Tuesday, February 22, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Mindy here. Later this week, I will celebrate forty-eight years of life on this planet. And while I may not feel much different than I did twenty years ago, I have learned a few things about life and myself along the way. As I've grown older, I've become more in tune with what I want/need/expect out of things in all aspects of life. In many ways, I find the most pleasure in the simple things. But the occasional splurge can sometimes be worth it too.

Today I'd like to share a few things I'd be lost without. Things I use almost on a daily basis. They enhance my life, my writing, and my taste buds.

  • Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Airbrush Spray Makeup - Yes, this sounds like a real splurge, but it's not. I've tried a LOT of foundation makeup over the years. All drugstores finds, nothing high-end, yet none of them met my expectations. Most weren't long-wearing enough to get me through the day, and I could often see the makeup sitting like a thin layer atop my skin. I first heard about this makeup on the show What Not to Wear. Carmindy is their makeup artist, and she's the name behind this natural-looking/feeling line of makeup. Unlike the name implies, you don't spray this makeup on your face. Instead, you put it on with either your finger tips or a makeup sponge. I prefer the latter. It smooths out my skin tone, feels light, is virtually invisible, and yet it wears all day. You don't even have to spend hours trying to figure out what shade will best match your skin. It's easy--light, light to medium, medium, or deep. It's created to mimic your natural skin tone. The only downside is that you can't pick this product up at Walmart or Target. CVS Pharmacy is where I buy it, but you can also order it online. You can learn more about this product at http://www.sallyhansennaturalbeauty.com/  And be sure to click on the "watch & learn" tab for some excellent video tips on makeup application and achieving that fresh, natural look in a minimum amount of time.
  • Olay.com - In Angie's post last week, she mentioned Olay's wonderful line of products. The problem is that they have so many it can be a little overwhelming unless you know exactly what you're looking for. That's where http://www.olay.com/ comes in. They offer a skin-care consultation where they ask you all kinds of questions about your skin and what kind of time and effort you want to put into keeping it in the best shape possible. Then they recommend the products that will best meet your needs, and even provide a printable list (with photos) that you can take to the store with you. And don't worry, you aren't required to divulge your email address or anything else in order to take part. However, if you use the products, I do recommend signing up for their email offers. They often let you know about significant rebate offers.
  • Maybelline Falsies Mascara - I promise, this is the last makeup item :-) When I was younger, I had long, thick eyelashes. However, as I've gotten older, they've thinned and don't grow quite as long. I tried several of the "volumizing" and "lengthening" mascaras, and was about to give up when I saw this one on sale AND I had a coupon. The result...I love it! It achieves both of my requirements, is waterproof, and washes off easily. Oh, and it doesn't flake either, a big requirement for contact lens wearers like yours truly.
  • Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer - If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know I love to paint, and I love color. With the color visualizer, you can upload pictures of your own room or choose from several templates on the site. They may not exactly represent my room, but I try to go for similar window placement, etc.Then I just click and drag one of thousands of colors to get an idea of how it will look. If I don't like it, I click and drag another. Recently though, I've added this tool to my writers toolbox. You see, I'm a visual learner and I recall things visually. Example: In the story that I'm currently working on, my heroine is an artist. She loves to be surrounded by rich, vivid colors. So, I created the rooms in her home using the color visualizer. Then I saved them to my computer for reference. I bring those images up and suddenly I'm there in my heroine's living room. Here's the link if you'd like to check it out. https://www.sherwin-williams.com/visualizer/ 
  • Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus - I discovered this thesaurus at Barnes and Noble one day, very early on in my writing. I loved the way it used each word in snippets of sentences. Great when you have a word that may have more than one meaning. It also has word notes that help me know that I've got the correct usage. Words like affect and effect always trip me up. It also has Word Banks and Word Spectrums. Word Banks give me lists of specific types of a particular item. Like horses or chairs--Appaloosa or Windsor. Word Spectrums will have opposite words, like happy and sad, at each end of the spectrum and then all the intensities of the words in between. I use this book nearly every time I sit down to write. Often times, I'll look up a word in the dictionary and then look up the same word in this thesaurus for better clarification. It's a must-have in this writer's toolbox.
  • Lindt Chocolate - No list of my favorites would be complete without chocolate. But not just any chocolate, Lindt chocolate. I first discovered Lindt when I lived in Germany. Now I can find it at Walmart. Whoo-hoo! My favorites are 70% Cocoa, Chili, and Touch of Sea Salt. Don't let the Chili version scare you. There's just a hint of a kick as it slides blissfully down your throat. Mmm. Yes, this is also an important part of my writer's toolbox :-)

What are some of your favorite things? Your must-haves?

Happy Tuesday, y'all. And be sure to join me over at Divine Imagination. This week's author interview is with Maureen Lang. You could win a copy of her latest release, Springtime of the Spirit.


  1. All very cool stuff, Mindy!! Thanks for sharing. I love to get recommendations from friends. I've already emailed the spray tan makeup to my daughter who was just talking about getting a spray tan. :)

    Some of my favorite things...

    Isle of Candles soy lotion candles. The soybean oil candles melt at a lower temp, and you can dip in the warm oil and rub into your skin. I just put some on my hands a few minutes ago, and they feel great!
    isleofcandles.com Right now, I'm burning blackberry sage. A yummy fragrance!

    Meaningful Beauty night cream and day cream.

    I'm terrible about hydrating. But thanks to the Flat Belly Diet that I tried a year or so ago, I got a recipe for their Sassy Water. I know, sounds silly. My daughter loves to laugh at the name. But it's so good and refreshing that I crave it now. You can get the recipe for free on their site, I believe. I've adjusted the recipe some just to have variety. Right now, I fill a pitcher with water and add sliced lemons and grated fresh ginger. Easy and so yummy! I usually drink a pitcher a day.

  2. These are fun.

    I enjoy watching What Not to Wear for makeup tips too. I really love Mary Kay's new liquid luminous foundation and the foundation brush. You use a dab and with the brush, it goes on flawless, like airbrushing but quick and easy at home.

    I'll have to check out the Sassy Water.

  3. Melissa, I'm so glad you mentioned that! I sell Mary Kay but haven't tried the new foundation yet. I look forward to ordering some. :)

  4. Missy, I'm a sister consultant too. I think you'll really like it. I'm hooked on the brush and love the improvements to the new foundations. :)

  5. Missy, I'm a candle gal too, so I'm checking that one out.
    Sassy Water, you say. I love lots of lemon in my water, so I may have to check that out too.

  6. Melissa, I haven't seen that one yet. But I have lots of friends who are MK consultants:-)

  7. Melissa, I should have also said one of my very favorite products is the Mary Kay Microdermabrasion set! I couldn't do without it.


  8. Mindy, there's a slight chance you could find the candles in gift shops. That's how I discovered mine. But they're made in Georgia so maybe not.