Wednesday, April 16, 2014

True Colors

Do you love chartreuse? teal? white? Break open the Crayola box, and get ready for...

The specs:
Signups run from April 14-21
Partners assigned by April 23
Packages sent on or by May 9/10

Packages include at least 5 items (but as many as you want) in your partner's favorite color. Packages must cost $20-$30 before shipping.

(for those that do handmade, I usually price handmade goodies by the cost to make them, not the selling price)

You can win mystery polish and remover from Down The Bayou Lacquer!
Click on the photos for more info.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BioTerra Herbs Sleep (z-z-z) Product Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I always have a hard time falling asleep (unlike Fedora, who is out like a light within two minutes of laying down).

I've tried dosing myself with NyQuil (which causes my brain to panic against the encroaching dulling of senses) and brandy (which just makes me have to pee more), and even caffeine-fighting herbal supplements (on the off-chance that I'm ignorantly caffeinated).

None work well and consistently, so I was willing to give BioTerra Herbs a try.

BioTerra Herbs provides natural, vegan herbal solutions to many issues, including trouble sleeping (z-z-z), low energy (boing), snoring (shush), digestion issues (belch),  stress (gah!), trouble focusing (huh?), and weak immune system (zap). The brand is sprinkled with humor, from the goofy product pics to their casual and silly word choice.

Kinda nice to see an herbal supplement brand not assume it's the guru here to fix all our lives. 

Other bonuses: Sleep (z-z-z) is non-GMO, gluten-free, and contains Chinese salvia, jujube, schisandra, and turmeric. I received a 5-day supply, but they recommend using the product for 2 weeks before you will see the full effects (it must build up in your system, since they're low dosages of herbs). 

You take two of these capsules, 30 minutes before sleeping.
(nice and tiny soft capsules)

I did this, and apparently fell asleep within about 10 minutes of laying down (or so Fedora tells me....I remember laying down, and my dream, and waking up). I didn't feel sluggish or drugged, just drowsy. And when I woke up, it wasn't a struggle but a natural coming-to.

I think I may have found my sleeping solution! Here, have a cute bunny sleep gif:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pretty Little Beauty Swap Score

I participated in a swap that I didn't co-host with Miss Angie.

"Hosted by Justine from Sleepy Single Girl Chelsee from Southern Beauty Guide and Ange from Hairspray and Highheels. The Pretty Little Beauty Swap is a bi-monthly swap between ladies who love makeup and meeting new friends!"

I was paired with Sarah from The Rooster & The Sunflower, who is a total sweetheart. She's a mom, a foodie/chef, and a beauty maven, with color-changing eyes (how cool!).  We have a lot in common, especially where it comes to beauty products, skin tone issues, color fun, and dealing with crazy schedules.

I'm really glad I was paired with Sarah, and now can stalk follow her blog and social media. She's new to the blogging world, so I highly recommend you go check her out and leave some love. 

I thought I sent her a pretty decent swap package, but I was blown away by what she sent me. We exchanged quite a few emails, and really got to know each other's preferences. 

EYES: Maybelline Color Tattoo, NYX Wonder Pencil (for concealer, waterliner, and lip liner), NYX eyeliner, NYX Love in Rio eyeshadow palette, Maybelline Purple Mascara and NYX Blue Mascara.

You guys. COLORED MASCARA. I can't wait to wear it! The NYX Wonder Pencil intrigues me as well- a waterliner that's more flesh than white sounds like a good idear to me. 
And eyeshadows! All the eyeshadows are mine! Muahahaha!

NAILS: Julep Mighty cuticle pen, Tilly polish in Mint Green, Polished Colors in a deep purple and a Tiffany's blue.

In addition to our mutual eyeshadow addiction, Sarah and I have a love of nail polish. This cuticle pen takes the cake, though. She knew I've been having issues with weak nails and chipping and whatnot with my jobs...and this is the miracle cure! It's a twice-a-day treatment for 2 weeks, so I'm gonna stay on top of it. And those polishes....Fedora's eyes lit up when he saw the purple (he loves me in purple).

FACE: Benefit Fake Up concealer (which I've been wanting to try for months!) and Porefessional, Pond's facial moisturizer, and Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange hand cream.

We also share dry skin issues, despite the fact that Sarah lives in TX and I live in WA. This hand cream smells amazing!
I'm tickled that she got me some Fake Up, which I cannot wait to try on my problem spots. The Ponds is perfect for traveling, and the Porefessional may be what I need for those pesky huge-ass pores on either side of my nose.

HAIR: Macadamia deep conditioning mask, 10 Things Keratin treatment for hair.

With dry, curly hair, I need moisturizing options all the time. I've not used many masks (hair or otherwise), but Sarah swears by them. I can't wait to give it a shot!

Thank you, Sarah, for being an attentive, generous swap partner, and a sparkling blogger and new friend. You rock!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Literary Friday: Mirror Mirror

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Synopsis according to GoodReads:
"The world was called Montefiore, as far as she knew, and from her aerie on every side all the world descended.

The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria at Montefiore, the farm of her beloved father, Don Vicente. There she spends her days cosseted by Primavera Vecchia, the earthy cook, and Fra Ludovico, a priest who tends to their souls between bites of ham and sips of wine.

But one day a noble entourage makes its way up the winding slopes to the farm -- and the world comes to Montefiore. In the presence of Cesare Borgia and his sister, the lovely and vain Lucrezia -- decadent children of a wicked pope -- no one can claim innocence for very long. When Borgia sends Don Vicente on a years-long quest to reclaim a relic of the original Tree of Knowledge, he leaves Bianca under the care -- so to speak -- of Lucrezia. She plots a dire fate for the young girl in the woods below the farm, but in the dark forest there can be found salvation as well ...
The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say."

Mirror Mirror is a unique novel, and a blending of the classic Snow White fairytale elements with the darker rumors of Lucrezia Borgia. There's something charming about mixing historical fiction with fairy tale, and the trademark Maguire insertion of philosophy. Having recently read a fantastic true-to-facts novel about the Borgias, it was interesting to get this wicked queen side.

For a powerful female historical figure to further vilify into a wicked fairytale queen, Lucrezia Borgia was an excellent pick. Maguire didn't include much of actual history, just hinted at the nastier rumors spread about her (the incest, the poisoning, the rampant lust) and played on common concepts of jealousy, paranoia brought about by medieval health treatments, and how obsession is inherently destructive.

He also weaves in quite a bit of Christian philosophy and lore, very, very subtly. If you've never read a Gregory Maguire book, they run contrary to most novels- you're never very intimate with a character, as his focus is on the over-arcing story elements. But then out of nowhere he'll smack you with some deep musing about whether we are inherently beings, or whether the act of being observed by others is what defines us as individuals. 

Yep, that's what this book does.

I recommend it for fans of Gregory Maguire, unique fairytale retellings (and non-contemporary styles of first-person immersive, here), and philosophy fans.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Nail Files: April Showers

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I got so tired of the rain, I simply had to express my displeasure via my nails!

That's Candies "Lucky Charm" for the umbrella, Julep "Cleopatra" for the umbrella handle, brown ink pen trace around the umbrella and Pahlish "Sitting in a Tin Can" to represent the grey skies and rain.