I love make-up but it took me a long time to figure out the right colour,  the right brand and how to apply.  I didn’t have anyone in my life that could teach me about make-up so I had to figure it out for myself.  My friends were all wearing it and so I asked them what they wore and the colours they used, the only problem was they all different skin tone and type from me.  I am a redhead with very fair skin, freckles and acne-prone skin.  I ended up with an acne infection because I was using cheap make-up and no skin care.  I went to live with my grandparents when I was almost sixteen and my grandmother took me to the doctor and he looked at my skin and told me I had an acne infection.  He prescribed me a prescription medication and a cream and it worked like a charm.  Then I started trying out different products:  skin care; make-up; foundation; different colours, different cosmetic companies and discovered that neutral tones are the best for me, no pinks, reds and a select few shades of orange.

When it comes to foundation, you have to figure out your skin type and tone.  I am fair, with acne prone-skin, therefore, powder based foundations work best for me.  I used MAC for awhile but wasn’t happy with the quality, I found a great product in a direct-marketing business that I was involved with but got out of it because it wasn’t working for me.  Then one night I was up late and caught an infomercial for a mineral-based cosmetics company called Sheer Cover.  They had a great deal on a starter kit so I ordered one.  The beauty  of  minerals is that they are all natural, no fillers, nothing heavy so you don’t feel like you’re wearing make-up and foundation at all.  It also controls acne which was a big plus for me.  The only issue I had with Sheer Cover was that you had to order it by phone and pay with a credit card, which for me was a problem because I like to pay cash for most things so as not to incur debt.

Two years ago I was in Edmonton visiting my best friend and we stayed at the West Edmonton Mall Hotel for some girl time and found Sephora.  It is my candy shop, all that make-up in one place, so much fun.  I discovered that they carry  a brand of mineral make-up called Bare Minerals.  So many colours, so many choices of foundation colours, so little time.  I was in love, but at that time there was no Sephora in Vancouver so I had to find another alternative and discovered Pur Minerals in a store called Shopper’s Drug Mart.  The only difference between Bare and Minerals and Pur Minerals is that Bare Minerals is loose powder and Pur Minerals is pressed.  Either way, I’m doing what’s best for my skin and looking beautiful all at the same time.

So try mineral make-up and foundation and see what it will do for your skin.  They have all the colours in the rainbow and all the same choices; lip gloss, lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, blush and bronzers.  Have fun.


Find Your Best Skin Care

Price doesn’t always dictate quality in skin care, cosmetics and hair care, you can get great skin care in a drugstore or in a high-quality cosmetics store.  I have acne-prone skin, I have used most of the high-quality and drugstore quality skin care products and I am forty-years-old so my skin has changed over the years and I found that as long as you’re using good quality products your skin will look young and healthy for the rest of your life.  It is a trial and error process if you don’t have someone in your life who has used many different products to figure out what works best.  Everybody’s skin is different but you should have enough people in your life that can lead you to works best for your skin.  Don’t always assume that the people in the drugs stores, cosmetics stores and department stores know what they’re talking about.  I didn’t have anyone in my life to teach me about skin care, cosmetics and hair care so I had to teach myself so I hope that for those of you who don’t have help will find my blog and will learn from me.

Let’s talk drugstore skin care:  Clearasil has come a long way from when used it so I believe that it is a better product now;  I have used Neutrogena and it worked okay for me;  I have also used Aveeno and it worked well for a while but the price was too high for what I feel is an okay product;  for price and quality I really Garnier, my children use it, my nieces use it, it controls acne, smells really good and keeps your skin looking fresh and healthy.

Department store skin care:  I haven’t used any department store skin care products because they’re prices are too high and a lot of them don’t carry skin care for acne-prone skin, but I learned recently that Clinique has a skin care line and it’s affordable so I’m going to try it and see how well it works.

What I have been using for the last couple of years is a cleanser from a store called Skoah in a mall close to my home.  It contains plant extracts as well as seaweed so it cleans really well and smells wonderful.  I use it in the shower and not everyday because I don’t like water running down my arm when I’m in the bathroom over the sink and it doesn’t remover eye-makeup as well as my quick clean.  My moisturizer is made my Pur Minerals which is a cosmetics company that uses only minerals in their make-up and skin care and it is wonderful.  It is called mineral moisture complex, smells great, is gentle on your skin and keeps it looking healthy and clean and fresh.  Minerals are the best thing for your skin because they come from the earth, mineral make-up from a reputable company don’t use any fillers or chemicals in their products so it is the best thing for your skin.  I use a cleaning product by Pur Minerals called mineral quick clean between the days that I shower to remove my make-up because it is quick, you just apply to your face and then use a wet face cloth or even a kleenex and it removes everything including your mascara.

I hope I have helped you a little in your quest for the best skin care products for your skin type.  The beauty of mineral skin care is that it works for every skin type because there is nothing added to it except for minerals and it’s pure.  One thing that I did when researching for my blog was that I went to the different companies’ web sites and looked at the ingredients in all their products.  If there is something that I didn’t recognize or the product has lead in it, I won’t touch it.

I love coloured mascara and when I say coloured I mean colours other than black and brown.  I discovered coloured mascara about twenty years ago, yes I am dating myself, shopping for cosmetics one day with my girlfriend.  We were browsing through the different brands and saw that Cover Girl had brought out mascara in bright blue, green, and purple, so I bought a bottle of each colour.  I fell in love with it.

What I love about coloured mascara is that it makes wearing make-up and looking natural a little easier.  In the summertime, when it’s hot and you feel like your make-up is going to melt off your face but you want to wear because you love it and you want to feel beautiful, you want to wear as little as possible and you want to look natural.  Or, any other time during the year when you want to wear make-up, but it’s daytime and again you want to look natural or you’re going to work and don’t want to wear a lot, enter coloured mascara.

In the summertime I will apply mineral foundation, I will talk about that in another post, a bronzer, one shade of eyeshadow in a fairly neutral colour but pretty maybe pastel, lipgloss,and coloured mascara in a shade that matches my eyeshadow.  With coloured mascara you don’t have to wear eyeliner if the mascara is bright enough, it will brighten your eyes so that you don’t have to wear more than one colour of eyeshadow it you choose not to or if you’re running low on time.

During the rest of the year I will wear the same amount of make-up as I will in the summertime because I’m taking the kids to school, working out, cleaning the house but I still want to look pretty.  If I’m going out in the evening, all I have to do is apply another colour of eyeshadow, some blush and lipstick instead of lipgloss and I’m ready for a night on the town.

Cover Girl stopped carrying coloured mascara about five years after I found it, even though I had stopped wearing Cover Girl because I wanted to wear high quality cosmetics for my skin, having acne, and for my age, I still wanted to have fun mascara.  So I was on a hunt for fun mascara.  MAC carried for a while and then stopped and hasn’t, another company called Red Earth carried it as well, which I found at Shopper’s Drug Mart and then Shopper’s stopped carrying, I was at a loss.  So, I was on my never-ending quest to find it.  About a year ago Sephora came to BC, in a few malls close to where I live and I discovered Urban Decay and lo and behold they have coloured mascara…woo hoo….two shades of blue, green, and two shades of purple, but the bottles are fairly small and it’s on the high end price-wise.  I’m a stay-at-home mom and my husband and I have been struggling financially, so buying Urban Decay became a luxury and when you wear make-up everyday, you need value.  Then, about six months ago I was shopping in our new Super Wal Mart which had opened close to my home, and always looking for new make-up I, discovered  Hard Candy and they have coloured mascara so my quest is over.  I love this mascara because the bottles are a good size and it doesn’t clump and coats my eyelashes so they look longer and fuller.

I am happy and my cosmetics life is fulfilled once again.  Try coloured mascara, it’s fun and easy and makes your life a little bit simpler.


Best burger

Okay,  so I posted a while about the best burger I’d ever had…the Five Guys burger.  It was amazing, you can add your own toppings and they’re free.  The meat was amazing, even the bun was good.  My only complaint was that that was all had, burgers and fries, no milkshakes and for me milkshakes are important sometimes with your burger.  There also was nothing for my kids to eat because the burgers are pretty big and my son can’t eat a full size burger and my daughter doesn’t like burgers at all.  My husband told me about Five Guys and then took me there and really I enjoyed it.  The decor is really cool, the walls are red and white checker,  the tables are wood, as are the chairs…very simple which is why they can keep their prices down.

Then, enter Vera’s Burgers…my husband also told me about Vera’s, he tells me about all the great burger places because he loves a good burger.  A few months ago I was driving through an outdoor mall by our home and noticed a new store opening up, it turns out it was a Vera’s, so every time I drove through I would check on the progress.  One day I was driving through the mall to the grocery store and lo and behold, Vera’s was open.  I immediately called my my husband and told him, so he said we should have dinner there that night.

The first thing I noticed when we got inside the restaurant was the cow-print seats.  We went to the counter to order and on the menu they had all these fancy burgers, I went with the basic Vera’s burger, you have all these toppings to choose from and they’re free.  You have to pay for cheese, but it’s shredded so it’ll melt all over the burger.  They’re onion rings are amazing, not greasy and very crunchy and big.  They’re milkshakes are awesome, made from ice cream and pop is bottomless.  The fries are so great and they’re cut the old-fashioned way, big and crunchy, the pickles are cut length-wise so you have pickles throughout your burger.

My husband said that I should try the meat patty on it’s own because of the way they make it, I did, and he was right, you can eat the patty on it’s own.  I don’t know what they put in their patties but they’re so yummy, which for someone who isn’t really fond of red meat, is saying something.  What I really appreciate about they’re burgers is that they’re not greasy and they’re really tasty, you don’t feel like you’re eating cardboard, you’re  eating really good meat.  They also have sliders if you have a small appetite or if you’re just not up for a full-size burger.  If you’re not in the mood for a burger, they have hot dogs and even a menu for the kids; chicken strips, grilled cheese sandwich and hot dogs and corn dogs.  They even have sweet potato fries and poutine for the French side of you.

So the next time you’ve got a hankering for a great burger head on over to your nearest Vera’s and enjoy.

Brand New Year

Last year I made all these plans as to how I was going to change my life.  I have dreams and goals that I want to reach and those dreams were tied up in my plans, but I’ve realized that in order to achieve those dreams and goals I had to change, I had to be ready to change.  I had to grow, spiritually, and be willing to let God move in my life.

So, this year is my year; my year to change, my year to become the person that God wants be to be, the person I used to be.  One of my goals is to lose weight; I have been overweight since I became pregnant with my first child, my son, but this is not who I am.  I used to been to be healthy, thin, in shape and that is who I want to be.  Another goal is to be healthy emotionally; my mom left when I was almost twelve and that is when I started disappearing, the little girl who got lost in the shuffle of my parent’s divorce, my dad remarrying, going to live with my mom and step-dad and then living with my grand-parents.  I have learned about myself through counselling, prayer and seeking God and I’m finally starting to see myself again in the mirror, the girl I used to be.

I like to talk and I have experienced so much throughout my life that could help other women, young and old; that my blog makes sense as a way to reach people and hopefully help them to make sense of their life.  I also hope that my blog will help me contribute financially to my family and give me a sense of purpose that I haven’t felt since I was working, I enjoyed working till I had my children and I realized that I wanted to work for myself so that I could work from home and be home for my children.

This year is my year; my year to become the person that I want to be and who God wants me to be, to be a woman of purpose, a wife, mother, sister and daughter that my family can be proud, that I can be proud.  I look forward to be able to look in the mirror and see the person that I used to be.

So Happy New Year, I hope that this year will be a turning point for myself and anyone who reads this blog and takes my words to heart and be a turning for themselves as well.

Amazing Burger

I know that all of my posts so far seem to be about me and my family and that’s part of what I want to do with this.  But I also have other topics to discuss and I am working on one now, but I had to write about this burger place my husband took our children and me to tonight.

It is called 5 Guys burgers and if you live in the Surrey, Langley, Delta area and you love a really good burger you have to go to 5 Guys.  They are located at the strip mall off of 24th Avenue by the Super WalMart  and in the same parking lot as Future Shop.  The decor is very plain; red and white but the ambience more than makes up for it.

They have their “small” burger which is one patty and their “large” which has, you guessed it, two patties.  You have to pay a little more for a cheeseburger and a little more than that for bacon, but all the toppings are included in the price of the burger.  It’s a little more expensive than say Burger King, but you get what you pay for.  A small fries fed our daughter, my husband and myself with some left over.  They don’t have milkshakes, but the refills on pop is free.

They hand make the patties and hand press the fries, the kitchen space is wide open so you watch them fry your patty on a grill, fresh.  The eating area is again wide open with very basic tables and chairs but it fits in with the whole feel of the eating experience.  It is bar none the best burger and fries I have ever had.  I would go there again and again and I hope that you all will give them a try too.   And I will tell everyone I know about 5 Guys burger joint.


Cleaning products

So, I realized that I haven’t explained the meaning of the name of my blog: manokai. My husband and I are scuba divers and I just, in general, love the ocean. It is powerful but at the same time it is soothing and peaceful. I wanted the name of my blog to mean something to me and also, to be about me, hence the name manokai. My love of the ocean and what it means to me spiritually and physically. Manokai is a Hawaiian word meaning: mano: shark; kai: ocean. Power and peace in one word.

My husband always teases me about how I’m always trying out the newest “thing”, the latest gadget but it’s all to make my life easier.  Any cleaning product, make up tool or product, and skin care product, I will try it.  I do love new stuff, shiny stuff, anything pretty and fun.  I have so much to talk about because I have tried out pretty much everything but I am faced with somewhat of a dilemna: which topic to discuss first, favourite first or save the best for last?  So, I’m going to save the best for last and start with cleaing products.

The first product I want to tell you about is Pink Solution:  you can use it for the entire house, it really cuts through dirt and grime especially in the bathtub, it also works as a great spot cleaner on the carpet and livingroom furniture and and for pretty much any tough job you have, even on the siding on your house and it’s environmentally friendly.  I really liked it except for the preparation, because it comes in a paste form in a big bucket, you have to melt it and then mix it with water, put it in a spray bottle or a bucket and then you can clean. I just found it to be a bit of a pain. 

Another brand of cleaners that I used was L.O.C. by Amway.  I really liked them, they were environmentally friendly, they were gentle on surfaces and they got the job done with a little bit of elbow grease; the only issue I have is the cost of shipping.  Amway is a direct marketing business and therefore you have to order their products from a warehouse and it can get expensive. 

Mr. Clean anti-bacterial, multi-purpose cleaner:  I used it in the kitchen on the counters, sink and stovetop and it did a good job, it was adequate, but for the really tough stains it just didn’t cut it.  It also has a very over-powering smell that I found too strong, although it has a citrus scent that I love, but it just wasn’t working for me anymore.  I also used it in the bathroom on the toilet, counters and sink. 

For the mirrors, fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen and the kitchen table, coffee table, and all other wood surfaces, I use Pledge multi-surface clean and dust.  It works great and it smells really good but for the really tough stains like, markers, crayon, pen, pencil crayons, I use the Mr. Clean magic eraser.  This I love, it works on everything, bathroom surfaces, kitchen, livingroom, it works really well on stovetops, especially those icky grease stains.  The only problem with using the magic eraser on the bathtub is, that if you have a ring the magic eraser can fall apart because if you have to rub really hard, it isn’t kind to your eraser.

So, enter Scrubbinb Bubbles bathroom cleaner.  It works in the crevices around your sink and fixtures because it’s designed to get in there and then start cleaning, it works on the ring around your tub, especially those shaving rings, girls, those little hairs that somehow get left benind.  It’s great on the toilets and around the bowl on the floor, in the sinks and on the counters and again it’s citrus scent, my favourite, so it makes the bathroom smell all fruity and clean.

For those quick clean-up jobs in the kitchen and bathroom; believe it or not, for the baseboards that get dusty and grimy; for all my floors, even the tiles; I use Lysol Dual Action disinfecting wipes.  They have a soft side for gentle surfaces and a gritty side for those tough stains, I get down on my hands and knees to clean the floors but they do the job and quickly even on the tough stains.  My kids spill ice cream and popsicles on my kitchen floors and the gritty side cleans them up like they were never there;  better than a mop and bucket, that is what I used before and it took so much time and energy and water, but these work lickety split.

There are other products that I have used, pretty much everything on the market that is designed to make your life simple, but it would make this post enormous.  I will always try everything once, as long as it will make my life easier and if it doesn’t work, on to the next product.