Thursday, January 31, 2013

Putting Pinterest to the Test... It rhymes. Wow...

I am dreaming of warm weather and the days I can take my little dreamboat backpacking in the Uintas again:

Damn straight he carries his own pack... seriously though, is that the cutest thing ever?  A bulldog who can go backpacking?  Cutest. Thing. Ever.

This week's wrap-up is going to be crazy full of bulldog heaven, y'all, because Cooper is coming to be babysat tomorrow for a WEEK!  

Snow pics will be coming shortly.  We have buttloads of snow right now and I have never seen a pup who loves snow like little Copper Cottontail (he hops down stairs- because he's too heavy to just walk- like a great, fat bunny).

At any rate, let's get to the point, shall we?  First, I bought a new package of Dr. Dennis Gross's alpha-Beta Daily Face Peel 

It came with 3 samples of the Extra Strength version.  I tried one today and so far the only difference I've noticed is that it smells different in neither a good, nor bad way.  I'll let you know if anything miraculous, or even semi-interesting happens.   

In other news, I am trying out two things I saw on Pinterest.  The first is sort of a mash-up of things I've heard to do separately that apparently comes from Dr. Oz.  Is this guy credible?  I mean, I understand that he's Oprah's right hand man, but knowing that this was also the case with "Dr." Phil- whom I have always found a bit loathsome- does not fill me with a sense of security.  Whatevs.  So, one to three times a day I have been drinking ~8oz of grapefruit juice with ~2tbsp of apple cider vinegar and a heaping tsp of honey.  It's supposed to help you lose weight and blahblahblah.  All I know is that I have been hearing about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar practically my whole life and grapefruit in general seems to be a hot topic when it comes to weight loss lately.  For me, the honey is just there to make it taste less gross.  I can vouch that I feel more full with less food when I do this, which is good because I am totally a binge eater... like a one big meal a day kinda gal.  This is something I am trying to change.  

The second thing I am trying is a gigantic pain in my genetically cellulite-y butt.  It's called oil pulling and it claims all kinds of wondrous benefits like weight loss, detox, teeth whitening, better hair, better sleep, and perfect skin.  I am kind of buying the whole teeth bit after some online research.  Usually I am really skeptical about my online "research", but swishing coconut oil around for 20 minutes every morning isn't going to kill me, and... what if?  What if my genetically disadvantaged teeth became stronger, less sensitive, and WHITE?! Well, hand me the coconut oil.  This is really a tedious process, but I don't mind it too much. The How-to.  I am also making sure to floss right before bed.  I tried "pulling" last night before I realized that best results should be achieved in the morning.  I did it again this morning.  Will update with any progress.

Do you have any tricks for general health, detox, weight control, what-have you?  Please share in the comments.


Monday, January 28, 2013

The Every Day Face in Photos... with update

This face:

Is what I wake up to most mornings.  Bulldog heaven, y'all.  And then there is this:

This is a BIG DEAL.  When I rescued Guy he was 3 and 1/2 years-old and he'd been badly beaten as evidenced at his recoils when people tried to pet him.  My poor sugarplum was terrified of being hit and/or kicked.  Now this big, o'l manly baby feels safe enough to sleep with his belly exposed!!!  Seriously big  dealio.  

Speaking of faces, I took step-by-step of my "every day face".  The photography still leaves a lot to be desired, but we're getting better up in this piece.  I, like, so totally have camera+ on my iPhone or whatever (I still don't understand this damn fancy phone).  Let it be known how much I love and adore you, dear reader.  Here comes a series of photographs of my unsightly, 3-mile-long face with a lazy-looking eye and a forehead that rivals Tyra Banks *chokesonsobs*.  Also, my hair was totally flat, so, yeah... here goes (because I care!):

This is me with just Benefit's Erase Paste on for concealer and contouring.  I also put a little around the edges of my nostrils, but there wasn't a "shape" available to illustrate this.

Next I apply Benefit's Ooh la Lift like so:

Then I I dab it in to my skin softly with a finger, follow with the next under eye and cheek bone, finally dabbing it along the top of my upper lip:

Next I hit up my pink Chanel blush and eyebrow powder, both of which I acquired in the '90s.  Before you chide me on expiration dates and sanitation, tell Chanel to STOP DISCONTINUING THE THINGS I LOVE *weep,sigh,moan,lament*!!! 

I use more blush than I could get the photo to show.  I like a rosey-ass cheek, but I do not verge on clown despite my husband's pleas... ha!  Thanks to my new find, I can follow up with Chanel's Illusion D'Ombre cream eyeshadow, which is way dreamier than this photo depicts:

Then I curl my lashes and hit them up with three separate products.  Diorshow Maximizer and two coats of L'Oreal's Voluminous Million Lashes Waterproof Mascara on the top lashes and Clinique's Bottom Lash Mascara for the bottom lashes... duh.  Lastly, I slap on another discontinued Chanel product I like to call "an awesome shade of shiny lipstick":

And there you have it, folks.  After posting all these pics I kind of feel like I should change the name of this look from "Every Day Face" to "Less Dead Face".  

Let's wrap it up (a day late and several million dollars short or whatever*):


Monday: Homemade italian wedding soup that was insanely good... in no small part to going crazy with the fresh dill.  I halved the recipe, but made the full batch of chicken meatballs to use for another dinner.  Unfortunately the butcher at my neighborhood grocery is about 1,000 years old (but just as sweet) and he could not comprehend that I needed uncooked chicken sausages removed from their casings.  After much stress I left with fully cooked chicken sausages.  Try to remove the casings from those babies.  It's like an hour of carpal tunnel and enough cussing to make a sailor blush.  Follow that with having to slice all the sausage into VERY tiny pieces and you've got yourself 40 rage meatballs... they were still totally delicious after my rage subsided.

Tuesday: Spinach fettuccine with "skinny" alfredo sauce, chicken meatballs, and salad with homemade greek dressing.

Wednesday: Buffalo chicken "egg rolls".  Seriously, these are SO good.  I should have whipped up some ranch dressing powder mix with greek yogurt and skim milk instead of the lowfat dressing from the store, but I'm not a wizard.  I'm lazy and exhausted.  More salad with greek dressing... this is my go-to "vegetable" lately.

Thursday: We ate salt.  Just salt.  Ok, MOSTLY salt.  It wasn't delivery, y'all... it was DiGiorno and it was disgusting.

Friday:  We hit up Bombay House for some serious Indian deliciosity.

Saturday: Fend for yourself because I had to work.

Sunday: As further proof that my mother hates me, she made a shrimp pasta.  I am super allergic to all fish, but especially shellfish.  Luckily, I don't go into anaphylactic shock, but I get very serious (and unbelievably painful) food poisoning.  There was also a kale and radish salad that was pretty good.  

So, that's about it... I gotta haul ass to Xtend Barre... I mean I literally have to lug my big bum to class.


*UPDATE:  So, y'all know that I have been working on Guy's Look Book and it's awesome and gender-bending and Guy is the dreamiest dog of all the dreamy dogs who ever dared to dream.  TALK ABOUT BEING A DAY LATE AND SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS SHORT:  THIS just popped up on the interwebs. *itgivein* *headdesk* *weep,moan,sigh,lament* *shakesfist* *moretearsitis* etc., etc.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lions, and Tigers, and...

So, I finally got Guy's Look Book onto my Pinterest:

This look is pretty gender neutral, but he looks ridiculously cute in my clothes (OMGZ!  We wear the same size, y'all) and he's really learning how to wear heels like a boss and still look all sorts of manly.

So, early this morning I woke up to take my little monster out and feed him.  I was feeling amazingly terrible.  I think the whole state has been feeling like hell because the inversion is the worst I ever remember it being.  I mean, I am huffing my inhaler just to walk from the house to the garage... yes, I get the irony.  I've also mentioned that my CFS is being a real dick as well.  This morning hit a pretty serious low.  When my body is really shutting down I get these aches in my bones.  It feels like all my marrow has turned into mercury because there is this metallic twinge to the aches.  And oh how it ACHES... in EVERY SINGLE BONE! I also had a headache of a truly ungodly nature.  It was bad.  While I was debating taking a percocet or a tramadol rendering myself helpless for the day, the only cogent thought I could form was this:

The mortality of bears makes me very, very depressed.

That's Bart.  His mortality is very, very depressing.  Fortunately he left a son behind, although said son is not quite as grand in stature as Bart himself.  I have several photos of Bart Jr., because he was recently in a film here in Utah.

I cannot post any photos, unfortunately.  Confidentiality agreements were signed.

At any rate, several years ago I drew a self-portrait for my husband of me in the morning based on Bart:

Seriously, I look EXACTLY like that in the morning.  Speaking of looks, I've made some changes in my make-up routine.  Lately I don't want to go all out with the bronzer, highlighter, and eyeshadow pallet.  Instead I stick with my "every day face".  This starts with the application of Benefit's Erase Paste to contour and conceal under my eyes as well as any blemishes:

This stuff is the bees knees to the max!  After experimenting between applying it with concealer brush and using my fingers, I am set with the latter.  I get a softer and more even coverage when I use my nubbins.  I follow this with Benefit's Ooh la Lift.  Seriously, if I could only have one skin product in my make-up arsenal, this would be the one.  I apply it under my eyes and out to my temples, the latter is how I would use a highlighter.  I also apply a little above my upper lip to highlight.  This stuff instantly refreshes and brightens a bear, speaking from experience:

Then I go straight to powder.  I never wear base.  It just feels so heavy on my face, so it's important that I have a powder that blends my Erase Paste and Ooh la Lift seamlessly and feels light.  I'd been using some run of the mill mineral powder.  I was reasonably happy with it.  I had no major flaws, nor benefits.  And then I followed my dream and got Chanel's Natural Finish Loose Powder, which is, I'm told, NOT limited edition... praise be!

And so my love affair with Chanel is reignited!  This powder is AMAZING!!!  My skin feels so light.  It looks light.  It stays put.  It is perfect.  Seriously, I hope never to use another powder and I resent myself for sticking with the shoddy product I'd been using before.  I follow this with a pink Chanel blush I've had since the '90s.  Don't judge.  In my adventures at Chanel I FINALLY found a cream eyeshadow I really like so far.  Illusion D'Ombre:

Colour: Abstraction.  This was really the icing on the cake.  It is subtle, but the shine is oh-so-pretty and it adds just the right amount of dimension that I was missing.  Then I hit up Dior to test out Diorshow Maximizer, a "lash plumping serum".  I've been reading about this product for several months now and so far I really like it.  It definitely needs some time to tell if there are any real results. 

My mascara did hold better and my lashes might look a little fuller.  It's recommended to use this as a primer under mascara as well as a "conditioner" on clean lashes.  I do believe there is some truth to the whole conditioning bit.  Ever since I started in on the eye cream I've made sure to get a thin layer on my lashes and I have definitely noticed a difference.  I seem to lose fewer lashes (thus, gaining fewer wishes...) and the length seems more noticeable.  Not like my lashes are actually longer, but their length seems to SHOW.

Now my every day face is far more BEARable.  I hate myself.

Sweet dreams, y'all!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

All this time We've had a Mermaid on Our Hands

Again, this post is going to pretty dog-laden:

Is that the cutest co-pilot you've ever seen?

Is that the cutest, weirdest, kangaroo-esque, little bundle you have ever seen?

So, we totally cut back on alcohol last week all up in this piece.  My CFS gave me the middle finger big time and I was pretty much bed-ridden except for Xtend Barre and working at Anthro.  I deserved it and then some.  I had really underestimated how much I'd been indulging and how hard it is for my crap health to keep it together in such awful, self-imposed circumstances.  I feel SO much better!  So does our bank account!  

Speaking of Xtend, I was having an incredibly difficult time getting out of bed on Thursday and I was really sore from Wednesday's class.  Nothing short of The Force was going to get me out of bed.  I threw on my Star Wars leggings and a yoga shirt, which I tuck in.  It looks pretty ridiculous, but I find it more comfortable.  I mean, I had no dignity anyways... not even enough to try and get off the remnants of waterproof mascara that I couldn't remove the night before- I need y'all to help me find a good make-up remover!!!  Basically I looked sexy as hell and made it to class with no time to spare:

We needed a photo break there.  It felt right.  At any rate, to my great surprise and horror two girls from cityhomeCOLLECTIVE were there to take pictures of our class.  All the instructors were dolled up, hair and make-up.  Everyone was wearing Lululemon and looking, well, appropriate.  And then there was me.  I could have opted not to be photographed, but I decided to say, "SCREW YOU!" to my body dysmorphia and self-loathing and just go for it.  So, yeah, keep your eyes peeled for their blog and my little arse clad in Vader and the Emperor. 

Remember how I was going to keep you updated on Erica Weiner's piece for Antro?  

Better late than never?  This dreamy necklace also comes in silver glitter.  It's as if you were Angelina Jolie and this were Billy Bob Thornton's blood except in this case Billy Bob is a unicorn, or a leprechaun.  Get it around your neck.

Today I was inspired (or bored out of my gourd... it rhymes, it must be true) by my husband and my unfinished project:


And that's how Guy and I ended up here:

That is one seriously princess-y mermaid, y'all.  This in turn led me to keep dressing the dog up to create his very own look book.  Like, he's all, "Hey, Atlantic-Pacific, SIT DOWN!"  Dog's got style.  He is one gender-bending ball of awesomeness.  I had a Pinterest board created for just such an occasion, but Pinterest is being a total dick.  It would not let me upload any of my photos.  I was cool about it.  I decided to create an account with thereby giving the photos a URL from which to pin.  To no avail.  I'm still pretty bent out of shape about it, but for now you can see Guy in all his girlish glory at my imgur.  You will not regret it. 

Speaking of dressing dog's up:

OMGZ!  Guy NEEDS this... to look like my husband.  There is so much need for this, it's ridiculous.  And there are instructions on how to recreate it!  While I am certainly a suitable seamstress, this goes far beyond my prowess of the sewing machine.  We are totally taking bids- like, WE WILL PAY YOU- to make this for Guy.  I'm also going to ask my tailor, who is nothing short of amazing, but I thought I'd put it out there for you first, dear reader, because I care... or whatever.

Hey, let's wrap this schnitzel up!


Monday:  I actually cooked.  I made a very low-fat noodle kugel (low-fat is totally a relative term when addressing a noodle kugel, however).  The recipe is on my (uncooperative) Pinterest.  I have a very special hate in my soul reserved for raisins, so I alter the recipe.  This is like the most protein you will ever get in one casserole.

We also had more salad with that awesome greek dressing from last week.

Tuesday: We got gyros from Crown Burger.  I haven't had a gyro in over a year and that's so wrong in so many ways.  Especially with the bounty of Greek food available in Salt Lake... I contend that Greek Souvlaki has a way better gyro in case you were wondering.

Wednesday: Leftovers aka I had to work, so we each fended for ourselves.

Thursday: I "made" a Stouffer's lasagna *headdesk*.  They're good and I was tired.  Sue me!  More salad with more awesome dressing as well.

Friday:  Martine, oh such sweet heaven thou art! We splurged on a nice dinner as a pat on the back for our awesomely sober week.

Saturday: We whetted our Red Iguana tastebuds last week, so this time we headed down to the actual restaurant to grab take out.  If you haven't had the Enchiladas Amarillas, you have not lived!

Sunday:  We went to my parents' house per usual and my mom made a pretty bland "Mediterranean" chicken.  Not all recipes turn out as good as they sound.  C'est la vie...

That's a wrap!  So went there.  Kind of regretting it.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Leave Comments, or else...

This post is going to be pretty dog-laden:

Guy is back to 100%.  I was fairly confident that we were going to be at an emergency vet appointment on Monday morning, but he was looking better, so I just held him tight until about 3pm and cleaned his face every 15 to 30 minutes with a hot washcloth.  Boom.  I'm a wizard.  A wizard with a canine antibiotics prescription.

I have been photodocumenting like nobody's business this week because we also had a weekend guest... wait for it...


So much Cooper!  So much doting from yours truly! So much jealousy from Guy!

So many unwanted and unsolicited snuggles in the war of: Who will Sleep Closest to Mom/Aunt?  Definite tie.  

Bulldog heaven, y'all.  Stinky, burpy, farty, hairy, snorey, sneezy, spitty heaven.

And I actually cooked this week!  Before we get to that I wanted to give you my final opinion on coconut water.  The votes are in and while it tastes worse than licking a bulldog (I speak from personal experience), it is better at hydrating than drinking straight water.  And it's expensive as hell.  I'm going to see if I can grab some at Costco.  On my days off I plan to hydrate with regular old, nasty tap water because I'm good about it.  But on the days I work, coconut water is my buddy.  I hate to admit that I can also attest that it is good for a hangover.  We have made a decision in this house to cut WAY back on the booze for health reasons, both mental and physical, as well as fiscal reasons.  I see serious productivity heading my way... this could get scary!  

I also see extra cash to build the world's most amazeballs arsenal of products. I am hoping to step up my retinol regiment to include these babies once a week or so:

Extra strength, baby! And I REALLY want to try the Ovation Advanced Cell Therapy System to get my hair super awesomesauce:

Don't take my word for it.  Check out Miloberry's review.  In fact, check her out in general.  Good stuff.  Another product that Miloberry turned me onto is Chanel's Natural Finish Loose Powder.  I  wore only Chanel make-up until I was in my 30s because I'm so hyper-allergic to the world.  This comes just as I'm about to run out of the mineral powder I've been using:

Of course it's limited edition... why, Chanel?!  WHY?!?!  YOU ALWAYS DO THIS TO ME!  *smotheredsobs*.  Speaking of make-up, I still cannot find a remover that actually gets my mascara off- it's super waterproof.  I read about this baby on Huda Beauty and I'm hoping it's the miracle I've been waiting for:

I am still open to suggestions on make-up remover before I go ahead and order the Bioderma, however.  Hit me up, y'all.  Other products I would like recommendations for are as follows:

DRY SHAMPOO... I am not going to wash my hair every day.  It just won't happen.  I'm lazy AND it's not good for the ol' locks.  I also want buttloads of volume.  My dream hair is basically that of an aspiring country singer.  There is no such thing as too big.

MAKE-UP REMOVING WIPES... for those nights that I am too tired to go through a whole routine.  And, again, get my mascara off!  I beg of it.  The thing I was attracted to with the Bioderma Sensibio H20 was how everyone talked about it leaving your skin feeling amazing and not oily.  Can there not also be a wipe of this caliber? 

That's all I can think of, but if you have a must-have product I have a must-know-about-it going on up in this piece.

So let's wrap this schizzle up, yo: THIS WEEK FOR DINNER:

Monday:  Artichokes baked with garlic, lemon, and olive oil.  We dipped these in the leftover pesto sauce I used for my cheesy pull-apart heart attack of deliciousness bread from last week.  So ree-dick-a-lous-ly good.

I also made some pork buns from the Chinese market later on because we were still hungry *headdesk*.

Tuesday:  Pork and veggie stuffed green peppers in the crock pot.  I used half spicy italian sausage, which really saved the dish.

Wednesday:  I made pepperoni rolls and a salad with an awesome homemade greek dressing.  My husband actually ate salad, like that is how good the dressing was.  My husband considers catsup a vegetable.  I mean, I have to sneak veggies into meals like he's 4 years-old.  So, this dressing was damn good.  We dipped the pepperoni rolls in more leftover pesto sauce and homemade pizza sauce and had my mother and brother-in-law over.

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: It was the one year anniversary of the day my husband proposed to me and I was all, "Ok, whatever."  And I've said, "Ok, whatever" every day since!

We went shopping and then we had a fight and I cannot remember what in God's good name we ate.

Saturday:  We went shopping again for my handicapped brother's birthday present and stopped off at "A Taste of Red Iguana" in the food court at City Creek Center.  Heaven.  Not of the bulldog variety, but pretty awesome nonetheless.

Sunday:  Dinner at my parents' house for my brother's birthday.  My husband was thrilled that said brother chose hot dogs and hamburgers.  I was thrilled to have an excuse to eat nacho cheese Doritos. 

You can find most of my recipes with alterations on my Pinterest

So, that's it, y'all.  Sweet dreams and I hope to see you in the comments.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thirty-Four going on Fourteen

Guy is one sick pup:

He is all kinds of drippy and goopy and we are definitely going back to the vet tomorrow.  I'm praying with all that I've got in me the vet will know what's wrong instead of having to go through with a double endoscopy- one in each nostril.  I don't want to put him under and this will probably lead to more testing and surgeries.  Pray for us, cross your fingers, wish on an eyelash... whatever it is you do, we could sure use it.

In awesome news, I spent a billion hours getting ready for the Justin Bieber concert last night because I am a cool, confident 30-something who plays by her own rules... or maybe I just REALLY wanted to be picked for "One Less Lonely Girl", which would never happen because my seats weren't THAT good and the other Beliebers prolly think of me as middle-aged rather than a girl. 

So, yeah, I looked like a mom or something.  Whatever.  Some chick named Amy got the honor:

My seats, excuse me, SEAT, singular, was a lot closer than it looks like and I don't really understand this magical thing called an iPhone 5 that my husband got me for my birthday, so the spotlight was my enemy.  Just listen.  Open your ears to that sweetness.  And then hate on Amy for getting hugs and holding hands with the Biebs.

The concert was amazesauce to the max.  The whole arena was shaking from the screams of teenage girls.  Literally.  The Biebs puts on a serious show.  That kid does not dick around.  Also, he was about 1/2 an hour late because he stopped at Primary Children's Hospital on his way to make the dreams of a little girl with cancer come true.  So much swoon.  I was cool; they were playing Michael Jackson.


Again, I was sick, so not a lot going on in the kitchen.  I did make a really lovely mushroom and dill cream sauce with chicken over spinach fettuccine.  The sauce and my alterations are on my Pinterest.

I feel like I cooked something else in between, but I can't remember.  You won't remember anything after you make this bread anyways.  Why is it that I get sick as hell and all I want is oddles of gooey cheese?

First I made this pesto sauce with the hoards of homemade pesto I have (I canned and froze 120oz of homemade pesto with basil from the farmers' market).  I left out the oil and, obviously, the chicken.  I also added a little extra cornstarch for to thicken it:

Then I cut a cheap loaf of french bread into a 1 inch grid 3/4 of the way through.  After it was cut, I drizzled sauce all through the cuts:

Don't skimp on the sauce.  It's not going to be soggy because you'll bake it in:

Then I stuffed in (and on) 8oz of shredded mozzarella and topped with 3oz of shredded parmesan:

I wrapped the whole thing up in tinfoil and baked it on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes:

It was sinful and I recommend that you make this when you are forced to share it with several people.  I think I ate over half of it in one sitting:

My husband and I dug in before it had even cooled.  

Nothing too fancy, but holy-comfort-food-batman!!!

That's it for this week, dear reader.  May your dreams be filled with Bieber serenades... unless you don't like the Biebs.  Then may your dreams be full of bulldog heaven (EVERYONE likes bulldogs).