Monthly Archives: June 2010

Yes, I am awesome, thank you!

Just a quick note today to let you know that it isn’t wrong that I think I’m awesome. Because, gosh darn it, I AM! Not only have I birthed three amazingly beautiful children (yeah. birth. do I seriously need to say more?). And I got a degree (which was really harder than it seems). And THEN… I lost 30 pounds. Yup. 30. Just hit that number the other day and was SO excited! I’m not skinny or anything (um, YET), but I’m definitely on my way. And I’m really excited about this weight loss! I have always had a really hard time losing weight (this has everything to do with the fact that a) I love food and b) my husband is a total foodie and cooks awesomeness all the time) but this time, I’m RUNNING! And it’s burning all the extra food away. Somehow, I think that the running is actually brainwashing me, sometimes. Because the other day, there were these chocolate yummy things (that usually wouldn’t last a second around me), but I really, truly, honestly didn’t want them. SO. Weird. So I’m running and not craving chocolate anymore. And that’s my secret. Also, I am awesome. In case you forgot. 😀

Update: Picture of Me.

Me today... 30 pounds lighter!

Me today... 30 pounds lighter!

What I love to listen to when I run:

Podrunner Intervals from DJ Steveboy

My new theme song:

No Way Back by Foo Fighters


PSA for all the TwiFreaks…

I just love this stuff. And, since I’m loving Maggie Stiefvater (oh, you haven’t noticed?), it’s only appropriate for me to share her wonderful PSA with you. Enjoy. And post your comments on what you think the “next” paranormal romance creature should be (I’m taking notes)!

Makeup Monday! A CoverGirl Review

Obligatory disclaimer:

I received the SmokeyShadowBlast and the ShineBlast lipgloss for free from, where I regularly receive free products to review and evaluate. Yeah, it’s a really hard job, but someone has to review beauty products! This blog presents my honest opinion and I was not compensated (other than the free product) for giving a good or bad review. I purchased the LashBlastLuxe mascara on my own, but the final look needed mascara!

The products:

CoverGirl’s SmokeyShadowBlast eyeshadow (in Silver Sky, the tube on the right), ShineBlast (in Aglow, lip gloss on the left) and LashBlastLuxe mascara.

(You can find these products at the CoverGirl website or by just clicking on the picture)

The Naked Eyes

The Naked Eyes

Step One – all over color

I put the color primarily on my eyelids and then lightly up to my brow bone. For a more dramatic look, the color can also be applied under the lower lid as well.

Step 2 – Line and Define

The darker side of the applicator has a pointed edge to get into the crease of the eyelid and along the lash line. Again, for a more dramatic look, you can apply the color under the lower lashes.

Step 3: LashBlast Luxe Mascara

I probably should have curled my lashes before… I don’t know what it is but I have awesome curly hair on my head, but the straightest lashes ever!

Eyes Done:

The Completed Look with ShineBlast lipgloss

I realize that I did a very light application, but with this particular color (Silver Sky), it looks like I have a black eye if I go really dark (or perhaps this is just because I so rarely wear eye makeup).

What I love:

  • The SmokeyShadowBlast is SUPER easy to put on in a hurry. Because it’s the smokey look, I’m not too concerned about straight lines and all that. This is a huge plus when applying makeup while trying to breastfeed (or blog, or read, or cook dinner, or whatever else I’m trying to multitask at the time).
  • The ShadowBlast tube is thin and requires no extra equipment (brushes), so can go right in my purse next to the lipgloss (so long as I keep said purse away from my makeup-stealing 2-year-old).
  • The feel of the lipgloss. The applicator is soft and springy and the gloss itself is really light (you know how some glosses get sticky? this one totally doesn’t).

What I don’t love:

  • Perhaps because I live in Arizona where the heat melts everything, or perhaps because of a design flaw, the eye makeup creases really fast. I don’t normally wear foundation, but in order to get this stuff to stay where I put it, I have to put some foundation with a bit of powder on before application. It’s kind of annoying.
  • The pointed edge of the darker shadow was pretty much gone after the first few times I used it (and I wasn’t pressing very hard at all).
  • The lip gloss is almost too light, but I think I can just get a darker color (with my own money).
  • I still don’t look like Drew Barrymore when I’m done. =P

So there you have it! A product review with pictures! Tell me your thoughts: have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Which would you want to try?

“Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater


So my first question with this book was how the heck to you say the author’s last name? Thankfully, she has a fantastic FAQ section on her website, and the answer is steve-otter. So there’s that bit of helpfulness for when you go request it (you should have seen me stumbling over the name to the B&N salesguy as I juggled a bag full of children’s picture books, two kids running around and a squirmy infant… one of those awesome mom moments where I wonder again why I don’t just bite the bullet and get a stroller…but the salesguy found it for me. Thanks Mr. Man!)

This is one of those novels that I’ve been hyped up about, mainly because I follow Maggie’s blog and was SO impressed by her own production of her book trailer (which includes hand-cut stop-motion awesomeness). Watch and enjoy:

As you can imagine, the hype had me excited but a little worried. I’ve been aware of this book for a few months, but would it actually be as awesome as I had been led to believe? When Anthony finally bought the book for me last weekend, I had my answer:


The story is about an introverted, independent girl named Grace who was attacked by a wolf pack when she was a child. But she was rescued by one of the wolves who dragged her away from the pack and brought her back to the safety of her yard. Through the years, Grace has never forgotten her yellow-eyed hero and sees him every winter as he continues to guard her in the woods surrounding her house.

What Grace doesn’t know is that her wolf is actually a werewolf named Sam who wants nothing more than to have a normal, human life with Grace. But when the werewolf pack is attacked by hunters, Sam (as a human) is thrown into Grace’s life, and that is when love begins to grow.

What I loved about this book:

  • Stiefvater’s prose is beautiful, elegant and unique. I very rarely want to re-read lines/paragraphs in YA novels, but I was frequently going over sections in “Shiver” again thinking “how in the world did she come up with that line?”. Maggie is to my writing what beautiful women are to my self-esteem: humbling!
  • The dialogue is very realistic and believable.
  • There’s plenty of kissing, and only one sex scene that is very tactfully (cleanly) written (meaning, if it was a movie, you’d see them get in bed and then the camera would pan to the curtains… no graphic details)

What I didn’t love:

  • Grace’s parents are hopelessly out of touch with their daughter’s life. There’s a period in the novel where Grace has virtually no contact with her parents for an entire week. A week in which her car breaks down and she buys a new one because she has her dad’s checkbook with her. Huh?
  • Towards the end of the book, one of Grace’s friends is bitten by another werewolf, which seems like that should be a really big deal (at least I wanted more details!), but it just happens and she goes on her (not so) merry way. I would have loved more about it, but maybe that will come up in the next book. (I really hope it does!)

But my overall impression is that this is a fantastic novel. I was totally entertained and now I really can’t wait until September when the second book in the series, “Linger”, is released!

Have you read this book? What did you think? Does this sound like a book you’d like to read? Please leave your comments!

Tessa Gratton

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