Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Friday, August 01, 2014

Recipe: Mushroom Bisque

Friday, August 01, 2014 By

Not my photo. Ganked it from the Interwebs.


AUGUSTA, GA - I really can't believe that I haven't shared this recipe before. It's a standard in our house from September to April, and Emerson has requested it time and time again.

It can be as light as you want it with a couple of standard ingredient substitutions - milk for cream, olive oil for butter - or as hearty as you want it with the addition of starches like potatoes and brown rice.

Also, this soup is fricking delicious.

Mushroom Bisque

... Okay, listen, I heard a certain portion of you just crinkle your noses and say, "Mushrooms?! Yeech!" But I do not have time for your dramatics. I have a blog post to write. So feel free to substitute whatever you like.* Get crazy. But not so crazy that you actually eat a mushroom.

So can we get back to the recipe? As I was saying...

Mushroom Bisque
  • One mild onion, diced
  • Four cups of thickly sliced mushrooms - it doesn't really matter what kind, since they're going to cook down so much. Plain white mushrooms are fine. We like baby bellas, but I also did a combination of half baby bellas and half Publix "gourmet mushroom" mixture, which included oyster, porcini, and shitaki mushrooms, and that was wonderful.
  • 4-6 cups of chicken broth - frankly, I just use powdered chicken consomme, preferably the kosher brand Osem. Knorr's Caldo de Pollo will do, but only if you omit ALL other salt.
  • 1-2 pints of heavy cream (I usually just buy a liter)
  • 1 cup of chopped spinach or kale leaves (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves, or 2 tsp of dried - listen, fresh herbs are really worth it in this.
  • 2 tbsp of fresh parsley leaves, or 2 tsp of dried  - listen, fresh herbs are really worth it in this.
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Butter
Over medium heat, cook the onions in butter until translucent. Then add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook until their moisture releases and reduces. Alternately, you can throw them all in together, but I find that doesn't work quite as well. 

ALSO not my photo. But basically what it looks like at this stage.


Once the moisture from the mushrooms mostly evaporates, add in the chicken broth, thyme and parsley, then the heavy cream. Stir well, raise heat to medium-high and bring to just boiling, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Taste the broth. If it doesn't taste like the most wonderful, creamy, umami, herbaceous deliciousness EVAH, you may need to adjust your broth. Too salty? Add in extra heavy cream, about a 1/4 cup at a time. Too milky, or flavorless? I have, in all seriousness, just put consomme powder right into the broth by heaping teaspoons, stirring and testing after each, to boost the flavor.

Once the desired flavor profile is reached, remove half of the soup from the pot, blend it until smooth in a food processor or blender, then pour it back into the pot and stir. You may need to do this in batches. Heat through to just boiling again, and it's ready to serve. Scoop into bowls with a rustic salad and thick crusty bread on the side, and top with chopped greens. Crack a generous amount of black pepper over the top.

Variations:

  • Skip the blending. It's not necessary, but then it's not really a "bisque." Not that I care. I stopped blending it about the third time I made it. :-)
  • Reduce fat and calories by using fat free half-and-half. 
  • Use leeks instead of onions.
  • * Instead of mushrooms, substitute potatoes, celery, asparagus, onions, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, or even cabbage.
  • Make it even heartier by increasing the liquid and adding in 2-3 cups of brown or white rice. Or dice potatoes and throw them in the pot when the onions go in. Just cook it all together, no big deal.
  • Instead of bread on the side, serve it in a bread bowl.
  • Skip the creamy base and just do a broth base, using a slightly greater volume of vegetables and herbs, though. 




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We're hosting a donkey show

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA. - Emerson is playing with my new Bluetooth speaker, hauling it from room to room to test its range and just generally being a big goofball with it.

I'm reading at the dining room table when she "sneaks" up (with about as much finesse as a drunken elephant) and sticks the speaker on my beloved donkey dish. "Born This Way" echoes from behind the ceramic animal.

"He can't help it if he's a donkey," she giggles. "He's just born that way."

"Adorable," I mutter. After she tried to stick the speaker to my naked butt earlier, I pretty much lost interest in her experiment.

"HeyMomHeyMomHeyMom," she says.

I can't help but grin. "I'm right here, Doodle. What's up?"

"You see the donkey is singing?" she rocks the lid back and forth. Clang. Clang. Clang.

"Yes, I see that. He's pretty talented for a donkey."

"He's such a good singer, he could perform a mulesical," she giggles, then doubles over, laughing. I blink. Oh. My. God.

"Get it?!" she shrieks. "A MULE-sical!"

Donkey was not amused.
Donkey is judging your humor.




Monday, July 28, 2014

How to get rich and famous

Monday, July 28, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA. - So I got a lot of private responses to my blog post about dyscalculia. My mother sent an email that was as loving and supportive as she always is, and some other folks sent private messages detailing similar struggles:

     E.J. (who struggles with math): "Is that honestly, really a thing? Because...wow. That could honestly explain a lot."

     Me: "Oh, no. It's an elaborate joke I played on all my math teachers and my GPA since fifth grade."

     E.J.: "I just wish I could blame something..."

     Me: "Don't fret, E.J.! There is a disorder out there just waiting for you! All you need is an enterprising PhD candidate with ties to the pharmaceutical industry!"





Friday, July 25, 2014

Something is different about me...

Friday, July 25, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA - I was in the gifted program growing up.

I'm not bragging. My mother would die. I'm sharing that to give you context for what I'm about to tell you, which is: I have a learning disability.

My friends are rolling their eyes and muttering, "Do you ever." But I'm not talking about dating, so NYAH. I'm talking about a learning disability called dyscalculia. Or, in more current terms, a learning difference.

In grade school, I got all A's, except for in math. Most of the time, I got B's. And then, as I got older, that dropped to C's.

"You're just not applying yourself," I heard, time and time again.

But I was. I just... didn't... get it.

By the time I got to high school, walking into math class was like being transported to place where I didn't speak the language for an hour every day. I'd listen, take notes, repeatedly swat away the wandering hands of the idiot football players while the teacher pretended not to notice the harassment (that's a story for another post), and every day think, "I got this. I really got this one." And dive into my homework only to find... I don't got it. I really don't.


Friends would walk me through standard formulae. "But... why?" I'd ask. And they'd toss their pencils in frustration. Teachers would have me talk through the work, nod and smile in satisfaction as I got the concepts right, then frown as I made mistake after mistake in working out the problems.

"You just don't care," I was told.

But I did.

I dropped down from Advanced math classes to Average math classes, a decision that caused me a great deal of heartache. Even then, I failed pre-Algebra three times.


Teachers started to doubt my abilities. One of them questioned whether or not I'd be able to go on to college. I began to question my abilities. I thought, "If I can't handle high school, I can't handle college."

Fellow students in the gifted program began to treat me as though I didn't belong there. I started to believe I didn't belong there. "Maybe I should just move down another level," I thought. A guidance counselor looked at me with barely a whisper of pity and said, "If you can't do the work. You shouldn't be in the class."


But some part of me thought, maybe, that I could do the work. If I only tried harder...

I declined to take any more math than I needed, and graduated a half-credit shy of a college prep diploma. "I'm not smart enough. I didn't deserve a college prep diploma," I thought.

But I applied to colleges anyway, and was accepted everywhere I applied. Of course, I didn't aim super high. Mostly sizable state schools in various parts of the country, and small private colleges whose research I admired. I was attracted to idealistic programs like Peace & Conflict Studies, and Environmental Public Health.


But, money being an ever-present issue, I stayed in state and went to a small four-year college in middle Georgia. I won't name it here, but while threw myself into the student paper, student radio station, the activities board and was an R.A., and I made and maintain wonderful friendships with classmates there (What up, Penny!), I was miserable. I left and moved to Athens and worked for a newspaper, and eventually decided to go back to school because I was so broke that student loans didn't even register as a concern.


Also, mad props to my awesome boyfriend at the time who bolstered my confidence in my academic abilities, my very good friends who kicked my butt, and my wonderful parents for gently hinting every single day for three years that I needed to go back to college.

I transferred to Georgia Regents University. My parents were ecstatic that I was going to finish my degree. But I had avoided college algebra - and anything else resembling math - for so long, that I almost had to get through that before I could get into my major coursework. I struggled, took advantage of every bit of the free tutoring the university so generously offers, and barely scraped a C. Let me tell you, I celebrated that C! That C was my ticket to my degree. I could handle anything else college threw at me!

Then came Quantitative Methods. As a student in both communications and psychology, if I wanted to finish a psych major, I had to get through this course of techniques for the measurement of human attributes, the statistical and mathematical modeling of psychological processes, the design of research studies and the analysis of psychological data. Basically, the course teaches you how to math people's mental problems. Like, up to 40 percent of schizophrenics on Thorazine develop Parkinson's-like movement disorders. But how do they know this, and how do they show the correlation mathematically?

At first, I was excited. Reliable, replicable science makes me feel like humans might have some of the answers to the universe. Or, at least, some of the road markers that lead us to some of the answers. I thought, this class wouldn't just be theoretical. Factoring to factor. Using the quadratic equation because someone told you do it 30 times that night in your homework. No, this class would help me to look at data we already have, and use math to organize those numbers into meaningful patterns. There were defined parameters and real-life questions to answer. I could do this.

I really, actually, for serious understood everything in class. I know why we need the standard deviation. I understood what we were doing with data sets. I was engaged in class, excited about the possibilities. These were tools I could use to find answers...

...Until the first test, on which I proceeded to earn a whopping 68. I shrugged when I picked it up. Typical. Fine. A C was still well within my grasp.


"What happened?" the professor asked.

"I'm just not good at math," I answered. "Can't be good at everything."

He narrowed his eyes. Told me to see him after class. "Crap," I thought. "I'm not 'applying myself' again."

He asked me a rapid-fire series of questions, then sent me to the Counseling & Testing Center. The nice woman there gently asked me another series of questions, and then stopped me mid-math-rant with a gentle laugh, palms towards me in a placating gesture.

"It's okay," she said. "I think I have the answer."

To what? I hadn't even realized there was a question. Then she began describing my experiences.

"You do well in everything, but math. You find yourself getting lost a lot. You lose track of the score in games. You're late a lot, forget what's on your schedule, and can't really tell how long something will take."

My eyes welled up with tears. She was describing my whole life. The fourteen billion times I was late getting home, because of an honest miscalculation on my part. The first date for which I was an hour late because I have no concept of time (sorry, R.H.!). The ridiculous, circuitous routes I take to get places, because I can't learn another way to go. The fact that some people from my childhood affectionately refer to me by the nickname "Spacey." The fact that I'd long-ago abandoned the idea of playing any game where I had to keep score rapidly. In fact, when Emerson and I took up tennis this year, I actually didn't even bother to look up how to keep score. We just play until we're tired, and then she declares herself the winner. Which is fine by me, because I have NO IDEA.

The counselor worked with me to give me study techniques to get me through. "You can do this," she said. "You just have to do it differently."

And I could. And I did. I got a 100 on my midterm. From that moment, my concept of myself began to change.


I hadn't gotten a 100 on a math test since about the third grade (times tables, you are jerks). I actually handed the paper back to him, thinking he'd made a mistake. But, no. There it was, my name at the top. I hopped back to my seat, joyful. I'm sure everyone else in class thought I was insane. But they're psych majors. They think everyone is insane. Including themselves.

So. If you've followed me this far, thanks. I could have just listed off some symptoms, with a standard "If your child displays these symptoms, talk to your doctor about medicating their childhood away." But I wanted to try to describe how this impacted the trajectory of my life, from about third grade through college. It completely destroyed my self-confidence, and there was no one around who was trained to recognize my struggle. My wonderful mother is, herself, a teacher, and would have pulled in every resource available on the planet had anyone understood what was going on with me back then. But studies on reading literacy outpace studies on math  literary at a rate of 14 to 1, I'm told. So the information just wasn't there at the time.

Here's some advice for you, if your child is struggling in math. Look for discrepancies in your child's learning experience:
  • Are they good at speaking and listening, but cannot process or explain a math problem in verbal or written format?
  • Are they good at working with words and phrases (i.e., English, history, etc.) but struggle to read numbers and math symbols?
  • Are they visually creative (i.e., art, etc.) but struggle when working with specific, more complicated measurements?
  • Do they have a generally good attitude to learning but are often late to lessons / appointments, cannot remember a schedule such as a school timetable and struggle with time management in terms of estimating how long something might take?
  • Are they sociable and competitive when taking part in sports and word-based board games such as Scrabble etc. but avoid strategy-based games such as chess, Monopoly, etc.?
  • Are they outgoing and independent but tend to get lost easily when in an unfamiliar place, struggling to follow a map or list of directions, etc.?

Then ask your child's school counselor to request an evaluation of  your child for dyscalculia. I wish it had been a better understood disorder when I was younger, but I'm glad it's better understood now. I hope, in time, it becomes as well-known as dyslexia. Because illiteracy of any kind can impact a child's well-being and have a long-term impact on his or her life. And to the Counseling & Testing Center at Georgia Regents University, thank you.

Thanks for reading! :-)

Side Note: Uh.... I just looked at this live on my blog and I think the "bullet points" in this might actually be... pot leaves? Please know that is not intentional, I do not use drugs, and I will be finding another template to use very soon. Good grief.





Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This post is the wurst

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 By



AUGUSTA, GA - A coworker who likes to scare me bursts into my office while I'm taking a bite of my  breakfast. It's the sandwich that I had intended to eat for dinner last night but am eating for breakfast this morning because by the time I got home last night at One Million O'Clock I took one look at the thing and said, "eff it" and went to bed. Anyway...

Me (chewing rapidly and trying not to gross him out): Oops, excuse me. I wouldn't have shoved this Italian sausage in my face if I'd known you were coming.

Him: Hey, what you do on your own time is not my business.

Me: [glare]

The conversation went downhill from there. I'm keeping my office door closed from now on.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Product Review: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen

This is not my eye. Wouldn't that be great, though?
AUGUSTA, GA - We covered previously that my makeup routine is pretty minimal. No concealer, no contouring, no primer, no setting spray, no blush, no brow-fiber-adder, no face bra, or any of the dozens of other products available to cover what the beauty industry clearly feels is a woman's natural state of disgusting-ness.

But I do love my eyeliner and mascara. Recently, Birchbox introduced me to Benefits They're Real mascara. Done. This is the stuff. Best mascara EVAH! Here's my product review for Benefits They're Real mascara: "Don't buy anything else." No need for a whole blog post about that.

But I'm still searching for the perfect eyeliner. Rather quixotically, I might add. I am a total klutz, and not actually very good at applying makeup, probably because I am usually putting it on in my car at stoplights in the morning. So I need something relatively foolproof, that requires little in the way of smudging and blending, etc.

I love the winged eyeliner in the photo above, and that's usually my goal. I had been using Physician's Formula eyeliner pen and it worked fine. I didn't get a dramatic line, but it was strong enough.

Goodbye, old friend.

Except... everywhere I went, it was out of stock. No one had it. Anywhere. Oh, they have the new Physician's Formula Lash Boosting Eyeliner, which claims to thicken and lengthen your lashes, but it has a brush tip. That's never going to work with me. I'll end up looking like Taylor Momsen.



In fact, all eyeliner pens were sold out. From every manufacturer. CoverGirl does a liquid pen. E.l.f. does a liquid pen. Maybelline does a liquid pen. Freaking everyone does a liquid pen eyeliner. So why was Revlon Colorstay the only liquid eye pen I could find?

I was about to find out.

I found it by chance at the stupid Wal-mart in Grovetown, which has the Most Annoying Aisle Layout in the World. It's like a maze. I hate it. But they had liquid pen liner, so... yay.

I didn't open the eye liner until Monday morning, when I was getting ready for work - in my bathroom at home, for once. It glided on smoothly, and gave me a very precise, dark, line. It was perfect! I finished getting ready and got in the car.

I noticed in the car's rear-view mirror that there was a black smudge at the outer corner of my eye. I swiped it off and didn't think about it again for 30 whole minutes, until someone at work mentioned that I had a black smudge under my eye. I wiped it off and went to look in the mirror. Uh-oh. Not good. I swiped at the corner of my eye with a damp tissue. Disaster. The harder I tried, the smudgier it got.

Crap. I'm going to start carrying makeup remover.
It's not a waterproof formula, so this was ridiculous. It just smudged around. I mean, it color-stayed, all right. But not in the right places, and getting it off was a nightmare. The liner just followed the tissue around my face, as opposed to wiping off onto the tissue or color-staying in place.  It was like the loaves and fishes of eyeliner fails.

Not me. But pretty close.
The next day, I tried it again, this time with a sample of Urban Decay primer that I've had for about two years. But at 9:30 a.m., an Internet funny made me laugh so hard that tears came to my eyes. And that was all she wrote, folks. The eyeliner migrated down to my cheekbones, and the NFL tried to recruit me as a kicker for the Raiders. Hey, I can't make them any worse, amIright?

This is my sexy date-night face, courtesy of Revlon. You like?
In conclusion: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen would be a great marker with which your kids can draw all over the walls. Or, if you're too young for kids, maybe you want to give your passed-out drunk friend a marker makeover (although, if you do this to a friend, as opposed to taking care of them, you are not actually their friend). Those are wonderful uses for Revlon's liquid eyeliner pen.

But for lining my eyes, I'd rather use a Sharpie. At least I know that color will stay. And not smudge.











Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Recipe: Cucumber-Crab Salad

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 By No comments



I am obsessed with ponzu sauce. It's kind of ridiculous - I'm putting it on everything... seafood, pork, chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, asparagus - I even tried a ponzu vinaigrette.

Ponzu sauce is a light, salty, citrusy sauce from Japan. It looks like soy sauce, and can be found right beside it on grocery store shelves. The sauce is made from rice vinegar, rice wine, fish flakes, seaweed and fruit juice from one or several Asian citrus fruits - most popularly, yuzu.

Yuzu looks like a really old orange.

The ingredients for Ponzu sound weird, until you realize that the ubiquitous soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, roasted grains, a salty brine, and mold. Ponzu is freaking basic, in comparison.

I'd like to share the easiest freaking recipe I have tried in forever. And it didn't require cooking, or... well, much at all, really. 

Cucumber-Crab Salad

  • 2-3 cucumbers, sliced thick, and then halved. I never peel them, but you can, if you prefer. Incidentally, seedless mini cucumbers work better, but they're way more expensive. (About $2)
  • 2-3 minced green onions, or 3-4 tsp of minced sweet yellow onion ($1)
  • 1 Tsp of minced garlic (20 cents?)
  • 8 oz chopped fake crab ($3)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of Ponzu sauce (50 cents)
  • Squeeze of lime juice (5 cents)
  • Fresh black pepper (Isn't this basically free?)

Okay, here's how you make it. Ready? Chop everything up, throw it in a bowl, and pour ponzu sauce on it. Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Oh. Not specific enough. Fine. Here you go.

Step 1: Throw the first four ingredients in a bowl, squeeze the lime juice over it, and crack some fresh pepper over it.



Step 2: Pour over as little or as much ponzu sauce as you want.



That's it. No, really. It's a lot like making ceviche. You can chill it in the fridge and let it marinate for 30 minutes to an hour, or you can eat it immediately.

Add or subtract the whatever amount of garlic, onion, and pepper you like. I love lots of black pepper, and a dash of ground sea salt just before serving. For some, adding sea salt would make the dish too salty.

Variations:

1. Add whatever veggies you want to the marinating bowl. Asparagus and tomatoes worked well. I tried edamame; and while it didn't work in the marinating bowl, it was lovely when added in at the last minute. Broccoli and carrots were a bust. Celery was just okay.

2. Serve it over a garden salad.

3. Serve it over warm rice, with more ponzu to taste.

4. Instead of crab, use coarsely chopped shrimp, ahi, or salmon. I prefer not to cook the seafood, unless it's shrimp. I just let the marinade cook it. But it's totally up to you. I do recommend that you only cook it lightly.

5. Mix in some broken, cold Ramen, Udon, or Sobe noodles. Ahhh, carbs. How I love you.

6. Top with fresh chunks of avocado.

7. Dice the cucumber instead of slicing, and serve with pita chips or pretzel chips.

8. Add a couple of dashes of Sriracha to the ponzu sauce and whisk before adding to the bowl.

Really, feel free to make this recipe your own. Just give the versatile, delicious ponzu sauce a try.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Every day is Caturday

Monday, July 14, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA - This is our cat. Her name is Fluffernutter Sweetiebelle Bananapants McGowen Hudson. Or, just "Sweetie," for short. I love this cat. This cat is my jam.

This cat is also completely unconcerned about whether or not I get a full night's sleep, and - until recently - would regularly wake me at 4:30 a.m. by gently biting my toes so that I would feed her.



I tamed that instinct by buying her an automatic feeder and waterer, which freed me from her middle-of-the-night requests for cheezburgers, and such. (Side note: that lasted until yesterday, when I had to stop free-feeding, as she would eat until she threw up... which kind of defeats the purpose of eating.) Now, I regularly get to sleep as late as 5:30 a.m. without her waking me! Woohoo! Just like a rock star!

But not every night....

"meer..."

[oh no....]

"meeeer..."

[ugh. no, cat. shut it.]

"meeeeeeeer?"

[shhh... lie still. maybe she won't recognize you.]

"MEER."



"MEEEEER..."

[Wait. That's not a normal meow.]

"MEEEEER?"

[That's a "There's a guy I don't know downstairs and he's taking all your stuff" meow.]

"MEEEEEEEEER!"

It's 1:38 a.m. I drag my butt out of bed and stand up. Sweetie responds by galloping in two excited circles. Crap. This can't be good. I briefly consider grabbing some kind of weapon, but I don't have the energy to wield one. Maybe if I ask politely, the perpetrator will just... go? Have you ever been so tired that it was less worrisome to be possibly murderized than to waste all that energy with the picking up of a nearby broom?

She waits for me at the bedroom door. I trudge forward. She runs to the top of the stairs and eyes me. I follow, peering around as I descend. The front door is closed. I don't hear anything downstairs. I shuffle down the stairs, where Sweetie is waiting on the bottom step.

Suddenly, she bolts... and flops down on the floor on her side with a big kitty grin on her face.

My cat woke me at 1:38 a.m. to escort her downstairs. Just so she could lie back down, two feet from the bottom of the stairs.

I resisted the urge to punt her out the front door and trudged back to bed. But I'm going to have to find a fix for this situation.

"Maybe she needs a friend, Mama," Emerson suggested.

Great. TWO cats to wake me up in the middle of the night.






Friday, July 11, 2014

Product Review: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

Friday, July 11, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA - I'm not that big on makeup. Lots of days I forget to put it on. And when I do, it's almost always just eyeliner, mascara, and a little lipstick. But I acquired a sample of Maybelline Fit Me foundation stick, and gave it a try.

One of the reasons that I don't wear a lot of makeup on my skin is that I have very oily skin plus rosacea. Ideally, I'd find a product that can minimize the redness and tiny red veins on my cheeks. I have very little expectation that there's a coverage product out there that can provide all of the benefits I'm looking for without exacerbating my skin into the lumpy mess it previously resembled.

Not actually me, but about the same as my face without any coverage - flushed, with broken capillaries.

About what my skin looked like a couple of years ago.

But I'm always happy to try another foundation, BB cream, CC cream, or tinted moisturizer. Especially if it doesn't irritate my rosacea AND can mattify my oily skin, plus somehow simultaneously moisturize it and pump it full of anti-aging benefits.

Moisturize AND mattify. Right. I'll let you know when I find this miraculous elixir of contradictions.

Maybelline is not a company whose products I usually go for. Like, ever. I think of them as appealing to young people who are just experimenting with makeup. I put them and Bonne Bell in similar categories. Probably because their models are all about 13 years old.


Foundation sticks are out of the norm for drugstores, but every once in a while a company releases one. The idea is you draw it on your T-zone - or wherever your skin needs to most coverage - and blend outwards from there.

The Maybelline Fit Me stick foundation felt as one would expect it to feel: thick. And that's how it went on. Despite my clean, exfoliated, freshly moisturized skin, I had a hard time blending the foundation outwards. So I got some uneven coverage that I had to correct. To do it, I had to add more moisturizer, negating some of the mattifying ability of the foundation. Moral of the story: This stuff dries quickly. The second day I used it, I moved much faster and it blended a little better.

The coverage was fine, but wasn't right for my skin type. The powdery finish seemed to sit on top of my skin, and whether or not it actually highlighted the fine crow's feet around my eyes, I felt like it did.

As for staying power, I got maybe four or five hours into the day before I felt like I should reapply on the T-zone. But I hate reapplying foundation during the day. I feel like I should just take off everything and start over, as opposed to reapplying over the powder and grime of the day. But, for those who don't mind it, the stick foundation is a very portable way to do it.

Ultimately, I think this is formulated for a core audience of teens and young adults who need the oil-reducing properties, but don't worry too much about drying. If you have ever looked at yourself in the mirror round about noon and thought, "When did I run my face into the Exxon Valdez?" then this product might be something for your to try.

So, if you have a very active teen with oily skin who also likes a full coverage foundation, this might be a great product for them. If your teen has dry skin, I recommend they stay far away from it. They might end up looking like Benjamin Button - and not during the hot Brad Pitt middling years.

Nope. Sorry.

Because the real issue with having oily skin as a teen is the acne.

Of course, the issue with having oily skin in your twenties is the shine. Then, again, the issue with having oily skin in your thirties is also the shine.

In your forties, it's still the shine, only with the added minefield of fine lines. I swear, I spent the previous three decades trying to figure out how to dry the surface of my skin of oils. Now, I'm trying to dry my oily skin without drying my skin of all moisture and looking like Emperor Palpatine before I must.

 These are not the wrinkles I am looking for.

I am still searching for that perfect product. If you have a suggestion, please leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Is the Pope Catholic?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 By


AUGUSTA, GA - Emerson and her friend, Kayla, had a sleepover at the house. Wow, can these girls make a mess. I think they may actually be running an underground My Little Pony breeding operation.

I was so tired of stepping on and around the toys that they scattered from her bedroom, down the stairs, through the kitchen, and all the way to the back door. And I was just about to lose it if one more Lego jammed itself into my foot.

"Mom, can we have some ice cream?"

Ahhhh, my time to shine! "If you get all this cleaned up, you can."

And there was much rejoicing!



Ha, I'm kidding. Just looking at their shoulders slump gave me sympathy scoliosis. They took about an hour to get everything back under control, as slowly as possible, heaving as many sighs and groaning as often as they could. It was one of those days when you have to choke back your giggles and go on about your Mom Business of Being Boring All the Time, Cleaning Things That Are Already Clean, and Creating Chores Ex Nihilo. And, let me tell you, business is good.

Finally, they came skipping up. "Okay, we're done! Can we have ice cream?"

I glanced over their handiwork. It was some of their best.

"This is great work!"

"Can we?" Emerson pleaded.

"Is the Pope Catholic?"

She stopped and blinked at me, then looked at Kayla, who shrugged her shoulders. Emerson made Concerned Eyebrows at me. "Uhhh, we don't actually know."

*snicker* "He is. Let's get that ice cream. You guys did a great job."

"Thanks, mom! ... Mom, what's Catholic?"

#parenting, #blogging, #catholic, #icecream, #mylittlepony, #sleepover