Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! Our day started out with Jennifer's "vegan" whole wheat pancakes for breakfast. Vegan except for the egg. Eggs seems to be optional for alot of vegans! Yikes! Don't tell Jennifer I said that. But the pancakes were yummy!

I thought I had bought a card for Rocky, but if I did, I couldn't find it anywhere. I have a problem with cards. I always stop at the card section of just about every store and pick up several random cards, then proceed to never take them out of the bag and can't ever find them when I need them. When I do find them, years later, I always wonder "Hmmm .... I wonder who I bought that for?!?" I have a cute box for filing cards - actually I have two cute boxes for filing cards, but they're empty at the moment, except for a couple of sympathy cards filed under "Congratulations!"

Anyway, thank goodness I had watched the Today Show because Martha Stewart was on and she made the cutest Valentine cards, and they looked SO easy. I didn't really pay attention to the first part of the segment, which I have to say now, must have been the most important part, because when I went to Hobby Lobby to buy the stuff, which, by the way cost WAY more than going to Target and buying several cards, I couldn't find what I thought she must have used, so I thought, "Not a problem. I'll just improvise!"

I gathered all the materials together, and there were plenty! Then I cut out the hearts using a little heart-shaped box for the pattern. Here's where I actually DID pay attention to the demonstration on Today. Well it all looked SO easy, but noooooooo! In addition to what I had already purchased, I had to use super glue and then Elmer's glue when the super glue failed, and florist wire. Martha didn't use any glue at all! Or wire! The whole ordeal didn't go so well, but here's the final product.

While Rocky made rounds, I scurried around the kitchen making Valentine cookies and candy and was exhausted by the time he got home. And the kitchen was a horrible mess. I made some chocolate peanut candy and poured it into heart-shaped cookie cutters thinking, "Oh, isn't that cute!" But when the candy hardened, I couldn't get it out of the cookie cutters, so Troy and I came up with the bright idea of letting them soak for a few seconds in hot water. That worked well until we forgot what we were doing and hot water poured over the candy and made an awful mess. But it worked......sorta!

Troy and I decorated the cookies and as you can see, we are not in the bakery business, but it's the thought, right??? They all got eaten anyway, and we had a good time.

After all that WORK, Rocky and Troy and I went for a romantic Valentine's dinner at Peppe's in Canutillo. It's not a particularly nice place, but it has great Mexican food. After dinner I took a nap!

Hope your day was as nice as ours.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Seven Ways to De-Stress.......with a twist!

In my "25 Random Things About Me" post, I referred to something I heard on the Today Show earlier this year - a list of 7 ways to de-stress. The list was just different enough from most of the other ideas we hear about so often, and I thought you'd like to see it.

1. Exercise to decrease stress hormones.

2. Do some deep breathing.

3. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol.

4. Keep a Joy Journal. Write down things that make you happy instead of dwelling on your adversities. Keep the "daily grind" in another journal.

5. Schedule your "fret" time. ("I'll think about that later.")

6. Wean yourself off "triggers" such as checking the stock market every hour during the day, or weighing yourself every day. Check the stock market only once during the day, and jump on the scale once a week.

7. Take charge and take action of the things you can change. Let go of everything else.

There now! Don't you feel better already?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My "Almost" Top Ten Beauty Secrets!

Now there's an oxymoron, using my name and beauty secrets in the same sentence, but I've been tagged by Jennifer, and I must obey!

My beauty routine doesn't amount to much. At almost 60 years of age, they say less is more and they mean it. And it's so much cheaper!

Beauty Tip Number One: I HAVE to bathe or shower every day or I can't stand myself, and neither can anyone else. I use Twisted Peppermint body soap and foot scrub from Bath and Body Works. It smells soooo good! I used to use the Twisted Peppermint body spray until a little girl at church said "Mama, she smells just like cotton candy!" I thought I smelled all fresh and minty, but instead I smelled as if I'd just come from the circus. Poor Rocky used it once and the girls at the office said he smelled like bubble gum!

The Peppermint body wash makes a great bubble bath, but I have to be careful because if I turn on the jacuzzi, the bubbles multiply exponentially and envelope me! It's kind of scary because there's not alot of oxygen in those bubbles! The first picture is of a nice, normal bubble bath, the 2nd is only a few seconds after the jets have been turned on, and the third is my view of the bubbles while I'm in the tub!

Beauty Tip Number Two: After I dry off, I rub lotion all over my arms, legs and feet - Peppermint, of course! I have to wait a bit after I put it on my feet because when I try to walk on the wood floors, it's hard to remain upright.

Beauty Tip Number Three: Now comes the trickiest part. Makeup. I've never really been shown how to apply makeup, so I've been on my own all these years. So any thoughts you may have about what might have gone wrong on any particular occasion, now you know why.

One day when I was getting my hair done, a lovely lady asked me if I wanted to try a new type of make up "so pure you can sleep in it!" I didn't see anything different about that because I've always slept in my makeup, but I said "Sure!" like a dope, not realizing it was going to cost me more than I'm willing to say in print. For some reason, I thought it was all going to be free!!

She showed me all these different powders and "told" me how to apply them, but really didn't let me see what she was doing. Then all of a sudden she whirled the chair around and voila! There in the mirror was a CLOWN!!

On my own, I've slowly learned how to use this makeup and I really do recommend "Bare Essentuals." Yes, that's spelled correctly. It's reasonably priced, lasts forever and they have hundreds of colors!! I use only one or two colors myself, because I'm not very adventurous when it comes to makeup. The only problem with this makeup is, if a tear happens to roll down your cheek, you can see the track mark! Below are pictures of my makeup drawer and brushes. Nice, huh?

Beauty Tip Number Four: Applying the makeup, which is not the same as describing the makeup. Two totally different processes. First I start with a cheap moisturizer, like Oil of Olay or Ponds. Those pricey brands don't work. I've used them all, and look at me. If anyone disagrees, please let me know of a brand that really does what it promises!

Since I'm a middle-aged+ woman, I have several age know those brown spots we get on our hands and face. I was a sun worshipper in my youth and they're not kiddin' when they say "You'll be sorry one of these days!" My time has come. So I start dabbing on powdered concealer, and having alot of Irish ancestors, I sometimes get mixed up and spend alot of my 5 minute beauty routine dabbing at freckles!!

Beauty Tip Number Five: Makeup experts say to apply blush to the "apples" of your cheeks. My entire face is an apple, so it's hard to decide just exactly where to put that stuff! But if I mess it up, I just apply a mineral veil. That stuff is great because it blends all the awkardly applied colors to where they look.......not so bad!

Beauty Tip Number Six: The eyes. Now this part is serious because I happen to believe that my only redeeming quality is my eyes. Patti once did me a huge favor by having me color-typed. Everyone should do that because it really helps when choosing the colors you wear. Brown is best for blue eyes, so I try to stay in that color palate. Blending one color on my lids and another on my brows is way too hard. And the trickiest part of all is eyeliner! But the one thing I absolutely hate to do, but it makes the biggest difference, is apply mascara! UGH! After that task, I have to use several Q-tips to clean up the excess! I look like a little girl playing "grow up" with my Mom's makeup!

Beauty Tip Number Seven: Lips. You're supposed to wear a lip liner that's the color of your lips. So for me that's a liver color (hard to find)! Then I apply lipstick and that's about it. It's like coloring - it's important to stay within the lines! Occasionally I apply some lip gloss, but be VERY CAREFUL here! Let me tell you why. I have a wrinkle (or two or more) that go up from my lips to either side of my nose. Stop laughing -it'll happen to you too! One hot day I was at a quincienera flitting around, talking to friends, introducing myself to strangers and while they were all pleasant enough, they all looked at me kind of funny. I didn't notice anything until I got in the car and looked in the rear-view mirror. My dark pink lip gloss had melted and traveled up those wrinkles! Those people must have thought I had blood poisoning!! How totally embarrassing! I have recreated to the best of my ability, the incident for you here! (Oh, and forget the gloss debacle, look what a HUGE difference a little lipstick makes!! I think it's important to have lipstick in your food storage.)

Patti had a similar experience with bronzer. She put it on all over her face, and by the time she got to wherever she was going, it had collected in the wrinkles around her eyes, making her look like a tiger!

Beauty Tip Number Eight: My hair. I've had my hair long, very short, colored, highlighted, lowlighted, permed, and just about everything else one can do to their hair. It's pretty straight for the most part, but as I get older I have these weird "waves" which make it very hard to style. So I put a little product in, blow it dry with a huge brush, flat iron parts of it, then put a curling iron to other parts. Doesn't make much sense, huh? It usually turns out OK, but never great!

Beauty Tip Number Nine: Hmmmmmm.....I think that's it.