Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

He's 8! ♥

Friday, December 30, 2011

Physicians Formula Wrinkle Corrector & Firming Moisturizer.

After my Neutrogena Moisturizer nightmare, I was once again on the hunt for a new daily moisturizer. As I yet again browsed the shelves of moisturizers, I spied this:

Per Physicians Formula's website, this is what the product claims to do:

Wrinkle Corrector & Firming Moisturizer SPF 15

Formula Rx111

Potent moisturizer instantly enhances skin's firmness, hydration and radiance. SPF 15 protects against damaging UVA / UVB rays. Luxurious and lightweight formula improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for an overall smoothing effect.

It also claims: Look 6 years younger in 4 weeks.* We promise.

I don't recall seeing this product before, so I think it's relatively new. Or maybe I've just overlooked it. Anyway, it doesn't contain Retinol, but I like Physicians Formula products, I like what the bottle claims it does & I like the price (around $15 or so), so I bought it. I'm glad I did!

Whether it was 'working' or not, I didn't really pay attention because as I mentioned before, I honestly don't think there's any product out there (expensive or inexpensive) that can rid and/or reduce wrinkles (please correct me if I'm wrong!). What I did notice, however, & what I love, is that this moisturizer goes on so smooth, resulting in a soft, satin-y feel with a pretty, subtle glow. It just feels & looks good.

For whatever reason, this morning when applying my makeup, I studied my face (next time, I think I may need a stiff drink beforehand ;o) a little. Smiling, poking & wrinkling my eyebrows (which I do all the time, unfortunately). Wait just one minute. What? Where's that one deep, long wrinkle area that I daily devote some extra moisturizer to? For the most part, it was gone! I smiled again & again & still, no long, deep wrinkle! Ok, now to check out my other problem area. The delicate skin under one eye that slightly wrinkles/gathers up when I smile. (When I sleep, I push & pull on my face a lot & over time, this has done damage on how firm my skin is in that particular area.) Oh it's still there, but not as prominent! By this time, I was almost high-fiving my moisturizer bottle. Ü

But not so fast. Later, while in my car during daylight hours, I looked in my visor mirror. Well shucks. There was that long wrinkle. I saw that sucker. But again, I swear, it doesn't appear as visible! I didn't have foundation on today, so sometime this weekend or next week, I'll apply a full face. With foundation & powder on, I'll compare those two areas with an old photo & hopefully I'll really be able to see if there is a drastic difference, like I think there is.

But in the meantime? In my opinion, this moisturizer is lovely. On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being mah-vah-lous?

I'm giving this product an 8! Oh, before I forget - PF's last claim of "Look 6 years younger in 4 weeks." - um, no. ;o)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Smashbox - Lip Enhancing Gloss.

I love shiny lips. I've tried drugstore brand glosses but they're so sticky, I just don't use them.

I ran to Ulta a week or so ago to purchase my 14 year old niece a box of different Smashbox glosses for Christmas. She'll love them! The other day we were out & close to Ulta again, so I thought I'd buy myself a Christmas gift (ahem) - a Smashbox gloss. I mean really, an $18 (just for one!) lip gloss surely won't be sticky, right?

Wrong. Ew with a capital E. Oh good glory. The color (Pulse) is divine, but the texture is like glue! I applied the gloss & looked at my husband, while pressing & unpressing my lips together. The stuff is so gooey, when my lips were unpressed, the gloss pretty much stayed stuck together. Ha! (I think his exact words were "yuck".) But hey, on a positive note, I really like the brush you apply it with. ;o)

Sheesh. I'm hard to please, yes. That's why I love to offer product reviews (even if they are my own personal reviews) - I just can't justify spending a hefty amount of money on beauty products (or any products, really) unless they just blow me away!

Hope Ulta has a return policy. 'Cause this sucker's going back, right after Christmas. Ü

Speaking of Christmas:

I hope you can slow down a bit enough to enjoy the holiday before it's over. I've simplified a lot this year & it's been so great to enjoy, versus panic. I wish you & your family a beautiful Christmas, full of love, laughter & happiness. ♥

Friday, December 16, 2011

When the cat's away...

(Pardon the grainy photo - it's been very gloomy here & I won't use a flash! :)

The mouse will play! She found the Nintendo. And can play the darn tootin' thing(s). We typically do not allow Nintendos before age 7. This year, that changes. Guess what she'll (& her big sister) be getting for her birthday? Ü

About the couch. Ugh. I love this couch. We've had it many years & it is probably the most comfortable couch we've ever owned. But, I do believe it's run its course. It's really starting to bug me. Next year, I think I'll put it on the list to replace. And I'm anxious to get paint on these walls - I'll just have to force myself to choose a color! ;o)

Our Christmas shopping, minus odds & ends, will be complete - tomorrow! Woot! My husband took today off & he alone knocked out a lot of shopping. I will finish up 1st thing tomorrow morning. (Wasn't it just Monday I was panicking that we might not make it in time? No need to panic!) We've never been done this early & we've never wrapped in advance. Ever. I'm so excited that this year we'll have wrapped packages under our tree! In the past, we never really wrapped in advance & placed them under the tree because we had a baby. No more babies. Sniff. All I know is that next week will be completely stress-free & we can bake, play games, wrap, people watch at stores (heehee), look at Christmas lights, the whole nine yards. It's the simple things, always, that really excite me.

Happy weekend! Make it fantabulous!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Gingerbread House.

Actually, it's a Graham Cracker House. Ü

Gosh. It's been so crazy, I haven't blogged in a week? I need to get some things under control. Can't abandon my blog. :)

My husband was out of town last week, so it 'twas just I holding down the fort. Also last week, I apparently od'ed on caffeine. We think. No one knows. Not even the EMT's. Ahem. I didn't partake in Black Friday a few weeks ago (except for what I bought me - heehee), so basically, I have NO Christmas gifts. Panic mode is in full force. No Christmas cards purchased. No Christmas photo of 4 little cute people because the weather has been gloomy & gray. Did I mention I have hardly any Christmas gifts? I made some (very little) progress today, but it's difficult to shop toting a little 3 year old with me. The three oldest have Christmas parties (yes, Christmas - not 'Holiday') this week, which means 1 book exchange, 3+ different items/products/supplies for fun party foods & 3 teacher gifts. Are you aware Christmas is in 13 days? Am I aware Christmas is in 13 days? I hope this blog post finds you in much better shape than I'm in! Have I mentioned I have purchased hardly any gifts?

Tonight I said forget it all & we had 2 cooked frozen pizzas (but I had my MckDonald's salad) & played games. It was great & relaxing! I think we'll do that more often. Lots more often.

It'll all get done. I always seem to panic because I always wait until last minute (for most things anyway, swearing I'll never do it again) yet always, everything works out perfectly. And I sure am banking on that very thing happening again. Ü

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas decorations!

I love how my decorations turned out this year! I tried to keep it simple & not overthink things, like sometimes I tend to do.

I was going to go with all silver & white ornaments on my new flocked tree, but now I'm so glad I didn't, because those two colors are difficult to see against the white flock. I love traditional Christmas colors, so I stuck with those. This is my favorite tree to date. I think it is absolutely gorgeous! ♥

The white dresser is a thrift find I found at Goodwill for $30. It's been in the foyer, waiting patiently to be refurbished. Because I put my tree in the foyer, I moved this to the kitchen area, since I sold my black server. At first, I just began getting out my decorations & placing them here until I distributed them - but the more I added, the more I loved it, so I just rearranged them & added some snow. To the floor, too.

This is my formal dining table:

And my new shelf ladder (love!) - for now, in the dining room:

My children's tree:

I think that sucker is a little crooked due to me knocking it over last week. Oops!

I am completely done decorating, except for the stockings. I have been searching for new stockings for years & was finally prepared to pay an ungodly amount, just so I could end my frustrating search. Friday night, I found them! And they were on clearance! And I love them! I need some hooks so I can hang them on the mantel & then I'll add that photo. They are too darn cute! ♥

It has been cold, rainy & gloomy here all day (in other words, it's been wonderful!) & now it is thundering, loudly. Off I go to comfort Bray! Poor guy. Have a super week!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas busy.

I have to admit, at Christmastime, I'm like a kid in a candy store. I love it so much. The decorations, the music, the cold, the Christmas movies, the anticipation, the sparkling lights - the whole kit & caboodle. So this weekend, I did some of this:

I ♥ traditional Christmas colors. So pretty!

I'm not near finished, heck, my happy little Christmas table here isn't even finished. But both trees are up & semi-decorated, & hubby got the outside lights up today. I'll photo everything when we're done.

Happy Christmastime! So exciting! Ü

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


We have talked about it for a long time. So today, we did it! The first time we've ever taken the kids bowling. So much fun! And, it only took us two hours to play one game! Yeehaw! We done good! Ü

Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving! ♥

Monday, November 21, 2011

How I keep the glass on my kitchen table from sliding.

I think I mentioned that when we got our new (to us) kitchen table home, we discovered there was a cap missing that goes on the bottom. Or maybe the top - we aren't sure. They're interchangeable. Nonetheless, we had 5, but needed 6. What to do.

We rigged it for the time being, also knowing we would need slip-proof adhesives to keep the glass from sliding around.

Hello Target. Hello $1.99 per package -

Tada! For $4.00, I killed two birds with one stone! I am genius, I tell you! Genius! (cough cough)

I took off the five top caps & I popped these puppies into place. They fit absolutely perfectly! They are the perfect size to fit down in the groove (I'm not a genius when it comes to technical terms ;o) - nice & snug & these bad boys aren't moving. Neither is the glass that is resting on top of them! Ü

I couldn't get a good photo due to reflection, but I hope it's clear enough so you can see how I tucked them inside, where the caps screw in. I can't say I love how they look (& they're black) but, it's more important that the glass stay secure than it is that they look pretty.

I love this table. It was worth every penny! A piece of paper stuck to it the other night, & I wiped it right off. I did a glitter project with Jags the other night & I got glue on the glass. It too wiped right off. The kids stuck their Bendaroos to it today & with a little Goo Gone, the wax wiped right off too! It's a beautiful table, very modern & sturdy. High maintenance, yes, but so am I, so sometimes some things are worth the trouble. ;o)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hairspray 101.

Raise your hand if you've ever used this? I certainly did, back in the day. I think my mom still uses it. Ack! This is like, well, glue. Ü

I've been thinking about doing this post for a long time. And then I thought, well, maybe no one is interested in a hairspray how-to. And then I remembered my mother is. Ha! Bless her little cotton socks. :) This procedure is just what works for me. I learned by the good ol' trial & error method. I've used many hairsprays over the years. Probably tried most of them. Drugstore & professional. In my working days, I used this:

My best recommendation is to back the hairspray can up. Back the can away from your hair. If you spray your hair, holding the bottle about an inch or so from your head, you're going to end up with a thick, gooey mess. It's going to be too wet. And once that occurs, you're pretty much done. You can try to comb it out (once it dries), or take the hairdryer & a round brush in attempts to smooth it back out & then try to start over. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I learned the hard way to back the can a good distance away from the section of hair I'm spraying.

After Aussie, I switched to this, for many years:

When I spray my hair (typically just my bangs, unless I rat/tease some areas), I back the can way up (like 3 or 4+ inches) & spray, moving swiftly back & forth, resulting in my 1st, light coating. And then, I let it dry. Completely. I put on more lipstick or something while the first coat dries. After my first light coating, I'm also able to take my metal hair pick (or fingers, whatever) & make some adjustments, if necessary. Usually I have adjustments. :) I then come back & spray again. Again, I only spray for a quick second. If not, chances are you're going to end up with the same scenario mentioned above. The longer you hold the nozzle down, the wetter your hair is going to get. Gunky. Gooey. Sticky. And honestly, if it's too heavy, it'll hold your hair in place alright, but it's also going to weigh your hair down & make that particular area flat. Quick, smooth, sprays/strokes is what works for me. The key is though to let it dry completely before applying a second coat. Or third. Or fourth. I use a lot of hairspray. :) I finish getting ready, do a final look in the mirror, give one last fluff if need be, another light coating, & off I go. I usually spray until my hair is bouncey, yet my style stays firmly in place. Simple.

After Amplify, I switched to this. I used it until about 8 months ago. Love this hairspray, but it's a professional brand & quite pricey:

My opinion is, hairspray is similar to makeup. If you don't know how to apply it, it really isn't going to matter if you use a top-of-the-line professional brand or a drugstore brand. All hairspray is sticky (some more than others). Whether expensive or inexpensive, applying it properly will make your hairstyle prettier, no doubt. I'll probably never go back to professional brand hairspray. It really makes no sense if the inexpensive (drugstore) is working just fine.

This is my current choice of hairspray, after reading it on Kelly's blog. It costs about $4.00 at Walmart or Target. I love the price & I love the results:

Two other tips: if your hairspray clogs, rinse the nozzle under hot water after each use. I do this after every use. If you don't, chances are over time, it will begin to clog & when you spray your hair, you'll spray everything but your hair. ;o) Also, if you tease your hair, spray underneath instead of coating the top. Coating the top will, again, just weigh it down. You want to spray under the area you teased, to freeze that area & hold the hair up. Then I come back & apply a single, light coating on top.

I've tried many brands over the years & found many of them don't work. It's as if I sprayed air on my hair. Ü I wasted a lot of money, so when I find one that works, I stick with it. Another discovery - you know how most cans claim the hairspray is "heat and humidity resistant"? They lie. If it's a rainy or extremely humid day, you're going to have a bad hair day. Wear a hat or a headband.

Happy spraying! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011


I was completely out of Finish. I also had two different Extra Bucks that I needed to use (a $4.00 one that expired today but I think I accidentally threw it away, so I was able to print it online! CVS sent me a reminder. So nice of them. :). So, I pulled out the sale flyer & found they had 20 packs of Finish on sale for $2.99, plus, I had two $1.00 off coupons! I still had a $2 Extra Bucks, so I grabbed some Purex that's on sale for $1.99. I have never used Purex. I have to admit, I'm a little skeptical because the price is so cheap. Most detergents aren't this inexpensive. But since basically it was free, what the heck! I grabbed one to try. If I don't like it, I didn't pay anything for it, so who cares, right? Ü

2 - 20 packs of Finish: On sale for $2.99 each - two $1.00 off coupons = $1.99 each!
1 Purex: On sale for $1.99.

Total: $5.97

- $4.00 Extra Bucks
- $2.00 Extra Bucks


I like free! Ü

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jesus & a good deal.

Actually, Jesus is a good deal. Ü

This couponing stuff is hard. It is for me, anyway. So time consuming. I thought I'd go to CVS tonight & see if I could do some damage. :) This is all I could come up with:

I think it's a good deal, but is it?

Arm & Hammer detergent on sale for $2.99 - $1.00 extra bucks (free $ to use on next CVS trip.)
Aquafresh - so tiny. But, it was $1.27 - $1.00 coupon = $.27 cents.
2 Ajax dish soap (I ♥ this stuff!) - on sale for $.89 cents each.
2 Dawn dish soap - on sale for $.99 each - 2 $.50 coupons = $.50 each.
2 Duracell (4 pack) on sale for $2.99 each - 2 $.75 coupons = $2.25 each. (I was unsure if this was a deal so I did some quick calculating. I got 8 batteries for $4.50 & their 8 pack was over that amount, so I went ahead & got them even though they are probably cheaper at WM.)
Conair teasing brush - full price - $4.99. Not a deal. Ü
Caffeine free Diet Coke (ahem - necessary for brain thinking ;o) - $1.77. Not a deal. Ü

I estimated the total to be $18 & it was $18.66. Remove the teasing brush (I always use a comb to rat my hair, but I saw on cutie patootie's blog that she uses this brush. I couldn't locate one at Target or WM, so I went ahead & got it tonight) & coke, & I ended up paying $12 for the detergent, dish soaps & batteries. I hope that's a good deal. :)

I'm actually going back now & get 2 Irish Spring deodorants: BOGO free. The price for one is $3.99, so basically I can get 2 for $2.00 a piece. But, I have a CVS coupon for $1.00 off & I have the $1.00 extra bucks I got earlier, so now I can get 2 for $1.99 = $1.00 a piece. Good deal!

I threw some shorts in the laundry that I bought Bentley at GW. As I was straightening & buttoning them, something kept banging against the washer. When I checked all the pockets to make sure they were empty, I found this:

A metal cross! On the back is inscripted: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

It's amazing to me how He'll just show up, whenever/wherever necessary, giving the gentle nudge or reminder we need exactly when we need it. Or, typically in my case, a hard smack on the back of my head. ♥

Happy weekend! Make it good! Ü

Friday, November 11, 2011


I have avoided intentionally & avoided some more. Intentionally. I'm no longer avoiding! And I'm so excited to join Pinterest because could there be better timing? No! It's Christmastime - my most favorite time of the year! I don't even have an account yet - I better get busy! I'll add a Pinterest button to my blog once I get going. Do you Pinterest? I think I have many people to follow!

Happy Friday! Ü

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No more furniture up against the wall.

Why? Because of this:

Toys & crap & dirt! Yuck! I'm really trying to simplify things around here. If I just don't love something, I'm getting rid of it. I like clean. Oh heck, I love clean! And the more stuff one has, well, it's just something else that needs to be cleaned. The less one has, obviously, there's less to clean. And I like the sound of that. :)

So now - right, wrong or indifferent - right, wrong or breaking the rules (what rules?) - my furniture is positioned like this:

Might look a little strange, but I don't care. Now I'm able to pick up toys, vacuum & dust. Ahhh. So much better. So much cleaner. Simple. Ü

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New (to us) glass kitchen table.

This is what I have been doing for the last 7 nights. Searching on Craig's List for a new kitchen table. Oh. Holy. Cow. It was so time consuming! Thursday night I finally found what I was looking for & the price was divine. :)

I knew I didn't want another wood table. We just have the worst luck with the wood finishes. I'm done with those. Someone recommended formica, but all I could find were Retro tables & my husband didn't like those. So I considered marble. Until I saw one. Glass it is. And with four young children, I was very skeptical about purchasing glass. Some glass tables just have one base, which leaves quite a bit of glass hanging off both ends, & I knew that wasn't going to work. So, I found this one with two bases - we were able to separate them enough to where we feel comfortable & should one of our children lean on the table, it's good & secure. Hubby is going tomorrow to find some glass adhesive to adhere the glass to the tops of the bases & we should be good to go. :)

Once the table was home, we discovered we'd lost a base cap between there & here. Ugh. Couldn't find it anywhere. We then discovered the cap is not lost; they lost one, & stuck a top one on the bottom. She failed to mention that little tidbit. Grr. So, we are a bit in a pickle, but we'll find something to suffice, I'm sure. Hopefully we'll be able to find something on the internet.

Now I get to purchase 2 more chairs. But the best part? This is an Ashley table. We bought if for - because I'm now a frugal shopper (I try :) I'll share - $245! I'll take a missing cap & a few minor scratches. Ü

*It looks rather small in the photo, but the glass is 71" long! Accommodates 6 chairs easily.