Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten - Makeup

My friend Lauren, in Ontario, has undertaken a big task! 31 days of writing about the same subject! She chose, fashion, and specifically maternity fashion. She asked me to write a guest post on makeup - buuuut, I think she gave up on the series due to going away and being busy. But I'll post it here anyway. Because I love makeup, and heck, I took about 100 pictures of my own face. Which is really hard for me to do. *Why is that soooo hard?* So I am not wasting that time - I'm putting it out there!

Keep in mind Lauren's blog posts were about maternity fashion - *I* am not pregnant, I was just writing to hit her target audience...
Makeup and fashion DO go hand in hand. Go out in public with your very best look on, and don't do anything to your face. Not a whole lot of people will be looking at your "awesome clothes", they'll be staring at your "messy face". Go out with a great face and smile on, (good hair helps) and you can pull off an outfit that's not quite "up to snuff", guaranteed. Wearing makeup, even if just a little to even out your skin tone is an essential for every woman on the planet. It will pull your look together and give you a "complete package" look. No matter how pretty you are, and how many great natural features you've been blessed with, you will be nothing but helped with the addition of a little "magic".

Makeup will also go a long way to making you feel good, and pretty. This is especially helpful when you are as big as a house 9 months pregnant, and feel everything BUT good, or pretty:-D

When I was feeling icky  - which while preggers (for me), was all the time - Nothing makes you feel better than looking in the mirror and being happy with what you see there. At least on the outside no one can tell that you feel so crummy on the inside. That's a big advantage for a pregnant woman on the go! And if you're not pregnant - it pretty much does the same thing! It's oddly, a complete mood booster, I've found.

DISCLAIMER - I am a makeup lover, and avid wearer, not a makeup professional. This post is very long. Sorry! I could definitely write about makeup everyday for 100 days and not run out of things to say:-)

I'm going to go over some tips that should help people who wear makeup everyday and people who never do. There should be a gem in here somewhere that can help ya!...at least I hope so! ;-)

TIP #1: The first tip is that there ARE NO TIPS that will universally apply to everyone. Is is why there are makeup and fashion magazines published every month all with "tips" that will work for you. And chances are they will not. There are unending possibilities here, and it starts with you being familiar with your face. Look and assess what you've got to work with. Problem skin? Small eyes? Take a look at your face and figure out what needs improving or hiding or highlighting.

ok, ummm...no words. haha!
Based on that advice, here I am. Without a stitch of makeup on. This is what I have to work with. My main problem is that I am mostly German - I have very dark under-eye areas. I do have nice eyes, and consider them my best facial feature, but I believe you would never notice them at all, because of my under eye situation. I do have very good skin, zits are very rare (whew!), I am almost 34 years old, and I don't have many wrinkles yet. Yay.

ADMISSION: I never wash my face. I never wash the makup off, I go to bed in it. I put new make up on top of old. When I shower (which is every other day), I make sure I rub my eyelashes and get the mascara off. I do not use soap, moisturizer or face or eye creams. I have used them sometimes in the past. Something from Clinique, or Avon, or Nutrogena - but I've never noticed a difference or improvement in the quality or feeling of my skin, so I don't bother. Maybe as I age that will become a necessary change. For now I am riding the "easy wave" while I've got it.

BONUS TIP: Hair - while this is a whole other topic, and one I am NOT in any way qualified to be talking about - I will share something that saves the day sometimes. Dry shampoo. It comes in a spray bottle like hair spray. You spray it in your dirty oily hair, and it absorbs the oil, and actually gives your hair its just-washed-bounce back. For busy moms, keep a bottle in the cupboard. There are some days when being presentable is a must, and taking a shower and doing your hair just ain't gonna happen.

So going along with Tip #1, know your face. Expensive creams and soaps are not for everyone, although may be helpful to others. Don't use them and waste money on stuff you don't actually need if it's not genuinely working for you.

Tip #2: Focus on your problem areas. Collect tips and try ideas only about the things that will matter to you.

Tip #3: Use a quality makeup. A Dollar Store variety will not turn out well, nor be good for your skin, no matter what you do to it or how you apply it. Quality makeup is not cheap, but does last a loooong time. I am personally hooked on the brand, MAC. I got hooked on them in my late teens and have never looked back. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?! There are other high quality brands that you can consider. Go to makeup counters and have them put a few things on you. See if you like the weight and feel of it all on your face. If not, find something that suits you better.

A bottle of foundation lasts me about 2 years. This is exactly how much I put on my face today (see next pic). The coverage of a quality makeup requires that you only use a little bit of it. I guess you could say it might be time for a new makeup sponge? :-)
Tip # 4 - I never throw away makeup. I have some eye shadows that are over 10 years old. They are all MAC brand, and have never caused me an ounce of problems. (I do not have sensitive skin.) So here is the tip... Invest in high quality (= expensive) makeup brushes. The cost will possibly require you to take out a second mortgage on your home. I know. I am totally a cheapskate and I know that spending $50 or more on a single brush about causes a coronary. However, you can consider these a lifelong investment. They are able to be washed and cleaned and will maintain their shape and proper usability forever. I've had my brushes (MAC) for more than 10 years now (a few of them are probably 15 years old). They look and act completely brand new. I am anticipating never buying another brush as long as I am still breathing. The thing about a good brush, is that you can keep makeup past its suggested "shelf life", in my experience. As far as I understand it, basically the "shelf life" of makeup has to do with the bacteria that can be spread around over time. If you're using quality brushes (cleaned as suggested by manufacturers), you're really not spreading bacteria around. Use common sense here, of course. If you have an eye infection, throw away your eye stuff if you've used it so you don't keep re-infecting yourself. If you can't afford new brushes and don't have good ones, save a little bit over time, or put them on your Christmas list! They will make your "putting on makeup" routine quick and easy. Until then, do what can with what you've got!

The following tips will give you a 5 minute face. I can spend 20 minutes doing up my eyes just so - but those occasions are rare. 5 minutes is all you really need, once you get the groove and know what you're doing.

Here is me, fixing my issues. I am using MAC Studio Fix Fluid Spf 15 in NC20. I used the amount pictured above to apply under my eyes, on eyelids, on nose and all surrounding nose area, and on lips and chin just a little. Blend in well, feathering outward. I personally do not need any on my cheeks, but put it where ever you need to even out skin tone.
Here is a little "more" in my problem areas. Studio Finish Concealer (NC20) and Studio Fix NC20 (a powder foundation). Under my eyes is the concealer, and the powder is in all the other spots.

TIP #5: You can make your nose look...well, smaller, by properly highlighting it. I'm not sure that it works so well translated on film. Pictures are unforgiving. And for the record, they DO add 10 lbs. I can see at least 4 of those 10 lbs right there in my cheeks:-) ANYWAY, go online or look in some mags and get some tips for contouring your nose, properly. There will be many ways to do this, depending on the shape of your nose. You can add visual depth (a higher bridge), or make it appear narrower, especially in person (unless you've got a film quality professional makeup artist at your disposal), if you play with it a little bit and follow the suggestions that you find.

 TIP #6: Wear eyeshadow. Whether you have deep set eyes, small eyes, big eyes...everyone needs to wear eyeshadow. You don't need to wear a lot of it. But you do need something. Even if it's not "noticeable" it gives your face that pulled together look that you want. Depending on your eye "issue", will depend on what colours you can choose. Again, depending on your eye shape will depend on WHERE you place the shadow(s). A general rule which should work for most people is this:

A light (and possibly slightly shimmery) shade over the entire eye lid. Then add a darker shade (a muted purple, muted blue or brown works for most) on the lower portion only, and the outer side only.
I am wearing MAC Issue, which is a matte silver, and Sable which is a frost (slight shimmer) dark brown.
BONUS TIP: Storing makeup. I used to keep my makeup in a massive caboodles fishing-tackle box style plastic container. Problem - they get dirty and are hard impossible to clean. Another problem - they are huge. I have limited storage in my bathroom, and needed to use the entire shelf that my neatly sorted massive makeup collection took up. I asked my sister Lauryn what she uses (SHE should be giving tips, not I!)...she said, don't laugh at me...but a ziploc bag. It's so easy to see everything. Well bingo. She is onto something. So I threw away the caboodle, put my seldom used makeup in a clinique makeup bag and stashed it in the closet, and got out some ziploc bags for my everyday stuff.
Everything I use all the time fits in this makeup bag, but within ziploc sandwich bags. This is how it looked this morning. The bags are getting a little grungy...
So I fixed that...new sandwich bags! I have my things sorted by Face, Eyes, Lips, and Brushes (sharpeners etc). I can easily see what I want to grab without rummaging around through everything else I don't want. I adore this new system, it's easy, cheap and time saving too! Who has time to pick up the incorrect shade of lipstick for the 100th time - the one you want is always the last one you fish out of the bag, right?! This makes it easy to see what you need while only taking up a small amount of cabinet space.
TIP #7: Eye liner. While not needed for everyone, it is essential for some. Even though I have a heavy brow, and a point could be made for me not to wear it, I prefer the look. And the distraction it gives from my under eye area. Whether you wear it or not is up to your preference, and I like it for me. There are only two things of MAC's that I don't buy...eyeliner and mascara. I haven't noticed the performance of these two items to be superior in their brand, and so I save money by buying what works for me. I like Revlon's Luminous Colour (I wear Sueded Brown). It is a pencil on one end, with the "smudgy tip" on the other end. I LOVE that smudgy tip! I also really like Revlon's Colorstay liner, it's a cream "pot" with a brush applicator...I have the purple Plum colour and love it! Another eye liner tip - I often wet my eyeliner brush in water and use regular eye shadow as the liner. The water mixes with the powder to go on "wet" like a liquid liner, but it dries soft and smooth looking, and wears off well. - This is actually my favourite thing to do, but it takes more time to apply, so I do the pencil unless for a special occasion:-) My fave colours for that (eyeshadow used as liner) are MAC Espresso (matte, very dark brown) and a matte shade of very dark plum purple that I've had since 2001 and can no longer see the name of:-)
I've now got on blush MAC...Gingerly, I *think* I've had it so long (3 years now) that I can't read the name on the back anymore!! Yes, it is my only blush, and I wear it almost everyday. It lasts *that* long! Again, while not cheap...I'm definitely getting my money's worth! I'm also wearing eye liner, Revlon's with the smudgy tip!

Mascara. Probably my fave thing. I love it and wear it obnoxiously. I am currently using Covergirl's Last Blast Fusion. I switch it up whenever I run out (about every month!), and love all kinds of drugstore mascaras. I wear no less than 20 coats (not kidding) per eye. Fact: It takes me longer to apply my mascara than any other thing I do to my face, combined. I very possibly might have some sort of issue that requires an intervention. This pic shows one eye with, and one without:-)
TIP #8: Wax your brows before doing tutorial style tips online, with pictures:-) Sorry folks. Busy mom...you're lucky I wear makeup in public. Stop staring at my mangy brows.
TIP #9: Lip stick, or gloss, or whatever you like the feel of. Line your lips if you want to, or need to. After applying your lipstick, stick your thumb in your mouth like a thumb-sucking baby, when you pull it out it will have on it all the lipstick or gloss that would have stuck to your teeth. In above pic, I am wearing MAC Spice lip liner, and Blankety lipstick

TIP #10: Go bold! Easily change your look from mom-at-home to date-night with a couple things...add a little shimmer, or add a little colour! Just on top of what you already have on! In below pic I added MAC Twig lipstick, a great shade of browny-red. Another chic look is to go with a glossy nude lip (combined with a dramatic eye).
And I added MAC Crushed metallic pigment in Butterfly Party, Desert Cloud.  It's 2 colours, a purply blue and then a greeny turquoise.

From this shot, the "dramatic eye" is on the Right, the everyday eye on the Left...can't really tell unless I blink though, right? It's "shocking colour" that you don't have to be 15 to pull off...it can be both shocking and subtle, all at the same time, in my opinion, which makes wearing colour instead of neutrals suitable no matter what your age.
BONUS TIP: Drop your pricey makeup on the tile floor and it's now a crumbly mess? Put it back together again using rubbing alcohol! Click the link to see how-to.

Hurricane Weekend - Video

We started off the weekend by playing a double header in Soccer (a pic of that on my twitter feed). It started raining and getting really windy during the second game (which was at noon). So we stayed in...I had done lots of shopping on Friday to prepare for loss of power (lots of bread and peanut butter, haha!!) - oh wait - we DID go out to bowl on Saturday night, Lauren watched the kids, and we enjoyed a spur of the moment little date - a first in...well, years, probably. We usually just do date nights in:-)
We played lots of games together, like Chess,

And redneck Checkers

And Hungry Hippos

And football
We watched football too on tv, but the HD was out, and only regular cable worked. Haha #firstworldproblems
And we "camped out" together at night

And we filled the tub with water in case it was needed

And had jugs of water ready to go for drinking (as well as bottled water in the fridge & freezer)

Reading together

Watching movies together...
All in all, it was an ok time - for us. Daddy was rained in due to flooding, and schools were canceled, so we got a nice 3 day weekend in there, with lots of together time, naps, and adult fellowship in the evenings with our local friends (who are also neighbours:-)
This is what the scene looked like in our yard on Sunday. It was very windy and rainy. But we came through just fine. In our opinion, the storm was not as severe as Hurricane Irene last year, or as the Nor'easter the year before that...but it was still bad...

Our neighbourhood is not low-lying, thankfully. There are others on streets that are completely flooded. This is one shot of Norfolk. There are places worse than that. So some people didn't fair as well as we did, with cars and houses being destroyed. I don't think anyone was killed in our specific area, but Sandy has claimed quite a few lives along her path.

We did lose power last night (Monday), it went out at 9:30ish, and so we went to bed, hopeful that it would be on by morning. It came back on around 1am (had to get up and turn everything off!), and so power workers were obviously working very hard to make sure that everyone was taken care of and not without power for long. Thank you for your hard work! It made our day today much easier to live, that's for sure;-)

Two One Dollars!

This is how much money the "tooth fairy" gave Kenna for losing her first tooth on Saturday:-)

"I looked under my pillow and didn't see anything, and then I looked again to check and saw two one dollars!"

Great pay day. I think I used to get .50c :-)

We've been talking about all our losing teeth stories (of which Mommy has tons and Daddy has none;-), and now Kenna has one of her own...

It'd been hanging on by a thread on Friday, and on Sat, no doubt, we would have pulled it out, but first things Sat morning, somehow Grey hit Kenna in the face (I didn't see it, they said it was an accident), and knocked the tooth right out! So Grey has successfully punched out his first tooth I guess:-)

New tooth growing in

Friday, October 26, 2012

Trampoline Moves & Spiders - Video

All the kids (including Sonny) doing their "awesome moves" :-)
Brooks is afraid of spiders. Paralyzingly so. I don't think I've ever heard screams of sheer terror and panic like those the boy (aka: an emotional wreck:-) can produce. My goodness. Much to his chagrin, we have a HUGE spider making his home in our front bushes. He really is big, the pics don't do him justice. I'm not a big spider fan myself...
From the other side, he's eating his food

Hurricane Sandy

Well, it's supposed to be a perfect storm. A Hurricane (Sandy) meets a Nor'easter, and knocks us all for a loop!

We are ready and waiting for it to hit our area the hardest on Sunday, they are predicting. We are ready, and praying for safety (and no property damage!) for us and our whole area! So please pray with us. Everyone is a little on edge in these situations...you just never know what could happen - ranging from no big deal to "Katrina-like" DISASTERS. Of course aside from the actual storm, the major, and really more concerning issues, are flooding and extensive power outages.

We will do our best to update via facebook or twitter, as we are able (I am also able do these on my cell phone) - My twitter feed no longer shows at the top of this blog, and I have been trying to figure out why, but can't :-/ Anyway, if you click on the "see all my recent status updates" it will take you to my twitter feed, and you will see everything from there. If I am able to report something like we're out of power, perhaps those who are on facebook (my mom & aunt?) can alert other family members that are not (grandpa, sister etc). I know people in far-off places see the news and potentially devastating things happening, and I don't want people to worry unnecessarily that we're not safe, or that our house was washed away.

I'll take all the pics I can, of course, and post as/when I am able. I have a few pics and video of the kids I need to put together and post too, hopefully I'll have a chance before the weekend crazies (high winds, rain, storm surges) take affect.

Praying she blows out to sea...and leaves us unharmed. Until then, batting down the hatches:-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blue House

We've had a busy weekend. Brian had to work (his real job) on Saturday, and then there was church, and then there was a Patriots game on tv at 4:30...haha!! Needless to say we squeezed in as much painting as we could! Well, the house is well on it's way to being complete BLUE! The front is completely done with 1st coat. 2 sides are *almost* completely done with first coat (a little bit of way high up there cutting in still needed - we ran out of time).
I did all the cutting in, except the stuff that could only be reached with the tall ladder. I'm too scared to do it:-) Brian cut in up high and then rolled everything with his 18" (time saving!) roller!

Game plan? Finish up high cutting in. 2nd coat on front, then on 2 sides. Then do the dormers (re-side & paint 2 coats), then do the back side of the house in 2 coats. Then we'll be vinyl wrapping all the wood trim/windows area and painting the windows after that.
Our garage door is old and doesn't work and weighs 1000lbs, so it's being replaced with a plain ol' white garage door we were able to secure for $40, and it will work (raise and lower with ease)!! I think I want white shutters with all the white trim, white garage door and white shed doors...
Side of house with sheds
But then we have 2 front doors (ours and our upstairs renters)...and I want them to have a pop of colour, instead of their current white. I think it will just add to the freshness of the blue and white look, don't you? The problem is, we haven't decided on WHAT colour to pick? We've narrowed down a few faves...

Vote, please?

Yellow door
Source: google.com via Darla on Pinterest

Red door
Source: google.com via Darla on Pinterest

Green door
Source: google.com via Darla on Pinterest

Orange door
Source: google.com via Darla on Pinterest

I think we're leaning more towards the yellow or the green. Red might be a little typical, and orange might give the impression we are broncos fans:-) What do you think? Another more mono-chromatic choice we've talked about is a grey. Opinions wanted!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

House Updates

Well there are about to be some exterior changes to our house going on!! It needs a little up-keep/tlc/work on the outside parts, so we're trying to get them done while we still have warm weather on our side.

Kenna, upon learning of our decision to re-paint the house...a new colour (!), was deeply saddened. She can't stop talking about how much she adores yellow houses in fact. Too bad for her:-) I found the following note set out with a pen so we could circle our choice. Unfortunately for her, we had already purchased the blue paint. Brian is a big fan of the dark blue houses. And when Daddy pays for it, he gets to pick it out:-)
Mom and bad. I dot wot a blue haw house i wot a yello. Yes No. Kenna

this morning Brian removed the shutters from the front so we can repaint them, and power wash the house in preparation for painting
 The back porch we had...we took it down (the roof/ceiling/overhang part). It was in ill repair from old age and wasn't really fixable, so we removed it. New siding and stuff is going up now (see it?)
Scaffolding in place for the siding repairs
 Stay tuned for pics of the work in progess!

This is the colour we did on our rental house SW's Regatta. I do love it a lot, but wanted something a touch "smokier" for our larger 2 story house

This is the colour we are doing on our current yellow house...Sherwin Williams Rainstorm. We have white trim everywhere, with 2 yellow (bright-ish?) front doors :-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cream of Whatever Soup - Recipe

Last night I was planning to make Chicken Rice Casserole, a recipe from my Great Grandma, Ruby Haas. Problem - I forgot I didn't have any cream of mushroom soup on hand, and I thought I did. Pinterest to the rescue! I knew I pinned a "make your own condensed soup" in the past. It was perfectly perfect in this recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand, so it was cheaper for me, but I'd have to do cost analysis to see if it's actually cheaper (likely is). One thing for sure, it's healthier with no additives and much less sodium than a can of mushroom soup, and didn't take long to make.

2T butter
1/4 C flour
1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
1/2 C milk (I used whole, but lower fat is likely just fine)
salt and pepper to taste (just guess based on the salt content of the recipe you are making, I didn't add much and it was fine)
1/4 C of whatever you want the soup to be...mushroom, celery, onion, potato, broccoli, chicken (cooked), finely chopped.

In small saucepan heat the butter and the "of" ingredient until soft, (not tender), add flour and stir together. It will be thick, sticky and gooey, and that is ok. I used mushrooms from a can and slap-chopped them to pieces:-)

Slowly add broth and whisk to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil, while whisking, and cook until thickened (doesn't take long, so don't walk away!)

Add milk, salt and pepper and stir until combined and thick.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bed Head

It must have been an epic nap, because it resulted in epic hair:-)

He was a sweaty mess! But adorably cute!

Pinterest Party

Well, back by popular demand - another Pinterest Party! The rules? Bring something you've never made before, from Pinterest. Even if it flops:-) We also had a little informal diaper shower for our friend Lisa, due with baby #5.

Sarah - Mac & Cheese that supposedly tastes like Panera Bread's. This is on Sarah's Recipe Ideas board. Verdict? We thought it was good - but a fairly normal mac & cheese, not a Panera replication.

Chae -Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip cookies. This is on Chae's Food Fun board. These cookies were delicious! I am even not a huge fan of Nutella (hazelnut flavour), and even I thought they were amazing.

Anna - Homemade Snickers. These were my personal fave of the night. Absolutely phenomenal. The Nougat part...well, I guess we could say "sweet dreams are made of this".

Michelle - Pull Apart Pumpkin Bread. An awesome "breakfast" type bread. I loved it. I think she made it from my Recipes board:-)

Darla - We weren't going crazy with a  baby shower theme - however, I did want to give it a little atmosphere - so the things I choose to make were all pink and blue - since she is not finding out the gender of her baby (a first for her!). Homemade Peppermint Patties - I did use peppermint oil, and used wilton melting chocolate wafers in pink and blue, and flavoured the chocolate with the oil too. Minty yummy. I made Jello Cookies & Playdough - no, I didn't use it as playdough first, but these are reaaaally good! I used blue raspberry & strawberry jello. I saw this idea on pinterest for Hershey bars, so I did that with the mini ones.

Lisa - Caramel Cheesecake Apple Dip - Wow. Best apple dip ever. It turns a healthy fruit into junk food:-) This is on her bon appetit board.

Lauren - Rustic Tuscan-Style Sausage Soup.This was a winner. Soooo good. Very hearty too, so it would be great for those people who like very chunky soup. It's the perfect fall weather meal! This recipe is on her Yummy Ideas board.

Chasity - Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer on her Favorite Recipes board. She brought her yummy freshly ground coffee to go along with it, and it was really good! It is not sweet, so I needed to add a little sugar to my cup, but some drank it as is. Confession: I have never had a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, so I can't personally compare them, but it sure was delicious!

Hunt Club Farm

And fun was had by all! (We didn't have Ardyn yesterday, so that's why she's not in the pictures:-)
Feeding chickens

May - Eatin' some snacks

Farmer Sonny

Brooks & Buddy, Eli
Feeding a bobbly-headed Alpaca
Tire swings - always fun

using the pulley system to feed the goats in their tree fort

Grey wanted a picture with this "widdle fedda" (little fellow)

Sonny - always plays hard

Picking out our pumpkins. May was toooooo cute

Making her very heavy selection
Got it!