A Few of My Favourite Things: October 2014

Hello, and welcome to NOVEMBER!! Holy cow this year is flying by! I would seriously love to just stop and catch my breath, but unfortunately this month will be even busier with a 4-day weekend/vacation in Monterey where I'll also be participating in a 5K (which I have NOT trained for AT ALL, and will probably DROP DEAD during the course of, just FYI), NaNoWriMo, and some bedroom remodelling/painting over Thanksgiving weekend. Sheesh! I'm exhausted just thinking about it all!

Anyway, before I dive headfirst into the madness that will be the next 30 days of my life, let me share a few of my favourite things from October. Enjoy!

Cosmetics: I started using Maybellene Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Soft Brown this past month, and really really like it! Yes, I was super excited about the at-home brow tinting kit I'd been using since last July, because it was easy and saved me a couple steps in the morning, but I found this product just about the time I was ready to tint my brows again, and found the Brow Drama applied really easily and quickly, made my brows slightly darker (but not too dark), appear a little thicker, and even disguised my grey eyebrow hairs (SO embarrassed to admit I even HAVE grey eyebrow hairs, but hey, there ya go, full disclosure!). That's not something I was able to do with a simple eyebrow pencil, so, yeah, I'm impressed!

Recently I dug out a bunch of autumn-coloured nail polishes I've been saving just for this time of year, and had two in particular I really liked. The first is one of my all-time faves: a limited edition Cover Girl 3-in-1 polish in Autumn Flame. I bought this at an Ulta store in Costa Mesa many, many, MANY years ago, and have been hoarding it ever since. Seriously, I only use it once a year, and even then, only once or twice because I can't find it anymore, and I love it!

My second favourite autumn colour is one I bought a few months ago: Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Glosstinis in Inferno. I believe this was a special edition to go with the Hunger Games movie that was released earlier this year, but it's a perfect colour for fall, so I saved it, cause it's a really teeny tiny bottle.

So, I've been using the Urban Decay's eye shadows I bought recently at Ulta (in Sin, Lost, and Virgin) all month, and I love them! I know I stayed in my comfort zone and ended up choosing similar colours to my favourite CoverGirl eyeshadow trio (Cafe au Lait), which is basically some tan/brown/nudes. The Urban Decay ones are a bit bolder than the CG's and are a bit sparkly, glittery, gah, I don't know exactly what, but no matter how careful I am, or how hard I tap off the excess shadow, I always end up with a lot of sparkle-glitterness on my nose and cheeks, which is cute when you're five, but is a bit annoying when you're a few years older (heh) ... 

However ... that brings me to my ...

Fave Beauty Tip of the Month: My cousin-in-law, Jocelyn from BootCampBeauty.com recently gave me some great advice about this very problem.  She told me she found it helpful to put on the eye make up first, THEN the foundation, blush, and finishing powder. I tried it, and voila! No more unwanted glitter on my face! Yay! Thanks, Joceclyn, you rock! (Seriously, go check out her YouTube channel, Boot Camp Beauty Tips!)

Fashion: I did some shopping over the past couple months, and ended up with some really cute new things. Unfortunately I haven't been photographing my Outfit of the Day very often, because it's so dark in the morning when I'm getting ready for work that even with my bedroom light and the hall light on, it's hard to get a good picture of the clothes. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do about that just yet, so, stay tuned, I guess. I did, however, just do a shoe unboxing post, so you can go check that out if you're so inclined!

Music: I don't remember what ad it's been playing on, but I've been enjoying the revival of Andrew W.K.'s song Party Hard - just as much head-banging fun as I remember! Also, just discovered a super cool new violinist, Lindsey Sterling, through nerdist.com. Vanessa-Mae will always be my all-time fave, but this chick's talented!

So that's it! What were some of your favourite things from the month of October? Let me know in the comments!

By the way, sorry I don't have any pictures - my iPhone is basically full and won't let me take any more pics, and my regular camera is having issues with memory cards. Hopefully I'll be able to fix one or both problems soon! Have a great November, everyone! Cheers!

A Few of My Favouirte Things: September 2014

Oh, hello, October, where did YOU come from?!?

There's not much to post this time, as September just flew by and I'm sure I lost a week somewhere, but here are a few of my favourite things from the ninth month of the year:

Inspiration: The Central Coast Writers' Conference! Awesome as always, I'm SO glad I talked myself into attending (I almost didn't go this year!)! Our Keynote speaker, Anne Perry, couldn't make it in person, but through the power of modern technology, she was able to be with us over Skype! I took her Backstory class, and got some great tips I'm looking forward to including in my novel. I also took a class on world building and poetry writing, both of which I believe will come in handy as well!

Vacation: My mom and I used the Writers' Conference as an excuse to spend a long weekend in Morro Bay. Although we'd just been there in May, it was still fun and relaxing, and we basically spent a lot of time just sitting on the balcony drinking coffee and tea and enjoying the view of Morro Rock. As usual we stayed at the La Serena Inn, because they give me a great deal for attending the conference, and it was really nice despite the cable being wonky (I think the remote was broke!), and the pilot light having to be on in the gas fireplace all the time, which I believe would cause seizures in sensitive folks with the little flickering light bouncing off the ceiling all night. Gah! Anyway, instead of browsing the shops on the Embarcadero (as we'd just done that in May), we wandered around the antique malls, thrift shops, and used book stores in the downtown area. It was great fun because I didn't even know these stores existed! This one little bead shop? Had a delightful secret garden in the back! There are things I may be going back for!

Cosmetics: So, I started using the Josie Maran Black Oil Argan Oil mascara I bought at Sephora a while ago, and quite like it. I have to top it with Bare Minerals' Locked and Coated waterproof top coat, because it's not waterproof on its own, but so far that hasn't affected the performance. I tried to take some pictures, but can't really get close enough to show how the mascara looks on my lashes without showing off my horrible dark circles and wrinkes around my eyes, so, sorry 'bout that! I also started using Origins Gin-Zing eye cream and face cream, and while I'm not sure they're doing exactly what they advertised (brightening and de-puffing), I do like the smell, they feel good on my skin, and they're certainly not doing any damage!

Fragrance:  Despite purchasing a new fragrance not too long ago, I ended up using Geurlian's Le Petite Robe Noir (Little Black Dress) most of September. Something about it being dark when I get up in the morning, and the black-to-dusty-purple-to-pink on the bottle just kinda felt right together, I guess. Also, it smells nice, and tends to last a long time.

Also: Ulta Beauty opened in the Target Shopping Center in Paso!!! Yay!!

Books: I read the most delightful middle grade book in September: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer . I really loved  The Other Ones, his previous book, and am looking forward to reading  The Whisper (The Riverman book 2) when it's released next March 17th. Also, I started my first ever Anne Perry book, The Cantor Street Hangman, and I'm loving it! She's truly an amazing writer!

TV:  With the start of the new TV season, I've found a few new shows that I'm loving so far including Forever, GothamZ Nation, and Selfie. Also, I'm enjoying the return of Marvel Agents of Sheild and Sleepy Hollow, and might actually watch Survivor and The Amazing Race this season since it appears neither of those shows are including any hideous Big Brother contestants or returning players.

Food: My favourite thing foodie-wise this month was the delicious creme brulee I had at Dorn's restraunt in Morro Bay. SO amazing and decedent!

Well, that's really about it. I'm going to try to keep better track of my faves in October, so stay tuned for what I hope will be an awesome post about some of my favourite things!



A Few of My Favourite Things: August 2014

It's time again to list a few of my favourite things for the past month.  August was not as exciting as July (no major trips or anything!), but there were a few things I really enjoyed the heck out of! I hope you enjoy them, too!

Fragrance: While cleaning out underneath my bathroom sink, I came across a bottle of Jean Paul Gautier Summer perfume from, like, three or four years ago. I thought I'd finished that!


Anyway, since I hadn't been able to find any other summer-specific fragrances, I decided to use it up. I always liked the cute bottle, and the scent is nice and fresh and goes really well with my skin in the sun and heat. The only thing I don't like about it, is that it's kinda sticky, I think because there was some glitter or some other kind of sparkly stuff that was meant to give you an extra summery glow.

Fashion:  I ended up buying a lot of really cute outfits from Lane Bryant, Avenue, and Torrid, but am still on the fence* about a few things, particularly these two leather jackets:


and these cool boots:


Mostly because the jackets just might not be practical - How often would I really wear them? Would I really wear them on the bus to work? Do I really need TWO of them? - and the boots are too tight in the calf (which, since they're designed to be for fat girls, is really disappointing, Lane Bryant!). Now, I know I could try to stretch out the boots, but it would require yet another purchase, and then, what if it didn't work? I'd have to try to sell them on eBay, but they'd be basically "used", and I wouldn't be able to sell them for very much. Also I already have a pair of black knee-high boots that actually fit, it's just they're not nearly as cute/cool as these. le sigh.

Book:  I read Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta in August and LOVED it! It's a beautifully written book with a great story, interesting characters, and satisfying ending. Doesn't get much better than that! I highly recommend it!

TV: Of all the reality TV shows out there, my two all-time faves are So You Think You Can Dance and Face Off. I just love watching intelligent, brilliant people using their God-given brains and talent to perform and create, and to make us feel all the feels. It's so much more pleasurable and satisfying than watching insipid, stupid rich people yelling, swearing, and throwing stuff.  

Another awesome TV thing is that not only did the new series of Doctor Who start up (FINALLY! And, I say that then have to confess I have yet to start watching it myself!), but RetroTV started playing all the old Doctor Who shows in August starting with the William Hartnell episodes. My mom and I have been really enjoying watching the old, stuttery black and white series, complete with awesome props and wardrobe!

Food: I picked up some amazingly delicious tomatoes at the SLO Farmer's Market, and made some awesome BLTs out of them. It really made me wish we'd been able to have a garden this year (but, alas, there's no water in California for gardening!), but I'm thankful I was able to get a taste of some really yummy produce!

Fun Stuff: The August Break is one of my favourite photo projects, and I was thrilled to see Susannah Conway did it again this year! I think I had some really good shots all around, but here are my top three faves (in no particular order):







I hope you had a great August filled with wonderful things you loved and enjoyed! I'd love to hear about them in the comments below! Cheers!

 * by the time you read this I'll probably have made a decision about these, which you'll probably read about in a future post.

A Few of My Favourite Things July 2014

A little late to the party with this particular meme, as per usual, but, better late than never, right? Anyway, here are some of my favourite things from the month of July:

Travel related:

Ebags. These are by far THE best investment I have made in a long, LONG time! They made packing, repacking, and travelling SO much easier! I bought 1 set of the slim packing cubes (this 3-piece set fit perfectly in the backpack mentioned below), and two sets of the 3-piece assorted packing cubes (1 small, 1 medium, 1 large in each set) for my suitcase (also described below).

20" SwissGear Zurich Pilot roller suitcase and backpack. I honestly wasn't sure I could make it travelling for a week-and-a-half with such a small suitcase, but in combination with the Ebags, and the SwissGear backpack it worked. The smaller suitcase was much easier to maneuver in and out of the car and through the airport, and the backpack was very comfortable to wear even when it was packed full. I love that both of them had a laptop compartment - I primarily used the one in the suitcase. My only complaint with the suitcase is that the handle kept collapsing on me as I was rolling it along, but other than that, it was great. I did check both items on the plane, though I probably could've carried on one, but it's just easier for me to check as many bags as possible when travelling. I purchased both items at Target during my "OMG I'm Going on Vacation!! Panic Packing and Shopping Extravaganza" (ditto the Ebags; total panic buy!), and thankfully, it worked!


Godefroy 28 day eyebrow tint. This was super quick and easy to use, and saved me some time with my daily make-up routine. I used this about a week before I left for my vacation (about 30 days ago), and even today my brows are still pretty dark.  I don't think I'll have to dye them again for a couple more weeks at least; maybe I'll just wait till September! I did buy the 28 day eyelash dye kit as well, but, honestly, I was too chicken to try it. What with my chronic iritis and all, I just didn't want to mess up my eyes or my vision just before my vacation! Or, you know, ever, really.

CoverGirl Professional All-in-One Remarkable Waterproof mascara.  Since I didn't dye my own lashes, and ran out of time to have it done professionally before my vacation, this mascara was the next best thing! It was waterproof, smudge-resistant, easy to apply (meaning with very little mess or flaking), lasted pretty much all day, and washed off fairly easily. There was some residual mascara flakes around my eyes after using makeup remover wipes and washing my face, but it wasn't too inconvenient. My favourite thing about it is that it's not too wet, so it's not gloppy and doesn't drip on my face when I blink. Also, the brush is small enough that I don't make too much of a mess of it, particularly with my lower lashes, which are so light they're almost invisible.

NYX Eyebrow Shaper. I love this waxy, crayon thing SO much better than the mascara gel-type brow sealers I've used in the past. I don't have to wait for this to dry, and it never gets crusty. Love it!

L'Oreal Sublime Sun Liquid Silk Lotion for Face in SPF 50+. This is a great sunscreen for the face - it's silky soft, absorbs quickly, and I basically used this in place of my morning moisturizer during my entire vacation. My face never got sunburned the entire time I was gone, and despite using a really good (70 SPF) sunscreen on the rest of my body, my shoulders, upper back, and chest all got a little pink. So did my scalp but that's because I totally forgot to put sunscreen on my exposed scalp, so that's my bad.

My go-to hair colour right now is Revlon Luxurious Coloursilk buttercream hair colour number 42R - medium auburn. Love the colour, love the easy, no-drip application, and the quick, almost total rinse out. Very little colour comes off on my towels. Yes there's some, but not as bad, as say, the Natural Instincts or the L'Oreal Preference haircolours I've used in the past.

L'Oreal Elnet hairspray. I love how this holds without being stiff or sticky, and also that there's one with a UV filter to protect my haircolour (and my scalp! I could've used this during my vacay, but I just had the travel size, and it's just the regular formula).

Fragrance: I think my signature scent might be Burberry Brit. I love the fresh scent and how it's really soft, not terribly sweet and fruity like so many women's fragrances. I really liked their Summer fragrence from last year as well, but I didn't see one this year, so maybe they didn't do one.

Other stuff:

Fashion: I've been loving maxi skirts and t-shirts lately. I wore several during my vacation, and they were so comfortable and convenient, I wish I'd packed ONLY maxi skirts and tees! Oh, but also, palazzo pants. I'm loving palazzo pants as well. Maxi skirts and palazzo pants just seem to scream SUMMER!

Book: The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena. I've already mentioned how much I loved this book a couple times, but it was the best new book I've read in a long time. If you need a reference, it's up there with Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child, and pretty much everything written by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

Music: It's no secret I'm a huge "Weird Al" Yankovic fan from way WAY back. Like, in the 80s, in high school, when I first heard Another One Rides the Bus on the Doctor Demento Show, and immediatly ran down to Musicland to buy the cassette of his first album, which by the way, I still have (along with a CD version and also have it downloaded on an ipod. LOVE that album!). I have every single album he's ever recorded, so when Mandatory Fun came out I downloaded that puppy really super fast!

TV: I've been loving a lot of shows lately (Defiance, The Last Ship, Falling Skies, Rizzoli and Isles, and Major Crimes), but the cream of the crop is, by far, Last Tango in Halifax. Yes, it stars one of my all-time favourite actors (and the second love of my life), the beautiful Sir Derek Jacobi, so obviously I gonna think it's the best thing EVER, but it's also a sweet, adorable little show with romance, comedy, drama, and outrageous and uncomfortable situations, with great writing and acting all-around. Two thumbs up!

Food: I had a lot of amazing meals during my vacation in July, but if I had to pick my all-time fave, it would be the Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel with my two friends Pammie Sue and Darlene. We had three tiers of deliciousness brought to us: sandwiches, scones, and desserts. All that with some amazingly delicious tea! Our server was delightful, the decor was lovely, and the overall atmosphere was relaxed despite the number of guests partaking in the wonderful and scrumptious English ritual.

Beverages: During my vacation I noticed a lot of bars and restaurants offering a "smokey" martini, which is a gin martini with a shot of single malt scotch in place of vermouth. I don't know if it's a new thing, or what, but I tried several during my vacation, and they were all pretty darn good. The best by far, though, was the Signature Smokestack martini from what simply has to be my favourite restaurant/bar in all the world, Tini Bigs in Seattle. Seriously. I stayed in Seattle an extra night  just so Darlene and I could go there. Amazing!

Okay, so I think that covers everything for July, which was an amazingly awesome month that went by way too quickly! I'll try to keep track of stuff that catches my fancy in August for a future entry. Hey, maybe I'll even start a VLOG like everyone else! Ha! Not likely, but hey, you never know! (winks)

Until next time, cheers, dears!!