Friday, March 19, 2010

Some People

First, let me say that I am sure I annoy other people sometimes, and sometimes I'm completely oblivous. We all do unless we're complete hermits. I'm nearly a hermit, but not quite. Today was the first "real" spring day and there were a ton of people out at the park, even before school was out for the day. I realized again that some people just bug me or in the very least make me question their judgment. Sometimes they just make me giggle and they don't really bug me, but I thought they were worth a mention too. ;)

The other day, I went to the park and it was still a little cold. There, I found a girl lying on top of a guy, making out in full view of the playgrounds (and picnic areas, and trail...), but conveniently hidden from the parking lot thanks to a hill. On the preschool playground, there were smoking mommies. I don't mean they were wearing skinny jeans and halters with their bangin' curves on display. I mean they lit up and smoked their cigarettes right on the bench, not 20 feet from the slides. I seriously doubt that's even allowed. Ugh.

Today was complete hell as I tried to make my way around the parking lot to find a spot. People were cutting each other off, nearly wrecking (I actually thought I watched one happen, but I guess they missed it by about 3 inches) as they scrambled to hold up not one, but both lanes of  traffic while they sat there waiting for a mom to pack up her kids, her stroller, and make sure everybody had their appropriate snacks/pacifiers/etc.

Later, I was trying to back out and give someone a parking space, but there were two cars in a row just sitting behind me, waiting for other people to get packed up and back out. As they sat there, traffic continued to collect behind them, and everybody was so busy cursing them, they didn't even notice that, "Hey, Buddy, I'd like to get OUT here." I think it took me a full 10 minutes to free up a parking spot, and Ramona was not in the best mood.

Other things I've noticed today:
  • Trying to potty train and use a public restroom does not work. People don't clean up after themselves.
     I knew this, but I'm always shocked to find another example of it. I'm not putting my kid on that seat, and she's too freaked out when I hold her up to go. Pull-ups rock.
  • Women with kids wear six-inch stilettos To. The. Park. Um, why? You don't have to go looking as frumpy as me in my yoga pants, tank, hair in a bun, and slightly hideous sunglasses bought on a whim, but dude.
  • When other people's kids push my kid, I get really annoyed, and it does not help when they try to flirt with me later (the kids, not the parents, though if the parents tried to flirt I'd probably just get more annoyed. Lol). 
  • There are other mommies in the world who, like me, want to (and do!) wear tube tops. I always feel weird doing that, plus I'm afraid it'll get yanked down. I try not to wear one when I'm going out with Ramona by myself.
  • Skechers Shape-ups make it fun to walk (I did two miles instead of just one). I'll review them later after I've had a chance to judge their effectiveness. They do feel really good to my super-high arches. You could drive a tractor under the arches of my feet and these hug them nicely.
  • Teenage guys will pretend they can't catch up to teenage girls when they're jogging together and the girl's loose and very short shorts keep flapping up with every stride.
  • Getting an iced coffee on the way to the park to go for a 1-2 mile walk while pushing a stroller loaded with about 40 lbs of stuff (kid included) is probably not the best idea. Hooray for being one of the stupid people I'm ranting about.
  • Apparently there's a chic mommies' club made of women who wear boots and skinny jeans with fancy shirts to the park when it's finally warm enough for flip-flops. They all looked like they thought they were far too superior to be outdoors, but were making the best of it by forming the Foxy Boot Clan (but I did want to ask them where they shopped for their shoes!).
  • Gandalf (Lord of the Rings) lives in my town. Yep, and he has a mean motorcycle. I knew it was him when I saw his beard blowing in the breeze as he drove by.
Enough spewing of the venom. Thanks for humoring me. It's been a rough day (even before my adventures at the park!). I got new walking shoes and one of the first things I did in them was narrowly miss toddler poop on the bathroom floor. Have I mentioned that I've taken the next step in potty training and started letting her wear big girl panties? She's usually good, but when she screws up, boy does she screw up.

In the words of my favorite fictional character, "Tomorrow is another day."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jessica Simpson's The Price of Beauty

I admit it, I'm a fan of my birth date twin (different years). I always have been, even though I haven't always wanted to admit it for whatever reason. I'm also a fan of learning about different cultures in present day or throughout history. Combine all that for my love of everything makeup, health, fitness, etc, and The Price of Beauty is right up my alley. It's way cheaper than the book set I kind of want but will never buy ($220!), 100,000 Years of Beauty by Elizabeth Azoulay. Even though the show is only looking at standards of beauty today, it's enough to scratch the itch.

For those who don't know, it comes on VH1 at 10:00 on Monday nights. If you missed last week's, that's okay, because that was the first time it aired. You haven't missed much yet. In the last episode, she went to Thailand. Next week, she's going to France.

So far, I think it's rich in content. You get to learn about other cultures, reflect on just how different they can be from ours (the paler the better in Thailand, while we're over here baking in the sun or tanning beds, or slathering on sunless tanners), and you get to laugh. Did you expect anything less than a handful of funny quotes from Jessica, CaCee, and Ken in every episode? Especially Jessica! She's not playing the ditsy blonde she was on Newlyweds, but one of the things I've always admired about her is that she's not embarrassed to admit when she doesn't know something (nor is she embarrassed to throw in a slightly crude comment when the moment arises!). She's not afraid to show that she's just another curious human, faux pas and all.  It's refreshing and she makes it easy to laugh with her as she wades her way through ignorance.

There were some times where I cringed, thinking, "She's representing us and she's being rude!" but I'm sure she didn't intend to offend anyone, at least. I'll probably watch every episode. Humor...culture...what's not to love?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ralph Lauren Ralph Perfume Review



Review of Ralph Lauren Ralph: This is "the original" Ralph Lauren scent from what I understand, but I've never paid attention to it. I love most of the others--Blue, Romance (favorite!), Hot, Romance Always Yours, Rocks (not my favorite, but it's okay), etc, but the simple blue bottle never really attracted my attention. When I first sprayed this onto my wrist today, I thought it smelled too citrusy and not at all like the freesia mix I'd expected based on reviews at MakeupAlley.com. I was crushed and had almost decided to go a few doors down for the Victoria's Secret Sexy Little Things perfume that I knew wouldn't have as much staying power.

I decided to wander around Sephora for a few more minutes, though, and kept sniffing my wrist as I went. Boy, did it change! After a few minutes, I had a clean, fresh, freesia scent that smelled just like the Sexy Little Things massage oil I fell in love with again last night. It also reminded me of the old Bath and Body Works Freesia scent in the purple bottle, but not as strong (that stuff made me gag until it faded a little!). I had no qualms about snatching up the 1 oz bottle after that. A few hours have passed and I'm still smelling it. When I got back to the playground, my hubby immediately said, "You smell good!" Yay, it got the man's seal of approval!

Overall, I'd say this is a fabulous spring/summer scent for those who like fresh, clean florals. If you love freesia, this is a must have. According to Sephora, the notes are: Apple Tree Leaves, Yellow Freesia, Italian Mandarin, Japanese Loquat, Osmanthus, Magnolia, Linden Blossom Flower, Purple Freesia, Boronia, Musk 2000, White Orris.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Benefit Cosmetics, Revisited

For the longest time, there were very few Benefit products I thought were worth the money. Mostly, I thought they were hyped up average products in pretty packaging for exorbitant prices. Lucky for them, I was in a funk this weekend and went to Sephora to cheer myself up--all alone. Let me walk you through not one, but two, Sephora trips:

I went to Sephora yesterday on a mad dash to try Benefit High Beam yet again because I keep seeing it on people with skin as fair as mine and falling into a state of awe over how beautiful and radiant they look. When I guzzle down all the water I'm supposed to and run like a maniac hamster on the treadmill, I can get close to that--once the purple flush that consumes my face when I work out subsides. However, this product takes it up a notch and if I want to be lazy one day, I can still get the glow of a runner's high.

I've swatched High Beam before and walked away unimpressed, thinking it barely showed up. Something about the lighting in that corner of Sephora made it flash a pearly white-pink, though, so I decided to buy some and take it home to try on my face (trying testers on my face skeeves me out, and I'm not even a germaphobe). When I checked out, I had 500 points, so I was able to pick up a Tarte sampler pack. I haven't tried all of those things yet, so I'll have to review them later as a group.

Initial review of Benefit High Beam: I absolutely love it on my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose. I want to throw away the MAC Shell Cream Color Base I've been using because in comparison, Shell is a glittery mess. This doesn't emphasize my pores, it's easy to blend, and the cool undertones make it look natural on my NC15-NC20 skin tone. Warmer skin tones may like Moon Beam better, as it's got a gold tint instead of a pink one. It does show up enough to do the trick, but it's not obvious (so that's a good thing!).

I put it on over mineral makeup and it didn't make a mess of it even though it's powder. I imagine it will meld effortlessly with liquid foundations as well, and I've read that it works well at brightening up the undereye area when mixed with concealer (I could use that!). I'm not keen on the packaging, which is like a jumbo bottle of nail polish, complete with that type of brush, but it's better than having to dip my fingers into the product. The bottle is clear so you can see the color of the product inside and how much you have left. 

I'd read a review prior to going to Sephora that said a makeup artist told them to do a circle of Posietint on each cheek, then draw a line from the top of the circle across the cheekbones with High Beam for a perfectly natural, glowing set of cheeks. I have previously tried Posietint on my hand as well, yielding barely-there results. I tried it again and once again, something about those Sephora lights made me able to see it. It looked almost like nothing, but enough of something to possibly bring life to my cheeks. I didn't get it, though, because I was trying to be a good girl and just get what I went in for. That lasted all of a day.

Today, Ramona reeeeeally wanted to go to the mall to play on the playground. Awesome dad that she has was willing to hang out with her there while I went to Sephora one more time. This time, I was in pursuit of a sniff of Ralph Lauren's Ralph perfume because I heard it smells just like Victoria's Secret's Sexy Little Things, but lasts more than the time it takes me to walk downstairs (it does!). So what did I do? Of course I had to pass back in front of the Benefit section to get to the perfume, so I picked up Posietint. Then I spritzed on some of the Ralph. I thought I was the one freak on earth on whom it did not smell as good as Sexy Little Things, but after the dry down, I was met with a schnoz full of freesia heaven.

Initial review of Benefit Posietint: This is a light, neutral pink that I think will work on most light-medium skin tones, but probably won't show up very well on pigmented lips. It gives mine a little bit of color, but nothing to get too excited about. It's pretty, it's natural, and it layers well underneath sheer nude glosses that are just a little bit too sheer/nude for when you don't want to look like you're wearing much makeup. For example, I layered it under the LipFusion Color gloss in Bare that was Sephora's $10 item of the day and it looks good.

On the cheeks, Posietint shows up way more than I thought it would! I look like I've been laughing my butt off and I'm in a jolly good mood even though in reality, I'm still a grump (slightly less of a grump due to the shopping though). I did the circle method where I drew a circle with the nail polish-like brush, then dabbed it around with my fingertip and it does look very natural. I could almost throw out all of my other cheek products, but since this is just the initial review, I'll wait a couple of months to see if that sentiment sticks around (and update you then too). haha

The packaging is similar to that of Benefit High Beam, but it's got a metallic pink coating on it instead of being completely clear. That means you can't really see how much is left or the actual shade of the product. The color of the coating is about the same color as what's inside, for what it's worth. The product itself is somewhere between gel and liquid consistency, which surprised me because I expected liquid.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hiking on Ice

A few weeks ago, we took a trip to the mountains. After driving for hours, partially up the dirt roads on the mountain, we came upon an "Oh, crap" moment. There was snow. We weren't even to our destination. Since we'd invested so much time anyway, we kept going forward. There was also the fact that there was nowhere to turn around without falling off the side of the mountain. When we got to the trail, there was another family leaving. They said it was a good hike, but kind of icy, so they suggested picking up some large sticks to use as trekking poles before we got too far in. Boy, am I glad we did that! At one point, on the way down, I slipped. I kept slipping, twirling, bending over at the waist, then standing upright again, overcorrecting a little so that it looked like I'd fall over backwards. The whole time, I had two thoughts alternating in my head:

"Oh no! It's going to hurt when I finally fall!" and "This must be really funny to watch." I was informed later that it was, in fact, hilarious to watch. I never actually fell.

The stick kept me upright, but I was spinning around it, sliding down the mountain trail, for a few yards. Oh, and I forgot to mention the creek we had to cross. I was in sneakers. Not waterproof.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Well, I hope this positive body image sticks around...

Today I was changing Ramona's diaper and she said she wanted to touch her knees. For some reason, she always says that. I guess because here lately, her knees are almost always covered up by pajamas or blue jeans. The following conversation went like this:
"I don't like my knees!"
"What do you mean? You have beautiful knees!"
"I NOT have beautiful knees. I have a beautiful BUTT."

After I laughed my own butt off, I assured her that she was beautiful from head to toe, not just her butt. hahaha

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Coffee Blog

 My day is never complete without coffee. Generally, if I even think about coffee I have to go drink some. It revs me up in the morning and oddly enough, it calms me at night. Coffee at midnight? Why yes, I think I will have some...  That's why I was so happy to discover this blog:

Destination Caffeination

I get to learn about all the things I've missed out on so far in my coffee adventures. I've found a local roaster. I've found the amazing differences between fresh beans and those you buy on the shelves of the grocery stores. I've even decided on a few favorites (Kenya, Kona, and Jamaican Blue). We grind our coffee every morning so it tastes even fresher and extra delicious. But still, the quest for the perfect cup of coffee continues.

I think it's experiencing a few hiccups right now. It was at another location, but recently moved.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Have you heard of Layla Grace?

Layla Grace Marsh is the same age as my daughter, so this story hit home. She has stage IV neuroblastoma. On February 28th, her dad posted on their blog that they'd been given about two more weeks with her--not the couple of months they'd thought they had before. The Twitter updates break my heart, but I can't turn away.

Reading about her reminds me so much of Ramona. I read on her parents' blog that she was always in the 80th percentile at her check-ups, always healthy, that she learned to communicate very well at an early age...she even has the same middle name as Ramona.

I've been following her parents on Twitter (LaylaGrace) and I'm a fan of hers on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laylagrace. For every fan they get, a dollar is donated to help Layla's family. There's also LaylaGrace.org, where her parents update her status in more detail than Twitter allows.  Also, if you have a little girl you'd like to buy a cute hat for, all the proceeds from If the Bow Fits' Tie Dye Boutique Hats (available in three different sizes so any little girl can wear them) go to Layla and her family. I think we're ordering the Raspberry Peony one.

The family could use everyone's prayers, messages, support, or even a donation (possibly in the form of signing up as a fan of theirs on Facebook or purchasing a beanie--it's easy), so I thought I'd pass the information along.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oink.

I polished off a bag of dark chocolate M&M's (don't judge, rough week). Ramona found the empty purple bag on the coffee table after her nap. She said, "Mommy, you ate ALL of these." I said, "Yeah, Mommy's a pig." She said, "You're not a pig, Mommy, you're a woman."  That statement is much more accurate than she has any idea about at this point in time. She is a wise, wise child.

Just Dance for Wii

I think I might just lose my spare tire with this thing. I'm not a video game person. I like the Wii, but I'm not an addict. I can go months without turning it on. However, I have spent about five hours of my life on this game since I got it this weekend at the suggestion of my best friend. I'm so totally sure she could kick my butt at this thing since I have very little coordination but like to try to pretend I do anyway.

So what is it? It reminds me a lot of Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution (no mat though). You try to keep up with what the little person on the screen is doing, dancing to some great music from the 1970s through today. I had a fun time listening to the Spice Girls...felt like I was in 8th grade again.

The game can tell how well you do because you hold the controller in your right hand as you boogie your Saturday night away. The more energetic you are, the better. I danced my butt off to songs like:

Ring My Bell
Hot N Cold
You Can't Touch This
Cotton Eye Joe (favorite #1)
Womanizer (favorite #2)

You can seriously lose hours to this game without realizing it. But hey, at least you're getting a good workout.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Beauty

  This will be in a magazine later, but the idea started out as a blog post, so I'll put it here too:


  What girl doesn't love beauty tips and looking her best? In a world where we're wrapped up with celebrity images, plastic surgery, and the latest scandal, sometimes it's hard to remember to get back to the basics. There are a few things we can teach our daughters about beauty that ideally will move with them through the passing trends, the years, the wrinkles, and everyday life. 



1.     You can't avoid every wrinkle no matter how hard you try or which products you use, so make sure the wrinkles you do get reflect the laughter and joy you've shared with others.





2.     Wear sunscreen—and not just on your face. Don't forget your hands; they'll tell the truth about your age even if your face lies.





3.     Never forget that everyone is beautiful, no matter their age, weight, skin color, or anything else. No matter how old you get or how much you weigh—no matter how much you hate your thighs or your tummy or your triceps one day—you're still beautiful too. Believe it.





4.     Moisturize your body after every shower for youthful, glowing skin.  Exfoliate from head to toe at least once a week. You'll get your circulation going and remove the dead skin.





5.     Sometimes the prettiest makeup is the quickest. A little blush, mascara, and lipgloss can perk you up on a day when you're feeling tired. And sometimes a smile is all you need.





6.     The best way to look beautiful is to give someone else a compliment.





7.     There's very little that a brand new tube of pink lipstick can't fix.





8.     You're a multi-tasker. Expect the same from your beauty products. Buy things that pull double-duty (or more!) and save your money. If you're itching to spend the extra anyway, donate it.





9.     It's okay not to act your age sometimes.  You're never "too old" for blue nail polish.





10  Embrace your imperfections. They are not flaws. And whatever you do, don't obsess! It's not worth it.





11  For radiant skin, drink plenty of water. Skip the alcohol and coffee. Drinking your eight glasses of  water and getting a moderate amount exercise every day is good for you—inside and out.





It'I  It's a classic mom-ism, but seriously, stand up straight. You'll look slimmer, feel better, and people will take you more seriously.





Se  Seek out balance in life. Being calm and being happy will make you so much prettier than any new blush.





14  Treat beauty magazines like junk food. It's okay to indulge sometimes, but don't let them be your main course.  Read some fiction, learn how to do something new, or pick up a biography. Always expand your mind when given the opportunity. Give yourself lots of opportunities.





15  As Audrey Hepburn once said, "For attractive lips, speak words of kindness, For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone." 



Taking basic care of yourself, loving others, and enjoying life can be the quickest beauty-boosters. Those things can sometimes surpass the finest lotions and potions out on the market and they can definitely make your beauty more well-rounded. After all, what's a pretty face without a beautiful spirit behind it? Teaching your daughter about the heart of beauty can instill confidence that money and facial creams can't provide.