Mascara Comparison: AVON vs. Younique

So I wasn’t intending to write this post. I just took a shower and was putting on my AVON Wash-Off Waterproof Mascara when the idea struck me that my lashes are looking pretty much, essentially as long and lush using this 1-step, $8.00 mascara than they did when I was using Younique’s premier product; Moodstruck Fiber Lashes…which is a 2-step process and costs a whopping $29.00! So, that’s when I decided to do this comparison.

Honestly, I hadn’t even looked at this photo of my first attempt using the Younique lashes system before just taking this photo of my lashes today using AVON’s mascara. And I wasn’t really going to any extra effort to try to make sure that my application of the Waterproof Mascara was extra-great or that it might not compare well. I just expected that it would, as I was noticing the results it was producing while I was applying it.

And you know what? I believe the photos speak for themselves.

In addition to costing less than a third the price of the Younique brand, here are the other HUGE pluses I see to using the Wash-Off Waterproof Mascara by AVON:

  1. Much faster and easier, 1-step application vs. the 2-step version with Younique’s product.
  2. No little fibers to contend with…which had a tendency to flake off into the eyes or onto the cheeks.
  3. My lashes FEEL much more natural and soft. Not cakey and gloppy like they did with the Moodstruck Fiber Lashes.
  4. And from a sales rep perspective…I am much happier offering a comparable product at $8.00 than having to talk ladies into spending $29.00 for a product that doesn’t really perform any better than this product.

Bottom line: the Wash-Off Waterproof Mascara from AVON is a HUGE winner over the Moodstruck Fiber Lashes from Younique!

And WOW! AVON actually has a Special running on mascaras right now! Buy any TWO for just $7.99!

CLICK HERE TO BUY Your own Wash-Off Waterproof Mascara from AVON!

Your thoughts?

Weight-loss On A Low-Fat, High-Carb, Starch-Based Diet

In this video I talk about my personal experience following Dr. John McDougall’s program The Starch Solution, how I feel on the program, what kind of weight-loss success I’ve experienced (or not), and how I will be proceeding in the future.

For those who don’t know, The Starch Solution is a low-fat, high-carb, whole-foods, plant-based eating plan whose central focus is based on eating most of your daily calories in the form of starch. What, exactly, is “starch”, you may ask? Well, it’s NOT refined grains in the form of white bread, pastries, cakes, cookies, etc. Dr. McDougall defines starches as “whole plant foods” such as; potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, starchy squashes like butternut, acorn, and pumpkin, brown rice, corn, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, or any other whole grain. He does allow for some whole grain breads and pastas but mostly for those who don’t have a lot of weight to lose. These foods are the center of each meal. They are to be supplemented by other green, yellow, orange, and red vegetables and some fruits. Absolutely NO added fats or refined oils are allowed. And they prefer that you consume no caffeinated beverages, carbonated beverages, or alcohol. That is the essence of the program. Watch the video to learn more about my own experience following Dr. McDougall’s plan.

Why I Chose AVON

Tracy Partridge-JohnsonAfter my mother passed away in November 2015, following her lengthy battle with breast cancer, I decided I wanted to align with a community of women who are actively working to do whatever is possible to combat this horrid disease.

At the same time, as a home-based business owner of more than 20 years, I also wanted to expand my income options. I’ve been making handcrafted jewelry and pyrography (art burned into wood and leather) for years. But it can be challenging to find customers to purchase pieces each month, and I’m the only creator of my art…so unless I’m constantly making new pieces, there’s nothing to sell. Which isn’t actually the problem…there’s SO MUCH jewelry and art I’ve created sitting around my office! The challenge is finding customers.

Having a background in network marketing (I started my own gourmet coffee mlm back in 1997) I appreciate the value of consumable products that are purchased on a recurring basis (products I don’t have to create myself!) by a large number of customers. I also recognize the benefit in building a team that I’m able to help train to do the same thing. And earning a small, residual income from each team member’s efforts (duplicating and multiplying my own), has always been a very attractive concept to me.

I wondered if I could find one company that would fill both needs/desires?

As I began my search for companies, AVON immediately stood out from the competition for several reasons:

  1. This is a business whose focus is on empowering women. I love that. Their Mission Statement says it all: “This is a company that puts mascara on lashes and food on the tables. That fights wrinkles with one hand and Breast Cancer with the other. That knows the value of a perfect lip, but still opens its mouth and speaks out against Domestic Violence and for women’s financial independence. This is the company that not only brings beauty to doors, but also opens them. The company that supports 6 million Representatives worldwide. This is Avon. The company that for more than 125 years has stood for beauty, innovation, optimism and above all for women.”
  2. AVON has been leading the fight to find a cure for breast cancer for many years now. Just one of AVON’s endeavors, The AVON 39 – The Walk To End Breast Cancer,  has raised $550,000,000 by people dedicated to ending breast cancer forever.
  3. When I think about it, AVON makes so much sense, considering I’m looking to do something that honors my mother. Mom was an avid AVON fan and customer! She used their products for as long as I can remember. I grew up on regular experiences with our local AVON Lady being invited into our home, sharing her nifty little lipstick and perfume samples with us.  I’ve always adored fashion, makeup, delicious fragrances, and skincare that pampered me! So those visits from our AVON Lady equaled nothing but FUN and pleasure for me! When it was time for her to go she would always leave a crunchy, white paper bag filled with yummy treats behind! And there was always a catalog to look through and drool over until her next visit!

So, yes, when I think about it, AVON is a perfect fit for me right now!

Two more KEY factors in my decision to join as a representative were QUALITY and PRICING. I’ve looked at a handful of other companies over the past few years and several filled some of my requirements…primarily the recurring income opportunity and the quality products. But AVON is the only company that has all of the pieces in place, including the AFFORDABILITY factor. As I considered some of the other product lines I’ve looked at in the past…the sticking point, for me, was always pricing. It seems like most network marketing companies have to WAY over-price their products in order to pay out commissions to their consultants. So, they really over-stress the quality of their ingredients in order to justify the price. But with AVON, that’s not the case. I think it must be because AVON has been doing this business for soooo many years now that their company is just really solid. And because of that, they’re able to keep their prices quite low, while still generously rewarding their sales reps. The result being that practically everyone can afford their products! And that’s a HUGE bonus for me! I know there are many gals out there who care about looking, smelling, and feeling good but who are living from paycheck to paycheck and can’t justify spending money budgeted for groceries to feed their family on buying cosmetics and skincare instead. So, lower-cost is imperative for reaching a much broader audience.

And AVON is well-known for their quality products! They have great name recognition! It’s a big plus telling someone you’re an AVON representative and have them come back with an “Oh! I love AVON!” response!

Of course, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes people tell me that they aren’t “into” AVON. Or they respond with a simple “AVON, hu?” reaction that feels a little demeaning. I know there are those who believe the price of a product, and the name on the bottle, are a reflection of who they are as a person. Status and image and all that. But I prefer to purchase the best quality products, at the best possible price, so that I can spend the money saved on other products, services, or experiences I’m desiring!

All the way around, AVON delivers for me!

If this message resonates with you, if you feel as strongly as I do about supporting causes such as the fight against breast cancer, beating domestic violence, and empowering women to financially support themselves, while building a career that allows them to work from home and simultaneously care for their families, if you get excited about fabulous quality personal and home-care products at an affordable price, and perhaps you are even looking for a way to increase your own income, then I invite you to JOIN ME! Either as a customer or a member of my sales team! I WELCOME YOU to my world of AVON!

CLICK HERE to visit my AVON website


Brandon’s Treasure Chest

Brandon's Box

Brandon’s Box

I kind of started a bit of a tradition. Not really intentionally. It just worked out that way.

I made my daughter, Rachel, a hope chest for her 16th birthday. It was a lot of work! But when it was done I was happy with the result and she was very pleased. Today, several years later…married with two children…she still uses that chest as a coffee table in her living room.

Rachel is the youngest of my three children and the only girl.

But a few years later, when her oldest brother, Trent, was recently divorced and staying with us temporarily, I decided it would be nice to surprise him with a hope chest, or more accurately in his case, a “trunk”, handcrafted by his mother. So, I made one for him. It didn’t really turn out as well as I would have liked because I tried to get away with using less heavy-duty materials (I used some pretty thick wood with Rachel’s box and that was part of the reason it was so much work!) And, needless to say, having moved several times in the years since I made it for him, Trent’s box hasn’t held up as well as Rachel’s has.

My middle child, Brandon, who just turned 32 last month, is the only one of my three children I hadn’t made a trunk/chest for. And I was feeling bad about that.

So, this year I decided to change that and made him this chest as a surprise gift for his birthday.

Wanting to make it extra special, I hand-tooled the astrological name and symbol for his birth month, Pisces (for February), and along with a couple of hand-made leather hinges, attached them onto the lid of the box. For extra stability I added a piano hinge the full length of the box and then attached a magnetic latch to make sure it stays completely closed.

I’m pretty happy with the way this box turned out! There are things I could have/should have done differently. But overall, I think it turned out nicely.

Caged Innocence

Caged InnocenceThis beautiful, One-Of-A-Kind, milky-cream, caramel, and gray Jasper stone collected by a personal friend in the deserts of Arizona is encased in a hand-formed frame made from hammered annealed steel wire that has been buffed to a soft sheen. Then it was wrapped in a fine-gauge annealed steel wire to create an unusually captivating…simple in it’s beauty…but compelling in it’s energy and message…wearable piece of art. Approx. 2.25L x 1″W


Jasper is a dense, opaque, microcrystalline variety of Quartz. Fibrous and grainy varieties of Quartz are often grouped together and referred to as Chalcedony, though Jasper’s microcrystals are laid out in large, sugar-like grains rather than the fibrous layers of Chalcedony or Agate. It occurs in nodules or as fillings in fissures and may be found all over the world, in nearly every color. Jasper is colored by oxides of iron and known for its deep earthy tones of red, yellow, brown and green, sometimes in shades of blue or purple, and displays wonderful contrasts in its banding, inclusions, “pictures,” and small circular patterns.

Known as the “Supreme Nurturer,” Jasper is said to be a stone of grounding and stability, providing comfort and security, strength and healing. It may be helpful in sustaining and supporting through times of stress, and bring tranquility and wholeness. Jasper is said to provide protection and absorb negative energy. It may aid in balancing yin and yang. Jasper is said to clear electromagnetic and environmental pollution, including radiation. It may encourage honesty with one’s self and provide courage to assertively tackle problems. It may be an aid to quick-thinking and help promote organizational abilities. Jasper is said to stimulate the imagination and transforms ideas into action. It may also prolong sexual pleasure. Jasper is said to be a benefit for support during prolonged illness and may help re-energize the body.

Jasper is considered a good protection stone. In mystical healing lore, jasper is said to be good for the liver, gallbladder, and soothing to the stomach.


New Year and New Focus

Tracy and Daughter, Rome, Italy, December 2015It’s been far too long since I last wrote a post on this site, so it’s time for me to update you and talk about my new year and new focus.

A lot has happened since mom passed away two months ago…

A short week and a half after mom left us my daughter and I departed for the adventure of a lifetime. She turned 30 years old in November and as a surprise gift for her I spent the better part of six months paying for an 11 day trip for the two of us to Greece (her life-long dream) and Italy. It was hard to leave such a short time after mom’s death…but like I said, I had been planning and paying and getting all of the arrangements made for this trip long before mom died.

So, we went.

And in truth, it was a very good experience. It helped me divorce myself, mentally and emotionally, from the energy surrounding mom’s passing and I think that was really beneficial in helping me cope with my own trauma.

We returned home to Portland late on the evening of December 14th, so Christmas was right upon us. But arriving back home…my mother’s death really hit me hard. She was my best, life-long friend. We talked nearly every day the last few months of her life, and frequently years prior to that. It’s been difficult realizing that I can’t call her to find out how she is doing any longer.

So, I kind of became a hermit for a little while there. Not wanting to talk to or interact with anyone. Just giving myself time to be sad…and angry. Angry that something so cruel and so brutal could happen to my little mother. This woman who had always given generously of her time, talents, and emotions to everyone she knew. It made me mad at the universe…and if there is a God…at that being, especially.

Anyhow…moving right along…

I finally put up and decorated our tree just three or four days before Christmas, not really feeling motivated or interested to bake goodies or sing carols or much else. I literally just took the tree down yesterday, lol! It had to stay up long enough to make it worth all the effort it took to put it up!

For Christmas Jeff purchased the two of us a surprise 2 night/3 day stay in a beach-front cottage over my birthday weekend. So, we just got back from there two days ago…and it was glorious to get away and have no distractions of work or any other obligations. Just peaceful, relaxing time alone to refresh and rejuvenate. We both really needed that.

The weeks following Christmas and up until my birthday weekend we spent several full days in the recording studio at The Hallowed Halls with various artists recording tracks for our upcoming Largest Band In The World album! I can hardly wait to share these songs with you! We’ve pretty much decided to release individual singles, one-at-a-time, instead of waiting to release the whole album all at once. So, I will be setting those loose into the world as each one is finished being mixed and mastered. Very awesome!

Today I am preparing a jewelry display to take to Saint Franks Music where, in addition to the beautiful guitars, bass guitars, ukuleles, tambourines, amps, and other items musicians will want, Deanna will be selling my handcrafted pieces of wearable art. I’m excited about seeing what people are attracted to!

So, you’re probably wondering about my “new year and new focus.” True, it’s January 27th…so you might be thinking that I’m a little late to the party when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. But hold on to your knickers a minute! MY BIRTHDAY was just three days ago! So, it truly IS a brand new year for me! And in this 54th year of my life I intend to see and experience a lot of great things! Focus this year will be first and foremost on helping Jeff build our software development company, Code Hat Labs. Second in line will be continuing to work with him on our Hot Chops Music projects (two of the bands we have been funding, Just People and Ian James Band, are releasing the cd’s they have been working on this past year in the next month or few!) and five of our own Largest Band In The World singles will be ready to release over the next several months! So, exciting times!

In addition to all of that, I am working on a book about the history of Mormonism, and in my “free time” I will continue to make handcrafted art, jewelry, and pyrography projects.

At the top of my list, above everything else, is my focus on health and fitness…my primary passion in life. Especially so after watching what happened to my father and mother. So, needless to say, I’m motivated to become as healthy as I possibly can be! Central to my plan will be “consistently” following a high-carb, low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based diet. After reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall, and other similar books, combined with my own, personal experience with the way animal foods, fat, and particularly dairy products react in my body, I am ALL ABOUT cutting out all those kind of foods and focusing only on wholesome, plant-strong ingredients. I really do LOVE this lifestyle! It’s not difficult for me, AT ALL, to go without fat and animal products!

Thanks for listening in…I look forward to hearing about what is going on in your life!

Hugs and Blessings,



Through A Window Darkly

Through A Window DarklyThis beautiful, One-Of-A-Kind, smoky Chalcedony stone reminds me of peeking through a dark, Gothic cathedral window. What is going on inside between the shadows and the light? The translucence of Chalcedony lends well to a sense of the mystical and mysterious. The stone was collected by a personal friend in the deserts of Arizona and is encased in a hand-formed frame made from hammered annealed steel wire that has been buffed to a soft sheen. Then it was wrapped in fine-gauge annealed steel wire to create a captivating sense of intrigue and wonder. It is both eye-catching to look at as well as offering a sense of comfort and peace when handled by the wearer. Approx. 2.5L x 1.25″W


Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica, composed of very fine intergrowths of quartz and moganite. It has a waxy luster, and may be semitransparent or translucent and can assume a wide range of colors, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black.

Chalcedony is said to enhance: Emotional balance ♥ Vitality ♥ Stamina ♥ Endurance ♥ Energy ♥ Intensity ♥ Hardiness ♥ Nurturance ♥ Generosity ♥ Liveliness ♥ Kindness ♥ Charity ♥ Friendliness

It is (said to be) a nurturing stone that promotes sisterhood/brotherhood and good will. It absorbs negative energy and brings the mind, body, emotions, and spirit into harmony. This is a stone which instills feelings of benevolence and generosity. It alleviates hostility and transforms melancholy into joy. Eases self-doubt. Creates openness and enthusiasm. Absorbs and dissipates negative thoughts, emotions and bad dreams.

Chalcedony also (may) improve mineral assimilation and combat mineral buildup in the veins. It (may) reduce the effects of dementia and senility and increase physical energy. It has been said to help heal the eyes, gallbladder, bones, spleen, blood and circulatory system.


A Sad Farewell To My Sweet Lil’ Mom – A Struggle With Breast Cancer

My Cute Little MotherAfter a very long and difficult struggle with breast cancer, my little mother, Barbara Partridge, left this world late on the evening of Sunday, November 22nd, 2015. She was 83 years old.

There are really no words to adequately express how I’m feeling about this…

Mom lived in another state, Utah, and I am in Oregon. But we talked on the phone nearly every day…sometimes twice a day…especially over the past year and a half…since her “official” diagnosis.

I was on the phone with my sister…where mom was staying…at the time mom passed. So, even though I wasn’t physically there…I was “in the room” at the time she left us.

Mom had the tumor for about 10 years prior to her death. But she refused to be seen by any medical professional until the single event when it was hemorrhaging out of control and she was forced to call an ambulance to rush her to the emergency room.

But that was just the first of many, many visits to the ER.

She really thought she could “fix it” by altering her diet. And she tried so hard. She desperately WANTED to be healed and to go on to live many more healthy, happy years. Mom had a vibrant lust and passion for life! She did not want to die.

And that’s probably the hardest part for me to cope with. She wasn’t ready to go…but she…we…couldn’t do anything to repair the deep and profound damage that had been done to her poor little body. Mom was only 5’2″ tall…and at her death she weighed barely 100 pounds, if that.

She was an amazing woman who served others tirelessly her entire life…church, community, family, friend, and stranger alike…

Mom was a fabulous cook, a gifted pianist, a compassionate confidant, a talented artist, a lover of animals, and an amazing homemaker who loved nothing more than creating a beautiful environment where people would feel welcome and loved.

We disagreed about some significant things in life…religion and belief were two biggies…but she always tried to understand me. And she made it clear that she loved me unconditionally.

My mother was a great teacher and my best, life-long friend. I miss her desperately.

Wood Burned Baby Portrait Of My New Little Nephew

I have a new little nephew. This is my little brother’s first (and perhaps only?) child. This brother is the youngest of my siblings and he didn’t have any of his own children until Oakley was born…and daddy is 42 years old. So I wanted to make something extra-special and unique. I knew they would be receiving plenty of handcrafted blankets, booties, hats, and outfits. So, I decided to make a wood-burning of Oakley’s newborn photo and add all of his birth stats for them.

Here is the completed (pyrography) piece I made for them next to the original photo I was working from. I guess I really should have rotated the completed piece a little to the left so that you can better compare for resemblance. I wasn’t sure how to frame the circle of wood so decided to create a hand-tooled leather background for it. Hearts are stamped around the edge of the picture and there is a hole punched at the top for hanging.

Dragan’s Big Box Lid

Inner Lid of Larger Box Lid of Larger Outer BoxBaby Dragan’s parents wanted me to apply his name and a eulogy to the lid of the larger box that the mother’s step-dad created to hold the smaller box along with some other special memorial items they wanted to include for future memories.

This is a beautifully and lovingly crafted box made of cherry wood. The dimensions are 18.5″ x 24.5″. I spent several hours, over several days, meticulously applying the script and then burning it onto this precious box. The parents are very pleased with the results, which makes me very happy 😉

“The box is beautiful, just perfect! We are both so happy with the end result. We’ll always keep you in mind for any future projects, and refer you to other people who may need similar services done.”

I was honored to be entrusted with such a special project.