Tag Archives: minnesota

Snow Glow

One of my all-time favorite movies is “Beautiful Girls”. The cast is great, the plot entertaining, but more than anything, I love how it truly captures how cold winters are in Minnesota. It reminds me of my hometown and why I still live here even when I’m a summer girl at heart.

The other thing I love about it is Uma Thurman’s character. She proves that a woman can still be sexy even when she’s dressed in layers and trades heels for Sorels. I think she is at her most beautiful in this movie. Her “natural” makeup gives her a “I just walked a mile in the cold and snow” glow and I have invested time and money in trying to re-create the look. And, I think I’ve finally mastered it! I spent the holiday weekend doing very “Minnesota” activities and had several local gals ask what makeup I use along the way.

Uma and her “snow glow”

Now, when you see how many products go into achieving this look, don’t be dismayed. It actually only takes me about 7 minutes to complete and many of you can probably eliminate some steps (I am not blessed with beautiful skin). Some products I have profiled before and some are new to my routine. Those are the ones I’ll focus the most on.

First step is prep. I mix a little of Paula Dorf’s Jet Set Glow tinted moisturizer ($35) with Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm ($34). Jet Set Glo adds a little more moisture and glow to the beauty balm. I first started using it in the nineties when I read it’s what the makeup artist for “Sex and the City” used on Sarah Jessica Parker. I’ve been a fan ever since. The beauty balm does a great job of covering, but if I have a certain blemish that needs a little help, I dot on Loreal’s Magic Lumi concealer ($12). I finish off with a dusting of Bare Mineral’s Ready powder foundation ($29). A little goes along way when it comes to this powder. It has great coverage and keeps the shine at bay. For those of you with perfect skin, you can totally skip this step!

Next comes the color! I use Shiseido Lacquer Rouge RD501 Drama ($25) as a cheek stain (which I actually dot on my apples before powder). It’s not sticky and lasts all day. I follow that up with my all-time favorite bronzer, Too Faced Snow Bunny ($29). A swipe on the forehead, apples, nose, and chin gives a perfect winter bronze. And then it’s time for my new love, Stila’s Custom Color Blush in Self-Adjusting Coral ($20). This blush actually works with your PH so you get the perfect color for your skin. I apply to my apples with a very light hand, as it has ample pigments. My cheeks now have the look of a gal who’s been playing in the snow. And on my lips I use the newest from MAC-après Chic lipstick ($15). après Chic is MAC’s latest collection and all the products were made to give you the look of someone who’s been skiing the slopes all day.

Last, but not least, I do my eyes. I keep it very simple. I first put Dior’s Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum ($28) on my lashes and follow that with two coats of MAC’s new mascara Extreme Dimension Lash ($20). This mascara is seriously fabulous! My eyelashes actually reach my eyebrows (and no flaking or clumping). Speaking of eyebrows, I just swipe on Revlon’s Brow Fantasy ($8) to add some color and hold them in place. Then a spray of Urban Decay’s De-Slick Makeup Setter ($29) and I’m good to go!

Now, Like I said, it seems like a lot, but it’s actually quite simple. And I’m sure you have products at home that will work just as well. The key is to have glowing skin, in-from-the-cold apples, a more natural eye, and just-bitten lips. You’ll look happy, healthy, and like a true winter girl!

“Feeling Minnesota”. On Medicine Lake looking at the icehouses. Very “Beautiful Girls”!




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Holiday Weekend at Itasca State Park

Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, the hubby and I took a spontaneous trip to Itasca State Park. Now, we have been to MANY state parks, but Itasca is by far the best we’ve ever experienced. Located in northwestern Minnesota, this park is the oldest in the state. Founded in 1891, the park offers year-round camping (most with electrical hook-ups), a lodge with a restaurant (the french toast is scrumptious), rental cabins, and that’s just the accomodations.

The main room at Douglas Lodge. Named for former Attorney General Wallace B. Douglas who was a pivotal figure in the battle to save timber in the park at the turn-of-the-century. The lodge was built in 1905.

Itasca State Park is set on 32,000 acres and contains 100 lakes. Lake Itasca, which is crystal clear, has a fabulous beach and the best changing rooms/showers I’ve ever used. The sports facility offers the rental of bicycles, boats, and other outdoor recreational equipment. There are several boat launches and it’s quite nice to paddle to the lodge for a meal.

Lake Itasca Tours offers a 2-hour boat excursion on the Chester Charles II. The lodge will pack you a picnic lunch or you can purchase snacks and beverages on board.

Wilderness Drive is a 10 mile stretch that takes you through the heart of the forests. Beautiful winding road with plenty of wildlife and nature. Gorgeous!

There are so many hiking trails there’s no way you can experience them in one trip. We took the Dr. Roberts trail. This trail winds for 2 miles through forest and bogs. There is also the Old Timer’s Cabin on a point that was once used for honeymoons. It is only 4 logs high!

On the trail. So tranquil, but the flies were stalking me!

There was a huge storm a few days earlier and there were many trees down. It didn’t matter-I would have found my way around anything to get away from the bugs!

The storm knocked a tree onto a tent (no one was hurt). The hubby goofing off!

The park also features the Aiton Fire Tower. This 100 foot tall tower, which was restored in 1998, is worth the climb. The view is amazing. You can see over the top of the forest, spot the lakes, and really appreciate the wonder of nature.

Only 6 people can be on the tower at a time. I didn’t think I’d make it to the top, but I am so glad I did.

Guido 100 feet up. Look at that view!

I’m trying to summon the energy to climb 100 feet!

One of the really special points of the park is the fact that the headwaters of the Mississippi River are located here. Here the mighty Miss begins her 2552 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s quite spectacular. Very small, very clear, and full of people! Some were swimming, some were wading, and others were walking across the slippery boulders.

Can you tell the hubby is a writer/photographer? Look at all that gear!

The rocks were way too treacherous for me, but there were plenty of others willing to give it a go.

We always stop to listen to the demonstrations. Here, a young park ranger teaches me about fishers.

After a day of exploring, we headed back to our camp. One of the best parts of the trip was that our good friends live close by. They came over to hang out with us for the evening.

Best buds, campfire, and being outdoors. Makes for a very enjoyable evening!

If you’re looking for a wonderful place to camp and explore, I highly recommend Itasca State Park. It’s a true gem!

For more information, please visit the DNR



Filed under lifestyle

On My Shopping List

The hubby and I spent the day hiking in Taylor’s Falls (Interstate Park) so I didn’t have much time to write a blog for Sunday. This park borders Minnesota and Wisconsin on the St. Croix River. It’s home to many “potholes” that were formed in lava rock and has fabulous trails along the river. It was moving fast and furious today so no kayaking, but we did get a workout climbing over ancient boulders.

A view of the river looking across to Wisconsin

There is one pothole you can climb down into. Really amazing…

I did manage to put together a “dream” shopping list to share with you all. I had the new Anthropologie catalog waiting for me when we got home and it got me thinking about some fabulous items I would love to have.


Elizabeth and James “Bax” platform sandals $177 available at Nordstrom
I love these platforms. Because the sole is one height, they are much easier for me to walk in than heels or wedges. And I do need some brown summer shoes…

Topshop Lips in “Sartorial” $16 available at Topshop
Every gal needs a red lip and this one is bright enough to play off of your tan.

Glimmered Ankita dress $198 available at Anthropologie
This is my kind of dress. I love the peasanty silhouette and the colors are really fun. The longer sleeves make it a perfect selection for evenings (I’m always cold).

Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy $35 available at Sephora
I’m anxious to try this new multi-tasking oil. It protects, nourishes, softens, and boosts your hair’s shine. It’s next on my list of products to sample.

Rachel Zoe Belted Shoulder Tote $450 available at Nordstrom
I really want a red bag and this one is exactly what I’m looking for. Alas, it’s a pipe-dream (at least until I start working again!).


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Ft. Snelling State Park

Most people think I am a city girl, and they are right. But there is a small part of me that is a bonafide outdoors girl. I come by it naturally-my dad was the ultimate dapper woodsman after all. While most of my days are spent in the city, I am lucky enough to live in a state that is full of lakes, rivers, and some of the most amazing state parks in the country. With temps hovering in the 80’s this weekend (a rare treat this time of year), the hubby and I spent our time outdoors, soaking in the rays and taking advantage of the nature that surrounds the city, in Ft. Snelling State Park.
We discovered this gem last summer and it quickly became one of our favorite spots. Located across the highway from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, this 2931 acre state park is the perfect respite from city life. Ft. Snelling, which was built in the 1820’s on a bluff above the convergence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, controlled exploration, trade, and settlement, and still stands today. The land below was home to generations of Dakota and is now the state park. The park offers picnic areas, a playground, a beach and golf course, 18 miles of hiking trails, 5 miles of surfaced bike trails, 10 miles of mountain bike trails, plus cross-country ski and snow shoe trails, and also offers canoe and kayak rentals. We spent Saturday kayaking the Minnesota river, something you never get to do this time of year because of flooding.

Yes, I have my own kayak. Even tho the temps were high, we still needed to wear jackets and use the spray skirts because the water is very cold. The water here is pretty calm and you can watch all the planes taking off and landing at the airport.

We actually saw someone water skiing! I find this a little dangerous because the water is full of hidden debris like trees, but it was pretty cool to see.

Sunday we ended up at the park again and decided to hike around Pike Island. This is where the two rivers come together and is about 3 miles around. There were tons of boats on the Mississippi side and lots of hikers. Pike Island is usually under water this time of year, but a lack of snow this winter has kept the water levels low.

There are many tress along the Mississippi that have hollowed out trunks. Pretty cool!

There are such pretty views of the rivers along the trails. We walked mostly on the beach, but I had to climb to this bench on the hill. Wonderful view of the Mississippi.

That’s a marina across the river. I think we have found a new kayak spot here along the old Miss. Lots of great beach area too (mainly because of low water levels).

Walking the beach on the Minnesota side. It was much sunnier over there!

At the point on Pike Island. This is where the two rivers converge. The Minnesota is on the right and the Mississippi on the left.

We had such a fantastic weekend here and I highly recommend a trip there if you live in Minnesota. You do need a state park pass (you can purchase there), there is no camping or alcohol allowed, but it is the perfect day spot for all your outdoor activities.
For more information, please visit Minnesota DNR


Filed under lifestyle

Hollywood Fashion Secrets

We’ve all been there. You lose an earring back, spill coffee on your white blouse, buy jeans you have to wear that night but don’t have time to get them hemmed. Fashion emergencies happen to everyone and usually at the most inconvenient time. Enter Hollywood Fashion Secrets. Beloved by stylists and fashionistas worldwide, these little gems can solve any fashion dilemma you may find yourself in.
Headquartered in Minneapolis (not as hick as people think), Hollywood Fashion Secrets was created by Jane Dailey and Marni Bumsted. They knew there had to be a simple solution for wardrobe malfunctions and created the first in a long line of miracles-Hollywood Fashion Tape.

Jane and Marni

Here’s a look at my favorites in their collection. I have used and sold many of their products and they are spectacular.

Hollywood Fashion Tape $8.99
This comes in 36 pre-cut strips of clear, double-stick apparel and body tape. Perfect for that gaping top or collar that won’t stay down. these beauties keep clothing in place. Made from 3M adhesive, they are gentle on skin, hypoallergenic, and leave no residue on fabrics. Plus, they are much more discreet than safety pins.

Temporary Hem Tape $7.99
The one problem I have when buying denim is that it’s always too long and I have to get them hemmed. That’s fine, but I usually want to wear them that day and few tailors can accommodate my time frame. That’s when I turn to this hem tape. It’s specially sized, fabric friendly, and magically holds the hem in place. So much more attractive than rolling or pinning.

Clear Bra Straps $5.99
I really don’t like to wear strapless bras. They are super uncomfortable and I feel like I focus all night on keeping my bra up. No fun. That’s why these clear straps are so great. They work with any bra (as long as it has detachable straps) and you’ll be comfy while wearing all those sexy tops.

Stain Removing Pen $6.99
I prefer this pen to any other stain removal product (shout wipes are so messy). It’s easy to control and eliminates coffee, tea, wine, chocolate and ink stains with ease. Fits easily into your purse so you never had to worry about getting stuck with a smudge on your top.

Oil Blotting Tissues $4.99 (100 sheets)
These tissues are perfect for absorbing oil and shine on your face and they won’t disturb your makeup. There also give a much more natural finish than continually applying powder. A must have!

Fashion Emergency Kit $14.99
This is the mother of all kits. It’s purse size and consists of everything you could ever need for your wardrobe malfunctions. Here’s what you get:
-Hollywood Fashion Tape
-Deodorant Removing Sponge
-Lint Removing Sheets
-Sewing Kit
-Stain Wipes
-Earring Back
-Instant Button
-Hair Band
-Nail File
-Blister Pad
-Shoe Shine Sponge
Every woman needs this in her arsenal. You’ll never have to sweat about fashion mishaps again!

For more products, shop locations, and company information, please visit Hollywood Fashion Secrets

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