Saturday, September 1, 2018

Pack rat or hoarder? You make the call.

I admit it, openly and with some shame.  I am a beauty hoarder.  So today, I set out to clear some space and just share my stash with somebody else.  I hope the girls at work want this stuff!

I subscribe to two beauty boxes each month, Birchbox and Ipsy.  Every month, for $10, they send me five beauty samples.  Makeup, skin care, hair care, fragrance.  And I LOVE IT!!  I love getting those packages in the mail.  I look forward to getting those packages in the mail.  

But ten samples every month tend to pile up!  I can't use them all.  Last month, I gave a bag of them to the girl who cleans our house but still, they are stressing me out.  Seriously.  Stress.  Because really, I don't just hoard beauty products.  I hoard vintage sheets, towels (we have 59 towels in this house!  For just two people.  Good grief.), just things we've picked up here and there at estate sales.  I have drawers in a dresser that I'm filling and there are boxes and boxes of stuff in the attic with things to sell in my booth at an antique store here in town but that's another blog post.  Later.  

But today!  Today I cleaned out the beauty stuff!  I am so proud of myself.  I feel so freeeeee!  

This is before.  Very sad and stressful.  I hated to even open this drawer.


And this is after!  I only kept the things I USE.  I had 19 bottles of nail polish.  I kept my five favorite colors.  That's it.  


There are bags and bags of things that I'll just give away.  


I am inspired to tackle every drawer and cabinet in this house!  Woo hoooo!!

Wow. September.

This summer has just flown by!  With Larry's three eye surgeries and our trips to a new foot doctor and a new dentist (because I need six new crowns of course I do), we have had a crazy couple of months.  

Last month, I was moved to another office at work to be the admin for one of our flights and I bought a new Jeep!  Well, a new-to-me Jeep.  Turns out I had some retirement left unclaimed at Citigroup so I hurriedly claimed it and bought a right-off-the-lease Jeep.  It's my very first ever SUV and I love it!  It's also the first ever car I was able to pay cash for.  That was a great feeling!  It's white and I named her Pearl.  

Gardening this summer was a flop.  It's September 1st and we just now today ate an atomic grape tomato.  A tomato.  One.  There are a couple more on the vine but the peppers didn't do a thing and the sunflowers kinda disappointed me, too.  I pulled up the last of them today.  Oh well, there's always next year!

We'll be beach bums toward the end of the month and I am so looking forward to that.  And then a trip to the mountains in November.  

And then Christmas!  Good Lord, time, slow down.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Monkey Farts??

You know those ads that pop up in your social media feeds?  Well, this one popped up in my Instagram feed.

They had me at whipped soap.  I’m such a sucker for soaps and shampoos, really any kind of beauty stuff.  I get an Ipsy bag and a Birchbox every month.  I get so excited when I see them in the mailbox!

This whipped soap, by Glory Cloud USA and called Monkey Farts, grabbed my attention, not just because I’m a sucker for soap but because it’s whipped!  And Monkey Farts??!  I had to try it.

So I ordered it and it came in a few days.  The jar was smaller than I expected (4 oz) but it was slap full of soap! It says facial soap on the label but you can use it for anything.  You only need a little bit and it lathers and lathers!!  And the scent is just heavenly!!  Exactly what you would expect a monkey fart to smell like...ripe bananas, juicy pineapple, sweet apples and creamy vanilla. Okay, well, in this alternate soap beauty world maybe.  Ha! 

I’ve used it for four days, just on my face, and I absolutely love it.  It leaves my face so soft and clean and smelling fruity!  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My summer girls

I've grown sunflowers along the backyard fence every summer that we've lived here.  This year, though, I was worried about them because we had such a cold, rainy March and that's when we planted them AND replanted them because squirrels dug them up, in spite of the Texas Pete!  

We planted more seeds with netting over them and that did the trick.  But it was almost April before they even sprouted!  (And we still don't have tomatoes or peppers.  Big bushy healthy plants.  NO maters.  NO peppers.)  

I had almost given up on them and then, all of a sudden, they just started busting out!

And they're just beautiful.


This one is the first to grow taller than the fence!  Ain't she a beaut??



Sunday, June 24, 2018

Happy Birthday to me!

Your homegirl is 51 today.  Another year on this old planet.  A fun year, a sad year, an unbelievably stressful year.  Things don't always go the way you want them to or even the way that they should go but somehow, you have to keep on keepin' on, keep getting up to welcome the sun every morning, keep reminding yourself that even the bad is not that bad.

Larry made my birthday super special, with our trip today up to Senoia, to get up close and personal with our favorite TV show, The Walking Dead.  We had such a fun day.

This morning, he woke me up with this vintage Pyrex Happy Birthday mug, that I'd never even seen in the wild, only online.  It debuted in 1967, just like me!  I love it!!  


And he had waiting for me this delicious chocolate ganache cake and cards from him and our boys.


Yesterday, I opened this gift from him.  A vintage Pyrex promotional casserole dish in Blue Willow!  Another treasure I have never seen in the wild.  Well, I did see it once, in about a zillion pieces in the bottom of a box my sweet friend, Brandy, sent me.  It didn't make the trip from Virginia.  Dang US mail!  But the lid did and until she reminded me, I'd forgotten all about it! 


51 feels pretty good already.  Now if I could just STOP worrying about things I have no control over, 52 might be even better.

My Walking Dead Birthday!

All I wanted to do this year for my birthday was to go to Senoia to Walking Dead country and eat at Nic & Norman's (owned by director, producer and special effects creator, Greg Nicotero and actor and TWD's Daryl Dixon, Norman Reedus) and do some shopping and sightseeing.  We left this morning, took our time driving up and got to the restaurant at 11:00, right when they opened.  We ordered soup and salad and burgers and then some lobster mac and cheese to take with us when we left.  

I got the Greg's Pick, a blue cheese burger with a salad and Larry got the bison burger with their house sidewinder fries.  


Everything was delicious!  I loved the d├ęcor and atmosphere of the restaurant and the music and the service were great, too!  We were the first ones there but it soon filled up.


Our waitress brought me a red velvet Cutie Pies & Cakery (they don't have a website or I'd link it here) cake in the cutest little Mason jar for my birthday.  It was sooooo good.  


We waddled out of there in the heat and man, it was HOTTT, and walked down the sidewalk, popping in at a few shops here and there to cool off.  The Walking Dead gift shop was a block away. 


This. Picture.  I didn't even notice this guy photobombing my picture of Rick's cutout wearing a Terminus BBQ apron (bwahahaha!) until we were on our way home.  HILARIOUS!!


We went downstairs to the museum and got to meet famous Abraham lookalike, Chris Twellman, "German Abe"!  He was super, super nice and talked to us a long time.  He even took our picture in the jail cell!




I like this picture the best of the three German Abe took because you can see Glenn's little bitty self (another cutout) just over Larry's shoulder.  Sigh.  Glenn.

But sadly, everything couldn't be perfect about today.  I got a little too close to a walker and got bit!



Owwww!!!  All these years watching TWD and I let one of them suckers BITE ME.  Naaaaah, not really, there was a makeup artist there and she did this with makeup and latex.  Great job, huh??  So great that German Abe asked me if I'd been bitten by a Brown Recluse.  Ha!  I swear, I was sitting there watching her do it and the dang thing started to HURT.  What the what??  Your brain can do some crazy things to you.

We left town and drove to THE WALL AROUND ALEXANDRIA!!  I was SOOOOO excited to see it!!  And this pic here??  I was peeking in between the cracks and I could see Alexandria in there!!  The best part of this day.  Hand's down.  Or up!  Ha!


Here's Larry pretending to try to get the gate open.  So funny!


Shut yo' mouf.  That's the wall!!!


And this is something we haven't seen!  The windmill, which means they have time jumped and they have begun "a key to a future" from Georgie's book.  


Oh, we had such a blast in Senoia!!  Just a couple of crazy fans seeing where it all happens.  Couldn't have asked for a better birthday.

Monday, May 28, 2018

A royal wedding cake with a southern touch!

So, yeah, just like billions of others, I caught that royal wedding bug last weekend when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle.  I set my alarm for 4:00 last Saturday morning and I woke up and turned on the TV to watch every single second of it.  Larry woke up and joined me around 6:00 and we watched it together.  Such a gorgeous, perfect wedding and they looked so in love.  Yep, I cried, but mostly because his beautiful mother wasn't there and she should have been.  Sigh.  As soon as Harry and William stepped out to begin their walk to St. George's Chapel, both so very handsome dressed in full military uniform, the waterworks were ON around here.  

The thing I loved the most, though, was how UN-royal the whole thing was.  How the two of them had their OWN wedding and shucked so many royal traditions.  God, how I love them.

Their cake was no exception.  No stuffy old fruit cake for those two!  They opted for a light, fluffy lemon elderflower cake with buttercream frosting.  I just had to try it.  

So I did today!  On our Memorial Day.  Larry and I had hamburgers, hot dogs and this amazing cake.  Now if you search the internet, you will find hundreds of recipes for this cake.  This is the one I chose.  

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup whole milk 
4 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp lemon extract

You'll need all this!
Directions:

Beat the butter and sugar on high until it's all nice and fluffy
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside

Beat the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy and add in lemon zest

Using a fork, whisk egg whites, milk and extract together in a bowl

Alternate the dry and wet ingredients into the butter mixture beating on medium until incorporated

Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with baker's spray

Pour batter evenly into the pans and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

For the buttercream frosting:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature (that's three sticks!)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 c elderflower liqueur (I used St. Germain)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp lemon extract

Directions:

Cream butter until smooth
On low, add powdered sugar one cup at a time
Add elderflower liqueur, lemon extract and salt
Whip for five minutes

Yummmmm!  Buttercream!  With elderflower liqueur!  

Larry picked a magnolia bloom off our tree in the backyard and I placed it on the top.  A royal wedding cake with a southern touch!


We felt like royalty, fo' sho'.