Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wigglebutt Wednesday


Isabella and Kojak

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tea & Tunes Tuesday

For Tea Time today, I'm featuring one of my very favorite teas: Kusmi Chocolate Mint. It is an exceptional tea, from one of my very favorite companies. This tea is a decadent black tea blend that combines mint, with actual chunks of chocolate. When I have guests over who are devoute coffee drinkers, this is typically the tea I brew to "convert" them into trying tea. I highly recommend this blend!

For Tunes today, I'm loving, "Find Me" from Boyce Avenue. I've been listening to them for several years now, and absolutely LOVE their music! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Makeup Monday

Today for Makeup Monday, I'm sharing my favorite hot pink lipstick. This lipstick is from Urban Decay's Revolution Lipstick line, and normally retails for $22.00. The shade I'm featuring today is in, "Anarchy". It is a gorgeous, bright fuchsia pink, with a buttery smooth formula that glides on the lips without tugging. It is richly pigmented and lasts for ages on the lips without being drying or feathering outside of the lipline. The formula is moisturizing, and the intense pigmentation makes this lipstick nearly opaque in one swipe! This lasted for around 6 hours on me, through both eating and drinking. I actually wound up taking it off of my lips for the night with makeup remover, since I was ready for bed and wanted to take my makeup off, so I have a feeling it would possibly last longer on the lips. 

If you want to get your hands on this gem, I recommend signing up for Ulta's mailing list, and waiting for a 20% off coupon to purchase it. You could also sign up for Urban Decay's online mailing list, or wait for a Sephora sale, so you can get the most bang for your buck. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites:

- I found these "Crispy Green: Crispy Fruit" snacks at Fresh Market recently, and they were amazing! I shared them recently with my Mom and Aunt, and they loved them too!
-Lupine Coupler for walks with both Aussies. Absolutely nothing beats the quality and durability of the Lupine brand's collars, leashes, and couplers. They are an excellent company and I can't recommend them enough! Their coupler has excellent durability, distributes weight evenly, and the clips are made in such a way that they can't be forced outward, allowing a dog to break free. (The Aussies are also wearing 1" Lupine collars in the picture, and using a Lupine 1" leash.)

-This Goji Berry & Tea candle from Target! I loved the scent so much recently that I froze the remaining wax, and cut it up to use in my tart warmers just so I could use it even more! 

-Pineapple! I absolutely love fresh pineapple. I probably share an equal love for my pineapple core tool. It's amazing, and one of those kitchen gadgets I reach for often! I forgot to take an after picture, but essentially, if you cut the top of the pineapple, you then twist the core tool down, and wind up with a perfectly cored pineapple, and lots of delicious pineapple rings to eat! Mine is from Target, but Bed Bath & Beyond should have them too, if you want to use a coupon with it!

-Dryer balls! These are from Homegoods, but you can find them in most stores. They are genius!

They're cheap, non-toxic, soften clothes, reduce drying time, and extend the life of your clothing by reducing lint. These are also safe to use with dry-wick gym clothing and towels because they won't leave behind any residue and reduce effectiveness. 

----------Friday Fails----------
These two mascaras below we're awful; I am so happy to be finished with them! The top one is from the drugstore and was just a clumpy, goopy mess! It weighed down my lashes, without making them any longer or fuller. The formula also faded during the day.

The Smashbox mascara was a free mini sample, and was worse than the drugstore mascara. It was horrendous! If it's possible for a mascara to actually make your lashes look worse, this one did that! The formula was extremely dry, and all this did was make my long eyelashes actually look a bit stumpy. It also flakes horribly, which irritated my eyes. 

-"Walking with the Dinosaurs, The Movie". I rented this from Redbox the other day, and regretted my decision as soon as I started playing it. It was horrible, and I can't even see a child enjoying this one. I was hoping for something more along the lines with Jurassic Park, or a good dinosaur documentary. Instead, I wound up with this snore-inducing atrocity.  Since I have no way to warn the next person who goes to Redbox and rents it, I decided to include a note, and a dollar with it to hopefully make their soon-to-be regrettable DVD rental, a bit more tolerable. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday Thoughts: Zoya's Monet

Today has been a pretty rough flair day for me, so I don't have any exciting posts to share today. Instead, I thought I'd do a fun Nailpolish post. Zoya's, "Monet" nail polish is so beautiful; it's a cellophane, holographic topcoat. ��For a fun comparison, the background of this picture is a replica of Monet's, "The Artist’s Garden at Giverny".  I've collected Monet replicas since my junior year of high school; Claude Monet is my favorite Impressionist. (12 years after I first started to enjoy Monet's works, he is STILL my very favorite! My dream would be to take a trip to visit the actual Monet House in Giverny, France someday.) Needless to say, I was extremely excited to get this polish during Zoya's recent sale. When the light hits the glitter just right, the colors remind me so much of this Monet painting, so I thought I'd share this picture for fun! ������ Also, Zoya is a 5-free polish, so I tend to favor them over other brands since they leave out a lot of unnecessary chemicals. 

(This picture is in our hallway, so the lighting isn't the best, sorry for the poor picture quality, but I hope you can still make out some of the beautiful colors!)

Here are the colors I recieved during the recent Zoya sale. They offered three free nail polishes, if you paid for shipping and handling. The colors I chose were left to right: Blu, Monet, and Wendy (which is currently on my nails.)

This was the cute little box the polishes arrived in. I absolutely love the Zoya polishes, and really recommend them as a brand! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WiggleButt Wednesday

Looks like the squirrel toy is trying to escape!
Isabella and Lucky
Ranger with his blanket
Giving me his best, "Bridget Jones" impersonation. 
The cutest little beggar
Car rides are their favorite!
Mykelti and Isabella
Kojak with his goldfish

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tea & Tunes Tuesday: Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry Leaf tea, in my opinion, is one of the best herbal drinks you can consume! (Although herbals are not technically true teas, we are going to call it a tea for the purpose of this review.) 

Raspberry Leaf Tea tastes very similar to a slightly black tea, with a slightly fruity undertone. Because it is an herbal tea, this one contains no caffein, so this is a great tea to switch to if you want to cut back on caffeine. It contains Magnesium (helps with cramping and spasms), potassium, iron (helps with anemia), vitamins B & C. 

Personally, I love this as a replacement for Midol since it alleviates symptoms of PMS and cramping very effectively. When I was younger, I actually had a prescription that was stronger than Midol, to help alleviate some of my problems with PCOS. Since switching to more holistic things, I have no need for it, and find that the tea for me works wonders, so I prefer it as a natural alternative as it is not only delicious, but also safer than taking a pill. A lot of women also use this tea during their pregnancies since it can help prepare your body for a safer, easier delivery. Please though, consult with your midwife or doctor first though, and research for yourself. 

Athletes use raspberry leaf tea to soothe muscle cramps and inflammation. This would also be good if you have any kind of inflammatory problems with your body. This one is also great at treating mouth ulcers, and light dental pain. The high vitamin C in it helps people heal from colds more quickly, and can also be used as a base for homemade "Gator-aids".  If you use it as a paste, the tannins in it can help alleviate sunburns and soothe eczema. Raspberry leaf tea can also help with GI upsets and nausea as well. This is definitely a great blend to use for a multitude of things, and the taste is excellent! This is one blend I always like to keep around in my tea cabinet, because it is so useful.  I highly recommend Raspberry Leaf for both women and men, since the benefits are so wonderful.

 (This particular one pictured is by Traditional Medicionals. I purchased it at a Target, but have seen it in quite a number of other stores as well. If you can find it in whole leaf form, even better!)


For music this week, I have been loving Amos Lee's songs, "Black River", "Chill in the Air", and "Arms of a Woman". Although I love ALL of his music. His voice is so soulful and soothing to listen to. I love the heart behind his music and how you can feel the intensity and honesty in his voice. Definitely check him out!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Skillet Sunday: Gluten Free Pasta Bake

This pasta is delicious! It is a quiona blend and doesn't taste like the typical cardboard-gluten free ones I've tried in the past. It tastes delicious, and had a rich flavor, and holds it's shape without becoming mush. 

(Finished product, with the pasta I used.)
These breadcrumbs are amazing! Highly recommend them! 

For Skillet Sunday, I thought I'd shade a simple pasta bake recipe. This one is gluten free, but you can use whatever you have in your pantry. This dish is so delicious that you won't even realize it's gluten free! Back last Fall, my doctors thought I had Celiac Disease, so for several months I made all of my food, entirely gluten free. They've since done some tests to rule out Celiac Disease, so I'm no longer gluten free. This was just my attempt to use up some yummy groceries we already had in our pantry. It was delicious!

-Box of pasta (any kind you prefer, cooked al dente)
-1/2 cup of 2% milk (I use lactose free)
-1 package of shredded mozzarella, 
-1 cup asiago and Romano cheese 
-dill, basil, parsley, basil to taste
-sea salt, black peppercorn, chili powder to taste
-1 TBSP Lousiana hot sauce 
-2 TBSP natural butter, 
-1 large, free range egg
-1cup panco, Italian breadcrumbs 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Mix together ingredients, and combine with cooked pasta in large mixing dish (hold breadcrumbs). 

Pour mixture into Pyrex dish, and top with breadcrumbs, feeling free to season the top of the breadcrumbs as you like. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, broil at 500 degrees for 3-5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit five minutes before serving. 


A close up of the deliciousness!

(This dish refrigerates and reheats well).

-Just a side note, if you do have Celiac Disease and need this dish to be entirely gluten free, also make sure any cheese or condiments you use are as well. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Polished: "Rory" by Zoya ��

Today I thought I'd share a recent nailpolish color that I've been using quite frequently for the past year. This nailpolish is by Zoya, and the shade is, "Rory". I love not only the pinky-mauve color, with it's flattering tones and slight irrridesent shimmer...but also the formula in general. This polish wears well, and the formula doesn't chip as easily as a lot of other brands I've tried. It is also 5-free polish, meaning it is much safer as a brand than a lot of other polishes on the market that use more harsh, harmful chemicals. If you're a polish fan, definitely check out Zoya polishes, especially Rory. 

(They recently had a big sale, and I ordered 3 polishes free + S&H, so I will post pictures and swatches of those sometime soon!) 

Here is, "Rory".

In case you'd like a color description, this is the Rory color description, straight from the Zoya website. (  "Rory by Zoya can be best described as: Medium mauve pink with lilac tones, gold and silver reflective metallic shimmer accents, and a foil-like finish. The gentle color of this polish gives the foil finish a softened appearance."

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Favorites!

AIt's time for Friday Favorites again!

Here are the things I've been enjoying this week: 

1. Candles by Victoria's Scent Shot in, "Caramel Hazelnut Cream". If you are a coffee lover, this is the perfect fragrance to melt in your kitchen or living room warners. The scent is warm and robust, with just the right combination of coffee and sweetness to it. This scent would make a wonderful candle. It's definitely going on my CBV order wishlist! 

2. Daiya Jalapeño Garlic Havarti Style Wedge. I found this at my local Fresh Market, and it is delicious! If you're like me and can't handle a lot of dairy, this is an amazing alternative. If someone would have handed this to me without telling me it was "fake cheese", I would not have believed them; the flavor is just so excellent! I really recommend this jalapeño garlic variety if you like spicy type cheeses with a little kick to them. I've been eating it as a snack on top of "Mary's Gone Crackers Black Pepper gluten free crackers", but you can pair it with anything you like. I plan to try this with a chicken casserole type dish; I think it would be delicious! If it turns out well, I'll post a recipe.

3. The, "Whitmor Folding Clothes Drying Rack" that I ordered from Amazon a few months back. This is one of those products that I'm kicking myself for not getting sooner! I initially ordered this to use with delicate laundry, but I've since been using it almost daily for random things, like placemats and napkins! Since it has worked so well, my goal lately has been to cut back a little on how often we use our dryer, and to use this rack instead for a few loads each week. I'd be nice to conserve a little energy, cut down on our utility bill some, and help our fabrics last longer. I especially like this drying rack because when it isn't in use, you can fold it up and store it away, taking up a minimal amount of space. When it is in use, it is still fairly compact, so you can easily fit it into a small space. This particular one has a waterproof, epoxy coating that helps it resist mold and mildew. The construction of this seems to be very well made, so I'm hoping to have this folding rack for a long time to come. 

4. Tervis Tumbler. Is it weird to be in love with a cup...because I am! I have been using my Tervis Tumbler for over a year now, and it is one of my very favorite things! Nick actually had one too that he uses as well! My brother in law, Bubba told me about Tervis Tumblers a few years ago, after I kept dropping and breaking my glass drinking glasses. I finally got around to getting this one last year at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I absolutely love it! It honestly still looks new, but I have dropped this at least 20+ times. There are no visible cracks or scratches in it, thankfully. 

My right hand has some nerve damage, so I can be a little clumsy at times. The one thing that I like the most about the Tervis Tumblers, is that you can get a separate handle to go with their cups. It may not be necessary for most people, but I really love mine. It definitely helps me hold onto the cup more easily, and makes it more stable to carry around. I typically fill this one up with ice water throughout the day, so I'm constantly drinking enough. If I'm using a cold drink, it keeps it chilled, and if I'm using a hot drink, the insulation keeps it toasty, without ever developing condensation.  I prefer this to my traditional sports bottles, because of the handle, and also like that I can use a straw with it. (I'm a straw person!) 

5. Number 5 goes along with my number 4 favorite. Last night I went to Target for a few things, and like always, I had my cup with me. (I always take it with me because I like having water whenever I go someplace.) I finished my water while I was there and was still thirsty, so I went to the little Starbucks inside of Target. The lady was really friendly, and was actually able to put the drink I wanted in my Tervis Tumbler since it's a hot/cold insulated container. I thought that was pretty neat! Starbucks will give you a .10 discount if you brings your own container to refill. I love that idea, because it keeps anther disposable cup out of the landfill, and encourages people who want an occasional treat to reuse their products.  I think that's a great idea on Starbucks part. 

Friday Fail:
I have one "fail" for today, and it is the Caviar Transformation Kit.  Pictured, are the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging moisture shampoo and conditioner. I purchased this in a four piece mini set at Sephora a while back at the recommendation of a good friend. Obviously it goes without saying that different people and hair types prefer different things; this just didn't work out for me.

This four piece kit came with minis of the shampoo, conditioner, working hair spray, and overnight hair rescue. Although I finished the shampoo and conditioner to not be wasteful, I disliked them, and wouldn't recommend them. The product didn't improve or moisturize my hair well. It weighed my hair down, and left it feeling greasy and looking dull. The kit itself was extremely overpriced, at $30 for the mini set. (I got it for less during the F&F sale, but it still wasn't worth it.) I also found the scent of these products, especially the overnight hair rescue cream, to be absolutely repulsive. It smells like you're smoothing on a fish market to your hair! It is just putrid and repulsive, and there is no way I could ever recommend it. The shampoo/conditioner were tolerable, but the night treatment smelled so putrid that I just had to toss it. I couldn't even GIVE if away, because everyone hated the scent lol. It did come with a mini hairspray as well in the set, which I haven't tried yet since I'm still finishing another one at the moment. (So, I can't comment on the quality of the hairspray yet.)  Overall, I'd go with Wella as a brand instead of Alterna. I feel that the products a better performance and value wise, and you can get them on sale at Ulta pretty often. Save yourself some money, and skip the Alterna Caviar Transformation Kit! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

WiggleButt Wednesday : A Breakfast Request

"I'd like my breakfast served in bed today, Human" -Mykelti 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tea & Tunes Tuesday!

For tea time today, I'm sharing the one that I've been enjoying most recently. This blend is, "Paris" from Harney and Sons. It's a delicious black, loose-leaf tea. I drink this one straight without adding anything to it. It is such a delicious, well-rounded tea. It is a black tea with hints of a slightly fruity note. It contains vanilla, caramel, and bergamot, and tastes a bit like a fruity Earl Grey tea. 

I typically steep this for 5 minutes. As you can see, the bag is empty, and this tea was well loved! This was a $2 loose-leaf sample I purchased from their website during an order several months ago. Let's just say it was excellent, and I have already repurchased it! I do find that their loose-leaf teas taste better to me than their tea sachets, so that is my preference when purchasing them. 

This tea is also available in decaf as well, so you can enjoy either the normal caffeinated tea, or decaf if that is what you prefer. I highly recommend this blend! 

For music today, I'm loving, "Bloom" from The Paper Kites. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Makeup Monday!

I thought I'd share a few of my current makeup favorites for Makeup Monday with y'all! I've included little mini reviews for each product, so hopefully that will help if you're curious about any of them. (Sorry this is posting on Tuesday; I wrote a draft of it on Sunday, and wasn't feeling well Monday, so just now up to posting. :) Enjoy! )

Back row:
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (Absolutely LOVE this palette; each shade casts a very gentle glow on your skin, sans too much shimmer or glitter. This is a gorgeous powder palette and it looks like a natural glow from within. I normally use this towards the end of applying my makeup after most of it is finished. Sometimes I use the colors swirled together, sometimes I use only one shade, and sometimes I use each shade to accentuate the contours of my face in different areas. Not pictured, but I apply it with the Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush.

-NARS Laguna Bronzer: This is my second container of it! This is my favorite bronzer because it's suitable for even very fair skin tones like mine, and it creates a natural glow. Used correctly, this bronzer will not make you like an orange "Oompa Loompa". I typically use this one as an all, over light dusting of bronzer. Today I contoured with it as well, although I prefer a different product for that typically. 

-elf Complexion Perfection: This is also my second one, and as you can see I've already hit pan on this one! Let's just say that I LOVE this powder! At only $3, it is an excellent bargain and really does a good job of neutralizing skin discoloration. I use this right after I've applied primer, and before foundation, as an all-over color correcting powder on my face, to neutralize any discoloration with my skin, and help my foundation apply more evenly.

| Second row: 
-Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Undereye Powder: This is the one product that I use everyday, regardless of the makeup look; it's excellent, and absolutely my most "holy grail" makeup item! It blurs visible fine lines, smooths your undereye area, and brightens it. Most importantly, it completely keeps your eye make, liner, and mascara from venturing south of where you placed it...all day long! Your eye makeup  will stay flawlessly in place if you use this! I even deported a little of this intro a small sample jar that I keep with the makeup bag in my purse, just because it's that terrific! 

-OCC Lip Tar in "yaoi": This shade is a lovely medium hot pink, with a bit of shimmer. I use this after I've lined my lips with "Ozone" from Urban Decay so the shimmer doesn't travel outside of my lip line. After I've finished my lip look, I normally set everything with the clear OCC Lip Tar keep it in place.

- Ulta baked eyeshadow duo in, "Covet". I have two of these and I love them! You can use them dry for a more daytime friendly look, or wet with a brush, for a more defined nighttime look. You can use the lighter side as an all-over lid shade, & the darker color as a wet liner or a more defined crease color. You can swirl them together, etc! I love the flexibility of baked eyeshadows. (Also if you're wondering, the three eyeshadows pictured have all been depotted, and are usually keep inside of a Z-palette.) 

-elf baked eyeshadow in, "Toasted": this eyeshadow is beautiful! I absolutely love the looks I can create with it. It's also very budget friendly!

-MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in, "Cloudy Afternoon". (I believe this one was limited edition a while back, so I'm not sure if it's still available. If you can find it, it is beautiful!) 

-Urban Decay primer potion mini. I've have gone through so many tubes of this over the years! I always seem to wind up with free samples and minis of it from different gift sets and palettes, to the point that I have never actually bought a full sized, and have two more samples ready to be she's once this one is empty. This one I apply after eye cream. It helps to prep your eye area for makeup and eyeliner, and makes the colors pop more, and last longer through the day.   

| Third Row: 

-Loreal Infalliable 24Hr Lacquer Liner: I tried this gel eyeliner after reading good reviews online. I'm still deciding if I like it right now, but I'll eventually do an updated post on it later. So far, the color stays well on the top and lower lash line, but vanishes on the waterline, so I use a pencil there. I also have problems with it taking a while to dry and transferring from my top lash line to my eyelid, *so far* I'm not in love, but also not disliking it enough to quit using it yet. I use a different brush to apply it with than the one it came with; the one it came with was too large for my eyeshape, and the thinner line I prefer.

-Benefit High Beam: this product is so versatile and beautiful! It's a liquid highlighter, but it can also be mixed with foundation for a more dewy, finish to your makeup, or used as a gorgeous highlighter for contouring, which is how I used it today.

-MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in, Natural, "Light".: I love this MSF for setting my makeup after I'm finished with it. I apply a light dusting of this all over my face. I gently apply and roll it with a makeup sponge, to minimize any visibly enlarged pores  or shiny areas. Then, I take a clean fan brush without any product on it, and dust off the excess from my skin to prevent it from looking cakey. 

-Revlon Lip Butter in, "Lollipop": this is just a fun, light pop of color for the lips, that won't leave your lips as dry as the Sahara! I reach for the Revlon Lip Butters in my collection on a daily basis; they are just awesome! My only gripe is that I wish the stating power were better and they were a little less slippery, since some tend to migrate outside of the lipline after a bit of wear. I actually blended it on a PawPalette, and mixed it with the OCC lip tar in "Yaoi" for a more unique, lasting color. 

-Model Co Cheek & Lip Stain  in, "Rosy Tint": this was an item I recived in an old Glossybox, and I love it! I use a Real Techniqes stippling brush to gently put a tiny amount in place on my cheeks, and then a more dense, Sigma angled kabuki brush to blend it in. This shade gives a beautiful rosy flush to the cheeks and looks very natural. You can wear it on its own, or combine it with a powder blush on top for my emphasis. Today, I thought to was beautiful on it's own. A little goes a long way with the product, so apply it sparingly and blend it well. 

Fourth Row (not really a row, but I'll list them all together from here.) 

Urban Decay "Deslick" setting spray (old packaging. I have used this product daily for several years. It is my favorite setting spray to really lock in my makeup, and keep me from getting too oily.  It is so nice and refreshing to use! (This is the older packaging that I am finishing up; I've gone through several bottles of this stuff and can't recommend it enough.)

-Makeup Forever Mat Velvet + Foundation: This is a foundation that I only reach for in the summer, since it can normally be a little drying to some of the small dry patches around my nose. But, during the summer when I'm more oily, I love this because it is waterproof and sweatproof. It stays flawless all day long! I applied it with the Tarte Airbrush, then blended everything in well with a damp beauty blender sponge. 

-Maybelline "The Rocket" mascara: one of my favorite mascara! This one works well on its own, or layered in combination with other mascaras for a more dramatic look. 

-NARS eyeliner in "Via Venito"- this is the best eyeliner I've found for my eye type so far.  It doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes, and stays in place all day long, even on the waterline. My only complaint is that since it is an automatic liner, it can dull more easily, and it doesn't sharpen to a fine point with the automatic liner sharpener on the end of it. Otherwise, this is an excellent liner. I already have a backup of this one for when I run out, because I never want to be without it!

-Urban Decay lip liner in "ozone" . The transparent clear can be paired with any lip color, so it's more versatile than buying a lip pencil to match every lip color you wear. I use it to line outside of my lips to prevent feathering, and also all-over my lips to lock the colors I apply in place. After applying to the lips, I use a small lip brush to blend it all over so that my lip color applies smoothly on top of it.(I love the Real Techniques lip brushes!)

-NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer: this concealer is wonderful! Since it is creamy, it doesn't accentuate my dry patches. It covers blemishes and redness very well.

-Maybelline a Color Tattoo "Bad to the Bronze": This makes such a great bronze eyeshadow base. After applying eyeshadow primer, I apply this, then blend it in well, and place powder shadows on top of it. Sometimes, I wear the Color Tattoos on their own too. I haven't purchased a single MAC Paint Pot since I switched to these because these are much better quality, at a more  affordable price!

-Smashbox "Full Exposure" mascara sample. I honestly hate this mascara sample, and would not recommend it. It doesn't really lengthen, volumize, or define my lashes, and it flakes off entirely too easily. When this mascara flakes, it irritates my eyes. There are far less pricy items available in the drugstore that make my lashes look much better. I was just trying to use this sample up to not be wasteful. I layered it with "The Rocket" from Maybelline.

-Benefit, "Bella Bomba" lipgloss mini. I LOVE the lip glosses from Benefit! When they had a Christmas set of minis a while back, I wasted no time getting it since I already loved the full sized tube I had of, "Dandelion" and knew I liked the other colors as well. These are beautiful. They apply smoothly, and are never sticky or tacky. These look lovely on their own, or topped over another color. Highly recommend them! (They taste great too!)

-Benefit, "The Porefessional" primer. This primer is just "ok" for me. I've gone through several free samples of it that have come in various kits and palettes. It works well and definitely makes my makeup last longer, but I feel there are better primers on the market. So, I wouldn't purchase a full size of this, but I'm thankful for the sample. I prefer the Becca Resurfacing Primer because it does a much better job of camouflaging the larger pores on my nose and chin, and seems to apply more smoothly with my foundation and other makeup.

*I hope this picture inspires those of you who love makeup to create a fun new look today, and to shop the stash of makeup that you maybe already have at home. It's fun to try out those samples and mini products and see which ones you wind up loving! Every week I like to go through and pull any minis and free samples I have and use then up, so that's why you're seeing a few smaller items here.*

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Thursday Thoughts: Post 4th Musings

Powerful thought as we pass the 4th of July celebrations. It's important to remember our history as a nation, and what occurred between then and now. It always makes me sad when I reflect on the people who truly founded this beautiful place, and what heartache they endured. | My moms side has a little Cherokee, so I've always had mixed feelings about celebrating certain holidays, without also fully acknowledging what else went on during those times as well. All history has both a good and bad side to it, and we shouldn't pick and chose what we share and teach. The sacrifices of so many shouldn't be forgotten while we selectively celebrate other lives and enjoy our fireworks and flags. 

I'm very thankful for where I live; we are richly blessed by the sacrifice of many, many brave lives that made to make it what it is today: home. Amazing people from all walks of life have had a hand in the freedoms we celebrate now, even when their own freedoms were sacrificed. The best way to honor our ancestors, is to acknowledge their existence and the roles they played in shaping our nation. Part of progressing forward involves also reflecting backwards and learning from history. (This really isn't just a US post; all over the world, civilizations have repeated the same scenarios over and over for thousands of years.) Sacrifices shouldn't be forgotten, and one creed shouldn't be put above another. What some think was a nation founded on religious freedom, was actually one  founded on the bloodshed and slavery of innocent lives. We should acknowledge their sacrifices as well in our celebrations.