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Lately round here. Birch and Tili Box cosmetics, lunch, life in the village, and art. A bit of random.

Hi everybody,
It seems like the three months of me in Europe have flown by in the blink of an eye, but here we are in the ebb of August and most of my thoughts and efforts are turned to getting projects done here at West Cottage before I return to Vancouver in September.

Hence, very little blog postage!

So I was looking at my pathetically small collection of photos from this week and have managed to put together this little post.

Thing one I wanted to tell you about is my great and rather inexpensive experiment with subscription beauty box samples!
Oh my gosh, I may have been sucked into the Birch Box for July and August and the Tili special edition box.

Now, I’m no beauty blogger, and, as a matter of fact, think that by the time you get to your fifties you probably really should know what it takes to make you feel and look your best, but it’s always fun to try something new. Samples are just ideal, aren’t they, because this stuff is really expensive these days. Who wants to spend a fortune on products which you may or may not like?

Here’s the inside of the Tili box.
Overall, it’s great fun.
The box was supposed to come with a lovely, baby pink OPI nail polish, but this teal one was included instead. Fine with me because they do say they may have to substitute, and anyway my teen neighbour Stephanie loved the teal, so everyone was happy.

It got me thinking; are any of the new products so good that I would consider adding them or substituting them into my beauty routine?
Here is what I’m currently using:
Lush and Alba shampoos and conditioners, Kiehl’s cleanser, and a thick moisturiser (rotating brands because my oily, Mediterranean skin gets too used to them). That’s about it except for my always and will never be replaced coconut oil for everything and Retinol for rebuilding collagen.

The verdict is that none of my existing products are going anywhere, but these three are great additions.
I really love them.

In the makeup section, my Charlotte Tilbury mascara is definitely losing out to the new Benefits Roller Lash and I think I will switch. But the new Meech and Mia eyebrow pencil is definitely not as good as my Anastasia one.

And as for concealers or foundations or powders, I rarely use any, but my Dior powder foundation is so translucent and perfecting, that it’s superior to anything in the world…except maybe Bobbie Brown’s tinted moisturiser (for those not so great skin days), that none of the foundation samples can’t even come close.

There you go. Me with new makeup.

Lastly, my hair…even though it’s slightly shorter than the usual two feet at the moment…I’m always struggling with the classic just-stuck-my-finger-in-the-electric-socket look caused by the hard Oxfordshire water, which Robert affectionately calls the “Darth Vader’s helmet” look. So, I decided to try hair extension and I am planning to start with The Lauren Ashtyn Collection.

Despite miracle promises, texturizing sprays, anti-ageing shampoos and conditioners (what is that anyway?), or even dry shampoos (which are a gross powdery white and cause terrible static), nothing beats the Frizz Ease.
So the Frizz Ease is in and the rest of these products are coming back to Van for Chloe to give them a try. On the other hand, my clean and pure Vancouver water might just make some of these viable. (Except for the dry shampoo. That stuff is just gross.)

We had some friends drop by to spend last Sunday with us, and the weather cooperated enough that we could have lunch in the garden.
The Wednesday before, I spied these lovely 1940s art deco dishes at the thrift store and thought they would be fun for our lunch table and so bought them.
As it turns out, I love them to bits. There were only three lunch plates and so I bought a green transferware plate to mix and match.

Our friends came over and we thought it would be fun to go to the car boot sale before lunch and each of us buy a silly tea mug for a maximum of 50 pence.
Here is our selection!

That Incapability Brown is my choice!
Do you all know Capability Brown, the greatest garden and landscape designer of the Victorian era?
Nic bought the little sheep, Sarah the Mr Strong, and Robert’s is the floral cup and inside it has an infinity type swirly, wooey-wooey pattern.
And Nic brought back 20 pence!

While I was hunting for things at the car boot, I managed to find a fourth plate to my new art deco lunch set and a tea pot!

Our Victoria plum tree…which thinks it’s a grape vine…is so laden with fruit that we can’t keep up. The other day I invited a strange lady to pick her fill and she took away two grocery bags worth and it hasn’t even made a dent in the harvest, so I keep using them how ever I can. For our lunch I made a lovely, tart plum crumble.

In other news, I had completely reorganised the third bedroom; which is, in fact, Chloe’s room when she’s in E. but functions as my studio.
There’s still a bit of cleaning up and when I get that done I can show you a better pic.

And that’s about it for now guys.
Here is the only painting I managed to semi finish so far. It’s a Eurasian Jay who I spied in Prague in June.

I’ve really got to get cracking and produce some art in these next two weeks because I have a couple shows coming up in Vancouver in September. Yikes! Always so much to do.
Got to run now. 😀

Comments: 7

  • Robert Frank Gasch

    August 21, 2017

    Interesting. Like that picture of you, Veronica!!!

  • August 21, 2017

    It must be a good year for plums!

  • August 21, 2017

    so .. i used to subscribe to Birchbox .. gave it up because every month there was another of the BEST OF (fill in the blank) even tho the previous month’s box’s sample claimed the same .. as for hair i promise if you try you will thank me – Living Proof .. online .. i love their Timeless line of products .. and i use a little of Style Extender before blowing dry my mop of hair

  • Susan

    August 21, 2017

    Sounds like you are having fun experimenting with cosmetics. So many options. Occasionally I, too, experiment but seem to revert to my Chanel products. They work for me. and I love the Magnolia scent. Your boot sale finds are great.. What’s not to like about Art Deco? In my opinion, you win the ‘best mug’ award. Also, your garden luncheon table looks lovely. Plum crumble for desert… Delicious. Hard to believe our summer is coming to a close. Looking forward to Fall. Enjoy – Susan

  • August 21, 2017

    I saw a pic of Chloe today on Insta .. and thought how lovely she looked. And then you post these pics of you .. gosh she looks so much like you! Love the pics of you and Robbie and Theo. I can’t believe that you will be going home soon .. I also use a Kiehl’s product, and Retin-A. For dry skin on the legs I use a calendula product made in NZ which I swear by! Hugs V

  • Hildie

    August 25, 2017

    I hadn’t heard of Lush (I rarely shop) so I ordered some things. Thanks! You make everything look pretty.

  • August 27, 2017

    This is the first time I heard about the Birch Box though I have also been sucked into the subscription boxes. The value, contents and the element of surprise make it worth subscribing.

    Definitely, this is a good haul.

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