Follow on Bloglovin>
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

How To: A Valentines Day Tutorial

I’m not here to tell you how to do Valentine’s Day. No. I’m here to help you look less like the Kraken dragged you out of bed for carpool and more like a fancy pants girl who might break bread with her sweetheart.

frugalistablog valentines day how to tired mom

 

It’s not so hard. It can be done. Not everyone wakes up looking like Gisele. And not everyone has the time, nannies, ‘team’ or bank account to look like Gisele.

So come sit by me at the lunch table and let me tell you a thing or two.

If you happen to score a sitter, and have plans with hubs, that haven’t been dashed because your 6 year old threw up his Goldfish crackers on your iPad, or you yourself got a fever or some crazy flu and can’t spend a night in a swanky hotel kid- free (I know, it’s happened to me) then let me show you how to look amazing, even if it’s cocktails at Applebees.

I start with simple eye cream. Then slap on makeup. Yep.

A quick blow dry of the hair, some sparkly earrings. You’re good. See? So easy.

frugalista blog valentines day how to tutorial beauty

Now go watch the video.

 

 

Don’t apologize for the music that moves you

If I had a dollar for every time lately I’ve seen the Facebook status, “I’m ashamed to admit, but I like the new Justin Bieber song”, I’d have enough to buy myself a lot of donuts.

And that got me thinking. Why does anyone need to be ashamed to like a song? Oh. Is it because Justin isn’t cool? He’s just a punk ass punk with too many dollars and Lambourghinis to care about humanity? Well, maybe. I do believe he’s coming around though. But heck. It’s music! Listen to it, enjoy it.

I’m so tired of the music police, the snobs that tell us what’s cool to listen to. “OH you like top 40??? Uh, mah, gah. That is like SOO mainstream. I only listen to music written by starving artists performed in roadside taverns.”  or

“If you don’t know what REAL rap music is, and think Macklemore can out rhyme Tupac, then you just are the devil.”

“Ariana Grande doesn’t deserve to breathe the air that Mary J. Blige breathes”

I’m making these up. But seriously. Quit it. Let people like what they like. If you like Animal from the Muppets, then GREAT! He’s a fantastic puppet drummer.

Even fellow artists seem to diss on each other. Dave Grohl is kinda famous for that. But it’s fine. He’s cool. I mean, he’s Dave Grohl. Yet, if folks think One Direction is fun to fill up their iTunes with, are they worth living? Yes. Yes they are. Kanye is the KING of dissing on folks. I mean, do I need to say more? Poor Beck. Yet, he doesn’t need Kanye’s approval. I think he’ll be just fine. And Taylor? I don’t think she’s suffered since he hijacked her acceptance speech.

And remember, One Direction was this cute collection of boy singers that blew everyone away on Britian’s X Factor. We loved them and their moppy do’s when we didn’t even know them. Oh, but once they get big- well, then it’s cool to hate on them.

Music is personal. It transcends generations. It makes us feel good. Or it makes us wallow in the self pity we want to wallow in. It’s a break-up song. It’s a first dance song. It’s a play list when you go to cross-fit class. It’s what helps you get that last mile on the trail. It’s what your grandma listened to when you came for a visit and it makes you miss her and wish for cookies and peppermint tea when you hear it again. It can be so many things.

It’s subjective. What floats your boat might not float my boat.

McSweetie is a metal head. He loves heavy metal. God. Help. Me. I tried listening to some of it with him on a road trip and got so depressed. Also, I couldn’t understand what they were singing because it sounded a little bit like Grover from Sesame Street. But I don’t put him down for it because I don’t understand Tool or Rammstein. He goes to concerts all the time. It makes him happy. Do I go with him? No. He can have his Motley Crue and his Qeensryche and I’ll just enjoy my Katy Perry and Crystal Gale.

What?? I like Crystal Gayle okay!!

Actually, I like a lot of music. Really random. Mostly show tunes. I LOVE show tunes. Give me a good soundtrack as well. Last of the Mohicans? Muriel’s Wedding? OH my gosh- classic!

Also, I like the Bee Gees, Niel Diamond, Iggy Azalea, Macklemore, Queen, Adele, Culture Club, George Michael, Cole Porter, Annie Lennox, Patsy Cline, En Vogue.

Remember En Vogue? Oh my gosh, every time I hear that song- ‘Free Your Mind’ I want to strut on some catwalk wearing a long gown and wearing my Bitchy Resting Face. I LOVE it!

Should I go on? You can tell my interests are random, traditional, maybe a little sentimental.

My point is, I like all kinds of music. There’s a lot of music I don’t like. But will I rain on those people’s parades? Nope.

Oh my gosh- Don’t Rain on My Parade- Barbara Streisand, Funny Girl, 1968. SO GOOD!! Do I work out to that song? MAAYBE. You betcha. << Sarah Palin where did you come from?

There’s a lot of music I don’t understand. But that doesn’t it make it bad. Did song writers and artists like Freddy Mercury, David Bowie, Paul Simon and so many others, write poetry that takes you places unlike some artists today who seem to just be all about their entourage and production team? Yeah, sure.

But that’s okay. Does everyone like opera? Heck no. But is The Magic Flute some of Mozart’s best work? Yes.

Is Kanye a genius? It depends. Did he write a Rock Opera like The Who did with Tommy, did he compose probably the best movie soundtrack we know in our time like John Williams did with Star Wars? Nope. But THAT’S OKAY.

I need to stop picking on Kanye! My point is, the people that like his music probably don’t like The Who or even get goose bumps when they hear Star Wars.

Remember, it’s subjective. But there’s room for everyone, and everyone’s cup of tea.

So I’ll just be hear listening to Dixie Chicks and Wham! enjoying myself.

Don’t judge.

And stop apologizing.

 

 

 

Be Your Best Panda

Everybody’s Kung Fu fighting.

And now YOU have the theme song in your head too. You’re welcome.

It is time for the student to become the master. Can you reach inside yourself and overcome doubts, and be the best you that you can be?

This is what Kung Fu Panda 3 is all about.

Kung Fu Panda 3 via Dreamworks

So recently I received an email from a media company asking me if I wanted to preview Kung Fu Panda 3, interview the two directors and tell my readers about it.

Uhm, sure? This is the fun side of blogging!

I immediately started thinking of questions to ask these directors- Jennifer Yu and Alessandro Carloni. Both of whom worked on Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2. AND Jennifer is the first female lead director on a Dreamworks animated movie with Kung Fu Panda 2, that was also nominated for an Academy Award. Kind of a nice resume.

My first question I thought of was will there be snacks at the interview? Okay, I know. That’s not really a question, but you know how my mind works. Then my second question was Why Kung Fu Panda 3? Aren’t we done already?

Well, let me explain.

Here’s the gist of the film- Master Shifu tells Po that he needs to pull his weight. Po will now be the master and do the teaching. That’s right. Well, that’s a tall order for a Dragon Warrior who likes to eat dumplings and high five the villagers all day like he’s a rock star. Because by now, Po IS a rock star where he lives and folks love him. It’s the same gang back- Tigress, Crane, Monkey, as well as a new villian- OF COURSE.

But since the KFP2 movie finished with a clip of a panda looking off in the distance wondering if Po was his lost son, director, Jennifer Yuh felt that story arc needed to finish and for Po’s panda dad to find him.

Thus, we get to meet Papa Po, Li, and it’s a fun reunion that really connects audiences with the way Po has his adoptive father, Mr. Ping, and meets and gets to love his biological Panda dad. Big stuff regarding adoption that is beautifully handled in the story line to make everyone happy.

A new villian, Kai enters from the spirit realm and is stealing the chi that flows from Kung Fu masters in order to take over the world. Kai is headed to destroy the panda population, who are the Masters of Chi, and Po must  save his village from the evil Kai.

KUNF FU PANDA 3

This requires Po to travel with his panda father to the secret panda village in order to learn the ways of being a Chi Master. When they arrive and Po can see every little baby panda, old panda, grandpa panda, chubby pandas, roly poly pandas- he feels right at home.

Here’s where when you’re watching the movie you say in your head, “wow Dreamworks, way to nail the merchandising.” There are adorable pandas everywhere. Panda babies galore. Dang are they cute. And roly poly. And cute. And they love dumplings. And finally Po is back where he belongs with his people, er pandas.

But wait. I don’t want to give anything away, but there are many lessons learned, there’s good over evil, and there’s self acceptance. Pretty great for kids of all ages to see played out. Oh, and parents, don’t worry- NO ONE DIES! You don’t have to worry about any trigger moments for your kids going in to this because, thank goodness, it’s not going to have a giant zinger at some point that makes you scream at the screen going, “REALLY?” and comfort your kids or have any crazy explaining to do.

When I sat down with Jennifer and Alessandro, I had a great time asking my questions, and I think they enjoyed answering them. Here’s my interview:

Me- Why KFP3?

Jennifer- We wanted to finish the coda of what we started in the movies all along and have Po meet his Panda father. We wanted to bring the story full circle to Po’s origins.

Me- What’s your favorite message of the movie?

Alessandro- That the struggle within continues. Even when you triumph over one thing, there’s always something else to tackle. You’re never finished.

I asked Jennifer about Dreamworks’ future plans for more female lead characters in their animated films. Jennifer was the first Dreamworks female lead director to work on Kung Fu Panda 2.

I found that Alessandro’s answer was the most interesting. He said that he talked to actress Geena Davis, and she said the day we can accept our leading ladies with flaws is when we’ll have more female characters. Po is very flawed, and chubby, and obnoxious. And when we can portray women like that without any offense, we’ll level the field. Because both Jennifer and Alessandro agreed, that of course, more lead characters should be female. But also to hopefully come to a time when we’re no longer keeping score of boy versus girl because great stories are not gender specific.

Jennifer also loves when she can talk to film students about their work and their passion. She says whenever she talks on campuses, there’s a large majority of female film students and she loves to inspire and make those future colleagues proud.

I asked both of them who their favorite characters from the stories are- Tigress is Jennifer’s answer. Why? Because she’s a bad ass, of course! Alessandro’s answer was Po. But when he described his reason for it, I had to agree, even though mine is Tigress too. He said he loves how Po is enthusiastic about everything. He has joy in his friends, his Kung Fu, his appetite! All of it. I brought up the example of how a dog is happy to just go outside and doesn’t look at it as ‘oh I have to do this run now’, but instead, ‘Yay! Outside!’. That’s how Po is. A happy panda that comes to life with 100% enthusiasm.

When I asked both of them how they feel when they see the finished product, I was surprised by their answer. Coming from my personal background of writing, or even performing on stage, I’m highly critical of my individual work. I asked if they watch the movie with a lense of how it could be better, or do they sit back and enjoy it.

Both of them, and especially Jennifer, shared how much they appreciate the finished product. And it’s because that they have a team. A whole army of animators, creators, writers, and more that put their work and love and life into the project. When they see these gems of gold or treasures throughout, even they are in awe of the finished work. In their words, they still ‘geek out’ over the results!

Jennifer described even the score that went into this movie. She said that they were sitting in on the orchestra scoring the final battle and culminating scene and they were literally composing it as they went. Honing it, fine tuning it (for lack of a better phrase!) as she sat there and watched the screen and heard the music simulatenously. She said it was such a goose bump moment that she truly appreciates every piece that goes into the final work.

My last question had to be about food. There were no snacks during the interview. Just water. But THAT’S OKAY. Really. Even though every time I watch a Kung Fu Panda film or even see a trailer, all I want is Dim Sum. I asked Jennifer and Alessandro if they could only eat one thing for a year, which would they choose- noodles or dumplings?

Jennifer- Noodles. (That’s my girl! I’m a noodle lover too.)

Alessandro- Dumplings. And he said that every time Jack Black came in to the studio, they always had a big platter of dumplings that they would eat! That’s the job I want! Because basically, Jack Black IS Po, and Po is Jack Black. I mean right?

If you can’t wait to take your kids to see Kung Fu Panda 3, it will be in theaters, January 29th. I got to see it in 3D and it was truly beautiful and entertaining. If you don’t want to shell out the dollars for 3D, I don’t blame you. You’ll enjoy it just as much in 2D. And then save that money to go out for Dim Sum after!

Thanks Jennifer and Alessandro! I look forward to your future Dreamworks projects.

Frugalista Blog, Jennifer Yu, Alessandro Carloni, Kung Fu Panda 3

Jennifer Yu, me and Alessandro Carloni

 

 

“How To Beauty” featuring Hilove.ly

 

frugalista blog hilove.ly giveaway

Have you ever wondered what it would be like having your own personal makeup artist? It would be like living like a Kardashian, that’s what. Or one of those Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. My makeup artist would come airbrush my face and give me a smokey eye, a full lip with perfect contouring. I would look like a million bucks every time I hopped in my minivan to head to TJ Maxx. My makeup artist would also know how to make a proper cup of English tea to have waiting for me when I got back from such a long day of bargain hunting.

People ask me to come and do their makeup for them all the time. But they’re girlfriends that live across the country and unless you plan to pay me enough to cover my plane ticket, and have my own hotel suite with a tea making butler, seriously, I’m like a Kardashian now so yeah. Well then… I guess I’m just staying home.

But if there was a way you could get an online lesson- then that would be perfect.

Enter- https://hilove.ly [Read more…]

I’m being a bit of an ass hole this holiday

frugie blog being an ass hole

It’s the week of Christmas and I’m pretty much panicking. The presents need to be wrapped. Some still need to be bought. I have all of my 75 or so cards to be addressed and posted. Some need to be sent overseas, so that requires a trip to the post office- WHICH I ABHOR!

So I’m feeling panicked.

And then I had a reality check.

I’m an ass hole.

I’m worried about the abundance around me when others have hardly enough.

There’s my friend Beth. She’s the one with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. I’m sure in her mind she’s wondering if this is her last Christmas with her kids. Especially since just this week she lost 5 or so friends of her’s in the metastatic community. Not to mention the jerk face guy from Komen who basically walked away from her when she asked him for more dedicated funding for research. I would say Beth isn’t worried about Christmas cards. (http://cultofperfectmotherhood.com/komen-is-not-coming-to-save-us/)

I have a cousin Clare, also stage IV breast cancer. It’s not often you know two people who are dying from the same disease. We wish for more time at Christmas to get everything done. They’re just wishing for more time period.

When the song on the radio comes on, “I’ll be Home For Christmas” by Josh Groban, and the men and women stationed overseas serving our country leave recorded messages to their loved ones back home, I can’t help but cry. They know it’s their duty. They serve and protect no matter what. But missing out on your kids’ Christmas morning would break my heart. And they do it. They are our heroes.

We tell ourselves that we only need to do so much. That it’s okay if the  cookies don’t get baked or the packages get sent late. But deep down we’re still resenting our lack of over achievement. We look at Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook and think, ‘why can’t I do that?’ We look at damn Elf on the Shelf set ups and smack ourselves on the head for forgetting that damned Elf for the second night in a row.

So I know what it feels like when we let our self loathing seep in to cloud our supposed Christmas joy. And here I’m telling you once again how to look past the minutia to remember the important things. Right?

I’m not preaching. I’m just trying to give myself a kick in the pants.

There’s a lot I didn’t do. I didn’t attend church this season. That bothers me because I love the Advent time. I just had interruptions or things going on that prevented me from getting up early on those Sunday mornings. I didn’t give to the Giving Tree this year either since I wasn’t there to collect the tags. But I’m also freaking out about my own bank account. Which is dumb since we have all that we need, but yet, it still seems to end up with more month than money as the days go by.

However, there’s a lot I did do.

I got up at 5 every morning to get Emma off to choir. I got the tree up, the gifts bought, the house in order and still continued working on my YouTube channel. Which, hello? is like a job. It is my job. As much as people wonder what the heck it is I do, that’s what I do. I didn’t have a complete melt down-throw-myself-on-the-floor-freak-out, even though I wanted to. Which hey- that’s something right??

And the best part- Emma is world’s better than she was at this time last year. We had visits to the ER for chronic pain, we missed out on things like choir concerts, visits to Santa, and hanging out with friends. She missed school, she was miserable. Not this year. She’s babysitting, singing, decorating, wrapping, going to school, giving me all the sass she can!! And I am so grateful for it. It really is last year’s Christmas wish come true. So what if it’s 12 months late.

Here’s my advice for managing these next couple days.

Pick one thing. Pick the thing that gives you joy, that you can send all your positive energy to that says, ‘this is Christmas. This is how I will remember the season and embrace it.’

Give yourself the allowance to not get everything done. To lasso your sanity or whatever is left of it by letting things off your list. Watch frickin’ Hallmark Channel movies. These completely help me forget all my troubles. And then remember again how dirty my house is and why I can’t wear heels in snow.

I’m embracing the children I have who are healthy, the roof over my head, and the husband that hogs the covers.

My Christmas memories as a child are the feeling I had in my house with my parents- feeling cozy, feeling safe. I remember Cabbage Patch dolls and Barbies, sure. But I remember the cups of tea my dad made, the goose my mom cooked that filled the house with savory scents that if I smell today, takes me back to 1978. We didn’t have fancy trips to the city to see the Nutcracker. Or big parties to attend and lavish gifts. We had each other. I remember the hand made matching Christmas outfits for me and my sister! Mom was very good with a sewing machine and a Butterick pattern.

Our children will remember how they felt. Not what they didn’t get.

They will remember the joy you gave them just by not losing your shit.

 

Boots Beauty USA No7 Giveaway!- Closed

Boots Beauty USA giveaway frugalista blog mybestskin

If you follow my blog or YouTube channel, you know that I am a skin care addict. I’m always on the hunt for the best skin care money can buy.

Okay, preferably, small money. I can’t walk into Neimans and drop $500 on an eye cream. I don’t know if there were to ever come a day that if I could afford that, I would actually spend that much. Wait. Yep. Yes I would. Not gonna lie. If I could afford it, and it was bottled, I would put goat spit on my face if it promised wonderous results. Or maybe something more luxurious, like myrrh or gold. Yes, platinum. I will bathe in platinum when I get to be Gwyneth Paltrow rich. Yay me. [Read more…]

Mother/Daughter Bean Boozled Challenge

Oh boy! Did you know about these jelly beans called Bean Boozled? It’s like Bertie Botts Every Flavor beans from Harry Potter with flavors like ear wax and pencil shavings. Only these Bean Boozled taste like vomit, grass clippings and skunk spray. Not all at once, thankfully.bean boozled challenge mother/daughter

Yum!

Not.

So you don’t know this, but Emma has a vomit phobia. It’s a legit thing called Emetophobia. I know that you’re probably thinking, who does like vomit? Well, no one. Hopefully. But, Emma’s phobia brings her into panic in different situations. Let’s say a classmate gets sick nearby, this would put her into full-on panic mode.  I would have to pick her up from school sometimes because it would make her feel so awful. She would psych herself into feeling sick and nauseous herself. [Read more…]

Halloween Makeup Tutorial – 20s style inspiration

Halloween for the makeup enthusiast is a bit like a Superbowl of fun and excuse to bring your best game. Hmm, no sports puns please, Frugie, we’re talking about makeup.
20s makeup tutorial, flapper makeup and hair, great gatsby inspired looks

It’s like the Oscars or the Cannes film festival to the film buff. You can play and play and play to your heart’s content and not be accused of going overboard! Want to make a zipper face? Do it! Feel like making an exposed eyeball- hmm, let me look that up on Pinterest!

However, I just created a very simple 20s inspired makeup and hair look for you. Nothing gross. Unless you don’t like it, then I can’t help you. But maybe you like Candy Corn, so you’re nothing to me anyway. [Read more…]

My Perfect Body

Frugalista Blog My Perfect Body

Here I go, taking off my clothes again for my blog.

I know. But bare (bear?) with me!

We are flooded with images of amazing bodies and then even when sometimes a body is not so amazing, there’s a barrage of comments to follow that are cruel and degrading. Sometimes from ourselves, sometimes from others.

As we put ourselves more and more out there- especially in the land of YouTube and social media, the scrutiny becomes even more so. [Read more…]

10 Ways Autumn is Awesome AF

10 ways Autumn is Awesome by Frugalista Blog

For those not in the loop, ‘AF’ means,’As F**k’.

So when something is really cool, awesome, or wonderful, if you put ‘AF’ on the end, you’ll be one of the cool kids. Sorry to be so blunt. I gotta throw around some major street cred, I’m serious here. Fall is Awesome. Say it with me, “Awesome AS F***.” Maybe because it leads into Christmas, maybe because it actually relieves me of the heat rash on my feet from the entire month of August, but it’s just the best. And here’s why. [Read more…]