Monday, June 12, 2017

tj maxx

Why did I go into TJ Maxx Wednesday night after church?
um.... I cant recall....
It was suppose to be a quick trip but ended up being over an hour and spending over... well, never mind.  It was more than I planned to spend but I justify it by saying I literally lost everything on the first floor of my house, surely I am entitled to a little joy and can go to TJ Maxx and get a few things every now and again! Its not like I was running wild at Macys or Nordstrom's for crying out loud! 
The flood has been very convenient to blame things on, cant sleep?  Eating too much junk? Shopping like crazy? PTSD from the flood.... We all medicate differently. Mine happens to be shopping. I could have worse habits.
What did I end up getting?
A nightgown, an expensive Lucky brand one very similar to this in a pink and about half the price. It is so comfortable. I really like it. I might go back and see if they have more of the same brand, because why? I lost all my night clothes in the flood...

Chloe perfume. I admit. I need no perfume. But it was on clearance and I love Chloe and I love it when I find a gift set with perfume and lotion. It was literally too cheap to pass up. I've ben wearing it everyday.

Natural deodorant, lens wipes for purse, and honey lotion all for no other reason than I needed them and they looked like good ones to try.

The same can be said of the bath bombs and the gift bag.  It was a co-workers birthday, I needed a little gift and there it was.

Electric hair brush. I actually thought I was buying a hair dryer shaped like a hairbrush but when I got it home, it was just an electric hairbrush straighter.  I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. I don't hate it enough to take it back. It was $14. I feel I can give it a try.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I took myself North

A three day weekend turned into a five day weekend turned into seeing three states. Because why not? Still not much can be done at my house right now, and this has turned into my year of travelling, as I have dubbed it.  I was in Vermont in late February, in Gulf Shores the first weekend in May. And I was in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts for the last weekend in May.  (I will be in Dallas and upstate NY later this year.)

I love Kennebunkport!  It is seriously my new favorite place and I cant wait to go back.  But it was cold. I never thought Id be bundled up in a wool coat on Memorial Day weekend. My nose was cold, my feet were cold, and I should have brought a hat!

Did some shopping.  That antique glass door knob is going on my bathroom door. The last time I was in Plymouth, MA, I went to the same antique store. I love having a regular shopping spot in Plymouth!! I collect the black toile trays  (here) and will add this to my collection. I actually bought two and they were so big I couldn't fit them in my suitcase! I had to mail them to myself. Is that a sign of a serious shopper or what? They were also a lot cheaper  and more plentiful than I find them around here.

A lot of eating. A lot of sightseeing.  (My feet were cold).

Spent some time sitting in a swing on my friend's front porch and sitting on her back deck staring out in the backyard flowers and pool.

Lets be honest, I haven't given New Hampshire much thought and wasn't sure what to expect... but I didn't expect it to look like this. Gorgeous. There are beaches in New Hampshire? Who knew? The cities at the beach look like they are still in the 1950s. They are charming.

Does my friend know me or what?! Even I was impressed to find my favorite lotion on the nightstand and an electric heater waiting in the guest room for her always cold Southern friend.  Sometime in the early hours every morning, she put her dog, Charlie Duncan, in my bed. He was excellent company.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

sephora and ipsy

Coming off a REALLY good Sephora box last month, May was not a good month for Beauty boxes in my house.
For the first time in a long time, I wasn't too excited about either of them. Both were kind of.... eh.
I felt like I've tried all the things in the Sephora box already. I love that Smashbox primer, and they are great for travel, but I already have four or more of various sample sizes. I also have daisy perfume and the Thomas Roth. I was a little excited about the eye makeup remover, but after trying it, it stings a little.
Ipsy was even less exciting... 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sephora box

Terrible picture of a really good box.

So far, the Sephora Box is by far my favorite beauty box. This month was one of my all time favorites. I cant not pick what one thing I was most excited to get because I really wanted it all.

Living Proof is my favorite hair care line (and coincidentally, my favorite Bible Study!) its expensive, so I love these large sample sizes. I already use Josie Maran Argon Oil, so was happy to try a large sample of her new primer, which I already love. I've been wanting to try Watts Up by Benefit, because me and the highlighters have a thing. and I love Chloe. Floral scents are my favorite and I don't have any Chloe because it is expensive (Since I buy myself one nice perfume each year for Christmas, this will probably be what I get this year).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


I really want to start juicing, but its too much to try in my restricted upstairs bedroom kitchen. I regularly blow out fuses trying to cook breakfast as it is.... I cant tax the electrical system by adding one more thing.
So, I have relied heavily on pure juice, the kind you buy that is nothing but the juice of a crazy amount of pressed/pureed/pulverized fruit and veggies.  It is shocking how much fruit your really drinking in one bottle (3 1/2 apples, a banana, 22 blueberries, 1 sweet potato, 1 grapefruit, etc...) It is also shockingly expensive, but I feel like its justified since I cant use my own juicer and I need that extra nutrition. 
I look at it as just another unexpected flood problem and expense..... but a tasty one.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Simple Woma's Daybook: April 18, 2017

I am linked here

Outside my window:
For the most part the weather has been surprisingly pleasant.  Enjoyed a long string of beautiful blue skies and sunny days. But I know the hot weather is around the corner.

I am looking forward to:
One of my yearly goals was to do some travelling this year and I really have. I was in Vermont in February. I'm going to Gulf Shores in May and plan to shop here heavily for the house. I'm going to Maine for a long Memorial Day weekend and planning another trip for a long Labor Day weekend, right now, looks like it will be to Niagara Falls.

 Around the house:

This is somewhat of a sore subject. A flood update....  The few I know whose house is already fixed complains about the poor workmanship and quality. I try to have patience and not rush the contractor because I'd rather have it done right and avoid years of complaining about the finished product. The progress seems to happen all at once then nothing happens for the next few weeks. Its getting depressing. The wooden front stairs are built and are prettier than ever, the new iron spindles are in, I have electricity downstairs, and the fridge is plugged in (its sitting in the middle of the kitchen, but it is plugged in). I have a washing machine hooked up but no dryer. The master bath tile shower has been started and a new fence is about to go up. But, it is so slow. If I get moved in by August, I'll feel lucky.

I am watching:
I finally came to the realization that living upstairs is not as temporary as I think it is. Its been 8 months since the flood and 6 months since I moved upstairs. There is realistically no end in sight. I've been without cable the entire time. I do have a TV but its more trouble than its worth to move it from window to window and arrange the antenna just so, hoping to get a channel. I broke down and got both Netflix and Sling TV.  Now I'm just moving my laptop from place to place. Its weird to watch TV on the computer, and I wouldn't have chosen this, but I get to watch  HGTV, the Food Network and Lifetime. I just started watching the Crown. Its been a LOOOOOOOOONG time since I watched a series.

I listening to:
Since I've been watching very little TV, I can finish an audio book in 2 to 3 days.  I read about 2 books a week. I decided that I need to make efforts to read more of the classics. Last year I read The Great Gatsby. Now, I'm reading Jane Eyre, (and you cant get much more classic than a book written in 1840s). Some parts of it are vaguely familiar so I think I half-heartedly read it (or probably the cliff notes) in Jr. High like everyone else.

I am reading:
Bible study at church, uninvited by Lisa Terkuerst. Its not the first study I would pick, but its what the women's group at church is doing. Honestly, its not my cup of tea. I'm muddling through it.

I am cooking:
I'm trying to cook more, its still not easy. I  can make breakfast and I made Taco Lettuce Wraps this weekend. Having a real fridge downstairs (with a freezer) helps a little.  I can make smoothies now, and put more than 2 bottles of water in the fridge at one time.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Target Haul: or alternatively title: How I spent $90 in 20 minutes in Target

My biggest problem is Target.... ugh! I got to stay out of Target.

Black and Decker cordless power screwdriver
I bought some glass door knobs for the inside doors and I am dying to see how they look!  But they are just sitting there, waiting for the contractor, who has been ignoring them. I'm sure door knobs are not the very top of his priority list, and they probably shouldn't be on mine either. My plan was to help him by getting them in. Have I ever put in a door knob before? Ha.  Ha. Getting the electric screwdriver is my first step. This is obviously going to be a long multi-step process.

Extra fine point Sharpies
I want these at work and asked my Secretary to order extra fine  Sharpies, but she keeps handing me boxes of fine sharpies and finally said, if a finer one exists, she cant find it. I knew I could find the extra fine ones at Target, and here they are.

Essie Love, Color and Treat nail polish
This is new and I was sucked in. I haven't seen any reviews on it, just the advertisement in magazines which was enough to sway me.  They say you can tell a lot about a woman's emotional state by the way she takes care of her nails. Clearly I am fine. In color Laven-clearly.

Burt Bees Peppermint Body wash
My motto is  let me buy anything to make me excited to get up when the alarm rings and jump in the shower. So far, my plan of trying all the appealing body washes .... not working.  This is my latest attempt.

Pure juice is expensive, but living upstairs  I'm not eating many fresh veggies or healthy anything, and feeling like I need some help in the nutrition department. And I've been sick! This is where the fresh juice comes in. The ones with nothing but pureed fruit and veggies. This bottle has 3 1/2 apples and 22 blueberries, oranges and carrots pureed into it, among other things. So how can you not feel better when your consuming this?

Elf Flawless Foundation
This is another you-tube made me buy it product, (here) and I have to admit, its really good, and its $6, and because I'm just that shallow, the packaging (heavy glass bottle with a pump) makes me happy too.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
I am on the hunt. I cant find a really great concealer that I really love. This one is ok, but... the hunt will go on.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


The annual LSU Library book sale. I stumbled across it yeeeaaaarrrs ago and I've been going faithfully every March.
Some of my favorite books have come from rooting around on the overflowing tables. Its a lot to go through and I have never visited all the categories in all the different places they are set up, even though I keep saying I want to.  

This is the most I've ever spent here, $36. But I got 12 books. I don't think I've ever bought more than 4 in the past! But I had a good reason.

I was specifically looking for cookbooks since I lost every. single. one.  in the flood. I mean every last one of them. 

Aunts, who are no longer here, had given me some cookbooks that I found and replaced (Cake Doctor, Pots, Pans and Pioneers), and I found a couple of the older cookbooks I had collected (Nestle Toll House cookbook from 1980).

They have such great books, you just can not pass them up.

I'm already looking forward to next year.

Monday, March 6, 2017

5 days in Vermont

I left New Orleans while the City was just waking up.

I camped out in front of the fireplace, a lot.

Vermont has more than 100 historic covered bridges, more than any other state. I had plans to visit quite a few of them, but because they are mostly located on the side of a mountain, on a dirt road, covered in mud and ice and its hard to get to them in a rental car.....
I visited four of the historic bridges

Of course, I played in the snow.

Who knew that Vermont was such a foodie place? Everything was delicious.
I visited a cheese factory (mmmm..... Alpine Cheddar is my favorite....) 
an apple cider mill (probably my favorite shop/factory to tour... cold apple cider and hot apple donuts. The entire operation smelled heavenly. Its the top producing mill in New England and still made with machines built in the 1920s and it is DELICIOUS. They feed the apple scraps to the pigs then make apple bacon!)
and Ben & Jerry's  which was delicious, but surprisingly small and cramped (and crowded).
I also visited a glass blowing studio and watched glass being made, brought back a dark blue hand made candle holder for my new bathroom (that is being built), had to baby it and carry it in my purse for the trip home. We both made it in one piece.  

Vermont is very rural, and there are a lot of small little towns. I wondered around the little towns and braved icy paths. The air is so fresh and clean.
Every little town has a white church with a steeple. This one was in Stowe.  

Did some shopping at the General Store.

The coldest day I saw, visited the State Capitol in Montpelier. It was about 20 degrees. Vermont was the first state after the original 13 colonies. 

Home. Back to reality.

Monday, February 20, 2017

February Ipsy

This thing gets better and better.

I really like the bag this month- denim with orange trim... and my favorite item is the full size  NYX Butter lipstick (and it is like butter and wears well) and the IBY illuminator (because really, have I ever met an illuminator I didn't like? apparently no.)

I'm happy to have a brush (since I lost all mine in the flood and these things are not cheap) but it came all bent out of shape and with a bad attitude. I'm hopeful it will get itself right.

I realize I have bigger fish to fry  from the rebuilding other than replacing brushes....

(that is the current state of my livingroom..... progress is messy)
but I have to find a little joy somewhere, and today it came in the Ipsy bag.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Target Haul

This haul starts like most hauls start for me.

It was late one evening and random things found their way into my buggy. This night was at Target, which everyone knows how Target sucks you in and forces you to buy unnecessary things, so I feel like its not my total fault. 

Of course, there are snacks for work, which I would argue is reasonable. And Nivea lotion. I haven't used this since I was a teenager, but remembered that at one time I had really been wild about it.  I'll try it again. Why not?  My verdict.... It does bring back good memories and, partially due to the memories, has taken second place in my lotion library. I feel that nothing can knock my number one lotion love out of first place, though, which is the cheap and old Cocoa Butter Palmers

I went down the makeup aisle looking for a brow pencil and found, here is where the totally unnecessary things start,  a new brow highlighter from Wet and Wild that I got home and instantly hated. It was chalky and the wrong color and returned. 

I got an eye shadow brush from Sonia Kesheck, for $5, and an eye shadow pallet from the same brand which was also returned after realizing it was almost $14! I can buy Estee Lauder for a few dollars more! I felt like I had been tricked. I expect drug store prices at the drug store.

I did find a brow pencil too, from Revlon. I really seem to go through these things and haven't found one I really love but  I like this one. A lot of mine get chewed up in the pencil sharpener thing, but this one has a retractable pencil so it doesn't get sharpened, which will probably prolong its life expectancy with me.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ipsy January

Unlike some of the subscription boxes I see, Ipsy keeps getting better. 

My two favorites this month:

Bye Bye Undereye concealer from It, Probably my favorite. I had lost mine in the flood and hadn't replaced it yet. I was very happy to see it.

Ciate Gel Top Coat polish. A full size.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook Saturday January 28

Outside my window:

Colder weather has returned and I have been delighted. Its cold enough for an electric blanket at night and sunny and bright in the day and does not get above 60. My favorite kind of weather, and it looks like I have a few more days of this to enjoy.

My current view:

A sunny window from bed.

I am learning:

Constantly re-learning that I can't do everything at once. I simultaneously wanted to go to Bible Study, the grocery store, get some errands done, clean the car, measure for furniture, go to work, and clean the upstairs but I also want to stay in my PJs and lounge around the house. What I did do is Bible Study and grocery store and back in PJs by noon. 

I'm sick. The doctor said it is not flu but its flu like symptoms. I missed a day and a half of work, and was trying to make it up today. Instead, this Bible Study and grocery store wore me slap out and I voted for PJs and I stayed in bed, a lot.

Around the house:

Surprisingly, things have really started moving around the house. It was a big week. I picked most of the tile, flooring, tubs, sinks, backsplash and a partridge in a pear tree. The kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and dining room were painted. This fireplace (finally) went in. It was my third choice but the best fit for the space without major re-structuring of the entire house. The scaffolding is half built so the living room and entry can be painted.  Its shocking how much can get done in a week after what feels like months of not much happening. 

I am looking forward to:
Getting a new front door. Its suppose to be in this week. It was ordered in October and scheduled for delivery December 1. Its been almost 2 months delayed. This is the fourth delivery date I've been given, so I don't have high hopes.

I am looking forward to, part 2:
Cable TV.  I'm so tired of watching antenna TV. I miss the Food Network, HGTV, Hallmark movies...

I'm looking forward to, part 3:
Beth Moore Live in June and the two day class prior to the event.

I listening to:
I shocked myself by finishing Outlander book 4 in about two weeks and a half or so. Its quite the accomplishment. It was 44 hours and 54 minutes long. I did not enjoy book 4 as much as I did book 3. I have book 5, but cant jump into it.  I feel I need to rest up before I get so involved again. Although I accidently read a pretty detailed spoiler on book 5 and I'm a little disappointed I already know the major plot lines. This series is so  popular and discussed at such length, that it is almost impossible to avoid all spoilers. I keep saying I'm going to stop getting sucked into this series, but....

I am cooking:
Not much. I'm enjoying home made chicken noodle soup from a friend,  weekly dinner invitations from my neighbor/cousin always with leftovers, meal delivery from a local organic health food service, and the few things from grocery store like peanut butter sandwiches, deli potato salad and ham. I make myself breakfast easier than anything else. Yogurt, eggs, oatmeal, toast, cereal. That's about all the makeshift upstairs kitchen can manage.

I am linked here

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Friday night with Beth Moore

Beth Moore had her first book club simulcast on Friday and guess who was in the live audience?

Six women from my church were invited to attend.  I was the only one that had already read the book, which was a requirement to attend. The others spent some really late nights ignoring everything else to finish the book in two days so they could go.

It was at New Orleans Baptist Theologicial Seminary, but not in one of the class rooms. It was a full living room set up in the lobby of the college.

Coffee plays a pretty big role in the book (See the French Press on the coffee table? Months ago, after I read the book, I went out and bought a French Press). It was a nice touch to find a nice coffee shop inside the college. They make pretty coffee at NOBTS. and it was cheap! $1.62.

There was about 40 women in the live audience.  Mostly from Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, which also has a major role in the book, and where we plan to visit one Sunday. There were also a few professors from the college there and a few women Beth brought from her own office.
I was in the second row and this is how close I was to Beth. You can see me several times on the simulcast but, it looks like it was disabled after Saturday.

One spoiler.... which really isn't that much of a spoiler. Everyone expected there will be a sequel, but Beth said its going to be a prequel! 

She also said she wants to have the same audience back for the second book.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook January

Outside my window:
We had three days of winter, which I enjoyed, but now its over. In its place is some weird season of warm yucky weather with a lot of rain and a lot of fog. I am hopeful there may be a few more days of winter left this year, but it doesn't appear so. The tree in the backyard thinks its fall, though.....

I am buying:
Heavy winter clothes, in general and this coat, in particular.  I had amassed a small collection of heavy winter items for my winter travels. The flood took out all the coats, but I think the scarves, gloves, hats and warm underthings were saved.... and being kept safe with a friend, but I don't know where they are right now. It helps that all the heavy winter things are on clearance.

Around the house:
heavy sigh.... changes continue to be made. some wanted, some unwanted.  In true, if you give a mouse of cookie fashion.... I couldn't have the double fireplace because the ceiling in the bedroom was too low. So I bought a bigger fireplace in the living room (this one). After much angst, the carpenter informed me I cant have the bigger fireplace because the framing will disrupt the structure/attic and AC unit placement in second floor. Now the carpenter and the fireplace guy are putting their heads together and who knows what I'll end up with..... heavy sigh. Meanwhile... my house looks like this.....

I am listening to:
This book. Number 4 in the Outlander series of 8. Its 44 hours and 72 chapters so I have to kind of get myself psyched up to start the book and I really feel like I've accomplished something when I finish it.

I am cooking:
Not much. Accepting leftovers and dinner invitations from cooking friends.

The weekend:
Saturday has become my busiest day of the week. Each week is different, but last week I had a dr appointment with the dog at 7a,  The Daniel Plan class at church, then bible study at church (entrusted), lunch, then errands to the mall to find a cocktail dress for a work event. A trip to the grocery store, and the whole day is done. I am home by dark, exhausted and wondering where the day went.  This week, its the same schedule, except sub out the cocktail dress, for shopping for bathtub and the countertops. It sounds like it would be fun, but its not.  And here she is, sleeping it off....

I am looking forward to:
Seeing some progress in the house rebuilding.

I am looking forward to, Part 2:
Vacation. I'll be spending my birthday (which happens to coincide with a 4 day mardi-gras work break) here.

I am linked here

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2017 goal planning

Can it be called goal planning if you don't actually make goals?

Like last year (here), and the year before that (here) I did the Lara Casey thing..... But, I'm not really doing much goal setting or making any goals this year.  Instead I made what feels like a to-do list...

This year I am going to:

1. Take two big vacations.

One during my birthday week in February (that conveniently coincides with Mardi Gras and 4 days off work) to Vermont (here), and one later in the year which is still up in the air but will probably involve me and a friend from Boston heading to Maine (here).

2. Attend the Propel Women Conference.

Their third conference and my third trip. They haven't released the events dates and cities yet, and it would be more prudent to pick the one closest to me (last year it was Jackson, MS),  I'm throwing off prudence and hoping for an excuse to see California again this year. (I guess that will be my third big trip of the year).

3. Getting my house completely rebuilt.

Since I can't hang doors, install bathtubs and build cabinets, there is not much I can do to actually rebuild this house, but there is going to come a point in the rebuilding nightmare fiasco ordeal process  when it'll turn into fun. I'm keeping my eye on that prize and vowing, when the time for the fun begins,  I'm going to pick out doorknobs, and put in closet shelves, and pick out a bathtub with joy and fun.  But its not fun right now. My goal is to actually have fun when it comes time for the fun stuff to start.

4. Buy a Michael Kors watch.

I want a Michael Kors watch, but I don't want to pay for a Michael Kors watch. I am willing to pay 1/4 of the price for a slightly used one at a consignment shop. I've got my eyes peeled. One shop in town currently has two of them, but I don't particularly like the style of either. I'm holding out for that special one.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

walmart beauty box winter 2016

I am no longer loving the Walmart box and it is on the canceling list.
Its been a long while since I felt like I had a good box. None of the boxes have been as exciting as the first one was. 
This one was kind of pitiful.... Dove bodywash (that feels like it is in every box), a small ponds, Avena lotion and Curel lotion.