Friday, December 5, 2014


This week has zoomed by for me.  Despite the fact that Monday we had no power for 9 hours and only got 2 hours worth of school done, I've found that making up the time has been more difficult than anticipated.  My son has not only kept up with the work, he is right on schedule and has a light work day today.  On his agenda is his unit test for science which we will have to review and study for, one live lesson and reading for his leadership class.  All that in 6 hours?  He can do it all in 3!  And if the rain continues as it has this morning (and every morning all week) he may not be able to do PE in the park.  Just Dance, anyone?

I really do love the flexibility of homeschooling.  It allows us to move things around to fit our schedule and our needs.  But that 25 hour per week requirement can get tricky.  Some weeks it's not a problem; he has portfolios and projects to turn in, along with lessons and tests.  Other weeks, it's smooth sailing, and those are the times when we have to be creative.  In school, their time in class counts no matter what they're doing, and there were times my son would come home and tell me they did nothing in class but talk to their friends and play board games.  It doesn't work that way for me.  He has to do actual school work to count for his attendance.  Any hours he makes over on one week do not count for other weeks; it's 25 hours minimum each week.  I could "fudge" the numbers, but what would Jesus think of that?  And what lesson would I be teaching my son?  For me, that's not an option.  What is an option is reading.  Any reading.  Except that my youngest son, unlike his siblings, is not a fan of reading.  Thankfully he does like reading mangas, and that's what he did.

Breakfast for today:  cold cereal and toast, along with my coffee and morning vitamin cocktail.  I've been having eggs and bacon for breakfast almost everyday, and while I do enjoy that traditional kind of meal, it does get tiring.  Lunch/dinner (I typically cook in the afternoon for the whole day) is easy chicken and stuffing in my trusty crockpot.  I don't know what I'd do without my crockpots.  They're my favorite appliance in the kitchen.  No, make that the whole house.

So y'all, this morning I got an email that got me so excited - 20% off of everything on the Bare Escentuals website!  I was there in a nano-second.  Now, before it starts looking like my life revolves around makeup and that's where I spend all my time and money, let me explain why a sale like this gets my attention.  I actually don't own a whole lot of makeup.  A few years ago (I believe it was 2007 or 2008) I received a gorgeous Elizabeth Arden makeup kit for Christmas.  It had eyeshadows, blushes, lipsticks, eye liners, and a beautiful set of brushes.  Of that set, the only things I no longer have are the blushes (there were 2) and one lipstick.  Everything else is what I have been using.  Yes, some of the eyeshadow palettes are down to almost nothing, but there are a few that still have product left.  The problem is, after all these years they are barely pigmented anymore, and even those that do show up when I use them don't have lasting power.  The lipsticks are nice; actually, only one of them gets used regularly.  One I don't really care for, and the other is gorgeous but it's a very dark red, so it's only appropriate for special occasions.  My brown eye liner is almost gone.  The black and silver ones I still have and they work pretty well (surprisingly).  The brushes, well, I finally started to replace them because they were looking the worse for wear.  It has been time to get new makeup and tools for a while now.

The only items I replaced regularly were my foundation, powder and blush.  Because I have sensitive skin, I have to be careful what products I use.  Brands like Maybelline and Cover Girl which have strong chemicals and fragrances make me break out.  I'd been using Almay products, specifically the Smart Shade variety.  I liked not having to go to a store and get color-matched; these products adapt to the skin's natural shade.  And they worked great - at first.  See, the foundation comes in a tube.  When I would get a new tube, the foundation looked good, the color would match, and it was pretty smooth.  Then I'd get halfway through the tube and the color wasn't looking the same.  I couldn't mix the product in the tube, and I think it would separate after awhile.  By the time I was at the end of the product I looked like a hot mess.  I didn't like the feel of the makeup either; it felt heavy on my skin.  I "felt" like I was wearing makeup, if that makes sense.  The powder blush I use is also Smart Shade technology, but I find I have to layer it on before it will even show.  And as for the powder, it's blah.  Yes, it takes away the shine, but it doesn't last very long.  I wasn't unhappy with my makeup, but I wasn't liking it much either.

It was actually my daughter's skin problems that prompted me to make some changes.  My daughter has rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness and rash.  She takes medicines for it but whenever her face flares up it's hard to conceal.  She tried several products but the redness would still show through.  She also started having lesions appear on her face.  We went to see a dermatologist who diagnosed her with a form of lupus.  Though none of the tests came back positive for systemic lupus (the disease that affects the whole body), she did have a very low positive for discoid lupus (which affects only the skin).  She went on treatment for it but it only worsened.  The dermatologist we were seeing kept insisting it was getting better, but we knew that wasn't the case, so we went to see a different dermatologist.  This one took one look at her face and did a biopsy right then and there.  Y'all, it was the longest and most difficult 11 days of our lives, waiting for the results.  Praise the Lord, the tests came back negative for cancer, lupus, viruses, and bacteria.  After 2 very small biopsies, we finally received a diagnosis:  serbo psoriasis, a form of dermatitis that can be treated with a non-steroid cream, and which could in time disappear on its own, though like rosacea can have flare-ups.  It was wonderful news, and we were thankful to God that it wasn't anything more serious.  But she was left with two small scars on her face and no real cure.

It was important to me to help find products for my daughter that would cover up the scarring and skin conditions, but that were also gentle, since both conditions get aggravated pretty easily.  At the same time I wanted something new for myself, though I didn't expect both of us to be using the same makeup.  After all, I'm 50 (and I'll be 51 in 9 days) and my daughter is 24.  Her needs are different from mine, so it stands to reason her makeup would be different from mine.  When my hairdresser said she used Bare Minerals, I took my daughter to Ulta and we both tried their foundation.  I was so thrilled to see that this product worked well for both of us - it provides great coverage for her for hours, and feels light and comfortable on my skin.  We had both found what we wanted - now we needed to build up our makeup stock.  In my opinion, Bare Minerals isn't expensive, when you think of how very little product is needed to get the coverage you want, whether it's light or full coverage or somewhere in between.  A little goes a long way.  But the initial investment can be pricey.  Unless you shop wisely.

I look for sets - value packs that bring several items, whether in trial sizes, small sizes, or gift sets with promos.  I find I can get the biggest bang for my buck that way.  So when I got the email this morning telling me they are giving 20% off of everything, I quickly went on the website to the Last Chance section.  These are items that are perfectly great but that are being discontinued for whatever reason.  I found two items that I had to snatch up immediately.  The first is called 7 Ways To Bare, and it's 7 neutral eyeshadows for everyday wear.  I have some of their shimmery and glittery eyeshadows and they're wonderful, but I wanted something with a little less "glam".  These colors are perfect, and because they're last chance, the price is $21.  Add the 20% off discount, and the price dropped to $16.80.  That's $2.40 EACH!!!  Hello! Just one eyeshadow of theirs costs $16!  Talk about a great deal!  I also went ahead and ordered Double Trouble, a mini lipstick and lipgloss duo, originally $14, dropped to $9, and with the 20% discount came to $7.20.  Oh, and did I mention, FREE SHIPPING?!  Yeah, this girl is a happy camper, for sure!  The 20% off is good till Sunday December 7, for anyone that is interested.

So my son finished his work for the day and we were able to do the 6 hours he needed to finish out the week. He took his science test but even though we reviewed and re-read the material, he got a 72% on the multiple choice.  We have to wait for the teacher to grade the 2 essay questions to get a final grade.  Some of the questions were tricky, so when he went back to see what he got wrong there was a lot of, "Ugh! I thought it might be that one or the one I picked."  I'm really hoping the teacher will give him full points on the essays, though I know she's pretty picky.  We'll have to wait and see.

I've started watching my Christmas DVD's.  We no longer have satellite television; we have Hulu Plus and Netflix.  I can watch Christmas movies there, but a couple years ago I got a Lifetime Channel collection of 12 movies for $29 at Barnes and Noble that I really enjoy watching, so I figured one per day will keep me in the Christmas spirit :-).  We did watch Christmas Vacation and Christmas With The Kranks before Thanksgiving - I love those comedies!  Yesterday I watched His and Her Christmas and today I watched Under The Mistletoe.  They're more on the sappy, chick flick side, but hey, I'm a sappy chick.  What can I say?

My oldest son is out with his friends, my daughter is at the church office's Christmas party, my youngest son is finishing up a documentary, so I think I'll go watch Shelbey on her youtube channel.  Have a great night folks!

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