My Avon Mini Haul

I’m an Avon girl. I’ve loved Avon since the days when they’d leave books on your doorstep and tuck mini lipgloss samples in with your order. Someone in my family has always been an Avon lady so it has been in my life for the last 30 years. And though the business model is a little different now-days, I still love it and place orders every couple of months.

Some of my absolute favorite things in the world have been things that I’ve ordered from Avon. From my favorite pair of tall boots, to clothes to jewelry to purses to bubble bath to makeup…I love it all!

So here’s what I bought recently. It’s a small haul. But here’s what I got!

City of Lights Illuminator in Bonjour ($10): Who doesn’t love a bronzer? I love that this one comes in multiple shades so I can pick one that’s just right for my complexion. It comes with a cute little poof, but I will likely use it with a brush. But it’s just a perfect little glow without being over the top. Some bronzers can make you feel like you’re preparing for a music video or about to hit the stage. This one brightens your skin just enough for your daily life without being over the top.

Holiday Themed Hand Creams ($2.20/ea): These hand creams are the perfect little stocking stuffers. With the cute little holiday themes, they are great for tucking in your purse or keeping in your car. You can’t go wrong with giving these hand creams for gifts or for keeping for yourself.

Moisture Cushion Blush in Red ($13): This is an interesting blush. I’ve never used one like this. It’s a sponge compact and you press the poof into the sponge and then blot the color onto your cheeks. It provides more of a “watercolor like flush” onto your cheeks. One of the benefits is that there is no blush residue or mess that’s associated with your typical blush. It also contains a blend of passion flower, rosehip oil, and vitamin E, which nourishes the skin. This is also a pretty compact item, so you could put it in your travel bag, work bag, or purse without worrying about it taking up a lot of space.

Flat Velvet Lipstick in Fluffy Pink ($10): I love matte lipstick and this one is great because it is matte but goes on velvety. A lot of times, matte lipstick is so entirely dry that I have to apply a layer of gloss (thus totally nullifying the matte) but this one is a nice blend of matte and moist. And I love the pink shade I purchased!

The best thing about the whole purchase is that each item is the perfect size for my purse, cosmetic bag or travel bag.

Do you like Avon? Do you have a favorites from them? Tell me!

Wine Down Wednesday: how to host a virtual wine-tasting

So….who misses wine festivals???


For me, in addition to the normal activities, summers are made for discovering new wines, visiting local wineries, and going to wine festivals. I love visiting wineries and attending wine festivals. With the exception of beaches, cookouts, and vacations, it’s what I live for during the summer.

When it comes to wine festivals, I usually start working on plans during the winter. I brainstorm with my usual festival crew, find ticket deals and figure out lodging options if necessary. Then once summer kicks off, we are all set for wine festival season.

As far as visiting wineries, any day or weekend throughout the summer could lead me to a local winery. I’m lucky that I live in Maryland, which has an awesome plethora of wineries and trails. And I live close to Virginia, which has wonderful wine trails as well. So no matter what my mood or what direction I want to travel in, there’s a good chance I can pass several really good winery options. It’s so easy to build a weekend, a staycation, or a hookie day around visiting a winery nearby, no matter the season. But summers really are made for winery visits.

Covid has wrecked all plans for wine-related activities this year with the exception of purchasing a bottle and drinking it in the house. And that makes me oh, so sad. Like…really really sad.

Times are different now. And unfortunately Covid is our current reality. For me, I am still primarily still sticking to quarantine procedures. I stay in my home or I go out in open spaces, like parks. When I visit family members, we always remain outside and we stay six feet apart. And no hugging…which really really sucks.

I am not visiting restaurants except for curbside pick-up. I do quick grocery store runs. And when it comes to Target, it’s a quick twirl through the store to gather items, or I put in pick-up orders through the app. Everything else for me is off the table. And unfortunately, for now, that includes visiting wineries and attending festivals.

So since I miss girl time with my friends, and I miss wineries, my besties and I decided to try out doing a virtual wine tasting. Sooooo not the same, but satisfied our interest in finding new yummy wines, as well as our craving for social activities with each other.

So here’s what we did.

1) Select wines:
We didn’t have strict requirements for this because, without ample planning and a cushion time for delivery, we are kinda limited to the wines in our local liquor store. or wines that we already have on-hand.

2) Research facts:
When you go wine tasting, typically the host or hostess will tell you some fun facts about the vineyard or its owners, and then add some facts about the wine itself. What notes to expect, what smells and tastes will be experienced, what grapes it was made with, and how best to serve and enjoy the wine. So we looked up tidbits of information about the wines we chose.

3) Set up the Zoom/Hangouts call:
Everyone is all about zoom these days! Where has this app been all our lives?? Unless someone has an unlimited account, the max time for the free account is 40 minutes. So…plan accordingly! Luckily, bestie had an unlimited account and we were able to do our tastings, and chat while drinking more wine…without worrying about time restrictions. Find your meeting app, and set up your time.

4) Sample your wine:
We made sure we did our sampling during the video, so that we could observe initial reactions and subsequent flavor processing. I guess that helped us feel like the tasting was similar to the experience we’d have if we were together at a winery, sampling the wine for the first time. Wines change as they aerate, and sometimes that changed our perceptions of the wines during the tasting.

5) Have a rating system:
We went with the typical scale of 1 to 10 for the first meeting. Maybe we will get creative for the next round and use wine bottles or grape vines or something fancy. But 1-10 got the job done this time. Included in our rating system was our initial thoughts, whether things changes after first, second and third sips, whether we’d purchase the wine again, and why or why not.

Here are the wines we sampled for our first Wine Down Wednesday:

Liebe Winemaker’s Collection Riesling – Wegman’s $7.99

Menage Trois Luscious Pinot Noir – Local wine shop $15.99

Aged in French and American oak, containing notes of black cherry, raspberry, dark chocolate, vanilla and mocha. Pairs well with fish, seafood, and barbecue.

Von Hovel Riesling – Local wine shop $25

Notes include fruit flavors, such as peach, pear, and glazed apricot. Slightly fizzy. A sweeter riesling that is described as being a dessert wine.

It was completely by accident that we wound up sampling various price points but it was definitely great to have that as a factor of consideration, along with where the bottle was purchased. Ie., “if you’re in Wegman’s and want to grab an inexpensive bottle of wine to go with dinner, try the Liebe Riesling!”

The funnest part of the whole evening may have been drinking and chatting afterwards. We truly miss the in-person shenannigans that we’re accustomed to, so this was really a fun way to connect, learn about new wines, and catch up.

How have you been keeping up with your friends and loved ones? Socializing is so different these days. In addition to various zoom gatherings, I do find myself picking up the phone more often to ask questions and do check-ins. What have you been doing?

Quick COVID Mask Tutorial

QUICK MASK TUTORIAL: Ok, so current #cdc guidance is that “something is better than nothing” when it comes to covering your face when you leave your home during quarantine.

I don’t have any masks and I knew I likely wasn’t going to find any at this point. So I did what a lot of crafty people have done, and fashioned a protective face covering out of materials around my home.

For this project, I used a pillow case and air filter and whipped it into a mask. I am not a seamstress, I am not even super crafty, but here is a quick tutorial of my steps.

My materials included:

1. One pillow case
2. One home air filter that filters out viruses and bacteria
3. Two hair ties
4. Needle, thread and scissors
Note: if you don’t have the air filter, you can definitely stop after step 5.

Also note:  None of this is exact.  I cut the pillow case into halves until I got down to a size that fit my face and this is what it measured out to.

You can stop here and have a perfectly fine mask that will meet the “something is better than nothing” standard. I saw someone suggest adding a filter that blocks viruses for added protection, and I was able to find one at my local Walmart. So I cut a piece of the filter and added it to my mask and sing the steps below.

I’m not a nurse, seamstress, or perfectionist, but I hope this adds an additional layer of protection for the instances when I do have to go out for essentials.

Please don’t mind the grays and the unkempt eyebrows…lol.  Things have slipped a little during the pandemic.

On a serious note, please stay safe y’all!!!  Do not go out unless you HAVE to.  Be mindful of your space when around others.  And be kind to your delivery people, healthcare workers, restauranteurs, and essential workers.  They are exposing themselves and their families daily to keep this country moving!

M signature