Please note: All images on this blog (except where noted) are original works of Miki Baxter and cannot be duplicated without permission. Also, if you're inspired by a project featured on here, then please link back to me and give proper credit. Thank you!!!


So I Went Red

 The pictures in my last post were just for fun, representing possible changes in my blog...but I really liked the red, though I would never color my hair the same as Ronald McDonald.  At least, I don't think I would.  Too much maintenance.
I mentioned in a previous post about my mom and I sharing a fascination with Sophia Loren.  And my mom spent the early seventies sporting an auburn hue.  It was time for me to join the ranks and let out my own inner red. Though my hair is not as big as theirs.  Too much maintenance.  
 Whaddya think???    
 Take a quick peek from every angle...
 By the way, check out my ski slope nose (below).  I used to put a clothespin on it when I was little (like Amy from Little Women) hoping for a regal American nose.  With nostrils that flared. Er, I digress.  Back to the topic at hand...
I'm liking the red.  It goes along well with my new running persona (snort, giggle, rotfl)...what running persona???  You can read about that here.  Anyhooooo, change is good. Turning 40 in six months is starting to look better too.  What about you?  What new things have you tried recently?  Any challenges you've overcome?  I'd love to hear about it!   


Change is in the Air

This is the status quo.
 A subtle change...
 ...or Dramatic Overhaul
 Some questions for you, dear readers:

What topics interest you most in my blog?
Creative projects?  Make-up tips?  Photography?

I would like to create weekly features, establish a more consistent posting routine
and would greatly appreciate your feedback!

Please add any additional comments, advice, or topics you're interested in.
Thank you!


Pay No Attention to the Woman Behind the Curtain...

Though I haven't posted anything new in the last week (yikes! and apologies), there has been a lot going on "behind the curtain."  

School started last week - I homeschool our children and it takes a few weeks to get into the rhythm  of things.  This year I have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader and a "pay attention to me or I will destroy something" 2 year old.  Our days have gotten very full and busy...but I'd have it no other way.

A few sewing projects have been started that I have been too tired to finish...but I am excited to share them once I do complete them!  Soon.

My design accomplice on the East Coast has let me be a long-distance part of a project she's heading, which has been incredibly soothing to my poor, neglected creative soul.  Boo hoo.  Thank God for friends with artistic flair that keep me inspired and on my toes! 

In the meantime, I have been watching a lot of foreign movies.  So much Bollywood... (do you know about Bollywood???  I can't have the word culture in my title without mentioning it.  It's a big part of the film industry of India, and many of the movies incorporate colorful musical numbers and dancing)...that I almost expect a breeze to blow my hair as I walk around in slow motion.  Lol.  Enough British dramas that I think empire waisted dresses are a wardrobe staple (ha!)  And French films.  Paris is calling really is.

On my Ipod, I have been listening to a lot of Disco.  Yup, you read it correctly.  Disco.  I actually like psychedelic polyester bellbottom pants (and own a few pairs).  On my 40th birthday, I want a huge disco party and have been practicing "The Hustle."  Thought you should know this about me.  All this to say, there's a lot going on and the fruits of all of this "cultural inspiration" will be photographed and shared in upcoming posts.    


Winner of the Giveaway!

# 9 (generated by who blogs at Living and Learning As A Mommy!  Look for my e-mail also.

To everyone who entered - thank you for being a part of my First Giveaway!  I wish I could send each of you a pumpkin too!  Because it's so hard to give only one away, I'll try to have multiples for future giveaways.  Speaking of which, I'm bringing back and am in the process of making gobs and gobs of...Pumpkin Softies!!! 
I made several out of an old baby blanket last year and just adore them!  Here's the link if you're interested in creating some yourself.  Keep an eye out for upcoming giveaways including several of these softies and also an all natural lip product I was just given to try out.  Giveaways are so much fun!!!  


Giveaway Ends Tomorrow!!!

The House of Beauty and Culture

My First Ever Giveaway ends tomorrow!  You still have a chance to enter!  


Bright Eyes for Mature Eyes

There was a great comment on my "Bright Eyes" post about shimmery eyeshadows and whether they work for a more mature lady. I believe that make-up styles do need to be adjusted to make them more age appropriate, but everyone can enjoy the various looks. Why not???

One of my make-up inspirations for 50+ beauties is Helen Mirren:

photo credit: WireImage
Her eye make-up in this photo is bright, slightly shimmery, with dark lashes and eyeliner while her cheeks and lips are rosy. The overall look is similar to what I featured in the "Bright Eyes" post with the exception of the black eyeliner on both the top and bottom of the eyes. She is radiant and beautiful.

Some adjustment ideas for the "Bright Eyes" look for all of my va va va voom elder sisters:
Rather than using a shimmery eyeshadow all over the lid, I would try a light matte color and a gentle dab of shimmer on the middle of the eyelid, blending softly. By shimmery, I don't necessarily mean full-out glitter on the eyes either - there are eyeshadows with a tiny bit of sparkle in light colors like champagne that look amazing. And the amount of shimmer depends also on the occasion: major bling on the eyes for an evening out dancing, a subtle sparkle for an intimate dinner, or a light matte sweep and overall soft look for an afternoon event. 

I like watching the movie "Monster-In-Law" just to see how fabulous Jane Fonda looks in it! Her make-up throughout the movie was impeccable, and she has had some great red carpet moments in recent years.

photo credit: Ben Rose/WireImage
My mom allowed me to do her make-up (finally!) a few years ago, and these are the colors I used on her. My mom always used black liquid eyeliner and bright lipsticks - sometimes her look was quite severe. Peachy orange color on her eyes, cheeks and lips really softened up her face...and they are my "go to" colors for a fresh look. Jane Fonda looks gorgeous in them too!

At any age, I think it's important to vary your make-up according to what you like and feel good wearing, the occasion and season, and with knowledge of how to make it work for you. For example, testing a smoky eye before a big occasion and getting feedback from test photos as well as friends in the know. Or trying out various reds to find the one that looks best on you (I'm going to do a post on finding the right red lipstick in the near future.) I take a lot of test photos to see if new looks work on me - in fact, all of the pictures you see of me were taken by...ME!

Other ladies to consider for make-up inspirations are Diane Keaton (her campaign for L'Oreal is awesome!), Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, Andie MacDowell, Alfre Woodard, Iman, just to name a few. Please feel free to comment and/or ask questions!

Bright Eyes

It's been awhile since I've talked about make-up, though I enjoy experimenting with new looks all the time.  Insomnia, stress, grief, hormonal fluctuations, etc. have taken a toll on my face in recent weeks, but I am delighted with the results of "the Bright Eye," which has been popular in commercials and on the red carpet recently.  
I always start off with an all over dusting of a pale, neutral eye color as a base.  For this look, lightly line the bottom of your eye (on the outside), along the base of your eyelashes with a white eyeliner.  (In my experience, it is worth investing a few more dollars into a quality white eyeliner pencil.  The cheap ones are thick and crumbly, while a good eyeliner goes on smoothly.)  Blend it in gently - you don't want a clumpy or chalky, heavy line. 

Tip:  I avoid putting eyeliner on the insides of my eyelids to avoid irritation (tears and red eyes will ruin the look!)  Eye pencils and make-up tools can harbor lots of bacteria, so it's better to be safe than infected.  Besides, I think eyeliner on the inside of the lid makes eyes look smaller.
Next, I dipped my brush into shimmery white eyeshadow and tapped off the excess several times before sweeping it over my lids and over the eyeliner along the bottom of my eyes.  With a blending brush, I lightly went over the areas around my eyes to smooth and soften the effect.  Curled eyelashes, several coats of mascara, and black liquid eyeliner finished the eyes, and I chose a rose colored blush and lipstick for an overall softer look.  

Here's a funny face for you, since make-up posts can tend to be all about the ooh-la-la outcome.   

And see how well the "Bright Eye" holds up if the world suddenly goes black & white?!?   
The "Bright Eye" is a versatile and fresh look...try it!

Tip:  If you don't wear liquid eyeliner, you can line the top lid and/or apply a darker eyeshadow around the top base of your lashes.    

Don't forget about my Giveaway going on now through September 7th!


My First Giveaway!!!

What?  September 1st doesn't kick off the beginning of autumn???  Well, it does to me!  And I didn't even wait until today to pull out my autumn decor.    I started pulling things out of boxes, ummm.....a few weeks ago.  It's the Dollar Tree's fault.  They had their ceramic pumpkins out, and my darling children decided I had to have the new colors, so they each bought me one.  In order to not hurt their feelings, I (of course) had to set them out right away.      
Happy sigh.
These white ceramic pumpkins were quite the hot commodity last year, and I grabbed some up fresh off of the Dollar Tree shelf.  What they lack in cost, they make up for in character and cuteness and just the right touch for this season.  So, I'm going to give one of these away to one of you!    
All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post!  Additional entries if: 
  • You follow me (hurray!)  Leave me a separate comment letting me know you are.
  • You link to this giveaway (and please add my new button to your post!)  Leave me a separate comment that you did that, including the direct link to your post.  

The House of Beauty and Culture

The giveaway will end on Tuesday, September 7th!  I will e-mail the winner as well as announce it on here.  Please make sure you wither include your e-mail address or have it accessible on your blog so that I can get a hold of you!