Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Everything from weddings to marshmallow creme with a large helping of Sephora

This weekend was full of going.  Friday night after work my niece Sheri had her reception.  It was held in a local park, and had lovely trees and a lake as a backdrop.  There was a duet playing backgroud music on flute and cello, and it was beautiful and romantic.  Here's the one shot I managed to get of Sheri and my grandma on my i-Phone:

Yesterday was my every-other-month trip to Sephora.  Oh my - how does so much good stuff wind up in one store?  I went in for a daytime moisturizer, and my favorite Korres body lotion  and came out with things I didn't even know existed.  Speaking to the finely aged ladies out there (oh heck, ANYONE would love this) : do you struggle with that dry crepey skin under your eyes?  You moisturize like a demon in the morning, and by about 3:00 it's all dried out again?  WELL - there's a product made my Boscia (a local So Cal company in Irvine) that makes a product intimidatingly called "Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment" that solves that little problem handily.  And it doesn't cost a fortune - like under $50.  You use a very small amount so it should last a couple of months.  It's amazing - I woke up this morning with dewy under-eye skin.  How did I find this goodness?  I had the good luck to be helped by Sal - the lone guy at the Brea Sephora store who just happened to know  everything about skin care -  from ingredients, to what they do, to what brands give you the most bang for your buck.  For 20 minutes or so he was my new best friend.
I wanted a new eyeliner.  (All of my pencils are stubs.)  I always go for brown.  Maybe black at night, but usually brown.  Sal said "No, no" and showed me one by Urban Decay in aubergine - the loveliest deep eggplant-y color.  He said it gives the drama of black with the softness of brown.  He was so right.  AND - this particular brand goes on with no pulling.  No need to wait for it to warm up and soften.  It just glides.  But once it's on for a few seconds it's set - it doesn't come off or melt all over the place. (I have the oiliest eyelids ever, so this is important stuff.)  Lately I've been seeing a lot of makeup ads using aqua on the eyes.  I wanted to try it in a small way and Sal showed me an Urban Decay liner pencil in aqua.  He showed me how to put it on without looking garish or like I was trying to look half my age.  Spot on.  I put it on later to go out to dinner and it looked amazing.
He gave me a generous spray on sample of Narciso Rodriguez For Her perfume. 

 I'm saving my pennies for that one.  (I think it was around $80)  I have perfume to go through still, but this one - OH MY.  It's floral and very pretty, and yet there's something deeper about it so it doesn't disappear in 10 minutes, never to return, like a lot of florals.  And like all good perfumes, you only need a little bit.  The perfume I did come away with is my go-to: Tom Ford Black Orchid.  I like a lot of different perfumes, but what makes me buy it over and over is when other people notice it and give compliments.  This particular one started out with our FedEx guy at working asking me what it was.  He went out and bought it for his wife.  Wow.  I was like, the love doctor.  It's a bit strong at first, so you can only use the tiniest bit.  I found out the hard way that it sets off L's allergies, so I have to spray it on a good 15-20 minutes before being in a closed car with him.  The first time I used it, he had to almost hang his head out of the window on the way to church. That was embarrassing and upsetting all at the same time.  Powerful stuff, but so darkly amazing once it settles down a bit.
So that was my little foray into Sephora.  I want to hug the whole store whenever I go there. I love makeup and skincare, and lotions, and shower gels that smell good.  Prominent in any emergency kit I've ever put togther are lip balms, lotion, moisturizer - all of the things that make you feel human.  I get samples all the time - that's where I put them.  An apocalypse is bad enough.  But cracked lips and dry skin in addition?  Unthinkable.  And, I've packed enough for you, too!  I will share the bounty if disaster strikes when I'm with you.  I know, I know - it's a shallow thing.  Apocalypses mean true disaster, and body balm will be low on the list.  But for now, it gives me comfort and peace that along with food, water, and medical supplies, I've also got some eye cream.  How does it go? - If ye are prepared, ye need not fear?  I'm sure I've paraphrased, but that's the basic idea.  I don't want to be the girl crawling through rubble thinking to myself "Dang - if only I'd put in some sunscreen and a nail file."  Because you know I'll have them.  Right next to the Rosebud Salve (good for scrapes, insect bites, chapped skin AND over the eye cream at night.)
I exited the mall through Macy's and - holy crap - they were having a SHOE SALE!  I remembered in the nick of time that I had an unused Macy's gift card, and awhile later I exited with the cutest pair of Coach wedges that were on sale.  I can't really wear heels anymore, due to a fat ankle that is the result of joint-ritis.  I mean, I can get them on, but then I can't walk without limping, so what's the point?  But I CAN wear wedges that aren't on a big slant.  And cute ones are kind of hard to find, so I was happy when they caught my eye, winked,  and called out "HELLOOO!"  Combine the sale with the gift card, and they were FREE!  It was a good afternoon, my friends.
When I got home we got ready to go out to dinner with our friends Lance and Mel (that's Contractor Lance to you).  We were celebrating the bathroom FINALLY being done.  One more picture, in case you missed it in an earlier post - but now the mirror is up!

They took us to their favorite Chinese restaurant in Los Alamitos.   Have you ever found the best little gem of a restaurant in the most random of places?  I mean, you know you're going to have good food at the beach or in San Francisco, or even at Olive Garden.  But this place was in an ugly little strip mall in Los Alamitos.  

And it was SO GOOD.  We had Walnut Shrimp, Orange Chicken, and a Chicken Vegetable dish.  The shrimp was the best - all buttery and creamy with these candies walnuts on the side.  YUM.  But that was not the best part of the night.  Afterwards, Lance and Mel decided to show us their OTHER favorite restaurant for dessert.  It's called Park Place and its kind of a dark little loungey kind of restaurant modeled after those types of places in the 60's.  They make all of their own ice cream.  I almost don't have to go on after that.  I ordered a chocolate parfait.  Chocolate ice cream layered with marshmallow (marshmallows that had been torched until melted so some of it was the creme, but then you'd come to some that was crunchy with that toasted taste.  HEAVEN) and these little crunchy bits of chocolate cookie.  It took all of my willpower to not completely lick the glass clean.  It's Sunday so I won't go back today.  But I want to go back tomorrow.  I'm not a real dessert-y person, but that was the BEST dessert I've had in I don't know how long.  Maybe EVER.
As I said, its Sunday.  So far a peaceful one (as it should be).  My only wish for today (other than clean sheets on the bed) is for a sunset stroll with the Mister down at the beach.  Next weekend, though, I'd like to have a bonfire and have dinner and s'mores with the waves in the background.  Salt air making our hair all wild and crazy, and bonfire smoke permeating everything.  I have a new s'more maker (a kind of wire basket with 3 separate compartments where you assemble the entire s'more and then toast 3 completely assembled s'mores at once over the fire) that I'm dying to use.  Anyone want to join us?


  1. I need one of those s'more makers! We use hangers and the kids are always losing theirs in the fire.

    The dessert sound amazing; the bathroom is gorgeous, and the beach would be perfect, although Heather says it's been pretty cold. I hope it warms up before we get there in two weeks.

    This was such a fun and interesting post. Loved it!


  2. Oh...and Sheri and Grandma are adorable!

  3. I love that picture of Sheri and Nana! WIsh I had one like it. I'm even more in LOVE with your new bathroom! I'm jealous really ;-) I notice one of my photos is on the shelf :) Is it the one of you and LaMar and Marchiquita?

  4. Me please! I'd love to come roast s'mores with you on the beach, except I live far far from the beach, bummer.
    The bathroom is gorgeous, and also will you be my personal shopper? I hate shopping, yes I said hate. I'm not the girliest of girls, in case you were wondering.


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