Happy Weekend! It's a wonderful 60 degrees in Chicago and the clouds and rain have finally disappeared. Wednesday night brought some serious thunderstorms and high winds to our area, but the worst devastation occurred in a small town named Fairdale, about 80 miles northwest of Chicago. It happened in the early evening so it was very hard to see the damage, but watching our news at 10:00 p.m., the reporters at the site were quite shaken. And the Chicago weatherperson that I like so much...he had been on and off the air almost all day with warnings of the treacherous weather heading our way. As he reported on what now is known to have been an EF-4 tornado (winds over 200 mph), he actually had to pause as his voice broke. A whole town, gone in a matter of minutes. Tiny as it was...a population of about 150 people, surrounded by farmland for miles and miles, this compassionate man was clearly feeling that emotion when things are out of our hands. Two lives were lost, which is almost a miracle since there are no homes or structures left. I'm seeing on the news now that people are being allowed back into the town and volunteers are coming in droves with wheelbarrows and shovels...shelters are receiving donations of food, water, soap, diapers...you name it. And God bless the Red Cross. You can click on the link if you want to make a donation.
Well, see those happy girls? Abby and her roomies, or should I say "house-ies". The Husband and I took them out to dinner for Abby's birthday Tuesday night. I drove with her boyfriend, Tom, and The Husband met us from his office. I mentioned in my last post that Abby had chosen a restaurant within walking distance, called Tango Sur. As Tom and I were driving there, we both became a little curious about the name and type of restaurant it was, so I Googled it (and it's strange that I hadn't done that, it's just a weird habit of mine when I try a new place). Well, Tom nearly drove off the road when he heard me gasp. "OMG! BYOB!" Sheer panic. What is a big birthday celebration without lots of wine? Texts flew and provisions were secured. Check. Oh, the restaurant was Argentinian...the best steaks and empanadas evah.
And here's Abby contemplating her birthday wish over a slice of flan. I've always wanted to make a flan...hmmmm. Oh, her gift from Tom was tickets to see Taylor Swift this summer. She is so excited. She's been a big fan for so long.
Kevin stopped by with little Elsie the other evening. MC is back to working three days a week and her mother, Peggy, takes care of the baby. Kevin picked her up and swung by. It was such a lump-in-my-throat feeling seeing him walk in with his daughter. Isn't she pretty? The Husband and I fought over who could hold her first. And she smiles now! I love being a grandma.
Spring has really sprung after all the rain. I have a lot popping up here and there. I love blue flowers, there are very few "true blue" flowers in nature so each one is so special.
These are sprouting up all over the backyard making it look like a pretty meadow. I have a lawn care service that does a spring and fall clean up so I wanted to get pics before they mowed these babies over. The daffodils are ready to burst open and my forsythia bloomed before I had the chance to force them indoors. I'll bring some stems in next week to spread some color around. In another month we'll be planting flowers...so exciting. :)
This week was incredibly busy. I still don't have Easter put away, everyday I've had to run out here and there. Thursday Emily and I had the greatest day. We are going to a baby shower tomorrow so we were out at a mall for gifts. First I went with her to a client's home where she had to do a paint consultation. I was quizzing her...you mean people actually pay you to help them pick a paint color? Oh yeah, they have no clue. And this woman didn't. I think Emily is brilliant, she doesn't just hold up samples and say, "This would look good, or this will tie in with your shower tiles." She spent some time educating the woman on the warm and cool tones she had in the bathroom and adjoining master bedroom. She helped her see the green and blue tones in various shades of gray paint chips. Anyway, in spite of being a bit of a crab, the lady chose two colors for opposing walls to "highlight" the peak going up to the skylight window. That Em is so good at what she does.
And we had a ball at the mall. We browsed through Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma, Macy's and Gap. It was there they I found these pants and it was love at first sight. I've been wearing tapered pants and jeans for years now...and I like that for boots and flats. And then I saw a pic of Amal Clooney (don't you just love her style?) in wide leg short pants. So I have these to wear to the shower, I'm not going so casual as this picture with shoes like this...maybe another time, this is at a country club. So I'm going to try those kitten heels I showed you here. And then maybe a cardigan with a bright scarf or necklace? Emily is the queen of chunky jewelry so I my have a peek at her stash.
I've become quite interested in natural skin products in the past two years after my dermatologist surrendered and said he couldn't help with my eczema. I'm currently using Skinfix lotion that Target carries and I'm loving it. Science mixed with natural products. And Dr. Oz mentioned in his magazine, The Good Life, that borage oil is great for sensitive skin. I followed the link to a website called Nuxe. They are based in France and from what I read, have received a great many awards and accolades for their skin care products. So I received the little bottle of oil which includes borage, as well as an under-eye cream and so far so good! A drop of the oil mixed into a few drops of my lotion makes my skin feel like velvet...seriously. You can even use it on the ends of your hair, cuticles, heels...wherever.
So about this clay. I mentioned to all of you that I get daily emails from a site called Mind Body Green. It's just so interesting, I could spend the whole day reading the "articles" that cover anything from food to beauty to psychology. So I was researching natural face masks...I'm really getting into the "out with the old and in with the new" when it comes to skincare as I get older. My skin has always been so dry, I simply moisturized day and night and very heavily so. Now I'm learning: exfoliate. Get rid of those dead cells so the healthy skin can shine through. Don't let your lotions and potions sit on that dead stuff...it needs to penetrate. I use a very gentle exfoliator by Aveeno about 3 times a week in the shower. And then I came across an article on Mind Body Green about making your own masks, which takes it one step further and gets your skin deep down clean and healthy. I thought it was so cool when the writer said that we probably already had the ingredients for these natural skin treatments in our pantry. And then I read that the first ingredient for her mask was bentonite clay. Oh, yeah...now do I have that in the fridge, cabinet or out in the backyard? Maybe I'm fresh out. Seriously, I was sort of excited about it since it's been used since ancient times to draw toxins and impurities out of the skin. The clay has a negative charge so it draws toxins (which have a positive charge) out of the skin where it binds to the clay. Fascinating? Now before you grab a shovel and start digging to China, I consulted my best friend Google and wow, you can get this stuff anywhere! Health food stores, websites...you name it. I found the best price at Amazon.com and ordered a small jar of it. You simply mix a tablespoon of the clay with 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and then let it stay on your face and harden for 5-10 minutes. I'm going to be your guinea pig! You can read the whole article here, and also get the recipe for the all natural oat/brown sugar/honey facial scrub. I'm going to try that one, too.
I hope I haven't bored you. I have control issues that have nothing to do with other people, I could care less what any of you do! :) But I have a real drive to be in control of myself---my health, body and mind. Okay, my house and garden, car, pets...well, you know what I mean.
I'm pretty relieved to say that Milo has started on the anti-seizure meds and he is not acting lethargic at all. Nor is he sleeping more than usual. He's still sort of clingy in the evenings but there's really nothing wrong with that, I'm just not used to him following me. Thank you for your nice comments and prayers. We will see the vet in a few weeks to talk about the tumor.
We are leaving in a bit to go to a House Warming Party for Abby and her "house-ies". She really liked my glass drink dispenser with the spout so I found one at Kohl's for her and the girls as a gift. And I didn't have a gift for her when we went out to dinner for her birthday so I found a cute pair of flats and a necklace at American Eagle, as well as a little gift card so she can choose her own things. And I ordered a bunch of pics through Walgreens for her to put in frames in her room. I kept meaning to do that for her and so she's going to be surprised. The party theme is Taco Bar, so I'm making a Jalapeno Popper Dip and Mexican Won Tons, and so I have to scoot. I have two hours before we leave.
I'll be back next week.