Monday, February 28, 2011

I just saved $85 on shoes!!

$85!!!!!!  Definitely doing the happy dance, singing "I love Rue La La.....yes I do....yes I do...."

As I've stated many times before, I consider Dansko shoes to be one of the best shoes on the market.  You can wear these all day long and NOT feel fatigue, these shoes almost force you to have good posture, which I think is what makes them so comfy.  Go to any hospital and you will see almost all medical personnel in Dansko shoes.  Until 2007, Dansko was the same company as Sanita, but they split. 

The interesting thing about these clogs is they defy anything you've ever been told.  These shoes SHOULD be loose on your heal to fit properly but you would be so surprised to actually spend a day in a pair of Dansko or Sanita clogs.  Your toes do not have to grip to hold on (you know what I mean, ladies!) - your feet can just relax and enjoy their day.   I will forever be indebted to the physical therapist who told me I HAD to go get a pair of Dansko clogs when I was diagnosed with all my nerve damage.  Changed my life, that therapist did!

So today, when I saw on Rue La La (an online boutique shopping experience) that the Sanita shoes and clogs were on deep discounts, I was excited.  I found a lovely pair of clogs for $49.90, regular priced $135.  THAT is a deal!

I do not have a brown pair, and always just wear my plain black clogs with everything.  These will be perfect - at a perfect price!  I have tried the Sanita brand on before and they were a little roomier than Dansko, so I ordered a size down.  If it doesn't work, I will easily return it for 100% money back.  Can't beat that!

The black pair of Dansko clogs I wear every day?  Purchased in 2005!!!!!!!!  These puppies last FOREVER.    So now I will own a black pair, one called "Confetti" which has pastel threads, my new black with purple swirl pair 

and then these brown ones (and a few Dansko sandals that I've also had forever and a day, except for one brand new pair I purchased for $21 a few months ago.  Regular price over $100.  Patience is a virtue.  The early bird gets the worm.  Yahoo!!!   Considering these are the ONLY shoes I can wear with my nerve damaged numb feet, I am thrilled.  You have no idea.  Paying $135 for shoes on MY budget/frugal ways isn't easily swallowed.  lol
I could not be happier with my shopping experiences with Rue La La - if you haven't checked it out, I recommend you do.  Every day brings 3-5 new brands of merchandise, from home decor, clothing, jewelry, kitchen items, makeup, .......even travel packages.  Most items are returnable and I've had an excellent experience with returns as well.  

Here is my referral link - joining is free.  You then get an email every day, showing you the available sales.  I mostly view these sales for inspiration but occasionally find a product I normally buy at incredible discounts.  (I've purchased skin care products, shoes, even lingerie that I normally pay full price for).

What are you waiting for??  Don't you want to call your hubby and tell him you just saved $85???  This particular sale ends in 1 day, 20 hours.  They also have today - Amrita Singh jewelry, Vera Wang Home products, men's Vilebrequin Saint Tropez clothing, Lake Austin Spa/Resort package, and Free People clothing, along with continuing sales from other days. 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brigham One Skein Hat - Crochet

My latest creation is this very cool hat - the Brigham One Skein Hat.  This one was a little more difficult for me, although considered a beginner project.  I can't tell you how many times I pulled it out and re-crocheted.  lol  Story of my life.  Or, could I have a smidgen of perfectionist tendencies left over?  

This has some beautiful stitches.  The little "knots" that are sticking out in various photos are called "Picot" stitches, a type of decorative stitch.

I bribed my son to model this  - I'm not sure what I owe him for this!  lol  Gotta make do when we have a serious lack of females around here!

The pattern Brigham One Skein Hat is found HERE.

I also joined Ravelry (a wonderful free site with patterns, techniques, and a wonderful crocheting and knitting community) - here is my project page:  Cheri's Ravelry Page.

I may be linking to THESE parties.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Freaky Friday

Running errands tonight, these dogs were in the car next to us.  Tried hard to fix their glow-in-the-dark eyes, but was unsuccessful.  

So funny!  Or creepy.  Can't decide!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eyelash Curler LOVE

There is an odd question in my life and that is:  Why is my mother fearful of eyelash curlers?  If she doesn't use them nor like them, who taught me to use them, and who purchased my first one????  Hmmmm......

Anyhoo...I've used just any 'ol regular eyelash curler for years. Nothin' special.  And never happy.

I read over and over and over that I MUST try the  

You would be hard pressed to find a professional makeup artist who does not rave about this eyelash curler!   Previously sold at Sephora.  And just about the time I decided to buy one, they no longer carried them. 

Nor was this eyelash curler sold in the US any longer!!!!!!  ACK!!!!

A few weeks ago, I happened to be at the Shu Uemura website and saw that they were offering FREE shipping and could send me this little item.  

Happy dance!!!
I still didn't know WHY exactly I would love this so much more than any other?  Then a blogger mentioned that since this eyelash curler was designed for Asian eyes, the lashes get spread OOOUUUTTT more as you curl.   In fact, many videos show gals holding their eyes out, as if Asian to get it to fit better, and then using the curler.  Lucky me - this curler fits my eyes perfectly and I don't need to stretch them.

It is no secret I have large eyes, but I still had no idea how awesome this product was going to be.  I thought I'd share the differences - show you a physical picture.  Would have saved me some grief!

Notice the drug store brand has mascara on it?  A big NO NO.  But ladies, even using that, I never could get my lashes curled enough and always HAD to curl again after mascara placement.  This is bad because it can pull your lashes out.  

The Shu Uemura?  Curls prior to mascara and it stays!!!  In fact, once I've curled my lashes, I find it hard to put mascara on without hitting my upper lid.  How about that?

Try this:  Hold your hand in front of you.  Curl your hand slightly towards you.  Notice how your fingers (lashes) stay close together?  

Now, spread your fingers out, as if mimicking the curve above.  See how the fingers (lashes) spread out?  Your lashes will be more noticeable!

There is a trick or technique to making this successful:

1.  You put the lash curler at the base of your lashes and hold.
2.  Put the curler mid way up and hold.
3.  Put the curler at the tip of your lashes and hold.

Then you are done!  Apply mascara as usual.  And then spend all day explaining to people you did NOT use those new lash lengthening products nor did you get lash extensions.  It is that dramatic!

Any photos you see of my in the past with long lashes was AFTER tons of mascara and repeated use of the curler.  Over and over and over.

No more.



Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up

We had a great weekend!  Hubby surprised me with a night in a local hotel - a free voucher that expired that weekend (nothing like cutting it close) and it was a gift from all the traveling he did last year.  (Don't remind me!!)  Very belated birthday present - things just kept coming up and we barely made it while the voucher was invalid.   We are BIG believers in "date nights" and spending time nourishing our marriage.

It was nice, just the two of us and only being about 15 minutes away from home.  Went to dinner, watched movies and just spent time together.  It was at one of those hotels that has a separate bedroom, a living room and small kitchen.  So perfect. 

And then.  I woke up to the sound of intense vomiting.  Never good.  Poor hubby - was just not feeling very hot.  But it was odd - he didn't "look" sick - not like he usually looks.  In fact, once he was done vomiting, he felt much better.  We got a late checkout, he went back to sleep and we came straight home when we got up and around.  He laid around the rest of the day...not sure if he is sick or a tummy reaction (lots of food reactions lately/allergies).  I, for one, am praying it was NOT contagious!!!  Yikes!  

 In other news, we ran by JoAnn's Fabric and Craft store to get yarn and they had this makeup mirror on clearance for a huge savings.  The OTTLITE Natural Make up Mirror - Normally $99.99, it was marked down to $29.99.   I can't believe that price - AWESOME deal!!!!!  (On the website, they are running a deal for $69.99 if interested.   

The makeup mirror/light I have currently is maybe 15 years old?  Or even older?  It has been well used.  lol  The Ottlite makeup mirror boasts true, natural color.  When I turned it on, I was impressed - much different than my other one.

(Oh, it is currently $49.99 online at JoAnn's - you might check your store and see if they have it on super clearance!!)

The mirror also tilts and has 5X Zoom on the other side.  Talk about SEEING EVERYTHING.  Whoa......... lol

I am praying that hubby wakes up tomorrow morning good as new.  His entire office was in and out sick last week and we fear he has it.  (And I guess WE now.  lol)  Sure had a good time prior to the vomiting, though!  (He has 3 more vouchers valid until this summer, so looking forward to those!)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

My 1st Crochet Scarf

Just tonight, I whipped out my first scarf.....and I don't think I made any mistakes.  Woo hoo!!  I think it took me about 2 hours but my right hand kept going numb, so I took a lot of breaks.  I need to relax more, I think.  lol

Last week, I decided to take a beginner crochet class, just to make sure I hadn't developed any bad habits and to get some questions answered.  I taught myself to crochet by watching You Tube videos about 3-4 weeks ago and as a result, have struggled reading some patterns. Turns out, I'm making it harder than it is.

Well, that isn't surprising, considering I just found out:

1.  I am using one of the most difficult crochet needles/brands (but it is best for preventing carpel tunnel!)

2.  I was using one of the most difficult yarns.

Why not make the patterns more difficult?  lol    

So here is my first little scarf.  A "Ruffles Scarf".  Instructions here:

I did change yarns to one she recommended - Caron Simply Soft, which I found on sale at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores.  It is even cheaper online at Herrshner's  ($1.99 at Herrshner's versus $3.79 regular price at Jo Ann's!)

This is SO soft, I love it.  I am hoping to make some fingerless gloves or wristlets to wear with it.  Sometimes sitting here at the computer, my hands get a little cold and some soft gloves would be great.

I am so happy I learned to crochet - I truly love it.  Exciting to look at projects that are available!

I may be linking to THESE parties.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Busy Week

Went out tonight with 2 of my guys and was allowed to snap this photo with my iPhone.  Convinced Holt he had to let me get this hair cut in a photo!!  I think this is the best one he's ever had, in my never to be humble opinion.  lol 

February, 2011
 Holt just got his wisdom teeth out last week and has had a bit more pain than usual, but no issues.  No dry sockets or infection.  He is on the mend.  I introduced him to Chik Fil A lemon pie and he might have died and gone to heaven.  He's pretty sure he did.  lol 
Oh, almost forgot.  Holt was recently diagnosed Severe ADD - Combined Type and put on medication for the first time in his life.  His daily commentary has been something else - he says "It feels like my brain has been turned on for the first time ever!"  He cannot get over how different he feels, how much easier it is to "think", how much easier it is to remember things, how much more he smells things (that was a shock!).......he says he can't imagine if he had taken these meds years ago, how school might have gone so differently.  He was asked repeatedly but since he always said "no", there was no getting him tested.  (He had to cooperate).  Little did we know then that the Alexithymia prevents him from being able to answer such a question.  He can't ask himself, "Do I feel confused?"  That won't register with his brain.  Interesting, huh.

Ryan got promoted at his job to Shift Trainer/Manager and is loving that.  Even though it was only a 15 cent raise per hour, he loves being in charge.  (From what we heard, he was already "doing" this job before the promotion, Ha!)  He is going well in school and is ALWAYS golfing.  I swear, we never see that kid.  He shot a 70 yesterday in heavy wind and was very stoked.  The weather is beautiful right now and he isn't wasting it.  (For his birthday next month, we got him a "new to him" set of irons from a teammate who was trading up.  Ryan LOVES these new irons.  Hasn't had a new set since age 14, we think?  He got good use out of the old ones.)

Hubby is getting his veneers redone FINALLY.  He started this over 2 years ago....thought he'd go in for veneers.  Found out his teeth were horribly misaligned and if he did not correct it, he'd be in dentures in 10 years.  So braces went on and here we are.  He spent 5 hours in the dentist chair getting his teeth ground down...........and he was SHOCKED (we all were really ) at how dark green/brown his teeth are (from Tetracycline prescriptions as a child.)  His first set of veneers lasted almost 25 years!!!! (Usually last around 10.)  

It was not fun - very much sensory overload and his teeth/gums were not happy.  They had to put on temporary veneers (where this was not needed 25 years ago) and he will go back in several weeks to get the permanent ones on.    Here are photos of before and after.  We're debating putting the green/brown teeth photo on, but may if we think it would help others in the same position "see" what a difference veneers can make. 

Braces, May, 2009

Old Veneers, AFTER braces, February, 2011

Small snapshot of 2 of his current teeth, after the grinding and before the temporary veneers.  Gums are discolored due to the procedure of grinding.

Temporary Veneers, February 17. 2011
I just did a Google search of "Tetracycline teeth" and could not find a photo any where near as dark and stained as my husband's teeth.  Unbelievable what that antibiotic can do!   YAY for veneers!!!  I am so thrilled he was able to get this done and that they have worked so well and lasted so long for him.  He's hoping no more grinding will be necessary - 5 hours is a long time without a break!!  I went in to help him pick his "new" color for the new set.  He will go back in a few weeks and get those permanently bonded on.  The new technology will block the dark gray/brown/green teeth from ever showing through.  (The first set he had DID have some bleed through over the years.)

My pain flare has decided to decrease in intensity, and I am so thankful.  It was a long month.  Sure wish I could figure out the triggers, if there was one.  I did end up getting some super soft "minky" fabric to wear around my midsection front to back (like a tube top sort of, but around my stomach ribs to hips) to keep all other fabric from touching my skin.  That "central pain" feels like the worst sunburn of you life X 10.  Air blowing on my skin can send me screaming.  Just awful.  I am thanking God it once again is going away.  How some people live with this 24/7, I do not know.  My regular nerve pain is quite enough, thank you very much.

Oh, and I took a crochet class at a specialty yarn store and I was the only student - Perfect!  She thought I was a beginner, but I showed her my projects (that hat, and a wristlet thingy I made), so we spent the time just making sure I haven't developed any bad habits (I hadn't!) and helping me learn to read patterns (since I taught myself watching videos - reading actual patterns has been somewhat difficult for me.)  I'm visual!!!

Ok, that's it.  Back to crocheting!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heinz 57 Meatball Stroganoff

Saw a recipe at Beach Brights blog and tweaked it to suit our family.  It turned out amazing and my boys scarfed it down in one meal.  None for hubs nor I.  lol  Guess I will learn to double one of these days.

We have a serious onion allergy in our family and no one likes mushrooms, so this recipe version works great for us.

Heinz 57 Meatball Stroganoff
onion and mushroom-free

1 lb ground hamburger (I used ground turkey)
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbl. Heinz 57 sauce (split)
2 Tbl. milk
2 Tbl. oil
2 Tbl. corn starch mixed with a little water
1 can beef broth (I used vegetable bouillon for broth to avoid onions)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 bag egg noodles

If you have a "normal" family, this should serve 4-6.  If you have grown boys, double the recipe!  

Combine the hamburger, bread crumbs, beaten egg, salt, pepper, 2 Tbs. Heinz 57 sauce and 2 TB. milk.   

I'm allergic to turkey and cannot touch it, so I used this masher.

Form into 24 meatballs. 

Hubby was a sweety and formed these for me.

Cook the meatballs in the oil until browned.  Remove the meatballs to drain on a paper towel. 

While these cooked, I fixed the vegetable broth.  Just under 2 cups of water, boiling and put in the boullion cube to dissolve.  Major onion allergies and almost all regular broth includes onions.

Just before meatballs are done cooking, start your noodles in boiling water.

Because I am not using any onion, you won’t have extra drippings.  Use the drippings that remain (around 2TB worth – if you have more, drain.)  Add the flour/corn starch mixture for thickening. 

Add the beef broth and add back in the meatballs.

Simmer for 10 minutes.  When almost ready to serve, add the sour cream.

Hubby did the sour cream for me so I could take the photo.

Heat thoroughly and serve over the cooked egg noodles.

Our boys LOVED this.  Yours will too!

I will be linking to THESE parties.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Show Us Your Life - Beauty Tips

This is a perfect time to put a post up about my current beauty tips.  I love reading other blogs and getting ideas of what works and what doesn't!
First things first:  Shower

I have had so much success with the following hair products, my husband has started using the shampoo.  His hair was thinning more and more and frankly, he was using products with ingredients that cause hair loss!  When someone mentioned my luxurious hair and fast growth, he had a light bulb moment.  His hair looks amazing now!

I have wavy, "can be curly if I try hard" hair and this shampoo and condition is to die for:

 Kinky Curly "Come Clean" Shampoo and "Knot Today" Conditioner.

These do NOT have SLS or other damaging products.  I purchase mine at Whole Foods - but you might need to ask - they usually are not with the other shampoos and hair products.

Also in the shower, every day I will use Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub.  Love this! It is  a grainy, fruity concoction.  I get a little bit and smear it all over and scrub, being careful to not let chunks fall on the floor.  I buy mine at Target as I can't find it anywhere else around here.

When I get out of the shower and squeeze excess water out of my hair carefully, I use a Microfiber towel to soak the rest of the water.  This is incredible!!  I bought a "dog" towel at a local store that works just as well and much cheaper!  This will eliminate blow drying time. 

The product that has transformed my hair into luxurious is Morrocanoil.  This smells heavenly and the result in my hair is amazing.  I never spend this much money on my hair, but after my stylist used it month after month.....I was convinced.  You cannot find a single negative testimonial about this - folks swear by it.  Be careful ordering on Amazon - I've heard there are some "fake" products being sold.  I buy mine at my salon.

I've also started using Agadir Argon Oil Spray and it is also wonderful.  I had used it only once when I went to my stylist and she mentioned how soft and healthy my hair was.  For processed hair, that is a good thing!

I put this on after I take my hair out of the drying microfiber towel.

 While my hair is up in the microfiber towel, I use my highly recommended  

products.  I swear by these.   I am 44 and after 1 year with these products, my skin looks like this:

Please excuse the marks on my nose from my cheap reading glasses.

I have written many times about these products - click HERE.

This company uses ALL NATURAL ingredients - we should be careful what we put on our skin.  Read my link above or go to the company to read all about their philosophy and ingredients.

Be sure to order SAMPLES.  I recommend the main sample pack and the seaweed sample set to start off with.  Samples are great for traveling!

These are the photos of the products I love.

Butter Me Up - VERY thick, I use this every day on my newly shaved legs.  Several scents to choose from.

Body Cream - very much like normal lotion.  Several scents to choose from.

Honey I Shrunk the Pores - LOVE this.  Use it 3-4 times a week.  My skin is so tight afterward.  You could eat - smells very raspberry. 

Peel Me a Papaya - this looks like oatmeal and I keep it in the shower, being careful not to get it moist.  I pour a little in my hand, add a tiny bit of water, tilt my head back (so as not to lose much on the floor) and then scrub into my skin for 2-3 minutes.  I had hubs do this the other day and he was surprised how soft his skin was afterward.

Amazing Face - my favorite day cream.  Light lemongrass scent.

Creme de Rose- a light rose scent.  My daily night cream.  

Rose du Jour - another light day cream.  LOVE the strong rose scent.

Gypsy Rose Tea Astringent/Toner - I've NEVER used this type of product before and now I can't live without this.  Use it morning and night and it lasts forever.
Black Velvet Fabulous Foaming Face Wash - you have to try this to believe it.  Your skin honestly feels like VELVET after use.  They also have one for blemish-prone skin called You Can't Zit Here Foaming Face Wash.  I go to her "Tools" section and also buy the Foaming Bottle for $4 - the product lasts longer this way and actually foams.

Skincredible - a tantalizing sandalwood scent, great for rosacea, wrinkles, bruises, cracked skin, broken capillaries, blemishes, discoloration and other skin issues.

Melon Medley - I love this serum.  While it is oily to touch, my skin soaks it up and feels so soft.

Pure Rose Distillate - I spray this on multiple times a day for hydration. I love the rose scent - very calming.

A sea salt peel I have used for the last 7 years is Swisa  Beauty Dead Sea Facial Peel.   I used to find it in mall kiosks, but now order it off ebay.  Your skin, in one use, will say WOW.  You won't believe how much dead skin you peel off and then are left with baby bottom soft skin.

I use once a week.

I also swear by my DermaNew Microdermabrasion System (that I found for a steal at Marshalls!) 

Did you know that products like C.hapstick have some ingredients that not great for us?  We started using this Vitamin C lip balm from Walgreens, and my "chapstick addicted" husband switched over and has never gone back.  Try this for super smooth, nourished lips.

As for makeup, I have several products I highly recommend:

Nars Orgasm Blush - I've used this on all my female family members and it was beautiful!  I would normally NOT have bought this color but reading all the amazing testimonials, I gave it a try.  So glad I did!

VERY pigmented and lasts forever.  I've had this over a year and use it all the time!

Urban Decay Primer Potion - ever wish your eye shadow would stay all day and not crease?   I prefer the EDEN, as it gives me a neutral base.  The original one goes on clear. 

Some of my favorite brushes come from CVS - Essence of Beauty - check them out!

Dual Ended  - packs on color very well.

I recommend getting these makeup palettes at Sephora.  My husband just commented the other day how much use I get out of them.  Easy to travel, too.

This one has colorways that pull out to take with you for the day.

Use a fan brush for your blush - makes a huge difference.  You can run this brush through multiple colors at a time, shake and then apply.  Perfection.  Also use a Kabuki brush for all over blending.

Kabuki and Fan brushes
And ladies, the PERFECT under eye concealer is by Eve Pearl:  Salmon Color!!!  You will be shocked at how well this works.

Another new product I am using is to contour - this one is great!

Smashbox Contour Kit

Oh and almost forgot - my newest purchase -

M.A.C. Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle.  Fantastic highlighter!!

Two inexpensive Sally Beauty Supply products are:

Palladio Herbal Facial Primer


Palladio Rice Powder

And I recommend keeping everything well organized!

One more huge beauty tip for those of us over 35.  When we use peach products with our brown eyes, it ages us.  Try using more pink/purple tones (as a neutral) and see if folks don't comment on looking younger!  I didn't believe it until I tried it. Now, you will hardly ever find me in neutral, peach shades.

This colorway is your friend!!!  Give it a try before saying "no".  I did and now won't go back.

I think this about covers it.  So many more things, but these are my favorites.  Enjoy!  Now I'm off to go see other blogs and ideas!!