Friday, April 27, 2012

Product Reviews

I think it's safe to say that I am a product junkie. Seriously.  And I'm not too picky.  I love both drugstore brands and designer... though admittedly I have much more of the drugstore variety because my pocketbook... she does not like the prices of the designer brands.

I also adore ... ADORE makeup and Hair blogs.  Tutorials and reviews and the like. Some of the ones I frequent most are Scrangie, Pinch of Pretty, Makeup Geek, A brilliant brunette, My yellow sandbox, and The Small Things.  To name a few. I'm seriously a beauty nerd, I will watch eye shadow and hair tutorials on you tube all day long if you let me.

Anyhoo, since I like to use lots of different products, and I'm constantly trying new ones I thought every now and then I'd post a review.  I like reading what real people have to say about products.  I think pinterest got me started on all of this.  That's how I found the majority of those blogs.

So, here we go (and yes, I purchased all of these products myself.)

First up, NYX white eyeshadow base.  I have to use eyeshadow base or within an hour or two, my eyeshadow sort of melts into the crease and looks like crap.  I usually use a different brand, but I wanted to try this kind... and in white because I read that it really helps the colors stand out.  I paid 5 bucks at Bartell's for this.


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I applied it a bit thick over my lids, in my experience, the product works much better for me if I'm generous in the application.

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I then applied eyeshadow as I normally would, and tried out two other new products:

Maybelline's lasting drama gel eyeliner


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and Revlon photo ready 3d mascara

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The gel eyeliner is kind of amazing.  As you can see it comes in a little jar and brush... I was a bit nervous about trying it at first, but it went on very smooth.  I've actually been wearing it every day for the past week and I am converted.  There's no flaking or smudging, and even when my eyes were tearing I had minimal issues with smearing. Impressive! I paid about 8 bucks at Target for this.

I like the mascara as well.  I've yet to find a mascara that I can't live without... I have about 10 different kinds in my makeup collection.  All drugstore brands because I am cheap as hell.  This stuff was 9 bucks at Target and overall I'm happy with it.  Minimal flaking, no smudging... the mascara itself is kind of a wetter formula than I'm used to, and I was concerned about that but it went on very nicely.

Witness the end result:


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I was very pleased with the eye shadow base, after about 8 hours it looked almost the same as when I had first applied it.  It was after 10 hours where it started looking kind of gross.  Not too shabby for a $5 buy!

Lastly, have you heard of Birchbox? Basically they send you a box full of beauty samples once a month. Sometimes the samples are truly sample size, and sometimes they stick a full size item in. You never know. It costs $10 per month.  If you are a product junkie like me this is a pretty cool deal.

So far, I've gotten 2 boxes from my friends at Birchbox.  I didn't take pictures of the first one, but I did take pics of my April box.


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As you can see the focus this month was on natural products for the most part. I have not (and will not) be trying the lip balm as it smells heavily of fennel.  Me no likey.  I do like the Pomegranate cream and the eye cream.  Overall not too bad of a haul for April!  (Ps. No likey the Taylor Swift sample either. bleccch.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Remembering Toni


Its been one year since my friend Toni passed away.  Its difficult to believe that someone so full of life could be gone and so soon.  She was 37 years old, a wife, a mother and dearly loved by all of her extended family and friends. 


I met Toni or Choni, as I liked to call her (Ill get to that) when I was 17 years old.  I started working as an afternoon aide at a local daycare center.  Toni worked in the toddler room, and my interactions with her at that point were limited to staff meetings and the occasional hour or two I would spend covering breaks or something in her room.  Personally, I hated the toddler room, But Toni seemed to thrive in there.  She was so good with the little ones, and she and Debbie (our coworker and one of Tonis best friends) really provided a warm, and nurturing environment. 
 
It wasnt until a few years later when Toni and I really became friends.  I dont really remember how it happened, but we started chatting and I would take my lunch breaks in her class during naptime.  We would go to the movies on Monday nights, as it was half price night at the Regal Cinema theaters.  She got me to go to a haunted house once she loved haunted houses.  I hate them she talked me into it and at the last minute I tried to fall back and leave the line and she grabbed me around my middle and said youre not leaving me dammit!  After that she would try every year to get me to go and I refused I can pee my pants at home for free if I wanted to! she would shake her head and laugh.

One of my favorite things about Toni was her laugh.  She had one of those contagious laughs that make you want to keep telling a story because its so fun to hear her reaction.  She could tell a story better than anyone Ive ever met too.  In fact, years after leaving the daycare we would meet up once in a while and just talk and laugh.  The funny thing is, Ive met a few of her family members, but from all the stories Ive heard I feel like I know themall.  

Besides laughing at stories, she had a wicked sense of humor.  I once had the stomach flu and missed a day of work.   I came back to find a homemade card that read on the outside Im sorry youre sad, Im sorry Youre sick. And when you opened it up, there was a hot glue stick taped to the inside and a message so I got you this suppository stick.  Then she went one better and had all of our coworkers sign it.  It was horrifyingly awesome. 
 
She got the nickname Choni because she would always tell her kids in her class to go get their chonis (underwear) when she was helping them change.  It always made me laugh, so I started calling her choni just to bust her chops, but it stuck.  She was always choni to me after that. 
 
She had a way with some of the more difficult kids in our daycare too.  There was a three year old boy who she took on because the other staff members were fed up.  Truth be told he didnt have the best home life, and he had a truckers vocabulary to boot.  They didnt always get along, but she made do a lot better than anyone else once she wore her hair in princess leia buns to school.  She was always doing stuff like that fun things to her hair or nails for the kids.  Anyway, all morning this boy had been giving her the stink eye, and at naptime (when he would typically melt down) he argued and yelled and threw a fit, and when she put him in time out he yelled at her I hate you!... and your fucking hair!!!!  and she had to turn away because she was laughing so hard.  She looked at me and I said “…well, hes got a point.  It was hilarious.

The two of us were also good friends with another coworker Sandra Kim.  We would have lunch or meet up for dinner they would attempt to get me to go with them to see scary movies we did a lot together.  Sadly, we lost Sandra in 2009.  Toni and I visited her at Harborview once it broke our hearts to see her so sick and a fraction of the friend we knew and loved.  A few months later when Sandra passed away, I sat by Toni at the funeral.  

The light of Tonis life was her kids and her family.  She was an amazing mom.  Devoted doesnt begin to cover it.  She delighted in them, she joked that they drove her crazy, but I dont think anyone made her laugh more than her son.  Devante was maybe a year and a half eventually, he was in my school age classroom at the daycare and my most favorite memories are when Toni would come in to pick him up or sit in and visit while he was there.  The dynamic between the two was hilarious.   Much later, after we had both left the daycare, she had a little girl named Angelina, and it was so sweet to see her with a little girl.  Even better, the stories about life at home with a teenage son and a little girl left us giggling time and time again.

I once went with her on a field trip with her class of 2.5 year olds.  We went to the Pacific Science Center, it was just the two of us and 10 littles.  For the most part we had a fine time barring some scary moments while driving through downtown Seattle in a 13 passenger van.  (She made ME drive.)  Everything was fine until we got to the butterfly exhibit.  She couldnt believe that I was scared to go in.  She never let me live that down.  The part that stands out for me on that trip though, was that as we were waiting to get on the freeway ramp, there was a man holding a sign, asking for money.  She didnt hesitate to dig around in her purse to find a few bucks (I think she ended up giving him 5 dollars) and hand it out the window.  I looked at her incredulously and she said what if that was someone in my family?  I would want people to help them out. Thats who she was she was generous and kind to everyone. 
 
In the past few years, our lives got busier and busier and we saw less and less of each other.  We would get together once or twice a year for lunch or dinner and it was like no time had passed at all.  We would spend the entire time giggling and sharing stories and gossiping.  I will miss that so much.  The last time I heard from Toni was a few weeks before she passed away. We were going to get together soon, as it had been a while she told me that she was pregnant again and I was so excited for her.  The last thing I expected was to find out a few weeks later that she had passed away.  

I'd like to think she's up in heaven, holding her baby and laughing with Sandra. Smiling down on her family and her friends.  


Toni... the night we visited Sandra at Harborview in 2009.

Toni, Me and Sandra at my wedding.  The only picture I have of the three of us.
 

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Eve

It was a positively GLORIOUS day today in Seattle... too bad I spent most of it running errands.  We got up this morning and Aaron left to help some friends move into their house.  The boys and I left to go to the gym.  I had a great workout and then got ready there and picked up the boys and we hit a couple stores at the Supermall, then Walmart.  We then headed to my parent's so the boys could participate in an easter egg hunt.  They had a good haul and got the good candy, usually it's the cheap gross stuff.

After that, I went grocery shopping and then came home.  By that time it was after 4pm.  I put all of the groceries away, put some laundry away, did two more loads, boiled 4 dozen eggs, cleaned out the boys' dressers of  clothes they have outgrown and then went to Target to finally get the Easter stuff, as I hadn't gotten anything yet.  I had the good fortune to run into a gal I used to work with, and we chatted for over an hour in the Easter section at Target. :)  I spent way too much money on Easter... seriously, wtf is my problem?  70 bucks for the two boys... RIDONKULOUS.  I only bought one or two things that were candy... a chocolate bunny and maybe something else, I don't remember.  We decided not to do much candy this year as the boys lose interest and Aaron and I feast on all those empty calories.  Instead they are each getting a movie, a transformer bot thing (I don't know wtf these things are), 2 hot wheels, fruit rollups, goldfish crackers, bubbles, star wars pencils and paper pads, and Hostess cupcakes.  72 bucks.  wtf.

Anyway, I think the Easter bunny will be mischevious and leave a note for the boys that sends them on a scavenger hunt of sorts to find their baskets.  I think they'll get a kick out of that.

Anyhoo.  I tried out a new app today for the couch to 5k program, and I liked it a lot better than the one I was already using.  I thought I'd give my thoughts on them here.

The one I've been using on and off for a while is called Ease into 5k.  My exercising in the past year has not been consistent and I would use it for a few days then not again for a month or more.  Anyway, I think they changed it at some point in the last 6 months... before, it followed the standard couch to 5k program that I was used to (I used Robert Ullrey's Couch to 5k Podcasts) and it was basically a 5 minute warm up, jog for 1 minute, walk for a minute and a half... repeated until the end with a 5 minute cool down.  Basically a 30 minute cycle.

Anyhoo, now it is different... varying runs/walks from 30 seconds to 45 seconds to a minute to a minute and a half... it was hard for me... too many starts and stops and not enough walking time in between sometimes.

Today I tried out Couch to 5k which works hand in hand with Active.com.  I really REALLY liked this app!  Has the same ability to run in the background (in case you want to read or check in on facebook or whatever) and play your own music.  BUT. The intervals are the ones I was used to from before.  Five minute warm up, 1 minute run, 1.5 minute walk ... lather, rinse repeat.  I didn't have to pause the treadmill at all today... whereas when I used the other app the other day I had to pause it several times because it was too much... even jogging slowly I was getting too out of breath.  This app also has gps capability and can tell you what your avg speed is.  Very nice!

I'll leave you with a few Sethy and Nolan-isms from today:

Seth: Mom, did you know God is good builder?
Me: I did know that.
Seth: Yeah cause he builded everything.  And he builded me!

Seth: dis is a movie fee-a-ter fing.
Aaron: It's a movie projector.
Seth: No, it's a movie fee-a-ter fing.

Me: Seth do you need some help with your capri-sun?
Nolan: mama, I'm helping him.
Me: Thanks buddy, I appreciate that.  That's very nice of you!
Nolan: well I'm a big brother... that's what we do.  We like to help the little people.

When I picked the kids up at the gym daycare after my workout and shower:
Me: Ok boys, it's time to go
Nolan: God what took you so long? Hey did you take a shower?
Me; Yes
Nolan: huh.  You look kinda beautiful.  <3


Monday, April 02, 2012

I hate Debbie Gibson.

Aaron and I are watching last night's apprentice... and can I just say, I hate Debbie Gibson. And Diana whats her name Miss Universe whatever. Debbie Gibson talks like she's got gauze in her mouth, it's weird. I am LOVING Lisa Lampanelli... Mostly because we are kindred spirits in that we both hate Diana. And homegirl calls it like it is. I also love Aubrey... well mostly I love her hair. Aaron and I are both surprised at how much we like Clay Aiken. I always considered him to be weak and a wuss, but he totally isn't. Anyway, this is one of the few shows we actually watch together. I wish it wasn't 2 damn hours long... who has 2 hours (or in the case of last night's show 3 hours) to sit and watch a show? We made it to the gym today. I would say this is cause for a cookie, but you know... sort of negates the whole purpose. I did a whole hour on the treadmill... burned about 930 calories (according to my polar fitness monitor). Not too shabby. We are signed up to do a half marathon on June 25th. Half Marathon. June 25th. Half.Marathon. June.twenty.fifth. that's 13 miles. I was the one who insisted we sign up, thinking it'll be no sweat, shoot... we can walk that if need be! Well hell yeah we can walk that, because I don't know wtf I was thinking that we would run it. I can't even run a mile yet! Aaron and I are committed to finishing it... bottom line. According to the website, we need to finish in 4 hours... if we start lagging and they don't think we'll finish in time, they'll come around and pick us up in a van. I would like for that NOT to happen. So, because of the half marathon (did I mention it's 13 miles?!) and also because I've been impressed by Jane, I started up with couch to 5k today. I walked for about a half hour first, watching How I Met Your Mother, then switched over to the Couch to 5k with my workout music. I will be repeating day one tommorrow... and every other day until I complete all of the runs in it. There are 9. Today I managed 5. Ugh. BUT! I feel really good tonight, and it reminds me why working out is good for me. So I'll continue. Untitled
For Palm Sunday at church, there was a Palm Parade... all of the kids paraded in with palm fronds, and Pablo the donkey made an appearance for a skit the older kids helped put on.
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Well hellllo ladeeeez. Hank thinks he has game.