Friday, December 31, 2010
What: L'Oreal The One Sweep Eye Shadow
Shade: Playful for Brown Eyes
The claim: Unique applicator applies 3 shades in ONE SWEEP to define, color, and highlight eyes. Given how much people struggle with those three steps (me included) there is definitely a market for this product.
Does it work? Kinda, sorta.
The good: This particular shade I bought, intended to enhance brown eyes, has a light purple, a darker purple, and a shimmery mid-toned purple. All nice shades, especially for darker eyes. This eye shadow gives a subtle look. The darkest shade showed up nicely. The applicator curved nicely with my eyes.
The bad: The back of the palette required directions on use. This was helpful but I'm of the mind set that you shouldn't need directions to use eye shadow. The lightest and mid-tone shades are really nothing special on my lids. It is difficult to see any contrast in these colors. It just looks like a purple eye. Nothing too exciting. I am not sure how well this applicator would work for Asian eyes or smaller eyes.
The ugly: Over-blending could end up in a really messy look.
Would I use this again? Sure, if I just wanted some quick color on my eyes.
Have you tried this product? What's your verdict?
Disclaimer to keep the FTC people happy: I purchased this item with my own money. This item retails for $8.99.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
1. Philosophy Gingerbread Girl
This body wash and lotion sincerely smell like gingerbread. Someone recently told me that their resolution for 2011 is to buy less things but of higher quality. This set makes me want to adopt that same resolution.
2. My very own picture book! Brian went to Lulu and made a picture book of our pets. The pictures are high quality and you can even add text. When I finally write that children's book, I can publish it myself at Lulu.
3. Garmin If you know me then you know I have the capability of getting lost in my own garage. I needed this badly. The interface is easy to use and you can choose the accent of the voice that gives the directions. I opted for the British voice. Surprise, surprise.
4. Manic Street Preachers book I love to read and I love the Manic Street Preachers so this is a perfect gift. Many of the pictures are new to me as are several of the accounts discussed in the book. I can spend hours trying to figure out Richey's mystery.
Your turn. What did you get for Christmas?
Monday, December 20, 2010
A few years ago I decided to use empty CD cases as a means to organize my makeup. I popped the eyeshadows out of their original containers and hot glued them into the CD cases. This worked out pretty well but some of the shadows caused problems with the case closing; not to mention that the cases didn't necessarily fit into my bathroom counters easily.
Now all kinds of companies make very cute magnetic makeup cases. However, the suggestions on depotting the eyeshadows is kind of frightening. Any time ovens, candles, and wire cutters are involved I have to think twice.
I am excited to annouce that I have a new website for all of my baked goods here. The site just went up last night so there is more to come over there.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
2. Cooking sprays. For as long as I have been living and cooking on my own I have been buying off brand cooking sprays. When I ran out of my Giant Eagle brand spray, I decided that since I am baking for hire I would try Pam cooking spray. I have to admit that I'm pretty blown away by the results. My cakes are popping right out of the pan and the pan looks so clean you can barely tell it was used. I will probably keep a can of the cheap spray around for day-to-day cooking but for baking it's Pam all the way.
3. Pop. I call it pop. You might call it soda but regardless what name it goes by, it needs to be the name brand. Off brand pop tastes flat and I think it has a weird spiciness.
4. Tennis shoes. Buying name brand shoes is probably smart in general but I know from lots of experience that you get what you pay for with tennis shoes. Good tennis shoes get broken in quickly and seldom will they give you blisters or rub your feet raw. Your feet hold your entire body up so treat them right and invest in a good pair of shoes. I also suggest you go to a shoe store that will help you find the right shoes. I like Front Runner. The sales person helped me pick out the right shoe by analyzing my shoe patterns and watching me run and walk. It was very helpful. My favorite running shoe is made by Asics.
What are some items you insist on buying name brand?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
1. I found a diet that works for me. There's a lot of mixed feelings on low carb diets. The diet that seems to receive the most accolades is the Weight Watchers diet. I have a friend who was extremely successful with Weight Watchers and I gave it a try last spring but it did not work for me. Weight Watchers is basically calorie counting in the form for points. As long as you don't go over your points you can allow yourself a sweet treat. This did not work for me because once I have one sweet treat, I want more and more. I have a major sweet tooth and a low carb diet is forcing me to break that nasty habit.
2. I'm ready for it. I finally got motivated enough to do something to lose weight. It takes a while. I've known for a while that I needed to lose weight but I was not quite motivated enough. Just like with any other addiction, and I do consider food to be an addiction for some of us, you have to be ready to break the habit. When you're ready, the whole process feels different that time around.
3. Head games. I approached my diet by psyching myself out. My dear friend is getting married at the end of October and I told myself that I would at least try this diet until her wedding. This provides me with a short term, doable goal.
4. Talk amongst yourselves. Talking about my diet is also helping me. By telling all of you out there that I'm trying to lose weight I feel accountable to do just that. The next time you see me or the next time I post a picture of myself I certainly do not want to have gained weight after telling everyone about my diet! But I promise not to turn this into diet central.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
I'm going to a wedding at the end of October and I want to lose some weight for it. I'm not in the wedding but I still want to look nice. I usually perform well under pressure so we'll see if dieting works the same way for me.
Looking through different diets, I decided that my best bet to drop a few quick pounds is to go on the Atkins Diet, phase 1. I've tried this diet in the past and have never made it longer than a few days. People seem to lose crazy amounts of weight on this diet so we'll see what happens. My hope is that I can stick it out since my goal right now is over a short span of time. I'm going to report my food intake and exercise here so you guys can scold me if I fall off the wagon.
Monday, September 20, 2010
1. Halloween. I love Halloween. I love dressing up, the scary movies, and giving candy out. I also throw a Halloween party every year and it's a lot of fun to plan every thing.
2. Pumpkin Patches. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't visited a pumpkin patch in a few year. Shameful, I know. This year, I'm going to a pumpkin patch for sure and I can't wait.
3. Apple Cider. I bought my first half gallon of the season today and I can't wait to have some. Apple cider is only around this time of year so get it while it's still out!
4. Long sleeve t-shirts. These light weight shirts are the best and I can't wait to get them out again.
5. Warm foods. I love to cook but when it's hot the last thing I want to do is heat my house up. It's nice to be able to indulge in hot soups.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
There seems to be an outbreak of bedbugs and this is keeping me out of hotels. Nice hotels, bad hotels and all in between are getting begbugs and I want no part of this.
Any suggestions on where I can go and not run the risk of bedbugs?
Sunday, September 12, 2010
You guys might not know this but I can be a make-up snob but I happened to have coupons for Wet N Wild and Giant Eagle was having a sale so why not give it a try?
The Review: I put these shadows on and was surprised to find that they are well pigmented. The blue shade was not as well pigmented but to be honest, I didn't know where to put this shade so it could be user error. It kind of blended in to the bronze and got overpowered. Overall these shades looked nice with my dark eyes.
I wore these eye shadows to the grocery store and sweated pretty much all day. I did not wear any primers to help the shadow last because I wanted to see how the Wet N Wild held up alone. By bed time, the shadows had faded some but they were still mostly intact.
You can see she shades on my eyes. The shimmer is there but it is not excessive. You could wear these colors to work and not look like you should be at a rave.
The Bottom Line: Wet N Wild is inexpensive and has been around for ages. I remembered buying this brand when I was a teenager and not being happy with the results. Wet N Wild has come a long way. I did not expect to find strong pigments and lasting eye shadows. I'm impressed. You should also check their website out. I looked at it for this review and it's a nice site.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
1. All things automatic. Thanks to some awesome couponing tips from this lady I acquired THREE of those nifty motion activated air fresheners by Glade and an automatic soap pump for practically nothing. The soap pump, made by Dial, is especially nice. I feel a little cleaner and it dispenses the right about of soap. Nothing goes to waste but you get enough soap to feel like it's getting the job done.
2. Netflix. Oh, boy. Brian has a far better entry up on our recent love affair with Netflix. Netflix is pretty awesome. I've watched classic movies, documentaries, Season 3 of Heroes (you all know how much I love Sylar), and lots of other things. We have gotten a few DVDs in the mail but we mostly stream through the XBox. The mailed DVDs are easy to receive and return and they arrive super fast. Netflix's website is easy to use and if you stream, the wait time between requesting the program and it starting is next to nothing. I am impressed.
3. Nutella. I used to laugh at people who eat Nutella. Who puts chocolate on bread aside from the Von Trapp kids? I decided to try some and wow. This stuff is seriously yummy. It tastes light and sweet but not too sweet. In fact, since I started eating Nutella I've noticed my sweet tooth has diminished some. I dig this stuff so much I entered a contest to win a year's supply. The last time I won any thing it was a year's supply of Juicy Fruit so I figured maybe that's how my luck works.
4. Farmer's markets. Today was the final day for my local farmer's market so I definitely paid it a visit. I bought some beautiful peppers and a head of lettuce that was fresh, locally grown, and inexpensive. Over the summer, I have tried to do more to support local commerce and farmer's markets are a great way to do this. I can't wait until they come back next year. In fact, I plan on renting space to sell my cupcakes next year!
5. Morrison Hotel. I've been a huge fan of The Doors for many years but Morrison Hotel has never been a favorite until recently. I put it in a few weekends ago and I couldn't figure out why I have not liked it. It's a fabulous record and I'm glad I warmed up to it---20 years later.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I have previously expressed my feelings on posting childrens' pictures on Facebook and general oversharing online. To recap, I don't like it. There are too many freaks out there so I think you have to be careful with what information you give out online, especially where children are concerned since they have no control over what their parents post.
Today on Facebook I was reminded yet again how stupid people can be at times. This is the question Walgreens Pharmacy posed to their fans on Facebook:
Something like "I can't believe how fast they grow!" would suffice here. Instead, this question was answered by 122 people who all told us how old their kids are, what grade they will be going in to, and of course the posters' full names and pictures were there for all of the people on Walgreens' Facebook page to see. Maybe I'm paranoid or I've read one too many stories about someone being killed for their baby, but I'm lost on why people overshare so much info, especially about their kids.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Brian does some things around the house and I do other things. He really gets into vacuuming and doing the dishes. He also prefers to do his own laundry and he takes care of our Florida room because he has pretty much taken that room over for his Hot Wheels.
Since I'm a teacher and I get a summer vacation, I don't ask him to do as much around the house since I'm home and he works all day. During the school year, however, I expect him to pick up the slack. I think this is fair. There are some exceptions to this and he needs to clean more. Today was one of those days.
The house was not in too bad of a state but we had friends coming over for dinner so some things needed to be done in a short amount of time. I was cleaning the kitchen (which entailed washing and drying dishes, mopping and sweeping the floor, cleaning the table off, and a few other tasks) and he was cleaning the living room. Cleaning the living room meant vacuuming, putting remote controls away, and throwing away a pop can or two. A dog, not sure which one, also took the liberty of vomiting on the floor so Brian also cleaned that. Despite the throw up, I think I had more to do. I was slightly annoyed to find blankets on the chair and some other things that needed to either be thrown away or put some place else. His response?
"It doesn't bother me."
And it doesn't bother me either if we were just cleaning for ourselves. Today, though, we're cleaning because we're having company and I'm sure they don't want to move our stuff around. Am I being unreasonable to ask that a room be cleaned entirely? Is it that hard? Considering that I'm the only one who scrubs our TOILETS on a weekly basis, I think he can manage to stick some blankets in the closet. I also want to point out that he frequently does half-jobs when he cleans. Examples: He dries the dishes but doesn't dry small utensils like measuring cups. You're drying the dishes anyway, just dry everything! He will also vacuum but he skips the steps. Do those not have fur and dirt on them as well?
I've made my case
Your turn, Brian. Defend your lazy cleaning ways!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Avon makes great nail polish. They have a wide variety of colors and finishes, the color lasts, and is inexpensive. This nail polish, however, was a huge disappointment because of the color. Let's take a look at what Avon has advertised. The color (Vintage Blue) I purchased is circled in red.
It might be difficult to tell but Avon shows a silvery-blue shade that appears to have a metallic finish. This is what I got:
I got something that looks like blue sidewalk chalk. There is no metallic finish. In addition to not looking like the ad, this color goes on thick and streaky. As your resident Avon lady, let me say that Avon's products are excellent and the pictures are usually very accurate. This just isn't one of those times. Buy Avon nail polish but pass on this shade. Buy Avon's Nailwear Pro in Jade instead. When I wore that shade I was actually stopped by women in stores who were full of compliments. Take a look at Jade but keep in mind that the picture really doesn't do it justice.
What are some of your favorite nail polishes? Which ones should we avoid?
Monday, July 5, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Cinderella played a full set of their hits. Every song was spot on. Tom Keifer's vocal chord surgeries have paid off. They looked good, sounded good, but the night wasn't perfect. Why, you ask? The audience! It is time to learn the basics of concert attendance.
1. Smoke on the Water. I have no issue with cigarette smoke. Despite having allergies and asthma, it does not bother me that much. What does bother me is being in tight quarters and nearly taking a cigarette in my eye, arm, leg, or any other exposed body part. Be aware of your surroundings and the people you're sharing them with. My neighbors at the concert, for the record, were very courteous smokers. They attempted to blow their smoke up and not in my face. They also kept their cigs away from my skin. The lady in front of me, however, was nearly getting burned all night.
2. Know your audience. Crowd surfing is not status quo at a Cinderella concert and because of that fact I don't feel sorry for the guy who landed on his face when he got dropped on his face. Crowd surfing was okay at a Pearl Jam show---in 1994 but not here.
3. Hold your liquor. I, personally, have never understood the point of getting drunk at concerts. Tickets are normally expensive so why would you want to drink so much that you don't even remember the show? Just drink yourself into a stupor at home. It will be cheaper and you won't get your ass kicked by 1,000 people. But I digress. If you insist on drinking, don't get so drunk that you are infringing on other peoples' experience.
4. Be on time. Don't show up in the middle of the opening act and feel entitled to shove your way to the front. Not everyone can be in the front row so just deal with it. You wouldn't sit in someone's lap at a theatre just because they got better seats than you so why do this at a concert? Again, you're just going to end up getting your ass kicked.
5. Don't talk to strangers. I enjoyed talking to the lady last night about the time she saw Cinderella when she was 19 and the lady at the Tesla concert who who has seen them 100 times. I did not enjoy the guy who kept talking to me last night though. He was with his girlfriend and she was getting annoyed. I was also getting annoyed. If you're there with your girl or guy, don't make conversation with the opposite sex unless your partner is involved in that conversation. You're going to end up starting a fight.
6. Stay together. If you've gone to a concert with friends or family, stay together. Last night one woman was frantically trying to get to the front row to talk to her grandson. This did not go over so well. Don't expect special treatment just because your grandson, especially a near-adult grandson, is there and you are looking for him.
7. A final word. Let me just describe two girls from last night's concert: they were totally trashed, jumping up and down non-stop, spilling beer on their neighbors, nearly headbutting the people behind them while they were flailing around, sitting on the barricade resulting in being yelled at by the bouncers and nearly falling over, constantly talking to their neighbors, and asking for lighters. Several people had to yell at them. This was all before the opening acts even got to the stage. If you can avoid behaving this way, you'll be okay.
What are your rules for concerts? Share with us your crazy concert stories!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
2. He cooks and cleans! While growing up, my dad cooked a big breakfast every Sunday and often cooked dinner. He also did the dishes and other things around the house. There was never a boundary set in our household of a "woman's job" and a "man's job". Everyone did whatever needed to be done. And sorry Mom, but Dad is still the better cook.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Today is the last day of school and a parent sent me this e-mail:
I wanted to thank you for everything you done for my son all school year. He couldn’t have asked for a better teacher then you. You always made him feel good about himself. There are times that is hard to do. You are so very special to us.
The last day of school is so sad! :-(
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I'm not much for public protesting (I would have made a bad hippy) and I'm definitely not the violent type (that would have made me a good hippy) but I was beyond outraged by the Conklin Dairy Farm abuse video that has been in the news lately. My methods of protesting usually involve letter writing and not buying the products. The letters I can do but not buying the products might be tricky.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
My mom told me today that she was not a perfect parent to me and that she wished she would have done some things different. My response to this was well, who is perfect, parents or otherwise? Thinking about it, I think that some of these so-called “imperfections” were the key to my mom’s successful parenting.
My mom was the “cool mom”. One summer morning when I was 12 or 13, I woke up to find my friend Sara downstairs talking with my mom. Sara had not come to see me. She came to bring a coffee cake she had made for my mom. So what made my mom so cool that my friends would prefer her company? Did she let all the kids drink booze on her watch? Not a chance! My mom was cool because she was funny, she would talk and listen to my friends, and when you were at our house you knew she cared about you because she made you follow the rules.
My mom let me read anything I wanted. One of my 8th grade students desperately wants to read the Twilight series but her parents won’t let her. I think that this is a shame. I was allowed to read any thing I wanted when I was a kid and it made me a good reader, a book lover, and simply a more interesting person. I will never forget the time I was sitting in the hall outside my 5th grade classroom reading Testament by David Morrell (ever heard of Sly Stallone’s First Blood? Morrell wrote it.) when my principal came by and asked what I was reading. I was free to choose what I read and I still appreciate it so much. Reading took me to places I could never imagine and taught me about events and people, both real and imagined, that school would have bypassed. It isn’t the kids who are given the freedom to read what they want who push the limits, it’s usually the kids who are censored.
My mom let me listen to anything I wanted. I should start by saying that my mom should be grateful for this because my love of good music meant that she never had to endure a New Kids on the Block phase with me. You’re welcome, Mom. I was that kid you were jealous of who had Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue albums in the 5th grade. These records did not come without a conversation though. Usually it involved my mom laying it out for me that a lot of these musicians make risqué music to make a buck because it’s controversial. This meant that I wasn’t blasting it through the house just for shock value and I had perspective to see through gimmicks. I truly believe that these conversations are why I don’t fall for everything I read, see, and hear.
My mom let me be. I wasn’t forced into activities or sports that I didn’t want to do. My mom was no soccer mom and I am so thankful for that. My mom also did not dictate who my friends were. Many of my friends were having sex, drinking, smoking, and taking drugs by middle school. I never did any of these things. I was a free thinker and my mom trusted me. That isn’t to say that I never got in trouble or that my mom didn’t keep tabs on me, but I was raised to believe that there was more to life than keeping up with my friends. Most of the time, my friends thought I was pretty neat for doing my own thing and sometimes I faced exclusion. My mom trusted and respected me enough to know that I would make the right choices and I usually did. By letting me be myself, I found out who I was at an early age and had a strong sense of self awareness.
Mom, thanks for being you and letting me be me. Happy Mother’s Day.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
1. Bath and Body Works Cucumber Melon lotion. If you have shopped at Bath and Body Works over the years then you know just how old this label is.
2. Laerdal Face Shield. I remember getting this from a fire fighter who taught a CPR class I took while working at a child care center. This face shield is supposed to prevent you from getting cooties if you have to perform CPR. I remember the fire fighter told us a good story about a stripper who tried to sue him because he had to cut her clothes when giving her CPR after the OD'd. She didn't win.
3. $3.47 I love finding money in my pockets!
4. Subway Club Card and 5. Subway Club Card Stamps. I'll have to see if Subway still does this promo. I have a feeling they don't.
6. Cough drops and 7. Cough drop wrapper. I bet I would find cough drops in every coat pocket I own. I always have a cold.
8. Three receipts. These receipts are the best part of the entire find. All three receipts are dated from 2003 and two of them are from Big Bear. If you're from around these parts then you know it's been a while since Big Bear has been around. It was a blast from the past to say the least!
9. Cryptic piece of paper with a license plate written down. No clue whose plate number this is or why I felt compelled to jot it down.
10. Postage stamps. I always hate getting 1 and 3 cent stamps. I know I'll never use them but I feel guilty throwing the away. So what do I do? Let them fester in my coat pockets.
There you have it, folks: the contents of an old coat. So go dig out an old coat and come back and tell us what's in your pocket.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
When I was a kid, I had horrible allergies that kept me sick most of the time. I remember the weekly allergy shots and frequently sitting out in gym class for fear of hacking up a lung. As I moved into my pre-teen and teen years, the allergies turned into sinus problems and I was sicker than ever.
Taking a job in a 100 year old school, in the basement was the last straw for my nose. I spent the entire school year plagued with sinus infections. After a visit to the ER in June with near-pneumonia, I finally made an appointment with an ENT. I had a CT scan done, at the height of my sinus infection and it showed a bent septum and sinuses that received no oxygen. Surgery for septoplasty, turbinate reduction, and sinuses was scheduled and after putting it off some, I had it done on January 7.
Brian and I arrived at the ENT hospital around 8 am and checked in. After waiting for a few minutes, I was taken to the pre-operating room and Brian was not able to come with me. I gave him a kiss then headed back with the nice nurse. I was weighed, given my lovely dressing gown and surgery cap, an IV was slapped in my hand, and I was good to go.
The surgeon's resident came by to answer my questions and had me sign a release form. He told me that he himself had a septoplasty done two weeks ago and that he was back at work the next day. I appreciate that he was trying to ease my nervousness but after having the surgery, I have to call BS on being at work the next day. I signed the form, promising not to sue and away Billy the Bad Ass resident went. A few more nurses visited me and the anetheseologist. Finally, the surgeon stopped by and let me know that surgery would be happening soon. My doctor was able to put me at ease by informing me that not only would there not be packing, but there would also be no splints. I was ready for surgery right then and there after hearing that.
The anetheseologist came back again with a new nurse. He pulled out two vials and said "here comes the good stuff!" I don't remember much after that. Apparently, the "good stuff" was the anethesia and the next thing I know, I'm waking up to a spinning room, about two hours later.
For whatever reason, the only time I run a fever is when I have surgery. When I woke up a nurse was rubbing a wet cloth over my face and chest. She gave me some ice chips and I prayed that I would not vomit. Not only does vomiting suck but it also keeps you in the hospital longer.
Eventually Brian got to come back and I was able to keep my Sprite down so they released me. I found out lots of things about my sinuses. One good thing was that the sinuses were not as bad as originally believed. However, I had two cysts that were removed. The major problems came from the septum. 90% of my airway was blocked by the septum, resulting in a lack of oxygen and a breeding ground for infections.
For the first few nights, sleeping was difficult. I needed a 45 degree angle and that just isn't comfortable. Not to mention the bloody nose. The doctor told me that by Saturday I will start feeling the pain so on Friday in anticipation, I took the prescribed pain killer. Lucky for me the pain never came. Instead of pain, I am mostly experiencing discomfort and extreme tiredness.
My nose is full of crusted over blood and shooting saline solution into my nose 30 times a day is helping with that. I'm dizzy and I have pressure on my forehead and sinuses. More or less, I feel like I have a bad sinus infection. But I'm not in pain, so I can handle one more "sinus infection". On Wednesday, I get my nose suctioned so we'll see how the pain is after that!
When I woke up in the hospital, I noticed right away that my breathing had already improved. My fear with this surgery was that I would go through all of this and experience no relief. I am already breathing better. I look forward to my progress over the next few months while I recover.