Let’s Chat About The Great British Baking Show

Okay, I’ve never pretended to like to cook or bake. Also, this little corner of the interwebs is supposed to be about beauty. Hmmmm? Well, food is part of beauty. It’s definitely a part of all of my excess beauty. (What? You don’t know that expression? Well, a wonderful friend of mine used that phrase whenever she gained a few extra pounds. It’s a great expression and I’ve adopted it as my own.

Now where were we? We are watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. (This post is NOT a paid advertisement and I have not received any compensation to discuss this program)

I’m pretty sure I’m late to this party, mostly because I don’t really care to bake or cook. THEN we watch The Great British Baking Show and it’s all I can think about is baking.

Considering that I started baking when I was little (first project swapped salt for sugar) and then married as a child and continued baking, one would think that I loved to make food. NOPE. It’s work. It’s a ridiculous amount of work. Fast forward to working in the big ‘ole corporate world and I was tasked with making cupcakes for an entire floor. Again, more WORK.

Then one day I’m flicking around the channels and there is The Great British Baking Show and I’m hooked! What is it about this show? Suddenly I’m reading recipes in the way I normally read E!News.

From many reviews I’ve read, the show is so popular because everyone is so nice to each other. Ok, that’s fine. My obsession is that it’s kind of like a puzzle. Present me with a puzzle and I’m set for hours.

The Great British Baking Show has an interesting formula that you can discern easily if you watch enough. We see the interesting men; one professional, one blue collar. The ethnic usually a male and a female. The youngster. The housewife. And a scattering of men and women of varying ethnicities and professions. Ok, we get it. There’s a formula. But what is really amazing is that they don’t try and undercut one another. They are collegial. And much more collegial than any group I’ve ever worked with in real life.

Better yet, the recipes that they work on are inspiring. I’ve made Chelsea Buns and have never eaten one in the UK. And, my next project is Mary Berry’s Madeira Cake; which I’ve never tasted or heard of. This show is crazy in how it inspires me to get back into the kitchen.

What about you? Do you like to cook and or bake? Do you watch this show? do you like it? Let me know in the comments. That’s where the real fun chat goes.

Best,

Ge-Ge

Let’s Chat About…

Squats (again!)
Yes, we discussed doing squats daily in order get in a touch of fitness easily everyday. Well…how’s that going for you? For me it pretty much ceased. But why? When something is so easy to take care of would I cease?
Human nature I believe. Even though I created as a habit while I was brushing my teeth, I still stopped. The side effect for this? Back pain. I’ve got a terrible back, Scoliosis with 30plus degrees at each curve, so my back hurts most of the time. Exercise, in almost any form, helps with that.

Now that we’ve moved across the country I had to seek out a gym or instructor to help me. Especially since I was failing at doing my hundred squats at home.

Now, I’m not going to bore you with al the trial and error I handled while finding a suitable workout. (you’re welcome)
What I am going to share is my final happy discovery. Barre3.
Have you heard of this?

Lucky for me, I’ve got several “bonus” daughters and two of them are Barre work out fanatics. One is actually an instructor; sadly living thousands of miles from me but her dedication to the style really informed me. Another one of my little ladies completely transformed her postpartum body.

One of the added advantages I’ve found with Barre3 is that energizes me. A lot of the time after I’ve gone to the gym I’d be worn out completely and useless for the day. Now, I’m excited to go first thing in the morning and come home and get a lot of other things done. Win!
Another bonus that I love about Barre3 is that there are classes at all different times of the day.

What is Barre3? It’s one of several Barre method studios but in particular the workout includes elements of Yoga, Pilates and Ballet. There’s a great loud soundtrack going on in the background too. What I know about ballet fits on the head of a pin but I’ve spent years doing Yoga and love it. Pilates I’ve tried but never did more than a video. Therefore, it wasn’t an huge surprise taking part in the first workout.

Another lovely bonus that I’ve found is that everyone is super friendly and encouraging. The instructors take a moment to reassure that we are all in this together and the studio is a “safe” space. Which is great when I’m not feeling very limber some days and have to head to the barre and hold on or use some of the helpful modifications the instructors offer.

What do you think? Have you been keeping up with your one hundred squats a day? Do you go to the gym? Do you think you’d like to try Barre3 or one of the other barre method experiences out there? Let us know in the comments below so we can have a lovely chat.

Ge-Ge

Let’s Chat About…

Meal Service Plans

It’s not something I brag about but here it is: I HATE to cook. Capital letters are needed because I really really hate to cook.

The short story is, I raised three boys. There was a lot of cooking involved in that endeavor. I’m not going to try and fool anybody by saying I cooked well then. But I cooked nourishment. They all three grew and thrived and are now excellent, well nourished, adults.  They all three cook, one of them an actual foodie.

As for now, my hubby professes to enjoy cooking but dislikes having to plan.  I get that. Enter meal planning and delivery services.

We started out using Blue Apron. We loved it. The hubby learned a bunch of new techniques and it made us adventurous cooks and eaters. Yes, I cooked a bit.  The groceries came packed well, with ice and the recipes were printed with photos on sturdy card that I wish I had saved in a binder.

As much as we enjoyed Blue Apron we thought we would try Hello Fresh simultaneously. We had a free offer and gave it a try.  It was fine but not nearly as memorable as Blue Apron. 

One of the really great things about all of the meal planning/delivery services that we’ve tried is that there is no contract to lock into.  So, when we had to pick up and move across the country we were able to press the pause button on Blue Apron and head out West.

Fast forward a bit and we are moved into our newly built house and awaiting our Blue Apron. Unfortunately, that didn’t work since our address was not really on any delivery maps.  Sadly, we canceled that service.  But I will still re commend Blue Apron to anyone who asks.

As time went on we decided to look into other services because we were just plain hungry.  We decided to try Home Chef. It had great reviews and we saw that it was also available in the local grocery store which gave us hope they could find our house.  They can and do, every week. Every week unless we put them on hold. Again, no contract so easy to place on hold.

The recipes and ingredients with Home Chef are simpler to follow and easier to put together but less adventurous. One important aspect I’ve discovered with Home Chef is that some of the meals are really DELICIOUS. All caps necessary again.  A few of the meals have really made me sit up and say Wow! The meals come on time, packed well with ice and the recipes are printed on sturdy card with photos and this time around I know to save them in a binder.

I realize that this space is supposed to be about beauty but what is more beautiful than saving time and eating well? Right?  

Have any of you tried a meal planning and delivery service? How was it? Do you have a favorite? Let’s chat in the comments below.

This post has no affiliate links and I was not paid any money to write about these services.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Let’s Chat About…Retinol

Let’s Chat About…Retinol

Retinol. Of course you’ve heard of it. It’s been “THE Thing” for skincare for a couple of decades now. It once was only available via prescription but now it’s available in many strengths in many brands.

That brings us to, of course, the BIG question: Does it work? Well, frankly, yes. Yes, it works. At least for me.

But (you knew there was going to be one of those right?) what product and what strength is the one that works?

Nothing is going to beat the prescription (or a face lift) but I stumbled upon a great brand of over the counter retinol skin care that I love and will keep on using. When I say I stumbled upon it I’m not kidding. I was on Amazon on maybe Prime Day or Black Friday one of those HOT sale days and this product popped up for such a low low price I grabbed it.    

First off, notice how dinged up the top is so you know I’ve using it. Secondly, this is not an ad or paid review; I bought this with my own little dollars.

Here’s the run down.

  1. It has virtually NO fragrance. That’s a huge plus for me. Certain scents trigger migraine with me but mostly why do I want something competing with my perfume?
  2. The top of the jar.The jar has a sort of pump but not a big sticking up kind of pump. And it releases small amounts of product at a time so you have much less waste.  Maybe you all are familiar with this kind of pump but it was a new one on me.
  3. It soaks in beautifully. No greasy feel and no burning.
  4. Finally, I see results. My biggest body part hatred lately is my décolletage. You know where I got intense sunburns in the 70’s? It looked like rawhide there for a while but since using this product for less than a year my hatred has mellowed to dislike since I can see a bit of difference. Not overnight. Not ten days. Over several months.

There you have it. A quick review on a product I use, love and recommend.  Here is the link. Remember is you use it I receive a very small commission, so thank you. 

What I really want to thank you for though is for  your comments after you try it.  Come back and share what you think about it.

Talk later,

Ge-Ge

Let’s Chat About Micellar Water

Let’s Chat About Micellar Water

Let's chat about micellar water

 

 What is micellar water and why do you need it? Better question: why do I LOVE it?

Here is a copy and paste of the Wiktionary  definition: 

micellar water

 
 

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micellar water (plural micellar waters)

  1. (cosmetics) A colloidal suspension of micelles composed of surfactants in water, used as a cleanser. This usually has a viscosity close to that of water. This has similar uses to other human cleansers, such as liquid detergents (ie. body wash, shampoo) and liquid soaps.
 
Basically, it is soap and water in a bottle. Right? There’s even all kinds of DIY projects out there for you to make your own. If you are into making your own stuff cool. Me? I make lots of stuff but when I can get a bottle of micellar water at Walmart for under $5, I’m pretty good with just buying it.  Again, up to you.
 
Now for the real question, why? I love this stuff because it cleans away anything, like makeup, that didn’t come off with my nightly cleanser. More than that, I LOVE this stuff in the morning because I don’t want to wash off all of the good moisturizing I’d done the night before. Do you get that? 
 
Let’s walk through the routine real quick once more. Evening, wash face of all makeup and grime using gentle cleanser. Next apply moisturizer, serum and eye cream. Oh and vaseline the lips. Now, the next morning do we really want to cleanse all of that good juicy moisture away? The answer is no. And unless you sleep in a dumpster your did not collect more dirt and grime on your skin while sleeping. In walks micellar water. 
Naturally, you are saying “But I’m in the shower, can’t I wash my face?” You can do what feel right to you but for me, right before I start putting on makeup (shower wash or not) I use the micellar water on a giant cotton ball and to me, it feels like I’ve readied the face for the daily makeup application. Pictured is the brand I use. 
 
 
Think back, if you will, to when Toner was a thing sold at cosmetic counters? The younger me used it in the same way that I use micellar water. I even had a very high end rose water type that I loved but now I can’t afford it even if it still exists. 
 
Let’s wrap up the message here: Micellar water equals a great gentle toner and will work as a secondary makeup remover.  It doesn’t work great on mascara or all day lip color so keep a back up of makeup remover.  Can  you use it as your over all face cleanser? Try it and see. It’s inexpensive, easy to find in stores or online and easy to use.  There’s your answer and mine.

 

 

Please comment below about YOUR experiences with toner or micellar water so we can continue this chat.

Talk soon,

Ge-Ge

This post and the photos within it contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Let’s Chat About Exfoliating

Let’s Chat About Exfoliating

Exfoliating…

It seems that January has turned into a theme of learning about makeup, even when you are of a certain age.  This is a great theme in my opinion and I have my Facebook makeup junkie groups (of which I belong to many) for putting this idea into my head. So, thanks all of you in FB land.

What we makeup junkies have learned, through trial and error and reading blogs, talking to experts etc., is that there is one vital step to learning about makeup; skin care.

You must take care of your skin. If you were an artist you wouldn’t paint on an old ripped, dirty canvas would you? Well maybe you would if that’s your style but that won’t work for skin.

My skin is very dry. Like Sahara dry. Which means, as I’ve noted before, moisturizer is my best friend. However, there is one other step which I take BEFORE the moisturizer. That step is exfoliating.

If you’re saying that you’ve never done this before and the thought makes you anxious it’s ok, because you likely have exfoliated your face and just didn’t call it that. have  you ever scrubbed your face with a wash cloth? Yes? There, you exfoliated.  It’s that simple. You sloughed off dead skin cells. That’s all it is.  Now, let’s complicate things…

You don’t want to scrub too hard or scrub like that every day. Ok? Not bad.  You can also but products (there’s always products on products) to use that match your skin type and may possibly improve your skin.  Here is where we go complicated and offer some important advice.

A dermatologist is an educated skin expert. A visit to the dermatologist is worth the time and money to get a baseline look at your skin. If you are from the 1970’s like me, in all likelihood you sat in the sun with baby oil on your skin and an double record album covered with tin foil. Right? So do yourself a favor and see the skin Dr.  Ok, check that box.

As for products, as I’ve said there’s a plethora. (what a word but it’s accurate) All you can do is try some. Your Dermatologist may recommend some too. Or the folks at Ulta, Sephora etc. may offer some. So, here’s my list and feel free to try them or ignore them.

Cetaphil face wash. This is inexpensive, gentle and can be used with a wash cloth whenever you like.

Neutrgena makeup removal wipes. These I love but they’re a bit pricey.  I’ve read some girls use baby wipes but I have not personally tried these.

Exfolikate by Kate Somerville is my all time favorite and I only use it once a week or less.  Also, it’s VERY expensive. It’s green and scrubby (is that a word really) and it makes my skin feel like satin. 

Finally, Angels on Bare Skin from Lush. This product I’ve used for years. Even one of my sons, who is high school was acne prone, uses this product. It does have some sort of “twigs” in it and it has a clay-like texture (oh and it’s expensive too) but it also gently exfoliates and makes my skin feel satiny.  Why, you ask don’t I just use that everyday.  Well, because with my very dry skin I occasionally (read weekly) need extreme exfoliation and through trial and error I discovered that the Kate Somerville gives me the result I desire when I’m feeling like my skin is “dull”.  Does that make sense. 

Of course since you may be new to this beauty stuff you’re shaking your head and saying this is all too much. But, I’ve been at this FOREVER and it took me a long time to firm up what products or cleansing routines worked for me. I’ve been to all of those home parties where they try to sell you the 20 step method. This is simply what works for me and it’s not everyday. Cetaphil cleanser, yes maybe everyday. At least at night to clean off the makeup.  The above list is what I do. You can work out your own system, and I hope you will.

Please, leave a comment below and tell us what you’re trying, what you’ve tried and how it’s going. We love to really chat in the comments.

Talk soon

Ge-Ge

 

 I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Let’s Chat About Makeup

Let’s Chat About Makeup

Makeup…

Beautiful woman in full makeup

How long ago did you start wearing makeup? Do you remember? Have you never worn it?

For those of you saying you have never worn makeup, first I applaud you. Second, I ask how did you do it? Maybe I just fell for all the beauty magazine hype in the world when I was quite young or maybe I had terrible self esteem but both of those are for someone with a higher degree than mine to analyze.

Suffice it to say I was a young teen when I started wearing make up daily and I was voracious reader of Seventeen magazine, Glamour, Mademoiselle etc. Again, we are not going to analyze the value of this, we are just setting the mood if you will. Reading these magazines taught me how to use and apply makeup and I believe it was a worthy education as I am still in love (obsessed) with beauty products today.

Today, as I see from the many Facebook Groups about makeup and beauty I belong to, YouTube is the go to learning method of makeup application. Which circles us back to where I wanted to go in the first place: how to learn to apply makeup.

Honestly, a lot of learning about makeup, especially at an older age depends on what you are trying to achieve with makeup. Personally, what I want from makeup is not look faded. As we age our hair goes gray, including brows and lashes. So, number one for me is to increase the color in those two areas. If you are new to makeup and you look in the mirror and see a more faded version of your beauty then try just those steps, brows and lashes. (I go into mascara more in depth here ).

Eyebrows have become much more of a “thing” lately. For a laugh check this out. But if you want to start with your first attempt at eyebrows then I suggest Gimme Brow from Benefit Cosmetics .  They have lots of colors so you can choose one that most closely matches your own brow color. This is a good place to start. Go lightly at first until you are feeling more confident with the “new” you.

Another great suggestion I have for anyone of any age just starting to wear makeup is go to a department store such as Sephora (personal fave), Ulta, Macys etc. and have one of the employees make you up. You do not have to purchase all of the makeup that they put on you. You can get a little here and there until you feel confident.

I’d love to hear about your escapes into makeup whether you are new at it or a seasoned beauty product expert. Please comment below so we can all share.

Talk soon

Ge-Ge

Let’s Chat About Aging Hair

Let’s Chat About Aging Hair

Aging hair…

Isn’t that why we’re here? We are here because we are all getting older and our bodies are changing.

As I’ve mentioned  before my hair is no longer blue because I let it fade for my son’s upcoming wedding in October.  However, that doesn’t mean that I’m just ignoring the grey/blond/white/brown tresses and leaving them to their own devices.  

Sure, I was experimenting with letting it all go grey but it isn’t going.  It’s muddy and frizzy and blah. Yes blah. If that isn’t bad enough, I made a judgement of another woman and that made me think harder.  You see, I was standing on line and I judged the couple in front of me as a kindly son and his Mom until the woman turned toward me and I saw her perfectly unlined face. It was hersilvery, white hair that made me judge her as “old lady” instead of a peer.  These “judgey” thoughts knocked me over.  First, I try really hard to not judge. It’s just a code I try by which I personally try and live. However, I really like my husband and don’t want him to be judged as a nice son taking his Mom to the movies. I’d like him to be proud to hang out with me.

But what can I do short of dyeing it all over? Well, I gave this some thought and here’s what’s happening. First, I’m super careful about keeping the frizz down to a minimum. This keeps even grey hairs looking more attractive.  To do this I use Ghost OilThis is not a sponsored post. I just LOVE this product.  To smooth it through I recommend a wide toothed comb. 

 

 Like this one from The Dollar Store. (Again, not sponsored just a fan)

If you don’t use a wide tooth comb for conditioner or for wet hair, GET ONE NOW.  Not even joking. It is critical for your hair. Keeps it from snarling, distributes product perfectly and helps prevent  breakage. 

These are my number one “go to’s” until I can go blue again. But, I’m also going to do at home Clairol balayage.  Yup, at home.  It’s been done before. Do you remember “Quiet Touch” hair painting? me too. Let’s see how it goes alright?  I’ll let you know next week. If there’s no pix then you know it’s a DISASTER.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please comment below so we can continue this chat.

Talk soon,

Ge-Ge 

This post and the photos within it contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Let’s Chat About Moisturizers

Let’s Chat About Moisturizers

 

What’s new beautiful readers?  

Is it hot where ever you are? I refuse to complain about the heat but my hair hasn’t been out of a ponytail or a bun all summer.  

Moisturizer is my best friend.  It always has been but lately oh boy I don’t miss a day.  Also, let me share one of my favorite indulgences; LUSH.  Do you know their products?

This is NOT a sponsored post. LUSH is just one of my favorite brands and I love their products.  As for moisturizers lately I’ve been using bath oil from LUSH that’s in the form of “bubbleroons” which is a fun word.

My favorite is called Rose Jam and you can click on the link right there. Not only does it make my skin the softest it’s ever been but it smells glorious.

In the past I’ve used the “Scrubee” which is great and exfoliates but I don’t love that fragrance.  You might. though.

Also, LUSH has vegan options and they fight against animal testing. Always.  

Give it a try and let me know what you think?

 

Please comment below so we can continue this chat.

Talk soon,

Ge-Ge

This post and the photos within it contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.