New Shoes (and bacon)

When I started this blog I was taking a little break from working for a few different reasons.  I started using Mondays as a day to write about my weekends.  I very cleverly tagged these posts with "Weekend Recap."  Ha ha!  But the reality is that I work in retail and that means that I don't really have weekends.  Or it at least means that my definition of what a "weekend" is both varies from week to week and differs greatly from what many other people think of as being a weekend.  This "weekend" was not abnormal in that I worked during the whole thing.

Today I have a day off and my tired feet are getting a well deserved rest.  BUT, I am actually looking forward to the next day that I go to work because I bought new shoes!  I can wear sneakers at work and have had the same ones for so long that they are basically destroyed.  The insoles are completely useless and recently a couple of holes started to wear through the outsides.  Last night I got to the New Balance Factory Outlet with about a half hour to spare before they closed and was able to take advantage of the last day of their sale.  I think it was 30% off of your entire purchase.

I bought two pairs of shoes.  The first pair are running shoes and have a lot of support.  New Balance have always done great shoes for women because they have lots of support and stabilizing shoe technology (or whatever).  Women tend to have weaker knees because we have those great childbearing hips and that causes us to have a totally different angle to our legs at the hip and knee than men have.

The second pair that I got are for work and they are walking shoes.  I actually got a size 7 in the running shoes and a 7.5 in the walking shoe style.  I don't have a picture of them because I literally went right back to work after I bought them, threw out my old horrible shoes and dropped off the new ones.  I got a less obnoxious color scheme for these than I did with the running shoes.  They are gray and have a little bit of a purple-ish accent.  I mean it's work.  I paid $90 for both pairs of shoes together, which is actually like buying one pair of good running shoes at a discount.

Although I did work yesterday, I sandwiched it with weekend-y things.  The shoe shopping was after but before work Steve and I made a pretty awesome brunch at home.  We made egg and cheese tacos with bacon on the side.  The eggs were sort of between scrambled and an omelet so that we could cut them into strips to put in the corn tortillas with the cheese.  I put a little ketchup in mine.

Bonus:  Stella was in the bag while I took the picture at the top of this post.  Then she realized that the shoes might be just as fun as the bag-cave so she came out to do some sniffing.  Oh, kitties.  :)


New Phone / So Many Pictures

I recently got a new phone because I broke my old one.  By the way, if you want to see my panicked face from the moment that I discovered it was broken, I happened to be vlogging at that exact moment.  I'm laughing about it now but I felt pretty strange without a phone, even though it was only a day.  For a few hours I was alone in the house and I felt really isolated without a way to contact anyone...I mean yeah, internet but it's not the same thing as a phone and what if there was a fire, or a flood, or the electricity went out....  I'm pretty glad I'm in a position to have replaced it almost immediately. :)

Anyway, my last phone was the Samsung Galaxy S3 and I'd had it for a really long time.  The S6 actually comes out in a few weeks but I didn't feel like there was any scenario that I could wait that long.  I played around with a few different phones and ended up going for the S5.  It's a little bigger than the S3 and the screen is really nice for watching videos.  The other thing that's better (duh) is the camera.  Both the front and back cameras are great.  I have been taking a billion pictures of Stella because I swear it picks up every single strand of fur.

If you follow me on Twitter you have probably seen all of these pictures but seriously, she just looks so pretty!  I haven't done any editing on these pictures; the lighting is exactly as it came through on the camera.  

Don't worry, I haven't only been taking pictures of my cat.  I have also been taking pictures of my food!!  I mean what else am I supposed to do, just eat it?!  Ha ha!  The phone has a HD setting which lets you take really great close ups.

This is my [extremely artsy] hot chocolate.  The left side is zoomed in on the cinnamon bun in the back and the right side is focused on the drink in the front.  I think it's amazing that I can focus on such a specific spot!  I realize that this might not be that amazing to everyone else but my phone was two and a half years old and technology changes so fast.  Honestly, most of the pictures that I take for this blog are taken with my phone so I'm excited that they'll be a little better now.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Birchbox [March 2015]

It's Birchbox Time!  How pretty is this box?!  I don't usually care about how the box looks because that's silly, but I think this one is the best.  It was also full of some really awesome product samples.  I'm super happy about it.  The theme for March is creativity.  I honestly have no idea how my box is meant to be creative, but whatever.  It probably has something to do with those emails that I always forget to reply to every month saying I can choose something in advance.  Oh well.  :)

The products included in my box this month are all things I'm excited to try.  There were three hair products, two makeup items and a facial mask.

(top) Number 4 Reconstructing Masque
(bottom row) Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint - Pearl
Wei Manuka Bee Venom Anti-Wrinkle Mask
Mirenesse Glossy Kiss - Cheeky Kiss
Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo
Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

OK, so let me get this out first: BEE VENOM!  This trendy ingredient has been all over the faces of celebrities for kind of a while now.  I'm not allergic to bees so I'm going to try it.  It claims to help with wrinkles, which at 31 I'm starting to have.  I'm a little nervous though because I am not sure that I want to have tingly venom on my face.  I'll let you know how it works out when I do try it.

The hair products are great this month.  The clarifying shampoo and reconstructing hair mask from Number 4 are totally welcome in my shower and I'm excited about the the oil from  Beauty Protector.  Although I'm sure if my hair could talk then it would say, "Hey you, lazy woman! That oil is not meant to justify you waiting even longer for a haircut!" And to my hair I say, "Eh, you don't own me!"

Finally, the makeup.  I'm not sure how I feel about Jouer's Luminizing Moisture Tint yet.  The name of this color is Pearl and I think it is a match for my face, in theory.  I will say that I have only rubbed it in on my wrist and not on my face so I do not actually know how it will look.  My concern is that I have 31 year old skin and not 21 year old skin and I also have a huge amount of freckles.  My concerns about shimmer may stem from the fact that I lived in the 90s and shimmer always makes me think of the endless pots of face glitter that we all had, even though I know that glitter and shimmer are totally different things...I mean kind of.  I will try it though.

BUT I LOVE THE LIP PRODUCT!!!  The Mirenesse Glossy Kiss is a hydrating lip crayon and it is so pretty.  It goes on smooth and creamy, it's the "my lips but better" color for me and there is NO shimmer.  It's a pretty everyday / all-day color and I might buy the full sized product when I finish this sample size.

If you're interested, I've got a video up on YouTube which you can find at the link below:

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Where Have I Been? (Or: Everything keeps breaking!)

Can you hear that?  That is me crying.  Last week my laptop got stuck in a loop while updating and I couldn't use it for about 4 days.  Today I dropped my phone and it is completely broken now.  No phone.  Nothing.

So I will be pretty off the grid tomorrow because I can't get to a store to buy a new phone until tomorrow night.  I know it's just one day but I don't even know my mom's phone number off the top of my head for an emergency.  Or my husband's.  Or anybody's except my own phone number, the phone number of my house phone from childhood that doesn't exist and my best friend from childhood's home phone number that also doesn't exist.  Totally reliant on technology over here!

I'm still a little undecided on what phone I will get.  I have it narrowed down to a few choices but I need to actually hold the phones and play around with them before I pick one.  I'm excited to have a new one but I was planning to wait another 6 or so months before getting one so I'm kind of mad that this happened right now.

On the plus side, now that my computer works again I can blog and vlog again!  (I do use the phone for pictures though so maybe that'll still be a couple of days...)  I filmed a couple of videos today and will get those uploaded over the next few days.  And I will definitely also let you know what phone I get and how I like it in the next week or so, so check back for that.

For now I will just go watch some YouTube and then read a book.  And then I'll have to hope I can figure out how to get up in the morning without my phone/alarm clock.



You guys.  Do you SEE THIS?!  I held the kitty!  In my arms! While standing up!  I DID IT!

Ha ha ha!  I know that this might seem like a strange thing for me to be shrieking about but I have carried a cat exactly twice in my life...now THREE times.  Once in 2nd grade (?) I held a kitten by sort of lifting it out of my sister's crib so that the bars were still between me and the cat.  The second time was a couple of months ago when Stella was sitting on my lap and I awkwardly kind of stood up and she didn't jump out of my arms right away.

BUT THIS TIME!  LOOK AT ME!  She was standing on the table and I picked her up and she let me march around the house for about 3 solid minutes with her.  Then Steve took a couple of pictures and she thought it was getting boring because I wasn't chanting "King Chair! King Chair!" and making trumpet noises anymore.  (That's what my uncles would do to me when I was little.)  I know it doesn't look comfortable for her but she was totally calm and fine and would definitely have jumped down if she wanted to, like she eventually did when she was sick of the game.

Don't laugh at me...well, you can totally laugh because I'm laughing...I was so proud of myself!  Ha ha ha!

:) Alice


Tasty Tuesday: PB & Banana Oatmeal

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that I love oatmeal.  I make heaping bowls of it and fill it with all kinds of add ins.  This variation is so delicious and it's not as labor intensive as what I normally do - no nuts to chop!

2/3 c water
2/3 c almond milk
1/2 c old fashioned oats
heaping spoonful ground flax seed
1/4 c raisins
peanut butter
cinnamon (not pictured)

Combine the water and almond milk (or regular milk) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  While you're waiting for that to heat up, mash up one banana.  Hint: a slightly more ripe banana works best.

As soon as the water-milk starts boiling, pour in the oats and flax.  Mix it in well (the flax can get a little clumpy if you don't do it right away) and then turn it down to a low heat.

Mix in the mashed banana and then add the raisins and some cinnamon.

Pay attention and stir up your oatmeal occasionally until the liquid is absorbed.  If you do happen to forget about it and it's sticking (burning) to the bottom of the pan, all you have to do is add a little water and stir it up and it should release all of the sticky blobs from the bottom and it will be fine

This is enough for two people to have nice big bowls of oatmeal.  Take a big spoonful of peanut butter and plop it in.  When you mix it into the hot oatmeal the peanut butter will melt.  (I wouldn't recommend doing it in the pan on the stove because you just want it to melt in and not get so hot that it burns you.  Remember, peanut oil can get really hot!)

After you mix in the peanut butter you can eat it if you happen to like tacky textured oatmeal.  Otherwise you can add a little bit of almond milk and mix it in like the bowl on the left.  You can also add a lot of milk like the bowl on the right.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Manicure Monday: Spring Time Pastels

I really wish it was Spring right now.  As you probably all know, I am currently buried in snow.  I assume you know that because I talk about it all the time.  Especially if you follow me on Twitter.  But it doesn't matter how much snow there is, reality means that Spring will be here in less than a month and that fact is the only thing keeping me going right now.  The snow piles might be hanging around a little longer though...

I was kind of thinking I wanted to match my nails to the sweater I'm wearing today but then I couldn't decide between blue, pink or purple.  I know, I know.  I also have the mint color on my toes right now and the gray keeps it a little less rainbow-ish.  (Plus I don't actually have a pastel yellow or orange.)

nails, pretty, pastel, spring, manicure, nail polish

Left to Right:
NYC Quick Dry No. 270 Sidewalkers
Confetti No. 016 To Teal To Handle
Maybelline Color Show No. 320 Green With Envy
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear No. 270 Lacey Lilac
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear No. 470 Bubblegum Pink

Manicure, nail polish, pastel nails, pretty, spring

I also used the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Hardener for both the bottom and top coat.

manicure, Sally Hansen, base coat, top coat, nails

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice