March 15, 2014 Comments Off on [ BB Cream, Take 1! – March 15th, 2014 ]
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 on [ Bacon Pancakes, Need I Say More? – March 11th, 2014 ]
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! 🙂
April 24, 2012 Comments Off on [ To Dig, or Not to Dig – April 24th, 2012 ]
I’m super excited this week – despite an awful cold I’ve had since Friday plus side effects for a new medicine to treat my Fibro Myalgia, plus Pickles (poor thing) is also sick, its not winter what’s going on! – well okay anyway! We start doing field world in the Archaeology Field School this week at DePaul!
Its 5 weeks of digging on possibly historical properties out in Maywood, Illinois trying to help the city really find its history – its supposed to be a long running thing in the department if Dr. Gregory has his way. This is the second semester DePaul has been out in Maywood. I’m just excited because, well, I was that little girl who read Egyptology books and loved studying about old stuff and Mythos even as a kid, I mean I was never set up to be who I was trying to be at the beginning of my collegiate career – and my parents certainly weren’t shocked I made a complete 180 back to my childhood obsessions. Digging up sites and trying to figure out where old houses may have been, where someone dumped their trash, what type of nails and what not they used in their buildings (great for dating things!), who lived there… these are all interesting to me, even if they might be boring to someone else.
Yes this is one big ramble, for that I apologize, its the migraine and sniffling puppers.
Its not the most exciting project, but I’m excited regardless, having field school experience will be great for grad school applications as well as trying to find internships.
I’m afraid this’ll be another boring personal update. I’ve spent all weekend just trying to relax and… in the process watching all four seasons of Parks and Recreations, I’m sincerely glad I finally gave in and just watched the show because even though, yeah, the first season was kinda blah and sucked – sticking it out was totally worth it the third and fourth seasons are pretty universally hilarious.
Now starts the ridiculous time of the year. Catching up a chapter in French, doing my field study for Ethnography, starting field work in Archaeology, my 10 page paper for Forensics (which I still need a topic to research or book to review – eek!), and starting a realism project I’m really stoked for in Sculpture. Its certainly going to keep me busy for the rest of the quarter, thankfully!
April 20, 2012 § 4 Comments
A nasty cold has me late once again! This rather gross weather outside doesn’t help to get one motivated either – but it can make for some good writing inspiration!
How is it one dresses in this disgusting weather? I find myself wanting to bust out my Spring fashionables and colours (those lovely purples and nudes and natural-stone tones I’m seeing everywhere make me die of happiness inside!) but its so nasty out this time of year that I find myself stuck with the b’s of Winter (that’s black, bronw, and bland by the by!). My Spring fashionables just don’t seem to live up to the test of this weather. Then I remembered something lovely about layering – there’s no problem with a little overlap of your winter staples into your spring wardrobe to weather-proof but keep it blooming!
First, a good pair of ankle boots is important for anyone who lives… well anywhere that isn’t near the Equator. They’re great for snow, rain, and can be worn during the summer to edgy up your favourite sundress. I suggest going for black always as it has the most versatility, but I myself have been eyeing some brown boots to add to my wardrobe since my black ones get so much use out of them.
Second, wraps and denim/flannel! Want to wear that cute nude tank top you bought when we got a glimpse of spring/summer weather that just POOF disappeared? Well wraps and overshirts are a must for any wardrobe, they’re great ‘transitional pieces’ things you can wear 80% of the year and you can throw over a cute dress or top if its a little chilly out. Wraps are great because, well we all know scarves in summer is a little taboo but on those days where it might get a bit chilly – they double up!
Lastly, a staple you should invest in during these Transitional times is jeans with some ‘pop’ to them. I know, I know how scene kid right? Wrong. I’ve always kinda had a thing against coloured denim – but I’m beginning to think that’s because they were neon back then. These new corals, purples, reds, and pastel denims? I’m kinda falling in love with them and they’re a great way to spice up any outfit!
April 17, 2012 Comments Off on [ The First – April 17th, 2012 ]
Well hello ladies and gents! I’m pretty excited about todays post – though for those of you who were curious to see how I’ve revamped my apartment you’ll have to wait until next week – because I’ve got some pretty big news that I mentioned originally last month but got a little side tracked from…
I have a website now! For those of you who have followed my on tumblr or my wordpress for awhile or however long, I’m no longer a subdomain! Thanks to a lovely donation of some server space from a friend who practically forced me into it (yeah, looking at you Josh, I wasn’t really given a say in the matter, ahem!) relevantsurroundings.wordpress.com is now just relevantsurroundings.com! Except its not just a blog website, I’m going to be using it for a lot of things most likely.
Of course first and foremost at the moment is the blog, which can be found by either going to the main page or simply adding /blog to the end of the site. Its powered through wordpress itself so followers no need to worry! You’ll still be able to get updates and the likes and you won’t have to navigate another new layout (that was step one, getting my wordpress layout situated so I could follow through on making the rest of the site blend with it).
It also has a revamped About Me section and a Photo page as well that will eventually hold photography, sketches, and graphic design done by myself – but for now its just another little fox sketch that links through to my Flickr and gives everyone a little apology for it being under construction!
Sorry to break it to that person who thought my sketches were ‘flat’ and ‘like an 8 year old drew them’, whoever you are anon, I warn you! You won’t like the site! It happens to feature my favorite sketch I’ve done so far – Bernard, a fox that was inspired by my own foxy little dog Pickles. I did all the work on the site myself, with a little guidance on some backend things from my generous friend Josh – but all the coding itself and sketches (of course!) were done by me, which is something I’m rather proud of as I haven’t really built a website since high school, at least not anything more then coding some images onto a page for my online journalism course. Its pretty simple for now but I’m still proud of it! It was a good practice exercise to get myself back into being able to code html and use Dreamweaver.
Hopefully in the next month the Photos page won’t be too much of a project for me and Josh to somehow tackle before my Dreamweaver trial runs out (whomp whomp whoooomp). All in all, I’m pretty stoked!
I’d really love to have everyone’s thoughts on it! Questions, comments, concerns, typo’s I overlooked because I wrote the About Me on no sleep, no caffeine, and having just written two Anthropology papers!
PS. Please ignore the wonky, randomly doubled up posts on the site blog for now! WordPress went a little overboard with the importing…
April 14, 2012 Comments Off on [ Cabochon – April 13th, 2012 ]
Now silly me, I wrote this post but Comcast is the worst company in existence and my internet has been so shoddy, slow, and constantly restarting the last few days wordpress just wouldn’t load properly to post it – utterly rude if you ask me (so was the first lady who yelled at me, called me a liar, oh and refused to transfer me when I kept having to repeat myself, I have a lot of respect for people who work tele-comm customer service because of the rude douche entitled people they have to deal with, but if I have to say the same sentence 6 times and I ask to speak with someone else, there is nothing unreasonable about that or cause for you to be snarky when I was polite, kthx).
I immediately fell in love with the Tiger Cabochon ring the second I saw it on the jewelmint homepage when I logged in – knowing I had a free credit and wanted to treat myself to something nice for getting through the first round of papers and tests for this quarter (is it still treating myself if it was 100% free?). I’m always a little skeptical to order rings from websites – because much like shoes or jeans they can fit differently in every single style and brand and there really is no one size fits all, heck even a size 7 heel can fit differently just from one being a stiletto and one being an oxford pump! But thankfully, the ring fits comfortably my middle finger – right where I wanted it (though noticeably a little wobbly on really cold days, but thankfully that’s not often enough for me to care and I’m still definitely glad I didn’t go a size down, the ring would be much too large to not look silly on my ring finger.)
I’ve never been big on the huge ring thing but this one sold me, it wasn’t gaudy, it wasn’t obnoxiously big, it wasn’t silly abouts of this-is-obviously-from-Urban-Outfitters-and-worth-1/3rd-what-I-paid or just clearly out of my price range so maybe it was bitterness, that’s right actually ya know what I think it was bitterness.
My favourite part of this piece is actually how well it goes with all of my turquoise jewlery. On my left hand I wear the same three rings everyday: a little $1.50 ring I got in Wales, a great cheap thrift store find, and my one splurge in Paris – the big turquoise sterling silver ring I wear on my pointer finger (the other two go on my ring finger to cover up my tattoo, which I need to get touched up and its really annoying to get asked all the time if I’m engaged – no I just don’t need a diamond to make me happy, I’ve already got one!) I was honestly worried I was investing (kinda?!) in another piece of jewlery that I wouldn’t be able to wear very often because it didn’t go with my daily essentials! (I’m STILL wearing my Prarie Rose necklace daily, its perfect for my Springtime colours and trends!)
This ring is another one of those fantastic jewelmint pieces that just goes with so much of my wardrobe it makes me squeal on the inside. I’ll admit though, I wasn’t really sold on this whole mint franchise when CollegeFashionista first got involved with it when it was fairly new, I hate things that you have to pay monthly for (fun fact: of all the jewlery I’ve received as of yet, I only payed for that Oscar’s grab bag because its one of those awesome sites where referrals earn you credit, ie – freebies).
That being said, I have to say, I fully back this company – a true rarity for me with anything that requires monthly service (ahem, looking at you Comcast) – if only because its also so simple (unlike on many sites) to go in and ‘skip’ a month, I only wish they let you fully remove a credit card once it was added on to the account, because you can only replace it with another one which I guess makes sense with the skip option, but I don’t currently have access to a credit card so its a little annoying I can’t remove my old one without putting up my debit card when my finances really can’t risk me forgetting to skip a month. I’m honestly not as sold on StyleMint (the Olsen shirts and sunglasses version) because honestly, I could get anything on there at Forever 21 or H&M for half the price and it’d probably last me just as long. I do wanna take a spin around BeautyMint though, I’m always looking for new Beauty products to fall in love with! And there really is no price you can put on having good, clear, healthy looking skin.
Plus, the pretty jewlery certainly doesn’t hurt! And theres so much variety, there truly is a bit of everything for everyone!
This post brought to you in part by the really dreadful lighting in my apartment, and how much I hate how those eco-friendly lightbulbs do not make for good photo taking. Oh also, the lighting in my apartment just sucks – which I will be rectifying as soon as I get a bit of return cha-ching from someone owing me with another glorious trip to Ikea.