Sunday, April 28, 2013

Oh Yeh for Fage!

Recently  I got coupons to try Fage's Total Greek Yogurt totally free. (This is one of the two best benefits of joining BzzAgent: trying out products and trying them for free!)

(If you have heard of Fage, you might already know that it's pronounced Fah-yeh. I was saying "Fage" and saying it with an attitude like I just knew!)

Now, as excited as I was to try this yogurt, I had forgotten I'd had Fage before. It was back when I was still kind of sick and suffering from memory problems. I have no idea what it was like back then, but I can tell you now that it is YUMMY.

I have always liked yogurt. It's a fun food. Reminds me of when I was young and had a love for things like Jello - I could eat it night and day and liked nearly all the different flavors. If someone had come up with an improved Jello, I'd probably feel the way I do about Greek Yogurt.

If Greek yogurt is an improvement (IMO) over "regular" yogurts, then Fage's Greek yogurt is an improvement over all the Greek yogurts. It's very rich and creamy. I don't usually like plain yogurt, but I gave this a shot and I've decided to use it in place of sour cream and fruit toppings. It's that good.

Hilariously, I did a very Trudy thing and forgot the dang coupon for my freebie when I went to the store so I paid for the first couple containers. (Don't worry, I will be going back!)

I gave my sister a taste of the strawberry yogurt. My sister is not into what she calls "weeds and berries and such," but she was all up into that yogurt! LOL I gave her a coupon to get her own container.  Since Fage puts the leaves the fruit separate from the yogurt, one thing my sister liked was the ability to add as much (or as little) of the fruit into the yogurt.

My favorite things about Fage?

  • The creamy texture. You get that by stirring the yogurt well before mixing in the fruit (or just eating the plain). 
  • The taste of the fruit. Not too sweet or tart or "fake" tasting. (The fruit flavors partly from concentrate, by the way.)
  • The 11 grams* of protein. (Important for some folks, like my sister)
For vegetarians and other health-minded folks, the calories run from 170 to 220* and the product is gluten-free. Other nutrition information is given here.

Aside from eating the yogurts right out of their containers, you can serve them up prettily (like this), or you can try some of the recipes given by the folks at Fage. Also, check out their tzatziki sauce (for savories, like gyros) and their feta.

If you haven't joined Bzz Agent yet (and why not?), check back to see if Fage has coupons available. In the meantime, if I know you, I'll hand you a coupon the next time I see you!

Peace
--Free


* for the 5.3 oz Total Zero variety

DISCLAIMER: I received coupons for free Fage yogurt from BzzAgent.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie Madness, Culture Crazy

It has occurred to me that I have let "pop" culture invade more of my life than I ever intended. Between celebrity news and gossip, movies, music and social networking, I know more about the rich and famous than I do about the smart and talented.

I had better start getting my act together. If I keep it up with the useless information I absorb, I'm going to die of stupidity.

The other day I was watching "Batman: The Dark Knight". Two characters were stranded outside, wet and freezing and one character said the most absurd thing ever to the other. The "sage" mentor type guy was showing his younger charge how to get warm. (I only suppose he was supposed to be sage; he talked slow and deep, as all sage characters do.) "Rub your chest," he instructed. "Your arms will take care of themselves."

At the time, I thought old boy was pretty cool. I mean, he had the voice and look of someone smart. If his advice wasn't a weapon against cold weather, well, then I don't even wanna know!

What a dumbass.

I live in a pretty cold place. I don't mean pretty and cold - although that is the truth.

Alaska

Obviously the cold has given me irreversible brain freeze since I believed such b.s. even for two seconds... I've lived here for most of my life. You think I'd know that if you get wet and sit outside in this kind of cold, rubbing your chest will be impossible. Your freaking arms would be too dead from the frostbite. Too bad they wouldn't be "taking care of themselves," huh? What - that's a job for the legs or something?

Yes, I should have known better, but, just for a moment (okay, okay - for the whole movie), I bought the advice of O Sage One...

Shit like that is going to get me killed one day.

Just think of someone new to life in this ice-box called Alaska. If rubbing their chest is the first thing that pops into their head, they had no business coming here. And, just in case this might end up being you one day, here's real-life advice: Put on your coat, dummy!" Better yet, how about trying not to fall into water outside during the winter?

Now I don't think any of us is really that dim, but still...

There is too much emphasis in society on learning how to get out of a limo without showing your drawers instead of how to own a limo service. Know what I mean?

Everybody wants to be a celebrity more than they want to be a hero to their own family and friends. This whole fifteen minutes of fame thing has just gotten way out of control.

Remember the old worries about smoking in movies? People were concerned that such a thing led to higher rates of teen smoking. No one seems to be as worried about what other elements of popular culture are influencing all of us.

We all would like to be better-looking, but with all the pressure from celebrity culture, we are willing to do more to reach that goal. I've heard of very young people talking about wanting plastic surgery. Plastic surgery? Like Doctor 90210 for Toddlers.

And, okay - let's not look that far. Let's think smaller and maybe closer to our "regular" lifestyles. How many really young kids do you know who have use of cellular phones? Don't know about you, but I was twenty and paying bills before I had my own house phone! I guess that fits with my upbringing since I was still playing with dolls at fourteen and fifteen. I can't imagine that for a girl these days - not without it being kind of a big deal.

I'm not exactly saying that movies and music and other segments of popular culture is to blame. After all, we all are part of that culture, whether or not we participate. If we don't participate, we tolerate. We don't seem to be pushing alternatives.

Instead of so many people running around, trying to be a gangsta, celebri-lite, or anything attainable for the sane and steady-minded, we might have a rush on folks wanting to be scientists or change-minded politicians. I'm an easy catch for someone smart. It's always been a kind of fantasy for me that someday there will be gangs of astrophysicists and red-carpets for aerospace engineers. Kind of makes me sweat...

With the regular cycles of furor over the latest release from a singer or movie studio, I doubt my fantasy will ever come true, but a gal can hope. Any single rocket scientists out there?

Peace
--Free

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I Believe Fat Meat's Greasy

Growing up, I heard my mom use a particular saying for someone (me) who was stubborn or "hard-headed."


If I made a mistake once, Mom would hug me and tell me to learn from it. If I made that same mistake a couple times over, Mom would give me the side-eye and say, "You don't believe fat meat's greasy."

The saying also applied when I knew I was making a mistake, but just didn't want to believe it. Like when I trusted the wrong "friend," or tried to convince myself that the ground was Up and the sky was Down. (Or that Mama wouldn't know that I was lying about something...)

I don't know what it says about me as a person that I only learned a few years back to be more cautious in my life.

Until I got my little heart broken real good, I believed that if someone told you they loved you, they meant it. I didn't think that person would lie to you or cheat on you. I thought that if someone said "I love you," they knew how to love. It took getting hurt to learn that, while every one of us wants to be loved, the love we need is not all the same.

Last evening, I got a call from an old friend. There was a time that my heart would have jumped right out of my chest at the sound of his voice. I'm not that person anymore. I've grown past anything I could have had with him. Now, if he had been ready for me way back when... Well, two people can be together and grow apart, but they can't grow together, apart. If you know what I mean.

I talked to my old friend and it was nice, but I won't be hearing from him anymore. What he has to give now doesn't apply to who I am today. Probably, he was a mistake back then and I just didn't know better. I am learning, though. At least now I know and believe that fat meat's greasy.

Peace
--Free




Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Cleaning My Life

I have so much useless crap floating around in my life (heh heh). This morning, I was trying to clean out my email folders. I have something like 3 million notices from Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus...

Here is the sad truth: I hardly ever even use Twitter anymore. That's because I'm kind of a social network floozy. I'm all over the new guy until the next one comes along. I use to rape Twitter at least 5 times a day, then I got into Facebook - which violated me before I could really fall in love with it. Pinterest... meh. I only got into Pinterest for its looks. It was so hot and sultry. Made me sweat a little just to look at all the cool stuff it had to offer. That wore off when I realized I couldn't find any one special thing about it to keep the magic going.

Right now, I am in a serious relationship with Google Plus. I mean, we are talking, I don't know - marriage, maybe? It's pretty intense. Like with all hot-burning romances, I keep waiting for things to smolder down and just burn out. But, so far...

But back to my spring cleaning.

Are you one of those organized people who decides immediately whether you are going to save, store or delete an email? If so, I hate you.

I have three email addresses for myself  (I might have forgotten a couple) and one or two for my blogs. I'm such a neurotic pack-rat that when I have an especially important email, I forward a copy to all my addresses. That might sound really crazy, but when I fell ill, I could only remember the password to one email... And, let me tell you, even though I can't remember which email I needed to see at 3:20 in the morning, at the time, it was vital.

Yeah, so. About every two, two and a half years, I have to do an email enema. It's time.

This is Monday. I have dedicated this week to getting the important things in my life uncluttered: my closet, my kitchen jumble drawer, my YouTube playlists and my email. Never mind that this is a 3- or 4-day job and I usually get distracted after 45 minutes. The important thing is, I am going to give it a try. (My bill drawer and the storage closet are going to have to wait their turn!)

Peace
--Free

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Entertaining Angels

An online life is a lot like a "real world" life. You meet good people, bad people, sweethearts and con-men, the amazing and the dangerous. I've been lucky in the folks I've met here.

Years ago, when I first started using a computer for more than keeping records and budgets and working from home, I met a man who is still a friend to this day. I was trying to untangle my genealogical tree that grew in some Rube Goldberg-invented forest. Drew helped teach me to sort through branches that had been tossed all over history. It was fun and I learned a lot. Never did untangle our family tree, but...

Since meeting Drew, I've met probably 8 or 9 people who really have made differences - good or bad - in my day-to-day life. Because of them, I've learned things - whether I agree with what I learn or not. They have given me new ways of looking at parts of life I am familiar with, and have shined a light into corners I never knew were there. I "know" people I have never met who teach me, encourage me and tell me the truth about myself. They share their wisdom and insight and point of view.

My mother always loved this verse from the Bible:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)

Like with so many things, the older I get, the more I understand of what my mother tried to teach me. Ten years ago, I didn't really understand what she was talking about when she tried to explain why it's important to open your heart to people. I understand it now. She wasn't talking about what I could do for them, she was trying to teach me what they could do for me.

This might be a physics thing, but I heard something interesting once about our individual impact on existence. Not any one of us can come into another person's life without having some sort of influence - minor or major. It's like touching the surface of a pond and starting a ripple. I find that very fascinating to think about.

I am not always a good person. I can be very selfish and vain and foul-mouthed and childish. For as flawed as I am, though, I have been lucky to "entertain" some really special people who happened to come into my orbit. (See? Modest too!)

Thanks, +Drew Williams +Sandy Sandmeyer +Alex Taller +Julia Hawkins

I don't mean, "Thank you" in a random, I-was-feeling-emotional-today kind of way. I mean, "Thank you," seriously. If I never hear from any of you ever again, you have started ripples somewhere on my mind or heart. That's a little corny, but I mean it.

There's more I could say about you guys, but, hey - the internet is only so big. I don't want my blog to use up all the room!

Peace
--Free

Saturday, April 20, 2013

More Beautiful Than You Know

When I hit G+ this morning, I saw that +Justin Wondga had posted a video from Dove that everyone should see and pay attention to. Told him I'd share, so....



There is also one for you fellas, cos you are also more wonderful than you may know:




When I checked over on YouTube, I noticed that there are several. Please check them out & pass along. 
For Dove's whole "Real Beauty" experience, check out their link here: Real Beauty/U.S.version.

Peace
--Free

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. (Leo Buscaglia)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Define THIS!


Ever think about what supposedly defines "Middle Aged" or "Elderly"? I do. I think about it every time a kid refers to me as "ma'am."

These are some of the many definitions I found online for Middle age:

And for Elderly:
  •  rather old; especially : being past middle age (Merriam-Webster)
  • Most developed world countries have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of 'elderly' or older person... (WHO)
Boy, that Merriam-Webster doesn't come at you easy, does it?

I think I'm going to stick with my usual "I'm only as young as I feel." I'll be real about this. I'm going to be 52 this year. My heart feels 5, my body feels 40. Except for my knees. Sometimes, those feel older than Methuselah. 

I have come to think of being "not young" as not knowing how to laugh loud and out loud, not loving to play like a little kid, and not wanting to have an open heart with people you love.  I still laugh like a hyena when something is funny and I love to play. My little brother thinks I am just a grow-up kid. I have a niece in her teens who loved our driveway one-on-one basketball games (and I don't even know how to play b-ball!). That's fine with me.

People, don't let the world define you. You are defined by the the way you have loved and the way you have lived.

When my body does get old, I'll be the old chick chasing my friends around on my scooter-mobile. Look for me to be wearing my dark red lipstick and trying to do something cute with my hair. I'll be old as dirt and still wearing my earring at the top (or helix of my ear). Cane or no, I'm gonna be dressing like this: 




Hell, I'd rock both these now if I could afford to! (By the way, these are from Advanced Style blog.   Now a part of my sidebar cos it is the ish! Make sure to check them all the way out.) I knew I was down with it the minute I saw this bad-to-the-bone chick. I couldn't do that when I was 40!

Yep. That's gonna be me. Think I'll start calling myself Cleo when I hit 55.

Peace
--Free

A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

Monday, April 15, 2013

**RECIPE** Hot Water Corn Bread & Seasoned Pinto Beans

A favorite pairing of mine. Everyone does things differently. This is the way my mother and sister taught me to prepare these dishes. (I've posted the cornbread recipe before, but revised it as I've prepared it so many more times over the years!)

Hot Water Cornbread
1 cup yellow Cornmeal (I use Albers)
1/4 cup Onions finely diced
1 small Garlic clove (opt) fine-chopped
Green Onion (opt) fine-chopped
about 1/4 tsp Salt
about 1/2 white sugar
Canola for frying (enough to have 1/4'' deep in fry pan)
1/2 tsp Olive oil - to add to mix (opt.)
4 cups Water
(Paper towels for draining.)

Measurements depend on how much bread you want. A cup of cornmeal makes about eight small playing card-sized patties. You can choose shape & size of patties and it's not difficult to make more, so don't worry. Have everything chopped and added to meal before preparing water and oil.
  • Put your water on to boil.
  • Put your oil on, ready to heat for frying.
  • Mix all your other ingredients in a heat-resistant bowl.
  • When water is boiling (this is the most important thing!), slowly add to Cornmeal mix, a little bit at a time, mixing well to get all the meal wet. Stir in and add more water, slowly until your consistency is wet but thick enough to scoop and pour into hot grease - about the same but a touch thicker as for baking cornbread. Now add the olive oil to mix and stir well.
  • Fry until first side is crispy, flip and repeat. (I like my bread a little mushy in the middle, so I fry light.)
Keep in mind that you can always add more water, but you can't take it away. (If you try adding more cornmeal, do it separately with more BOILING water.)

The trick to this is that the boiling water cooks the meal even before you fry it. If your water is not boiling, your patties will be "mealy" and good for nothing.

Make sure to drain your bread well. It is meant to be eaten hot, but some people like it cold. Also, you can let it cool and serve with the beans to heat the bread.

Seasoned Pinto Beans
Cook your beans as bag instructs, except do not soak. Soaking tends to make the beans "hully," with the outer skin falling off. Instead, add about a 1/4 tsp of baking soda for every 3 cups of beans.

Smoked Hock (or smoked turkey)
Yellow onions (diced medium to fine, your pref.)
Garlic cloves (slit as if you are going to dice, but left whole)
*Brown Sugar (this thickens & flavors bean juice)
Salt
Pepper
Onion powder
Garlic salt
Liquid Smoke (about 1/8 Tsp to 3 cups)
Olive oil (1 Tbl to every 3 cups beans)
(A pot of hot water on hand to add to beans if they start "drying" before done)

  • Add the hock (or turkey wing/piece) when you put on the beans and water. I start my beans in cold water. 
  • When your beans first reach a good simmer, add the baking soda, then all of the other ingredients just a bit at a time. You will go back and taste several times as the beans begin to form a juice. Add more seasonings to taste. Trick here is to cook slow and low, adjusting the cover as needed. 
  • When/if you need to add water, add only very hot or boiling water to match temp of the beans.
  • *The brown sugar is added to thicken bean juice. Begin adding (about a Tbl to 3 cup beans), little at a time if you notice beans are halfway to done but juice is not thickening. The flavor is nicer IMO than white sugar.

*********************************
Both these recipes are passed down to me from my mother, who got them from her mother and so on. I have made changes to the beans - no "fried meat grease" and I go easier on the salt.

If you are sharing this food with someone (like me) who needs even less salt, you can leave the beans less salty and add a bit more to part of your hot-water cornbread - if they are being served together.

Peace
--Free

P.S.: My thinking has been a little iffy lately, so let me know if I need to clarify any part of the recipe.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Laughter Can Be the Best Diet and Exercise

So... I've been making it to the gym. Can't back out of that 20 bucks a month contract now. Damnit.

I'm proud of myself. Eating better, still not smoking, and belonging to a gym for the first time in about 8 years. Yay for Planet Fitness.

The roommate and I dragged our out of shape butts over there twice last week, but since it takes us a good thirty minutes of pep-talking each other to go, we came up with a plan. Three days a week is going to be our goal. That's pretty much giving us a day in between to rev up for and bitch about the next workout. Saturdays are going to be our "treat" day: a luscious, creamy coffee concoction from the Sugar Shack or a burger made by someone who has no idea how to spell "healthy."

When I talk about "treats," I mean, anything decently delicious is the real deal. A Thin Mint would be a treat. Most days I survive on cereal (hot or cold), bowls of chunked-up fruit (cheaper as summer approaches) or those liquid yogurts I've become addicted to. Sometimes though, I have to give one of those staples a break. Last week I ate so much cereal, I wanted to beat a turd out a the Quaker Oats guy.  Seriously.

I can't even cuss about any of this.

Grocery shopping makes up about a fourth of my walking exercise since I can't get it all done in one store. I generally shop at Walmart, Carrs-Safeway and Fred Meyers. I get my canned goods at Walmart. I don't mind getting the occasional apple or watermelon there, but I prefer other places for my colors and packages. (Is it just me, just in Alaska - or does the produce from Walmart seem to start turning the moment you get past the theft sensors?) Walmart clerks already know me by my first name since I use the store as my clothier, Deli and stationers. They see me coming and start pointing out the current bargains.(Who the hell needs Bergdorf when you have Walmart? Hah!?) Lately when I go in, they start re-stocking the canned hominy and seltzer waters. I can't afford much else but fruit and veggies on sale at Fred Meyers, but I have loyalty cards for them and Carrs.

Fruit is the current love of my life, even though, just like with a boyfriend, I want it to go away so I can miss it just a little. I have eaten so many melons and grapefruits that I dream in yellow, green and orange. Melons of any kind make me pee like crazy. They make my roommate burp. My roommate does not care when or where she does this. I was brought up Southern and Pentecostal. We hold stuff like that in until we have a bit of privacy. I once almost put out my back after eating beans that weren't soaked overnight. But. I was talking about diet and exercise...

I don't want you to think I'm complaining. At least, not about the food. No, I save my complaining for the gym. And I'm not talking about the workout itself. The workout is only half the struggle. The real fun started for my me and my roommate when we had to walk around with our reading glasses on to study the label on each machine. We looked like two grandmas come to town for the day.

"Why, looka here, Bessie Mae! This 'un is for your 'pec-, pec-, uh, something-oral." (Sounds like country porn, doesn't it?)

Thank God that Planet Fitness does mark all their machines with nice clear instructions. Hell, they even have illustrations for the really stupid people. I just wish the pictures were bigger so I didn't need my glasses to see them!

If you think we looked crazy trying to figure out what each machine was for, you should have seen us using some of them. That was true entertainment. My roommate will kill me when she reads this post, but, I swear, she was straining so hard to get on the seat of an ab machine that she ripped a big loud toot-toot. And by loud I mean, imagine an air-horn in an echo chamber. I have never been able to hold my laughter. All that came to mind was what my uncouth roomy likes to say after she rips one: "At least it don't stink." She says that every. single. time. This time, I just about slid off the little ab-swivel thingie laughing. I was thinking that a bad smell couldn't make this situation any worse. Thank God and His universe that the gym wasn't very crowded. Besides, Planet Fitness members tend to ignore one another. It's part of the "No judgement" code they have. I'm too new to this code. I laughed so hard I'm sure I dropped about 12 ounces of water weight.

Yeah. We stayed only long enough to slink to the lockers and grab out street clothes. Slid right out of there, quiet as we could.

The excitement over my roomy's oops should have died down by the time we go back on Monday. If not, we will just have to go across town to another location. Whatever. Maybe now the roomy will listen to me and not be so free about dropping toots and belches in public.

Peace
--Free

111 days, 23 hours, 49 minutes.....

Free is still SMOKE FREE!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

**DIY** Lipstick ******UPDATED******

****A helpful clerk at my local health food store gave me a money-saving tip: darken your lipstick with a touch of activated charcoal. Make sure it is pure & not from petroleum. I got a bottle of 90 caps for under $8. Even better, you can,  apparently,  use it for whitening your teeth! This will do for me until I can gather ingredients for the whole recipe.****

I am a woman on a mission. The mission I have chosen to accept is to find the perfect lipstick. Seriously.

Lipstick is the one cosmetic I wear consistently. I'm not too much into foundation and eye-shadow. I've entertained you all before with the story of almost putting out my eye with mascara and eyeliner. Some things are just not meant to be. But I am a woman. I feel a need to be in on that thing called "girling it up." Lipstick is my thing. I like it dark red and glossy. That's what I like. What I usually get is something sort-of-dark, almost-dark or just-a-bit-not-dark-enough.

I have become so frustrated that I've resorted to mixing lipsticks like a mad cosmetologist, turning my bathroom counters into a sort of psychedelic lab. It's crazy. I have finally decided that since I have to work so hard to get a shade of lipstick I'm happy with, why not just start my own from scratch?

If you've had the same thought, but didn't know where to start, I'm going to share my cheat notes with you. By the way, a big huge thanks to all the sources offered up by the internet.

The Recipes

Wellness Mama's is the recipe I will be using, but there are a quite a few more out there. 

The Supplies/Suppliers


  • Mountain Rose Herbs is favored (and linked to) by Wellness Mama. The only thing that bothered me is that the "search" service is clunky...
  • Making Cosmetics is pretty fully stocked with anything you could want to make any product. The link here is for the lipstick molds.
  • OCC has vegan choices in something called "lip tar." I understand this can be used to deepen the color of an existing shade. Or - I'm thinking - add to your homemade batch. They also carry color pigments & I love the colors. Their color "concentrates" look nice. Also in the "Face" section.
  • You can find clays and such here. 
  • There is a stunning array of items at this wholesaler. The problem is that I'm not sure where they are shipping from. At the very least, you can get an idea of colors and items to be on the lookout for at a more familiar supplier.
You can also shop at local places. I am going to try to throw any of my business to our local health food spot, the Natural Pantry. To save shipping costs and waiting times, you could check out places like Michael's and other craft spots.

Good luck.

Peace
--Free

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

**REVIEW** Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Oil-Free B.B. Cream

B.B. creams are all the thing these days, right? A while back I reviewed one by L'Oreal. Well, there is a new one on the block and I have to say it just might be the one - at least for some of us.

Got my free tube of Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Oil-Free B.B. Cream from BzzAgent to try out. (You guys really need to get on that site and check them out.)

The Garnier cream is pretty much a winner. The only Con I have for it is big one: I can't use it for all-over coverage. The "Deep" is the darkest shade available as far as I know. I need a shade a couple pinches darker.

Just lipstick, so stop looking at my pores, please!
When I put the cream on, I was in love with it. The coverage is very light. I think it would does just what is claimed on the box:

  • Control oil & shine
  • Minimize pores (hallelujah!)
  • Cover imperfections
  • Provide "oil-free hydration."
Well, ain't that just the ticket every woman looks for? And it is also, get this, BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 20. Until recently, I just slathered on sunscreen without thinking of broad or narrow. I just know that in the summer, we get dang near round the clock sun here, so... By the way, a teensy bit goes a looo-ong way. The 2 ounce tube I got would last a regular user forever

The shade shown on "Deep" pretty much matches the product inside.

I told my niece and some friends about it because they have the best skin tones for this. One is Hispanic with a darker olive-tone. Two are bi-racial (black & Caucasian) and I think the "Deep" shade I received is going to work for them. We are going to play with makeup this weekend and see.

Like I said, I love this stuff so much that I am going to make it work for me in some way.

Every single claim was true. The problem for me was, I repeat, shading

It has a chalkier look than the camera is showing. It looks like I am wearing makeup. That's a no-no!

I have decided to use it as under-eye brightener when I am tired - or as a lipstick base. ~shrug~

Damnit if it doesn't look better in the picture! I swear it looked as if I had paint on!

Anyway, I can truly recommend this - as long as you can match a shade to your skin!

Peace
--Free

**DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample to try out as part of my Bzz Agent membership**





For What Reason Art?

The other day, I enjoyed a conversation about art with someone in my G+ "circles." I learn so much from the folks on that network. The conversation made me think about some art works and photographic works I really like.

I've mentioned before that I love Georgia O'Keeffe's flowers. I don't know if I ever talked about how I love the photographs that her husband (Alfred Stieglitz) took of her. The woman had the most amazing hands! Hands that you expect an painter to have. But my favorite photo is this one:

Taken by Alfred Stieglitz (wikipedia)
This is so honestly and beautifully raw to me. It looks as if she has just finished making love. Nothing dirty about it, nothing glamourized about it, and no bullcrap. Just this amazingly wild and beautiful woman. But, as I told the person I had a convo with: I only know what I like.

I am always curious about what other people like - in music, art, books - and why. And can we always explain why we do like something?

Peace
--Free

Sunday, April 07, 2013

**REVIEW** Nivea Skin Firming Moisturizer

This product is labelled as having "advanced Q10 complex."* Whatever that means. You know how so many of us consumers will try a product that seems to have the advantage of something mysteriously scientific. That's probably why lots of cosmetic products add labels with words like "formulated" on them. Gets me almost every time...

My friend bought this lotion in a double pack when shopping at Sam's Club. How nice that she shared with me, right? (What's she trying to tell me, I wonder? LOL.)

Tried this on my thighs and buttocks. It's an amazing moisturizer. Most of the Nivea products are. I love the way it gives my skin that silky feel. I kept, um, touching myself! Also, it really didn't have any fragrance that I could detect.

If you want skin that feels wonderful, this could be the stuff. But if you want firmer skin, plain old exercise is the best remedy. (Kinda sucks, don't it?) As far as lotions and potions, just about any moisturizer will work as well as this one did - as long as you use it regularly, especially when you are either gaining weight (maybe because of pregnancy or medication) or dieting and losing a weight. This is why generations of expectant mothers use cocoa butter, olive oil and vitamin E on there stretching abdomens.

Basically, that's all I can tell you about this product.

PROS:
Will soften and "silken" your skin.
Doesn't stink.

CONS:
Doesn't do any more than other decent lotions.
You might spend a few dollars more for it because of the labelling.

As far as body lotions, I still prefer the inexpensive Genes Vitamin E Creme that we get at Sam's Club. You can also go directly to Genes site.

Peace
--Free

* Q10 - This is supposed to have many benefits. My opinion is, it might have great benefits in several areas, but if it worked magic on skin, every woman who could afford it would be wearing it like clothing. I've known all my life that the best way to make your skin look good is to take care of it with good food and good habits. Having good genes doesn't hurt.


DISCLAIMER: I have not received any form of compensation for any product mentioned and reviewed in this post.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Wait Five Minutes and the Weather Will...

Just a photo post of the great time the roomie and I had yesterday on our day-drive to Beluga Point.

If this is the view from the Walmart parking lot, imagine how gorgeous this place is on the open road!


Just a few minutes drive from our apartment, up the Seward Highway.

Nice, clear,dry roads. Not a lot of seasonal traffic yet.


Just a bit farther up to the pull-off

Beluga Point
(Want to ride the train this summer!)

That's not fire & smoke in distance; it's a falls with the sunlight hitting the water just right! Cool, huh?

Yep, some lucky folk live up there. What a view!

We had a great day. Rode around getting out errands done in beautiful sunlight. Spent a few moments at Beluga Point, looking at the scenery. Complained about how freezing cold the wind was. Should have kept our mouths shut...

This is what we woke up to this morning:
I weep...
(View from our living room window earlier today.)
I guess that's what we get for complaining about the cold, huh? Got served an order of snow to go with it.

Peace
--Free

Thursday, April 04, 2013

**Movie REVIEW** Constantine

You all know that I am just a plane trip, an introduction and a few other small miracles away from being Keanu Reeves' main squeeze so, of course, I try to see all of his movies. The other night I watched "Constantine" via Netflix. My overall verdict: Mr. Reeves was wonderful (as usual), but I had to cringe a little at the theology. Not a big deal. Since I was watching purely for entertainment, I enjoyed the film.

I must admit that every time Keanu lit a cigarette (which was a lot), I wanted one so bad I'd wet myself a little. No other man can turn me on by just flicking a lighter. Mercy. The chick playing opposite Keanu is gorgeous. I mean, couldn't they have found a hag for his co-star? Nooooo... they had to go and get a candidate for Prince's "Most Beautiful Girl in The World" video. In between praying that TMWSBM* didn't fall in love with her, I kept thinking that she looked familiar. Not saying that my friends are ugly - because everyone is beautiful in their own special way (heh heh) - but I don't run with anyone this dang good-looking.

When I paid attention to the credits, I saw that the lucky gal who got to work with Mr. Reeves is Rachel Weisz.  Light bulbs went off. She is double lucky because she also played (er, worked) with Keanu on "Chain Reaction." Oh - I loved that film! Ms. Weisz was just as gorgeous in that movie. Damnit, doesn't the woman age or get a pimple or have a bad hair day? Apparently not...


Yeah. See what I mean? Gorgeous. Seems like she is probably also very nice. The nerve.Good thing she is now safely married away to Daniel Craig.

Anyway, about the movie...

Best part was the plot. Interesting and will make you think about random things for a while afterward.  Things like what Heaven and Hell are really like and what angels look like... Might make you nervous if you aren't living well, but maybe not. Sure made me glad I quit smoking, but... I meander.

LOVED Tilda Swinton even though she (it) was kind of bitchy. Okay - Tilda was a tad more than bitchy, but I don't want to say too much.  I don't know what angels look like, but after this, I will forever picture her when I think of Gabriel. Djimon Hounsou creeped me out quite a bit. I have a fear of all things even slightly voodoo-ish (long story that has to do with my step-mother). He was really a good-guy character - in a weird and twisted kind of way. What's really twisted about me is that I thought he was sexy while he was being twisted... I think I need therapy.

I didn't really understand what was going on with the Father Hennessy character. Because I am kind of silly, I was just completely amused that he was a drunk and had Hennessy as his name.

Mostly, I liked this movie because it was entertaining. I enjoyed the various characters and concepts of how good and evil were portrayed. This wasn't a life-altering film, but it was a good watch. Because of this one and "Devil's Advocate," I'm saying prayers for TMWSBM. My baby needs to stay away from Satan for a while.

Yes, I know that this was not the most enlightening review, but, whatever. My blog, my b.s. What's really going to annoy some of you is that I will be doing more film reviews. LOL

Peace
--Free

*The Man Who Should Be Mine!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Weather-Bugged

I love Weatherbug. I have the app on my phone, I have the extension on my browser... Just love it. When it comes to the weather, I am always in need-to-know mode.

One of my friends lives in Sydney, Australia. I can even check out his weather when I just feel like hating him. He's always ranting about how beautiful the photos of Alaska are. Can't wait until the day he visits. I have plans to leave him on the side of the road in deep snow for about five minutes.  Not long enough for him to really hate me something awful, but long enough that he won't be so chipper about Alaska winters.

Anyway.

I am posting to talk about the glorious weather we are having. So freaking sunny, I feel like I have overdosed on happiness.

One question, though: why is it going to be so much warmer later in the day?

3 p.m. - 36 degrees...

7 p.m. - 40 degrees
But, really, do I care?

Mostly sunny and FORTY degrees on Thursday. Whoo-hoo!


Nope. Not when Thursday is looking that good. Shoot, that's practically sunbathing weather for (some of) us Alaskans. I stay covered with sunscreen myself, but, dangit, won't it be nice to feel some of that sunshine!!!

If you haven't figured it out by now, it doesn't take much to make me happy.

Let's celebrate with a song. (Change "rain" to "snow" & "gone" to "almost gone" and we've got a hit folks!)



Peace
--Free