"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Homemade Cuticle Oil

Do you have dry cuticles that need conditioning?  Having conditioned cuticles makes your nails look better and can also help you to avoid the dreaded hangnail.  Cutting cuticles can make you more susceptible to bacterial infection, so moisturizing them is a better option.

If you don't have or don't want to spend money on expensive cuticle oil then you don't need to look any further than your kitchen for the solution.  Although there are many types of cuticle treatment that have a large list of ingredients, this simple solution works.

Begin by soaking your hands in warm soapy water to clean them and prep them for conditioning.

Then you have two options: First, you can simply just take olive oil and rub it into your cuticles, or Second, you can soak your cuticles in olive oil for 30 min's!  Yep...that oil under the kitchen counter will work as a great moisturizer for your cuticles!  If you need to remove some of the cuticle them mix some sugar with your olive oil and rub into your cuticles.

It's that easy! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Making Microwave Heating Pack

I recently visited family and had promised my 8 year old Cousin some crafting time, so I brought my sewing machine with me.

Our first project was a HEATING PACK, a simple design than anyone can do! Filled with rice or barley (I've decided I like barley better because rice will actually have a bit of 'dust' come through the fabric when moving the rice back and forth inside), these go in the microwave to be heated up and enjoyed.

First we took a very fun trip to the fabric store where we picked out material.  Material for this project CANNOT be synthetic; it must be 100% cotton so that it doesn't catch fire in the microwave.

  • 100% Cotton Fabric (size will depend on how big you want your heating pack) I find that a fat quarter (usually sold pre-cut at the fabric store) works great.
    • As an alternative, you can use socks, washcloths, old hand towels, baby blankets...as long as they're 100% cotton.  Be creative...old flannel pajamas, or shirts work well too.
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Filler (my new favorite is barley, but you can use whatever is on sale!)
    • Uncooked rice (not instant)
    • Barley
    • Oatmeal 
    • Feed Corn (not regular dried corn or it will pop!)
    • Beans
    • Flax Seeds
    • Cherry pits (now here is one great recycling idea!)
  • Fragrance *optional*
    • Essential Oil (some popular fragrances are lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, mint, vanilla...)  You can combine a couple if you like, however, I would suggest trying them out in a small batch of your filler first to be sure you like the combination.
      • I was in a pinch once and tried some liquid flavoring from the kitchen and used it as a fragrance and it seemed to work well.  I've used mint and vanilla and the fragrance seems to be lasting just like the essential oils.
    • Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, etc.)
    • Plant Fragrance (dried lavender, rosemary, crushed rose petals, etc.)

You can make these any shape you would like for your heating pack.  I prefer a rectangle shape so you put it around your neck/shoulders.  You should leave yourself a 1/2" seam allowance, so be sure to cut it a little bigger than you want the finished pack to be.  You can make these any shape or size you want, and because they are so easy and inexpensive, you might want to make several sizes.  

I often buy fat quarter fabric squares and make 2 packs from each fat quarter. I usually fill those with 2lbs of rice or barley.  These are fairly large but a good size for going around your neck and shoulder area.

If you are going to be using fragrance in your filler, it is suggested to mix the fragrance in with your filler and place in a sealed container or large zip lock back and leave for several hours or overnight in order to allow the fragrance to soak into the filler.

1.   Once you have picked your fabric out, cute out two pieces (making sure they're the same size).  
2.   Place the right sides of the fabric (the side with the print on it) together.  
3.   Pin in place and sew using 1/2" seam allowance.  Make sure to leave a 2-3" space open so that you can turn the fabric right side out (like you would with a pillow) and this is also where you will put in your rice or barley. 
4.   Once you turn your fabric right side out, use your finger or a pencil to push out the corners from the inside so they are square.
5.   Now pour your rice or barley into the fabric pack.  Don't over fill!  I usually fill them about 1/2-3/4 full, as you want the rice to move so that it can form around your body and not be hard and uncomfortable.
6.   Now you can sew the opening closed with your machine.  (If you are having a hard time getting the fabric under your machine foot without the rice/barley spilling out, you can shake all of the contents to the opposite end and use pins to pin a line across the pack so that it blocks the contents from spilling into your sewing area)

Now you are done!  


Place your pack in the microwave from 1-3 minutes depending on the size.  I've been told never to go over 3 minutes.  You shouldn't leave it unattended to be sure nothing smokes or catches on fire.  You can 'spritz' the pack with water before heating or place a cup of water in the microwave with the pack to give a moist heat.  The moisture will also help avoid drying out or burning your herbs and fabric. ALWAYS check the temperature before placing on your body, especially with children, as these can get very hot!

If you are giving these as a gift, be sure to place heating instructions with the pack.


You can make the pack out of inexpensive or re-purposed fabric and sew a covering to go over it like a pillow case.  This gives you the ability to wash the outer covering should it get dirty.  

You can also make some of these to go in the freezer for a cool pack.  I don't put fragrance in these.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paper Puppets-My FAVORITE thing to color!

Ok, I've never posted these on this blog before but my friends and family can all tell you that I went through a good 6-8 month period where I made TONS of these puppets!  So much FUN!  I've done these with girls and boys, although the older the boys get, the less likely they are to want to make them....but I have convinced my teenage son to make one for his little cousin.  

I get my templates (free to print at home) from the website Phee McFaddell, from which you can get many different puppets from fairies, to elves, to mermaids, to dragons and more....


You will need:

Card Stock (in the beginning I printed on paper then glued them to old manila folders or other thin card board I had around the house)
Mini Brads (find these in the scrap-booking section of any craft store.  They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes.  I tend to have a package of mini-colored brads and a package of mini-metallic brads because I prefer different ones depending on the project)
Large Safety Pin 
Coloring utensils - I personally prefer colored pencils but you can use anything
Glue Stick
Glitter *optional....but looks really wonderful on fairy wings
X-Acto Knife *optional....can make cutting around fingers and little details easier.  (Obviously this is not a tool for children to use.  Mom may need to help.)

Once you've picked out a template that you like, print it out.  I have found it much easier to print right on card stock.

Color each section before cutting the pieces apart, between kids, glue, and even the slightest breeze, these little pieces can get lost or stuck to something else easily.

Once you have completed the coloring process, I like to open the large safety pin and use it (over a cutting pad, cutting board, or thick cardboard) to poke the holes (they are marked with dots on the puppets) in each of the pieces.  There are usually quite a few!

The next step is to cut the pieces out using sharp scissors (it just makes cutting through card stock easier).  For little children you might have to help with this part as some have very intricate detail to cut around.  For kids who do not have long attention spans or the patience to wait for either you or them to cut around all the tiny curves, just come close and take a black marker/crayon/pencil and color the parts on the outside of the figure....it should still turn out great and be fun once finished!

Once all the pieces are cut out, this is when I will typically glitter any pieces.  I find that the very fine glitter works best.  I just run my glue stick over the piece I want to glitter and then sprinkle the glitter over the glue.  I like to gently press down with my finger to be sure it gets in the glue good and will stay around for a while. You can use any color glitter you like, however I personally like to use the clear/white glitter because then the color that you just spent so much time putting into your project will show through.  A mistake I made in my first attempts at making these, was that I used too much glitter....it can clump up and it doesn't look as nice.  Also if you have too much, your color won't show through in addition to the fact that more glitter will fall off your project because it's too thick.

Using glitter can cause a week or so of glitter on your face, in your hair, on your table, in spite or repeated washings.  *wink*

Once I'm done glittering (best if it has had time to dry), I get out my brads and begin piecing the puppets together.  The website usually has an instruction page for the puppets, however I have noticed some do not, therefore if this is your first time and your choice didn't have an instruction page, I suggest you pull one up from another puppet to see which part of the leg goes on time...it's a bit like putting a puzzle together.  

I will tell you that I've put them all together before only to discover I had the placement off, the wings in the wrong holes, or the bottom of the let being used as the top of the arms....that is why rushing isn't a good idea.  

Push the brads through from front to back so you can see the nice side of the brad when looking at the puppet.  Gently bend the metal legs back once you've gone through both layers of card stock (sometimes 3 layers as I've done one where the arm and wing went through the same hole)

Once this is done, you should be ready to play!  I like to take photos before too much play happens since these are only on card stock they don't last forever.

This year and last year I placed the few remaining fairies that I had (most are always given away as gifts) into our Christmas tree.  I had colored an ice fairy in blue and silver with glitter that looked great on my tree (which happens to be in silver, white, and blue).  Kids had fun finding the fairy when I told them she was up there.  It was almost like 'Where's Waldo'....

Here are a few that have been made by me, my son, and my little elementary aged cousin.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dress-Up Canvas Wall Hangings

I was searching craft ideas today and came across another blog that had the cutest idea for homemade art!  These little dresses are sewn and you can go to the original blog Ucreate to get full instructions.

I thought that this could be a cute idea to even cut and glue if you don't know how to sew, or even to color on card-stock and cut out the separate pieces attaching them almost like a scrapbooker would.....or you could even paint a canvas to look similar.  But I must admit, I LOVE this sewn look!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Free $2 off Coupon for COVERGIRL Natureluxe Silk Foundation!

You may recall that a couple weeks ago I gave a review of COVERGIRL'S new Natureluxe line of make-up.  I tried their new silk foundation and now you can try it at a reduced price.

As a BzzAgent I was given 5 coupons to give away.  You can win one of these coupons that offer $2 off the retail price of one Natureluxe Silk Foundation.  It does not expire until 8/31/11.

If you did not read it originally and are interested to hear what I had to say when I tried this product, read my Natureluxe review here

They offer their foundation in 14 shades.

If you are interested in receiving one of these coupons, please leave a comment stating that you are interested in receiving the coupon, if you are not comfortable listing your email address online, I will announce the 5 winners and then I will have you each email me privately with your email and mailing address.  I will get your specific mailing information and send the coupon out right away!

I will send a coupon out to the first 5 people who respond.    I will be compiling the requests from this Mind Crumbs site, as well as any requests from my Mind Crumbs Facebook page.

For those of you who are getting into extreme couponing, here is one for your stack!

If you have any questions, let me know!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bad Day Pick Me Up

I've recently been recovering from a surgery, and for whatever reason my emotions have been a little crazy the past 2 weeks.  I've had several days of crying for no apparent reason and yesterday I had a particularly rough day.  I think I was just a little overwhelmed.

That said, I wanted to share what I woke up to this morning.  The first thing that happened was that my husband woke me up to let me know that I should wake up because he made pancakes for breakfast and he was going to be bringing me breakfast in bed.  (Awwww....right?!)

The next thing I noticed after I ate breakfast .... and might I add ...... my dishes were cleared for me, I had a card and this was the front of it:

The dinosaurs have missed Noah's Arc...this was funny to me and it made me laugh....which was their goal.  The inside was filled with encouraging words from my husband and then  eight 'coupons' total.  Four from my son and four from my husband....offering things from a 'pedicure' to 'crafts with Mom'.
I was so encouraged by the efforts of love from my husband and son.  And even though I wish I wasn't feeling in need of encouragement, it came at such a good time.

I had so laugh to myself that my son made a coupon to craft with me....because he knows that I LOVE to craft but it is truly NOT his 'thing'....he would prefer to do almost anything else.  So knowing this, I realize what a sacrifice of love this was coming from my teenaged son.

At the end of the day....I feel so blessed to have a family and a God who love me, remember me, and have a sense of humor!

May we all remember to encourage one another....sometimes a good laugh is the best medicine, and a phone call or a text just telling someone that you are thinking of them can mean more than you would ever know.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Superstition - Are you afraid of days like Friday the 13th?

Since it was recently Friday the 13th, I thought it would be the perfect time to discuss superstition. Are you superstitious?

The definition of Superstition is:

su·per·sti·tion –noun

a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.

Friday the 13th is often a day wrapped in superstition and fear. There are some people that don't like to schedule anything important, any travel, or make any big decisions of this day. Some are so gripped in fear that they won't leave the house.

In my family this day has always had a little different meaning. I had a sibling born on Friday the 13th, so for the past 29 years we have all thought it to be a lucky day....even though that night there was storm so terribly that people lost power for days and trees fell into homes and streets....but we enjoyed the birth of a new family member.

So many things like this are based in legend or fear. I did a little research on the internet and found that the idea that Friday the 13th was an unlucky day. It looks like there are many different theories to why this is an unlucky day. I won't list them all here, but here are a few that I came across:

There is a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party in their heaven. When the 13th uninvited guest, Loki the mischievous, walked in and arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness to shoot Balder the beautiful-the god of joy and gladness with a mistletoe tipped arrow. Legend says that when Balder died, the whole earth went dark and mourned. It was a bad and unlucky day, and from then on they consider the number 13 to be unlucky.
There is an apparent fear of Friday the 13th that comes from Christian tradition. Partly it was a fear of the number 13 and party the fear of Fridays, 13 because it is the number of people present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles) and Judas, the 13th person to arrive, later betrayed Jesus leading to his torture and crucifixion. To some, Friday's are not favored as lucky because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. In addition, some theologians have taught that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and the flood of Noah's time happened on a Friday (I'm not so sure about that these are true) It seemed that things that were doomed began on a Friday.

Some say that the Christian distrust of Friday's in linked to the early Catholic Church for their overall suppression of the pagan religions and women. On the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus (the goddess of love). Later when Norsemen adapted their calendar, they named the day after Frigg, or Freya (Norse goddesses connected to love and sex). It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12 and thus bring the total to 13, there is also old church stories that 13 is an unholy number because 12 witches would meet with the devil. Both females posed a threat and some theories suggest that the Church vilified the day named after them.

There is yet another connection to the superstition of 13 being unlucky to pagan practices. The pagan lunar calendar has 13 moths, also corresponding to the human menstrual cycle, connecting the number to femininity.

They there are sure to be people who don't like the date simply from the modern day 'Friday the 13th' horror films.

Whatever the reason, I am not afraid of a number or a day of the week. To me that would be like saying, "I think that February the 1st is an unlucky day, once I stubbed my toe and broke my arm. That year is was on a Tuesday, so I don't go outside on Tuesdays or on the February 1st."

Whether this is a date that gives you a since of impending doom or not, we know that there is a hope and a person stronger than any of the evil things that are in the world.

Here are a short list of scriptures on fear:

Psalm 12:2 "Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation."
Psalm 23:4 "I will fear no evil for You (God) are with me."
Psalm 27:1 " The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?"
Psalm 27:3 "Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear."

May we take comfort in God's promises and lay down our own imagination and fear, which is surely a tactic of Satan to seek, kill, and destroy. (even if it isn't too noticeable to everyone else). Speak truth out loud, Satan really hates that.

In conclusion, again I will state that I am not a afraid or superstition of this day or the number 13.  I don't believe I'm superstitious of anything that I can think of.  But if you are, perhaps this article will have helped you to get a new perspective and release yourself from fears that aren't based in truth.

My God bless you with Peace and Discernment!  I'd love to hear what you think about superstitions!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Things I've learned as a Parent

I did a recent post on my other blog www.remnantpostings.com and since I recently wrote a post here about Motherhood, I thought it would be appropriate to post this Parenting article here as well. 

As a Mother, what am I responsible for when it comes to parenting my son?  There are many opinions and answers to this question, but as a Christian Mom I came up with a few thoughts.

My job as his Mom right now is not to be his best friend, although that goes against popular belief.  I am called to love my son, and that is not hard for me to do.  However, my job, or rather my privilege is to teach my son: (each of these items are worthy of an entire blog or book so please know these are not complete)

  • To love the Lord God with all his heart - Not just to attend church with us, but to teach him all throughout every day, even through my own actions and examples, who God is, who Christ and the Holy Spirit are....and why they are so worthy of our Love and Worship.  And...how his personal life can be forever impacted by having his own relationship with God.
  • Teaching him God-Esteem instead of Self-Esteem  - This will ruffle feathers undoubtedly (I worked for years in counseling centers and fully understand the controversy over this subject), but in my view, 'self'-esteem is not all it's cracked up to be.    It is putting the wrong (and very fallible) person first...us!  When we as humans, and our ever changing our ideas about what is failures and successes, are guiding how we feel about ourselves...our 'self-esteem' will change like the ocean tides.  But if we have God-Esteem, building our view of ourselves upon what the creator of the Universe says about us, it is solid.  We can have security, we can worry less, and find a life much more fulfilling.  I want that not only for myself but for my son.   I've found that I've used the term 'self-esteem' so often over the years that I have to make a point to change the way I speak about this...especially to my son.  I think in a lot of ways it is harder for our kids to feel good about themselves now days, than it ever was for us!  They need all the help they can get to counteract what they see and hear when they're out in the world.  I believe this is the case whether you send your kids to public school, private school, or if you home-school.
  • Wisdom and discernment - Our kids must know how to make choices between right and wrong, not just when we are there to help lead them to the answer.  I must teach my son how to do this himself, especially now that he is a teenager...he needs to learn how to take the facts and weigh the options thus making a decision based on what he knows to be responsible and true.  And the most important part is that he would not be weighing against what he 'feels' is right, but what he knows to be right from the Word of God.  And part of learning this lesson is failure, to see the consequences of poor choices can sadly be a great motivational tool to avoid such mistakes in the future. (hopefully)  But as parents we pray that learn on the little things, and while they are still under our protective wings.
  • Setting Boundaries - If we must teach our children how make decisions, then we must also teach them how to set a boundary when they are faced with decisions that are difficult to make....and this is DEFINITELY IMPORTANT for them to know how to do when you are not around, for their own protection!  Peer pressure can be overwhelming and we must discuss and even role play with our kids before the temptations present themselves.  I am a firm believer in giving our kids the facts of some of the larger temptations in life (age appropriate details of course), but if you aren't telling them, then they will ask someone else and who knows what sort of information they will get.  How will they know why it is important to set boundaries, if we don't explain to them why it is important to put them in place?  I also like to give life examples in this area and point out some choices from his own life...good and bad...this way a a good choice vs. this was not the best choice....and here is why.  And if you are really brave....try giving them some examples from your own life.  When they see that other people suffer natural consequences from bad choices, it somehow means more and becomes information that seems for valid.
  • Discipline as a mode of teaching, not punishment...  Giving our children rules and boundaries, and helping them to be able to expect in advance the outcome of their actions...is what I believe is not only Biblically correct but I truly believe it helps our kids to feel safe, important, and loved.  **Discipline does not = physically beating or verbally abusing a child!**  There is so much to say about this, but I will save that for another post.  I will just say three extra words....CONSISTENCY IS KEY!
  • Compassion - It is important to teach our kids that serving others is not only a good thing, but something that will make you feel better and be healthier.  Selfishness breeds pride and causes many problems and should not be excused in children just because they are young and immature.  Give your children the gift of knowing what it is like to put others first!  There is no other feeling that beats knowing that you have surprised someone with a blessing of provision that they had no idea was coming!  You get to feel for a minute like the hands and feet of Jesus.  Our kids need to also realize how blessed most of us are to have a roof over our heads, food to eat at 3 main meals a day, and someone to love and care for us!
  • Choosing their inner circle of friends - Helping our kids to identify the qualities that make them a good friend, and the qualities that they should want to have in their friends will help them to reduce friendship drama.  And DO NOT underestimate the fact that your children's friends will have so much influence over them, as a parent you will be thankful for good choices in this area!  Know the parents of the friends your kids are spending time with, and if there is ever a question of safeness....do not allow sleepovers!  That is really a separate subject but I wanted to be sure to say it.  You would be shocked to know how many kids are abused staying over at other people's homes. 
  • Teaching them independence -I believe this is best in small doses and in varying degrees of responsibility, but this is what prepares them to be on their own.  Allow them to learn and falter under your supervision.  Keep your Mothering eyes open for teachable moments... they're all around you!  We need to teach them to stand on their own....and I personally find this is a hard one as Momma....but alas I am trying.  :-)

Having a good husband and parenting partner makes a world of difference as does having a solid and group of fellow Mom's who allow for vulnerable and 'real' conversations about the ups and downs of Motherhood and offer advice and hugs when needed.

And for those of you who are single Mom's, I just want to say that having that core group of fellow Mother's is essential!  I spent 10 years raising my son alone, so I can relate to the special hardship that comes with trying your best to be everything to your kids...when you can only do so much and you feel like you often fall short.

If you are a Christian, remember Christ is your Partner and He is the Father to the Fatherless (even if they do have biological Fathers that just may not be present often or ever).  If you aren't a Christian, all I can say is.....consider it friend.....I'm not sure I could have made it without Him!  He is still my best friend, closest confidant, and best advise giver!

I am far from a perfect parent, I'll tell you that in all honesty and humility.  I'm just attempting to be a good steward of the son god gave me each and every day.

Got The Blogger Template Blues?

Are you a blogger who feels like your blogger template is a little plain and simple...a bit like a stark white piece of paper?  

Or are you just ready for a fresh look?

I have found a great website that I'd love to show which has pages and pages of template styles!  For all types of blogs.

Look through more than 300 blogger templates at the

Templates Block
site!  I don't think you will be disappointed!

I have recently discovered that my new template design has allowed me more flexibility and options.

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What is a Mom?

Although I could fill pages of the details of how I love my son ...today I wanted to talk about what it means to be a Mom.

One of the simplest definitions of a Mother that I've seen says that a Mother is a female who has given birth to a child.  Even as I type that is seems grossly simplified and not exactly correct.

I have friends who have adopted children, and even though that child did not come from her own womb, the child is no less hers and she is no less of a Mother.  I even have a friend who was a surrogate Mom for an amazing couple who could not conceive themselves.  She in fact had twins, and although my friend will always have a bond with those babies that grew inside of her...my friend is not their Mother.  And then there are some who connect the word Mom more with a friend or mentor who has been to them what they always longed for but didn't get from the Mother who raised them.

Sometimes Motherhood is biological, sometimes it is not.  I believe that the love that many connect with the person they call Mom does not come simply from DNA or Title, but from relationship.  From listening to the details of our lives, teaching us and walking us through the hard lessons in life, giving advice when necessary, hugging us when there is nothing more that can be done, and loving us always.  Mothers come in many different shapes and sizes, but one thing connects them all.....love. 

Some Mother's are better at these things that other.  Some children grow into adults with the thinking that their Mom is one of their best friends, other children grow older and begin their own families and only see their Mom's on major holidays, and still yet....some grow and disconnect completely deciding for whatever reason that continuing a relationship with their Mother is not beneficial.

As I thought about all of this, I began to wonder what type of Mom my son thinks I am.  When he grows older, what will his relationship be with me?  Will we be close?

One thing I am learning is that this thing called Motherhood is a marathon and not a sprint.  There are days when you want to cry, pull your hair out, and run away....and then there are days you cry because you are so full of love that you can't hold it all in.   It isn't always easy, but the important things often aren't and I believe in the end all of our hard work will be worth it!

Being a Mom is the biggest job on Earth...you are responsible for teaching and raising a human life.  There is no higher calling.  It took me a long time to figure this one out as I spent years clawing my way up the corporate ladder.  Being a Mom is an honor.....don't forget.....it is an honor and a miracle!

So to all of you fellow Mother's.....

Thank you for all you do for your kids!  If they aren't thanking you now....one day they will!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cover Girl - NatureLuxe Review

I recently joined BzzAgent to review products that either myself or my family are interested in using.  I officially received my first product in the mail last week.  BzzAgent sent me a free sample of Cover Girl's new NatureLuxe line of foundation and Lip Gloss Balm.

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical as to whether I would like this foundation due simply to the fact that it was Cover Girl brand (which I hadn't used since I was in High School).  I must confess I was pleasantly surprised.

NatureLuxe is a light to medium foundation with a very silky feel to it.  I personally tend to prefer heavier foundations with a matte finish to cover my uneven skin tone and occasional blemish.  But because I also use concealer under my eyes I discovered that I was very happy with the coverage this foundation gave me. 

The feeling of this foundation after I applied it reminded me a bit of the Silk lotion from Bath and Body Works.  It makes your skin feel very smooth and I personally really enjoy the fragrance!  It has jojoba extract and cucumber water which gives it a nice smell, not to mention that it also contains 10 SPF to help protect from sun damage.

I tend to have normal to dry skin and because this foundation gives a bit of a 'dewy' sheen (not oily) those of you with oily skin may not prefer to use it. But for me it worked really well.

I was sent a sample and was not able to select the shade. The full sized sample that Cover Girl sent me in the foundation was the shade 'Aspen'.  I have very fair skin and although the color through the window in the bottle looked a little dark, once I put it on my skin, it was a perfect match! 

The full price of this foundation is much less than the price of my usual brand and my husband said he liked it just as well if not better. Because it smells and feels so much better than my usual brand, I'm seriously considering a permanent switch.

The other free sample I was given was for the Cover Girl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm.  To be fair I must tell you that the sample I was given was in the color named 'anemone' which is BRIGHT RED!  That said, the color is way too bright for me.  But in an effort to try out the product, I decided to give it a shot.  The Gloss Balm has a 15 SPF, which again is a nice feature to protect us against the sun.  It feels very nice on my lips and to me it didn't feel as 'sticky' as some lip glosses can feel.  I am still undecided if it would be worth it for me to purchase another tube in a color that is better suited for me, but I do like the way it feels on my lips as it seems to moisturize well.

Overall I would say that my experience was very good with these new products.  And I like the way the gloss feel so much that I have actually applied other lip color over it to help conceal the bright red color.

In the end I have to say that I was rather surprised with how much I enjoyed these new products by Cover Girl.  They seemed to me to be from a high quality make-up counter at the mall.  I would say it's worth giving them a try!