Month: July 2016

Essence Liquid Lipstick Review!!

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I saw a recent video by one of my favourite YouTube beauty gurus, Tati Westbrook and she mentioned how much she loved these new liquid lipsticks by the Essence cosmetic line.  I knew that I had to go out and get them. They were only $3.99 at my local Shopper’s Drug Mart, so quite a good price for an excellent product. There are only six colours, but the range has an equal mix of brights and neutrals.

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From left to right they are: Colour Party, Beauty Secret, Almost Real, Show Off, Peach Party and Make a Statement.  They are not a matte liquid lipstick which is so popular lately, but more of a pigmented lip gloss.  The formula is well pigmented, without being too opaque.  I don’t find them sticky or unpleasant to wear like most lip glosses.  They smell sweet, but not overpoweringly so, and when removed they leave the lips feeling soft and moisturized.  I give these lip glosses a real thumbs up, they are inexpensive, and high quality for the price.  You should check them out.  Cheers, Michele

Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins!!

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I found the inspiration for this recipe in an old cookbook and decided that what it needed was a little refashioning and this is what I came up with.  I hope you try it out.

Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 cups gluten-free or regular flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas

1 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup butter softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two muffin pans with paper cups or spray with non-stick spray.

Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  In a blender, place all other ingredients except for chocolate chips.  Blend until smooth.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well, adding the chocolate chips.  Scoop the batter into the muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester comes clean.  Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Another Thrited Remnant Dress!! In Under 45 Minutes!

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I found this remnant for $2.10 with my discount card and since I haven’t really ever tried sewing with knit fabrics, I thought it would be an inexpensive opportunity to try my hand at it.

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I used my trusty tablecloth dress as the pattern, cut out the fabric and then just sewed across the shoulders and up the side seams.  Then I just turned over the neck, sleeve edges and the hem.  I used a slight zigzag stitch to ensure that it would have a little give for this very stretchy fabric.

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Here is the finished results belted to give it some shape as it hangs quite loose on me.  But I didn’t want to make it too tight to show off any of my unflattering lumps and bumps.  What do you think?  It was so incredibly easy to whip up, the knit fabric doesn’t fray so I didn’t have to zigzag the raw edges which saved time in the final construction.  Cheers, Michele

When Will High School Ever End!! The Clique Culture!

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As I said in a previous post about being grown-up and mature, I am at a soul-searching point in my life.  And part of that is trying to still figure out why people tend to behave like they are still in high school.  You know…the cliques…the politics…the meanness…and the pecking order.  I look around at people as an outside observer because I don’t really belong to a group of people other than my family and a few close friends.  I don’t have a larger group…a clique, I guess you would call it…that I belong to.

In school I was always a loner, and not always by choice.  I am socially awkward still and find that I have a hard time understanding the pecking order of our culture.  It is a sad thing to me when I read the paper or watch the news or even just observe people around me in public or at work that we are a very clique driven culture.  If you belong to a certain group due to ethnicity or colour or background or social standing or finances, you tend to stick with your own kind.  Now I can understand this when it comes to maintaining the history and culture of a particular group to keep it alive and growing, but when it is just about keeping like-minded people in and non-like-minded people out, I just don’t understand.  I think I am just too soft and naive and hope that people will like me or anyone else for that matter for the content of their mind and personality and how they treat other people rather than the numbers on their bank statement or where they stand in the pecking order.

I often think back to a summer I spent on a trout farm where I stayed and one of my jobs was to care for the flock of chickens that provided eggs and meat to the farm owners.  I learned very quickly that chickens are some of the least intelligent animals I have ever met.  And unfortunately some of the biggest bullies.  Chickens form cliques or groups based on similarities in appearance or strength and will peck away at the chickens that are different.  Whether those other chickens are weaker or a different colour, they will single them out and make their lives miserable.  I used to protect the loner chickens from the bullies and try to ensure that they got a chance at the food.  The other people who lived on the farm said that I shouldn’t bother because as soon as I left the chicken run, it would all start over again…it was the way of life for chickens…the establishment of the pecking order.  And I know comparing people to chickens seems pretty cruel..but let’s be honest…people as a group are cruel even if people individually can be kind and generous.

I wonder when it will ever make sense to me why people behave the way they do.  I took courses in university studying animal behaviour and I find myself adapting the things I learned in these courses to how I observe and watch other people and their interactions.  We are animals after all.  And even if our civilized brain tells us that we should work together and be kind, our primitive brain wants to protect what is ours…whether it is food, shelter, security, money, etc. So we stick together in small groups and defend ourselves against interlopers.  High school was just a big chicken run and unfortunately, and my observations support this…we haven’t really grown out of the high school clique mentality.  This is a global problem in my opinion.  And it is sad!

I still try to remain optimistic about people, and the people I have close to me show me the positive wonderful way that people can be…kind, generous, considerate, loving and open.  I guess that’s why I keep them close.  I guess they are my clique after all.

Sorry if I seem to be veering off into uncharted territory in some of my posts, but I am more than just a thrifter and a refashioner and a cook, etc.  I have ideas and opinions about things and would like to share them as well as hear what you have to say.   What do you think about my wandering babble?  Cheers, Michele

 

Mini Thrift Haul!!

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I went to Value Village recently and was surprised that I found anything, but am very happy with what I did find.  I don’t know if my thrifting luck has taken a vacation or I am just being more fussy lately, but I just can’t seem to find things I like.  But I broke my thrifting losing streak with these three lovely things.  I didn’t have a coupon and there wasn’t a sale either, so these items are full price.

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This white eyelet dress from Old Navy is exactly my style and even though it was a little pricy at $9.99 I love the style so much, I just had to pick it up.

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This vintage costume jewelry necklace in a stunning red with a gold metal clasp is exactly my kind of jewelry.  It was only $3.99.

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This vintage London travel scarf joined my collection for only $1.99.  I know my thrifting posts have been getting less frequent, but that’s just the luck or lack of luck of the thrifter.  Hopefully this little thrift haul signals an end to my dry spell of thrifting.  Cheers, Michele

Another Tablecloth Dress!! Refashion In Under An Hour!

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I found this black, white and lime green tablecloth at Value Village for only $2.80 with my coupon.

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I got so excited to refashion it that I forgot to take pictures, but hey, I have made so many of these slip-on dresses now, it is a pretty simple sew.  It was just cutting out the basic shape using another of my dresses as a pattern.  I did all the usual things of zigzagging the raw edges, sewing the shoulders and side seams before finishing the neckline, sleeves and hem.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.  I had just enough fabric with only a little left over. I unfortunately cut it a little small in my haste so it is bit form-fitting for my usual style of dress, but I like it anyways.

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Here is the finished result.  As you can see, I lowered the front neckline a bit instead of doing my usual boat neck or only a slight scoop neckline.  What do you think?  Cheers, Michele

More Favourite Books!! Pride and Prejudice Sequels and Prequels!

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As I have mentioned in previous posts, Jane Austen is one of my favourite writers.  Luckily for me and for other Austen fans, many writers have taken up the task of writing sequels, prequels and other versions of Pride and Prejudice.  Here are just a few.

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If you are an Austen fan, you should check some of them out, some are set in the original time period and some are more modern.  Some are more true to the original story line, and some like Pirates and Prejudice are completely different twists on the original story.  I hope you like reading as much as I do and will check some of them out.  Happy reading, Cheers, Michele