March 15, 2014 Comments Off
There’s been so much going on lately! I’ve got a lot of head way (about 50 articles to annotate for my thesis) with school that I need to make and some big things are happening for my other project! Through Daily Lives is ‘officially launching’ soon – meaning we’re writing up some introductory posts, some ‘meet the writers’ things, and some real content! I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m not sure if any other Spoonies or Chronic Illness sufferers follow this blog of mine – but I really hope you’ll check out my project and help me and some other great people by checking it out! ‘Real’ posts start this Monday! Thankfully its Spring Break so I actually might have a little time to pull everything I need to off, which is only minutely (read this in full on sarcasm) amazing.
I’ve felt pretty awful lately, for a lot of reasons – but for the first time since I got diagnosed, hell for the first real time since my symptoms started – I’ve actually felt like I looked sick. I’ve looked tired. I’ve looked pale. I think I may have even developed some minor psoriasis that’s gone misdiagnosed as cradle cap for years (not fun have bright red patches on one’s face and chest), so I’m trying to up my game and integrate easier make-up routines into my day to day to keep me feeling like I haven’t lost my ~healthy look~.
I used to use CoverGirl almost exclusively in high school for all of my foundations (powdered and liquid) so I thought CoverGirl would be a great first try. First try of what you may ask yet assume at the same time? BB Cream! I’ve heard some great things, its quick and easy to apply, plus the dual moisturizing and covering step is pretty great. For a gal on the run who does way too much, is way too tired, and doesn’t leave herself enough time for anything – less steps? Always better.
As I was saying, I’ve always been a pretty big fan of CoverGirl, even though I migrated away from them to mineral powders and dream liquid, it was never because I lost faith in the brand – they just didn’t have the products I was looking for any more (outside of mascara which I migrate back to every now and then). Well I was looking around at the different BB Creams and they seemed a great place to start! CoverGirl has always been pretty great with moderate styles of coverage, which is what I was looking for, and does have some great moisturizer on the market. So here we are! Take 1 of my ‘finding a BB Cream I like’ trials. Lets get to the results!
Here is my glorious face without an ounce of make-up on – not even any day old mascara left over! I’m legitimately fresh faced here people so take advantage of this rare opportunity. At least I don’t have any of my red patches right now, they’ve been behaving for the last month or so (which hasn’t made trying to get in to a dermatologist any easier, since I’d obviously prefer to go when I’m having a flare so it can get diagnosed in an optimal way – rather than me just trying to describe it). I have a fair bit of redness in my face even without any patches, but other wise my skin is looking fairly good right no. No major blemish breakouts, no redness breakouts, just my normal red toned skin rather than any wonky patches.
Our first picture here that you see if my face half covered in the product. The right side of the photo (so the left side of my face) has the BB Cream on it. You can definitely see a different in the level of shine that is being emitted – even though right now I’m not big on the almost waxy feeling of my face, maybe that will disappear after its had a little time to settle in, because if not that would be a huge deterring factor in me continuing use of the product – let alone recommending it to anyone. It does seem to give at least a little coverage, but since my nose is the most discolored area of my skin right now – I’ll get a better idea of that once I’m all the way under. For now, I do at least appreciate that my face seems to shine less, which is always a bonus – no one wants to look greasy (even if I feel it right now, which is still a major turn off).
The redness isn’t gone, but its definitely been downplayed! You can see a lot of the benefits I mentioned in the ‘in-between’ shot a lot better here, where my face is entirely covered in the BB Cream. That redness ion my nose hasn’t completely disappeared but it would be easy to miss now if you weren’t already aware and looking for it. Some of the waxy feeling on my left side has dissipated now, by the time I’ve covered my right side and am writing this but there is still a bit of a… I dunno, its just an odd feeling, to my skin. I’m not a big fan of this feeling but I’m sure it could be easily counteracted with some mineral powder to just finish things up.
So all in all how do I feel? Well I certainly feel like it was a good idea for me to start testing out some BB Creams! I will probably use this CoverGirl one up – I’m happy enough with it to keep using it until I’m out, but I’m not completely sold on whether or not it will become a new product in my arsenal. I’m really thrown off by the way it feels on my skin – waxy, and I can tell its there which are two things that I find to be a big no, no. It has decent coverage – nothing amazing but the point here is for a one step, easy fix that I can use on my lazy or episode-filled days and I do think it at least brings that much to the table. I think I’d have to try 1 or 2 other BB Creams to decide whether or not I use CoverGirl as my regular one. Either way I will definitely be adding some sort of BB Cream to my make-up bag.
March 11, 2014 Comments Off
I cook a lot – I really enjoy cooking, that being said… I never write about it! In the process of starting my new project Through Daily Lives (Go check it out! Yes, that’s some shameless self-promotion, but also promotion for the other writers involved!) I started toying around with the idea of adding a cooking/recipes section to it and got to thinking… well not all of my cooking and experimentation in the kitchen would really be appropriate for the newsletter or blog associated with the project – that doesn’t mean I can’t write about them! So with that being said, you might see more of me around here – especially since cooking is something I do much more than getting new products to review and I have plenty of photos sitting around of previous cooking experiments I could share too! Recipes you find here will be less Spoonie-friendly (go read the Spoon Theory if you don’t know what that is, in short it refers to those who suffer from Chronic Illness) and probably take a lot more work and energy than I’d feel comfortable posting over there. I WISH this experiment had a more Spoonie friendly version (beyond using ‘just add water’ pancake mix versus the original type) but sadly, this is a pretty energy heavy meal to make due to all of the mixing and flipping.
What is this new fangled recipe I tried out? MOTHER F’ING BACON PANCAKES!
I may get crucified for this, but, I didn’t get the itching for trying out this idea from Adventure Time (I’ve never gotten into the show, honestly, another thing the internet may hate me for!). I got it from a good old obsession with breakfast food and a way to find a way that could make my pancakes more yummy and less syrup-messy-soggy. My pictures feature my whole meal – complimented by some amazing strawberries (those were a way overpriced treat that I don’t even regret), eggs that I finally got the temperature right on this stove to get the way I like, english muffins because you can’t hold back my obsession, and my favourite plates that I don’t use nearly enough because nothing scares me more than scratching or breaking them.
I went with the not ‘complete’ version of a pancake because I’ve found they have a slightly thicker consistency in personal experience and I thought that would make for better shaped pancakes when it came to the point of dealing with the grease that would inevitably come off of the bacon and try and rudely disrupt the batter.
So I went on my merry way, making the batter as directed – but this is where my syrup flavour-retention-stickyness-removal idea came into fruition! I decided that I was going to try something I hadn’t before – now I’ve added all sorts of things into pancake mix varying from your normal fruits and chocolate to nutella and even peanut butter (I still need to figure that one out, maybe a blender trial is in my future to try and combat the sticky chunks) – but this wasn’t going to be one of those times where you could see the results… I added the syrup right in! For reference I added about 1/4th a cup of the sticky stuff and it did take a lot of extra mixing than usual, but it was totally worth it. Next time I think I’m going to try adding in 2/3rds because there was the nice maple flavour there, but I’d like it to be a bit stronger personally, if you’re looking for something subtle the 1/4th a cup should work for you.
Even if you’re not making bacon pancakes… I highly suggest this ‘syrup right in the batter’ method when you want to avoid a mess. I think it could be pretty handy for feeding messy little children or avoiding mess and ants on a camping trip!
When it came to the bacon I tried two different ways of cooking. Most online recipes said to cook everything at once (as in bacon down, batter immediately) so I tried that first. It sketched me out a little bit to cook the pancakes this way because I felt like the bacon looked a bit undercooked, on top of the fact that I much prefer my bacon crispy any way. I tried a second method – cooking the bacon on one side and then adding the batter after the normal flipping sequence. I found this worked equally as well as far as pancake cooking went, but I found the bacon much easier to cut when it came to the end product and actually eating the yummy results. So my suggestion here is to let the bacon cook about 60-90 seconds (depending on how crispy you like things) to allow the bacon to ‘retract’ to its cooked size and give it a little pre-cooking before you add the batter.
When it comes to flippage… I found it was a little difficult to gage, I won’t deny that I blackened the first side of a few pancakes when trying to figure out when exactly to flip the pancakes – the grease from the bacon definitely made things bubble a bit more and since that is how you usually tell when to flip… it definitely made things a bit less clear!
I can’t really give a general guess about when to flip because this will differ depending on your pan size (due to grease collection), heat you’re cooking at (this can differ greatly between stoves and cook top type!), and just the fact that some people are better flippers than others! I do suggest using your widest spatula you have, though – because that will keep the weigh of the bacon from breaking up the pancake at all (I found out the hard way this WILL happen if you muck up and make the pancake too big).
That leaves another question – what about size?! I saw a lot of variation in size over the internet and I went for something in the middle. I had a lot of problems with the one pancake that was actual pancake size so I definitely don’t recommend that. The medium size I went with did have one downside: I lost a lot of bacon flavour because there was so much more pancake to bacon in the ratio (though I could definitely still get some salty goodness), I would definitely suggest going thinner than I did in this attempt. Probably not more than a half an inch (optimally) on each side of the bacon. Next time I’m going to use something that will pour more evenly than doing it right out of the mixing bowl to try and get more control over the size because its definitely necessary!
With my bacon pancakes piled up and cooked, my eggs sitting there in over-easy perfection, my english muffins buttered and waiting, and those glorious strawberries calling my name… it was time to chow down!
I’m super proud of myself for the eggs, honestly, I’ve been mad at myself for months for not being able to get them right now that I have an electric stove again, not a gas one like I did in Chicago. That aside, I was very happy with my first attempt at Bacon Pancakes! There are definitely things I’d change about the way I did them, but all in all they came out awesome and I will definitely be cooking them again with said suggested amendments.
Over All Score: 3/5 on this attempt, 5/5 on the idea over all
Pros: Less messy, great flavour profile, no syrup getting all over my yummy eggs and soggying up my english muffins.
Cons: Hard to pour the batter, floppy bacon.
Things I’d Change:
- Use something that makes batter control easier (perhaps a laddle or a measuring cup with a little spout).
- Invest in a griddle because I’m pretty sure that would solve my grease-making-too-many-extra-bubbles issue.
- Keep the size to not much more than a half an inch wider than the bacon itself to keep optimal bacon to pancake taste ratio.
- Not get so distracted by the Pokemon I was watching in the background because I found out they put it on Netflix because I probably would have had better results with flippage if I cut down on the ADD a bit.
- Increase 1/4th a cup of syrup to 2/3rds a cup to increase syrupy taste from subtle to more powerful. I might personally just go straight for a half a cup next time because I really love maple.
- Perhaps use a maple version of bacon to help in that maple flavour increase.
Experimental Things I’d Keep:
- Cooking the bacon slightly before dousing it in batter. I don’t see this suggested on any other recipes, but I definitely recommend it.
- Not using the ‘Complete/Just Add Water’ versions of batter because they tend to be runnier than the original versions.
- Definitely adding the syrup right into the batter, such a good trick to figure out!
- Adding only 1/4th a cup of syrup if you want a subtle maple flavour.
- Using my wider spatula to help counteract the weight of the bacon in the batter.
I’ve liked this whole writing about my cooking experiment experience! I think you’ll definitely be seeing more of my culinary adventures around here! :)
January 29, 2014 § 2 Comments
I originally was going to have this post go up on Sunday but I decided to space everything out a bit for practicality’s sake and… well because I’ve got an awful cold. Said cold only makes me miss the warmth and comfort of Florida even more – where most of these pictures were taken while I was bored without my life line (the internet, obviously) in my Dad and Nana’s new condo.
I got my HD Color Trio from Influenster in ‘Longbeach Sands’ and I was pretty stoked about it – as a green eyed lady I am a fan of browns since they usually make my eyes pop quite nicely! I had an occasion (going out with my Mom to St. Augustine – which I’ll be posting about this weekend, along with other Florida shenanigans!) to finally justify wearing eyeshadow and took the opportunity to give the kit a try!
Unfortunately I didn’t have my DSLR at the time so I wasn’t able to get the best pictures, but given the subtlety of the eyeshadow I don’t think it would have made an incredible amount of difference.
That’s me all fresh faced with only a bit of foundation on because a smart lady knows her mascara comes after her eyeshadow! Least you want black streaks under your eyes. As a side note, my eyebrows look so much better here than in that far back picture I opened my last post with, which makes me feel much more secure in posting photos of myself – but either way, moving on to the application! So there’s three steps with the HD Color Trio from NYC New York Color: eyelid, crease, and highlighter – I suggest you apply them in that order, even though the packaging makes that not entirely clear.
Here you can see why I have a bit of an issue with calling this colour trio a ‘smokey eye’ – its just not smokey, it just doesn’t get that effect. It is a nicely blended trio of colours that can really highlight one’s eyes – but without a real colour punch to make your eyes pop, its just pretty much well applied and blended normal eyeshadow, coincidentally that’s more my style anyway so this is anything but a downside to me, it just means I’ll actually continue to use this product even after the Jolly VoxBox is over!
Here is my completed look for the night – the Rimmel ShowOff Lip Lacquer I also got from my VoxBox made a nice companion to my very nude look for the night, perfect for strolling around the still-lit-up streets of old St. Augustine with my Mom and enjoying some damn good seafood and the best Jameson Bread Pudding I’ve ever had!
January 25, 2014 Comments Off
So this post has taken me ages to write, I know. Three attempts that got deleted because of no-draft auto-saving due to my Dad’s horrible, horrible internet and outdated router, a terrible drive home that took almost 2 days longer than it ought to have, and my utter crash of effort my first few days back in my own apartment. Top all that off with the fact my Dad didn’t even have internet my first 3 weeks in Florida and you get a complete inability for me to keep up on my normally immediate blogging about my VoxBoxes. Alls well that ends well though! I’m getting to it now! Even if it is only 5 days before the VoxBox closes….
Please ignore my overly done eyebrows – its taking me loads of getting used to because they’re just a bit too thin for me (not to mention that I haven’t gotten them waxed in over 5 years, I prefer just to keep the strays under control) – that’s what I get for not being able to say no when my Mom’s roommate offered to do them for free!
Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong To Go Tissue Pack
NYC New York Color HD Color Trio Eye Shadow
Rimmel London NEW Show Off Lip Lacquer
$5.49 – $5.99
Skinny Cow Candy
$3.99 a box, $1.09 for a single bar/pouch
Ducklings Mini Rolls
$2 – $3
“Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong To Go is still our best non-lotion facial tissue to use in the car, for on-the-go, wherever you go!”
Besides the fact that I actually got a pack that was lotioned I really was stoked on this item more than I should have been. As a long time allergy sufferer who was about to spend 5 weeks in Florida, the haven of all that is pollen, it couldn’t have been more well timed for my needs. Any allergy-sufferer or make-up wearing lady should invest in keeping a packet of these in their purse or car – hell, its good even just for the normal person who might spill their coffee every once in a while!
Puffs will always get a 5/5 for me, no first impression here.
Ducklings Mini Rolls
“Excellent for repair, crafting, and imaginative projects. High performance strength and adhesion characteristics. Tears easily by hand without curling and conforms to uneven surfaces. Ducklings are perfect for small repairs, trimming out projects or for when you need a little tape!”
While I love the idea – I found a lot of the colour options to be extremely juvenile. I’m a 24 year old lady! I don’t exactly want neon leopard print all over my stuff! I feel like the normal colours would have brushed better off on me – but I just am never enthralled by products that come in a bright blue/neon purple leopard print colour because there is just no possible sensible use for that.
First Impression: 3/5
Pros: It is a well made product, and it does come in a variety of looks.
Cons: Seriously, why does neon leopard print exist?
“HD Color Trio Eye Shadow delivers high intensity color with a silky soft texture. The lightweight formula blends effortlessly for the ultimate smoky eye look.”
I received the ‘Longbeach Sands’ version of this palette, which is quite light to try and achieve a smokey eye with. I do like the neutral, soft effect it gives my eyes (which I’ll go more into next time, and by next time I mean my post tomorrow!) and it was packaged very well for its price range. I was a particular fan of how they clearly labeled and separated out everything.
First Impression: 3.5/5
Pros: Well packaged, good colour combination.
Cons: Very light for the purpose of being a smokey eye.
Rimmel London NEW Show Off Lip Lacquer
“It’s the end of colour as you know it! The intense rich colour of a lipstick combined with an invincibly smooth lacquer shine. Available in 14 shades.”
I got ‘Stargazer’. This was another flop for me as far as colour goes, like the last gloss I got in a VoxBox, it doesn’t quite work great for my skin tone (though this one is much more wearable for me). However much I wasn’t a huge fan of the ‘champagne’ like colour – the shine and lack of stick was perfect and definitely has made me consider grabbing a different colour to more properly try out!
First Impression: 4/5
Pros: No stick, good shine.
Cons: ‘Stargazer’ is MUCH lighter in use than depicted on advertised materials, be aware!
“TA DA! Presenting almost too good to be true Skinny Cow Candy! Unbelievably chocolately. Melt-in-your-mouth madness. Perfectly yummy portions. Skinny Cow’s line of candy weighs in at 110 to 130 calories. So if you’ve been avoiding the candy aisle, welcome back. You’re gonna feel like a kid in a candy store.”
I quite liked these – me and my Mom shared a package right when I got them in
First Impression: 4/5
Pros: Small, portable, low calorie intact.
Cons: Still VERY full of sugar.
The JollyVoxBox! Provided by the lovely people over at Influenster! :)
December 6, 2013 Comments Off
The picture might be a bit old but I think its better than opening with a picture that would represent the life of every graduate student rushing to finish 20 page long papers all at once at the end of the semester (meaning I haven’t slept, I haven’t washed my hair, I certainly am not in clothes that would be appropriate to step outside in) so instead you all get a slightly (Chicago) dated photo of me that is a much better representation of my commitment to nail care and showing off my extensive collection of rings.
I received some Kiss Nail Dress applications in my Varsity VoxBox – I’ve written about them before and how I was, admittedly, a bit underwhelmed with the product. I will admit though – when I entered the context it was sort of on a lark because I still had some sitting around and felt like playing around with fun looks for my nails – I decided to just go all out and do some things I wouldn’t normally do.
Sometimes its fun just to have fun with your nails – even if it steps out of your own personal ‘style zone’. So that’s exactly what I did! I rummaged through my nail polish drawer and remembered I had this lovely bright pumpkin colour from OPI (A Roll in the Hauge) and it matched nearly perfectly with the orange I had left over – with that in mind I took the 30 seconds out of my time to pop one on my chosen accent finger (I almost always chose my left ring finger) and I actually quite liked the results! With that in mind I popped myself into Influenster’s contest and…
I was honestly pretty shocked – I never really win anything and here I am a winner in a contest! I won a $10 Amazon gift card as well – a brilliant thing for me really, as it goes right into my book-buying fund (I’m quite close to a book I want as well! Hello Juvenile Osteology text, you are almost mine!)
I have to thank Influenster – really I do – I was invited to the site pretty early on and didn’t participate but they kept bugging me and I eventually decided to really give it a go and I’ve had quite great experiences with the last two VoxBoxes and I have to say, they really do give even us small-caliber bloggers and social media users great opportunities for getting free things and giving us fodder to write about. So thank you Influenster! I hope this is just another point in a long and healthy relationship :)
November 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
Well hello there lovelies! I know, I know, I said I was going to write this last weekend – but you’d get behind too if you had three 20 page papers to write where you actually had to (gasp) collect data from your own sources. Graduate school sort of sucks, or maybe its just al of these theory classes that are killing my brain. Yeah, definitely the theory. Why can’t I just do skeletal analysis and talk about Human Evo and be left happy and content? Oh well, its all part of the process and its allowing me to get the opportunity to do what I love – and that’s what matters.
Todays blog is all about NYC’s Big Bold Gloss, which I received in my lovely Varsity VoxBox from Influenster. Now, being a rather long haired lady I haven’t been known to wear a lot of gloss – if only because its maddeningly annoying when it get stuck in your hair every time theres a minute amount of wind (of which there tends to be a lot of in Chicago… and even in Albany!).
Brand: NYC New York Colour
Item: Big Bold Gloss
Item Type: Plumping Shine Lip Gloss
Colour: Pleasantly Plump Pink
So I had said previously I liked this gloss from first impression – not much has changed there so this post will be more about trying to wear it in different ways! I’m going to try three different looks to show off this gloss’ viability across different styles, to see if its really worth its weight in sparkling shine! First, a natural look where the only thing really meant to look ‘made up’ are my lips. Next, I’ll do a pretty basic daytime or first date look – gloss, complimentary eye shadow, and that’s about it! Lastly, I’m going to try for a more dramatic girls night out type of look where I pull out all the stops!
I wanted to see how the gloss would look without anything else to tie it into a look – just something to pep up the every day to make it a little more special! I didn’t even put foundation on before taking these photos – though there might be a little left over mascara from last night (cough).
Pros: Adds some sparkle and shine – a nice transition to go from that terribly early morning class to coffee with the girls or a nice casual lunch date.
Cons: I’m not a fan of this colour as a stand alone, but that’s more personal for my skin tone – I’d like it much better in one of the more red shades, it just seems a bit lacking in the pink.
The Rosy Daytime
Mascara: Mega Plush by Maybelline
Eyeshadow: HIP Duo in Rascal by L’Oreal
Gloss: NYC Big Bold Gloss in Pleasantly Plump Pink
So for this look I wanted to keep it simple, light colours and nothing too bold as to be inappropriate for work, an internship, an interview, or anything else you might do during the day time.
Pros: I love the way a nice pink eye shadow brings out the gloss – it really gives it a nice rounded look when it comes to a stylish way to wear this Big Bold Gloss.
Cons: Something about this colour pallet makes me feel too young, like 18 year old Freshman going to her Psych 101 class in the afternoon young. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does provide limits in marketability to a wider range of buyers.
Foundation: Dream Matte Mouse by Maybelline, Mineral Power by Maybelline
Mascara: Mega Plush by Maybelline
Eyeshadow: HIP Duo in Rascal by L’Oreal
Eyeliner: E.l.f. Kohl Eyeliner
Gloss: NYC Big Bold Gloss in Pleasantly Plump Pink
This is a much bolder, darker look than I usually go for (I’m a lipstick loving lady and with keeping balance in mind, I usually go for big, bold lips and more subtle eyes) but its my favourite of the three with this gloss.
Pros: The gloss is a really nice balance with a dark smokey style eye. I would definitely wear this if I was in the mood for a dark eye look over favouring lipstick.
Cons: If I’m wearing this type of make-up I’m hoping for something that I won’t have to put back on every few sips of a drink out with my friends or a date – gloss just doesn’t have the staying power a lot of lipsticks do, in reality though, this is a fairly minor inconvenience. This is another con that I think could be solved by investing in one of their more reddish hues from this line of products.
I’m definitely a fan of this gloss. Its definitely not overly sticky, which is a huge perk, and the variety of colors means more of my concerns (staying power with such a light colour, looking weird by itself with my skin tone) can be easily solved by taking the lovely coupon I got and investing in another colour.