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!

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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.

Lip Monthly July 2016


I decided to try out Lip Monthly since they had a special running to get four months for just under $40 which meant the first bag was free.  I didn’t realize that the first bag would be a duplicate of an old bag – May’s bag, seen here on My Subscription Addiction.  I like everything in the bag, and it’s a really great bag, but I felt like it was a little dishonest to say that my first bag would be free, and instead of sending July’s bag, send out May’s instead as the ‘free’ bag.  I can’t say this inspires any kind of faith for the remaining three months of the subscription.  But anyway, on to the contents..

  • Jor’el Parker Fango Mud Therapy – 1 oz / $3 – (Product is sample size)  I didn’t even realize that this is a Harvey Prince product until I went to look it up.  I do like mud masks, but like all of Harvey Prince’s products, this is HEAVILY scented.  Also troubling is that there’s no ingredient list on the product nor is there an ingredient list on the website.  I did end up finding one elsewhere and while it’s pretty basic, it’s nothing terribly special either.  I’ll still give it a whirl one of these days, but the scent is honestly overpowering.  Also!  The product card lists the value of this as $10, but I found it on the Harvey Prince website for $3 as the sample size.
  • Dirty Little Secret Lipstick – 3.8 g / $10 – (Product is full size)  On the website, this looks like a perfect scarlet red, but even in the tube it looks more berry colored, almost a little violet.  Fortunately, it goes on more towards the berry-red spectrum for me and looks surprisingly great on!  It’s not too bright either and is probably my absolute new favorite color which I wasn’t expecting when I opened the tube.  Honestly pleasantly surprised by this!  The formula is somewhat matte, but doesn’t seem to have a lot of staying power.  Still, I like the color that much that this is a big win for me.
  • So Susan Jello Shot – 4.5 mL / $24.95 – (Product is full size)  It’s BRIGHT orange in the tube, but the second I put it on my lips, it turned this sweet shade of pink and stuck around forever.  I can’t see using this on my cheeks but it makes for a fantastic lip stain, and yet again, was something that I was a little skeptical about, but ended up being probably the best lip stain I’ve ever tried.  It seems like the pink color can vary based on you skin chemistry and temperature, but my pink was a pretty steady Hello Kitty pink-pink.
  • Manna Kadar Lip Locked Priming Gloss Stain – 5 mL / $24 – (Product is full size)  At first glance, the color, Lucky, looks a little bit like a dusty rose tone which never works out on my skin, however, once I put it on, it was basically the perfect neutral for my lips.  Most neutrals completely wash me out and make me look like a corpse, but this has enough red/pink in it that it almost nearly perfectly matches my natural lip color.  So, score again for a product I never ever would’ve thought to pick up that ended up being a total winner.  The formula isn’t a gloss or stain like the name implies – it’s definitely more like a liquid lipstick than anything else, but the website says it contains a stain, primer, and pigment all in one.

The total value comes to $61.95 which is pretty fantastic when you consider this bag cost me just under $10.  I’m honestly a little torn.. while I’m a little bothered by the lack of transparency on the website about the ‘free’ bag being a previous month’s bag, I’m honestly super happy with the three lip products and will give the mud mask a go because I do love a good mud mask.  On their Facebook page, they mentioned that they chose the May bag as the free bag because it had great customer feedback, and I see why, but I am a little disappointed that I’m not getting the actual July bag though I’ve not yet seen anyone post that one online.  I feel like I need to repeat myself because I DO like the bag, but the misleading advertising is troubling.  I’ve still got three months left, so we’ll see how things go.

Sepia Saturday 338

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For this week’s Sepia Saturday, our prompt image featured a man walking down a street.  My photo here is instead of a man standing, but wearing about the same clothes and holding the same sort of hat as the man in our photo!  This is clearly taken in the winter and likely near his childhood home – there are no leaves on the trees and it looks like there’s snow or ice on the ground.  If I had to guess on a date for the photo, I’d say probably mid to late 1920s.  The man in the photo is Waldo Orvis Powis, born 5 April 1906 in Beccaria, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania and died on 3 Jul 1981 in Flushing, Queens, New York.  My great grandmother was this man’s sister and wrote on the back of the photo with the handwriting indicative of her later years, “Waldo, Jack the Duke.”  I’ve seen Waldo referred to as Jack a number of times, and while I’m not sure how he came across that nickname, I can only imagine he preferred it to Waldo!

Waldo married Irma Catherine McGarvey on 10 April 1926.  He later divorced her on 1 October 1934 and married not even a year later on 3 August 1935 to Anna Josephine Capko.  He spent two years in the Navy from 1942 to 1944.  At some point before 1950, but after his Navy service, he moved to Queens and lived there with Anna till his death in 1981.  He had two children with Irma, Shirley and Kenneth, though it looks like the kids went with their mother to Minnesota.

It’s not necessarily a super special photo this week, but a nice one nonetheless, probably taken by his sister, Olga.  I’m glad Olga went back and pencilled on a label, though I’m fairly sure I could’ve identified this as Waldo without the label at this point.  Looking forward to next week!


One Local Summer 2016 – Week 8


More than 5 ingredients this week for One Local Summer!  I decided to get a little more ambitious after having seen dill at the farmers market and decided to go for chicken pitas (pita recipe) with a tzatzki-ish sauce.  Unfortunately, I neglected to run back and grab a cucumber, but managed to cobble something together that worked well enough.  The pitas were done on the grill using our pizzaque – they seem to work best this way since the stone gets really hot and a quick open and close of the grill keeps the internal temperature high enough for them to puff up perfectly.  After the pitas were done, on went the mushrooms and fennel with the zucchini sliced right beside it and then the chicken with a healthy spring of dill on top.  Then on the side is a simple salad with some cheese and more of the tzatzki-ish sauce as dressing.  The sauce is a goat’s milk yogurt base with garlic scapes and dill added to the yogurt.  It was a really nice meal for a warm summer week, and being able to cook everything outside on the grill made everything easier since I didn’t heat up the house!

Chicken – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Zucchini – Jack’s Farm
Fennel – Jack’s Farm
Garlic Scapes – North Star Orchard
Dill – North Star Orchard
Cheese – “Pepito” from Yellow Springs Farm
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Lettuce – Charlestown Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Honey – Our Hives
Non Local – Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Yeast