Friday, December 9, 2016

2016 Christmas list

Christmas 2016 is looking a little a lot different than it has in years past. I'm not making food for anyone, shopping for Christmas trees or  hosting Christmas parties at my house.

One thing is going to stay the same, though. Every year for Christmas, I buy myself one nice bottle of perfume (the kind that never goes on sale).

This year, its going to be Mademoiselle by Coco Chanel.

Last year, it was Gold by Michael Kors. 
(which was lost in the flood)

Year before last, it was Si by Georgeo Armani

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

simple woman daybook- November 30, 2016

Outside my (office) window:
Image result for quotesIts grey and turning cooler, which makes me happy. (the cooler part, not the grey part.) When the dog woke me up at 1:00a for a potty break, it was raining. She didn't stay out in it long.  Raining and cold this weekend.
Around the house:
moving along with the rebuilding slowly. 18 new windows are scheduled to be installed Friday morning. The upgraded nicer and bigger fireplace is scheduled to be installed in the middle of January. I have a meeting scheduled tonight with the carpenter to discuss/chose cabinets in kitchen and bathroom. Sounds like progress, but it is very very slow.

Last weekend:
I spent all weekend going back and forth to Lowes to get paint samples. Finally, colors are chosen. The masterbath is going to be light French grey and the bedroom is babbling brook.  

I am watching:
Having an antenna is limiting. I miss HGTV. I've been watching a lot of the Love Boat, Wonder Woman and the news that continuously replays on one station. Its been quite a while since I watched any series regularly. Looking forward to start of The Great American Baking Show this Thursday.

I am listening to:

I am cooking:
I manage to cook breakfast in my little makeshift kitchen upstairs, but not much else. I've been heavily relying on sandwiches or chick-fil-a for supper, or the home cooked meals friends randomly drop by.  If I had a real kitchen, I'd be making chicken and dumplings' and peanut butter oatmeal bars this weekend.
I am looking forward to:
The 2017 Propel Conference. They have not released the dates or cities yet, but several of us are planning to attend at the most exciting location. I am not so secretly pulling for a return trip to California. When I lived in Nevada, I was three hours away from my favorite spot , and was there about five times a year.  But, its a lot harder to see it from Louisiana.

Image result for inspirational quotes

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Walgreens Haul

Late night shopping at Walgreens produced a small haul:  
Olay gift pack, but its really for me. It was $10 for full size body wash, full size moisturizer and travel size deodorant.  It was just too good of a deal to pass up. I'll probably by more this year for gifts  for me.
Essie Gel Polish in a gift pack, but, again, its really for me. I've been looking to try this new polish and I could not find it anywhere! At $18, I thought it was too expensive but threw it in the buggy anyway. Turns out, that is the price for this gift pack everywhere.  I haven't painted my nails since the flood in August, but I'm looking forward to getting back into my normal groove. I think better and act better with pretty polish on my nails.

Palmers Cocoa Butter Moisturizer
I just love this stuff, and I've had a long time love affair with it. It was $7.99 and worth every penny. It smells divine and is so thick and creamy. I am almost never without it.

L'Oreal self tanner
Honestly, this would not have been my first choice (I love this one), but at Walgreens in the middle of the night, I had to take what I could find. Because, of course, self tanner is important in flood recovery mode. I am trying to disguise the bug bites and bruises on my legs.  It was $12.79

Extra Large Sharpie
First, I thought it was a real bargain, $2.99, and I wore out my smaller sharpies by writing Bible verses on the exposed 2x4s. I really need/want something to write on the concrete floor before flooring is installed. Years ago, before the brick floor went in, I wrote Bible verses on the concrete in the living room and kitchen. Now, Ill do the same in the bedroom. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Makeup Haul

Imagine you lost all your makeup, perfume and brushes, in a flood and your entire makeup bag is only the few things you brought on vacation with you to the beach (Estee Lauder doublewear light foundation and doublewear concealer, a beauty blender, a mini Tarte mascara, a rollerball size of perfume (this one), one black eyeliner and the three lipsticks in your purse...  plus two bottles of sunscreen, two bathing suits and a monogrammed beach towel... but that's a different story...

What is the first thing you miss? For me it was an eyebrow pencil.

What would you immediately buy to start replacing your makeup?
These are the first things I bought to restock. (this is where keeping a list on my phone of products I want to try comes in handy)

Covergirl Trunaked Nudes $9.99
I heard nothing but good things about this and everyone says they are a dupe for the Urban Decay Nudes and about $40 cheaper. I had been wanting to try these and here is my chance! I'm thinking I will go back and buy the rose gold one also. Emily Noel's youtube review here (starts at 1:02) and Tati's youtube review here (starts at 1:19)

elf eye shadow brush $6

I didn't specifically go to buy this brush. I just needed one and it was cheap. Its been working great.

Milini eyeshadow primer $6.49
I had actually been looking for this for some time, and could never find it. I finally went to a large enough drug store and found it.
Youtube review here (starts at 9:57)

Loreal Magic Lumi Highlighter Pen $12.99
I don't think this was on my list of things to try, but my energy was getting low and I was in need of a highlighter and this one looked like a good one. I had originally planned to re-purchase the magic lumi primer, which I already know I love, but the store was out....

Milani baked blush in Luminoso $7.49
This is another one I had on my list and was planning on trying out. Everyone raves about it and I already like it a lot. It has a built in highlighter. Youtube recommendation here  (starts at 7:02) and here (starts at 2:22)

Maybelline Brow Perfect pencil $6.95
This is what I originally went to the drugstore to get, but another particular brand that was not on my list, but looked like a good one to try. I did see a review of it here (starts at 5:20). My only complaint thus far, is the pencil wears down really quick and I don't have a sharpener (yet!)

On another note... all my nailpolish was saved! The organizer was high enough to stay dry (just barely).

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Simple Woman Daybook September 15, 2016

Outside my (office) window:
Its ever so slowly turning into fall. The days are still hot but the mornings and evenings are slightly cooler.

I am:
Recuperating from having five feet of water in my house (from the flood.)

I am planning:
  • To join YMCA next door to my office, for many reasons, including walking on treadmill and watching TV
  • Start a new Bible study tonight at church (Breathe by Priscilla Shirer)
  • Get another contractor to give me a quote to rebuild my downstairs
  • Have a new AC installed this weekend

I am watching:
Youtube videos. I don't have a TV at my new living arrangements....

I am reading:
The Skinny Budget Diet It was on clearance at Lifeway and I had a 20% off coupon. It was $6. I couldn't resist.

I am cooking:
Put Taco soup in the crockpot this morning.
I am disappointed:
I canceled my vacation plans to Maine. I took too much time off during the flood and don't feel like I can spend the time or the money for vacation right now. As much as I don't like flying into snow, I am hopeful I can get to Boston for a few days at the end of the year.

I am looking forward to:
A new car coming this week.... Its on the way from Georgia.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekend accomplishments

Since it was approximately 163 degrees in Baton Rouge this weekend, I stayed in and one thing is now complete. The guest room is completely swapped over and put together, and the office is waiting to be painted.
Since I used the paint I already had in the garage, the guest room move costs nothing but $5.97 for  brackets to hang a curtain rod from Home Depot, and $21 for paint supplies. I'll eventually get more white shears for the second guest room window, and the room needs a door. The old door had seen better days and I removed it from its hinges and its now sitting on a set of saw horses as a table in my garage.
Of course, I had help. Help in the form of a dog laying on the rug all day long. She approves of the new arrangements.

Friday, July 22, 2016

$20 payday pretty

The concept:
Take $20 (or so...) once a payday and get something just because it makes you feel pretty. 

The results:
Latest payday pretty haul from TJ Maxx:

The goods: 
Formula X: My favorite nail polish. $2.
It's regularly $10.50 at Sephora, so I grabbed it fast when I saw it. there was only two bottles. Its a metallic grey/purple. I may not have bought this color at the regular price, but  I like it and have already got compliments on it.
DW Home Candles:  Can you believe I am out of end of the year stockpile of bath and body work candles?! They are one of my favorites. but I also love the DW brand. But I find their candles are kind of hit and miss.... Got a birthday cake scent (flavor?) for $7.99 and a Vanilla Bean slightly smaller for $6.99. But, so far, the birthday cake is a miss.... not my favorite. Its a very faint scent.
Soap:  I always buy the scented soap from TJ Maxx. They have a nice selection and you don't see the same kind/scent all the time. I got a very large bath bar in shea butter for $3.99.

Monday, July 18, 2016

weekend projects

Where did the weekend go? Seriously? Between church services and crying all day for the Baton Rouge Police Officers, the only proof I have to show that I actually had a weekend is the memory of a Sunday nap and the accomplishment of cleaning this now empty room. Baton Rouge is all just walking numb and wounded.  I finally had to turn the news off and put my hands to something productive to do.
I really cant call it the office anymore, but its not quite the guest room yet... so I started calling it the upstairs room.
Baseboards, windows and door frames were scrubbed and the wood floor was mopped with my newest discovery of vinegar and water (I'm mopping all the floors with it. How does it clean so well?)  and then waxed. I love Orange Glow for the wood floors. I've been using it for about 10 years. Nothing perks me up like seeing shiny wood floors. Its very satisfying, in a weird sort of way.

I wish I had one more day to putter around in the space, but the work week has arrived, and I honestly don't know when I will get back to it. Every evening after work this week is full. 
Monday: Pampered Chef party
Tuesday: Candlelight Service for the Baton Rouge Police Officers
Wednesday: Youth at Church
Thursday: Exercise class
Friday: Church service
This is why its called "being a weekend warrior", I suppose.
I am actually surprised at how quick the transformation from neglected/abandoned/half-empty/sad office to guest room has been. Its ready for the fun part... organizing and arranging the guest room furniture waiting to be moved from the guest room... or rather the other room that is no longer the guest room, but doesn't yet have a name. 
When its empty, what is now the guest room, is going to get a little paint job, a little cleaning, and a little waxing of the wood floors, then become the new office.   

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Weekend Projects

Thoughts of Home

It feels like its been a long time since a project was completed in one weekend.

So long, that its kind of surprising to have this one done. It went faster than I thought it would. (I did have a little help...)

Part one of the plan to move the guest room is to empty then paint the office, but I wanted to do it quick and cheap. With the leftover paint in the garage, it made sense to make do instead of putting a whole new color up.

I'm so glad I did because I  had forgotten how much I loved this pale yellow color that I picked out 10 years ago. It had been sitting forgotten, and we were re-introduced. Hello old friend. I remember you now...

And I was happy it only took one coat to make the whole room look fresh again.

And I saved some money.

Except I didn't.

I still ended up spending some money on it for disposable paint trays, tape,  and new rollers but it was a lot cheaper than a gallon of good paint (the bathroom paint job was surprisingly expensive.)

I filled the nail holes with wood filler and sanded it down then one thick coat of paint, cleaned everything up and I am done!
Except I am not done....
Is anyone really ever done with projects?
Just like the bathroom, the fresh paint makes the baseboards look dingy, so before the rooms are swapped around, I now plan to paint them bright white.
It does not end.
Thoughts of Home


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Second Quarter Goals Update: The livingroom

Much like the one room challenge,   my goals this year are specific and small and focus on one thing at a time. I started with the  bathroom and it almost killed me was a success.

The second quarter is finished  (April-May-June) but the living room isn't.  I'm giving myself one more week before turning my attention to the upstairs office. I feel like I got a late start, which I did. Bronchitis in April put me out of the game for a while. 

I started this with the goal of getting curtains up, the nail holes filled and everything painted a fresh white. The curtains are up and the nail holes are filled but everything is not yet painted. Somewhere along the way, I bought a new couch.

The old couch was never "me" and I couldn't stand to make do with it another minute. Combine my over-eagerness to get rid of it with a deep discounted Memorial day sale at Ashley Furniture and the bottom line is, I unexpectedly bought a new couch.  I sold the old one so that helped. And I LOVE the new couch, so that helps justify the purchase even more. I really feel like the house is becoming mine and reflecting me more and more.

I have not so distant plans to paint all trim and baseboards fresh white, to touch up the wall paint in a few spots, all things I already have and will cost nothing to accomplish.

I have very distant plans for a rug and coffee tables and probably a chair and throw pillows and all the little decorative things you think of when you re-do a room, but the bank account just laughs and says not any time soon.

The curtain rods were by far the hardest part of this little makeover, and surprisingly heavy and difficult to maneuver.  Not hard just not as easy as it would have been to just buy a long curtain rod, find it delivered by UPS at my door, and put it up.  But I didn't want to spend $135, and I couldn't get it from yard sales (how I've outfitted rooms before) so I DIY-ed it with help from  this blog.  

Two 10 foot pieces of electrical conduit: $5.90 each (I had to buy two 10 foot sections and cut one to add to the long one. So I still have an 8 foot piece in the garage which will probably be another curtain rod in a different room some day.)
Little thing to connect two poles together: $.68
3 cans of bronze metallic spray paint: $5.76 each (I would have never believed it would take 2 1/2 cans of spray paint for this but it totally did. I had to go back twice to get more.)
Curtains: Free from another room
Curtain hook: Free from another room
3 curtain brackets: Martha Stewart $8.97 each

I spent about $55.  The main point of having the curtains is privacy and security,  and the sheers are not doing the job in either of those things.  They are a placeholder until I find curtains I really want at a price I can really get them, probably from TJ Maxx. (something like this or this but both of these are not quite right.... the search continues).

And, in all truth, this still would not be done if I did have some help.


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Monday, June 13, 2016

stitch fix

I'm linked here at Crazy Together blog

One of the happiest days is the day I get home and find my stitch fix box  sitting quietly at the front door.   Seriously!

This month was box #11 for me. I have slightly mixed feelings about it. On one hand.... its a little expensive.  But on the other hand, I like the surprise, the finding it at my doorstep, the brands I wouldn't have seen or picked out by myself, and there is something to be said about the service, of having cute clothes that fit you and match the other things you own come straight to your door.

Its been working out that I usually keep one or two items from each box.  The two things I kept from my latest stitch fix box, a lightweight navy blue sweater that has elbow patches on the back of the arms in fuchsia (like this)  and the most comfortable, stylish and flattering pair of green crop pants (like this).

I love these green crops and they fit really well  but.... they were expensive.  I've told myself before I could find something similar cheaper but the truth is.... I cant.  Its not like a cute top, where I have the consignment store to run to every weekend.  Pants are hard to get right. I'm not going to spend the time and energy (and a precious Saturday) to go from store to store looking for something similar in my size that is cheaper.  In the end, considering everything, I have a really stylish pair of pants I love and think it is probably worth it to avoid the rest of the hassle.

Its the whole bird in the hand thing...  I find Stitch Fix works just like everyone said it would work. The longer you get the box the more they get to know you and start sending you things that are more your style and fit.  The things I returned this month......  the sleeveless blue and white denim shirt. It was super soft and comfy but too distressed for me. I honestly don't know where I'd wear it or what I would pair it with. I didn't have to think twice. It went back in the box immediately.

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I debated heavily on this striped sweater, it was such a good fit and a light weight and perfect for the spring/summer. In the end though, I sent it back. It was not the right color for me and no matter how much I tried to make it work, the color was just not for me. (looking at it now, I still struggle... note to self in future... if your struggling with the decision this much, just keep it....)

The color on the coral top was perfect for me and I loved the open work at the top. I really struggled with whether or not to keep this top, however, I didn't like the billowy effect of the blouse.  It went back too. (no regrets on this one).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Second Quarter Goals.... and some thoughts on productivity

First quarter master bathroom and rose garden is done and was a success and I am so happy and relieved to have it done done done. But the second quarter goals are off to a slooooow start....  in the same spirit of the one room challenge, I am only focusing on two things each quarter, except sometimes I don't only focus on the two things and I start in other areas and have to call myself back to the spot I am suppose to be, thus the productivity problems. 

And.... its the middle of May already ( May? Already!!)  and I have barely started on the two things I said I would accomplish, the living room and making a veggie garden. I can rattle off plenty of reasons for lack of productivity and they are all valid reasons  (I was sick! I keep veering off to do things in other rooms! The list of things keeps growing!) but really, in the end, I still have nothing little to show for livingroom and garden  that I am suppose to be focusing on.

Much like the bathroom, the living room is a bigger project than I first thought (aren't they all?). Actually, I just keep adding things to the list thus making it bigger than originally planned. This has basically been my thought process.... You know, this couch really isn't me.... I really want a new couch! and a new rug!  and a new coffee table! But I don't have any money.... I need to seriously shop some clearance sales and stalk some yard sales. I better go shopping instead of stay in and work on these windows! (it makes sense at the time)

For now, I have filed the nail holes on the trim and will be painting it bright white shortly (hopefully) and curtain brackets are up!  Because I need 154 inches of curtains to cover two French doors and two windows (I know the house is not symmetrical. I didn't build it.  The plans were for a bigger house and the original owner scaled it down. Since I don't see myself doing major structural changes, it drives me bonkers, but I just ignore it), and I don't want to take out a second mortgage to pay for it,  I'm DIY-ing the curtain rod (like this).

I am pretty impressed the brackets are up and the metal electrical pipe has been cut to size and is laying on the floor waiting to be installed, which is an accomplishment. Because I couldn't get the pipe long enough, (did I mention I need more than 11 feet of curtain rod!)  I used a hacksaw and cut another piece to add to a 10 foot rod with a connector. (You would be shocked  and maybe a little horrified at how long I've stood in the aisle at Home depot trying to figure this all out). 

Slow progress will continue....

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Friday, May 13, 2016

csa- summer box 1 and 2

CSA farm box started again.

Box #1 had three heads of lettuce (all different varieties), 6 yellow squash, 5 zucchini, 3 onions, 5 red potatoes, head of broccoli, 5 carrots, a lot of turnips and turnip greens, and one giant radish.

Box #2 was almost the same. One head of lettuce,  6 yellow squash, 4 zucchini, 3 onions, 3 potatoes, head of cauliflower, 3 carrots, turnips, turnip greens and green beans.

So far, I've roasted the squash and had with meatballs.  I put most of the first box of veggies in with a roast and a jar of gravy and they were delicious. I brought large salads to work for lunch and gave half the lettuce away.

The second box is going to be a stir fry. I'm throwing almost all the veggies together and adding chicken, rice and soy sauce.  I am also planning a lasagna with zucchini noodles instead of pasta, and cooking the turnip greens with bacon this weekend.

I'm thinking a veggie lasagna may be coming soon, or veggie soup, and corn bread.

One problem is the box comes on Monday evenings. After work, I am either tired or I am just not in the mood to do anything other than put all the veggies in the fridge.  My plan for the box #3 is to wash and cut everything, so even if nothing gets cooked Monday, its ready and waiting for me another day after work.

I think I need to plan better, too. Its hard to plan what to do with all the veggies when you don't know what you are getting or how much you are getting. But, that is also the beauty of the CSA box. All organic, home grown and taste better than what's at the store.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Daybook, Wednesday April 26, 2016

Outside my window:
This must be what Spring is like, Its not hot! Hurrah! Each day is pretty mild with a cool breeze in the morning and evening and a little rain. I know its not going to last much longer.

I am:
Recuperating. In the last three weeks, I've had dental surgery and bronchitis, three different antibiotics, two cough medicines, two pain medicines and an asthma inhaler. It has zapped my strength. I am typically asleep on the couch at 8:30 every night and I am ready to be completely over this and get back to my regular every day not sick life.

I am planning:
Second quarter goals. Slowly starting to put up curtain rods in the living room and most of the stuff for the vegetable garden. I now just need to actually start. 

I am Listening to:
"Think like a success. Act like a success", an audiobook by Steve Harvey. I love it. Christian with scriptures included.

I am watching:
The buds in the rose bed. All have made beautiful flowers. Abraham Lincoln was the first to bloom, followed by Abraham Darby and Gold Cup.  Now, all three have small buds again.

I am watching (part two )
Outlander. I said I wasn't going to watch this season. Its ridiculous how hooked on this show I get, but the season premier came on and what did I do? That's right and now I'm hooked again.

I am reading:
Stepping up Bible study by Beth Moore with the women's ministry at church and Kay Arthur's study on Ruth with the older ladies at church. I usually pick one or the other group and I try to avoid doing two studies at once, but ... I didn't want to sit out on either of these. Its been a lot of work.

I am cooking:
Not much cooking has been going on in my house lately, other than breakfast smoothies. I did just get this bread machine and I plan to have fresh bread soon. I also bought a share of the summer season at the Community Supported Agriculture farm, so I'll have to start cooking soon.

I am irritated:
at the blue jays in the yard. They have suddenly become very territorial and dive bomb the dog when she goes outside. Thus far they haven't touched her and the poor thing, she doesn't know enough to know she is being attacked. She is an old thing and just going about her business.  But it is obvious to me and this is her house for crying out loud!  Blue Jays are so aggravating to the point that I have stood outside and told them out loud that their behavior will stop.  I bet they have made a nest nearby.   

I am looking forward to:
 My Stitch Fix! Its suppose to arrive on Friday. it is so nice to find a little surprise at my door after a long week.  I haven't been talking about it much, but I still get the boxes almost every month, and I love them.  I keep at least one item from every box and sometimes, two or three. Its true what they say, the longer you get the boxes the more they get to know you and send you things you like and want, and the pieces build on themselves, in that they match from past boxes.   I do find the pieces to be a little bit pricey- but I also think it balances out when you think of the time, energy, gas money going all over town or the shipping charges ordering something... 

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