Marine Corps Nail Art

Came across this really cool USMC nail art as I was browsing online. Seemed appropriate to post today. Happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

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Picture courtesy of I Feel Polished

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Random Day Off Thoughts

Life is too precious to stress about things that you have no control over. With so much ugliness in the world, it’s up to us to appreciate the beauty all around us. We need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and some of us spiritually to be able to be strong for our loved ones when needed. Toxicity comes in different forms and through different people. Stay away from it; when you let toxicity play with your emotions and your heart, you only make decisions and taking routes that end up hurting you in the long run. Open you eyes and ears to awaken that part of you that feels you deserve better. And go after what is better. Those supportive of you, your family, and goals will be nothing but positive and honest. Even if it hurts your feelings. Life isn’t easy, for those that think it is, aren’t truly living. We have to be the best we can at what we’re good at. There’s a reason we each have the talents we do. Don’t waste them.

Random day off thoughts…

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Texas Sunset-Laguna Madre

Foundation Makeup & Skin Care Tips

For those that wear makeup, applying foundation is an essential part of  your makeup routine. Not only does it cover light blemishes and scars, foundation also evens out the skin tone, giving it a smooth and uniform appearance. To get a uniform and radiant look, the foundation should be applied all over the face and neck. By adding a shine and glow to the skin, it gives a young and healthy look, besides preparing the skin for further makeup application. Nonetheless, with so many makeup foundations available in the market, it becomes pretty difficult to choose the one that suits your skin type. You have foundations available in different tints, shades, coverage and composition. Listed below are different types of foundations to choose from.

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Liquid Foundation
Easy application makes liquid foundations a popular choice among the women. Being lightweight, these foundations blend well with the skin, allowing it to capture the moisture easily. They are available in the form of thick liquid in bottles, in oil-based and water-based formulas, to suit the different types of skin. Those having dry or wrinkled skin should opt for an oil-based foundation, while those having a normal skin should pick up a water-based foundation. Women with oily skin can choose from water based or oil-free foundation.

Cream Foundation
These thick and creamy formulas contain oil and are best suited for women having normal or extra dry skin. Since they are thick, they cover larger areas of blemishes and scars, and offer more moisture to the skin as compared to other foundation types. By leaving the skin smooth and glossy, these foundations can be used as concealers as well. They are available in stick, compact or tube forms.

Cake or Stick Foundation
Women with oily skin can best resort to cake or stick foundations, as they provide a matt finish, leaving the skin oil-free. They can even be used as a substitute to concealers, as such foundations mask the blemishes and skin flaws perfectly. They can best be used for photo shoots, stage and drama, since they provide a heavier coverage for a longer duration. However, women with dry and normal skin should keep away from such foundations, as they tend to leave the skin dry and blotchy.

Powder Foundation
Women who do not apply makeup frequently can get hold of powder foundation, as they are dry and contain no moisture. Easy to use, they highlight a natural look. Powder foundations are available in two variants, namely, loose powder form and pressed powder form. Loose powder foundations are used for fixing the foundation and makeup by giving a finishing touch to it. They are best applied on oily skin. All that one needs to do is dip the applicator brush into the powder and gently buff onto the skin. Alternatively, pressed powder foundation are available in compact forms and are used for giving touch ups to the applied foundation. Though they can be used on all skin types, they are best suited for oily skin.

Mineral Foundation
Go natural with mineral foundations! Made from finely ground minerals extracted from the earth, mineral foundations are natural and can be safely applied on all skin types. Available as loose powders, mineral foundations can be applied in both wet and dry methods. Simply dip your applicator brush into it and dab it evenly onto your skin for a neat, uniform and flawless look thereafter. Be cautious of those look mineral makeups made with talc, which clogs the skin.

Waterproof Foundation
If you are one of those who cannot avoid the foundation even in hot and humid weather, then waterproof foundation is your pick. While extremely scorching heat runs your foundation into sweat, the rainy season is not behind in whipping away your makeup. Waterproof foundations, on the other hand, are a rescue for both hot and damp weathers. Available in both liquid and cream forms, they leave your skin fresh and glowing throughout the day.

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Other Foundations Types:
Spray Foundation
Cream-to-Powder Foundation
Liquid-to-Powder Foundation
Tinted MoisturizerMousse/Whipped Foundation

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Frugal Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Cook breakfast for him
Begin father’s day by amazing your hubby with a delicious breakfast. You can have the breakfast either in your bed or in your dining room. Just make sure to prepare your man’s favorite morning meal. Give yourself adequate time for the planning, so you can amaze your spouse by waking him up to the tasty scent of coffee or perhaps food inside your bedroom or across the dining area. Along with the food, you may also need to place additional touches by putting a vase filled with lovely, flowers on the table or perhaps tray, the daily magazine, and some sugar and milk.

Take him to a professional game.
Almost all men love watching professional baseball or basketball games. In case your man is one of those who enjoy watching these types of games on television, you could also delight him by giving him seat tickets to a real live game on father’s day. You may also go and watch the game together with your partner, so he can appreciate it with you. Your man will definitely love this great father’s day surprise.

Take your husband out
Find a baby sitter, or request one of your loved ones to look at your children on the night of father’s day, so that you can go and have a date with your partner. Take your husband to a restaurant which you know he likes. After that, you could then watch a film he would enjoy, or perhaps watch a live music group, go dancing, sightseeing, walking in the park, or whatever activity that your husband loves doing.

Do a few of your husband’s household chores
You can also pamper your husband on father’s day by performing some of his household tasks. If your man is in charge of the yard work or perhaps the dishes, you can perform a few of these duties for him. You may also do these types of duties days before father’s day, so he can truly rest on that special day. Since it is “father’s day”, you may also ask your kids to help around if they are old enough to do some of the tasks.

There are various fathers day gift ideas you can choose from, such as clothes, a football cap, a glass with his picture on it, cuff links, a couple of tools, a customized company card holder, or a pretty pen. The gift should not be as expensive as the gift items you buy for him during Xmas or birthday celebrations, as long as you know he’ll love it.

Making him the center of attention on his special will surely be a perfect father’s day.

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*Frugal Father’s Day Gifts*

1. Shaving Kit
2. Personalized Message Key Chain
3. His favorite BBQ Sauce
4. Beer Mugs
5. Money Clip
6. Six-Pack Holder

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*Other Father’s Day Ideas*
1. Tablet Case
2. New Stylish Hat
3. Some Stone
4. Body Care Products
5. New Pair of Jeans
6. Beer Holder
7. New Tunes or Movies

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Texas Hill Country’s Hidden Lavender Treasure

texas lavender farmsWith the 2014 Lavender Festival coming up this weekend (June 13-15 2014, Fri. 12pm-6pm, Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-4pm) thought I’d share the experience of our Hill Country road trip to Blanco, Texas where we attended the 8th Annual Blanco Lavender Festival. The town of Blanco (which means “white” in Spanish) was named for the limestone hills and banks along the river there. On our way up highway 281 we enjoyed the view of the hills, orchards, wineries, and even a few deer crossing the road. This was my first time visiting Blanco; usually I just pass right through. I was so amazed at how much beauty this little town has, from the Blanco River running through it to the small downtown strip of antique shops, local restaurants, and other small businesses. After having some yummy breakfast tacos at El Puerto Restaurant, it was time to make our way to the festival.

Blanco Lavender FestivalThe Festival

As always, the husband found a great parking spot on Main Street, our first stop (right across the street from where we parked & not on the festival grounds) was at the Blanco River Lavender Company booth, these lovely ladies were setting up and getting everything ready for the fest.  We then made our way to the information booth at the festival (where I couldn’t help but buy a Lavender Fest themed t-shirt, cap, & lunch bag), which was located on the grounds of the Old Blanco County Courthouse. There we were greeted by some of the sweet local women of Blanco. They were very helpful in giving us the best way to fit visiting the farms and the enjoying the fest all in one day.  As excited as we were to visit the farms, we were sadly informed that only 3 out of 8 lavender farms made it this year due to the drought last year.  Hearing news such as that made us really look forward to visiting the farms; we made it to 2 of them. As we walked towards the fest booths, it was kind of hard to choose where to start. Everything smelled so good and looked interesting to see. Lots of art, crafts, food vendors, music, local beer, Texas & Lavender specialty foods…you wouldn’t know where to begin either! But being the “spa junkie” that I am, the first thing that caught my eye was a booth filled with lavender products!

Lavender Margarita Mix MimosasAt Heron’s Nest Herb Farms’ booth, we met farmer, Mrs. Melanie Van Aken, not only did she have her products (lavender bath & body, pet care, & home care) for retail; she was also selling lavender cookies, brownies, and lavender tea.  The 2nd stop was Wimberley Lavender Farm’s booth, gorgeous cobalt blue bottles filled with lavender spa products & homemade soaps; I was like a kid in a candy store!  My poor husband probably thought he was going to be a guinea pig (as always!) for some kind of lavender spa creation I’d come up with. Other nearby fest goers were enjoying the Lavender Lemonade that was at the booth.   Still walking through the fest, we were approached to try this lavender bubbly adult beverage, though it may have been 11:00am, how could we say no to a glass of fizzy, sparkling purple stuff!   While sipping on our lavender mimosas (made with Miller Creek Lavender Margarita Mix) the Sanaloma Laser booth caught my husband’s eye.  I have to say we were both quite impressed with their work. The Georgetown, Texas Company creates all kinds of really cool 3D wooden models. They are great gifts for all ages; you must check out their online store, I know my husband is going to order a couple of things since they did make Military themed models.  Lavender Margarita Mix

Another booth my husband enjoyed was San Antonio’s very own Photo2wood. They use state of the art equipment to turn your photos into a wooden masterpiece. The festival was not only packed with vendors of all sorts, it also had many special guests speakers (including Jeannie Ralston, founder of Hill Country Lavender, the first lavender farm in Texas, and author of “The Unlikely Lavender Queen” ) educating on the history, uses, growing tips, and how to cook with lavender.

Learning about LavenderLush Lavender Learning

Being in the beauty & spa industry for 19 years, I have become a huge fan of lavender, I use it just about every day. Not only does its soothing aroma make my clients happy, it also has many benefits.  It’s used in many beauty products, so you can see why I am such a fan of this little purple bloom. Lavender has therapeutic and antiseptic qualities, it’s known as an effective remedy to combat restlessness, insomnia, cure headaches, ease anxiety, soothe stress, and promote relaxation. The lavender herb is also used for bug bites, burns, skin disorders, to relieve itching, rashes, and reduce swelling. Another lavender fact is that it is also an effective cleanser when added to bath water and for washing hair. It is claimed that lavender, due to its antibacterial and antifungal qualities, kills head lice and other scalp infections. Hence, lavender is seen to be effective in combating balding and promoting hair growth. Also, the lavender herb has been effectively used as an antiseptic for the treatment of acne. Another use for lavender is as a floor cleaner, and also for cleaning counter surfaces and bathrooms. Again, it works effectively due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties and it also gives out a pleasant fragrance to cleaned surfaces. Now you know why you see many cleaning products on the market that are lavender infused.

Texas Fields of Lavender Hill Country Lavender Farm

Native to the Mediterranean, (Latin root name: Lavandula. Lavare (to wash) Livendula (livid or bluish)) Lavender, is grown all over the world, lucky us, it’s right here in our beautiful Hill Country. The first farm we visited was Miller Creek Lavender.  The farm offers 3 acres of lavender, a variety garden with over 70 varieties, butterfly garden, blackberries, picnic tables/benches, granite sand trails, plenty of parking, and a gift shop filled with lavender food products, lavender bath and body products, books, pottery, t-shirts, ball caps, and much more. There was even lavender colored port o’potties with a hand washing station, which I thought was pretty cool. Owners Karen & Don Roets were very welcoming and had a spread of their lavender edible goodies. We tasted Lavender Strawberry Lemonade, Lavender Strawberry Jam (we liked this so much we took some home, Yummy!), Lavender Raspberry Chipotle Salsa, Lavender White Wine Jelly, & Lavender Jalapeño Mustard, each had their own unique flavors. Tasting all these Texas treats and enjoying the view of the lavender farm, made them even more enjoyable.  Remember that lavender bubbly we drank at the fest? We found the Lavender Margarita Mix it’s made with…yes, you know a bottle of the purple pleasure went home with us, let’s see how long it lasts! Ha-ha

Hill Country Lavender StoreThe next farm we visited was Texas’ 1st Commercial Lavender Farm. Another beautiful sight to see, this farm is next to an orchard, and has an amazing view of hills and live oaks. The farm has more than 2,500 lavender plants spread in neat rows across a 2 acre hilltop where visitors are invited to cut their own lavender throughout the season. Their farm store carries a complete line and over 70 of lavender products, including soaps, sachets, lotion, linen spray, eye pillows, bubble bath, lavender essential oil, & much more. I think I did the most damage at this store! Who’s ready for a Lavender Facial? My husband and I thought we’d see how well our “green-thumb” would do and bought our own lavender plant at this farm for our yard; they even give you growing easy to follow instructions when you purchase a plant. The girl who rung up our goodies said the lavender plant survives off neglect. I have never been the gardening type of girl, so there is a good chance of our lavender plant living forever. Ha-ha

The River Runs Through It Blanco River State Park

After our lavender adventure, the lavender kicked in and we were relaxed, we decided to have a picnic and enjoy the scenery of the Blanco River at Blanco State Park. The park is 104.6 acres located along the Blanco River in Blanco County. The land was deeded by private owners in 1933 before the park was opened in 1934. The park area was used as a campsite by early explorers and settlers. A spring in the park made the location ideal when the river was dry.  This park is very well kept and clean; we sat in a picnic area under shady oak and pecan trees watching geese, ducks, and saw a couple of turtles and perch. There’s nothing more relaxing than being by the water, even more so under the influence of lavender. Since our family loves the outdoors, we plan on returning to this park for some camping, hiking, fishing, and of course swimming. This is a perfect weekend spot for families; the park also rents canoes, tubes, and kayaks.

Hill Country Lavender ProductsTime to go Home

This was by far one of our best road trips. Texas has many small secret scenic places and Blanco is definitely one of them. Who needs France, when we have our own Lavender Farms here in the Hill Country? There is something for everyone in Blanco, fishing for the outdoorsman, antique shopping for you treasure hunters, hill country hiking for you thrill seekers, and lots of great picture spots for photographers. We enjoyed all it had to offer, the Lavender Festival was the bonus. Support your fellow Texans by trying some of the lavender goodies & checking out their products, we sure did. The information to all the vendors I mentioned is provided for you below. My husband and I looking forward to this year’s Lavender festival; hope to see some of you there. ❤

Blanco Lavender Festival 2014: June 13-15 2014, Fri. 12pm-6pm, Sat. 9am-6pm, Sun. 10am-4pm.

Randy Monterrosa April Mae Monterrosa

Blanco Chamber of Commerce

830-833-5105

312 Pecan Street

Blanco, Texas 78606

Puerto Restaurant

830-833-5813

115 Main Street

Blanco, Texas 78606

Blanco River Lavender Company

4136 Ranch Road 1623 Blanco, Texas 78606

830-833-4494

www.blancoriverlavenderco.com

Heron’s Nest Herb Farm

1673 River Bend Drive

Blanco, Texas 78606

830-833-2627

http://www.heronsnestherbfarm.com

Miller Creek Lavender

8453 Miller Creek Loop

Johnson City, Texas 78636

512.934.1616

droets@hotmail.com

http://www.millercreeklavender.com/

Wimberley Lavender Farm

11300 FM 2325 Wimberley, Texas 78676

830-833-1595

www.wimberleylavender.com

SanaLoma Laser, LLC

(512) 930-3882 5203 Taos Court Georgetown, Texas 78628-1745

info@SanaLomaLaser.com

http://www.sanalomalaser.com

Photo2wood

210.365.01117

info@photo2wood.com

photo2wood.com

Jeannie Ralston: The Unlikely Lavender Queen

http://www.jeannieralston.com/

Blanco State Park

P.O. Box 493

Blanco, TX 78606

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/blanco

Texas Lavender Farm Pink Tractor

Pre & Post Brazilian Waxing

These Brazilian waxing tips will help you prepare your skin, take the pain factor down and minimize possible bumps and irritation afterwards. A lot of women opt for this service because they like the feeling of the entire Brazilian area being totally, or almost hair-free. While you need to be cautious any time you remove hair, because of its specialty nature, it should be treated with extra care.

Pre Brazilian Waxing Prep:

  • Particularly for women. Your skin is often more sensitive the time near your period and waxing can be more painful than normal. So your appointment shouldn’t be any closer than a couple of days before or after your period. It is not a good idea to get a Brazilian wax while you’re on your period.
  • Cleanliness. Shower and lightly exfoliate your entire bikini area right before your appointment using warm, not hot water. Make sure you’re extra clean.
  • Skip this step. Don’t use any lotions in Brazilian area.
  • Hair for now. You need some hair growth for the wax to hold onto. If it’s too long, you may want to trim a little.
  • Pain preventers. Take an aspirin or Tylenol 30- 45 minutes before your appointment if you’re worried about pain. The type of wax I use is especially for that area so all you will feels is a quick sting.

Post Brazilian Waxing Care:

  • Watch your fashion choices. Don’t wear tight panties for the next few days.
  • Hands off. Keep hands away from touching freshly waxed skin, as this can encourage irritation or small pimples.
  • Opt for a shower. Don’t take a hot bath for the rest of the day.
  • Too hot. No tanning beds, saunas or steam rooms for the next two days.
  • Sexual Activity. Sexual activity should be avoided for at least 24 hours ONLY if your skin feels extremely sensitive. Aloe Vera helps soothe and calm the area if this happens (which is very rare). This is great to help prevent ingrown hair.

     

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