The other day a dude I know was giving his wife a hard time about how much her makeup costs. I grew up in a family of gearheads who could tell you the difference between motor mounts but have no idea why a Wet n Wild eyeliner is $1 and the Chanel is the same price as getting your interior detailed. I had to figure out the makeup game on my own, through trial and error and some great friends.
I took it upon myself to explain cosmetics the way it would make sense to any of the grease monkeys I grew up around.
First off, makeup has two basic categories, drug store brands and the high end makeup counters. Come to think of it, they should be the DRUG stores because they are more like dealers. They give out samples so you keep coming back for new product and it's priced like something that should be illegal.
The difference between these two places is price and quality, just like getting after-market upgrades to your muscle car. Don't you want a custom intake on your new manifold or should we just leave the stock systems in place? Uhhh...no! You also might have to search for something that is a better option than what you have locally or have a custom parts made. We all have different skincare needs and they change as we get older and with changes in our bodies, like having kids. That's why you need skincare that works for whatever type of skin you may have. You can't just go pick out any part for a car and expect it to fit anymore than you can throw any old stuff on your face and expect it to be happy and healthy. You want it run cherry, you've got to maintain that girl.
When you have body work done can you just not use primer? We have primer too, and it's not cheap and it does the same thing for our makeup, it keeps the color longer and truer so that the paint job doesn't flake off. You can't skip steps for full-face and expect to have it work all day and night.
When a car gets a few miles on it, you have to make sure you upgrade the oil to a high-mileage weight to keep the viscosity on the engine down. Well, women who have a few miles on their skin need some better products to keep the wear and tear of rolling their eyes at their kids all day long from taking a toll on their face!!
The highly micronized and vibrant pigments contained in high-end products are no different than making sure that you get the best after market upgrades for your cars. They last longer and work better because they are higher quality and made from more expensive materials. The same for repainting a beloved car. This also goes for nails and hair styling. Quality craftsmanship and products cost money and you don't just want to take your car to be worked on by a bargain basement restorer.
You wouldn't trust a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud to be restored by just anyone. You wouldn't throw faux leather seats in a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud so please understand that I am not using drug store bronzer that has glitter in it to contour my face. I would look as jacked up as that Rolls with fake leather glitter seats and fuzzy dice.
The high end Sephora or Ulta brands are no different than getting a lift kit (brows) and pin-striping (liner) for your totally dope ride. You need a steady hand for the pin-striping and it takes a professional to get some perfect lines every time. You want undereffects, then you should understand highlighter!
The tools you use also matter, and that's why brushes can cost so much and there are so many different kinds. You can't work on a car with one wrench.
Ladies, you can apply this concept to any beauty product you use, so please feel free to explain away why it costs so much to add that little bit of sparkle to your day, wether it is via a new lipstick or a fancy manicure that give you a bounce in your step. Every car person knows how great it feels to have a purring engine that's freshly washed and waxed to take around town so they should understand how it feels to walk out with a bag of goodies from Ulta now.
I am not Italian. I speak Italian, and I'm mostly made up of breadsticks if you look at my life as a whole but Italian isn't in my family makeup. I think Italian and Mexican culture are very similar. We both talk with our hands, sometimes much too loudly, we love having a party for days that end in Y, and food is love.
When I lived in Italy, I felt so very much at home. One of the most wonderful parts of my week is when we would go to my neighbors house for café and pizza and do nothing.
We call this, "Dolce far Niente" and it simply means The Sweetness of Doing Nothing. When you ask me what I am doing this weekend and I say nothing, it doesn't mean I'm looking to fill my time with an activity. We share lots of ideas on things to get you out of the house all around the area and I am happy that so many people add to their lives by finding some great event that they enjoy and create memories by participating in them.
This is the opposite of that. This is the joy of not being scheduled, not running late, not worrying about anything. When we had our Thursday pizza nights, we walked over and sat outside in the courtyard with a take-away pizza from the restaurant down the street where the guy behind the glass would throw dough and hit on my without missing a step. We grabbed Peroni and Coca-cola and threw them in a cooler, next to the stackable plastic chairs and table that exist in every corner of the world and remind you of home.
In our overscheduled lives of trying to accomplish more in a 24 hour time-frame than we did last week, we need to find balance. Carve time to do nothing and add to your life by sharing experiences, quieting your phones, and being present. It's amazing what a big bold life can hold, but can be appreciated so much more by adding a touch of sweetness.
Sometimes, I don't want to see an animated film at the movies. I want to go with my friends and have actual conversations about literature, food and objectify guys with their shirts off on the big screen. Sometimes, I don't want to to the park to watch my adorable children go down the slide for the hundredth time. Sometimes, I just want to sit in silence and sip my coffee without interruption.
I get the message from some media that I am supposed to find unparalleled joy from being present every moment. This is an unrealistic idea that needs to be squashed. I LOVE my children. They are the best part of my life but it doesn't mean that I don't need other things in my life to make me a whole person. Motherhood isn't the end of who I am, or will become.
This is annoying for more than one reason. Some advertisers make it seem like I will find bliss with a new vacuum cleaner or all-purpose detergent. They never seem to make Dad's the hero of getting excited by the smells of clean dishes. This makes us somehow think that if we don't love mopping floors and feeding a baby while they throw most of the food on that freshly mopped floor that we are somehow failing at achieving this bliss point of motherhood. It make us a "bad mom" for not being fulfilled by cleaning a house, or listening to our kids talk about their video games that we don't play. It needs to end. It doesn't mean that I am failing as a mom if I just want some peace and quiet once in a while, that makes me human.
Give yourself a break. I literal and figurative break from the demands of enjoying being a parent. Sometimes it's the epitome of your day, the moment they throw their little arms around your neck, but then you step on a lego and want to sweep every toy in to the trash because legos are the worst thing that can happen to a heel and why can't anyone pick up after themselves, what am I your maid!??! and that's completely okay.
It's okay to be a bad mom who just wants a conversation where someone calls you by your first name. It makes a huge difference to make those connections where you find your tribe of women who understand that we are more than one part of our lives.
A daycation destination we can't get enough of is the Chesapeake Bay Wine trail. We're profiling each vineyard with insights on each tasting room but we also wanted to encourage you to visit their Facebook and see all of the upcoming events and get tickets! We love insider information and that's the place to find out where they are hosting private enhanced tastings, wine pairing dinners, oyster roasts and so much more.
The passport looks like the real thing and when you pick one up you can collect stamps at each vineyard and winery on the trail. The stamps you collect can earn you great discounts and we love a deal, especially on a mosaic of the land like wine. Why keep a diary of where you've been when you can drink it?
Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail Facebook Page
Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail Website
Caret Cellars on Facebook
General's Ridge Vineyard Facebook Page
Good Luck Cellars
Oak Crest Vineyard and Winery
Dog and Oyster Vineyard
Vault Field Vineyards
My little miss loves Kawaii. If you don't know what this is, just picture all the Hello Kitty type animals you can imagine. She loves them. The little animals can be hard to find so we decided to do some DIY magic.
You will need:
White Canvas Shoes
Sharpies or other permanent markers
White candle or Waterproofing spray
First you'll need some canvas shoes in a light color. I picked up some basic white lace-ups at a local superstore, but you can grab some here: Amazon White Sneakers
Next you'll need to get your designs ready. Sketch out what you want, and pass the shoes back and forth putting some shapes, designs and patterns on them until they reach a style you like. Some helpful hints are to not layer lighter colors over dark, as they may smudge and color in outlines after the outline has dried.
My daughter used some references online and simply googled for inspiration. The coloring took us around an hour, but it was a great hour of conversation and coloring. She loved picking the designs and colors. Pinterest has tons of art inspiration, or you could choose to put a classic book cover as the motif. Imagine a The Giving Tree pair of shoes, or some Curious George slides. The possibilities are endless.
After they're decorated you have two methods to seal them from smearing or fading out when they get wet. We choose the first option, and sprayed them with Waterproofing Spray. If you can't wait, or just want to try a different option, grab a white candle. Rub the candle all over the canvas of the shoes. Once it's covered throughly, get a hairdryer and melt the wax film that's covering the canvas. You will see it seep in and disappear. This is a simple way to make your canvas shoes water-resistant and repel dirt.
I hope you have as much fun as we did!
When I lived in Italy, our favorite time of day was when we would all gather in the courtyard of my house, or one of my neighbors and enjoy some light snacks, a glass of wine and perhaps some fruit to refresh after a long day. The setting sun in the distance and the warmth rising from the cobblestone walkways. I was recently struck by the nostalgia of those nights when I walked into the courtyard at Ingleside Vineyard.
Wine and art have so many things in common. They inspire, are contemplative, and evoke strong emotions. You can find a perfect blend of art and wine that brings joyful color to every inch of your day at Jacey Vineyards. We were lucky enough to stay in one of the spacious private residences that are available on site and enjoyed local oysters from in the literal backyard of the vineyard.
This stop on the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail became a reality in order to take a traditional farm and transition it to a safer place for the waterways surrounding the acres and acres of vines where fields once stood. Vineyards don't contribute to contamination in the same way that livestock or commercial farming does and this transition has yielded some gorgeous wines.
The tasting room is spacious and can accommodate a group and routinely hosts events like the painting classes hosted by Nancy Jacey, a fine art painter based in Richmond and daughter to owner, Dr. Jacey. Follow the Facebook page to learn when you can enroll in a painting class. The labels you find on the bottles are all original works from Nancy Jacey and are perfect representations of the vibrant flavors you will find throughout a tasting. This is a stop on the Virginia Artisan Trail and it's no surprise that the classes sell out very quickly. Be sure to book them as soon as they are listed!
Tasting Passports can be purchased at any of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail locations or online at: chesapeakebaywinetrail.com/ Save money at each winery by pre-purchasing your tastings.
The Virginia Oyster trail has many stops that coincide with the Virginia Wine Trail and this is a prime location to find some of the most delicious oysters available anywhere in Coastal Virginia.
NOTABLE FOR: Most Artistic, Eco-Tourism, Foodie Friendly
If you are all about being oceanside during the summer, there are a few essentials you need for you beach bag. This is what I try to keep handy and some hacks on how to make a beach trip about having fun and reduce the stress.
When my twins were little, it was near impossible to have a good time at the beach, in part because I was carrying most of my home routine to the beach and trying to make it work while they ate sand or cried because some saltwater got in their eyes. I didn't give up though, and these are some ideas that have helped me tremendously.
I come by my name honestly. I was raised by a full-on flower child hippie and there are some things that I learned growing up that I just assumed everyone knew how to do, that I know now aren't common knowledge. A few of my hippie life-hacks for you to live a little better and a little closer to the principles of using natural products, and loving the earth. Here are some laundry hacks.
1. Lemon juice and sunshine will get your clothes whiter than any bleach. If you have a garment that you want make super-white, soak it in lemon juice and water and dry it in the sunshine. For an extra wow whitener, spread it on a mirror and let it bleach via the sun.
2. Vinegar will soften your clothes and take out a variety of gross smells. I am talking baby barf, kids nasty gym socks, and submariners t-shirts stink after 6 months. Add a couple cups to a load or for nasty tennis shoes or something extra gross (baby barf cloths) soak in a bucket of hot water and vinegar then wash like usual. You won't smell the nasty anymore or the vinegar. This is especially great for new clothes that arrive with the stiffeners in them all factory fresh and full of chemicals.
3. Essential oils are awesome. A word of caution with essential oils is to only purchase aromatherapy grade oils and only use a tiny bit. Also keep them stored the same way you would medications, because they can be toxic due to their concentrations. You can freshen clothes by using a non-toxic dryer ball (like alpaca or wool) and add a couple drops of essential oils to freshen your clothing. The dryer balls reduce the time you're using the dryer as well. If you want to cut the dependence on the dryer altogether, just hang all the clothes outside. I put up a clothesline in the backyard and purchased the pulleys, line-tightener and rope right from Amazon and added it to a birthday shipment a couple years ago.
4. Baking soda is your friend. I buy this stuff in bulk because it's great for close to a million things around the house and totally safe to have on your skin. Adding a 1/2C of baking soda to the wash will help soften clothes and make your detergent work better. You can also make a paste and scrub the sides of shoes to get them sparkling again although I like to use a magic eraser for my Chucks. Baking soda is also great for getting out smells. If you want to absorb some nasty stuff before it even gets to the washer, sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the bottom of the hamper. It also soaks up moisture, which is great for our beach clothes and suits that might take some time to get to the delicate cycle. You can also make a paste of baking soda and peroxide to get stains out, but it may lighten colors, so be mindful of that. I used this as a stain remover when my twins were tiny blobs and were on formula. You know a formula stain is there to stay and it took it right out. Now I use it to get out the occasional red wine stain on my own outfits. Times change.
5. Spray starch. I know, you don't think of hippies really ironing all day long but I was in the military. You can make spray starch easily and it makes ironing really much easier and your clothes look great. All you need is the cornstarch that you keep in the pantry. Yeah, in the yellow thing. Saucepan with enough water to fill your spray bottle, a tablespoon of starch, a tablespoon of vinegar and boil it while whisking that mix until it dissolves. Let it cool, add a drop of some essential oil and you're good to go. Enjoy ironing as much as a person can. Not my favorite thing to do, but I like to look like a professional and not someone who just woke up all the time.
I hope my hippie tricks help you find some small changes to make to take some of the chemicals out of your laundry routine and keep you healthy and happy!!
My name is Starlite, and before you ask, YES! My parents were hippies. I am an artist who has traveled all over the world and settled in Suffolk, VA. It's a quaint part of Hampton Roads that I liken to Mayberry at times.
I am an artist who teaches classes around Hampton Roads and sells private commissions for artwork and murals.
I am a big fan of sarcasm, craft beer & bourbon. I love the water and a good book, ferris wheels, bad dancing and good conversations.