Our Fearless Blogger Turns 30

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My father apparently has a story that he doesn’t tell that often.

As in, my mother heard it for -the first time- last year.

Newfoundland gets the northern lights, but not with frequency (or so I’m told anyway). The night I was born he went outside and happened to look up.

I was born under a rare northern lights show.

It must not have impressed him that much. It took him 29 years to actually tell anyone.

I’ve decided that my 30s are going to the decade I do what I want. I don’t mean in the selfish, I’m going to turn into a brat sense. But if I want to buy a short sweater with 3 inches of lace on the bottom I’m going to do it (I did it this morning). If I want kona coffee, I’m getting kona. If I want to lose weight I’m going to. If I feel like blowing off a work out and watch Pure History, more power to me.

I am not who I am at 20. Some parts of me, I knew I would be there. Some parts would have blown my mind then (what do you mean, I’m going to make the decision to switch to modesty and cover my hair in public? Excuse me?), and some parts I just wouldn’t have ever seen coming. For that matter, I’m not who I was six months ago. I’m learning to be okay with that, and with okay with who I am. More importantly, I’m learning to be okay with who I was.

Hopefully, world, I’ll get to see you for another 30 years.

Beauty Babble-3/23

Purchases

…It’ll just be easier to show you photos for most of this. Swatch quality isn’t awesome, all under artificial light.

lipstickswatchesI went a little whackadoodle with the lipsticks this week. It’s like all the lipsticks are on sale right now (hey! Guys! Nyx is buy one, get one half off at Ulta until 4/4). I think I’m good with the size of my collection now-the Chaos was the one that I’ve been wanting for a couple of months.

Left to right wet and wild in the flesh, Ultra pink sunrise, wet and wild bare it all, nyx chaos, nyx Alabama, NYC sugar plum, ulta cappuccino, Rimmel Kate Moss 11

tartecomparisonLeft, Tarte Amazonian Clay in light beige, right, Tarte BB in light. The light is actually darker than my current Tarte shade, and slightly more orange. However, I actually picked this up for the summer and all of my other BBs are bordering on the too light side -now-, so I should be okay.

smudgepotsLeft, Elf smudge pot in Cruisin Chic, right, smudge pot in Brownie Points. I think that the terrible lighting is actually a benefit in this case-the shimmer shows up better.

Not pictured-

-Ulta creme shadow in Wisteria Lane

-Ulta mascara, Legendary Lengths? I think? in brownish black (staple)

-Elf blush brush (staple)

-Elf tweezers (staple)

-Walgreens brand cold cream (staple)

And the oddity of the week…

A Ball brand lotion pump for a regular mouth jar. My holy grail moisturizer is this handmade stuff I get at a festival that comes in a half pint jar. Which is great…until I realized I was having issues getting it out of the jar. The pump’s not really cheap but I’ll take the convenience factor for this one.

Beauty Tips

-I’m normally pretty good about checking my lipsticks before purchase, especially the unwrapped bullets. But I was excited to get to Ulta and a Nyx display-with Chaos-that I didn’t check it first.

Once I got it home, I realized that it had been used (dude. Seriously guys. There’s testers for a reason. Don’t be that guy). But! Cleaning bullet lipsticks is easy.

You need some rubbing alcohol or an alcohol wipe.

1. Wipe off the top layer of lipstick.

2. Gently rub the top of the lipstick with the alcohol.

Let dry and bam! Detoxed lipstick.

Discoveries

ultaYeah, so I know that Ulta isn’t exactly a discovery to the majority of the beauty world but I’ve never actually been inside one. Both Sephora and Ulta are out of the way enough that I need someone with a car to take me (remember, I don’t drive). And they were having sales. We know my track record with avoiding sales.

targetTarget is flipping their brands. They took out a chunk of the Cover Girl display at the local store and put in Wet and Wild and NYC. The Wet and Wild isn’t much to talk about since I have much larger displays I can access at Walgreens, but the NYC is not a common brand around here; I don’t normally use their products but maybe if there’s a sale. *I’ve heard rumors that Target is getting LA Colors. I did notice that they finally revamped the ELF display with a full restock-but the NYX is still just as much of a wasteland as ever.

How a Corgi Beat the Devil

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There is an old bridge in Wales, where the Devil was outwitted by a corgi.

According to the legend there was a gorge with a rickety bridge. An old woman walked her corgi over the bridge every day. She trusted the bridge, but did begin to wonder if her trust was being misplaced.

One day, a strange man stopped her. He made her an off-he would build her a bridge, a better bridge.

She said, ‘Well, this gorge is deep and steep. Only the angels or the Devil himself could build that bridge.’

The man smiled and said, ‘I’m no angel, but for the right price, I’ll build the bridge.’

The old woman shrugged and said ‘The only things I have left in this world are my soul and my dog.’

The man simply smiled and walked away. But the next morning when the old woman returned, there was a shining new bridge over the gorge.

The man stood on one side and the woman on the other. The man called over the expanse,

‘You told me you had two things in the world. I’d like to take one of them.’

‘And what would that be?’ The old woman called back.

‘Just the soul of the first being to cross the bridge.’

The old woman shrugged, and pulled out a crust of bread. Being a pudgy little thing, the corgi pricked up its ears. The old woman calmly tossed the bread across to the other side of the bridge. The corgi, too excited to notice the man-or being particularly over-concerned about the desires of the Devil-ran after the bread-thus becoming the first living thing to cross the bridge.

The man snarled and began stamping-stamping so hard, in fact, he stamped himself straight back into Hell.

They say the Devil knows his architecture, however, and the bridge is said to still stand to this day.

Balder

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It hit me earlier this week that if I waited too long to cast on a sweater, it could be years before I actually finish the thing.

I have one on needles that I started for Mid but I keep putting off working on it. I have a sort of quasi-realistic fear for doing so; I’m afraid I didn’t buy enough yarn and I haven’t had a chance to go get more. The dye lot will be different but I’m not above the alternating rows trick. Maybe I’ll do that this weekend.

Freya has seen some use recently, and I’m starting to put myself center in my life again, as opposed to everyone else and everyone else’s schedules. I don’t want to sound whiney but I’ve spent over a year trying to placate other people and it means that a lot of the stuff that I want to do has been pushed to the side. Anyway, point being, I’m working on spinning the yarn I’m calling Skadi for a sweater.

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Mid was out of town earlier this week and the urge to cast on a sweater was pretty overwhelming. I knew I wanted it oversized (at least, I would be okay with it being big) and sort of boxy, like a man’s sweater. And I wanted it to have cables.

I found the Balder pattern which I feel like is a good fit against what I had in my head. I’m knitting the men’s small (which I hope will fit, I’m hoping my math didn’t come out wonky).

My only main issue isn’t with the pattern. I’m alternating commercial and handspun, and the commercial I’m knitting with is definitely not a heavy worsted/knit on size 7 like the ball band suggests. Whenever I switch over to the commercial there’s a definite gauge difference and a loose row. The upside being is that it has happened so frequently it’s now a design element.

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Pumpkin Bread with Whiskey and Raisins

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I understand the point of seasonal cooking.

I also understand that if I’m working only with the seasonal food available at this time of the year, I’m going to be eating a healthy well rounded diet of rock salt and pot holes.

One of the joys of home food preservation is the ability to still eat local (or localish) and be out of season. I have bags of pumpkin in the freezer, and I love pumpkin year round. I’m not one to limit a flavor to one season or another.

I bought raisins months ago with the intention of making soul cakes but never got that far. I melt my butter with the coffee when I make recipes like this, so I just dumped my dried out raisins in that pot to let them plump up again a little.

Note:

I used a Pyrex baking pan and it took forever to bake because everything takes forever to bake in that pan. I think I finally pulled it at the 1 1/2 hour mark.

Pumpkin bread with whiskey and raisins (modified slightly from Simply Recipes)

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 shot whiskey

1 tea baking soda

1 tablespoon pumpkin spice

2 eggs

1/4 cup hot coffee

1 stick butter, melted

2 tea molasses

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350

Mix all wet (sugar, eggs, molasses, butter, coffee, pumpkin, whiskey)

Mix all dry excluding raisins and chocolate

Mix both together till just combined

Add chocolate and raisins

Place into a 9×5 bread pan

Bake 45-60 minutes

Beauty Babble-3/16

I hate these frames and the lenses never stay clean for more than 30 seconds. I can't wait to replace them.

I hate these frames and the lenses never stay clean for more than 30 seconds. I can’t wait to replace them.

The most selfie selfie that has ever selfied. But it feels weird to post one of these without a photo now.

Empties and Purges

Clean and Clear Morning Burst scrub-finally made it through the travel size I bought last month. I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. I replaced it with a diy scrub for the sake of holding to my low buy. Empty

Paintbox Soapbox Blackbird, sample size-I love this scrub. I want a full sized version at some point. I need to work down the rest of my scrub stash, and I have piles of BPAL that I can use for scrubs so it might be awhile first. Empty

Notes- “Deep & heady & a little bit wild, Blackbird blends herbaceous lavender with dark resins, sweet tonka bean & musk, & an earthy bite of clary sage & patchouli.”

Purchases

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ELF white label blush, Innocent/Innocence-I don’t remember the actual name of this blush. I am on a cosmetic low buy, and am bribing myself with cosmetics to exercise. It turns out that this is combination is good for me, but I’m willing enough to exercise for eyeshadow that I was actually still purchasing it at the same rate I was prior. I’ve shifted the bribe to every four days worth of exercise instead of three.

So this was my only purchase this week. I didn’t own a blusher prior.

Reviews and Impressions

(What I think about recent purchases)

Wet and Wild Just Peachy lipstick-I don’t know. It’s very patchy and the formula looks weird on my skin. The rest of the line doesn’t seem to do this, and it doesn’t matter what state my lips are in prior. But I love the color. I might keep it until I can find another brand in a similar color with a better formula.

ELF white label blush, Innocent/Innocence-I bought this as my exercise bribe this week. I don’t have a lot (read: any) experience with blush, so I went with a low grade lighter shade just to practice/see if I even like the look.

My curse of buying colors that are -the exact shade of my skin- strikes again. I do this with neutral eye shadows all the time. This shade is about half a shade lighter than the pink of my skin through my foundation. So…I can’t actually comment on the quality/pigmentation because I know it’s doing something, I look less like a corpse in photos-but that’s about it. I’m using it as eyeshadow as well and I do like it that way.

Pond’s BB Cream-I keep reaching for this one so I must like it. But I don’t like the scent and I’m not seeing a huge difference over my normal bare skin (I’m aware that it’s an American BB and therefore there’s not going to be a huge shift).

Wet and Wild Fergie Take on the Day Primer-I love this primer. I totally get the hype now. I know that eye shadows should be fine on their own, but I am getting so much better function out of my really cheap shadows that I’ve been hoarding with this primer. My problems really have been that it turns out that I really do prefer grippy, not slippery, primers. I want to try the shimmer one now.

Elf smudge pot, Cruising Chic- Again with the buying products the color of my skin. I love this product though, it goes on so much more smoothly than Color Tattoos. This is the only color I’ve managed to find outside of Walmart, which angers me because I love it but I want one that’s either much darker or lighter than this one, because it really does blend into my skin.

Panning Project

panning314*Photo is filtered with terrible lighting, but I’m not going for color accuracy with these photos*

I’m not going to set myself up for failure; I don’t think that I’m going to be able to pan anything other than the BB or the moisturizer.

I’m aiming to use as much of these as I can before the end of the year. For the palettes there are specific colors I’m attempting to use the most-the second lightest nude in the four pan is the color I’ve been using as a transition shade and the white in the second shade is the color I’ve been using as a colored shadow base.

The only product that I would say that I’m actually unhappy with and might give me problems is that lip balm. Some days I love it, some days I hate it. It’s the only product I dream of replacing for the sake of replacing it and not because I just want more options. Even the under performing blush doesn’t bother me as much as that lip balm.

On the Ghosts of Mothers and Saving Children

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The connection between motherhood and the grave is one of those trends that likes to repeat itself through world folklore in various forms. The connection is not always pleasant; one of the earliest entries in this column is la llorona, the crying woman in white who was cursed to wander after drowning her children.

There is a story that is going around Facebook right now about a child who was rescued from a car crash. These things happen all the time, unfortunately (the crash is unfortunate, not the act being saved, by the way). The problem with the story is that the rescue crews report hearing her mother crying for help-but her mother was already dead by the time that she would have been yelling for the crews to get to her child.

I’m a skeptical believer, meaning, I do believe in the potential for life after death and I’m not ruling out ghosts. I am however one to hold the evidence to a fairly high standard-and there’s a lot to this story that I don’t believe. One of the major issues I have with this story is that this is already a well established folkloric theme.

One of the most common variations on the ghost mother and the crash legends has the ghost of the mother actually being seen. There is a variation featured on Paranormal Witness where the ghost, oddly, is naked-I love that show but I’ve always thought that was a weird editorial choice. Modern versions of the legend center around cars and car crashes, though there’s no reason to think that the legend doesn’t have other crashes or accidents at their center; however, I think that cars are especially common since the crash is normally smaller and more ‘personal’ in that it would be easier for a witness to be brought to the crash site as opposed to say, a plane crash, which would be larger and much more visible.

However, variations of this legend do extend back before the rise of automobile culture with roots found in multiple traditions. The mother would appear to clergy, doctors, or other members of the authorities, lead them back to their child, and then disappear-only to be found dead at the site. Some versions are even more connected to the grave-the parent was dead for -years- before appearing to the priest; I have read some versions where the fact that a woman a priest had buried a decade earlier appeared on his doorstep was the reason he decided to follow through with her request.

I’m not claiming that the rescue crews didn’t hear anything. I do think though that there’s a part of us that may want these things to happen more than they actually do happen.

Was car crash baby saved by her dead mother’s ghost?

Ghostly Rescue