Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Falling in Love -- It's an Annual Thing!

I love the Fall, don't you? 

All of the beautiful colors and smells, the first chilly morning, the sharp afternoon shadows -- they all make me feel rejuvinated and alive. 

Which is odd, if you think about it, because Autumn is sometimes thought of as a dying season.  The leaves on the trees shrivel and fall to the ground, the air gets chilly and the days get shorter.

I look at it as a time to turn inward and reflect.  I remember holidays with family, and warm fireplaces, waiting for the first snowfall.  The oppressive summer heat and humidity are gone, and I finally get to dress in warm turtlenecks and sweaters and drink Chai lattes.

I get more excited about writing.  Sitting outside with my journal in the fall is one of my most precious past times.  And I look forward to the challenge of NaNoWriMo in November.

There just seems to be so much to look forward to, it almost makes me giddy.  There are fairs and fall festivals and Halloween and Thanksgiving, and then Christmas and New Year's Eve.  It's all so exciting, yet so calming and peaceful to me.

I'm making an effort this season to take a moment each and every day to savour each of these favorite things.  They seem to fly by so quickly, I don't want to miss a minute.

What is your favorite thing about Fall?

Photo credits:  Geekr, Lady_Fox

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Review: Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Beauty Balm

There's been a lot of talk recently about BB creams. You haven't heard the jabber?  Let me give you a quick review.

First off, the "BB" stands for "blemish balm" or "beauty balm."  It originated in Asia, but has quickly become the latest up and coming cosmetic product in the West.  Their claim is to be an "all-in-one" cosmetic product that replaces serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock.  It can be used as a tinted moisturizer for those "no makeup" days, or as a foundation.

I first became aware of BB balms when I received a sample of Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Beauty Balm in my very first Birchbox in June 2012.

I prefer not using a lot of products (yes, I'm lazy) and I don't want to spend a lot of time applying makeup (yes, I'm busy), so I was excited to have a "one stop shop" type of product to try.  I began using it right away and have used it off and on since then.  I just squeezed out the last little bit this morning (sad face).  A little bit goes a long way, and that, combined with my somewhat infrequent use, is why the sample size of .33 fl oz. has lasted me until mid-October.

This BB balm is good for those days when I don't want to take the time to apply a whole face full of makeup.  It provides a fair amount of coverage.  I don't have much acne, but I do have a few dark spots and an uneven skin tone that I like to cover up, so this product works fine for that.  On days when I am going to work, or out on the town with Mr. Babycakes, I do prefer to use a heavier foundation that provides a heavier coverage.

I tend to have a challenging time matching foundations to my skin tone (I'm fair skinned, but prefer a slightly tanned look).  Dr. Jart matches me perfectly while still giving me that slightly made up healthy glow.  In my opinion, it is fool proof, and I really like it a lot.

Another plus to this Dr. Jart product is that it did not cause me to break out.  I'm in my mid-forties (yeah, I'm not afraid to say it) so I don't have many breakouts.  But there have been a few products out there that made me feel like I was back in my pimple-laden teen years.  This, thankfully, is not one of them.  This made my skin feel moisturized and supple and beautiful.

The price is more steep than I would typically pay for foundation (I use a range of drugstore products, from Cover Girl to Maybelline to Rimmel), but I feel that it is good for my skin and is a worthwhile investment.  The price from Birchbox: $39.00 for 1.5 fl oz (includes free shipping); Amazon sellers have it listed for $37.95.

I have really loved this product.  And now that my sample tube is empty, I'll place an order for a full size tonight!

Have you tried any BB creams?  What's your favorite?

See also: 
Wikipedia BB Cream

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!  I am thankful for those who labored today, so I could take the day off.

My day, and in fact my whole weekend, has been spent in a very restful state.  I have spent time working on household chores, reading the two books for my upcoming book club meetings, and catching up on magazine and blog reading.  Today I did work for a few hours to prepare for the workday tomorrow, but that has been the extent of my exertion.

I sometimes wonder if I have worked to hard to perfect relaxation and "me" time.  I have read and studied so much on the topic of relaxation and stress reduction in the past years, I think I may have become an expert.  Is that possible?  I do think I need to get back on the productivity wagon...

...Which is my reason for coming back here tonight.  I need to get back to the writing.  ANY writing.  I still haven't done that, although I have talked a lot about it.  I'm ready to be a doer instead of a talker.

So I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend.  Did you do anything fun and exciting?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Just a Hello

I don't have much to offer on the blogging front today. I am really tired, so am laying low for the night.

I did want to post something, though, just to stay in the rhythm and learn the habit of everyday blogging.

Here's a random photo. I took this with my iPhone in the Spring. The flowers were for sale in a grocery store, and their brilliant colors captured my attention right away.

Speaking of my iPhone, I'm blogging to you by way of the Blogger app right now!

Hope you all enjoyed your Thursday!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

photo by Hryck
Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!  I hope your holiday was full of family and hot dogs on the grill and fireworks.  And I hope you took more than a moment to remember the reason for this holiday!

Our day was fairly quiet.  Our extended family is spread out, so we did not spend the day together.  (Sad face.)  So my immediate family (Mr. Babycakes and the two Not-So-Little-Anymore-Cakes) had a leisurely morning with pancakes and quiet relaxation.  Ahhhh!  We did get moving later in the morning and ventured out for shopping and errands.

Our plans for attending the annual fireworks fell through thanks to intermitten thunderstorms and frankly because it was too darn hot!  It got up to 101F today, and none of us were interested in sitting out in the blazing sun to claim lawn space for a fireworks show.  Even sitting in a hot car to claim a parking space in our usual parking lot on a hill would have been unpleasant.  So we all voted to stay in tonight and each do our own thing.

I took advantage of our downtime to relax with a refreshing face mask.  I discovered these masks by Que Bella at Target (less than $3!) a couple of weeks ago, and fell in love with them.  This "refreshing pomegranate" peel-off mask is my favorite, but I have two others waiting in the wings:  a self-heating clay mask and a Dead Sea mud mask.  I can't wait to give them a try.  I'll a post a review of them here soon.

Well, as much as I have enjoyed this mid-week day off, it's back to work tomorrow, so I must get ready for that.  I hope you all have a great rest of the week.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Review: ImPRESS Press-On Manicure

I am forever working on my nails: trying to grow them, trying to make them healty, trying to make them look pretty. I've tried everything from the yucky tasting liquid that is brushed on the nails to keep from biting them, to years of on-again-off-again acrylic "false" nails.

I have reached a point in my life when I've outgrown the nail biting, and can now enjoy the beautiful nail polish colors that are available.

I was excited to receive the ImPRESS Press-On Manicure in my Mom VoxBox from Influenster. This was something new I had not tried -- a flawless, no-dry-time manicure. Just what us moms and busy women need. Who can find the time for their home manicure to dry appropriately, right?

I sat down on a Saturday afternoon for my weekly home manicure, and decided to give the ImPRESS Press-On Manicure a try.

Right away I discovered that the product was very similar to the press-on nail products that have been around for ages, and not the nail polish strips that are all the rage now (and what I was hoping for). My hopes dimmed right away, because my experience with the press-on nail kits in the past has been less than stellar. The ImPRESS Press-On Manicure is supposed to last up to a week.

I moved forward with the manicure, as I wanted to give the product the benefit of the doubt and really give it a good testing.

Applying the nails was fairly simple. After laying out the size needed for each finger, I moved along quickly by peeling the adhesive off the back and pressing the nail onto my own nails. The entire process took about 10 minutes, including choosing the size of each nail.

One of the nails tore a bit while I was removing the adhesive. That was probably because of my heavy hand, but a good indication that the nails may not stand up to heavy duty use.

I also had a hard time matching up the sizing of the nails to my own fingers. I have small nail beds, and even the smallest sizes seemed to overlap my natural nail. Some of my natural nails were also a little bit longer than the ImPRESS nails, which gave me heart palpitations. I really didn't want to trim or file my own nails after I'd worked to hard to grow them out! But in the interest of the product testing, I did.

The color of the nails was pretty -- like a raspberry pink shade -- but was not really my color. There are 36 colors and styles to choose from, though, so I don't think I would have any trouble finding one that I would like.

In the end, I removed the nails after a little over 24 hours, but not because of the product. I had a meeting at work on Monday, and I didn't want to have to worry about whether or not a nail would fall off. To be honest, though, now I don't think that would have been a problem. The nails were a little difficult to remove. The adhesive backing seemed very strong, so I feel like the nails would have lasted up to a week as promised.

Overall I was fairly happy with the ImPRESS Press-On Manicure. I think I will go out and purchase it to give it a better try. I would recommend the product to my friends for a quick and flawless manicure.

Have you tried the ImPRESS Press-On Manicure? What did you think?

Hey, I did receive this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. But my opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Received My Mom VoxBox Today!

I received my Mom VoxBox today from Influenster!

I was selected a couple of months ago to receive the Mom VoxBox based on a profile I completed at Influenster.com.  Based on your profile, and how active you are in social media, you can be selected to receive products to test, evaluate and recommend.  

Here are the products I received in my VoxBox:

  • Ivory Bar Soap
  • DenTek Comfort Clean & Fun Flossers
  • Stash Tea Superfruits Tea Sampler and Nektar Sweetener
  • Quaker Soft Baked Cookie

I'll be testing these products over the next couple of weeks and will post my reviews, so stay tuned.  

Have you received any VoxBoxes from Influenster?  What was your favorite sample?