Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Free Things That Bring Me Joy

Hello WordPressers!
Today’s Top Ten is of what brings me joy, and happen to not cost a thing. In a world where consumerism is King, it’s nice (and refreshing) to realize not everything we surround ourselves to invoke happiness actually costs money.

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Free Things That Bring Me Joy

  1. The glow in my children’s eyes while smiling.
  2. Love.
  3. Waking to sunshine
  4. All types of jokes. Yes, even ‘dad jokes’.
  5. Laughter.
  6. Being creative.
  7. Holding hands.
  8. Snuggling in bed.
  9. Teaching my kids something new.
  10. Nature exploration/hikes on warm days.

I hope you find all the joy that surrounds you!  And that don’t cost a dime!

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Under Eye Concealers

One of the things I am asked about most, almost daily, is makeup advice.  From friends to strangers on the street, people want to know what type of makeup I use or how to apply it. Since I figure I get stopped for a reason..people want to know what looks good in real life, and/or, they have no idea what to use or how to use it, that is how I came up with today’s Top Ten Thursday.

So let’s start with some info.  Even though we all have different skin types or makeup needs, the basics should be the same.  Keeping your skin clean is a basic, so is evening out the skin is a basic.  Which is why I am starting with under eye concealer.  Concealer’s purpose is to cover discolored skin, which most of us have under the eye,.  If properly matched and used, concealer gives us the appearance of healthy glowing skin after a perfect’s night sleep. Which most of us don’t get; am I right, parents?  Concealer, also, is the one basic item that can be used to even out your whole face, regardless of beauty routine or maintenance and is usually portable so you can take it anywhere in anything. Basically, like a one-stop shop; most people can use just a concealer and that is that, while others can use it along with other makeup items.  Personally, I spot it around my discolored or problem areas before foundation (i.e. a pimples, corners of the nose, below the bottom lip).  I also like to use a concealer that has dual purpose, a product that has other skin benefits like decreasing puffiness or lines.

Before I get to the Top Ten Thursday list of what products I like, let’s talk about how to apply concealer.

Use your hands to warm the product before applying. This is actually something I was taught in 1994 when I started working for a major department store company. ‘Warming’ the product makes it smooth on better (and I use this technique for everything I put on my face, body and even hair!).  To warm it up, place a bead of concealer onto your ring finger (which uses the least amount of pressure) and rub it together with your other ring finger for a few seconds.  Then dab the concealer to your area of concern, by tapping it directly onto the skin.  Dabbing until blended. Then use a blending sponge or brush to even the blending through to the face.

Totally easy, right?! Ok, so now onto my list.  Just a FYI, my concealer choices are based on my skin type, which is normal to dry. Since I was 17, I have always leaned towards concealers that hide the look of my specific skin imperfections; uneveness, dryness, dark circles, broken capillaries, pimples.

So.. now here is my list! 🙂

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Under Eye Concealers

  1. Lancome’s Maquicomplet in Correcteur- This product comes in 24 shades. The color I am suggesting here is Correcteur, a yellow, universal pigment for all tones.  This breaks the purplish-red skin, muting it, which will allow you to use foundation over it seamlessly. I like how this is not a thick formula to cover, but uses the yellow pigment to do the work.  It is also great when used over a foundation for extra coverage or to highlight your skin, like your brow bone. I have been using this product since I was 16yo.  I am now more than double that age, and STILL love it.
  2. M.A.C.’s Pro Longwear Concealer– This is offered in 16 shades. I am truly obsessed with this concealer and own it in a few shades.  The coverage is on the full side, so a little goes a long way.  Remember to dab on a small amount to start, then build coverage. This one needs no foundation over it at all.  It is also long wearing and matt; because it is a matte formulation you want to really make sure your using your best eye cream (which you should be every day anyways).
  3. tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer– This product comes in 30 shades.  This concealer is GrEaT at masking pimples and imperfections that other formulas can’t cover.  It doesn’t leave that dry caked on look, which bothers me normally.  The formula is full coverage, so dab a little on at a time.
  4. Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer– This product is offered in 9 shades.  This concealer has a light diffusing formulation that helps to hide darkness and fills in fine lines.  It also comes in a handy twist pen.  I like this concealer because it is thin and truly does brighten up my eyes.  I have used the colors Fair, Neutral and Illuminate, as my skin color changes with the seasons, and prefer the Illuminate color.   It is more of a highlighter for my tone all year round.
  5. Clinique’s Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer – They offer this in 18 skin tones.  This product is thicker than the ones mentioned above, so the technique with this is to take a little bit at a time and dab it on with your finger till it blends in completely (preferably ring finger as it uses less pressure).  Since it is so thick you need to build coverage rather than slap it on at once. This one is great for around the face cover-ups. I like this one in the Very Fair because it also acts as a highlighter when I need it.
  6. Lancôme Effacernes Undereye Concealer– This comes in 16 shades.  This concealer’s colors are natural and lightweight; the coverage is build-able. It is also a long wearing product so it works great in the warmer months, or on vacation while at the pool or ocean.
  7. Benefit Cosmetics Lemon AidOk, this is no longer available through them, they discontinued it last year.  WHICH IS A MAJOR BUMMER, but I bought a handful when I heard the news.  You can also find some on ebay!  This is a yellow pigmented eye lid primer.  The consistency of this item was creamy but went on sheer. It works best patted over foundation
  8. Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer– This comes in 15 shades. This concealer is lightweight, but has full coverage power. I bought this right when it launched and just ran out of it.  A little goes a long way!  It is also long wearing, so it’s great to wear at the sauna!  haha
  9.  It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer– This formula comes in 48 shades.  This product is probably the highest coverage on my list here; dab a little on at a time because buildability gets out of control if you just blob on a lot trying to smooth it on.  This formula is also great at reducing puffiness around the eyes, and doesn’t fill into fine lines.  Which is great for us who have both bags and lines.. am I right, parents?!!
  10. L’Oreal True Match Concealer–  This comes in 9 shades.  For a concealer to be under $10 AND good is rare, but L’Oreal did it.  This is an oil free, lightweight but long-lasting formula that uses light diffusing technology to give the dark imperfections no chance.  If you tend to have oilier skin/ocular area, definitely recommend this formula.  JUST REMEMBER, a little goes a long way!


This was a lot of fun!  I love sharing my favorite things, and makeup is my ULTIMATE favorite thing! 🙂


Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- 2018 Favorite Must See Holiday TV

As you look through this list, you will notice most of my favorite holiday binges are baking shows. Nothing is better than cozying up on the couch with cocoa, watching all the baking chaos, with my favorite people! I think we like to live vicariously through the baking talent out there. 

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday– 2018 Must See Holiday TV

  1. The Great American Baking Show, Holiday Edition
  2. Holiday Baking Championship
  3. Holiday Gingerbread Showdown
  4. Bob’s Burgers, Christmas Episode
  5. Christmas Cookie Challenge
  6. The British Baking Show, Holidays
  7. The Great Light Fight
  8. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
  9. Nailed It! Holiday
  10. The Christmas Chronicles

What have been your favorite holiday TV shows to binge this month? Share below or on Facebook!

With Christmas just days away, this will be my last holiday themed Top Ten Thursday list. I had wanted to list out my favorite holiday movies and holiday treats, but I just don’t have any Thursdays left before Christmas.  Actually, this will be my last Top Ten Thursday of the year!  I know, you are bummed as we just got started, but I am on vacation for the year starting today, and may not have time to pull together a list to post next week with all the craziness we have in store.

So, with that said,


Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Things I Can’t Live Without

Now this topic is figurative, taking into consideration that I have the five vital items for survival…air, food, water, shelter…and, sex, cause, well, sex is essential, too!  Let’s drop in good health while we are at it, assuming I am always in good health.  Here is a list of things I love having around me all the time that make life beautifully bearable!


  1. My family. The reason I love life so much is my family. My husband is the sweetest person, my best friend.  He knows me like no one else. And our children are truly a gift. I have two kids that totally understand me, my kooky sarcasm and how much I love them with all of my being.  I am a lucky woman.

  2. Hugs. Honestly, I think this is my favorite one on this list. We need hugs to connect, feel and give love, to feel grounded, to synchronize our hearts and souls, and it is probably more important than most people think. If you don’t get hugs please let me know..maybe I will start a “Hugging Booth” for five cents a hug. haha

  3. My bed. If you have never slept on a latex mattress topped with a downy cover, fluffy blankets and crisp sheets, well, you haven’t slept! 

  4. Espresso. I am almost certain espresso is part of the vitals of living. I mean, it could also be the elixir of life giving energy.  haha  Let’s just say I am not an addict, but I would cry after a few weeks without coffee. And probably become hostile and violent.

  5. Contacts. I am near-sighted, and prefer contacts, as me in glasses is meh. I have two pairs of glasses I bought this year with hopes to alternate contacts with, but I mainly use them to clean around the house or to walk to the bathroom for my contacts!!

  6. A hot soapy shower. I take showers all the time..lots of soap and shampoo! There is nothing better than a super hot shower to revamp your soul! It should change from chicken soup for the soul to a hot shower!

  7. Minty toothpaste. AND TOOTHBRUSH!! 

  8. A car; freedom to come and go as I please is important. I hate (and I mean hate) the feeling of being trapped or unable to be free, grr it bothers me to no end. 

  9. I would be a mess without my go to ‘wear around the house’ outfit; black ribbed tank and black yoga pants with thick socks! (a sweater in winter) There is nothing better than to walk in the door after a long day and bee line it to your bedroom to put on your favorite comfy outfit.  Take that bra off and bam, we have a perfect evening of lounging ahead! hahah 

  10.  My heated blanket.  BEST GIFT EVER! I am one of those people who find any weather under 65F freezing.  My whole body feels cold and man, do I hate the cold!  My husband got me one of these blankets last year, and wow, my whole Winter was spent cuddling under it and I did not complain of the cold once last year! NOT ONCE!! Total game changer right here.

What is your top ten list or one item you cannot live without?  Comment below here, FB or Twitter!  I would love to know your must haves.

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Podcasts

For my first Top Ten Thursday I am choosing to list out my favorite podcasts. I listen to so many, but these are by far my favorites. Especially while driving. Or at a stand still in traffic. Between conference calls. While doing my makeup. At the gym. Basically, everywhere!

So let’s go!

Valeria’s Top Ten Favorite PODCASTS

  1. The Moth (performing arts, storytelling)

  2. Startalk Radio (science, math)

  3. Joe Rogan Experience (comedy, celebrity)

  4. Armchair Expert (comedy, celebrity)

  5. FiveThirtyEight: Politics (news, politics)

  6. Come to Papa (comedy)

  7. WDW Radio Show (travel, disney)

  8. IndieFeed (alternative music)

  9. The Fighter and The Kid (comedy)

  10. Travel with Rick Steves (travel)

Only the first three are in order of my favorites