My Everyday Skincare

2008 marks 10 years of my no facial cleanser lifestyle!

Little did I know that the simple decision to give my poor, broken-out skin a short break from cleanser/soap was just the first step on my road to simple and natural body and skin care.
A former cosmetics-counter girlie-girl, I've become one of those people who believe that, in beauty, less is more, and the more natural the ingredients, the better. Let your natural beauty shine through!

See this picture of me? I get compliments on this everyday look, but I do so little to achieve it. And I firmly believe others can have the same results too!

Now, for those who asked, and for posterity, here's what I do - from head to toe - to look like this...

In the shower:
Everyday, I clean my hair with just water and a comb. Every other week, I use baking soda. I scrub my face with a wash cloth and nice warm water. Then I lather the rest of me up with Desert Essence Organics' Green Apple & Ginger Body Wash, the smell of which still reminds me of those martinis my girlfriends and I use to drink! I also use one of those rough body mitts to exfoliate.
As soon as I step out of the shower, I slather on the Aubrey Organics Ultimate Moist Unscented Body Lotion. Anti-perspirant? Dove Unscented.

At the sink:
I brush with Tom's of Maine Toothpaste. Then I scrub my face with water and a wash cloth. I find it too dry to live without facial moisturizer up here in Canada, but I'm still on the lookout for a natural and organic one. So, until I find one I like, I'm using the Aubrey Organics on my face too.
This is the same routine I use at the end of the day.

At my makeup case:
I just use Almay One-Coat Mascara in Black and Aveda Liptint SPF15 in CocoPlum. I haven't been using foundation or concealer lately. It feels uncomfortable using it in the summer, and I'm too lazy/rushed to use it in the winter, so I've just decided not to use it anymore.
I'm thinking of switching to the Black Mascara by Dr. Hauschka. My favourite organic food store just started stocking it, so I'll be trying that out.

So, that's 6 products in total, more or less natural and organic.

What's your everyday skincare? Share with me!

Here are some all-natural beauties... just so you know I'm not crazy... :)

Picnic in the Livingroom...

With the sofa finally out of the livingroom, Mini decided it was time for a picnic.
She spread the blanket and laid out the food. She even brought out her little Blue's Clues radio for some tunes to dine to.

To her delight, her entire family came to partake, even her too-cool-for-school brother. We drank pretend lemonade (with a real plastic lemon in it), sipped pretend soup (with a noodle that looked suspiciously like an ice cream cone), and ate pretend cake (with asparagus and watermelon in it).

We were polite and cordial, even drinking with our pinkies up. I do declare I think we're ready to dine with the Queen. Do you think she likes asparagus-watermelon cake?

Livingroom Makeover: Phase 1

"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Well, this livingroom is my elephant. No, I'm not going to eat my furniture, but I am moving them around in an attempt to give my livingroom a whole new less-crappy, less-cluttered look. This is my first bite.

The above picture shows my living in its original state. Note the following offenders:
  • the crapload of boxes everywhere brought up from the basement and from Roomie's mother's home.
  • the sofa, under the window on the left, that constantly moves and must be pulled out to close the curtains.
  • the sheer curtains on the left that allows us to give the neighbours a peep-show ever night.
  • the bookcases to the right that crowds the room and brings in the walls.
  • the lamp on the left that's way too low and small.
This weekend, we tackled Phase 1. Check it out in the photo above. Now, note:
  • the lack of boxes under the bookcases - actually, note that there are fewer boxes overall... gone to Goodwill.
  • the trunk... or future coffee table.
  • the sofa is gone... moved to the familyroom after the futon that was there was moved upstairs (thanks to Roomie and mr. harmzie).
  • the addition of the round white clock on the blue feature wall.
The next step - Phase 2 - will entail tackling more boxes and the movement of the two bookcases on the right to the blue feature wall. They'll be flanking the loveseat. Stay tuned!

1000th Update on Twitter!

Guess what my 1000th Twitter update will say...

Give up?

"new blog post: 1000th Update on Twitter!"

Okay, if you haven't been totally turned off by my awesome nerdiness, follow me on Twitter. Just click... HERE!

10 Useful Numbers I've Put in My Cell Phone

I like to be prepared for anything. When I'm out with my kids, my big bag is always loaded with stuff I'll need just in case.
First aid kit, camera, emergency snacks, tissues... they've all come in handy.

But by far, the most invaluable item for my peace of mind is my cell phone, which I always keep well-charged.

Inspired by Marc & Angel, I've just loaded it with all the super-important, emergency numbers I may need just in case.
Here are those numbers - in no special order - and why I think they should be in your phone too:

1: Home
Say you lose your cell phone. The kind soul who finds it can now contact you to arrange to have it returned to you.

2: Credit Card Hotline
As soon as you realize your wallet is lost or stolen, you'll want to report it to your credit card company ASAP. Go and get your credit cards. Look for the 800 numbers on the back of each. Program them into you cell phone. Do it now.

3: Friend with Your Extra Home Key
Cheaper than a locksmith. Be sure to actually give the key to a trusted friend first.

4: Autoclub (CAA/AAA) or Towing Service
Who wants to go searching for a phone book when you're in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night in 3 feet of snow with your kids in the backseat? No, that's never happened to me - oh, wait, it has! And we were half in a ditch too.

5: In Case of Emergency (ICE)
Say you've had an accident, a stroke, or something else that renders you unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate. Thanks to the ICE program, many first responders (paramedics, police officers, firefighters) are now trained to look for an "ICE" entry on your cell phone list to identify you or to contact next of kin or physician.

6: Taxi
Handy to have anytime, especially for Don't Drink & Drive situations! Since I don't drink, I'd be happy to have it in case the car breaks down, and I'd like to get the kids home and out of the cold, traffic, etc.

7: Car Insurance
One of the first numbers to call after being in or witnessing an accident, after 911, of course.

8: Physician/Pediatrician
Especially good when you have kids. When we're out and one of them suddenly develops some sudden pain, weird cough, or unusual mark or blemish, I can call Dr. C in an instant.

9: Kids' school
If you're somewhere across town and won't be at your kids' school on time to pick them up, you can call the school up to let 'em know. If you're lucky, like we are, they'll have an after-school program to keep your kids' occupied and happy 'til you get there.

10: Home Insurance Company
The house has just burned down in the middle of the night. With the family safely out and cell phone in hand, you can get your family in the warmth of a hotel room and start getting your life sorted out immediately.

Bonus Numbers

11: Sushi Takeout
When you just have to have it!

12: Hair Stylist
Having a bad hair day? Call your stylist to see if she/he has an immediate opening.

13: Booty Call Number
Again, when you just have to have it! Kidding. No, this would not be considered an ICE number.

What are your cell phone must-have numbers? Am I missing any you think I should have? Let me know!

lightsabers smash & crackle...

While playing Lego Star Wars II, the 4yo and 6yo argue again...

Lam: Hey, it's Darth Maul!

Mini: No, that's Darth Sidious.

Lam: Darth Maul.

Mini: Sidious.

Me: Actually, that's Darth Vader.

Lam: Oh.

Mini: *looking doubtful* Vader?

nenette vs. lawnmower man

We've been having a particularly wet summer this year, which means long grass more often. That also means me out mowing the lawn more often. Crap. Why did I choose this year to relieve Roomie of lawn mowing duty?

Okay, he's a wonderful man who shovels the walk and rakes the roof of snow every winter, builds playhouses from the ground up, keeps the kids occupied when mommy needs "alone time", and all sorts of other family-man-with-house hazards. I should just mow the lawn and keep my trap shut, right?

Oh, I'll still complain, because I know that Roomie isn't just saving himself the misery of lawn-allergy symptoms - he's saving himself from looking like this:

Ooooh, sexy.

Laundry World...

Ever since our washing machine bid us a fond farewell, we've been going to Laundry World to wash our clothes.

I'd say it was a bother to wash outside the home, but it really hasn't been.

I have a system worked out. The night before, I sort the clothes into separate bags, so the next morning, I just load up the car and head off. I throw each bagful into a separate machine - I choose the front-loading ones. Washing, drying, and folding takes about 1-1/2 hours... 2 tops... enough time for me to sit and pound out some ideas for the blog.

Family-owned Laundry World is further away from my house, but I like it there. They have over 70 machines, so there's always a machine at the ready. They're always clean and in good repair. And the owners are so friendly and available for any assistance.
The kids enjoy their time there too - the video games, kids' books and pinball machine are a rare treat. They especially love that we can buy chips there.

Buying chips there always gives me a giggle. It always reminds me of the time my sister and I were on a train to Vancouver, and we decided to buy chips for breakfast because the vending dude was so cute.

No, that's not the real reason why we do laundry there.

share & win: the biopic edition

Images from

Ever imagine being so famous (or infamous!) that Hollywood decides to make a movie of your life?

I have. My movie would be a romantic-comedy, focusing on my fun and fabulous love affair with Roomie. I'd throw in a bit of erotica for some spice, but I'm sure our RL friends would think that's just too big of a creepy-assed window into their friends' lives and not watch the movie!
I'd be played by the beautiful and multi-talented Tia Carrere (can you see it?), and my love interest would be played by Gerard Butler (purely for the hotness, of course!).

What would the movie of *your* infamous life be like? Share it!
Just answer the following 3 questions in a comment here or in a post on your own blog:
1: Who would play you in your movie?
2: Who would play your love interest/romantic partner? (have fun with this one!)
3: What genre would your movie fall in? (Musical? Comedy? Spy mystery? Action adventure?...)
This is purely fantasy, friends, so get creative!

If you're writing a post on your blog, be sure to leave a comment here with the link so I can count your entry.

Deadline: July 31, 2008 at 11:59pm CDT

Win one (1) book of your choice from the erotica & romantic fiction section of the lifecandy shop!

You must be 18 years of age and older. For Canada and US residents only. No purchase necessary.

The winner will be announced here on August 1, 2008.

Can't wait to hear from you! Good Luck!

(This contest is my contribution to Shai's 52WoC: Hold a Contest/Blog Raffle.)

back in the saddle again...

Yesterday, we attended what was the last in a wave of kids' birthday parties that Lam and Mini were either invited to or had hosted for themselves.
A whopping 6 in total. Yeah, my kids are little party animals - they're getting fitted for a toga party next week. Kidding.

Anyway, our grand finale event was for LG, who is 11 days younger than Lam and #2 in my friend harmzie's brood.
LG invited her friends to celebrate at Miracle Ranch, where they had the opportunity to ride a horse led around a trail, roast weenies and marshmallows, and of course, pig out on cake and ice cream.

Lam and Mini loved it all! Mini especially enjoyed making new girl friends - a change from her brother's buddies, who are all guys.

I too indulged in a hot dog, complete with mustard and ketchup, and a couple of roasted marshmallows for dessert. My mostly-veggie tummy didn't complain as much as I'd thought it would. :)

As you can see, I had a chance to sit in the saddle too. The beautiful horse you see in the picture with me is Fudge. Very gentle. The last time I was on a horse was almost 30 years ago on my last visit to the Philippines, but as Fudge and I rode a circuit around the room, it was as if no time had passed.

All in all, it was a great afternoon spent with great friends. Thanks for a wonderful party, guys - It was a special honour to celebrate with our LG!

high-heel-a-thon in nyc

Image from

How many sprained or broken ankles arose from this event I wonder...

This past week, 500 women from 35 states gathered at New York's Central Park to run in the High-Heel-A-Thon to raise money for the March of Dimes.

Kelly Ripa, pictured here, was one of the 500 women willing to sprint 150 yards in their 5-inch stilettos to the finish line. Good for her! I like her... and when I can't button up my jeans after a bread-binge, I secretly hate her.

The winner received $25000... and immediately, went out and blew it all on new Manolos. Just kidding. Maybe she did - I don't know.

Now, I understand that for some women, this may just be a cake walk, no-brainer, been-there-done-that kinda situation, but for me, I'd fall and take down everyone else.
Would I do it anyway? For a good cause, of course. Hey, I'll try it once.

How about you? Would you risk your ankles for a good cause?

plurk me, tweet me, if you wanna reach me...

For me, it all started with Facebook. Of all the features on that social networking site, I found - and still find - the Status feature most enjoyable and most useful. My friends get a quick glimpse into my daily life, I learn what's up with my friends that day, and if I'm lucky, my hastily typed "I'm jonesing for sushi!" will result in an impromptu girls' nite at Wasabi on Osborne.

Then, I found Twitter thanks to Shai, and let me tell you, I dang near wet myself! This is basically "All Status, All the Time". My latest tweet, or twitter update, is what you see here in my top sidebar beside my profile picture.
In just 140 words, I can greet my twitter-friends when I first wake up, tell them what I'm making for dinner, or share my latest blog post to a whole new audience. Through Twitter, I've made new friends, gained new readers (hi, tweets!), and grown my feed reader with a load of funky new blogs from fellow-twitterers.

Now, I don't even have to log in to Facebook to update my status, because I've enabled it to show my Twitter updates automatically for all my FB friends to see. I *love* that!

And then, there's Plurk. Each of your updates is called a plurk, and you can see all the responses to each plurk grouped together as a conversation. The more active you are, the higher your karma points enabling you to use more cool stuff like fun emoticons, etc.
I find that, with Plurk, I get sucked into a lot of conversations and end up deleting responses just to keep up.

Reviews are mixed for both. Some prefer Twitter, others prefer Plurk. Twitter has been plagued with severe server problems over the past couple of months, interrupting service, pissing people off, and resulting in a major migration to Plurk. And with Plurk, you need to stay active to keep your karma up... and don't think I can handle that kind of pressure!

I don't know, I still like Twitter. You can reach out, but with less commitment, which, for me, makes it much easier to unchain myself from my computer to feed my kids, bathe, and go to the bathroom.

Wanna connect? To follow me on Twitter, just click here, and to be my Plurk friend, just click here.

just me & my girl... the old and the new...

I found this picture of me (on the left) yesterday while looking for a picture for Mini's birthday post. It struck me that I'd taken a similar picture of Mini when she was about that age, so I went looking and found it! That's her on the right.
My picture was taken in the hot/dry season of the Philippines, and hers was in the cool Fall season of Canada.

Mini has such beautiful sleek shiny hair and pretty rosy cheeks, while I look like Don King's long lost lovechild.

No doubt about it - when it comes to cuteness, I don't come anywhere close to my daughter.

Mini's 4th Birthday Party...

This is me holding my brand new beautiful baby girl on her actual day of birth 4 years ago. Hard to believe Mini was ever that tiny and shmooshy. She's now such a big active girl who can do basic math. Seriously - she still has some trouble with her alphabet, but she can add.

Anyway, to celebrate her 4th birthday this weekend, we had a Moms and Girls Only party at U-Puttz Black Light Mini-Golf. It was loads of fun! Mini loved having her friends to celebrate with, a place to run around and be crazy, and of course, her Dora cupcake birthday cake. It was great!

To our favourite little princess...
Daddy, your big brother, and I love you so much. We hope your birthday party was all you wished it would be! :)


Happy Canada Day!!!

Image by keepitsurreal

I wish all my fellow proud Canadians a fun-filled Canada Day!

There will be festivities happening all across the country, and here in Winnipeg, we do our own share of celebrating our nation's birthday.

As we do every year, Roomie, the kids, and I will be heading over to check out the happenings at the Osborne Village Canada Day Street Festival. And when it starts to get dark, we'll stroll over to The Forks Market for fireworks at 11pm.

It promises to be really hot - albeit with a 60% chance of showers (yipes!) - so we'll try to stay cool with slurpees and maybe an iced green tea lemonade for me! It'll be a fun day!