Beauty on a Budget

The other day I was turning down the bed when I took a glance in the mirror and my brain froze.

WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL???

I have a Gordon Ramsey wrinkle.

Oh, HELL NAW!! I will embrace my gray, I will enjoy making laugh lines, and I won’t mind the crow’s feet (much). But I refuse —REFUSE!!— to have a single wrinkle like that. IT’S NOT SYMMETRICAL, FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE!!! If I had two wrinkles mirroring each other…..well, ok, I would still be upset but in an “I-am-the-cryptkeeper” kind of way, and eventually would accept it and turn it into part of my Halloween ensemble. But a single, solitary crater by my chin??

No, just no.

So, I did what any level-headed woman would do: I cried and yelled at the wrinkle and then decided to be all sciencey and test out some beauty products. It was either that, or eat two quarts of Baskin Robbins’ World Class Chocolate. And I can’t do that because I gave up everything joyful for Lent, so beauty products it is.

First: skin upkeep doesn’t have to be expensive. I tried several expensive products which compared favorably, and in some cases were not as good as inexpensive drugstore brands. Second: your face wash can be a different brand from your moisturizer, but the moisturizer must be compatible with your foundation. That makes a big difference. So if you have a preference for a matte foundation, use a moisturizer that is oil-free. If you prefer the dewy look, use a moisturizer for drier skin. Otherwise your foundation will look like spackle. Third: some products are better used during certain seasons. It’s standard to need something more moisture-rich in the winter than in the summer. Fourth: what works for me may not work for you, thus test and trial! So think of this post as a guideline, not a hard fast rule. Anyway, on to fighting aging like two women over the last pair of stilettos at DSW!!

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OHAI!!!!!

*dusts off blog*

*chokes, sneezes, coughs*

Uh, that’s better.

So yes, it has been over a year since I wrote on this here blog. I forgot how much fun I had yapping about fluff. Lots of blogs out there give you the rundown on politics, religion, entertainment, sports, etc. But seldom do you run across a blog that gives you silly crap to ponder throughout the day. And that’s why I am returning to my blogging roots.

SITHY THINGS IS BACK, BABY!!!

Ok, moving along now. Our topic for today (that’s the royal “We/Our”) is what gets us going to tackle the day. I can argue that for me, caffeine is a GREAT motivator. But some people I know (forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do) prefer other ways to get going in the morning. Honestly, if I don’t have at least one cup of coffee in the morning I start stabbing things, like the loaf of bread or the Gouda (which looks like hell right now but still tastes awesome so, NBD). There are days I need three, like on mornings after a bad thunderstorm that kept my big dog awake and whining for me to sleep next to her on the hardwood floor because obviously I don’t fit in her bed. And of course, on travel days I need more than one cup.

I also need more than one pit stop. But it’s worth it.

So, how do y’all get motivated to start your day? And keep it PG-13. Last thing I need is my mom reading this and being scandalized. 😀


Linearity

Funny thing about parallel lines. They never meet, but can enjoy gazing upon each other as they travel, content to mimic each other and satisfied on their common grounds.

Skew lines, though….

Skew lines have that brief moment where they pass each other, one brilliant but brief glimpse into each other’s lives before everything is lost as they travel in different directions.

I do wonder if skew lines can feel regret.


It’s the Spiciest Time of the Year

Y’all…

It’s that time again.

The time when every pumpkin fears for its life.

It’s the dawning of the age of Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I won’t lie. I enjoy a PSL once in a while. In fact, there was a time I was all excited to see Coffeemate bring out their Pumpkin Spice flavor so I could have a fix of The Spice at home. But I am more into The Spice than I am into The Pumpkin. Unless it’s pie. Then I am all about that with a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream. But in a drink, it’s not as appealing to me. That said, I have lots of friends IRL and on the Interwebs that do love PSL. Love it so much they set aside time for Starbucks on the first day they serve it. For me, the attraction is in the Spice. I’m all Paul Atreides on that. But I found an additional way to enjoy Pumpkin Spice without the Latte.

That’s right. A chocolate shake with Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice. Bailey’s used to have the recipe up on their site, but alas, they took it down. Lucky for y’all, I found it again.

  • 4 oz. Baileys Pumpkin Spice Irish Cream
  • 2 cups Chocolate Ice Cream
  • 2 oz. Whole Milk
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 tsp. of Pumpkin Spice Blend (Allspice)

Put everything in a blender and go to town (not literally). You can substitute vanilla ice cream for the chocolate (why you would want to do that is beyond my comprehension), the whole milk for reduced fat or skim, and make sure you get plain pumpkin puree, not pie filling. Otherwise the sweetness will be off the charts. Personally, I would cut back a little on the brown sugar, and that’s saying something. Either way, I believe this is a far better way to enjoy Pumpkin Spice than in a latte. Chocolate, spice, AND booze.

Now excuse me. I must go control The Spice 😉


The Second Most Wonderful Day of the Year

No, I have no idea what the first most wonderful day of the year is. It fluctuates with my mood. Sometimes Christmas, sometimes Thanksgiving, sometimes garbage day. One year it was the day I found $20 in the laundry. Talk about a banner day! I guess you can have several wonderful days of the year, just have to put them in the order that makes you smile the biggest. Sometimes you may end up with a tie or like me, sometimes they are all exceptional days, unique in their own wonderful way. Back to topic, why is today the second most wonderful day?

It’s National Wine Day!!!

That’s right, my friends. Today we celebrate that wonderful spirit, literally. Finally, a day when I don’t need to make up an excuse can pour a glass and sit outside to enjoy my favorite time of day, when the world looks blue. I love to sit and let my mind wander, rambling on from subject to subject. Ok, that happens all the time but today it’s acceptable and encouraged.  And if wine isn’t your tipple, feel free to tipple on something else. Any day is a good day to celebrate.

Unless you have to go to the DMV. Then wine afterwards won’t cut it 😉


Panes in the Neck

I’m a big fan of old windows. BIG fan. I must have ten or so in my garage, all waiting to be transformed like I did the one over my mantel. I took a six-pane wood window and sanded the old paint off, then repainted it and made it look old by distressing it with sandpaper.

The irony of removing the old patina to replace with new old patina is not lost on me.

Anyway, I have plans for most of the windows in the garage. But some are what I call “redundant”. I have plans for one in X style, but have three other X style windows and NO IDEA why I got them save the fact that they are old windows. I’m all about renew, reuse, recycle, save money and use vintage. Now, vintage is “in”, so it is getting a bit pricey at the boutique antique places, but you can still find a lot at flea markets and garage sales for way less. Seriously, I found a silver-plated flute for $10 and a typewriter table for $3 at the local flea market. Boutique antique shops would sell those items at premium prices.

By the way, guess where I’m going this weekend? That’s right. I’m gonna pop some tags, I got $20 in my pocket!

Back to the point of this ramble. I have all these old windows. I also have an unremarkable backyard. It slopes in a weird way and has these weird angles. So I went to my rabbit hole, AKA Pinterest and did a search for reusing old windows. And of course, found an easy solution.

Not exactly what I want, but close. I do want one of the windows on hinges so it opens. And I want to use shelf brackets on the joints of the two windows on the roof for decorative purposes. But it’s an idea. And it would free up a lot of stuff in the garage. Um, a lot of breakable stuff.

It’s an adorable (yes, I used that word) addition to the backyard and would be a pretty focal point, as well as a nice place to display sun-loving flowers. As for the rest of the windows, who knows. I thought maybe make end tables, or mirrors, or maybe a curio cabinet.

But for now, one idea at a time 😉


Friday Sithy

Oh dear GAWD I want to make this for Halloween one year.

Steampunk Leia. Tell me that’s not awesome. I dare you 😉


In the Eyes of the Beholding Thrift Shop

I was running errands today, enjoying the 1,675% humidity courtesy of the light rain shower this morning. It’s Wednesday, which means local thrift stores have pulled all their hauls from the weekend for sale. Usually I can find something fun like a pretty glass or tea cup. Those items are pretty easy to recognize. But sometimes I am flabbergasted at how some stuff gets identified.

I was perusing a beautiful dry sink (identified as a “table with drawer”) that was way out of my price range when my eyes alighted on the item inside the bottom shelf.

Pretty, no? And I bet most of you can tell it is a chamber pot. To be precise, an antique Staffordshire porcelain chamber pot in almost perfect condition. No chips, no cracks, and the gilt is almost like new with very few exceptions.

I have a thing for orchids* and I loved the design. You can’t really tell, but the design is outlined in brown and filled in with gold. It hardly had any scratches inside. It was immaculate!

I took it to the front desk to check out and the lady running the register remarked on it. Hilarity ensued.

Cashier: Oh, so happy someone is taking this bowl home. It’s so pretty.

Me: Bowl?

Cashier: Yes, the owner called it a fruit and salad bowl.

Me: A salad bowl??

Cashier: Yes….why?

Me: This is a chamber pot.

Cashier: ………….

Me: ………….

*both of us burst out laughing*

So you see, it’s always a question of angles. One person saw the item in a different way, for a different use. And interpretation, like beauty, is always in the eye of the beholder.

I just hope the previous owner never served food in it. To anyone 😀

*I have a thing for most flowers, really, but orchids remind me of home.


Burned

Burned.

Some time ago, someone I considered a friend decided our friendship was too much of a bother. All communication was cut. No explanations, no apologies. I spun scenarios in my head, trying to determine how I messed things up, what I did to cause such a rift to happen. Nothing made sense, every recollection seemed normal. I worried I had hurt feelings, made possible transgressions that were not easy to forgive. In public the banter is still friendly when our paths cross, adding to the confusion. It seemed disconnected, forced.

And then I realized that all I had done wrong was offer an ear. I’m a big believer that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. I lent my shoulder and my ear, and perhaps sharing was something akin to breaking a confidence. I’ll never know. It’s a habit of mine to reach out and try to help others when they are distressed or sad. I’ve offered total strangers the comfort of my shoulder as they grieve for a sick relative. This time I got burned. But unlike other people who would learn a lesson from it, I refuse to let it dictate reaching out to others in the future.

There’s Bactine for that 🙂


Cole Portering Over Velvet

One of my favorite songs is I’ve Got You Under My Skin, by Cole Porter. It tends to describe me well when it comes to……well, me going to the thrift store. I see something all dusty and in disrepair and it gets under my skin until I bring my vision to life. Y’all have seen my other blog, Junk and Glue, and know what I mean.

And now, it’s all about velvet. But not just any velvet. Velvet used to be a very expensive fabric. Back in the Middle Ages, it was made solely from silk, which gave it a lustrous sheen and lasted forever. With the advent of industrialization, velvets were made from other fibers such as cotton. And then came synthetic fibers and nowadays velvet is something you can now find off the rack at Target™. Good quality velvet is usually made from a mix of rayon and silk. If you want all silk velvet, you will pay hundreds of dollars per yard. And I am neither rich nor insane, so that’s out. But you can’t compromise on the quality of velvet. Cheap velvet falls apart rather quickly, but the good stuff wears well over time, adapting a soft, rich sheen with age and use.

So, now that you have a primer on velvet, you are wondering why I even bring it up. Well, A) it’s my blog and I write the fluff I like, and 2) I want velvet in my life. And I don’t mean a jacket or a shirt, or even a pillow. I mean I want it ALL OVER THE PLACE: furniture, drapes, accessories, rugs, and PJs. I understand I can’t have everything in velvet. But I really, really want a sofa in soft, luxurious velvet, with some feather alternative-filled cushioning (real feathers are good and all, but I don’t want to trigger anyone’s allergies, nor do I want quills sticking my skin).

Isn’t she absolutely gorgeous?? Yes, that’s a pink velvet sofa and I want it with the burning power of twelve Betelgeuses. Look how plush it is. I want to be able to sink into the sofa, and the big plus with this is one solid cushion, nowhere for remote, socks, or change to slip between. I want to be Great Garbo and tell people I want to be let alone with my sofa and a cocktail and Netflix. In short, I am old enough to want to luxuriate while I watch “Flea Market Flip” and plan on upcycling a ratty old suitcase into a coffee table.

I am full of contradictions, I know. But I also know me, and I doubt I will ever have a sofa like this. It’s wonderful and classy and feminine, and impractical and  high-maintenance and over-the-top. So I will just admire her from afar, and dream of the dreams I could have enjoyed while napping upon such luxury.

But a velvet chair? Oh, yeah….That I can justify 😉