Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Neutrogena Cleanser Review!

I haven't reviewed any beauty products in forever, so on a whim I just decided to grab the sample of Neutrogena's Visibly Bright face cleanser that came in my free Target beauty bag to try out and report back on!

I didn't really know anything about this cleanser going in, so i was surprised when I opened the little sample bottle and found that it had a gold tint to it! It reminded me a little of my Glow-rious lotion from Cake Beauty, since that has the gold mica in it. Sadly, the comparison ended there, since my lotion smells all yummy and pina colada-y, while this cleanser just smells soapy.  Bleh!

On my fingertip

And spread out a bit on my hand.

The cleanser foamed/lathered a little, which was nice, since it gives you that "it's working!" visual. It's also a lot like (liquid) soap in texture, kind of a thin gel.  That made it easy to use and rinse off, which was nice. I didn't notice any of the gold left behind, so I'm not sure what the premise is there, to be honest. Was my face "visibly bright" after? Not really.  It looked clean and felt soft, but I wouldn't say my skin was glowy or especially bright.

If it weren't for the strong soapy smell (I'm super sensitive to scents!) I would probably use this again on occasion. It gets the job done and I liked how my skin felt after using it, I just wasn't blown away or anything.

Have you tried this yet? (How awesome are Target beauty bag samples??)

(Note- This review isn't sponsored or promoted or anything. I was just in a reviewy mood, and this is what I had handy!)

Vacation Mindset

When did I get so bad at having fun?

It's finally starting to feel like summer outside, so I just grabbed a book, a water bottle and my $1 Target sunglasses and stretched out on my lounge chair in the back yard with plans to spend half an hour or so soaking up a few rays and reading a few chapters.

I lasted about 5 minutes before I had a notebook out, making to-do lists.

It made me start wondering just what it is about being on vacation that lets us slip into that mindset where we can happily spend hours in a chair with a book, just relaxing, while at home that's so hard to do (at least for me). Is it just the change of scenery? I finally came to the conclusion that it's just the fact that you really CAN'T be doing anything productive on vacation.  When I kick back in my sun chair at home, all of the things I could be doing are just a few feet away- there's laundry to do and a bathroom to clean and blog posts to write and e-mails to catch up on. And it's just so EASY to put my bookmark back between the pages, go back inside, and do some of those things. If you're away from home, it's a lot harder to just walk back into the house and back to all the should-be-doings.

One thing I really miss about living 2 miles from Disney is that I would often head to one of the resorts on my day off, grab some gelato and park my bootie in a hammock for an hour or so. Yes, I was still less than 10 minutes from home, but just being away from the house helped a lot!

Do you have the same problem I do, or are you actually able to turn your brain off without leaving home?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Speaker Solutions?

This post brought to you by Lenovo. All opinions are 100% mine.

You guys know I'm a music nerd, but only recently have I noticed that I'm becoming a serious sound quality nerd, too. When I am listening to music in the car, I have always adjusted the bass and treble on individual songs, but lately I've even been deleting lower quality mp3s from my iPod so I can replace them with better ones. I have a pretty snazzy sound system in my car, so low quality music just isn't ok with me.

My desktop computer has amazing sound (the speaker system is almost bigger than the actual computer!) but holy cow, y'all, the sound from my laptop drives me nuts. I can barely stand to listen to music on it, it's just so bad. My laptop was only like $300, so I can't really blame it, but... yikes.  I have actually debated plugging it into my desktop's awesome speakers, but given that doing so would mean my laptop wouldn't be able to move around anymore, I had to give up on that brilliant idea. Instead, I've been checking out other speakers that might work. 

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The Lenovo speaker set above seems like possibility. They provide high quality sound, but plug in via USB, which is pretty handy. Of course, since I spilled milk on my laptop's keyboard like two weeks after I got it, one of my USB slots is already claimed by my plug-in keyboard, so I just wouldn't be able to edit photos and listen to music at the same time. I'm guessing most people don't have my USB slot shortage issues, though! They can also be plugged in to your smartphone or mp3 player, which I like. They would be handy for when I want to listen to my iPod out at the pool without dealing with headphones/earbuds! I think the sort of futuristic design is super cute, too.  I just wish they came in a color other than red; silver or something would be awesome. 

How do you guys deal with not so great sound from laptop speakers? Any suggestions? 

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bath & Beauty Products- Too Much, Or Not Enough?

While I was soaking my tired self in a bubble bath last night, I did that thing where you simultaneously think "Man, I have way too much bath stuff.  I need to find a better way to organize it all." and "Hey, I totally need more bath stuff."  I told you guys about my addiction to the milk-scented Venus Body Scrub a while back, and although I've acquired a few new scents since then, I'm now totally convinced that my showers/baths just aren't ok until I get the peach scent, too. (#firstworldproblems.)

So while I was trying to figure out how to better arrange all my stuff so that my shower would look less like a beauty supply store exploded, I started thinking about just how much STUFF I have that came from EdenFantasys.  In a kind of weird moment of boredom, I decided to see if I could round up all of the bath and beauty products I've ordered from them.  I knew there was a lot, but it still amused me to lump everything up together- I'm a visual person!

This isn't *everything* I've ordered- I know at least a few things are missing (organization is not my strong point) and I've given several things away either as gifts or because the scents made me sneeze. Still, I think it's a pretty cute little collection.

I'm entirely too lazy to go through every item here, but I will point out the Mary Zilba lip gloss that's front and center, because it's my current favorite thing. If you like nude lips with a little shine, you need to get on that.

I will receive a gift card for this post, but all opinions are my own.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Kitten Adventure!

Hey, y'all!  I've been pretty MIA this week, because let me tell you, getting teeth extracted BLOWS. Actually, I take that back.  It doesn't always blow (when I got my top wisdom teeth out I was FINE), but my experience with it this week has been sucktacular!  Tuesday was the actual extraction, and I spent the rest of the night moderately miserable.  It wasn't really that it was exceptionally painful, it was just really uncomfortable and gross. I relate it to having an itch you can't scratch- it isn't technically *painful*, but boy does it suck.

Wednesday was a little less awful, but I ended up super sick and throwing up, either from the stress or from swallowing so much blood. (Did I mention how fun Tuesday was??)  Yesterday and today have been pretty ok, just sort of uncomfortable, but damn do I miss solid food!

Anyway, what does all of that have to do with kittens?  Nothing.  The kitten thing happened last week, but everything above is why I haven't blogged about it yet!

If you've been around this blog for very long, you know that I am a crazy cat lady.  It's not just that I have a lot of cats (I do), but that cats frickin' LOVE me. If there is a stray cat within 2835798 miles, it will find my house. Want to find life on other planets?  Just plop me down on the barren landscape, and the closest thing that planet has to a cat will show up in 10 minutes or less. (I'm almost equally good with horses, but they have yet to randomly show up at my house.)

So, one night last week I kept hearing this MAWWK!! noise. There is this freaky bird that hangs out in the woods by my house and makes incredibly odd noises all the time, so I assumed it was him. When it kept happening, I started to wonder if it was a cat, and did a quick head count, but all of mine were present. I drew the conclusion that one of the birds near my house had heard my cats meow so much that it had picked up mimicking the sound.

The next morning, I heard the weird noise AGAIN. Curiosity got the better of me, so I slipped on some shoes and went into the back yard to explore.  About 30 feet from my back door, I spotted a tiny, fluffy kitten!  I went back in to get it some wet food, and slowly approached.  I was really surprised that it let me come right up to it!  It hissed at me a few times, but it was so excited about the food it didn't seem to care I was there all that much.

I scooped the little guy up and brought him in, where I snapped a pic and posted him on the lost & found pets on Craigslist. I'm still not sure if he ever had a family or not.  He was really dehydrated and had like 20 ticks, and had obviously been outside for quite a while. On the other hand, less than half an hour after I found him, he was curled up in my lap purring, which is weird for a totally wild kitten!

At best guess, I'd say he was 6 weeks old. Just barely big enough to be away from mom and survive, but not old enough to be happy about it.

Little dude and I spent a few days together while I hunted down someone to become his permanant mom!  I would have LOVED to keep him- he was SO CUTE, so sweet. He was like the perfect kitten!  However, I already have 3 kittens that are only 3 months old, so another one would just be too much.  Luckily one of my friends fell in love with the photos I posted on FB, so we met up on Mother's Day, and off he went to his new home!

Would you have been able to give this little guy up?

He seemed super lonely for another cat, and none of mine would let him cuddle, so I gave him this big fluffy stuffed dog and he napped with it for days!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Tooth Update and How To Take Nasty Antibiotics!

I totally forgot to update you guys on yesterday's tooth saga! (Scroll down two posts if you missed it!)  I got to the dentist and had to wait around for a while while they waited for my old dentist to email the x-rays I had done a couple of months ago. Don't you love those situations where all you want is to get it over with, and yet you find yourself waiting?

Finally got to go back to the exam room, and met the new dentist. WAY nicer than I expected! He looked at my Tooth of Doom, and my X-Rays, and then said I need to do a week of antibiotics before we can pull it. NOOOOOO!  I was SO ready to get that sucker out of there that hearing I have to wait a week totally made me sad. But that's the plan... antibiotics 4 times a day (FOUR!) for a week, and then I go back next Tuesday to get this sucker out of there, and come up with a treatment plan for the rest of the work I need done. Unlike my last dentist, I get the feeling that this one will actually DISCUSS the treatment plans with me, instead of just having an assistant hand me a couple of printed-out plans.

I can't swallow pills (I have throat issues), so the dentist called the pharmacy to discuss liquid antibiotic options with them, and then I went on my merry way. Unfortunately, it turned out that the medicine they picked was $200!! I called the dentist's office back and asked him to call the pharmacy again, and instead ended up with a $20 medicine instead.  WHEW!

The not fun part is that my antibiotics (Clindamycin) are capsules, which the pharmacist told me I could open and sprinkle on food. (The pharmacist also apologized for recommending the $200 drugs, he was like "I had no idea it was that much!) I've had to do this with plenty of medicines in the past, but HOLY CRAP, you guys, Clindamycin tastes AWFUL! Take any awful medicine you've ever tasted, and multiply times 100.  It's SO BAD.

I've spent the past day amusing myself by randomly IMing Katie things I would rather taste than this medicine. "I would rather lick the floor of the men's bathroom at (a favorite Orlando dive bar) than taste this again!"

After some experimentation, I FINALLY found a mixture that works pretty decently!  I mean, the after taste still makes you want to rip your tongue out and never taste anything again, but it's a huge improvement from before!  Thus, I hereby present you with my "How to make antibiotics taste better" plan!

Step 1) Coat entire tongue in Orajel, or similar numbing medicine.  The easiest thing to do is put a big blob on the roof of your mouth, and slide your tongue all over it till it's coated.

Step 2) Coat tongue and roof of mouth in a thin layer of peanut butter. Not enough that anything will stick to it, just enough to have a kind of greasy film between your taste buds and the world.

Step 3) Open pill and pour the powder into a cup.

Step 4) Add an amount of sugar roughly equal to or slightly greater than the amount of powder.

Step 5) Add roughly 2 tsp or so espresso. Really strong black coffee will do in a pinch. You need the bitterness of the coffee to mask the uber-bitter drugs.

Step 6) Swish the cup around till the powder and sugar dissolve.

Step 7) Drink as quickly as possible.

The taste is still horrible enough to have nightmares about, but SO much better than anything else I've tried!

Met Ball Highs and Lows

Oh, Met Ball, you are like the Superbowl for fashion people. Well, not quite, but I'm just not sporty enough to draw the appropriate metaphor.

Let's talk about what people wore, 'cause that's what we do around here.

(All celeb photos from this gallery, all model photos from this one, unless otherwise noted.)

I am embarrassed to admit that at first glance, I thought "Who is that old chick, and why is she wearing that boring dress?" I am sure it is just bad lighting or something, but Cameron Diaz looks about 60.

Eva Mendes's Prada gown definitely falls on my worst-dressed list.  I'm guessing this is one of those things that looks better in person, but it looks like someone hot glued chess pieces to her boobs.

All I can say is how much it amuses me that Gweneth is totally being upstaged by what appears to be a random assistant in the background.

Oh, Beyonce.  Bless your heart, child.  No.  Just...no.

I don't even really like Rhianna, but this Tom Ford dress is badass. Excellent choice.

Although, yikes!  I just found this pic (via BellaSugar) of her talons!

No me gusta.

I have no idea who Carey Mulligan is, but I want this Prada dress!  It's like a mermaid!

Not a Kate Bosworth fan, but I do like this dress and the matching lip (although the matching nails were one step too far).  For a fun challenge, try holding your body in the position she's in.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

January Jones takes a lot of fashion risks, but I like this one.  I do want to fix her crooked boobs, but the unexpected necklace makes up for it. (image from PopSugar)

In this pic, though... WHO is that behind her?  Because that dress and shoes are AMAZING.

I like Leighton Meester's dress quite a bit, but I don't think it's that flattering on her.  Her hair and makeup combo though... yikes! (Image from FabSugar)

The makeup is a little off, but Camilla Belle's Ralph Lauren dress is STUNNING!

Emma Stone!  You used to be adorable?  What has happened here??

Enough with the celebs, let's see if the models did any better.

Is Anja Rubik going for an Angelina Jolie leg thing here?  Put that hip bone away, girl!

Cara Delevingne looks awesome. The glove, y'all.  The glove.

Karlie Kloss is always perfection.  Jason Wu is really short.  I now have a huge urge to go pair up hot pink and black lace.

Coco Rocha is starting to almost equal Chris Colfer as my spirit animal.  I saw this on Twitter last night and was just in love. If you don't think this is awesome at first glance, you should know it's vintage Givenchy, and was originally worn by Elizabeth Taylor.  Oh, Coco. Let's be best friends forever.

I'm so sad.  I loooooove Jessica Stam, but this... this is not good.

I think the fit could be better, but I'm kinda digging Milla Jovovitch's gown!

Pinned Image
Does Anna Wintour have a jeweled lobster on her dress?  I think the answer is yes. OMG, love.
On a slightly freaky note, Rachel Zoe kept tweeting pics like this last night:

OMG, she looks terrifying.  I know she's always super-skinny, but holy crap. (And yes, calling someone too skinny can be just as rude as saying they're too fat, but really... OMG.)

Speaking of The Twitter, is there anything cuter than this pic of Cory Monteith and DVF?

I'll answer that for you.  Yes, there is.  This pic of Cory, looking like he has couture toilet paper stuck to his shoe:

LOLZ forever.

Who did you love?  Who did you mock?  I think Coco might be my overall favorite... I mean, who else shows up in Elizabeth Taylor's pants??

Monday, May 07, 2012

Kill the Tooth!

You have to chant the title while imagining this scene:

I just woke up after less than 4 hrs sleep from my frickin' tooth hurting again. I have an almost freakishly high tolerance for pain, but I just plain can NOT deal with this any more, so I have an appointment at 2 to get my bottom wisdom tooth and the tooth next to it pulled. It's really mostly the one next to it that's the problem, but the wisdom tooth needs to go anyway, so I figure while they're already all up in my grill (HA!) they might as well kill two teeth with one stone. (Oww, not literally.)

This stupid tooth has been driving me NUTS lately! It has that sealant on it to keep it from getting cavities, but it still managed to get one down by the gum line.  Since the sealant kept the cavity from breaking through the surface of the tooth much, it instead managed to almost halfway hollow out the inside of my tooth.  This is almost as fun as it sounds. So while there's not much of a visibile cavity outside, inside there's like... the Cave of Wonders.

(Also, oddly mouth related.)
(Actually, I'm a little freaked out how much that reminds me of my tooth. Is there a genie in there??)

I should probably be terrified that I'm going to a dentist I've never been to in like 4 hours to get two body parts ripped out of my face, but my desire to NOT spend another 4 am sucking down pain meds in an attempt to sleep outweighs the nerves for now. (I have to be nearly DEAD to even take one Tylenol, so when I've been taking 2 for like 3 nights in a row... it's bad.)

I'm currently trying to stuff my nauseous belly with food, since I probably won't be able to eat for a few days. The last time I had a wisdom tooth pulled (almost a decade ago, yikes!) I was pretty okay afterwards. I never even took the pain pills they gave me- the healing was nothing compared to the pain before hand. That was a top tooth, though, and this is on bottom (and TWO teeth!), so it may not be so easy-breezy.

I'm thankful I don't have a lot of time to get freaked out.  It's just after 10 now, and I have a chiropractor appointment at 11:15, so pretty much as soon as I finish my soup I need to go get dressed. (Maybe I can have the chiro do some anti-tooth pain acupuncture?)  After that, I need to hit up the grocery store for some liquidy foods to get me through the next couple of days. After that, I should have just about half an hour for good old fashioned panicking.

I actually already have a "Dentist" playlist on my iPod, since I knew doom was impending, so I just need to charge that sucker up and find some ear buds. There are certain things in life you need as much distraction from as possible, and I'm going to guess that getting two teeth popped out is one of those.

OMG, I hope they gas me up.

Speaking of which, I will end this lovely post with the tale of the BEST dentist experience EVER. Something like a billion years ago (or maybe like 10) I had to get a root canal at a super-fancy oral surgeon. Root canals are not generally things you look back on with fondness, but this was AWESOME.  Why? The dentist had these AWESOME glasses that were basically like sunglasses, but you could watch a movie in them. I picked Fellowship of the Ring. Oh my goodness, you guys. If you have never seen Lord of the Rings while high as a kite on laughing gas, you just plain haven't lived. That is basically the most fun I have ever had in my life. I was SO mad that I didn't even make it to the Council of Rivendell before she was finished.  I was like "Do more teeth!  I'm not done here!" Of course, about halfway through the hour ride home, all the pretty pretty drugs started wearing off, and I was suddenly MUCH less thrilled, but while it lasted, it was just amazing.

Feel free to share your crazy dental stories in the comments! I'll need something amusing to read while I sit around with a mouth full of gauze later!

Music for your Monday

This is one of my favorite songs, and I think both videos are incredibly beautiful.  Which one do you like better?

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Face Candy Couture Eye Shadows: Review & Giveaway!

I was lucky enough to get to try out a few eye shadow colors from Face Candy Couture, and now I get to give one of my readers a few colors, too! How cool is that?

One thing that I LOVE about their site is that it is organized by color, so if you're looking for a certain color of shadow you can just click on browns, blues, pinks, etc!  Each jar is $4.99, but there are always specials running, like the current one where you can get 3 colors for $11.99 or 10 for $29.99!

The first color I tried is called Calm, and it's a soft neutral tan with a lot of shimmer!

The next color I tried is called Acorn. It's a dark, earthy brown with sort a hint of maroon or wine to it.

The third color I tested is the one I got to pick out, Romantique. This is a fairly light, very shimmery pink.

I had a lot of fun playing around with the different colors! Here are all 3 swatched:

Each color was applied dry on the left, wet on the right. Sorry for the not so great photo quality on this one, my camera is giving up the will to live, and really fights me on close-ups now!

This is Romantique on the lid, with Acorn used wet as a liner.

This is Calm used on the lid, with a mix of Acorn and another dark brown I had on hand in the crease.  My skin tone doesn't work that great with a lot of warm toned shadows, so I had to get a little creative!

Same thing as above.

Ready to win some shadows of your own?  Face Candy Couture will be giving one of my readers their choice of 3 colors!  There are a TON to pick from, you'll have a great time choosing!  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

Earning Points = Free Stuff!

I placed an order for around $200 worth of stuff on EdenFantasys yesterday, and paid exactly $0! I do this so often that I felt the need to get my UPS guy a Christmas present last year, the poor guy is at my house so much.

I thought I'd break down a few really easy ways to earn EdenPoints on the site, which add up really quickly to free stuff! You can also earn free/discounted items by blogging, through the review program, etc. but explaining every option would take forever, so I'm just sticking to points for this post!

The first thing you need to do is set up an account, so you can collect points. Just setting up the account earns you 50 points! One point = one cent, so 50 points = 50 cents!  (Don't worry, the math doesn't get any harder than this.)  Already off to a good start!

There are a TON of ways to earn points. Once you've registered, you can find a list of all of the different ways by clicking on "My Eden" on the top right corner of any page, then "Account Dashboard", and then finding "EdenPoints Program" over on the left column. That will take you to a list of all the different options, with info on how many points you get for each one, and how many times you can do them per day.  Here are a few of the easiest:

*Add an item to your wishlist = 5 points. You can do this 5 times a day. Your wish lists are private (unless you choose to set them as public), so you don't have to worry about anyone being able to snoop!

*Preform a search= 5 points. You can do this 5 times a day, too. You can search for products, reviews, search the forums, etc!  This is especially handy if you want to find all of the products by a certain company (Typing "Cake Beauty", for instance, will pull up all of their yummy-smelling bath and body stuff!) or if you want to find a certain type of product (Just typing in "bra" brings up 293 different bras!).

Just doing those two things (search and wishlist) each 5x a day totals 50 points per day!

Another really easy and fun way to earn points is posting on the forums! You can post up to 10 times per day, at 5 points per post. Topics range from the products you'll find on the site to relationships to suggestions for how to improve the site (I'm a big fan of the "EdenFantays should carry..." threads!) to your basic social threads discussing movies, books, and random life!  You can also earn points here for posting in polls and starting polls or discussions.

The last ways to earn points I'm going to cover are rating and commenting on reviews! When you've put a lot of time and effort into reviewing a product, it means a lot to get some feedback from the people that read it!  After reading any review on the site, you can rate it anywhere from "Not useful at all" to "Extremely Useful". This takes all of about 2 seconds, and gets you 2 points!  You can also leave comments on a review. I always try to mention something specific that I liked about their review or had questions about, since those are the type of comments I like to get, but anything you want to say works!  Comments get you 3 points and can be done 9 times per day. (You can technically do any of these things as many times per day as you want, but you'll only receive points for the number of times listed.)

Okay, I've thrown a LOT of info at you pretty quickly, so let's sum up! Say that each day, you do all of the things I just mentioned.  I'm going to break it down like this for super easy math:

*Add 5 items to wish list  *Search 5 times  *Reply to 5 discussion posts *Vote in 5 polls *Rate 5 reviews  *Comment on 5 reviews

Quite a few things, but really not a major time investment. (Plus, it's all fun!) Doing those things would total $1.05 per day! If you're willing to put in more time and effort, it's easy to earn several dollars in points per day, but I just wanted to offer some easy examples that take very little time to do. With hardly any effort, you could easily earn enough points to get $10 off your order in less than a week!

Dona plumping lip balm - Lip balm
5 days worth of doing the above list more than covers one of the awesome new Dona plumping lip balms! These smell awesome!

You can combine your points with whatever sales and promotions are going on, which makes it even better! And if you see something you want that isn't on sale, you can always enter my code (SP3) at checkout for 15% off!

If you are a frequent EdenFantasys shopper, I'm curious to hear which activities you do for points most often! If not, does the whole point thing sound easy or too complicated? I've done this stuff almost every day for over a year now, so I don't even think about it, but I'm curious how it sounds from an outside perspective!

I have to admit I'm pretty spoiled at this point.  When I add stuff to my Amazon wishlist now, or post on other discussion boards, I keep waiting for a little "Yay, you earned points!" box to pop up. Can you imagine how cool it would be if other sites had programs like this, too?

I will receive a gift card from EdenFantasys  for this post. (Told you I like free stuff!) All opinions are my own.