Frugal Finds & Yummy Peaches

^From TJ Maxx.

^From Mom and Dad’s peach trees.

^My brother, his wife, and kids went to a farmer’s market in the mountains and gave my family some large juicy and sweet peaches.

^Kylie comparing the two sizes.

^This is the only way Kylie will eat peaches, with the inside red parts removed.

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Jewelry Brochure & Faith Art Journal Freebie

I wasn’t planning on blogging today but last evening my sister mailed me the finished brochure she and I worked on for one of her friend’s new jewelry store and I was just so excited to see the finished product that I wanted to share it.

My sister did the consulting and I was the photographer and graphic artist behind the brochure.

I’m very happy at how lovely it turned out.  I’m also grateful that my sister’s friend, Gabriela, allowed me to take all the photos, edit them, create the graphics, and the brochure (excluding printing).  Gabriela came over my house quite a few times with her beautiful jewelry to photo and even brought over pastries for my family!  She is a wonderfully sweet and kind person.

Gabriela’s website is currently in the works but I hope you’ll stop by her site soon and take a look at her jewelry.  She also has a showroom where she’ll showcase her jewelry in Colorado.

Faith Art Journal Freebie

I’ve decided to turn one of my recent art journal pieces into a free download.  You can read more about it on my design blog and download from there.  Or, you can click on the image below and go directly to the download page.

Eyes, Lips, and Bright Crystal

Last week, I ordered a few items from Sephora because I wanted the mini Shiseido Lacquer Rouge that came free with the purchase.  Here’s a review of those items:

^ Sephora + Pantone Universe Eyeliner Set.  I currently have the Sephora + Pantone Universe eye shadow palette and really like the colors and staying power.  I was using the eye shadow palette daily for a few weeks but since I haven’t had much time to do my makeup daily, I’ve been returning to my neutral Urban Decay Naked2 Palette.  Back to the eyeliners, I must say, I love these!  They glide on easily and stay put all day.

^ These are the colors: black, orange (shimmer), and brown.  I first used the black, but it was a bit too dark for daily wear, then tried the brown and have stuck to it.  It’s not too dark but dark enough to bring out my eyes.  I haven’t tried the orange yet but I think it’d be fun to create a Halloween look with it in a couple of months.

^ I also purchased, Versace Bright Crystal roll-on perfume, and Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing lip gloss in Witty.  The Shisedo Lacquer Rouge and Givenchy Mascara were free samples.  Bright Crystal smells wonderful.  I’m wearing it every day and have gone through spurts of wanting to buy the full bottle or just keeping this roll-on.  I can’t decide yet.

^ Top color is Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing in Witty.  Bottom color is Shisiedo Lacquer Rouge in RD607.

Witty is a pretty color and I wear it when I’m not wearing too much eye makeup.  The free mini Shiseido lip glass is an amazing red.  I will have to go for the original size once I run out of the mini.

^ I was drawn to the uniqueness of this Givenchy mascara wand.  This is a really nice mascara that separates my lashes and lengthens.  It really doesn’t add much volume.  It reminded me of a mascara I purchased last year around this time called Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara (photo below).  What I liked about the Fairydrops mascara is that it had little fibers that clung to my lashes creating volume.  The black was also super duper black.

Sometimes my daughters are my helpers or guinea pigs, however you want to see it.  For this makeup review, my 5-year-old helped.  That’s her arm in the eyeliner color example.   She kept it on all day because she loved it so much and it stayed too until she took a bath later that evening.

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for both my girls.  Kida started 5th grade and Kylie started Kindergarten.  I am still trying to sort all my feelings out and have not been very productive with anything around the house or the new digital scrapbook kit I’ve been working on.  When I see a photo of them when they were babies and toddlers, I get teary-eyed (yeah, the photo of the month for this month gets to me) .  I am overwhelmed by the simple fact that they are growing.

I am also nervous about Kylie’s Kindergarten.  On her first day, she cried in class and came home crying.  Something of hers was misplaced at school and she wasn’t able to participate in an activity.  It bothered her all evening yesterday and this morning.  I spoke to her teacher this morning about it and was told that item was found and all is good.  Kylie gets her feelings hurt easily and I’m not sure what to do except tell her things will sometimes happen not in her favor and let her go through the pains.

Kida loves 5th grade and I have nothing else to say. 🙂

From the Garden

What would I do without Mom and Dad’s garden of veggies, herbs, and two humongous peach trees soon to ripe with sweet juicy peaches?  I don’t know how to garden and I’ve tried to garden in indoor pots but nothing ever turns out right.  Plus, I am also fearful of garden bugs.

Last week, Mom called to say that she had some zucchinis, cucumbers, beans, and corn in a bag with my name on it and that I should stop by to pick it up.  She and Dad have a small garden in their backyard in which they tend to like a newborn child. They also have a small section of an herb garden full of Hmong herbs and mint (photo above).  Over the summer and early autumn, Mom always prepares bags of their veggies and peaches for the siblings to take home.

I’ve boiled the corn (above), made a spicy cucumber salad, sauteed zucchinis, and boiled string beans, and still have some left.  Everything is always delicious and I think because it came from Mom and Dad.

Mesa Verde National Park

The family went on a one day and two nights trip to Mesa Verde National Park this week.  We drove 7 hours to Durango, where we stayed,  then drove another 45 min to Mesa Verde through amazing beauty for a full day of viewing and touring.

Mesa Verde was extremely beautiful and took my breath away.  It was fascinating to learn about the Indians that lived there over 1400 years ago (from 550 A.D. to 1300), and seeing their dwelling places left behind like ghost towns, was awe.

Here are photos from that trip:

  ^ This is the view from our first hotel.  It was tucked off the side of the main road and was surrounded by this gorgeous golf course and cliff.

^ Kida just waking up.  She didn’t want to be in the photo.

^ The furniture was a bit outdated but the view made up for it.

^ Kylie jumping around and took a second to pose for this shot.

^Another view from the hotel.

^ Getting sunscreen on before heading out into the heat for the tours.

^ View before heading to the tour sites.

^ Everything was not all beautiful.  There was a stretch of land that looked like this.  It was a quiet, sad, and almost ominous drive through this area.  We learned from the tour guides that this was the result of a fire caused by lightning in 2002.  It will take at least 300 years to grow back to the what it originally looked like.

^ We visited the museum where we saw dioramas, displays, and watched a short video on the history of the Indians in Mesa Verde.  Kida had seen the video already at school so she rolled her eyes and complained for the 20 minutes I was watching with my mouth opened…LOL.

^ This was the first dwelling we saw called, Spruce Tree House.  It was a self-guided tour.

^ We went inside a Kiva, a large circular underground area made out of rock walls and clay and is used for ceremonial rituals/daily living.  In the photo, Kylie is climbing out.

^ View while waiting for our first tour: Balcony House.

^ On this tour, we climbed a 32 feet ladder to the dwelling.  We also went through doors which were just tiny crack or openings between rocks.  The spaces were so small I almost thought I wouldn’t make it across but there were people who were much bigger and they made it without a problem.  I did put a few scratches on my camera though.

^ An open Kiva.

^ There were quite a few people in this tour group.

On our exit, we climbed two 10-foot ladders and then the side of a 60-foot cliff with stone steps carved in.  It was pretty steep and I was scared for the girls but they enjoyed it.

^ The second tour: Cliff Palace.

^ Down in the dwellings looking up.  The top right corner of the photo is where we had waited for this tour.

^ On our exit from Mesa Verde.

^ This is what it should look like.

^ This view was during our drive back to Durango.  Words cannot describe how breathtaking this area was.

It was a wonderful trip full of history.  It warms my heart to have experienced this.