11.30.2011

Beauty Rhi-view: bareMinerals And Away We Glow Kit + Swatches

bareMinerals AND AWAY WE GLOW...
This past weekend my MIL and I had our bi-monthly spa date. We get along really well and she treats me to this special day which is always a lot of fun for the two of us. She has no other children than my husband and my family is all far away so we get to girl-bond over foot rubs and the sting of brow waxes.

This past summer we were perusing the wares at the spa and decided to give bareMinerals a try. I've since grown to love it. Before trying it I had never worn foundation. I'd tried finding a good shade match and failed numerous times and they all made me feel like I was suffocating. My skin is very fair thanks to a predominantly Irish ancestry and miserable sensitive thanks to who-knows-what.

The packaging is pretty enough for gift giving.
Now that I've become a fan I discovered that the products are pretty far out of my price range. But being the savvy shopper I am I caught sight of this amongst some other perfect-for-gift-giving packages being offered and snapped it up fast. Now honestly I was a little worried regarding the colors. 'A pop of coral' blush sounded a bit bright. The dove gray primer shadow looked promising though and I love their glosses so I bought it with my readers in mind. If this was utter failure you'd know.

11.29.2011

So who tumbles?

I'll admit it. Having a dozen different social media profiles to juggle is not my cup of tea. I dig them but find the very idea of learning the ins-and-outs of each to be daunting. On the same token I love trying new stuff out at my own pace but often have to just dive in head first.

Last week I decided to check out tumblr but haven't had time to do anything with it. So I figured I'd prod my readership here for any thoughts or tips or advice on getting the most out of using it. Feel free to use this as a chance to link to your own, I don't mind! ;)

11.28.2011

Gratitude Giveaways WINNER!

First, let me say a HUGE thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. Having you here as part of my audience means a lot to me. :)

I hope you'll stick around but feel free to unfollow me if the content here just isn't your thing. I get it, so no offense taken! Just keep in mind we're less than two weeks away from the giftcard giveaway hop so you might want to stay a little longer.

And the winner is...

11.25.2011

The Friday Five: Holiday Season Edition (1)

With the holiday season being a time of stress and gimme-gimme-overload one thing I discovered gets lost in the shuffle is date-night. My husband and I had our first date on Black Friday. After an exhausting day of work we met up to go to the dollar theater behind the mall where we both worked. We were both barely making over minimum wage and trips to the dollar theater were something we did frequently because neither of us had much money to spare. Most of our dates were like that. Finding cheap ways to spend time together and stay warm in the nasty Montana winter weather.

So this week's Friday Five—the kick-off for this series of posts—is all about inexpensive holiday season date night ideas. I hope you'll find one or two worth trying. All are under $25 not including the cost of a sitter. Romance factor rating runs from 1 being frosty to 5 being steamy.


1. Caroling Coffee Cuddle
Cost: about $10-$15
Time: 2 hours
Romance Factor: 4

Once it's dark out hit the Starbucks drive-thru and grab two of the yummy holiday drinks on their menu Caramel BrulĂ©e Latte, Peppermint Mocha, and Gingerbread Latte. Drive to the nearest high point where you can park and get a good view of the city. Find a radio station playing Christmas songs or just whatever suits your mood. Enjoy the festive lights around town while you enjoy a classic coffee date in the privacy of your cozy car. Hang some mistletoe from the rear view mirror to inspire a good old fashioned make-out session.

2. Happy Ho-Ho-Ho-lidays

Cost: Free
Time: 1 hour
Romance Factor: 1

When the stress is piling on there are few things that can help bust the tension. Take a quick break from the madness and spend the kids' nap-time laughing together. Any old funny site would do but why not mock something seasonal? Ugly Christmas Sweaters sites like My Ugly Christmas Sweater make for some lighter mood making or why not share some LOLs over the internet's most hilarious collection of family pictures at AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com.


3. Get Wrapped Up

Cost: about $20-$25
Time: about 3 hours
Romance Factor: 2

Let's face it. Those bazillion presents for the kids aren't going to wrap themselves. Nobody loves the job—except for me!—but it can be made tolerable under the right circumstances. Every Christmas Eve the hubs and I pick our favorite holiday movies from our DVD collection and once the kids are asleep we drag out all of our wrapping gear. The cost factor for this date-night can get much higher really but we reuse gift bags and buy clearance bows, tissue paper, and gift wrap post-Christmas so it's usually the expense of buying tape that gets us. We pop in the flick and use the living room floor to wrap all of the final gifts making a pile for each of us to mow through. We get quiet time to enjoy a movie we haven't watched in a while and the chore of wrapping gets finished. Need romantic holiday movie suggestions? Our favorites include The Family Man and The Holiday. Prefer something funny over romantic? How about National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation or Elf.

4. Treats for the Sweet 

Cost: about $10
Time: about 2 hours
Romance Factor: 3

When my husband had to leave the military for medical reasons we really missed our many friends who ended up on the other side of the world. To cheer some of them up we decided to make and send them cookies. Cooking and baking weren't usually things my husband helped with but since then we've discovered we really enjoy working together to make meals or fix a special treat. It's always rewarding and in the case of our sugar cookies and gingerbread boys... well, we ended up with an awful lot of them frosted to look like boobs and nude gingerbread men and women. While I wouldn't recommend sending them these days... our friends got a kick out of the naughty cookies. Know someone who'd love a treat? Spend some time in the kitchen together even if it's just some Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie dough and a cookie sheet that brings you together. It's all about having a little fun, possibly making a treat to send or share with friends, and if you're the sort... make some flirty cookies to nibble together!

5. Fireside Flame Rekindler

Cost: about $20
Time: Overnight
Romance Factor: 5


Drop the kids off at grandma's. Turn your living room into a romantic 'suite' for two. Set up your air mattress, pull out the sofa's hide-a-bed, or just pile all of the extra blankets you can curl up on. Get a roaring fire going in your fireplace if you have one or pop in an fire ambiance DVD (I got mine for just $2!) or Blu-ray (such as HD Moods: FIRE [Blu-ray]). Open a bottle of wine or make your own mulled wine (we're fond of the German seasonal specialty called Gluhwein) and avoid the temptation to talk about the kids while you snuggle in the firelight.

11.23.2011

Beauty Rhi-view: Escada Especially Escada Perfume

Escada Especially Escada Eau de Parfum Spray
Company Site: Escada
Product Info: ESPECIALLY ESCADA is the gorgeous new fragrance from ESCADA – a luxurious and feminine scent inspired by the spirit of today’s joyful, spontaneous and glamorous woman who likes to let her emotions run wild! Her attitude is positive, she loves to have fun and her happiness is her strength, but she always remains true to herself. This unique new scent launches globally from August 2011 and will be a permanent addition to ESCADA’s sophisticated range of classic fragrances

ESPECIALLY ESCADA perfume is built around a delicate rose accord. The result is a refined and sophisticated fragrance that expresses soft femininity. Inspired by the sparkling scent of morning dew on a glistening rose, ESPECIALLY ESCADA perfume presents luxury but in a modern and light-hearted way.

The fragrance opens with a sparkling top note of pear and combines with the exotic notes of ambrette seeds. A luxurious combination of rose and ylang ylang radiates a fresh and natural aura of floral joy and happiness. Light musky notes complete the scent, adding a subtle touch of femininity.

Notes: Pear, Rose, Ambrette Seeds, Ylang Ylang, Musky Notes. Style: Bright. Delicate. Sparkling.


Ultra Feminine, Girlish Floral (4 Stars)

I'm one of those ladies gifted with the inability to buy fragrance without wearing it first. My body chemistry rarely agrees with the scents I fall in love with on paper making them smell utterly putrid after the topnotes settle. It's frustrating to the point I never trust my nose until I've worn a scent but good luck getting samples.

I happened to be lucky to get a sample of Especially Escada from their website and I am so pleased that I did! Florals are not a favorite of mine but I'm in the market for something fresh to wear and this fragrance is surprisingly pretty on me. This is very youthful and feminine scent but it didn't last very long on me. It is most definitely more of a spring and summer wear fragrance.

If you hate rose this fragrance is definitely not for you. It is the dominant note from start to finish. Think lush pink cabbage roses in springtime. Though I decided it isn't the scent I am looking for in regards to my style I couldn't help but review it because it is a very lovely scent. I would recommend this for a bride on her wedding day or someone in their 20's looking for a floral that's not too girly, nor too mature but ultimately feminine.


Notes: Sample card received from website. I am in no way affiliated with Escada.

If you like one of these you might like Especially Escada:

11.22.2011

25 Cooler-Than-Socks Gifts for Guys Under $25

Happy Holidays dear readers! I'm always on the lookout for some crazy quirky giftage for the guys in my life. Let's face it... most women are easy to buy for. But guys? Okay if you're me you LOVE shopping for the guys. Why? Because there's so much fun, inventive and just plain cool stuff out there that appeals to the male of the species. With a big enough budget I could shower my husband, cousins, uncles, and friends with a lot of geek-erific, useful stuff.

Here's my list of twenty-five giftable items for the men in your life from some of my favorite sites that won't blow your budget. Enjoy! -- Rhi
• ($14.99) Barbeque Ninja Apron from Plasticland
 • ($20.00) Alien Attack Salt & Pepper Combo Set from Plasticland
 • ($16.00) Shark Attack Mug from Fred Flare


• ($18.00) Log Pillow from Fred Flare
• ($20.00) "Breaaad!" Zombie Bread Tee from Threadless
• ($11.99) Digits - Conductive Glove Pins from ThinkGeek


• ($14.99) Pizza-Boss 3000 Pizza Cutter from ThinkGeek
• ($24.00) Buckle Up Key Holder from UncommonGoods
• ($15.00) Duct Tape Wallet from UncommonGoods

 
• ($7.99) Star Wars Wacky Wisecracks Yoda Man Figure from Entertainment Earth
• ($21.95) Bear Claw Slippers from Catalog Favorites
• ($19.99) Whiskey Stones from Vat 19

• ($15.99) Magnogrip Magnetic Tool Wristband from Vat 19
• ($19.95) Toast of the Zombie Sculptural Goblet from Design Toscano
• ($9.95) Bigfoot, the Holiday Yeti Holiday Ornament from Design Toscano



• ($12.00) USB Hubman from Kikkerland
• ($10.00) Ice Cube Tray Battle Ship from Kikkerland
• ($22.95) USB Flashdrive Boba Fett MIMOBOT® from Mimoco

• ($14.95) Blue High Score Media Case from ModCloth
• ($14.95) Tired Old Ass Soak Bath Salts from The Vermont Country Store
• ($24.95) Jack Daniels Truffles from The Vermont Country Store

• ($14.95) How to Speak Zombie: A Guide for the Living Book from Chronicle Books
• ($14.95) Beard Book from Chronicles Books
• ($25.00) Multi-Tool from MoMA Store

• ($20.00) Remote Control Container from MoMA Store

11.20.2011

Book Rhi-view: Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects Using Cottons, Knits, Voiles, Corduroy, Fleece, Flannel, Home Dec, Oilcloth, Wool, and Beyond

Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects Using Cottons, Knits, Voiles, Corduroy, Fleece, Flannel, Home Dec, Oilcloth, Wool, and Beyond [by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins]
Sewing, Gifts
Print: $29.95
The best-selling authors of One-Yard Wonders are back with an all-new collection of 101 sewing projects that each require just one yard of fabric! This time, the projects are organized by fabric type. From home dec to knits, wool to flannels, corduroy to cottons, these patterns--contributed by popular sewing bloggers and designers from across North America--show how to make the most of each fabric’s unique characteristics. Waterproof coated cottons are perfect for a gym bag, wool makes a warm cap for the outdoor enthusiast, knit jersey whips up quickly into a ruffle scarf or sassy dress, corduroy makes a sturdy farmers’ market tote, and lightweight cotton voile is perfect for a little girl’s smocked sundress. Each project is shown in a full-color photograph accompanied by detailed step-by-step instructions, illustrations, and a complete cutting layout.
Publisher Site: storey.com


Got One Yard? You'll love these One-derful ideas!  (5 stars)

Sewing is not my thing. But I've always thought it an essential life skill. I learned to sew while making tiny pillows for my doll house with my grandma using scraps of pajama material she still had from when she'd made pajamas for my dad back in the 50's. In high school it was my elective of choice because it allowed artistic freedom while being useful. What can I say? Practicality and creativity are my thing. So while I don't actually enjoy sewing I have a passion for seeing fabric turn into something. There in comes my secret problem... I'm the child of a fabric hoarder. Buying a random yard of fabric just because it's pretty was not a strange occurance in my youth. But then what do you do with just one yard?

Enter One-Yard Wonders. I'd seen the original on shelves and didn't buy it. Mostly because I never pick up the easy fabrics. I like texture! I love the random scrap of velvet or corduroy. But my favorite is by far flannel. So now the creators of the first book have come up with the right book for me. If you love fabric and have lots of random yardage without purpose on hand pick this one up!

Now I haven't actually sewed any of these as I received a digital version (without the patterns) and have had NO time to work on them.

The book has an awesome section about the basics of these different fabrics and how to sew them right. The fabric cheat sheet is a fabulous resource for those who haven't sewed them before. The actual projects range from simple items like skirts and boxer shorts to much more complicated items like re-doing an umbrella and a smocked dress. The projects are quite varied including clothing for both children and women, pillows and other houseware items, aprons, bags, playthings, and several great giftable baby items. What I liked most about all of the projects here is how many are great gift ideas and things people would actually use. Some of my favorites I want to try are:

• Child's Chef Apron and Hat
• Hanging Book Display
• Barnaby Bear
• Kid's Comfy Chair
• 5-Gallon Garden Bucket Caddy

If you're looking for inspiration and tips for wittling down your fabric stash into something useful or a gift for the sewing fanatic this book is well priced and filled with exceptional project ideas. I was also thinking it might be a great one for someone who wants to try working with some of the fabrics here for the first time since the projects are essentially small in scale.



Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.


Other great guides from Storey Publishing:


 

11.16.2011

Gratitude Giveaways Hop [November 17th - 27th]

Here at casa de Walker I'm in a grumbly mood. My husband decided we're hosting Thanksgiving this year. It's a long story but suffice it to say I've only ever cooked a turkey once, the year we lived in Germany, and it was overwhelming and scary. Responsibility like that terrifies me. What if someone gets sick from it? What if it tastes awful or is too dry or isn't done by dinner time? *shudder* Panic is setting in!

So to settle my nerves and get in the mood I'm pretending this rotten holiday isn't happening and starting up with my Christmas festivities. Part of that holiday is digging out some of my favorite Christmas themed books to share with my kids or just reread. Which is why I decided to make it my Gratitude Giveaway... since this is my alternate blog where I share kids' books, recipes, and that kind of thing. One lucky follower will get to choose one of the following Christmas themed books (in paperback, or board book for the toddler books) that I love as their prize!

For Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers:

For Young Readers:


For Girls who love historical fiction:

For Young Adults:
 

For Romance Readers:

Just click Follow and become a follower of RhiAlistic then make sure you fill out the rafflecopter form behind the jump to make it official. I'll contact the winner by email on the 28th so please make sure you use a valid one! Thanks for stopping by! Happy Thanksgiving and have a lovely holiday season! -- Rhi

P.S. -- Don't forget to drop by again next month for the giftcard giveaway hop. Both of my blogs will be giving away an Amazon giftcard so you'll have two chances to win!
The Rhialist (Rhianna Walker) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.