Summer festival

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gus & I went to one of the local church festivals this past weekend. I'll be honest - we haven't been to one for about 15 years. The parish we used to live in always had their festival the last weekend in July - when it was sweltering hot. And everything was on black asphalt, which made it even hotter. Plus it always seemed that we had to be out of town that weekend. So I think we took the kids once when they were little & that was the end of that, LOL.

Since the weather was so gorgeous last weekend (and my sciatica was keeping to a minimum), we thought it would be a good time to help out one of the local parishes and eat some festival food, LOL!

I can't believe I forgot to take pictures of the food!! We shared a burger from some place I can't remember the name of, LOL - it was pretty good. We also shared a Reuben from Izzy's - yum, yum, & more yum!! And we also shared a slice of pizza from one of the local pizza places that we had never tried - ick - won't be trying it again. I also had a frozen lime margarita, but I didn't share that. :-)

We walked around for awhile, checking out the kiddie rides, games, and  pony rides.

Gus decided to ty his hand at the golf game. If you made a hole-in-one (without banking), you got to split-the-pot. When we left, the pot was up to almost $90. Gus came close a couple of times - too bad it was golf & not horseshoes. :-)

Before we left, I told Gus he should buy $4 worth of pull-offs. You can see him making his purchase in the picture. We each took 8 cards, and after I had pulled 6 of mine without winning anything, I told him that he was no longer allowed to choose the pull-off cards since he only picked losing cards. Then I pulled the 7th card and won $25!! LOL!! I swear he planned that just so he could make me eat my words. :-)

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind foundation

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I really like Maybelline's Super Stay foundation (True Beige), but it's a little heavy - especially for summer. Plus the color only works if I'm sporting a fairly dark medium tan. I wear Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 (Sand) a lot in the summer, but sometimes, it's not quite enough. So I thought I'd give Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment makeup a try.

As you can see, it has a funky domed sponge applicator tip (similar to a flocked makeup sponge), and you turn the maroon collar to dispense the makeup into the applicator (like some lipglosses). Supposedly, this applicator will help "erase" lines. I assume it does this by keeping too much makeup from getting into facial lines. Does it work? Eh. Not impressed. For me, it just seemed to take the makeup right off my face, leaving very little behind.

The label says that the product offers SPF 18 and super-concentrated goji berry & collagen (supposed to tighten & improve skin's elasticity). I can't say for sure whether it works or not because I didn't use it enough to see a change.

I purchased 190 Nude - and that color does work well with a very light sunless tan (like I have in the winter). But it's too light for my summer sunless tan. There is just a very faint fragrance to the product - it's not horrible & does dissipate quickly. It also has a nice texture/consistency - but it is just too sheer for me. It's even more sheer than the LM Tinted Moisturizer.

However - all is not lost! The Maybelline Super Stay foundation that I find too heavy & dark works wonderfully well in summer when mixed 50/50 with the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind, which is too sheer & light. It's a really  nice consistency and gives medium coverage. I do find that my face tends to get a little oilier after a few hours with the Instant Age Rewind added, but a little IFP pearl powder or powdered mineral makeup takes care of that.

Are you wondering how I mix the two foundations together when the Age Rewind has a domed covered top? It's easy. I just twist the maroon color until a pea-sized amount of the foundation appears on the applicator, then I use my finger to remove it. I have a small glass rice dish that I use for mixing makeup - so I just put that in the bowl, then add about the same amount of the Super Stay!

New movie reviews!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Hangover, Part II - Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zack Galifianakis, Justin BarTHA, Ken Jeong. Oh. My. Goodness. If you liked the first Hangover movie, chances are that you'll like this one, too. Same raunchy humor, same funny guys. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Bridesmaids - Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper. Seriously - this may be one of the best movies of all time. I absolutely loved it - and so did Gus. It's definitely not just a chick flick. Do yourself a favor - go see it. 5 out of 5 stars!

X-Men: First Class - James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon. Are you a fan of X-Men? Marvel Comics? If so, you'll probably enjoy this movie. I liked it a lot. There are some discrepancies between this movie and some of the other X-Men movies, but you can either let it bug you or let it go - I just let it go, LOL. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Payless haul!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In case you didn't know, I love shoes.

Payless and I have a love/hate relationship. Sometimes, I go in the store and can't find a thing that I would wear - other times, I love everything. Recently, Lulu was  looking for some inexpensive fancy black heels to wear to a wedding - so we hit the two closest Payless stores. She found shoes she liked, but neither store had her size. I didn't see anything that I liked (for me) at either of the stores - which was a bummer because it was during their BOGO 1/2 off and I had a 20% off coupon on my iPhone. Grrr...

One of the store managers was nice enough to call another store (about 20 miles away) to have them hold the shoes Lulu wanted (since they had her size). So off we went to this other Payless store. I had never been there before - but I was pleasantly surprised. They had shoes I had never seen at the other stores! Lulu got two pairs of dressy pumps and I bought 3 pairs of shoes for myself and a pair of sandals for her.

Check these out!!

These are mine - plus I bought sandals for Lulu - total $43.65!!

I couldn't pass up these classic navy pumps for $6 - total $4.80 with the coupon!! Even thought they're faux suede, they're really cute & I'll probably wear them with jeans.

I fell in love with these when they first came out a few months ago - but I didn't buy them because they weren't on sale. I'm so glad I waited - I only paid $5.60 for them with the coupon!!

I don't usually like gladiator sandals, but these caught my eye right away. I love pewter metallic and the straps on these are so delicate that the whole look is very feminine. They do tend to rub on the outer edge of my little toe if I walk in them a lot, but I really love them. $17.60 with the coupon!!

Don't you love that pewter metallic??!!

Sun Safety

Monday, June 20, 2011

You guys know I'm a huge believer in sun safety - so I wanted to remind you all to practice "safe sun"!! I recently purchased Sephora's Sun Safety kit, and inside was a little card with The Skin Cancer Foundation's Prevention Guidelines - I thought I'd share them here.

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths. (Use a bronzer or self-tanner as a safe alternative)
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
  • Apply 1 oz. (2 TBSP) total of sunscreen to all exposed areas, 30 minutes before going outside. Re-apply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin from head-to-toe once every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
This information was on the back of the card:
Sun is the #1 cause of Skin Aging.

Don't kid yourself - no matter how much you love it, the sun does not always love you back. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, 90 percent of all premature skin aging and skin cancers are caused by sun exposure.

Protect yourself by using an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 sunscreen or higher year-round, over (or in) your moisturizer in the morning. Use a powder with SPF 15+ to touch up throughout the day and look for products that help protect often missed areas such as the lips. To learn more go to

(above info from Sephora/ sun safety pocketguide)

The Sun Safety Kit is pretty cool - and it's a great way to try a lot of different sunscreens, etc. Unfortunately, it's out of stock now, so remember to order early next year! This year's kit contained:
- 0.03 oz Bare Escentuals bareMinerals SPF 25 Mineral Veil
- 0.5 oz Boscia Oil-free Daily Hydration SPF 15
- 0.5 oz DDF Mattifying Oil Control SPF 15
- 0.7 oz Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30
- 0.5 oz Ole Henriksen Fresh Lips SPF 15
- 0.5 oz Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Defense Moisture Lotion SPF 30
- 0.4 oz Philosophy Hope Oil Free SPF 30
- 0.23 oz Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 60 PA +++
- 0.25 oz Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 15 With Dermaxyl Complex
- 0.33 oz Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30+
- 0.4 oz Supergoop! SPF 30 Sunscreen Swipe with Zinc for Sensitive Skin
- 0.5 oz TanTowel Plus Self-Tan Towelette For Face & Body
- Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Mini Flawless Application Brush
- Beach Tote

I'm working my way through them & will post reviews when I'm finished. Of the ones I've tried so far, my favorite (for my face) is the Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion. I like the Boscia Oil-free Daily Hydration, too, but it has a slightly funky smell (like ashes/charcoal) and tends to make my face a little greasy after 3-4 hours.

I also got a cool wide-brimmed hat from Kohl's - it was on sale for around $15 and it's packable, which I love.

What are you doing for sun safety?

Festa Italiana 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Last weekend, Gus and I made our annual visit to the Italian Festival. The weather was gorgeous - sunny with a nice breeze - and it wasn't too crowded. When we arrived, a band was playing the Tarantella:

There were a couple of new restaurants this year, but I wasn't overly impressed with their offerings. What did impress me was a delicious prime rib cannelloni!! Delizioso!! Seriously melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The frozen margaritas weren't bad either. Wait - margaritas. Those aren't Italian...oh, well...

And of course, the cannoli. Mmmmmmm!!! I managed somehow to limit myself to just one small one...but I admit, I did have two margaritas, LOL!

And here's Gus & me enjoying the beautiful weather...

Health update

Friday, June 17, 2011

For those of you who may be wondering, I did have surgery on May 20. My neurosurgeon discovered on my second MRI that the disc between my 3rd & 4th cervical vertebrae was completely gone and the bone spurs that had formed from the disc were really large and pinching the nerve - so surgery was the only option to stabilize my spine and relieve the pain. He took a piece of bone from my left hip and placed it between the 3rd and 4th vertebrae, and over time, that will fuse.

I'm really lucky in that I have a wonderful neurosurgeon that I trust implicitly. Back in 1989, when I worked at the hospital (where I had both surgeries), I always noted that his patients had smaller incisions, needed less pain meds, and had quicker recovery times - so there was no doubt in my mind who would do my surgery - both in 1989 and 2011.

My surgery took about an hour, and when I woke up in recovery around 9:00 am, I was completely awake - no grogginess, no nausea. I had some pain, but it was tolerable. When I left recovery (on a stretcher), I was taken to a room on the neurosurgical floor - and I was able to get off the stretcher & walk (well, okay, limp, LOL) to my bed. My nurse was awesome - she kept me supplied with Sierra Mist & Lorna Doone cookies. :-)

I was able to tolerate my pain with just one Percocet, even though I was allowed to have a pain shot. After dinner, around 6pm, I was able to go home!! How awesome is that??!! Some of the nurses were even surprised that I wasn't staying overnight. Seriously, I owe it all to my surgeon.

So now, I'm about 4 weeks post-op and I'm doing pretty well. I still have to wear the soft cervical collar when I'm in the car or doing something that requires a lot of bending, but other than that, I really don't have any restrictions. The first couple of weeks, I had to take a nap everyday, which was a huge change for me - I never nap unless I'm really sick, LOL. But so far this week, I haven't had a nap. I'm able to do things that I haven't done for 6 months - which is really nice. I still have some weakness in my right arm, but building up the strength will take time. I also get muscle spasms occasionally, so I have to be aware of how much I do and try not to overdo it.

One of the best parts is that my incision is pretty much unnoticeable. The surgeon cut into one of the creases on my neck, and now that the swelling & bruising are gone, I don't even have to use concealer on it!! Yay!!

Unfortunately, I'm still having problems with my lower back, and pain/numbness/tingling in my left leg and foot. I start back to therapy next week, so I hope that will help. As well as this surgery went, I do not want to have more surgery any time soon!

So that's pretty much it. Thank y'all so much for all of the prayers, get well wishes, cards, & emails. They were much appreciated!!

11 things never to say to a man you love...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I saw this in a recent issue of Redbook magazine (actually Gus found it & showed it to me, LOL!) and thought it was absolutely hilarious (and true!!) - so I thought I'd share it here:

11 Things Never To Say To A Man You Love
  1. I can't wait to see what you're doing for my birthday.
  2. Are you... crying?
  3. If we leave right now, we'll have time to stop by Bed Bath & Beyond.
  4. Do you need help lighting the grill?
  5. I'm putting this whole conversation on my blog.
  6. You had so much hair back then!
  7. I don't care how big and drunk he is, he shouldn't be talking through the movie. I'm going to say something.
  8. Actually, it doesn't happen to every guy.
  9. We're vegetarians now.
  10. My dad can fix that; you should call him.
  11. You know why.
(compiled by Troy Patee of, Shawn Burns of, and Aaron Traister of

C'mon, be honest - how many of these have you said?? I have definitely said #3, #5, #6, #7, and #11!!! LOL!!

Pattern & Palette giveaway!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oh my gosh. I love, love, love David Bromstad. From the first time I saw him on HGTV's Design Star, I have loved all of his work. Love, love, love his show, Color Splash, too. What I wouldn't give to have him come to my house to do a little decorating!!

Pattern & Palette is celebrating their one month anniversary with a giveaway. And that giveaway is one of David's prints!!!! Woot!! How cool is that?? Check out how to enter the giveaway here.

You can check out all of David's available work online here.

Movies on DVD - reviews!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Due Date - Robert Downey Jr. + Zach Galifianakis = hilarious!! I loved this movie!! Jamie Foxx is pretty funny, too. Definitely 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Knight and Day - Cameron Diaz & Tom Cruise. Blah. Didn't really like this one all that much. I'm very glad I didn't pay theater prices to see it. 2 out of 5 stars.

Killers - Katherine Heigl & Ashton Kutcher. Yes, it's kind of silly - but I thought it was really funny. Gus & I both enjoyed it. Loved Tom Selleck & Catherine O'Hara!! 4 out of 5 stars!

Love and Other Drugs - Anne Hathaway & Jake Gyllenhaal. I really wanted to like this, but I absolutely cannot bear to watch any movie that is sad. It could be the best movie in the world and I couldn't watch it. I made it about halfway through the movie before I just broke down & bawled my eyes out. We had to turn it off. So I really can't rate it - sorry!

Megamind - Will Ferrell & Tina Fey. Yep, another "silly" one, but Gus & I thought it was pretty funny. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

You Again - Kristen Bell, Jamie Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Betty White, & Odette Yustman. Kind of a chick flick, but funny enough that Gus enjoyed it, too. We both thought it was pretty funny. 4 out of 5 stars.

Little Fockers - Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Blythe Danner, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, & Teri Polo. I thought the other two "Focker" movies were hilarious & this one is no different. I can't even look at Robert DeNiro without laughing, LOL. If you liked the other ones, be sure to watch this one, too! 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Friday, June 3, 2011


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Who doesn't love a great deal?

If you haven't already signed up for a free Swagbucks account - do it now!!! (If you comment below or email me, I will send you a referral link - and then I earn Swagbucks, too!) If you use Swagbucks along with your regular search engine (I use Google), you earn free Swagbucks. Those Swagbucks can be converted into rewards!! My favorite is the $5 e-gift card for only 450 Swagbucks. I've been a member of Swagbucks for a little over a year, and I've earned $60 in e-gift cards - just by doing the normal searches that I would do anyway. You can also search for extra Swagbucks on their blog, etc., but I usually don't bother with that.

Also - if you haven't already signed up for Groupon - do that, too!! You can get all sorts of deals - most for 50% off or more. Don't worry if your city isn't listed - a lot of the stores are online, so you can redeem your deal online. I love to get Barnes & Noble and Old Navy for 50% off.

Today, you can combine both for a great deal!! Groupon has an Old Navy deal - you pay $10 for $20! This particular deal cannot be used online, but it can be used in any Old Navy store. For instance, if you purchase the Cincinnati deal, you can use the coupon at an Old Navy store in any other city/state, but not online. (Full details from Groupon: Offer is valid on purchases of $20 or more from June 2, 2011 or date received, through July 30, 2011 only at Old Navy stores in the U.S. and Canada. Valid only in country where purchased. Not valid online or on purchases of Collectibilitees, MLB®, NBA®, NHL®, NFL®, college team, jewelry, school uniform, Gerber®, or TechnoWorld merchandise. Limit 1 per person. Offer is good for one-time use only. Groupon must be surrendered at time of purchase. Discount applies to merchandise only, not gift cards or applicable taxes. No adjustments on previous purchases. Not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts, including Reward Cards and Gap Inc. employee discount. Good for $20 value of merchandise ($10 Paid For value plus $10 Discount Offer value). Discount Offer value expires on July 30, 2011. $10 Paid For value does not expire. If merchandise purchased with Groupon is returned, only $10 Paid For value will be refunded. Not responsible for lost or stolen Groupons.)

Now for the good part - if you click through Swagbucks to buy the Groupon Old Navy deal, you get 160 Swagbucks today and another 40 credited to your account tomorrow!!! Sweet, huh?? But don't forget to sign up for free accounts at both sites first!

Summer movies

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I'm a little behind in seeing new movies, but I have managed to catch a couple...

Buddy & I saw Thor a couple of weeks ago. As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of the Marvel Comics movies, and this one was no exception. Lots of action, and Chris Hemsworth is hot, hot, hot as Thor. Every time I would see Tom Hiddleston (Loki) on the screen, I would think, "Gosh, he looks like Johnny Weir!", LOL! Oh - and as with all Marvel movies, there is an additional scene after the credits, so be sure to stick around for that.

Gus & I saw Fast Five last week. Even if you didn't like the Fast & Furious movies, you could just get by on the eye candy. Wowza. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang - that's some serious man candy. But the movie is good, too. This one picks up right where Fast & Furious (2009) ended - but is still before The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. There is an additional scene during the credits, so be sure to watch for it - it sets up the possibility for another movie.

And don't forget to check for times to, well, run pee. You can also get the app for your iPhone. I always use this! LOL! It will also tell you if there is an additional scene during/after the credits.