Do you wear foundation?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Yesterday I was reading one of those articles that are always popping up in my social media feeds. It was something like "20 Beauty Mistakes You're Making." Okay, I always, almost, waste time by clicking on these articles. And it struck me how many of the "mistakes" listed had to do with wearing too much makeup. There was the one about not wearing shorts too short, but I guess I don't have to worry about that anymore.

Long, fake nails, super-heavy false eyelashes, too black or too much eyeliner, too heavy on the eyebrow pencil. Too much bronzer, too much foundation.

At one point I thought, gee, why bother with it at all? 

I've already given up on concealer (too cake-y, too fake, too hard to blend, argh . . . ).

I never really used powder or bronzer (powder just settles, and I never cared about mastering all those complicated bronzer/highlighter charts).

I don't often pencil in my eyebrows.

Now I'm wondering if I should even bother with the foundation.

Okay, I know that "too much foundation" is different than "no foundation." But sometimes I don't get it blended perfectly. Or it settles in the cracks. Is it worth it?

These are my two favorite foundations at present. I use only a large pea-sized amount. 

This primer is wonderful, and sometimes I use it all alone, with no foundation. No worries about blending, and it just glides on. Is this enough?

Oh, dear. A dirty doily. Why do I notice this stuff after I post the picture?
I think my foundation might go on a little more easily if I remembered to exfoliate on occasion or to use a facial mask. I bought the ladies in my family some of these for their Christmas stockings, and a few made their way into mine, too.

I do like the French concept of le no makeup look. But we all know that it takes careful application of some makeup to achieve it. Or else they are just taking super great care of their skin.

Do you use foundation to cover the little spots and imperfections? Too smooth out everything? Or do you face the world Unmasked and Unrepentant?

Don't forget the self care this week

Sunday, December 18, 2016

We are all being told that we need to practice self care. In today's fast-paced and stressed-out world, we need to take the time to savor some "me" time, some indulgences, some special treats to make up for the busy lives we live. "Self-care" is a trendy concept, and sometimes trendy concepts annoy me. 

And I cringe a little at the not-so-subtle message that we come first and "deserve" to have all our needs met. Sometimes before anybody else's.

I picture a very self-centered woman, sitting on the couch watching a movie and eating bonbons (whatever those are!), while her children run wild around the house.

Or a woman so busy getting her manicure and her massage that she has to order pizza and takeout at night because she's been so busy practicing her self-care that she hasn't taken the time to grocery shop or plan a decent meal. (Now, there is a time to order pizza; I'll talk about that later . . . )

But there really is some truth to the idea that we must take care of ourselves if we are going to be any good at taking care of others. (That's the key really -- the whole point is not just to live to ourselves only, but to have plenty left over for others. When we're happy, it naturally spills over into others' lives.) Some self care is necessary and is not selfish; we need to find a little balance, especially those of us who like to go all out this time of year to make Christmas special for our loved ones and family.

I love opening up my home for friends and family. December, especially, is a time for showing hospitality and love to those dear to us. Cooking favorite dishes and baking cookies and pies. (I'm making up for lost time now that I have a working kitchen again!) Decorating the house so it looks beautiful. Making sure all the sheets on the beds are clean and the bathrooms are sparkling. Selecting just the right gifts or finishing handmade gifts, and wrapping them all in pretty paper and ribbons. Mailing off cards and gifts for those who live far away.  Going to parties and getting together with friends.

Fun and happy times.

But, if we're not careful, all this can be a recipe for frazzled nerves, short tempers, and burnout. I'll be just chugging along, checking things off my to-do list, feeling chuffed and I somehow forget that I am  a person susceptible to depression, anxiety, and insomnia. I think I should be able to function just like everyone else. (Which is silly, really; like who else? We all have limitations; we all need balance and rest. We need to remember we are human beings, not robots!)

So, I'm reminding myself. Don't forget to practice some self care. 

For me, that means asking myself:

*** Have you been drinking enough water? I don't like to drink water, and can forget when I get busy.

I just bought a SodaStream. Just add some lemon or lime juice to the carbonated water. Stevia optional. Delicious and refreshing, and no more lugging cans or bottles of soda or sparkling water home from the store, and hauling the empties back. Somehow sparkling water is more fun than plain water, and I'll drink more.
*** Are you drinking too much caffeine? I was off caffeine for six months or so. Then I went to my son's for Thanksgiving. With one coffee pot, I was making caffeinated coffee for my husband and son. I had a couple cups, and I tell you, I was flying around that kitchen like Wonder Woman cooking that Thanksgiving meal! So much energy! So much pep! So I have been having a cup or two in the morning again. Have to watch it; it can make me anxious and interfere with sleep.

*** Have you been taking your omega 3s and other vitamins? (Omega 3s help with mood. I forgot today, and just had to get up and do this!)

*** Are you practicing good sleep hygiene? Again, I have slid into old habits, and have to remember that I need to power down the electronics early, take a bath, do something quiet before bed, etc. I start to feel okay, and think I can be on my laptop right up until bedtime. Doesn't work.

*** Have you sat down and spent some time in prayer? So. Important. Just do it.

*** Are you eating healthy foods? I don't need to tell you about all the temptation surrounding us these days. Yes, go ahead and indulge a little. But make sure you also have plenty of fruit and vegetables and don't fill up on empty calories, especially sugars. Talking to myself here. Sugar looks like your friend, but too much, and it will leave you tired and cranky.

Awesome and weird looking cauliflower. I cooked this up in an Indian dish the other night.
Aren't these so pretty? Watermelon radish!
And yes, here's the sugar. Making my traditional Happy Birthday Jesus Coffee Cake to freeze for Christmas morning.
*** Have you allowed yourself some time to read or knit or do something creative? Even if it's just 20 minutes. Again, you are not a robot. (And hey, if you want to sit on the couch and watch a movie and eat bonbons, I'm really not judging. I like to do that myself. A lot.) 

And sometimes you just have to cross some things off the to-do list and give yourself a break. Last week I needed an oil change and wheel alignment, and spent the two hours that I had to wait in the waiting room making lists. Two hours of list-making, with day-by-day lists for the next couple weeks! I have a lot to do, but I also realize I've put many things on my list that are not absolutely necessary.

Yes, I want my grown kids who are coming to visit to have delicious homemade-by-mom meals, but I also want to be relaxed and enjoy their company. Through the years I've often thought of the verse in Proverbs . . . 

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. (Prov. 17:1)

I translate this to . . . 

 Better to order pizza and have everybody happy than to have an uptight and stressed-out mom trying to make everything perfect. 

Nobody's happy around a martyr!

So, friends, I hope you all have a wonderful, beautiful Christmas with your loved ones. But don't forget to sit down, put your feet up, have a cup of tea, and enjoy. Whether you call it self-care, or living a balanced life, or just staying sane and happy, it's important.

And remember that Jesus, whose birth we are about to celebrate, said that Mary had chosen the better part, by sitting at His feet and listening to Him. Martha, her sister, who was so busy and frazzled, really should have ordered the pizza and joined her!

Snowstorm and *giveaway* winner

Monday, December 12, 2016

I have been enjoying cooking in my working kitchen again! I hope to get some baking done this week and start stocking up for the Christmas feasting. Our youngest will be flying in for Christmas, and maybe even our middle son and his wife. We're waiting to hear if they can get enough time off work to make it. And, of course our daughter and her new husband are local so they'll be here, too.

We still have a list of things that need to be finished in our kitchen, not the least of which are the glass shelving and doors for the cabinets in which my teacups and teapots will be stored. I hope I'll have pictures soon. 

We had a big snowstorm this weekend here in Michigan. A few more inches after this picture was taken, bringing the total to about eight or nine inches.

 I finished up some Christmas cards . . .

. . . and enjoyed a hot drink in front of the fire.

And can I just pass on a piece of advice?

If you ever dry thyme from your garden, pull off all the leaves before you let it dry. I was in a hurry when I harvested my rosemary and thyme and neglected to do this. When I went to package the herbs up for little Christmas gifts, I discovered that all the thyme stems had crumbled and had to be painstakingly removed from the leaves.

I think I spent a couple hours (!!) culling through these leaves to remove the stems. Lesson learned. 

Fortunately, the rosemary was much easier to sort through and bottle up.

I've been thinking of my daughter's first Christmas with her new husband . . . 

Our First Christmas Together ornament. On our tree for the past 35 years. Wow, I just noticed you can see me taking the picture -- my phone is right in the middle of the ornament!


I decided to have a giveaway last week in honor of three years of blogging. My husband drew the winning number.

Congratulations to marmilu (Mary Lou), who says she reads my blog but hasn't commented before. Yay! I was hoping to meet one of my elusive, silent readers. I will be in touch Mary Lou to get your mailing address.

Thank you to those who entered and those who commented here for the first time. I hope to get around to say hi to you all soon.

*** Giveaway! ***

Monday, December 5, 2016

I just realized I've been blogging for three years now! And written (three less than) 300 posts.

It's been a wonderful journey, and the best part has been YOU.

So I'm having a giveaway in honor of the occasion.

A little package to help you relax during this busy month of Christmas preparations. Some Harney's Scottish Morn loose black tea, one of my favorites (wonderful with cream and sugar). With a tea strainer. A tube of lovely Caudalie hand cream (another favorite), some scented soap, and a fun grapefruit mango bath bomb. And a sweet little beeswax candle. Mmm . . . love the beautiful natural scent of beeswax. 

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment and follow me on Google+ (see sidebar to follow). Or Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook. Just let me know where you're following me. 

I'll draw a name at random next Monday, December 12.

I hope some of you who never comment will do so. I have hundreds -- hundreds!! -- of readers I've never heard from. I often wonder who you are. I'm so honored you read my blog, and I'd love to say hi.

{The gifts are pictured on my new kitchen countertop. I'm organizing cupboards today. Electricity and lights hooked up tomorrow. A few remaining items, but looks like I'm back in business! Yay!)
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