during the course of my life i have gone through phases of shunning everything feminine to embracing all the frills and fabulousness of being girly. interestingly, living in a small village in africa for two years, i discovered the joys of girldom. in my little hut i had ample time to play dress up, paint my nails crazy colors, and experiment with the meager supply of makeup i had brought. go figure that i left the states repulsed by skirts and frills and returned two years later with a new found love of my inner barbie. skirts, pink, and sparkles captured my imagination like never before.

naturally, having spent the majority of my formative years disregarding things like brushing my hair and wearing makeup, i was ill-prepared for my new self. i ambled through the drugstores seeking sparkles and pretties, but in reality i came home with a ramshackle assortment of nonsense that in no way resembled an adequate stash of beautifying accoutrements. lets be honest..wearing purple eyeshadow with green eyeliner and red lipstick only served to make me look like a clown. so i sought out the advice of my darling friend, who not only possessed superior cosmetics, but actually knew how to use them. unfortunately i was apparently untameable, because i still didnt see the harm in purchasing the 99cent specials from the wet & wild rack. yes, the makeup of middle school still held me in its grip. fast forward two years. the aforementioned lass puts me out of my misery, by applying my makeup for a stint as a bridesmaid. she made me look amazing. i was HOOKED. so then she drops the bombshell that was set to takeover my life. she tells me to wait until the department stores stock their holiday supplies, at which time she assures me i will be able to find some lovely eyeshadow pallets at prices that will be slightly less painful than other times of the year. and so begins my obsession.

my first holiday purchase was last year. after wandering through macys and nordstroms with my ever-patient pal, i discovered the dior counter where i bought the most darling little compact housing four perfectly classy and shimmery eyeshadows. i was in heaven. i have spent the last twelve months wearing nothing else. who needs a cupboard full of eyeshadow when you have this little delight?

still buoyed by my first foray into dreamy makeup, i decided to go back again this year. but this time i had a specific quest...shimmery pink. i went alone, which was my first mistake. after doing a bit of of online research i had two different products in mind. unfortunately, seeing these in person i was not satisfied. thus began the wander. unencumbered by the feeling that i was imposing on another person's time, i moseyed through two different cosmetic departments, circling the counters like a hawk. twice. to no avail. i remained empty-handed. and then the name "sephora" drifted into my head. i shuffled my little feet as fast as they would carry me to the mall directory. yes! sephora! straight ahead on the left.

entering sephora was mistake number two. that store left me speechless. a mass of makeup that i could try on without being hindered by beauticians wanting to make me look like them. fancy. so i happily wandered the aisles looking at shimmers and sparkles wondering which one was coming home with me. i tried on eye shadows like it was my job. one color would get wiped off just to be replaced by another. two hours. that's right. two hours. two hours i spent with eye shadows putting on, taking off, and putting on again until my eyelids were inflamed. i came home looking like a lopsided tramp with different colored shimmery shadows on each eye. super.
after all that i found myself at the dior counter once again buying their annual holiday compact. i bought it at macys because although i had discovered the delights of sephora, i didnt comprehend how truly amazing it is. they give you free samples! and birthday presents! whaaat? so i did what any self-respecting girl would do. i returned the compact to macys and bought it again on sephora.com to qualify for samples samples and more samples. according to the website my order is already packed and shipped. i can barely contain my excitement!


gobble gobble.

in an attempt to focus on my masters paper i am supposed to be on a blogging hiatus, but i am loathe to do my work and i simply cant resist telling the tale of our thanksgiving. ahh, thanksgiving. the wonderful american holiday dedicated to gorging on delicious food. as the mister and i both have ridiculous amounts of studying to occupy our time and he also had to work everyday, we decided to forgo the usual thanksgiving feast. check. and then the mister left for work. as he stepped out the front door he sniffed the air and declared that the neighbors' cooking smelled delicious. he looked at me. i looked at him. we realized that we wanted to partake in the scrumdidlyumptious delights that come with turkey day. thats right. 1245pm on thanksgiving day and i had to scrounge up a feast. sure. no problem. the first instinct was to buy a pecan pie and declare ourselves satisified. but being in possession of a recipe for the world's most scrumptious pecan pie it seems sacrilegious to purchase a store-made pie. then i pondered the possibilities. if i am planning to make a pie, i might as well make some biscuits and buy a can of jellied cranberry sauce (yum!). at that point i might as well throw together a couple of other treats, so i added green bean casserole and mashed potatoes to the list. and if mashed potatoes will be on the table then we certainly needed gravy. and heck, might as well have some meat.

the shopping. lovely winn dixie just waiting for my arrival. my regular jaunts to the grocery store typically find me spending inordinate amounts of time in the produce and dairy sections. i like to cook from scratch, so i dont typically have a lot of use for pre-cooked and prepared foods. but trying to throw together a feast on the fly, i decided to eliminate my usual snobbish attitude. shopping list: pecans, frozen pie crust, canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, dried onion rings, canned gravy, rotisserie chicken, jellied cranberry sauce, and flour. thats right - cans cans cans and a few prepared items and i was out the door.

the cooking. i started with the pecan pie. no problem. or so i thought. sometime during its baking, part of it leaped over the edge of the pie crust and laminated itself to the bottom of the oven. nice. nothing like the aroma of burning sugar permeating the house. after that i breezed through the green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and biscuits. heated up the gravy and chicken in the microwave. high class. i cleared off our teeny table and dressed it up with place mats, purty napkins, and candles. voila! instant feast.

total success. the mister and i dined on the delicious treats as if i had planned and cooked for days. now either i have turned into such a skilled chef that i can whip out feasts without a care in the world or, more likely, when you lower your expectations, you simultaneously lower the stress levels to the point that they are imperceptible.



it has become obvious in the last thirty days that i am simply unable to continue my blog-writing while i am in the midst of writing my master's thesis. so until the middle of december the pickel juices will cease to flow into the stream of brine.

happy november to the lot of yous.