Saturday, January 29, 2011

Olay Regenerist

Olay Regenerist  Micro-Sculpting Serum

I am tired of it.  The endless anti-aging adds that bombard me daily.  On TV,  after being hit by Victoria, some lady is assuring me that her facial cream will make me look ten years younger.  When turning a magazine page, I'm reminded about how wrinkles are passe even though I'm advancing into the future.

So, what are our choices?  Well, the first and most obvious one is that we do nothing.  We go gently into the night and let ourselves age.  The second choice is that we can visit the plastic surgeon for a little nip tuck or lastly, we can apply a cream that will delay the inevitable.  The second choice is not an option for me, so that leaves me with choices one and three.  Not being a person to surrender to anything, you've guessed it, I chose option three.

Option three has been a choice for me for about five years off and on.  I've tried creams that have come in small bottles, containers, and tubes.  You name it, I've applied it.  Just a few weeks ago, I chemically burned my face because the facial wash I used caused an allergic reaction.  It was a quality brand from Whole Foods, but you just never know how your face will react.  This brings me to my next point.  When using anything on your face for the first time, apply a small amount to your neck first.  I'm a rather gutsy girl so I just do things all the way.  Slowly, and often times painfully, I'm learning to do things differently.

As I stated in an earlier blog, every month I'm picking one product from the most recent Martha Stewart Living magazine and I'm trying it out.  At the end of the month, I'm reporting back to you what I have found.  My honest, non-paid opinions are sure to give you real answers.  Also, hopefully it will save you a little money and time.

Review of Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum

It's been a month now, since I've been pumping my little maroon bottle of Olay serum.  For $25 dollars, it is worth every penny.  My face feels firmer, younger and even the color in my face seems brighter!  This stuff actually works, guaranteed.

Get it, use it and actually see the results you've been expecting to see!


Next Month: Olay Regenerist Anti-Aging Eye Roller Daily Treatment

Friday, January 28, 2011

*Becoming Mrs.Clean Part 2*

Becoming Mrs. Clean Part 2

In early January, I posted a blog about my laundry "dump".  Constantly avoiding the laundry, I finally came to a conclusion.  If I don't like a room ( or a person for that matter), then avoidance is how I cope.  How about you?  We all handle unpleasant situations differently, but the commonality lies in the simple fact that it just doesn't get done.

Although different in both style and function than Kevin Sharkey's laundry-laboratory(see Jan 2011 Martha Stewart Living page 60 for details), my micro-laundry expresses the basic components of a quality laundry room.  A quality laundry room is one that that creates a happy feeling while maintaining a sense of openness and excitement.  Oh, let's be honest.  Yes, these feeling would be nice, but as long as it gets the dirty clothes into the washer and clean clothes out of the dryer, then Amen!  I do love Kevin's laundry room and I can appreciate his scientific approach to small space laundering.  Definitely a man of good taste, it is evident that his laundry room has become a masterpiece;  a work of art sought after by many- I'm sure of it. 

With more of a budget than most, I needed to walk the line between functional and esthetically pleasing.  It's still not exactly the way I want it.  For instance, I'm jonsing for some Ikea lights to put under the shelf. You see the side door over there (pictured below)?  Well, it's begging for some cute curtains.  Since I'm thinking "big picture", who cares! Traveled alone, or with a how-to-guide in your pocket, decorating is a journey, not a destination.  I'm not "there" yet, but I'm on my way.

Come on, let's go! We have work to do.  First stop Ikea, second stop antique store.

Photo Gallery & Commentary
Gabriel is having a snack in the Ikea cafeteria.  He was very patient with me as I searched to find what I needed.
Sarah enjoyed her Ikea snack too.
Thanks, Ben for putting up with the endless isle searching.  This picture was taken in the elevator at Ikea.
We're done.  Doesn't he look happy?

On our way out of Ikea.  A slight hold up here.  I love situations that make you stretch your patience *grinning*

Off to the antique store.  Antique Trove is a great store in Roseville, Ca. Inside are thousands of antiques from different dealers. 
Had to sneak this in.  Her hair looks exactly like mine after being washed and brushed (if I don't  straightened it).
Score! I found my baking soda holder.

At the antique store, I purchased the baking soda bird bath, iron and ladle for laundry detergent.

I left out the Home Depot romp.  There, I purchased one shelf and a bucket of Martha Stewart paint.  The color I chose was Aegean Blue.  Very satisfied with the quality.

Installation of the Shelf

 Creating level line along wall for shelf to rest.
Measuring the distance from the top of corbel to center mark where corbel rests on screw.
This is what the corbel looks like.  You can't really see it once the shelf is on. 
Installing screw 1 1/2" from bottom of level line on wall, as shown in above photo.   Shelf to rest above corbels.
Sawing shelf to size
Installing trim around shelf with brad gun.
Now this is power!  Have you ever heard a brad nailer go off?  Wow, it sounded like a small handgun. 
I am proud of my picture frames.   I opted for $5 Ikea frames, instead of more expensive pictures.  Inside, I placed images that were pleasing.  I used Martha Stewart glitter to glam-up the frames. By far, this is the highest quality glitter you can buy.  This stuff is like craft-gold to me.  Love it.  We use it on all kinds of projects from pumpkins to sprinkling a chosen color on the kids hands.  I sprayed craft glue on the sides of the frames and then applied the glitter. I let each side dry for about 20 minutes before moving.

It's Finished! 

Here is a quick reminder of how it looked before.
Me in my newly decorated room.
This is my favorite picture.  Inside, I placed three laundry pins to add depth and texture.  Look closely.
This picture is great too.  It's fun to see how other people do laundry.  Long lines of laundry stretch from one building to the next.
The apron...I love aprons!

Very old iron.  I bought the iron, along with the laundry detergent ladle and baking soda bird bath at the antique store. 

Antique bird bath that holds the baking soda.  I use baking soda to deodorize the clothes and to help with the stains. 

Neat and very simple.  I have a garbage can, brooms, a few pictures and a shelf to hold the necessities.  This is all I need! 

A different angle.  If you look carefully on the ground I also bought two rugs for the ground at Ikea in chocolate brown.  They keep my feet warm while doing the wash.
The garbage can I've had.  It is an antique container of some sort.

Ikea makes this hanging dryer for delicates.  The multiple hooks are handy. 
The French laundry is complete. Happy washing!


I only use natural products to wash my clothing in.  Below, I have posted the recipe for homemade laundry soap.  It takes about 15minutes to complete and it makes about 100 loads worth of soap for a penny per load.

1 quart boiling water

2 cups grated bar soap

2 cups Borax

2 cups Washing Soda

-Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water a little at a time. Mix until soap is melted.

-Pour soap/water into a large bucket.  I use a Home Depot bucket.  Add Borax and Washing Soda.  Stir well until dissolved.

-Add two gallons of water and stir

-Cover pail and let sit overnight.  Use 1/4 cup per load.

***Hello to my readers from Malta.  It is nice to meet you.  I wonder what it must be like living there?  Do you travel often to Italy?***

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's for Dinner? *Spinach Linguine With Walnut-Arugula Pesto*

What's for Dinner?

Spinach Linguine With Walnut-Arugula Pesto

courtesy of

$- For $11 we fed our family of 5 and had leftovers.  We excluded the Parmesan cheese to cut cost and calories.  Didn't even miss it...very surprised.

Serves 6


2 small garlic cloves
3 oz walnut pieces (about 3/4 cup toasted and cooled) I didn't toast them and it still tasted great!
4 oz arugula, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/3 cup)
1 lb spinach linguine (note it says spinach linguine and NOT spinach.  I'm sure you got that.)
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper


1.  In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse garlic until very finely chopped. Add walnut pieces and arugula; process until a coarse paste forms, about five seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl.  Stir in the salt and Parmesan cheese, and set aside.

2.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add linguine, and cook until al dente according to package instructions ( I used two boxes of whole wheat linguine). Drain in a colander, and immediately add to bowl with walnut-arugula mixture.  Drizzle with oil, and season with pepper.  Toss thoroughly until coated evenly.  Serve immediately.

Cooking Commentary/Photo Gallery

The pesto!  Add olive oil to desired consistency and blend.
The salad potpourri.  I just literally throw in a bunch of veggies. It differs each night.The mong bean sprouts were grown in my kitchen window.  In Swahili, the mong bean is actually pronounced choroko.   
Having candle light during dinner is very important.  For only 79 cents at your local grocery store, you too can purchase this pretty little candle.  It even comes in a jar.  This candle totally rocks! Remember to keep a close eye on the kids and never leave it unattended.
The Spinach Linguine with Walnut-Arugula Pesto!

~Dinner Was Served~

What's Happening? *Checking In With the Bees*

What's Happening?

Checking In With The Bees

courtesy of Oct.2008

Like Martha, I have a love and passion for bees. I've always been ever-so-curious about the little honeybee.  From child to adult, this passion grew even stronger in month 8 of my pregnancy with Sarah while taking a soak in tub.  To this day, the bathtub has given me so many "ah ha" moments that I feel forever indebted to the old, pink, cast iron bathtub.  Broken and old, with only one shower door at this point, the tub seems like a desperate housewife in need of a make over.  If only you could get the exterior to match the interior.  Since I don't have a choice (looking past the exterior walls of the tub), I often adorn my throne with tea lights and anoint her with essential oils at least several times per week.  Like a queen bee sitting on her bee throne, the tub represents mine.

The honeybee passion started out something like this.  I had, for the first time ever randomly picked up a MaryJanes Farm magazine.  It happened to be the bee issue.  I learned so much about the little buzzer from that article.  For instance, did you know that every third bite of food that we take was totally a result of the honeybee?  In my home, it's more like every bite. 

courtesy of

As a gardener, I am constantly aware of the vital importance of this ancient, next-to-godly insect.  Every single fruit and vegetable at my farm is totally dependent upon pollination-either from wind or mostly from the bee.  You can't get a fruit without a pollinated flower except in a few cases.  Most of you have already heard about CCD (colony collapse disorder).  I'm also going to bet that quite of few of you have heard pest control companies advertise before. Often, they promise to extinguish awful bugs such as "those nasty bees".  I honestly had to turn my head sideways to make sure I was hearing the commercial correctly.  Just the other day I heard a commerical on the radio about pest control.  A local mom and pop company was promising to come out (for cheap) and extinguish those bees from my yard in no time (it specifically said bees).  Excuse me? What did you say?  If I want to eat, I think I'll keep those bees around!

While I'm briefly on my soapbox, I want to address bee etiquette.  Bee kind to the honeybees.  Not a moment goes by between the hours of 7am and 5pm that If I quiet my mind long enough, I can hear bee wings rapidly creating a symphony while they are at work.  Even bees like to listen to some tunes while working.  Yesterday, as Gabriel and Sarah were playing in a puddle of mud, (barefoot and naked) I made it a point to have them stop and listen to the sound of birds, bees and faint sound of children playing at the nearby elementary school.  It is important to not only stop and smell the roses, but to listen to them too.

Bees are a part of my children's existence.  They have grown up with them here.  Buzzing all around them, they have developed a respect for those in the genus Apis.  Each child (with the exception of Jordan) has been stung once.  Both times it was miscommunication, often on the kids part.  Come to find out, while the bees are drinking the nectar of a pear they do not like to be picked up.  Also, they don't like to be stepped on with bare feet. It is not unusual for the bees to buzz around us, checking us out like a nosey mother in law. They will linger, smell us, and sometimes pester.  Not interested in losing their lives, they move on quickly as if to say "you weren't that interesting". 

Remember, during your next bee encounter, if you are uncomfortable with them checking you out , just quietly move away.  Don't swat the bees or freak out.  Simply move away. Let's be honest.  If you spray a liquid-flower-in-a- bottle on your body, it's going to take those bees a few minutes to figure out that you're an impostor.  Love 'em, respect 'em but don't spray 'em.  Because if you do, come summer, you might be wondering why your garden doesn't look as good as mine.

With the kids in the RadioFlyer wagon, we headed out to check on the hives.

Photo Gallery

Ready to explore

The first cluster of hives

Our small "hike"continues
Tony placed a bee box inside of a tree
The expansive hives

I have been keeping bees here at Paradise Basin for about a year and a half.  Tony, our bee guy is an honest, hardworking father of five.  I've enjoyed hearing his stories about his wife, kids and their farm.  Tony responded to a Craigslist ad that I placed called "Bees In Need". I put the word out that I was willing to help local beekeepers with a place to keep their bees, in exchange for honey and beeswax.  This has proven to be mutually beneficial.  We sell honey and beeswax products, thus promoting the local Placer County honeybee. Since Tony first brought his hives to here, he has seen his hives multiply.  We have seen our garden grow.  I must say that my allergies (very extreme) have subsided.  Local honey is the perfect medicine for any allergy sufferer. 

Notice the sugar water containers on top.  These feed the hives in the winter when food is in short supply.

On our way back, we didn't want to keep it all work and no play.  We decided to crawl back into our secret tree.  Here, the kids love to play and dig for worms under the thick carpet of oak leaves.  Also, they enjoy sitting on the tree limb (with me holding onto them, of course) and looking down at the world.

Thank you bees.  You will be leaving soon to pollinate the  almond orchards here in California, but we will welcome your return in late spring.

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