June 30, 2009

The Goods: Sunscreen

I have gone round and round with sunscreen, specifically for my face. I have that skin that freckles as it tans so even though I can turn a brownish color for the season, my freckles are here to stay. Last year I was committed to wearing sunscreen daily (even in the winter) and it caused more problems than it corrected. I guess I should just come to terms with the fact that I have super-sensitive skin and pretty much anything has the potential for adverse reactions (a.k.a. breakouts...yuck!).

So I gave up on wearing sunscreen for awhile, but now that we are in the throws of summer and I don't want to look old before my time, I've given it another try. But why is it so hard to find one that works for me? Sometimes I stand in the aisle at the drugstore looking like a lost puppy...hoping that one of the brands will just jump off the shelf. Does anyone else feel like shopping for sunscreen requires dermatological expertise? I decided to try several brands and hope for the best.

Maybe it was timing or maybe these newer formulas are just better, but I couldn't be more pleased with the ones I am using now. For my face I love Aveeno Ultra-Calming formula in spf 15 and if I'm not wearing make-up, Garnier Nutritioniste spf 28. I also rub this one on the backs of my hands (they get lots of sun while driving). I like Neutrogena Sensitive Skin spf 60 for my neck & decollete which manages to get sun even when I don't mean for it to (wearing v-necks, tanks tops, etc.). We have enough wrinkles to look forward to thanks to gravity...I don't want to help that process one bit.

Finally, I keep a generic (CVS storebrand) bottle of wanna-be Aveeno Lotion with Colloidal Oatmeal spf 15 in my car so I can slather it on my arms if they seem to be getting too much sun while I'm driving. I try to wait until stopped at a red light to do this, so don't worry! Am I obsessed with sunscreen? probably, but as a former Vacation Burner and Tanning bed visitor, I think I have much to make up for.

June 17, 2009

Something is familiar...candle deja vu

I just love unique little local shops that offer a certain special experience for the shopper. When you walk in, somebody stops what he/she is doing and greets you. There might be a little plate of cookies and a coffee pot or a tea carafe for you to help yourself to. And always a wonderful smell that floats in the air and makes for a much pleasanter experience. If you couldn't tell, smells are big with me. I can't help it. So anyway, in one particular shop that I visited recently, as soon as I walked in the door, this delicious warm vanilla scent overtook us and I had to find its source. It was a big-ish jar candle with a cute green label claiming it was created locally (Maryville, TN). I think it was around $20 and I seriously was considering buying it so I could take this smell home with me (you know this is big because I'm cheap), but upon closer inspection of the label, I thought to myself: "I've seen this before...I have this candle!" Sure enough, when I got home I found a brand new version of the exact same scented candle that I had loved so much in the store. Of course mine had a $1 price tag, as in yard sale price tag. Why would somebody sell a great (great smelling too) candle such as this at a yard sale? Maybe only so I could buy it and save $19 to spend at another yard sale. I don't know. But now my house smells like warm vanilla (Creme Brulee to be exact) and I can get that same invited feeling everytime I go home at the end the day. Apparently these candles can be sold as some type of fundraising thing and would seem to have a pretty good appeal. www.laurelmountaincandles.com is the website and there are tons of other scents in case warm vanilla heaven isn't your thing.

June 16, 2009

A dash of silver

Sometimes it can be so fun to get away for the day and pretend you are on a vacation. I suppose anytime you escape in any form or fashion can be considered a mini-vacation. Well I did just that this past Saturday. In the nearby town of Clinton, antique stores abound and time seems to slow down a little bit. I suggest, no, insist that you start with lunch at Hamock's Perkadeli. There are two kinds of chicken salad (both delicious and yes, I tried both!), wonderful soups, yummy salads and all sorts of sweet treats to end the meal. And you will definitely need to eat so you have the strength to endure walking and shopping in the nearly 20 different specialty antique stores. I lucked out and found this sterling salt and pepper shaker set for $10. It always cracks me up how people sell silver for cheap just because it happens to be tarnished. Obviously the one on the right is the before. A little Wright's Silver Polish and elbow grease and you have the one on the left. Now they are both sparkling and displayed prominently at my house. Yay antiques!

June 15, 2009

Souvenir del mar

I was fortunate enough to visit New Orleans several years ago (pre-Katrina) and I found it to be the most interesting place. I think it might be one of those cities everyone should visit at least once in his or her life and I'm glad to have been able to see it when I did. During my stay, we rode the St. Charles Ave. streetcar over to the Garden District and spent the day just walking around, taking in the sights. In and around the massive homes (neatly tucked behind security gates), were lots of little eateries and shops with local art and wares. In one particular shop, I spotted this cheeky mermaid and couldn't resist bringing her home with me. Her lower body is the painted half of a coconut and I think she just has such personality. I love things like this that someone actually spent time creating. I don't think she cost all that much, but to me she is absolutely priceless. I have always had a thing with mermaids and she is the perfect addition to my (growing) art collection. Maybe I'll find a merman to keep her company!

June 10, 2009

TGI Wednesday

Wednesdays have always been pretty much my favorite day of the week. Every Wednesday isn't the greatest, but for the most part, they are smooth sailing and they signal the gentle downward slope of the work week as we know it. Today was awesome because I was able to spend some of it with Leon's Diva Grandmama (aka my mom) and we had a wonderful lunch together. I have never been a huge proponent of the popular chain restaurant TGI Friday's. I'm so glad we branched out and tried it today though, because I may have had the greatest salad of my life. Topped with mandarin oranges, blue cheese crumbles, dried cranberries and pecan-crusted chicken, the salad was tossed in balsamic dressing. It was heavenly. Of course eating it across the table from my lovely ma didn't hurt either. What a wonderful treatie and a good way to spend a Wednesday too.