It's About Living Better, More Than Just Makeup, Thoughts of the Day

Long weekend Try-Outs

I tried a few new products this weekend.

First, Oui French Style Yogurt, from Yoplait.

Now, I know it’s probably not new, but it is new to me.  I’m that girl that hates to shop in the store. You know the crowd,  the overwhelming choices and being the planner I am… I never go with out a list.  AND, I only buy what is on the list!  So, for me to find something new on my own, without first hearing about it from a friend, is just a miracle.

So, on this day, I just couldn’t get up the appetite for anything at home and went looking for “yogurt”.  Thank goodness my list didn’t have a brand or flavor already chosen!  As I entered the dairy section, (after a 6 months absence) I noticed the yogurt section had changed dramatically. There were so many different labels and offerings.

Point of clarity: I shop a small local grocer when I’m desperate. Price won’t matter. Cleanliness does. Service does.

So back to the hunt for the yogurt.  I’m sure someone who walked up might have thought I was a wax figure as I stood there reading each variety of label front.  Peach, strawberry, blueberry, vanilla, orange, caramel, chocolate… and it goes on!  Line after line of white plastic containers with all sorts of flavors and styles.

THEN! Right above my eye level there’s this glass jar of yogurt. I could see the product inside. Brightly colored yellow on the bottom…lemon. Pastels with fruit were strawberry and raspberry.  Beautiful!

So, as you can tell above, I tried it! Don’t you love the smooth texture of yogurt?  This is supposed to be french style… and I’m not a gourmet, so I really couldn’t tell the difference between it and other Yoplait yogurts. But, let me tell you… on this day, at this time… it tasted excellent!

I love that the label is removable and the container is glass.  It has a rounded edge and it’s quite adaptable for other uses.  I do love to re-purpose.  Here’s what I used the first jars for:

I can’t wait til I find some ribbon or maybe tape to decorate them. I’m sure I’ll have a complete collection soon. While I like the clear water in the flower container, I think I have some music print wrap paper to decoupage the pencil jar for the piano. I’ll be looking for rose gold washi tape for my foundation, to match my system!   I have a special event coming up soon and I think they’ll make nice bases for centerpieces. Maybe if I start now, I can root some pretty ivy for the table.   It’s sort of like having baby food jars again, without the twist at the top.

The next thing that was new to me was a personal cleanse product. I’m not great at this but why not? It’s a long weekend, no where I have to be and it just might give me a jump on next week’s health kick.  Yeah, I decided to try to summon up some extra will power and do a better job planning meals and getting exercise.  So, I read some labels and most seemed rather daunting. I found this one from ESPIRA.  It says it’s a 3 day cleanse.  Three caps in the morning and three in the evening for three days. Easy to remember… the power of 3!  I really couldn’t tell I was “doing” a cleanse and I felt great at the end of the three day period. Everything seemed quite natural and it seems it helped reset my metabolism rhythm.  I read someone said it’s the gift that keeps on giving, ha!

www.youravon.com/lil
three day gentle cleanse to help reset metabolism

Of course this brand has other products and I think I might try the Hunger Block. Taken 30 minutes before meals appears to be the secret. All the products are Vegan. And, as I’m going to do a better job of meal planning, that may just support my goals while I return to better habits. There are also shakes that one friend loves. She adds peanut butter and almond milk to hers. We’ll see.

Next, I will be moving around more. I’ve decided to sweep the sidewalk everyday instead of every two weeks. I’ll also take both dogs walking instead of one. If the hubs wants to walk one of them, that dog will be extra happy.  I earned a Fit Bit once during an incentive, and I have it all charged up and ready to go.

So, I think having a long weekend when you are retired is a little useless. I enjoyed them more when I was working. Now, they appear to be an opportunity to explore and find something new. Of course, it’s still a time to remember or celebrate certain historical acts, but as far as being off work… I’m always off.  (maybe in more ways than one)  Just as a note, I may earn a little from any purchase you make of espira, but the yogurt review is all on me. I love it and plan to be specific on my shopping list.  Lemon is my favorite flavor!

Finding new products and taking time to share them with others is a great way for me to be about living better, in my book!  I’d love to know your thoughts about how I spent my long weekend. Just take a minute and jot it down at the bottom of this post.  Subscribe, if you like.  I’ll let you know what else I discover about my new retirement adventure.

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It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

It’s a Grand Night with the Grands

This morning.

Excitedly, I enjoyed the grand girls.  Rarely do they stay over on a school night.  A series of comical events took place and that’s how it came to pass… but that’s another post!

First, I need to say the eldest will graduate high school in a couple of weeks.  I was present when she was born, but my favorite baby memory was toddling as fast as she could across the living area, slamming the wall with the loudest thud! So excited that she arrived first at the wall, turned with eyes blazing and CRASH! Down came the shelf holding granny’s antique ruby cut glass goblets.

Every single piece broken and shattered.  The now 18 year old graceful beauty, stood there, frozen with the biggest smile and eyes flickering.  Trying not to panic, I said ‘great job!’, be very still”.  Poppie was about to lose it behind me.  She was barefoot.  I reached over, grabbed her up and we laughed as Poppie grabbed the broom.  Safe baby, no more ruby cut glass goblets.

Now, during her last two weeks of high school, I get a night. Like the days when her mother was small, I made school lunches. Turkey on cheese bread, veggie bag, lil cheese and freshly made fudge.  I even drew pictures on the sacks so they could tell them apart (I bet they appreciate the heck out of that embarrassment ).

The middle child is just exactly that. She agrees to second fiddle when the sleeping choices are discussed. She’s happy to wait her turn in the conversation and pleasantly lays out all her clothes for the morning. Since I’m a makeup freak, I’m her best friend right now. I have tons of makeup. She especially likes the airbrush because it’s different, but shy’s away from skin care (which is ok, for now).

The ‘little’ is all under my feet! She wants to help make fudge. She talks incessantly. She’s excited to learn to read the recipe, and I am able to help by stirring the sugar and butter, as her reach is quite short. She didn’t taste it once… not even once! She measured twice and got everything just right. A little impatient waiting for it to boil, we had time to talk about her upcoming piano recital, the STARR test tomorrow (what?) and my iPad needing charging. She was first to rise this morning and prepare for school before making her way to the kitchen to check on the fudge.

At grandma’s we always have ice cream with breakfast. We’ve done it since our now 20 year old grand was a tot. Her mother was not too sure about that, but continues to deal with the ritual.  Today’s menu includes egg taco’s, salsa (we usually have pancakes) and ice cream. What else?

https://lillmi.com
Ice cream goes with breakfast at grandma’s

Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

It’s fun to be a grandma. You don’t get days like this very often. When I do, I try to make the very best of them.  Soon (very soon) there will be two to stay over on a school night. It will never be like this again.

How excited I am to see the next phase, when I have three adult grands and six little’s. What’s your favorite grandma guilty pleasure?  At this time, while discovering my own retirement phase, it’s definitely going to be an adventure in living better! 

It's About Living Better, Our Girl Project, Thoughts of the Day

Time for a New Project

We are officially remodeling.

Last summer, we worked diligently on the yard. I hired my girlfriends to come “help”.

For me, that meant I get to take baby steps into this new world.

1. I don’t have to dig.

2. I don’t have to plant.

3. I will water.

4. I will shop for plants and other fun stuff.

5. I will still be organizing the world around me. (control freak).

6. I will pay money to NOT dig and plant.

Ha! I enjoy sitting outdoors looking at “our” hard work. When I drive up the driveway, I am pleased and proud that “we” did all that hot work!

Fast forward 4 months. Here we are in January, starting a new project. No girlfriends. Just us.  You can pray for us, if you are so inclined.

So step one was to get Ronnie to commit to the project.

Wow! I can’t tell you how many objections I had to overcome.  I know that objections are just requests for more information, so I tried to use my best marketing techniques to answer his questions and sell him on the idea.

It must have worked, because three months after I began the campaign, he showed up for the appointment with our new friend Gail at Lowe’s.   She’s a magician, let me tell you!  We know we are over our head when you talk about construction.

The new project:

The front bathroom. The one our visitors see.  Our home is around 30 years old, and it needed to be redone.  We didn’t want to spend a lot, just enough to update it for selling purposes, in case we decide to downsize.

We decided to use a GC (General Contractor) to install a simple walk in shower and hardware and replace the vanity and counter top.  We were pleased that Gail came by first to take a peek and take some general measurements. Then, she brought the GC by and took even more measurements.

We spent a lot of time talking about what we thought it should look like when it’s done, the colors, textures and any changes we might consider.  I really felt like they listened well, and didn’t try to sell us on anything extravagant. The budget was always at the top of mind.

I’ve always loved the furniture vanities popular in some custom homes, so it was decided that I would be in charge of acquiring that piece of furniture and finishing it to match.

Gail found the most beautiful granite top, called Chaldonea, so the race is on!

I searched all the online garage sales and used a couple of apps to locate the perfect piece.  A beautiful maple Basset Buffet.

vanity buffet
This was a great purchase at $100.00. It will be perfect for the vanity.

Today, I find we are starting in 6 days! We were so excited, it’s like finding out you won a prize!   I ran to my favorite “paint” store and quickly got directions from Melanie at Sisters Reclaimed, in our cute little downtown .  I picked up a few supplies and off we went!

Step one:   WASH the buffet.  Really, that’s what she said.  With Dawn.    That was too easy.

Step two:  Ronnie will repair the one drawer that has a loose groove.   GLUE.

Step three:  Let it dry.   I got this!

Step four : Paint.  We are using Annie Sloan Graphite… recommended by Melanie.  I added three coats of paint, then finished it with a clear wax.  I have to say, I almost choked when I saw the price because I haven’t had time to be familiar with the cost of paint lately, but it is so worth the cost. The paint is smooth, pretty and the coverage was thorough.   The brush recommended for the wax was awesome.  I will treasure it always for future projects.

After three weeks, it appears very durable and I love it!

And BAM! The magic of the internet.

It only took a few days, a couple of guys running in and out of the house and some banging and clanging (which drove Ronnie crazy).  I must say, my favorite thing is the buffet and the space we gained.

chalk painted buffet, now vanity
Finished, well almost. Just a couple small pieces to add to each side to camo the plumbing.

I apologize for the lighting of this picture, but I wanted you to see, because there are still a couple of slight problems with which to deal.

  1. Hardware.  The old hardware is quaint and I’m debating about adding some sleek new replacements- in bronze.
  2. The water connectors to the next room.   My first thought is to build little “doors” on each side, and finish them to match the buffet-turned-vanity.  Another option may be to place inserts that are painted to match the wall, giving the vanity more attention.
  3. I’m still looking for some farmhouse type of container for my airbrush system.
  4. I think I’d love a small flower arrangement in the corner (or a lamp).

I’m curious about your thoughts.

Further, we chose a simple walk in shower insert and opted out of having a shower door because I like (love) my shower curtain, and I don’t like cleaning shower doors and tracks. I replaced the stainless curtain rod with one that matched the shower, and we purchased bronzed fixtures throughout.  Ronnie spent a couple hours patching the shower curtain rod holes and touching up the wall and trim paint.  We had to rehang the towel and toilet paper holders.  I stole the mirror from the mud room bath because it was just asking to be moved to a new home.

When the tub/shower combo was removed, the contractor discovered some work not properly completed during the original construction.  After a day of correction and new concrete work, the shower was installed with lots of banging and noise.

Note to self: remove everything from the wall behind the new shower before they start installation!

In all, we are happy with the process. We learned a lot and are still trying to make some decisions regarding the few unexpected items.

We gained 3 inches of floor space… which means my flooring doesn’t fit, so that’s another project, and of course, what to do about the view of the plumbing.

It’s bright, and replacing the tub with a walk-in makes the room look so much larger.  The insert cleans easily and the counter top is beautiful.  The green is still my favorite.

When I was a kid, my mom and dad would always suggest we “live with it awhile” before making decisions on change.  We are at that stage now.  We are living with it.  Happily.

This project definitely fits with our goals of keeping our projects about living better!