Sepia Saturday 335

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When I sat down to write this today, I had selected a photo weeks ago and popped it into #335’s folder.  It’s no yawning koala bear like the prompt image for Sepia Saturday, but for whatever reason, the drowsy look on the faces of this couple was the first thing in my mind when I saw the prompt photo.  Sometimes you just go with the feeling of a photo instead of going deep into the finer details.  So, I opened up my WordPress new post editor and got to work, thinking I should probably do some research on who these folks were before putting up another, “Hey it’s a great photo, but I have no idea about the people!” sort of post.

Yet again, Sepia Saturday leads me to filling in some gaps on the family tree.  Extended, adopted family tree, but I now have a clear connection to these folks that I didn’t know about before!

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As you can see on the back of the photo postcard is written, “Mr & Mrs Bob Chilton.”  It doesn’t look like Olga’s writing, so I’m guessing this is the handwriting of Jessie (Battin) Powis, my 2x great-grandmother.  This photo has been on my radar for a while since the name isn’t familiar in the family or from the area in general.  I had tried to do a little research a while back, but came up kind of empty since Bob Chilton is a common enough name and I had other photos with more of a lead to work on.  I logged into Ancestry.com and tried to see if I could find a death certificate for a Bob or Robert Chilton since I have to assume he lived near my 2x great grandparents in Clearfield County, PA.  BINGO!  I found a death certificate (Ancestry.com link) for Thomas Robert Chilton who died in Ginter, Clearfield County, PA on 18 September 1938.  His parents are listed as Benjamin Chilton and Sarah Ann Powis.  Sarah Ann Powis.  And he was born in England.. Hannng on a minute!

My 2x great-grandfather is Alfred Powis who was born Alfred Jackson on 26 April 1859 in Walsall, Staffordshire, England, and came to the USA in 1872.  Alfred’s biological mother didn’t list his father’s name on his birth certificate and Alfred shows up on the 1861 census as a “Visitor” with Thomas Powis and Margaret Collings who apparently adopted him and brought him over to the USA.  Thomas Powis’ parents were Thomas Powis and Sarah Ferriday.

Getting back to our dear Mr. Bob Chilton.  Bob Chilton’s parents, as listed on his death certificate, were Benjamin Chilton and Sarah Ann Powis.  I managed to find a marriage record for Sarah and Benjamin for 26 Mar 1849 at Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England listing Sarah Ann’s father as Thomas Powis (Ancestry.com link).  Well, that’s good enough for me.  I already knew from a census rcord for Thomas Powis the younger (Alfred’s adoptive father) that he had a sister named Sarah Ann, so the pieces fell neatly into place.  To seal the deal, there was even a passport application online (Ancestry.com link) with a photo of Thomas Robert Chilton which absolutely without a doubt matched my photo.

As for Mrs. Bob Chilton, her name is Hannah Elizabeth Fry.  Once Bob’s story fell into place, I found her Find A Grave entry giving us her birth/death dates and parents’ names.

If that left you with your head spinning, here’s a screenshot from Ancestry.com to show the relationship.  Remember that Alfred J Powis is my 2x great-grandfather and while his parents are not his biological parents, they adopted him and cared for him, so his adoptive family factored into his life likely more than his biological family ever did.

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Whew!  So how’s that for a long post?!  In poking around on Ancestry.com, it looks like lots of other members have Bob as having died in 1913, but I don’t think that’s correct at all.  All it takes is one person to post an erroneous fact, then it slowly cascades through other trees as people save it to theirs without fact-checking.  I have a pretty high degree of certainty that I have everything correct here since all my pieces fit together well, plus, it would make sense for Alfred to have a photo of his (adoptive) cousin who lived nearby.  Anyway, that’s that, and I’m feeling rather pleased with myself for having sorted out this mystery today!

EDIT 9:04 pm EDT: Turns out, I have even more evidence this is the right guy!  I found this (ancestry.com link) 1871 England census showing Thomas R Chilton living with Thomas Powis, Margaret Collings and Alfred Powis.  So, there you have it!  The boys definitely spent some time living together and probably had a closer connection than I thought at first!

Espionage Cosmetics BOOM!Box June 2016

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This one arrived last week, but in the craziness that was husband’s last week home before heading out to sea for something like 4 months, it waited patiently for its day in front of the lens!  BEHOLD the glory of the June BOOM!Box from Espionage Cosmetics!  This month’s theme was, “Naturally Awesome.”  Now I had to wonder what sort of things they’d fit into the theme.. Dinosaurs?  Carnivorous plants?  I’m pleased to say I was right on both accounts and was then was surprised by a few extra additions I hadn’t even considered!  On to the contents..

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On the left is a candle from Boonzy Arts in honor of that famous man-eating plant.  The candle is a wicked green color, made from soy wax, and smells like fresh cut grass with just a wee twist of citrus.  It’s a lovely scent and just what I’d imagine to work perfectly with the theme.  They also included a card for 10% off a future purchase.  I KNOW I’m going to use that since I see a bunch of candles that would make great gifts.

On the right is a set of Treestar Hair Pins.  This is a fantastic way to include the dinosaur bit of the theme by a reference to Land Before Time, a movie I know and love from my childhood.  In fact, I live near a school district called the Great Valley School District, not on purpose though, honest!  A friend, whenever she comes to visit and we drive by the school, shouts out, “IT’S THE GREAT VALLEYYYYY!”  Endless source of amusement.  Back to the pins!  I have long curly hair and use pins like this ALL the time, so these are going straight into regular rotation for hair-wrangling purposes.

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Next up are TWO nail wraps this month.  I honestly can’t pick a favorite – they’re both SO neat and perfect for the theme.  The left is the Turquoise nail wrap with silver and gold foil accents.  One half of the nail wrap set has silver foil and the other half has gold foil.  I’m torn between making one hand gold and one silver, or mixing them together on both hands.  They’re just stunningly lovely.  The right nail wrap is Pretty Poison and features foil accents on the leaves and a clear background with poison ivy vines and a venus fly trap design.  Carnivorous plants are probably one of nature’s neatest creations, and I absolutely cannot wait to wear these.  Also included, as usual, is a EC branded nail file.

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No box themed, “Naturally Awesome,” would be complete without a nod to CAPTAIN PLANET!  Oh man, this box is hitting all the nostalgia for me.  They included a sweet set of double-sided colored pencils and three coloring pages.  The pages are the Espionage Cosmetics Crest, a cute woodlands fairy scene, and that sweet Captain Planet logo that’s been Espionage-Cosmeticized.  All the coloring pages were designed by the ever talented Sam Skyler.  I really should work on one today since it’s a dreary rainy day and I could use a little coloring-therapy.

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WHOA!  Okay, so this is really neat.  It’s a contouring set featuring three pigments.  There are two highlighters: Cryosphere is a cool toned highlighter and Thermosphere is a warm toned highlighter.  Terrafirma completes the set as the darker color to create depth.  Now, I’ll admit that I’ve never done any sort of contouring before, so this is all new to me, but thankfully there’s a fantastic tutorial in the package with the pigments that gives you an idea of how they work, what to highlight and what to darken and how it all comes together for a final look.  I haven’t yet had a chance to try these, but I’m amped to see how it works out!  This is a BOOM!Box debut exclusive, so subscribers get to try this set first before they’re released on the website.

I can’t even begin to calculate a value, but with just the two nail wraps and the contouring set, we’re already well over the cost of the box which is between $25 and $30 depending on the length of the subscription.  The box this month was SO full of fun things and well exceeded what I expected with the subtle nods to my childhood – clearly, these are my people, and they are awesome, naturally!  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

Beautycon Summer 2016

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I decided to spring for the Summer Beautycon Box since there was a coupon code and the total came to $21.49 with shipping and it’s one I haven’t heard much about before.  It’s a box that is delivered four times a year, once every 3 months, so, March, June, September, and December.  I plan on doing this box as a one-off and waiting to see who is curating the next box before jumping on again.  Unfortunately, Beautycon makes it pretty difficult to unsubscribe.  Their policy is that when you purchase a box, you automatically sign up for the month-to-month payment system for all boxes.  In order to unsubscribe from the next delivery, you have to email within 7 days of receiving the current box.  It seems a little silly that you can’t just hit a button on their website to unsubscribe or opt in or out of the next box and that the unsubscription window is so short.  I much prefer being able to know the curator before making a decision about the next box, and being forced to make that decision before knowing anything about the next box is really troublesome.
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Anyway!  Inside the box, smiling up at you, is a portrait of Kandee Johnson, the curator of th summer box.  I had honestly never heard of Kandee before, but she’s apparently a famous beauty expert on YouTube.  On the back of this card is the rundown of the contents of the box along with social media links.  It might sound silly, but I really like how the box is put together with the packaging, product card on top, and a little message on the inside that says, “Oh Hey, Beauty!”  There’s also a cardboard insert on top of the contents that reminds you about social media links and tells you to make sure the lighting is just right for your unboxing video.  Cute.

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SO!  All of that in one box!  When I brought it in from the mailbox, I thought, Hey wow, that’s heavy, and there’s why!  Four full size products that were over an ounce with the Redken Spray at 8.5 oz.  Really pretty impressive!  I had seen previous boxes and there were some items that weren’t makeup, skincare, etc inside, but this one is ALL makeup and skincare.  From Kandee’s video on YouTube, it looks like they were all selected for being great for summer, and it definitely shows.  On to the details!

  • Benzac Blemish Clearing Hydrator – 1 oz  / $8.99 – (Full Size Product)  Being the natural sort of nut that I am, the first thing I noticed was that this contains parabens.  Salicylic acid has really never done anything for my acne either, but this might be something to try during the uh, more acne-challenging week of the month, if you catch my drift.  I like the idea of combining an acne fighting ingredient with a moisturizer to keep your skin from drying out though.
  • Garnier Clearly Brighter Moisturizer – 2.5 oz / $14.99 – (Full Size Product)  It’s a moisturizer with a chemical sublock at SPF 15 which I know is something I should be doing more often.  Granted, I’m not out in the sun that often to begin with, but I really ought to be using a SPF15 on my face every day.  I guess now I have no excuse!
  • Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil – 4 oz / $8.99 – (Full Size Product)  Another product that contains parabens.  I’m no stranger to cleansing oils, but the ones I use have far fewer ingredients!  (Is my organic/natural nerd snobbery showing?  I think it might be…)  It’s a huge product to include, and a far better way to clean your face than a soap or cleanser that strips away oils, not to mention that cleansing oils remove makeup really well.
  • Redken Fashion Waves Sea Salt Spray – 8.5 oz / $15.25 – (Full Size Product)  I was really excited about this until I read that the second ingredient is Magnesium Sulfate.  I have crazy curly hair and I’m super picky about what products I use in my hair and sulfates tend to be no-nos.  Tightly Curly lists that ingredient as an avoid.  I’m probably still going to try it to see how it treats my second-day curls since I have it.
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil – .18 oz / $4.50 – (Full Size Product)  The color included is, “Cashmere,” and it’s a warm gold color that’s just perfect for some summer shine.
  • NYX Ombre Lip Duo – .004 oz / $12 – (Full Size Product)  The color included is, “Peaches & Cream,” which is a light yellow-orange on one end and a darker bright orange on the other.  The lighter end is a thicker tip and the darker orange is a thinner tip almost like an eyeliner.  Oranges really don’t work for me as lip colors.. I gave it a try just because an ombre lip color seemed like fun, and the effect is really neat and really bright!  I could see using this on a day at the beach, but, I’m not a beach person and have no plans to go to the beach this summer anyway.  I may stash it away for some future caribbean vacation or repurpose it as an eyeliner/eyeshadow since the formula is pretty matte and would work well as an eyeshadow color set.
  • Smashbox Brow Tech Shaping Powder – .03 oz / $25 – (Full Size Product)  This is the item I’m most excited about in the box, and the color includes was “Taupe.”  I have pretty thin eyebrows – not thin in width, but very sparsely populated, if that makes sense.  I’m already a huge fan of Benefit’s Gimme Brow, and this looks like it fills in the gaps in my eyebrows maybe even a little bit better since it’s a powder with fibers instead of basically an eyebrow mascara with fibers.  It doesn’t take much, and that little pot will last a long while.
  • Too Faced Waterproof Better Than Sex Mascara – .27 oz / $23 – (Sample is .17 oz, value of $14.48)  I’ve heard a lot about this mascara, but unfortunately cyclopentasiloxane is on the list, an ingredient I know irritates my eyes.  Anything with this ingredient sends me straight to having the worst puffy itchy eyes, but you know I’m probably going to try it anyway, just on the off chance that this is the magic formula that doesn’t bother me.
  • VersaSpa Gradual Tanning Face Moisturizer – 2 oz / $35 – (Sample is .25 oz, value of $4.38)  I’m just not into chemical tanning products.  Pale is a naturally beautiful color and I really have no use for something like this.  PLUS, there’s no ingredient list on the product, and even the website doesn’t have the full ingredient list.  That always makes me think they have something to hide.
  • LA Fresh Wipes – 4 wipe sample pack / $2.99 – (Sample is two wipes, value of $1.50)  Included were the wipes, “Instant Cooling Body Soother” and “Oil-Free Face Cleanser.”  Okay, first off, these are NOT compostable or biodegradeable because of the ingredients in the wipes, one of which is my arch nemesis again, cylopentasiloxane, which studies have shown can bioaccumulate in fish.  This isn’t something you want to stick in your compost bin and later mix into your garden to grow tomatoes, so it really bothers me that LA Fresh markets these wipes as compostable and biodegradable when it’s not at all safe to do either with these.  Anyway, I’ll probably still use them, but unfortunately, they have to go in the trash, NOT the compost bin.
  • Cover FX Contour Brush – 1 brush / $38 – (Full Size Product)  This is actually a really nice surprise!  I just got a contouring set in another box, so now I have the right brush to go with it!  This is the most expensive item in the box and easily covers the cost of the box.

Also included (not added into the box value) is a promo card for 15% off Seventeen’s The Edit shop when it opens later this summer.  Let’s face it, I haven’t been 17 for over 17 years at this point and even the curator is older than I am, so this feels a bit misplaced.  Either that, or I’m not really the target age group for this box.

When you add everything up, the total value comes out to $148.08 depending on how you calculate the value of some of the sample sizes, just shy of $150 which is really amazing for a box that only cost me $21.49.  On the other side of that, there’s really nothing new and super exciting in this box.  The big items are basic drugstore brands which isn’t terribly exciting, all the colors are standard, nothing special or unique that only comes in this box and can’t be purchased elsewhere.  I’m left feeling like I should love this box more than I do when all is said and done.  Really, what I’m coming to realize, is that I need to stick with vegan or cruelty-free boxes because this kind of box just isn’t me, especially as I’ve become more conscious of the ingredients in cosmetics and skincare products.  There are wonderful options out there that don’t contain two dozen ingredients, half of which are unpronouncable, and do the same thing just as well if not better.  So, I guess, mixed feelings on this!  Like I said, the value is really incredible, but personally, I’m left feeling like this just wasn’t the box for me.

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 5

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I actually have TWO this week for One Local Summer, so I’m jamming them into one post instead of splitting them into two.  This week was husband’s final week home before going out to a ship for quite a long while, so he took advantage of the time home to cook up a storm.  This is me, not complaining.  First up!  A house favorite, biscuits and gravy with a side of yogurt and strawberries and of course, coffee.  We made our biscuits with lard – I have no idea where the recipe came from, but if I find out, I’ll add a link – and they come out so delightful.  We had the buttermilk for the gravy and it felt like it would be a slight not to include it in the biscuits as well.  The flour is probably my favorite part of this.  We actually have an old stone mill locally that buys their wheat from PA farmers and then mills it with a gigantic water wheel just a few minutes down the road.  They sell it, along with cornmeal, to help fund the mill’s educational programs and it’s SUCH a delight to have locally grown and milled wheat available to us, not to mention the historic aspect of the fact that it was ground in a mill that’s 250 years old!  In order to make the meal just a little more healthy, we added the side of strawberries and yogurt.  The coffee?  Not local, but I dare you to tell me that I can’t have it with breakfast.

Ingredients:
Lard – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Sausage – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Strawberries – Hoagland Farm
Yogurt – Seven Stars Farm
Buttermilk – Maplehofe Dairy
Non Local – Coffee, Salt, Pepper

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I did mention this was a two-fer, right?  Second local meal for the week features ribs with grilled vegetables, a cucumber salad and CHEESE.  The ribs were cooked in the slow cooker first and then given a quick roast in the oven with our own homemade fruit ketchup using tomatoes and apples from the farmers market and peaches from our own tree.  Pretty sure this is the same recipe we used from the Ball Canning Book for the ketchup.  The veggies on the side were carrots, snap peas, and zucchini.  Then there was the classic cucumber salad – cucumbers soaked in vinegar making not-quite-pickles, but a nice refreshing not-lettuce sort of salad for the side.  Then there’s the CHEESE – I believe that’s all Birchrun Hills cheese between Fat Cat, Red Cat, and some Clipper.  REALLY a good dinner – the ribs were absolutely perfect and it was a nice way to end a stormy evening.

Ingredients:
Ribs – Countrytime Farm
Cucumbers – Jack’s Farm
Zucchini – Jack’s Farm
Snap peas – Jack’s Farm
Carrots – Charlestown Farm
Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Non Local – Homemade Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – June 2016

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Welcome to Espionage Cosmetics’ Nexus, first of its name.  This offshoot of the BOOM!Box features a monthly delivery of two nail wraps in a slick black bubble mailer.  The cost is $15 per month with discounts for longer subscriptions, and you receive two brand new designs before they’ve been released to the public as well as a chance to vote for which will go on to permanent sale on the Espionage Cosmetics website.  This month’s theme was “Formulaic” and I think both wraps fit the theme perfectly.

  • Chemistry Nail Wrap – Super nerdy nail wrap featuring the periodic table in white on an atomic orange background.  They even have a neat glow in the dark design!  There’s a little bit of reverse chemistry at play if you look closely.
  • Euler’s Formula – I’m not a math nerd, but I can appreciate that complexity of such a concept.  Another glow in the dark nail wrap, this one looks like Euler’s Formula written in chalk on a chalkboard and I love how this came out.
  • Nail File – Obligatory.  So nice to get a fresh nail file in every subscription delivery.

The nail wraps usually go for $10 each on the Espionage Cosmetics website, so the value already exceeds the cost of even the month-to-month subscription.  Getting access to new nail wraps first?  PRICELESS.  I’m so in love with all of their nail wraps, and it’s super fun to get all the new ones before they’re released to the public and decide which one of the two makes the cut to regular production.  July’s theme has already been released, “Passport to Nihon,” and I can’t wait to see what they come up with for next month!  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!