In the past I mentioned I am a big fan of Maybelline make-up, but I solely rely on L'Oréal when it comes to foundation. Once I find a product I like it's hard to get me to buy anything else, so when I discovered L'Oreal True Match years ago I never considered buying anything else. But that doesn't mean this is always possible, on occasion I unexpectedly run out of foundation and the store is completely out of my line. This means I am forced to try something new. Not wanting to veer away from the brand I find best suits me I decided to try other foundations they offer.
I started with L'Oreal Lumi Magique, it promised instant skin radiance and what woman wouldn't want to radiate! Apparently me. I already have oily skin so a foundation that makes you shine on top of shining basically made me look hot & sweaty all day, not exactly the point of foundation. Maybe for someone else this product is exactly what they need, but for me, I'll never pick this one up again. Luckily the next round to the store they had my trusty True Match, but even then I have to be careful with the color, summer I'm a C2 and winter I'm a C1, and there is no switching it up if I want the foundation to look natural. So when it was time to pick up my next bottle and they were out of my color (how hard is it to keep a product stocked???) I again was forced to try a different foundation offered by L'Oreal.
This time I tried Infallible, again, sounds great, 16hr stay guaranteed. This also meant my faced looked caked with a thick foundation. Sure it lasted alright, but it took hours for it to start looking natural. And whatever you do, don't get it in your eyebrows! Mine turned a strange color and it took quite a lot of scrubbing them just to leave the house. But I must admit, I'll probably keep a bottle around for the days I know I have multiple events and no chance of touching up my foundation in between. So for now, I'll stick to the True Match line, that is until they overhaul their products and take it of stock (hate it when that happens!)
Any of you L'Oreal fans? What foundation do you rely on?
Multiple times this weekend I have found myself bringing up an event that just didn't sit right with me, and here I am telling you all about it. I felt this past week a school and fellow parents let me down. How you ask? I was able to leave a school yard with two kids I didn't know and no one stopped me or even questioned my actions.
I guess I'll have to start from the beginning for you to understand (and I want to be clear on one thing, in no way do I blame my friends). Some close friends of ours were hosting a birthday party for their son after school and I offered to help out, especially since my daughter was already attending the party. Here in The Netherlands once a kid turns 5 yrs old they start hosting b-day parties just for kids, this means the parents of the birthday boy or girl get 5-10 kids handed over to them and they're responsible for their well being for 2-4 hrs. To me that's not so unusual except in the fact half the time the parents aren't even asked to drop or pick the kids up, it's left up to the host. Different culture, different ways, or maybe I'm just clueless to how elementary aged kid b-day parties work, since mine is still a toddler. Our good friends said they could use help transporting the kids from the school to the playground where the party would be held. I was happy to help, even though part me assumed I would end up with one of their kids and maybe a friend in my car. Since I'm unfamiliar with the school I ended up parking around the corner from where the other party cars were parked. So once all 9 kids were rounded up (I think I saw 3 parents hand their kids over) they were divided and sent to 3 different cars. I ended up with two little boys who I had never seen before. Trusting our friends, these kids followed me & my daughter to our car and hopped in. Then they rode to the party 15 minutes away in another town with us, all the while telling me everything about their personal lives (they're 5-6yrs old).
This event sent up so many red flags to me, maybe I'm over reacting but I am really disappointed in these kids parents, the school, and any onlooker at the school. Why?
An unfamiliar women at the school (my kid does not attend there) led 3 children off to her car and not one teacher or parent stopped to ask any questions! They were purely handed over by their parent or teacher to a b-day party and never asked for any more details.
Am I overreacting? All I can think about is my kids future and the many parties she'll be invited to, I would never want my kid to end up in a vehicle with someone I had never met, I would never just assume she would be o.k. and get dropped off at home hours later.
I expressed this to our good friends and they agreed with me, they too were shocked at how blasé the parents were. Our friends are good parents and very trustworthy, maybe that's why the kids were handed over so easily, but even so I am disappointed in the way parents handle their kids these days. Just because something is considered the norm doesn't make it right. I plan on attending b-day parties with my daughter until she's older, and even then I will be the one dropping her off and picking her up. Again, am I blowing this out of proportion?
I have a very unsuccessful series of posts titled Movie Time... since the readers aren't interested in my general opinion about the many movies I watch, I am going to switch it up. Here are a list of movies I either turned off or just bared to sit through over the past few months :
(Am I being judgmental, did I miss something, or are these just crap movies?)
TURNED IT OFF :
Bored stiff from the beginning, sorry Katie
Hansel & Gretel - Witch Hunters
I could have dealt with the poor story line if the witches weren't so gross
BARED THROUGH IT :
Twilight - Breaking Dawn Part 2
Actually laughed out loud because some parts were so bad
This movie is not for adults, can't believe I sat through it
I love Crocs, there is no denying that. I'm an adult who has a small collection of Crocs, and I'm not embarrassed to admit it. I've mentioned some of my Crocs throughout this blog, like my rain boots and ballet flats. There were of course my 1st slip-ons but they're so worn out I only use them for street parties & festivals. And now, I've added to my collection again.
These are called Duet Sport Ballet
Flats, and yes I bought the raspberry pink ones!!! I love the way they look, a sporty mary jane shoe that goes with at least half of my spring/summer wardrobe. They have the usual Croc comfort and as always they're handy... light weight, easy to clean, & effortless to put on. But I must admit, there is one negative aspect of the shoe, there are no holes for ventilation. For me it is not so much the fact the shoes don't vent (I never noticed stinky or sweaty feet afterward) the problem is that water can't escape. You probably look confused right now! See the beauty of Crocs is you can get them wet and keep going, and during the summer I have a lot of run-ins with water. At the zoo, I actually had to take my shoes off to dump the water out and then when I put them back on there was no air for my feet to dry (not really sure how I got wet at the zoo??) But like most women it's vanity over sanity for me and I love the way they look and feel too much to care about this issue. The ballet flats / boat shoes also did not have holes but the shoes were loose enough for air to get in and the duet sport flats basically conform perfectly to your feet.
Anyway, I'm happy with my new Crocs (thanks Dad for the b-day gift) and really enjoyed them this summer. Too bad the Rocket Dog cowboy boots I ordered along with them from Amazon.co.uk didn't work out... so the search continues for new my fall/winter boots!
On occasion I see something that makes me laugh out loud or even question what I'm seeing to the point I think, I just have to share this with someone!
This past summer we took a day trip over to Antwerp to visit the zoo (there will definitely be a post about this). On the drive through town we passed this restaurant (please excuse the poor pic we were driving through traffic).
At a glance I thought, wow, cool looking Asian restaurant maybe we should have tried it out instead of the steakhouse. Then I looked closer at the sign. Burger's? Not really sure who came up with their advertising campaign or logo, but everything about that font and even name says Asian restaurant to me. Am I crazy or at a glance would have thought it was a burger restaurant?
It's hard to believe the summer is over and it's time for school again! I must say we thoroughly enjoyed the past 6 weeks and I was a little sad when it came to an end. But when I look around the disaster we call home, I know it's time to get back in a routine and focus on things like cleaning. We had so many adventures this summer and hopefully I'll get around to telling you about a couple. Now that there is a fixed schedule ahead of us, maybe I can also get around to blogging. Sure I've done my best to maintain 2 posts + a Wordless Wednesday each week, but I can do better. I must say the house is quiet though right now, tot at preschool, husband off to work, dog wondering where everyone is... and me, well, I just finished breakfast and I'm about to tackle the laundry and dishes. Not sure when your (grand)kids, if you have any, get back to school but I hope it goes well. I was worried my tot would cry today, she generally cries after vacation but she was excited and ready to get back to her friends. She only has one more month at this school then she goes on to the big elementary. See in The Netherlands they don't start Pre-K until the day after they turn 4 yrs olds. It's a little confusing for her, she'll just get used to being back at the Montessori school when it'll be time to move on to the traditional Dutch elementary. But it is what it is. At least she'll get to say goodbye to the other tots before her transfer and get the party with her classmates she's talked about since her 3rd b-day! Oh yeah, and just as the school summer vacation ended so did the nice weather, bummer!!!
I originally wrote this post for the Forgetful Momma blog, I was going to be a guest blogger while she was on vacation... in the end it never happened but I didn't want to waste it!
Today's post is about entertaining an expat child abroad... how do you do it? Easy, it's just like entertaining a kid in The States, ha-ha! Before our daughter came along we had a crash course in kids with our nieces, so we luckily started learning the ins and outs early. Now that my tot is 3yrs (almost 4, that's important) it takes more & more to keep her entertained. She's used to a fairly full schedule between preschool & swimming lessons, so of course as a fellow SAHM it falls on my shoulders to keep her busy over the 6 week summer break from school. And that I've been doing, even though it means cleaning and exercising (my usual routines) are falling by the wayside.
I first established a base plan, what's free... well, we can swim at the city pool free the entire summer as long as we go on the day she usually has swimming lessons. That's one day of the week booked!
My nieces need a babysitter occasionally throughout the summer since their parents work..., this means entertainment for the kids, the dogs, and it's free. Another day of the week booked!
Due to a good mixture of friends and acquaintances (Dutch & international), it's easy to schedule a play date at one of the many playgrounds. Another day of the week booked!
This means we already have 3 fixed activities, which I find is enough, it leaves us with just enough flexibility for spontaneous plans and yet enough scheduled I have an answer when she starts asking what we're doing next.
With only 2 days to spare (weekend doesn't count because Dad's around and he's entertaining enough) I generally try and find something extra special to do. We have a lot of large indoor/outdoor play centers in the area which she loves. (I'm trying to think of a comparison, maybe Chuck E. Cheese's mixed with McDonald's plus a normal playground thrown in, can you envision it?) I'm known for being frugal so a friend and I are thinking about signing up for a family pass so we can take the kids at a discounted rate for the rest of the year (this means entertainment rain or shine).
Others ideas I have in mind are pretty normal, like any other American, they just happen to be taking place 4,000 miles away! There are zoos & museums, even walks in the woods with our dog, definitely considered the beach for a day or even just an afternoon at a lake, oh yeah, going to the movie's will also take place some time over the next month (her 1st movie theater experience last year was not a success). And when the energy, enthusiasm, and money run low, there's always play time at home, Barbie's or the iPad are high on my tots to-do list.
Now that you know what we're up to this summer, how do you plan on keeping your kids entertained in your neck of the woods?
In the past I've posted about my search for a good steak here in Eindhoven. This search has turned up a couple restaurant options, Rodeo and Sméagol. But each one has their downfalls, depending on how you look at it. Rodeo is small, hot, and expensive, but the food is great. Smeagol doesn't serve alcohol, but the steaks are tasty and affordable. Then we discovered Ribs Factory. At first I stayed away from it because it seemed too cliché to eat there as an American, but one thing lead to another and there we sat at the bar. See at Ribs Factory you can only reserve a table for 6 or more people, otherwise you have to eat outside or at the bar. Luckily we've never minded eating at the bar (it's actually a more relaxed experience) and we get seated faster. Ribs Factory seems to bring it all together, good prices, good atmosphere, and a damn good steak. There are actually three to choose from, the Scottish, the Argentinian, or the American steak... each one is delicious. Since our first taste of their steak & ribs we've been hooked. I often hear myself telling my husband we're not going to create a side budget just to eat there weekly. I honestly think he'd go once a week, and if you knew him you'd understand this is a huge compliment. Another thing the Ribs Factory offers is a discount if you eat outside of the peak hours. So from 4-5PM & 10-11PM. This means you have to place your order within that time period... I of course tried one night when paying around 10:30PM, but she said we had place our order before 10PM so the discount did not apply. Smeagol is equally as good and right next door, so if Ribs Factory is packed there is always a back-up plan!