At the Movies - Robin Hood

We went to see Letters to Juliet, but we missed it, so we saw Robin Hood instead.  I had no idea what to exect.  Apparently, I have been living under a cinematic rock, because I didn't even know this movie existed.  And if I had heard of it, I would not have been very enthusiastic to see it.

But how can you not like Robin Hood?  He steals from the ritch and gives to the poor.  And there are all those merry men.  I still remember the Robin Hood cartoon I used to watch every Saturday morning while my parents were still in bed.

This movie is the beginning of the story.  Who is Robin Hood?  What's his beef with the rich?  And where did all those merry men come from?

I enjoyed this one.  I like period movies, and this one fit the bill.  Good costumes, good story.  My sister thought it dragged a bit at the beginning.  But that's kind of the pitfall of the period piece - the back story takes time to tell.  And since I thought it was a good story, I didn't find the beginning slow.  And I actually enjoyed Russell Crowe in the Robin Hood role.  He did a great job.  Good enough for me to leave the theater with a bit of a crush.

Some of the war scenes were a little 'I'll get you with my plastic sword', and the lines were laced with just a smidge of cheese.  But overall, I rate Robin Hood as a decent date movie - because just like my broter in law, I don't think your date is likely to agree to Sex in the City 2.


The Playful Pooch

The Playful Pooch

I did it.  I started a second blog.  A dog blog of course. So for updates on the antics of Kitty and Millie, and for other useful (or at least somewhat useful) doggie content, chek out The Playful Pooch.  And please add yourself to our pack of friends!

I added the dog food info from this blog - because that's what I get asked about the most. 

One of the things I want to do on The Playful Pooch is to feature YOUR dogs, so I may be contacting you for pictures and stories.  Also, if you would like to feature your dog on The Playful Pooch, email me at theplayfulpooch at gmail.

Also please email, comment or chat any feedback and requests. 



Lipstick Jungle - Candace Bushnell

I have wanted to read something by Candace Bushnell for ages.  This was the  first one of her books I grabbed off the bookshelf.  And boy am I glad I did.

Lipstick Jungle is about three strong and powerful New York women.  Nico is a magazine executive who is in the process for lining herself up to be CEO.  Victory is fashion designer at the helm of a globally successful design house.  And Wendy is the president of a top movie production company.  Lipstick Jungle takes you inside the personal and professional lives of these three self-made moguls as they navigate through some of the most pivotal and life changing events of their entire careers. 

I read Lipstick Jungle in two days.  I could not put it down.  I lost sleep, but it was worth it.  This fast-paced novel was much fun to read.  These women came alive on the pages, and watching them persevere with strength and grace was not just entertaining, but also empowering. 

Hands down one of the better books I've read in a while.  Read this one.

Note: As naturalnchicmakeup pointed out there was also a show.  The show stunk.  I think I watched one episode.  So bad I erased it from my memory.  But I'm glad I forgot about that show or I would not have picked up the book.  The book was better.  For sure.


Dear Weekend, Where Are You When I Need You?

Dear Perrier,
Thank you for making pink grapefruit sparkling water.  It's the most delicious sparkling beverage I've ever tried.  Thank you for not polluting your products with caffeine, aspertame, and/or high fructose corn syrup.  Don't discontinue the pink grapefruit flavor, ever.  I mean it.  EVER.  I. Love. It.

Dear Google,
Why is it that everyday I have trouble logging into something?  Two days ago it was gmail, yesterday it was blogger, and now it's gmail again.  Is it too much to ask that all my computer portals work simultaneously?  Yes, that may make me a dork...don't judge.  Fix it already.

Dear Bryce at H204K9,
Thank you for sending me a replacement water bottle because it sucks that mine was stolen.  It saves me so much time trying to track one down in town.  Not only do your products rock, but you are the sweetest.  Doggie kisses from Millie and Kitty.

Dear Cassi,
Why did you elude me once again?  Sure, I'm happy with the color I got today.  But I would have liked to have found you instead.   You mock me with your online swatches.  You taunt me with that perfect coral color and subtle shimmer.  And then you play hard to get.  Are you enjoying being such a tease?

Dear Sara,
You are so sweet and I value our back and forth comments greatly.  I love your blog and this post format.  Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? XOXO
Dear Strange Lonely Man at the coffee shop,
No, I didn't want to talk to you.  Not even a little bit.  I had my headphones on.  I didn't want to be disturbed.  Sure, there was nothing playing.  But you didn't know that.  Headphones mean 'leave me alone please'.  Period.

Dear my future other half,
Hurry up, already.  I'm tired of waiting.  I don't want to be single anymore.  And I am sick of dealing with all of your cheaper immitation stand-ins.  Sometimes even us independent girls need a reliable and permanently available shoulder to lean on.

Dear Letters to Juliet,
This weekend. You and me.  For sure.  I won't take no for an answer.


Tout Sweet - Karen Wheeler

This book is about the successful Karen Wheeler, who has a great job in fashion, a chic life, a posh flat in London, and a hot boyfriend.  But when the hot boyfriend dumps her, Karen sets out to search for a simpler life in France.  She buys a cottage in a remote French village, and befriends a group of eccentric and outspoken friends.  She learns how to be more self sufficient and enjoy the simpler things in life, while she navigates throug a dating minefield.

This book sounded good so I piced it up.  And though I enjoyed the story line and the characters, I found Tout Sweet quite slow.  This is a great book to take with you while you're traveling, and will be reading bits at a time.  But it is certainly a book I had no problem putting down.  So overall I would pass on this one.

Furthermore, the story was very reminicent of Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. Lead character goes to a new country, buys a house in desperate need of repair, makes some friends and learns to be self sufficient.  Unfortunately Tout Sweet was the cheaper immitation of Tuscan Sun.  So if you haven't read either book, then by all means get Under the Tuscan Sun, which was a much better book.  And no, having seen the movie does not count!


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet is my favorite cake.  I've been craving it for a couple of days now.  Unfortunately, the last time (which was also the first time) I made a red velvet cake, it didn't turn out all that great.  So I'm a little scared to try again.  I did find a recipe by Paula Dean.  She's never disappointed me, so I may give it a try.  Do you have any other tried and true recipes for red velvet?  Have you tried Paula Dean's version?


I Want That!

I spent this evening watching James Bond and e-shopping.  I found some great goodies.  If only I had a pocket full of cash!

The Coach Julia Leather Op Art Perry Tote.  Such a great color that can be worn all year.  I have been looking for a tote for quite some time, and this one fits the bill.

Every time I go into a store that sells Zoya polish, I look for Cassi.  I love the way this one looks in swatches.  Too bad no one carries it.  If I ever order directly from Zoya, Cassi will be first on the list!

The Wetnoz Ultra bowl and stand are so perfect and sleek looking.  I love that the bowl has a higher back so that the food doesn't go flying.  I also love the stand - Missy Kitty has a cleft palette and it's much easier for her to eat when her bowl is raised.  This combo is EXACTLY what I've been looking for.

I need some new pajama pants as all mine are looking a bit tattered and faded.  How cute are these ones from Life is Good??

Did you know that Sophie Kinsella's real name is Madeleine Wickham?  Did you know she wrote books under that name?  I didn't!  I.Must.Read.These.  I love her.

I love these wedges by Sofft - who make THE MOST COMFORTABLE shoes I've ever owned.  I need these super cute wedges for summer.
How is it that I still don't own the doggie charm from Pandora?  I'll tell you how - it's always sold out!

I missed out on MAC's Hipness blush with the Fafi collection.  It's getting repromoted with the 'To The Beach' Collection.  I'll have to pick it up.  It's a great coral blush that will be perfect for that summer glowy look everyone's always talking about.

At some point I'll be redoing my bedroom.  And I've got my eye on the Mendocino bed frame from the Pottery Barn.

What are your favorite e-shopping finds?


It's Friday Again - Friday Show 'N Tell

Ok peeps, bring and brag time again!  I've been sick all week and have no idea what's going on in the blogging world.  Show me what you've been blogging about this week and share your blog with the rest of us.  I LOVE checking out everyone's blogs!

So post a link to a single post (feel free to add more than one link) from your blog that you posted within the last 7 days, and then check out what everyone else has been up to - and don't forget to share some comment love!  Also, add the Friday Show 'N Tell Button (grab it from the sidebar) to the post you featued so that others can join the fun!  I put in a couple of my posts to get us started.

Reviewing Products - Business 2 Blogger

As you can tell from my blog, I like to do reviews.  If something is good, why not let everyone know.  And if it didn't live up to the hype?  Definitely something to write about! 

I came across the Business 2 Blogger site this morning, and was intrigued.  They send you an email with info about companies who are looking for bloggers to review their products.  You sign up, they send you the product, you revew it on your blog.  Sounds like fun, right?

I liked that they let you choose what you participte in, so I don't have to review random crap I would never consider buying.  And you can unsubscribe at any time.

I'm not sure about this site as of yet.  This morning I signed up and confirmed my account.  Then I got a welcome email.  That's it so far.  But I'll definitely keep you posted on how this goes.

And don't worry, just because someone sends me something for free doesn't mean that I'm going to sing it's praises.  I always tell it like it is, whether on my blog or in person.  For better or for worse, that will never change.

If you check out Business 2 Blogger, leave a comment or send me an email.  I really want to know what you guys think of this service.


Holy Grail Status

  There are products I like, and there are products I don't like.  But then there is a whole other section of products that have reached Holy Grail status in my books.  These are products that I have and will continue to purchase over and over again.  I like a lot of products, but I'm fickle and more often than not want to try something new.  But once in a while, I find perfection and my eyes don't stray to others...that's a Holy Grail.

I love the pink tweezers by Anastasia.  They are precise, just the right angle and width and always stay true.  I can get every single stubborn brow hair, no matter how small.  The pink color is a bonus.  I lost my first pair of these when my purse was stolen, and didn't entertain the idea of trying something else for a second.  I just marched down to Sephora and got the exact same ones.

The MAC 217 is the perfect eye shadow brush.  If I was going to a desert island with a palette of shadows, and was only allowed one eye shadow brush, the 217 would be it.  This is one of those desert islands that has fancy restaurants and cocktail parties.  On days when I'm in a hurry, I apply all of my shadows with this one brush.  I have two of these just in case one is dirty. 

CoverGirl's LashBlast mascara is perfection in a tube.  The fatty wand takes some time to get used to, but this mascara rocks.  It does not flake and it does not run.  It's the only non-waterproof mascara I can use without looking like a racoon after 3 hours.  It doesn't clump, and does a great job of defining my lashes.  Why buy $20+ mascaras when there is LashBlast?

Dermalogica's super sensitve sunblock is the my all time favorite face sunblocks.  It does not irritate my skin, which turns red and blotchy when it doesn't like what I put on my face.  It protects my face no matter what I may be doing.  It stays put pretty well without running into my eyes when I'm sweaty.  I wear this one to work, the dog park, biking, hiking and anything else.  For swimming, I will choose something waterproof.  Otherwise, this is it.

MAC Viva Glam V.  It's a lustre - creamy, shiny, sheer.  The color is 'my lips but better' and I don't need to wear a gloss with it.  Need I say more?

My hair hasn't seen silicone in about 8 years.  In that time, I have been using veganese almost every day.  When the weather is dry, and my hair is dry, I mix myself a bottle of 1:1 Veganese and American Cream.  It smells and works better than American Cream alone.  Veganese conditions my fine hair well without weighing it down and yet tames those pesky baby hairs at my hairline.  Love it!

Sure I have a pair of fancy everyday sunglasses.  But for all of my outdoor activities, I swear by these Rudy Project Apache SX Girl Sunglasses.  Diffeent colored lenses pop in and out of these frames with ease, so I can switch up depending on conditions.  I even have a clear set of lenses for gloomy days of mountain biking - so that my eyes are still protected even when the light is too low for sunglasses.  When the sun is low the orange lenses actually make everything brighter.  And the best part is that Rudy Project guarantees their lenses FOR LIFE - so if you ever scratch them, just send them in with a S&H fee and they send you replacement lenses.  BRILLIANT.  Believe it or not, I've already gone through 2 pairs of these sunglasses.  One got stolen at the beach, and one got stolen with my purse, along with the replacement lenses!  Man, I lost a lot of good stuff with that purse!  So this summer, I'll be replacing these with a third pair.  That's how much I love them!

The Sugoi Evolution Shorty is THE BEST biking short I have ever used!  I love the padding of these - just enough but not too much.  I love the fit.  Low waist but not too low.  Higher in the back so my butt crack doesn't show.  The panels make the shorts more comfortable and more flattering.  The bottom elastic is wide and not too tight, so I never get 'sausage leg'.  I use these for Spinning and for mountain biking.  The fabric is durable so when I've wiped out any small holes did not get bigger.  I have successfully patched the Shortys up too.  I used to teach 5-8 spinning classes per week, and bike on top of that.  So I own 6 pairs of Shortys so I didn't have to do laundry every other day.  My oldest pair is about 7 years old, and has lady bug and honey bee patches on the arse and thigh, but they're still going stong!  I have plenty of different jerseys, but the Evolution Shorty is what I ALWAYS wear.  Other shorts I've tried have chafed, ripped, sausaged, bunched, sagged, shrunk, frayed,  and rubbed.  No wonder I'm so loyal to the Shorty!

I have to admit, I'm only on my firsst pair of Zamberlan hiking boots.  And I got them for $20 at an REI garage sale.  But I have had them for many many years.  These things are indestructible.  I have hiked in sand, snow and water in these - sometimes all in the same hiking trip.  Through all the abuse, these boots have retained their shape and remained supple and comfy.  If these ever fall apart, and I'm beginning to doubt that they ever will, I will be buying another pair exactly the same.

I use my KitchenAid 600 Pro at least 2 times each week, and sometimes more than once per day.  I use it for baking everything from cakes to pizza dough.  It whips egg whites and cream like magic.  I also have the pasta attachment and the meat grinder.  I NEVER buy ground meat anymore, so I know what exactly is in my ground meat.  And one you've had home made pasta, it's hard to go back to store bought.  Especially for lasagne.  Hands down, the best kitchen appliance ever.

What are your holy grails?


When I'm Not Feeling Well..

I take lots of naps on the sofa...

...under my down throw.

I eat lots of brothy soup - especially Pho.  Yum.

And I sip on hot tea...
...while reading magazines.  I have no attention span for anything but pictures and short articles.

And of course I watch a buttload of TV!

I've gotta say...my dogs have been excellent cuddle buddies during all the napping...yes...they're allowed on the couch!

  Who the heck gets sick when it's warm anyway?

What do you do when you're sick?


My Skin Care Routine

Here is my skin care routine as it stands right now.  My approach to skin care is to keep it as simple and gentle as possible.  The more harsh products I use on my face, the more redness and irritation I then have to cover with foundation. 


I absolutely love the Bioderma Sensibio H2O.  I use this to remove my makeup and to cleanse my skin.  It does not dry out my skin, and yet it removes ALL of my makeup - including mascara and MAC fluidlie.  See my review of this one for more detailed info. 
I am still on the search for the perfect cream or sensitive skin geared cleanser, but so far I have had no luck.  If anyone is using something good, please let me know in the comments.  I am also still in the market for an exfoliator.  Again, this has to be geared for sensitive skin.  Everything I've tried is too hars and I end up using it as a body scrub - which is getting pretty expensive.


The best moisturizer I've ever tried is the Bioderma Sensibio Light moisturizer.  Another one I have reviewed previously.  I am on my third tube of this and it's amazing.  It has completely changed the properties of my skin, which used to be dry and is now in the normal range.  This is extremely moisturizing without being greasy, and soaks into my skin like a dream. 
In the day, I also sometimes use the Estee Lauder Daywear Plus. This is a slightly tinted moisturizer that gives me a bit of luminosity on non-makeup days or with just a light bit of mineral makeup dusted on my face. I like the bonus SPF15 of this one, but I don't like that the SPF is chemical and not mineral. 

The only eye cream I have ever tried that I feel does anything is the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.  It is extremely moisturizing, though it does not really reduce the appearance of fine lines - though I doubt the existence of that magic line eraser that we all yearn to discover at our local beauty counter.  See my review of this one for more info.
I recently started using a serum.  I am using the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.  I scored this one at a CCO (Cosmetic Company Outlet) and I'm really enjoying it.  Is it doing anything?  My skin seems healthier and smoother, but that could be a placebo effect.  It may also be due to the Bioderma skin care.  Hard to tell.  I'll probably be revisiting this one in a couple of months.

I love the Dermalogica Super Sensitive FaceBlock SPF30 as my daily sunscreen.  It's great under makeup and I really like that it does not contain any chemical sunscreens, but is instead a mineral based sunscreen.  Because it goes under my makeup, I find that it is not too reflective on my skin and does not make my face appear white.

What are your favorite skin care items?  I love learning about other peoples' skin care routine, and what they think of the various skin care products.  There is so much out there, and it's nice to get honest reviews before I buy.  So if you do a skin care routine post or review skin care items, let me know!


Did You Know?

Did you know that ~
~ cuticle creme only works if you remember to apply it?

~ when your dad gives your dogs too many treats at least one will throw up in the car on the way home?

~ a duck's quack doesn't echo - but that doesn't stop your dogs from chasing it into the creek and getting all wet just before you go home?

~ nasty neighbors will do shitty things to you and your other neighbors regularly, frequently, and completely for no reason?

~ it's a bummer when your sister cancels movie night, even if she has a somewhat legitimate excuse?

~ 35% of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married?

~ the strangest people with the worst behaved dogs come to the dog park on the weekend?
~ you can't get money out of the ATM when you leave your card at home?

~ Indian food is most delicious?

 ~ it takes 37 muscles to frown, but only 22 to smile?

And that about sums up my day.

How was your day today?

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