Sunday, February 28, 2010

I came across an article about Soles4Souls in the April 1 issue of Woman's Day - it caught my interest, so I went to their website to check it out. I had never heard of them - but I won't forget them now.

Soles4Souls was founded by Wayne Elsey in 2004, after a tsunami hit Southeast Asia. In a nutshell, the organization gives shoes to those in need. They accept monetary donations as well as donations of new and used shoes. Soles4Souls has distributed over 7 million pairs of shoes to people in 125 countries.

Last year, Americans threw out more than 300 million pairs of shoes. Shoes that put toxic glue into our landfills - shoes that could be given to so many people in need.

You can donate money online - and you can buy shoes (on their site) to be donated. You can send them any new or used shoes. You can search for locations near you that serve as drop-off points for shoe donations.

Shoes are near & dear to my heart - and I know that I have some that I don't wear. I plan to go through my shoes (and have my son & daughter go through their shoes) to see what I can donate. I hope that some of you will consider doing the same and making a donation to either Soles4Souls or a local charity/women's shelter. 

You can become a fan of Soles4Souls on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and see them on YouTube.

Sephora's Spring Looks

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I love looking at the new makeup looks for each season at Sephora. Here are the ones they have for Spring 2010:



I think this looks sooooo pretty! The model reminds me of Katy Perry. Unfortunately, if I did this, I would look ridiculous. Probably like Mimi (from The Drew Carey Show), but missing a huge spot of eyeshadow. Sigh. I'll probably try it - but maybe with a color that's a little less bold.

Watercolor Eyes

Um, I'm just gonna say 'no' to this one. It's not so much the different colors as it is all of the shadow under her eyes. She reminds me of a football player. I think I'd like it a lot better if there was a thinner line of smudging under the eyes.

  Luminous Skin

I love this natural look - especially for spring/summer. But what I'm really excited about is that according to this, Laura Mercier has a new shade of Tinted Moisturizer! It's called Bisque - and it's a shade between Nude & Sand - which is perfect, because I had to buy both Nude & Sand to mix together to get my perfect shade. Apparently, I wasn't alone!


I think this is really pretty, too, but if I put pink eyeshadow on my eyes like that, I would look like I had pink eye (ha) or stayed up all night crying. Not a pretty look either way. And I'm a bit envious, because this is soooo pretty!


So obviously I would never be able to pull this one off...(see comments for last look). I would look like someone punched me in both eyes. It's pretty on her though.

Not sure how I feel about this one. I think the blue is pretty, but it's a bit garish in this picture. Maybe if the lines were a bit thinner? I can't imagine wearing this for daytime. I don't hate it, but I don't think I could pull it off either.

Opinions? Other looks for spring?

Better Homes & Gardens deal!

Another great deal from - a year (12 issues) of Better Homes & Gardens for just $3!

You can order up to 4 years at this price - it's a great deal & would even make a wonderful gift! No coupon code needed - and remember that the price adjustment won't show up until you are a couple of steps into the checkout price. So don't worry when it shows up as $15/year at first. I've ordered from this company several times without any problems - they process the order promptly (and email you a notification when it's processed) and you receive the magazines within 6-12 weeks (it's always been closer to 6 weeks for me).

Happy Chocolate Cake/Strawberry/Kahlua Day!

According to my sources, Feb. 27 is National Chocolate Cake Day, National Strawberry Day, and National Kahlua Day!! What a combo!! I'll have some of each!

Chocolate/Strawberry/Kahlua Day!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We're going to try to make it to the Auto Show. If we do, I'll take some pictures & post them. What are your plans?

1979 playlist

Friday, February 26, 2010

In honor of Flashback Friday 1979, here's my 1979 playlist:
  1. Old Time Rock and Roll - Bob Seger
  2. My Sharona - The Knack
  3. Hot Stuff/Bad Girls - Donna Summer
  4. Fins - Jimmy Buffett
  5. Highway To Hell - AC/DC
  6. Roxanne - The Police
  7. Take Me To The River - Talking Heads
  8. Rock-n-Roll Fantasy - Bad Company
  9. One Way Or Another - Blondie
  10. Boogie Wonderland - Earth, Wind, & Fire
  11. Don't Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra
  12. Let the Good Times Roll - The Cars
  13. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' - Journey
  14. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy - Rod Stewart
  15. I Need A Lover - John Cougar (no Mellencamp in 1979!)
  16. YMCA - The Village People
  17. Knock On Wood - Amii Stewart
  18. Soul Man - The Blues Brothers
  19. Shattered - Rolling Stones
  20. Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
  21. Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles
  22. We Are Family - Sister Sledge
  23. Cruel To Be Kind - Nick Lowe
  24. Crazy Love - The Allman Brothers
  25. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Admit it - you know all of these songs, too, don't you?

Flashback Friday 2/26/10

Ah, the 70's...

1979 - the year I graduated from high school and started college...Jimmy Carter was President, gas was 86 cents per gallon, and McDonald's introduced something called a Happy Meal. Has it really been 31 years??
flashback friday - the 70's

Without a doubt, the 70's had some great music - even if we did have to listen to it on 8-track tapes and polyvinyl records. Nothing like skips, jumps, and white noise! According to Billboard, these were the top hits from 1979:
  1. Heart of Glass - Blondie
  2. My Sharona - The Knack
  3. Just When I Needed You Most - Randy VanWarmer
  4. Escape (The PiƱa Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes
  5. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
  6. Y.M.C.A. - Village People
  7. Sad Eyes - Robert John
  8. Fire - The Pointer Sisters
  9. Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
  10. Devil Went Down to Georgia - The Charlie Daniels Band
I would agree with most of those choices...I have 7 of them on my iPod, LOL. And I admit - I know most, if not all, of the lyrics to these songs. If you don't already have these tunes, you can buy the CD at Amazon. But Bee Gees??

I spent a lot of time at the movies during the 70's - since there wasn't much else to do in my little hometown. I saw all of these when they were released in the theater. If you saw them on DVD, it doesn't count.
  • Superman The Movie
  • Every Which Way But Loose
  • Rocky II
  • Alien
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Moonraker
  • The Muppet Movie
  • Kramer vs. Kramer 
  • The Jerk
TV was awesome in the 70's. I loved these shows! Except I wasn't allowed to watch Saturday Night Live or Dallas while I was in high school. That changed when I went off to college. As did many other things, since I lived in the dorm. :-)
  • M*A*S*H
  • Happy Days
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Charlie's Angels
  • Family Feud
  • Quincy, M.E.
  • The Love Boat
  • Three's Company
  • Dallas
  • Mork and Mindy
  • Taxi 
And I had to have Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo, Love's Baby Soft or Avon's Sweet Honesty perfume, Close-Up toothpaste, Tickle deodorant, Flicker razor (that cut my legs to shreds), & Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. I went from Farrah Fawcett bangs to a Dorothy Hamill wedge. I had short skirts, midi skirts, and maxi skirts - bell bottoms and hot pants - disco boots and earth shoes. Ah, the memories...

What were you doing in the 70's? And if your answer is "I wasn't born yet", let me just say that you don't know what you missed!


Thursday, February 25, 2010 good for the soul - or so they say. I admit it - I have a problem with stupid people. And by problem, I mean that I have no use for them at all. Except for an occasional laugh when they have an epic fail. Which is pretty often.

For instance - if you're going to the bank to make a deposit or withdrawal, and you're planning to use the drive-thru, and you know that other people use the drive-thru, and the whole point of a drive-thru is to make a quick transaction - then why in the world would you not fill out your deposit/withdrawal slip and sign the checks before you leave the house???? It doesn't seem to matter that the bank puts up signs telling you to have everything ready - because you think that means everyone but you.

And here's another little tidbit for stupid people - pharmacies have telephone numbers that you can call to ask as many questions as you want about your insurance, your prescription, your doctor, how many things you have wrong with you, what's on sale this week, and whatever else it is that you people talk about when it's your turn at the counter. That way the rest of us can avoid a wait in a line that rivals the the margarita line at a Jimmy Buffett concert. All I wanted was sinus pills with pseudoephedrine - but of course, I can't buy them off the shelf any longer because other stupid people had to abuse the ingredients - so here I stand, in a line behind you, trying not listen (because there is a big sign telling me to stand back to allow you privacy - and I, unlike some people, actually read the signs & think they apply to me), but you're talking so loudly that Bill over in produce heard you. Now my popsicles have melted and I'm going to need a refill on my migraine meds.

Sometimes I dream of a world where SPF doesn't stand for 'sun protection factor', but for 'stupidity protection factor'. Imagine how much money you could make if you owned the patent on a product that kept stupid people away! Sort of like insect repellent but less smelly. I'd invest in a case of 50 SPF and never leave home without it. Stupid people would feel a vague sense of unease as they neared anyone wearing SPF, so without knowing why, they'd always stay back 50 feet. How awesome would that be?? (pausing a moment to close my eyes and to imagine Utopia...)

And you can't even tell them to get a clue. Because if they could get a clue, they wouldn't be stupid people. It's a conundrum. A vicious circle. A catch-22. An impasse. It's a pain in the ass.

Thursday's Blog 2/25/10

This Thursday's blog of choice is Pink Martinis & Pearls. It just appeals to me on so many different levels. The very first line of the 'About Me' section got me hook, line, & sinker - "Life is too short not to have a little pink umbrella in your drink."

Although I immensely enjoy reading the blog, I could just as easily be happy looking at all of the lovely pictures. Sigh. Pretty things. Lots of pretty pink things. And adult beverages. I want them all.

It's the kind of blog that you want to read while curled up in front of the fireplace on a cold, wintry night with a mug full of hot chocolate & peppermint Schnapps. Or maybe while lazing in the hammock on a warm sunny day, sipping a cold beverage spiked with a little something special - and or course, a pink umbrella. 

Take a look - I think you'll enjoy it!

Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If you enjoy the Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine, or if you just enjoy cooking magazines in general, has a great deal right now. It's just $3.60 for 10 issues/year - and you can order up to 4 years! This is valid for new subscriptions or renewals - but not for automatic renewals.

You don't need a coupon code to get this deal, but be aware that the price will not adjust until after you select "checkout". So don't worry if you see $24 as the price when you add it to your cart. It will change once you go to checkout.

PublicationStation accepts all major credit cards, checks, money orders, and Paypal.

I have ordered from PublicationStation before & they have always been very reliable. I've received all of my subscriptions in a timely manner. I've also subscribed to Everyday with Rachael Ray in the past - and it's a great magazine. My subscription expired, and I've been waiting for another great deal like this so I could renew! Yay!

Wednesday's WTF?? 2/24/10

Every once in awhile you come across someone or something that just makes you say/think "WTF?" - so I thought I'd start a "Wednesday's WTF?" post.

The other day, I saw these leggings that someone obviously time-warped from the 80's or looted from Cindy Lauper's closet. Someone would seriously pay money for these & wear them? Sure, I did the short skirt with patterned black stockings & pumps thing in the 80's. Okay, maybe I even occasionally paired that with some lacy anklet socks. (Right now, my husband is remembering when I used to dress like that. He liked that look. He'll want to talk about it later.) But if my stockings looked like this I would've pitched them:

But just in case any of you want to embrace the 80's, you can find these lovelies at Plasticland. And honey, don't even think of surprising me with a pair of these - 'kay?

Sephora's Give Me Some Lip review, pt. 2

This is part 2 of my review of the lippies in Sephora's Give Me Some Lip sampler (you can find part 1 here)...

The first one is Urban Decay's Pocket Rocket gloss in Doug. I admit, the hunky guy on the tube is nice to look at and probably a conversation-starter! The gloss is a very sheer raspberry-mauvey-pink color with a good bit of fine, iridescent glitter. There is pretty strong scent that I don't find very pleasant - I can't place it, but it's sort of sweet & nutty, LOL.  The consistency is a little sticky, but not annoyingly so. I'd like it more if I could get past the smell.

Urban Decay Pocket Rocket gloss in Doug

 Doug swatched on my hand

Next up is Smashbox's Lip-Enhancing Gloss in Pout. The color is a pale "retro" pink - I'm not sure if I'll be able to wear this one without putting something under it. The color is pretty sheer, but what you do get is pale - very pale. There is a very, very fine shimmer to it also. The consistency doesn't seem to be sticky at all. I think I detect a slight 'cinnamon' scent to it.

Smashbox Lip-Enhancing Gloss in Pout

 Pout swatched on my hand (if you look closely, you can see a pink stain to the right & just below Pout - this is the stain left from Benefit's Poseytint in Poppy Pink!)

The last one is Tarte's Danny & Sandy lipgloss duo. The colors appear extremely bright in the tube - Danny looks almost cherry/candy apple red, and Sandy is just a bit lighter with lots of fine, silvery shimmer. If you look very, very closely at Danny, you can see that it also has a lot of shimmer, but it's almost exactly the same color as the gloss (maybe with just a hint of gold?). I'm not a big fan of Tarte glosses because they're pretty sticky. I can't get enough of the gloss out of the tube to determine the scent, but it doesn't seem to be unpleasant.

 Tarte Double-Ended Lipgloss in Danny & Sandy (Danny is the open one)

 Danny swatched on my hand

 Tarte Double-Ended Lipgloss in Danny & Sandy (Sandy is the open one)

Sandy swatched on my hand

Overall, the sampler was definitely worth $25 - but there are only a couple of the glosses that I would consider purchasing again.

Sephora's Give Me Some Lip review, pt. 1

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sephora introduced a cute little lipgloss 'sampler' for Valentine's Day, and of course, I couldn't resist!

 the front of the box

the back of the box, listing the contents

 the goodies inside the box!

Rather than try to review all 7 products in one post, I'm just going to tackle 4 of them today. First - the Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips lip plumper in April. It's a beautiful shade of sheer carnation pink (my favorite color!) with a fair amount of fine sparkles. The consistency isn't too sticky, but I did find it a little difficult to apply evenly with the applicator brush. I ended up having to smooth it out with a different lip brush. The scent is a bit like vanilla. This product does contain menthone glycerin acetal, which is basically menthol. And boy can you feel it! I experienced significant stinging (not uncomfortable, but noticeable) for a couple of hours. I didn't really notice any change in my lips - but I use Lip Fusion regularly, so I don't know that I'd see a difference. It does contain other actives that could produce plumping over time. I'm guessing if I used this regularly, I would have issues with dryness & flaking due to the menthol.

BE Buxom Lips lip plumper in April
April swatched on the back of my hand

The next product is Laura Mercier lipgloss in Rose. This is a deep rose color that is sheer, but definitely offers some color, too. It has some very fine shimmery glitter & the consistency is fairly creamy - not sticky at all. The scent is a little like vanilla Playdoh, which was not very pleasant to my nose, LOL.  

Laura Mercier lipgloss in Rose
Rose swatched on the back of my hand

Next up is Korres Mango Butter Lipstick w/ spf 10 in Pink 14. I think the color is very similar to the Laura Mercier lipgloss in Rose and it also has the same fine shimmer. The difference is that this product is a bit more sheer and a little less glossy - but it still has some gloss. I guess the scent is mango butter - but I'm not sure, LOL. It's not an unpleasant scent. The consistency of the mango butter lipsticks is lovely - very creamy, not sticky. I like them a lot.

Korres Mango Butter Lipstick w/ spf 10 in Pink 14
Pink 14 swatched on the back of my hand

The last lippie I'm going to review today is Benefit's Posietint in Poppy Pink. This is a really pretty coral-pink. The consistency reminds me of MAC's See-Thru Lip Color (from the Rose Romance Collection 2009). It has almost a watery consistency, so that once it's on the lips & dries, it doesn't feel like there is anything on your lips. And it definitely leaves a stain behind, so beware! I swatched the color on my hand early in the day and 10 hours later, even through doing laundry, washing dishes, and washing my hands several times - the pink stain is still there. Think light cherry Kool-aid stain and you'll have the picture! I like the feel of gloss on my lips, so I'd have to top this with something else - and I'm not sure how I feel about having my lips stained. Although I always wear a lipliner, so I'm guessing I wouldn't have much staining. There isn't any shimmer/glitter in this product.
Benefit's Posietint in Poppy Pink
Poppy Pink swatched on the back of my hand

Have you tried any of these? Did you like them? 

Run to!

They have some really cute Anne Klein shoes on sale!! Some as low as $11.85!!
Anne Klein Mcluen - orig, $79, sale $11.85

Anne Klein Lavine - orig. $79, sale $11.85

Anne Klein Dugan - orig. $79, sale $11.85

Tons of other styles, too!! They sell out quickly, so hurry if you're interested!! 

Happy National Banana Bread Day!!

I love banana bread, but who knew it had it's own day??!! That totally rocks.
National Banana Bread Day!
 I don't really have a favorite banana bread recipe - at least not one that makes me say "OMG, I have to make that banana nut bread, it is just sooooooo good". However, I do have a 'healthy" version that I think is really good (but my family hates - which is okay because that means there is more for me). The original recipe can be found here.

Banana Blueberry Muffins
3 lg. bananas, mashed
1-1/4 c. blueberries
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleaches white flour
1 large egg
1/3 c. Smart Balance
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
8 TBSP. agave nectar 

Mash ripe bananas and add lightly beaten egg. Add softened Smart Balance and agave nectar - mix well, Stir in blueberries. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients - then gently stir into wet mix. Place in lightly greased muffin tins (or use liners). Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

If you prefer not to use eggs, I have substituted 1 TBSP. soy flour & 1 TBSP. water, and that works well.

If you have a wonderful banana nut bread recipe, I'd love to have it!

My own little margarita party...

Monday, February 22, 2010

So in honor of National Margarita Day, I made Bahamaritas this evening. They're delicious - I'm on #3 right now, so if there are typos, blame the tequila.

We used to have a Bahama Breeze restaurant here, but it closed a couple of years ago, much to my chagrin. I loved their Bahamaritas. Sigh. Once again, something I loved, discontinued. Story of my life. Luckily, the Bahama Breeze website has the recipe! Yay!!

Now I will warn you - this recipe is not for the faint of heart. It requires some serious tequila dedication because there are a lot of steps & a lot of prep work - not to mention clean-up. I recommend putting the clean-up off until you've had your first Bahamarita - after that, it just doesn't seem quite so bad.

Here is the link to the recipe.

And here are some pics of my Bahamarita adventure:

assembling the ingredients...alas, the store was out of mangoes

 the most important ingredient - TEQUILA!!

 kiwi ice

 strawberry ice

frozen margaritas!
 BAHAMARITA!! (and the glass was a gift from Kathy!)

Now let me tell you how I tweaked their recipe. First, my store was out of mangoes, so I couldn't make the mango ice. Not a biggie - I just made the kiwi & strawberry ices & moved on. I recommend adding a bit of tequila to them - otherwise, they just water down your drink. The recipe isn't really clear on amounts for the fruit. I used two kiwis with 2 oz. of simple syrup and put the frozen concoction machine on the "2 drinks" setting. For the strawberries, I used about 10 berries, 2 oz. of syrup, and the "2 drinks" setting. For the margarita mix, I used 2 oranges, 3 limes, and two extra-large lemons - 8 oz. of simple syrup - and the "3 drinks" setting. I found that there was too much liquid, so it wasn't thick enough. Next time, I would probably use half of the liquid & the same setting/ice. If you like your drink more tart than sweet, I would decrease the amount of simple syrup. For tequila, I used 4 shots - use more or less to taste.  :-)

Very yummy! And if my husband wasn't such a (insert favorite insulting name here)...he would've had a drink or two and I wouldn't have to drink them all by myself. I'm off to the kitchen for #4...

If any of the above is illegible or unclear, please contact me tomorrow (preferably after noon) and I will attempt to make sense of it. Thank you and Happy Margarita Day.


Monday's Meal 2/22/10

This Monday's meal isn't really a meal - although if you poured milk over it, it could be breakfast! Today I made granola - and my son had to eat some before I could even get it completely cooled, LOL! It's really simple to make:

some of the granola ingredients

Homemade Granola
4 c. rolled oats (not instant)
1-1.5 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/ tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. cooking oil
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. raisins

Mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
In a saucepan, warm oil, honey, and vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture, and mix gently until blended. Spread the granola mix on a 15X10X1 baking pan, and bake 40 minutes at 300 degrees - stirring mixture every 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool, and mix in raisins. Store in an airtight container.

You can add just about anything you want to the granola. I added ground flax seed, walnuts, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, and extra raisins to my mix.

Also, if you prefer your granola to be chewier, you can let it air dry rather than bake it in the oven. If you dry your granola, you can add fruit any time - if you bake it, you should wait until after the granola is baked & cooled before adding fruit.

oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon
oil, honey, & vanilla
dry mixture - oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, walnuts, & almonds
wet & dry ingredients mixed - granola ready to be baked
baked granola at the cooling stage
the finished product!

If you try it, let me know!