin seeds. The chocolate one also has bananas, kale and zucchini. Which honestly i wouldn’t have thought to put in, but works really well. It’s also the only way I’ve ever seen my babydoll enjoy zucchini.

dry ice, fun to create an atmosphere, just don’t touch with bare hands.

They are honestly a mix of ingredients I like having, but don’t often make the time to put together myself. Each packet contains two portions that are 120-130 calories each. I’ll be honest, If I am having the smoothie for a snack and not a full meal, I will cut them in half. If it is for a meal, like lunch, then I will make the whole bag. You have to add your own liquid. They recommend 8-12 ounces and I find they mix better with 12 ounces of liquid so I use eight ounces of milk and then four ounces of water. They do come with several recommendations of liquid that will work well with the ingredients they put into the bag so if you want to shake it up a bit you can.

Having the smoothies pre portioned makes them quick and easy to blend up. I also like that they are in small sized bags. We do not have the world’s largest freezer. The individual bags are small enough and once taken out of the boxes, flexible enough to fit into the freezer with little trouble. The box, when it arrives, looks enormous, so I was worried. The size is mostly due to the packing. The cardboard box is insulated and there is a bag of dry ice inside to keep everything frozen.

The individual boxes inside the bog box

When it arrived on my doorstep the smoothies were completely frozen and no melting had occurred. And then I got to have my own rock concert moment as I emptied the dry ice into the sink and then filled the sink with water. And the smoke began to rise. I might have gotten a few of the toy dinosaurs we have lying around and spent a few minutes pretending that my basil plant was a paleolithic fern as the dinos tromped through the smoke, but that is all part of disposing of dry ice properly. I’m sure it is in some sort of rule book.

Just remember not to touch the dry ice with your hands.

For me it was a fun little moment. As well as a way to stock my freezer.

There are various smoothies you can choose from or you can order one of their curated boxes. They have two the Variety pack which consists of on box of the Cacao, one of orange, one of Berry and one of Green. Their other curated box contains two boxes of berry and two of chocolate.

the single bag

If you are looking at timing, their shipping depends on your ordering. If you order by Tuesday then the order will ship out that week. If you order after Tuesday then the order will ship out the following week. My order arrived seven days after the order was placed. Shipping is a very variable thing right now but they do try for a really quick turn around.

I love that everything in there is real food and organic. I can pronounce everything in the ingredients list and with the pre measured potion sizes and the nutritional information on each bag I know exactly what I am consuming. They are not only less expansive than I would spend if i corralled all of the separate ingredients myself, but there is no waste, of wither food or time. I am not trying to figure out if this orange counts as medium or large so I can estimate my calories. I am not weighing out fruit and only putting part of the the orange in the blended while the rest goes to the fridge to be saved for later (and possibly get forgotten).

all the good stuff, calorie count, recommended add ins and ingredients

And the smoothie can be consumed at my desk. I know I should take time for a proper lunch away from the desk, but lately things have been kind of crazy so a lunch that is easy to eat while i work on days when i can’t actually take the time off for a proper lunch is really a benefit. Especially when it doesn’t get crumbs in the keyboard. As Spring promises to be a little bonkers schedule wise, it is nice to have quick meals that are also good for me that I can eat for lunch.

Now all I need to do is think about getting a new blended. Mine is due for a replacement. Once the garden really starts producing it gets pressed into heavy service and I suspect it may have seen one season of pesto making too many. But that is a tale for another day. For now it is smoothie time. As I work my way through the flavors I’ll let you know my thoughts and opinions on each. For now, I am simply reveling in a well stocked freezer and the fact that I will not have to peel, chop, measure or add up individual calories for a little while.

If you are interested in trying out the Smoothie Box, now is actually a good time you can get $22 off of your first order (no code needed the info on the site will direct you to the discount) and as always Shipping is free.

Save $22 on your first SmoothieBox today.