Month: May 2013

Ten on Tuesday: 5/7/13

1. I keep telling myself I’m going to stick to a stricter diet once and for all and stop eating so much sugar. And yet…and yet…

(image from Pinterest)

2. Am I the only one who thinks sloths secretly look really creepy? Like they’re harboring an evil secret or something?

3. You know those cans of biscuits you buy in the cooler section of the grocery store, and how you’re supposed to pop them open with a spoon? The other day I was peeling the wrapper off one of those cans while also telling my husband a story about a time I set one of these cans down on the counter so hard it popped open and into the air and scared the bejeezus out of me. In the middle of my story about the spontaneous popping cans, you can guess what happened–the can in my hands popped and I screeched. Oh, the irony.

4. Here’s the song of the week. I actually found this by reading some of the comments from another YouTube user whom I’m following. The girl is Juliana and the song is an acoustic cover of Miike Snow’s ‘Animal’.


5. And just since I liked that last cover so much, here she is covering Phoenix’s ‘1901’.

6. I’ve realized that I could waste hours between Buzzfeed and Tumblr just reading the bizarro conversations that people have. Some of these are so hilarious that I can’t even relay them to another person in the room because I’m laughing so hard. Others are just weird. The other day I started reading a thread about “the creepiest thing your child has ever done” and after half an hour or so of scrolling through I had to stop.  Honestly if I had a kid that did one of these things I wouldn’t know who to call first, the priest or the realtor.

7. I usually pride myself on being super-prepared for things, so I was fairly alarmed to realize that my anniversary is in less than two weeks and I haven’t a clue what to buy for the husband. Uh-oh.

8. I’ve given up and decided to count caffeine as a food group.

9. My hubby is in charge of the laundry in our house and for years he tried really hard to fold the sheets just so. I think he felt is was necessary to keep his nest mate happy. Then one day I admitted that when it’s up to me I just roll it on up and stuff it in the underbed bag that holds all the linens. I’ve never seen someone fold laundry so cheerfully.

(image from Pinterest)

10. I can’t think of a tenth thing so here is a picture of an overly excited cat.

(image from Pinterest)

Blog very day in May x2: Day 6

It’s a long weekend! What are your favorite ways to enjoy the extra long weekend off work?

Well, um…it’s not a long weekend for me! (Here in the States.) Also, I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, so I miss out on the long weekends. Oh well.

But when I do schedule a long weekend, I like to spend it being as lazy as possible. I try to get all of my shopping, cleaning etc. done ahead of time. Then I like to do lots of cooking and baking for yummy treats, go out to the movies, read as much as possible, and possibly go hiking somewhere. If I’m feeling ambitious one day I’ll tackle a project, like painting or some sort of home DIY.

This weekend might not be long but I am planning on seeing Iron Man 3. I hope it’s good! I have very high expectations!

If you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question, ‘what do you do’?

I tell stories. I am constantly coming up with new and interesting stores in my head that need to all be committed to paper. I think it’s partially a product of reading so very much throughout my life and partially a result of having a very overactive imagination. In any case, whenever I’m left to myself for a while and have nothing to do, I start dreaming up stories! I do it while driving, standing in line, pretty much anywhere!


Recipe: chocolate peanut butter banana soy protein shakes

I posted the other day about making chocolate peanut butter banana soy protein shakes and Ambarina from Beauty Passionista asked for the recipe, so here it is!

You’ll need:

  • Two scoops chocolate protein powder (or 2/3 to 1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 1 banana
  • 6-7 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in the blender and blend well! Serves two.

The calorie content for this shake should be around 350-400, depending on the protein powder you use. This seems really high when compared to the 200-calorie diet shakes sold at the grocery store, but keep in mind that those shakes are typically used in a meal plan where you have a 200-calorie snack every couple of hours. These shakes are meant as a true meal replacement for a day when you need energy and know you won’t be eating again for several hours. They pack nearly 20 grams of protein per serving, so they really fuel you up and leave you feeling full.

If you’re not preparing for two, you could drink one and put the other in the fridge for later; just stir it up when you’re ready to drink it. This is actually great if you come home from work tired and don’t want to prepare a real dinner before you crash; you can drink one and leave the other in the fridge for the AM.

(I’m actually out of any higher-end protein powders right now because I’ve been too lazy to go shopping (!) but the one pictured, the Carnation breakfast mix, is pretty good and my hubby loves it. It does contain nonfat milk though so be warned of that if you’re trying to avoid dairy.)

Some other fun ways to fix up a summer smoothie:

  • One banana, two cups soy milk, one cup strawberries, one scoop chocolate or vanilla protein powder, several ice cubes
  • One cup soy milk, one cup brewed cooled coffee, one scoop chocolate protein powder, several ice cubes
  • One cup strawberries, one cup blueberries, one banana, two cups soy milk, several ice cubes

Blog every day in May x2: day 5

What do you do to stay fit or be a healthy individual? Share any useful tips and advice. Or tell us about your plans to get healthier.

The biggest thing I did for myself to get healthy was to switch to a vegetarian diet! I used to not be a very healthy person at all. I ate lots of sugar, didn’t get nearly enough vegetables or protein, and avoided exercise like the plague. I felt like crap quite a lot and I got sick pretty easily.

One summer I got really sick and actually ended up in the ER from what the doctors told me was a bad flu bug, and I wound up losing thirty pounds from the dehydration and from not being able to eat for several days. Afterward I was sick for almost two months. I could barely eat without getting nauseous and I was weak and underweight. I hated how I felt! My doctor chalked it up to my body being so stressed and out of balance that it was basically turning on itself.

After that, I started to become really interested in nutrition and how what we eat can heal or harm the body. Eventually, through keeping a food diary, I realized that I felt my best when I ate lots of natural fruits and veggies and lean protein, and cut back on sugar, caffeine, and anything heavily processed: white flour carbs, fried foods, junk snacks, sodas, etc. I honestly think that the less packaged foods you eat, the better you will feel.

After a few months of this I also realized that cutting out meat helped a ton, so I went vegetarian. After two years of on-and-off vegetarianism I went fully veggie and also cut out dairy products, hoping to gain even more benefits. After just a month or so without dairy I had so much more energy and I had started losing body fat. I do still eat the occasional product that contains milk in some form, like Cheetos, but eventually I plan to go strictly vegan and cut out all traces of dairy as well as eggs.

While I do adhere to a vegetarian lifestyle as an ethical choice, many people who meet me don’t realize just how much of an impact this choice has made on my physical well-being. I strongly believe that this diet is the reason I have more energy, a stronger body, and less health issues now in my twenties than I did as a teenager. On top of eating healthier, I’m more in touch with my body now; I listen to what it’s trying to tell me and act accordingly instead of chugging another cup of coffee and pushing on.

Because I’m now eating healthier and feeling better, it’s easier to push myself to work out. I hate the idea of going to the gym, so I work out at home with the stationary bike or an exercise DVD, ride my bike around town, hike, dance, or do yoga. I love to walk places when the weather is nice–it’s a great excuse to take my camera along! If you find a physical activity you enjoy, it won’t feel like exercise. Penciling in an activity with a friend is also a good idea, since it holds you accountable.

Lots of people are surprised to find out that even though I don’t eat meat, my husband is a big burgers-and-fries kind of guy. I’m okay with that. Because I do all of the grocery shopping and meal prep in our house, he actually eats a 90% vegetarian diet with me, and he even admits to liking some of the things I whip up, like vegan nachos or soy chocolate peanut butter shakes. This coming from a man who once recoiled in horror from a package of tofu!

Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don’t have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member

I think it would be really hard to pick out just one of my blogger friends to profile, since I’ve met so many wonderful ladies over the past year! Instead I’ll tell you what makes one of my real-life friends such a gem.

Missy and I met at work and quickly warmed up to each other because we both have quite sarcastic (and sometimes inappropriate) senses of humor. Sometimes we start laughing so hard we have trouble working! We also both love to read. She’s the one who first recommend the Outlander series to me.

I like people who are straightforward with you and speak their minds, that way you don’t have to guess how they feel about something. Friends who are funny and honest are hard to find, so I’m happy to have a work buddy who has these traits!

If you are also linking up for one of the Blog Every Day in May challenges, let me know so I can read your posts!!!

[CLOSED] INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY: Wet n Wild limited edition SS13 eyeshadow palette (3 winners!)–open thru 5/15

A little back story for you: all spring I’ve been seeing beauty bloggers post about the limited edition Wet n Wild eye shadow palettes that hit stores for spring/summer 2013. There were two palettes launched: Nude Awakening, which was supposedly a dupe palette for the Urban Decay Naked shadows; and Going in the Wild, a shimmery mix of nudes and pastels.

Apparently the palettes sold out like crazy and lots of bloggers reported being unable to get their hands on one. I looked for them for a while but finally just shrugged and figured they weren’t going to surface near me.

Well…earlier this week the hubby and I stopped into Fred Meyer while running errands, and of course I HAD to check out the beauty department. This store has one of the best beauty departments in town, with lots of brands I love and can actually purchase (cruelty-free), plus they have tons of awesome special displays with bonus items, new collections, and coupons.

So, lo and behold–they had a small shelf display with four of these Wet n Wild palettes left! Sadly, there were no Nude Awakening palettes left, but the colors in Going in the Wild are so gorgeous, I think that’s okay.

So, now that the boring back story is out of the way:I’m giving away THREE of these palettes. Yep, three–and the giveaway is international, so for those of you who have trouble finding Wet n Wild products period because you live outside the U.S., you’re included too! Please read the terms and conditions on the Rafflecopter before entering. The giveaway will close on May 15th and I’ll be notifying the winners on the 17th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog every day in May x2: Day 4

Share the blog love! Tell us about five blogs you love and why?

Ahhhhhhhh!!!! It’s so hard to pick just five blogs, so I’m going to cheat a bit and list five “beauty” and five “other” blogs.

Beauty blogs: 
  • Beauty Redefined by Pang. If there’s a drugstore product I’m eyeballing, this is the first blog I check. Pang has some of the best and most in-depth reviews of drugstore items I’ve found yet.
  • Buying Cruelty-Free. The name pretty much says it all, and Catherine covers lots of drugstore lines like Flower Beauty and Ecotools as well as the higher-end goods.
  • Green Eyed Monster. Jasmine blogs about beauty but also about books and occasional other random life-ness. Her YouTube videos are fun to watch too!
  • Makeup Guinea Pig. Christine’s blog was one of the first cruelty-free blogs I found and I love her mix of drugstore and high-end reviews.
  • The Polish Hideout. If you’re easily entranced by swatches, look away. Yun has some of the loveliest nail polish swatches on the Internet from my favorite brands like Butter London and Zoya.

“Other” blogs:
  • Be Quoted. Andrea writes about anything and everything “worth repeating”–life, relationships, parenting, style, faith, health, and more. Sometimes she’s dead serious and sometimes she makes me laugh out loud–either way, I always look forward to her posts.
  • Dancing Branflakes. Tiffany posts about dance, body image, food, the home, life, faith, and pretty much everything else you can think of. She’s an excellent writer and she really gives you food for thought without pushing anything on you. Also, she’s an amazing photographer!
  • Desert Girls Vintage. While Rebecca and Lori also cover style, I included this blog in the “other” category because they have some amazing design posts that will really get your inner DIYer revved up to redecorate.
  • Land of Candy Canes. Katrin posts about a random assortment of things including food, animals, books and music, and she’s also quite funny! She also writes a lot about her native Germany, which I always find fascinating since I love reading about other countries and cultures.
  • Mandy Jean Chic. I know some people really hate it when beauty or fashion bloggers talk about “other” topics, but I like that Mandy includes posts about home decor, gardening, etc. I like well-rounded blogs. Also, she’s super-sweet and her YouTube videos are so conversational and funny. You can really get a dose of every topic in the book by reading her blog!


Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it
“If I look back I am lost.”–Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys starts out in A Game of Thrones as one of the weakest characters; she’s a teenaged girl literally sold as a bride by her scheming and cruel brother, to marry Khal Drogo, a man whom she doesn’t know, whose culture and customs are barbaric to her, and whose language she doesn’t even speak–all because her brother hopes to gain an ally so he can make himself into a king. 
Over time, though, Dany becomes one of the strongest characters in the series. The Mother of Dragons indeed–she overcomes tons of obstacles and won’t allow anything to frighten her or stand in her way.
Dany says this quote any time she starts to second-guess her choices or any time she gets scared. I feel like it’s such a good quote to keep in mind. It’s really easy to get stuck on something that happened in the past, from the small to the big–wishing you had answered a job interview question differently, regretting a financial gamble that didn’t pay off, or maybe replaying a failed relationship over in your head.
The trouble is, when you spend so much time looking back, you get lost. For one thing, you lose a piece of yourself emotionally, because all of the turmoil and self-doubt that you allow to fill your head and heart rob you of the joy you have in the present. And you literally lose time–days, months, or even years spent fixating on a past that can’t be changed, rather than figuring out how to live out your present so you will be happy in the future. 
When I start to fixate on something from my past that makes me worried, sad, angry or depressed, I remind myself–“If I look back I am lost.”  I don’t want to lose myself in a sea of unhappiness over something I can’t change anyway. I would rather look ahead and focus on all the amazing and exciting things I know lie ahead of me in life.

Blog every day in May x2: day three

Tell us about your typical day. Or maybe do a photo diary of what you are doing on the hour every hour for 12 hours. Or you could sum up what you did today.

I actually did a bit of a long rambling post about this last month for Random Thursday (you can find it here) so I’ll do something a bit different here and I’ll tell you how my typical work night goes along.

9:05 PM: First alarm goes off. Tell myself if I skip putting on makeup I can sleep in ten more minutes.

9:15 PM: Second alarm goes off. Tell myself breakfast isn’t important and go back to sleep.

9:20 PM: Now I really have to get up. I have just enough time for a quick shower and coffee, give Mr. Max his insulin shot and some breakfast, and throw a few items in my lunch bag.

(image via Pinterest)

9:40 PM: I should be leaving now. Where are my keys?

9:45 PM: I really have to leave now. Stumble out the door and hope I didn’t forget something really important, like putting on deodorant.

10:00 PM: Arrive at work. Try to avoid speaking to anyone, particularly any overly chipper day shifters just leaving.

10:01 PM: Pretend to listen to managers give 15-minute meeting/pep talk. Take a nap with my eyes open.

(image via Pinterest)

10:15 PM: Find out which tasks I have for the night. I always hope I’ll get to work by myself all night. I think we all have at least one coworker who makes us sincerely wish to work alone.

(image via Pinterest)

2:00 AM: Lunch. This is the best part of the day because I get to curl up with a book for an hour. (Although, I honestly don’t know why we have a mandatory hour lunch break–we’re not getting paid for it, and it just makes the night go on longer. I’d rather take a paid 15-minute break and get to go home an hour earlier.)

3:00 AM: Back to work. Try to keep thoughts to myself.

(image via Pinterest)

4:00 AM: By now I’m wrapping up my tasks and the vultures are circling my manager comes by to send me on to a new task. I tend to spend the ends of my nights working with the guys who keep all of our inventory logged in and tidy. We tend to get quite a bit more rowdy when the managers aren’t around. This part of the night goes pretty fast.

7:00 AM: Flee leave work.

7:15 AM: Get home, feed cats, feed myself. If I’m tired I might just take a shower and go to bed, but the beauty of working at night is that you have your whole day open if you want to go out–so if I’m not dead tired I might go out hiking or shopping, or I might stay up to work on my blog. When the weather is nice I go out on the porch to read and relax.

Sometime after 10:00 AM: Time for bed!I have Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver sitting on the table now, but I’m trying to hold off on reading it until the weekend, because I know once I pick it up I won’t put it down.

(image via Pinterest)

Things that make you uncomfortable
  • People who won’t give me my personal space. Back away, butt toucher.
  • People who use casual slurs. You’re not being cute or funny, if that’s your intent; and when you’re talking about why you don’t like someone, well, you don’t really drive home your point about why they’re a bad person. You just make yourself sound unintelligent.
  • Pants that gap at the waist. They make me afraid to drop anything.
  • Children.
  • Meeting new people. I’m very introverted and shy.

What makes you uncomfortable? I’m sure there are more things but I just can’t think of them right now!

Blog Every Day in May: day 2×2

What is your favourite thing about Spring? What plans do you have to enjoy it?

My favorite thing about the arrival of spring is the chance to open up all of the windows in our house and let the fresh air and sunshine in! I like just sitting on the porch (albeit usually in a jacket) and feeling the sun and the breeze. I can’t stand being cooped up all winter; I need to be outside.

Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. Take any approach you’d like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)

I suppose there are lots of things I’m good at that are related to fashion and beauty: I can help you choose clothing for your body, so show you how to blend makeup. But for this post I’ll show you how to do something completely unrelated to style. I’ll show you how I do math in my head. Feel free to get bored and click on out of here, because I’m a terrible teacher!

I don’t know if I’m using a method or if I am, what if would be called, but this is just how I do things. You start all the way at the left of the equation with the largest numbers and break it down by the digits. Since I want to show you how this is so much easier than carrying numbers over, let’s start with addition. Take two very large numbers at random; we’ll use 732 and 826. Here’s how I do it:

  • Add the 700 and 800 together. You know that 7 + 8 is 15 + the two 00’s on the end, so = 1500.
  • Now add the 30 and 20 together to get 50. 1550.
  • Now add the 6 and the 2 to get 8. 1558.

Let’s try it with subtraction.  How about 557 minus 348?

  • 500 – 300 = 200.
  • 50 – 40 = 10. Now we have 210.
  • 7 – 8 = -1. Now we have 210 minus 1, which is 209.

Okay, multiplication. This is the one that seems to baffle people, but it’s really easy. Let’s try something midlevel, like 34 x 57. In traditional math you would stack these numbers up like so: 


And then you would multiple seven times four equals 28, carry the two, seven times three equals twenty-one plus that carried over two…
No no no. Break it down again into bigger numbers and it’s so much easier to do in your head.
  • First, forget that four for a moment and just do 7 x 30 = 210. Now do the 7 x 4 = 28. Add 210 and 28 together as I showed you up top, easy-peasy, to equal 238.
  • Now move over to the five. Forget, momentarily, that there’s an invisible “zero” on the end of this number. Multiple 5 x 30 = 150. 5 x 4 = 20. 150 + 20 = 170. Add that zero back onto the right end for 1700.
  • 1700 + 238 = 1938.   

I’m constantly multiplying numbers in my head at work and for everyday purposes. It’s just so much easier if you know how to do it in your head, instead of searching for a calculator or for a pen and paper. BTW, if there is an actual “method” that I’m using here and you know what it is–please let me know! I don’t consider myself any sort of a genius, but I know this isn’t how it’s taught in school (or at least I don’t remember it being taught this way), so I’m trying to figure out how I started doing it this way. 
Are you blogging every day in May? If so be sure to leave me your link so I can follow along!