Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#YesAllWomen

Here in El Dorado Hills, California, we have large rock on the side of a busy street that is often painted with well wishes, and congratulations to friends in the community. Today on my walk, this is what was painted on the rock.


Last week's killing rampage at UC, Santa Barbara, by Elliot Rodger sparked a new campaign called #YesAllWomen. The clearly troubled Rodger blamed all of women in society for not giving him the sex and admiration he felt he deserved. He claimed that this killing spree was his retribution. Seven people were killed, and thirteen more were injured in this horrible tragedy. As a mother of two college students, this breaks my heart for the families of the victims, and scares me to death.


#YesAllWomen is in response to the "not all men" defense sometimes used against feminist arguments, and has quickly spread through Twitter and other social medias. I believe the point of the campaign is to show that although certainly not all men practice violence, all women live with the threat of male violence on a regular basis. I really don't know any woman who hasn't felt this threat, multiple times in her lifetime. This can mean anything from a cat call and sleazy stares, to an actual assault.


I remember once when I was about 19 years old, I was on a trip with my boyfriend's (who is now my husband) family to Catalina. We were on a ferry boat to head over to the island, and I got up to go use the bathroom. On my way back, this really disgusting man pressed himself up against me so that I could feel his completely inappropriate "excitement". I apologized (like I did something wrong) and wiggled my way out from under his pressure. I never told my boyfriend, or his parents, and I do remember feeling embarrassed and maybe even a little ashamed. Did I do something wrong? Was I sending a signal? I feel bad for my 19 year old self, that these were the thoughts going through my head, instead of calling this man out for the creep that he was. 


I would like to think that my daughter, now 20, would react differently if this happened to her. But have I done enough to teach her this? Maybe that is what this #YesAllWomen campaign is all about. It's not about bashing men. It's about teaching our girls that this exists, and that they do not have to tolerate it. And maybe even more importantly, teaching our boys that it is completely wrong to make  girls feel this way.


I think it's appropriate to close this post with a quote from my very favorite author, Maya Angelou, who passed away just this morning. She is an inspiration to so many people, and she will be missed. I think she would totally approve of  the #YesAllWomen campaign.






Thursday, May 22, 2014

Get your FIX


Just in case you haven't heard of this pretty cool service yet, I thought I would write about the company called STITCH FIX. It is an on line personal shopping site that you can schedule as needed, or receive automatically on monthly basis. The service is truly customized to each individual. You fill out a comprehensive survey on your styling choices and the budget you'd like to stay within. They even follow your Pinterest page to learn your style through your favorite pins.  I recently got my FIX, and here is what came in my shipment.



I had been obsessing about the long black maxi skirt and a summer scarf on Pinterest as of late, and sure enough, both of these things were in my shipment. Five pieces of clothing or accessories are in each box. There is a $20 styling fee, but that $20 is credited towards anything you might purchase in your box. So if you keep even one thing, the styling is free! You also get a "buy all" discount if you decide to keep all 5 items. I am keeping all 5 items in this shipment, so I saved an additional $66. If you chose to send something back, a prepaid envelope comes in the box for you to return the items.

Not gonna lie, I love the idea that there is someone out there in cyber world watching out for the perfect items to send me to spruce up my wardrobe. It makes me feel a little bit rich and famous, of which I am neither. The service is great for any style or age group you might fall in. My little sister and my mom both use this service as well. Here was my sister's recent FIX.


Perfect choices for her. My mom also recently got a maxi dress that I think looks amazing on her.


This is something she probably would have never picked out, but it looks great on her, and is perfect for summer.

Ready for your FIX?  Copy and paste the following link in your browser to get started:
https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3264012

It's a time saving, inexpensive and indulgent service that you will look forward to time and time again. 

Just thought I might mention that I am not getting anything from Stitch Fix for writing this. It's just something I've really been enjoying and I wanted to share with you.






Monday, May 5, 2014

The Beauty Blogger Tag

In the blog world, it is common to get "tagged" with a questionnaire about yourself and your beauty routine. I was tagged, so I will play along and answer these questions.



1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
It's naturally straight with a little kink.

2. What is your natural hair color?
It is a mousy blondish-brown shade.

3. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I go to a salon for highlights, and sometimes lowlights.

4. How often do you wash your hair?
I wash my hair every second or third day. On the other days I use dry shampoo.

5. Do you wear the same style every day or change it?
Well, I work at a day spa where we are required to wear all black. I also love to wear navy blues, earth tones and shades of white. My wardrobe is seriously lacking color, but I have been trying to add some bright pieces. I have a very classic style though, with a few trends thrown in here and there. The trends don't always work for me. Especially not after I turned 40. 

6. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
Right now I have a gel manicure. I get them for travel or special occasions. Usually I do my own nails though.

7. How often to you change your nail polish?
 With a gel manicure, the polish lasts for 2-3 weeks. But when I'm doing my own I will change when it starts to chip. Every 3 days or so.

8. Do you polish your toes in the winter, too or just in the summer?
I definitely polish year round. I have lived in California or Florida for the last 18 years, so my toes are usually on display.

9. How long does it take to put on your makeup?
I can do it in 20 minutes, but I'd much rather take 30-40 minutes and take my time and play around a little. 

10. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
I always start with my face make up. I do save my corrector/concealer for after my eye make up though. It will cover any eye shadow fall out areas I needed to wipe down. 

11. Do you "collect" makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
I am a bit of a collector but I usually research before I buy something so that I don't end up spending money on something that isn't good. It still happens sometimes, but it annoys me to no end. I hate to waste money.

12. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
I wear them for evenings out or special occasions only.

13. Do you do a full face of makeup every day?
I don't always wear the same amount of make up, but I do wear make up every day. I know that makes me sound like a stepford wife, but really it just makes me feel so much better, and so much more confident. I don't judge, or even think about other people and if the are or aren't wearing make up. I just love it so. 

14. Do you wear makeup when you are home alone (or with family)?
 I certainly don't wear make up to work out, and I will wash my face before settling down for T.V. in the evening. But I do wear make up during the day. I don't usually stay home all day.

15. Will you leave the house without makeup?
I will, but I would rather not. Like I said, there is no way I would wear make up to the gym and if I had an errand to run after, no big deal. But I do like to get ready for the day at some point.

16. How many high end products do you have?
I guess most of my products would be considered high end. I have been reading many blogs on drug store equivalent make up though, and I am trying to find awesome products at a better price point. I will probably be blogging on this soon!

17. How often do you wash your makeup brushes?
I wash my brushes at least once a week, if not more. 

18. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you are getting dressed?
If I have somewhere special to go I plan my outfit the day (or even the week) before. But on a day to day basis, I just get up and wear what feels good.

19. How often do you change your handbag?
Probably every season or so. It's nice to switch it up, but I do own some great bags that I use year after year. I will just put them up in a dust bag for a season or two, then pull them back out. Of course if I'm going out at night I will switch to a small bag or clutch.

20. What time do you get up & go to sleep?
I typically go to sleep around 10:30 and I wake up at around 6:30.

21. How often & when do you workout?
NOT NEARLY AS MUCH AS I SHOULD! I hate working out so much. I try to jog and lift some free weights here and there, but it's not nearly as consistent as it should be. But when I do work out, it is ALWAYS in the morning. If I don't do it in the morning, I don't do it.

22. Left-handed or Right-handed?
Right-handed, with a few left-handed tendencies. I remember a teacher taking the pencil out of my left hand, and making me use my right. She was probably just trying to make my life easier.

23. How tall are you?
5'4"

24. Do you speak a foreign language?
 No hablo. Although I did take Spanish in high school.

25. How many pets do you have?
I have 2 dogs. Louie is a 14 lb. poodle. Leila is a 6 lb. Yorkie-poo.

26. How often are you on Blogger?
I read blogs constantly. Probably every day. I haven't been writing as much as I would like to though. I'm trying to get back into the swing of it.

27. Do you read the comments posted blogs?
For sure! On the blog, and the other social media outlets where I post. I always read them.

28. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
 Yes, I do! Especially if it is a blogger that I seem to have a lot in common with. It's so nice to read someone else's review of a product before you buy it.

29. How did you come up with your blog name?
 I wanted a name that allowed me to blog about beauty products, and so much more. I wanted to talk about transitioning into the middle age years and how to still feel good about myself. It was also important to me to have the word "Grace" in the title because I am a Christian, and I want to live in His grace.

30. What kind of camera do you use for photographs?
Um... my iphone 5. Lol. I should probably have something nicer.

31. How often do you clean your house? (Daily, weekly, other)
I pick up around the house everyday but I try to clean once a week. Please notice that I said try. :) 

32. What is your favourite colour?
Green and Pink

33. What is your favorite beauty/fashion magazine?
I actually like More, Lucky and Redbook. 

34. Do you swear?
Yes I do. But not too often.

35. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
I'm going to go for a walk, go to the grocery, do a few loads of laundry, pick my son up from school, then plan dinner. I kind of love days like this. Usually I work on Mondays, but I am off today.

Have a Blessed Day!


OH... and I'm tagging www.thenigottothinking.com with this beauty blogger questionnaire.    

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

From One Coast To Another

Well, the countdown is on. I have officially 33 days left of being a resident of California. My family is moving back to Florida. Actually, half of my family has already moved to Florida. My husband started a new job there in October, and my daughter has been going to school there for two years now. I am here in a tiny apartment with my son who only has a month left of high school. Then he will be attending college in Florida as well. Could I possibly be old enough to have two kids in college? The best part, is that I will get to live with my husband again. AMEN!


Ten years ago, if you would have told me that I was going to spend nine years living in California, I would have told you that you are crazy. I grew up in the midwest, and then moved around back east for several years as a young adult. Florida being one of those places. I fell in love with the state while I was living there, and I am beyond excited that we are going back.


The only thing that makes the move difficult is leaving behind some pretty terrific people. I have made some wonderful friends here. The interesting thing about getting older, is that you are more choosy about your friends. I have absolutely surrounded myself with people who are positive and caring and want the best for me, as I do for them. While I will be sad to lose the daily connection with them, I know that we will be friends for life. 


Although it's never easy, I feel optimistic that I will start a new and exciting chapter in my life back in Florida. I'm not sure where my career will be going, but I know that I am going to make something happen for myself. I will continue to be choosy when looking for new friendships. Most importantly, I will look for happiness within my Faith, my family, and myself. I so believe that this is the key to growing old gracefully.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

What's In Your Polish?

While I don't miss the chunky, fake looking acrylic nails that I used to sport, I do miss having a manicure that stays put for two weeks. That was really convenient. But the drill they used on my nails was scary, and if the manicurist was wearing a mask... shouldn't I be? Years ago, I decided to nix the acrylic nails.


Then I learned about the gel manicure that was supposed to last 10 to 14 days. This manicure supposedly doesn't destroy your nails, and there is no drill or mask used by the manicurist. I had to try it, and I was pretty happy with the results. They had pretty colors to choose from, and the manicure did last two weeks. Although they did not use the drill, they did buff the top of my nails pretty severely. The gel manicure is placed under a UV lamp, and it is literally completely dry in 2 minutes. Talk about convenient. So I enjoyed the gel manicure for a few months, but I could absolutely feel that my nails were getting weaker. I decided to give my nails a breather, and boy did they need it. They were very weak underneath. I don't think I will consistently get a gel manicure, but it is a great idea for vacations, special occasions etc...

So I was still on the search for a beautiful and safe manicure.  During my search, I found this line of nail polishes called Julep. 


The fun website is what drew me in. You can take a style quiz to find your style profile. They will then direct you to the line of colors available that they think suits you. My profile was "Bombshell". Love it. I started to read more about this line, and really liked what I was learning. Julep polishes have none of the 3 major carcinogens that many nail polishes contain. Those being, formaldehyde, toluene and DBP's. Scary. This is something I probably wouldn't have thought about in my 20's and 30's, but by 40... I have seen they devastating affects of cancer. I know better than to ignore the danger warnings of carcinogens. 


So I ordered a few of these Julep nail polishes, and I really like them. The colors are beautiful, and the brushes are a nice size to make them easy to use. I ordered the New Neutral pack.
  If you can remember, I tried another safe nail polish line awhile ago called Acquarella, that I absolutely hated. It literally began to chip within hours. While this polish does not last as long as a gel manicure, it does seem to have a fairly long lasting effect (several days, not hours).

What kind of manicure are you getting? Are carcinogens a concern for you? 












Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing

Along with the entire country, I have been closely following news this week, watching to find out more on the horrible bombing incident at the Boston Marathon. There was no doubt in my mind that we would catch the cruel terrorist(s) that was/were behind something so evil. I felt such anger and hatred for whoever was behind this, and painted the ugliest picture in my head of what they might look like. Of what evil might look like. Never in my mind did it look like this.


This is a little boy, with wide, innocent looking doe eyes. He is 19 years old, the same age as my daughter. I can't imagine what has happened in his short life to make him even think of doing something so horrific, let alone acting it out. His name is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and according to reports, he and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev (who died in a police shoot out) are responsible for the bombing. 


I am very proud of the city of Boston, for the way they responded to the bombing. I loved hearing all the stories of the people coming together to help those in need, both physically and emotionally. This is the only good thing to come out of the bombing. Instead of being discouraged by mankind (two lone people acting this evil out), I am choosing to be inspired by the hundreds of strong, brave and compassionate people that rallied around each other in this time of need.


The Boston city Police worked tirelessly to find the people responsible for this cruel act. I am so grateful to them, and I know the entire city of Boston has shown their gratitude to them as well.


The news reported that people were cheering in the streets when Dzhokhar was finally captured. 


I understand that the people must have felt so relieved that they were no longer in harm. They were showing their gratitude to the police for keeping them safe. I only hope that these picture don't translate differently in other countries. This was not a witch hunt, and these people are not cheering because they will get revenge on this boy. They are cheering because no other innocent people will be hurt by some one that was obviously out to do just that.

I am so sad for all those in Boston who lost loved ones, or were injured by this senseless act. But I am also sad for this 19 year old boy, who some how was so misguided and jaded. His life is over now too... and for what? 

The youngest victim of the bombings was Martin Richard. He was only 8 years old, but this picture taken of him earlier proves that he may have been the wisest of us all.


God Bless his precious little soul, as well as all the other victims in Boston.




Monday, April 1, 2013

Don't Judge a Bunny by It's Box


Milk chocolate, or dark chocolate? Hollow, or solid? Boxed or unboxed? So many considerations when trying to decide on the most perfect chocolate bunny for your Easter basket.


Last week I read a yahoo shopping article that wrote of the results of a blind taste test held to rate some of the top selling chocolate bunnies on the market. They tested eight different bunnies that ranged in price from $3.29 to $23.50. While Godiva did place third in the taste test (the most expensive bunny), the Lindt and Hershey bunnies, which are far less expensive, came in first and second respectively.

Here at the Rajewski house, we wanted to hold our own blind taste test. Seeing as I would never be willing to spend $23.50 on a chocolate bunny for an Easter basket, we decided to test three of the top placers, that were reasonably priced. After all agreeing that an Easter bunny was meant to be milk chocolate, we went with the Dove milk chocolate bunny, the Lindt milk chocolate bunny and the Hershey's Bliss milk chocolate bunny.


Before we did our blind taste test, we all came to the conclusion that esthetically, the Hershey's bunny looked the best. The Hershey's packaging was adorable. The box makes the bunny appear chunky in size, and it would look perfect nestled in a child's Easter basket. 


While the Lindt bunny is also attractive, it appears much smaller in size, and looks like more of an adult version of the Easter bunny. Very sophisticated.


The Dove bunny was our least favorite. It looks more like a cat than a bunny, and it is a yellowish mustard color, instead of a metallic gold like the other two.


Of the three bunnies, the Dove was the only solid bunny, and was a bit larger than the others at 4.5 ounces of chocolate. The Hershey's weighed in at 4 ounces, and the Lindt was 3.5 ounces of chocolate.
All three were comparable in calories/fat, as well as price per ounce. 

Moving on to the blind taste test. We had a unanimous first place winner! The results were a huge surprise to all of us. Without looking, or knowing which chocolate we were biting, we all chose the Dove milk chocolate bunny as the best tasting chocolate between the three.

Huh. Don't judge a book by it's cover, or in the case, don't judge a bunny by it's box.