I had five things I’ve been wanting to talk about and realized they could all be described with a word that begins with F.
So no, I won’t be swearing at you today. Rather I’ll be talking about things that have made me smile lately.
Marielle who blogs at Magical Day Dreams and I have been online friends for a while now. She is one of the most colourful and cheerful people out there.
And she is very clever too. For her final project of her Masters program at university she designed this interactive water fountain, that is so impressive that I get excited about all the things this young person will achieve in her life. Her fountain was even set up at a TED Talks venue and people could try it out between talks, seen here.
I encourage you to look at the 2 videos she posted about her fountain and to check out her blog. One of the posts I particularly remember and laughed out loud while reading was this one, about her reaction to someone stealing her bicycle, entitled ‘The Bike Thief and the Banana’.
One of the projects she had undertaken this year was to fold 1,000 origami cranes and give them out to random strangers. Last month she posted the reactions that people had to this (here) and invited her readers to leave a comment. The first five would receive a crane of their own, sent all the way from The Netherlands, where she lives.
I wasn’t one of the first five, but a week later she wrote me to say that she would be happy to send me one too.
And so it was that I received some Fun mail, sent from very far away.
This also relates to a friendly online person, Louise at Princess Prudence.
She hosted a giveaway on her blog this summer and I won. The prize? An online magazine subscription from Zinio, for a year’s subscription of my choice.
After much deliberation I went for British Vogue. Here is Canada, it is very expensive to buy but I’ve always really liked looking at it while at the hairdresser. And the few times that I’ve traveled to the UK, I have picked up a copy and enjoyed it cover to cover.
Now I am receiving an online version every month. It is exactly as though every page of the magazine was scanned and uploaded onto an extremely user friendly reader, with excellent resolution.
My only (minor) complaint, and this is due to my own older equipment, is that I can’t upload it onto my ipad and read it in bed, where I love to have a lounge with a good mag. But if you have a newer devise, you would be able to view any Zinio magazine with it.
So even though I have to read it at my desktop, I am really enjoying it and consider myself very Fortunate to have won, thanks to Louise!
There is a store here that many Canadians love, called ‘Shoppers Drug Mart’, although it is so much more than a seller of drugs. We go there for many of our staple groceries and all of our toiletries and health care needs like vitamins. I even buy my books (including more than just the best sellers) and socks there.
So clearly, it’s a popular store in our world, made even more so by the most generous of points programs imaginable. When buying the things we need anyway, always at a very good price particularly since we go regularly and shop the sales, we earn points. And they add up quickly, to be redeemed for anything in the store.
But I always wait for the special weekends where if you spend your points of cosmetics, hair and personal grooming items and perfumes, you get more bang for your points. A lot more bang!
So here is the haul of free stuff I picked up recently.
Here’s what I got …
– Kabuki Brush by Quo. I really wanted a soft brush for powder and this one is lovely.
– Maybelline Mineral Powder in Classic Ivory. This is something I’ve been using for a while and needed to replenish.
– L’Oreal MagicLumi Concealer. With genetic dark-circles under my eyes (Did you know that most of them are genetic and not because you’re tired or sick?), I like to try whatever is out there and look forward to giving this new-to-me one a go.
– Eyebrow Kit by Quo, called Brow Focus. I have never plucked my brows in my life but they have always been light and delicate, so on one hand I don’t have to worry about getting them done, but I do have to use product on them. I’ve not tried this brand before and am hoping it will be like the Revlon Browmaker Kit, that I’ve loved and totally used up but that seems to be discontinued.
– L’Oreal Infallible Eyeliner. I’ve never tried a gel eyeliner but am curious. So for the price of some points, I thought I’d try this one out. I like that it came with its own full size brush.
– Rimmel ScandalEyes. Nothing beats a coloured eye pencil when I’m in a rush. And this gorgeous shade called ‘Blamed Blue’ just hopped right into my shopping basket.
[Follow-up : In an effort to give constructive criticism, I noticed that when I went to sharpen these Rimmel Scandal Eye Pencils (I ended up getting it in three colours), that this is very difficult to do. The plastic outside part is hard to sharpen and the tip breaks as you try to pull the pencil from the sharpener. It makes a big mess and there’s some wasted product. An improved, “no sharpener required” format would be great here.]
– Revlon Lip Butter. I got a red colour called Red Velvet and I’m very happy with it. I’ll definitely be getting more colours of this. It is sheer and creamy but has lots of pigment, especially when you put on a couple of layers.
– Revlon Just Bitten Kissable lip stain. With the help of the make-up artist working at the store, I chose a berry/burgundy colour called Crush Begun. It does a great job of staining my lips even when worn with my ever present Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.
– Revlon Brilliant Length Nail Polish in the colour Allure. I don’t go for fancy nail-art and have never gone for a professional manicure, but I do like to wear polish. I like this whitish colour that is the palest of pink. I am wearing it in this post.
I’ve been having fun trying out all my loot. The value is $90, but to me it was delightfully Free.
Last month, when my friend Meghan and I were at the art gallery, we stopped by the lovely refreshment stand they have there.
On the counter, where they displayed what they had on offer, there was this interesting bottle that neither of us had ever seen before. It started a conversation which involved the server, and we discovered that it was a bottle of beer.
Later, I regretted not having taken a picture of the bottle, as it was neat looking.
A week later, while doing the dishes, I looked out the window and saw that someone had put a green bottle on our fence post. I couldn’t make out exactly what kind of bottle it was but I told myself to go get it when I was done, so that it wouldn’t drop and break.
As I approached it, I saw that it was the same Buddha bottle we had seen at the gallery. Somebody had placed the bottle on the fence post in such a position that it was facing directly at me, and glinting through the light, like some Freaky omen.
The beer is called Lucky Buddha, by the way. Have you tried it?
He tends to get up earlier that I do and my first memory of the day is usually the deliverance of this coffee.
He sets it beside the bed and I wake up to the aroma of the brew and the delicious mixture of spices sprinkled on top. It smells and tastes amazing.
I can say for certain that the homemade cappuccino he makes is my Favourite drink.
You can follow his recipe for a spice mixture that will transform your everyday cup, found here. Mix some of this up and put it in a spare salt shaker. Shake a bit on in the morning. I think you’ll love it.
And if you want to make great Cappuccino at home but don’t want to buy fancy tools to make frothy milk, all you need is a jar, see my diy (here).
We usually use this tool by Frabosk, that cost about $50. It’s something we use everyday so for us it was worth the money. But the jar method works really well too!
In closing I will say that there is another Fabulous eff word too. Friend. You. Thanks for visiting.