Thursday, April 30

{yummy bfast ~ and ~ body wash review}

My breakfast this morning after dropping Lil Petunia off at school:  the Panera Bread Spinach & Bacon egg souffle'.  Heavenly!

You will not find a bar of soap anywhere in my house.  The showers, tubs, & sinks are so much easier to clean when gel cleansers have been used.  No soap scum on my body or in my shower!

I buy body wash by the dozen because I go through so much of it and this is my favorite brand.  Surprise!  Suave naturals.  In the past I used Bath & Bodyworks brand until I found this deliciously scented copycat and was thrilled with the alternative.  I've tried other brands at the drugstore (Tone, Dove...) , but have always been disappointed and have gone back to this one.  It cleanses with a great scent, a moderate amount of lather, and doesn't leave me feeling greasy, just clean.  I even use it for shaving in between laser appointments.

My favorite scents are Sweet Pea & Violet, Fresh Berry Smoothie, and Tropical Coconut.
Why pay 4 times as much at B&BW for the same product?

Tuesday, April 28

{shampoo & conditioner review}

   As you know from this post, I have been looking for a new shampoo and conditioner.  I have been "conducting research" to find the perfect type for my hair.   Of course, we all have different hair types, so what works for someone else may not work at all for my hair.  Therefore there is a lot of trial and error involved!
I have discovered several things, first of which is that I believe that there is not one perfect shampoo/conditioner.  The shampoos that leave your hair feeling like silk are usually depositing substances (usually silicones) on your hair shaft.  This leads to buildup and flatness.  The shampoos that remove buildup often leave hair feeling "squeaky clean" aka "a knotted straw-like rats nest"!  So, what to do?  Sometimes switching between two types is the answer.
Personally, I do not like the shampoos that leave behind silicones on my hair.  These are listed on the ingredients label as anything ending in (-cone).  I have noticed that I can tell immediately in the shower because my hands feel waxy/greasy with these type of shampoos.  One that felt this way and left me a bit flat was the new L'Oreal EVERPURE line.  The shampoo left me so flat that I gave it away after 2 tries.   I did not like the Rosemary Juniper scent to it, either, but I know that scent is a very personal preference.  Not the shampoo for me, although many people have had good results with it.  I decided that what I need is a shampoo that simply cleans and leaves the moisturizing to a conditioner.  Otherwise there is just too much silicone/oil/grease going around.  Also, if you compare prices based on amount or ml of shampoo, the L'Oreal is just as expensive as a salon brand such as Matrix.  And L'Oreal is actually more expensive than the Matrix deal that I got!

I tried Matrix Biolage second and liked it.  I purchased the 1 liter size conditioner, and then received the 1 liter shampoo for 88 cents at the salon at JCPenneys!  (JCP salons have the best sales on hair products!)  Having no silicone in the shampoo worked better for me, and the sulfate is a mild one.  As it turns out some SULFATES are not so bad after all.  The milder ones used by salon brands are good at removing buildup and after all, I have used them for years before and always had very healthy hair.  It is just since I've started coloring that my hair has become more fragile and more dry.

My latest finding will probably shock you!!!
While browsing at Target I noticed that Suave (yes, Suave) has a new "Professionals" line.  They compare them to various salon brands.  I looked at every one before deciding on this Volumizing type and took the pair home for a trial run.  By the way--the ingredients list is very small on this one, with a mild sulfate, no silicones AND no parabens (a few studies have correlated parabens with cancer, some saying that your body can even absorb the parabens--but it has not been proven)!!  The exact sulfate is sodium laureth sulfate--one of the mildest sulfates.
The results--it didn't make my hands feel greasy (yay!) and after conditioning with it's partner, I have to say that the final result is almost identical to the Matrix Biolage!!   And all for.....I am embarrassed to say.....$1.92 each at full price.  LOL!  It is definitely necessary to use a conditioner after this one.  So, if you like your hair feeling silky after just shampooing I recommend trying one of the other Suave Professional types--I think there were about 6 different types.  And, for this price, it's worth a try.  I will probably alternate between my Matrix Biolage and this Suave.
{Several years ago I used to use Suave Coconut shampoo (yummiest scent!) and my stylist actually asked me what shampoo I used because my hair was so shiny and in such good condition!  Since then, I am convinced that shampoos/conditioners don't have to be pricey to deliver good results.  Of course sometimes it's nice to indulge in a salon blend with all of the aromatherapy and extracts--Aveda comes to mind!}

This is as far as I have progressed in my research, but I'll be sure to let you know of any new updates!  I have a few more brands in mind that I'd like to try.   :)

Sunday, April 26

{happy birthday L!!!}

Happy Birthday to my sister L!!!

I wanted to post this a few days ago but needed to find this picture of the two of us at her wedding to put through the scanner and before I knew it a couple of days had passed! myspace graphic comments

Friday, April 24

{thoughts on a new Lilly Pulitzer store...}

A Lilly Pulitzer store finally opened at our mall! Here is Lil Petunia and the Lilly jeep outside of the store. (Yes, we went to the mall after school!) I didn't go to the new store on grand opening day last Friday because that day I was busy getting everything ready for Lil P's birthday slumber party. I generally avoid crowds anyway, so the day that we went (a few days after opening day) was perfect!

The store is sooooo pretty. Sorry for my poor day-glo quality iPhone pictures!

One of the dressing rooms has a beautiful mural of that famous picture of Lilly in her original boutique. Here is the original photograph below!

Lil P took full advantage of having the drawing table all to herself and decorated her own Lilly shift dress.

These girls dresses are prettier IRL--the colors came out kinda crazy here!

The corporate stores are so lovely and pretty, but I have to say that I also really love the quaint individually-owned signature stores (like C. Orrico in Palm Beach, Palm Patch in Metairie, etc.) and I feel badly that corporate Lilly is opening up stores in the same areas as their Signature stores. The Signature stores are having a hard time competing, and it is amazing that some of them are still in business. I remember when there were no corporate stores, and we used to get so excited to visit a new Lilly boutique while we were on vacation. It was special when it was not so readily available at every shopping mall alongside Gap etc. I don't know if I'm making much sense, but those who have loved Lilly for a long time might understand...

I'd like to hear from some other long time Lilly-lovers out there. What do you think about all of the corporate stores opening? Will they push the little guys out of business?

Tuesday, April 21

{Milly review and tell me what's on your toes...}

Went to try on that Milly dress that I have been waiting to see.  It sold out during pre-order online everywhere!  Well, I was sadly disappointed.  It looks okay on, although to tell you the truth I wasn't crazy about the way it hugged my tummy.  The big problem was that this dress is made out of a COTTON or cotton-like material.  Felt like 100% cotton shell with a heavy polyester lining, although to be honest I didn't look to see the contents.  The lining made it feel heavy but I just wasn't expecting a slubby blanket-feel to it.  For one of Milly's pricier dresses ($550) I expected a lot more!  Even at 25% off F&F discount I wasn't interested.  I thought it would be made out of a dressier, more substantial, non-fading material.  I should have taken a close-up photo, but trust me--the material didn't look very good.  An exquisite design ruined by cotton!  AND even though it looked aqua online and looks turquoise here, it looked green to me IRL.  Sniff... 

Essie "enuff is enuff"--IRL a bright corally red.

Did you get a new spring pedicure?
What color is on your toes?? (the name if you know it)

Monday, April 20

{Lil Petunia the artist}

I was scrolling through the photos on my iPhone and came across these artistic renderings that Lil P made and then saved on my phone.

She says that this one is hubby & me:

This one made me say "Awww!":

This one was kinda funny:

And I love this one--haha!!!:

Saturday, April 18

{Lil Petunia's bday party}

One birthday slumber party
Eight girls
Twenty-one hours of fun
= one exhausted mom!

After a 3 hour pool party, then pizza, & cupcake decorating--it's finally movie time! (yay!)

The party favors included these bracelets.  Bet some of you know where they're from!

Because you can never have enough party pom-poms, we decided to add Martha Stuart's to our original Lilly ones which were moved to the main dining room.  Martha's kit from comes with 7 pom-poms (4 small & 3 large) and these are the small ones.  They are very pretty and were a bit more fragile than the Lilly ones.  They tore a little when I was making them, but you can't tell once they're finished.

 Despite my exhaustion, when the last little girl went home today at 11:30am, I went to the gym for Yoga/Pilates class.....only to find out that today's class was cancelled because no one signed up!  What's up with that??  I thought I had signed up for the whole month--sigh.  AND I had flip flops on so I had to go home, put my socks and gym shoes on, and then I actually went back and did 45 minutes on the treadmill!  
Now can I just pass out on my bed???!

Wednesday, April 15

{poll: what is your favorite shampoo?}

Please help!!
Well, as you can see I like to change my hair every now & then.  
Recently it was this:

Then a bit darker:

It has been this:

A couple of years ago:

    I posted a recent picture in the tag post a couple of days ago, so you all know what my hair looks like right now, and.....all of this fun happens at a very bad price!  Damaged hair!

    I am looking for a nice gentle shampoo for hair that has been colored/highlighted.  I have read terrible things about some of the ingredients in our daily shampoos (as is written in blue below).  Right now I am using the Organix line and while it might be okay for normal hair, I am not satisfied because I don't feel that it is at all moisturizing.  I need major conditioning after using the shampoo just to be able to comb my hair out afterwards.

    ***Do you have any good recommendations?  What are your favorite shampoos (and conditioners)???

    Has anyone tried the ALTERNA White Truffle shampoo that Jennifer Aniston loves???

    Here is a guide to how gentle your shampoo is according to the surfactant used:

        Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate - very, very, harsh

        Ammonium Laureth Sulfate- very harsh but better than the above

        Sodium Lauryl Sulfate- better than the above, but still a little harsh

        Sodium Laureth Sulfate-gentle, great pick!

        TEA lauryl Sulfate-good pick

        TEA Laureth Sulfate-good pick

Monday, April 13

{the gardenias are blooming!}

...and they smell delicious!

Lil Petunia and I before Easter brunch.  Bad picture--we are squinting in the sunlight.......and what??'ve never seen someone without feet before?  Haha....I don't like the shoes I wore, had second thoughts about wearing them but wore them anyway and ugh now they're in all of our Easter pictures (well, except for this one)!

Friday, April 10

Thanks a lot Danielle!!!

That's what I get for reading blogs right after I roll out of bed, before washing my face or brushing my teeth!

I was just tagged by Danielle~~

Here are the rules:
Take a picture of yourself RIGHT now.
No primping or preparing.
Just snap a picture.
Load the picture onto your blog.
Tag some people to play.

Yes, I got highlights again! Danielle you ruined my surprise! (just kidding)

Okay! I tag:

Pretty In Pink Megan

The Love Affair

According to Erin

Wednesday, April 8

{wordless wednesday}

okay, well not completely wordless...

fresh flower basket with hydrangeas, roses, & ivy...

...and a bottle of wine all wrapped up in pink both sent to us from our Israeli friends who have returned home after a month's vacation and their wedding in Islamorada.

Pot roast for ten at our house tonight.  Yum.

Sunday, April 5

a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Lil Petunia's birthday present! :

Big Petunia needed a new bicycle, too!

The whole family had an exciting little outing today! We rode around the neighborhood and who knew what sorts of trouble we'd get into! First we went to see why (trespass) a new home in the neighborhood now has a {For Sale--Immediate Occupancy} sign up. We peeked into the windows to see the floors, cabinets, etc. and then went into the backyard to look at the pool. The buyers must have pulled out at the last minute and lost their deposit so now the builder has to unload it. Hmmm...unfortunately this seems to be happening a lot lately.
Then we rode over to the new recreation center and as we walked into the workout room a fire alarm started blaring.
So, we rode down another street with only a few occupied homes and as we were riding by we recognized the wife of a doctor we work with getting out of her car. No, they don't live here (or so we thought). Turns out she left him for her hairdresser and they are living together in our neighborhood. Yikes, ....uncomfortable. We started pedaling faster to get home just as the fire engine blared down the street towards the recreation center!
Who says our neighborhood is boring???


A big thank you to all of my Mac tecchies out there who gave me some splendid advice! I downloaded Firefox and was off listing away on Ebay within seconds--woo-hoo!

Saturday, April 4

{an ebay question...}

If there are any Macbook users out there who can help me--I would really appreciate it!
I've been buying/selling on ebay since 2004 and never had a problem until I bought my Macbook computer.  For some reason I cannot completely list an item for sale using my Mac.  It's the description area that does not work--I can't upload any HTML or my own pictures and it's driving me crazy!
I have to go upstairs and boot up the old dinosaur Dell computer every time I want to list an item and it is frustrating.  I called ebay and they said "Oh, yeah--some of our Mac users have a problem."  That was as much help as they were!  
I can't believe with all of the Mac users out there that ebay doesn't have compatible technology for listing items for sale!   The listing form comes up, but the description area is missing all of the toolbar such as centering, changing fonts, colors, and the html tab.

Are any of you able to sell using your own HTML on a Mac???    :(

Friday, April 3

{skin deep}

Have you ever checked out the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database?  It gives your cosmetics and skin care products a rating from 1-10 based on toxicity.  It's a little scary!  It turns out that all of my shampoos, conditioners, and shower washes contain harmful toxic chemicals--some cancerous!  Yikes!

"Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 42,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind. Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn't require companies to test their own products for safety."

My daily shower wash (a 7 out of 10 is baaad!)

So, maybe I'll use this one instead (a rating of 5 is only a moderate hazard!)

Lil Petunia's Johnson &Johnson's Baby wash gets a 4 which is why I still buy it for her even though she's not a baby anymore!  (She still likes it, anyway!)

My daily facial cleanser gets a 4--whew!

This Frederic Fekkai shampoo is rated a 9.  Ouch.