1. Plan ahead. Have a catalog mailed to you or check the website so you have an idea of some of the things you know you want to look for.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. This place is huge and you will log a lot of steps.
3. Give yourself plenty of time. This is a destination spot. People come for miles to shop here. It is usually crowded and there is a lot to see. You don't want to be rushed.
4. Have a cell phone handy because if you are shopping with someone you will most likely become separated at some point.
5. Write down everything you THINK you might want while you are shopping. It is easier to cross a few things off your list later than to have to remember where it was you saw them and then navigate your way back there so you can write down the bin and aisle number where they can be retrieved.
6. If you think you are going to have bigger purchases have someone able -bodied to go with you. Some items take two people just to get them off the shelves and onto your flat cart.
7.Load all of your boxes with the labels and bar codes pointing forwards on the cart. It makes checkout so much easier.
8. After going through checkout be sure and have someone stay with your purchases or watch them while you are loading. Sadly we didn't do this and we discovered several of our smaller items didn't make it into the trailer. I guess we were too trusting.
An Adventure in Family Shopping
IKEA. Five years ago I had never even heard of it. Three years ago I made my first visit to this humongous store and because I had no idea what to expect, I was totally overwhelmed. I wasn't even sure if I liked it. This time I was a bit better prepared thanks to my daughter Liz and her Ikea catalog.
Our youngest will be graduating from high school in May and heading to college this summer. So, of course, he needs all the trappings for his new apartment. What better place for his style of one-stop-shopping than IKEA. This was a weekend that was supposed to be all about him, but then again it seems like most weekends revolve around him. His eagerness to be on his own is tangible. He is our caboose and you might think that we are dreading the empty nest....not so. Will I miss him, absolutely! Still, I think I'm ready. A post this summer might prove me wrong, but for now Mike and I are looking forward to whatever lies ahead.
This past weekend it was our first family trip to the Mother lode of home furnishing retailers and it was an event. We came prepared. We brought a truck AND a trailer.
Once inside the front door I was reminded of how daunting this store can be to a newbie. There is so much to see and you don't know where to begin. Somebody tells you where the carts are and somebody hands you a golf scoring type pencil and a map that has a place on the back to note where your purchases can be found when it comes time to retrieve them on the bottom floor. I would have to put on my cheerleader hat to get my guys into the spirit of things.
We followed Liz and Page's lead to the top floor. The guys were coming around and getting into it. I'd say it only took about thirty minutes inside the store and they were in the zone. It is impossible for five people to shop together, so armed with cell phones we headed out to divide and conquer. We wound our way through the upper floors filled with lighting, living room furniture, bookcases, dressers, beds, television stands, linens, and dishes.
We would grab smaller items and put them in our cart(s) Then what makes this shopping experience so unique is the way you put your shopping cart on an escalator made just for shopping carts and ride down to the lower floors on the adjoining people moving escalator. Side by side - you and your cart. Very cool.
We had worked up an appetite so we took a break, parked our carts and headed for the cafeteria style restaurant on the top floor. I was surprised by how reasonable the prices were. We made notes of what we had found and what we were still looking for. Feeling revived, we headed out for round two.
It was supposed to be all about Adam but I did a bit of damage myself. I have always loved Liz's 5x5 Expedit wall unit but I wasn't sure I needed anything quite that big. I was so excited to see that they made it in a 4x4 option that I decided to treat myself.
Too bad it will have to stay in the box until summer. I can't wait to see it all put together and filled with fun canvas totes and crafting supplies.
After Adam had made a list of his purchases and the aisles and bins where we would find them, we headed to the ground floor to claim our treasures.
The lines were crazy, but moved fairly quickly. Ikea is a study in marketing and is quite the shopping experience. It really is an amazingly simple concept that works well once you've been through it and know what to expect.
Treasures loaded (well, most of them) and we are ready to head home. Did anybody remember to charge the Makita?
This morning I ran across an Oprah listing of her top twenty cosmetics. As I read her list I saw a few of my own faves listed there. The more I thought about it the more I decided it would be fun to share some of my fabulous finds and sorry disappointments with others. I have been a fan of make up for more years than I care to admit and the older I get the more I rely on it. The mornings just aren't pretty until I get a little help from these special friends. So, I opened up the cupboard in my bathroom and pulled out my top ten little helpers that I would recommend to my best of friends and here they are.
Philosophy's - hope in a jar Don't you just love the name?
I didn't use moisturizer at all until about five years ago. They were all too heavy and greasy for me. I finally found this one about three years ago and I love it. Even this one can get to be a bit much in the midwest summer heat so when it starts getting humid I switch to a lighter product in the same line.
Hope in a bottle is meant for oilier or congested skin, has a super light feeling and absorbs into the skin immediately. It's lighter consistency makes for a great summer alternative.
My newest love from this product line is their Micro Delivery Mini Peel Pads. I love the way my face feels after a home micro dermabrasion, but who has time for that? I really don't relish standing in front of the mirror any longer than absolutely necessary and that is why I think these are so great. They are over sized pads loaded with all kinds of good stuff for aging skin and because of their size I can do my face decollete and forearms with just one pad.
The packaging says you can use them weekly or daily. I use one every night. They initially leave a sticky residue that either evaporates or soaks in pretty quickly but longer than I want to wait for in the morning. They are available in a 60 count size from Sephora, Nordstrom's, or Von Maur. Unfortunately, though, our Von Maur does not carry the full product line so now I buy my Philosophy on-line. QVC has a super-size option of 100 count for $55.00. Yes, I have been a closeted QVC shopper but now I am coming out. I discovered you don't have to watch their infomercials, Instead, you can go to their website. Products that were featured months ago can still be purchased. They even offer videos of a lot of the items.
I noticed when I don't use these skin care products for a few days, like when I was on vacation, that I see a definite difference in my skin. I really need the exfoliation benefits that they provide. Without them my skin doesn't have the same texture or softness.
Another item I couldn't live without from Philosophy is The Supernatural.
This little beauty makes life so easy. It is a mineral foundation with a spf 15. What makes it so special is how easy it is to apply. Remove the lid, pat and swirl. It lasts forever. I have used the same one for over a year. If the puff gets grungy you can take it off and wash it or they sell a package of replacement puffs for $4.00. Just replace the puff and you're good to go for another month or two.
No, I am not paid to endorse the Philosophy line but I found that their products work well together and are priced reasonably.
I have, in fact, had a couple of duds from this company. One of them was the
On a Clear Day blemish serum.
I really didn't think that when I got to the point in my life that I was worried about wrinkles and wondering if I might rethink the Botox thing, that I would still be fighting the occasional blemish. That just doesn't seem fair but it is true. This product seemed to work well enough initially but whatever is in it is strong enough to eat right through the rubber in the dropper. It was an ugly messy. I won't repurchase.
My second disappointment was the booster C powder. What is this stuff anyway? I don't know what it is supposed to do or really why I even bought it.
It must have been a weak moment or a day when I either felt entitled or in need of a pick-me-up.
You are supposed to mix the tiniest bit of this in the palm of your hand with a firming serum. Yes,...I bought that too. Not only did I not see any benefit from this product, but it also reeked. I couldn't figure out why my hand had this nasty odor even after washing. It didn't take long to trace the problem back to this product. It creeps me out that my face probably smelled like that too. Ugh. Leave it on the shelf!
As I mentioned, convenience and speed are big with me. Some of my friends laugh at me but I am a big advocate of faux hair. Yep, fake hair like our moms used to wear in the 60's and 70's. I think they called them falls. I must have five or six different options now. I usually buy it at Sally's and I don't see the need to buy the real stuff. There are so many color options anymore that it isn't hard for most of us to find something that will blend easily. I usually spend between ten and fifteen dollars. This one is attached to a comb which is easier to use and conceal than the clips.
On a typical day I am usually tempted to pull my hair back into a little ponytail and slip one of these in. Occasionally though I will take the time to style my hair and when I do I want my effort to last for the whole day and into the night . I have never been an advocate of hairspray.I associated it with stiff helmet hair until my daughter, Liz, recommended this one; Elnet by L'Oreal.
It really does hold well but you can still comb through your hair and the best part is it is available at Target!
When it comes to mascara the choice was simple. For fabulous lashes it's DiorShow.
My runner up would be Benefit's Bad Gal Lash. It is another great one. Both are available at Nordstroms or Sephora. One I would steer clear of is YSL's mascara. At $28,50 it is nothing special and in fact it made my eyes itch by the end of the day.
I have been called a lipstick whore. I love lipstick and I have more than any woman needs but then again I feel like that makes me a bit of an expert:) My "go- to" lipstick is Yves St. Laurent's rouge vibration #8.It is a great neutral with just the right punch of color It glides on so easily but has some real staying power. Sadly, it is being discontinued and is being replaced with YSL Pur Shine. Their lipsticks run $30 to $34 dollars but if they have a color that you like they are well worth the money.
Then to top it off I like the YSL lip glosses. They work like a Bic click pen. They are just the right amount of gloss, not the exaggerated mirror looking stuff that is out there but a soft moist finish on top of a favorite lipstick or all by themselves.
Another one of my favorites that I am having trouble finding again is the Smashbox Powder Bronzer.
I am very fair and so many of the bronzers are just too dark for me. The added bonus of this one is how fabulous it smells. I'm hoping they will replace it with something similar.
I never used to use eyebrow pencil. Then a friend and I were shopping in Vegas and we were stopped by a sales associate at the YSL counter, probably because I looked like I didn't use brow pencil. I usually hate it when I am walking through a store and someone tries to push something on me but in this situation we had the time and what she said caught my interest. She not only showed us the pencil but a trick to give the eyebrow an instant lift and I'm at the age that I was a captive audience. I learned to draw a small square at the fullest part of the brow (closest to the nose) and a small tent like peak just right above the highest part of the arch of the brow. Then take the brush end of pencil and blend. That's it. You don't need to fill in the whole brow. That makes it look like it is drawn on and not the look anyone should be going for. I am a blonde - no jokes please- and the YSL #4 is perfect for me.
The next of my top picks would have to be Benefit's Eye Bright. This little pencil is a wonder tool. I use it right under the eyebrow at the arch or to brighten shadowed areas around the eye. It seems to work better than a concealer. Instead of concealing it brightens the shadows and highlights anything you want to accentuate.
Finally, as a last touch, is the amazing Ooh la Lift from Benefit. This amazing little gift goes on after any concealer and I don't know how it works but on those mornings after a late night this little beauty firms, lifts, and eliminates the puffiness and crepeiness under the eye. Every woman should own one.
These are my current pics and pans. It is a list that is always fluid. New discoveries are out there waiting to be uncovered. In fact, I'm still looking for the perfect eye creme. Any suggestions?
The world is but a canvas to the imagination ~Henry David Thoreau
The Traveling door women are back. We have been spending our Thursday afternoons at Jan's. She has the perfect set up for painting. There is an expansive room in her walkout lower level that she has dedicated to her crafts. This is where she does her painting and jewelry making. With its large windows and a door to the backyard, it is the perfect place for all of us to paint.
I especially love this piece that she has for all of her embellishments.
...and look at all of these beads. The beauty of this kind of set up is that she never has to put them away. Everything is out to be seen.
Thursdays are a day I look forward to. I try and soak up all of the creative energy I can from these women and hopefully it carries over to inspire me at home when I continue painting on my own. It is fun that we all have such different styles but we can all appreciate what each of us is doing at the time. We encourage each other to take chances or offer suggestions when we are hitting a creativity wall. There have been days, especially when we first started working together that I would love what they were doing but felt uninspired personally. It was easy on those days to feel a bit discouraged and sometimes that still happens but now I know that their successes are just the push I need to take a break, rethink what I am working on, and push myself to look at my own work with new eyes and kick it up a notch.
Jan working on one of her bird houses. She plans on having a lot of yard art at our sale. Her yard chairs are fantastic. I'd love to have one.
Lynn is our textile expert. She does the most amazing things with fabric. Today, though, she is working on a file box. I think she has a great eye for composition.
Sally is true inspiration. I love her over-the top style. This is a tea box that she is working on for the sale. I cant' wait to see what she does with it.
Then there is Kathy, our newest artsy girl. She will be working with paper and I'm excited to see her creations. Too bad she was in Chicago this week. Kathy, we missed you.
As for me I'll keep at my altered art with words and quotes but I'd like to try a few new things. I'm going to try experimenting with glass and see where that takes me.
It was James's birthday and he chose to celebrate at The Vernon Inn - the Greek Place, a fabulous and fun Greek restaurant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The owners are Godparents to our youngest and we have been the closest of friends for years. Consequently, we have toasted a number of life's important milestones within these blue walls and tonight we commemorated another one.
It was a night of laughs and saganaki, birthday toasts and gyros, Greek salads and camaraderie
This one hates to have his picture taken :)
The Vernon Inn: for quiet dinners or big celebrations, you'll love it. Opa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome to our BeColorful Home. Ours is an older home, built in 1916 and it has been added on to several times. We have lived here for almost fifteen years now and the house has evolved from a traditional flavor to something a bit more eclectic.I have always loved big splashes of color but I'm finding that I am also drawn to more neutral shades as well. Welcome and enjoy looking around.