Happy August! Here’s some Wine and Words too soothe your soul and make you laugh. If you’re like me, most wine you’re having in summer is in your sangria, but a sweet bottle of Rose, Red, or hey, even Red, is wonderful chilled in the summer evening.
Hoping everyone’s been enjoying themselves if you’re off on summer vacation or break, and if you’re in the middle of another season, I hope you’re enjoying some cooler weather as in some places (Australia or Italy for example), summer can be miserably hot.
I’m off to my first Writer’s Conference in a week or so, and I’m excited to be among Writer-folk in person for a bit, and not only online. I enjoy both, but a change of scenery is nice, as is spending some time with a great friend, Psychologist, and Steeped Tea Sipologist. Also, back to house sit and chill with my puppy-friend Jenga, while her owners are away a few days before the conference!
Hey, back from Vegas and I’m excited for summer festivals such as Shakespeare in the Park, The Street Performers, A Taste if Edmonton, K-days, and a few others. Summer is such a fun time.
When you’re buried in snow from November to the beginning of May, patio weather, summer festivities, and vacations help many of us through those rough cold times. Especially, if one can’t take a winter vacation. Anyways, whatever you season, enjoy it!
For #NaPoWriMo Day 20 the Prompt is: ” to write a poem that involves rebellion in some way. The speaker or subject of the poem could defy a rule or structure that’s been placed on them, or the poem could begin by obeying a rule and then proceed to break it.”
Danny’s back pulsed and ached. Pain like fire raced through his lower back and centered in his shoulder blades and neck. He had spent the day hauling wood chips for his cabin.
Strolling inside, he sorted through the mail, rolling his shoulders and stretching his back, praying the sharp pains would cease.
Anne peered up from the kitchen stove. “You have all the wood chips hauled into the shed?”
“Yeah, we’re set until summer. I pulled some muscles, though.”
“Hmmm, did you stretch before?”
“It’ll be fine after a hot shower.”
Anne rolled her eyes. “I hope so. You always make fun of my yoga, but it gives me flexibility and stretches my soar muscles. You should try a short video tonight.”
She flipped through the saved videos on the Youtube app on her phone, pausing at ‘Yoga for Back Pain.’ She handed Danny her phone. “Do this video and you’ll feel much better.”
“It’s fine, really.” He kissed Anne’s cheek, setting down her phone.
The next morning Danny attempted to get up, but he couldn’t raise himself into a sitting position, not even a reclined one. Whenever he tried, fiery pain shot through his entire back and shoulders.
Anne gazed at him half-awake, before sitting up. She guided his arms, upper back, and shoulders in ‘yogesque’ movements. The burning pain lessened with a few clicks and snaps as she stretched out his torso.
When his lower back cracked into place, Danny moaned. He sat up, than stood with ease.
Splaying out on her side of the bed, Anne closed her eyes. “Now that your back is good, you can make us both breakfast. I deserve breakfast in bed.”
Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesdays.
We live along the river in delapitated shanties. At sunrise we sleepily pull on our rubber boots and checked flannel shirts. It’s late fall and the days are chillier. It doesn’t mean we can’t fish, but the joy of a temperate summer is a distant memory. Gone are the laughter filled nights of plentiful fish, drinking rice wine until midnight.
Harsh temperatures have arrived. Our mornings are early so we can chase the waning light. Evening arrives and the catch is not terrible but not plentiful. The fish at this time of year are wiggly and stronger.
I shiver in the morning light, winter’s stinging winds drawing near. Soon the river will be coated with ice. Then, all we can do is drill a hole and hope for something to bite — anything.
Welcome to another Beauty Haul. Excuse the lateness of this spring one as is almost summer, but I have some great products for the Summer Haul ready as well. For now, enjoy the products I have tried and am still using from the Spring season.
It has truthfully been a while since I have purchased MAC cosmetics, since my last post on them years ago, trying their foundations that didn’t seem to work for me. Nevertheless, I have always loved their eyeshadows and blushes and found MAC’s pigmentation to be excellent in all their makeup products. Since mid-winter I have been looking for a bubble gum pink shade but with cool undertones, not warm ones and it has been difficult if not impossible to find a blush in this shade that wasn’t too expensive, or so inexpensive the pigment and quality wasn’t nice. Now that it is summer, I do see shades similar to MAC one I purchased available in several brands but the MAC powder blush is wonderful, it feels nice, and I love the satin finish. MAC has a huge variety of shades to choose from and their products are actually on the more inexpensive side of more expensive makeups. I ordered off the Canadian MAC cosmetics site for this blush and adore the color. It gives me healthy flush and glow that isn’t too intense. I have had no skin issues with the new blush and would buy more MAC blushes in the future. There are 43 shades in this range of MAC Powder blush for you to choose from so, enjoy! Five stars out of five for this product
To be truthful, I have been searching for a lipstick in this Light Pink shade, much longer than I have
been searching for the blush (written about above). I must have been searching practically a year because I found a similar shade in InStyle magazine and had to have it, I see other brands besides MAC, now carrying this shade or colors near this shade in Sephora and other makeup stores. Beyond the light pink color, I enjoy that this was a fatter lip pencil from MAC that I can line my lips with and then fill them in with this pencil, all using one pencil not an additional lipliner. The MAC fat lip pencil feels smooth and lovely on my lips and even though I do have to apply a few coats, I love the color. A long with the price point, this was a steal! Sadly, I cannot seem to find it online on MAC cosmetics in Canada anymore but it might be a product still available in the U.S. or in store. Before applying the product I make sure to apply a thin gloss or lip balm before to moisturize my lips because this product does not moisturize one’s lips or go on well on dry lips. I also enjoy making my lips a bit shinier instead of having the matte finish of the fat lip pencil. The pencil did come in several other colors, not a huge amount, but eight or ten. I love how well the blush and the lip pencil match. The lip light pink pencil is slighter lighter but it has the same cool undertones as the MAC powder blush so it works well for me. I’d give it four stars out of five.
3. Bourjois Paris: Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Generose (Shimmery nude – Intense Color – Longwear 12 hours) -www.beautyboutique.ca- $17.00 CAN
A product I always run out of and always use is an eyeshadow that is nude or the color of your own skin tone. This can be put over primer on your eyelids and creates a great base to blend other eyeshadow colors into. Because you have chosen a nude or skin color shade, any color of eyeshadow will blend with this color. I used to buy the nude color in a matte eyeshadow but recently found after using a similar color from NARS’s eyeshadow line with a sheen, that I enjoyed this sheen and I found the perfect one from Bourjois Paris in Genrose for only $17.00 as opposed to almost $40.00 for the NARS eyeshadow. If I only wanted to wear Generose, with my contour shade in my crease, the eyeshadow appeared wonderful, especially gleaming in the light; however, if a person wished to apply a more intense eyeshadow look overtop, this nude eyeshadow is great because it provides a sheen of light and sparkle underneath other eyeshadows, some that were even matte. The sheen is by no means overpowering, it only adds ‘a little something’ extra your usual eyeshadow look. I loved the feel of Generose by Bourjois, it was smooth and I was pleased it lasted 12 hours as advertised. I completely recommend this product, the quality, pigment, sheen, and price point are excellent. My only complaint is that the eyeshadow did not last long. I have had other eyeshadows last for three months or more. This one barely lasted a month and a half, so four out of five stars.
4. Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde with Spooley) -www.beautyboutique.ca – $27.00 CAN
The hunt for the perfecteyebrow pencil continues. Since my old BENEFIT pencil no
longer exists in the same form. I have been trying various brands of eye pencils that are slightly harder as they last longer and have better pigment. For some reason, there needs to be a perfect balance in the hardness and softness of a pencil. As well, I was using points on Beauty Boutique online and this appeared to be one of the best eyebrow pencils in terms of quality and shade. I have tried some Clarin’s products but not many and was pleasantly surprised this pencil lasted three months. Even when I had sharpened it a lot and though it was becoming too short it still lasted another month after shaping and filling in my brows most days. I recommend BENEFIT’s volumizing gel to go over the top of your brows once they are filled in as this makes your eyebrows appear fuller. My only complaints with this pencil are that it was too hard for a brow pencil and the color available for blonds was too warm for my skin tone. The volumizing eyebrow gel helped to make the color ashier but when I look back in pictures where I am using this color, I can see it isn’t the right color for me. Overall a good brow pencil with three and a half stars out of five.
I received this excellent highlighter sample in my Luxebox for winter. I wasn’t expecting much but once I tried the product I loved it. Not only is it a natural and vegan product but it provides a wonderful sheen or highlight to areas of your face in a subtle way. Often I find cream products can make my skin break out after everyday use but not so with this cream highlighter. The highlighter comes out of a tube as a liquid and is a light bronzy color. It appears as if t might be too dark for some skin tones or too light for others but since using it, I think it could be used by anyone as the sheen in the product has an effect, not the color of the highlighter itself. I use it for everyday makeup when I’m doing usual activities. I put it on my brow bone, the corner of my eye, on my cheekbones, and on the bridge and tip of my nose. The subtle sheen is perfect and a little product, a dime sized amount, goes a long way and brings light to the high points of your face. A wonderful product and it’s always a good thing when products you didn’t think will be a good product, turn out to be awesome. Five out of five stars for this highlighter.
6. e.l.f. Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (matte finish & nude/brown colors) -www.elfcosmetics.com -$10.00 U.S.
I am a Pinterest pinner and I often pin beauty ideas and products on Pinterest. You can find me
@mandibelle16 on Pinterest. I often see product charts comparing low-end and high-end beauty products on Pinterest. I see e.l.f. makeup which is Target’s brand of makeup, compared to more expensive makeup such as NARS and Urban Decay. I decided to test this and purchased less than $30.00 worth of e.l.f. products online as it is actually even cheaper to buy e.l.f online than at Walmart in Canada. Out of the four of five items, I purchased, this eyeshadow palette was my best purchase, one that I use a few times a week. I find with e.l.f eyeshadow, as long as a person uses a good primer underneath on your eyelids, the eyeshadow is fantastic and, supposedly, mineral based. Plus, most eyeshadow palette’s of this same price point are not nearly as good in pigment or quality. Instead of buying an Urban Decay palette with similar shades, I bought this e.l.f one for $10.00 U.S or about $12.50 CAN and either way its a fantastic deal. The colors are great and look good on everyone and the basic’s palette as more colors than in the basic Urban Decay palette. I love the skin tone colors as there are three of them and they are light enough to look good on practically every skin tone. The addition of gray shades at the end of the palette is something I liked as well. With e.l.f. eyeshadow palettes, I have found this one lasted over six months. Check-out e.l.f cosmetics online for other great eyeshadow palettes, just remember to wear a good primer underneath. The shadows go on well, smooth, and has good pigment. My only complaint is there is a more fallout from this kit as opposed to more expensive palettes, but saving nearly $30.00 makes up for this complaint. Five out of Five stars
My second best e.l.f cosmetics purchase was this baked highlighter in the color Pink Diamonds. E.l.f has a few different shades you can choose from in these highlighters such as a couple of them that are more bronzy and one that is white and sparkly. I wanted the white one too but they were out of stock so I chose this shade. You cannot lose for $4.00 U.S. I love the shade it’s light pink so is also a more natural appearing highlighter for every day. It can even be used as an eyeshadow and stands up well as a longer-lasting eyeshadow if you wear a good primer underneath. Just a note, the e.l.f. brand eye primer is absolute junk and not even worth the $2.00 or $3.00 dollars I wasted on it. I threw it out after two weeks trying to make it work. So use your regular face primer on your eyes or choose a dependable and reliable eye primer for your eyelids and area such as Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia, (etc). Eye primer always lasts a long time (like 6 months) and are a product worth the splurge. Back to the Baked Highlighter, it was an excellent purchase and I would like to try the other shades available in the brand. My only issue with this product (as there is always at least one) is that it isn’t long lasting. If you apply the highlighter in the morning you are going to have to reapply later in the day even if you have a face primer or long lasting foundation on. Setting spray does help keep any makeup products last longer and can be found in brands such as NYX and Urban Decay. Both brands are different price points and both work well for matte or glowing skin.
This is another product from Luxebox. I put it on my hand and promptly put it back in
my makeup sample bags as the color appeared too orange on my hand for pale skin. The foundation I use is by Urban Decay and I love it because it lasts a long time, is waterproof, covers extremely well, yet feels light. But it is still heavier feeling than a C.C. Cream or a B.B. Cream. I have never been a huge fan of B.B. Creams except for one by Bobbie Brown, but my skin does not need the extra moisturizerthese B.B. Creams provide. One day I ran out of my Urban Decay foundation as my replacement was in the mail, and I used this B.B. Cream for a few days. The color on my face was actually perfect, even in daylight. It was not orange as I thought the color would be. It was very light coverage so that even with a good concealer I wasn’t all that happy with it, but at least I was wearing something. When the weather was colder I wore it around the house and it helped when my skin was drier. It’s an okay B.B. Cream but it your skin is normal or oilier I would go with a C.C. Cream as they have more coverage and often that coverage is matte. I probably would not purchase this product as it can only be found in Australia and I was not that impressed overall. Two and a half stars out of five.
Red was tired, worn out from helping her mother clean up the summer cottage. They had scrubbed it from top to bottom. Now that Red and her mother, Anne, were nearly done, all Red wanted to do was sit back and watch a movie with a bottle of her favourite ‘Red’ — a nice Cab-Sav or a Merlot.
Then, her mom appeared with a picnic basket, “Gina, I know you’re tired and we’ve been working all day, but I need you to take this basket of food down to your Grandma Addy’s house. She’ll be upset if one of us doesn’t at least pop by for an hour or two to visit.”
Red crossed her arms, “Mom, all I want to do is put my feet up and rest. I came out here to relax with you, Dad, and Michael, not to work even harder than I do at the firm. Besides, no one calls me Gina, just you. Call my Red that’s my name , like my hair.”
“Well who do you think your beautiful hair came from? My mother, your Gran Adeline of course. I know you’re worn out but you’re younger and have my energy than I do. I still have to change the sheets and air out the upstairs bedrooms for your father and I, and your brother’s room needs new bedding as well.”
“Make him do it.”
“Mike won’t care. I can’t have his room that way.”
Red grumbled, “Grandma’s a fantastic cook, mom. She makes amazing food for herself. She eats whatever she likes and doesn’t have diabeties even at eighty-three. How about I give her a call and tell her I’ll come by with lunch tomorrow? She’ll prefer I call before showing up,” Red reasoned.
“Err, Red, your Grandma isn’t always as healthy as she likes to think she is. I was down here earlier this year because she hadn’t been able to cook and do a lot of her usual activities. Her arthritis has been acting up. It’s not healthy for her to be too thin at her age and she refuses to take the steroids the doctor prescribed her. She needs the food tonight. I called her and she told me she’s been eating toast and jam for days.”
Red was shocked, “You should have said something earlier, I would have visited Gran Addy before now.”
Anne shrugged in apology and Red gave her mother an angry look tbefore stockng out the front door to her Camry. It was red like her hair and practical. Red was nothing if not practical. It was why she was one of the best associates at her law firm.
She drove as fast as she could down the dirt road to her Grandma’s quaint house. Red gritted her teeth as stones assaulted the sides of her car and sighed in relief when she reached her Grandmother’s front drive and bungalow.
She picked up the picnic basket from her back seat and knocked on her Grandma’s aubergine front door. “Gran, are you there? It’s Red, I have food mom made for you. It ‘s delicious and should tide you over for a few days. I can bring more when I’m over next,” she yelled through the door.
Red didn’t hear a response so she tried the door handle. When the front door opened easily Red grew cautious. She walked inside her grandmother’s front entrance, hanging up her vermillion jacket on a coat hook and putting most of the food away in her gran’s fridge. She put together a plate of chicken, potatoes, gravy, and cauliflower with cheese sauce for her grandma before heating the food in the microwave for a few minutes.
“Adeline?” Red called. “Grandma Addy? I have supper for you from my my mom. It’s Red, Grandma? Are you okay?”
She walked down the hallway and knocked on her grandma’s bedroom door holding the tray with the steaming plate of food and a cup of her gran’s favourite tea. The door swung open on its own and Red realized her Grandma Addy wasn’t in her bedroom. But who was?
Red shrieked when a half naked man came into view stretching his well defined arms and back in front of her grandma’s picture window. The man was covered with intricate tattoos, designs trailing up his well toned arms and back.
He seemed to know she was there and when he turned around Red almost drooled noticing the attractive man’s six-pack abs and mesmerizing shamrock eyes. She had to close her own cerulean eyes to gather herself and not clumsily drop the tray of food. Red felt her grip wobbling as she tried to breath.
The gorgeous tattoo covered man rushed forward to help her. Red noticed his dark hair and inhaled his fresh woodsy scent as he grasped the tray from Red’s shaking hands.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“No! No I am not. What the Hell are you doing in my Grandma’s bedroom? Where is she? My mom sent me over here to bring her food. All she’s been doing is eating toast all week. So where is she? And who are?” Red yelled.
The man tried to calm her rubbing her arms and hushing her. Red didn’t back down, “You have five seconds before I call the police and tell them you’re trespassing in my Grandma’s home. Guess what else? I’m a lawyer so I’m going to make sure we sue you for trespassing and anything else I can.”
The man sighed shaking his head at Red. She followed him to her Gran’s writing desk, tray in hand. His handsome face crinkled as he gave her a genuine smile and took the tray from her. Red started to shout again but the man placed his hand over Red’s mouth.
“Just give me five minutes. I’ll clear this all up.”
Red wrinkled her nose and grasping his hand over her mouth, threw it away from her.
Then his hand was back over her mouth, “Okay, Miss lawyer. My name is Wolff, Axel J. Wolff. But everyone calls me Wolff. Your Grandma asked me to house-sit while she and my grandpa Reggie went to Hawaii. They used to go out before both of them married their respective spouses. But now your Grandpa and my Nana have died so Addy and Reggie are both enjoying life together. I’m not trespassing and your Grandma did call your mom to tell her to send you over with food for me. I’m pretty sure she wanted us to meet.”
Wolff smiled then picked up the fork from the tray and started eating. “This is amazing. Not as good as Addy’s cooking but much better than my own. Did you make it?”
All Red could do was stare at Wolff suspiciously. Something about what he said didn’t add up. Her Grandma always told her if she was going away. She would’ve mentioned something on their twice weekly phone calls.
“Wolff,” Addy said. “If your Grandpa Reggie lives here, how come I don’t know you? My family’s summer cottage is not far from here on the lake and I remember your Grandpa and even your Dad here in the summer. But I don’t remember you?”
“All the children and grandchildren came down here in the summer for at least a few weeks. I would remember you were Reggie’s grandson. Your Grandpa always gave me twizzlers, but I don’t recall you for some reason, why is that?”
The back of Wolf’s free hand grazed Red’s cheek. He smiled at her taking in her sweet appearance with a predatoral gaze. His eyes swept her face and down her body several times. Red felt her body flush responding to the hunger in his eyes. She couldn’t help but admire his fit body and perfectly structured face. Red bit her lip and Wolff echoed her reaction to him.
” I saw you a few times growing up. You’re around ten years younger than me so that’s probably why you wouldn’t have seen me. Beside, most of the time I was away at military school and then I was in the marines for a while. We didn’t get much of a summer break.”
Wolff set the tray aside and stared into Red’s dazed eyes, “What big eyes you have, Gina. Do you believe me? About Addy and Reggie?
“My name’s Red. Has been since I was eight. I hate Gina. I believe you but how’d you know my real name?”
“Addy of course. Red, would you like to keep me company?” His eyes travelled down her body and up to her mouth, devouring her as he went.
“Whose the one with big eyes now?” Red asked.
“The better to see you with,” Wolff replied.
” I don’t know if I believe a word out of your mouth,” Red said observing Wolff with careful curiosity.
Then his shamrock eyes glimmered and he held out his hand to Red. His smile was indeed wolffish and Red’s pulse raced as he took her small hand in his own.