One of the many cons to living out in the middle of nowhere is that you are surrounded by trees. Now, to all of you city folk, this sounds like a good thing, and I guess it is in a way. But if you actually did it, you'd find out the many ways that it sucks. For one things, lots of trees means a shit load of leaves. You cannot imagine the number of leaves we have to rake/leaf blow around here come October. We have about four acres of land, and most of it is covered in leaves. We're talking taking entire weekends just to clean off the leaves. Ick. Plus, in summer, trees are absolute hell to deal with during thunderstorms. For one thing, limbs break off and land on power lines, thus knocking out our electricity. And trees serve as big ole lightening rods which can mean that lightening strikes your house and savagely murders just about every electrical device you own.
Which is a long of saying that I had no internet for about two weeks while things were being repaired. What did I do during that span? Well, read for one (which was a good thing). And spent many a lazy hour at the pool. And bought stuff. Whether this was a good thing, I'm not sure. At any rate, here are just a few of the things I bought and would recommend.
1. Physician's Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation I read about this stuff in Health magazine, and thought it would fit my lifestyle well. It is SPF 50, which is wonderful for my pale skin. Especially given that I have a rather spotty record of remembering to put sunscreen on my face during the day. I know that every magazine everywhere tells you to do it, but I'm absolutely crap at remembering. I have bought countless moisturizers and things like that to help me remember, but I either end up not liking the formula (too greasy, too smelly, etc.) or I forget about it too after a while. However, I would tend not to forget my make-up (which is pretty vain of me), so this is a good fit. I looked for it and found it at Ulta. One caveat to this is the packaging. It is encased in a little plastic cube, so you can't pull it out and look at it, and you can't see what color you are buying. Not cool. However, I always get the lightest thing I can find, so I bought it, sight unseen. And the color is...nice. It is a little pale, even for me, but I can wear it, and my husband says it matches my neck well (he has this pet peeve about people's make up not matching their neck). I would say that it is even a little paler than the same shade of Physician's Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer, which is my daily summer make-up. The coverage is good--heavier than the moisturizer, but it is not too much, even for summer. It does leave the skin feeling silky, which is good. Overall, it looks really good under some Nars bronzer--it smoothes out the skin and gives me a good pallette for my other make-up.
So I tested this at my town's all-day 4th of July festival. I put it over some primer (Philosophy The Present--a really old tube, if I remember correctly) because I knew I would be out all day. I took my kids to the pool and then to the park for the festival. Then I came home to fix supper and change out of my wet bathing suit before going back for music and fireworks. When I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I noticed that I didn't really need any touch-ups. It was still on, and looked pretty good. That is saying something, given that I had spent the better part of my day trying to teach a six year old how to do various water tricks. Granted, I did not immerse my face in water ever (we stayed in the 3-4 foot), but I did sweat and exert myself. Plus, I was burn free. Not even the least bit of ruddiness or burn on my cheeks. You gotta love that.
If you know what color you would normally buy, this is a good bet, and perfect for shepherding kids around. I definitely recommend.
2. Ecotools Bamboo Brushes. On that same trip to Ulta, I picked up some of these brushes. I got the eye set and a big fluffy blusher brush. Now, I needed brushes like WOAH. I bought these because of the eco-ness (I had just read a fantastic article about bamboo and how fast it grows and all of that) and because they were cheap. My other brushes are Sonia Kashuk from Target, and yes I know that you are supposed to spend money on brushes, but I'm sorry. I just can't. I would rather spend it on the actual make-up. Oh well--we'll call it a character flaw. Anyway, I like these. A lot. I especially like these little eye tools. There are six brushes in the case, and they are each labeled on the handle with what you should do with them. That I liked a lot, because I end up just using them for whatever I want and then get mad when I don't get the results I like. This is a gentle reminder to do things the right way. Plus the case is cute and packs up nicely--awesome since I am going on two week long trips this summer. So if you are in the market for new brushes, I would recommend these. They might not compete with something fancy, but they get the job done, and the price is right.
3. Boon Snack Ball Container. This definitely goes in the file of "Where was this thing when I had my other two kids?" This thing is great, and I almost feel stupid about saying that because it is so simple. It is just a hard plastic ball that you put snacks in. Yup. I had been packing snacks for Alice in plastic baggies to take to the pool, and that is a habit I would like to get out of because a) it is bad for the environment and b) her snacks would always get broken/smashed when they got sent to the bottom of the pool bag. No such problem with this thing. Plus, it is easy to find in a crowded bag. Also, it can double as a toy in a pinch--Alice loved gnawing on it and passing it from hand to hand for a while during a trip to the zoo. One caveat--she dropped it while we were sitting at a picnic table on the same trip, and because we were sitting on a gentle incline, it rolled for a good ways before I caught up with it, something my husband found rather funny. But, it definitely is nice. I have bought a couple now, and yes, they are also awesome.
4. Gap Long and Lean Jeans. I have owned these jeans before, way back when I was a size 14, and well, they weren't my favorites. There were some gapping issues, and for some reason, the crotch just seemed long. Like disturbingly long. I remember wearing them in the Las Vegas airport and feeling like something was rubbing my upper thigh in a very uncomfortable way, and well, it was the crotch. I really should have returned them, but I got them for Christmas, and just didn't feel like going through the hassle. I had kind of marked them off the denim hemisphere, and then I saw them on a blog, and decided to try them again. This time, I went to the store, and tried on. The 6's (my normal size in jeans) were too big, so I ended up getting the 4's. This, my friends, is vanity sizing at its finest/most annoying. On no planet should I be a size 4. However, they look AWESOME. Like I actually look long and lean and well, I'm neither. Despite my weight loss, I'm still curvy as all get out--big boobs (partly from nursing), smaller waist, and larger hips. These fit and flatter that.
And the next best thing is that they come in white. Now, I don't know about you ladies, but to me summer is all about the white clothing. I love white pants, white jeans, white shorts, white skirts, you name it. And these are some perfect white pants. They are very flattering. And you can really wear them with a variety of tops. I've done a shorter tunic (kind of knockoff Tory Burch from Target), t-shirts, even colorful ribbed tanks, and they look good and not in a I'M WEARING WHITE PANTS kind of way. So if you are looking for white pants, check them out.
One caveat though--I'm short and wear the ankle lengths in the blue jeans. However, there are no ankle lengths in the white ones, and they are long. I ordered a petite from the website.