Friday, June 29, 2012

To Meg, On Her Birthday

Today is our music tastemaker Megan's birthday.  I wanted to take a moment to thank Meg for all she's done for LostGirls, but most importantly for being an amazing, lovely, talented, sensitive, caring, chock full of awesome kinda gal.  Meg is the kind of friend who doesn't just accept people for who they are, but really loves them for being themselves.  She thinks the best of people in a way that is not naive, but hopeful and gracious.  Hers is the kindest of hearts and I feel protective of her in a Mama Bear way (I think we all do).  I also think she has excellent taste in music, clothes and nail polish.  Cheers, Meg.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Potomac on Lost in DC

Seth's Notes on the Potomac River

A visit from Seth always means I will get something interesting in the mail about the area I now live in.  Seth wrote up some notes about the Potomac River (Algonkian Regional Park, a few blocks from my house, is alongside it) during his visit in March, but I got a chance to take some pictures during his most recent visit, which are now part of this post.

“Potomac” is the Europeanized spelling of the name of an Algonkian tribe. The Algonkians called the river Cohonhoroota, meaning “river of geese.” The first Europeans to explore the river were the Spaniards in the 16th century, followed by the English in the 17th century. [read more...]

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wet n Wild Juicy Lip Balm Review on The Thinnest Skin

Wet n Wild Juicy SPF 15 Lip Balm in Red Raspberry

I've never been a huge fan of lip gloss, but I love tinted lip balm.  When everyone else was using Kissing Potion roller lip glosses (sticky but tasty) in the 80s, I was obsessed with Maybelline Kissing Koolers.  I loved those.  I'd totally buy those now.  They stopped making Kissing Koolers a long time ago, probably around the time that we were all convinced that dark berry-colored Revlon lipstick looked really great on us (I feel sure it didn't).   
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Beauty Gone By on The Thinnest Skin

A Tale of Beauty Gone By

I learned a long time ago that, in the wonderful world of beauty, you have to be careful what you get attached to.  There is always the possibility that it may not last.  From my first signature scent (Victoria's Secret Raspberry Glace - we're not counting the Coty Wild Musk I wore when I was ten here) to my favorite foot cream (LUSH Pied de Pepper), I have loved and lost quite a few beauty items.  And while I do not live in fear of a new favorite being discontinued, it is always great to hear that there is sometimes hope for a sort of resurrection.  [read more...]

An extra for you LostGirls readers: To find out the composition of a Serge Lutens fragrance, go to this site.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Not Your Mama's Swap

I remember hearing about Freecycle for the first time, a few years ago, and thinking how great an idea it is - you get to recycle (instead of toss out) perfectly usable items.  And you have another great reason to declutter (the first reason, for me, being that clutter drains my soul), knowing that someone else will be using that item you just don't need anymore.  You also get to shop for items that you need (or want) without buyer's remorse.

Clothing swaps have been around for quite a while longer than Freecycle, but I'd never been aware of them before a lovely lady I used to work with, Kristine, introduced me to them by way of her site, DewdropDC.  Dewdrop's swaps are more "fashion swap" - not what you'd get at a standard swapmeet.  They ask that you bring at least five like-new or vintage items of clothing, pairs of shoes and/or accessories to swap for items that are "new to you."  Here's a chance for you DC locals to bring in that look that no longer works for you (but might be great on someone else) and get a whole new look to take home and wear out.

Hope to see you there:

DewdropDC Tangerine Tango Swap
Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 1pm to 4pm
at Vapiano in Bethesda, MD
For more details:

For great opportunities to freshen up your wardrobe and declutter your style if you are not in the DC area, check out Meetup's listings

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hot Pink, That's the Ticket!

I try to be open to new things and other people's suggestions.  I'm not saying I'm very good at it, but I do try.  Lately I've been a bit glum and my stepmom, who treated me to a mani-pedi, suggested that I try using brighter colors in my life to help combat my negativity.  So, while we were picking out nail polish for our pedicures, she rejected all my standard color choices and asked if I wouldn't consider trying something more fun and summery.  Maybe pink?  Maybe bright freaking pink?  I found one that I thought I could live in the fact that I wore closed-toe shoes to the salon, took a deep breath and went for it.  Once all my toes were painted and I got a good look at the opalescent bright pinkness of it all, I remembered why I don't like opalescent colors (explains why I have none at home), but it was fine.  Because it's good to try new things, right?

That pink polish barely lasted twenty-four hours.  I thought I could live with it, but I was wrong.  It wasn't just the wrong pink for me, I really didn't want to be wearing a bright, happy color on my toes.  What makes me happy is looking down and seeing a deep, almost-black blue or a sparkling wine red, or even a sullen stormy gray.  I am not one for pink, especially a glittery or shimmery or opalescent one.  It is decidedly not. my. thing.  But I can say that  removing it the next morning was absolute bliss.  And even though I suck at polishing my own nails, it still makes me happy to look down and see Rock Star - a shimmery midnight blue.  That is the polish color for a girl like me.

However, my stepmom wasn't wrong.  Adding a little color when things seem unusually drab or dark is always a good idea.  So a big thank you to her and to Sara Lynn Paige, who let me know about Feria Copper Shimmer hair dye a few weeks ago.  It is truly an awesome red and just the color change I needed.  

A couple of other ways to brighten your day:

Music is another great  mood-changer and Colleen from Inspired to Share has put together some great music you should listen to: Music to Motivate (you can listen to each mix on her site).  


Melissa from Embody Style is an inspiration to plus-size ladies and cute as all get out.  Keep an eye out for her recommendations on Twitter - she has great shopping recommendations - or just admire her style.  Meg and I have both had a good time admiring her Tumblr.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

First Blackberry Blossom on Uncrafty

First Blackberry Blossom and How I Almost Killed My Herbs

Let's start with my pride and joy, then we can get to the killing.  My dear thornless blackberry started out (in April of this year) as a stick with a few leaves on it (okay, it had roots, too - I'm just sayin').  I can't take that much credit for how well it's doing (this time of year with all the rain, humidity and sunshine, it would be hard to keep it from growing), but I am very proud that I have not killed it.  [read more...]  

Friday, June 15, 2012

An Inappropriate Time To Be Silly

I'm going to lay some advice on you right now.  Let me clarify that this is advice that I have been given numerous times, but I seem to have a difficult time actually taking it.  Okay, here it is: 

Be your own advocate and kick butt doing it.  

All that time you spend looking out for your friends and family, giving them great advice and motivating them to take care of themselves?  Apply it to yourself, dammit.  You are most definitely worth it.

Don't wait till that medicine for your migraines that you didn't want prescribed to you gives you tremors while not actually helping your migraine symptoms and the side effects scare the heck out of both you and your houseguest.  When the doc gives you a choice between a new medicine that your health insurance would prefer you take and the one that you know works, take the stuff that you know won't turn you into a wobbly wreck.  But if you do end up getting the prescription you didn't really want (because you're a sucker), do yourself a favor and don't let the pharmacy tech intimidate you into not speaking to a pharmacist about the medicine you've never taken before just because she's lazy or mean or mental - whatever the case may be.  Because that's just silly.  And if you're going to be silly, let it not be in a way that makes you feel utterly horrible for several hours while sending your blood pressure shooting through the roof.  Yes?

I speak from personal experience.  

Today was a mighty rough day and I can't change that, but I am going to do my best to take my own advice - taking care of myself, standing up for myself, knowing my own worth and being silly in an appropriate way, for a change.  I hope you'll do the same, if you aren't already.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Scent of Change on The Thinnest Skin

The Scent of Change

Years ago, my stepmother gave me a bottle of CK Be as a Christmas present.  I remember thinking it was strange for her to give me what I thought of as a masculine scent, when I was at that time wearing a light fruity floral (I was trying to be more feminine and was wearing Victoria's Secret Raspberry Glace, which was shortly thereafter discontinued).  I also wondered if she was trying to tell me something by giving me the black-bottled CK Be while gifting the simple transparent CK One to my brother.  Was she commenting on the state of my soul?  Would she be wrong if she was?  [read more...]

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

357 Acres of Nature & History on Lost in DC

357 Acres of Nature and History in Sterling

When my stepmother isn't traveling for work on a hectic schedule, she gets to work from home.  After yet another short trip to China (long flight, short stay), one would assume that she would be delighted to stay home for a few weeks.  The problem is (we recently agreed on this), working from home for even a short period of time can be so comfortable that you forget to even stand up and stretch every so often.  And it is really hard to leave the house because you're so busy working...and it's so comfortable...and relaxing...and everything you need is there.  It's a trap, to be sure.

The great thing about blogging, for me, is that it forces me to get out every once in a while, even if I have not a dime to spend.  Sterling is all new to me, so even a long work or a short drive is bound to uncover something interesting [read more...]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Personal History of Fragrance on The Thinnest Skin

A Personal History of Fragrance

Why do we wear fragrance?  How do we choose one that is right for us?  Is it based on memories of how people we love smelled?  Is it based on how we want to feel on a particular day?  Or who we are trying to attract?  Even those people who can’t wear perfume in spray form (allergies or irritation) find a way of fragrancing themselves, maybe with a solid perfume, an oil or a scented lotion.  Perfume has a long, interesting and sometimes even disturbing history (Parfum a la Guillotine, anyone?).  Mary and I have been discussing her love of perfume and its history and we have decided to share a few things with you over the next few weeks that we have discovered.
For this post, I used the wonderful fragrance directory from to take a look at the fragrances I associate most with my parents and if they are at all responsible for the scents I have chosen to wear over the years.  [read more...]

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Garnier BB Cream Review on The Thinnest Skin

Beauty on a Budget: Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream
My first impression of Garnier's BB Cream was that it smelled like a grandma (which is a good smell, in a comforting way, but not one I want to be associated with quite yet), but it was very easy to apply.  Since the Clinique one I've been using (which I do like) has to be mixed with some face cream/lotion to spread over my skin easily, I thought it drew about even.  I also assumed the smell would go away.  [read more...]

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Post on The Thinnest Skin

Beauty on a Budget

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how best to take care of my skin, hair, etc. while on a rather tight budget.  One of the biggest challenges for me is to figure out what I (think I) can and can't live without.  Even after simplifying my beauty routine and deciding what type of products I always want to have on hand, I still need to figure out if I'm going to buy all of my beauty items at the drugstore, find them online at a discount, or pick and choose between the cheap side and the store that ex-significant others really wished I would stop going to.  If I decide that I cannot live without that $70 hand cream, I also have the option of giving up the $35 apiece shampoo and conditioner that I've been using.  What I need to do is find products that are inexpensive (and sometimes that's comparative), but actually work - then I can find a better balance.  [read more...]

New Post on Lost in DC

No One Goes There

I have only been to a handful of cities and towns in Northern Virginia so far, but the other day I came across a tweet from someone who was snarkily asking why one of those places is listed on signs for Route 66.  According to her, no one goes there (I got the impression that she meant no one of consequence).  As one of the few places I've ventured to since moving here, I was a bit surprised.  Then dismayed by the fact that this rather snobby comment was retweeted by a Virginia magazine (I'm still trying to figure out why).  [read more...]

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Post on The Thinnest Skin

Vote for the Unruliness

I need a haircut like nobody's business and what better opportunity will I have to involve you in life altering decisions?!  If you would like to vote on my next haircut (my hair details are below):  Follow LostGirl DCon Pinterest, then make comments on the pin or pins of your choice on The Thinnest Skin: Vote Here pinboard.  [read more...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Like Scrambled Eggs...But Notes"

Don't just sit there, watch this:

Meg put this video on our LostGirls Music pinboard on Pinterest and I finally got around to watching it today...and couldn't look away or stop smiling.  Well, at first I thought it was just something a little funky, but I trust the Meg and it paid off.

Okay, now go over to the left sidebar and click play on that MP3 widget:

If you haven't checked it out already, we've replaced the last rather crappy MP3 widget with one we have more control over.  It now features clips from the music mix in our store,  so saunter on over to the left sidebar (below the blogroll) and hit the play button.  You only have to hit play once to hear the mix and the price of each MP3 will come up for you, in case you're interested in downloading the whole song for yourself (if no price is listed, click through - a few of these, like Father John Misty, are currently free on Amazon).  If you like what you hear but aren't necessarily interested in buying, you can watch the videos for all of these songs (plus extras from some musicians and songs not available on Amazon that we love) on our pinboard.

Thanks for the sharing:  Meg, Revaz, NPR All Songs Considered and Colleen from Inspired to Share

Monday, June 4, 2012

Slideshow vs Scattered Photos

Thank you, Megan, for the suggestion to try something different with photos.  Picasa has a "movie" function that is basically a slideshow (you can add music to it, as well).  I took the pictures from my first ZooFari post on Lost in DC and made them into a movie to give it a test drive.  Let me know what you guys think.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Another Word on Change

Dear Reader,

A couple of days ago I wrote a really lengthy post about changing up my routine (in life, in general, as well as on the blogs).  Aside from consolidating The Black Thumb and Crafts for the Uncrafty into Uncrafty, I have asked a few friends to let me know what they think could be changed about the blogs, especially LostGirls.  

I've had some really great recommendations and, I realize some of it comes down to personal preference, but I figure it can't hurt to try a few things differently and see how you, our readers, feel about it.  Admittedly, this site exists partly as an outlet for me and my collaborators, but its main purpose is to entertain and involve YOU.  We always want to know what we could be doing better.  And, since I'm new at this, I know there's a lot of room for improvement.

The first thing I'm going to try is writing shorter posts.  This may mean splitting up a long piece over a few days, so we'll see how that works.  It's been suggested that the post Home and Habit was way too long for one day.  I know I have a tremendously short attention span when it comes to reading other people's blogs sometimes, mostly just because I'm busy.  I know you all are, too.  We are also, as a team, working on some posts that will involve more than one of the LostGirls blogs.  Something to look forward to - I'm really excited about that one.

The second thing I'm going to work on is how pictures are posted.  I find Blogger limiting in that regard, but I'm going to try a few widgets to see if I can put slideshows up instead of a long post that is mostly pictures.  If you have any ideas, I would more than welcome them!

The last thing I'm going to work on for this week is to update the LostGirls Store.  I've already cleaned it up a bit (fewer categories), but I'm also going to attempt to write descriptions and/or reviews for the products listed.  I really love the items I put in our store, but I do love to shop a bit too much.  I'm still working on it, but check out the Gifts section.  I think you'll like it.

I hope you'll stop by and check out the changes and let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear from you and I really appreciate you reading our blog.
Much Love,

   LostGirls Jess
Don't be afraid to leave a comment - we'd love to have an open discussion about improving the LostGirls world! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Black Thumb: A Change of Venue

After writing yesterday about getting more organized and creating a routine to keep me sane and healthy (on LostGirls), I spent some time going over my stats for all five LostGirls sites.  I kept thinking about the small amount of pageviews that The Black Thumb has (it also has a very small amount of posts and comments).  The more I thought about why I still want to write about gardening (even though I'm an absolute beginner at it), the more I realized that it is more practical for me to put my gardening posts on Uncrafty (formerly known as Crafts for the Uncrafty).  Uncrafty has always been about trying new things, learning more about crafts and various arts.  Gardening certainly fits in with that, especially at the basic level that I'm writing about.  So The Black Thumb still exists on its own URL (with posts from 4/13/12 to 5/26/12), but any new posts will be part of the Uncrafty world.  

If you are still interested in following our gardening posts (I say "our" because other people have asked to eventually contribute or collaborate), the right sidebar of Uncrafty has a variety of ways to keep track of us: on Facebook (via NetworkedBlogs), on Twitter, through an RSS subscription (posts and comments) or via email.  Thank you for reading!