Wednesday, July 18, 2018

firecracker #5

If you’ve never tried “powdered” peanut butter,” and you’d truly love to have peanut butter but you can’t afford the calories and/or fat and/or sugar and/or anything else in it that you do not need—you should get thee as fast as possible to your nearest grocery store and pick up a jar of PB2!

I learned about this at a Weight Watchers’ (aka WWs) meeting many months ago. I bought myself the regular kind—i.e. not the chocolate flavor. Then I let it sit in my cabinet. Until it expired.

Last Thursday—at my morning WWs meeting—a dear, DEAR friend of mine (We’ve known each other for over 35 years and I can tell you I'm not exactly sure where the weight is that she wants to lose.) was joining and ended up talking about PB2—this chocolate flavor specifically.

I bought a small jar the other day at Walmart. (In our Texas store it’s actually located in two places: With all the other peanut butters and back in the “baking” aisle. Cake mixes, flour, etc. etc. etc.)

Two nights ago I needed something that wasn’t a lot of points. But something sweet. And a bit salty. I put two tablespoons of this PB2 in a bowl and mixed it with one tablespoon of water. (Something told me I might like one little package of Truvia, too. I have such a sweet tooth.) Stirred and stirred and then dipped 9 Rold Gold tiny pretzel twists into it!

It. Was. DIVINE. I am serious. D.I.V.I.N.E.

(If you try it and I’m wrong? I can’t imagine I’ll be wrong. But let me know. Because this is going to be my new snack obsession and it could get totally out of control! YIKES.)

This “snack” was 2 points for me. That’s a good number for a WWs “snack.” If I’d had a few more points left for my day? I’d have mixed 4 tablespoons of PB2 with 2 tablespoons of water—one packet of Truvia (I’d have tried just one—might have needed two and, trust me,  I have no shame--if it needed two—two would be put in without a blink of my eyes.)—and I’d have had 18 pretzels! Yes. Yes, I would have. Alas, I didn’t have 4 points left. Sigh.

We are hot in Texas. HOT. I do not mean sexy hot. I mean temperature-wise. We’ll never get used to it. We’ll never like it. It is what it is.




Saturday, July 14, 2018

firecracker #4

I love Pioneer Woman. I love her blog. I love watching her cooking show with Little Leighton. (Even though her recipes aren't necessarily gluten-free, most can be easily adapted so our family can happily, and safely, enjoy them!). Most of all, I ADORE her "Home" line at Walmart. My favourite pattern to-date has been "Willow." I think it was first available last holiday season. It has varying shades of blue. It is YUMMY.

Somewhere along the way, I started collecting pitchers. Most are tiny. White or off-white. I have them sporadically placed around my house. Bathroom. Kitchen. Bedrooms. I love them on their own or as a vase!

Then, one day last spring, ELC randomly gifted me this beauty:

Y'all. Is this not adorable? It is a full-sized pitcher. It's from the "Willow Collection!" Look at that cute, little, glass knob on the top. I don't believe it's more than $20. Wouldn't this make the most precious gift? Housewarming, perhaps? Hostess gift at Thanksgiving? Some of the flowers on the pitcher look like pansies. Pansies are one of ELC's favourite flowers because they were her Nana's favourite. This is so special to me. I cherish it. I look at it everyday in my kitchen and simply SMILE.

I'm always on the hunt for sweet and unique gifts. I think this fits the bill!

(Leave it to ELC to technically find all of my "FIRECRACKERS," thus far. Thank you kindly, ELC! Teeheehee.)

Happy Saturday, Friends!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

firecrackers #3

So I have 64-year-old eyes. (Actually, closer to 65, when you think about it. A dear friend pointed out to me recently that on our first birthday, we’ve already lived a year! So when we celebrate any birthday, we’re technically a year older. I mean, that truly does make sense, Mackie…)

I grew up in a time of the world when plucking your eyebrows was fashionable. Like, I am talkin’ MAJOR PLUCKING. To the point where you almost had no eyebrows left. (Have you ever trimmed one of your trees or bushes? It was like that. You start. You have to even it out. In doing that, you go too far. Then you have trouble stopping and getting control of yourself! And you go even farther. It's a vicious cycle.)

Please let me advise You Younguns about over-plucking: Your eyebrows will probably NOT come back. It’s going to be hugely important that you not overdo. Your actions could be sadly permanent. You will regret it.

(Note: I have been using Lash Boost—by Rodan & Fields—for almost three years. However, NOT on my lashes—on my brows! To save what I have left. I honestly think it’s helped. At least it might have slowed down the loss.)

Anyway, I’ve been searching for products to make my brows look thicker. Better. All while looking as natural as possible. TLC bought this product for both of us recently:

(By the way: I was ruthless with TLC when she became a teen and wanted to pluck her brows. She always had more than I ever did. I ADORED every last little hair on her pretty face. Sorry. I realize this is weird. Trying to be honest. I’d beg, plead, and, possibly, threaten her (with taking something away or not getting her something) if she overplucked. She didn’t. Fortunately. However, she’s discovered in the past year or so that she likes to fill in her brows. It really is so the rage.)

This is one of three different methods I actually alternate. The first one I tried and still use is an Estee Lauder brow pencil and a Maybelline brow powder—together. The second method I’ve tried and use—and I got TLC one, too—is that Wunder Brow. I can honestly say I like all three methods!

I’m really working to get this Tattoo Studio on my brows as best as I can. The wand is like a mascara wand. And it comes with a little brush to use once you’ve put the “gel” on. I was trying to think of the word to type to describe how it feels once I’m finished. (Or as finished as I’m going to be.) And that word might be “crunchy.” Which, I admit, doesn’t sound fabulous. Honestly? I don’t mind it! Color/gel is supposed to last for a few days. I’ve found that once I wash my face at night (which I do with Dove soap) and then again in the morning, before I apply my makeup for the day, the “tattoo” gel is pretty much gone. Which is fine with me!

I believe I’m getting better at this method. My BIGGEST Critic—TLC—has said I’m doing pretty good with all three of my “please-give-me-some-brows” efforts. My Second Biggest Critic—Little Leighton—would, I promise you, promptly advise me if anything I did looked weird, funny or clownish. She’d not hesitate to be fast and blunt with her opinion. She does this. All. The. Time. Sigh.

If you’re oldish like moi—and you overplucked—and you can’t find any little eyebrow “wigs” on Amazon—OR you’re young and you still want lusher/plusher brows—this is certainly worth a try! Just go slow. Plan to practice a day or two at home before you head out into the world. Because…it’s at least permanent for the first day. When I kind of mess up? I’ve learned I have to be pretty fast with my q-tip to straighten it all out!

(Lash Paradise? I actually did this post forgetting that was in the picture. My Picture-Poster TLC texted me last night and asked me if I realized I hadn't mentioned the mascara. Oops. This is the third mascara we've bought between us in the past four months. It seems to be all over tv and magazines. TLC and I like it! Not sure at this point in our blog history that telling y'all that little news is tres earthshattering. We're pretty easy to please when it comes to mascara. Give us a pretty applicator and we're good to go. This can be a teensy bit clumpy. However, clumpy works for us. Seems to add to our volume, don'tchaknow.)

As you navigate your week—Wherever in this World you are—DO NOT OVERPLUCK. Trust me on this, ‘kay?


p.s.: Mackie has done microblading! She had to tell me what it was and then I sort of thought I’d heard or read about it. A few days after she shared her experience, I saw a beauty salon in our little hometown that has a woman doing it! I MIGHT try it. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m waiting to see if Mackie is going to convince me it’s worth the pain, time and money…stand by…
p.p.s.: Brooke Shields always had the BEST brows. (I seriously and honestly loved hers. Yet I still kept screwing mine up. WHY?)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

firecrackers #2

Hi, all!  Happy Saturday!

Let me just say, this holiday-in-the-middle-of-the-week thing has completely thrown me off. I have no clue what day it is. Little Leighton missed her swimming lesson this morning because I thought it was Friday. I am a hot mess.

However, I do have fun things to share with y'all today for my first FIRECRACKER!

We have made a couple of short trips this summer, and I've tried to pack light. In doing so, I've had to drastically pair down my face/makeup paraphernalia. (Also, I (and ELC) buy tiny bottles that are too cute and free up some space.) I wanted to share my essentials with y'all:

First up: this ADORABLE bag! I have to give credit where credit is due. ELC actually discovered this bag. I could have sworn she purchased it at a local boutique. Uh, no. It's from WALMART. Yes, Walmart. I was shocked. It actually has two zippered compartments. Each is lined and each has a tiny pocket inside. Y'all. It's amazing. It holds everything I've pictured and then some. It keeps everything nice and organized. I LIVE for organized. (The other side/compartment is actually a black polka dot/dalmation print. I die.) It's called "Primrose Hill." It would make you believe it's made in London. So you'd think it's super FANCY and chic. It's not. It's made in China. ELC checked. Perhaps it was designed in London? Let's go with that. If Made In China is good enough for The Pioneer Woman, it's good enough for us.

Cetaphil and Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer. (I prefer the one with Broad Spectrum Sunscreen in it after my two rounds of skin cancer.) I've used these two products for YEARS. I swear by them. My dermatologist right out of college recommended them to me. They are mild on my sensitive skin, keep oil and breakouts at bay, and are CHEAP. That's a win times three for moi!

We've mentioned our love for Thayer's Witch Hazel before. And it's worth mentioning again. Y'all. This is so refreshing and might win my "Most Coveted Product Award." I seriously could not live without it. ELC is the one who found it in this precious travel-size bottle. LOVE. (It can be found at Target or Sprouts.)

I narrowed down my favorite makeup items. Currently, it's this No. 7 Radiant Glow Concealer (Again, THANK YOU, ELC. You win my "Discovers the BEST Things Award."), Great Lash Mascara (a classic!), eyelash curler, COVERGIRL Eyebrow Powder, and a Sonia Kashuk Eyebrow Brush. Confession: I've only recently started filling in my brows. Why did I wait so long? Now, I cannot leave my house without it.

In addition to these products, I really can't live without the Neutrogena Makeup Wipes and Aquaphor. (I use it like chapstick. But it's also great on cuts, burns, etc.) Oh, and Working Hands. Sorry. I could only fit so many in my pic. LOL.

Ummm...I just realized something. Apparently the theme of my finds are actually things ELC has FOUND and graciously given/recommended to me. I guess the moral of this post is:

Your Mother is ALWAYS right.  (At least my Mama is!)

I know she'll be bummed I didn't include a lipstick. Sorry, again. I'm working on that. I cannot find one I love. If you have any recommendations, please share! Nothing too bright. Or sticky. Or too matte. Does that exist?

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend and, unlike me, know what day it is!

Ta-Ta for now!