Stars, Daisies and Butterflies
These are a few of my favorite things...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I have always had a difficult time finding makeup I like. You've been there, I'm sure: you swear in the store that the bottle of foundation is exactly your color, and the saleswoman says it's perfect for your skin type...only to try it at home and find it leaves you shiny with an orange line of demarcation along your jaw. Sigh! The one foundation I loved for years (Origins' Reflection Perfection) was discontinued. I loved that it was transfer-resistant, not too heavy yet covered well, and came in a shade that blended nicely into my fair skin. Since its departure, I've tried several different replacements, with varying degrees of success. I just wanted something to even out my skin tone, make it look fresh, and not shine like a lightbulb two hours after applying. Several friends suggested Bare Escentuals' Bare Minerals, but I was hesitant. It looked like a complicated system, and was way more expensive than what I was looking for. Then, on Black Friday, armed with a coupon, I went into Sephora, saw the starter set on sale, and caved. I stashed my new makeup in the cute free tote Sephora was giving away with purchase, and made my way home. The kit comes with a little video that shows you how to apply the various elements. I immediately went to my mirror after watching it to see if it really was as quick and foolproof as they made it seem. Haaaaaa-lelujah! The whole routine took me about four minutes flat. And I can honestly say, I adore the way the foundation looks on my skin. I went just about all day without getting shiny - I'm not sure I have ever been able to say that! It blends so well into your skin, you really do look and feel like you're not wearing any makeup (except for the tiny fact that your skin now looks flawless). I'm sure I will not enjoy paying full price for the refills when it comes time...but I can definitely say it is worth the price! Who knew I would ever be saying this...I LOVE my makeup!

Posted by April at 5:52 AM | 1 comments
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sorry, didn't mean to stick that song in your head.

I am a naturally cheerful person. I always, always prefer to be positive about life in general, because it makes me happy. I think so much of your mood and attitude is about choice - you choose how you react to events and to other people. I'm definitely not saying it's always easy, because I know all too well that it's not. But I do think it's a pretty simple formula: if you decide you are going to be sad, you will be. If you decide you are going to be happy, you will be.

I've been going through a pretty difficult time in my life, and I have absolutely had my moments of just wanting to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's and wallow in despair. Luckily, those moments haven't lasted terribly long, because I just hate feeling down. I hate that it drags everyone around me down, too. I've been doing a lot of reading about how others pull themselves out of a funk, and came across this great article and list on Shine:

A few of my own get-happy-again tactics:
* Go for a walk or drive somewhere pretty. Letting nature awe and inspire me always lifts my mood.
* Spend some quality time showering your pet with affection.
* Take a nice, long shower with your favorite shower gel, facial mask, the works. Follow with a spritz of a perfume you love - who cares if it's your special occasion scent?
* Sex - oh, like it doesn't make you happy?
* Get a mani/pedi, or swing by the salon for a new haircut or color. If you're short on funds, try a local beauty school - you'll pay pennies on the dollar for salon services, plus you'll be helping the students hone their skills.
* Volunteer! Do something for a cause you believe in, or a local charity in need. It will be almost impossible to continue feeling lousy after helping others.
* Funfetti cake. That is all.
* Attend a local sporting event and cheer away for the home team.
* Surf your iTunes list or CD collection and make a playlist of only songs you absolutely adore. It doesn't matter if the songs go together or not. Sing along loudly.
* Buy or rent a DVD of your all-time favorite TV show and spend a few lazy hours watching it. Nothing cheers me up like a good Golden Girls marathon.

Posted by April at 10:12 AM | 1 comments
Friday, September 10, 2010

I absolutely adore Vera Wang's new Committed to the Cause collection at Kohl's! All items are either $5 or $10, and 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to support the fight against breast cancer. It is an online-only collection, except for a few lucky stores in Wisconsin. Super-cute items that benefit an amazing cause? Yes please!

Posted by April at 6:32 AM | 0 comments

As a girl who loves anything pink, sparkly and pretty, I find it odd how much glitter bothers me. I was just discussing with a co-worker how annoying it is to open a card and get glitter all over your hands. Obnoxious of me, really, considering said card is meant to make you smile and think fondly of the sender, not race to the garbage can shouting "Ahhhh! Glitter! Where's the hand-vac?!"

I have the same problem with lip glosses. I can spend an easy hour in Sephora, rejecting tube after tube of lip gloss because it's got the dreaded glitter throughout. "Shimmery, NOT glittery" is my motto. I have no desire to blind people with my lips. Also, I feel like the glittery glosses are more drying. My absolute favorite gloss of all time is Mark's glossblossom ripening lip tint. It's light and completely non-sticky, and the best part? It "ripens" to a perfect shade of pink. I have tried Smashbox's O-Gloss, which has a similar purpose, but it turned my lips a very alarming shade of flourescent pink. Mark's glossblossom turns into a nice medium pink that is just a little darker than my natural shade. Check it out here:

Happy shimmering (NOT glittering)!

Posted by April at 5:57 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I am a huge magazine buff. In fact, I sometimes have to weed out my vast array of magazine subscriptions, because there isn't enough time to read them all before the next month's issue arrives. Hey, I admit I have a problem!

Few things give me as much joy as digging in to the September issues of my favorite fashion mags. It combines my love of fall, magazines, and shopping to create a perfect trifecta of excitement. Who cares if I could give myself a hernia lugging the 10 pound September Vogue in from the mailbox, or if there are enough perfume samples hiding in Lucky to drive my allergies into a frenzy that lasts at least 24 hours? There are trends to be discovered, shoes to ooh and ahh over, and handbags to covet! This past weekend, in a fond farewell to Summer, I dug into my pile of September magazines with and reckless abandon. As usual, Lucky was my favorite. This year's September Vogue was especially gorgeous to look at, but I was less than bowled over by InStyle. I made a few mental notes of things I liked, wanted to try, or just wanted to keep my eye on to see if they had any staying power in the fleeting world of fashion. Here are the things I definitely want to try this season:
1. A military-green jacket. These were everywhere in the magazines I read, and I love using a muted color like olive green as a neutral. I think I'll check out J. Crew for these.
2. Studded, heeled clogs. I was very glad to see the clog trend of the 90s go buh-bye. But this new crop of high heel/clog hybrids seem so cool! I am a sucker for anything studded, too.
3. An infinity scarf. I adore scarves, and this style, which wraps around your neck and drapes like a big cowl neckline, seems especially cozy and fashionable. Yes please!
4. Something with lace. With the exception of undies, I own nothing in lace - not really my thing. It makes me think of doilies. But the sophisticated cardigans, tops and handbags I saw in the fall fashion mags used lace as an accent, and I loved it! I've already eyed a few pieces at Kohl's, and I can't wait to try them on.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I must attend to the new issue of Us Weekly. Celebrity scandals are always in fashion, no?

Posted by April at 10:05 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, September 2, 2010

If I had to pick a favorite season, it would be Fall. I love the crisp air, the changing leaves, and switching from T-shirts, tank tops and flip flops to sweaters, scarves, and boots. Honestly, I think I live in the perfect part of the country: we experience all four seasons, and secretly, I love them all. I get so excited over the first snowfall...every year around March, I can't wait to shed my heavy winter jacket for the mild spring temps...and by June, I am so ready for a swim. Which brings us to now. September is perfect in my book. Not too hot (OK, today is not the best example), and not too cold. My Uggs are at the ready for the chilly nights ahead. I've swapped my Storm Watch and Mid-Summer's Night Yankee Candles for Harvest Wreath and Vanilla Cupcake. And my favorite afghan is at the foot of my bed once again. I'm a happy girl!

Posted by April at 5:17 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I was reading my favorite blog this morning, Kristi Gustafson's On the Edge, and came across this post, titled "Women with clean houses have better bodies." Check it out here:
Um. I can honestly say that 90% of the time, my house is pretty close to spotless. I actually enjoy cleaning and organizing! However, my short-legged, squishy-bellied, inherited-Pop's-nose body is hardly what one would call spotless. My house being messy absolutely drives. me. nuts! My body, on the other hand, is something I have grown to accept. I'm never going to be a thin goddess - it's just not in the cards. And I'm always going to have to hem my pants so I don't walk all over the bottoms. But I have pretty eyes, and if there is one thing I know, it's how to accessorize an outfit. Sometimes, as hard as it may be, we just have to embrace what we love about ourselves and accept what we don't. I guess that's the way some people feel about housekeeping: as long as you enjoy living where you live, who cares about the dust bunnies under the couch? And I get that. Like anything else, it's about striking the balance that makes you happy.

Posted by April at 7:45 AM | 0 comments