Life in 3 acts

One True Love: Beauty tool

image courtesy of:http://www.meganandwendy.com/

 

If you’ll remember, I’m participating in the One True Love monthly writing prompt. It’s tons of fun to read other blogger’s, YouTuber’s and Instagrammer’s One True Loves and I’ve learned a lot and tried some new things as a result. If you’d like to participate, simply write your post, share on Instagram or YouTube and be sure to include the #LSSOneTrueLove tag.

This month is Beauty Tools:

When I first thought about this, my knee-jerk reaction was to talk about my Beauty Blender. But then I thought, “Come on, Jenny. Everybody and their damn dog is going to talk about the Beauty Blender–because it’s the best beauty tool ever.” So, today I’m going to go a different direction. I’m going to talk about this:


1 Best Makeup Remover Magic Cloth Duo – Feels Luxury Soft, Works Like Magic –

I can attest to that–it does, in fact, work like magic. Sorcery, more like it. 

So, in case you’re wondering what these towels are. They’re chemical-free makeup-removing towels. Here’s how they work (or, more accurately, how they’re used because hell if I know how they work):

I wet a small corner of the towel with warm water and wipe my eye makeup off with it. It gets all of my waterproof mascara and gel eyeliner off with nary a tug or a smear. Using only one corner at a time, I can use my towel about 3 or more times in between washes. When you’re out of clean towel to use, you simply throw it in the washer with mild detergent and wash it. Then you let it line dry (which is dries really quickly). Then, boom–it’s ready to go again. I figure that I’ve saved a lot of money already on disposable makeup removing towels and cleansers, just by using this towel.

Speaking of makeup removing towels and cleansers: I’ve used all of the traditional makeup removing creams, tonics and potions. They all leave my eyes red, irritated and seem to only actually remove like 30% of my makeup. I’ve never found anything that works as well as these towels. I take them with me on all overnight trips–they’re a cinch to pack–and love these things hard. Do yourself a favor and buy yourself one. Then give one to your mom, your sister and your best friend.

What’s your One True Beauty Tool Love? Share it with us!

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Life in 3 acts

Friday Favorites

I’m not going to lie. I feel like I’m “phoning it in” a bit on this week’s Friday Favorites. The truth is that I don’t have many things that are rocking my world this week–don’t get me wrong. Everything is GREAT. Life is good. But I’m not feeling passionate about much in this very moment. Well, except for these things:

First up:

S-Town

You know how much I enjoy a good podcast. I have to say, while Missing Richard Simmons sucked me in immediately, by about the 4th episode, (right after I posted about it, of course) I felt like it lost steam–big time. As a friend said, “it would have been riveting as an hour-long Radiolab episode”. I agree. I feel like it was drawn out and then kind of fell with a thud. So, I was cautious to dive head-first into S-Town, since, much like Missing Richard Simmons, S-Town shot to the top of the charts and started a wildfire of buzz.

Well, friends. S-Town is not disappointing me (yet).

I can’t even begin to explain the premise of this podcast. All I can tell you is to listen to the first episode and see how you feel. I’m officially obsessed though and Chapter 3 made me gasp out loud a few times. I’m having to ration it right now so that I don’t finish it and then get depressed that it’s over. That’s the sign of a good series.

Next up: A favorite purse for “going-out” (whatever that means these days):

 

DSW Clutch

I’ve talked before about how I like to take a clutch to parties or get togethers where there’s drinking involved (which, let’s face it…is every party and get together). Having something to do with my hands–like hold a clutch–makes me feel less conspicuous about not having a drink in my hand.

This is my favorite clutch lately. I bought this clutch at DSW last fall off of the clearance rack. I feel certain that I only paid about $20 for it–probably because the color that I got is bright, neon, highlighter yellow! I was immediately drawn to the color and and the style. I hoped that I could make the yellow work with all sorts of outfits and indeed it has. I used the clutch last weekend during our reunion weekend with friends.

Going to a wedding last fall. Who new neon yellow could go with so many different colors?

 

DSW doesn’t carry it in my crazy yellow color online, but the camel color is fabulous. And, if you have a DSW coupon floating around in your purse, like I often do, the price can’t be beat on this.

Then the thing that no one wants to talk about…

Megan and Wendy talked about it in their March Favorites video and I’ve been doing it for about a year. Since they “broke the seal” on talking about it, I’ll talk about it today too…

Shaving my face. Yup. I said it. SHAVING MY FACE.

These little things make it all possible:


Tinkle Eyebrow Razor Pack of 6

Do you have peach-fuzz on your face? Does it seem to make your foundation go on wonky and strange? Use these to gently remove the dead skin (and fuzz) from your face and see how good your skin will look. Trust me.

Initially, I was nervous about cutting myself and looking like an adolescent boy who’s just learning to shave with little bloody bits of toilet paper all over his top lip. Not so. For some reason, I don’t even feel like it’s possible to cut yourself with these razors–at least not if you do it gently and proceed carefully. And no, you won’t end up with a full beard after shaving your face. The peach fuzz grows back, but no darker or thicker than before. Fear not! And thank me later…

Alrighty. Your turn…share your Friday Favorites with us!

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Life in 3 acts

Frugal Friday Favorites

…in which Jenny tells you about all of the stuff that everyone else on the internet has been raving about for months. You’re welcome. 

(Also, this post contains affiliate links, which help to support the care and upkeep of this blog. Thank you so much!) 

La Croix Peach-Pear:

I’d heard about the La Croix peach-pear sparkling water, but hadn’t tried it until this week. I saw it at my grocery store and, since my kids really like sparkling water and will sometimes choose a sparkling water over a soda when it’s time for a weekend treat, I thought we’d try this flavor. Oh my word. LOVE IT. It’s perfect on its own, or, you could be like me and add a splash of orange juice, for a sweet afternoon treat before heading to the bus stop. My kids are similarly obsessed with this flavor of La Croix. I’m going to go ahead and declare it to be The Official Spring Break Drink of The Jurica Family. Try it and I promise you’ll love it too (unless you don’t like peaches or pears or, you know, joy in your life).

Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush:

I saw Megan and Wendy talking about Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush body lotion in their February Favorites video this week. Needing some new lotion in my life, and being a sucker for cute packaging, I found myself with a bottle of this stuff shortly after viewing the video.

Soap And Glory Sugar Crush 3-in-1 Body Lotion 500ml–$12.00

Two things have me crushing (Ha! See what I did there? Sugar Crush?)  on this lotion: First of all, the formula is good. Real good. I don’t like a thin lotion that soaks into your skin immediately, leaving you feeling as dry as you were prior to lotion application. This lotion is just thick enough for my sensibilities but not so thick that it feels heavy and gross.

And, most importantly, the scent. Cheese and crackers, you guys! I can’t even describe how much I love the scent! I don’t typically like to smell like food, but the lime scent is perfect and it has a musky, vanilla undertone too–just enough to keep it from smelling straight-up like key lime pie. I used this lotion before bed the first night that I had it and then laid in bed and sniffed myself for probably an hour. I haven’t been this excited about a lotion in a long time! I think that the price is very reasonable for this lotion too. At $12 for 16 ounces, it feels like a much more expensive lotion. As a result, these items are next on my list to purchase:


Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Moisture Extreme Body Buttercream 300ml


Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Fresh And Foamy Body Wash Sweet Lime Fragrance 500ml

 

And lastly, Blogilates:

Image: www.blogilates.com

 

I’ve been doing Blogilates for my morning workouts this week. Truth be told, I’ve gotten bored with my usual workout routine and needed to change it up. Blogilates has a zillion workouts, all with different target areas or workout styles. I’ve been enjoying the more Pilates-style workouts (holy ouch!) and then the other day, I did a 12 minute long stretching video, which was much-needed and really helpful.

Best of all, her videos are available on YouTube (link HERE) and are all FREE. I also really like that I can chose to do a quick workout or a longer one, based on how I’m feeling that particular day. Yes, Cassey is extremely perky and cute (perhaps a smidgen too perky and cute for 6:30am) and the music is a little too “pop” for my liking, but whatever. I love the versatility of the workouts. It’s just what I’ve needed to get me motivated after just “going through the motions” for the past month.

Hooray for Spring and new sparkling water flavors, workouts and lotion scents to obsess about! Tell me what you’re obsessing about these days!

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Life in 3 acts

Frugal Friday Favorites–A beauty showdown!

(This post contains affiliate links which help to support the care and upkeep of this website.)

I’ve been using Rodan and Fields products for about a year. I was skeptical at first, but they won me over. I felt like my skin had never looked better. Granted, I have pretty normal, non-problematic skin, so I was coming from a place of low-maintenance skincare when I started the R+F regimen, but I really have enjoyed the effects of the R+F products on my skin.

Then, in January, when we sat down to have our “come to Jesus” budget talk, we both offered up places in the budget that we could afford to sacrifice a bit. I knew–in my heart of hearts–that, if we were willing to ask our kids to give up a few of their favorite activities, that I couldn’t (with a clear conscience) continue to slather expensive lotions and potions onto my skin every night–especially since my skin has never been an issue before.

So, I begrudgingly offered to give up my R+F addiction to see if that would help us to save money. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

I immediately began researching more budget-friendly alternatives to R+F. I kept coming up short because no one has a bad thing to say about R+F products.

So, I set out to delve deeper myself. There are a couple of R+F products that I didn’t feel were necessities for me–that I could just eliminate entirely and not feel like I was suffering, but there were 2 biggies that I swore by, that I feared giving up. These two are:

Night Renewing Serum: $91

Overnight Restorative Cream: $78

Unfortunately, these are also among the pricier of the R+F products that I’ve used. So, I knew that i needed to find a less-expensive alternative.

Upon doing the research, I found that many drugstore brands have cult-like followings that people swear by. One that I read about over and over was the Neutrogena line of anti-aging products. I decided to start with those and see how my skin reacted. I purchased the two Neutrogena products that seemed like the closest “dupes” to my R+F products.


Neutrogena Deep Moisture Night Cream $12

 


Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum, 1 Fl. Oz $20

I’ve been using both of these Neutrogena products for about a month and, the good news is that my skin looks the same as it did when I was using the R+F products–which is all that I’d hoped for. The price is certainly right too (with a savings of over $130!). My only complaint about the Neutrogena products is the fragrance. Both products have a heavy perfume-y fragrance that I don’t enjoy.

Here’s the thing though: I’ve made a vow to myself–if these products fail to impress me, I will go back to my R+F regime. The older I get, the more I’m understanding the importance of taking good care of my skin and perhaps skin care isn’t the appropriate place to cut corners?

Please share your favorite drugstore skincare items in the comments! 

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Life in 3 acts

Friday Favorites

(This post contains affiliate links which contribute to the care and upkeep of this website. Thanks for your support!)

You might’ve noticed that this week’s Friday Favorites are not “Frugal Friday Favorites.” Here’s why: All of the items that I’m featuring this week wouldn’t necessarily be considered “frugal.” Truth be told, I haven’t been shopping in months, so I’ve been using stuff that I’ve accumulated over my past shopping trips. Technically, I’m still exercising “frugality” but, this week’s items require a small initial investment.

First up are my grocery-shopping-game-changers:


Natural Home Reuseable Produce Bags 5 Pack–$4.99

Have you ever struggled with those flimsy little plastic produce bags at the grocery store? I have a college degree and–generally speaking–consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but damnit to all hell if I can not get those stupid plastic produce bags opened at the grocery store.

I do the whole, “rub-between-your-index-and-thumb” maneuver to no avail. I even blow on the (alleged) opening of the bag, in the hopes that it’ll relent and open for me. Nope. Never. I stupidly turn it over and upside down, thinking that surely I’m yanking on the wrong end of it and the actual opening is on the other side of the bag? Nope.

Then, let us also discuss how utterly useless those bags are when you get them home. At least with grocery bags, you can reuse those for all sorts of things, but the little plastic produce bags are the bane of my existence and I usually end up tearfully throwing them away because they’re so useless.

Enter these reusable produce bags. I love these bags so much. The best thing is the awesome drawstring. So,  you open your bag, throw in your apples, yank on the drawstring then turn on your heel and leave all of your fellow grocery shoppers, huddled round the plastic produce bag dispenser looking on in disbelief, as you throw your reusable produce bag over your shoulder and proceed to the dairy aisle.

It’s uncommon for me to NOT be asked about my reusable produce bags when I’m at the grocery store–either by fellow shoppers or by grocery store employees. Oh, and did I mention that they’re also machine washable? All the heart-eyed emojis.

Next up: Makeup game-changer


RUIMIO Makeup Brush Cleaner Silicone Brush Egg with Handy Hook Pink Mint Green–$6.99 for 2

In a recent trip to TJ Maxx (that I mentioned HERE) I picked up a silicone makeup brush cleaner. I had been struggling with my eye liner makeup brush. I use gel eye liner (THIS) and, while I love it, it also gets so caked in my eye liner brush that it leaves the brush brittle and gross, making it impossible to use it the next time.

I picked up a similar silicone makeup brush cleaner when I was out and about last week and it’s saved the day for sure. It takes just a second or two to clean my eyeliner brush with this thing, then I leave the brush to air dry. The next time that I need it,  my eye liner brush is soft, supple and ready to go. Game-changer. Plus, I understand that you should clean all of  your makeup brushes often (oops) and this little tool certainly facilitates that for me.

And last, an answer to your winter skin doldrum:

Tan Towel Face Tan 15 Count–$30 

Now, these definitely don’t fall into the “frugal” category. I bought these self-tanning towelettes (what a funny word, huh?) last year. I used them occasionally but then summer arrived and I was getting enough natural sun to skip this extra step.

Fast forward to this week. My face hasn’t seen the sun in months. I felt like my face could use a little oomph so I reached into the way-back of my under-the-sink cabinet and retrieved these long-forgotten self tanning towelettes.

I used one application and, by the end of the day, I looked so much better. Now, understand that I wasn’t going for a “I just returned from a week in Maui“-look but simply a remedy for the, “No, I don’t actually have the flu, but thanks for your concern” conversations that I felt were imminent, given the pallor of my face situation.

These are easy to use, leave just the right amount of color and aren’t as messy as regular self-tanning creams and mousses. They’re perfect for this time of the year. When I run out of these, I will likely try a drugstore version (probably THESE), but given how long these have lasted me, if the drugstore version isn’t up to snuff, I would save my pennies and purchase this brand again–they’re that good.

What are your thoughts on my Friday Favorites? Any Friday Favorites of your own to share? If so, leave them in the comments below. Or, find me on Facebook or Instagram and let’s chat over there! 

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Life in 3 acts

Frugal Friday Favorites

This spending freeze has really done a number on my head. I mean, it’s great–don’t get it twisted. My brain needed a little refresher course in “not buying happiness.” But, it’s really screwing with my Friday Favorites ideas. Do you know that I haven’t even set foot in Target since Christmas? This is the longest we’ve been apart and it’s taking a toll on our relationship.

Continue reading “Frugal Friday Favorites”

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Life in 3 acts

Frugal Friday Favorites

Since we’ve tightened up our budget and, based on the responses that I got from my last Frugal Friday Favorites post (link HERE), a lot of you are in budget-mode too, I’m continuing on with free or inexpensive favorites this week. I’d love to hear yours too!

First up is my homemade facial cleanser. It contains 2 ingredients…yes, 2. And costs very little to make. Also, I love the way it makes my skin feel. Winning!

Ingredients:

Castor Oil

Coconut Oil

Depending on your skin, you might start with equal parts castor oil and coconut oil (this is what I do for my normal skin). If you have oily skin, you’ll want to do 1 part coconut oil to 3 parts castor oil. For dry skin, do 3 parts coconut oil to 1 part castor oil.

Here’s how I use it: I keep my jar of the oil cleanser next to my sink in the bathroom. I take a fingerful of the goop and smear it on my face. Then I brush my teeth, letting the oil sit on my face. After that, I get in the shower and use a how, wet washcloth to gently begin wiping the cleanser off. Along with it, the dirt and makeup comes off as well.

With all of this oil, you’d think that you’d get out of the shower feeling like a greasy-ball, huh? Amazingly enough, no. My skin always feels plump and hydrated (like after a facial) but not at all greasy. In fact, I’m typically ready to put my various night serums, lotions and potions on shortly thereafter.

Next up is a recipe that I made this week that cost me nothing to make! We had all of the ingredients on hand–and the family devoured it.

 

It also fed us for two dinners and was great for reheating for hurried before-after-school-activities-meals. Link HERE

Image courtesy of: http://www.5dollardinners.com/cheeseburger-skillet/

 

Finally, a workout program that costs only $2 a month:

Image courtesy of www.mommastrong.com

 

I’ve talked about Momma Strong before. It’s an online workout (geared towards women–moms specifically–but there’s also now a Papa Strong workout for the menfolk) that is only $2 a month. I’ve been doing the Daily 15 workouts for many months, but fell off the wagon over the Holidays (and, for only $2 a month, I didn’t feel too bad about jumping ship). At the beginning of this month, I was really ready to get back to the program. I started The Hook–a 28 day strength challenge earlier this month. It’s also a 15 minute a day workout. This, coupled with my daily dog hike, has gotten me back on track.

It’s also good to sign up for and honor a commitment. Another integral part of the whole Momma Strong community is an active Facebook group, where you can ask questions and get accountability buddies. It’s an incredible group of people who are supportive and at all different levels of health and fitness. Again…all of this is included in the $2 a month fee.

What are your current Frugal Friday Favorites? 

Continue reading “Frugal Friday Favorites”

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Life in 3 acts

Friday Favorites–Lash Boost + Superhero

One of the things that I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older is that my eyelashes just don’t have the oomph that they used to have. I’ve tried lots (LOTS!) of different mascaras. I’ve sold my soul to Ulta and Sephora and still manage to walk out with puny, little lashes.

Just before resigning to wearing falsies for special occasions, I considered eyelash extensions for about 15 minutes one day–until I discovered the time investment in getting them applied (and then filled every few weeks)–not to mention the cost! And the upkeep! (No wearing mascara? No sleeping on your side or tummy? And no rubbing your eyes? So many rules…)

So, when Rodan and Fields launched their new lash serum, Lash Boost late last year, I begrudgingly handed over my wallet to my friend/R+F Consultant and put my sad little eyelashes in her hands (figuratively, not literally).

Continue reading “Friday Favorites–Lash Boost + Superhero”

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Life in 3 acts

So very thankful tag

Megan and Wendy participated in the “So very thankful” tag and I enjoyed watching their video on YouTube, so I’m going to participate too. 

so-very-thankful
Image courtesy of http://www.meganandwendy.com/

 

1. Name a color you are thankful for. Turquoise. Always turquoise–especially this time of the year because I love seeing turquoise accents, amid the red for Christmas.
2. Something your spouse does that you are thankful for. Kevin plans and cooks dinner every Thursday. It’s so nice to have one night of the week where I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner. 
3. Something your kids do that you are thankful for. Anna’s superpower is exceptional manners, so, while I still remind her to use her best manners everyday, I really don’t HAVE to. Jack is such a hard worker. When he sets his sights on a goal, he’s driven like none other. 
4. A food you are thankful for. I love my recipe for cornbread dressing that is a hybrid of both of my grandmother’s famous recipes. It tastes like my childhood and home. 
5. What recent good news are you thankful for? This one is tricky right now, but I’m going cop-out and say that I’m thankful for the news that it’s finally going to get cold here this week? Sorrynotsorry. 
6. Name a drink you are thankful for. Coffee. Err day. 
7. Name a restaurant you are thankful for. Panera Bread. My kids have finally discovered Panera Bread so now, they’ll willingly choose it over other fast food and I can finally eat something healthy when we go out to eat.
8. Talk about an animal you are thankful for. How much time do you have? I’m very thankful for the opportunity to foster a mama cat (Jacobien–“Bean” for short) and her 4 babies (Booger, Tux, Bandit and Pinto) for our local no-kill animal shelter. It’s so rewarding to know that we’re able to give these sweet kitties a new beginning and a safe, warm home to live in for a few weeks.
9. Name a beauty product you are thankful for. I’m enjoying all of my Rodan+Fields products right now. I drank the R+F koolaid hard, y’all. 
10. Name a cleaning product you are thankful for. My homemade granite cleaner (recipe HERE)
11. What social media platform are you thankful for? Instagram. I love Instagram and I’ve purposely kept my personal account locked down, so only my nearest and dearest get to see what I post–unlike Facebook that is too big and wide right now. 
12. Tell us why you are thankful for the last person who texted you. My dearest friend, Erika. She gets me like no one else (and somehow loves me in spite of it).
13. Name a candy you are thankful for. Sour Patch Kids. I’ll rub the roof of my mouth raw from eating too many then keep going back for more. I can’t quit you, SPK. 
14. Name an app on your phone that you are thankful for. What’s App. That’s how I stay in touch with my close friends from all over the globe. We have almost-daily text chains that range from the philosophical to the ridiculous (and sometimes ridiculously philosophical). Thanks to What’s App, we can stay in touch in almost the same way we did when we all lived in the same city. 
15. What are you looking forward to that you are thankful for? Hosting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner in mid-December. When we bought this house, we knew that it would be great for assuming some of the entertaining burden from my mother-in-law and I really enjoy throwing a good party and planning every little perfect detail–especially for those that I love. Party hosting is my love language. 

 

This was fun! If you’d like to participate, please link below to your post so that we can see your answers too! 

cheers-jenny

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Life in 3 acts

Friday Favorites

…because I like stuff.  A lot. 

Friday Favorites

I was in T.J. Maxx (favorite store ever) the other day and stumbled upon a “makeup removing” towel in the beauty section. The label claimed that this towel is reusable, machine-washable and removes all traces of makeup (even waterproof mascara) with only warm water.

Ironically enough, I had just been to Sephora that same day, and purchased some rather expensive eye makeup remover because I was tired of scrubbing and tugging at my eye makeup most nights, only to still wake up looking like Marilyn Manson the next morning.

marilyn-manson-makeup

So, I tossed this silly makeup removing towel into my basket at T.J. Maxx because it was only $3.99 and I figured that, when it failed to deliver as promised (because, yeah. There’s no way that thing is going to work) that it would come in handy as a dusting cloth or something around the house. It might even fit on my Swiffer to help pick up cat hair on my hardwood floors. 

Imagine my surprise when I went to use it for the first time and with a couple of gentle swipes of my eye area, it removed all traces of makeup.

What kind of sorcery is this? 

I still don’t understand how or why it works–but it works. After I used it the first time, I began scouring You Tube for tutorials and other people’s impressions of this product. Turns out? It’s a fan favorite and many famous You Tubers rave about it. Makeup Eraser

Make-Up Eraser, $19.97 on Amazon

(I can’t find the off-brand that I purchased at T.J. Maxx for $3.99)

Perhaps it goes without saying that the expensive eye-makeup remover that I bought at Sephora that same day is still sitting in my bathroom, untouched, because this towel works so well. 

I think that it’s a huge money saver, if you buy expensive makeup removing products and wipes on the regular–not to mention that it out-performs them as well. It’s also got to be better for the environment in the long-term, not to be creating as much trash, removing your makeup. 

So tell us–have you tried a makeup removing towel? Did it work for you? 

cheers-jenny

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