Saturday, April 14, 2012

What's on the Menu?

This week's menu was almost entirely inspired by the recipes I've pinned on my pinterest board. Nothing too complicated or all that time consuming. I've also realized that fish has become what comes to my mind when I try to think of an easy dinner, which has to be a good sign.

Monday - Sweet Potato Soup from I was going to make a spicy sweet potato bisque but switched recipes after I decided spicy is not what I want today. And since I'm the one making the menus and doing the shopping and doing the cooking, I can change my mind like that.

Tuesday - Ginger Salmon over Bok Choy from

Wednesday - Crispy Citrus Chicken from This site also has a curry coconut chicken recipe that sounds awesome. I'm making this with lemon rice and wilted spinach.

Thursday - Orange-Soy beef with Asparagus from

Friday - French Toast with Fruit. A good ol' standby.

Saturday - BLT's with Cottage Cheese. Just sounds too easy for a Saturday evening after yard work.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Maybe it's...Maybelline?

Sometime the winter before last I decided to go back to buying the expensive cosmetics that I will not name here. I was convinced that it was going to be better, and I convinced myself I loved the foundation better. Then the foundation was gone and I decided I really didn’t love the mask-y feel and tried something else the same brand said was lighter and that never seemed to stick. Any touch to my skin left a transfer and I hate that. But I kept making those trips to the mall because they were suckering me in with free stuff. Soon, everything but my mascara was from the same little cosmetic counter. Then I found myself trying to thin everything out. Adding foundation to moisturizer so it would last longer so I wouldn’t have to keep spending the money – mostly because I can be kind of cheap – and then the idea of driving to the mall when I was already at Target seemed like such a pain in the ass….

Then I found an eye liner I wanted to try so I bought it in “Espresso” and I loved it so then I bought it in “Eggplant”. Coffee and Purple; go figure! The eyeliner is EyeStudio by Maybelline and it comes in a little glass pot with a fine tipped brush. When I first used eye liner this way a few years ago in a make-up artistry class I was in love with it. Especially because I have very round eyes and tend to go easy on the eyeliner, which with some pencil or liquid types can mean a lot of wet Q-tips and smudging. Because the pencils were usually easier to find and cheaper to buy that’s what I did. With the potted stuff I can control how heavy my liner is much easier. I really love this one; it goes on smooth and doesn’t feel gloopy. If they did a dark green I’d go there but right now they just have black, espresso, charcoal and eggplant and I mostly use my Espresso.

Then I bought new mascara I saw a commercial for. It actually wasn’t until today that I realized it too is a Maybelline product. This one is called Illegal Length and I bought it because of the idea of “Fiber Extensions” for my eyelashes and went to the store looking for the silver tube, which is how I do most of my make-up shopping, not paying attention to the fact that it was under the Maybelline sign. I like it better than the purple tube stuff people rave about and much better than the stiletto stuff that just seemed to clumpy on my lashes. I do feel like it makes my eyelashes look longer but it still keeps as much of a “natural” look as one can get while wearing “Blackest Black” mascara. It is not flaky and I haven’t had any clumping problems. I got about two months out of one tube and am ready to buy a new one and will buy a new one of this same kind which is rare for me. Make-up companies tend to trick me into trying new mascaras over anything else.

Then one night while wandering through Walgreen’s an eye shadow square that was displayed cleverly on an end-cap caught my attention. It was a group of greens and golds and the color is called “Forest Fury”. Just so you know, I love names of things like eye shadow, lipstick, and nail polish as much as I love people names, and sometimes pick between colors based on the name. “Forest Fury” won over the neutral tones of “Caffeine Rush” at first but I bought that one too and plan on adding “Amethyst Ablaze” next. And what do you know! These are EyeStudio by Maybelline as well! I like the versatility of the green colors. There is a bright green, a medium green and a dark green. I love the bright green at the office toned down with the white-gold over top. I like the sparkle in the shadow but will admit my only complaint might be that maybe there is too much sparkle? I notice sometimes I end up with it on my cheeks and in my bangs if I’m not careful.

It turns out the lip stain that I’ve been using forever is Color Sensational by Maybelline and the last three lip products I’ve bought have been Baby Lips, and a Super Stay 10 hour gloss and 14 hour lipstick all by Maybelline in different colors. The foundation I’m currently in love with is the Air Foam by – you guessed it – Maybelline! I’m also using their Bouncy Mouse blush (which I admit I bought just so I could play with it after seeing the commercial.) Bottom line is that Maybelline seems to have become my cosmetic counter, quite by accident! I would say it’s worth it to try any of the products listed here and if you don’t like it you can send it to me, I’m sure I will. (Maybelline is not giving me anything to say these things, just to be clear, but wouldn’t that be cool?)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In for a quicky...

I used to carry around a lot of writing ideas in my head until I could sit down and write them down. I think I've lost a lot of good dialogue that way. Then I started carrying a cute little notebook around in my purse for spare time scribble moments. Then I found Evernote on my handy dandy smart phone and started adding stuff there, so I pretty much still have stuff scattered from here 'til Tuesday and the whole point of this one is to make a note for a line I might want to use again someday! Just responded to a woman who told me to stop using the government as my own "personal sugar daddy" and write my own checks if I want contraceptives - I told her "The government has never given me anything I haven't paid for first." and I want to remember than just in case. I should have added "Who writes checks anymore?" but oh well...I'm sitting here working on the novel and my phone with the handy dandy app is all the way upstairs so that is the whole point of this note...

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Back!

I'm back! Well, not that I mentioned going anywhere...Right after starting this little blog the doc told me "no typing for two weeks". Of course I laughed since that's what I do all day at my regular person job, but I agreed to cut back. Then I went with the hubby to Vegas for a week. He worked. I "worked". Basically, I stayed holed up in my sweet suite for 4 days straight and by the time we flew home I'd added 30 new pages to my novel! I'm calling it a novel these days. Used to just refer to it as "my story" but I decided it's time to take it seriously. And now I'm back at this. My brain is a little melty from being a Monday, my tummy is full after a delicious dinner (salmon w/cinnamon, ginger & soy with baked carrots!) and I've been running around with this re-write in my head for three days but I'm going to do a little of this first...And I'm going to watch The Voice! :)

So, I've been a little overwhelmed with the state of things lately. Maybe a little touchy since every time you turn around there is some politician or another stumping for themselves. I hate politics in this country. Really, honestly, hate them. I really have no one out there who represents me and I feel like most of the time we're stuck with someone who is corrupt and/or so out of touch with the real world that they'll never do much of what I agree with. The other side of the coin are those who are so very idealistic that they also fail to get anything done because they're views are so far to the other side that the other side can't move enough to even get to the middle. I hate the fact that we're a two party system (I don't care about tea baggers, we're still just two parties...) and there is nothing in the moderate middle for people like me. I certainly don't fit in with the Elephants: pro-choice, for women's reproductive control, for the life of me can't understand why people listen to a man on his fourth marriage explain why only "one man and one woman" should be allowed to get married. I also believe quite strongly that your religious beliefs are for your own personal life and have no business in my business. I also don't fit with the Donkeys: pro-death penalty, believe in the 2nd amendment, think there could and should be tighter reins on the federal welfare programs, and don't believe you can make the so-called "Obamacare" work as it has been written...My answer for all of this this weekend has been to move to Sweden.

I got myself so carried away about moving to Sweden that I started doing research on what is required to apply for a work visa. Not that my mom would ever let me move to Sweden but if I could, I think that is a country I would fit in with from what my reading has told me. One thing - they don't have 100 degree summers which I would love. I am not someone who would be upset at wearing sweaters year round and getting home bound by cold in the winter. I'm a little bit of a hermit as it is, and allergies have made the bloomy months always my least favorite. That and that I live in the desert and I hate anything above 75. A lot of my furnishings already come from Ikea, so I've got reading their instructions down. One site warned of having to get used to "fika" and after reading what fika is, I'm actually wondering how I've lived without it! "Fika" is a coffee break. Yep, according to our friend Wiki, Swedes consider coffee an important part of the day, and so do I, so I'm set. And I wouldn't object to their idea that your coffee break should include a cinnamon roll or some other sweet baked good either! Or the idea that you should do this more than once a day...

Their political system is considered to have one of the lowest corruption rates, their health care plan (yes, socialized medicine, but done better than the UK or Canada have figured out how to do it.) is one of the top rated health services plan in the world, and it's absolutely beautiful from what I've seen. I like their idea of a person's life not being lived around their work and their income and maybe this is in relation to how many hours my husband works at his job, which is one that is currently in high demand in Sweden! Yes, I advised him of that. Sweden has a high tax rate, which many in the US will be quick to point out, but with those taxes comes the health care, the education, the 5 weeks mandatory vacation time, multiple public transportation services, free college education and beautifully preserved public lands and air quality.

The greatest draw for me about Sweden is the idea of being in a secular country. We wouldn't be the only atheists in the room. :)  The idea of being in a country where religion is not a constant battle splitting the country in many directions seems almost unbelievable. The older I get, the more I see people try to use their personal religious beliefs to control the lives of the masses, the harder time I have not pushing back. We have laws in place regarding gay marriage that have no basis other than someones bible/pope/bishop/talking purple chicken said it is wrong. People decide they should be able to control women's reproductive decisions even though those women's choices in no way impact the person trying to control it. Their only fight on either of these issues is a religious fight that does not belong in the political arena. Period. But that will never be the mind set here and for those of us on the other side of that stand there is no way to explain how suffocating these political debates feel. To not have to face that would be amazing. And if you throw in fika it doesn't seem like life could get any better..If my mom ever lets me, I'm moving to Sweden.