Wednesday, February 26, 2020

**REVIEW** Babassu Oil

After I review this oil, I will explain why I blacked out the brand name/seller on all the photos.

This is the babassu oil I'm going to be talking about:

First, let me say that this is the very first time I have heard of this particular oil. And you guys know that I use a lot of different kinds of oil. So, what's so great about this one?

  • It feels very moisturizing - much like coconut oil - but without being oily.
  • It absorbs better into the skin than does coconut or olive oil (two of my favorites). Coconut oil seems to stay on the surface of the skin and hair and this oil doesn't.
  • There is no heavy smell - like with coconut or olive - and the slight scent it does have fades quickly.
  • I can apply this to my face before makeup - as long as I let the oil finish absorbing. 
That's all the stuff I like about using it. There are more positives and potential benefits I've read about since getting it.
  • Has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties.
  • Rich in fatty acids - which makes it a great moisturizer and potentially good as an immune booster.
  • It does not seem to cause or aggravate acne.
Babassu oil (or cusi oil) comes from the babassu palm. The only possible negatives I've heard about so far are when consuming the oil. Like coconut oil, it can be used in cooking. Babassu oil might cause problems for people taking blood thinners or who have thyroid problems. As with anything you can ingest, use common sense. Pregnant or nursing women should check with their doctors before consuming babassu oil. 

As far as any downsides I experienced, this was better on my skin than on my hair (more on that in a moment). Oh, and the price. I will definitely have to find a more affordable brand if I want to use this on my hair. This small jar will last a long while if I only use it as a skin moisturizer.

I am not planning to consume the oil the way I do coconut and olive. This one is purely for my skin and hair. I love that I found it in the Loreal Paris ingredient library. I'm kind of surprised that I haven't heard more about it before now.

This oil seems to be pricier than coconut oil, but when I check for another brand/seller, I will see if this is normal. For this 2-ounce jar, I paid $6.00. I only pay a little more than that for 14 ounces of the coconut oil I use. So, yeah. However... I can add to the list of positives that a very little bit of this oil goes a long way. When I was first testing it, I only had to use just over 1/4 teaspoon to treat my hands, my chest and neck, and my feet. And anyone reading this blog more than 5 times will know that my feet are a special kind of dry...

By the way, this oil - which is refined - melts almost as fast at body temp as does unrefined coconut oil.

Started melting when I scraped
some out with my nail

Also, like coconut oil, it will go completely liquid if left in a warm room.

Now, here is what I mean about this being more absorbent than coconut oil. It's a little less greasy than coconut oil when you first apply it - but almost as greasy.

Once you massage it in a little, you can see that it's not just sitting on the surface of the skin the way coconut oil does.

After less than 30 seconds or so, you couldn't see the oil even though my skin felt softer and more supple. (It took me about 10 minutes of frustration to remember the word "supple"!)

When I applied it to my face, I could feel it more than I did on hands, but you can't really see much of an oily sheen. (And for daring to show you my undone face and hair and that toothpaste-speckled mirror, you are welcome.)

Remember that this oil completely absorbs and I wondered if it just kind of dries away. When I finished applying it to my face, I dampened my hands and rubbed them together and noticed that my skin felt soft almost the way my silicone potholders feel. Weird but nice.

I was excited to try this on my hair of course. And this is interesting. I washed and conditioned my hair and while it was still very damp, I applied some of this oil to a section. I don't know what I expected but I really couldn't tell a difference in the way that section looked or felt. This jar is so small that I don't want to use it up so I only applied a little to the rest of my hair. I don't think that I applied enough because, when my hair dried, I still didn't see or feel a difference. I will have to wait until I can find a cheaper brand so that I can apply more liberally. In the meantime, I love what this does for my skin.

So, that's the review. Now I need to explain why I won't be showing the brand.


When I received the product, there was an insert with the offer of a free product. Wow, right? I mean, like I mentioned, I love the oil so I was excited to be offered a chance to get another product from the seller. I assumed this was just an appreciation gift and a way to show new customers more of their line. I assumed. Always a mistake. What would you have assumed?

Emphasis is on loving the product, I guess...

As instructed, I sent an email to the given address and, just to show that I had purchased the product, I included my order number. I received a response that was basically requesting a 5-star review. This is basically what the pictured email says (with all identifying things redacted and with my thoughts in red)).

Dear buyer,
We are happy that you have used our product and that you love it!
You can check all our products on our website  
Getting your free product is simple, just follow these simple steps.
**1) Please post a 5 star review of the product on Amazon/eBay (wha-???)and we wouldlove if you post a picture with your review. If you are unsure of how to leave a product review: (Oh, I know how to leave a review!)
Here are simple step-by-step instructions for Amazon:
**2) Provide information to complete the process:
Ø  Amazon/eBay Order Number
Ø  Email address
Ø  Full name
Ø  Shipping address
Ø  Full name of the item you’d like to receive
3) Tell us how we can improve our products or service. Every opinion matters for us. We are trying to build Happy and Healthy community.
Thank you for your purchase of our product on or
All our products you can find at our Stores:
IMPORTANT: If you did not write a "5 STAR REVIEW" about the product you used, please contact us first to discuss any issues you had with the product. (What's to discuss?)
Your Amazon Order Number can be found in the email notification or under "My Orders" on Example Order ID for Amazon looks like this: 101-1475239-8843522 
Your eBay Order number can be found in the email notification or under “Purchase history” then “More actions” and “View order details”. Example Order number for eBay looks like this: 23-03559-44680
Thank you for redeeming your free product. *** Orders typically SHIP WITHIN 3 - 5 BUSINESS DAYS. *** If you have any issues please contact us at Thank you! (Well, no thank you)

Here's the thing, I had already written my review when I emailed them about the free product. I even asked if they would provide me with any additional product info because I loved the product so much I planned to blog my praises. Here is the email I sent requesting the product and info:

And I was such a fangirl...

Here is the letter I sent after they requested a 5-star review.

What bothers me so much about this is that, not that long ago, I was banned by Amazon for a while because they suspected that some of my reviews were not legit. Even though Amazon lifted the ban, I am not eligible for things like being chosen as a Vine reviewer - or at least I don't think I am. There is some kind of rule about Vine reviewers not having been banned or anything in the past. Whatever. At any rate, I hope that this show my blog readers that I try my hardest to be really honest when writing reviews - whether or not they are sponsored.

When I find another brand of this oil, I will most certainly do a review/comparison. Even if I end up repurchasing this brand, I won't promote it on this blog.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Faked Out by Television

I was feeling pretty down this past few days. It's my own fault. I have been spending too much time out of my own head and into the often-false reality of television and the internet.

If you ever want to feel like crap, spend a solid weekend watching something like "Criminal Minds" or any other show that focuses on the worst of society but has heroes that are uber-attractive, fit as mules, and so smart they can think in hyper-speed.

Seriously. I have never seen women bounce back from pregnancy and go straight into size-2 mode in under 5 episodes. Once, one of the agents had a baby in one episode, was on leave for maybe 1 or 2 episodes and came back the next episode with the body of a perfectly hormonally balanced 16-year-old. I take that back. There are 16-year-olds who don't look that good during summer vacation when they are well-rested and not stressed by jobs, serious responsibilities, or studies.

The women are usually lots hotter-looking than the men, but those men... They are it-factor attractive even when not actually face-on attractive. That's because their clothes always fit well and they stride around with that big-d*** attitude of the subtlely narcissistic. Excuse my filthy mouth, but that's was the best way to describe things...

Anyway. Back to my feeling inadequate and ugly.

(By the way, that meme right there is funny but... true story: I once screwed up my twists and had to walk around looking crazy this one day! Actually, I've done it more than once...)

It probably didn't help that I spent the weekend not feeling well, laying on the couch in raggedy PJs and eating like someone who had to forage at Big Lots for food. Looking at those beautiful agents with their fearless swagger, I hated my dry hair, dry skin, and my too-long, and unpainted toenails. I actually avoided looking toward the mirror whenever I went into the bathroom. Who needs that kind of a downer?

I think my favorite character on "Criminal Minds" is Spencer. That's because he's a guy so I'm not hating him for his hair, flat tummy, or thigh gap. But the way he thinks faster than Superman flies... Come on now, people. I get that the writers have to get from plot start to finish in a short amount of time but between Spencer's hyper-brain and Penelope's impossibly efficient computer skills, I start doubting my right to walk around unattended.

The episode that took the profiler image way into the superhuman league was the one where Agent Morgan was being tortured by some tough guys. First of all, let's just talk about how the actor playing Morgan is so gorgeous I would never want him to love me. What crazy woman wants to stand next to a man who looks prettier than she does? Morgan couldn't manage to look ugly even when the bad guys were pouring that molten burning stuff down the center of his chest. And he manages to mind-flip himself into a parallel state of mind to not just get through but to outsmart all the bad guys and survive. He even looked good lying on the stretcher three breaths away from meeting Jesus.

Speaking of Morgan, let's talk about his platonic work wife. Have you seen Penelope working her computer? I don't care what federal agency she works for, I am not sure that there's any real-life tech station like hers. She can have 9 different things happening on once screen and find a killer 6 states away with only 2 clues and 5 minutes before someone dies. Yet, we still don't know who killed Tupac in the middle of the Vegas strip? Okay.

If I were one of the people doing the job of those Criminal Mind profilers, it would be a whole different vibe. For one thing, I am pretty sure my hair would never be decent. Between maintaining a relationship, kids, and anything else outside of catching and surviving bad guys, I'd probably spend the other 2 hours of my life trying to do laundry and wash dishes. There'd hardly be any time left for visits with the therapist. And I would most definitely not be trotting around in those slick black runway-for-the-working-girl outfits. I'd have jeans for each day of the week, shoes that I could run in without creeling over and breaking an ankle, and I don't think I'd be wearing my cutest bra and undies around such crazy killers. We won't even talk about the last time I could tuck a blouse in without looking slightly bloated. Guys, I just depressed myself to tears.

I'm fussing and complaining but I will be back for another binge-watch the next time I am on my sickbed. Hopefully, by then, I will have rebuilt a little of my self-esteem. I will try to at least have something healthier than pizza and strawberry soda for snacking.


If you know me, you know that I would NEVER agree with probably 99.999% of anything a Trump would say. However... There may be a little something to his "fake news" ranting. Or at least celebrities and social media "influencers" faking us out. I happened to run across this very fun video by my new favorite YouTuber. (This young man reminds me so much of one of my nephews that it scares me a little!) Enjoy this one:

Now, don't you feel a little more beautiful in your glorious and infiltered body??? I feel downright gorgeous.


I am the most beautiful girl in the world.
To my 7-year-old nephew, I am. And you are beautiful too
because you & I live with no filters.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

**REVIEW** Scentbird

Everyone who knows me knows that I love a good fragrance. I don't care if it's a body perfume, a hair mist, a candle, essential oil or room spray.

Recently, I found and tried out a couple of different places to get perfumes. The first one I will review is Scentbird. I am doing this review over several days so that I can go over the experience without forgetting anything from signing up, perusing the site, to tracking the package. Forgive the bad continuity. Here goes.

Signing up was pretty easy. 

I was only tempted to sign up because I found a promo notice that I could get a Glossier sample with a new subscription. Then, because I wanted to pinch a few more pennies, I used the Honey extension to get the normally $14.95 sub for a one-month promo price of $10.39 (including tax). It's one of those cancel-at-any-time deals (more on that later).

If you do sign up and want to use me as a referral use this link: 

I have loved Glossier's You fragrance since I got a tiny sample in another sub box. The full size is around $60 bucks. The $20 solid (that I did buy and get refunded for) is a total waste of time and money. So, basically, I got sucked in by the Scentbird offer of a Glossier sample - and I was hoping that the sample would be one of the 30-day sizes and not the teeny lose-in-your-purse size I had before.

I actually did lose this for a week in my purse

Anyway, for a month or so I've been thinking that since I quit smoking and am still losing weight by eating less, I can do $15 for a couple or three months to try some perfumes. That's the plan anyway. If I love the service, I will re-work my food budget to keep the plan for a while. As for canceling the plan "at any time", I have heard the usual stories about problems in doing so. I will talk about that shortly.

Perusing the site and choosing fragrances is kind of easy.

As soon as I did sign up, I got an email with this prompt:
Select your first fragrance, skincare, or personal care product here in the next 12 hours. If you don’t make a selection, you'll receive our featured  perfume of the month! 
Okay. Of course, I went into this knowing that I wanted a 2nd Glossier You but since I was already going to be getting a sign-up sample, I decided to choose something unknown for the first month.

By the way, the site is set up so that you can search fragrances by note (musk, citrus, etc), brand/house (DKNY, Gucci, etc),  or type (eau de toilette, solid, mist, etc). Some fragrances are considered "premium" and will cost you an additional $5 or $10 over the usual subscription fee (one of these is My Burberry Blush). You can also add additional fragrances to your cart, outside your subscription for around $17 each.

Setting up your fragrance queue...
or not

You can set up a queue of up to 12 months of scents to be delivered on your subscription but you can't choose the same scent more than once every 6 months. (I think it's 6 months. At any rate, you will get a prompt if you try adding a repeat too soon.) If you don't select a fragrance, you get whatever the "featured" perfume is for that month. This would be fun for me but only if Scentbird would let users set up a more detailed profile of scent types you prefer.

The profile is a quiz.

The profile is, in my opinion, awful because it's developed from a "quiz" that's very limited. You only get to choose ONE answer for each question such as your preference for fragrance type. You have to choose either to be "woody", "floral", "sweet", "spicy", etc. If you look at the perfumes I currently like, they are a mix of spicy, citrusy, and sweet. I want to discover more scents in that arena, not get locked into just a sweet or floral type or whatever else.

Anyway, I did add this new and unknown scent to my queue for the first month. More on this coming up.
Gucci's Envy Me

A friend who knows that I used to wear Shalimar as my signature scent but now love things like Viva la Juicy, You, and By Invitation (I hate that name!) told me about Envy Me. From there, I referred to that delightful fragrance database, Basenotes, to check out similar scents. Of course, Scentbird does a great job of listing notes in the perfumes. I will get to that in a moment...

Of course, I do have a preferred fragrance type - now that I can no longer wear almost anything well... Getting old and having moody hormones changes everything, ladies. At any rate, I noticed that Envy Me and You share some fragrance notes, but not Viva La Juicy.

no Pink Pepper??

So you can see what I mean by wanting to explore more than one type of fragrance.

You can re-arrange your queue

A great thing about the queue is being able to alter it from time to time. For instance. after changing my mind about 20 times, I switched out a lot of things I had set up for the next 3 months until I currently have ended up with this.

I am already thinking of exchanging a couple for some more lemon-noted fragrances. (Update: I have already swapped out at least 4 choices.)

The waiting

Once you do select your first fragrance, you can be assured that the first billing has hit your payment method. For instance, I subscribed on midmorning of the 13th and within half an hour, my bank showed the billing. I got the tracking number on the 17th and, I guess because I live close to where it shipped from, I expected to have my package by the 18th or the 19th because the item was already in the state on the 17th when I got the tracking notice. (Update: I got the package on the 18th. That was fast.)

The goodies  the verdict

Okay, this is what happened... What a saga!

My package arrived but only with the Gucci scent. There was no sign of a Glossier sample. (Either I misread the promo or there was just a mixup. The promo was over by this time so I can't get a screenshot of it.)

At any rate... I went on a little tirade and was really rude (I am ashamed to say) to a customer service rep. After some minor squalls, things have been resolved. (Actually, the service rep had more than resolved things in my favor, but I was in such a mood, I wasn't listening. Yes, I am very ashamed.) I will be getting a sample of Glossier sent out to me separately right away and my next order will include a case of my color choice.

(Just to explain - not excuse - my temper tantrum: I've been struggling with worse than usual fatigue and depression so I think that's why I went off on the customer service lady. She was super nice - nicer than I would have been - and accepted my apologies. This does not excuse my nasty attitude, I know.) Lesson learned? Scentbird customer service is stellar.

Anyway, this is what came in the original parcel.

Notice that there is no Glossier sample anywhere...

There is the card highlighting the notes of the fragrance I chose for the month.

But no Glossier sample. Not even one of those little foil stamp samples you sometimes see.

That case is super cute and it's a good thing they provided directions. It's basically a twist-up case. The vial of perfume will lift enough that you can spray it without removing it from the case. See? Cute.

see how the silver part raises to spray?

I have to say that I dig the little perfume compact. That's super cute and is going to be so handy for on-the-go. And it's also nice that they threw in that little cloth bag. But where the heck is my sample??? (As you know from my recounting of "the saga", I will be getting a free case of my choice with next months' scent and Scentbird has already sent out a sample of the Glossier. Can't wait to get it because... I do not like the Envy Me.

This is the vial pulled out of the case.
The inner vial is labeled

As you saw, the perfume comes with a card detailing the fragrance notes and a list of ingredients. I am not thrilled with the scent. It's a nice fragrance to sniff but it's just not great on me. Because of it, I have gone back in and rearranged my queue. This one was more reserved and serious than I like. For next month, I plan to try one of the  I think I need scents with a little more of a floral touch to go with the bitter ones. My sis-in-law will be getting this one to try...

By the way, when I got mad and wanted to cancel, it was easy enough to do. You just go into your account, your subscription choice and look for the Cancel link (instead of changing to a different plan). The one sneaky thing is that CANCEL is in very light-colored font and there are a couple of are-you-sure prompts. Also, there is an option to Pause a subscription which is nice for those thin budget months.

Overall, I am happy enough with this first month to hold on to the subscription for a minute. If I hate the next fragrance, I will add Glossier to the next month or spend the $17 on it as an extra and be done.

I want to mention again that the customer service is stellar. I acted a little bit crazy and the rep was never anything but nice. I don't know how she dealt with me and kept even the thought of a smile on her face...

 Once again, if you do decide to give Scentbird a tryout, you can help me by using this referral link:

Either way, I would like to know which fragrances you try.


I am not in the mood for music today so enjoy a funny guy I watch every now and then to give myself a laugh. This young dude reminds me SO MUCH of one of my nephews that it's scary. His facial expressions are everything. And this "man weave" situation... wow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

**Anytime Gift List** For People of the Kitchen

(This is one of my Non-Christmas or Anytime Gifts Lists. They are some random gift ideas to get someone just because.)

For those who like to bake, cook, blend, mix, etc, here we go.

chainmail scrubbers
as low as $10 and up to $30+

I got pics of some of the ideas and... I was too lazy to get pics for some!
  • Tea towels are handy for everything. I have some that I use as a makeshift apron; padding the counter when I want to mute the blender; wiping spills; and grabbing hot handles. Just all-around useful. ($9 to $30, depending)
  • A covered cake plate. Cake doesn't last long enough here, but my mother thought that every married couple should have a nice cake plate and cover for keeping and serving dessert.

  • Oil dispenser bottles. My dispenser is one of my favorite kitchen items. I always fill it with olive oil and some cut up pieces of garlic to steep. I use it so fast that it never goes bad.
  • Baking sheets, cake, and pie pans, and loaf dishes. I got one of my nieces some cake pans and she was SO happy that I almost cried. It's not something she will use every week so she probably would not have gotten around to buying any until they were needed. Now she is all set.
  • Same link as for cups
    (can get separate from cups are part of set)
    metal measuring cups & spoons
    $10 to $20
  • Digital kitchen scale. I use mine when counting calories and using a fitness app to keep track

  • Magnetic hooks. I don't have any now but they look awesome for utilizing all that space on the front of the fridge. Look for some that have a strong hold. They can be used to hang towels and oven mitts. Or if you have other metal surfaces you can use them with.

food bag sealing machine
$35 up to $200 and beyond

  • Oven thermometer (probe?). I keep planning to get myself one of these. I would probably only use it every now and then but my current thermometer cannot be used to check oven temps.
  • recipe binders
    from $9 to $30
    depending on size
  • Silicone stretch lids/food covers. I am SO getting some of these as soon as I can. I am tired of using saran and foil to cover dishes to which I've lost the lids. Food storage lids are the socks of the kitchen...

  • There are lots of inexpensive things you can gift someone. Just think of things that they don't have or (need a replacement for): a good peeler, a folding colander, spoon rest, apron. Someone got me a $10 knife at Walmart when and I have it to this day. Best dang knife ever.

stainless steel odor removing bars
as low as $10.00
You can go to the Dollar General and find things like really pretty decorative pillows, plaques, and baskets. When I moved into this apartment, I bought 3 pillows from Dollar General for under $25 and they are super cute on my tiny black futon couch.

handheld sealing gadget that looks like a flat iron!
around $8 to $10
The trick to gifting something nice is to go for higher usability instead of higher price. A kitchen person you know would probably love to have jar of that Bar Keepers Friend cleaner to try out. If someone got me a couple of rolls of sealing bags for my sealing machine, I would be thrilled with the gift.

The easiest way to please someone with a gift is to listen. If you listen to them, you will learn what kinds of things they would like to have. My best friend and I gift each other throughout the year. She loves tea and she has a mind like a sieve. I have gotten her things like some of that flowering tea and a password notebook. She has sent me a little money to buy vape accessories and she sends me Christian plaques to decorate my home with. She knows me because she listens to me. I know her because I listen. We love and care enough to pay attention to each other. Best friends for life, baby!


No music today but a fun video about a product I will be reviewing soon. The young woman in the video made me smile. I just wished we didn't live in a world where people have to work so hard to be personable.

Monday, February 10, 2020

**REVIEW** Fels Naptha Laundry Bar

I love using things that I think my elders might have liked. This is why I use cast iron and Borax and started putting bleach in my dishwater from the time I started doing dishes. I got it from my mama, as the song says. This is how I also learned - long before Nestles did - about adding fresh fruit and/or canned fruit nectar to my iced teas.

One thing I think that my mother and grandmothers might have is this:

That's a Fels Naptha laundry bar. I learned about it while looking for another soap bar that my mother did use: Zote. She used a big pink bar of Zote to pre-treat stains. And, listen, my mother was a laundry goddess. She got clothes so clean that you'd think they were new. She ironed and folded so beautifully that other military wives asked for tips. I'm serious. To this day, my two older brothers can iron and fold better than a professional laundry service. They got it from our mama. (I don't know what happened to my skills. Right this minute, I have fitted bedsheets rolled up in the top of my linen closet... So sad.)

By the way, this is my old Zote bar I put aside once I got the better Fels Naptha:

Warning: a really important difference between Zote and Fels Naptha! I know that some people use Zote as a bath soap. You cannot do this with Fels. As a matter of fact, I make sure to use gloves when using it because it irritates my sensitive skin. Although Naptha is no longer an ingredient in Fels Naptha soap, there is something strong in it that I didn't like on my skin.

These are the ingredients in the Fels Naptha. (These are not on the package; I had to go to the Purex site for them.)

The soap is from Purex, a brand of Henkel. You can get comprehensive ingredients info here.

Anyway, I usually can find a good laundry bar in Walmart but we all know how I hate leaving the house. When I checked on Amazon, I was amazed at the choices. Then I saw the Fels Naptha and... it looked really familiar. It was cheap so I ordered a few bars and when I got them, I remembered the smell. I am pretty sure that this is one of the soap bars my mother used!

The best thing about Fels Naptha is the smell. It's very vivid and bright and "clean" smelling. It's hard to describe but I like to keep one bar in the closet with my dirty clothes basket. The scent masks that icky odor of dirty clothes and slightly damp towels. When you wash with it, it gets rid of nasty odors in the clothes but doesn't leave a strong scent behind.

Using Fels is easy because it's so pliable. Some laundry bars can be almost rock hard. I could use Zote as a weapon if needed, but Fels is more like a medium soft wax. I like to cut the bars down into pieces. I even grated one part of a bar so I could add the shavings to the wash water. Also, I added some of the shavings to a bottle of water that I use to spray down the sink and around the faucet.

This soap is really versatile. Because of the clean scent that it leaves behind, I like to spray the soapy water into the toilet bowl for scrubbing. I also wipe down the shower curtains with some of the water and I love cleaning the hard water spots around the faucets with some of the soap.

As far as stain removal, the soap works best if you get to the stain before it sets, of course. I did try using it on some older stains and it worked better on non-greasy food stains. I did get some turmeric off of a kitchen towel by applying some of the Fels Naptha right away. Turmeric stains are a disaster if you don't catch them asap. The Fels only did a so-so job of getting most stains out of white kitchen towels. I've had better luck with other fabric cleaners.

To be totally honest I give this a 3 out of 5 as far as for laundry use. Personally, I like this more as a general cleaning bar than as a laundry agent. I add some shavings to the laundry just because it gives clothes a nice fresh clean scent. And, as a mention, our laundry room doesn't have the hottest of water and the soap shavings did melt in the wash cycle, thank goodness. What I have done laundry-wise is to start applying some Fels to stains before I toss items into the dirty clothes hamper. Hopefully, this will help when I finally get around to doing laundry every week...

Mainly, I use this around the kitchen and bathroom to clean counters, around the sink and, as I mentioned, the shower and toilet. I am in love with the scent. It reminds me of wash days back when I was young.

The soap is so incredibly cheap that I paid $0.88 per bar and I see that the price has not yet changed as I type this. I cut up one bar in fourths to basically place pieces in cabinets and under sinks for odor control. I'm currently using a piece of one bar in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. From that same bar, I shaved enough to make soapy water for a spray bottle that I cart from kitchen to bath to laundry room. I am about to buy another trio to give to neighbors because we all tend to share things like this.

I thought that I was being thrifty and smart by finding so many uses for the soap but then I saw this list and, wow. (NOTE: The page loaded funny for me. Just scroll down and you should see the entire article.) At least now I see why the soap works so well on the hard water stains around my faucet. Here is another helpful post with some history of and uses for Fels Naptha.

So, I feel like I have found something my mother would love - or probably did love. It's affordable and versatile so it's going to remain a part of my housecleaning arsenal. I'm not kidding when I say this is the kind of thing the women in my family would like getting as stocking stuffers.


I fell so in love with this song after hearing a brief snippet 
while watching The Sinner on Netflix.
Not crazy about that show but this song... It's 
going to be stuck in my head forever.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

**REVIEW** Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer

I told you guys a long while back that to save on products like this, I started buying a blurring powder from Making Cosmetics. I still love the powder, but the price of this one is SO much more affordable than Garnier's product. **

That's Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer and I scored that 3-pack for under $11. Here is the primer in action. I used my hand to get a better close up - and my palm shows the best changes.

First, notice how the primer really is a kind of transparent gel.

It's not very visible but even used with no makeup, it gives the same blur effect of softening the look of your skin.

When it's smoothed out, you don't notice it even though it has a kind of slick feel and - oh my DAMN! Is that an age spot I see on my hand????

1. The untreated part of this dark foundation is shiny and richer colored. The treated part is starting to powder down to a softer tone.

2. With this shiny lip color, the primer really breaks it up into a powder.

Against the darker color of my skin, you can see how the blur will lighten or sort of "mute" a sharper color.

3. This is how the primer begins powdering with some of the dark foundation. On my face, the effect it more blended and subtle because the color matches the skin on my face, not my palm. You can see how the primer kills shone and achieves the blurring effect.

Okay, I had to take a rest. That applying and removing all that makeup from my hands just about wore me out! But you can see the subtle difference, yes? It's such a nice way to give your skin a nice "finished" look whether or not you wear makeup - and I typically don't. When I do wear makeup, I try to stick to very sheer coverage. That's not always an option when choosing shades for my darker skin color. What I will do a lot of the time is blend a very little of a heavy foundation with some blur, then apply it. This particular blur product will smooth out or thin out a foundation if you blend it on the back of your hand first. You can get the level of light or heavy coverage you want before applying. It's pretty genius.

The other thing I love about using blur products is that they help me to mute lip colors. Sometimes, lip color is just too "loud" for the moment, or maybe it was a color that you decided was just too much for you. Blurring a lip color really helps. I usually do it with colors that I like but don't want to be too flashy. You can tell from the bottom #2 photo what I mean.

It's a shallow thing to be overly worried about appearance but, let's face it (heh), it does sometimes help your mood to feel a little prettier. Like I said, I usually don't bother with a lot of makeup and just smoothing some of this primer on makes enough of a difference. Summer is coming and I want to subtly battel the shine that comes with heat and humidity. And I do this not to impress anyone - cos, trust this, I am not looking - I do this for myself.

Finally, I have to mention that of all the similar drugstore brands I have seen - for priming and blurring, etc - this is the one I favor because it doesn't mask my true dark skin color. It's like with some sunscreens where they are really good but on darker skin, they leave an ashy sheen or tint. That just does not work for me.

Now, if the price starts going back up on this stuff, I will go back to the much cheaper powder product from Making Cosmetics.

Anyway, that's my take on this product. Hope it helped.


** I was price-checking and noticed that the Garnier product is apparently discontinued.

For the song, I chose this one.I will not lie and say I know everything being said, but I get the idea. Life is struggle and faith is hope. So many people today are lost because they have struggles without hope. (The visuals are ugly but real so...)

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

**REVIEW** Keyboard Cover (by Forito)

I may or may not have complained here about my ASUS laptop. It's a refurb that is by now a little over 3 years old. When I got it, I was in love with it because 1 - I got it at a decent price, and 2- It had a lot of storage and RAM. Okay, and it really is a cute little laptop.


Right after the first year, some of the keyboard letters started wearing off. Also, the overall finish was so cheap that in places where I had taped a couple of little notes for myself, the thin veneer stripped right off when I removed the tape. Ugh.

I can't do anything about the stripped spots and, honestly, I don't care that much. But I really became annoyed with the letters and numbers wearing away. In the past, I touch-typed over 75 to 85 wpm and didn't need to see the keys. Since my Sarc, I can sometimes type well by feel but hardly ever just by touch. Besides, why weren't the keys embossed in the first place? I mean, come on no, ASUS...

Enough griping. I have been having a rough time the past several weeks. Between the missing key labels and my tired brain, it can take me 2 days to write a semi-decent post. One day, it took me half an hour to write a simple email. I needed a solution. A cheap solution. Because I was getting ready to paint letters on with a White Out pen.

I was excited when I saw the keyboard cover. I can't believe I hadn't already known there was such a thing. When it arrived, I was a little worried. Now that I am using it, I am happy.

Look how stark the lettering is!

My initial excitement was because this was so affordable, had a 4-star rating of almost 200 reviews. I got worried when the package arrived and this is what I saw:

Wait. What???

After giving it a try, I am very happy. I thought that the cover would have really deep wells in between the keys and rows and I worried that the thing would be sliding all over the place as I used it. Nope. Not a problem.

The cover is made of this really soft silicone that lightly adheres to the original keyboard. ("Adheres". Look at me using hefty words in proper context!) When laid over the keyboard, the cover does have noticeable wells between keys and lines.

One worry I did have was whether this would cause overheating. It does completely cover every part of the keyboard. After some thought, I realized that it's not covering any of the vents. I will, of course, keep an eye on this just in case.

The last thing to think about was whether or not this would stick to the screen when leaving the laptop closed for an extended period. I did a test of leaving the lid down for - and I am guessing because I forgot to time it - about 5 hours. No problems.

I plan to do a great job of cleaning the original keyboard one day. This cover is going to help keep out dust, eraser crumbs and all kinds of gunk. Not to mention that the letters on the cover are much sharper and easier to see. Even the top row of special keys are sharp. It's better than what I was working with...

Finally, I do have a big complaint. These letters are not embossed into the silicone - or even printed underneath - so I'm not sure how long it will be before they start to wear off. Let me quit griping. I spent under 7 bucks on something that is saving me so much hassle and frustration. Totally worth it!


Sometimes, all you can do is hum.

She's singing about a man. 
I rarely listen to lyrics. I'm humming my thanks to God.