Friday, January 27, 2012

Project 366: Week 4

Aiieeeee . . . I struggled this week. The Meyers had the never-ending fever from hell and it threw us off big time, all week long. I am not so proud of the photos I have from this week, but whatevs. I took them. All with a real camera. I'm pleased I stuck with it, even if the photos aren't my best work.

I really sold that, didn't I?

Day 20: Cupcakes at the mall (Sigma 17 70, Bower Flash)

Day 21: Peterson Automotive Museum (Sigma 17 70)

Day 22: Swinging (50mm 1.8)

Day 23: Nail polish (Sigma 17 70, Macro ring light)

Day 24: Goodies from the set of the Harry Potter films. (Sigma 17 70)

Day 25: Bottoms up (Sigma 17 70)

Day 26: Peas n' tots (Sigma 17 70)

Day 27: Hot pink lipstick (Sigma 17 70)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dear Rhyser

Dear Rhyser,

You are 20 months and 25 days old today. 20 months, 25 days, and about 101 degrees, unfortunately. You've got a bit of a virus . . . or maybe just a bit of 2 year molar induced angst and woe, as your upper set seem to be breaking through your gums at the moment.

Yesterday, when we were home sick from work, you took to following me around the house at one point shouting "MAMA!!!" every minute or so. I offered you fruit, snacks, water, trains . . . everything I could think of but you shook your little head each time and said "No . . . " After a few minutes, I knelt down and got eye level with you and said "Tell Mommy what you need, Rhys. You can have anything you want." You took my face and cradled it between your two, chubby toddler hands, rested your head on my shoulder and sighed. Just Mama, that's all you wanted . . . and I was so happy to oblige. We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the sofa together watching cartoons and snuggling.

Your use of sentences has really been blossoming lately. This morning as we tried to wake you for the day you told me "Lay down, Mama . . . do more mana!" (mana is your word for nursing). We've also heard a chorus of "no shoes, Rhys boots!" lately . . . you love your rainboots. Fiercely.

Your interest in trains is also pretty fierce. You love your wooden train set, your stacking trains, a wind up train you got in a kids' meal and the plastic trains we have as bathtub toys. Pretty much anything can pinch hit as a train too: The other day we took you to the Peterson Automotive Museum and, while in the gift shop, you grabbed a bunch of toy cars and lined them up like a train. You had a row of about 10 going when a pair of little girls stooped next to you and asked me "What is he DOING?". I told them you like trains more than cars, and you were pretending the toy cars were trains. They were pretty smitten . . . one of the girls patted you on the head.

You have a pretty stunning effect on little girls. They flock to you on playgrounds and at parks. The older ones want to hold you, lift you or help you down a slide. The younger ones have been known to run up to you out of nowhere and steal a hug. I can't say I blame them . . . you're pretty darn cute. I try not to think too much about the implications your cuteness will have when you reach junior high and high school age . . . hopefully we'll have taught you empathy effectively enough that you won't be too much of a heartbreaker. Not a cruel heartbreaker, at least.

Your current gaggle of girlfriends at daycare are a nice group of girls. This morning, your dad and I thought you were over your cold/virus/teething/whatever and I drove you to daycare and attempted to drop you off. You wouldn't have any of it, you clung to me and cried. I sat down on the step to cuddle you and, before long, I had Aly sitting on our left patting your arm and El-nor sitting on our right starting to cry herself. Empathy shouldn't be that tough to teach, come to think of it . . . you're in with a truly golden group of kids!

You're just the sweetest, smartest, most gorgeous child in the universe, Rhys Owen. That's just all there is too it. I love you more than anything in the world.

Your Mama

Monday, January 23, 2012

Galaxy (Nail) Quest

First blogging via iPad experience, as I'm holed up on the soda watching "choo choo train pirate" with Mr. 102 Fever Pants.

I cant even remember how galaxy nails came to my attention, but they are So! up my alley. Space, nerdiness, nails, craftiness...

I watched a great, clear video on YouTube by cutepolish, bought a few inexpensive polish shades and got cracking.

I started with a base of Orly Bonder and Sephora by OPI What's a Tire, Jack?

Next, and this was way way easy, I tore up a bit of makeup sponge and used it to dab on first a yellow (Milani Lemonjello), then a sea foam green (Spoiled Toad-ally Amazing) and a nude pink (SpoiledShow Me Some Skin). This created the base of my "nebulae".

Then I used the same sponging method to highlight with a gold (Milani Gold Dust) and blur out the nebulae edges with navy (ButterLondon Royal Navy)

Lastly, I dabbed on white stars with a white nail art pen, layered on a cost of glitter (Wet n Wild 469) and a clear topcoat.


Sounds way more complicated and time consuming than it was, I swear. The whole process took about 30 minutes, including dry time for the black base coat.

And just looooook at the coolness!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project 366, Week 3

Still fighting the good fight at Week 3!

My sweet, sweet boy. He spotted me taking photos of LPs for daddy's Ebay shop and ran over all "Mommy! PICTURE! CHEESE!!!" (Sigma 17 70 with Macro Ring Light)

Hey! Here's a train! (Sigma 10 20)

Zing! At Kidspace Childrens' Museum (Sigma 17 70)

Choo choo: The center of my existence (Sigma 17 70)

Baby and his mama (Sigma 17 70, Bower Flash)

Pretty pretties (Sigma 17 70)

Review and EOTD: Wet and Wild Comfort Zone Palette

Dirty secret time? I have lots of eyeshadow palettes. I have everything from a cheap e.l.f. 100 palette (used rarely, if at all, but somehow the fact that I have bright red and cobalt blue shadows at my disposal is comforting) all the way up to Tarte and Urban Decay palettes, with a slew of smaller palettes in between (Too Faced, NYX, MUA, you name it). But, lately? This unassuming, $4.99 palette is the one I reach for most often. Yep, more often than my $50+ palettes.

Wet and Wild shadows have a lovely, soft, blendable consistency that makes them just a joy to use. The ones I've tried have ranged from adequately pigmented to whoah! that's pigmented! Good things, all around. Surprisingly good, given the price point!

This particular palette is well worth your $4.99 (if you're reading this before 1/21, you can get it at Rite Aid for $2.99, as they're running a 40% off sale on Wet and Wild and the moment. I don't think I need to elaborate on what an amazing deal that is.)

The internet seems to be in agreement that the definer shade on the right hand side is the standout of the palette. It is a lovely duochrome with a red brown base and teal/green shimmer. I've only used it as a liner so far, and it reads mostly red brown in that application, but I can imagine it used to stunning effect from the lashline to the crease to create a smoky eye.

To me, the real standout of the palette is actually the browbone shade on the right hand side. It is the color of aged linen, old books, dusty curtains . . . GOOD THINGS. It is pale without being bright. Antique looking. GORGEOUS. I've used this shadow as a base under other, higher end shadows . . . but I like it just fine used with shades from either column of the Comfort Zone palette as well.

In my opionion, the browbone shade on the right hand column alone (can we get some names for these shades, Wet and Wild?) merits the $4.99 price tag of this palette. It is especially unique . . . in all the eyeshadow palettes I own, I don't have a single shade to compare it to. That's saying something. That's saying quite a bit, actually.

Here's an EOTD:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Project 366: Week Two

I'm finally getting past the anxious feeling that I might forget to take a photo . . . and I'm actually pretty pleased with my submissions this week!

SATURDAY: A cake for my parents' friend Ron's birthday (Sigma 17 70)

SUNDAY: In line for Small World at Disneyland (Sigma 10 20)

MONDAY: Puddle stomping (Sigma 10 20)

TUESDAY: Mana in the car after school/work, shortly after my boy uttered the most perfect sentence in the history of the English language: "Mama! Mana! Birds nigh nighs tree, puddle! Car! Mama drive car! DADDY!" (Canon 50mm 1.8)

WEDNESDAY: Choo-chooin' (Canon 50mm 1.8)

THURSDAY: Dinner at Mel's Diner to celebrate the 3 year anniversary of our Vegas (legal) wedding. Cause we're classy. (Sigma 17 70)

FRIDAY: Handful of brass coins (Sigma 17 70, macro style)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Recap

A little late to the game, am I? Pshaw . . . it isn't even mid January yet. Thanks to Sundry for the awesome questionnaire!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

I took (two!) international flights with a toddler, threw a first birthday party, hosted a big family event at our house (a combo Easter day brunch / baby shower), learned to use a DSLR, took a family vacation to Lake Arrowhead and bridesmaid-ed (twice!).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Resolutions for 2012: made. I don't actually remember making any resolutions last year, thanks to not having blogged them (that's the value of blogging, right there, in a nutshell).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope, but a few babies are due this year!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Boy's paternal grandmother, the matriarch of the Fischer clan. She lived an amazing, full life and is leaving the most incredible legacy I can imagine: a large, close-knit family of people who predominantly like each other.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

A cushier bank balance.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 30th, my son's first birthday. April 29th, the royal wedding (SHUT UP). November 6, the day we flew to England.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Finding a little more balance between working and momming and finally feeling like I'm doing both things (or, all three things, rather, as I consider running my Etsy shop to be working as well) at a solid, respectable level.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not sticking to our budget (although I'll admit, we had a damn good time ignoring it).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Several barfing illnesses (thanks, TODDLER!) and a sinus infection or two, but nothing earth shattering.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Toss up: Our DSLR or our king size bed.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, daycare, The Gap.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Our trip to the UK!

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Everything on the upcoming, as yet unreleased Jealous Sound album that I got my hands on early because my husband is teh awesome. It is fucking incredible.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder?: Happier. See above re: work/mom balance
– thinner or fatter?: Thinner! I finally lost all my baby weight (and then some). THANK YOU BREASTFEEDING AND CRAZY, RAMBUNCTIOUS TODDLER!
– richer or poorer?: Poorer (GAP!!! *shakes fist*)

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Playing with my boy, reading.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?


18. How did you spend Christmas?
Like this.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Game of Thrones. BY A LOT.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Gah, this is so embarrassing, but I'm not even sure I can claim having read a whole book. I'm resolved to read more this year . . . and I'm duly ashamed. I read lots of blogs though, in my defense. My brain hasn't entirely turned to jelly.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Jealous Sound, every 90s emo band I loved that is now easily accessible via Spotify.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
We've had more of a Netflix year than a theater year. I loved The Kings Speech and Time After Time. I realize one of those films is as old as I am. GO WITH IT.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 32. On the day itself, I picked my son up early and we stopped by a park on the way home. Then my son, husband and I had breakfast for dinner at a local diner. We then celebrated my and my mom's birthdays jointly with an overnight trip to Disneyland.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More time to spend with my boys.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Jeans and striped shirts.

26. What kept you sane?

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Time spent worrying is time hopelessly wasted.

And now for a bonus photo a month parade:













Monday, January 9, 2012

Wet and Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio: Silent Treatment

After my positive experience with a Wet and Wild eyeshadow single, I decided to try out one of their much lauded Color Icon trios. I like taupe eyeshadow, and the internet is all abuzz with excellent reviews of the taupe shade in the Silent Treatment trio, so it was a no-brainer to pick up that trio first.

The trio includes a peachy pink highlight shade, a deep brown crease shade (that I actually think is dark enough to use as a liner) and a sweet, lightly frosted purple leaning taupe. The softness is incredible, especially considering the price point, and the pigmentation is, while not the best I've ever seen, assuredly above-par. Staying power is nothing spectacular on its own, but definitely workable over primer.

I LOVE the look I created using these shadows. I followed the "instructions" and used the taupe as a lid shade, whereas if left to my own devices, I'd probably have used the peach on the lid and the taupe in the crease. Turns out, I really like the slightly smokey look of a darker lid shade.

You have to assume I bought more of these shadows . . . right? And I did! And I'll review them!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Project 366, Week One!

I should confess that I actually decided to do project 365(6!!!) on January 2nd, I was just lucky that I had taken a gorgeous picture of my sleeping New Years' morning beebs the day before (FTW!).

1) Sweet sleeper (Sigma 17 70)

2) My dad on the Mine Car ride at Knotts (Sigma 10 20)

3) My boys reading my old childhood books, after work (Canon 50mm 1.8)

4) My first "flakie" nail polish: Essie Shine of the Times over Sephora for OPI Caffiene Fix (Sigma 17 70, cheap LED macro ring light)

5) My boy pouring water (Sigma 17 70, Bower flash)

6) New necklace (Sigma 17 70)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear Meyers

You are 20 months and 4 days old today. TWENTY months. I'm shocked by the sound of that. You're well on your way to being two. Two! My baby! TWO!

You are a talk-o-potomus if I've ever heard one. You parrot practically anything you overhear, and I'm consistently surprised by the extent to which you remember most of what you've parroted.

You seem to have picked things out of the ether, learned them and memorized them for use later. Just the other day, you pulled a penny out of the change slot of a vending machine and held it up to me, proudly proclaiming "Money!!!". I had no idea that you knew the word. You guarded that little penny fiercely . . . stopping to pick it up each time you dropped it. We taught you to put it in your pocket and asked you throughout the rest of the day where your money was. You always answered "Money, pocket!", and patted your pocket to make sure it was safe. When we got home, we showed you how to put your money in your piggy bank. We uncorked the bank and showed you all the change we'd collected for you there . . . we counted it, sorted it, you put it all back.

You love any activity that involves lots of fine motor control: puzzles, shape sorting, block stacking, bead threading. You also love trains. Like, whoa, with the trains. We have a wooden train set and you adore putting the track pieces together to make bridges, then swooshing your three linked train cars down the bridge incline. You like cars a little, but trains are your first love.

You are so creative in your play . . . your favorite things to play with are often not toys at all: a stack of boxes, a handful of kitchen utensils, a dish towel, my keys. One of your favorite things to do is to make forts out of blankets or pillows. Sometimes mommy is allowed in the fort . . . sometimes not. You're an independent little guy, but there are often times you want me with you and my heart just sings when you hold your still-chubby hand out to me and say "Mommy, num!!!".

You still nurse in the morning, evening and at naptimes and I'm so pleased with us for sticking it out this long. There have been times, in the last few months especially, where all of your little friends at playschool have been sick, I've even been sick, and you've been just fine. I know that nursing is making you stronger and healthier, and it gives you and I guaranteed quiet time each day to snuggle and be together. Nursing is so wonderful that I'm actually sometimes sad for you, thinking you won't ever get to nurse a baby yourself. Sometimes, though, when you're nursing your dad will come lie down and cuddle with us . . . we make a Meyers sandwich with you snuggled in the middle. That, you'll be able to do with your own little nugget someday . . . it makes me happy to think of it!

We've applied to a preschool we'd love for you to go to, and we'll know in the Spring whether you'll be going there in the fall. I know that the months between now and then will fly by . . . and that you're learning, growing and developing at warp speed. You speak mostly in 3-6 word sentences and phrases now as it is . . . in 9 months we'll be having full-fledged conversations. I can't wait to hear all the things you'll have to tell us when you get home from school each day!

There's no slowing you down, so this year I'm going to make an extra effort to slow me down instead . . . to give myself more time to enjoy you. You're a wild, glorious and wonderful little hurricane of toddler exuberance . . . whizzing by all too quickly. I can't wait to see who you grow up to be, Rhys Owen, but if I could slow down time and snuggle my sweet boy a bit longer, I would.


Your Mommy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

MUA Extreme Metallics Eyeshadow Quads: #3 Starstruck

This is one of the quads that gave me pause before I clicked the "Buy Now!" button on Ebay. I'm not much of a color person when it comes to eyeshadow. I like taupe, grey, shimmering neutrals, black, plums or khakis on occasion . . . but I've never (outside of halloween) worn anything as audacious as the mint green in this quad.

I was swayed, however, by the fact that even the "out there" color quads in this line contain at least one or two wearable, neutral shades. Starstruck actually contains three wearable neutrals, in addition to one frosty mint chip ice cream green, From the right they are a sparkling chocolate, a shimmering sand beige and a sweet pink that actually leans very peach on my skin tone:

. . . and swatched (bare skin, no primer, applied with a finger):

The first time I used this palette for an eye look I used the green as a lid shade, the chocolate in the crease, the sand as a highlight and the peach to blend. The green went on opaque and frosty and the feedback I got from my husband was . . . unenthusiastic.

The second time, I tried using the green as an inner corner highlight, blended and faded into the peach in the outer corner. The sand as a highlight and the chocolate in the crease. The results were much more subdued and wearable:

I was ultimately surprised by the versatility of that green, and the wearability of the pink/peach. A winner that I never would've picked up in a store . . . I'm happy to own this little gem.