Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Favorite Things

It's my %$ birthday and I have been thinking about all the wonderful things that we now have to help us keep ourselves healthy, fit and beautiful.  There are a list of things that I would not do without and I wanted to share them with you.  

Okay, I don't think I'll do this in order of importance...they are all of equal importance, so here goes:

Hair color: Whether it be from a salon or do it yourself. It's the greatest invention my opinion.

Speaking of hair, I can not do without my Terax Crema.  It's a conditioner from Italy that I buy on ebay.  When I quit using it because of the price, my husband noticed and said something.

Smashbox color correcting make up primer: I love this, it really works and I use it under a light foundation.

Eyelash curler: Seriously, if I am out of mascara, (usually never happens) or if I haven't applied it in a while, I curl.

Under eye concealer: I use Pixi pink concealer.  It sells at Target and I have tried most brands because I have and always have had, dark circles.  This is the best.

Eyebrow powder:   Really any brand is good as far as I can tell.  Let's face it, the older you get, you lose hair.  AND you lose it in your eyebrows.  I personally, think it makes women looked washed out.  I'm not saying draw those lines above your eyes, or making your eyebrows so black they look bizarre. And I certainly do not like tatooed eyebrows.  I have yet to see those tatoos look real.  But I am saying a light brush makes my brows look healthy and groomed. 

Which brings me to tweezers.  I will say the dreaded words;  "facial hair"....YUCK!  My mother did not warn me. It happened about 10 years ago and there ya have it.  Need I say more?  Tweezers...not just for facial hair, but brows.  (Thank God I do not need to wax!!!)

Lip gloss:  I love this stuff.  Again, I do not have a favorite brand yet.  However I do like the 'plumping' kind.  Living where I do, it gets more than dry.  I get the gloss with color because I look washed out if I don't use a bit of color on my lips. 

A good mascara:  I used to use the Cover Girl brand, waterproof, and still do on occasion, but there are others out there that are amazing.  I think the one that I liked best Dior's "Best In Show". 

Latisse:  I CAN live without this and have for over a year now, but it would be nice to use it all the time. This stuff makes your lashes grow like crazy.  I also used it on my brows and sure enough, I started growing new hair on my brows.  It costs around $125, so I haven't bought any for a while.  The trouble is, my first round with Latisse was a gift.  I was hooked.  I bought a second round at a discount.  Since we've moved I haven't been able to bring myself to pay the full price. 

Retin A:  My mother gave me hers when I was in my late '30's and have been using this for a long time.  I love it.  It slowly, slowly, slowly burns away the top layer of skin so new can grow in it's place.  It is amazing how it works.  It causes the skin to look glowing, and it eliminates crows feet and tiny lines.  At least that's what I think it has done for me.  I have now been using the generic version.  My pharmacist told me about the generic version when I found out the price of the name brand went up by about 100%.  Even this vain woman would not pay that kind of money.  Anway, I"m so glad he told me about the generic version; it's just as good!

Botox:  I know, for some this is controversial.  I have no idea why to be honest.  This is the best stuff.  It raises the brows, does away with lines and those deep, man like lines (they're called parenthesis) between the eyes,  they are GONE.  I love botox.  The more times you get it, the less you need after a while. 

Professional hair cut: I used to have friends 'trim' my hair.  That was a long time ago. Now, I just don't think I could go without.  Even when we were financially strapped and I had to eliminate some luxuries, I went to a hair "school".  It wasn't the best, but it was better than nothing and a fraction of the price. 

Working Out:  A routine exercise regime is a must for me.  I need this to feel strong and healthy, not to mention how it makes one look.  I also need to lift weights because osteoporosis runs in my family.  I had a bone density test about ten years ago and I was border line.  When I upped the weight routine, I went back to the doctor about two years later and I was fine. I wasn't border line any more.  

Sunscreen and moisturizers:  Living in the desert has been such a change for me.  I use olive oil to moisturize a lot of the time.  I use it all over my body, and on my feet I use Vaseline.  I have let up on the olive oil on my face,  but I do use Hope in a Jar. 

So, that's it.  At least that's all I can think of so far.  I have been thinking how I'd like to write a list of all my favorite things; things I would not like to live without. (Sort of like Oprah's list of favorite things.)   I finally did.  Hope you enjoy.  I would love to hear your fave's.  


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vintage Shutters, Rustic Pieces and the Life They Hold

It's starting to be a weeee bit cooler at night here in the desert.  Okay, maybe even during the day.  I was able to work outside in the yard this last weekend.  I finally got around to writing an entry in this blog too.  I'm on a role. 

I do want to continue because my home is my hobby.  Creating a space that is a treasure to me, a retreat, has always been important.  So, window treatments...yep, that's the next thing in my home I MUST change.  However, not so simple as a lot of the treatments that used to be available at the hardware store, or target or even k-mart, aren't available anymore.  I'm specifically referring to wooden shutters. 

However, I'm not so sure I'd like the brand new kind.  They look a bit too perfect for my taste.  Give me some great, weathered, vintage shutters and that would be exactly what I'm looking for.

See what I mean?  I go for this type of weathered look. I actually love rustic, weathered pieces.  I'm not sure why, but I'm thinking it has to do with history, and energy from the peices themselves.  I'm not trying to be too oooooey gooooey, but hey, I do think we leave pieces of our soul in "things".  I know that my home in KC loved me.  And because of that, I think I left gratitude in the walls of that place, and I think the new owner will sort of feel that.  

Anyway, I do love old, weathered things that look as if they have seen stories. The orange piece below just look like a happy old soul, don't you think? It was probably well loved,you know, like the Velveteen Rabbit.

The pic below just looks idea of a great outdoor space.

I totally ADORE this vanity; justaposed with the sleek, white bowls.....ahhhhhhhh, covet, covet, covet.  

Sooo, getting back to my original idea of vintage shutters as my window covering.  I'm on a mission.  I'll shop craigslist and other out of the way places to find the perfect shutters.  I'll let you know when I find them.

Until then, enjoy your space and make it a haven of rest.  Do it for you.  Love to you all........

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Updates on new home....You too can have great style and be thrifty!

It has been forever since I've written.  I'm not sure why, but it doesn't matter, here I am and I'm excited to show you what I've done to our "new" house.  We moved to the Sonoran Desert, it will be  two years on February, 2013.  We moved from our "dream home" in Overland Park, Ks, a suburb of Kansas City, where we lived for almost twenty years.  At our previous home, we knocked out walls and basically customized the whole house to our liking.  And lo and behold, our kids moved out west. Our daughter moved here, and our son moved to L.A.  We had nothing left in KC.  So, here we are. 
I think themain reason for this is to tell you that you can do sooo much on a very small budget. Most of the 'stuff' that I did was all inexpensive and yet quality.  Excuse the pics for being a bit out of order, but I'll try to get across what I want to communicate for each one......
Below is our living room as of today. I tried color on one wall and it was not what I felt comfortable with.  So I stuck with off white and a sort of what color.  The clock is obviously the focal point.  It was a Pier I find.  I went back three times and just stared at it. It finally went on sale and I grabbed it. I LOVE it.  It's all wood and just what I felt fit perfectly in my decor and with my tast.  The mirror was a garage sale find for $5. The silk, tubular lamp shades are a Goodwill find for $3 each.  I love it. The coffee table however, is Pottery Barn, and worth every penny.
I missed the archetctural detail of a fireplace for my b'day, my son gave me a fire place mantel, go figure...I have the best son who knows my taste.  He used to go to flea markets and antique shops with me.  
If you'll notice the scrolly type shelves on each side of the arched mirror, they are a gift from my son. They're antique music stand thingys.  They are made of a rusty metal. I love them.
Polka dots are my fave, thus the black and white polka dot plate on the mantel, along with a black metal "d".  I always say the "d" stand for "domestic". 
I have wanted the black, wood, stand up mirror forever.  Finally, I went to Ikea and bought it.  So glad I did.
 When we bought this home, the cabinets were an orange oak.  I wasn't too thrilled and found a great, dark, mission oak stain with built in gloss polyurethene.  So redoing the cabinets, along with new handles from Ikea was less than $100.  We got rid of the white micro-wave and added a stainless steel one. My husband is a former electrician so the lights were easy to install.  Obviously we removed the HORRIBLE fluorescent light fixture.  I love my vintage metal number sign with my green wood gingerbread on the walls.  
 The other side of our kitchen is a breakfast area.  We put a stainless steel table and paired it with our vintage stainless chairs. They're the real deal with the dates on the back (the '50's)  I got them free from the church I used to work in. My wonderful china cabinet fits great.
I made the white board from a beautiful, hand carved wood frame I found at Goodwill for $5.  I did, however, change up the orange-y gold paint and  stained it a silvery black. I used Marth Stewart paing and loved it.
The red, glass pendant lights were found at Mad Maxx's Vintage shop in Phoenix.  Great place. 

Below, another view of my living room. 

The master bedroom was pretty bland.  It had dirty white carpet..(I really dislike carpet).  We put down a dark hardwood and painted the room a cheery blue.  The red wicker chair was in our neighbor's garbage (we painted it red and added a cushion) and the rug is from Pier I....A fantastic buy because it was reduced by about 75%

When we were redoing our master I ran out to Goodwill and found the faux painting above our bed.  It was just the right thing to add more brightness.

Vintage luggage from Craigslist..all thre $25....great deal!!!
 Below is another pic of the whiteboard.


 The two back bedrooms of the main house were pretty horrible with dirty carpet.  We finally were able to tile with similar tile that was throughout.  The pic below is the back bedroom that we use mainly for an office/guest room.  The little house was a gift from a friend years ago. He made it out of old barn wood.  It's been a fave of mine since I got it.
The rug is a black and white wool rug..that's right...thick, wool rug, I bought at, yes, you got it...Goodwill.  $14 
The tufted, blue leather desk chair is another Goodwill find.

 The front bedroom is furnished with a brown leather futon that serves well as a couch.  I LOVE it. It sells at Costco right now for $400.  We got it off craigslist for $200.  The red painted wood shutters we bought in Long Beach, Cali at a garage sale.  $10 for two.  I LOVE them. 
The dog?  My baby, my love, was a rescue from Phoenix Animal Shelter...LOVE HER...we named her TAsha, she's part Pug, part Australian Shephard. 
The red and white rug, Ikea $20 
 This is my laundry room. I LOVE my LG washer and drier.  Craigslist, $800 for both, PLUS they have the drawers at the bottom.

This is the master bath's 'water closet'.  Toilet.   
Another view of the living room.   

Below is the front courtyard.
This is our little casita (guest house).  It's about the size of a master bedroom and has a large, walk in closet with a little fridge, microwave, and basket of goodies for all guests.  The casita has everything you will need; iron, ironing board, sewing kit, hair dryer, flat iron, meds, toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion, shampoo, conditioner etc. 
It also has a fan, flat screen tv...and more.  
 This is travertine tile we found at, yep, Goodwill.  A whole box for $5.  It looks like rich marble. 

 Casita walk in closet.
This is wrought iron we found on craigslist. We bought four black pieces and three larger white pieces. Eventually we'll make gates out of them for our front courtyard.  But for now we put a couple to use.  There's one behind my husband's outside cooking table...(which we pulled out of the's wood and we stained the bottom red and stained the top the dark mission oak.  I added a basket we already had so he could have a place for his utensils.
 We love our back yard.  It's really private and has a great stucco wall all round.
The tera cotta bowl and ball is a fountain. We bought it at a flea market.  I love it. I think we're going to put the bowl in the ground.

 We worked hard in our yard today.


Below is a pic of my wicker rockers.  I brought one with me from KC and I found the other at the Goodwill half price sale.  So it only cost me $7.


 This is my dining room.  You tell me, is the table too big  It's dear to us as it's a 100 year old library table from the church in KC we used to go to. It weighs 350 pounds.  Our plan was to enlarge the dining room after we bought this far, hasn't happened.



The last picture, above is our front courtyard.  It's the three panels of wrought iron in white that we bought from craigslist.

I love my new home and wanted to share it with you.  We plan on doing a lot more...but for now, those are the updates.

Have a good Sunday.....