Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Sad Day for Forget-Me-Not Farm

It's a sad day, you guys. It's the end of an era, of sorts.

Forget-Me-Not Farm is no more.
Or at least, it will be no more in a couple of months.

The homeowners have decided to sell the house and the property, which means that it's the beginning of something new for our little family.

As sad as endings always are, beginnings can be wonderful and you can't have one without the other.

So. The house hunt begins! 
This means that I will no longer be a City Mouse in a Country House because I'm going to be dragging the Hubs, my lovely cutie-pie Country Mouse, into the city! My turf! And seriously? As much as I've loved this country experiment, I cannot tell you how excited I am to get back to what I know- city water, city sewers, nearby amenities, friends and family in close proximity, shopping...squeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

As such, there will be a lot of changes coming to the blog, from the name to the themes, to what we discuss...everything. Be watching!

That said, I'm dreading the actual moving part. Because moving is THE. WORST.
And let me tell you why I feel that way:

My whole life, since I've been 7 years old, I've been moving all over the place. We moved to Belgium that year and since then, I've been back and forth from Europe, changed houses, went back and forth to college, changed apartments, got married and moved around between typically terrible newlywed-and-destitute housing...

I'm tired.
I just want a home.
You know?
When we moved to the States, I went to school with kids who had lived in the same town from the time that they were born all the way through high school and as grateful as I was and am for my experiences growing up, I was also really jealous of those kids that had that connection to each other and to a place. They had all of these memories together and such a sense of...home. That intangible, unexplainable feeling that goes with having a home base, a place to call yours, a place that really and truly feels like the space where you begin and end. 

I have never had that.
I've spent my whole adult life looking for it and trying to create it and it seems so elusive to me. We're so transient at the moment and nothing seems to stay the same for any real length of time, so it just seems kind of impossible.

But the thing is that I desperately want that for my family! I want for Little Man to have somewhere to come home to when he's in college. I want for the Hubs to have somewhere that feels safe and warm and soft when he's had a hard day at work.

And I want a place that we don't have to leave right when all of my hard work pays off and it starts to be livable, which is exactly the situation that we've been in in the last three places that we've lived in. The houses were dirty and hadn't been cared for, they needed updating, they needed a lot of help...and then, once we got everything sorted out, we had to move.

And I can't tell you how frustrating that is.

Here's to hoping that we find something a little more permanent.
A little more lasting.
A little more...home.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day, 2014

Happy Belated Valentine's Day, everyone!

I just wanted to give a quick overview of our holiday because it's my favorite day of the whole year and this year's was particularly lovely! Baby W was at home with a sitter, so the Hubs and I got to actually go out alone for four. whole. hours. Beautiful.

We started out by going to LaZeez International Restaurant (it's the Indian food restaurant here in town) and it was AH-mazing. Seriously. We've come to expect the food to be wonderful there (because it always, always is), but they went all out of Valentine's Day! The restaurant was decorated, the tables all had candles burning away in holiday-themed centerpieces, we were treated to a free mango lassi to accompany our meal (mmmmm...), a fabulous buffet, adorable little individual strawberry cake and passion fruit shooter-style desserts, and at the end of the meal were presented a long-stemmed rose and a box of handmade chocolates. Can you believe it?! There were even handmade red-tinted heart shaped ice cubes in the buffet table to keep the cold foods cool! It was the cutest!!! And do you think that I had my camera with me so that I could capture it all for you?

I did not.

Lame. Sorry. But I think you'll forgive me when I tell you that it's because I was so excited to spend a romantic evening out with the Hubs that I didn't even think to grab it on my way out of the house. We spent the whole evening without looking at our phones or tablets, which was a real miracle. We actually talked (!!!) and it was wonnnnnnderful. So there were no pictures taken, but I honestly cannot recommend LaZeez enough if you're looking for a place to get some really delicious food that's world's away from your run of the mill, boring chain restaurant.

Then we went and saw "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare...Abridged" at the Midland Center for the Arts which was...fine. I've seen it done loads better, but the Hubs had never seen it before and it was fun experiencing it with him and it was a lot more fun than just going to a movie. 

(Sidenote: no one dresses for the theatre anymore, have you noticed that?! I couldn't believe all the people there that I saw in jeans and t-shirts with grubby sneakers on. Sad.)

My favorite part (besides spending scads of quality time with my husband)? The gifts, of course! Both the giving and the receiving. I love Valentine's Day gifts because I try to stay in keeping with the romantic, smaller stuff. For Christmas and birthdays, I think it's nice to ask for and to give things that maybe you need or that will come in handy, but for Valentine's Day I think it's just the best to get and give frivolous little bits of romantic frippery that you'd never get for yourself - flowers, perfume, spendy chocolates, lovely scarves, etc.

So for the Hubs I put together a little basket with a helium balloon attached (festive!) and packed with his favorite snacking things for him to nosh while at work like sunflower seeds, Reese's Pieces, chocolate hearts, Lindor Lindt Truffles, and Sour Patch Kids. Then, nestled in with those things I tucked this:

Dolce and Gabbana The One Gentleman
Mmmmm...Smells amazing!!! I was sniffing him all evening. lol.

In a sweet show of just how well-suited we are to each other, he got me this:

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau to Toilette
I mean, look at the bottle. I can't even. It smells incredible, I've been wanting it for ages, and I'm just so touched that he thought of it!!! I love it! I keep moving it around the bathroom vanity, trying to show it off to best effect. lol. 

He also bought me a beautiful freshwater pearl bracelet that I love and don't ever want to take off. Ever. 

Overall, it was an awesome night, we had a wonderful time together, and I'm already looking forward to Valentine's Day 2015!

Product Review : Maybelline FitMe Stick Foundations

Hello, devoted readers!

I was strolling the make-up aisle of my local Meijer about a month ago when I saw a newly released product:
I was all kinds of excited! See, I'm old enough to have been in high school when Maybelline made their first pass at creating a stay-matte foundation stick that they had (I assume) tried to replicate from Max Factor's popular pan sticks (aw, remember Max Factor make up? Let's all take a collective moment for sentimental reflection...all set? Okay, on we go.) and they were pretty great, actually. It's one of those products that I still think about, envying my past self. See, I have this crazy oily t-zone (who hears me on that?) and that thing was the best at mattifying (that's a word, yes? Yes.) it. Since I don't have any semblance of "brand loyalty" for anything (seriously, I do not get that), I would buy which ever of the lovely foundation sticks, Maybelline or Max Factor, was on sale. It truly was the best of times.

And then. Oh, and then. As so often happens, they discontinued it. *cue "Dark Shadows-esque mood music*

Sad face. Also, oily face. Sad, teenage, oily face. *sigh*

So imagine my delight when I saw that they had brought it back out (what's old is new again!) and I would have a second chance to buy it! Hooray! I located my shade (something just this side of computer printer paper white) and sprinted to the nearest self-checkout.

Before I get to the actual review (you know I love to leave you hanging), I'll just give you the info on this nifty little stick:

It's a cream foundation in stick form but the thing that makes this special (according to the literature) is that fancy light colored dot there in the middle, which is supposed to be a "stay-matte powder core" which is supposed to help your skin stay nice and fresh looking. The stick form is purported to aid in a mess-free application process as well as allow you to carry it with you for touch ups without having to worry about spillage.

I had high hopes for this item based on my previous experience, although the "stay-matte core" made me a little apprehensive. I tend to try to stay away from gimmicky stuff like that. I usually find that the higher the gimmick quotient, the less likely it is that the product will work the way I want it to.

In this case, I should have stuck to my no-gimmick policy because I was sorely disappointed in this. It was greasy to the point of making my skin feel slippery even after I had given it ample time to set and had applied powder over the top. It settled into every pore, crease, and line on my face so that I looked about 50 years old (and you guys, I'm only 29), it slid around on my face, and broke down pretty aggressively around my nose and forehead. No matter how much I blended it when I first applied it, it still looked like it was just sitting there on top of my skin rather than actually blending into a natural camouflage like a good-quality foundation should. Ideally, people should be looking at your face and not your make up. All of that, and the coverage wasn't very good at all! I have some redness to my face and some blemishes (thank you very much, post-baby hormonal skin), and this struggled to even barely cover those issues.

Bottom line- I definitely wouldn't recommend this to anyone. It just isn't a very good product, I'm afraid, and based on the number of negative reviews that I've seen on this so far, I'm not alone in thinking that. If you're in the market for a new foundation, steer far, far clear of this.

I'll end by sharing the review of this from one of my very favorite beauty bloggers, Emily of Beauty Broadcast: