Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chap Stick, or should I say Lip Balm

How many of you know exactly where at least three different sticks of lip balm are, in your possession, at just about every moment in time? Let us now admit to ourselves that we are indeed addicted to emollience. I currently have one in my nightstand; one lives in the kitchen; one should be in my purse but has been lost; one should be in my car but never made the transfer to the new Mazda 5; there are at least two other places in the house where I know I have a stash, and I have one at each of my places of work. Now I sound more than a little bit obsessed...but I will share with you my favorites anyway.

This time of year, I will admit to not really using my supply of chap stick (or whatever brand it is), but come the dry Chicago winter and I cannot live without it. Funny thing is, as much as I will shortly tell you that I have a definite favorite, I do not have more than one stick of any particular brand. Wierd.

Sugar Lip Treatment by the company Fresh is by far and away the absolute best lip balm I have ever tried. Comes at a hefty price though - $22.50 retail. Ouch. My stick of Sugar has lasted almost two years, but I will admit to using it very sparingly. But it is so good, put it on once in the morning and you honestly probably won't need to reapply except on the driest of winter days. This one is kept on a high shelf in the kitchen cupboard so there is no way the 2 year old can try it on!

So now on to the more "everyday" lip balms (or chappie, as we tend to call it in my house). Another favorite is actually the Whole Foods store brand, tangerine flavor. This one generally lives in my purse. They usually sell it near the checkouts, and it also comes in mint. I love the tangerine though, so have never strayed. If I remember correctly, it has olive oil and coconut oil in it, and the moisturizing qualities last for quite a while, as does the yummy citrus flavor.

My admiration of tangerine lip balm originally came from a stick of Badger Tangerine Breeze balm. Check out the other flavors that they have here. They are even certified organic, and only cost about $3. I have a partially demolished stick of Badger in the nightstand right now - you guessed it, an inquisitive two year old felt like he needed to use it. And push it back in the tube with his finger. But that was not as amusing as the cherry scented body lotion that he (and the carpet) recently tried on....Anyway, I have found Badger lip products at Ulta and Whole Foods, and on occassion at Bath & Body Works.

Speaking of Bath & Body Works, they carry C.O. Bigelow, whose "My Favorite Lip Balm" is recommended by many, but I have never actually tried it. Can't say I shop there much anymore. Same with The Body Shop - as much as I love their lip butters, you do have to apply them with your finger, so they are not always the most practical option. But the flavors are quite nice, and they do leave lips feeling moisturized without being greasy or sticky.

I was about to admit to not even having an actual Chap Stick anywhere, but lo and behold, I have just remembered the stick of vanilla mint that I keep in my husband's car. While not my favorite (just go splurge and buy the Sugar, or at least try it on at Sephora), the good old Chap Stick does the job and doesn't break the bank.

Let me know if you have any other favorites I have not mentioned - I am always up for trying something new!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

An hour of peace...with my Nikon D200

If anyone out there actually reads this, you may have noticed that I have been suspiciously silent for the last few weeks. Chalk it up to life with two kids (or with the husband is that three?), two jobs, two dogs, and too much to do.

Finally, I have been granted a reprieve. Everyone else in the house is asleep, even the dogs. And it is not even the middle of the night! But I better go put that last load of laundry in the dryer before I forget - be right back :)

If the load that just came out of the dryer doesn't fold itself, I guess it will still be there in the morning. Oh well. At least getting the other load in to dry means my kids will be dressed in clean clothes tomorrow instead of staying in pajamas all day. I am sure my clothes will be wrinkled, as usual.

Even before the rest of the clan went to bed, I managed to squeak out a few minutes of time on the computer between making dinner and attempting to tidy up and get laundry and other assorted chores done. In the short bits of time, I finally downloaded about 500 pictures from my digital camera, the lovely digital SLR Nikon D200.

I have been an avid photographer for years, and my husband finally got me to go digital about 3 years ago. I won't get into all the details (and apparently they are obsolete anyway as this model has been replaced by the D300) but I love this camera and the pictures I get from it.

But it is sad, in a way, that now I might wait until I have 500 pictures saved up before I even look at some of them. Once, I honestly had over 1000 to download (how's that for a compact flash card!). Back in the old days when I used to use film (and sometimes carry two cameras to be able to shoot black and white at the same time as color) I used to take my rolls of film immediately for developing. I could not wait to see the finished results.

Now, it is just like those commercials. The poor pictures wait, and wait, and wait to be printed and shared with people in the great big wide world. And every time I look at the pictures I have taken, I love what I see. Keep in mind, anything I didn't like was deleted immediately after shooting! Really though, I love to catch a great shot, be it a smile or not, human or animal, vegetable or mineral :) I just have to get my act together and print them out and share them with people.

I guess I better put printer ink on the list, since my photo printer started printing all red last time I used it. And while I'm adding to the technology shopping list, a faster internet connection would be nice. Or perhaps a faster computer would help too. I have been sitting and waiting for some of my photos from a recent horse show to upload to photoshop.com and it is taking forever. I suppose I should just be glad that our internet connection hasn't randomly timed out in the middle of this upload, since I would just have to give up at that point tonight and start again someday...