Friday, August 28, 2009

Frugal beauty: face/foundation primer

Girls, here's the secret bargain of the century!

I'm always on the lookout for a good deal. If a high end product I like has a dupe, I'll always check it out. Sometimes the dupes are just as good or better. Sometimes they stink. But I'm always willing to try.

I don't always use foundation primer. That's probably because the brand I had (Bare Escentuals) just didn't work well for me, and I just didn't want to waste the money on something else that may or may not work.

Lately I've been hearing people sing the praises of Smashbox Photo Finish primer. It's all over the internet as a "must have" and is listed as one of Sephora's top picks. However at $36 for a teensy bottle, I have to say no thanks.

Being in this crazy wicked southern heat, my already oily skin doesn't hold foundation well. So I did a little research on face primers and found a product that is said to be comparable to the Smashbox Photo Finish primer, but for mere pennies.

Behold the Monistat Chafing Relief Gel. I know what you're thinking. This is not a yeast infection cream for your va-jay-jay, even though it's from Monistat. It's actually a powder gel that you can use for your bra line, thighs, or anywhere you have problems with your clothes chafing your skin.

That being said, according to several articles, the ingredients for the chafing gel are very similar to that of the Smashbox primer. The secret ingredient is the silicone (dimethicone). This lets the product smooth over your skin, filling in smaller lines and pores.

I found the Monistat Chafing Gel at Target for about $5 or $6. The other morning, I put it on before applying my foundation. The texture of the gel is very smooth and glided easily over my skin. I did read that it's better not to rub it into your skin like you would a moisturizer, simply pat or smooth over the surface or your face. My skin instantly felt smoother and soft. I didn't find the product to be greasy at all. After a few minutes, I applied my make-up as usual.

I have to tell you, this product was amazing! My make-up stayed in place all day. The oiliness I usually experience was MUCH less. In fact, I didn't notice any oiliness until the very end of the day. I have a small smile line starting on the one side of my mouth, and my make-up usually creases in there. When using the chafing gel, it did not.

So all in all, I think this is a great primer. Before investing in an expensive brand, maybe give this one a try for yourself. It's a small investment at $5-$6 and if it works for you, you'll be thrilled!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who let the dogs out?

Woof woof woof woof.

That song is stuck in my head. And now, probably yours too.

This weekend we had a cold front come through (that's what the weatherman called it), and since it was a frosty 95 degrees outside, we figured it would be the perfect time to take Cissy to the newish dog park.

One of my missions for this year was to get my city to open a dog park. I know of the perfect place. I just need to get on that. {note to self}

There are a few dog parks within a reasonable distance, but honestly, they are almost far enough that it's a pain. A few months back, the suburb south of us opened up a dog a shopping center parking lot. I know it sounds weird, but it's actually pretty ideal. It's only about 5 minutes from our house. And when they were planning it, they left a 2 acre patch of grass and trees in the parking lot for this park. There are lots of benches, clean up stations (dog poo bags, Purell for our hands), and did I mention, tons of trees? That alone makes it worth going to this one instead of the others where you're hot as blazes with no protection.

The dogs were so quick, it was hard to get a good picture of any of them. They were well behaved (except the one little mutt who wouldn't stop humping Cissy...and the owners didn't try to control him...that's the only thing that gets on my nerves at the dog park). Cissy was very good, too. I was proud of her. There was one creep of a guy who was ugly to a few teenagers, but they remained very respectful to him (though I'd have stood up and said something to him had I know they didn't know him). I think he might have had some mental issues, so it was best that I kept my trap shut.

I'll share some of my favorites from yesterday.

{handsome feller who knew lots of hand signals}

{hubs trying to get Cissy to chase her ball...she was really more interested in the other people and sniffing every tree in sight}

{this little 3-legged german shepherd was the fastest dog there!}

{"ready to go home momma"}

{"I got my exercise for the day"}

{"is it ok if I take a power nap back here?"}

*I just realized this is my 100th post. I've been blogging for almost a year. Just goes to show I can yap about a lot of crap! ha!*

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog par-tay!

Last Friday evening I met up with about 17 other ladies who are bloggers from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Nicole even came down from Oklahoma to join us!

{group picture without a couple of girls who had already left}

{me with Kendra}

Typical of Dallas (and of myself), I got stuck in rush hour traffic and arrived 30 minutes late. Which was fine, but unfortunately I came in on the tail end of the introductions. Too bad I didn't have a grand entrance planned! :)

{Elyse, Alicia, Jen, me and Dina}

We met up at the Golightly Antique store and tea room and chatted, ate wonderful food, sipped on some wine and got to know each other in person. Afterward, we shopped! If you are ever in the Fort Worth area, make a point to stop by the tea room and try the banana caramel pie. It is to. die. for.

{Kendra, Alyssa in her cute born to blog shirt and Jennifer}

We're going to plan on doing this at least once a quarter. I'm really excited about this, because at this stage in my life, it's so difficult to meet other ladies. When I was in college, it was no problem. But everyone has moved on in their lives. So this was a great opportunity to get to know some great women!

{Jen, Stacy, Alicia and Nicole}

If you ever get the chance, meet up with some fellow bloggers! Some people think it's a bit wacky to meet people you've only ever spoken to online, but it was great. None of us were pillaged or killed. ;) Thanks to Jennifer and Dina for hosting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doing the side table shuffle

This is our guest room, which we call "Cissy's room" since that little beast always parks her butt on top of all of those pillows.

(note: yes, I know, the puke yellow's actually a pretty color in person, I SWEAR! Whenever I see the pictures I've posted online, it makes me cringe and want to repaint it all. Then I walk into the room and it looks really good. Maybe if I took pics during the day with natural light it would look better, but I never blog during the day. ;) So you'll just have to look at the wretched color since I took the picture just now..ha!)

When we first bought the house, I had a cute black iron day bed in there, and so that black iron side table matched it. Then a few years ago we bought a new bedroom set for our room, and we moved this wood bed into the guest room. (Isn't it gorgeous?! It's an antique from the 1800s. I love how the headboard is very tall. My parents bought this bed when *they* were first married in 1970. It was painted a horrible yellow color and my dad stripped it one summer and stained it. They used it for years, and then I got to use it when I was in high school. When I moved into my first apartment, my mom let me have it. Technically, I guess it's still "their" bed, but not really. You know how that goes.)

(note: ignore electrical wires and crap on the table, thanks..ha)

For a while now, I've been wanting to get something else to use as the side table. But hubs always thinks that's unnecessary when the thing we have is functional as is. The iron table is cute. I still like it. But it was just too small for that massive bed.

Then tonight an idea hit me. I have this antique tea cart that I'd been using as a TV stand in our bedroom (until I rehabbed this antique nightstand) to use instead. Since that rehab, the tea cart was relegated to the garage, where it's been collecting dust. I pulled it into the kitchen and cleaned it up. When I put it next to the bed, it seemed to fit the space perfectly.

This allowed me to put a couple of quilts on the shelf below, which will come in handy if guests get cold during the night (the pink quilt was made by my grandmother and the blue one was made by my mother and her quilting group. Both were given to us as wedding gifts, and they are very special).

The top of the tea cart was pretty gnarly and scratched up. Then I remembered I'd bought this rattan tray for $1 at a garage sale earlier this spring. It's been sitting in a pile on the floor of my craft room taking up space. I tried it out, and it was the exact size to fit the top of the tea cart and cover up all of the blemishes.

So, what do you think? Is the round iron table better, or the antique tea cart? Or is there too much wood in here now, because I have this armoire in the corner:

(ok, so this older photo makes the paint color look *slightly* less's closer to the "real" color....similar to that famous peanut something-or-other and tobacco road, but a smidge darker)

I know you bloggers always have good opinions!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009!

I just opened up my dashboard and saw that all of the blogs that I follow have disappeared! It says "you don't follow any blogs." Ack!! Has something happened on blogger to cause this? Last night it was fine...I had about 50 blogs listed, and now they are all gone! :( :( :(

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A shopaholic I am not

But you probably wouldn't know it by the last few blog posts I've had. ha! Seriously, I'm not much of a shopper. But I am a thrifter, and I think there's a big difference! :) I'm frugal and like a good bargain. Who doesn't?! Besides that, it's not necessarily the "things" that make me happy. I enjoy the process. I love scouring obscure places or piles of junk for some sweet treasure. If I don't find one, that's ok. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

This last week, hub's band was in the studio in Ft. Worth recording a new album. On Wednesday I went with him, and after spending a little while in the studio, we hit the town. We spent some time doing some fun things (more about that another day), but we took the opportunity to hit up the Ft. Worth thrift stores!

Hubs found some really cool pearl snap shirts and vintage coats that he can wear to his gigs. We also found this vintage Samsonite suit case. It was only $5! He thought it would be a good case for a snare drum. Which it is, because those suitcases are nearly indestructible. When we got it home, I thought it might be too small for a snare drum, but it was a perfect fit. I think it's very retro and cool!

This time of year seems to be good for finding holiday items on the cheap. I guess people are cleaning out their closets and getting rid of stuff, not realizing they'll probably kick themselves come holiday time, wishing they'd kept everything!

I found a cute metal halloween cat, and a cute metal sleigh that I can think of a gazillion ways to use.

The little silver tray came from the Goodwill ($2) and I bought it with a specific project in mind (no, not a chalkboard project that is all the rage right'll see!). The little cone shaped basket came from an antique mall in Ft. Worth. It was something like $.50.

At that same antique mall I found a metal wall basket, which I've been on the lookout for quite a while. But I never wanted to pay the high prices. This one was under $10. It's black with an ugly gold tone, but I've already taken care of that with a little black paint.

While in the antique mall, I saw a lady trying to move a big piece of furniture. She wasn't having much luck. There were several people, including some strong men, that walked right past her without offering to help. So I did. Turns out, she's a dealer at the store and was moving it from one of her booths to another. She was so thankful that she offered to give me some candles from one of her booths. I told her it wasn't necessary, but she insisted. She ended up giving me about 7 or 8 yummy cinnamon candles (my favorite!). While talking with her, I learned that she just went through chemo for breast cancer, had back surgery last year, and is about to have hip surgery. I told her whenever I burned the candles I'd think of her and say a prayer that she has good health. Very sweet lady!

Yesterday I went to a local antique mall to just walk around and look for ideas. I found a few things on sale: a cute little heart ornament for my valentine tree, some halloween mask floral picks for my halloween tree, a cute little felt halloween pillow and a metal "believe" sign for Christmas. In total I think I spent less than $7.

Here's my fave purchase. I saw this huge glass jar that just spoke to me. It's so funky and squatty and I needed it. And, I think it was only $10. I mean really, could you have passed that up? I'm not sure if I'll put it on top of one of the armoires or maybe on top of the cabinets in the kitchen. I think this sucker weighs about 50lbs. Not really, probably only 40. ha

It's almost bigger than Cissy!

I found these two gorgeous red silk pillows at a garage sale for $2/each. That same night, I saw some similar, if not identical, at Target for $18/each. *pats self on the back for finding such a good bargain* ;) (again with the puke yellow walls? I don't know why that keeps happening in my pictures!)

In an effort to get out of the house today (I finished my housework yesterday and wanted something to do), I went to our downtown courthouse square to look for inspiration. The little shops always have such great displays and are spilling over with ideas. And I found a couple of little things I couldn't leave behind because they were such a good price. One antique store is going out of business (the building was bought by a church and is being turned into a coffee house...never mind there are already THREE coffee houses on the square! I hate that all of the antique stores are being run out!) and everything was on sale. I got this plain window for $6 (I have a project in mind for it) and a "big bag of Christmas garland" for $5!! That alone made my day. If you know me, you know I *love* decorating for Christmas, and this bag of garland would have probably cost a TON brand new. I think the dealer used it for display purposes during the holidays. You can't really tell from the picture, but that bag is filled to the max with garland...tons of it.

The little nest on an old rusty spring is new (funky, I love it!), as is the metal saucer. The cloche is not.

I can't believe it's almost the middle of August. This year has flown by. I think school starts up in a couple of weeks, because hubs said parents are calling him to get their kids back into drum lessons again. It's hotter than the surface of the sun outside, too. Seriously, it's suffocating. The A/C in my Xterra seems to have gone caplooey. Well, it's still blowing air, but it's warm air. So hopefully hubs will have that fixed sometime this week. I need to get out in the yard to clean up some flower beds, but honestly, the heat is wearing me out. I can't exactly weed beds at 3am when it's finally cooled down to a frosty 90 degrees outside! Anything interesting going on with you this week? Before we know it, it will be time to pull out all of our fall decorations and start planting mums!

I'll be linking up with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality when she gets her "thrifty finds" post up later in the weekend. If you have anything to share, be sure to stop by her blog!

Here's the link...Join the fun on the Southern Hospitality blog! We're sharing our garage sale and thrifty finds!