Red Apple Lipstick

This post is about Red Apple Lipstick. I think I’m supposed to tell you this is a paid endorsement. Although, I would heartily endorse this lipstick even if I weren’t paid (in more lipstick, how great is that!).

So you know how we all hate that Google gives you ads based on your searching? Yeah, me too. But this one time, I am so freaking glad they do that because when I started searching for gluten and grain free cosmetics, an ad for Red Apple Lipstick popped up. I clicked. I signed up for newsletters etc. I got a BOGO offer. I bought. One week later, I was in love.

I am a confirmed makeup junkie. I have seriously curbed my addiction over the years — money (too costly to buy that much) and age (glitter green eyeshadow really doesn’t do much for a 53 year old). I have pretty much kept to a “classic” palette in the last few years with the occasional foray into a navy eyeliner.

My real love is for lipstick. It is not unusual for me to have 4-6 in my bag at any one time, plus a liner and a gloss. I’m pretty picky. Years ago a particular drugstore  lipstick I loved the color of turned the most hideous color on my lips within an hour. For the most part I have stuck to Tarte, Urban Decay, Lancome (although now I find it too fragranced), Estee Lauder (same issue with fragrance), and MAC. I’ve tried Clinique, Laura Geller, Mally, Revlon, Mary Kay, and Lipstick Queen to name half selection at Sephora or ULTA.  MAC is my very favorite and I return to one particular color over and over again.

Oh, and did I mention that not only am I looking at gluten free, I’m slowly getting sulfates, phalates and parabens out of my makeup repertoire as well?

Enter Red Apple Lipstick. I had my fingers crossed on the two colors I purchased. One is called “Audrey” and from the photo it was everything representing “Audrey”. A classic pink. Not too bright, not too light. Certainly not fuchsia. Not glittery.

I got it home and the color is perfect.

I also bought an orange, supposedly one of the hottest colors of the season. It’s called Firefly. I got it home and it is definitely orange but it’s not in your face and can be worn for daytime.

One swipe, like a gloss. Two swipes, a lipstick. Blot and layer more?  All good. You can make the lipstick lighter or darker. It’s like having additional lipsticks in your handbag without having to weigh down the bag.

How do these lipsticks feel? They deliver.  They are creamy without being gooey. They stay on the lips without coming off everywhere (and I am very hard on my lipsticks in this way). Oh yeah, and they make dried out lips feel really good.

From the Red Apple Lipstick website (www.redapplelipstick.com), here’s what you can expect from this brand:

.. hand selected, safe ingredients …
… no petroleum, no animal bits, no gluten, soy, dairy, corn, harsh chemicals or GMOs…
… ingredients that effectively improve the health of your lip skin, like high quality Vitamin E …
… effective, old school, manufacturing processes – the kind BEFORE chemicals were introduced …
… small batches keep things fresh …
… stringent storage and handling procedures …
… A special gluten free Vitamin E zaps chapped and dry lips, making them a memory…
… each hand pressed, mineral eye shadow is designed specifically for the most sensitive eyes, yet with awesome color payoff …

Some of the lipsticks are totally free of these ingredients as well as nuts and fragrance, although I don’t find the fragrance offensive like other brands are.

Even the case is nice looking as well as sturdy.

They offer a 6 month 100% money back guarantee. That’s crazy but they do it so you have nothing to lose for trying them.

Overall, I recommend this brand big time. I’m looking forward to trying some of their other products. A new mascara is in the works and they have eyeshadows as well.

Also, the owner of the company, Jay Adam Harper, actually replies to your emails! How cool is that?

Look over the website for more info. I hope you like this lipstick as much as I do!!  For their story go to http://www.redapplelipstick.com/our-story/

Oh the Wheels in My Brain Go Round and Round

So a bit of randomness for your reading pleasure….

My elimination “diet” is going well. I’ve lost 12 pounds in the last 3 weeks or so. I’m getting used to no grains but I have had a few cravings. Pasta came to mind after a particularly stressful day and I so wanted a cup of coffee one afternoon. Herbal tea did not satisfy.

I am apparently having some issues with one of my supplements. It’s meant to heal my gut and make my gut less inflamed but boy it’s been a rough week +. So the doc is taking me off of it and maybe giving me something else. For now, I’m just on a probiotic.  In a few days I can start adding the supplements back one at a time and see how I feel.

This not feeling well in the gut is doing a number on my exercise. Like once a week?? Not good but one thing at a time.

BTW, don’t ever stay home sick and watch  QVC and HSN. Bad. Very bad.

Reading a book called The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. So far I’ve read about frogs, turtles, Charles Darwin and other paleontologists I’d never heard of. Fascinating. It’s about how we, as humans, may be causing the next mass extinction in the world, or as my reading partner Robin put it to me when pitching the book, “oops! what have we done?”.

We have a list of books to read next and I officially have one season to read Book 4 of Game of Thrones before the next season starts. The show is veering more and more from the books so I definitely want to read before I watch.

I just started watching a new show on Starz called Power and I’m really enjoying it. Only 2 episodes have aired so you’re not too far behind if you want to give it a try.

I know the critics prefer Black Sails to Crossbones but I have to disagree. Black Sails was a disappointment. John Malkovitch in Crossbones is delicious.

Defiance is back this month!!!

I’m really needing a vacay. No rest for the weary but I am (FIRST TIME EVER) closing the office for the week of July 4th. I will work for a few days with the phone ringers off but I am taking a FOUR DAY WEEKEND. YEA ME!!

If you know of a good energy healer and you’ve never tried one, I heartily suggest that you do. I had a session locally and I have to say it was well worth it.

Looking forward to my qigong seminar next week. A few hours to get back to it. I am so excited. I’ve missed it.

Well, calling it a day and going to get some grub.

Spaghetti for the Grain Free Belly

I’ve spent weeks looking for recipes that I can springboard off but being gluten, grain (including quinoa and buckwheat), dairy, nightshade, egg and seed and nut free has made it really tough.

So I’ve had to get creative!!

Thank God I can cook!!!

So here’s  my first recipe. It’s for spaghetti. I LOVE spaghetti. A few times a week. For breakfast, lunch and dinner. And as snacks. Hot or cold.

Now that I’m totally grain free, no spaghetti for me. Until this.

I made spaghetti with spaghetti squash. It was easy and tasty.

Here’s my recipe, which can be doubled and tripled and my notes for swaps and alternate recipes.

A small spaghetti squash that was cooked in the microwave, then shredded.

Some ground beef (although I have an idea for ground lamb that will be good too). Probably 1/2 pound.

Two large garlic cloves minced

Generous amount of well-rinsed capers, 2 generous teaspoons

Generous amount of good olives pitted, 6? 8? I like all olives but Kalamata are always a good choice and you can get them in the store already pitted.

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil, 1 to 3 teaspoons

Lemon juice, 1/2 a lemon. Don’t use that fake stuff. You can put the other half lemon in water. I save the squeezed lemon rind and use it to clean the sink after dinner. Smells good and makes it shine.

Cook meat and remove from pan and set aside.

Heat olive oil in pan and add minced garlic to soften but do not let burn. This is to make the sauce for the “spaghetti” so be a little generous.

Add the meat back and add the capers, lemon juice and the spaghetti squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more olive oil if necessary so it’s not dry.

For ground lamb instead of beef I was thinking allspice and cinnamon.

I also thought that using chicken or no meat at all, instead of olive oil and the whole Mediterranean thing, add coconut milk and cream and curry powder. You could add lamb to this as well.

Of course, if you can or want to, feel free to add sauteed onion or make tomato sauce. I’m currently tomato, peppers and eggplant free also so I came up with this to be something like an Aglio e Olio with some protein.

It’s not spaghetti but it was really good. I ate leftovers for lunch 🙂

Yes, this makes 2 servings.

Fruit for dessert.

Is Your Relationship Good For You (Me)?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my relationships and today the Universe sent me a post in a newsletter that I have cannibalized here so that it applies across the board — friends, family and lovers. Source: Mind Body Green. For original which was about romantic relationships only http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13996/5-signs-youre-with-the-wrong-person.html. I think it goes for all relationships.

1. Is your relationship making your life worse, overall?

A quick way to know if you are in a healthy relationship is to ask yourself if the person  is making your life better. Healthy relationships improve our lives. When we let people mistreat us, it takes a toll on other aspects of our lives too.

2. Are you afraid of the unknown?

Fabulous times await you on the other side. Trust that your best days are ahead of you.  Yes, the unknown is scary, but ending a relationship that weighs heavily on you is ultimately freeing and empowering. And what’s even scarier than the unknown in knowing that you’re giving up on your own happiness.

3. Is your relationship encouraging you to become someone else?

If someone is trying to change you, they aren’t deserving of your time.

4. Are you stalling on making a decision?

In retrospect, I can clearly identify early signs that my relationship was unhealthy. Signs that said RUN! You can save yourself precious time and emotional turmoil when you read the signs early and make decisions accordingly.

5. Are you sacrificing your spark?

If your personality normally shines and suddenly you feel smaller or like your light was dimmed, check your relationship. On some level, we all know when we are putting up with behavior that doesn’t meet our personal standards. If you are no longer the person you once were, or friends and family tell you that you don’t seem the same, those are signs.

The Tony’s

I’m sure you’re all sick and tired of me posting about my new detox so today I’m posting about The Tony’s and my love of Broadway.

I went to my first Broadway performance when I was maybe 13 or 14 years old. I went to see Grease. It was with Andrienne Barbeau and Barry Bostwick. I think it had Stockard Channing in it as well. It was awesome and I’ve never warmed up to the movie version.

Then I got to see Pippin. It was with Ben Vereen, Irene Ryan (Grandma on the Beverly Hillbillies) and John Rubenstein (better known now for his roles on Numbers and Ally McBeal). This show blew me away and I still have a CD of the original cast music. How thrilling that John Rubenstein, who won a Tony for his roll of Pippin in the 70s is playing a limited engagement this month in the role of Charles! I’ve since watched Patina Miller, who was in the Ben Vereen role, on PBS and love her voice. I’m sorry I didn’t see her before she left the cast.

Anyhow, I digress. The Tony’s last night were FABULOUS!! Hugh Jackman was stupendous. I loved, LOVED seeing Carole King perform and Neil Patrick Harris — WOW!!

I hope I get to see Harris perform in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I hope to see Beautiful about Carole King. I would love to see Aladdin. I would love to see Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald (what a voice!).  After Midnight looked wonderful also.

So many shows, so little time. I doubt I’ll get to The Great White Way to see all of those shows but I really hope they come to DC.

I leave you with a picture of Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, for which he won a Tony last night.

Hedwig

This Withdrawal is Certainly Interesting

Having what I assume are detox symptoms today.  Frankly I feel like shit.  Anxious, very tired, a little itchy, major tummy issues. Hungry but not hungry. In fact, I ate so I know I’m not hungry.

Craving cookies and I almost NEVER eat cookies!

Halfway through week 2-1/2. Some days hard.  Some days almost easy.  Today definitely not a lot of fun.

Ups and Downs

Thursday night I had a massage. Aaaaah!

Friday I went to Evo and did a PR (personal record) for a dead lift of 125#. Very proud of me. I needed that because although it was a 4 day work week, it was a very loooong week and Friday just was crappy. It wasn’t like it was an awful day — nothing really bad happened. It was just a very long and packed day. Running all day from appointment to appointment and the phone was non-stop. I was glad the day was done. The very tough Evo workout Friday night was just what I needed to wind down.

Saturday I slept in (7:30) and then hung around a bit before going to the office and working all afternoon to catch up on what I wasn’t getting done all week. That was good.

Finished a wonderful little book called The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. Definitely worth reading. Great summer read.

Sunday morning I woke up with a scratchy throat. Ugh oh! Having just gotten over bronchitis this is an unwelcome event.

At noon I met with my dear friend who lives in Portugal (trying to get her to come home!!) but is here on her annual visit. We spent a lovely afternoon together. We went to Abram’s Delight, considered the oldest house in Winchester. I’d been before but she hadn’t. I’d never walked the property before and I learned more about the family that lived in the house, what the various items in the house were and the history of Winchester.

Today, the throat is even worse. Bigger uh oh! I am definitely keeping an eye on this and not letting it get as bad as I did last time. At the first sign that this is more than allergies or a cold, I am high-tailing it to the doctor’s office.

The weather this weekend was positively delightful. I couldn’t have asked for better weather.

I’m getting a little more creative with my “diet”. It is very difficult. Olives have become my friend. I’m looking for a curry seasoning that doesn’t have any pepper (as in red pepper) in it. I really don’t want to make my own.

Eating out has been less attractive to me. Naked meat (chicken, fish, turkey etc) plus plain veg or plain salad gets old very quickly and that’s all I trust right now. Some restaurants are very accommodating when I ask for a naked burger and a salad, no croutons, no dressing, no cheese etc. Others look at me like I’ve lost my mind. I’m making a list of those that are most accommodating and aren’t “upcharging” me insane amounts of money to have a salad with my plain, no bun, no cheese, no pickle, no mayo, no ketchup, no mustard burger or grilled chicken. I figure that when I decline the handmade chips or fries that I should get a discount on the burger. Instead I’m paying MORE to add the salad. More than once I’ve thought I should have gotten the chips and given them to my companions. Hey, I’m paying for them!

Here’s a picture or two of the garden at Abram’s Delight.

Abrams Delight pond

Abrams Delight pond

Abrams Delight sunken garden

Abrams Delight sunken garden