Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Another holiday...

Enjoy!  These are the times we can choose to either bond with those we love or shut them out.  What will you choose?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beauty ideals= Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Vault

We all have our ideals...different interests...passions...tastes and desires.  One of mine over the past year has been make-up.  It wasn't much of a passion prior and might fade.  For now I love colors and textures, sparkles and mattes, cheeks and lips, and the eyeshadows!  Variety and playing around with different combinations.  Fun, distracting, compelling and not too time consuming.

I'd say that while potentially more expensive than my book obsession, it's not as crippling financially as some hobbies.  So meet my newest bargain and heart's desire...the Urban Decay 24/7 pencil Vault.  For a mere $295 plus tax (free shipping) I got all 40 shades of their a "vault" of which only 50 were sold.

Luxury?  Oh, my yes.  But make-up I actually wear so I will put this to use.  Eventually.  For not it's too pretty to touch.  Maybe I'll get this picture framed.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil Vault - snagged it!

Urban Decay this morning launched their new 24/7 eyeliner pencil Vault.  It has 40 pencils, with 13 new shades and 15 shades brought back from previous collections/limited editions.  The balance of the shades were already available.  I am using a copyrighted picture above...because I don't have a Vault yet so this posting...or at least the picture....might need to be taken down.

My links on this blog NEVER cut and paste for a review of the new colors by Musings of a Muse, a great beauty blogger.

Why am I writing this...given that I am not a beauty blogger!  I managed to buy out of the 50 made available this morning!  And I'm thrilled.  And they've been shipped...soon I'll have my own photos.  I'm actually writing to increase the competition for products like this...not decrease it.  How did I manage to score this very limited edition product?  I had read about the Vault and how Urban Decay only made it to show...then decided to sell some and to be released this morning actually on the Musings of a Muse site.  Until this morning UD didn't say that they'd only have 50 for sale...and I think to buy you actually had to enter their Facebook contest to win 2 Vaults (one for a friend and one for you).  I was sitting at my computer when the email came in...I'm on the UD mailing list...and I clicked right through...couldn't find the sets for sale on the UD site so entered the Facebook contest then saw the link to the ones on sale.  They were out of stock within minutes.

Do I need 40 eye pencils?  No, I really don't.  But UD pencils are my favorite and with a daughter at the age of just starting to wear makeup I have plenty of eager recipients for any I don't wear.  I'm set for birthday gifts for her friends for a long while.  And I get to pick my favorites of the new isn't like I don't actually use and wear makeup....

Will they be restocked?  UD allows for signing up to be alerted if they do.  I suspect when they said 50 would be available they really meant 50 ever.  But all the shades are for sale on the UD site!!!  So no one need miss out on their preferred colors.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Detroit: An American Autopsy Review

I love this book.

Part of my fascination/interest is that I live in a city which hasn't sunk quite to Detroit levels but according to many (of the smart people I know) isn't so far off the course.  How does an American city, once the epitome of progress and prosperity, sink to a level not so far from the futuristic unrealities of Mad Max.

Okay, I'm dramatizing as does this book.  Beautifully.  Leduff is a journalist who returns to his home town to find wreckage and despair.  A journalist still, he documents the numbers....the rapid decline in population, white flight, murders, poverty and on.  Bad schools with low graduation rates and literacy.  unemployment.  But he also lets his anger shine through and writes honestly about what he sees.

Does the book have flaws?  Yes, sometimes Leduff is writing out of emotion which is so engaging but perhaps biased?  But he isn't writing for a newspaper here...he's writing a story and it shines.  I got all I expected out of the book and more.  Leduff is really funny, if perhaps sometimes only darkly so.

He will/should win a major prize for this book.  I love this book.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Book proof and a new Smashbox red lipstick

What a great day!  I got a book proof and a new Smashbox red lipstick in the mail today (lipstick in Legendary....never tried it before but I love it!).  Yes, I need to actually "proof" the offering but it's so cool to see your work in book form.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jacqueline Novogratz and Escaping Poverty (of All Kinds)

Stunning video, inspiring  message and a lesson to us all.  Doing other research I stumbled on this and I'm so glad I did.  Stop to think for a minute...then go back to your day.  For me and for you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How you do this is how you do everything

That's the Soul Cycle mantra ( links in this blog never work).

I've been doing less yoga and more spinning...friends introduced something I guess I need right now.  And both the yoga and the Soul Cycle classes push the empowerment of doing something positive for yourself.  And how we do one thing really is emblematic of how we do others.  Put in your effort or slack off?  Turn the level up on your bike or skate?  Embrace challenges or avoid them?

But my Maha Yoga and my Soul Cycle both provide one thing...a coach, mentor or guide...pick your word so you don't need to be motivated alone.  They encourage, coax, demand, praise and push.  Life is easier when you aren't alone.  But don't we get credit too for reaching out to those who pick us up when our own efforts lag?  March is my month to be me...and I'm embracing those as well who help me be me.  Thank you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Low Expectations - Aim higher

Today was a day of low expectations.  People telling me what can’t be done not what can (okay, not everyone).  But it was also a day of facing an epiphany that I don’t have to.  We strive and fight.  Sometimes we don’t want to.
I shot video today…finally!  But forgot to turn my microphone on.  Lost time.  Or rehearsal.  Lot’s of that.  Or, I also shot at a wrong angle and can now do better today.  All that work lost….all that opportunity to do better.  I still have tomorrow.
We all fail.  I also heard of low expectations after being at Soul Cycle – which is all about pushing yourself to do better and work harder and achieve more.  If we don’t ask more of people we guarantee that they won’t achieve much.  I’m going to follow up with a few people who need some guidance in a minute.
Low expectations raise no boats.  Aim higher.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Why older is sometimes better...and not everything should be thrown out when it's gotten old (and soft).

I'm crazy about old things.  The writer or romantic in me?  My stash of jewelry from an estate sale...including a ring my children hate (I love!).  Old music.  We have an old crumbling album of records we bought in a used book sale (my kids wanted that...never seen records before).  My favorite sweater, the grey one I always wear, that has seen better days.

Today I bought a stack of vintage t-shirts - rock band ones - and sweaters rescued and made cool.  Studs, rips, patches, skeletons and even glistening things.  To my defense, they were on sale and deeply discounted.  I'm in heaven.  The best thing is, so is my daughter.  They were "rescued" by a super cool trendy clothing store that markets to the young, like her.  Am I too old for them, since I'm about the same vintage as they are...and they've been made cooler than me?

Who cares.  They're so soft.  And they have history.  How much more fun than something I picked up at the Gap (not that I don't love the Gap).

Vintage.  Old is often better than friends, in wine, in houses, in manners, in books, and in history.  So what if I look like a geek.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Safe Haven by Nicolas Sparks

Yes, I've been reading the girlie mushy stuff lately.  One book is leading to another and I'm finding that I'm liking them (I've also been reading a futurist on the brain and learning; how technology is saving the planet and people; and Joe Kennedy so all is not light and rainbows).

But I'm liking the fluff.

Safe Haven is so great!  Well written?  Absolutely.  I'm not a regular Sparks reader but as he does camp out at number one I periodically pick up a book here and again.  In this one, our heroine's story dribbles out.  An ex-abused wife she catches the eye of a widower with two young children.  I'm only 20 percent in (Kindle!) but I can see the sparks starting to fly as two reluctant and hurt people begin to reach out to someone else new.

Ouch!  At my age most of us have at least a scar or two so how can I not feel for them?

Okay, will this book ever go down as the greatest in history?  No.  But it does have a movie and top seller status.  It's sensitive, vibrant, vivid and just enjoyable.  Who could ask for more.  Not a regular with Mr. Sparks I absolutely adore him anyway.

I'll let you know if the next 80 percent turns out to disappoint or enthrall.

Fun stuff!

Friday, March 8, 2013


Red is my word of the day.  Indeed, it's been my mood of the year..the year of the snake.  I'm a low drama girl but must say I'm feeling drama this year.

Red of revolution?  Seemingly?  And of awareness too.

I prefer less of a contrast in life...but for seems the message.

Pushing, striving, judging, daring and letting go of fears.  Maybe that's all part of getting older and letting the young take over.

All I know is that there is so much to feel and do right now.  We should all embrace that opportunity.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Facing fears and beating them

I faced a fear today and won.

Not a big believer in limitations I nonetheless put them on myself sometimes.  I get lazy and don't push myself.  Making an effort all the time gets so tiring....

But for one day at least I did it, beat the fear and accomplished something I wasn't sure I could do (even while doing it).

So for tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Local elections today....for mayor, to hike our sales tax (to 9.5%?) and school board, among other local matters. Most people don't vote in such local elections which makes turnout all that more important. The one who can mobilize voters can win, even if most people don't agree with their beliefs or policies. Obviously turnout varies widely but I think it hovers as low as in the 20 percent range.

A mostly one party city these days, we only have one Republican running for the mayor's office: Kevin James. Wendy Greuel or Eric Garcetti is favored to win, with votes splitting between them (which might not be enough to help a city with such a large percentage of Democrats).

I'm curious regarding whether the sales tax hike will pass. To the highest in the country? Ugh. That should help consumption...I end my shopping today and have stocked up!

A great book is titled "The Myth of The Rational Voter" ( which details why voters choose bad policies on a regular basis. And they do. A combination of factors contribute but one of the biggest ones is not knowing or understanding (or researching) the basic being more easily swayed by those who market best. Alas, we do it. Do we have an obligation to be informed and involved citizens? I'd argue that we do. Blessed with democracy, we all have an obligation to protect it (or have no one to blame but ourselves if we lose it).

Propaganda is alive and well in this fair county. So will voters hike the sales tax? We shall see.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Why $8 sale lipstick matters

Cosmetic obsessed lately? Yes. But I like the bright and shiny colors. And I began reselling some of my unwise purchases on eBay, made money and got intrigued by what sells and what doesn't.

And I have a lasting memory of reading Estee Lauder's biography when I was about ten. She attributed her success to touching her customers, putting makeup on and giving away gifts, especially bright lipstick. She found that women, when coming out of a bad period, gravitated to lipstick and started wearing it again. Bright colors cheered them.

So makeup isn't all cosmetic. How we care for and adorn ourselves reflects how we feel inside.

Too Faced has a sale ongoing now ( ...though my links never work on this blog). Their discontinued lipstick line is marked down to $8 from $20. I bought a bunch. And I intend to enjoy playing. For not a lot of money I can both re-engage my inner child (finger paints) and make myself feel good. Sometimes $8 can buy a lot, especially when you feel like you're getting a bargain.

Long live bright colors.