Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Charity

Somebody posted this quote from Marvin J Ashton (an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) about charity, and it particularly touched me:

"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other."

Anyways, just a random thought that has helped me to be more Christ-like when dealing with others.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Makeup Organization Project

So, if any of you follow me on Instagram, or noticed the picture of my cute little Chevron boxes from Target, I have decided to embark on a house project: organizing my makeup.

This is my chaotic mess. It has caused some friction between Graham and me in the morning, especially when I dig through the bag and rattle everything around in the morning. It was much worse before I got the little boxes for my brushes.

 My makeup bag holds all of my daily essentials, such as mascara, concealer, bronzer, highlighter, etc. I haven't found something better to organize those things yet. As you can see, I like to do my makeup at my desk in the morning. I used to stand up and do my makeup in the bathroom, but I found it's much better doing it at my desk, much to Graham's frustration at the makeup all over it every day.
 My Urban Decay and Too Faced eyeshadow palettes. I just realized I have 2 MAC ones hidden somewhere..
My 3-drawer makeup Tupperware holder that I've had since college (?maybe). It's been working for me, but has not been very efficient. I can never find the things I need quickly, so it drives me crazy. Also, my eyeshadow drawer looked like this:
 Yikes.

So, with all of my makeup tutorial views on YouTube, I noticed that lots of the women had removed the eyeshadows from their separate pots into magnetic palettes. With Graham's permission, I purchased these Z Pro Palettes from Amazon. For reference: one of the pro palettes holds about 28 MAC eyeshadows. If you have multiple brands of eyeshadows, this is definitely a good palette to buy. You can also fit in blush and stuff, so I just may have to get another one.. If you notice below, I have multiple sizes and shapes, so it fit all of them just fine. I watched several YouTube videos on how to "de-pot" eyeshadows, with and without heat, and I got to work. This is my station at the kitchen table.

P.S. I'm not really into the zebra print, it was just the cheapest online.

I tried to remove the eyeshadows and loosen the glue without heat to no avail. So, I busted out my Bath and Body Works candle and set those babies on fire (not really, but there were definitely carcinogenic chemicals in the air).

This was a labor of love, my friends. First, you have to pry the eyeshadow out of its pot, then, you use wire cutters to snap off the plastic ends. Then, you heat up the bottom to loosen the glue. Then, I used part of nail clippers to loosen the pan from the pot. Then, I had to clean the glue off with nail polish remover and/or rubbing alcohol. Lastly, because MAC eyeshadows aren't magnetic, I had to place sticker magnets on the back and label each eyeshadow. 

This was incredibly tedious. Beyond tedious. If you know me well, you'd know I can't stand doing things by hand that require a large amount of detail work (i.e. cake pops, decorating cupcakes, doing nail polish, or any crafts in general). In college, I actually got marked down in a foodservice lab because I didn't decorate the desserts well enough and didn't clean smudges off of a plate (for reals). Cleaning off the glue off every.single.eyeshadow. was the worst part. I kept saying, kill me now. Honestly. Ugh. 

Here's the finished product. Only 3 shadows were damaged in the process, which is amazing, considering the fact that I hated every moment of this and my lack of dexterity.

Eyeshadows pictured:
Row 1 (left to right): Stila Grace, Stila Pewter, Stila Diamond Lil, MAC Pink Venus, MAC Purple Haze, Benefit Fancy Roper
Row 2: Stila Posie, Stila Azur, MAC Prose and Fancy with MAC Humid right below, MAC Passionate, MAC Li'Lily, Benefit Lazy Boy
Row 3: Stila Wisteria, Cargo Budapest below, Stila Poppy, Urban Decay Blackout in between, MAC Femme Noir, MAC Laven-dah, Benefit Working the Room
Row 4 (kinda): MAC Velvet Moss, Benefit Trust Fund Baby, MAC Shadowy Lady, and Sephora Collection white

Eyeshadows pictured (all from MAC):
Row 1: Sketch, Mythology, Expensive Pink, Espresso, Shroom, Fineshine, Electra
Row 2: Trax, Cranberry, Amber Lights, Soft Brown, Dazzlelight, Print, Greystone
Row 3: Seedy Pearl, Antiqued, Woodwinked, Ricepaper, Motif, Club, Wonder Full
Row 4: Shale, Haux, Honeylust, Tempting, Mylar, Bark, Contrast

My new eyeshadow palettes. Woo hoo!
Not pictured: 2 MAC limited edition palettes, as well as 3 MAC eyeshadows that are almost gone, and not worth the work to de-pot them (Jest, Satin Taupe and Embark).

Now, MAC has a "Back to MAC" program, that if you turn in 6 of their empty products, you can get a free lipstick. So, right now I have enough to get 6 free lipsticks. I'm not a huge lipstick wearer, as I much prefer a more natural, glossy lip, but I can manage free lipstick for sure. Anyways, if any of you plan on doing this, just be prepared. It's not for the person who's easily frustrated (i.e. me). Also, if you like eyeshadows other than MAC, just know that Stila makes it very easy to de-pot their shadows, plus they're huge and magnetic, making them really easy to put into a palette like this (and have any of you used their eyeshadow Kitten before? It's the best simple shimmery champagne color!). Another major benefit to these palettes that I can better utilize some of my ignored eyeshadows (*cough cough* green eyeshadows).

On to my next project: organizing the rest of my makeup to get rid of the hideous Tupperware beast (this is Graham's goal as well).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cropping Out the Sadness


Is anybody else a fan of Portlandia? Maybe it's just because I lived in Portland for two years, or because I live in the Pacific Northwest, but I love this show. It's totally over the top and exaggerated, but it doesn't get much better than the skit about the couple asking about the chicken, Colin, that they were going to eat for dinner.. "Did he have friends on the farm?"

Anyways, this clip definitely describes something I've been thinking a lot lately... How and what we present to other about ourselves to the public.. whether it's on Facebook or in person. Do we always put on a happy face and pretend like everything is perfect so that everyone else can think your life is perfect? I'm talking about these people that are like, oh my gosh, look at my cute kids, our awesome family traditions with my perfect little family, and my creative and amazing Pinterest parties and crafts. There aren't any weaknesses or imperfections in my life! Every day is a blessing!

Honestly, I have never been that kind of person. I can't stand this need to appear perfect for everyone else. It's just so fake. So annoying. In college at BYU, my theme song was "I'm Real" by J. Lo (the realest person on the planet, I'm sure). I met so many girls there who just put on a front for all of the boys (oh, look at me, I love football, video games, and camping!), and it drove me nuts. I'd totally shut down in response to these people, so I'm pretty sure people thought I was totally rude or a hermit at times (which may have been partly true).

But now, this front that people are putting on is more in my face because of social media. Sometimes, Facebook is the worst place to be when you're feeling vulnerable and depressed. You're just bombarded by all of these psuedo-happy status updates about people's perfect relationships and lives, and it just makes you feel worse if your life isn't as exciting, fun, or happy as the people say their lives are. I understand, you don't want to air your dirty laundry, or maybe you're not as open as I've been about my life and problems... But there has to be a happy medium.

Let me tell you what my life is really like. It's not exciting. It's not perfect. It just IS. I get up at 6 AM, get ready, wrestle Carter in/out of bed/clothes, work, pick up Carter, work out while Carter watches a video, make dinner, force/bribe Carter to eat dinner, possibly go to the gym if I haven't worked out, put Carter to bed, and then go to bed by myself after doing some chores at 9 PM. That is life. It's often humdrum and full of very ordinary events. It's sometimes made more fun by what Carter says, or maybe we do something extraordinary like stop at Taco Bell on the way home.. And yes, my life is full of problems. We're in plenty of debt, my marriage isn't perfect, we don't own a house, my husband's car is a POS (he has to hit the starter with a hammer if it doesn't start), Carter throws a fit every day when he hears he has to get dressed, I have a tendency to stress shop, and I live in a rundown townhouse in not a great town. So the F what if people know I don't have a perfect life.. It's REAL life.

I have had to learn more and more about how to care LESS about what people think.. I'm sure people still think I'm crazy for getting back together with my husband. But, whatever.. it's my life. And now, because I've been open about my problems with my spouse, I feel like everyone's views of me and my family are tainted. I feel like people can think about Graham, "Oh, so what if he did something nice for you? He still lied to you and you guys were separated for like nine months!" Yes, that is definitely a downside of having gone public about some of my problems. But, if people around me think those kind of mean and spiteful things about me, then I don't need them in my life. And, with my problems at work and my integrity being called into question, I really have to apply this principle to myself as well. I know what my morals are and what my actions have been, so it shouldn't matter as much what people think about me.

Anyways, these are just some of my rambling thoughts lately.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fitness Goals

So, I've kind of been maintaining my current state of fitness, working out 5-6 days a week, doing Bar Method videos, Turbo Fire videos, and RIPPED workouts at the Y. It's a good mixture of cardio, HIIT workouts, light weights, and body sculpting. However, I feel like I'm not really progressing or working towards something. It's kind of stagnant. So, I decided to make some fitness goals for myself so I can at least work towards something. FYI, Blogger is totally screwing up this blog.. ARGGGGH.

Goal #1: Improve flexibility.
I know that this is a vague goal, but it's something I've realized that I need to work on. I have chronically tight shoulders, with giant knots that never go away. So, with only stretching for 5 or less minutes after my RIPPED workouts, I am not improving at all with my flexibility and range of motion, especially in my hamstrings and shoulders. With the Bar Method videos, my flexibility is tested and increased, but I don't do these videos more than 1-2 times per week. So, with my new upcoming change in my work schedule, I'll have more time in the afternoon for random things, which just may include a slight cardio warm-up and my 12-minute stretching video from Turbo Fire. I also plan on making Wednesday nights my dedicated core and Yoga night with Core 20 and Stretch 40 from Turbo Fire.
Reward: greater strength, less knots in my shoulders..?

Goal #2: More weight loss.
So, my goal for weight loss the first time around was to simply lose 25 pounds, which took me down to the "healthy" BMI range (<25 22-24="" 30="" 5-7="" a="" about="" always="" and="" appetite="" at="" been="" but="" clothes="" crap="" decreases="" diet="" doctor="" doing="" down="" eat="" even="" five="" food.="" get="" go.="" goal="" good="" have="" however="" i="" is="" lately.="" line="" ll="" loss="" m="" maybe="" me="" more="" my="" normal="" not="" now="" of="" office="" on="" p="" pounds="" right="" s="" see.="" seven="" slim="" so="" still="" stress="" stuck="" tell="" tendency="" this="" though="" to="" total.="" waist="" want="" we="" weigh="" weighed="" weight.="" weight="" where="" which="" with="" would="" you="">Reward:
More workout clothes. As I've said in the past, I'm obsessed with Athleta's workout clothing line. I want more clothes, but I don't think it's ok for me to just be buying these clothes without doing something for it. So, I decided that if I lose those 5 additional pounds, I can buy another workout outfit. This has definitely motivated me to try harder! Plus, with the stress hormones inhibiting my appetite, I just may get there sooner rather than later!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Stitch Fix Review #4

 All right folks, here comes the Stitch Fix review! It arrived around 9:30 AM today (I was actually still in bed), and I quickly ran downstairs after the FedEx guy rang my doorbell. I peeked online previously, so I knew what was coming.. Let's get to it. Warning: this was done with my nice camera, but it was self-timing, so some of the pictures and quality may be a little off. Plus, the lighting SUCKS in my house.

Here are the options.I think it's awesome that my stylist remembered that I really wanted colored skinny jeans! All in all, a nice, rounded out box of clothing.



#1: Mystree Phoebe Dot & Stripe Sweater Dress ($28)



Ok, so I looked this up online and pretty much everyone who has received this dress has hated it. I was really not excited to try this one, especially since it's a sweater dress (am I the only one who thinks they're unflattering?).. But, this wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be. If the polka dot section was little lower on my chest, and the dress a little longer, I might've considered it for the low price. Personally, I think they lowered the price to get rid of it! Anyways, it's too short, not flattering for my midsection, with awkwardly placed dots, so I will be sending it back. I showed my husband these pictures, and he actually really liked this dress on me (surprise, surprise--it's short).
Verdict: PASS

#2 & #3: TCEC Glendale Embellished Hi-Lo tank  ($48) and Sanctuary Sarah Striped French Terry Mini Skirt ($58)


I was really exited to try on this tank because it's a fun, bright pink color! However, it is VERY sheer (like, hello, want to see what brand bra I wear?), and the hi-lo aspect of it is a little weird. But, the color is great and I love the details around the neckline.  Sorry about the awkward pose. I was trying to show just how LONG this shirt is in the back.


The skirt is comfortable as well. I was a little hesitant about it because it's described as a miniskirt (for who--models??), so I thought it'd be too short. Luckily, it's the perfect length for my little stumpy legs. Because it's terry cloth, it's super comfortable. It is black and white, though, just like the houndstooth skirt I received in Stitch Fix #2, and I have another skirt very similar to it that I love:


I get so many compliments when I wear this skirt.. But do I really need two knee-length black and white striped skirts?
Verdict:
Tank: KEEP
Skirt: UNDECIDED (help me!)

#4 & #5: Just Black Adora Skinny Jean in Army Green ($88) and Kut From The Kloth Callie Denim Jacket ($78)

 That awkward moment when you realize your pocket is sticking out when you're taking a timed photo...

So, the jacket isn't bad. It has a little stretch to it, which is nice for my beast shoulders. I even debated buying this very jean jacket from Nordstrom about a year ago! However, I decided against it because, I don't know, jean jackets were so '00's (what is that decade named, anyways?).. I had one in college from GAP, and I don't know if I'm ready to wear one again.
The skinny jeans... I just don't know. The fabric is thin, so it looks almost like leggings on me. My thighs are muscular, so I'm not a huge fan of these. The army green color.. I could do it if they looked a little bit better. And, the ultimate test.. does it look like I have mommy butt???? 

 I tried them on with knee-high wedge boots, that obviously you can't see in this photo. Dangit. Still didn't help me decide. What do you think? My husband really liked this outfit on me. He said it made me look younger..?
Verdict: Undecided (help me!)

In summary, I thought that this Stitch Fix box worked very well with my style and body type (except for the sweater dress, although it really wasn't that bad).. And I especially appreciated that they remembered my previous requests. Even though I only ended up keeping one item, I still really liked this one.

On a random side note, have any of you tried Lay's new flavors that they're testing out? I saw these advertised last year, but I wasn't able to find this one specifically in stores until now. Lay's Chicken & Waffles chips!! I was undecided after the first bite, but I kept reaching for them. They're sweet and salty with a hint of maple. Very interesting. I know I'm a Dietitian and all that, but it was fun to try these. Don't worry, I moderated my portion size..



And one more thing.. I decided to put on false lashes today because I had work off. I used Urban Decay's Naked 3 palette on my eyes with a beautiful look from Zabrena of My Eyeshadow Consultant website (or known on YouTube as macshadowcombos). If you've never heard of this website, she has made up over 1000+ eyeshadow combos using MAC, Urban Decay, Stila, etc. If you're like me and have a ton of random unused eyeshadows laying around, this is a great resource!
Is it safe to work out with false eyelashes? If not, I will find out tonight!

Here are my other Stitch Fix reviews:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stitch Fix Preview

So, I decided to try out Stitch Fix again.. My box has shipped, and it's set to arrive this week. I didn't ask for anything specific, other than maybe something sparkly or fancy for Valentine's Day. Did I mention that I am going to a Brian McKnight concert in Tacoma on V-Day with my mom and sister? My 20 year-old self is so excited. Anyways, I'm excited to try on this batch of clothes, especially since Graham will be able to take pictures of me and I won't have to take selfies in the bathroom with my iPhone..

Stay tuned..

The good, the bad, and the ugly..

One thing Graham and I always ask each other on our conversations.. what do you want to hear first: the good news or the bad news? We almo...