Sepia Saturday 340

For this week’s Sepia Saturday, something a little silly!  These photos were in a group of photos that appear to have been taken during my paternal grandpa’s senior class trip in High School in about 1951.  The senior class of the Beccaria Coalport Irvona High school (commonly known as BCI) went on a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1951 just before they graduated.  We even have the class photo taken in DC as well as a newspaper clipping that mentions that says, “Seniors returned home Thursday night from a three-day sightseeing tour of Washington, D. C.,” in an article dated Saturday, 2 Jun 1951.


Boys will be boys, right?  I can be pretty sure my grandfather took both of these photos since he’s not in either of them, but the painting of flowers on the wall confirms they were taken in the same room, probably a hotel in Washington, D.C.  They’re all likely classmates, though I’m not sure exactly the names of the boys since the photos aren’t labelled.  I could probably figure it out by going through his yearbook, but it would be hard to be completely sure.  Either way, it’s a nice fit for the prompt image, and what I’m sure was a fun night far from home for these kids who had probably never left their small coal mining town before.  Looking forward to next week!


One Local Summer 2016 – Week 9


Well, now I’m really behind, but hey, I’m catching up.  I didn’t realize quite how tedious it would be to make dinner for just myself and I’ll admit that most days, the idea of putting all that effort into a meal just for me is just not thrilling at all.  I either end up with so much leftover that I’m eating the same meal all week, or it feels like a waste of time to go through all those steps for one or two servings.  And to think, I have 3 or 4 more months of this!  Time to put on my big girl pants and woman-up I guess, but man.. I’m just suddenly not feeling this at all.  And, I’m out of ideas, so if you have a super awesome recipe that incorporates locally grown, seasonal food?  I’m open to suggestion!  The simpler, the better too.

So, anyway, now that I’ve got my little bitch-fest out of the way, this is Week 9’s dinner.  Simple, really, but still good.  That’s smoked chorizo with some cheese, grilled zucchini, and pickled (fermented) beets.  The beets are white because they were white beets, so no worry about staining everything when I inevitably drip the beet juice everywhere.  On the top right is a simple salad with greens, cucumbers, and the first tomato from the garden.  Yet again this year, I didn’t get the garden off the ground, having been crazed with everything going on this spring, but I did manage to get three little tomato plants in the ground that the rabbits didn’t completely destroy, so that’s something!

Smoked Chorizo – Countrytime Farm
Zucchini – Jack’s Farm
Beets – Jack’s Farm
Cucumbers – Jack’s Farm
Lettuce – Charlestown Farm
Tomato – My Garden
Cheese – Birchrun Hills, “Red Cat” cheese
Non Local – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil

Sephora Play! July 2016


I was FINALLY able to sign up for PLAY! by Sephora just this past month.  It appears they’re slowly opening up subscription spots periodically, so if you haven’t gotten an invitation yet, it hopefully shouldn’t be long!  Anyway, my first box arrived this week on July 19th.  Inside the black and white striped box, there’s a folded insert that shows the products you received as well as a card for 50 Beauty Insider points when you purchase items in-store at Sephora.  Underneath that is a bag containing the products.  This month’s theme was, “Effortless Summer,” and the bag has a cute pink ice pop design with a lipstick kiss mark next to it.  The boxes were apparently a little different depending on your preferences and I know I received the “Dry Skin” variant.

  • benefit Dew the Hoola – 1 oz / $28 – (Sample size is .16 oz, value of $4.48 by volume)  At first I thought, eh, bronzer, because it’s just not a thing I wear generally.  I thought the product looked a little dark for my fair skin, but it actually goes on very subtly and makes for a nice summer glow that will definitely work to extend what little natural summer bronzing I pick up from gardening and mowing the lawn.  It would definitely be too dark once I fade back to pale in the winter, but this will definitely work for late summer and fall.
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – 1 oz / $5.50 – (Trial Size Product)  Fragrance free and SLS/ALS free!  It foams slightly into a creamy lather and doesn’t irritate my skin or feel drying at all which is rather nice.  Definitely going to keep this to slip into my travel bag.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – .5 oz / $16 – (Sample size is .25 oz, value of $8)  I have a bunch of these that I’ve gotten as free samples on various orders, but it works well enough that I’m not mad to have another one that I’ll use eventually.  I really don’t ever do a full-face foundation since I just don’t need it and feel smothered by foundation anyway, but for the times that we’re going out somewhere nice and I do the full dip, this is nice to have on hand.
  • Ouai Wave Spray – 5 oz / $26 – (Sample is 1.7 oz, value of $8.84 by volume)  It smells nice, but it has an ingredient, “Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate,” which is a, “sticky ingredient that can cause hair and scalp dryness, plus strip hair color with repeated use,” according to  I do color my hair with henna and my scalp is already SO DRY, so this is a big miss.  Bummer too, because it smells rather nice, but the more I look at ingredients, the more it seems they chose the more irritating ingredients.  Plus, my hair is already phone-cord curly, and I really don’t need MORE waves/curls, so this misses the mark in multiple ways.  Going to throw this is the trade/give-away box.
  • Beautyblender Blotterazzi – 1 set / $20 – (Sample is a single blotter, approx value $10)  Oh man, peak summer, so I can definitely use this.  The little cardboard pack has a single blotter made from the same material as the beautyblender and has a small packet of liquid cleanser inside as well to clean the blotter pad.  It’s pink (eew, pink, ugghhh), and I’m not sure how to keep it sanitary while being used since the packaging is cardboard, but I might be able to sneak it inside an old mint tin or something?  Still, incredibly useful for summer whether you wear makeup or not.
  • Nest Citrine Fragrance – 1.7 oz / $68 – (Sample is .004 oz, value of $.16 by volume)  Well, I guess it’s good this is the lowest value item in the box because I really don’t like the scent.  It’s far too floral for me and in a bad way.  One of the scent notes is Freesia and that’s probably what’s turning me off.  I like scents that are a little deeper and muskier, with none of the stinky flower shop florals (Jasmine, Freesia, Rose, etc).  This is going to the trade/give-away box as well.

The total value comes to $36.98 which is decent for a box that cost $10.60 (including tax).  Even when you take out the two things I won’t be keeping, the value is still $27.98 which is above the cost.  I’m super bummed about the Ouai spray since it looks like it’s just going to irritate my already sahara-dry scalp, but I may give it a whirl on dry hair and try to keep it down at the ends to see if it helps with frizz.  I’m not entirely sure if this box is going to be a hit most months since it’s not cruelty-free and doesn’t contain the hippie-crunchy-granola sort of products I like – it’s more mainstream and popular instead of ingredient-conscious.  Still, for $10, as long as the box value keeps exceeding the cost for the items I do keep, it’s worth it!  Plus, if you have a Sephora nearby, the 50 points every month add up quickly.  Unfortunately my closest Sephora is in the Mall From Hell and between fighting for a parking spot and walking through the mall just to get to Sephora, I doubt I’ll be getting to the store to take advantage of these.  Oh well, 4 out of 6 of the items in the box were still worth trying and keeping, so that works for me!

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – July 2016


It’s that time again!  This month’s Espionage Cosmetics Nexus shipment was themed, “Passport to Nihon,” as a sort of tribute to some EC staff who had lived there at one point or another.  I had no idea what to expect and this could’ve gone a bunch of different ways, but I was TOTALLY psyched to open the bag and see these two gorgeous designs!

  • Ukiyo-E Nail Wrap – This is absolutely my favorite wrap between the two and without a doubt the one I’ll be voting and rooting for when it comes time to select which wrap makes it to go into regular sale on the Espionage Cosmetics Website.  This one was designed by the ever talented Sam Skyler who really knocked it out of the park.
  • Neko-Chan – AHHH!  How cute!  Let’s face it, I’m hopelessly addicted to Neko Atsume, so this is another great design.  Little hearts and paw prints alternate with cute little cats all over the wraps.  We currently have two dogs, but as a kid we had two cats, and between that and Neko Atsume’s virtual kitties, I’m loving this one and am pleased to see it as part of the shipment this month!

DSC_5844_weblogo DSC_5842_weblogo

The nail wraps usually cost $10 each on the Espionage Cosmetics website, so the value exceeds the cost of a month-to-month subscription at $15 per month.  What’s best is that after the voting ends, you have one fantastic nail wrap that survived the cut and one unicorn of a nail wrap that only Nexus subscribers will ever have which is, not gonna lie, pretty neat.  August’s theme has already been revealed too, and it’s, “Bedtime Stories.”  I cannot even begin to tell you how psyched I am for that one!  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

Sepia Saturday 339


A day late, but I still made it during the weekend for this week’s Sepia Saturday!  Our prompt image featured a photo of a cinema, but not having a photo of a cinema in my collection, I went with a photo of a town hall in Philipsburg, PA.  We’d probably driven past this town hall a number of times, but once I looked through the trunk of photos found when grandpa passed away, I found this and I KNEW it looked familiar but couldn’t place it.  Wouldn’t you know, the next time we drove through that small town, there it was!  The building has changed a little since 1951 when my photo was taken, and you can see the current view on Google Maps in Street View.  The building was originally the home of the Hope Fire Company, built in 1889, which would explain the big garage doors on the front of the building.  In 1960, the Fire Department moved out of the building pictured above and today it serves as the town hall.  I’m not quite sure why my grandpa took photos of the building other than that he happened to be thre with a camera.  We have tons of photos that he saved and he seemingly always had a camera of some sort or another with him.  It’s great though, because even in the somewhat mundane photos that don’t have people in them, you can still find something interesting.