Friday, July 31, 2015

July 2015

Read: Water Cooler Diaries (4/5), This Dark Endeavor (3/5), A Letter to My Mom (5/5 review here), Wild Rover No More (5/5), City of Heavenly Fire (5/5), An Ice Cold Grave (5/5), So Yesterday (4/5), Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (4/5), Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (5/5), Four (5/5), and Sharp Objects (5/5).

I'm pretty excited that I've already read 47/50 of the books for my Goodreads goal.

Watched: We finished Orange is the New Black, watched Wet Hot American Summer (and I'm so excited for the new episodes!), started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the beginning (again for me, the first time for Jarrod), and attempted watching The Sisterhood of Night because the younger sister from The Chronicles of Narnia is in it, but we gave up. It was bad.

Listened: I had never listened to a podcast before earlier this year, they're just not really my thing. But I have found one I love and that's Popcast by Jamie and Knox. It's all pop culture and I just really like them both, although I'm #TeamJamie 90% of the time. I also started listening to Glamour's What I Wore When... podcast about what women in the fashion industry (including magazine people and actresses) wore during important moments in their lives. I have a few more to start listening to, just to see if any of them will stick or if I'm still just not really a podcast person.

We celebrated the Fourth at my parents' house, as per usual. I didn't take many pictures, but Quinn did take a picture of me.


Quinn was able to write her name by herself for the first time, although she forgot an n.

We took a road trip to my friend Rachel's house. You might remember when I recapped my road trip to her baby shower with gifs. Her son is now almost two and he did NOT know what to do with all of Quinn's energy, but we had fun. I also got to have lunch with my friend Genevieve at a restaurant where trains bring you your food. Hopefully next time I'll remember how many friends I have in the area and will be able to visit Dara too!

The day after we got back from Rachel's I was lucky enough to finally get my wisdom teeth removed. I didn't saying anything cute or wacky, though. I was pretty lucid after coming out of the anesthesia. I do remember saying it was terribly rude that they left the sticky heart monitor things on me, though. I'd also highly recommend the cheesecake shake from Sonic. But I drank too many of them during my recovery.

Mom snagged a picture of me sleeping. Then she cleaned my house, so it's okay.
I took the Which Character From the Lion King Are You? quiz and got Timon, which is pretty legit.

Quinn and I went to some garage sales (for the first time this summer) and then all three of us went to a consignment sale on the west side. We got some really good deals, it averaged out to $0.60 per item of clothing/pair of shoes. Then $6 for a Wonder Woman Little People invisible jet and WW and Batgirl Little People and a princess poster. I was STOKED that Jarrod and Quinn found the jet AND it was half off (last days of consignment sales are the best).


And as of today Quinn will be four in thirty days and will start preschool in 26 days. I'm totally ready and not ready at the same time.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stupid Pinterest

I recently came across Stephanie and her Stupid Pinterest posts. Lo and behold, I get on Pinterest this morning and one of the first pins I see qualifies.


Please tell me you see what's wrong with this. Food is not slutty. People are not slutty either, but that's a topic for a different post. I ABHOR calling food things like "guilt free" or "skinny" or whatever. There should be NO guilt in eating and no shaming in eating either. How is this slutty? Because it has lots of toppings? Then call it "everything" or "everything but the kitchen sink" or "loaded". There are SO MANY better options.

The other thing I have an issue with is "no-carb pasta". If there are no carbs, then it's NOT pasta! I didn't look at the recipe, but I'm pretty sure they're zucchini noodles. They're called zoodles. Just call it that.

If I ever make this recipe (doubtful, Jarrod doesn't like zucchini) I'd call it Loaded Zoodles. LOOK! No guilt/shaming/lying.

Bah.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I FINALLY FINISHED A BOOK CHALLENGE

It totally deserves all caps. The challenge I finished was the Semi Charmed summer 2015 challenge.

I know I've posted the list a million times (or so it seems) so here's the original list, but the changes I made were:

Freebie: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (reviewed)
Random Book Off Shelf: I Take You by Eliza Kennedy (reviewed)
Goodreads Best Book 2014: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (reviewed)
Author New to You: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I'm just so excited I actually finished all the books for the challenge, I haven't done that before!


In other reading challenge news:

I've read a grand total of one book for Erin's challenge. And it was just the freebie. But that's what happens when you try to do a million challenges at once.

For the Literary Ladies Reading Challenge I've done a little better.

Kickass Female Character: Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris
On TBR Over a Year: Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman
Written by Comedian: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
YA Book: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

And even better on my aunt's book bingo.

Best Seller: Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
Second in Series: Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris
Older than 10 Years: Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman
Funny Book: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Different Continent: This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppal
Over 500 pages: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

I'm telling you, it makes a difference when books can count toward more than one challenge. I still have 20 more books to read. Erin's challenge ends at the end of October, Literary Ladies on September 21st, and my aunt's bingo doesn't end until the end of the year, so those are obviously on the bottom of the reading list.

Jarrod snuck a picture of me reading to Quinn last night.
I'm also still grabbing random books from the library to read and reviewing books (like A Letter to My Mom), so we'll see how this goes.

Monday, July 20, 2015

WIP

Is it considered a work in progress if I haven't even started? Maybe not.

I'm making a dress for my SIL as part of a cosplay. I've actually been working on it since October-ish, but between holidays, me being lazy, the pattern test I did, then getting my wisdom teeth out (and my laziness) it hasn't gotten finished. I can't find the picture of the dress she wanted me to base it on, but this is the fabric I'm using along with a black cotton.


I need to finish putting the skirt together, then figure out how I'm going to do the top and bow. If you know of any great button up shirt patterns, let me know.

She's also having me make a patchy vest for a different cosplay. I think this one should be easy enough and maybe even fun, figuring out how to do the patches. I haven't started on this one at all.


I also have to finish knitting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hats. I've got two done, five more hats and a dog collar left to do. It'd go by quicker if I could stop messing up my color blocking. Luckily, I have until at least October to finish these.

I'm also planning on making Quinn some princess dresses she doesn't have. Currently she really wants Aurora and Cinderella. Again, haven't even bought fabric for these, but they're on my "next-to-do" list.

Speaking of princesses, I still need to make Quinn her princess jumpsuit from the pattern I tested for Ajaire. Which, you can buy! The Paneled Sunsuit is actually 10 different patterns and I'm so excited to make more for Quinn. Plus the size range is newborn to 12 years so we'll be using it a while. This is the fabric we're using for the next one:

Disney Fashionable Princess Cotton from JoAnn
I'm kind of excited to get into sewing more, I really took a break from it for a while, but pattern testing kicked me back into gear. I'll make sure to post pictures when I actually complete some stuff.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Obsessions

So, Erin copied a post that someone else did and now I'm copying Erin. That's how trends happen, right? The gist is to ask your closest friends/family/whomever to tell you the top three to five things they associate with you. I wasn't surprised by any that I got, to be honest.

Being a Good Mom/Quinn/Family: 8
I'm not surprised by this one at all. Quinn is about 90% of what my life consists of now and I'm cool with that. I did appreciate that it was phrased as "being a good mom" by someone. That made me feel good.


Blogging/Internet/Social Media: 6
Considering I mentioned I was asking for a blog post, I'm also not surprised by this one. Especially since only one of the people I asked has a blog.

Reading/Books: 4
I was kind of surprised there weren't more people who answered with books because I almost always have a book in my purse.

Freebies/Giveaways/Coupons: 3
Slightly surprised there wasn't more of this answer either. I have an entire system down for my grocery store coupons and will RARELY buy something online or in store without checking at least two apps (sometimes more) for coupon codes.

Hair Color: 3
I had pink hair when I originally asked for responses, but now I'm back to brown. I'm wondering if I would have gotten as many if I hadn't had pink hair when asking.

This is from March, I'm actually back to brown now.
Creative Stuff/Knitting/Sewing: 3
Again, surprised this one wasn't higher. Apparently I'm mostly Quinn and blogging, which is true. Especially because I tend to get into waves of creativity. I'll knit or sew constantly, then stop and do nothing for a week.

Marvel/Superheroes: 2
TV/Movies: 2
I used to be a six-degrees-of-separation BUFF. And movie/tv trivia in general. It's lessened some since I don't watch as many movies as I used to (having a kid will do that to you). But I do still love reading the "trivia" sections on IMDB.

Each of these were only mentioned by one person:
Style, Star Wars, Cooking, Wine, Dessert, Theatre

I'm kind of surprised more people didn't mention wine or some kind of dessert. And the one person who mentioned theatre is someone I went to high school with, when it was a much bigger part of my life, so that makes sense to me.

April 2002, after our middle school production of Annie with me as Bert Healy (we were short on guys) with my brother and sister


Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Letter to My Mom

I received this book from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are my own.


A Letter to My Mom is pretty self explanatory. A bunch of different people (some famous, some not) wrote letters to their moms and Lisa Erspamer (who has also compiled A Letter to My Cat and A Letter to My Dog) put them all together. Some were funny, some were sad, some were just sweet, but they were all heartfelt.

I think my favorite letters were the ones from children. The simple honesty that emanates from the short letters is just beautiful. Although the ones from celebrities are fun too, just because you don't usually see that side of them.

The first page of the book is actually a spot for you to write your own letter to your mom. I think that would make this a great Mother's Day gift, especially if you haven't told your mom "thank you" or "you were right" which I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to tell my mom enough times. Although, I am going to try.

at Disney on Ice earlier this year
Dear Mom,

        I'm pretty sure I've told you before, especially since Quinn was born, but I'm sorry and thank you and you were most definitely right. It's even in print now, so you have proof if I ever happen to backslide back into my obnoxious teenage ways. I don't really know how to express how much you mean to me, I don't think those words exist in the English language.
        Raising three kids as a single mom could not have been easy. It's not easy now and I imagine it wasn't any easier without the internet. Yet, somehow, you still managed to be at every soccer game or cheerleading event or play to support me. You managed to make time to take ceramics classes with me. Which, by the way, I think we should do again.
        I never needed anything, I always had food and a roof over my head and your love. Of course I was a kid/teen, so I wanted a bunch of stuff and probably felt like it "wasn't fair" that I missed out on whatever, but I know now that it was most likely for the best. Not having everything handed to me has made me understand what exactly is worth getting with hard earned money and grateful for the things that were given to me.
        Even though we got over the rough patch in our relationship before Quinn was born, I don't think I fully understood exactly how much I must have hurt you until she was born. Remembering how I acted at 16 makes me REALLY REALLY hope that somehow I can prevent Quinn from following in my footsteps. On the plus side, I know you'll be there to comfort me if she does.
        Anyway, I think this is getting a little deep for my blog, so I'm going to end this here by just saying thank you. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for raising me to be grateful and loving. Thank you for helping me survive to adulthood.

I love you mucho mucho.
-- Sunshine

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Influenster Nurture VoxBox

I received all of these as either free samples or a free coupon for a product, but (as per usual) all opinions are my own.

Hada Labo Tokyo Ultimate Ant-Aging Facial Mask - $14.99 for 4


I had never heard of Hada Labo Tokyo before, but I'm all about trying new facial masks. They're just fun plus, it's nice to be able to have the benefits of going to a spa at home (and for less money!). The mask claims to increase skin's hydration 2.5 times in only ten minutes. I have dry and sensitive skin so I was both excited to try it and a little nervous that it'd cause my skin irritation because my skin seems to choose at random what it's allergic to. Luckily I didn't have any kind of irritation, but I also didn't feel like my skin was 2.5 times more moisturized. The mask did feel cool and soothing on my skin, which was nice and relaxing by itself. It was super easy to use, albeit a little messy. I did only use one mask, but I liked it enough I think I'd buy a pack to give it a few more tries to see if it really does improve my skin. I'm glad it comes in a four pack, because one isn't enough.

Social Media: FB

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen: Sensitive - $14.99 for 3 oz


Another company I hadn't heard of, but that's part of why I love taking part in these VoxBoxes and other sample boxes. Normally I don't care about product packaging as long as it's functional and not too bulky, but the coolest thing about the Blue Lizard tube is that the translucent lid turns from white to blue when hit by UV rays. Even on our shady porch it turned blue because we were being hit by indirect UV, which I don't think a lot of people realize. The tube I received is formulated for sensitive skin and dermatologist recommended, but it still made my hands itchy. Quinn didn't have any reaction to it and neither did Jarrod, but my body has reactions to the weirdest things, so who knows. I do appreciate the fact that it didn't feel greasy at all and it worked, no sunburn for Quinn and we were outside for about an hour. I do think this is a little more expensive than I would usually spend on sunscreen, but it is very high quality so probably worth it if you aren't as stingy as I am.

Social Media: FBTwitter

Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Easy Golden Crinkles - $1.25 for 4.75 oz (about 1.5 servings, but let's be real, you don't want to share)

I made these one day for Quinn and I when we REALLY wanted hot dogs and french fries, but didn't start on lunch until we were hungry. Of course I didn't want to wait half an hour for fries in the oven and since Quinn is three, I think you can guess her patience level. I have to be honest that I wasn't expecting too much in the way of crispness because we were making them in the microwave, but that's why you test these things out, right? Or, read about me testing them out! They were delicious! Just as crispy as the ones made in the oven and I'd highly recommend these, especially if your stomach is low on patience like mine.

Social Media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest

Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals - $4.88-$7.99 for 18 pills

I don't need motion sickness medicine, so this is all via Jarrod.

"Being able to take a motion sickness/vertigo medicine that didn't make me drowsy was great. I highly recommend it and definitely prefer it. It worked just as well as the regular kind that made me sleepy."

Social Media: FB, Twitter

Red Vines - $1.59 for 5 oz

I feel like, for the most part, you're either a Twizzler person or a Red Vines person. This box was the first time I had ever tried Red Vines, so obviously I was a Twizzler person. I can't say I'm completely converted (pulling apart the "pull'n'peel" Twizzlers is tons of fun), but I did really enjoy the flavor. I did not completely enjoy the waxy texture, but I think that's just because I wasn't expecting it.

Social Media: FB, Twitter, Instagram

Samples I haven't used yet:

Uncle Ben's Flavored Grains - $2 for 6 oz (about 3 servings)

Social Media: FBTwitterPinterestYouTube

ATTITUDE Hair Care - $9.99 for 12 oz

Social Media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest

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