Thursday, February 25, 2010

Best Face Forward

Some time ago, I ran out of concealer and realized I was also close to running out of foundation. So I decided right then and there that if I was going to have to buy both I would revamp my make-up bag altogether which is something I've wanted to do for some time. I literally dumped all of my make-up (which was an incredible collection of a hodge-podge of products) and threw almost all of it away. It just had to be done. Now where to begin replacing it? I consulted my Mom who is forever on the search for perfect beauty products and, lo and behold, she had a subscription to Beautypedia. This is one big database of reviews of beauty's amazing really. So I started researching. They have a very easy (like picture-coded easy) system of rating the products plus a brief review of each one.

What I wanted was something with good reviews that was reasonably priced, reasonably easy to come by, and also reasonably good for you (and those who might be constantly touching or slobbering on you). So, I cross-referenced all the products I found with which is yet another site full of beauty product reviews only this time they're reviewing the ingredients (and it's free). I probably don't have to tell you that this was quite the undertaking. For instance, the Physician's Formula Organic Wear I'd been using got good reviews at safecosmetics, but terrible reviews at beautypedia (with which I heartily agree). It wasn't easy to meet all my criteria.

To make a long story short, this is what I finally decided: I went with L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Minerals. They received good ratings both places, are available in all the stores around here at a reasonable price and I've been more than reasonably happy with it! I checked for sales before purchasing and at Ulta I got foundation, powder and concealer because they had a buy two get one free sale on L'Oreal products. So far they've had the best selection too. Then the next week I got mascara and eyeliner at CVS because they had a buy one get one half off sale on L'Oreal products. So overall, I made out pretty good, I thought.

Since the concealer, foundation, and powder are all essentially powdered, I was a bit skeptical, but I'm impressed with the coverage of all three. My one complaint really is the brushes/application system. I find that my old Arbonne kabuki brush is much better for application of the foundation. The concealer brush is ok, but I wish it weren't attached to the top. Powder gets stuck in the lid beneath it and I feel like it's wasteful so I just apply it with my finger...which is more effective anyway. The powder brush just snaps into the lid, but I feel it's too coarse. I'm anxious to try blush and eye shadow in this line. I can't imagine I'll be disappointed.

I just wanted to pass along the info since I spent so much time in research and have been pleased with the final product decision! Here's to putting your best face forward. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Being an artist was messy...

...but it was nothing compared to this.

I don't know how the avocado got so out of hand...but boy did he enjoy it!

Yes, I'm ashamed to say it, but that's spit up he's playing in. Kinda caught that late. :/

And today I had to clean poopie out of my engagement ring.

There just seems to be a continual stream of gooey-ness oozing from this kid. The yuck never stops coming. But this is what I've learned: Frazier gunk doesn't phase me. And even when he's up to his ears in...well...whatever--he's still cuddle-able to me. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Baby's Best Friend

Since we brought Frazier home, Gatsby hasn't wanted much to do with him and until recently, Frazier wanted little to do with Gatsby by default. Lately, however, Frazier would love to get his hands on him and Gatsby would love nothing of the kind. Since Gatsby's still faster than Frazier, this has led to the two being far less than friends. Sometimes, Gatsby follows the walker or circles the high chair hoping for something to lick up and on occasion Frazier sees him and laughs a little, but tonight...all on their own...they really interacted! Frazier reached for him from his highchair and Gatsby found that if he actually got close enough to that little hand to lick it...there might be some peas in it for him! Frazier thought this was funny. And I thought it was cute. :)
In my attempt to capture this adorable moment, I pulled a stupid and filmed sideways again. What is wrong with me? Apologies all around...again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, One Frazier In A Tub

I thought I'd revisit bathtime since it's finally not torture anymore. There was a time I thought he might never like bathtime! I more or less remedied the situation by letting him take a bath with me in the big tub. And now since he sits alone I can sometimes bathe him without having to get in myself! I feel like I could bathe him two or three times some days he's such a mess anymore, but we only take one. It's part of our evening "wear-him-out-so-he'll-sleep" routine. :)

In addition to the requisite measuring cups, turkey baster and rubber duckie, here are our other two bath toys...
This starfish makes a fountain AND the "nose" lights up the fountain. Cool, right? Frazier is very interested in both the fountain and the light...but mostly in trying to hold onto the fountain. The second is this little yellow submarine which actually propels itself through the water if you turn it on. It also added a new song to the bathtime repertoire. *Both came from Target...though honestly if you have a turkey baster you could probably get away with no other bath toy. I think Frazier would have just as much fun splashing around and being squirted with it! Go figure.

My favorite bathtime things are these towels. Adorable, no? Thanks to my friend Christy and Aunt Becky we now have three: a frog, a dinosaur (or dragon) and a dog. Not only are they cute...they're really handy, too. And the best part is that they're like 200% bigger than the little hooded baby towels Frazier was practically too big to be wrapped up in from day 1. Also they make for excellent after-bath pictures. So there's that. :)


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

7 Months on Mardi Gras

As the title states, this guy:

is 7 months old today!

And today is Mardi Gras. As is my custom, I made king cakes, though we didn't celebrate at all this year to speak of. No parade; no beads. There have been years I made up to seven cakes, but this was just a two king-cake year. I made one for us and one for Josh to take to work.

Laissez les bon temps rouler,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lest I Forget

* This weekend at our small group Bible study I had Frazier sitting in my lap as always occupying him with some little toy when he began to get a little fussy so I turn him around to face me and lift him above my head looking up at him and smiling. And he overflowed. A couple of tablespoons worth of applesauce and curdled milk cascaded from above right onto my face, then trickled down into my hair and onto my jacket. In front of everyone. Frazier thought this was funny. And gross as it was...I kinda did too.

* One day last week, Josh came home, looked me over and said..."You know your sweater's on backwards." I look down at the sweater I've been wearing ALL DAY LONG and am relieved to see that the vee neck is indeed in the front so I inform him he's wrong. To which he says, "I'm sorry- I meant it's inside-out." And that time, he was right.

And so it [happily] goes. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What Remains

*Today- Valentine's Day- this is what remains of our snow.

And all the softness and happiness and loveliness are but memories.
*I would be remiss if I did a Valentine's Day post and didn't put a picture of these beautiful flowers my Dad sent me.
My Dad has sent me flowers every Valentine's Day that I can remember. These are the ones that came this year even though Dad's in Belgium. In a week or so they will be all wilted and I know from experience that keeping them past that point leads to a terrible smell which then permeates several rooms in the house so I'll throw them out. All that will be left is the glass vase they came in which I'll add to the shelf in the hall closet where all my other vases shelf-ful of glass reminders of how blessed I am to have such an amazing Dad. :)

*And speaking of amazing and blessed and terrible smells...just kidding on the last part ;)...Happy Valentine's Day to the love of my life- my one and only Bud! This is our 10th Valentine's Day together and the fifth we've been married!

This year we got a Wii...a joint Valentine's Day gift we've been having a blast with so far, and we went out to dinner on Friday. Frazier got a walker for Valentine's Day...which he insisted on "helping" his Dad put together and then used to "walk" right over to my plant stand (which I use for magazines and Gatsby's toys or this would have been a much bigger mess) and proceeded to knock it over. Just grabbed it by the top and pushed it right over!
I was thinking back over the past ten years' worth of Valentine's Days trying to remember them distinctly, apart from one another, and honestly, I couldn't do it. Like hundreds of the happy days we've spent together they've melded into each other. While a lovely general memory they are indistinguishable in my mind. I know there were gifts and flowers and candy and dinners and cards...but I don't remember in any specific detail. Perhaps it is because Josh has never waited for Valentine's Day to lavish me with affection or tokens thereof. And I suppose that is why Valentine's Day memories get all mixed in with memories of the "hundreds of [other] happy days we've spent together".
And I thought about how this year God gave us a living, breathing legacy of our love. One day, when we are gone and the happiness and loveliness we've shared are over, it won't really be so at all. What will remain of what we had him.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
1 Cor 13:13

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I'm sure it's hard for some people to imagine excitement over snow. But just like sunny days are appreciated all the more where there is most often rain, and cool, breezy days are basked in where it is frequently hot and humid, here where there is seldom's something special. I've spent my entire life in the land of infrequent snow, and while I've seen a fair amount of real snow in travels there's still something magic about drifts of snow in your own (southern) backyard!

It snowed right into the night last night and at 1:30 in the morning as we stood wrapped in blankets on the front patio, "the moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gave a luster of midday..." (really, it was remarkably bright) and the whole neighborhood was soft and white. I told Frazier if he were older we'd play in it...right then and there. In the middle of the night in the moonlight. But he wasn't and we didn't. When we woke up it was even deeper than it had been when we fell asleep and even more lovely in the daylight.

It had been so warm previously that I had buds on some of my plants already.Gatsby tracks

You can tell by the table how much accumulated after I'd already scraped it clean to build my mini snowman!

The beauty of living somewhere snow is scarce is that everyone appreciates it- makes the most of it. You get phone calls..."Is it snowing at your house?" And everyone marvels and hopes that it sticks. This morning there were snowmen in every yard...and in front of several businesses where people who had to work today had still gone out to enjoy the snow. Kids and parents in our neighborhood, all homebound, were out in their front yards and the street playing and yelling. We went to the courthouse to pick up Frazier's birth certificate this afternoon (because we're trying to get his passport stuff in order) and I sat in the car watching people. Several stopped on their way out to scrape snow from the bushes, pack it into a ball, and toss it at their companions. One couple, who originally walked out all businesslike with papers in hand ended up running to their car zigzagging across the courthouse lawn throwing snowballs.

I was out at 7am bundled up, playing in the snow. I got out early for two reasons 1) I wanted to get out before it warmed up enough to start melting the snow and 2) I had to get any real snow playing done before Frazier woke up. I ran around making footprints, and taking pictures and then made some snowballs and finally ended up with a whole family of snow people.

And now I interrupt this story to tell you another one:
Once Upon An Igloo
I'm not sure whose idea it originally was to build an igloo. Most likely it was my Dad's. But I also recall that for many years of my childhood it was my goal to build one. Only an igloo takes a lot of snow. Lots of snow, however, was something we did not have.

This is attempt #1...not enough snow...also we may have lacked some know-how.

Finally, one winter in Arkansas we had a really fabulous snow. And we literally built an igloo. Then we slept in it. Sort of. And by sort of I mean we really did set up camp and fell asleep in there, but I'm not sure we made it all night long.
Impressive, no?
The three of us inside it.

Now I told that story to say that what I really wanted to do this morning was build an igloo. But Josh wasn't here to help and I remembered that it took me, my Dad, and Ross a really long time to build the first one. And I was pretty sure Dad was crucial to our success, so I scrapped the idea for today and went with the snow people.

When Josh came home around lunchtime we all went back out and though I offered to build something with him if he wanted to, we ended up just repairing his snowman (who had fallen over by then) and throwing some snowballs...but I feel we adequately enjoyed the snow.

It's still sad that it's melting, though.

The down side of living somewhere that snow is so scarce it's reveled in? When it does actually snow...we're really ill prepared. Case in point: we had no electricity for about 12 hours. And yes, it got really cold...but it could have been worse. And thus the snow reminded us to be grateful for something else...heat!