Monday, October 4, 2010

Book Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition 2009) (Vintage International) This book left me unable to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down for a few weeks. Though I'm still not giving it either, per se, I feel that I've processed it enough to form an opinion at this point. It's dark. It's dreary. It's post-apocalyptic, and unfortunately it never says what really happened to cover the world in ash and leave some good guys and some bad guys to trek along eating their own kind or scavenging for canned goods and soap in deserted basements. The main characters have no names; they're "the man" and "the boy." They're some of the few people left, and they're trying to make it across the country (or at least a big chunk of it) to the sea.

Because I read the book, I will not see the movie. There are two main reasons:
1. The book is written so beautifully, it's like 200+ pages of sheer poetry. McCarthy paints his bleak images with words as skillfully as Dali painted his vibrantly colored clocks dripping down the page with oil paints. I wasn't completely sure I was going to buy it even though I'd heard good things about it, so I sat down in the play area with Ramona. She played with trains and I started down the long, long, LONG (there are no chapter breaks) path that was The Road. I was instantly locked in, moved by the language. I'm a sucker for language. Before I knew it, I was 15 or 20 pages in and Ramona wanted to leave. So I bought it.

2. Because the imagery is so good, I have no desire to see it "in real life" on the screen. What's in my head is enough to haunt me. I think they must leave the baby boy roasting on a spit out of the movie, but they don't leave out the basement of people who are trapped and waiting to be eaten. I haven't heard one way or the other about the pitiful, desperate old man the main characters leave in the road to die, naked, after he tries to steal their cart full of goods and even their shoes. (I can't say that I blame the dad for being so angry at the man, because if the man had succeeded in taking their food and shoes, they'd have died. I still understand the old man's perspective as well.) There's no reason for me to reinforce any of these images in my mind.

The most action in the book is when the dad has to pull a gun on a guy who threatens his son. There's also the basement part. Most of the book makes you feel as if you're trudging along beside them, except your stomach may be full. There's not a lot more. They're walking, you're reading. You may even feel guilty for seeing an odd beauty in the destruction (thanks to the word choices) as you drag your feet along with them, a little off the main road.

The father-son relationship will bring you to tears at points. They each try to give up things so the other can have them. The dad makes himself a cup of hot water and sprinkles the last bit of instant hot chocolate in the cup for his son, pretending that he has some too so that the son won't feel bad. Typical parent moment in the midst of the desolate world. Sometimes the boy is the father's conscience when the father is too hardened from trying to protect and feed his son and himself.

I'm not disappointed that I read it or sad that I bought it. I do wish there was more of an explanation about what happened, a few more "action" points, and maybe one more ray of sunshine through the ash. It was depressing, but after a stint of reading the Pretty Little Liars books, it was almost a welcome change. Almost. If you love language and you don't mind a gruesome image here and there that may stay with you long after you've closed the book, I recommend it. If you don't like heavy reads that illustrate what could be a very real future, stay away.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fun Activity for Kids: Painting Shirts

My friend and I decorated our own t-shirts last week and let Ramona in on the action. She loved participating (we used paint pens for less of a mess). Getting her to wear it, however, was a different story. She thought it was "dirty" and refused to wear it until we "got all the 'paink' off of it." I bribed her with a lollipop this morning, so she put it on. She kept saying, "I don't like it, I don't like it..." but now she doesn't seem to mind so much. Here she is right after her bath, talking about just how much is wrong with it:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Swimming and Writing

I can't swim. I hate having water in my face, and sometimes even watching other people underwater on movies causes me to panic slightly because I feel as if I'm drowning, even if the person on the screen isn't. I love water--on the shallow end. Hot tubs, showers, ocean waves, a quiet pool, the sounds, the feel...I'm actually a little obsessed. But I cannot swim, so there's a level of fear there. Not a fear of water per se, but a fear of failure IN that water. If I fail to swim when the water gets over my head, I die.

In a pinch, I might be able to thrash around and keep my head up until help comes. I could probably even float on my back once I got over the eerie, isolating sensation of cold water drumming in my ears as long as I  managed to keep my legs up rather than trying desperately to touch bottom in the murky (or clear) water--at least with one big toe. However, I can never seem to find a rhythm in the depths. I can never find catharsis in a swimming pool or a lake, no matter how much I love the water or how much I want to swim with confidence. I can never feel the beautiful strain of muscles working from head to toe as I cut my arms through the cool, welcoming liquid and kick as if I have fins and not feet. I can never teach myself to blow water out of my nose below the surface, creating a bubble stream back to the top, where I will shortly reach for more air. I'm afraid of submersion. Again, afraid of failing in something so deep you can't see the bottom from the top.

Just as I long to work my muscles, pushing against the urge to just float there in the sun and wait for help, I long to write and work my mind. I want to go deep, so far into a character's mind and heart that there's no clue of which way is up or down. I want to push myself and find every little detail that can enrich a scene for my readers. Yet somehow that inability to just let go and write without inner criticism gets in the way. It's getting harder and harder to stick my head under the water and blow bubbles through my nose. It's getting harder to go down there to check out the life on the floor or even get a closer look at the bright white bottom of the pool. I'm afraid of failure here, too. Without successful writing, though, I'll die. It'll be a different sort of death than drowning in a lake, of course, since I probably won't actually stop breathing and my heart will go on beating. But it's death all the same.

My goal for this summer is to do more than flail around until help comes because life is in the way, or float on my back because it's easier to write solely on superficial topics than to really take the time to teach myself to come back down below the surface without panicking. I really enjoy writing about beauty and fashion, too, don't get me wrong (these topics pay the bills!), but I really want to go deep below the surface to inspect human emotion and personality, and to sculpt characters that you don't want to say goodbye to when you close a book after reading the final page. 

Maybe I'll learn to swim this summer, too.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Update on Benefit PosieTint and High Beam

The short answer: It's hard for me to make myself use any other blush or cheek highlight. It doesn't matter if I'm pale or sporting the sunless tan.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that when I try putting PosieTint over my mineral makeup, it sticks to it right away, so I was walking around with a pink circle on each cheek (not completely noticeable because I saw it and tried to blend the heck out of it without redoing my makeup). They work best on bare skin or over liquid foundation.

Anyway, still lovin' them both. :)

Spell Cosmetics Online Makeover Results

Some of you may have seen me comment about Spell Cosmetics so you know how awesome I think they are. Recently, Elle posted on the Spell blog that she would like to do free online makeovers for their Facebook fans. All you have to do is send a photo of yourself, tell her what kind of look you're going for, and colors you don't like on yourself. You don't just get product recommendations, you get step-by-step instructions--and a VIP discount of 25% that lasts for 48 hours after the consultation. 

Here's what I sent:
I'm most interested in a day-to-day but slightly dramatic look. I don't care if I look like I'm wearing makeup, but I don't want a full-on black smoky eye at 10 a.m. either (I have been known to do that though). LOL I just want to look pretty and maybe a little sexy/mysterious.

Colors I don't like on myself: Deep greens, teals, most blues (I use hints of blue sometimes and that's okay), yellows...I prefer neutral or pink lips and play up the eyes most days.


Her recommendations included:
Antiquity, Sepia, and Triple Strand shadows with a little Bronze if I want something extra
Goddess Glow blush
Ingenue Gloss
Black liquid liner

I had a color that looked kind of close to Sepia, though Sepia's probably a little darker, so I didn't use that in these pics. I was also drinking coffee while taking these pics, so the lipgloss had worn off:
I love all of the products, but I think Triple Strand is especially amazing. It's pearly and livens up my eye area without depositing a lot of color. 

Disclaimer: I purchased these products myself. The "makeover" was free.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup Review

So much for variety since I changed the name of this blog. LOL I'm still talking makeup. But I'm talking about this makeup to anyone who will listen, in real life or in the blogosphere. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup rocks my socks. It's got an SPF of 20, which had me hoping it would work fabulously because I love when foundation has sun protection in it.

I've been using it for a few weeks now, and it hasn't broken me out. I won't say that my skin is better off after I wear it than when I wear nothing, but I will say it irritates my skin less to wear it every day than any other liquid foundation (I can wear Micabella's mineral foundation daily without any redness, dryness, etc). The coverage is medium. I got it to match my faux tan because I can never keep the color on my face as long as I can on my body, and putting a sunless tanner on my face every day will make my skin angry. I got it in Natural Beige because it leans more toward the yellow side than pink.

I apply it with my MAC 187 brush and it blends like a dream. It's kind of on the runny side so it's easy to blend out. It lasts all day (good thing, since I'm trying to make my face match my body with it!) and doesn't get cakey in spots like a lot of my other foundations have been known to do after hours of wear. My skin looks luminous and flawless, not super shiny, but definitely not matte. It just looks like, well, healthy skin.

This foundation has been compared to NARS Sheer Glow along with Revlon PhotoReady. I can't compare to the NARS version because I've never bought or even sampled that one because of the price. I can say that the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup seems to have a better range of color choices than the Revlon one, and looks great longer. I loved the Revlon one once I figured out how to make it work for me (initially I hated it), but I think I love the Neutrogena one even more.

Two other great things about it: You can get it at any drugstore and it's less than $10 (watch for BOGO Free or BOGO 50% off...that's how I got mine).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Learning Optimism

While I was pounding away on the treadmill today (cranked it up to 7.0 for a while today and barely felt a thing! Woo! Progress.), I was reading an article in an old Shape magazine. The author was talking about her struggle to become a more patient person, since upon further inspection and talking with a therapist, she determined that impatient people have lower IQs, higher blood pressure, narcissistic tendencies ("My time is more important than yours so hurry the hell up!"), and they procrastinate. That's good; I can buy it. In talking to this therapist she gleaned that impatience was a learned characteristic and something you could train yourself to overcome. That's cool, too. But then she compared it to optimism and stated something along the lines of, "It's not like optimism, which you're born with or you're not." Is that true? Or do you think you can learn optimism? I do. But maybe I'm "just an optimist." I never thought of myself as one or the other, honestly. It just depends on my mood. Ha.

Positive Psychology News seems to agree with me. It's just a matter of changing the way you think. Optimists automatically see bad situations as fleeting and good ones as permanent. Pessimists are the opposite. If a pessimist knocks out a presentation and does a fabulous job with it, it was a fluke. Hmm...I wonder if a lot of writers are pessimists, because I have seen so many say they feel like posers once they reach a modicum of success. LOL However, if an optimist does the same good job, it's because they worked hard, they know their stuff, etc, etc.

If you like the way you think and you're a pessimist, great. However, by shifting to a more optimistic perspective, you may find yourself getting sick less--and you could live longer than your glass-half-empty buddies. Plus in the case of self-fulfilling prophecies, your chances of having a happy, rewarding life increase when you have an optimistic outlook.

Build Freedom is another site that talks about learned optimism. It offers a similar explanation of the differences in the way optimists and pessimists look at life and also how a good dose of learned optimism can help alleviate depression by teaching you that you are not helpless. This site agrees that, in the human mind, bad things are a pessimists fault and will influence everything they do and everything that happens to them forever (or at least a very long time), but they're simply unfortunate and temporary events in the optimist's life that he or she didn't necessarily cause.

If you visit the Build Freedom site, you'll see 10 ways to learn to become an optimist. It's written regarding the 1992 recession, but I doubt the human brain as it relates to optimism and pessimism has changed too much since then. ;) There are statements listed there that you should remember like (these aren't word for word, so be sure to check out the site):
  • Since I'm human, that means I can learn and set goals. I'm not helpless. I can achieve things.
  • Change happens. Just as things change and get worse, they can change and get better. Tough people outlast tough situations.
  • Relax and think to achieve a more realistic, positive outlook.
  • When your thoughts start to stray to "the dark side," reign them in and put them back into the Positive Mental Attitude camp. Eventually, your positive thoughts will become a habit.
  • Look at everything you have left rather than looking at what you've lost.

You can also see more at Canada.com, where Lucy MacDonald, the author of Learn to Be an Optimist: A Practical Guide to Achieving Happiness (Chronicle Books), explores the differences between the two states of mind.

I would love to present the other side of the argument--that once you're an optimist or a pessimist, you can't change, but I can't find anything that supports it. I'm not saying that the Shape article's author or the therapist was wrong--I'm no expert, first of all. I have seen articles that suggest that optimism and pessimism are fixed states, but I haven't seen anything to back up why they think so. It seems to be a common belief, but not one that has a ton of information.

I guess it doesn't matter if you can be "born" an optimist or a pessimist, or if it's nature or nurture that turns you into whichever one you are. The important question is whether or not you can change it. Though it's hard, it seems that it is possible to re-shape your way of thinking.

So what do you think? Can you change your way of thinking and become an optimist, or are you stuck with a glass that's half-empty no matter what you do? Are we born one way or the other at all, or is it nurture that sculpts our positive or negative outlook? 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some People

First, let me say that I am sure I annoy other people sometimes, and sometimes I'm completely oblivous. We all do unless we're complete hermits. I'm nearly a hermit, but not quite. Today was the first "real" spring day and there were a ton of people out at the park, even before school was out for the day. I realized again that some people just bug me or in the very least make me question their judgment. Sometimes they just make me giggle and they don't really bug me, but I thought they were worth a mention too. ;)

The other day, I went to the park and it was still a little cold. There, I found a girl lying on top of a guy, making out in full view of the playgrounds (and picnic areas, and trail...), but conveniently hidden from the parking lot thanks to a hill. On the preschool playground, there were smoking mommies. I don't mean they were wearing skinny jeans and halters with their bangin' curves on display. I mean they lit up and smoked their cigarettes right on the bench, not 20 feet from the slides. I seriously doubt that's even allowed. Ugh.

Today was complete hell as I tried to make my way around the parking lot to find a spot. People were cutting each other off, nearly wrecking (I actually thought I watched one happen, but I guess they missed it by about 3 inches) as they scrambled to hold up not one, but both lanes of  traffic while they sat there waiting for a mom to pack up her kids, her stroller, and make sure everybody had their appropriate snacks/pacifiers/etc.

Later, I was trying to back out and give someone a parking space, but there were two cars in a row just sitting behind me, waiting for other people to get packed up and back out. As they sat there, traffic continued to collect behind them, and everybody was so busy cursing them, they didn't even notice that, "Hey, Buddy, I'd like to get OUT here." I think it took me a full 10 minutes to free up a parking spot, and Ramona was not in the best mood.

Other things I've noticed today:
  • Trying to potty train and use a public restroom does not work. People don't clean up after themselves.
     I knew this, but I'm always shocked to find another example of it. I'm not putting my kid on that seat, and she's too freaked out when I hold her up to go. Pull-ups rock.
  • Women with kids wear six-inch stilettos To. The. Park. Um, why? You don't have to go looking as frumpy as me in my yoga pants, tank, hair in a bun, and slightly hideous sunglasses bought on a whim, but dude.
  • When other people's kids push my kid, I get really annoyed, and it does not help when they try to flirt with me later (the kids, not the parents, though if the parents tried to flirt I'd probably just get more annoyed. Lol). 
  • There are other mommies in the world who, like me, want to (and do!) wear tube tops. I always feel weird doing that, plus I'm afraid it'll get yanked down. I try not to wear one when I'm going out with Ramona by myself.
  • Skechers Shape-ups make it fun to walk (I did two miles instead of just one). I'll review them later after I've had a chance to judge their effectiveness. They do feel really good to my super-high arches. You could drive a tractor under the arches of my feet and these hug them nicely.
  • Teenage guys will pretend they can't catch up to teenage girls when they're jogging together and the girl's loose and very short shorts keep flapping up with every stride.
  • Getting an iced coffee on the way to the park to go for a 1-2 mile walk while pushing a stroller loaded with about 40 lbs of stuff (kid included) is probably not the best idea. Hooray for being one of the stupid people I'm ranting about.
  • Apparently there's a chic mommies' club made of women who wear boots and skinny jeans with fancy shirts to the park when it's finally warm enough for flip-flops. They all looked like they thought they were far too superior to be outdoors, but were making the best of it by forming the Foxy Boot Clan (but I did want to ask them where they shopped for their shoes!).
  • Gandalf (Lord of the Rings) lives in my town. Yep, and he has a mean motorcycle. I knew it was him when I saw his beard blowing in the breeze as he drove by.
Enough spewing of the venom. Thanks for humoring me. It's been a rough day (even before my adventures at the park!). I got new walking shoes and one of the first things I did in them was narrowly miss toddler poop on the bathroom floor. Have I mentioned that I've taken the next step in potty training and started letting her wear big girl panties? She's usually good, but when she screws up, boy does she screw up.

In the words of my favorite fictional character, "Tomorrow is another day."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jessica Simpson's The Price of Beauty

I admit it, I'm a fan of my birth date twin (different years). I always have been, even though I haven't always wanted to admit it for whatever reason. I'm also a fan of learning about different cultures in present day or throughout history. Combine all that for my love of everything makeup, health, fitness, etc, and The Price of Beauty is right up my alley. It's way cheaper than the book set I kind of want but will never buy ($220!), 100,000 Years of Beauty by Elizabeth Azoulay. Even though the show is only looking at standards of beauty today, it's enough to scratch the itch.

For those who don't know, it comes on VH1 at 10:00 on Monday nights. If you missed last week's, that's okay, because that was the first time it aired. You haven't missed much yet. In the last episode, she went to Thailand. Next week, she's going to France.

So far, I think it's rich in content. You get to learn about other cultures, reflect on just how different they can be from ours (the paler the better in Thailand, while we're over here baking in the sun or tanning beds, or slathering on sunless tanners), and you get to laugh. Did you expect anything less than a handful of funny quotes from Jessica, CaCee, and Ken in every episode? Especially Jessica! She's not playing the ditsy blonde she was on Newlyweds, but one of the things I've always admired about her is that she's not embarrassed to admit when she doesn't know something (nor is she embarrassed to throw in a slightly crude comment when the moment arises!). She's not afraid to show that she's just another curious human, faux pas and all.  It's refreshing and she makes it easy to laugh with her as she wades her way through ignorance.

There were some times where I cringed, thinking, "She's representing us and she's being rude!" but I'm sure she didn't intend to offend anyone, at least. I'll probably watch every episode. Humor...culture...what's not to love?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ralph Lauren Ralph Perfume Review



Review of Ralph Lauren Ralph: This is "the original" Ralph Lauren scent from what I understand, but I've never paid attention to it. I love most of the others--Blue, Romance (favorite!), Hot, Romance Always Yours, Rocks (not my favorite, but it's okay), etc, but the simple blue bottle never really attracted my attention. When I first sprayed this onto my wrist today, I thought it smelled too citrusy and not at all like the freesia mix I'd expected based on reviews at MakeupAlley.com. I was crushed and had almost decided to go a few doors down for the Victoria's Secret Sexy Little Things perfume that I knew wouldn't have as much staying power.

I decided to wander around Sephora for a few more minutes, though, and kept sniffing my wrist as I went. Boy, did it change! After a few minutes, I had a clean, fresh, freesia scent that smelled just like the Sexy Little Things massage oil I fell in love with again last night. It also reminded me of the old Bath and Body Works Freesia scent in the purple bottle, but not as strong (that stuff made me gag until it faded a little!). I had no qualms about snatching up the 1 oz bottle after that. A few hours have passed and I'm still smelling it. When I got back to the playground, my hubby immediately said, "You smell good!" Yay, it got the man's seal of approval!

Overall, I'd say this is a fabulous spring/summer scent for those who like fresh, clean florals. If you love freesia, this is a must have. According to Sephora, the notes are: Apple Tree Leaves, Yellow Freesia, Italian Mandarin, Japanese Loquat, Osmanthus, Magnolia, Linden Blossom Flower, Purple Freesia, Boronia, Musk 2000, White Orris.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Benefit Cosmetics, Revisited

For the longest time, there were very few Benefit products I thought were worth the money. Mostly, I thought they were hyped up average products in pretty packaging for exorbitant prices. Lucky for them, I was in a funk this weekend and went to Sephora to cheer myself up--all alone. Let me walk you through not one, but two, Sephora trips:

I went to Sephora yesterday on a mad dash to try Benefit High Beam yet again because I keep seeing it on people with skin as fair as mine and falling into a state of awe over how beautiful and radiant they look. When I guzzle down all the water I'm supposed to and run like a maniac hamster on the treadmill, I can get close to that--once the purple flush that consumes my face when I work out subsides. However, this product takes it up a notch and if I want to be lazy one day, I can still get the glow of a runner's high.

I've swatched High Beam before and walked away unimpressed, thinking it barely showed up. Something about the lighting in that corner of Sephora made it flash a pearly white-pink, though, so I decided to buy some and take it home to try on my face (trying testers on my face skeeves me out, and I'm not even a germaphobe). When I checked out, I had 500 points, so I was able to pick up a Tarte sampler pack. I haven't tried all of those things yet, so I'll have to review them later as a group.

Initial review of Benefit High Beam: I absolutely love it on my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose. I want to throw away the MAC Shell Cream Color Base I've been using because in comparison, Shell is a glittery mess. This doesn't emphasize my pores, it's easy to blend, and the cool undertones make it look natural on my NC15-NC20 skin tone. Warmer skin tones may like Moon Beam better, as it's got a gold tint instead of a pink one. It does show up enough to do the trick, but it's not obvious (so that's a good thing!).

I put it on over mineral makeup and it didn't make a mess of it even though it's powder. I imagine it will meld effortlessly with liquid foundations as well, and I've read that it works well at brightening up the undereye area when mixed with concealer (I could use that!). I'm not keen on the packaging, which is like a jumbo bottle of nail polish, complete with that type of brush, but it's better than having to dip my fingers into the product. The bottle is clear so you can see the color of the product inside and how much you have left. 

I'd read a review prior to going to Sephora that said a makeup artist told them to do a circle of Posietint on each cheek, then draw a line from the top of the circle across the cheekbones with High Beam for a perfectly natural, glowing set of cheeks. I have previously tried Posietint on my hand as well, yielding barely-there results. I tried it again and once again, something about those Sephora lights made me able to see it. It looked almost like nothing, but enough of something to possibly bring life to my cheeks. I didn't get it, though, because I was trying to be a good girl and just get what I went in for. That lasted all of a day.

Today, Ramona reeeeeally wanted to go to the mall to play on the playground. Awesome dad that she has was willing to hang out with her there while I went to Sephora one more time. This time, I was in pursuit of a sniff of Ralph Lauren's Ralph perfume because I heard it smells just like Victoria's Secret's Sexy Little Things, but lasts more than the time it takes me to walk downstairs (it does!). So what did I do? Of course I had to pass back in front of the Benefit section to get to the perfume, so I picked up Posietint. Then I spritzed on some of the Ralph. I thought I was the one freak on earth on whom it did not smell as good as Sexy Little Things, but after the dry down, I was met with a schnoz full of freesia heaven.

Initial review of Benefit Posietint: This is a light, neutral pink that I think will work on most light-medium skin tones, but probably won't show up very well on pigmented lips. It gives mine a little bit of color, but nothing to get too excited about. It's pretty, it's natural, and it layers well underneath sheer nude glosses that are just a little bit too sheer/nude for when you don't want to look like you're wearing much makeup. For example, I layered it under the LipFusion Color gloss in Bare that was Sephora's $10 item of the day and it looks good.

On the cheeks, Posietint shows up way more than I thought it would! I look like I've been laughing my butt off and I'm in a jolly good mood even though in reality, I'm still a grump (slightly less of a grump due to the shopping though). I did the circle method where I drew a circle with the nail polish-like brush, then dabbed it around with my fingertip and it does look very natural. I could almost throw out all of my other cheek products, but since this is just the initial review, I'll wait a couple of months to see if that sentiment sticks around (and update you then too). haha

The packaging is similar to that of Benefit High Beam, but it's got a metallic pink coating on it instead of being completely clear. That means you can't really see how much is left or the actual shade of the product. The color of the coating is about the same color as what's inside, for what it's worth. The product itself is somewhere between gel and liquid consistency, which surprised me because I expected liquid.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hiking on Ice

A few weeks ago, we took a trip to the mountains. After driving for hours, partially up the dirt roads on the mountain, we came upon an "Oh, crap" moment. There was snow. We weren't even to our destination. Since we'd invested so much time anyway, we kept going forward. There was also the fact that there was nowhere to turn around without falling off the side of the mountain. When we got to the trail, there was another family leaving. They said it was a good hike, but kind of icy, so they suggested picking up some large sticks to use as trekking poles before we got too far in. Boy, am I glad we did that! At one point, on the way down, I slipped. I kept slipping, twirling, bending over at the waist, then standing upright again, overcorrecting a little so that it looked like I'd fall over backwards. The whole time, I had two thoughts alternating in my head:

"Oh no! It's going to hurt when I finally fall!" and "This must be really funny to watch." I was informed later that it was, in fact, hilarious to watch. I never actually fell.

The stick kept me upright, but I was spinning around it, sliding down the mountain trail, for a few yards. Oh, and I forgot to mention the creek we had to cross. I was in sneakers. Not waterproof.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Well, I hope this positive body image sticks around...

Today I was changing Ramona's diaper and she said she wanted to touch her knees. For some reason, she always says that. I guess because here lately, her knees are almost always covered up by pajamas or blue jeans. The following conversation went like this:
"I don't like my knees!"
"What do you mean? You have beautiful knees!"
"I NOT have beautiful knees. I have a beautiful BUTT."

After I laughed my own butt off, I assured her that she was beautiful from head to toe, not just her butt. hahaha

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Coffee Blog

 My day is never complete without coffee. Generally, if I even think about coffee I have to go drink some. It revs me up in the morning and oddly enough, it calms me at night. Coffee at midnight? Why yes, I think I will have some...  That's why I was so happy to discover this blog:

Destination Caffeination

I get to learn about all the things I've missed out on so far in my coffee adventures. I've found a local roaster. I've found the amazing differences between fresh beans and those you buy on the shelves of the grocery stores. I've even decided on a few favorites (Kenya, Kona, and Jamaican Blue). We grind our coffee every morning so it tastes even fresher and extra delicious. But still, the quest for the perfect cup of coffee continues.

I think it's experiencing a few hiccups right now. It was at another location, but recently moved.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Have you heard of Layla Grace?

Layla Grace Marsh is the same age as my daughter, so this story hit home. She has stage IV neuroblastoma. On February 28th, her dad posted on their blog that they'd been given about two more weeks with her--not the couple of months they'd thought they had before. The Twitter updates break my heart, but I can't turn away.

Reading about her reminds me so much of Ramona. I read on her parents' blog that she was always in the 80th percentile at her check-ups, always healthy, that she learned to communicate very well at an early age...she even has the same middle name as Ramona.

I've been following her parents on Twitter (LaylaGrace) and I'm a fan of hers on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laylagrace. For every fan they get, a dollar is donated to help Layla's family. There's also LaylaGrace.org, where her parents update her status in more detail than Twitter allows.  Also, if you have a little girl you'd like to buy a cute hat for, all the proceeds from If the Bow Fits' Tie Dye Boutique Hats (available in three different sizes so any little girl can wear them) go to Layla and her family. I think we're ordering the Raspberry Peony one.

The family could use everyone's prayers, messages, support, or even a donation (possibly in the form of signing up as a fan of theirs on Facebook or purchasing a beanie--it's easy), so I thought I'd pass the information along.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oink.

I polished off a bag of dark chocolate M&M's (don't judge, rough week). Ramona found the empty purple bag on the coffee table after her nap. She said, "Mommy, you ate ALL of these." I said, "Yeah, Mommy's a pig." She said, "You're not a pig, Mommy, you're a woman."  That statement is much more accurate than she has any idea about at this point in time. She is a wise, wise child.

Just Dance for Wii

I think I might just lose my spare tire with this thing. I'm not a video game person. I like the Wii, but I'm not an addict. I can go months without turning it on. However, I have spent about five hours of my life on this game since I got it this weekend at the suggestion of my best friend. I'm so totally sure she could kick my butt at this thing since I have very little coordination but like to try to pretend I do anyway.

So what is it? It reminds me a lot of Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution (no mat though). You try to keep up with what the little person on the screen is doing, dancing to some great music from the 1970s through today. I had a fun time listening to the Spice Girls...felt like I was in 8th grade again.

The game can tell how well you do because you hold the controller in your right hand as you boogie your Saturday night away. The more energetic you are, the better. I danced my butt off to songs like:

Ring My Bell
Hot N Cold
You Can't Touch This
Cotton Eye Joe (favorite #1)
Womanizer (favorite #2)

You can seriously lose hours to this game without realizing it. But hey, at least you're getting a good workout.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Beauty

  This will be in a magazine later, but the idea started out as a blog post, so I'll put it here too:


  What girl doesn't love beauty tips and looking her best? In a world where we're wrapped up with celebrity images, plastic surgery, and the latest scandal, sometimes it's hard to remember to get back to the basics. There are a few things we can teach our daughters about beauty that ideally will move with them through the passing trends, the years, the wrinkles, and everyday life. 



1.     You can't avoid every wrinkle no matter how hard you try or which products you use, so make sure the wrinkles you do get reflect the laughter and joy you've shared with others.





2.     Wear sunscreen—and not just on your face. Don't forget your hands; they'll tell the truth about your age even if your face lies.





3.     Never forget that everyone is beautiful, no matter their age, weight, skin color, or anything else. No matter how old you get or how much you weigh—no matter how much you hate your thighs or your tummy or your triceps one day—you're still beautiful too. Believe it.





4.     Moisturize your body after every shower for youthful, glowing skin.  Exfoliate from head to toe at least once a week. You'll get your circulation going and remove the dead skin.





5.     Sometimes the prettiest makeup is the quickest. A little blush, mascara, and lipgloss can perk you up on a day when you're feeling tired. And sometimes a smile is all you need.





6.     The best way to look beautiful is to give someone else a compliment.





7.     There's very little that a brand new tube of pink lipstick can't fix.





8.     You're a multi-tasker. Expect the same from your beauty products. Buy things that pull double-duty (or more!) and save your money. If you're itching to spend the extra anyway, donate it.





9.     It's okay not to act your age sometimes.  You're never "too old" for blue nail polish.





10  Embrace your imperfections. They are not flaws. And whatever you do, don't obsess! It's not worth it.





11  For radiant skin, drink plenty of water. Skip the alcohol and coffee. Drinking your eight glasses of  water and getting a moderate amount exercise every day is good for you—inside and out.





It'I  It's a classic mom-ism, but seriously, stand up straight. You'll look slimmer, feel better, and people will take you more seriously.





Se  Seek out balance in life. Being calm and being happy will make you so much prettier than any new blush.





14  Treat beauty magazines like junk food. It's okay to indulge sometimes, but don't let them be your main course.  Read some fiction, learn how to do something new, or pick up a biography. Always expand your mind when given the opportunity. Give yourself lots of opportunities.





15  As Audrey Hepburn once said, "For attractive lips, speak words of kindness, For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone." 



Taking basic care of yourself, loving others, and enjoying life can be the quickest beauty-boosters. Those things can sometimes surpass the finest lotions and potions out on the market and they can definitely make your beauty more well-rounded. After all, what's a pretty face without a beautiful spirit behind it? Teaching your daughter about the heart of beauty can instill confidence that money and facial creams can't provide.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lovely Light Outages

It's so funny to me when a letter in a store's sign goes out and takes the meaning to a different place. There are two places in town that I go to frequently:

*I get my clothes all fresh and wrinkle-free at the "LEANERS" (at least they don't really shrink them!)
*I get my medication from the CVS "HARMACY."

That is all.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"You Look Like a Baby, Woofus!'

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's been a good two weeks. Ramona's been relatively calm and reasonable. Today, however, I'm alone at home with her despite the fact that it's Sunday (hubby has to work) and she is kind of nutso. She was being pretty obnoxious this morning while she was in her high chair so I whistled to get her attention. She looked startled. I felt odd, whistling like that at my kid. She looked at me, scrunched up her face, and said, "I NOT a doggy. I a little GIRL." At least it got her attention. :)

After she got down, she decided to annoy the Rufus. I walked into the kitchen and witnessed what she'd done to him. He didn't seem to mind much; he was just sunning himself, glad she'd left the room. When I started laughing and ran to get the camera, he lazily walked through the house behind me to see what was up. I'm not sure how he avoided running into something, at least a little bit.

Then Ramona pushed the headbands back to where they were supposed to go and said, "You look like a baby, Woofus."
The Little Girl hugging the Baby:
He came over to beg me for back-up and she still wouldn't leave him alone:
Look at how his eyes are pleading with me to stop the embarrassment:
We ended up taking off the headbands and he's content again, lying in the sun where he started.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Poem: Tissue Paper Ghosts

I absolutely love poetry. I can't remember a time when I didn't. A few minutes ago, I came across one that gave me goosebumps and made tears prick my eyes as I thought of the way time marches on, every moment fleeting as we do our chores, love our families, shove aside our emotions and worries when we can or just have to, and trudge through the decades and the roles we cloak ourselves in as we get older and older.

It's called Tissue Paper Ghosts and it's by a writer named Katie Ford Hall. I don't have permission to post it here, of course, so here's a link.

Friday, February 12, 2010

SNOW!!!!

We never get snow like this!!! Best. Day. Ever. I got to drive in it, build a snowman, make a snow angel, and go "sledding" (on a sheet of cardboard) down the driveway. I really want to go down the huge hill in the back but I ran out of time. Maybe tomorrow...


Wheeee!!!! This was her second time down. She loved it.
Getting ready (these pics are all in reverse order because of the way they uploaded to Blogger)
We had a hard time getting started, but once we did, we almost hit the mailbox!
Woooo! There was a big mound of snow blocking the way, but we figured out how to manage.
At the top. Neither of us had ever done this. We were both a little nervous. The driveway's pretty steep. haha
Bushy brows and rosy cheeks are in, yes?
Close-up!
She looks way more elegant than I do trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue.
High-five! Thanks for letting you borrow my hat? No problem, any time.




It looks like the snowman's giving them the evil eye. He's going to try to kill us later when all the lights are out, isn't he?

My sorry attempt at a snow angel. The idea came up and I was down in a half-second!
The beginnings of the snowman.

This was meant to show how deep the snow was after it first started coming down. When I moved my feet and Ramona saw that there was mud underneath, she started to cry because it was "dirty" and we had to go in for a while. This was before the snow got a good bit deeper, hubby came home, and we started the snowman (she's been dying to make a snowman since she saw Caillou do it).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yoga Today

I discovered something awesome this morning in my daily blog-crawling time. It's Yoga Today. I love, love, love yoga but I'm not very experienced in it. I know the major poses and I'm fairly flexible, but I never stick to it long enough to really master it. Mainly because the workouts are kind of long and repetitive, and I only have DVDs to use for now. I don't want to pay the usually outrageous (imo) fees for a yoga studio on top of my gym membership fee. I also get bored with the DVDs I have. I love the way it makes me feel, mentally and physically. I have a lot of unexplained pain that almost fades to nothing after a few days of yoga.

Blah, blah, blah, enough with the I-<3-Yoga spiel. Yoga Today is neat because you can go there and do their free one-hour video that changes every week. If you'd like more, you can pay $3.99 per video download OR you can sign up for a year-long membership, which is $89.95 at the moment.

I just did the free video for today. It's 54 minutes of hard work.

Though this sounds like an advertisement for them, I'm not affiliated with them at all. I just found this this morning and thought it was so cool I had to share. I love the idea of a new workout every week--for free!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yoplait Greek Yogurt

Yoplait has a Greek yogurt out now. I just saw it in my grocery store, but I'm not sure it's new. I can empathize with those who live in places that don't have grocery stores full of obscure items, and I have a feeling that the Greek yogurt from other brands may fall into that category for a lot of people. Yoplait, however, is often on shelves anywhere you can buy yogurt, so maybe, just maybe, they'll stock this one too.

They are 6 oz and have 0 grams of fat, 130 calories, and a whopping 12 grams of protein, so they make great snacks for anyone hoping to bump up their protein intake with a healthy snack. If you have little ones who love, love, love their yogurt, you can eat this even if they're hooked on their more colorful, fun yogurt.

I keep hearing that yogurt's great for you, blah blah blah, but I couldn't get on the bandwagon before Greek yogurt because it was either full of high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. HFCS makes me feel guilty and sluggish; artificial sweeteners make me feel ill (even in something as small as a yogurt). They do have some sugar in them, but for me, that is the lesser of the evils. If I plan to have a yogurt, I put less sugar in my coffee or something along those lines so it evens out. I want to switch Ramona over to it, but she's hooked on the yogurt that comes with the candy bits on top. I made the mistake of grabbing those once and she hasn't been interested in any other kind since.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Free Shipping from Sephora

Get free shipping from Sephora.com by entering the code TOUCHDOWN when you check out with any order of $25 or more. That's for this weekend only.

Similarly, NARS is offering free shipping on orders of $25 or more. I'm not sure how long that one lasts though.

Facefront Cosmetics Sale

MAC--Gift with Purchase?!?!

I don't think I've ever seen MAC do a gift with purchase before, and this one only applies to Nordstrom stores or Nordstom.com. When you buy any two MAC eyeshadows, you get a free Shroom (it's their best-selling shadow). Nice!

I was tempted since I'm finally about to finish off my Shroom after about 6 years, but there's not a Nordstrom near me and $8.00 shipping for 3 eyeshadows (total cost pre-shipping would be less than $30) is a little steep in my opinion. They do have free shipping with purchases of $200 or more, but I don't need that much stuff! LOL So if you need a lot of things from Nordstrom or you have a store near you, go check it out!

This is for today (February 6) only! If you take advantage of it, let me know what your two shadow picks would be. I had two picked out (Arena and Style Snob) before I backed out due to the shipping cost.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Maybelline Stiletto Voluptuous



Most people--myself included--tend to review things they're passionate about, whether they love them or hate them. So today I'm reviewing a product that I just find "okay." I wanted to go buy it so badly. I passed it up once at Target because I didn't get anything else there and didn't want to stand in line for just a mascara. Then I had to go to CVS and I caved. I think I paid $8.99 for it.

The packaging: The same cute stiletto-shaped packaging as the original Lash Stiletto, but a stunning red instead of the black shade from before. The tip of the stiletto is black. I don't have any issues opening the tube like I do with Cover Girl LashBlast (love that stuff but I feel like a wimp when I try to get it open so I don't buy it too often). The brush isn't goopy when you pull it out because the inside ring of the tube does a good job scraping off the excess product.

The brush: I found the brush a little awkward to get used to. I like to coat the tops of my lashes first, then go underneath. It was weird to try to coat the top lashes without making a mess because it's got a tapered tip but the brush as a whole is still curved. I think that shape helps curl the lashes when you do go underneath, though. When I apply my mascara, I like to wiggle the wand from roots to tips and kind of do a curling motion, too. This brush is not conducive to that kind of application. It's strictly a sweep-from-base-to-tip kind of brush. You may be able to wiggle it a little, but again, it feels awkward. It's great for girls in a hurry who just like to sweep it on and go, but not good for control freaks like me.

The formula: Not too wet, not too dry. I'd say the formula's on the drier side as opposed to Maybelline Great Lash, for example, that goes on like water. I got Very Black and it is...I don't notice any "patent leather" shiny effect with this one and I didn't with the original one either. Very Black is not as black as the Great Lash Blackest Black, if you're familiar with that one, but it's not gray, either. It's definitely black. I think I read that some people had a hard time dealing with the smell, but I didn't notice one (especially not in comparison to Maybelline Colossal!)

The effect: Mediocre. It brings out my lashes, but the effect is fairly natural. I attribute this to the inability to maneuver the brush the way I want to. I can get the same kind of lashes from a coat or two of Great Lash or a coat of just about any other mascara. It's nothing special, but it gets the job done without clumping. I had visions of fanned out, beautifully thick and long lashes in my head, so I was a little disappointed. I think I like the original better.

The wear: It stays on just fine, but I don't think I'd notice a drastic difference if it did start to lose its effect. It didn't flake, so that's a plus. I was a little worried about that because in a few of the reviews I read, people said it did flake.

The verdict: I wouldn't buy this one again because I like my lashes to be "BAM!" but if you're a fan of the natural look and want a mascara you can just throw on and go (with the additional perk of a little curling without a separate tool), you may like this one. It's just an "okay" product in my book.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sigma Makeup Brushes (SS188)

Sigma Makeup brushes--at least the 188--are like digging into a big dish of creme brulee, starting to feel a little guilty, and then lo and behold, you find out it's got half the calories of a normal batch of creme brulee (but all the flavor!). I've only got the 188, so I can only speak for that particular brush, but I've heard great things about the others.

I normally love MAC brushes, but I never buy them because they cost so darn much and I'd rather buy eyeshadow. I'm always on the lookout for good alternatives. I really needed a 188 style brush to apply my cream blushes. Fingers deposit too much color sometimes and it's hard to blend out. Enter the Sigma SS188 Small Duo Fibre Brush. It looks just like the MAC one, but it's about half the price.

I received it quickly, washed it, and got very little shedding. That's the first great sign. I hate looking like the carnival's Burly, Hairy Woman display when I'm done putting on my foundation/bronzer/blush, and I hate the fingernail marks I get sometimes once I'm finally done prying all the brush hairs off my face. I got none of that with this brush when I applied my cream blushes. The hairs stayed where they belong--on the brush. It blended my new Cremeblend Blush from the MAC in Lillyland collection like a dream.

I don't have MAC's 188 but I do have the larger 187 for foundation application (Sigma has an SS187 too) and the quality feels the same to me. The brush density is comparable. I don't think I'll ever buy a MAC brush again. I can't wait for the day when I need to replace my shadow brushes. I'm using Loew-Cornell's 239 lookalike from Michael's and it works okay for now, but I can't wait to need a replacement. I imagine the bristles of actual shadow brushes are a little bit softer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Am Not a Cook

Friends, enemies, neutral readers...I am not a cook. That statement won't shock anyone, really. For the first undetermined period of time early in my marriage, my nights to cook consisted of lemon-pepper chicken or Hamburger Helper. I'll give you one guess as to who's the chef in my family (in my defense, I love to bake). With my husband's busy season in full swing now, however, I'm trying to expand my horizons. So far, I have learned two things:

1. I love Crock Pots
2. It's probably completely possible to give yourself an aneurysm using a garlic press

My mom recommended a cookbook called Fix It and Forget It--Lightly, so I bought it. I'm all about eating healthy even though I'd almost rather skip a meal than make one (don't really have that option with a family though!), so I thought this would be a good solution. So far, the recipes look bland--and they kind of are--but they're tasty enough and easy to do with a toddler on hand. I can't always promise to be able to make dinner at a certain time, especially not when I really have no clue what I'm doing. With this, I can do my prep work before things get crazy, then "fix it and forget it."

I'm still afraid I'll kill myself and anyone brave enough to partake in one of my home-cooked meals if I try to cook a chicken breast in a pan on the stove rather than safe and sound in the oven for an hour or more. But I can do more than lemon-pepper chicken or chicken-in-random-sauce this way. And if I get distracted, it doesn't matter. It's almost as good as inviting my mom to just move in and cook for us. ;)

We shall see how this Hungarian Goulash turns out and how long it takes to get this garlic stink out of my hands. They stink so much of garlic, I'm afraid I'm going to be shifted to an alternate reality soon where I am a vampire slayer. I could probably murder a whole colony of them before the stench gave out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Popcorn and a Movie Day

Why, hello there, bags under my eyes! I must be dehydrated or something. A coffee addict. Dehydrated. Something to ponder. Ramona's busy eyeing the popcorn and not paying any attention to the camera.

Today, Ramona and I had a cheap date. We went to Starbucks and I got my drink for free because they were out of what I wanted last time. Her big, super-chocolatey chocolate milk was just over $1.00. Then I had a free coupon for a non-new release at Blockbuster. We went there with Cinderella in mind, but they were out of that one so we got Anastasia instead. I've never seen that one, but I'm kind of intrigued by Russian history and will take my little tidbits of info where I can get them. ;) (I have a book to read about it later so I can get all the facts straight.) Plus the back of the DVD case promised a fabulous soundtrack, which at 2 years old is probably the most important thing aside from the presence of a cartoon dog with a floppy tongue or ears. We both enjoyed the movie until I started singing At the Beginning with the credits and she told me to stop. Ouch.

Bribed with the popcorn we got at CVS on the way home, Ramona curled up in my lap and sat still for almost the whole length of the movie. I don't think that's happened since she learned to walk. We covered up with the leopard print blanket and she almost fell asleep on me. Luckily, Rufus was there to provide the entertainment. Ramona giggled her butt off because when she threw popcorn his way, he'd catch it mid-air.

Perfect afternoon. Time for a nap for her and some work for me.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fingerpaint

Today was Ramona's first foray into fingerpaint. You'd think I would have bought some already with the way she likes to dump everything remotely like a gel or liquid onto her tray and smear her fingers through it. Sometimes she even takes the excess and flings it onto the wall. I just get too caught up in the, "Ugh, now there's something else to clean up!" to think, "Hey, I have an idea! I want to go buy something else to clean up!" Yeah, I know, I'm a terrible mother because I just can't embrace the messes or happily smear collard juice through my own hair. At least she eats collards.

Anyway, we went to Target tonight and all the way there and back she chanted "I wanna PAINK! I wanna PAINK. I WANNA PAAAAAINK." To add to the excitement, she associates paint with Santa Claus because when we went to Michael's today to get some yellow acrylic paint for me, she saw Santa. Did you know he drives a Honda when the reindeer are feeling lazy? Nice car. White like his beard. It reminds me of that joke where you hold up a piece of plain white paper and say, "Look, a polar bear playing in the snow." More like, "Look, it's Santa driving his Honda the last stretch of his way home!" We decided he must've been picking up some paint for the toys he's making and checking in on all the kids in the southeastern region of the country while he's at it.

When we got home, we put out the tarp, pulled out a big sheet of paper and let the budding artist get to work. On the way home she said she was going to paint a green cow with blue milk. The finished product looks like a pasture to me! I think she's a fan of this new medium, and she surprisingly didn't really make much of a mess. It was entertaining because she'd tell me which color she wanted and where to squirt some of it on the page, then she'd stick her hands in and work on her masterpiece. There are some handprints on the tarp but none on the carpet or walls like I feared. I can't wait to take her easel outside in the spring and let her paint there.

Tomorrow will be fun. We're going to paint some more, drink hot cocoa, and watch Cinderella. I love the beginning of the month when I feel like I have a little bit more free time (deadlines!). Sometimes I run out of fun projects for a 2-year-old. If anyone out there has any ideas, let me know!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lipstick on Your Teeth?

This is an old trick. Everybody may know it, but I just saw a video on it the other day and it reminded me that there may be someone out there who doesn't know, and they could be suffering from the only type of smile that ranks right up there with spinach in your teeth--the red/pink/purple-toothed kind.

After you apply your lipstick or gloss, stick your index finger in your mouth (the whole thing). Close your lips around it and pull it back out again. The lipstick that would've made it to your teeth will now be on your finger. So go grin at somebody and make the world a better place. :D

Friday, January 29, 2010

What Brown Can Do

No, this isn't a fashion post. Or a makeup post. Or a hair post. (Darn it!) The wind sounds just far enough away from freight train level for me to know that it's not actually a tornado, and there's rain that will probably freeze on the driveway again. I'm inside feeling thankful now that I'm done pulling the window screens off of the deck and into the house (they're still down from when we had our house painted--oops!--and when I heard one fly up against the side of the house, I knew it was time to at least bring them in).

Brown is supposedly a cozy color. It's recommended for dens and living areas where you want to feel warm and relaxed, where you want to wind down after a long day. I remember my dad had a brown La-Z-Boy recliner pretty much all my life, and I have to agree; that color is like an instant hug. I love color therapy, or chromotherapy, but that's another post.

So brown...the color of my dog and the color of the insanely rich hot chocolate my hubby makes for me when I'm having a bad day (or a craving...haha). Today was a bad day.

First, I'll start with the hot chocolate:

I love how he has whipped cream and chocolate syrup for hair. 70% cocoa, melted in a double boiler with heavy whipping cream, honey, milk, and some other stuff I don't remember. I can't drink it often, but it is oh-so-good.

The other "brown" I'm thankful for tonight is my dog, Rufus. We did a little mini-photoshoot tonight:



He's a boxer/bulldog mix we got from the shelter about five years ago. He'd been seized by the sheriff's department because his previous owner chained him up outside and basically just left him there. He was emaciated when we got him but he LOVED to try to play and run. We could see what kind of heart he had and how his rough beginnings (first nine months of life) didn't harm his outlook on life or humanity. He has proven us right time and time again.

Rufus is kind of silly sometimes, like when we first moved into our current house and he caught his reflection in the window and tried to attack it. But he's an excellent dog and he unflinchingly takes SUCH abuse from Ramona. She drags him around by the collar (she's technically walking him without a leash, but he doesn't seem too enthusiastic about it), steps on his feet, pulls on his tail, smacks him in the face sometimes while shouting, "FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT" (somebody's observed too many video games being played), and still, he doesn't care. He guards her door while she sleeps, checks on her when she falls, licks her when she gets close enough and doesn't seem to be up to anything silly...

We could learn a lot from dogs. Especially big goofy brown mutts who just want to be loved.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Maybelline Sunset Seduction Quad Neutral-Dramatic Eyes



I hope you can hear it! My daughter was awake, singing Old MacDonald to herself. If she heard me, she'd demand to come downstairs and then I wouldn't get this thing done. LOL This is kind of a dramatic side of neutral eye using the new Maybelline Sunset Seduction quad (the taupe, copper-brown, and pinkish-white shades). Other products used include:

Face:
Micabella Mineral Foundation in Lady Godiva (also used as my under eye concealer)
NARS Orgasm/Laguna duo
Eyes:
MAC Carbon
Stila Convertible Liner in Onyx
MAC Painterly Paint Pot
Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara (Blackest Black)
Lips:
MAC Viva Glam V Lipglass
Nails (hahaha)
OPI Metro Chic


All products in this video were purchased by me and it was my choice to include them in the video. No one's paying me anything, but I wish somebody would. ;)

Favorite Products of 2009

Revlon PhotoReady Foundation Review

This video's been up on YouTube for a while, but I have an update: I've found that if I mix it 50/50 with Smashbox Artificial Light, it looks amazing and not dry at all. I just look alive, which is more than I can say for most winter days. :)

What's in My Purse

This is a tag on YouTube...first tag I've ever participated in. See what's in my bag: