Monday, 24 February 2014

Make Me Marvellous with Minimal Money Mondays: The Life of a Token Expat

Week 1:  Well, At Least It Ain't Poop

     So, I am an unemployed traveller, an expat if you will.  Many times I am the only person of colour in the environments/cities/places I travel, I know, don't ask...well, you can if you reeeeeeally want to know  :)  Often, I am asked how I survive without a steady job, especially with my daughter in tow.  This Monday I've chosen to address the issue - I, we, live, not just survive by WWOOFing, I know, shocking, city girls on a farm.  But, if ya wanna save money, be exposed to many cultures and be able to live all the while, you miiiiiiiight need to do the unexpected, go outside your comfort zone.  WWOOFing is DEFINITELY outside my comfort zone. 

     But, then, while living as a WWOOFer/traveller/expat/single mom/token person of colour, the brain juices started to really flow (yup, I said it token person of colour.  Just wait, Timbo will elaborate).  What if, what if, there was a way to live without money, similar to a token economy, an economy of old, where goods and necessities were valued above the almighty dollar (see the play on words there, token economy, token person of colour, coloured lips, global trips, get with it, y'all:)  So far, so good.  Though I've been abroad for a while now, this is the first time I've centered it on a theme.  I have the first week ready and roaring to be posted.  So, y'all, it's possible.  It's possible to travel around the world utilising minimal money and feel marvellous all the while.  First video to be posted soon entitled, (Video) Week 1:  Well, At Least It Ain't Poop (Farm Life in Belgium)

Ciao 4 Now, Y'All! 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Tuesday Travels With Timbo and Pumpkin Pooh (playlist)

Tuesday Travels With Timbo and Pumpkin Pooh (playlist)

Travel with us around the world as we explore cultures, learn about ourselves, save money and time and appreciate this world in which we all live.

CURRENT FAVORITES JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014: Fierce Lipstick, Betty Boop and H2O, Oh My!

January is over, February is here, let's get FIERCE!  Lipstick, lipstick, lipstick, I LOVE FIERCE MAGENTA LIPSTICKS!  Earlier this month, I bought and reviewed lipsticks from a natural makeup company, Fierce Magenta .  Now, I'm in love.  These lippies are highly pigmented, creamy, and surprisingly enough don't stain your lips.  And, being the cheap-o that I am, you know these lippies are a great value ($7 - $10).

Often, we steer clear of bold and highly pigmented lippies because they stain our lips which leads to "scrubbing" our lips and thus making them irritated and dry.  But, my next favourite does anything but dry the lips - that good ol' H2O a.k.a. water!  "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."  Okay, so, I know, I know, I should know better and do better when it comes to water (and I'm definitely not a horse) but sometimes I'm a slow learner.  Water is good for me and NOW I know it 100%.  My skin looks better, I feel better and I'm no longer thirsty.  #goodol'H2O

Well, water isn't the only thing that does a body good, less stress always decreases the mess (I really should copyright that last bit  :)  Betty Boop helps me de-stress?  WHAT?!  YUP!  :)  Inside of that Betty Boop notepad that I just absoLUTEly love are are the ramblings of my minds' eye that can cause it to clutter and get stressed.  I write down ideas, plans, goals, worries and that, too, does a body good.  Thanks Betty Boop (notebook).

"Big things come in small packages."  Who said that?  Well, whoever said it was spot on!  That little yellow container you see with the brown lid is one of those little packages with a big surprise (pause for the obvious dirty joke  :)  Ok, back to the regularly scheduled blog...Garnier Ultra Doux Intense Nutrition Mask.  WHEW!  This stuff is fiyah!  It smells like paradise in a tub, feels like a heavenly cloud and moisturises and conditioner your hair as effectively as an oasis in the middle of the desert gives ecstatic relief to all those who which to partake of its' blatantly enticing goodness.  Get some, ya won't regret it  :)
SNAIL ON MY FACE!??!!!!  Now, y'all know, I had to get funky wit' cha!  While Garnier is well-known and established, I had no idea about the benefits of snail extract and micellar water, until now.  When I tell y'all that my skin is ultra-sensitive, I mean it!  I have been searching so long for that something special that would help to keep my skin calm after shavings and hair and makeup removal (um, yeah, a sistah is hairy).  Enter Victoria Beauty Snail Extract Micellar Cleansing Water.  After using a hair removal cream, my face is usually sre and irritated.  What I do right after I remove the cream is to place a Victoria Beauty Snail Extract Micellar Cleansing Water-soaked paper towel/napkin on my face for 5 minutes.  When I remove the towel/napkin my face is still sensitive but much less irritated and the burn that I usually feel after this type of hair removal is lessened significantly.  A second benefit of Victoria Beauty Snail Extract Micellar Cleansing Water is its' maintenance of my oil production.  During the day and night, my face produces oil like Pharell Williams produces hits, constantly and consistently.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I always get compliments on how young I look and I have the acne and oil to prove it.  What I do with the cleansing water is put 2-3 squirts on to a cotton ball and wipe my face whenever I see/feel the oil getting out of control.  The cleansing water doesn't further the breakouts and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed. 
 #Victoria Beauty Snail Extract Micellar Cleansing Water
From the face to the hair - Lilly Drogerie Velnea Hair Oil and Schwarzkopf GLISS Hair Repair with Liquid Keratin Complex Oil Elixir.  A natural hair sistah say WHAAAAAAAAT?!!!!!!!!!!  Both these products are an oasis in the desert of my sometimes dry, natural hair.  The hair oil both moisturizes and seals in my hair's moisture while the Schwarzkopf  Hair Repair acts as a hydrator for daily use. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these affordable hair angels.

Last but certainly not least, the Green Tea with Lemon and the Hydrogen Peroxide.  These favourites are more health related, the tea helps clear up my skin and the hydrogen peroxide helped heal my recent lip piercings.  Yet, both can be used on a consistent and regular basis to keep me feeling marvellous, beautiful and healthy. 

Yeah, I know this was long but I just really love these items and I hope you found something that will help you as well.  Till next time, CIAO 4 NOW, Y'ALL!  Bye-bye  :)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

From Plovdiv to Budapest via Sofia and Serbia (EUROLINES): TUESDAYTRAVELSWITH'TIMBO

So, this time our travels have led us to Budapest, Hungary - from Plovdiv, Bulgaria via Eurolines Bus Company.  We started our day at 5 am (getting ready to head to the bus station by 05:40).  From Plovdiv to Sofia, we rode a small 10-seater van.  Once in Sofia (an hour early and a first for us, I might add), we were able to grab some snacks for the trip and get a good seat (since there were so few people on this early morning bus we were able to each have 2 seats to ourselves to stretch out - and eat, thank you Mr. Bus Driver). 

Pumpkin Pooh getting her grub on with a pastry given to her by a fellow passenger
(her grandmother made them  :)
Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug, we're off to Serbia.  Crossing from Bulgaria into Serbia wasn't as arduous and exhausting as I thought it would be. 

YES, we had to get off the bus and show our passports and YES we had to bring our bags from the bus with us, but the process was quick and straightforward.  And after we returned to the bus, we were pleasantly surprised with...
...a movie...

Killing Season starring Robert DeNiro and John Travolta
(appropriate movie given it was about the war in Bosnia and Serbia and we started and finished the film while in Serbia)
The bus driver played movies all the way into the evening and the genre of movies varied from action to romantic comedy.  There were many bathroom breaks, an extended meal break and plenty of time to just walk outisde for a photo op.

All in all, the trip from Plovdiv to Budapest was great.  This trip proves that the bus drivers really can make or break a travel experience and thanks to the bus drivers on this bus route, our experience was quite positive...

...and we arrived at N├ępliget International Bus Station in Budapest half an hour early.
I'd say that was some good ol' fashioned grade A customer service, wouldn't you?

Monday, 10 February 2014

#MakeMeMarvellouswithMinimalMoneyMondays: Local Craft Shop Accessories

It's Monday, there's snow and ice outside and I'm preeeeeeeety sure I need to keep a tight hold on the pocket strings to stay on budget.  But, wait.  Being on a budget doesnt't mean going without those things that make us feel girly and special.  This week, it's all about the accessories: earrings (2 pair - 5 leva/$3.45), a bracelet (1 leva/$0.69), and a ring (2.50 leva/$1.73), oh my! 

Local finds at a craft shop in Plovdiv (they also sell the material to make your own jewelry)
Shops' contact info

Map of the shops location
3.50 leva (about $2) earrings

Posing like a boss with my Plovdiv craft shop earrings

Peaceful like a Plovdiv Princess

Skull ring my bell

Orange on my wrist
This week I was made marvelous for 8.50 leva/$5.87.

And, btw, the white hat was a local thrift shop find (1 leva/$0.69) and my lippie of the day was a 8 leva/$6 Rimmel lipstick:  Cutting Edge #120.

So, stop by your local craft shop and make every Monday a #MinimalMoneyMondays day.

Ciao 4 Now, Y'ALL!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

New Weekly Blog Post and Hashtags: #MakeMeMarvelouswithMinimalMoneyMondays

So Saturday and Sunday ya may have gone out, dolled yourself up, or bought that new lippie you've had your eye on.  Monday rolls around and the desire to pamper yourself may be dwindling due to that dreaded - LACK OF FUNDS!  Oh, no, what to do, what to do?  Check out my Make Me Marvelous with Minimal Money Mondays.  Try saying that fast 3 times  :)