Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things that I Love and Inspire Me: A Pictorial List

1. Mori Girl/ Natural Kei/ the hippie aesthetic
I just love the sense of freedom and naturalness that these styles portray.  I've always wished I was an elf or some other creature that is so intrinsically linked to nature and a more innocent time.  I know it seems silly, but for a girl who grew up turning to fantasy books to escape reality, these styles are as close as I can get to actually being one of the characters in my books.

2. Mohawks (especially on girls)
Me circa 2009,
right after I cut my long hair into a mohawk
I feel a bit egotistical using my own hair for the picture, but this time in my life was an important one to me.  I've always wanted a mohawk and it suddenly became time to get one (after a particularly horrible breakup).  To me, mohawks have radiated strength and self confidence, none of which I had in great abundance at the time, and still don't to an extent.  I put the "especially on girls" part because I admire other girls who rock such a seemingly masculine hairstyle in their own feminine way.  On guys, mohawks are just hot!

3. Pin ups 
The beautiful Bettie Page
Let's be honest, who didn't see this coming?  I love 50's pin ups.  They are so sexy, and yet not trashy like a lot of females I see in ads today.  Also, as a girl with more curves than a stick, I love seeing beautiful women that were/ still are considered beautiful that are very close to my own size and shape.  It makes me feel more confident about my curves.  And the clothes and makeup and just amazing too. (on a side note, I told my mom that my new slightly V bangs were inspired by Bettie Page and she decided to look her up.  I hope she didn't run into any of the erotic pictures because that might be a bit awkward, even for me!)

There are more things I want to put on this list, but think I'll break it up into sections because there are a lot!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On the Subject of my Crazy Life: Building a Fort

My roommate's brother is in town this week, and so we took that as an excuse to build a fort in our living room on Monday afternoon. The cats have since torn the fort down mostly, but we might rebuild it tonight or tomorrow to watch movies in again.
The outside of our massive fort.
(Things are a bit of a mess because it was just my roommate's birthday
and our other roommate is moving soon so her stuff is all over the living room too.)
The fort was built completely out of 25 cent sheets (washed first!) from the thrift store, clothespins, thumb tacks, and hooks in the ceiling to help make it better for "kids" of our size!  It was nice and cozy, and a lot of fun too!
My roommate and boyfriend playing Pokemon in the fort. 
We also went out and bought kids snacks, like anything made by Little Debbie and Cheez-its and Cheetoes.  I feel so ill from so much bad food!  But it was completely worth it.  We had the N64 set up, as well as the Genesis, but we ended up spending most of our time watching Disney's Hercules (on VHS!) and eating snacks.  And drinking frozen screwdrivers, because hey, we are all adults, even if we pretend to be kids sometimes!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Makeup for the Lazy Girl or Guy: E.L.F. Eyeshadow and Today's Makeup

Sorry for the nonpost yesterday, I was building a fort and playing N64 in my living room with my roommates!

The Contestant:
E.L.F. Brightening Eye Color in punk funk (white, blue, purple, pink)

The Review:
How vibrant are the colors?
I was a bit surprised, these colors turn out really bright when you first put them on.  I haven't used the white color yet, and I probably won't, but I mainly bought this for the pink anyway.   They all have glitter in them, which is a lot of fun, and another surprise (I guess I don't look close enough before I buy!).  The glitter does get a bit annoying and sometimes I feel like it is a bit too childish, but most of the time I put in on and say "I sparkle!!" in an excited voice.  In all honesty, the glitter doesn't seem to be too noticeable when you look at it, but sometimes the glitter gets in my eyelashes and that's all I see.  The picture of my face at the bottom shows the eyeshadow in natural morning light.

Is it long lasting?
I have a difficult time getting any eyeshadow to last in the humid weather we have here.  I don't think this eyeshadow lasts any longer or any shorter than any other eyeshadow I own. It certainly doesn't stand out from the rest as far as being long lasting.  

How does it feel?
Besides the glitter getting into my eyelashes upon occasion, I really like this eyeshadow.  It's soft and easy to apply to get that vivid color I so like.  Once again though, it doesn't really stand out as feeling amazing or terrible on my skin.  I tend to just forget about it when I'm wearing it, which I guess is the point of good makeup!

How about the price and wear to buy?
The price is certainly reasonable; I picked up this eyeshadow for only a dollar at the local drug store.  I wasn't going to buy any makeup that day, but being a terrible impulse shopper, I couldn't say no to a dollar for possibly amazing eyeshadow.  I've seen the E.L.F. brand all over the place, as far as where to buy.  I don't think I can go to a store and not find this makeup.  A store might not have all of the colors, especially Punk Funk since it seems to be their only really bright color, but the other colors don't seem too dull that I would pass over them.

Would you buy again?
Most definitely!  There are a couple of other colors I want to try out, and for the inexpensive price, I can't really talk myself out of it.  Although I am wary about the company's other products (I have a really awful jar of nail polish remover pads from them), the eyeshadow is worth checking out.  

Today's (Sunday's) Makeup:
still gotta learn how to take the perfect makeup pic!
Today's makeup inspired me to write up this review because it was only the second time I use the E.L.F. eyeshadow. I decided to "tone down" the pink with purple at the edges.  I think it made the pink a but more mature for the morning at church.  And I had my standard flippy eyeliner wings, but you can't really tell in the picture.  I'm wearing:
E.L.F. Eyeshadow in punk funk 
Maybelline Eyestudio Eyeliner in blackest black
Maybelline XXL Mascara in black(?)  (bought really cheap from Bealls Outlet!)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Intro and Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen

So I'm not someone who is hugely knowledgeable about beers or even what supposedly makes them good.  All I know is what I like and what I don't like.  But you probably gathered that already from the tone of this blog!  A little background on my taste in beer is necessary at this stage in the game.  My first and favorite beer is Blue Moon.  It's a wheat beer, which if you don't drink a whole lot of beer, just know that wheat beers have a very distinct flavor.  I'm not sure how to describe it, but they tend to be a lot more bitter than another beer of the same color.  I've found that I tend to gravitate towards wheat beers, so I will primarily be reviewing those, but sometimes I just grab something that has an appealing label (yes, I do get sucked into pretty labels sometimes!)  My all time favorite beer, although more expensive and difficult to find, is UFO, and it is rather more bitter than Blue Moon, so I hope that helps you some what gauge where my tastes lie.  Outside of the wheat beers, I sometimes drink Yuengling, but I don't touch Budweiser, Coors, Corona or any of those standard light beers that tend to show up at American college parties.  Now on to the review!

The Contestant:
Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen
Source: their website
because I forgot to take a picture
The Review:
I initially bought this beer because I was tired of Blue Moon and sad that the local liquor store doesn't stock UFO.  And I wanted to try a kind of beer that I had never had.  So this was chosen after looking around for a bit.

What are your initial thoughts?
When I took that first sip, I was a little disappointed.  Having wanted something the with the strong flavor of UFO, this came across as very weak.  There is the standard wheat beer flavor, but it almost tastes watered down to me.  Even when compared to Blue Moon, Hefeweizen has a rather weak flavor.  It is also advertised , vaguely, as having "pronounced citrus and floral aromas."  The citrus turns out to be lemon, which isn't my favorite of citrus fruits.  Lightly lemon-flavored drinks tend to make me think of cleaning products, so that flavor/ "aroma" brings this beer down a bit in my eyes.  I guess if you don't like stronger wheat beers, you should check this one out, but I would suggest pursuing other beer options instead.

How's the price?
The lower price was one of the deciding factors for buying this beer over another beer.  It cost me around $7 for a six-pack.  I know that isn't terribly inexpensive, but it is better than some of the beer I was contemplating buying by a few dollars.  As far as wheat beers go, Hefeweizen is less expensive than most, but I don't know if that is a redeeming quality for me.  Beer is one of the few things that I will spend a little more on to get something I really like.

So would you buy this again?
Probably not.  The lemon flavor isn't my favorite, and there are so many other beers out there just waiting for me to discover!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Makeup for the Lazy Girl or Guy: The Battle of the Black Eyeliner: Maybelline

The Epic Battle:
It's probably no surprise that I love black eyeliner.  What "alternative" girl doesn't?  So I have started on a quest to find the best black eyeliner for the price.  I want something long lasting, inexpensive, and easy to find in the local store (as much as I support independent makeup companies, I like to be able to easily pick up the basics when I run out).

The Contestants:
So I'm a bit biased and always head to the Maybelline section to buy eyeliner for some reason.  I really have no idea why, but I do.  I think my first eyeliner pencil was Maybelline and it's just a force of habit?  I'm trying to break myself of that compulsion in any case.  Anyway, I'm going to compare these two Maybelline eyeliners:  (I was going to compare three, but apparently they stopped making the liquid eyeliner that I have from them)

Contestant Number One:
Maybelline Define-A-Line in soft black
from their website
because mine is so used the label has worn off
Contestant Number Two:
Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner in blackest black
to show size
The Review:
How do you like contestant number one?
First off, the define-a-line pencil.  It's advertised as "an eyeliner that stays put all day" on the Maybelline website.  I'm not sure I agree with those sentiments.  It's certainly a soft eyeliner, and very easy to put on and get heavy lines with for that reason, but it also smudges just as easily.  I usually end up with dark smudges under my eyes by the end of the day if I don't go to the bathroom to wipe them off.  If you like the smudgy look, then I guess this eyeliner is pretty good, but I think it just starts to look messy in non-intentional way.  Actually I think the bad dark smudges under my eyes in the picture in the last review were from using this eyeliner, if I remember correctly.  

How about contestant number two?
So I recently picked up this eyeliner because a) I thought I lost my other black eyeliner and b) I wanted to try out the "gel" eyeliner that seems to be the new hip thing.  Maybelline advertises this eyeliner concoction as their "most intense line for lasting drama."  I will admit that this eyeliner holds up to their advertisements better than the define-a-line.  The brush-type applicator takes a bit to get used to if you don't come from a makeup-intense background (I was flubbing up my line all over the place until I got the hang of it), but I guess if you are used to using fancy brushes with your makeup, you won't have any trouble.  I was initially a little disappointed with the amount of product in the little pot, but I've been using it nearly every day since I bought it and it seems to not disappear as quickly as I thought.  The container could have been made a lot smaller to save on packaging (pretty much remove the entire glass section below the lid), but I know most makeup companies want it to look like there is more product than there actually is.  Anyway, amount of product aside, the gel itself feels like they just melted the define-a-line eyeliner down to fit into this new form.  It goes on just as easily, but it doesn't come off like the other does.  I can get a much more controlled line with the brush and it ends up looking like I have liquid liner on because of how perfect I can get my line.  As I said before, I'm not a huge fan of the smudged look, but I guess you could smudge it to get that effect.  I don't think you would have to worry about it smudging even more throughout the day either. 
flippy winged eyeliner is the best!
Also, I have no idea what my camera did to make this so orangey
How do the prices compare?
Well, I don't remember how much I paid for either eyeliner, but a quick search on the internet tells me that I paid a lot more than I normally would for the gel eyeliner.  The define-a-line will probably only put you out $5, but the eyestudio gel can run around $8 or $9.  Is the extra expense worth it?  I think so.  The define-a-line is the right price for me, but I don't want an eyeliner I have to take care of throughout the day, so I'll drop the few extra dollars on something I don't have to worry about.  

So who's the winner?
Definitely the eyestudio gel liner.  I haven't had any problems with its staying power to date, which is my biggest concern.  It does lose some points because of the price, but I think it's worth it.  I won't be buying the define-a-line anytime soon in any case.  

Expect more on the Battle of the Black Eyeliner as I try to find the longest lasting black eyeliner for the best price!  Any suggestions are appreciated ^.^

Friday, June 24, 2011

Drinks for the Drinking Nonthusiast: Frozen "Screwdrivers"

The Contestant:
Homemade frozen "Screwdrivers"
My ugly mug getting tipsy
(with bad smudged makeup from that morning)
The Review:
First off, the glass in the above picture is from a local Irish Pub that does these insanely alcoholic drinks.  And sorry for the awful pic; I was too interested in my drink to actually make myself look pretty!  Anyway, on to the review! (and recipe) These are actually made from a modified Orange Julius recipe that my good friend learned in Girl Scouts.  We modified them to make them a bit more to our tastes with added vodka!  

What are your initial thoughts?
Well like the name suggests, these drinks are orange-flavored, but kind of taste like an orangecicle.  They make perfect summer drinks for that reason, or at least I think so.  My friends and I have always put this drink on the shelf during the winter in favor of more basic drinks (like rum and coke), but bust out this messy concoction as soon as pool season hits.  The alcohol taste isn't too strong, but the recipe can easily be modified to put in more or less alcohol to your tastes.  I think I put in too much vanilla extract in this batch, but it doesn't taste bad, just stronger than usual.  They're sugary sweet and taste like innocence, if innocence had vodka in it!  The only downfall is that they get foamy when they melt and it's kind of weird to me, but as long as I drink fast enough, I don't have to worry about that.  But I think a lot of blended cream-based drinks do that?

So what's the recipe?
This recipe can be easily modified to suit your tastes, and could probably be made with different fruit flavors, but I haven't tried it.  My roommate seems interested in trying it in grape instead of orange, so if that happens I will post about how that went over (or comment and tell me if you try a different flavor!)

Frozen Screwdrivers:
6oz  frozen concentrated orange juice (or other fruit concentrate if you're feeling adventurous)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup vodka
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8-9 ice cubes
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth!  That's it!  Makes about two large portions. Or one and a bit extra if you have a giant glass like I do!

I generally us more ice than the recipe calls for, but that's just because I like the extra crunch!  To make this recipe more or less alcoholic, just change the ratio of water to vodka.  For the nonalcoholic version use 1 cup of water and no vodka, and for a strong drink use all vodka.  Usually this version is far strong enough for me though (but I am a light weight)

So would you buy (make) this again?
Considering this is an old favorite of my friends and I, I don't think I could get away with not making these again multiple times throughout the summer.  They're not to everyone's tastes because of the orange flavor, and they are messy to make, but I like them.  And the price is right for this sweet drink, since all of the ingredients are rather inexpensive to buy, especially if you get cheap vodka!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Movie Reviews for the Bad Movie Lover: Intro and The Land Before Time

Here's how these movie reviews are going to work.  I love movies that are so terrible that they become good again.  Most mainstream movies that come out today don't really interest me, but I have been known to enjoy them from time to time.  I want to look at quality of the film and such, but it doesn't matter to me who the actors are or who produced/directed it.  I might include this information if I find it surprising, but in all honesty, when someone tells me a movie is good because it as "so-and-so" in it, I immediately lose all interest in wanting to see that movie.  So I'm going to try to avoid doing that, and write a review that I would actually want to read.  I'm also going to try to avoid spoilers at all costs, so reviews will mostly be overviews of how good the bad movie is or if it is just plain bad.  So without further ado, on to the review!  (hey, I rhyme!)

The Contestant:
The Land Before Time (1988)
From Wikipedia

The Review:
Ok ok, I know The Land Before Time isn't a "bad movie" per se, but it is older and technically a children's movie, but I really want to review it mainly because I just bought it.  This was a favorite movie of mine as a kid, and I was happy to finally own it on DVD after my VHS player ate the tape version.  I put it on last night to see how well it stands up today compared to my childhood memories.

How is the overall quality?
In the first few minutes of watching, the movie is still beautiful.  The music and illustration are literally like works of art.  Even the backgrounds could stand alone as gorgeous paintings.  The only downside is the actual image quality.  Everything is a bit grainy like older films are apt to be, but I was still surprised because I didn't think this movie was that old.  But I did buy the cheap, three movie set (including this movie, An American Tail, and Balto), so I could wave the quality off as just the cheapness of the version I bought.  Although the movie is over twenty years old, so if it wasn't well preserved, it might actually be its age.  But even with the graininess of the image, the overall quality of the film is lovely.  Also, a bit of trivia for you.  Did you know this movie was produced by both George Lucas and Steven Spielburg?  (I know I said I wouldn't do that, oops!, couldn't help myself)

How's the story line and characters?
Well, I can't be too harsh on this film for having a less-than-stellar plot because it is a children's movie, but even with that in mind, it gets a bit slow in some parts.  I don't think it will be something I will be watching all the time, but it is worth bringing out for nostalgic purposes.  There are really childlike moments, that I remember being awesome as a kid, but now they make me cringe.  But although there are a bunch of childlike aspects of this movie, it is rather scary and depressing at times, even for adults.  I know I got a bit teary-eyed last night in some parts.  It tackles some adult issues that I think might be too mature for young children, but I guess they really aren't if I grew up watching this movie.  The characters are cute, and what you would expect from a children's movie.  The main character is the most mature (least annoying) of the group, but they all have aspects about them that make them endearing characters.  There is even a grandfatherly narrator to guide you if you get lost in the ever so deep plot.  Ok, so I can't be that mean.  I like the grandfatherly narrator in the same way that I like documentary narrators.  They've become a comfort-blanket thing, although forgettable.

Would you watch it again?
Of course.  I love this movie, even if just for the nostalgic feeling it gives me.  Will I be watching this movie regularly?  No.  It will probably collect dust until I feel that nostalgic pull again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Makeup for the Lazy Girl or Guy: Intro and Milani Eyeliner

First off, let me explain to you, dear reader, how this kind of review will work and why I am doing it.  I love makeup, but I am a lazy girl when it comes to applying makeup.  I don't want to spend a long time on my makeup and I don't want to wear too much caked on my face.  I don't want to have to reapply my makeup throughout the day.  I want makeup that stands up to the test of my day in class and in the Florida heat.  I don't want to spend money out the butt for my makeup either, so expect drug store quality at best.  So now on to the review!

The Contestant:
Milani Infinite Liquite Eyeliner in infinite (blue)
Photo from Milani's website
The Review:
Is it long lasting?
Oh man, is this stuff long lasting.  They advertise it as "up to 24 hour wear," but I say it lasts much longer and through rough conditions.  I put this on in the morning and in the evening it hasn't even so much as smudged in the humid, sweat-creating Florida summer weather.  Now, I am good about taking off my eye makeup before bed (most nights XD), but this eyeliner fights to be removed.  Even with my makeup remover, this eyeliner wants to stay in place.  I have to literally scrub to get most of it off. In the morning there are always flecks still clinging to my eyelashes.  If you don't like it that long lasting, then this eyeliner isn't for you.  But if you're like me and would rather go into battle knowing your eyeliner isn't going to run with your sweat, then I highly recommend this eyeliner.

How does it feel?
This eyeliner is a bit thicker than most eyeliners I've used, but that must have something to do with its staying power.  It feels rather goopy when you first apply it, but it dries nicely and I forget that I am even wearing it unless I catch a glimpse of shiny blue out of the corner of my eye.  When I apply it (although I'm not the best makeup arteest) it can be a bit messy and always seems to end up in my eyelashes.  The applicator brush is a bit long and flimsy-feeling, not necessarily cheap, but it definitely requires a soft touch when applying so you don't get a huge messy line.  I've gotten used to it now, but I would rather it have a more sturdy tip like my other liquid eyeliners.

How about the price and where to buy?
The whole reason I tried this eyeliner to begin with was because of the price. (Although I will admit, I really like Milani's nail polish which swayed my purchase, but this was the first makeup I've tried from them)  I can't remember how much I payed for this eyeliner since it was a few weeks ago, but it was no more than $5, if even that.  I tend to buy my makeup from the local grocery store (Publix if you live in Florida) because makeup is a horrible (amazing) impulse buy for me, so I don't know where else you can get it.  When I bought this eyeliner, it was the first time I saw Milani's other products besides their nail polish (which I see everywhere).  They seem to make a niche for themselves with the bright, inexpensive products that I like, so expect to see more reviews of them soon.

Would you buy again?
YES.  I am planning on buying the rest of the colors they offer, because I need them in my life.  

Introductory Post (aka what do I put here?)

Hello lovely readers, or empty internet space, depending on my audience.  I guess I wanted to start a blog because, well I read a whole bunch of blogs and I wanted to throw my two cents into the grand discussion of unimportance.  So I've created this blog to do whatever it is I feel like doing on here.  Most of the time I will post reviews of various things like many blogs that I follow, but unlike those educated writers, I have no knowledge of the things I will be reviewing.  I have a few topics in mind, like beer reviews for the nonbeer drinker and makeup reviews for the lazy girl.  As you will come to find, I like a great many things, and I like to try a great many more.  But I am not interested in learning all of the proper terms and lingo that go along with these things, so I guess this sophisticated dragon isn't so sophisticated after all.  I'll be taking a journey of knowledge into a world of Stuff (stuff being as concrete of an idea as I have currently) and tackling the big subject of Things (things also being as concrete as it gets for right now).

Now I guess a bit about me.  I am an awkward college girl with only a slightly adventurous spirit.  I like beer and playing with makeup, but you probably guessed that by now.  I watch bad movies and deep, intellectual documentaries like I eat Taco Bell (all too frequently that is).  I am coming from an English degree and heading into an Art degree, so I apologize in advance for the sometimes scholarly slant to my writing and for the random art posts.  And I'm running out of things to say about myself so I will end this post here so I can begin the posts that this blog will actually be about.  So hi and welcome to my randomness.