Sleepy kitty...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Awww...isn't he cute? For those of you who don't remember from my previous posts, this is Angus - but we call him Goosey. He's a funny cat. He doesn't like to be held - but when he wants to be petted, he will rub all over you and pester you until you pet him. If you don't pet him or if you stop petting him before he's ready for you to stop, he'll nip you with his teeth. He's the alpha cat of the house. He has mastered the aloof look that says "you are a lowly human and I only tolerate you because you control the food". He thinks that he is a tiger - a big tough jungle cat.

Well..let's see the rest of the picture...

Yes, that's right - this tough jungle cat likes to sleep in his mommy's chair - on a pillow & pink Snuggie. He loves my pink Snuggie. When he saw me get it out the other day, he jumped up in my chair to lay on it. If I leave the room, when I come back, he'll be laying in the chair on the pink snuggie.

I'm sure he has some other "excuse" - like he's keeping my chair warm - but trust me, it's all about the pink Snuggie.

I think I'm going to buy him a leopard-print Snuggie for Christmas.  :-)

What a waste of money...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I don't usually get too upset over products that I don't like, but these really, really annoyed me!

Have you tried the new Downy with scent pearls? I love Downy's original "April Fresh" scent. I've used it for over 20 years because I love it so much. Heck, I even buy the 197 load bottles. That's why I was so upset over my last purchase. The bottle said "NEW", and next to that, it said "with scent pearls". The fragrance was listed lower on the label - and it said "April Fresh" - no "new" beside it. So I assumed that the scent was the same & the only thing new was that they had added scent pearls. WRONG. This stuff doesn't even remotely smell like Downy's original April Fresh scent. It smells so bad that it made my laundry room & kitchen stink. And it's one of those scents that makes me want to gag. Even Buddy (who never notices anything) came upstairs and said, "What's that nasty smell?" - actually I think his language was a bit more colorful, but I'm paraphrasing here.

I emailed Downy customer service, and to their credit, they did send me a coupon for a free container of Downy. I hope it's good on the 197 load size since that's what I'm replacing - the coupon does say "any size". So I hope I can find one of the "old" bottles. But I wasn't pleased that they didn't admit to changing the scent. They just said "we added scent pearls - you may want to use less or try our fragrance-free version". Well, they may have added scent pearls, but they weren't APRIL FRESH scent pearls. And the original April Fresh scent is the reason I use the product, so no, I don't want the fragrance-free version. Seriously - if they discontinue the original scent, I will buy another brand. I'm still trying to get over the fact that they discontinued the lavender scent, which was my favorite for sheets.

And then, I opened up the Tarte emphasEYES eyeliner that I got at the end of May - and it was completely dried out!! I only used it a few times and it was stored tightly capped. It's so dried out that it's cracked! WTF?? I can probably add some eyeliner sealant to it to rejuvenate it, but who wants to mess with that? And I shouldn't have to, should I? So this liner probably only lasted 2-3 months because it's obviously been dried up for awhile. I definitely won't purchase any more of these!

That dent you see in the liner is where I pushed as hard as I could with the handle of an eyeshadow brush - it barely dented the stuff!

And while I'm on the subject of products that don't work well/I don't like - there's the Murad Essential-C Eye Cream. I got a sample of it at some point - I assume from Sephora - and decided to give it a try. It has a fairly thick consistency & is a little greasy - but the worse part is the smell. Ewwww! It had a date on it, and it wasn't expired, so I guess this is how it's supposed to smell. It reminds me of dry cat food. Not on my list of favorite scents. In the end, it didn't matter, because my super-sensitive eyes didn't like the stuff anyway. I ended up with eczema everywhere I applied it.

Needless to say, I won't be repurchasing.  :-)

Pet Peeves

Monday, October 25, 2010

You know those things that aren't really that big of a deal, but for some reason, annoy you tremendously? Yeah - your pet peeves. I encountered one of mine today and that made me start thinking about the other things that bug me...

1) Ungroomed eyebrows - when women who have dark eyebrows take/post close-ups of their eyes and they haven't groomed their brows, it doesn't matter how pretty the eye shadow looks, I can't see past all the dark hairs that need to be plucked.

2) Dirty feet - I actually gag a little when I see people in sandals or flip-flops and their feet are dirty. It's even worse if they need a pedicure - and trust me, if their feet are dirty, they always need a pedicure, too.

3) People who get into line and aren't prepared. Do not get into the drive-thru line at the bank if you don't have your deposit/withdrawal slips ready!! Do not get into line at the post office if you don't have your package(s) taped & labeled!!

4) People who cough all over the place - or who cover their mouth with their hand & then proceed to use that hand to touch everything in sight. I'm not a germaphobe, but damn...

5) Waitresses (or waiters) who don't ask me if I'd like dessert before bringing me the check. Even if I don't want dessert, I like to be asked. Hello? If I buy dessert, my bill will be more - and if my bill is more, you're going to get a larger tip. If you don't bother to ask me - I'm going to tip 15% (or less, if the service also sucked) instead of my usual 20% or more.

What are some of your pet peeves?

Great magazine deals! Until MN tonight!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Publication Station is offering 33 magazines, each at $2.99/year!!! There is quite a selection, so you're sure to be able to find something for yourself - and/or to give as a gift! I've ordered through them many times & have never had any problems. I find them to be much more efficient than (although I use them, too).
(these are all clickable links!)



Subscribers only over the age of 21.


Yeah, yeah, I know. The movie came out last year. And the DVD came out in January. And the Netflix DVD has been sitting in my living room since July. But I'm just now getting around to watching it. Oops.

You know I love vampire movies. Well, except for those Twilight flicks. This movie isn't about pretty, sparkly vampires in love. This movie has a few nasty-looking creatures and gets pretty gory.

In a nutshell: most people are vampires, and the human population has dwindled. Blood is in short supply and no one has been able to make a synthetic product that works. (Apparently, they've never heard of Tru:Blood.) Ethan Hawke plays a vampire hematologist who is trying to create a synthetic blood product - but the company he works for doesn't really want a synthetic product. He eventually meets up with a group of humans and discovers a way to "cure" vampirism. But of course, not everyone wants to be cured. Mayhem, blood, & gore soon follow.

It was okay. It held my attention, but I'm glad I didn't pay to see it in the theater. It was a good movie to watch when I didn't have anything else to do, LOL. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Grey smoky eye

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My everyday version of a grey smoky eye...

What are your favorite grey shadows?

Random ramblings...

Friday, October 22, 2010

I had my annual eye exam the other day, and my dilated eyes were making me laugh, so of course, I had to take a picture. Please ignore the messy eyeliner/eye shadow - it's hard to look good after they've put 3 different kinds of drops in your eyes.  ;-)

Between the dilated pupil and brown eye shadow, my eyes definitely look grayish-green - and there isn't a dark ring around the outside edge of the iris. I only noticed this because I was looking at pictures of my eyes with purple shadow and they look very blue with a little green - and there is definitely a dark blue ring around the outer edge of the iris, LOL. See? I'm not wearing any contact lenses in either picture and the pictures were taken one day apart.

I'm amused by the oddest things.  :-)

Freebies & deals

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Who doesn't love getting free stuff? I sign up for free samples all of the time. Sometimes I use the samples to see if I like a product - and sometimes they're samples of things I know I like, so I save them to throw in my toiletry bag when traveling.

One of the places I use for my freebies is All You. You can sign up for a daily reminder email, or you can just go directly to the website. I tend to get busy & forget, so I'm signed up for the daily reminder. They have a different freebie each day - and you can check previous days to see if the offer for those days are still available. See the freebies here.

They also have a blog that lists other freebies on the internet.

Other places I check for freebies:

One of the places I like to shop for deals on makeup is Most of the time, the products are things that were limited editions or have been discontinued - but the mark-downs are fabulous. They have special sales that are only announced to those who receive their emails, so be sure to sign up for that.

And don't forget Sephora's Friends & Family 20% off promotion!! Rumor has it that the sale is starting Oct. 21 (which is tomorrow, but I'm not posting this until tomorrow, so it's really today to you, LOL). I don't know the code yet, but as soon as I know, I'll edit this to show it.

Edited to add: The Sephora sale has started!! 20% off through Nov. 3 with code FF2010. Happy shopping!!

Clio & Erato have Espresso...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another basic everyday eye in neutral browns. I think I should've made the liner a bit thicker along my upper lashline, but I was too lazy to go back & fix it, LOL. I used a couple of Meow Cosmetics' shadows from their new Sunless Sea collection - Clio & Erato (love them both!) - and MAC's Espresso.

If you haven't tried any of Meow's new shadows, I really recommend these:
Sunless Sea - Clio, Erato, Thalia, Calliope
Shattered Equinox - Melancholy
Halloween Zombies - Evil Eye (only available through 10/31)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gus & I went to see "Red" on Friday. Loved it!! I love action movies - especially when there is comedy involved.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I really, really like Bruce Willis. I was a diehard (pun intended, LOL) fan of Moonlighting back in the 80's. He plays Frank Moses, a retired black-ops agent who lives in the suburbs of Cleveland and is attempting to pursue a relationship with Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) in a very interesting way.

The government (or someone??) decides that Frank and his old crew (John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, & Helen Mirren) know too much and tags them RED - retired, extremely dangerous - which means they are to be eliminated.

Now who doesn't get a chuckle out of the crazy characters that John Malkovich plays? You won't be disappointed with his character, Marvin, in this movie. Helen Mirren & Morgan Freeman both play characters that are a far cry from their usual - and they play then well. Karl Urban (he played Bones in the most recent Star Trek movie) plays one of the FBI agents who is after the group.

There are several other stars that you'll probably recognize in this movie - Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dreyfuss, Julian McMahon, James Remar...

So if you like action & comedy, I think you'll like this movie. The plot lags a little from time to time, but overall, it's fast-paced and full of action. Two thumbs up!!

Monday's Meal

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gus & I went out to lunch last weekend and the restaurant had the most delicious gumbo I've ever tasted. That's when I decided that I really needed to learn to make my own gumbo.

I scoured the internet looking for recipes, comparing ingredients, etc. - and this is the one I decided to try. I tweaked the original recipe a little - we like thicker gumbo, so I decreased the liquid; and we also like just a little rice in the gumbo rather than serving the gumbo over rice. I was pleased with the results!

Chicken Gumbo

1/2 c. Smart Balance cooking oil
1/2 c. flour
1 large Vidalia onion, small dice
3 stalks celery, small dice
1 green pepper, medium dice
1 red pepper, medium dice
1 yellow pepper, medium dice
6 c. chicken stock
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 c. okra, sliced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cooked & shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 TBSP. dried basil
1/2 TBSP. dried oregano
1/2 TBSP. dried thyme
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 TBSP. dried parsley
1 c. Minute Rice

1) Heat oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat and add flour. Cook and stir until mixture is the color of an old penny.
2) Add onion, celery, & peppers. Cook for several minutes until they begin to "weep" and are fragrant.
3) Add chicken stock slowly while stirring ,and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender - about 20 minutes.
4) Add tomatoes and simmer another 10 minutes.
5) Add chicken, okra, rice, and all seasonings.
6) Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

(adapted from this recipe by Anne Coleman) 

I couldn't find my usual cornbread recipe, so I used this recipe instead. This one is pretty good, but I think I like the other one better.

Green smoky eye

Sunday, October 17, 2010

As I've mentioned in the past, I rarely wear green eyeshadow because it just never seems to look good with my eye & skin color. I did a green smoky eye hoping that would work, but I'm still not totally pleased with the color. Maybe I just need different shades of green. I think these greens are too close to my eye color to really do anything to enhance my eyes. But I'm going to share the look because it might work for someone else.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

This is a public service announcement - if you haven't had your blood pressure checked lately, please do it ASAP!!

I've been on blood pressure meds for over 10 years, but until recently I only took 25mg of Atenolol (which is a very low dose). Over the past 5 years, I've had a lot of major stress in my life - my grandfather (who was like my father) died & I was the executor of his estate, my father died, we moved, and both of my children graduated from high school. Even though I knew better, I put off going to the doctor again and again - and before I knew it, 3 years had passed.

I would have no doubt put if off even longer, but they wouldn't refill my blood pressure meds anymore without a visit. So off I went to the doctor. It wasn't pretty. My blood pressure was 160/110. I then spent the next 3 months going back to the doctor over & over again - trying different meds - and getting checked. He kept asking me if I had any "symptoms" - headache (I always have headaches), dizziness, blurred vision, etc. - and I kept telling him "no". The one thing I did tell him is that my hands, feet, & face felt puffy when I woke up in the morning - every day. And that my weight would fluctuate as much as 4lbs. in one day.

Finally, we hit upon the right combination of meds and my blood pressure is staying in the 120/80 range. But guess what? I feel like a different person. I feel so much better - just an occasional headache, more energy, no pressure in my ears, no more "puffy" feeling - and some of those things I didn't even realize I was experiencing. I think the symptoms just came on gradually, and I just starting accepting them as the way I normally felt. I forgot what it felt like to "feel good". I'm now taking Avalide 300/25 (300mg of Avapro, 25mg of hydrochlorothiazide).

Here's a couple of pictures to show you the "puffiness". These pictures were taken just about 2 months apart.



What a difference, huh?

So please - make a trip to your doctor for a check-up at least once a year. Don't put off taking care of yourself because you're too busy taking care of everyone else. What would happen to them if something happened to you?


Friday, October 15, 2010

A few great deals going on right now:

- additional 30% off all final sale items using code MUSTHAVE; valid thru Oct. 18
(just remember that final sale items cannot be returned or exchanged)
- free shipping on all orders $150 & over

- spend $25 and get a set of 30 gift tags/calling cards or mommy cards
- spend $40 and get a set of note cards and a luggage tag 
- spend $75+ and get a set of note cards, 60 address labels and a purse pack of memo sheets!
No coupon necessary, just include your design choice for your free item(s) and personalization and we'll take care of the rest. Hurry, this offer is valid through Sunday, Oct 17th. (spend amount calculated after any discounts & before s/h is applied).

- some really great doorbuster deals valid through 1pm, Sat., Oct. 16
- extra 20% off w/ code R20PERKS for two days online, Sun. Oct. 17 & Mon. Oct. 18
- extra 20% in-store Sun., Oct. 17 11am-8pm w/ coupon (click here to print)

Cool Halloween cupcakes

Why make something as common as Jack-o-Lantern or ghost cupcakes? Make NOMSKULLS instead!! These are soooo cool! LOL!

For around $12-13, you get 4 silicone skull cupcake molds. Unfortunately, I've checked all of the places online that are supposed to sell these - and they're all "out of stock". Some sites said "coming in October" - so maybe as it gets closer to Halloween, they'll be available.


Perpetual Kid

Pop Deluxe

Another smoky eye...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yes, I've been playing with my makeup again...

I'm not sure how well I like these colors together, but I didn't notice anyone pointing & whispering, so it must've been okay.  :-)

Bacardi Silver Sangria

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I love a good sangria. My favorite is the berry sangria at Olive Garden - or the one I make at home using the Olive Garden concentrate.

Gus saw some Bacardi Silver Sangria at the liquor store and thought we might like it. He gets points for trying - but Bacardi loses.

Ew. Ick. Save your money.

This stuff is really nasty.

If you mix it with Sprite, it tastes much better - but it's nothing like the "real" thing.

Did I mention that this stuff is nasty??


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Did any of you see Jane Lynch on SNL this past weekend? I love Jane Lynch!!

And who knew she could sing?? They really need to have Sue sing on Glee!!

Baby ducks

Monday, October 11, 2010

Remember the baby ducks that I blogged about a few months ago? We would see them with their mama, waddling through the yard, going from pond to pond. So cute!

These four seem to have made our street their "home". They make their rounds to all of the houses, but I think we're the ones who feed them the most. When they see one of us, they will waddle as fast as they can to our yard.

We started out by feeding them in the yard. Then we moved to the sidewalk, and then the porch. At first, they were pretty timid and wouldn't get too close. Now they will walk right up to us and even eat from our hands. I'm pretty sure they even recognize my voice since I talk to them while I feed them.

I'm pretty sure that these ducks are the babies of the female black duck & male mallard that we've seen together every year since we moved here. Female black ducks are very similar to female mallards, except that black ducks have a blue spot on their wings and a greenish bill, while female mallards lack the blue and have an orange & brown bill.

From the looks of these "babies", there are three females and one male. And that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about ducks, LOL!

Here's a video of me talking to them on the porch:

Help me find these ankle boots!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I love, love, love these ankle boots from JCrew. Well, except for the cork platform (eww!) and the $250 price tag. Has anyone seen similar boots for a better price? I love the little platform, but I hate cork, so I need something without the cork - and I love the heels on these, so I want something with similar heels.


Edited to add: I checked Piperlime, DSW, JCPenney, Kohl's, & Zappos. No luck yet!

Found these at for $49.95, but I don't like the sole, and the suede is too "rough":

Taste of the Levee

I've been a slacker this past week. Sorry! I was under the weather all week, blah, blah, blah. I promise to be better about blogging!!

Last weekend, Gus, Buddy, & I went to "Taste of the Levee" - it's the usual "taste" event - there were booths set up by all of the establishments that serve food/drinks at the Levee. Although there are several restaurants that I like here, I was not overly impressed by their offerings that day. I tried a pulled pork slider, grilled shrimp (spicy & yummy - hot off the grill!), fish taco, cheese curds (ick!), and bread pudding. I was most impressed by the blackberry wine offered by StoneBrook Winery - I wonder what that says about me?  :-)

We really like the Levee - the view is fantastic and there are a lot of fun things to do. It's a neat place to hang out - have a few drinks, dinner, see a movie - or do a pub crawl.  :-)