The Atomic Housewife

Everything you never wanted to know about the inner-workings of my little mind. I'm no longer a housewife, but, hey, I like the name.

Friday, June 10, 2011

To All the Shoes I've Loved Before

Lately I've noticed that I'm often haunted by ghosts of shoes past. As I clomped across campus in my new platforms, I grew wistful for my old Esprit nude leather flats. I loved those sandals, even the way the ankle strap wrapped around my thick ankles. I found them at Macy's and was so delighted to find the exact sandals I had imagined in my mind. Sadly, I spilled fix all over them in my photography class, so they had to leave me before their time.
I started collecting shoes (it's a collection, not an obsession) when I was in the 5th grade. My mom bought me a pair of white Converse before Converse came in actual colors (this was the late 70's), and we decided to dye them Fuchsia Pink. Yes, the kids followed me all week whistling the Pink Panther theme, but I didn't care. I had on my hot pink Chucks and the world was my oyster. Years later, when they were the hot thing, I felt the need to remind my friends that I was the first. I had a glorious shoe wardrobe by the 6th grade, with lots of different styles that none of my friends wore. I had nerdy-chic buckle loafers with a pointy toe, cowboy boots, and my beloved pigskin leather Bare Trap wedge sandals. By the time I was in high school, it was time to do my first shoe clean out of all the styles and sizes outgrown. My mom and I counted 40 pairs that I was getting rid of, and I still had a closet full of remaining choices. I said a heartfelt goodbye to each pair.
As I got older, and my feet settled into a perfect size 6 1/2, and I no longer had to say goodbye to shoes just because of the fit. I can remember most of my shoes and our adventures in much greater detail than any of my relationships with men. The black flats with the studded toe that I wore until they got a hole in front, the 4 inch espadrille wedges that I insisted on wearing while pregnant with my first child, that caused me to twist my ankle so badly that I needed crutches. Like relationships, it was all sunshine and roses until things got too comfortable. Suddenly, a new pinch here, an irritating rub there, caused me to end things abruptly. I wasn't going to wait around to see if things could improve with time, if the elements would work the odd irritants out naturally. If they did me wrong, there were no second-chances, they were ruthlessly thrown away. The memories will always be vivid for me, of the good times we shared, and how limited they can be.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Useful Cosmetic Dupes

I confess that I am a makeup whore, and have found so many cheap dupes of pricey products (after I buy the pricey product) so I thought I'd share some recent ones I've found.

Useful Dupes - lip

MAC Viva Glam Cyndi - $14 -$20
Nivea Kiss of Shine Cherry - $2.49 (

MAC's Cyndi is really sheer. I wasn't aware of that when I bought it. It's a lovely color, but no better than my Nivea Cherry. Similar coverage, but Nivea has SPF!

Useful Dupes - cheek1

MAC - Blush in Style $20-$24
Rimmel Blush in Peach $1.69 at Ulta

You can see how close these are! MAC's Style has some gold shimmer that the Rimmel doesn't, but the Rimmel is very pretty and lasts even longer. At that price, you can't go wrong!

Useful Dupes -cheek2

Benefit Thrrob Blush - $28
NYC Color Wheel Pink Glow - $3.60 Rite Aid

I wanted to love Thrrob, I really did, but it was SO sheer with hardly any payoff. It seems to get brighter the longer it's on. The pink glow color wheel by NYC is actually better, with a prettier shimmer.

I'll try to add more as I find them. It's fun, because the cheaper drugstore brands are usually well worth the small price.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Favorite Things - Hair

I've always been a frustrated "never was" stylist. In high school I planned to become a make up artist, until one of my parents said that was a career chosen by dumb girls. Right! So now that I have my boring executive assistant position, I wish I could be more creative.
Anyone who knows me knows what a complete product whore I am, so I decided to post items that I have used and loved over the years. I'm not afraid to spend the bucks if something works, but strangely, some of the best products I've found are also the cheapest drugstore brands. Having very thick, coarse, and wavy hair, here are the things that work great to get it in control, and still look healthy.

Matrix Biolage - Curl Defining Cream: Light, smells soft. You only need two little pumps for my entire head, so most people might get by with just one! It brings out and holds your natural curl without any grease or crunchy feeling. I use this when my hair is damp as a first step. Around $9 in most beauty supplies. I have also found this at Great Clips.

Suave Sleek - Heat Protection Spray: This stuff is great! I mist my whole head, or just the ends for a touch up prior to blow drying. So light you barely know it's there. Under $5 at drugstores.

LA Looks - Chaotic Look Whipped Wax: This poor can is several years old, and they may have stopped making it. Occasionally makes an appearance in grocery stores. Just one little dab really makes your curls glossy and perfectly separated. Under $5

Suave Extra Hold - Non Aerosol Hairspray #7: When I buy this stuff, I stock up on several. It's that good! After I do my hair, either curly or straight, I spray this on and it makes your hair look glossy and more piecey. It has never flaked on me once (which is great for people with dark hair) and will hold your hair through any windstorm while keeping it feeling soft and not stiff. Under $5 in supermarkets and drugstores.

Hope you guys have fun trying these bargain brands. I'll do makeup next time :-)


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yucky New Flickr


Anyone else hate it as much as I do? Why do sites feel the need to change everything without giving PAYING users an opportunity to opt out and use the old format?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Case for the Missing Chair

Several weeks ago, my husband sat in one of our oak dining room chairs, and was horrified to watch it crumble beneath him. I guess the kids had been telling him that one of the support rungs was broken, and the whole thing finally gave way.
At first, we were determined to replace the chair immediately, after all, there are four of us, and we need four chairs to eat together properly. But after discovering there were no suitable replacements out there, days stretched into weeks with only room for three.
Pretty early on, I figured this was my "out" from having to sit with the family and explain why there isn't much on my plate, or why I was eating something different. I was able to serve them dinner, and, "Oh my, there isn't any room for Mom!" I take my tiny plate into the livingroom, where I get to sit at my computer or watch TV uninterrupted! Sometimes there is no plate - and I have happily lost a couple pounds. Trust me, I eat enough during the day that missing dinner is not a huge deal. Yes, I'm sure I am a horrible woman for not wanting to spend quality time listening to my kids whine about crust on bread, or vegetables "in" things. I'm sure I will suffer for it, skinny...and blissfully alone.


Sunday, October 22, 2006


Please, Please, Please Barack Obama, Run in 2008!

I love this guy. I could listen to this smartypants speak for hours, seriously. It would be so nice to have him for a President - he'll get my vote for sure. Plus I'm tired of voting for Ralph Nader all the time...


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

1959 Better Homes

You Asked For It

For as long as I can remember, my friends have been asking me for advice. OK, well, maybe not asking me, but they have been getting it. As a teen, while pretending to hate and ignore my mom, I was secretly listening to everything she said. Got a rust stain? Pour on some lemon juice and baking soda and place the item in the sun. Some red ink on your white sweater? Spray the area with some hairspray so the alcohol can draw out the ink, then wash. I loved the stunned reaction of my friends as they said, "How do you KNOW this stuff?" Back then, I would just mysteriously say that I picked up the information somewhere.
As I got older, I attributed all of my knowledge to my mom. I'm sure my coworkers imagined my mom to be some kind of omniscient being, dispensing household tips in the blink of an eye. Lately though, after giving such tips to my mom, she has claimed that even SHE didn't know some of this stuff. I don't know what disturbs me more, that I have filled my brain with hundreds of unattributed "junk" tips, or that I have soaked them up through some kind of housewife osmosis without even knowing I was doing so. I do hate not knowing how something works, or worse yet, how to fix it if it breaks. My fear has filled my brain with quick fixes, stain removal tips, and ingredient exchanges. My brain is so full of this stuff that any knowledge of mathematical equations, geography and the French language has been completely pushed out. I have only myself to blame. But my gravy will never be thin.