May 25, 2012

friday favorites and confessions

It's FRIDAY!!! And at 8:20 AM central time I can say it's a good morning. I woke up before my alarm, approximately 1 hour before it mind you. I've been waking up a lot lately at like 5:30 am. I think it's due to the sun coming up earlier, I'm not sure. I really need to take advantage of that extra hour in the morning, maybe start walking our dog, June. Or, here's a novel idea, get out of bed, fix some coffee or a good breakfast and maybe not RUSH around like a crazy person to get ready for work.

As we were leaving this morning Mike pointed out that Angus, our cat was watching us leave through the laundry room window I waved to him and of course all I got back was the "As if I care" stare. I know he does though otherwise he wouldn't be in the window. and yes, before you ask, he totally rules me.

Today was a great morning for listening to music on the way to work. As I posted last week during my random musings sometimes a song can make all the difference in my morning and day at work. It completely sets the tone. This leads me to today's favorite...

Pearl Jam's Wishlist. This song completely set the tone for me today, the tone of being thankful, hopeful and grateful.

via Harmonic Prospector

Wish List
by Pearl Jam

I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off 
I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on
I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on The Christmas tree,
I wish I was the star that went on top
I wish I was the evidence,
I wish I was the grounds For 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky
I wish I was a sailor with someone who waited for me
I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me 
I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
I wish I was the full moon shining off a Camaro's hood
I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun
I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on 
I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
I wish I was the verb 'to trust' and never let you down 
I wish I was a radio song, the one that you turned up 
(Dear Eddie & PJ your wish came true to today!)
I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish
I guess it never stops...

I highlighted in bold some of my favorite lines from the song. Over the years four bands have been at the top of my favorite bands lists and they are AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Weezer and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Added to that list are many more but these four remain in heavy rotation. It's probably because in my years as a teen they were the most influencing to me. And while I played a lot of gangsta rap in my old Mercury Topaz, busting out the speakers, I can't really say it influenced me in anyway, other than maybe liking to drink and dance.  I didn't realize how much I enjoyed and loved Pearl Jam until I met Mike (my husband). He's a HUGE PJ fan! We hope this summer to catch them live it will be my first show!

And now I'm linking up with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition 
for my Confessions of the week!
visit her blog, snag the button and join in on the fun!

  • I confess, I haven't worked out a single day this week. I just haven't felt like it. While I really love the Turbo Fire program, I feel like this second month is no thing but repeat workouts, because it is. Add to this I also wanted to take time to dye my hair last night, and the other night Mike came home with his new laptop, I just decided to slack. I've vowed I won't complain when my jeans don't fit though because it's my own damn fault.
  • I confess, I'm anxious for True Blood to start (Leslie I'm happy to see you are too). I just hope this season is less SPOILER ALERT: Fairy oriented.
  • I confess, I'm a bit disappointed that people haven't really said much or noticed my haircut, other than my co-workers. To me it's pretty drastic, but maybe it's not. Wouldn't you say about 3-4 inches is drastic?
  • I confess, I might have went a bit overboard with yesterday's post about being denied the chance to do a giveaways I was offered. The person who contacted me emailed me back and said they changed their mind... now I'm on the fence about doing it all together. Flip-flop what?
  • I confess, I've cussed out a few customers in my head this week. One in question doesn't speak very good English and I'm hoping that when he sounds like he's demanding me to write something down, he's actually just having a language barrier and doesn't know how to properly say "Do you need to write this down?" Instead he says.. "You write down!" in a rather demanding tone. It takes all the strength I have NOT to stab him with my pen!
  • I confess, I might have anger issues. Or it may just be that the whole world knows exactly how to get under my skin. I also have road rage issues, but they have dwindled a little bit since moving down South. OK, in honesty, I still have it 100%. I have a really bad mouth in the car.
  • I confess, I am OK not having full blown Memorial Day Weekend plans. We went camping last weekend, so this weekend we may just take it easy, cook-out and possibly go kayaking.
  • I confess, that it's only 10:36 AM Central time now, and I'm already jones-ing for a beer and 5:00 PM.
I hope you all have a happy weekend! Enjoy your extra day off and please remember what this weekend is all about, it's not just cook-outs and beer and sunshine or even the beginning of summer and it being "OK" to wear white shoes... most importantly it's about honoring our Military Men and Women!!!


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May 21, 2012

views from the weekend.

This past weekend was really laid back for Mike and myself. We took on the task of watching his youngest brother while his family was out of town for a wedding. Mike's youngest brother is 16 years old, so it's not exactly like we had to watch him like a hawk, but more like we had a pal to spend the entire weekend with. After a long week it was nice to relax on our front porch and spend time with him and his girlfriend and chat, grill out and enjoy the sunset. We had a great meal, and I guess the week had taken a toll on all of us because Mike, myself and his brother all turned in before 11 PM.

The next AM his brother had his own morning plans and Mike and I headed downtown for our town's annual Arts Alive Festival. I love this event because all our local artists are out in full force selling their creations to the public. I also enjoy the sites and sounds this time of year brings.  I believe that Mike took a few pictures during the event but the only one he posted on facebook was the one of our favorite little fountain downtown.

Views from the weekend, according to Mike's camera phone and tumblr
(feel free to follow and catch up with Mike on his blog and tumblr)
He and I also have a creative project up our sleeves for the future, we'll share more when it unfolds!
via jamofpearls tumblr

After running the roads for supplies Mike, his brother and myself drove out to the middle of nowhere to set up camp for the evening. When you get to the spot where we've camped you feel like you're at the end of the earth. Especially after all the people with really nice boats and 4 wheelers leave for the day. It was peaceful, quiet, warm and enjoyable. 

via jamofpearls tumblr
I would share with you exactly where this is, but then I would be forced to kill you. Teasing of course, but seriously this island in the image is one where Mike has announced we will flee to during the Zombie invasion. Yes, we've discussed, and planned this. So you see, I can't be going and telling everyone where salvation is, now can I?

The entire night was great. Good conversations, stories were told, laughs were shared and the only noise we could hear were crickets and frogs, that is until some local kids showed up at probably around 1 AM to party all night. I think I finally passed out at 3 AM once they left... only to be woken by the sounds of a wild creature rummaging through the camp site. We never keep food outside the tent but this little critter was on the look for something. The next morning when the sun came up his brother whispered to us to see if we were awake and if we could see the GIANT white armadillo outside our tent. GREAT... so that is what has been sniffing around all night (I was too paranoid to check).

Up and at 'em by 7:00 AM on a Sunday isn't usually my style but when you've slept on the floor of a tent, well barely slept, you're about to pee yourself, your stomach is rumbling, and your husband has left you in the tent without warmth you gather your self and you go sit by the newly stoked fire, and wait for breakfast.

Title: Man Food, a Feast for Ron Swanson • photo and meal via jamofpearls tumblr
Mike fixed his brother and I a feast consisting of left over brats from the night before, ALL of the bacon and biscuits over the fire.  If you are a vegetarian, I apologize for the site you just witnessed but I gotta say, when your tired, cold, and possibly a bit hung over from the beers by the fire the night before, this is just the ticket you need.

Mike, his brother and I packed up the camp and rolled back to town. Tired, dirty, and ready for a couch we all spent the rest of that day napping, watching movies (I love you Almost Famous), and later had Japanese Carry-Out for dinner. Mike and I passed out at 9:30 PM. I have to say it was a great weekend.

How was your weekend?
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May 18, 2012

friday: confessions and musings

These weeks have been flying by. I can't believe it's Friday already. I usually hit a slump on Wednesday and think the week will never end and then all of a sudden it's 6:30 pm, I'm putting away groceries and realizing that soon it will be Thursday and the week is nearly over. And here we are, Friday.

I'm linking up as usual for Confessional Friday with Leslie & Random Musings with Shana so won't you join me? Snag their buttons and then link up on their blogs and join the fun!

  • I have a very short commute to work. When I say short I don't mean like a half hour, I mean 5 minutes max and that's if I get stuck behind a slow driver. It used to be a bit longer when a traffic light was involved but I figured out an alternate route to avoid this stop light issue. I've noticed in the past few weeks that in the morning I usually have just enough time to listen to ONE song on my way into work. Most of the time I don't complete this song on my drive but I've noticed that certain songs tend to dictate my mood that morning. I use my ipod since most of our radio stations here completely suck. Some mornings while I'm flipping through the ipod on shuffle what seems like 20 times before getting to a song I like or want to hear, I usually get stuck listening to nothing inspiring and feel a bit moody walking into the door. Days like today though, all is right in the world and the first song my ipod plays is "Where is My Mind" by the Pixies. I turn up the volume and float to work singing along and it will guide me through the day in a great mood. Other mornings I might settle on something a bit heavier and often feel more aggressive when I get into the door. I always try to remind myself that I have better days if I play something happy. I'm working on this. In that respect, anything by Mother Love Bone makes me mushy, happy and calm. 
  • I got my hair cut yesterday. It's the classic thing that women go through where I wanted it shorter, but not THAT short. To be fair my hair dresser wasn't scissor happy she actually cut it as I wanted. I actually thought it would be a bit longer when she showed me the first cut, but it's not. I wasn't in full on cry mode but I just don't feel like me. Let's just say my hair was down past my bra strap when I got it cut, now it's just below my shoulders. It's a huge transition. One I'm not sure I'm ready for. Well what is done is done, I will rock it and do the best I can. Besides I reminded myself there are women, and children and men out there who don't have hair, can't grow hair and would love to have what I have. And in the end, it will grow back! It's just shocking to go from a super long ponytail, to one that's barely 3 inches long. I hate that I dye my hair because I might have gone shorter if I could donate it to Locks of Love or another charity.
  • Hair isn't usually a big deal to me, but I've been sort of hiding behind it for a while now. Since I've gained weight I sort of liked that my hair covered my "back fat" - today while getting dressed I got a reality check. Guess it's the kick in the pants I needed, or at least I hope it is.
  • We are hanging with my youngest brother-in-law this weekend. Mike's parents are heading to CT for his cousin's wedding. I hate that we couldn't go but with our budget we just couldn't afford to go, and go home to visit my father this summer. We plan to go camping and do some grilling this weekend. Mike's youngest brother is really into food, and cooking, and learning about cooking/grilling so for us it's a win/win because we love all of those things. Having him here for the weekend reminds me that we really need to work on a guest room. He is really only the fourth person to visit and stay with us since I moved here about 8 years ago, but still. Everytime it does happen we either offer up OUR bed, or the couch. Most people take the couch but it still makes me feel like a horrible hostess, especially when it's my girlfriends. We have the spare mattress, and the bed frame we just need to invest in a new box spring... you know something that doesn't hit the "NEED" column of our spending.
  • I know I've discussed getting a handle on my finances etc on here, but have I discussed my WANT VS. NEED plan? I've been trying my best to not spend any unneeded extra money. We are saving  up for our trip to visit his sister this winter and that is where the bulk of our extra spending money will go. Then next year it will ALL go toward the greater good of getting out of debt. Add to that every other red cent I earn this year is going towards paying off debt. If something is not a serious "NEED" I will not spend my money on it. This includes clothing. I don't NEED anything. Now if I got a hole in my best pair of jeans, and didn't have a back-up pair then yes I will purchase some new jeans, but I will not go purchase a new pair just because I want them. I had a heart to heart with myself at American Eagle last weekend when they had some great "boyfriend" jeans on sale. They are my favorite but I talked myself off the spending ledge and reminded myself I didn't NEED them, I simply wanted them. All our money is currently going to bills, food, gas and that's about it. It's a new way of living for us but we've lived in excess for so long it's time to pay the piper and get back to basics. It's oddly enough a freeing feeling. I've never been trendy, but I did make a lot of purchases in the past that just really didn't do much for me. Items I wore once, used once and then never touched again. Things that didn't enrich my life as much as I thought they would or items I had to have that instant or I thought I might "die". None have added up to the expectations I had for them. This helps me to remember and be mindful of my spending.  It's sort of nice to let go of materialistic means and remember that the most important things in life, aren't things. Not preaching here, just reminding myself that I won't die if I don't get the latest new purse or perfume or go hog wild with all THE SHOPS items at Target (which in retrospect after seeing the collections was a ton of hype for nothing truly impressive, in my opinion). I'm sure when I'm debt free... I'll go on a rewarding spending spree, but hopefully I will be a bit more wise about my purchases! And not repeat the cycle. What I mostly want out of all this is money to travel, to see things and to have fun experiences, not collect more crap to hoard in my home. I've started to feel that experiences, stories and photos of these times are more valuable to me than most items I have "collected" in my home. No worries I'm not going off the grid... promise!
Time to step into the confessional booth... GUILTY PLEASURES!

I really wish I had a confessional booth, it was always my favorite part in Real World and I guess most of the reality shows of today.

Speaking of Reality Shows I have a new guilty pleasure in the form of reality TV it's Southern Nights. I may have talked about this, I can't remember but I know I mentioned it to Leslie because she too is obsessed with the show.  Basically the show is a spin off from the only "dating" show I will watch, Sweet Home Alabama. (I refuse to watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette) The cast offs, and former contestants are living together in an amazing home in Savannah, GA.  Clearly like most reality dating shows, it doesn't seem like finding true love stuck for the first contestant Devon (front and center on the couch below with blonde hair). She is on this show, "dating" a guy back home and chasing a former flame from her time in the Sweet Home Alabama Bachelorette chair. (He's the dude next to her in the picture who crawls in her bed every night). Bottom line this girl is a player, but she pretends she's the victim, sweet and innocent. I've heard rumors saying quite the opposite that she's not the sweet angel she plays on TV or at least wasn't while attending the University of Alabama. Yeah, I got connections and know the dirt, ya'll!

Courtney, Tristan, Cody, Tex, Flex, Cassie, Jersey, Kristina, Collin & Devin
(Tex, Flex and Jersey clearly aren't their real names but I don't care enough to figure out what they are)
Southern Nights on CMT Cast • via google
This is a HORRIBLE photoshop job on this promotional poster but, it fits with the cheese of the show. All these kids do is drink, party, and sleep - the producers have of course added in the drama and romance for us so we won't get bored. Yes, I watch this, all the time. They are a bunch of 20 something city and country kids mixed together in the house. It's like Real World, only CMT-ed up. And I'm living vicariously through them because years ago I seriously considered sending in a video to MTV to try out for the Real World. It was a dream of mine. Aim high girl.

I'm so into this show I DVR it. Mike can't stand it and often jokes that I need to stop watching these shows with sassy Southern girls because I'm starting to become a sassy Southern girl. Which makes me giggle because let's face it, I am SO not. Especially since my favorite cast members are from Kansas and Orange County (Cassie and Kristina aka O.Clicious), and Courtney is the Country girl I most like. I also love and my favorite dude on the show is hands down Cody. He's a real cowboy, rodeo man and has the best "southern-isms" to describe any situation. My favorite thing he says is, "It's fixin' to get ranchy!" Which I assume means "raunchy, dirty, messed up".  He's dating Tristan on the show. They were both former members of Sweet Home Alabama casts, but have known each other for years and lived near each other. They are the cutest couple ever, but I sort hate that we can't see his "wild side" since she keeps him on a short leash. But he's a doll.

Does anyone else other than Leslie and I give into this shows siren song?

So there you have it musings and my confessions of the week! I hope you all have a great weekend!!!

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May 11, 2012

friday favorites and random musings

YAY! It's Friday! Rejoice, sing, dance and most of all get ready for the weekend! This week sort of flew by for me, which is awesome. Even thought it stresses me out, I really love when I'm busy at work. I like those days when I am so into what I'm working on that when I look up at my clock on my computer screen and realize it's 20 minutes from 5 o'clock, that I'm actually shocked! I've been a busy bee working on a menu for the local Japanese restaurant that I said we did a photoshoot for last week. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, now I just have to sit and wait to find out what the customers think about it. My boss, and the photographer from the shoot dropped it off to them yesterday and he said although he couldn't understand half of what they were saying in their native language there were a lot of smiles and happy expressions. YES! And to top if off he came back with my new favorite roll that they prepared for me. It's a Shrimp, mango and spicy mayo roll and it's AMAZING! Getting thanked with free sushi? SCORE!

Without further ado, I'll get into my favorites and musings for the week! Enjoy!

FIRST OFF: Saw the AVENGERS this weekend and it blew my freaking mind! It was so freaking awesome I can't even begin to put it into words. Once it was over I wanted to watch it again, and again, and again. Dear Captain America, you are my favorite. Love, Kelly {and by that I mean the character, I'm really not smitten with the actor that plays him in the movie, he's great but just saying that's not were the crush on the Captain lies}. I was also extremely anxious to see this movie because one of my favorite men of all time not only directed it, but Joss Whedon also wrote the screenplay and had a hand in writing it. I laughed a lot during this movie and I think it's because he had a hand in it. Joss has great comedic writing abilities! {read: BUFFY OBSESSED}.
I love you Ron Swanson! P.S. I made this!

Last night was our night for favorite TV shows. I rushed home from work, got into my workout gear and got busy Turbo Firing for a full hour. After that I prepared the rest of our crockpot dinner {a new thing I'm trying to do every Thursday to cut down on dinner stress after my workouts}. After chopping up the veggies for the chicken tacos and making corn Mike and I settled in for our favorite shows of the evening on NBC. Confession: Yes, I sat down to eat before showering, not my finest hour but I'm just being honest. I do this from time to time, and it's REALLY bad.

The Thursday night line-up is as follows Community {best damn comedy on TV in my opinion}, 30 Rock {love it!}, The Office {sort of over it but still supporting the show}, and lastly Parks n' Rec. I know I've talked about these shows before but I "literally" look forward to Thursday night TV all week long. Those of you familiar with Parks n' Rec must know of Ron Swanson, those of you who aren't, you're missing out. His one liners are usually the highlight of the show. He's cut and dry, and man's man and doesn't apologize for his opinions or behavior and I love him. A turf and turf kind of man who doesn't have time for fish or salad. The above quote was one he let rip last night, when one of the characters ordered a Gin and Tonic at the bar. I laughed loudly when he said it. Thankfully Mike and I have DVR, so we can rewind any jokes we miss, due to our laughter. So this week, that quote above is my favorite, so much so it inspired me to design the above graphic to illustrate it.

Now that I have that off my chest, let's link up with Shana over at Fumbling Towards Normalcy and her awesome Random Musing Fridays!

  • As I mentioned Community on NBC is one of my favorite shows on TV right now. That being said I was so excited when Mike forwarded me an article this morning stating that it's been picked up for another season! YES! Now all of us fans don't have to revolt against NBC again due to discussions of canceling the series. A word of caution, if you've never watched the show, don't try to pick it up now without going back and watching previous seasons, you'll be lost, you won't get it and much like me trying to watch The Big Bang Theory, will think it's completely stupid. But Community is not stupid, it's comedic genius! {Yes you read that right, Big Bang Theory is CRAP in my opinion}.
  • Mike, myself and a few friends went kayaking last weekend. The weather was PERFECT, and the creek while a bit low was still fun to paddle through. We spent the entire day on the water. I believe we put in at around 1:30 pm and paddled pretty much until 6:00 pm. I recall checking the clock in the Jeep when Mike was strapping the kayaks to the top when we are finished and it read 6:22 pm. After a long day, we headed to the grocery store and got some steaks and baked potatoes to complete our day. We passed out by 10:30 that night and I slept like a rock. I love nights like that, physically exhausted sleep is amazing. When we kayak, usually the first questions Mike and I ask each other is, 'What are we going to grill for dinner?' And we revisit this question all. day. long. And the steak that night, did not disappoint, it was perfect! It's true, I have food fantasies, a lot.
  • Speaking of food fantasies, Mike and I actually also tackled a test of making homemade Ceviche last weekend. We were obsessed with this stuff on our honeymoon but I was always a little worried about trying to make it at home. After watching Anthony Bourdain try it from a bucket in a market overseas and being fine I figured that we could make it A-OK here at home. We made ours with tilapia we had in the freezer and shrimp. I'm sure it would be 100% better with fresh fish but we used what we had on hand. Verdict: We didn't get food poisoning, crap our pants or die - It turned out AWESOME! And I can't wait to make it again!
  • I need a haircut, bad... SO bad. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I look like a redneck trying to pretend she's the Kim Kardashian of the trailer park right now. I haven't had my hair trimmed our touched since my wedding. That was in October. It's been almost 7 months. I called my hairdresser today and I'm waiting for her to call me back. My hair is already a struggle for her since it's so thick, I can't imagine the thoughts running through her mind right now about having to cut it again. Hopefully she'll be happy I'm planning on hacking a lot off.  I bet she's thrilled I don't make her color it too. I do that myself.
  • Mike and I have been sucked into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We are Washington Capitals fans. Well I have been for a long time, he's new to it but seems enthralled with CAPS hockey now. I love it. He's also been keeping up with my Orioles and is anxious to catch a game next time we are home in Maryland for a visit. And to think when we first started dating he never even thought about sports. Once he started watching the Steelers play and then got into College Football with the Crimson Tide he was hooked from then on watching other sports. I've even seen him watching basketball from time to time which floors me.
  • I haven't skipped a single workout this week. I feel very great about that.
  • YES! My hairdresser just sent me a text for my appointment time. Yes, I said she sent me a text, isn't technology crazy?
  • Speaking of technology... I am weeks away from being able to get a new phone... WEEKS! And it's killing me. My current phone does this new trick where it turns itself off and I have no idea until probably hours after it's happened. I'm glad Mike and I are always together minus work for the most part. Heaven forbid if there was an emergency and someone needed me they'd never reach me on my phone. I'm anxious to step into the world of smart phones. Mike's had so much fun with his new one, and taking pictures and posting to different websites etc. I can't wait to be able to do the same. Now I just have to decide what phone I want. I have a feeling my choices for 4G phones are going to be VERY limited with Verizon. {I keep falling for ones I see that are on other plans like Sprint or T-Mobile and I refuse to switch to either of those}.
  • Speaking of smartphones have you all seen that hilarious commercial with the snobby, hipster dude in a scarf is talking about how him having the same phone as everyone helps him express his individuality and then out of no where this nerdy girl comes swooping in and goes "I HAVE THAT PHONE!!! ACKK!" OMG, I laugh my ass off every time I see it! I really love that actress in every commercial I've seen her in. She's fun quirky, not Zooey D. annoying quirky. Every time the commercial where Zooey asks "Is that rain?" to her iPhone I want to scream at her "YOU CAN LOOK OUT THE WINDOW YOU ASSHAT!" {remember, I'm in the 5% of humans that don't care for her}. And frankly, who orders Tomato Soup to be delivered? Just get off your lazy ass and see if there's a can in your pantry, girl.
  • I have PMS... can you tell?
  • And lastly, I can't wait for 5:00! We will most likely try to front porch it a bit tonight and hang with some friends. I'm totally ready for an ice cold beer. Cheers! And Happy Weekend!

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May 09, 2012

a little help in the skincare department.

I was originally going to blog about this product in my FRIDAY FAVORITES, but it got long winded and I figured another time might be better suited. I found a new product that I really love and wanted to sing it's praises.

It's not very often that I feel like a product makes a big splash in my life. I am what you would call make-up and skin care challenged.  Since I was 14 I've been using Oil of Olay moisturizer, and I didn't start wearing make-up until I was probably 19, maybe 20 something and eyeliner had been a mystery to me until I watched Titanic for the first time and fell in love with Rose's liquid eyeliner look. After that I got some courage, went to the drug store and purchased some cheap liquid eyeliner from Cover Girl and tried over and over until I perfected the look. That being said don't expect me to rock the "cat liner" I can't do that to save my life. I'm still at a loss for make-up that flatters my skin tone and I need to take a page from Shana's book of smarts and go get a makeover for fun. My wedding day wasn't enough for me - I didn't ask what colors, or products were used and I should have.

I will be the first to admit, I hate foundation. I don't wear it, I don't like it and I refuse to waste money on a product I know I will leave sitting and rarely touch. I don't like the tight feeling it gives my skin. On my wedding day while my coverage was minimal I wanted to scratch my face off. That being said my make-up didn't fade one bit so I give props to my make-up artist, she rocked it, as did I.... all day, and the next morning other than a bit of a smudge here and there it was still intact! Since foundation is something I don't care for, and I could never seem to find just the right tinted moisturizer, I was floored when I discovered...


via google
While they aren't the first on the market to make this cream (it originated over seas in Korea and Europe if I'm not mistaken, don't quote me on that I didn't fact check this is just what I remember hearing and seeing on blogs and youtube). BB stands for Beauty Balm or Belmish Balm. Don't let the name fool you, it doesn't help with zits. Well at least this brand doesn't I can't speak for them all. Garnier's version only comes in two different shades, some others come in many shades AND offer different amounts of SPF protection. Garnier offers SPF 15.  I had wanted to try this product and figured that this brand was my cheapest option. If I hated it I could pass it on to a friend that's just as obsessed with BB cream as I've become (she's probably more obsessed), so I figured at $15.99 regular price it was a steal.

The first time I used this stuff, I hated it. It felt heavy, and strange. I applied it over my usual moisturizer as instructed by my friend and it just felt like too much. I've had issues with Garnier creams feeling too heavy to me in the past so I almost wrote this product off. After discussing it with my friend and later watching every YouTube video I could about application I tried my hand at using it again. I can use it with a lighter daily moisturizer, and it's fine. It's also a product you can use sparingly. When I say a pea sized amount is almost too much. I mean it.

THE VERDICT: This stuff is awesome, it evens out my skin tone, and covers up MOST of my under eye circles and helps cover up any zits or imperfections I might have. I still have to use cover-up on my eye circles and zits but no where near the amount I used before. I usually finish off the lotion (after it dries completely) with a light powder/bronzer and it's perfect. It's not tight, it's no where near as heavy as tinted moisturizer always felt to me and it's a great base for the rest of my make-up.

Another added bonus is that I've noticed that my skin is starting to even out. I used to have issues with breakouts around my chin and forehead. I'm not sure if it's just the added moisture I'm getting from the BB Cream that's helping, or what it is. Whatever the reason I'm pleased with it, and my combination skin feels much more even.

My only gripe about this product currently is that I picked the Light/Medium shade. I really think I need to go with the darker choice. I use bronzer to give myself color and when I tried the darker version sample, it blended great with my skin and gave me the sun kissed glow I wanted.

If you haven't tried this stuff, I highly recommend it, especially for summer since it gets hot, and no one loves wearing a TON of foundation when you already feel like you're melting!

Like I said I'm not usually one to go on and on about products or items I use but I feel like I can't stop singing this products praises - I'm anxious to try a different brand once this supply runs out. Which given that I only use a small bit each day, might not be until next year. Please note I wasn't paid to give this description of this product I just did it out of the kindness of my heart and wanting to pass on the word about a great product!

So tell me, is there a new product you're dying to tell everyone about?
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May 04, 2012

friday link-up

via entertainment realm
HE WAS ALWAYS MY FAVORITE: It's Friday!!! And until lunch today it was a seemingly happy go lucky day for me... then I got the news... Rapper, Adam Yauch aka MCA of the Beastie Boys passed away today.  My heart is so heavy right now. I've loved him since I discovered the Beasties in 5th grade. "Fight For Your Right To Party" was in heavy rotation in my school, and to be quite honest, still is today on my iPod. Just yesterday I was listening to "Ill Communication" in my Jeep. I have always kept a Beastie Boy CD in my disc changer, they've been my favorite rap act for as long as I can remember and frankly MCA, was my favorite rapper of all time (Sorry B.I.G. it's true). Adam, you have been an excellent example of what hard work, talent and selfless giving can do for the world. You are still and inspiration to us all. And in closing I will say what I always say in these circumstance, F-Cancer!

Now that I got that off my chest I will move on to something a bit more light hearted and hit up my Random Friday Musings and Confessions for the week.
Linking up with Leslie over at A Blonde Ambition Blog for her Friday Confessionals!
  • I have only worked out ONE day this week. One day... that's sad. Especially since my schedule is supposed to be 6 days a week. (And because I will then bitch in the AM when I have to squeeze into my jeans). I'm not sure if I'm getting bored with TurboFire or if my mind is just getting more and more clever about talking me out of getting my workout on to bust my butt. Frankly, I don't have any motivation this time around like I did last year {my wedding}. This year I don't have plans to hit the beach, and I won't need a reason for a smaller size until Christmas when I have to squeeze my bigger booty into the snowboarding pants I haven't rocked since 2005! Lord help me when that day comes. I also figure if I am in better shape... snowboarding won't beat me up as bad as it would if I went right this second.
  • Mike is currently hooked more than ever on podcasts - and now has me hooked too. My favorite is the Nerd-ist podcasts with Christ Hardwick. We've also been getting into Kevin Smith's podcasts. Everyday I reveal more of my inner dork. I'm thankful my husband is ok with that.
  • Speaking of inner dork... May the 4th be with you. If you don't get it, it's OK.
  • I'm newly obsessed with a new beauty product. Well it's new to me but not new to the beauty world. It's not like me to get excited about cosmetics, other than lip gloss. I will do a write up about it next week. It's changed my morning routine, at least in the make-up department.
  • In honor of Leslie, I might have to cave today and have a ceremonial weekend Coca Cola. It's been a while... then again, if I do I'll have total guilt if I don't work out. I have to workout today, darn it!!!

And lastly I am linking up with Shana at Fumbling Towards Normalcy for Random Musings Friday!
  • We are still "home" shopping for a new rental but it's starting to become bleak. We looked at a townhome community. They aren't really townhouses exactly more like larger, 2 story apartments shoved together. Everything seemed A-OK. We figured we could make most of our items we own fit, there is a swimming pool, a tennis court and possibly a fitness room {score}... as we left we started talking hopeful about moving in there. Rent would be less, we'd have some great amenities and there was no doubt the utilities would be less... then we read the information about the deposit. Not only was the pet deposit NON-REFUNDABLE, but it was also $500 PER PET!!! Did you read that right? PER PET!!! That's $1,000 we'd never get back. I don't know about you but I'm NOT in the market of tossing out $1,000! So the search continues. We are contemplating purchasing a home now... can you tell how left and right we are about all this stuff?
  • I'm currently trying to lighten up our dinners each evening. Last night we had grilled chicken salads. We are usually a meat and potatoes kind of home but when I started P90X ages ago we switched up to more rice, and lighter sides with potatoes being a treat and what not. We don't eat a ton of red meat, mostly chicken, fish and pork. After the holidays all this fell by the wayside so I'm trying to get back in the swing of better eating. Last night's salad was topped with some homemade dressing and while this dressing wasn't the lightest thing in the books it was delicious and inspired me to be more active in making my own dressing from now on. I found the recipe via pinterest, but here is a link to find it for yourself... it's SO GOOD! It's a rip off the Spaghetti Factory's version of Creamy Basil Dressing from Sweet Savory Life! Note: I added pepper, and some fresh grated garlic cloves to mine for some more ZING!
  • I recently discovered how to search what people have pinned from your blog and my findings were really helpful. Knowing that most people enjoy my recipes makes me want to blog about them more. This discovery also made me think twice about images that I post here due to the fact that someone had pinned an image of my mother and I when I was a baby... and labeled it with "Sasha" and placed it into a folder call "Characters". Am I wrong to be just a bit creeped out by this? I commented on the photo to ask about it but I haven't heard back. If you're curious about what people have pinned form your blog simply use this URL: add in your blog's URL where the ### is. And bam, you can see what people have pinned and said about your blog! I hope you don't find anything as creepy as I did.
  • At my job I have to do some hands on design work from time to time. I got to go to a photoshoot this week and it was extremely fun. I also got to sample our subject which was sushi and Japanese food from a local restaurant. I could totally get used to this.
  • Also at my job... I have to do some stuff I never thought I'd have to do after I graduated college. I've been having to mount posters on foam core for clients and I HATE IT.  Although with each passing job I'm starting to get better at it with each attempt. When I was in school it would cause me to sweat and freak out. I had to get it JUST right or my teacher would give me a horrible grade. Now I guess it's a bit easier if I mess up we have TONS of huge sheets of foam core. Bottomline I like being hands on, but that's a bit much for me.
Well that's it, that's all, that's all there is - Beastie Boys

I hope you all have a great weekend. I hope to be front porchin' it tonight, as well as hopefully kayaking in the creek weather provided tomorrow. Getting a bit of sun, with SPF 30 protection of course and if I'm lucky enough maybe sipping a homemade margarita and noshing on some homemade guac in honor of Cinco de Mayo! AND, we're totally hitting up the theatre to see THE AVENGERS!!! Captain America, here we come!!! HAPPY WEEKEND! R.I.P. MCA! ox

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May 03, 2012

my claim to fame.

via google • C-A-P-S! CAPS! CAPS! CAPS!

Head on over to From the Sidelines today and check out my guest post!
I'll be talking about the Washington Capitals Hockey team, The Who, and my only true Claim to Fame!
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May 02, 2012

wedding wednesday: video preview

formerly dare2Bdoemstic!
I know I told you I'd start to share the story of our crazy honeymoon, but I realized the other day I never shared the preview from our wedding video that our videographer made for us. I really wanted to have this on my blog. I tend to like to look back at entries and this is one from the wedding I didn't want to forget.

I loved all the vendors we worked with. Chris at Up Down Media wasn't my first choice for videographer, only because I didn't know about him when I was first choosing my "line up". A "pal" through work was a videographer and I thought about using him. Things simply didn't workout and when Mike found Chris' work online we were BOTH floored and immediately wanted to meet with him. Upon having lunch with Chris and his wife I felt like we had known them for ages. I am not always comfortable with having my pictures taken, and I'm even more uncomfortable with having myself filmed. I hate the way my voice sounds, and it's just... not my thing. The way that we felt at ease with Chris and his wife made it that much easier to know we made the right choice. Add to that his portfolio, and we were sold!

I will let the video speak for itself. If you have time please go to his site and view all his work. Chris has a real knack for picking just the right music to reflect the couple in each one. He surely did for us. I made one comment to him before the end of our big night, that Mike loved Pearl Jam's new album and especially loved the one slow song on it. I thought for sure Chris would use that, instead he surprised us with one of Eddie Vedder's new songs from his solo project and I was over the moon and so was Mike. If this song had been released when we were getting married {on Pearl Jam's 21st Anniversary} I would have picked it in a heartbeat for our first dance.

NOTE: When the video is over and Up Down Media's logo flashes up, wait another moment and you'll get to see mine and Mike's ACTUAL first dance of the evening! One of my favorite moments, is opening my present with my little sister-in-law, it's priceless.

ENJOY!!!! Chris if you're reading this, thank you again from the bottom of my heart!!!

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May 01, 2012

new blog name revealed...

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Well, it's been a long time coming to change the name of my blog, so those of you who were patient and anxious, thank you for that. I've wanted to do this for a few reasons:

No. 1: I didn't feel like Dare to be Domestic really still had the same ring to it as it did when I started blogging. This was mostly do to the fact that there was already a Dare to be Domestic blog and website being run by a very talented and clearly more original person than myself. I totally though D2BD was brilliant, so did he, probably months if not YEARS before I did.

No. 2: I sort of feel like by using that title, D2BD I'm totally just lumped into one type of blog. That people will only come here interested in hearing about recipes, cleaning, or fun stuff around the house. I full intended to keep up with DIY, Cooking, and Fun Stuff Around The House... but I also wanted to talk about life in general.  Bottom line, I work 40 hours a week, I'm not a housewife, a stay at home mom, or anything that would constitute me being "domestic" all the time. [There is always the future though!!!]

No. 3: I've masted "domestic bliss", I don't always keep up with it, considering there is a huge pile of laundry in the bedroom that is dirty, growing and taking on a life of it's own. And also I've clearly not been the one keeping up with it, my awesome husband has. I cook on a regular basis, I pay my bills, I clean the house {when we have company coming over}, and I do the whole domestic 9 yards, that being said I don't have a lot to blog about in the way of "domestic lifestyle" that would be exciting to my readers. Unless of course you find stain fighting to be exciting, in which case I will let my husband Mike blog about it, since again, he's become laundry guru over here at Casa de Us.  I do however have a ton to blog about when it comes to my lifestyle in general so there is that.

No. 4: I'm a newly wed, and I didn't want to be pigeon holed into just writing about my marriage, or my first year as a married woman etc. Also being a newly wed also brings on the thoughts of future projects and things happening in our lives. One day there will be a baby I'm sure... or a 21 year old Asian boy who's prepping to graduate from medical school but needs a mom and dad in the states to Foster him to further his career, if that is needed WE are your couple, call us! Since that is the case I definitely didn't want to pick a title that would make me stuck in a few years as writing about marriage or kids only...

No. 5: My main reason for all this change was to get out of a certain type of blog and move myself into a LIFESTYLE blog. A place where I can write about anything and everything my heart desires without having to feel like I've gone off track.

So now that you have ALL my reasons I am ready to share with you the blog title that took me forever and a day, many nights of not sleeping and time to commit to and construct... I have gone through probably 20 different titles, designs, and ideas in my head before coming to a final choice that is...

 Dare to be Domestic will officially become.... 

What this new name means to me... is that basically everything in life is hoped to be bright, enjoyable, fun, and something you want to remember living. We live life in the fast lane most days, and are cranked up to our maximum power. Life doesn't always follow these rules, so yes there will be pain, there will be times where you want life to be, slow and turned down... but in the end I felt this was a name that could grow with me, my relationship, my lifestyle and eventually my family.

I am a huge fan of music, it feeds my soul in the good times and the bad. I've always been a big fan of the movie This Is Spinal Tap and one day it just struck me... if I like my music turned up loud, to eleven even, why not make my blog and life turned up full throttle as well.

"These go to eleven." – Nigel Tufnel

Tomorrow I will be switching over my blog to it's new URL, most of you that find me here via blogger won't have any issues, the url should update itself and you won't lose my feed. If you come to me via typepad, wordpress, bloglovin or any other reader sites, please feel free to update your URL tomorrow to...

I hope you will join me, I'm looking forward to updating this place and talking about new topics. Thanks for staying with me for this long journey, and continuing to read, I TRULY appreciate it!

Note: My twitter and pinterest have also changed both will follow: turnedup2eleven
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