Friday, March 29, 2013

Spin Pin: Where has this been all my life?

First I want to say this is not a sponsored post. This amazing little product was given to me by a co-worker today because she loves it so much and knew I would too. 

Okay with that out of the way.....I AM AMAZED AT THE DOLLAR TREE SOMETIMES!

My coworker found these "Spin Pin"s the other day and picked one up for herself. Basically they are finger size double helix hair pins (the best way I can describe them) that you spin into your hair to create either tight or loose buns/updos without hair ties. 

The reason I feel in love with these is they replace shoving a pencil or pen into my hair, part way through the work day when I'm tired of having my hair down. 

It's more professional looking, I can create a nice, soft yet professional bun in seconds! 

Okay, maybe I'm easily pleased...but these ARE amazing! I suggest running to your local Dollar Tree and seeing if they have them. Try 'em out. They're only a buck after all!

(You'll have to forgive the poor video. I wanted to show you how easy it was but am here at work so I needed to make it quick....)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cupcake Pinterest Extravaganza

I haven't done a Pinterest Wednesday in a while so when I found myself with some time this afternoon I thought I'd crank one out. I went in not having a theme, or plan, just the plan to see what new pins had been posted by folks lately. Turns out someone(s) else must have been on a cupcake kick because most of the pins today were of cupcakes!

Not that I'm complaining. 

Then I realized that next month (well in three weeks really), my sister is hosting a Passion Party at my condo complex. We've already planned on cocktails and a little pampering pre-passion party (yes, I'm seeing how many P words I can work into that sentence) why not add cupcakes to the mix?

So I shot her a quick text asking if she minded me baking up some cupcakes for the party? (She's not a cake person AT ALL but I didn't figure she'd tell me no). She loved the idea!

Here are some of the new recipes I cam across today - thanks to this fabulous Oh How Pinteresting Wednesday. I'll make sure to let you know which I end up making:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mile High Mudd Pie

This past weekend was my sister's baby shower (2 months after giving birth but better late than never) and/or my niece's "coming out" party. The idea for the pot luck was to have food that my sister craved when she was pregnant - anything piƱa colada, strawberries, and most of all Mudd Pie. 

During her pregnancy (and even well as now afterwards) if there is mudd pie on a menu she would order it, which is strange enough since my sister isn't really a "dessert" fan. But Mudd Pie is a different story apparently. 

For those that don't know what a Mudd Pie is it's is basically an ice cream pie/cake. It has a cookie crust (typically chocolate) and then piled high (hence "mile high") with (again typically) coffee ice cream and topped with a whipped cream topping. 

Since most restaurants (or at least the one's where she enjoyed their pie) only sell by the slice I was left to the challenge of making a homemade mudd pie for the shower. She loved it and so did the guests. 

Here's what I did:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Chaos Blog Hop

Friday Chaos is right! This has been such a long week...but not only is it FRIDAY (hooray) it's also a blog hop day!! So check out below for this week's Friday Chaos Blog Hop which I've been privileged to cohost

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Return to Sender (or Other People's Baggage)

I understand that sometimes blogging opens doors to the author's personal life. I share things here with, let's be honest, strangers. People I haven't met. People I don't know if I'd recognize in a line up.

I also believe in the blogging community. It is because we share personal things that we start to get to know one another (even if it is online) and care for one another. 

I worry when I haven't seen a new post from someone in a while, or if someone blogs about a break up or even their little one being under the weather. I have been known to share advice from time to time - if the person is seeking it.

However, I think there is a line between offering advice/sharing concern and simply dumping "your" personal baggage onto the blogger. 

Everyone's experiences in life are different. One relationship or circumstance is not like the other and as bloggers and blog readers we need to remember this when commenting/emailing one another. 

And ultimately I understand that sharing personal things can lead to comments from readers that perhaps aren't welcome or (in this case) appropriate.

Today I found the following email in my "other" facebook email inbox (the one they send things that aren't from friends to) - not to my Ms. Morgan's Reality Check facebook but my private personal account. And I wanted to share it with you....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

No Effort Paella
I love paella...except that one time when there was something in it that made my tongue swell and sores break out, it only lasted a few minutes and after I drank a bunch of water it was fine.... but normally I enjoy it! 

And did you know that paella is both the cooking tool as well as the name of the food dish?! I think I learned that on the Food Network channel's Good Eats with Alton Brown....

Anyway this is a "No Effort Paella" and you don't need a paella to make this paella (LOL I crack myself up...sorry). It's all just done in the oven with a baking dish. I'm sure there's some way it could be turned into a slow cooker recipe...hmmm. Maybe I'll have to figure that out. For now here's the recipe.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Or should I say "Happy Excuse to Get Piss Drunk Day!" 

Which is funny since many religious branches restrict the amount of alcohol consumed and yet Americans use the holiday to get damn drunk...and I (this year) was no exception. St. Patrick's Day is one of those holidays that has been absconded by Americans as an excuse to party and often no one has any idea the history behind the true holiday....must in the same way that so many thing Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day or have no idea that Mardi Gras is also a Catholic Holiday.

Oh well, I'm Scottish and not Catholic so it really doesn't matter. Haha.

Friday, March 15, 2013

He Likes Big Butts

Like with many women my figure and body has changed the older I've gotten.

I've gone up about eight sizes (14-28) in the last fifteen years. It's happened for many reasons: puberty, on-and-off birth control, "Freshman Fifteen" and now working in a highly sedative office job.

Now the point if this blog isn't about losing weight, social standards or really even my dress size. No this blog is about how the type and number of men I attract has increased right along with my size.

And my question is are more men starting to appreciate and find a curvy woman attractive? Or are they just feeling they can express their true desires/attractions more?

I had a number of boyfriends going through high school but once I hit college that number plummeted and I found myself in a perpetual state of "friendship zone". It was during this time that my self esteem started to sink, not because of not dating but that surely didn't help, but just being in a new place trying to discover myself and (for the first time) feeling un-date-able.

After college I just threw myself into my work. Didn't really have any interest in dating so I didn't (although you could apply the chicken vs egg question here I'm sure). It wasn't until about five years ago that I said enough was enough, I was tired of being single and feeling undesirable. 

So I pulled on my big girl panties and started working on loving me. As I started embracing myself I started finding more and more men wanting to embrace me too. *wink wink*. 

If anyone doesn't believe that confidence is the sexiest thing about a woman than I doubt they've met a truly confident lady. Now I'm not saying that with every dose of confidence came a Prince Charming (if you've read my entries on dating you'll knew that's far from true). 

When I first re-joined the dating world I wasn't that impressed with the men I was finding. But then with round two, despite feeling occasionally like my expiration date had come and gone, I started (finally) connecting with men who weren't just looking for a booty call....

It still will amaze me though when I'm flirted with in line at the grocery store (especially the time I had on no makeup and had a GIANT cold sore on my lip and still had the cashier hit on me at RiteAid) or asked at the bus stop if I have a boyfriend or winked at by the waiter. I don't think I'll ever be accustomed to it. 

But I still wonder. Is it me? Is it them? Is it my confidence and (finally) finding myself not repulsive that men are picking up on...or are men (in their own quest for finding "self") more open to dating plus size women. 

In the end I suppose it doesn't matter since I have found my Prince Charming and he loves my curves.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

One Bag Two Bag Red Bag Blue Bag

Recently I've noticed there is more and more of a trend to carry multi-bags/purses (one can assume) to and from work. No longer is a single purse enough. (And I'm not including those who are obviously carrying a purse and gum bag because they're hitting the treadmill before/after punching their time cards). At least in Portland, you'll see women with a purse and then not a lunch pale (although you can spot the traditional styles) but a complete extra bag. One that often times is over flowing or looks heavier than their purse.

Now I'm not here pointing fingers. Because I've found myself succumbing to this trend. I'll have one "bag" for my wallet, keys, phone and bus pass and then a separate one for book, umbrella (depending on the time of year), water bottle and lunch (sometimes even breakfast depending on how quick I needed to scurry out the door).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Women Want?

Has anyone else seen the 2000 Mel Gibson/Helen Hunt film What Women Want? ...okay this post really isn't about that film...

It's about something spectacular and a chance to win $150 gift card to!! Because everyone loves winning things right? 

All you have to do is email and tell them (in 45 words or less) "What Do Women Want?"

Seems easy enough right? Well let me tell you I've emailed my entry (no, I won't share until after the contest) and it was so hard!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pretty Pretty Pin Up (post & giveaway)

Dita Von Teese (modern burlesque queen and pin up) has been quoted as saying what she does "It's not about seducing men, it's about embracing womanhood"

...that's exactly why I signed up Bettina May's Pin Up class this last weekend, here in Portland. 

It wasn't about having sexy pictures to give the BF. It was about embracing who I have become, happy being 30, being happy (most days) with my body...and just loving me.

I remember coming across Bettina's class sometime last year; however it was just after my birthday and I couldn't swing the registration fee. I knew though that the next time she came through town I'd jump on the opportunity. So a few weeks ago I saw the class advertised on Facebook I hopped online and paid the full registration!
Bettina May is described (via her website) as a Canadian Burlesque Ambassador!
"Bettina May has been a pin-up model and burlesque performer since 2003, starting her career as a model for ...She is also a much sought-after pin-up photographer and vintage stylist, putting her love of vintage style to good use as a consultant for period films and running her successful pin-up makeover classes, which she styles and shoots herself. She has been teaching classes since 2006, bringing her unique body-positive full-day experience to Canada, the US and Europe. Her class has appeared nationally on NBC’s First Look and has been profiled in the NY Times and Greenpoint Gazette." (Bio found on Bettina May blog here)
All I can say (over and over again) was what an amazing time I had. It was an intimate setting, the back stage space at a local Portland bar. There were only three of us in the class so it really felt like a private session with quality 1-on-1 time with both Bettina and her assistant Lily.

The class starts off with everyone discussing what it is they want from the class and why they joined. 
I talked about building up my self confidence over the last five years and how these photos are to be my reminder of the love I've found for myself and the confidence I have. I shared about my love for the classic 40s-50s style and the ultimate sex appeal I find in these women. And finally, how I hope to incorporate these styling techniques in my every day life - not just for special events.

After introductions Bettina then walked us through each step on applying a basic 40s pin up face. It's hard to even begin with what she taught me that I plan to incorporate daily but the top two are:
1. No bottom eye makeup (not just no-liner but no mascara either) to help create the larger eye look
2. If you wear nothing else slap on a good red lipstick and you'll be set!
After she finished her face, she walked us through hair(this is the area I'm going to have to work and practice the most. My hair is stubborn when it comes to curls - not just the texture but also the length and thickness weighs down the curl) her assistant Lily set our own hair in hot rollers. We all then sat down and did our own faces. Bettina and Lily were there to help with questions about amount of eye shadow, placement of cat eyes and how best to apply fake lashes.

Once our faces were done we took turns having Bettina undo the curlers and give us the perfect pin up hair. I don't know what do you think? I think curlers bring out my smile. ;)
Once dressed, hair done and clothes on we each got a photo shoot with Bettina. I haven't had my picture professionally taken (not including photos for my sister's wedding) since my high school graduation photos. Bettina made me feel comfortable and glamorous and now I have over a dozen gorgeous photographs to cherish for years to come.
Because I had such an amazing time and highly encourage anyone who loves vintage or wants to feel glamorous for an afternoon, to find out if Bettina is coming to your area. She's just started her West Coast Tour and still has many classes you can sign up for (here).
In the meantime I thought I'd share my excitement with you and putting together a complete Pin-Up giveaway! Prizes include a copy of Bombshell Basics.
"In Bombshell Basics, A Pinup Model's Secrets Revealed! -- New York City-based pinup model, stylist, and burlesque star Bettina May shares with you her treasure box of tools, tricks, and secrets for achieving the coveted pinup look from wherever you start - short hair, straight hair, any face or body type. Bettina May focuses on 'special effects' you can achieve with the pinup toolbox - from camouflaging imperfections to amplifying facets of your natural beauty.

Bettina offers her expertise to help you incorporate elements of pinup makeup and hairstyles into your everyday or special-occasion look. Whether you are posing for pictures, going out to dance, or just going to work, Bettina's magic touch will give you the inspiration and confidence you need to make yourself feel fabulous and in control of your image."

Other prizes to include Sally Hansen's Diamond Strength Honeymoon Red nail polish, NYC 2-in-1 A Rock A Fella lip stick and a handmade red rose/feather hair piece to complete your pin up look.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends the end of March.
Anyone/everyone is eligible to win!
Make sure to share with your friends.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Firmoo Review

The end of last month I was contacted by Firmoo with a free glasses offer. They're an online glasses company (so instead of paying expensive prices at your local optometrist) where you can easily enter in your prescription and get your glasses via USPS.
Now it's been years since I had my eyes checked and years since I've actually worn glasses (I'm bad I know) so I was worried that I wouldn't be able to sign up for this offer - since I didn't have the needed numbers about my "prescription". However, the rep told me that I could get clear glass (non-prescription) instead.
I've never really understood the "glasses for fashion" concept. For me (having worn glasses since I was about eight or nine) glasses were necessity only. But when the pair I ordered from Firmoo came in I couldn't help but wear them the rest of the night - they were so cute.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Being Body Positivie

Body acceptance isn't really a new concept. 

In the last few years it's been strongly tied (or should I say promoted) through the plus size community. Women (and men) saying enough is enough. They are happy with who they are and even going as far as saying they love their curves. 

Campaigns and educational programs such as HAES (health at every size) sparked and were being promoted to show that being plus size doesn't mean you can't still be healthy. 

However, and sadly in my opinion, somewhere along the lines this went from self-love/acceptance to anti-skinny.

Postings about "real women have curves" and statements like "give the girl a hamburger" started going viral on the internet and social media. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Banana Pumpkin Muffin

Yesterday was full of watching my 1-month niece and doing some prep-shopping for next weekend* so today I planned on being a relaxing day - mostly just laundry and backing I thought today would be a great day make some banana pumpkin muffins. They're great in the freezer and I can just pull one out in the morning to take for breakfast during the week.

I don't feel like we eat too many bananas. Everyone and a while we'll get two or three for the week. Somehow we still don't eat them all and occasionally have to toss one into the freezer for future banana bread.

So I went to pull them out this morning and found NINE BANANAS!! A regular recipe normally calls for two - but there was no way I was going to make a QUADRUPLE batch! Haha. So I pulled out four and made a double batch. I'm going to have muffins for days!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Portland City Grill Happy Hour

As part of my 30 during 30 I've put together a Portland Food Passport (with fourteen restaurants I want to try this year). Last weekend my mother and I tried a local ice cream shop called Salt & Straw; last night my sister and I went for Happy Hour to the Portland City Grill (on the 30th floor of "Big Pink" - the bank tower).

The Portland City Grill has an infamous happy hour - to the point that at 3:30 a crowd will form on the first floor outside the elevators. Elevators that won't open until 4PM when Happy Hour starts upstairs on the 30th floor. The 30th floor with a surrounding view of the city:

The view is fabulous, but I used to work as a temp in this building and the office was on a floor above the restaurant, so I've seen this view before. The food however, I hadn't experienced. Yum Yum.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thriftiness Miss Turns 1 (Giveaway)

A dear blogger friend of mine, The Thriftiness Miss, has turned 1!! Hooray! And as part of the celebration a number of us have joined together to give one whiz-bang of a giveaway!!

Here's a little bit from The Miss herself!
I can't say thank you enough to these awesome ladies for contributing to my birthday giveaway. And I think you'll have a big "thank you" for them too, once you see what they have brought to the party!

One winner will be picked for each prize. That's a grand total of 17 winners in all!! Have a look at what's up for grabs. Go here to enter.

Sausage Cornbread Pudding

This sounds delicious and in some ways reminds me of the sausage polenta dish my mother made for the family Yule party this last year. I love the combination of sausage and corn bread and sage is always a nice earthy flavor.
Where it's still cold/chilly here in Portland this sounds like it'd be great for dinner or breakfast! I imagine they'd be wonderful cooked in muffin tins and frozen - great for taking to work as breakfast in the morning.
I've got the ingredients down on my grocery list and will post pictures of it later this week.