Posted in Random Stuff

Mother’s Day 2019

Hello WordPressland!!

Hope you had a great Mother’s Day weekend celebrating all the mothers in your lives.

What. A. Fantastic. Weekend.

Let me start with Friday. Per usual, it’s a holiday so I treated myself to a new pair of earrings that I have been coveting for a while. They finally went on sale, so, of course, I bought them. Love them?? They’re blue and green snakes by Betsey Johnson.

Then Saturday was a mix of work and fun; but more fun than work.

Saturday was my last free full day before going away, heading to New Orleans with my husband this Sunday. I was saving it for us to scrub the house, pack and do some laundry. But my sister ended up asking me and the girls to go out for pedis and lunch with our mom, which was tough to squeeze in. So, we met up with them for pedicures.  We had so much fun, well, me and my oldest did anyways.  We got seated together, then a few seats down were my mom and sister, then a few seats down from them was my youngest. :\  But, regardless of how we were spaced out, our pedis came out great and it was nice to spend the time with my family.

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We rushed home after the nail salon to clean up the house.  My girls really did an amazing job cooperating on cleaning up. My husband ended up having to work last minute, so it was just the three of us.  With one man down, we worked so well together, they turned out to be so helpful, that we got through the major parts of the house in record timing. My gosh my kids have a lot of things!    All that hard work left us the night free.  Since my husband worked most of the day, and we were tired from running around all day, we decided to meet up with our besties last-minute for dinner at Biltmore and Main, which was super-fantastic.

The blood orange whiskey I got there was pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Biltmore and Main- Steak tips w chimichurri sauce, mash potatoes and asparagus

Sunday; Mother’s Day, started off perfectly!

My kids slept in late, which is a bonus in the parenting department. Especially at our house where our oldest is up and out of the house by 6:45AM! The skies were gray but that didn’t put a dent in our moods. The girls and I hung out making coffee as my husband went to grab some morning treats for us.  He insisted on grabbing us breakfast.  Even though I said it was crazy since we were going to brunch!  Well, he persisted, and got some pastries and cooked bacon from Whole Foods.  Their bacon is off the hook good, and bacon is like my all time favorite food.  And he brought me flowers. 🙂  We hung out a while eating as I was opening cards and gifts, which I have to say is a great part of Mother’s Day! ahaha  Then we lost track of time! We had to adjust our brunch reservations so we could get dolled up beforehand.

I.Love.Brunch. 

It is the most perfect meal ever created.

My husband surprised me taking us to Chickadee down in the Seaport area by the Innovation and Design building.  (I love birds and I love brunch, he gets me so well!)  They just started offering brunch, and since we are brunch nuts he thought it was a good time to check the place out.    This meal was a lot of fun, and their cocktail selection was so peculiarly great.  There were a lot of mixes on there that I thought were unique..maybe I am wrong, but look at the menu below and you tell me.

The place was so pretty, all dressed in grey and white, with birds.  I just liked it so much.  It smelled so good as we were seated, and the amount of families there celebrating Mom made me smile. The cocktail menu was, like I said, unique, but what was truly cute about it was that all the drinks were named after birds.  SO CUTE!!  I highly recommend the SnowBird; which was a lemony, elderflowery, vodkay, thymey deliciousness.  YES, those are all words.  

We started off the meal with a few donuts to share.  We got the s’mores crunch donut and rhubarb jelly donut.  I am not normally a rhubarb fan, my husband is, but the rhubarb jelly donut was terrific.  I could’ve eaten all of them on my own. haha   Our entree choices made me laugh.  Out of the four of us, three of us got spicy chicken and cheddar waffles!!  My husband got the dutch baby with blueberries.  The food was great, and we all agree to make a trip back to try more of the selections they had to offer.  Especially the chick-shuka and chickadee bowl.  Now I want to drive down there to eat..  arg!!

We dined for a while, really enjoying the atmosphere, food and cocktails..and each other’s company! After we left the restaurant, the rain was coming down a little bit.  We wanted to surprise the kids by taking them to Taiyaki on Seaport Blvd.  I don’t know if you guys remember my trip to California last year.  We had taken the kids to an ice cream shop that made Japanese Taiyaki, that is ice cream in koi fish-shaped cones… ring a bell?  Well, a few companies making Taiyaki started opening up across NYC and one came to Boston.   Unfortunately, the parking situation down on Seaport Blvd really blows.  It won’t stop me from being there all Summer, but it does deter us from time to time when the weather stinks.  We couldn’t find a spot for twenty minutes around that shop, and opted to getting an ice cream closer to home. So we did.

We ended the night cuddling on the couch, catching up on our latest family binge, Parks and Rec.  We have a season left; I know we plow through binges like nobody else.  The girls and I may finish it this week while my husband is away..because we can and will!  haha  When they went off to bed, my husband and I started our binge of Sneaky Pete.  Such a good show!!

That was my Mother’s Day!  I wish it didn’t have to end, it was really a good time.

I am so lucky with the family I have cultivated here.  My kids are the shining light in my life, who bring so much compassion, laughter and happiness to my days I can’t even explain it with any justice.  And none of this wonderful mother-life would be possible without my heart’s soulmate, my husband.  I have the most selfless, hardworking, caring and loving man. Thank you, and our girls, for making me feel so loved and thought after.  Not just one day a year, but every day. 

xoxoxoxo  

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Late-Spring Fun

Hey Everyone,

This morning we are taking a stroll through my top ten favorite things to do as the weather starts to sizzle in late Spring.

Let’s get it going:

  1. Gardening. Though some see yard work or gardening as a chore, I enjoy it. 

  2. Being able to shop at SOWA, Boston’s outdoor market in the South End.  

  3. Wearing fun, colorful sundresses and sandals. Or buying new ones!! haha

  4. Hiking Ward Reservation while it’s blooming.

  5. Eating outside!  My favorite part of the warmer weather is dining outdoors.

  6. Opening the sun roof in the car!!  woo!

  7. Catching glimpses, or seeing a full on ‘Geese Walk’, of the baby Canada geese around Spot Pond.

  8. Being able to ride bikes!

  9. Waking to amber-colored, much earlier, sunrises from my bedroom window, and, watching neon-fuchsia, much later, sunsets from my kitchen window. (Sometimes I walk up the street-up the hill- to check out the full displays.)

  10. Walking the Back Bay, Public Garden, and Boston Commons hand in hand with my husband, and …WITHOUT a coat!


What are your favorite things about Spring?  List below or on FB! xo

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Animated Series

Hello WordPressland!

Today I am listing out my top animated series that have influenced me.

 

Not in any particular order, just off the top of my head.

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Animated Series

  1. Scooby Doo
  2. The Flintstones
  3. The Jetsons
  4. The Simpsons
  5. Futurama
  6. Aeon Flux
  7. Bob’s Burgers
  8. King of the Hill
  9. Ren and Stimpy
  10. South Park

 


Share your favorite animated series below or on FB! 

Posted in Random Stuff

Easter 2019 (in photos)

Hello WordPress!

I am keeping this one short and sweet, a photo collage, as I have to run to PT!  Today has just flown with work. 

Hope those who celebrated Passover and Easter this weekend enjoyed every moment with family and friends in peace.

Here is a collage of our day, minus the after dinner dessert with family.  Trying to use my phone less, which is great, but also lends to me not taking many photos.  :)~

xoxox

 

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Lipstick

Hi Everyone!

I am super excited I decided to make this a makeup Top Ten Thursday. These are my favorite ones!

Makeup is my ultimate obsession to discuss.  Did you know that scientists have found makeup first appearing in history as far back as 7 millennia ago? Adorning the face, mainly around the eyes and lips, was not just used by our ancestors as a beauty enhancer, but as a status symbol within tribes and communities. A mark of pride being a leader, a warrior, an elder, or whatever.  Both men and women painted their face. They concocted their face adornments by crushing and mixing natural resources like oils, colorful bugs and fish scales, minerals, clays, rocks and gems.  Makeup has evolved over time, filtering through cultures and technologies, to become what we know it to be today.  GLORIOUS!  haha

 

OK. Enough history lesson.  Let’s talk LIPSTICK!

Lipstick can truly transform a face without wearing much other makeup at all. With endless color choices and formulations, you can find the right one for you!  Ok, so, there are so many lipsticks on the market where does one begin?  If you have trouble with finding one this quick walk through before my Top Ten list may help guide you. If, however, you need more hands on help, there are so many people who work at makeup counters across the globe who are there to help, too.  Also, while there you could get a quick makeover!

Lipstick coverage and finish–  These depend on your personal preference, and/or, needs for a look.  Lipstick finishes vary from satin, cream, stain, sheer, matte, pearlized, or glossy.  Keep finish in mind, but there is also technology behind some of the brands to think about like moisturizing, color transfer resistance and lip plumping.

The most covering lipstick finishes will be matte and color transfer resistance.  With the upside of coverage and a matte look, they tend to lack moisture, which can dry your lips out.  Dry or cracked lips are not what we are aiming for here.  If you have more mature skin, however, applying these types of lipsticks may stop lipstick bleeding, which is when color bleeds outside of the natural lip edge onto the skin. Satin and cream are the most popular finishes out there as they glide on smoothly, and have good staying power.  Pearlized, aka frosted, are metallic glimmer pigmented lipsticks that can be found in most finishes.  Sheer and glossy finishes have the least amount of coverage or staying power, and are used either alone for a natural look or over lipstick.  Stain finish** is the most natural, as the product uses stains to color the lips, leaving flat pigment but no physical product.

How to choose color?  Let your natural skin tone guide you. Ok, what I am about to say may sound weird, but believe me.. it works!  Most makeup colors are split by neutral, cool and warm.  How to know where your skin color falls lies in your wrists.  YES, wrists! Take a glance down at your wrists.  Do you see your veins?  If you see blue and purple veins mapping up your wrist, then you probably have cool skin tone.   Warm skin tones normally have greenish hued veins visible. And, olive skin, as a rule, is usually neutral; so are those that have a harder time deciphering the color of their veins.

This is the best part of choosing lip colors and finishes.. experiment!  Look at your natural lip color.  For an everyday color lip, start by trying on lip shades that are two shades (light or dark) from your natural lip color.  For a dramatic lip, have fun trying on all the red, dark browns and funky colors on the market that has an undertone of your kin tone.  For example, if you want a red and have a cool skin tone, look at a lot of reds. You will notice some have an underlying blue tone to them.  These will be the right reds for you.  If you have two different colored lips, like the bottom lip is lighter than the top, choose the darker color as a starting point.

To line or not to line?  My rule of thumb is to always use a lip liner. Using one is not the only option, but it is the best option if you want..

⇢a well-defined lip look;

⇢a longer lasting lip color;

⇢fuller looking lips;

⇢to even out misshapen lips;

⇢to create color contrast;

⇢to stop lipstick bleeding.

Choosing a color lip liner that matches your natural lip is preferable, but it does depend on the look you want to achieve.  I actually like to use a darker tone compared to my lipstick color.

One more thing before I get to the Top Ten Thursday list of what products I like, let’s talk about how to apply lipstick.  All concealer, foundation* and face powder should be applied beforehand.  Actually, dabbing on a little extra concealer or foundation to your lips helps with keeping the product on longer. 

Draw your lip liner along the rim of your lips. If you are wary or have never used lip liner before, draft light dots of color along the outline of your lips with your liner. Follow through with your liner, completing the full bottom and top lines.  For fuller lips, apply color just along the outer edge.

Apply lipstick, either straight from the tube or with a lip brush, to your lips starting at the center (of either the bottom or top lip).  Swipe the color towards each corner, filling in all visible lip space. If you can’t reach with the tube, use your pinky or the paper core of a Q-tip. 

With a tissue, blot your lips to remove excess (or from teeth). I like to reapply a little more color.  

*Before I apply foundation I use a lip balm. My favorite is Lancome’s Absolue Lip Balm because it’s not greasy under my foundation.

A little bit of information about myself before I get into the list; so you know why I like the colors I mention below.

Naturally, I am fair-skinned with light freckles, a few darker beauty marks, too. I have dark brown hair and eyes. Though people at a glance categorize me as a warm tone, my skin tone is actually cool.  (my wrists say so. haha) I usually wear the lightest foundation colors available.  I will try on almost any lip color.  Almost being that I am personally not a fan of lipstick colors in the unconventional high fashion colors like blues, grays, greens, or, yellows.

All of these lipsticks that I like listed below were worn with a lip liner; most often Clinique’s Plummy, or Perfect Plum by Avon, or Vamp by Chanel.

Ok, let’s go!

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday – Lipstick

  1.  Rouge in Love, Lancome-  I think this lipstick is an absolute win when it comes to color choices, finish and feel. This lipstick is so lightweight, yet lasts all day while leaving my lips feeling silky smooth (cream finish).  That is not common in the longer wearing lip formulas. My favorite colors are Sweet Embrace*, Violet Coquette, Tea Rose, and Rouge Valentine.  *Sweet Embrace is one of my day-to-day color choices, worn with Plummy lip liner from Clinique.
  2. MatteTrance, Pat McGrath Labs- Ok, so I bought this lipstick because the packaging was so cute with the lips on it, but the lipstick inside ended up being PRETTY SPECTACULAR!!  This lipstick glides on like a cream but is a matte, and lasts all day.  My lips never feel dry.  It comes in a variety of fun shades from nudes to plums to reds to BLACK!   My favorite colors are Modern Woman and Anecdote. And, I have my eye on buying Faux Pas for the Summer.
  3. Color Design, Lancome-  This lipstick is fantastic on so many levels.  Namely, CHOICE!!  They offer 42 shades; which is dizzying!  Also, they offer five different finishes. I tried their matte, sheen and metallic, and they all lasted most of the day.  The matte finish did not dry out my lips, which is usually a problem for me. My favorite colors are Into the Rapture, Hit List, Fashion Icon and Bow and Arrow.    Very diverse color options here; it’s a definite great lipstick to check out!!
  4. MAC Lipstick, in cremesheen finish-  The finish of this lipstick is a cream without a lot of shine.  I personally love this lipstick and the finish it comes in. It glides on smoothly, and even though it’s not technically a long-lasting lipstick, it lasts almost all day on me.  My favorite color is Creme Cup and the newest Spring line color Boom, Boom, Bloom in Hey, Kiss Me!  Gah I love this pink so much!
  5. Audacious, Nars- This lipstick comes in an insane amount of colors, 46 shades!! I really like how long-lasting the color is without drying my lips out, and it felt light.  The texture is smooth cream, and glides on full coverage in one swipe. I tried a few different colors on but the colors I like best are Dayle, Liv, and, my favorite, Silvia!
  6. Rouge Coco, Chanel– This hydrating lipstick is what I consider the creme de la creme of lipsticks.  The texture goes on smooth. The coverage is opaque with one swipe. The feel is lightweight. The scent (or taste) is beautiful. It’s all that a person wants in a lipstick.  I mean, it’s Chanel, the name says it all.  My favorite colors are Erik, Mademoiselle and Lover.
  7. Stay All Day, Stila, liquid lipstick- All I can say is this liquid lipstick is potent!  Talk about high pigment and long-lasting! Normally, I am not a fan of liquid lipsticks.  They never last and they end up looking flat. But not this one.  I own the color Paradiso, which is a bold berry color.  It is richly pigmented, and lasts most of the day.  When it does start to fade the color is still even.
  8. Addict Lip Glow, Dior- This stuff is crazy good!!!!!!! Let me put one more exclamation point to get my feelings across. Dior has created a product that comes in three finishes – a glow, a matte glow and a holographic glow. I know this is  technically a balm, I know, but with a darker shaded lip liner it just has a super sexy, lip plumping effect that you have to try! My favorite colors are Pink and Holo Purple.
  9. Hot Lips, Charlotte Tilbury- Everyone wants hot pouty lips, am I right?  This lipstick will not disappoint. The packaging is sleek. The lipstick is lightweight, but is full coverage. This lipstick does have a scent to it, however, like a brownie, but if you like brownies you will not care!  My favorite shade is KimKW with my Avon Plum lip liner.
  10. Butter Lipstick, NYX- This is a hydrating lipstick under $7!  SEVEN BUCKS, PEOPLE! What I am saying is, that this is a major steal! And, it comes in 31 hot shades.  This lipstick glides on smoothly. The coverage is great and even.  My favorite shades are Daydreaming, Cherry and Hunk.

** I didn’t list any stain products in this post. So let’s call this number 11.. If you are looking for a stain, the best one I ever used was Benefit’s Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain.    It is a rosy red stain that comes in a snappy glass nail polish type bottle with a brush.  It smells really good and does stain the skin for hours.

My gosh, what a flashback. I used this stain for years, too. First one I had ever bought was back when Benefit Cosmetics was only found inside Henri Bendel’s.  Remember when Henri Bendel’s was in Massachusetts!!?? OR OPEN!!?? 

Ok, enough of me makeup gabbing!  BYE MY BEAUTIES!!

Let me know what your favorite LIPSTICbrands and/or LIPSTICcolors are by commenting below here or on FB!  xoxox

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- In Memory of Gordon

With a heavy heart I am dedicating this Top Ten post to our family pet, Gordon. 

Tuesday evening we had to say goodbye to Gordon, our beautiful cat.  Over last weekend, we watched in disbelief as our little buddy declined in health, and, by the time we saw the vet on Monday morning, he was unable to be assisted with medical intervention.   He never showed any symptoms before last weekend, it was a total surprise for all of us, as he was diagnosed with late stages of kidney failure. And as quickly as he was diagnosed, he spiraled further into the disease.  

It feels like he was taken too quickly from our family, even though he was here for nine years, it seems too soon.  We hope he felt how much he was loved every day. xoxo

I love you Gordy.

 

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Gordon

  1. A few years ago, during Christmastime, he just looks so sweet here.  pb281659.jpg
  2.  When we first brought him home.  2009.IMG_8757
  3. How I will always remember him every day.  Looking out onto the yard to watch all the action.  Here it was fall time.P1040356.JPG
  4. His love for Christmas trees was always hilarious.  It was like he had his own personal forest under there.pc231849.jpg
  5. His big beautiful copper eyes.  They were soulful and perfect.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  6. The months he spent in the cone of shame..  my poor kitty!  img_0548
  7. He let our youngest daughter dress him up all the time.  I think he secretly liked it..img_0549-1
  8. He also indulged me with these silly cat selfies.  🙂 I will miss how he looked like he rolled his Eyes at me whenever I grabbed my phone for these.  img_0552
  9. Gordon loved putting himself wherever he wasn’t necessarily supposed to be.img_0547
  10.  Last photo from the vet visit.  He was so ill, but when we got there walked out of his carrier with so much curiosity, like a kitten all over again.  😦img_0540

 

I will always carry a piece of Gordon with me, he was that special.
Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Self-Care Ideas

Self-care is a deliberate activity, action, or purpose that helps in regulating your mind, feelings and/or body.  Taking time for one’s self is absolutely important. You can change your whole perspective of your feelings, day-to-day situations, your energy, or anything that you need to uplift yourself from.

Below are my top ten favorite ways to self-care.

 

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Self-Care Ideas

  1. Meditate. If you have never done it..it’s easy!  Find a comfortable spot to sit 10-15 minutes uninterrupted. If you have more time, that is even better. Set your cell’s alarm, place it close to you but not on you.  Close your eyes. Take conscious deep breaths. Listen to your breathing. Relax each part of your body as you feel the ground below you.  If you can, try to just be, without thinking about your day-to-day stresses.

  2. Apply a face mask. All faces can benefit from this!  Try any type that suits your skin type or needs- fibre, clay, gel, charcoal or mud, just follow the instructions.

  3. Listen to a segment of your favorite podcast, or watch it on YouTube.

  4. Take a bath.  Try it with lavender bath salts!

  5. Stretch. Since having my shoulder issues stretching is necessary.  I find I am so much happier on the days I stretch.

  6. Feel the sunshine.  Get outdoors, stand in a window, in the car..anywhere!  I like to  take a few minutes to appreciate the warm feel on my skin.

  7. Make coffee, tea or any drink you enjoy. My favorite pastime is to drink a latte on the couch; no cell phone, no TV, no books, nothing.  Just focusing on the warm joy of the coffee.

  8. Sit quietly.  I like doing this in the grass of my backyard. Looking at the colors and listening to the natural surroundings.

  9. Organize a cabinet or closet.  It’s funny to think that doing the work of organizing actually makes you feel good.  For me, it lifts that back of the mind stress, AND, I believe the concentrated motion of working, like this, helps us steep through situations to clear the mind.

  10. Read a book. Take a moment to read a few pages. Snuggle up on your couch, head to the beach, or, sit in your bed, anywhere you can take the time to dive right in for a few moments.

 

▶︎ I announced on FB that I am moving my Top Ten Thursday lists to a monthly post.  This will be my last TTT post for March.