Any Number of Things

Maybe a little less blingy than these…

Hey everyone – it feels oh-so-slightly like fall for the past few days; cooler and breezy and wet.  I’ve been wearing L’Artisan Seville a l’Aube, SL Fleurs d’Oranger and Fendi Theorema in rotation.  To me, this time of year/weather always seems perfect for these orange-flower scents, with their moody depths that suggest fall rather than the bright, juicy citrus of summer.

So, I’m going to ask some questions and hope for some answers, why not?!

  1. Anyone here use one of those plug-in/battery essential oil diffusers (as opposed to the reed diffusers)?  How do you feel about it?  I have and love candles, but sometimes I forget them and that makes me nervous.  I could also have one of those diffusers in the office. If you have a recommendation, put in the name or a link.
  2. I wear reading glasses (+1.50) at work and at home, which is littered with pairs from the dollar store.  I’d like to upgrade … what’s one step up?  Are there pairs for, say, $20 or $30 that are worth it?  I’m too careless with them to spend much more than that, although for something wonderful I’m sure I can be persuaded, lol.  Or does everyone treat them as quasi-disposable like I do?
  3. I finally broke down and got a slow cooker.  Since I don’t have anywhere to store it, my plan is to use it constantly!  If you have any favorite slow cooker dishes, again, I’d love some links.

Now, back at you:

  1. For those who asked what the deal is with matte lipstick – if you like bright lipstick shades and you’ve only ever tried the ol’ mega-mattes like MAC, you owe it to yourself to try a newer “comfort” matte or two, because they manage to stick to your mouth for extended periods of time without a lot of transfer, while being comfortable to wear rather than hideously dry.  Their un-stickiness is delightful once you get used to it.  My recommendation at a lower price point: Urban Decay comfort matte.  I have some drugstore makeup but matte lipstick is not among them; all the ones I’ve tried are toooo dry.  If you have a drugstore fave with a comfortable matte/velvet finish, give me the name!
  2. Quite some time ago I blogged on the Fornasetti candles and their signature, bespoke “Otto” scent, which is a deep, wondrous woody-incense thing by Olivier Polge.  I will probably never buy one of the candles, but the room spray can be had for the (relative) bargain price of $125ish, if and when you can find it.  Right now I see one on Amazon, and they’re also on Twisted Lily (note: the room sprays with Architettura and R.I.P. canister designs also feature the Otto scent.)  It is STRONG – when you spray, it comes out in this one brief, anemic fsssssst and you think, oh come on.  Resist the temptation to spray again because trust me, that’s all you need.  One of my best blind buys ever.


    • March says:

      LOL you’re terrible, now I’m wasting time on the Kiko website…. makeup is so darn fun! Have you tried any of the Charlotte Tilbury? Everyone’s raving over the mattes and they’ve finally showed up at my Sephora, I think.

      • crikey says:

        Best tip re: Kiko… the eye shadow sticks. Some of them are well up there with the Mercier and Bobbi Brown ones, and they are often in the 3-for-2 or 4-for-2 sales.

        I have little to no love for Tilbury. I know that people go wild for her stuff, but it leaves me pretty cold. I’ve not tried any of the lippies, but with eye make up the sparkly stuff feels a bit crude, and shadow colour pay off seems poor for the price.

  • crikey says:

    Love a matte lipstick. The UD ones are terrific, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the Nars powermatte liquid lippies. They do _not_ budge all day. And I wear em dark so it would show if it was feathering or bleeding or generally wandering around (Rock with you is good for my old goth tendencies, and Starwoman may be my perfect blue-red). And they are still more comfortable than old school mattes (looking at YOU, Ruby Woo and Russian Red!) A couple of the Dior mattes ain’t bad–there’s a nice dark purple–but they don’t have the araldite-level of staying-putness as the Nars. I’ve got terrible yearnings to try the Pat McGrath mattes, but, no Sephora here and blind buying a £35 lippy online seems spectacularly rash.

    On the more bargainous end of things: I’ve got a fantastic £3 dark berry Kiko matte lippy in a surprisingly heavy metal tube.

    I wish I could use the off-the-peg readers, but I have wonky weird eyes. So, a few years ago I decided that if I had to wear glasses on my face every day, they better be bloody lovely.

    • March says:

      Haha, I have TWO of those Powermattes — Warm Leatherette and something else…. their wear is phenom but the application has to be super-tight. Ruby Woo is SUCH a great color in a completely unwearable formula, lol…. I have a regular Pat McGrath and I’m underwhelmed, FWIW.

      • crikey says:

        thanks… cooling the craving is good. For PmcG lippy prices, I want to be fully whelmed.

        and aye, the powermattes are something I bring out the fine lip brush for. Especially after that one time putting it on with the applicator, on the jiggly-joggly train, and I looked like an over-enthustiastic vampire…

  • hczerwiec says:

    I love slow cookers, though I received an Instant Pot last Christmas, and have been using that instead, since it’s faster and you can sauté/brown ingredients right in the insert before turning on the pressure. Like Heather, I love making broth in it — I make a ton of either ramen broth or Parmesan broth and freeze it — great for soups, but I also use the Parmesan one for risotto.

    I am with you on the Urban Decay comfort mattes. I’ve been searching for a match to Sephora’s Pantone lipstick in Marsala that they did a handful of years ago, and while I haven’t quite found it, there’s an Urban Decay that’s pretty close, and I’m loving it.

    Not a home-scent fan (I’m the scented thing in this environment!), and I’m just starting to use readers (made it almost to 50 without them!), so I’m following everyone’s comments for pointers.

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    After my sister-in-law actually burned down her apartment building in Connecticut when an unattended candle on her nightstand fell over, I gave up candles forever. I do not use diffusers of any kind, either–I prefer the best smelling thing in my house to be me! 🙂 As for slow cooker recipes, I love the Mississippi pot roast recipe that is all over the internet (sans so much butter) and also I make bean/bacon soup often (canned sodium-free beans, sodium-free chicken stock, plus cooked and crumbled bacon which gives all the salt needed, sometimes an onion if I have one laying about, cook for hours until bacon is soft and beans have split their skins).

  • Pam says:

    Watch out with plug-in diffusers: I found that I am allergic to them. Not just the cheapies, but also the better ones. They smell wonderful, but they cause me to have bronchial symptoms. It takes a couple of days before the symptoms show up.

  • Jennifer S says:

    Theorema seems to be very popular. It has piqued my interest and I’ll have to read up on it now lol.

    I was given a plug in diffuser with like half a dozen scents last…. Christmas?…and I’ve yet to use it. A case of out of sight, out of mind me thinks.

    Agree with the poster on price vs quality of readers. I also use 1.5 and the ones I got at the dollar store are a bit ‘off’ compared to ones I’ve gotten at CVS , which by the way, with a good sale can be BOGO free or buy one get one half off. These work for me just fine and yep, they do multiply! On top of the fridge, nightstand, purse, locker at work, etc.

    Slow cookers are great and mine got the most use when the kids were young though I do think about digging it out every now and again. The recipes I used mostly came from cookbooks!

  • Tara C says:

    I generally don’t scent my house since I prefer to just smell whatever perfume I’m wearing, but I do burn a candle or incense occasionally.

    Don’t wear matte lipsticks as my lips are far too dry, in fact most of the time I just wear Fresh Index tinted lip balms, adding a bit more colour with a lipstick when desired.

    I buy cheap reading glasses from Costco to leave lying around the house and in my purse, but keep a good quality prescription pair by the bed for long reading sessions. Since I have astigmatism the prescription ones are much better at preventing eye strain.

    As for the slow cooker, I have one but have only tried it twice, I’m a lousy cook and can ruin a whole pot of perfectly good ingredients most of the time. However, I am a very good baker and enjoy that a lot more.

  • Shiva-woman says:

    I splurged on an Aera–and am NOT HAPPY about it. Total waste of money with virtually NO scent and I have placed it EVERYWHERE in the house. High quality candles are still my go to. I purchased some last year from Teo Cabanel– lovely, strong, natural smelling candles. In the kitchen I spritz Demeter Banana Flambe which makes the kitchen smell like I’ve been baking all day. Lasts a short while, but is all banana bread goodness. Would never wear it!

  • Cara says:

    I have dry, sensitive lips to begin with so I almost can’t wear mattes. On the other hand, I have had great luck with the Wet and Wild MegaLast lipsticks. They call them semi-matte and stick around a long time on me. Plus they are ~$2.50 so great for taking chances on colors since they aren’t such an investment.

  • Heather Raine says:

    Oh and filter the chunks of stuff out of the broth before freezing it, of course. Forgot to add that 🙂

  • Heather Raine says:

    Slow cookers are awesome. If you make a stew or anything, I recommend browning the meat beforehand, though, since the slow cooker doesn’t really give you the Maillard reaction on its own.

    When we get rotisserie chickens, we save the bones/cartilage after pulling all of the meat off, throw it in the slow cooker with 1/2 cup of diced veggies, cover with water, and cook on low for 2-3 days to make our own broth. The bones and cartilage break down and release their collagen and calcium and other minerals/nutrients into the broth. You could also use beef bones, pork bones, etc. Turkey bones are kinda meh-flavor, I found, but maybe that’s just my preference. I’m sure the recipe could be adapted for a fish broth.

    The veggies can be anything. The French standard is diced onion, carrot, and celery (bonus points if you sweat them in a frying pan first, to make a mirepoix or a pincage. See: ). Veggie-wise, we’ve frozen the green part of leeks, kale spines, leftover herb bits like thyme stems, etc., in anticipation of using them in the next broth batch. It’s a pretty easy and free-form process, to just throw it all in and go.

    Once you make it, though, broth doesn’t last very long in the fridge (about 5 days max). We’ll make the broth, cool it a bit, then portion it by the cup or pint into sturdy ziploc bags to freeze. Then, if you wanna make soup with it, or want a comforting mug of broth for breakfast, defrost what you need and heat. 🙂

    Brown a pound or two of beef cubes or ground chuck in a separate pan, throw it in the cooker with a few cups of diced veggies (onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin, butternut squash, kale). Throw in two or three 14-oz cans of crushed and/or diced tomatoes, a can or two of black beans (I rinse them first), some herbs and spices (chili powder of course, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, savory) and let it cook on low overnight (8 hours or so). You can always taste it in the morning or halfway through and see if you need to add more spices. If we want it thicker, we’ll stir in a can or two of refried beans.

    Happy cooking!!

  • Marilynn says:

    We use a Zen Breeze diffuser. When filled with the prescribed amount of water it will work at least eight hours and shuts off automatically. The range of throw is great. We have it in the foyer of our home and are able to smell the fragrance throughout the house.

  • MMKinPA says:

    I’m not a lipstick person – have never gotten into the habit of wearing even though I have a small collection from gwp’s and sub boxes. And I wear progressive glasses because I’m practically blind for regular vision so I haven’t bought reading glasses for some time either: BUT I am a dedicated slow cooker user. I am quite fond of recipes from Lots of flavor and easy. She has a cookbook called Fast and Slow which I have on my kindle app on my phone for reference at the grocery store. Probably my most-used book.

  • Anna says:

    Diffusers: My house has a lot of open areas and I find that traditional diffusers and battery operated or electric diffusers just don’t cover it (check out reviews at Bed, Bath, Beyond). They are just too expensive to cover a big area. I also have found that it is hit and miss with how much a reed diffuser will throw out. I have had expensive ones and felt like a sucker for shelling out for it. Got a cheapo at TJ Max that was good quality but I can’t find it anywhere again. For real air freshening I use Lampe Bergere. The fragrances are not cheap but I use them judiciously, like after cooking fish or just to freshen things.
    I find that candles still throw out the most scent and I have to place a couple of them. I just ordered incense from Lucky Scent to see if that fragrance will spread and linger.
    Reading glasses: I need them for all reading at 2.5 intensity. I have used $10 pairs and $85 pairs. The quality is different. The better ones have more clarity, causes less eye strain and I am careful with them and use them for work so they can last a long time. I have the inexpensive ones all over the house though, just for a quick read of a label or recipe.You can find them at Nordstroms, eyebobs, and other online places.

    • Tara Monteleone says:

      I, too, have really cheap readers and expensive ones from Warby Parker, and the quality difference is very noticeable. I use the expensive ones for work and have the really cheap one around the house, but even at home I try to use the expensive ones since they so much clearer.

  • Rina (NOT in CAN!) says:

    Woo Hoo, Lippies! The one thing I have more of than perfume! I am an ADDICT! For drugstore, try Rimmel. It’s a beautiful matte that lasts forever and if it starts to feel dry, it has a balm you can use that doesn’t break it. My everyday is Anastasia and Stila, with Anastasia’s balm underneath. Really makes a difference. Nudestix also makes some great, comfy mattes that last through anything. Vino and Raven are my faves.