Saturday Mix/ Photo Challenge: Fiction – Dear Moose #amwriting #fiction #SaturdayMix #PhotoChallenge


Thanks to Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’s Double Take. Also, combining with NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge. Sarah’s homophone sets this week are: mail – postal delivery and male – masculine person. Also, moose – a large elk and mousse – dessert of whipped cream and eggs.


Credit: Brooke Shaden


It began with a letter. The clunk of the mailman’s shoes as he delivered a letter sealed with scarlet. Genevieve snatched the letter from her mailbox. Her hands trembled. The writing of the address seemed masculine. It curved without order or neatness. The fact that a male could handwrite these days surprised her.

“Perhaps he’s an older man?” She shrugged and slit the letter. The name on the envelope wasn’t one Genevieve recognized. She did not believe its sender was ‘actually’ ‘John Smith.’ She rolled her eyes.

Genevieve slid three folded cream pages from the envelope and straightened them. The first page had a tiny emblem in the corner. She wasn’t sure what it meant. A ‘J’ with a squiggle looped over and down from the top of the ‘J’ to form a tiny ‘S’ beneath it. The third letter was a ‘T’ that she realized matched the wax seal.

‘John Smith’s’ writing began without greetings. Genevieve read a few sentences and discovered the letter was penned to someone called Moose.

“I’m not Moose, and I don’t know anyone with that nickname.” She struggled to read ‘John’s’ handwriting. After a bit, she set down the first page. Moose was involved in serious business.

She threw her coat and purse on the floor. She’d only returned from work a minute before the envelope arrived. She groaned. “Why C/O Genevieve O’Connor?” But no one answered, as she knew they wouldn’t.

Genevieve pinched the bridge of her nose. “Shower and food. Then, I’ll read more.” She gathered clean clothes and pondered the letter under the shower’s spray. After a half hour, she dressed and heated left-over Ravioli.

She grabbed a cozy blanket from a linen closet and flipped over page one of the letter Genevieve swore under her breath. Damn illegible handwriting. Can’t you print like a normal person?

She padded back to her room to towel dry her hair and to comb through some mousse. Then, she reclined on her sofa, gathering her blanket as she deciphered ‘John’s’ letter. She shivered despite her hot shower, and couldn’t help the feeling that something about this letter was amiss.

*****

That’s how it Genevieve became lost in the forest, and ended up at a summer cottage closed for the fall. Her body trembled and she couldn’t stand the dirt, blood, and other forest offerings on her skin. The only place to wash was a large kitchen sink. There was no shower, so Genevieve stuffed the cabin’s broken window pane with a blanket and stripped.

She couldn’t get rid of the tang of blood or acrid dirt. It made her nauseous. She scrubbed her skin raw, and poured more dish soap on her hair. She stepped out of the sink careful not to slip. As she rinsed her hair, evidence of the past few days whirled down the drain.

She was tired of being alone. She yelled at the absent John Smith. He’d helped her only once before. “You’ve a lot of explaining, John.”His name was a sneer. “I’m tired of this game. I never knew Moose. I don’t know why I’m his contact: let me be, and tell your gun-totting buddies too.”

Her voice echoed in the cottage, and she was alone except for the howling mountain’s winds; its paradoxical breezes made her headache throb. Gentle winds mixed with gusts causing the windows to clammer.

Genevieve scrambled through kitchen drawers until she found the Advil. Swallowing two pills, she fell into bed. The sheets were lavender-scented and the duvet warm. Who lived here? She didn’t know. Then, a hand swept across her forehead, and she mumbled thinking it was a dream.

“John?” Her voice was hoarse, and her hands reached, and gripped a muscled arm in flannel. Genevieve groaned as his fingers combed through her wet hair. His hand rested on her forehead.

“It is you.” The room was dark and only John’s outline was visible. She knew it was him by his scent. Fresh and masculine.

“You’ve a fever.” She rolled her eyes. Genevieve was mad.

“Drink this?” A red mug lowered to her mouth.

“What is it?”

“I’m not here to hurt you, Genevieve.”

“Such a liar.” He insisted she drink it, so she did. In-between sips she grumbled and tried to sit up. He pushed her down.

“It’s Neocitran. You’re sick and you need sleep.”

“I’m sick? Whose fault is that? After everything, now you show up?” Genevieve’s eyes closed as lethargy overcame her.

“Go away, John. I’ll figure this out alone. You complicate everything.”

He sighed. She opened her eyes as he rubbed his hands over watched his face, and through his two-day stubble.

“I didn’t mean to handle it this way. I didn’t know you’d never met your brother.” He combed through her hair once more.

It bothered Genevieve that things seemed less hopeless with John beside her. She wanted him to stay but knew he’d be gone by morning.

“Just leave, John.”

“Not a chance, Genna.” She thought she imagined his last words.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Italian Sonnet – “Sonnet of the Milk Cow” #poetry #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

——

Credit: majesticgoldenrose

——-

I am a cow, a cow I am; don’t think —

I don’t know you’re using me for my milk.

My friends out their in the pasture they think,

They’ll never be rendered into meat.

But the older cows who you milk don’t blink,

They know where fattened cows go too soon.

I’m told not to worry, with a wink,

I am a milk cow, that isn’t my fate.

I’ll live a long life as long as I give,

Thick liquid to use in many foods ate.

As long as there’s butter, yogurt I live.

As long as there’s cream, cheeses galore.

I’m a free cow until old age arrives,

Then I’m certain I just might be beef.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Beauty Haul Winter 2016/2017: Part Two 


Good Morning! I’ve been meaning to do this post for awhile as part one was done before Christmas. I have an interesting selection of beauty products since the Fall Beauty Haul and I hope you find this post useful in your own Beauty Product selection.


1. Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara – (www.sephora.ca) – $31.00 CAN

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Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara (0.15 oz) – $31.00 CAN – http://www.sephora.ca

I received this mascara as a sample from Sephora. I adore Make Up Forever products in general so I was excited to try another of their mascaras. As usual, since my mascara never stays on my lashes unless the mascara is waterproof, I put on a coat of a waterproof L’Oreal mascara after applying the sample mascara. I like this Make Up Forever mascara, it’s quite black and the brush does a good job of creating volume for your lashes, but I’m not thrilled by this mascara. It’s a middle-of-the-line mascara and I think if you bought it you would like it, but not be overly impressed. There isn’t a wow factor to it. Honestly, there is not much difference between The Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Mascara and the L’Oreal one I put over top. The brush is the same, the opacity of the mascara the same,  and the only difference is the L’Oreal mascara is waterproof. I’d say this rates about a three out of five stars for a mascara.


2. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil – (www.sephora.ca)- $29.00 – Two Pencils: One in Stingray (Jet Black) and Lion Fish (Deep Bronze Sheen)

winter-2017-lion-fish-eyeliner-stila
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner (Pencil) This one one Lion Fish – (www.sephora.ca)- 0.28 g – $29.00 CAN

For the longest time, I always used pencil liners because they were easier to apply than the liquid ones I tried; however, then companies such as Lancome led the way coming out with liquid eyeliners which were easy to apply, they had great foam tipped applicators. I have especially used waterproof eyeliner since makeup brands such as Stila and well everyone else, has come out with wonderful liquid eyeliners which are like fine-tip markers for the eyes (pens). Once you learn to apply these awesome liquid eyeliners, they are usually much more vibrant and remain on your eye better than pencil eyeliners.

Nonetheless, during the Christmas season, I was searching for my trusty Stila liquid eyeliner pen in black and Sephora didn’t have any left except in a Christmas Gift Set that was $44.00 CAN and included Jet Black and Lion Fish eyeliner pencils as well. These eyeliner pencils aren’t’ exactly pencils such as the ones you sharpen. Instead, they’re roll-up, which means the tip remains small and pointed. I love them so much as everyday makeup products, enough to permanently add Jet Black pencil liner to my regular makeup purchases when it runs out.

The reason I love these roll-up pencils so much is that they are similar to smudge pot eyeshadows. They glide onto your eye line smoothly and they leave behind pigmented and rich color which is also waterproof, so it doesn’t rub off as many pencil eyeliners do. They are excellent eyeliners especially if you have trouble lining in your upper water line. The roll-up pencils do a fantastic job coloring in waterlines when you need, and remaining on your waterline, which is an extremely difficult feat for a makeup brand to accomplish.

I love Stila’s Jet Black for use on my waterline and sometimes for regular eyeliner. Lion Fish is a bronzy color which is a great change up for a daytime look from using a black liner. Lion Fish also has a bit of shimmer in it instead of being merely being a matte brown liner.

This gift set was completely worth the purchase for $44.oo because I received both these pencil liners and my black liquid eyeliner pen, a cost of about $96.00 regular price before tax. A definite five out of five stars for the Stila Smudge Sticks.


3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Luster Liner in Liquid Gold – (www.sephora.ca) – $23.00 CAN

winter-2017-anastasia-gold-liner
Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Lustre Liner in Liqiuid Gold – (www.sephora.ca) – 0.04 oz – $23.00 CAN

I cannot say Stila is the only pencil eyeliner I was recently impressed with. I had seen that gold eyeliner was a trend for the holiday season. Watching a Pixie Woo’s makeup tutorial on YouTube, I loved how the one Pixie Woo used this Anastasia eyeliner to line her lower waterline and corner of her eyes, it looked fantastic.

But the Anastasia Luster Liner in Liquid Gold was extremely versatile and is a  product and I think I will buy again. It works great on waterlines and the liner stays on with a couple of coats, and it appears beautifully on top of black eyeliner as a bit of a fancy touch. But my most favorite use for this eyeliner pencil was using it on Christmas and New years to fill in my entire eyelid area, then blend it out with other eyeshadow.

I had to be careful doing this as once this waterproof liner sets it remains put. It`s not moving except with eye makeup remover. So if you use the Anastasia liquid gold eyeliner this way, put on most of your eyeshadow before applying the gold liner on your lid. It does take a while to blend other eyeshadow colors into the gold eye pencil if you choose to use it this way. I loved this festive product and think it could be used for special occasions or if you want to add a bit of glimmer to your daytime look in the corner or your eye or your bottom waterline for instance.

I used most of the pencil up over two-months and only have a bit left, but it`s not a product too high priced to purchase again. I`m impressed with how well it works for multiple looks for a waterproof gold eyeliner with such bold and vivid gold color, and not a yellowy gold shade (if you know what I mean). The Anastasia eyeliner also comes in the color Liquid Silver. It was easy to sharpen and it never broke even though the pencil was soft and the color bright.I would give this eyeliner pencil five stars.


4. Origins: High Potency Night-A-Mins™ Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream – (www.sephora.ca) – $55.00 (1.7 oz/50 ml) 

winter-2017-orgins-high-potency-night-a-mins-mineral-cream
Origins High-Potency Night -A -Mins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream – (www.sephora.ca) – 1.7 oz/50 ml – $55.00 CAN

So it’s Winter which means for many of us in colder climates, we are experiencing dryer skin. I usually have skin oily enough that it doesn’t seem to require much extra moisture, expect maybe applying my Clinique moisturizing gel twice every few days. This year I had a bit a different experience and found at night, I required a solid moisturizer but one that would not cause me to break out. So I used some of my Sephora points and received a large sized sample of the Origins Night cream and it lasted about a month, so I think the product itself even though it’s $55.00 for the smaller size, would last a person the entire winter.

I had tried eye creams and other one or two day samples from Origins and I have always liked their products and how my skin reacts to them. They are great to moisturize dry skin and even though it was a night cream, I did use it in the day sometimes. It felt wonderful and smelled great. As well, I like that the cream is made out of plant minerals. I have always found these type ingredients to be fantastic indicators of a quality cream/lotion/or gel. I completely recommend this product for dry skin, especially at night. I would give the Origins Night Cream four our of five stars. I can use this in the winter, but not in the summer or spring when the weather seems to indicate I need less moisturizer.


5. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil  (Eye Shadow)- 611 Yogurt – (www.ulta.com) – $4.49 US ($6 or $7 CAN at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada)

winter-2017-nyx-eye-pencil
NYX Cosmetics Jumbo Eye Pencil (Eye Shadow) in 611 Yogurt – (www.ulta.com) – 0.18 oz – $4.49

I’ve heard good things about NYX as a cheaper makeup brand. I adore their matte setting spray for makeup so I thought I would try something else from their line. I wanted a base color that I can put on before my other eyeshadow, which is the reason I bought this pencil.

Unfortunately, I bought the wrong shade, it’s a bit too yellow for me and I should have bought a similar shade with more pink in it. But it’s not bad for a shimmery base color and I’ve worn it a few times. The only problem is, I’ve worn the eye pencil down and would think you could sharpen it, but I do not own a sharpener which can fit the jumbo pencil in.

The eye pencil color stays on your eyelids well and doesn’t come off easily. You can blend other eyeshadows of various types into it as well, and the color is easy to cover up if you don’t like the shade but are using it as a base.

I’m not sure where to find a sharpener which fits the NYX jumbo pencil, or if it even can be sharpened? If you know let me know. I think as with most products in the makeup industry, you get what you pay for and the NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil is an example of this with only a two-star rating.


6. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm With Calming Camomile Extract – Sensitive Skin – MakeUp Remover – (www.thebodyshop.ca) – $16.00 CAN

winter-2017-camomile-sumptuous-cleansing-butter_l
The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm With Calming Camomile Extract for Sensitive Skin – (www.thebodyshop.ca) – 90 ml – $16.00

My last product to share was part of a gift from a friend with many lovely Body Shop Products. They definantly have some nice products and not only lotion and body wash. I was really thrilled with this cleansing balm I received. I wasn’t sure what it was at first.

But, it’s an awesome makeup remover and is also extremely moisturizing at the same time. I have doubts about using it in spring and summer, but right now it’s exactly what my skin needed. I usually use cleansing clothes to remove my makeup and right now I use both. I put the balm all over my face with my hands, including my eyes — it’s awesome at removing any and all eye makeup especially waterproof makeup. The balm feels as if it might be a bit greasy, but it’s not at all. It cleanses your face completely of makeup and works well with the cleansing clothes you can throw away.

The cleansing balm leaves your fast moisturized and feeling great, not to mention, it smells fantastic. If you can get your hands on some I recommend it. Four stars our of five.


If you haven’t read Part 1 of my Beauty Haul it was in December and can be found HERE.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Topbox November 2016 #beautybox #beauty 


November 2016’s Topbox had four major items. You can check them out below:

——

1. 

China Glaze Nail Polish in Blue-Ya! It seems extremely dark but it’s sparkly! Maybe a good shade for an accent nail?

——

2. 

Lip Fusion Plump and Shine Lipstick in La Femme – The Perfect Nude shade actually and it does moisturize and smooth your lips. It feels nice on!

——

3. 

Bella Aura Skincare – Antioxidant Booster Cream – haven’t tried it. I’m always extremely careful with the skincare products I use!

——

4. 

Bamboo Sprout Leave In Conditioner for Growth and Strength – big sample 110g and hair feels soft, but not overly impressed. Tried this brand before meh! But I will use it up.

——

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for Luxebox later this month. Luxebox has more beauty items, but is only quarterly. The Winter 2016/2017 Box is coming! 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

NaPoWriMo 2016: Poem – Family Portrait – Tanka – ” The Wedding” 


  

And now, our daily (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that takes the form of a family portrait. You could write, for example, a stanza for each member of your family. You could also find an actual snapshot of your family and write a poem about it, spending a little bit of time on each person in the picture. You don’t need to observe any particular form or meter. Happy writing!

For more information please see NaPoWrIMo

—–

Mother in your dress,

Wedding gown of creamy lace,

Fit your thin curves well,

Face so young at twenty-one,

What did you see before you?

—–

Father in your curling,

Dirty-blond hair and mustache,

Green-eyes bright seeing,

Mother in her bridal lace,

A dress she sewed by her hands.

—–

Father in your tan suit,

Both brothers with you watching,

Began life with bride,

Flaring legs on trouser pants,

Shoes providing more height.

—–

Uncles and bestman —

Attired, grinning happy.

Brown sunglasses big,

A picture of all of you,

Three brothers, now just two.

—–

Bridesmaids in long —

Burgundy dresses were sewn,

Colour flattering,

Blond hair, curls, and smiles wide.

Enchanting bride, outdoes them.

——

Groom smiling wide-eyed,

Seeing his new wife signing,

Papers that declare,

Wife and Husband wedded bliss.

Knowing not yet, who they’ll become.

—–

Dinner, no dance.

Can’t offend the relatives.

So, young to be wed.

I guess they knew at that party.

And after three-years dating.

—-

Time enough had passed,

It was time to begin life,

First, a little dog,

Then a fetus who had died.

Then a daughter and two-sons.

—-

Not to say it was,

A fairytale, the wise know —

Happily ever after,

Is a farce, lacks the small things.

Life is how it is each day.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

NaPoWriMo 2016: Poem – Family Portrait – Tanka – ” The Wedding” 


  

And now, our daily (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that takes the form of a family portrait. You could write, for example, a stanza for each member of your family. You could also find an actual snapshot of your family and write a poem about it, spending a little bit of time on each person in the picture. You don’t need to observe any particular form or meter. Happy writing!

For more information please see NaPoWrIMo

—–

Mother in your dress,

Wedding gown of creamy lace,

Fit your thin curves well,

Face so young at twenty-one,

What did you see before you?

—–

Father in your curling,

Dirty-blond hair and mustache,

Green-eyes bright seeing,

Mother in her bridal lace,

A dress she sewed by her hands.

—–

Father in your tan suit,

Both brothers with you watching,

Began life with bride,

Flaring legs on trouser pants,

Shoes providing more height.

—–

Uncles and bestman —

Attired, grinning happy.

Brown sunglasses big,

A picture of all of you,

Three brothers, now just two.

—–

Bridesmaids in long —

Burgundy dresses were sewn,

Colour flattering,

Blond hair, curls, and smiles wide.

Enchanting bride, outdoes them.

——

Groom smiling wide-eyed,

Seeing his new wife signing,

Papers that declare,

Wife and Husband wedded bliss.

Knowing not yet, who they’ll become.

—–

Dinner, no dance.

Can’t offend the relatives.

So, young to be wed.

I guess they knew at that party.

And after three-years dating.

—-

Time enough had passed,

It was time to begin life,

First, a little dog,

Then a fetus who had died.

Then a daughter and two-sons.

—-

Not to say it was,

A fairytale, the wise know —

Happily ever after,

Is a farce, lacks the small things.

Life is how it is each day.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016)All Rights Reserved.

Day 26 – NaPoWriMo – Different Voice – ” Your Skin”


I am only your epidermis, some of you don’t think to take care of me.

You pick and scratch at me while your young, instead of just leaving me be.

You don’t use a proper 3 step system: Face Wash, Toner, Moisturizer.

You think I’ll take care of myself with sun spots and pock marks.

And have you ever heard of serum, the kind that’s anti-wrinkle and causes radiance?

Could you use a little of that or a cream? Something with Retinol, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.

For if you’ve the skin of woman your skin is very delicate, soft and pretty to the touch.

But oily, normal, or combination skin, we all react in different ways and remember,

I am with you all your days when your young and fresh faced and old and wrinkly.

So please take care of me: Wash off your makeup before bed, wear sunscreen, and products right for you.

And when I’m on your man, please tell him to take care of me too, a good sharp razor when he shaves would help.

Some moisturizing shaving cream, and moisturizer with of course, sunscreen

Be the person with young-looking skin when you are 83-years-old. Don’t be the one crevices so deep.

Watch your body in the sun, I am the number one place to get skin cancer you know? 

So, please take care of me, though I can’t help but show age, I can look younger or older depending on you.

I show the memory of your life in my spots and wrinkles so make me look my best.

Women and men, I am your epidermis, your closest friend.

Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer vs. Garnier Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer Serum & Moisturizer


Recently, I have attempted to cut costs on items I usually buy in certain categories of my budget. One of theses categories I have tried to spend less in is personal items which include beauty products such as the two I am focusing on today: Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer  ($54) and Garnier Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer Serum and Moisturizer ($22).

Of course, I am sometimes biased to the more expensive products to begin with, that’s just me. If you asked me to blindly choose which products I liked out of several beauty products, I would without fail choose the most expensive items. A lot of the time I find it’s true that the more costly beauty products work better than their cheaper counterparts but this is not always the case.  After watching a YouTube video comparing these two products I felt I had to give the cheaper Garnier moisturizer product a try. The lovely girl who did the video felt that the Clinique and Garnier moisturizers were working equally well on her skin and that the less costly Garnier product was the better beauty buy. Well I came to a different conclusion:

www.clinique.ca
http://www.clinique.ca

Clinique Turnaround products are in my mind, some of the best beauty creams that exist. They make your skin feel baby soft and promote cell turnover so that your skin heals faster from marks left by acne and the inevitable dry skin that comes with winter weather. Also, the Clinique Turnaround Overnight Moisturizer specifically, can be used as a daytime moisturizer as well as a night-time moisturizer. But if you have very oily skin this moisturizer is not for you because it can make your skin feel greasy. But if you tend to be more of a combination skin type or have a dryer skin type, then this Clinique moisturizer is perfect for your skin. I have combination skin and use Clinique Turnaround Moisturizer twice a day and it works great.

Another aspect about all Clinique products is that they are excellent for people with sensitive skin, especially if your sensitive skin is the reason you are breaking out or having other skin problems. Clinique products are more than hypo-allergenic they have no perfumes or ingredients in them that will make your skin react to them. On http://www.clinique.ca the product description for Clinique Turnaround Night Cream reads that it ” [i]nstantly reveals a healthy radiance” and [g]ently replaces dull, worn-out surface cells with livelier, more luminous” cells. “Skin breathes [and a]ccepts moisture better” and the cream “optimizes up-and-coming cells to help” your best skin emerge. . . [d]ay after day, skin seems to glow from within” and [b]ecome . . . smoother over time.”

And I believe that the Clinique Turnaround Overnight Moisturizer is definitely worth the $54 per jar as it lasts me 3 to 4 months. A little moisturizer goes along way. And the very fact that I break out less when using this cream or any Clinique cream,  tells me that Clinique truly does live up to its customer’s expectations of producing products that are healthy for your skin and not irritating or damaging. This is why I like the Clinique Turnaround Overnight Moisturizer better than the Garnier product.

315_l
http://www.garnier.ca

Not only was Garnier’s cream oilier and made my skin break out much worse than it has broken out in a long time, the Retinol ( I think It was Retinol) caused a burning sensation on my skin. Not to mention, while the Clinique cream had no particular smell, just a regular cream like smell, the Garnier cream smelt like it was rotting, literally. When I tried a bit of the cream in Shopper’s Drugmart I did not feel that the smell would bother me that much but every time I put the Garnier cream on I cringed from the acrid smell. Who wants to buy any product that smells like it is rotting? Not to mention the cream made my skin feel greasy by the end of the day because it did not absorb well, unlike the Clinque cream for me. So, I was a bit disappointed as you can see that I even spent $22 on this product when that money could have gone towards the Clinique moisturizer.

Lesson learned, You Tube beauty product videos are not always right and a girl must always consider her own skin type and if it is more prone to be irritated by cheaper products from companies that do not always take skin irritation and sensitivity into account.