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Beauty Favorites of 2014

It just wouldn’t be right to not round out the new year with all the beauty products I loved last year. There was a lot of makeup! And most of it was awesome! I’ve collected, curated, and narrowed down what I think is worth your hard earned money.

Check out all the products in the video!

Frugalista Blog best of beauty 2014

Why the Idris Elba Bond discussion is one of the most ridiculous things ever

I haven’t been so ashamed of the modern human race as I have been recently. A number of things are considerably wrong in our society. But the latest-  the hubbub over if a black actor should play James Bond. Really? Is it 2015? Or should I put on my hoop skirt and hope Lincoln gets elected?

Not as many folks are as die hard Bond fans as THIS girl. Me. Daniel Craig is my guy. He’s my boo. Well, he doesn’t know about me, but he’s the best Bond ever. Okay, okay. Settle down Sean Connery fans and Roger Moore fans. I hear you.

Those older Bond movies are in a different class of Bond. It’s the cheesy 60s and 70s over the top Pussy Galore spy genre that only Bond can do. Those men made the smirky Bond of those decades a decadent tease that was fun to watch. Full of gold lame, Cold War villans, and disco technicolor.

But Craig’s Bond changed that. It’s grittier, modern, and a whole lot sexier. Bond is serious, pouty, more brooding. He also is more stunt driven. Daniel Craig is running along the top of moving trains, not on a treadmill in front of a green screen. Villains are not just Soviet empires but cyber tyrants, middle eastern terrorists, and more and more the landscape of actual evils we face today.

So who is this Idris Elba fellow and why do we care? Well, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Is this just a ploy to once again show your Emmy picture with Idris?” Maaaybe.

No actually. It’s because after the Sony hack, emails were revealed that Idris Elba would be considered for the next franchise of Bond movies after the last Daniel Craig movie, Spectre, is released later this year. Idris is from England, an Oscar nominated actor for his Nelson Mendela performance “Long Walk to Freedom” in 2014 and also an Emmy nominated actor for his work in Luther, the BBC crime drama. (Which I highly recommend binge-watching all 3 seasons on your laptop while doing absolutely nothing else because you will be addicted.)

And then the Internet exploded like it was 1964. First it was Douche Limbaugh ranting that Bond has always been white. “He’s a Scottsman that is White.” “Period.” White. Did you get that? Like Santa. FOX News likes their folks W H I T E.   Oh puhleeze. Get over yourself Rush! I wouldn’t care so much, only his show attracts 20 million listeners per week.

That’s weird. Because I’m pretty sure that there are black men living in Scotland. Oh, and guess what else? There’s black men who are working for M I 6. The British version of the CIA. Formerly M I 5- and now SIS.

But then he clarified that Bond is a fictional character so it wouldn’t really matter because, oh my gosh, HE’S NOT REAL. Bond is based on the character in the books by Ian Fleming. (Who also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  I know, I know, my ridiculous knowledge of trivia is crazy.) Bond could be played by a Chinese British guy right? I mean, as long as he’s British.

And then Mr. Limbaugh went on to say that if folks want a ‘Black Bond’ then let’s just have George Clooney play Obama in his biopic. Oh wait- OBAMA IS A REAL PERSON! But let’s not waste anymore time on the fact that a high profiled radio host doesn’t know the difference between fiction and non-fiction.

Apparently, this discussion was going on a year ago that Idris was considered for Bond. There’s a Huff Post article where Elba expresses that he doesn’t want to play Bond if it’s going to be referred to as ‘Black Bond’. And I don’t blame him.

In typical Hollywood fashion, not one major blockbuster franchise or movie has ever featured a black actor in the lead; Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean…

If you’re actually considering audience demographics, our male leads should be more diverse considering Hispanics make up for more than 25% of ticket buyers as just one example.

It’s a tough ceiling to crack. Hollywood likes like white men. How many times do you hear at award shows, “This has been a wonderful year for women in film.”  Yeah. That phrase bugs me too. Men dominate the film industry. And when good stuff for women comes up, everyone makes a big deal about it. At least we’ve stopped counting the number of black actors who have won awards. After Halle Berry won the Oscar for Best Actress, we have focused less on the ‘black winners’ when Lupita Nyong’o and Octavia Spencer won theirs. They were just ‘Oscar winning actresses’. Finally!

Do we have to label everything? The first Jewish actor to win, the first gay actor to win!  It’s as if we’re surprised when someone other than a white guy wins. Which is saying something.

I mean, come on people. We are so backwards as a country still. Even with Obama in office, a good percentage of this country isn’t comfortable with seeing a black man in a position of authority. Sorry, to say it. But it’s true. If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that we thought overt racism had died down a little after the civil rights movement, but it didn’t at all.  A lot of people are just as racist as we’ve always been.

Even women get the short end of the stick when it comes to progress in this great country. Kosovo, Liberia, Argentina and Denmark all have female presidents. The USA? Still waiting.

I’m pretty sure there are plenty of UK Bond fans that want their Bond white like the good old days. Heck, even Daniel Craig got flack because he was ‘too blond’ to play Bond. Tall dark and handsome apparently is the definition of 007. And white. Let’s not forget white.

Insert eye roll here.

With enough public attention, and whatever the Broccoli family decides, the original creators and owners of the Bond brand, we can have Bond be whoever we want him to be.

What makes a good Bond? He has rugged good looks, looks awesome in a tux, can kick major Bond villain ass, and knows how to seduce the ladies. And by those qualifications- Idris is perfect. #IdrisElbaforBond

Frugalista Blog The Next 007

Image via The Guardian

 

December Beauty Box 5 Review

It’s a little late in the month for my usual Beauty Box 5 review. I realize that. But I think the beauty elves were busy because I only just got my box.  But no worries, it was worth the wait.

Did Santa bring you a subscription to Beauty Box 5 this year? If not, maybe you should just get one yourself!- https://www.beautybox5.com/

So if you need convincing, take a look at the fun goodies in this month’s box.

Jacqua Hydrating Mist- smells like roses and for some reason, I love spraying my face with hydrating sprays. I’m addicted! #jacquabeauty

Absolute! New York polish remover pads- do you ever head away on vacation and then your polish looks ratchet but you don’t have anything to take it off with? Pop these in your travel pouch. #absoluteny

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer- Winter months leaving your skin parched? Like organic products not just for your food but on your skin too? This moisturizer is becoming super popular of late. Better not get left out and be the only one with dull dry skin. #juicebeauty

Nanacoco nail polish.  This brand seems to be a favorite with Beauty Box 5. The lip glosses and nail polishes are so good from this brand. #nanacoco

Lucky Brand Lucky Number 6- I don’t wear perfume all the time, but I like to try scents and especially woodsy floral ones are fun. #luckynumber6

frugalista blog beauty box 5 december review

 

 

 

 

A Merry little Christmas to you. Or whatever.

I’m saying Merry Christmas because I celebrate Christmas. But if you celebrate something else, I am still wishing you a merry time. Peace and love folks, right?

There’s so much reflection this time of year. We have holiday cards with beautiful family photos, Christmas letters (or blogs if you will), Facebook even likes to take us through the highlights of the year through pictures and posts.

Is it the lights on the tree? The candles flickering on my tabletop? The sappy Hallmark movie on TV? What is it that makes me cry with intense gratitude this time of year? The beauty of everything is decked with sparkle and lights, red pops of color and greenery. Spring is gorgeous too, but it doesn’t get this much attention!

However, this time of year can be somewhat ugly. It can fill us with resentment. Despair. Feelings of inadequacy. We can’t always give our kids what they want. Maybe our house doesn’t look like anything on Pinterest. Or you didn’t get the wreath up and the lights have been up all year to the chagrin of the neighbors.

Money is tight. End of year expenses come up. Kids are sick. Water heaters go out. Ugh.

My mom always took the time to show me that it’s truly the small things this time of year that matter the most. The big things, like hope, love and family, are of course front and center. But you truly have to look for the little things to make Christmas come to your heart.

I like to light candles, have a Christmas cookie with my tea, heck, have a cup of tea sitting by the tree, whenever I can, to remind me, Christmas is here. Enjoy it.

But sometimes we yell back at that inner voice, “I’M TRYING ASSHOLE BUT I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT!”

This year was such a mixed bag. I’ve never had to deal before with a sick kid. Emma’s chronic pain and endometriosis issues have been a struggle since March. Even since her surgery in June, (you can read about that here) she hasn’t been 100%. Every day she is in pain to a varying degree. She misses a lot of school. We’ve had two trips to the Emergency Room because of intense pain. The kind that registers a 10 on the pain scale when the nurses ask you.

I’ve gone around and around with specialists, psychologists, counselors, teachers, well meaning family members, who all want to help, but don’t seem to have the magic answer.

What’s hard for Emma is that she’s learning there is no magic answer, and that’s a bitter pill to swallow. Sentencing a 14 year old to a future of chronic pain just because she happens to be female, doesn’t make sense to someone who just wants to sing at her school choir concert. Who would like to party with her friends at Homecoming instead of leaving half way through because of the misery she’s in. To do an after school activity or her passion- trapeze- again without being in agony.

That’s been our year. And here it’s Christmas time and she’s been too miserable to see Santa. Yes, I know she’s 14. But we still do the Santa thing. I told her and her brother they will be doing Santa for me until they are married with kids of their own.

She wants to do ALL THE THINGS. But she can’t. And sometimes she’s okay with it and sometimes she cries in her pillow.

Here’s the part that makes me feel like a butthead for complaining. We had an AWESOME year of experiences. Like meeting President Obama, going to the Emmys, going to Disneyland, even Emma meeting her favorite YouTubers was a huge highlight of our year.

I guess it just always proves that life is as much a bowl of cherries as it is a bag of dicks.

So I hope that even when the shitter’s full, you can have peace in your heart. This post sure went sideways didn’t it?!

Merry ________________ (Christmas) to all! And here’s to 2015 being more awesome than sucky.

 

Frugalista Blog merry christmas or whatever

Remembering Sandy Hook

I originally wrote this post last year.

We can’t forget that horrible day. We can’t forget those beautiful children. We must think of their parents and the hole in their families with them gone. In honor of this day, December 14, I will remember the victims of the Newtown shooting.

 

 

 

You know what’s coming up don’t you?

I’ve been dreading it. Not like the 20 sets of parents are dreading it, no. But dreading it.

The anniversary of Sandy Hook will be Saturday, December 14.

I know that many children have died before and since that day. That genocide, cancer and horrors take children EVERY DAY. Yes. I know this. But for some reason, this tragedy reverberates to the depths of every corner in my soul.

I remember exactly what I was doing that Friday when I learned of something awful on social media. Facebook was littered with praying for Connecticut statuses. I had no idea. I went to my laptop and checked the news. My pulse quickened, my blood went cold, it did, it really did. My gut churned with nausea. The tears came to my eyes and the absolute horror grabbed at my throat. I thought first of my own children in their classrooms. I prayed they were safe.

And then, I prayed for the parents of these children. I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine going to that school that day and having a trooper or first responder approach you. You know. You just know. How does the world not fall away. How do your knees not buckle, your heart stop at that moment that your whole existence is ripped from you?

The reports were coming in all over the place. There were arguments over 2nd Amendment rights. Arguments over mental health. We were arguing! Little boys and girls were covered in blood stained Osh Kosh and Gymboree clothes, and Hanna Anderson tights, and Old Navy Christmas sweatshirts, and we were arguing over the fucking Constitution!

I wanted to scream. There were wrapped gifts under Christmas trees for children that would not be able to open them. There were stockings that hung on mantles that Santa would not fill.

There were caskets that needed to be picked out.

Oh my God. 20 little caskets. Why oh why did this happen? How could this happen?

Heroes were made that day. Angels were made that day.

Months later, parents steeled themselves and headed to Congress to fight for gun control that could possibly save future children. There was mocking of them by pundits. What asshole mocks a grieving parent saying it was in vain for political gain?

You lose your child, you fight for others to not lose theirs. It’s that simple.

We need to talk people. We need to compromise and figure this shit out.

There’s a lot that is wrong. There’s a lot that needs changing. I don’t have the answers. But there has to be some steps, some small changes we can evolve. Where crazy people don’t armor up and bring magazine clips to schools to murder children.

If you love your guns, fine. I love my kids. I love your kids too. I love your kids more than you love your gun. Do you love my kids more than you love your gun?

I’m just asking. I don’t want a fight. I want respectful discussion. I want you to respect me and my children, as much as I respect you and your 2nd Amendment rights. That is all.

I will acknowledge your right to bear arms. Please acknowledge my right to want safety and regulation for those arms.

Can we do this? I think we can. We’ve accomplished more.

 

Make the Sandy Hook Promise if you’re interested in education and logical discussion on issues of gun safety.

 

 

Lipstick dupes you’ll want to check out

I have done the leg work for you and shopped around for drug store versions of high end, luxury lipsticks. You’re welcome.

Disclaimer: In my opinion, these look identical. Some formulas have a different finish even though the shades are similar. Also, the prices will vary based on where you live. I have included links if you’d like to just shop from this post.

One of MAC’s most popular lipsticks is Riri Woo. It usually sells out as soon as it launches. It’s a classic red. I found a L’oreal one just like it. Not as matte as the MAC, but the color is just as true.

 

 

 

Frugalista Blog Dupes Riri Woo and L'oreal lipsticks

 

dupes mac and l'oreal Frugalista Blog

 

Buxom lipstick is a great brand, but their Full Bodied lipstick is $21. Wet N Wild on the other hand, is as low as $1.99 at some retailers. Hmm, and no one will know the difference!

Frugalista blog dupe lipstick buxom vs wet n wild

Believe me, I love a YSL lipstick. The case alone is a piece of art for your vanity table. But at over $30 a tube, it feels excessive. Here’s another Wet N Wild option in the same shade but a different formula. Also, this shade is what some would call Marsala which is the Pantone selection of the color of the year for 2015.

Frugalista Blog dupe lipsticks YSL and Wet n wild

 

 

I love Laura Mercier cosmetics. I love just about everything she makes. And her lipsticks are so nice too. But again, we can feel guilty spending $27 on a lipstick. So here’s another L’oreal option, a great formula, excellent wear and under $10.

Frugalista blog lipstick dupes laura mercier and l'oreal

 

Happy dupe shopping!

My dirty little secret

Why is this hard for me to admit? I have a secret. And it’s literally a dirty one. And I’m not saying ‘literally’ incorrectly in this case. Like, it’s legit dirty. I’m a sucky ass housekeeper. I thought I was okay, but I’m not. I am so not okay.

my dirty little secret by frugalista blog

Here’s another thing that’s hard to admit. We hired a housekeeper. This is a twofold emotion. 1) I feel amazing euphoria about the idea of someone cleaning for me and then coming home to what looks  like magic elves worked and made my house sparkle. 2) I feel enormous failure at doing what I’m supposed to be doing as “homemaker” and I feel terribly self conscious about my filth.

Apparently I don’t feel awful enough about reason #2 for it to make me forget reason #1 and just do the work myself.

You see, I thought I could handle it. I can’t. The cleaning part, I mean. I dust sometimes. I clean bathrooms, sure. And I’ve been known to clean my shower naked (settle down), but scrubbing baseboards, wiping door knobs and cleaning under the stove? Those are all foreign to me.

How am I supposed to feel when poor Marta (names have been changed to protect identities) picks up my electric stove burners and there’s crusted, charred food remains? I was walking by her to get a glass of water just as she did that. I gasped. I told her I was sorry and didn’t know that those things could come out. Well, truth is, I did know, but I think something happened that caused me to have amnesia about it, because I haven’t done that in well over a year and never in that year even thought to.

This is after she’s taken over 2 hours to clean what I thought was the ‘clean’ part of my house. The living room where no one goes in that just has our Christmas decorations. I figure, what’s a little bit of dusting and vacuuming? She cleaned the blinds, the light fixtures, polished the piano… it exhausts me just typing this. I never saw her stop and check her Instagram or sit on the couch with a donut and coffee.

Which face it- is what is primarily my house cleaning problem. I’m like a two year old and I get easily distract… OH look, something shiny!

See?

Or Doug in the movie Up, I just can’t seem to….SQUIRREL!

I haven’t been diagnosed with adult onset ADD but there’s a slight possibility I range on that spectrum.

I’m pretty sure Marta passed her non ADD quiz with flying colors because I left for the store and 30 minutes later she was still scrubbing that stove. She doesn’t get distracted but continues with a job until it’s done. Even this blog post took me several hours to write because I kept getting interrupted. With my mind.

Apparently she does take water breaks. I offered her some because I didn’t want to look like a complete asshole while I sat on the couch with my laptop, and she said she brought a water bottle she drinks from. Well, THAT makes me feel SOOO much better. Considering while she worked, I sat on my couch, drank a Starbucks chestnut praline latte, ate a piece of ginger bread loaf and then later for lunch had a burrito. I am the worst white mom cliche of the burbs if there ever was one.

In my sheer mortification over the messy state of my house, when I thought it was clean mind you, I went upstairs to start cleaning my bathroom before she got to it. I had picked up all the junk and bottles and lotion and shit, around the bathtub and the counter, but I was feeling terrible. Now this probably is not even a dent to the clean that was to become of my bathroom. And yes, I know you’re thinking, “so you paid someone to come clean, but you cleaned first?” Yes. Yes I did. Now maybe in two weeks when she comes again, I will not pre clean, but just let her go to it and it will be done lickity split because it won’t have 10 years of crud stuck to it.

When she was finished, things sparkled. Blindingly. I couldn’t even see my shower doors and almost walked through them.

Who are these magic cleaning people? Are they even human?

Now I understand when I go to someone’s house and I see how spotless their home is. They must have magic superhuman cleaning people.

My dusting and scrubbing is sub par to Marta’s. Which begs the question, “What do I do all day?!”

If she was paid in how many times I apologized or told her to just ‘give up’ on a particular area already and move on, she would be dripping in Ben Franklins.

But the beauty in all this, is not just to cast a light on my horrible housekeeping that would make Ma Ingalls shudder in dismay, but to motivate myself to be better. I want to be tidier. I want to keep things clean. My kids do too. We’re just lazy about it. Now we’ve got a great start and motivation to see things how they should be, and to maintain instead have to completely overhaul.

Oh, and just for the record, I’m never cooking in that kitchen again. It’s too clean to mess up.  I can see myself in the reflection of the appliances. Amazing! And I can’t bear to sit on the couch because there’s vacuum track marks along the upholstery. Have you seen such a site?

 

November Favorites and a Holiday Giveaway

You do not want to miss this giveaway. It includes my favorites things; Downton Abbey and Little House on the Prairie. And makeup. Always makeup. Also, see what products I was loving this November.

 

Frugalista Blog November Favorites

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday Gift Giving by Frugie

Holiday gift giving guide by frugie

 

Dear Santa,

I have been very good this year. I have cleaned up more pee behind the toilet than I can imagine, I have scooped plenty of cat poop, dog poop, cat puke and dog puke. Not to mention the dog puke I have caught in my actual bare hands. I have not smothered McSweetie with a pillow when he uses the last square of toilet paper leaving me high, and well, not dry.

So in the spirit of giving, I would like world peace, an end to world hunger, all the orphans to be adopted, a self folding dryer, and all the Kate Spade hand bags you can fit in your sleigh.

That’s really not too much to ask. Okay fine. That’s a lot to ask.

How about instead, I can get something from just these brands I list? See? Easy peasy.

Thanks Santa! Love, Frugie

Welcome to Holiday Gift Giving by Frugie

I wanted to give you guys my favorite things, kind of like Oprah, but instead of free refrigerators and iPads, I can only offer some discount codes! Also, because these are small, family owned businesses, you’ll be helping them have a great holiday too by shopping from their sites.

Don’t laugh, but I seem to be jewelry heavy in my list- from handmade, to global treasures, I know you will find something to put on your wish list.

 

JJ Caprices

Want a necklace from Paris? How about earrings from Israel? Something so unique and gorgeous, you will feel like royalty. Jen from JJ Caprices travels everywhere to buy jewelry to sell on her site. I totally want to be her. She goes to gorgeous destinations and brings back equally gorgeous baubles. I met her at MamaCon and fell in love with her gorgeous pieces. AND for my readers she has a 10% discount code- FRUGALISTA.  You will love the unique pieces and there’s something in every price range.

holiday gift guide jj caprices

Frugie blog holiday gift guide jj caprices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penny Jules

Like handmade jewelry with a quirky side? Are you a Doctor Who or Harry Potter fan? Penny Jules incorporates charms and whimsy in each piece that has a distinct characteristic from your favorite iconic movies, pop culture favorites and Disney movies. You will gush over the cuteness. Remember my Doctor Who tardis necklace in my favorites video? Check her out-

frugie blog holiday gift guide penny jules

 

 

Last jewelry site, I promise.

Starfish Project

How would you like to buy jewelry and help a woman over come poverty and exploitation in Asia? Starfish Project employs women in Asia to make jewelry, earn a living, get vocational training, health care and counseling that otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunities.

This Black Friday they have a Buy One Get One deal. Check it out.

frugie blog holiday gift guide starfish project

holiday gift guide starfish project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now how do you plan on wrapping all that?

Artistry Gift Wrap

Check out Artistry Gift Wrap for a truly unique gift wrap and giving experience. I love these papers. You can get greeting cards, ribbons, and bows and so many cute bibs and bobs. What are bits and bobs? I don’t know. BUT having seasonal gift wrap sent to you with a subscription service is a gift in itself. Maybe you have that crafty aunt, or awesome neighbor that has a ‘gift room’. They will be wowed by Artistry Gift Wrap. Check out their November specials BLACKFRI40 and soon to be December specials.

frugie blog holiday gift guide artistry gift wrap

frugie blog holiday gift guide artistry gift wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Ryan Skincare

Looking for fabulous skin care that’s not a lot of money, but completely natural and without unnecessary ingredients? Kate Ryan Skincare is a company run by 3 women who want what’s best for women and their faces and their budgets! Amazing products and you need to try their Pumpkin Enzyme Peel to keep the winter months from dulling your skin. Every Kate Ryan Skincare package comes like a little present- I love it. I have a YouTube video using their products.

holiday gift guide kate ryan skincare

 

Women for Women International

And now for something a little different. Want to get a gift for someone but that will benefit someone else? How about buying some baby chicks for a mom in Nigeria? Or a goat for a woman in Afghanistan? Women for Women International is an organization that matches you with a ‘sister’ that lives in parts of the world such as the middle east or other war torn nations that without these programs, would be without education, job training or even safety. I love hearing who my sister is every 6 months. I’ve gotten Christmas cards, Easter cards and other tokens of gratitude from a woman around the globe, that I’ve never met, but thanking me and telling me I’m in her prayers because of the difference my money has done for her. Over 8 countries, more than 420,000 women have been saved from crisis and poverty through this program. Please check them out and see what you can give.

frugie blog holiday gift guide

 

 

I hope these gift ideas give you inspiration and help make your holiday season a little brighter. I completely endorse and stand behind each one of these brands and was in no way compensated for this post. I just want to spread good cheer! Let them know I sent you.

 

Holiday Countdown- new video, new giveaway

giveaway frugalista blog sephora give me more lip

It’s almost a month to Christmas and I’m a busy little bee buying stuff. Sort of for myself (it’s called research) and also for others (I’m not that selfish).

Here’s some new things I’ve discovered; gadgets, brands, products and fun stuff.

I’ve included my Beauty Box 5 November un-boxing for you. Check out the specials on their website this season!

AND- I have another GIVEAWAY!

The giveaway is open internationally this time! (Hello UK and Australia readers!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Beauty Box 5 November Frugalista Blog, subscription boxes, unboxing, beauty