Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Maya Homework
Maya HomeworkMaya Homework

Maya works on chemistry homework. Trevor is constantly doing homework (majoring in physics with business minor.) My homework is more related to the things my therapist has me work on as far as just coping with everyday life.

I've been spending a lot of time (probably far too much time) on Tumblr. But I've also been writing every day, which is fantastic. Which means that maybe this poor neglected blog will be not so neglected in the near future.

Monday, January 14, 2013

December Birchbox

December Birchbox

So yes, I have my January box in my hands and am just getting around to reviewing the December Birchbox. I worked holiday retail, and to be honest, a lot of the products in the December box sat around for a long time before I had the chance to use them because I was working all the time.

First of all, how awesome that it came in a snazzy holiday style box? I already use Birchboxes for giving presents, so this made it a bit easier. Now on to the samples!

1. Frownies Eye Gels
The touted benefits of these stick on eye gels is that, as opposed to cucumber or tea bags, you can use them to eliminate dark circles and puffiness while sitting around watching TV or internetting. And they do stick on really well. The thing is, they don't really work. I used one on my right eye daily for three days as recommended, and saw absolutely no difference in the appearance compared to the left one. I will say that the eye did feel lovely and cool afterward. However, the cost of these babies breaks down to $10 a set and they can only be used three times, and that's if you rehydrate them with some special rose water that's sold separately (I just made sure to not waste any liquid in the tray and kept them refrigerated.) At that price, tea and cucumbers sound great. Besides, what's wrong with being forced to just sit and relax for half an hour once a week? No animal testing.

2. Cartier Baiser Volé Eau de Parfum
When it comes to all the various notes that comprise most fragrances, this one doesn't mess around. It's lily through and through, using the flowers, buds and green leaves. This means that I was completely reluctant to sample it for a long time. But then one night I got bored and said "What the hell" and gave it a whirl. It's really not bad. Lighter than I expected, it's very feminine without being overpoweringly floral. Not really me, but a nice fragrance if you want a white flower that doesn't smell like a Victorian spinster aunt's house. No animal testing.

3. Cartier DĂ©claration d'un Soir
As a bonus, Birchbox sent a Cartier men's fragrance. Trevor doesn't wear fragrance, which is okay, because I liked this one enough to wear it occasionally. Years ago in Seventeen or YM or Sassy, I remember an article that said that certain men's fragrances are fantastic on women, because our body chemistry makes them smell different. The article stated that it's a good way to stand out with your fragrance. My favorite men's fragrances use sandalwood, and this one mixes that with spices and a little bit of rose. I do have to use it sparingly, though. No animal testing.

4. AHAVA Dermud Enriched Intensive Foot Cream
I was so sad that this one came in a teeny tiny sample packet instead of a deluxe sample, because it is fantastic. I am obsessive about keeping my feet moisturized, and it was nice to try a foot cream that doesn't rely on peppermint fragrance. It has a sublimely non greasy texture and is super concentrated, so you don't have to use a ton. Even the tiny packet lasted three uses. Since it is so concentrated, I would definitely splurge on the full size if I had the resources right now. No animal testing.

5. Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo
I don't usually get excited about shampoo samples, because I don't tend to focus a lot on shampoo in my regimen, since they spend so little time on the hair for formulations to matter a lot. However, I did get excited that this is a clarifying formula, since I wear product in my hair and don't wash it every day. The first thing I noticed when I finally got around to using it is the smell. It's got a really nice warm smell of amber and musk that would go really well with Orofluido's
It did a fantastic job of cleansing my hair and scalp without leaving my hair with that awful stripped feeling pre conditioner. Expensive, but if you're just going to use it as an occasional clarifying treatment, it might be worth it to have in your shower. Vegan and not tested on animals.

6. theBalm® cosmetics Hot Mama Shadow & Blush All-in-One
theBalm's products are just awesome all around. (There's one in the January box that I can't wait to try out.) This two in one blush and eye shadow is no exception. It's got a silky texture that doesn't cake and a beautiful peachy color. I prefer it as a blush/highlighter but it's also great if you're doing subtle eye makeup. No animal testing.

Final verdict? Pretty damned good, which is fortunate because this was my penultimate box. I unsubscribed for the time being due to tightening our financial belts. I'll still be reviewing new beauty products but it may be a few months before I resubscribe.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winter Tilt Shift

Winter tilt shift

Yeah, I'm gonna talk about the weather, but it's accompanied by pretty pictures so I hope it's okay. I'm excited that we finally got accumulating snow on Sunday. The snow was wet and fluffy, the kind that sticks to the trees and shrubs like flocking, so I took a few photos when I stopped at the bank on my way home from work. On a whim, I used the tilt shift setting and I think they turned out beautifully.

Winter Tilt Shift

Last year was a relatively warm and un-snowy winter in Wisconsin. It was my fifth Christmas here, and the first with no snow on the ground. Two years ago this week, I messaged Trevor from Mexico, telling him it was 85 degrees, and he replied that there'd been 14 inches of snow in the past day and that the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis had collapsed.

Winter Tilt Shift

The lack of precipitation last winter exacerbated the drought conditions over the summer, so while it does get tiring shoveling snow and driving in it and dealing with the slush in March, I've been hoping that this year won't be quite like last year. Driving through the Midwest this summer, it was heartbreaking to see acres and acres of brown, parched corn.

So here's hoping for a white Christmas and a good layer of snow the whole winter. Though it'd be nice to avoid a blizzard for another year.