Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Me and Jack Black

There are things that happen to us that we'd rather not tell people. Maybe we did something really, really stupid once and when we recall the memory it makes us cringe, because it would be so embarrassing for anyone to know. I have a couple of those moments. 

Monday night I went to bed with wet hair, so on Tuesday, I woke up and I looked....rough. Rough is an understatement. I looked completely manic. Bryan had gotten up before me and he was brushing his teeth when I walked into the bathroom to you know...go to the bathroom. 

I stood next to him for a second and the first thing out of my mouth was... "I had a sex dream about Jack Black last night." and he just looks at me mid-stroke, a toothbrush hanging from his mouth and says, "Oh."

And that was the end of that. 

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

How to Shop Smart on Black Friday



Do you shop smart on Black Friday?

A lot of people use Black Friday to get good deals on Christmas gifts. Many narrow their gaze to electronics, toys, and clothes. Did you know that this is also an amazing time to stock up on household items? 

Use Black Friday to pick up great deals on: 

Pillows

Sheets

Blankets, Quilts and Comforters

Underwear and Socks

Complete Bedding Sets 

Curtains

Towels and Wash Cloths

Candles

What is even better is that most of these items do not have some sort of time-frame for great deals. You can shop online or in store later in the day on Black Friday and still stock your home on a yearly basis! These items are not 'forever' items and its best to save as much as you can while still 'splurging' on good quality. 

Two years ago, I got onto Kohls.com, bought high thread-count sheets and pillows for about $30 with free shipping and I am now ready to refresh our pillows and sheets with new ones! Something that would have cost me $70-100 was $30. THAT is how you shop Black Friday!

Next year, set up a month amount that you transfer into a savings account for Black Friday shopping. Include an extra $10 and use that $110 to stock up your house on items you use on a daily basis!

Maybe pick up a few towels and sheets so that you can donate them to a local homeless, women's or men's shelter. I bet they would really appreciate it. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Goodbye, Blondie


It's official. I pulled the trigger and went dark. I've been blonde for three-plus years and it was time to give my hair a rest and try something new. Not to mention that weaving, bleaching, toning, cutting, layering, drying and styling was just TOO MUCH for me right now. I needed to go one color, where I could pop in, get my roots done and get outta there.

School is really amping up now and so are the holidays. It's an exciting and crazy time. I took this farewell picture of my blonde hair on Tuesday before I made the change.



(sob)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Day Drinker

Bryan and I haven't gone anywhere or done anything since Hawaii and my soul starts to get a little twitchy when I haven't felt the freedom of the open road in too long. We decided that getting away for a night on the long Veteran's day holiday would be enough to save my sanity and get me through the next few months of work, school, family, holiday shopping and holiday events. We are hosting Christmas for the Vickers side of the family this year, so that's added stress. We've got to get the house in order and ready for a LOT of family members... which is terrifying. We are also having our first true Thanksgiving dinner with Bryan's cousins, which I am so excited about! But it's extra work for me to cook and stuff when I have so much going on. I needed a moment to decompress before things got crazy. 


We typically take a photo before we get on the road so I had to follow the tradition. We were in line waiting for a coffee from Java Heaven, which is much of my whole happiness in a cup. 


Shepherd was starting to get antsy in the car so we decided we needed to break up the trip a bit. We hit up the downtown area of Paso Robles, which is one of our favorite little spots! In the middle of the area is a huge, beautiful park with extremely tall trees! It was freezing and windy but that didn't stop my boy from loving the play time. 




Finally, in an attempt to escape the chill, we went into the public library that is right across from the park. Shepherd got his first band-aid on his hand and he was pretty weird-ed out about it. He had scraped his finger somehow in the car, poor guy. There were tons of puzzles, blocks and books to look at, so he was distracted from his owie in no time.





We weren't able to get an early check-in at the hotel for Shepherd nap. We ending up taking a scenic drive up to Lopez Lake and that whole area so Shepherd could get a few uninterrupted hours of sleep. On our way back, we figured we'd stop at the outlets and do a little shopping. By the time we got to the hotel it was dark but Pomeroy street and the pier were lit up and it sure was pretty. We walked over to Brad's Restaurant for dinner, took a stroll on the pier and then came back to the hotel to hang and put Shepherd down for bed. 


As usual, I woke up extremely early on Veteran's Day so I sat, people watched and listened to the waves. We were so close to the beach, it was the perfect alone time to reflect on my life and what the hell I'm doing. I didn't figure anything out but it sure was nice to have an uninterrupted moment to process. 





Once they woke and we had ourselves a continental breakfast, Bryan took Shepherd to the beach to play while I got ready. I joined them shortly before a huge wave caught Bryan off guard and completely soaked them. Bryan didn't have any other shoes or pants so we had to rinse and blow dry them as much as we could and then buy him some flip flops. Luckily, we had other pants for Shepherd (always prepared for a blowout) and we found some sandals in his diaper bag. Score!




I woke up in a weird mood and I just kept doing stupid things! For example, we got a late checkout from the hotel and as we were leaving, I realized I forgot my purse in one of the drawers. So, I go back up and figure I should go to the bathroom. I take off my jacket, use the restroom and wash my hands and grab my purse. I figured I'd just leave the key cause why not? I meet Bryan and Shepherd and we walk halfway to Pomeroy when I remember that I forgot my jacket in the hotel room. I had to walk back, wait in line to get a key at the front desk, go back up to the room and grab my jacket. I don't want to wear it because the sun is now shining brightly, I'm in a sweater and hot as balls from walking all that way. I look in the car to get another shirt and I realize I don't HAVE another shirt. I only have the sweater because we packed so light. The only shirt I have is a black wife-beater shirt and I don't know the technical name so DON'T JUDGE ME. I put that on under my jacket and leave the sweater thinking maybe it'll all balance out in the end.

As I'm walking, I'm boiling hot and I'm too fat to just wear the black shirt. I meet up with Bryan and Shepherd on Pomeroy and Bryan has shoes on his feet so that's good. I go straight into a shop to buy a t-shirt. I take off my sunglasses to try a bunch of them on, pick one that is something I'll wear again but is also cheap, I pay and leave. I get halfway to the restaurant when I realize I FORGOT MY GLASSES. At this point, I'm ready to rage all around Pismo, I'm so irritated with myself. Bryan goes to get us a table and I walk back to get my glasses. I finally join Bryan and when the waitress asks me what I'd like to drink (at 12:20pm) I say "A Lavaflow, please." 


You should have seen the look on Bryan's face. Sure, I rarely drink...but I do drink now and again. Something I NEVER do is drink during the day. Ever. 

But I didn't even care. I drank that Lavaflow and got a little tipsy and Bryan drove us home. 

All's well that end's well. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Unboxing My First Sigma Order

*This post contains affiliate links. A small percentage, stipend or credit helps support my blog without any additional cost to you. Thank you! 
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If you watch YouTube beauty videos like I do there is no doubt in my mind that you have heard of Sigma brushes. I've always wanted to try them but they are pretty pricey!

Luckily for me, my Dad and Delia gave me a little cash-money for my birthday and Sigma happened to have a 20% off sale a few weeks later! I did not even hesitate. I had my budget, I had a sale and I knew what brushes I wanted to get. What more does a girl need to shop? Nothing, I say. Well...maybe a coffee. Coffee makes everything better, especially shopping.

I won't say that I really had an expectation on how my items would arrive, but I was actually quite impressed by the packaging. I opened the box and was greeted with a bright, happy pink inside and a Beauty Delivery envelope.


Once I removed the card, there was a sample of their brush cleaning mitt.


At the bottom of the box was another small box that held the brushes. 



I was pleased to see that along with their sample for the cleaning mitt that there was a coupon code. Great way to entice a customer back. 


The sample card explained how the mitt worked. I used it to clean my brushes before I used them and it did a fine job. I just have a hard time paying $39 for a cleaning mitt. Maybe I'll pick one up during the next sale (which I'm sure will be in a year).



 The envelope contained a card with a makeup look and the products used to achieve it as well as a catalog of their items.





And now! The really fun part. The brushes. Each brush was in a logo'd plastic sleeve to keep its shape. There was no padding in the envelope, which I was somewhat surprised about. Not that too much harmed could have come to the brushes, but they were just rolling around in there for the entire trip.


I chose four brushes, two blending brushes, one angled eyeliner brush and a foundation brush.



The brush I knew I must get was the Sigma F80 - Flat Top Kabuki brush. This brush is probably the most popular brush in Sigma's line and I've only heard good things about it. I was extremely surprised by the size. In the tutorials I have seen, the brush looks quite big and able to cover a lot of surface area quickly. I would say it's smaller than the size of a half-dollar. I've used it only twice since I've received it and only with one foundation, so I don't feel like I can give it an accurate review. The first day that I used it though, with Tarte's Amazonian Clay foundation, my coworker touched my face and said, "Wow, Megan! You look absolutely beautiful. Like you are glowing. You're not pregnant are you?!" I laughed pretty hard at that reaction. I'd like to stay maybe it was my amazing make up skills but in all likelihood, it was probably the brush. ;) This brush retails for $24.



The second brush on my Sigma must-try list was the E25 Blending Brush. Maybe the second most popular brush? Who knows. It's a very soft blending brush that is great for the crease. Many makeup enthusiasts have multiples of these babies so they always have one clean and ready to go. I've used it already once and I must say, it took a lot of the work out of blending. It sure was nice! This brush retails for $14.



Meet the Sigma E40 Tapered Blending brush. Perfect for placing product right where you want it and then blending it out. This one and the E25 work beautifully together. Retails for $16.



I debated on purchasing a few other brushes as my fourth choice but I sure am glad I got this little number. You know how sometimes you just want a nice, thin line of eyeliner and every time you even dare to achieve it you ended up with thicker liner than you have ever worn? With this brush you have less of a chance of that happening. It gets right there near your lash-line and glides right over the eye. It's a beautiful thing really. You can actually control how thin or thick you want your eyeliner. I love it. I haven't had a chance to do a winged liner with it but I'm hoping this weekend I'll get some time to play. Retail is $14.



Over all, I'm really happy with my purchase. I placed my order on October 23, I was sent an email saying that due to the high volume of orders there would be extra lag time for shipments. It shipped on October 29 and I received it on November 6. Had there not been a sale, I definitely would've taken advantage of the Prime shipping on Amazon, 

Do you have any brushes from Sigma or do you prefer a different brand? Let me know in the comments below! 






Psst. This is not a sponsored post. I purchased these brushes with my own hard-earned birthday money (turning 27 is damaging, yo!). Okay FINE. I purchased these brushes with kizzedy-cash that my Dad and Delia so generously gifted me for turning 27. They don't know or work for Sigma. I'm pretty sure my Dad would just get confused if I told him I bought brushes to paint on my face. He's clueless. kthxbye.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Slippery Slope

It's no secret that I have struggled with my weight for years (and years, and years) and most of the past five years I have spent fatter than I want to be. I got to a good place in 2012 and then my pregnancy, pre-eclampsia and breastfeeding threw all that hard work away.

I am a little over ten pounds less than I was at my highest weight and still thirty pounds more than I what is healthy for my frame. Bryan and I put our memberships on hold but that ended two days ago and we are going to start going to the gym together instead of going to the movies (and eating) or to dinner (and eating) when we have date nights.

My first step towards controlling my weight is always to start eating smaller portions. I think this is a easy and fuss-free first step when trying to lose weight. In my opinion, it is not always what we eat that is the main culprit in gaining weight but how much we eat that is the biggest problem. It is easy to do and if you start little by little you don't really notice you are doing it.

Tips for consuming less food range from using a smaller plate, eating half of your plate at a restaurant and putting the other half in a box, sharing a meal with a friend/significant other, Also, weighing and portioning your food, sticking to 'serving sizes' for snacks, etc. Easy decisions to make. Another easy tip is to stop drinking your calories. Drink water or unsweetened iced tea. Limit yourself to one to three sodas a week. Which reminds me, when you start to feel hungry, before eating anything, ask yourself when the last time you had water was? A lot of time your body is signaling you not to eat but to hydrate! Stay hydrated and you'll cut calories.

For me, the next phase after cutting down my portions is always chosing healthier meals. I recently heard to live the 80/20 lifestyle. 80% of what you eat should be healthy, body-fortifying whole foods. 20% should be pastas, breads, sweets, sodas, etc. I like that. I've never thought of it like that before, but it is essentially what I strive for. Instead of getting a normal hamburger at In-N-Out, I'll get a protein burger (no bread, it's just wrapped in lettuce) and Bryan and I will share fries instead of getting our own. I'll forgo a sandwich for a salad, pancakes for scrambled eggs with a little shredded cheese. Small exchanges. I'll think to myself "I'm not going to eat this cupcake right now because I really want a milkshake this weekend." Things like that. Instead of eating (another) piece of Halloween candy I'll grab an apple instead.

My typical phase three is to get moving. Sit less. Walk more. Do more stuff. Get active. Whatever that means. After a long day at work (where I sit all day) don't get home and sit. Get some projects done, go out and do something, go to the gym. Whatever.



Phasing in changes over time helps me to stay on track and not go binge eat. I can still have what I want, I just try to make better choices instead of being a vacuum when food is around.

However, and this is a big however, I have to really watch my thoughts when I start to do this. I can get extremely negative about food, eating, my body, etc. I find myself "turning off" my hunger, skipping meals, If I have a meal that is not the best, I'll get down on myself and will skip a meal to make up for it, which ends up hurting my body more in the long run. A thought will pop up "Wow, I can't believe I ate that sandwich. All that bread." And all of a sudden the meal I just ate feels like a ton of bricks weighing me down.

Don't do that. Don't be like me. Dieting is a slippery slope to an eating disorder. I kid you not. The way you view yourself and view your eating habits is integral when you are attempting to lose weight. Don't let dark thoughts cloud your mind. Stay encouraged. Look at the big picture. If you have a big meal, have a smaller one next time. If you eat a milkshake, have some veggies for your next snack.

Eating right CAN and SHOULD be about balance. Balance good foods with bad foods. Indulge sometimes and don't get down on yourself when you do.

If you are in the same boat as me, guard your thoughts. Be kind to yourself. As you crunch carrots, remind yourself that you are supplying your body with the best of the best and it'll run more efficiently for it. Last, don't be afraid to have a small milkshake here and there.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween 2014

Last year, my family and I dressed up as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis. This year, we decided to do something much more simple. 

Bryan's sister, Justus, had an Elmo costume from when she was three, so we borrowed that and Bryan and I got Bert and Ernie shirts! 


Of course, I used Halloween as an excuse to have a little fun with my make-up! I took this picture to send to Denise to show off my blending skills. :)


Anyways, back to what really matters! Shepherd was an ADORABLE Elmo, and we made sure to hit up all the grandparents homes before going to Papa Rick's Halloween party, which was held at Lee's house. Bryan took most of the pictures but here is a super cute one I managed to snap of my Dad and Delia with little Elmo. 


And here are some pictures of the get together Rick hosted:






We had a great (and effortless) Halloween which is my favorite type of holiday! What did you dress up as for Halloween?