Is Face Primer Really Worth It?

Last Friday I needed some basic makeup so I decided to go to Ulta.  I was overwhelmed. It’s funny that every time I go there, the sales people stick their nose in the air about “drugstore” cosmetics even though half of the store is dedicated to them.

The following day, I went to Sephora and loved it. Even though I didn’t buy anything, the people were so helpful and nice. I could touch all the makeup and try different products on my hand.  Some of the high-end eyeliners I didn’t like, while I really liked some mid-range ones. This is where I will return when I buy new things.

Back to my day at Ulta. I had heard good things about a brand called NYX, different from NYC that is sold at Target. I liked the way the NYX eyeshadows felt on my hand so I bought two at $2.49 a piece. I purchased Taupe and Golden. I can’t see the Taupe that much on me, but I do like the Golden. I also bought their cream blush called Desert Rose, which I really like.

The main thing I was searching for was a face primer. I bought NYX HD Studio Photogenic Primer since the sales person said I needed to use a primer under my BB cream. It retailed for $14.99 so I bought it. The first day, I applied under my Garnier BB cream on one side of my face. It did appear a little smoother, but I didn’t notice the face makeup staying on any longer.  I did some research and found out that the whole purpose of a BB cream is to not have to wear a primer since it is a primer, sunscreen and moisturizer all in one product.

The following day, I applied the NYX primer on half of my face under L’Oreal True Match Foundation. I couldn’t tell any difference at all. The third day, I tried the NYX primer under a high-end foundation – Borghese Hydro-Minerali Creme Finish Makeup. I still couldn’t tell any difference, so I returned the primer back to Ulta.

Maybe part of the problem was that I was testing out a “drugstore” brand of primer. Maybe later, I’ll try higher end face primers and report back.

A North Georgia Vineyard That’s Actually Good

The vineyards at Serenberry Winery

The vineyards at Serenberry Winery

North Georgia and wineries. To me, those two don’t even go together. Recently, however, I discovered a vineyard up in Morganton, near Blue Ridge, Georgia that’s worth talking about.

The first thing I love about Serenberry Winery is that it’s located on a gravel road off Highway 60. It’s a farmhouse, not some pretentious tasting room. The story is that the house and barn were built in the 1920’s and purchased during the 1960’s. Over time, the vineyard was planted and the barn was converted into “the little house,” then later the tasting room.

All the people were friendly and there were two tasting options – a tasting of all the wines for $7 or a tasting of 4 wines for $4. Since it was Sunday afternoon and we still had a lot of driving and sightseeing to do, we chose the smaller tasting.  We tried two white wines and two red wines. Our favorite was the Blue Ridge red, which was served with chocolates.

A view from the tasting room

A view from the tasting room

The scenery was incredible as their property abuts the Chattahoochee National Forest. There are tables outside and you are welcome to explore the property and the vineyards across the street. For more information visit


Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party

Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party

Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party

Dr. Bombay!

Dr. Bombay!

Emergency! Emergency!

Come Right Away!

If you’re over the age of 30, you probably remember this chant from the TV show “Bewitched” which aired from 1964-1972 in prime time, and seems to always be on TV reruns.

Recently, I heard about Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party located in Atlanta near Candler Park. I had to see it for myself and I was not disappointed!

The inside was filled with wall to wall books and a large tea menu. Books and tea…my favorite combination.

The day I went they were offering pimiento and egg salad sandwiches, quiches and samosas. Since I never had heard of a samosa, I tried it. It’s a baked pastry filled with vegetables and served with a chutney sauce. My description is not doing it justice, but it delicious!

The tea menu was large with over a dozen black teas to choose from. They also had a large selection of rooibus, herbal and green teas, but I didn’t really look past the black teas. I chose the Gold Yunnan.

Additionally, Dr. Bombay’s sells coffee, pastries and ice cream.

The atmosphere is pre-WWI India when the British still ruled. Several people were chatting, while other customers had a laptop and were completely absorbed in their own world. The shelves were lined with books that they sell for only $1. All the proceeds go to The Learning Tea, which helps young women get an education in India. For more information visit


Opa! Atlanta Greek Festival


We went to the Atlanta Greek Festival last Friday evening at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Annunciation on Clairmont Road. If you’ve never been, you need to make plans to attend next year. The outdoor four-day festival, now in its 38th year, offers some of the best Greek food. I had Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna), DH had the Souvlaki plate and Thing One and Thing Two shared an order of Greek chicken. We also ordered a side of Greek potatoes, which were seasoned with lemon, oregano and a few other delicious spices.

After watching Greek dancers in full costume perform on the stage, we went inside the church to buy a sampler of Greek pastries, including Kourambiethes (Greek wedding cookies) and Kataifi, which resembles shredded wheat, but much better tasting as it’s filled with nuts and honey. My favorite was the Amygdalota cookie, which is an almond cookie.  But the Baklava pictured below was pretty hard to beat. We ate these in the Kafenion, or coffeehouse area.


The Baklava was the best I’d had in a long time!

To burn off all those calories, we walked around the various shops, looking at scarves, jewelry and paintings. This year, they had two new exhibits: a room about Greek culture and another about the Greek Orthodox church. We ended our visit by going inside the cathedral which was completed in 1970, the same year the church was designated as a cathedral. Tours were given every hour and it’s always impressive to view the intricate mosaics. Pictured below is the 58 foot dome ceiling mosaic called Jesus Christ Ruler of All, by Italian born Sirio Tonelli.

Greek Orthodox Church

This is the 58 foot mosaic on the ceiling

You just can’t appreciate that this is made of millions of tiny mosaic pieces.  Also, below is a picture of one of the side panel mosaics that are located inside the cathedral. The tours are led by the church clergy and explain that the church was officially begun in 1905 as “The Annunciation of the Mother of Christ” in downtown Atlanta, first on Whitehall Street, then on Decatur Street near Five Points. In 1906, the congregation moved into a Presbyterian church on Garnett Street until the late 1920’s, when they moved into a Jewish Synagogue on Pryor Street. Here they stayed until 1970, when they built the present-day location.

This is one of the side mosaic panels at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Annunciation

There are plenty of activities for children, including rides, face painting and crafts. It is best to park at Century Center Office Park on the other side of I-85 on Clairmont and use the shuttle bus service as the streets near the festival have signs clearly stating, “No Festival Parking.” Admission is $5 for anyone over 12 years old. Bring your appetite and enjoy this vibrant festival, while learning about the Greek culture. See for more information. Opa!