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Welcome to the party, and why the hell am I called Frugalista?

I want to just fess up and say that I think my blog name is stupid. I remember 6 months ago when I was coming up with my whole blog in the first place, I wanted a name that was cool like The Bloggess. I was also a little intimidated because this was my first blog and I was very self conscious about my writing. I really just threw caution to the wind and jumped in like people do for those Polar Bear plunges jumping in icy waters. Crazy! I say, crazy! So needless to say, I wasn’t going to name my blog Her Royal Highness, the Blog Writer. Now I’m kinda wishing I did.  Because, I feel like I can do anything. I practically wear a cape when I write. I feel invincible.

But I won’t kid you- criticism is totally my kryptonite.

Okay, so I’m not Superwoman. Or Wonder Woman. I couldn’t fit into those hot pants. But the boots are pretty cool… I might rock those cuffs pretty good too….

I'm sure most of you men are thinking, 'why is that picture so friggin' small?'.

I fall into the category of mommy blogger. For obvious reasons because I’m a mom, I write about my ‘stay at home’ adventures of car pool and bed times. The name Frugalista came to me because it seemed a good play on words for my savvy bargain hunting and my desire to be at Paris Fashion Week. So for those that are new to this page- now you know.

Remember that FRIENDS episode where Rachel makes the Christmas dessert trifle from a magazine recipe and the pages get stuck together? She puts meat inside the trifle because she thought that was part of the recipe. I’m that meaty center. Unexpected, maybe tasty, maybe not your cup of tea, but unique. So there.

I do blog about shopping and things I like. I like sharing what makes me happy. I am NOT a couponer. I’m like those new Ellen JCPenney commercials- no coupons on this padre!

So between the bitching about my husband, my kids, random people in the news, my obsession with movies… you know- I like to talk about great shopping deals, makeup, and cute little fashion finds. But I also have to pretend to my husband that I don’t shop EVER, except for groceries.  All that makeup, clothes and shoes, procreate like Gremlins after midnight in my closet. Right?

Despite what the calendar says, it is not Spring here yet.  It’s between the 30s and 40s for a high in these great northwest parts. So I’m ready to bust out my spring looks but hate hypothermia, so I’m still in fleece, wool and Goretex.

If I WERE to get all fashiony, these are my gems of what I’m excited about-

Colored denim. At first I was like all, you won’t catch me in yellow jeans. But then I saw a couple friends in cute skinny jeans that were colored and they looked SO cute. So I got a pair of cobalt blue. Hey, it’s close to denim right? So bright blue it is with a pop of orange or teal, oh, and some cute wedges and a pedi…. oh Spring, just GET HERE ALREADY!

WANT!

It's like Skittles for pants.

Scarves- I’m obsessed with scarves. I have more scarves than Imelda Marcos has shoes. Well, not quite. Maybe more scarves than Paris Hilton has chihuahuas.  I have plenty of warm weather, cold weather and all the weather in between scarves. I like something soft and lightweight around my neck (ha ha, no, not a dog collar thankyouverymuch).  Even when it’s warm out, having  a light weight scarf can serve several purposes- helps shield the sun from your decollete and keeps off the chills if the a/c is cranked somewhere.

Look how pretty and bright that is!

I bought at least three at H&M. They have wonderful prices and lots of great neutrals. I got a bright orange one at Nordstrom that was less than $20. I’m thinking it’s like my personal piece of sunshine to take with me wherever I go!

Next, let’s talk product-

Beauty Balms- For the ultra product-savvy, you know what these are. The industry calls them BB creams. For those that don’t know- these are like a tinted moisturizer that have SPF, primer, and brightening properties all in one product. They come on the really high-end like Dior- to the first ever at the drugstore brand- Garnier. I have yet to try the Garnier one, it’s sold out wherever I go. But the Dior one is great and so is one by Boscia. Some have one tint fits all, some have shades. If you are a less is more person- this is for you. You’ll get some coverage and sun protection in one product. Bam! You’re welcome.

Hair products-

There’s a line of products out there by ALTERNA  called Bamboo. I love their glossing creams and root sprays. They seem to have what the label promises, organic ingredients and I seem to be going back to them even though my bathroom looks like a Sephora store.

Find this at Ulta or Sephora.

Entertainment-

Yeah, I’m the queen of TV. Although, it seems as much TV as I watch, people will ask if I’m watching a show and I realize I haven’t been. So I know that I’m not watching EVERY show out there. Even though it seems that way to my husband.

GCB- the new show on ABC with Kristen Chenoweth, who I love! It’s over the top, ridiculous and campy. Perfect for me! Check it out!

And yes, she does sing on the show!

So there you have it. Like a little dish of candy all served up nice and sweet. Thanks for joining me. Tune in next week when I write about…. wait for it…. PMS- just like always. Okay, I don’t really know if I will, but 8 out of 10 posts seem to deal with that, so there’s a good chance of it in the forecast.

Raindrops on Roses

Whiskers on kittens…

I’m not Oprah. I won’t do a list of Favorite Things. And you won’t get anything for free.  But here’s some things that make me happy.

And since I complain all the time, I like balance. So I am giving you the yang to last week’s yin.

Sprout watches

"put a bird on it"

They’re made from corn resin, are mercury free, have recycled parts and smart packaging. AND they are very affordable. Super cute. I want one in every color. I have white and off-white. Their leather straps are made from fish skin. FISH SKIN! It’s already harvested and put to use. (Available at Nordstrom, Macys, and Sproutwatches.com)

Whitney

As in Cummings the comedienne not, Houston, Bobby Brown’s ex. She’s hilarious, cute, raunchy and still kind of sweet. I love the show and the characters’ dynamics. Her boyfriend is kind of lovable in a scruffy way. (NBC, Wednesday nights)

Alex and Whitney from "Whitney"

Neville Longbottom

HELLO? I’ve been saying all year that he’s the most under-rated Harry Potter character. The only reason Gryffindor won the house cup in the first book/movie is because of him, and they over came Lord Voldemort in the last one because of him too. Way to go Neville. And Matthew Lewis is super dashing with his straight teeth.

From awkward fella, to handsome young man.

Twice baked chocolate croissants

Bakery Nouveau has the corner-market on this. Enough can’t be said. Come to these parts and find out.

Thousand Island dressing

I still enjoy it even though it’s a little gross. A seafood louis salad with tomatoes and Thousand Island is a summer staple.

Eco tools make up brushes

These little babies are super affordable, planet friendly (I like ‘green’ things) and are some of my favorite make up tools. The bristles are soft, hold up to washing and apply makeup beautifully. They are very affordable and found at Target. Love them.

You can pretty much buy these anywhere.

Bridesmaids – the movie

Do I need to say more? BEST CHICK MOVIE EVER. I’m a huge Kristen Wiig fan, and now I’m a huge Melissa McCarthy fan. Gotta love smart, talented funny women.

Hilarious.

UPS

Duh? That little brown truck brings me all my goodies. Love it!

My Extravagant Hussy ‘favorites’ list

This list beats all other lists. It’s a list my husband shouldn’t read. Because he does not need to know that mascara can cost $20 and all my maintenance and beauty arsenal isn’t found at Walgreens or Big Lots.

Extravagant Hussy is a term my mom’s friend uses when she buys something expensive for herself. It’s sounds better than Fancy Slut or Expensive Bitch. But everyone, even Frugalistas have an Extravagant Hussy inside them that needs to come out sometimes.

So these are products that I LOVE and buy infrequently, or when I’ve done something spectacular, like chaperone a field trip for my kids’ school. It’s healthier than binge drinking and cheaper than therapy, so this is how I rationalize it.

Here they are:

1. Dior Addict Lipstick (Nordstrom, Sephora)

I find this lipstick to be luxurious, dewy, somewhat glossy, and just the right amount of opacity.  The tube looks fancy and the colors are flattering. What more could you ask for?

2. Shellac manicures at Julep (Seattle area only)

This is definitely a local gem to the Seattle area. I’m sure there are other nail bars in metropolitan cities that offer immaculate conditions, toxin free products, and aestheticians that are deft in their craft. Emmy did my last shellac at Julep. She is like the Michelangelo of nail technicians. Perfection.

3. It’s a 10 leave-in conditioner spray (Ulta, CVS)

You may already know I’m crazy about my WEN cleansing conditioner. But this leave-in spray is so good for these harsh, cold, dry days. I always get fly-aways from wearing hats, but this seems to tame them. Emma is using it too on her ends to keep them smooth.

4. Koh Gen Do moisture foundation (Barneys, Sephora.com)

Oh this stuff is magnificent. I’m not sure why the Japanese have the cornerstone  on make up, it must be all those Geisha girls in Japan that know how to have flawless skin. This is truly lightweight, buildable coverage; dewy, yet not greasy and makes you look flawless in pictures.

5. Giorgio Armani wet/dry powder compact (Nordstrom)

I use just a smidge of this with a nice fluffy brush over my foundation. It sets the makeup, doesn’t look chalky, and if you are having a bad face day and oily skin, you can use a wet sponge and go to town all over to get maximum coverage.

6. Cle de Peau concealer (Nordstrom, Barneys, Neiman Marcus)

The Rolls Royce of concealers. This baby wins awards from editors all the time. Pricey, but good. You will love it. Lasts forever too. I dot it on with a brush over my foundation before I powder. I even cover some freckles and sun spots with it. Truly a make up junkies magic wand.

7. Benefit High Beam (Sephora, Macy’s)

I love a little dot of this high light over my cheekbones. It’s great for date night, holiday parties, or special occasions. Not too much to draw attention to your wrinkles, but just a little glow over your makeup. Makes you look 20 again.

8. Benefit Powderflage (Sephora, Macy’s)

This is a funky little product. It comes in a little round orb. It’s a very light weight, light-diffusing concealer powder that comes with this tiny fan shaped brush. I use it to just dab a little bit of powder under my eyes for high light, to set my concealer, and to whisk away any eye shadow dust that’s fallen on my cheekbones. Such a little itty bitty thing- but lasts a long time since you don’t use much.

9. Dior Eyeshadow Palette (Nordstrom, Sephora, Nieman Marcus)

Dior eyeshadow is the best. It’s pigments are intense, true and lasting. The compacts are convenient and pair the perfect color combinations. Once you’ve tried these, you will never ever go to any drugstore product again. Worth. Every. Penny.

10. Avene moisture SPF 25 for Redness Relief (Soap.com, Skinstore.com)

I have sensitive skin. And I have rosacea, an alabaster complexion, I flush easily, and I get bumps when I go out in the sun. Wow. Lovely, huh? I always, always, always, (one more time) always, wear SPF, all year ’round. To keep my dry skin from being too dry, and or it to not break out from something too heavy, I need the perfect product. This has a slight tint of green, but not enough to make you look like a zombie or you need a new liver. It’s just a bit to cancel the red, ruddy cheeks my English genetics gave me.

Remember, I haven’t been endorsed by any companies, nor has anyone certified me on my expertise. Although my husband might certify me as crazy since I am a self-confessed product whore.  Hey, if you’re going to be any kind of whore, a product whore is the right kind. Right? I’ll shut up now.

Martha Stewart doesn’t live here anymore

From the time James and I were engaged to when Owen was born (2003), I would make my Christmas cards, homemade candles, chocolate truffles, soaps, ornaments, bake cookies and goodness knows what else, every holiday season. Yep, I was a regular Martha Stewart.

That has come to a screeching halt.

But what gives? My kids are in school, I could do all that stuff still. There’s a room full of craft supplies in the office.

I’m just not feeling it I guess.

Here I’m blogging about how to survive the holidays and one of my tips is making friends with people who bake so you don’t have to. I was the one that baked! I would make these elaborate cookie boxes to give out to friends. Oh where did those days go? Now a friend mentions that we should bake and decorate Christmas cookies with the kids. Uhm, I would rather listen to Kenny G in the aisles of Walmart on Black Friday while being chased by a honey badger, then clean up after the children bake cookies. All that frosting and sprinkle crap everywhere? Lord help me.

Maybe Cyber Monday has taken out the oomph I had to be so crafty. Maybe it’s age. Or laziness.

I have more time now. I think. My kids are in school. I sleep through the night, unlike a few years ago when one of them would still disrupt my slumber. So I can’t blame fatigue. I’m not training for a marathon or Mrs. Universal Fitness contest so I’m not spending my days in the gym and carbo loading. Well, I am carbo loading, but it’s not because I’m going to the gym!

Mind you- my house isn’t any cleaner than it was 10 years ago when I was staying up all hours making cards and cookies. It’s probably more filthy. But I think that’s because of the pet hair, Owen’s bathroom habits (or lack of aim), and the crap that has accumulated over the years that is spilling out of every room and into the hall ways.

To some, the crafting and making stuff is therapeutic, cathartic. To me, it was just stressful. It only added one more thing on my ‘to-do’ list.  I don’t doubt I was good at it. I made a mean-ass truffle and hot buttered rum mix. But I feel like I only have the mental capacity for so much. So now it’s mostly; did I remember to pack my kids’ lunch, does everyone have clean socks and underwear for the week, how many PTA meetings am I supposed to be at this week and when will I get to watch The Real Housewives? Those are my paramount concerns in my life.

I applaud and admire the crafty and creative people in my life. I really appreciate your hard work.

So I thought- you know DIY- Do it Yourself? Well, my new acronym is DIFM- Do it For Me. Please? Thanks.

 

 

My top 5 favorite products. Or 10. There’s a lot I like.

Maybe some of you read my blog for my witty banter about my kids and husband. Maybe some of you like to hear what my super cat is up to. And some of you read it and don’t finish it because you’re like, this woman is an idiot.

For those that read for my shopping, fashion and beauty wisdom, this is for you. Because I can say I’m so wise when it comes to beauty because….well, because, I buy a lot of shit and I worked in cosmetics for like 5 years. There. Yeah. Basically, I’m a self taught makeup/product aficionado. Just so you know, there’s no real scientific explanation or actual certification I got. It’s just my opinion. ALSO, the cool thing about my recommendations is no one is paying me to endorse them. I think beauty editors and bloggers get paid by companies. SO mine are completely neutral and honest. If I do ever sell myself out, you know  it would only be to put my kids through braces, college and their weddings.

Here’s my list:

WEN cleansing conditioner (QVC.com)

Their slogan is ‘Friends don’t let Friends use shampoo”. I love this stuff. My hair is like flaxen strands of silk. (okay, that’s a little exaggerated)  I would bathe every head and follicle in my household in this ‘cleansing  conditioner’, (it is not shampoo), if I could afford to. This is a mostly natural, non-sudsing, shampoo- conditioner-detangler-deep conditioning treatment in one product. If you’ve used it and don’t like it, it’s probably because you didn’t use enough product and water to make it do it’s thing. It’s a tricky deal. But once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be hooked. If you don’t want to afford it, or bother, just promise me you’ll use sulfate-free shampoo. If you color your hair and are using shampoo with sulfates (even high end brands have it, check the label) you are not doing yourself any favors.

Jane Iredale Magic Mitt (Beauty.com)

This washcloth is a microfiber mitt with a million little grippy loops that take away your makeup and dirt. No cleanser needed. You wash it with hand soap after you’re done, rinse it well, wring it out to hang to dry and use it over and over. It’s made of antibacterial fabric.  Takes off everything- waterproof stuff too.

Nature’s Gate Glow lotion (Target)

This gradual self tanner lotion has replaced my Jergens bottle. I like it’s natural ingredients and it’s pump dispenser. It’s very subtle for my alabaster complexion but gives a honey-tinted glow.

Weleda Food for the skin (Target, Whole Foods)

This is like Aquaphor but natural and made by Germans. I love products made in Germany. If you need something heavy and slick for chapped areas but don’t like petroleum in a lot of products out there, this is very pleasant.
It seems to nourish your skin- just like the label says- ‘skin food’. Don’t eat it though.

Clean and Clear pimple paste (Target)

I’ve talked about this one before. It’s white so you can only use it at night. Dries up zits. Period.

Josie Maran Argan Oil (QVC and Sephora)

If you’ve noticed, Argan Oil is everywhere now. It’s like what soy was in 2005. You’re going to start seeing it in baby formula and cat food for crying out loud! It’s a precious oil from Morocco that is great for your hair and skin. You don’t need a fancy brand of it, it can be very expensive, just read the ingredients list that what you do buy isn’t full of fillers and preservatives. You want the pure oil.

EOS lip balm and shave cream (Ulta)

These lip balms come in these round balls they are so cute and roll over your lips soothingly. (That read kind of weird.)  Their lotion is similar in packaging. All eco-friendly, happy ingredients and no fillers.

Urban Decay shadow primer (Ulta,  Sephora, Beauty.com)

This is it. You will wonder why you lived without this product. It comes in four different formulas. All good. It just depends on your taste. Does your eyeshadow fade, crease, wander? This will stop it from doing all of those. Done. You’re welcome.

Bliss Oxygen mask (Sephora)

I love Bliss products. One day I want to go to their New York spa. This is their affordable version of your own spa at home. It foams up and makes your skin feel soft and look brighter. I put it on in the shower and let it do it’s thing while I shave my legs. And then I look like Heidi Klum.

Preserve Toothbrushes (Whole Foods, Trader Joes)

I love these little guys. They are made with recycled yogurt containers. When you’re done with one, buy a new one and pop the old one into the new one’s wrapper. Tape it shut and drop it in a mailbox. They will recycle your toothbrush into another toothbrush. Not in the gross way. They refab the plastic, not the bristles! No worries.

Oh, one more I had to squeeze in-

John Frieda Full Repair Flyaway Tamer

You know those little frizzy hairs at your part line? Or the baby hairs at your temples that are from when your hair grew back after it all fell out having kids and then it never grew in the same way? Well, whatever stray hairs you have- this product is for that. Some magazines and editorials say to take an eyebrow brush with hairspray and brush over them. What I don’t like about this, is, the hairspray evaporates and within a couple hours, my hairs are springing up like goosebumps in December. This is the perfect blend of control and non-greasiness.

Have fun and let me know how you like them. I promise I won’t say I told you so.