Wednesday, February 21, 2018

a new monday night ritual

as much as i love makeup, i really don't take care of my skin as well as i should.  sure, i clean off my makeup at night like a good girl, but i don't do anything else like night creams and eye cream and toners and stuff.  admittedly, i'm way too lazy for any of that.  but the old lady has been plowing through our considerable stash of skincare lately, and she's encouraged me to join in the fun.

and so mondays have turned into "let's watch the bachelor with face masks on" night for me and the old lady.  it's pretty funny and awesome at the same time.  armed with some gift cards we received in our christmas stockings, we headed to ulta a couple of weeks ago and i picked up some fun stuff to use.  i'm a big fan of peel-off masks, probably because it reminds me of the old days when i'd smear some elmer's glue on my hand and let it dry so i could peel it off.  so satisfying.  ha!  and when i came across a jar of something called "disco kitten," a silver peel-off mask that makes me look like a robot as it dries, i had to have it.  and yes, i look totally ridiculous.


oh, and yes - that IS a headband with cat ears on it.  because DISCO KITTEN, people.  it's fantastic.

one of the side effects i forgot about doing masks and things like this is the lovely zits that come up to the surface afterwards.  gah.  i suppose you have to get through all the crappy stuff before you can reap the benefits, right?

there's another mask i'd been wanting since before christmas.  i'd put it on my wish list, but it has a pretty hefty price tag and the old lady was like UH NOPE when she saw it.  heh.  and then right as we were starting our monday night rituals, i came across a voucher that got me a pretty nice discount on it, and so i went for it.  i was pretty excited when it arrived on my doorstep:


yes.  that does, indeed, say GLITTERmask.  yesssssssss.  i opened the box and found this:


see, it's perfect for wearing while watching the bachelor!  i knew it.  and it came with this cute little brush, too.


i'd bought a silicone "brush" when i got the disco kitten mask.  it doesn't have bristles - instead, it kind of looks like a giant flathead screwdriver made out of silicone.  it makes it easy to spread the mask on my face and keeps the waste to a minimum since the product doesn't get stuck in any bristles.  genius.

i pulled the jar out of the box:


and totally squealed when i opened it.  look how sparkly and fun!


i spread a nice thick layer of it all over my face, handed the jar to the old lady, and then we hopped onto the couch and turned on our show.


i tried to talk the hub into joining us, but he was having none of those shenanigans.  shocking.


i don't really have an "after" picture to show you, but rest assured that i've been using the "retouch" button on the photos app a lot lately because these zits are coming hard and fast and they're not pretty. i sure hope this stage passes soon, because i'm so over it.

i wonder what other fun peel-off masks there are out there.  although i suppose i should probably get through the stack of sheet masks we've built up in our arsenal first.  not as fun, but i'm sure they'll be really good for my skin.

living my best life over here, people.  that's right.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

checking out dots cafe

remember back in the day when i worked at dots cupcakes?  seems like a lifetime ago.  i guess it pretty much was...since that was back in like 2009!  anyway, my dots boss recently expanded her empire to include the cutest little cafe ever.  it's located on the east end of pasadena and the old lady and i finally got to go, just before valentine's day about a month after the grand opening.





i love how she carries the hexagon theme throughout the cafe.



and her little signs are so cute.


the decor is fabulous, as expected.



and along with the breakfast and lunch menu, there are cupcakes and pastries.



this s'mores cake looked AMAZING.


i'd ordered the breakfast sandwich.  solid and satisfying.


the old lady went with one of their quinoa bowls, and while she isn't much of an egg fan she said she really liked the rest of it. i'm not sure what there was in there, but she enjoyed it and that's all that maters.


the orange juice was freshly squeezed, too.


since it was right after opening on a monday it wasn't too crowded yet in there, and my friend had a chance to sit down and chat with us for awhile.  i hadn't seen her in a long time, so it was nice to catch up and hear her stories about the cafe and the long process she went through to finally get it open. she brought us this awesome little plate of sweets:


as we sat and munched, we started noticing a growing group of people that were gathering together in the front of the cafe.  there were strollers and lots of little kids running around and some of them were arriving with large trays of what seemed like party favors, and then a few of them started setting out some sort of assembly line on one of the big tables.  there were so many of them just standing around that i could see customers who were walking in having difficulty getting around them to get inside or to the counter to place an order.  one of them plopped their kid on the counter and started a mini photo shoot, and all this was happening, mind you, without a single person actually placing an order.  my friend turned to me and said "are they having a party in here??"  it sure looked like it, and when one more person walked in with a tray of what looked like donuts - into a cafe that serves pastries - she decided to go over and talk to them.  she smiled and was totally polite and professional, and when she walked away the adults started whispering and gesturing amongst themselves.  a few minutes later, we noticed them gather their stuff up and start walking outside.  no one actually left, though, because the parking lot stayed completely full.

one of the moms, with baby on hip, headed to the counter, and so i figured maybe she was actually going to order something.  but after speaking to the employee behind the counter she walked out the door empty-handed, and it turned out that she was complaining about feeling unwelcome.  are you freaking kidding me?  sheesh.

my friend told us that she'd seen people come in, order a mini cupcake and then set up an entire photo session in there, taking pictures complete with wardrobe changes, using the pretty floral wall as a backdrop.  i mean...i guess at least they ordered something?

before we left i got a picture with her in front of that wall.  because -well, why not?


we headed to the side of the building to check out the murals that i'd seen her post on social media, and wouldn't you know it - that's where the group had migrated to exchange valentines, share treats and take pictures.  ridiculous.


look how pretty!



and of course, we brought home some cupcakes.


i can't wait to go again, and this time we'll bring the bean.

Monday, February 19, 2018

on a mission

it was a pretty short drive from solvang to lompoc, where the bean's mission is located.  although it was a little past noon, there weren't a lot of others on the road with us.


about 20 minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot.  la purisima mission has been turned into a park, with one free guided tour available on most days and lots of hiking and horseback riding trails to explore.  the attendant at the entrance booth asked if we had a 4th grader with us, which we found kind of funny, and it turned out that she just wanted to make sure we knew about the tour.


there were horses across the parking lot and the bean was dying to see if she could possibly finagle herself a ride, so we encouraged her to go over and ask about it.


the horses turned out to be privately owned and not available to the public, so we headed on into the visitor center to look around, take pictures and notes for the report, and wait for the guided tour to start.






 at 1:00 on the dot the volunteer guide gathered everyone at the front and the tour began.  the guide was happy to talk to the bean and answer her questions for her report, and they strolled along together as we headed towards the mission.



el camino real was one of california's first "highways."  this was the main road between the missions, and people would travel along this road for days.


this mission is also the one that's been most restored to its original condition, so it was kind of cool to be able to check it out and see it as the original settlers did back in the 1700-1800s.


the old church.  back in the day there were no seats in the church, and people either stood or sat right down on the floor to listen to the service.



see the line of bricks that are placed vertically?  that created the line that divided the room - men and boys on one side and women and girls on the other.


this is where father payeras, who served as president over all of the missions, is buried.


i snuck up to the pulpit while no one (well, except the hub) was looking.  i'm not even sure if it was cool to go up there, but it wasn't roped off so i just went for it.


the door was really cool.


they still fly the spanish flag here.


soldier's quarters.





this was "jail" - possible punishment involved sitting down with your legs locked in this thing, which left your hands free to work on...stuff.


or if you were needed out in the field, they put these leg irons on you and sent you out there to get to work.


each of the 4th graders got to pose for a picture, ostensibly to use in their report.  there were about 4 of them there, and the bean was stoked to go first.


in the majordomo's residence, cooking was done for the soldiers on this stove.


and you could bake bread in the horno outside.



they had olive trees all over the grounds and pressed their own olive oil.



blankets and other items were woven on this contraption.


i took these while the guide was explaining the construction of the buildings.  it'd been an hour already, and i was starting to zone out a little.


one of the rooms was purposely left unfinished, so as to show off how it was constructed.


the priests' residences were the nicest of all, with several large rooms for dining and entertaining and such.



their beds even had a box spring of sorts.  the phrase "sleep tight" came from beds like this, where you hoped those ropes would hold your weight and not collapse onto the floor.


because there was no glass back then, they would cover the windows like this to keep out critters and block out light.


and the priests even had their own indoor restroom.  fancy.


outside, we got to see where they would bathe and also do their laundry...usually at the same time.  yum.


our last stop was the girls' dormitory.  when the girls turned 11, they were taken from the family home and moved here, where they would learn all of the skills they'd need to be a good wife.  you know, stuff like cooking and cleaning and doing whatever your husband needed.  and of course, this was all done for their own good.  and they'd stay here until they were married.  lovely.



on our way home, we stopped in buellton for a bowl of andersen's famous split pea soup.  i typically hate peas, but i do love this soup.  weird, i know.




photo ops!



we sat at the counter and relaxed a little before chowing on our soup and gearing up for the long drive home.





and now we're working on getting that mission report written up while all that information from the tour is fresh in our heads.  it's not even due for a couple of weeks, but hey - better to just get it over with, right?

riiiiiiiight.
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