Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Birchbox Favorite Review: Dermalogica Microfoliant

As I mentioned, I plan on reviewing my favorite product or products from my Birchboxes.  Since today is the last day of February, I thought I should get cracking on my February favorite.

I am a sensitive person, to the point where even my skin is sensitive.  Seriously.  Harsh soaps can really do a number on my skin, heck even many powdered laundry detergents irritate my skin (not a problem with my homemade detergent however!!), so I really have to pay attention to how products affect my face.  It is almost inevitable that Winter brings on the dry, flaky, cracked skin.  This winter has been mild, yet still the face on my skin got so dry.  Nothing seemed to be helping.

I knew my problem; I needed to exfoliate.  But with sensitive skin, this can be tricky, and often results in even drier, and now angry red, skin.  So, you can imagine my excitement when I received in my Birchbox a sample of Demalogia Microfoliant.  This is a dry powder that you mix with water to form a gritty paste.  You rub it into the your face with your fingertips for about 60 seconds, and wipe clean.  The result is brighter, exfoliated skin.  But would it work on my touchy t-zone?


The first thing I noticed was that it does not take much of this product.  I was sent a sample of almost half an ounce, and three weeks later I have barely made a dent in it.  When you use your wet hands to make the paste, it feels slightly gritty, but as you massage it with wet fingertips, it forms a nice foam.  There are no artificial colors or fragrances, a huge bonus for me because of my skin sensitivities, but it does contain tea tree oil which gives it a light, clean smell.

I noticed a tremendous difference after just one use.  My skin felt smooth, soft, and energized.  I moisturized and my skin felt dewy (not oily or greasy) all day.  My makeup never dried, flaked, or cracked at all.  This stuff is amazing!  After multiple uses, I noticed my skin was clearer, and my pores were less noticeable.  Now that my skin is in much better condition, I only use this product every other day, in part to make my sample last longer, and in part because I do not want to over exfoliate my skin and cause irritation.

This is a fantastic product that works well for me, and I would highly recommend it.

I reviewed this product through a sample service for which I pay.  I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I first took notice of Pinterest a few months ago, when I noticed that quite a few people were reaching my blog from that site.  I knew a few people who had joined, but, as with Twitter and the iPhone, I thought it sounded like a complete time suck and avoided it like the plague.

Then, I was at a party where some of my friends were discussing it, and decided it might be worth a try.  I requested an invitation, and within a week or so, I was granted access to set up my account.

For those of you who do not know, (first off, how do you not know), Pinterest is a site where you create virtual pin or vision boards.  When you first set up your account, they have some preset suggested boards, like "For the Home", and "Recipes" but you can delete or rename these.  In addition, you can create boards with any theme you want.  For example, I have a board for general crafty or DIY stuff, but then I have specific boards set up as inspiration for redecorating our living room and spare room.

I absolutely love this site, and the iPhone app.  I have gotten so many great ideas from here.  Hubby was annoyed at first, until I made several recipes I found on Pinterest.  Now he is a big fan as well.  I not only re-pin things I find on there or the web, but I have pinned a lot of my own original content as well, including entries from my blogs.  My most popular pins are some of Hubby's cartoons.

If any of you are interested in Pinterest, I do have available invitations, so find me on Facebook or Twitter and let me know you would like one.  If you are already on Pinterest, be sure to follow me and my boards by clicking the button in my sidebar.

Happy Pinning Ya'll!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Best Friend

Posted by Von Battle

When I was still in school, I worked for my dad in his law office. One year he hired a young secretary from Dothan, Alabama. She had moved to the big city to find true love believe it or not. We became best friends after a period of time. She was just three years older than me but we really did have a lot in common. We used to go everywhere together. When I graduated from college, we even went on a three week trip to Europe. So much happened on that trip, but we were young and crazy. I am pretty sure we will never tell our children about it. When we got back from Europe, I went on to law school and my friend fell in love with the man of her dreams. Before I knew it, she had married him and moved to Memphis. We have kept in touch all these years since she moved, and she invited me to come visit a few weeks ago. We are both so much older now and even have grandchildren. We went on a shopping trip one day and out to lunch. When we finally returned to her home we were both just worn out. Gone were our nights of partying till dawn. That night the most we could muster was watching an old movie on Direct TV Memphis. At least that was one thing we could still share and enjoy…even at our age.

It Made My Day: Antique Shopping

This IMMD actually happened a few weeks ago, but because it involved one of Hubby's Valentine's gifts from me, I could not post it then, so I decided to post it today!

Since Hubby and I tend to make Valentine's more about showing love and less about spending money, I try to think of something special that is not terribly expensive.  So, I decided to try to find a dachshund figurine for Hubby.  Since doxies are not easily found, I decided to try looking in antique shops.  I headed down to an antique shop in Leechburg we had visted in December.

I am not much of an antique person, but we found this little gem of a shop one day, and I just loved the atmosphere.  However, when I arrived to shop this time, the store was not yet open.  I noticed another antique store a few doors down, and went in.  The shop owner was so friendly, she knew she did not have any doxies, so she promptly made a few calls to other shop owners in the area until we found a store that had one (I would go later that morning to pick it up).  By the time I left, my original destination was now open, so I decided to stop in.

The only doxie he had was a soap dish holder, and while it was totally adorable, it was about $70, way out of my budget.  I told him it was a bit pricier than I was looking for this particular gift, and thanked him for his time.  As I looked around the store more, he pulled a tiny piece of glassware out and put it on the counter.  "Does this look like a dachshund to you?", he asked.  I replied that it did, given the length of the snout and the length of the body.  "Well, then, you can have it.  I have been waiting for the right person to give it to that would appreciate it."  Wait, what?  Have it?

He told me it was a piece of blown glass from Bimini.  He said there was a slight chip in the tail that greatly reduced its value, so we was just giving it to me.  I felt like I won the lottery.  It was so light and delicate, I was so scared I would break it before I got it home.  But I was careful as could be, and Hubby was so excited about it.
Here he is, next to my rings for scale.

I was so amazed and thankful for the kindness shown to me by these two shop owners.  It was clear that, while business owners, they were most interested in having happy, satisfied customers, and contributing to their communities.  Which is exactly why I will return to these shops.

Thank you to the antique community in Leechburg.  You totally made my day.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pink or Blue? Flowers or Animals?

Lately I have been looking at cute baby hats.  My friends are expecting, and while we do not know yet whether it is a boy or a girl, I do find myself drawn to boys newborn hats; perhaps that means something.

I am not sure what the best baby hat is.  I suppose it depends on why you are getting the hat.  Baby hats are a hot accessory for newborn baby pictures right now.  It seems like everywhere I look, there are pictures posted of a sleepy baby wearing a hat, their chin propped up on their hands.  Totally adorable.  So, if the hat is to be used for that, I want to make sure it is unique.  My personal favorites are the hats that look like animals.  I also just love love pink puffy heart love the baby girl hats with the huge flowers on them.  It is never too late for a girl to learn to accessorize!

But honestly, I think I would want a hat that can be used for more than just pictures.  I would want a hat that the baby can both look adorable in, and will get lots of use from.  Something warm, but not too hot, perfect for a snowy day or a day when there is just a slight chill in the air.  The mommy to be loves personalized things, so maybe something with the baby's name on it.  And I saw one hat the daddy to be would just love- it is a knitted turkey, as in a roast turkey!

There are just so many options.  Soon we will know if our friends are having a boy or a girl, and that should help narrow now the search.  Sqee!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Kellogg's Krave Cereal

I am not someone who likes most "breakfast" foods, like eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. So cereals, hot or cold, make up a lot of my breakfast choices. I am always looking for something new, so I was super excited to try Kellogg's Krave.


The first thing I noticed was the nutritional information. A 3/4 cup serving is only 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams protein. Not awful nutritionally, certainly better than a lot of cereals out there.

When I opened the box, it was initially just to look at the cereal, but Hubby and I tried a piece dry. It has a nice crunch, and tasty flavor. It was not overly chocolatey, just a mere hint of chocolate in the middle, which I actually really liked. I tried some with soy milk as a late night snack. With my milk, it was only 155 calories. And I enjoyed every single one. It stayed crunchy in the milk, and it had a nice flavor. I especially liked that the cereal was not overly sweet, just sweet enough with a hint of chocolate.


I really liked the cereal, and it is a nice way to break of the routine of oatmeal and traditional healthy cereals. In terms of where it falls on the health-taste balance, Krave falls somewhere between Kashi and Cocopuffs. I would, and in fact already have, recommend this to someone looking for a good cereal to break up the breakfast routine.

I received the product for review as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

All You Need Is Love

I am dreadfully late with my Valentine's day post (I blame all of the people who encouraged me to watch Downton Abbey, which I finally finished).  But my lateness does not matter, since the whole idea behind Valentine's Day is one I live out daily- love.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand people who are fundamentally against Valentine's Day.  To me, this is a day to show love.  Sure, greeting card and flower companies try to guilt you into believing it is about spending big bucks, but at the very heart of the matter, it is a day to celebrate love in all forms.  It is not just a day for romance; I say it again, this day is about love.  Loving your spouse or partner, your parents or children, your friends, God, and all the wonderful people who share this earth.

Hubby and I make a point to not spend a lot on Valentine's Day each year.  Every year I do something special.  Our first year I decorated our house including hearts stating all the various things I loved about him.


The second year I lined Hershey kisses from the door up the stairs to our room, where I sat with a home made valentine telling him I "kissed" the very ground on which he walks.  This year, I made him a box of candy valentines, with the card using the name of the candy to say something sweet or silly.  Each year, my surprise has cost less than 20 dollars.


 And I always make a special Valentine's Day dinner.


For the last two years, I have also used Valentine's Day to show love, compassion, and respect to people in my community by performing random acts of kindness.

To me, this is what Valentine's Day is about.  Why would I not cherish a day, any day, every day, every chance, to tell the people in my life how much I love them?

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I am a girly girl.  I was not always, particularly as a kid, but as an adult, I love girly things, things that are pretty and smell good, awesome products for hair and skin, things that make you look and feel better.  Unfortunately, because I am so busy reading books most of the time, I never have time to read magazines.  This means I do not get to learn about new and innovative beauty products unless I hear about them from a friend.  I decided I needed to change this.


One of the latest trends are sample subscription services.  You pay a monthly or annual fee, usually pretty reasonable, and you get sent monthly samples of products.  I have seen these subscription services for both beauty and food products, and I am sure other types of products have them as well.  I decided I wanted to try one out, to see if it was worthwhile.

After looking around, I decided to try the Birchbox.  First thing first, the fee is $10 a month, and no shipping charges.  Your box contains about 5 product samples.  And these are not just any old drugstore beauty products, these are luxurious, premium beauty products.  Also, they do not just ship you these samples and say, off you go.  Their website is packed with information about all the samples, including videos and tutorials.  You can shop for the products from the samples right on their website as well; the shopping sections includes thorough information about each product.


Yesterday, I got my first Birchbox.  I was really excited!  When I saw the pink shipping box on my doorstep, I may have squealed a little.  I opened the shipping package, and saw the box inside.  As I opened it, I felt like I was getting a present, it was so nicely packaged.  And the samples, oh my!   Already, I am in love!  My box contained products worth well over my subscription fee.  And because I filled out a beauty profile on the website, my box contained products specifically for me.  Some products are sent to all subscribers, and some products are customized.


I have decided to review a couple of the products I get each month, so keep an eye out.  In the mean time, consider this a glowing review of the Birchbox program.  If you love beauty, and love to try to new products, I highly recommend you join Birchbox.  It is well worth the monthly fee.