Sepia Saturday 344-e

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For our final week of the Sepia Saturday theme, “From Here to There,” I dug out my photos of the Miller Twins.  These two boys were featured in a few photos labelled only as, “Miller Twins,” on the back and I figured that twin boys would be easy enough to find without knowing their first names or much other information about them!  I assumed my great grandma Olga Powis lived near them and I assumed they’d be on the 1920  or 1930 census for a place to start.  The batch of photos that look like this (size/shape/quality) are dated around then, so it gave me a good guessing range.  Sure enough, I found an entry for twin boys Charles and William Miller who were born in 1918 on the 1930 census ( link), sons of Merl Miller and Euphamie Lamb.  Euphamie shows up in another photo (link to blog post) with her boys which is what helped wrap the whole thing up to what I feel is a fairly positive identification.

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As far as a date for the photos, I assume they’re about 4 or 5 in the set of photos here, so we’re talking 1923 (+-2 years).  The twins were born on March 14th 1918 in Coalport, Pennsylvania.  William died 11 June 1944 while fighting in WWII and was buried in France, and Charles on 19 Feb 1998 in Pennsylvania.  According to the 1920 census, they lived a matter of a few blocks from my great grandmother.  By the 1930 census, they had moved about an hour away to Blacklick in Cambria County.  To tie it into the theme, one of the photos shows the boys perched on the running board of a car.  Together though, even though they’re not related, these photos are a sweet little snapshot into the lives of these twins and the details are wonderful – the matching shirts and pocket watches, the beloved pet dog, the wash on the line behind the boys, the car!  I do hope to find some descendant or someone in the family line who might be interested in these, and I’m glad to have the chance to share them here.  Looking forward to November’s new theme!

Medusa’s Makeup October 2016


This is my second shipment for Medusa’s Makeup monthly subscription.  The shipment arrived in a metallic purple bubble mailer and everything inside is cruelty-free with most items being vegan as well.  The packaging is minimal which is great since it’s less waste/recycling to get rid of.  I’m all for keeping it simple when it comes to packaging/shipping.  This arrived on October 22nd, but I’m just getting around to posting about it today.  It looks like the shipment is processed on the anniversary date of your sign up, so if you signed up the 5th of the month, it’ll process and ship then, but if you were later in the month like me, you’re one of the last shipments going out.  I guess that makes it easier on them for shipping so there’s not one HUGE massive push to get everything out at once, but it is a little bit of a bummer since you see everyone else getting their shipments before you.  Not a big deal though since I’m a spoiler junkie and usually find out what I’m getting before it arrives anyway!

  • Deluxe False Eyelashes – 1 set / $8 – (Full Size Product)  I saw these I think in an email and was hoping they’d make it into this shipment, and they have!  It’s a fairly reasonable length for false lashes and I like that the length of the individual lashes is varied so they look a little bit more natural and blend into your own lashes.  I’m going to have to find a reason to give these a try!
  • Lipstick – 3.5 g / $12 – (Full Size Product)  The color is, “Red Square,” and is a bright fuchsia-strawberry red.  The product goes on velvety smooth and is a wonderful vegan formula.  The color comes out a bright fuchsia pink on me and might be a hair brighter than what I’d pick out for myself, but this gives me a chance to try something outside of my comfort zone.
  • Cosmetic Glitter – 3 g / $7 – (Full Size Product)  The color is, “Abracadabra,” and is a black glitter which makes it perfect for use as a glitter eyeliner!  It would probably go with the eyelashes really well for a little extra sparkle.
  • The Fix Glitter Adhesive – 2 g / $8 – (Full Size Product)  Well if you’re including glitter, you have to include an adhesive, right?  It’s a natural wax that makes the glitter stick to your skin and stay put.

The total value comes to $35 which well covers the cost of $15.95 per month.  I love that there’s a mix of makeup and practical stuff like the glitter adhesive, so it’s giving me more than just fun makeup to play with but also good base items to have on hand, plus they complement the other items included and work well as a shipment together.  Looking forward to November’s shipment!

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – November 2016


November’s Nexus shipment arrived on October 21st and had two nail wraps that fit into the theme, “Gemology.”  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as usual, but I assumed it would be something along the lines of the super popular Turquoise from the June BOOM!Box.  One of the wraps definitely is and the other has the unique EC nerdy twist!  On to the contents!

  • Amethyst – This is a gorgeous glitter print of that lovely purple gemstone, Amethyst.  I have to admit this is easily my favorite of the two.  My maternal grandmother’s birth stone was amethyst, and I remember her talking about it when I was younger, so there’s some sentimental value attached to this wrap as well.  Plus, it’s sparkly and purple and a little abstract which is just perfect.
  • Rebel Rose – Okay, so here’s where I turn in my nerd card because at first, I completely missed the reference and wondered why there were roses in a gemology theme.  After I Googled it, I found it’s for the cartoon, Steven Universe, and is a nod to the character Rose Quartz!  Quick video here if you’re as unfamiliar with that cartoon as I am – and hey, EC just expanded my horizons a little today, and that clip is really uplifting and beautiful.  Anyway, pink is not my thing, so I’m going to share the love and pass these off to someone who will appreciate the rosy pink, silver foil, glow-in-the-dark nail wraps since they really are lovely, just not a good fit for me.

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As usual, the theme is totally on point (even if I missed the Rebel Rose reference at first!), and both wraps are gorgeous, but Amethyst is the easy choice for me this month.  The nail wraps each cost $10 on the Espionage Cosmetics website, so the value exceeds the $15 month-to-month subscription cost.  The voting is already underway, and the winner will go on to fame and fortune for sale to the public once voting has finished while the loser will be a special Nexus exclusive.  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

OH!  Did your favorite not make the cut?  You can still grab extras!  As a Nexus subscriber you can purchase past ‘losers’ through the EC website.  Check out their blog here with links to each month’s nail wraps including past losers while supplies last!

Sepia Saturday 344-d

A little humor this week for the continuation of the, “From Here to There,” theme for Sepia Saturday.  Pictured here is John Rachocki, my grandfather, standing behind a fake painted airplane.  The back of the photo is labelled, “France, 17 Feb 1945,” so this was taken while he was serving as part of the Army Air Force or what would later become a separate Air Force branch, taking a position as a heavy truck driver under the 1411th AAF BU ATC according to his discharge paper.  He and my grandmother were married in January of 1943 which was under two years after he enlisted but almost two years before he went overseas from Nov 1944 to Dec 1945.  He sent home photos as well as what I’m told are some pretty sappy love letters!  Even though he couldn’t quite get anywhere in that plane, it makes for a pretty neat photo that I think we can stretch to fit into the theme!

Sephora Play! October 2016


October’s Sephora PLAY! theme was, “The Cool Cut,” and was hinted to feature indie brands and new, stand-out products.  Well, I definitely got a bit of that, though some brands are very mainstream and not new at all, neither are the products, so again the theme is sort of nebulous and some things fit, some don’t.  This month also featured the most number of variations I think we’ve seen for this box yet, so it’s more likely that the samples picked are going to fit your beauty profile.  It’s still fun to get these samples, so, on to the contents!  For the record, my box was the variant with item # 1850106.

  • Farmacy Skin Dew – 3.3 oz / $44 – (Product is .68 oz, value of $9.07 by volume)  I’m not sure I’d use this on top of makeup as it says it can be used since it seems like spraying a glycerin based product over makeup would be a recipe for disaster.  I did give this a quick try and I don’t like the scent at all.  Mint is meant for toothpaste, not something you spray on your face and it just.. ugh.  It also feels sticky even after giving it a few minutes to dry or sink in, so I can’t say I like this from the scent to the formula.  I have been wanting to try a Farmacy product for a while though, so this was great to try, and good to know that this definitely isn’t for me.  The brand is cruelty free though, so I love that!
  • The Estee Edit Flash Photo Gloss – .27 oz / $20 – (Product is .1 oz, value of $7.41 by volume)  The color is, “01 White Flash,” and is a pearlescent colorless cool-toned gloss.  It’s rather sticky and thick for a gloss, and doesn’t pass the hair-stick test (my hair totally stuck to my lips in the gloss when I shook my head around).  There’s no discernible color payoff, so the pearlescence doesn’t even show up, nor is there any discernible scent/flavor (it’s supposed to be vanilla fragranced).  Estee Lauder isn’t an indie brand and this isn’t a new, stand-out product, so this feels weird to be in the box for this theme.
  • Naked Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum – 30 mL / $90 – (Product is 5 mL, value of $15 by volume)  Another cruelty-free brand I’ve been wanting to try.  This sounds like a good choice for my skin profile as it claims to be a solution for dullness, blemishes, and dark spots.  It can be used all over the face or as a spot treatment, and one drop was plenty to cover my whole face.  There’s no real scent to the product that dispenses as a clear gel.  The 5 mL sample size should be enough to see if it makes a difference or not since 5 mL should go a fairly long way.  The product is pricey, but at a 30 mL size, that should last an average person months and months.
  • Derek Lam 10 Crosby Silent St. – 1.7 oz / $95 – (Product is .05 oz, value of $2.79 by volume)  I think this might be the first perfume sample I’ve liked!  The base is white musk so it’s a musk, but lighter, with the faintest soapy, sweet floral notes.  It’s ok!  Nothing I’d go out and buy, but this is a sample I’ll actually keep and use.
  • Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick – .13 oz / $24 – (Product is .07 oz approx, value of $12.92 by volume)  The color I received is, “Driver’s Seat,” which is described as a warm pink.  I’ll admit that I was skeptical of the color at first since it seemed a little yellow-toned and anything that tips over to yellow or a coral type shade just doesn’t work with my skin tone.  On first application I thought well, maybe this is just a somewhat darker neutral, and it’s not so bad.  But I’m torn – this trends over to look a little orangey on me and.. I’m not sure.  I think “Shockaholic” is a shade better suited to my skin tone.  It may take a few extra wears to sell me on the color.  The formula goes on rich and creamy and dries very matte and does. not. budge.  I’m impressed with the product and the formula, but not as much with the color, but it may grow on me.
  • Madam C.J. Walker Scent & Shine Coconut Oil – 1.7 oz / $26 – (Product is .15 oz, value of $2.29 by volume)  This is RIGHT up my curly hair alley.  The ingredients are coconut oil and fragrance, so it seems like a lot to pay for what is essentially perfumed coconut oil, so I’m not sure I’d buy this on my own.  The scent is delightful – coconut and vanilla with a bit of woodsy musk.  Since my curls are always parched, I tried this right away.  Five drops were enough to give my ends a good coating and left a little behind to smooth into my hands as a little bonus treatment.  The scent is really delightful, and if it wasn’t just scented coconut oil, I may be interested in buying this again, but since it’s just coconut oil, and I can get that pretty cheap at the grocery store, I have a hard time justifying the price for just the fragrance (but I do REALLY REALLY like it).  I love that I got to try this though, and it’s absolutely perfect for my profile.

So, all together, the value of the box is $49.48 which is great for the monthly cost of $10.60 including tax and shipping.  I think the product I like the most is the Madam C.J. Walker Scent & Shine Coconut Oil since it’s just the perfect fit for me.  My least favorite is the Estee Edit Flash Photo Gloss since it’s just way too thick and sticky, even for a gloss.  Overall though, I got to try a bunch of products I’ve been eyeing up for quite a while, so that’s great, even if some of them didn’t wow me as much as I had hoped.  Having a trial size to test out before going all-in on the full size is fantastic, and not having to go fight through the mall and parking to get to a Sephora store and ask for a sample is even better.  The theme for November is, “Best in Glow,” so I’m looking forward to what they pick for my profile for next month!