We just had a string of beautiful and unseasonably warm days here in my neck of the woods, which is the politically red state of Oklahoma (Booya!) We got our pre-emergent down on the lawn, cleaned off the back porch, and actually thought about brushing out our golden retriever, who, as I type, is blowing his coat all over my house. If you have a golden you know my pain. And, of course, since it was pushing 70 degrees, I broke out the self-tanner. We emptying nesters have time for this kid of frivolity, don’t ya know.

Look, I’m vain, I’ll admit it. Lily white might be trendy and healthy, but it looks ghastly on me. And because I’ve had skin cancer removed from my face, I don’t spend much time in the sun anymore. It’s been traumatic. It has driven me to the bottle.

Now, self-tanning is dicey. It’s right up there with cutting your own bangs (which I don’t advise); there is definitely a learning curve. I used a foam from Rodan and Fields last year that worked all right, but it turned me orange and smelled pretty bad. So this year I did some research and, because of the rave reviews, I settled on Sun Laboratories sunshine in a bottle.

Sun Laboratories Tan Overnight Self Tanning Lotion

Sun Laboratories Tan Overnight Self Tanning Lotion

Well, the first application went on all right. Minimal streaking, but nothing that couldn’t be hidden. It’s not a foam, so it’s a bit harder to get even. The smell isn’t too bad, either. And the color was really nice. Very close to my own natural tan color. I was happy.

Did I mention there is a learning curve? Last night, after waiting a couple days I put on my second application. Now this stuff is really dark and not real spreadable. And it gives you color instantly. Like, immediately instantly, so you gotta be quick.

How did it go? Well, this morning while I was working out my son comes in and says, “Wow Mom, you’re really tan!” Normally this would be a good thing, but it IS February. Looking really tan in February pushes vanity beyond its socially acceptable limits in my opinion. I mean, I’m not proud of it, but I’ve raised my eyebrows more than once when uber tan, Ugg-booted girls in shorty shorts parade around in snowdrifts in the dead of winter. It’s kind of a giveaway, right? There is nothing wrong with self-tanning, but can we at least be discreet? Sheesh! But I’m deflecting…

So, here are the legs. They don't look too tan in the picture, but the picture isn't telling the truth. Trust me.

So, here are the legs. They don’t look too tan in the picture, but the picture isn’t telling the truth. Trust me.

And…because I’m apparently into self-humiliation…this close-up shot…

Aside from being about four shades past the February norm, I've got some, well, blotchiness. And in this pic you can see just how dark this stuff makes you!

Aside from being about six shades past the February norm, I’ve got some, well, uneven spots (to put it mildly). See just how dark this stuff makes you. No Uggs for these gams!

To be fair to myself, there is a shadow on my calf. The uneven part is down by my ankle. Anyway, since it’s cold outside again, pants will cover my foibles until they fade. Thank you, God.

All in all I do like this tanner and will probably use it this upcoming season. But, instead of using it every two days, I think I will go every three. And, like my machine quilting skills, I will need a lot of practice getting the hang of it.

Speaking of quilting, there is no better way to get back into the quilting groove than to do a Quilt Along. So, I’ve jumped on board Material Girl’s Layer Cake Sampler QAL.

layer-cake-sampler-qal-button21My quilting tastes have changed from when I stopped three years ago. I find I’m more drawn to the modern quilts. This QAL quilt isn’t very modern, but I’m hoping my fabric choice, Moda’s Wren and Friends, will give it a slightly mid-centry vibe.

Moda Wrens and Friends. The batiks in the pic are not from the same collection.

Moda Wrens and Friends. The batiks in the pic are not from the same collection.

Besides, it’s a great project for me to start from the beginning and work on things like remembering how to turn on my machine, work a rotary cutter, sew a straight line…you know, those integral basics that can make or break you.

We are doing two blocks per week. Here are my first two. Pretty simple, which is what I want right now since it looks like all my mental energy will be spent on trying to get the hang of my self tanning lotion.

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Happy Day!

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