The 2014 mark by Avon juice gems high shine lip gloss apple spice

Lipstick is my makeup thing. Each colour makes something different in my mood and is the foundation of the persona I want to project. It’s the only makeup product I use up other than foundation, but everyone needs foundation. I’m a dry lips gal so I need creamy lipsticks and usually just wear glosses.

I was dismayed by the first round of juice gems. Not a single colour was appropriate for me (some had no colour at all or SPARKLES) except for the pomegranate one and then I didn’t like the tube. The slanted applicator was too big and I’d wind up with gloss smeared all over my chin and upper lip. Then mark. came out with 4 new “shades” and a different tube, longer and thinner.

the new lineup, longer tube, smaller applicator

the new lineup, longer tube, smaller applicator

I look good in browns so I decided to try the apple spice mark. Juice Gems High Shine Lip Gloss It’s not brown at all. It’s a muddy mauve but that is also an excellent colour for me so onward ho!
the sunlight gives this an orange-like tint which is not there in real life

the sunlight gives this an orange-like tint which is not there in real life

As you can see, this is not a brown colour like the official mark. site shows.

out of tube colour

fuzzy picture but this is exactly the colour of the gloss coming out of the tube

fuzzy picture but this is exactly the colour of the gloss coming out of the tube

I get eczema on my lips so this slick and thick gloss is perfect to soothe that. That’s what the red patch on my top lip is, eczema.

I only applied it to my bottom lip

I only applied it to my bottom lip

As you can see, there is a colourless gloss on my bottom lip. Technically there is a diluted mauve on there, but my lips are a mauve colour anyway so it really didn’t show up.

I smooched a super white napkin and left a pale pink-mauve lip print but it isn’t dark enough to scare my husband off from kissing me. The gloss wears off your lips very quickly even if you’re not eating.

I like the applicator and the gloss consistency but unless any of the other colours pan out, I’m sticking to the gloss gorgeous’.

Don’t poo where you drink

As I was doing my weekly countertop scrub down, I eyed the Brita water jug that we keep pretty much next to the sink. We drink a lot of water very quickly so it’s an extra step to put the thing in the fridge. I was much happier just leaving it on the counter under the cups.

wash me

wash me

But the poor thing still needs to be washed from time to time.

Sooner if it’s not refrigerated.

It’s basically standing water, you know, the kind that breeds mosquitoes, algae and parasites in the great outdoors. And we’ve decided to store it near food! Food is notorious for going bad after a few days (and it should. Don’t eat anything that doesn’t decompose). The 4C of a fridge will inhibit bacterial growth but they’ll still grow because like all living things, they like to live too.

If you don’t want bacterial or fungal growth in your water, wash the water jug. I just popped mine in the dishwasher.

Taxes, tree, time and temps en l’air

Haven’t been doing any organizing lately because in Canada, it’s tax time! I keep a folder labeled “TAXES” in my filing cabinet all year long and slide any tax related slip in there as they come in the mail. But since we moved last year, the moving expenses are a deduction and those slips were ALL OVER THE PLACE. I usually do our taxes but I didn’t know what counted as a moving expense (new drivers’ licenses- yes) and what doesn’t (new license plates- no) so we went to Liberty Tax to have them done.

Back at home I finally put the Christmas tree away. I didn’t begin un-decorating the tree until half way through January because it’s just too depressing to take it all down right after Epiphany. Hiding and wrapping the gifts turned my organized basement into a warzone and the Christmas tree box was hiding in there somewhere. I dug it out last night, brought it upstairs and asked “How the heck does the tree fit in here?” Apparently by the Shove and Squish method.

Not all the clocks in our house and cars have been adjusted since the time change, nor have I learned how to use the overly snazzy new alarm clock my husband bought me.

And lastly, though it has nothing to do with being organized and doing your taxes on time, I learned the most very basic ballet jump that you do as you cruise across a stage. It’s called a “temps en l’air” (I think) and while not the spectacular in-the-air splits that prima ballerinas do, my daughter thinks I’m cool.

I started taking ballet lessons because I wanted to learn and pretend that I was good but after a year I am actually getting ok! I am better than the average 12 year old ballet dancer! And of course, my daughter thinks I’m cool and loves to dance with me.

Organize the spice cupboard

Taking inspiration from I decided to do our spice cupboard too.

I threw out all the expired spices.

I put all the bagged spices into jars (reused spice jars, jam jars, etc).

Top Shelf:
I put labels at the top of tall jars so I could line up medium sized jars in front of them and still see the labels on all the jars.

Middle Shelf:
I taped an empty soup mix box shut and put it at the back of the shelf to lift up some of the jars then put more jars in front.

Bottom Shelf:
I inverted a $0.99 slender basket for the pencils in the junk drawer and lined up the smaller spice jars on an angle so I could read the labels from the stove.

organize spice cupboard

organize spice cupboard

Spice Mixes
Hubby likes spice rubs and such for his meats so I put all those packets and jars in a very sturdy cardboard box that one of the kids’ tablets came in. I put it beside the stove so he’d see all the mixes he got as gifts and use them.

spice mixes in a reused box bottom beside the stove

spice mixes in a reused box bottom beside the stove

Make a Flutterbye Fairy user friendly

My daughter got one of these dolls

she flies quite well

she flies quite well

and while it does take 6 AA batteries, it does fly quite well. The problem is recharging the damn thing.

The on/off indicators on the base and the doll are miniscule and I had to pull out the instructions to figure out in which order and position to flick the stupid buttons in order to charge the fairy. To save myself this aggravation every few minutes, as well as the aggravation of having to change 6 batteries every day because I left some button in the wrong position, I took a Sharpie marker and labeled each button.

fly & charge/off for the base
fly/charge for the fairy

And I learned from the instructions that you can control her descent by flicking the big button.

Girl’s bedroom upgrade on a teeny budget

Pre-2013 we had no extra money for any niceties, like organizing a kid’s bedroom, so I had done it all with free boxes I had picked up all over the place. Now we have some extra so I envisioned a colouring desk for my daughter and sent Hubby out to buy her a kid sized chair. He bought a little pink square ottoman that opens so you can store stuff inside! He’s a genius that I’ve trained well!

colouring desk

colouring desk

The pink ottoman is for sitting on and storing Duplo blocks. It cost $13 at Target.

She has her jewellery box, kleenex box and jar of colouring pencils on her colouring desk.

The desk had been in my scrapbooking room. Prior to moving here it WAS my scrapbook desk but in this house there was an extra room so I appropriated it for crafts and do my paper crafting on an ironing board. The desk with a lift-top lid to store more colouring supplies was basically used for storing things so I decided to upgrade the underutilised item and put it in my daughter’s room.

The hanging shoe organizer was something I bought for $20 when she was born as the absolute cheapest form of movable storage. Now it’s for dressup clothes and toys.

I reorganized the top shelf of the closet to hold toys that are currently out of the toy rotation.

The brown laundry bag on the floor of the closet was 2 for $12 from Avon and it holds all her Barbie stuff.

The moving box contains our extra blankets for guests.




my chest with specialty sewing and Christmas supplies

my chest with specialty sewing and Christmas supplies

I switched out the chest for the small desk in my scrapbook room.

empty boxes for toy storage

empty boxes for toy storage

I moved the dresser out of this corner to make room for the colouring desk. Also so the kids would stop climbing it and jumping onto the bed.

Crochet Balance toy for kids

crochet balance toy on a hanger

crochet balance toy on a hanger

I crocheted 2 baskets with a long handle and hung them on the hooks of this plastic clothes hanger. Then I hung the hanger on a hook so it would tip left or right depending on the mass of the toys.

I could have sewn the basket handles through the clothes hanger but I didn’t want to provide my kids with a long range sling shot.

You can find the round basket patterns on this blog.

Keep your new toilet brush from getting “gooky”

One of my toilet brushes and been overused and mangled flat so it isn’t that effective anymore and needed to be replaced.

Here is my brand spanking new toilet brush and in order to keep it goop free until it also gets flattened from overuse, I sprinkled about 1/2 inch of Comet powder into the bottom of the brush holder. This kills any bacterial residue that’s on the brush, keeping it clean-ish for the next trip around the porcelain throne.

Comet in the brush holder keeps the brush cleaner longer

Comet in the brush holder keeps the brush cleaner longer

Knit ballet leg warmers free pattern

These are a size small. Please see side bar for copyright information.

You will need
3 balls of Bernat cotton yarn in the colour of your choice
3.25 mm needles
4 mm needles.

Make 2 alike

Using 3.25 mm needles cast on 40 sts.
K2 P2 rib for 1.5 inches
Switch to 4 mm needles and continue in st st.
@ 4.5 inches in length: (K 10, M 1) 3 times; K 7, M 1, K 3. 44 sts.
Continue in st st.
@ 6.5 inches in length: (k 11, M 1) 3 times; K 8, M 1, K 3. 48 sts.
Continue in st st.
@ 9.5 inches (K 10, K 2 tog) to end. 44 sts.
Continue in st st.
@ 10.5 inches (K 9, K 2 tog) to end. 40 sts.
Continue in st st.
@ 11.5 inches switch to 3.25 mm needles
K 2, P 2 rib for an additional 1.5 inches (13 inches in total)


The leg warmers are shaped to fit the calf with the cast off edge at the top.

Sew together up the long end with right sides facing. Turn right side out. I tied a bow with the remnant of the sewing tail at the top of the leg warmers so my ballet teacher would know which was was up.

knit ballet leg warmers free pattern

knit ballet leg warmers free pattern

I left my feet and legs in the picture because that’s about the size leg these will fit. I didn’t try them on because they’re for my ballet teacher.

*Yes, I made these for my ballet teacher for Christmas. Naturally, I didn’t finish them until January 14.

Help, I need a can opener

I’m 32 and I’ve finally got the basics figured out. I know my underwear size and shape, I can sew on a button (although I hate doing it), I’ve got a hairstyle I like, I found a massage therapist that works miracles, I floss and I’m not afraid of making my kids sit down for a time out in the middle of the mall if they’re being bad.

But I don’t have a decent can opener.

It’s not like I haven’t tried, my whole life has been about trying. I tried cheap ones, expensive ones, ergonomic ones, weirdly shaped ones; and Hubby tried the same. Still, no decent can opener.

So after last night’s battle with the new coffee can, in which the can lost because I had to butcher it with our stupid can opener, I’m putting out this question:

Do you have a working can opener and if so, what is it?