Loose Ends and a Recipe Review

I kind of spent 3 hours torturing myself yesterday.  I planned the menu for the 4th of July BBQ, drafted invitations, and then spent the rest of the time eating cereal and quietly sobbing as I scrolled through cute outfit after cute outfit on ModCloth.  There are a lot of events coming up, and not enough outfits, and definitely not enough money for new outfits.  Then, by some miracle, a box arrived in the mail with clothes from my sister’s neighbor.  And she happens to be my size.  And she is a shopaholic.  And the clothes are barely used.  And there are two shiny bathing suits and summer skirts.  So, again, while I may lust towards new clothes, I can’t complain.  I just wish this lady had my shoe size.  Sigh, I’ll never have enough shoes and dresses.

Colorado is still rainy and dreary.  The sun came out for a little bit yesterday, but it wasn’t enough, in my opinion.  Not to mention, everyone is freaking out for fear of another flood.

Which means, unfortunately, we still cannot make more progress (read: finish) the garden bed.  It’s so close to being done, but the weather will not cooperate for us to finish and plant the rest of our seeds.  I’m glad that I was able to plant the flower seeds before all the weather, because they are all starting to sprout up now.  Yay!

Since our garden bed is so large, I didn’t just want to put chicken wire up around it to keep animals out.  It would have been a really tough feat to even do simple gardening.  So we decided to create removeable panels all around the bed, that way I can easily remove sections to get to the garden.  We used this guy’s tutorial on it HERE.  Ours are a little taller, but we did everything else the same way.  Since our garden is shaped like a “U,” we are building a short gate for the front, so we don’t have to create panels for the inside of the “U” (less panels to create).

And since the weather is kind of dreary, I’m going to share my favorite stew recipe.  It is from the Frugal Foodie Mama blog, and it’s the Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef Stew.  I adapted it at home to be gluten free (gluten free flour/sauces), I added considerably more carrots (the stew is a little meat heavy) and I omitted the celery because my husband hates celery – and it went over really well.  It’s simple, but has a “higher end” taste than normal stews.  That’s definitely the balsamic vinegar reduction.  Holy crap.

I will say, since I’m linking to another blog that’s highly promoting Sam’s Club, I do not endorse that place.  I have many reasons, but the biggest is how they treat their employees.  There are plenty of other places you can get ethical, high quality meat that doesn’t cost a fortune (and they don’t have really fucked up, backwards attitudes on how people who work their asses off for their company should be treated and paid).  If you have a local butcher, they also have a lot of bulk deals, and frozen stuff is usually discounted quite a bit.  So, get a freezer and stock up!  Also, for families looking to save some money, don’t make meat every night.  I know it’s usually an easy food to work with when you’re busy, but meat is expensive, and really isn’t all that great for you all the time.  Sorry about the awkward rant, but even though I might be almost done with this blog, I will never endorse places I don’t like, and I am NEVER paid for my endorsements.  So yeah… love this recipe, but not the love affair with Sam’s Club.

Well, folks, it’s almost the end.  Tomorrow, I have a great movie that I’m reviewing, and I’ll be parting ways with this blog.

Until next time.


Products I Love: Emu Oil

Last night, we decided to watch the film, Warm Bodies, and it was creepily endearing.  A Zom Rom Com, if you will.  I highly recommend it.  I would have put it down for Friday film review, but it is only available on DVD right now – but you should still get it and watch it.

We also decided to have ice cream for dinner last night.  Ah, yes.  Adult life.  I never would have dreamed that I’d get to eat ice cream for dinner as an adult.  During “dinner” Zach asked me what my schedule looked like for the week.  As I explained to him my day to day schedule and the slight variations, he gave me a look of intense anxiety.

“This is why I go to work,” he said.

“This is why I never have time to play video games.  What did you think I did all day?”  I replied.

This is the downfall of working from home.  I just have so much to do, and most of the “housework” also falls on my shoulders.  I don’t mind at all, but it’s definitely not for everyone.  It’s hard to explain to people who have never worked from home.  I think a lot of people think I just play, go shopping (ha!), and leisurely do bullshit all day.  It’s difficult to explain, especially when you don’t see the results of your efforts on a (sometimes really long) delay.  I wish I HAD more leisure time.  I haven’t had the chance to read in weeks.  I barely fit in movies or TV.  And today, I having a very hot debate with myself on whether or not to work out, because I haven’t done it all week, but I just really want to write.  Despite all my best efforts to clear my schedule, I still have a lot of non-writing chores to do.

But I am not complaining.

Today, the product I’d like to discuss is emu oil.  WARNING: This is not a product for people that don’t want to use things with animal products in it!

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Emu oil is oil from, well, emus.  You can buy it in a variety of different ways and use it in a variety of different ways.  But the way I use it is on my face.

If you’re anything like me, you’re super vain and worry about looking old all the time.  A part of me dies inside when someone calls me “ma’am.”  I’m kidding, kind of.  But I DO use emu oil to help keep my skin young and smooth.  It helps with wrinkles, yes, but also with blemishes.  I’m going through this amazing time in my life where I’m starting to see wrinkles, but still have pubescent acne.  Yay.

The way I use it:
I just use a few drops and mix it in with my regular face cream/lotion (sometimes I’ll use pure Shea butter).  I rub it on my face and neck.  That’s it.  I do it once in the morning, once in the evening.  I will warn you though, no amount of great skincare product will save you if you’re not well hydrated.  So drink a lot of water, always.

To be perfectly honest, this is the only “animal product” I use.  I don’t make a habit of it, because most skincare products that use animal parts in it are bogus.  There is generally no health/beauty benefit and animals are tortured along the way.  Emu oil is the only one I’ve found to actually be good.  So – if you MUST use a product with animal byproducts in it (like emu oil), make sure it’s from an ethical source.  Saving a few bucks to get crappy quality anything isn’t worth it.

However – Shea butter is perfectly fine, if you want that extra boost in face moisture but don’t want emu oil.  Just remember to hydrate.

Until next time.



Products I Love: Sunless Tanner

Today is lazy day.  I would consider it my only day off, except that I still have to do laundry.  I ate cake toast and spilled coffee all over myself.  And it was weird how I did it too.  It was as if I was a terrible actress trying to purposefully do it for a commercial involving stain remover.  I just threw my head back with a large amount of coffee spilling everywhere.

Speaking of acting, remember past blogs where I talked about my film roles in small films?  I kind of miss doing it.  But, I did 5 in just a few months, and I seriously need to get a few other things done before I get back to acting.  My New Year’s goal was to be a primary character in ONE film, I ended up being on in 5.  Win.  For now.  The next acting goal I have is to be a little more selective.  And in order to do that, I need more preparation.

Anyway, today’s post is the first in a series I would like to call, “Products I Love.”  I’ll discuss products I love.  It’ll be simple.  I’m not paid to promote any of these, and they will range from any kind of product, big or small.

Today I’d like to talk about sunless tanners.  Now, I actually don’t like wearing a lot of bad chemicals, at least, I try not to make a habit of it.  Everything I use on a daily basis is completely natural and ethical and doesn’t have cancer causing stuff in it.

However, this year was the first year in many I decided to wear shorts.  I got all “body image” positive (I’ll do a post on that later).  My legs, unfortunately, are one of the areas I’m super insecure with.  Mostly because, despite frolicking in high altitude sun, they never get one lick of color.

Not.  One.  Lick.

It’s my super Irish genes.  They give me my beautiful, ghostly white skin.  I’m not embarrassed per se, but my legs can blind people.

So I went searching for natural sunless tanners.  Because, you know, I’m not gonna wear that awful tanning oil or go get sprayed with nasty smelling chemicals.  I actually thought it would be a hopeless venture.

But I was wrong.

I found a few options that looked good.  Alba had one, but the one I ended up buying was Caribbean Solutions Beach Colours.  When researching both products, I found that Beach Colours had even less of the harsh chemicals than Alba.  It also got even better reviews.  But I’m not dissing on Alba.  Because seriously, it’s way better than getting the awful chemicals.  If you’re a loyal supporter of Alba products, get it!

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So how does it hold up?

To be honest, I only use it on my legs.  I’m also not going for Jennifer Aniston’s beautiful bronzed legs.  I just want my legs to match my upper half (i.e, my arms) that end up getting color during the summer.  So, I basically apply it once or twice a week.  That’s it.  It looks totally natural, no one has commented on my legs.  Which is good!  I don’t want people commenting on my legs, good or bad…

It fades naturally, not streaky.  In fact, it works better than anything I’ve ever used in my life.  And I used to use a lot of the traditional products when I was younger.

The smell?  It’s actually not too bad, when comparing it to traditional products.  No one has noticed a weird smell from me.  But again, I only use it on my legs, and they are usually not near my nose.

It’s cost effective.  I’ve been using it all summer and I’ve barely made a dent in it.  Even though it comes in a smallish jar, it goes a long way.  And the best part?  It leaves your skin feeling soft.

Pro-tip: I keep mine in the bathroom, and the lotion got too hot and I think separated a little.  I just took a Q-tip and whipped it around.  No biggie.  Good as new.

So there you go.  If you want a little color on your skin but are sensitive to chemicals, here’s a solution.  You can even buy it on Amazon!

Until next time.

Products I Love