February 27, 2014

A Little Note about BzzAgent and A Little Update On Me!

What's going on~

Hello!  I am currently working on some things that I will be writing about soon.  I want to mention the BzzAgent campaign I'm doing now.  It is an allergy nose spray called Nasacort Allergy.  I usually don't like nose sprays because they are kind of gross.  This one is different!  It doesn't run down my throat or taste bad!  I hate when they do that!  I just started using it and it is working already.  I live in Texas and we have allergies year round.  I will let you know how it works after I use it for a little bit longer.  So far so good!!!

The next thing I want to tell you is that I have been feeling terrible.  (besides the allergy mess)  My pain has been bad and I think it is because of the weather we've had.  Today is pretty nice and the sun is out! Hopefully I will stop having this increase in pain soon!  I have a review that I will be doing on NYC Cityproof Twistable Crayons. I have one more to test out before I do it.  

I promise to do my best to keep up with this blog as much as physically possible.  I have a sleeping disorder and my sleep doc had some harsh words for me today.  On top of having a sleeping disorder I am sleep deprived.  He says I have to sit down with my hubby and kids and let them know that I have to get more sleep or I will do some serious damage to my health.  I am supposed to limit my driving to short distances as well.  Wow, not what I was expecting at a follow up visit!  (could this be why my pain is worse too??)

That is all that I wanted to fill you in on.  Luckily being a BzzAgent and reviewing makeup, etc... doesn't keep me up at night!  Take care of yourselves and get plenty of rest!

February 25, 2014

ACDF, Idiopathic Hypersomnia, and Pigment Dispersion Syndrome Oh my!

About me part two~

X-ray showing bone growth after ACDF.

This is the second half of my "About Me" post.  This half was much harder for me to write for some reason. I've had constant distractions from the kiddos and every day life as well.  I feel like this is sort of rushed through even with it taking so long.  I hope it doesn't read that way.  Thank you for reading!

I left off describing my experience with my new pain doctor.  It was nerve racking meeting him for the first time.  I was always so nervous talking about pain meds.  I never really thought much about them before. Now I was meeting with a second pain specialist and desperate for help. (seriously)

I had to try a lot of different pain medications and finally found a combination that works well for me. I wish the meds would take the pain away completely, but they don't.  They basically make it less intense and a little easier to deal with.  I'm really very lucky to have found a doctor that cares more about quality than quantity when it comes to his patients.  My advice is to find a specialist like this if you can.  This doctor will be the one to see you every month and prescribe your meds.  This doctor will order an MRI or any other tests when new symptoms pop up.  He/She can also refer you to another specialist when necessary.   You will spend a lot of time and money seeing this doctor and it needs to be someone that is legitimate and that you like personally if possible.

My doctor suggested and I subsequently tried epidural steroid injections and trigger point injections to help control my pain.  Nothing really helped.  It was time to make an appointment with a Neurosurgeon.  I used websites like Healthgrades to find this doctor on my own just as I had with my pain specialist.  I got lucky again!  I highly recommend doing some research before going to any specialist.  Even one that your primary doctor wants to send you to could have poor reviews from patients.  In fact the first pain specialist that I was referred to had poor reviews.  I chose to go and make my own opinions.  I quickly found that every complaint I had read about was true.

Talk about nervous...I never thought I would need a pain specialist and now I was seeing a Neurosurgeon!  The appointment was pretty quick and to the point.  The doctor looked at my MRI photos that I had brought along with me.  He showed me the two herniated discs in my neck and told me that I needed surgery.  The discs were touching my spinal cord and causing some of my symptoms like arm pain, tingling sensations and some numbness in my hand.  Sometimes I had trouble stumbling around.  Just weird stuff that mixed up nerves can cause. Oh and a lot of pain!

I already knew that he was going to tell me this.  I had read so much on the internet about herniated discs that I almost felt like an expert.  I knew how it was done and about the recovery process, AND I knew that it was very unlikely that it would cure my neck pain.  These surgeries typically don't.  They are done to prevent permanent damage to the spinal cord and to stop the progression of symptoms.

I waited six months before having the surgery.  I wanted to wait until my son was out of school for the summer.  At one point my pain specialist told me that he thought I had made the wrong decision by waiting so long and I cried.  It wasn't like I could just up and go have a major surgery.  I was a mom and I needed my parents help taking care of the kids and taking care of me!  My hubby had to work and couldn't be home with me.

Time passed very slowly.  We bought a house and moved the month before my surgery.  I had a ton of stress going on.  Buying a house is stressful, moving is stressful, and my pain was definitely stressful!  I got shingles and started an anti-viral med the day we closed on our home.  I couldn't believe it. I'm not that old! How did I get shingles?  I always thought that really old people got shingles.  Having chicken pox as a child and then having enough stress to lower my immune system is all it took.  I also found out that once again my potassium level was very low at 2.8.  (another story)  How did I even manage to get out of bed?  It wasn't easy and it hurt so much. Sometimes I cried when I was alone.  I tried to hide just how depressed I was feeling.

Finally the big day came on June 25, 2012 and I was filled with all kinds of different emotions.  I just wanted it over with.   It was a little surreal going into the hospital that morning.  I tried not to think too much about what was going to happen.  I definitely didn't want to think about all of the "what ifs".  I was so relieved when I woke up in recovery.  I made it and it was over!

The surgery went fine and I was moved into a room.  They only keep you one night here which I think is ridiculous.  They say that people do better recovering at home.  I could have used another night personally. We put a recliner into the bedroom and that is where I slept for about a week I think.  Some of my memories are fuzzy.  I have a terrible memory anyway.  My mom slept in the bedroom with me.  I was given a heavy dose of steroids to help the swelling in my throat and was not feeling well.  Let's just say that my recovery was hampered by my grumpy attitude.  My loved ones should have known why I behaving like I was and left me alone, but they didn't. When I felt "normal" again  I was able to explain to them that the steroids, the pain, and just recovering from something like that had made me feel terrible and unsociable. Don't expect someone to be cheerful after an ACDF and please don't take any negativity personally.  My throat hurt, I couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did, and I felt a little sorry for myself among other things.  I should have just stayed in bed!

Wearing my Aspen collar.  I
still wear this when my
neck is hurting badly!
My scar after removing the bandage for the
first time.  It is barely noticeable now.

That was almost two years ago as of this writing.  I still have severe neck pain.  The surgery did what it was supposed to do.  I don't have any compression in my spinal cord (according to my Neurosurgeon) and none of the other fun stuff that goes with it.  I've had another MRI almost a year to the day that shows some stenosis, but better than prior to surgery. A few months ago I had radio frequency nerve ablations done to both sides of my neck to help ease the pain.  I will definitely be sharing that experience in another post!  It helped a little I guess.  My pain doc says that the next step is to do more epidural steroid injections.  *Sigh

I've been having new symptoms in the thoracic area of my spine since last fall.  I now have almost constant tingling and some really sharp pain at times.  I'm worried, but I know I won't be having surgery for this. They don't do any surgery in that area of the spine unless it is absolutely without a doubt necessary.  I read that it is pretty dangerous.  I've also had a numb pinky finger for about a month now. My pain doctor wants me to have an MRI done to find out if something is going on.  It will have to wait until we can afford to pay for it.

My most recent official diagnosis is Idiopathic Hypersomnia. That explains why my life has always revolved around naps! I also found out this past summer that I have Pigment Dispersion Syndrome and high ocular pressure as a result.  I hate using the expensive eye drops!  Why is it so hard for me to put a drop in my eyes?  Just being stubborn and ridiculous I think.  My journal section will be where I post upcoming "news" about my health and go into detail about some of these medical conditions I've mentioned.  Hopefully it will be a place for good news!

I'm ending this "About Me" post here.  I never intended for this to be this long.  If you have managed to read both of these posts all the way through you get a virtual cookie from me and a huge "Thanks!"  P.S. I thought of something last night that I needed to add or correct or do to this post.  I have no idea now what it was. I will make an update to this post if I remember!


February 22, 2014

Super deals from Bath and Body Works

Check out what I ordered from Bath and Body!

I LOVE Bath and Body!  It's one of my guilty pleasures that I give into whenever I can.  That means whenever my hubby says I can.  He knows that if I had my way I would buy something every other day.  So I like to take advantage of the sales and the mailers/emails they send out.  

The best time to stock up is at their semi annual sales.  The next one will be in June and I'm already excited about it.  I had so much fun shopping at the winter sale.  Items during those sales are up to 75% off!  That is not a typo!  I actually didn't know about the semi annual sales until just this last fall.  What rock have I been under? Signing up for the email offers is the best way to keep up with the sales and get coupons. In fact they send me at least two or three emails a day.  Darn them- always tempting me!

I just ordered a few things online and used a 20% off coupon and also got one free item.  I looked at what is left in the 50% off section and found that it is getting pretty sparse. There are still Wallflower refills, shampoo and conditioners, along with some other miscellaneous holiday themed items.  You might want to check those out.

I did score on the Triple Moisture Body Cream in "Cranberry Twinkle."  I found it by doing a search for body cream and then sorted those from low to high.  It was the first thing that popped up. They are on sale for $4 with a regular price of $12.50.  I got three for less than one at the normal price plus I had the 20% off coupon that made them under $4.

Another super deal is the "Fresh Picked Garden Strawberries" hand soap in either the deep cleansing or foaming types.  I picked one of those up at a special price of  $3. (even less with the 20%) The regular price for those is $6.50.  ***update This special price ends Sunday, February 23.  I received the email early this morning, so I'm assuming it goes until midnight.

They now have a flat shipping rate of $5.99. Depending on how much you purchase this could save you some bucks.  I have kicked myself before for paying more for shipping than the actual product online.   I also snagged a few of the PocketBac sanitizing hand gels and one of those ended up being my free item.

Bath and Body Works Cranberry Twinkle Triple Moisture Body Cream and
the Fresh Picked Garden Strawberries Deep Cleansing Hand Soap

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February 20, 2014

Journal the pain away

Journal Entry #1~

I've decided to add a journal to my blog.  It makes sense to me since I am partly using this blog as a way to vent about my own issues and to help others with similar problems.  Boy do I have a lot of issues!  I will use the "Health Topics" label for more informative posts.  

Here is a little background.  I won't go into too much detail about it and save that for an actual Health Topic post.
*Chronic pain following a two level ACDF  for herniated discs getting cozy with my spinal cord.  
*Fibrobromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue
Pigmentary Dispersion Syndrome in both eyes.  Ever heard of it?  Me either!  Its kind of rare.   
*My most recent diagnosis is kind of like a mystery solved to me.  Its called "Idiopathic Hypersomnia" and another topic I will explain later. I'm tired 24/7 no matter how much or how little I sleep.  I will share the details about testing for this later as well.  I have pics too!  ;-)
*Finally the blah, blah, blah stuff that comes with getting older....not old, just older.  Can someone please tell my body this!

Ok now what?  Just kidding.  I have had a bit of a block though.  I'm worried that these journal posts are basically going to be the same every time I do one.  Let's see, my neck hurts and I'm super tired.  When I first started this post I just did the background stuff and I was having a decent day.  Today is not the same day.  My neck is awful and is giving me a headache.  I've been super tired the past couple of days and have had to literally take my "hey, wake up!" med just to keep my eyes open.  

I have also been having some new and worsening symptoms for a couple of months or so.  I told my pain doctor and he wants me to get another MRI, but of my thoracic spine this time.  It will have to wait since we have a huge deductible.  I'm having tingling sensations in my middle back/spine area and it's pretty strong at times.  I also have a spot that I had my hubby help me pinpoint and take a picture of so I could show my doctor as well.  It is extremely painful when I move or touch it in the wrong way.  I'm worried that the level below my fusion (c4-5 to c5-6) could have something going on.  If not a disc issue, then what?

My thoughts on this blog are bothering me as well.  I look at other blogs and think that this one is just silly.  I have to remind myself that for one I just started it and I'm learning.  The other thing is that this blog is not just a beauty blog.  I'm not a beauty guru.  I just like makeup.  My main goal with this blog is to help someone somewhere with things that we share in common.  When I was researching ACDF surgery before having mine I couldn't find a blog like this.  I actually found more blogs on the foot surgery I had maybe because that is more common.

Anyways,  this is my first journal post and I'm sorry that it turned into a negative one.  It didn't start out that way.  I promise not to be a downer every time I write about myself.
It's hard to put a number on pain.
I would tell my doc I'm at a 6 or 7 today.
I would rather just draw a sad face and hold it up!

This is what caused everything to change...

February 19, 2014

NYC Sparkle Eye Dust

My thoughts on NYC's Sparkle Eye Dust~

I've seen a lot of mixed opinions about this product.  I am one of the people that likes this eye shadow. Number one they have several really nice colors.  I've seen a complaint that they have a ton of them to choose from, but I just checked their website and they have ten total.  All I need is one good one and I'm happy!   I bought  the color "Golden Champagne."  I would like to try them all at some point, but I just can't rush out and buy them all at once.  I will update this post if I get the opportunity to try another color.  

This color is a great choice because it is not too dark and really shows off the sparkle in this eye shadow.  I think it is fun to wear when I want to bring a little more attention to my eyes.  I have had to grudgingly start wearing my glasses full time and need bolder eye colors.  (***see tip for eyeglass wearers below)  It is very pigmented, so a little goes a long way.  It comes in a tube with a built in wand to apply it.  I always take any extra off on the side of the tube before I apply any.  I do need to reapply later in the day pretty much when I would need to touch up any other makeup.  I recommend using an eye shadow primer to help keep it in place. There is some fall out. (I've learned this term from the beauty gurus.  It basically means that some of the shadow falls onto you face when you apply it.)  This is not a big deal to me because I just use a soft tissue to gently wipe it off.  Problem solved!  I'm going to include a photo that I took on my way out the door.  As usual the quality is lacking, but hey I'm not a professional!  :-)  

***Tip- When you wear glasses they can make your eyes almost vanish beneath them.  A bolder eye shadow and eyeliner can help them to stand out again.  But don't go overboard! You still need to blend everything out and wear colors that flatter your face.  I look best in pink, purple, a nice light brown aka the NYC champagne color, and blue.  I don't wear blue eye shadow, but I love a pretty blue eyeliner!  One of my favorite colors is actually a teal blue eyeliner.  It brings out the green in my eyes that I barely notice anymore!

NYC Sparkle Eye Dust colors
NYC Sparkle Eye Dust in
Golden Champagne

February 16, 2014

Tips for pain medicine users

Some thoughts on prescription safety~

I would like to share some things that I've learned over that past two years regarding pain meds and even other prescriptions too.  I decided to do this as a list so that it's easy to skim through and I can add to it if I need to.

  1. Never ever walk out of your pain doctor's office with a prescription in hand. It should be out of site in your purse, wallet, or anywhere else you can put it. You are an easy target for someone looking to grab one if it's in your hand!  Sadly there are people out there that would do just that. Same thing goes at the pharmacy. Don't walk in holding your prescription in your hand. 
  2. Pay attention when you leave that you are not followed. What's even better than a free prescription for pain meds...a brand new bottle of pain meds. You cannot go back to your doctor to get another prescription nor will your insurance pay for one if it has been less than about twenty five days or so. Take care to keep it safe. 
  3. Be prepared to show your drivers license or state issued I.D. when you pick up your meds. I think that this is common sense, but wanted to list it as a reminder. 
  4. Use the same pharmacy for all of your prescriptions. There are several reasons for this. The most obvious is so that your pharmacist can check for drug interactions between all of your medications. The other reason is so that you don't look suspicious going to multiple pharmacies.  I actually do use two pharmacies. I have to get my pain medication filled at one location and everything else at CVS. Not all large pharmacies are willing to order a med for you. It seems they only want to order the meds that they use the most. True story!  A smaller pharmacy will (usually) be happy to get anything that you need with some exceptions. I use CVS for all of my other prescriptions for convenience. 
  5. Count your pills as soon as you get home. I have not started this myself, but I need to. I hate to say this, but an employee of the pharmacy could be taking your pills. They may use them for themselves or even sell them.  Your pain doctor can refuse to treat you if you keep coming up short each month especially if you don't know how it happened. 
  6. Make sure that you pull the labels off of your prescription bottles and tear them up before throwing them away. Shred the information sheets that the pharmacy prints as well. These both contain a lot of information including your name and address. Anyone could find that same information if you throw it in the trash.  
  7. Limit the number of people that know you are taking pain medicine. It is a security risk and also a subject of gossip. No matter why you take it there will always be someone who thinks you either don't need it or that you are addicted to it.  I will explain the difference between addiction and dependance in another post. 
  8. Do tell your loved ones and/or a close friend that you CAN trust. You need people in your life that you can talk to about your condition and your pain medicine. They also need to know in case there was ever some type of emergency.  
This list will be updated from time to time. If you have any thoughts to add to this list leave me a comment.   Thank you!

February 14, 2014

Upcoming Topics

List of upcoming posts:

There are so many different types of posts in my little blog. (or will be) This list will show topics that I am already working on or plan to post in the near future.  I will update it often. 

  1. "About Me" part two very soon. I am working on it. (Done!!)
  2. Info on chronic pain 
  3. Tips for both ACDF and foot surgeries
  4. I have two product reviews I will be working on very soon. I'm excited about them both! (Done!)
  5. Idiopathic Hypersomnia
  6. Samples and a great site to find them
  7. Tips for wavy/curly hair (what works for me)
  8. Pigment Dispersion Syndrome
  9. Journal entries -life through my eyes
  10. Definition of spoonies!

Mascara messes

Easiest way to remove a mascara goof

Ok, I did this trying to rush and get ready this morning. I move so slow with my aching it always takes me a long time to hurry...does that make sense?  Anyways, I was putting mascara on and poked myself in the eye. I got mascara under my eye and was tearing up and telling my daughter that someday she would do that too. She is five and looked at me like I was crazy!

The quickest way to fix this mess?  Let your mascara dry. Once it dries you can take a soft tissue or Q-tip to gently wipe it off. If you try this while it is still wet it will just spread it around making a bigger mess. 

Hope this helps you someday if you didn't know this already. Here is a picture showing my messy mascara and another after wiping the dried mascara away. It took me even longer to finish getting ready by taking a pictures. :-)

Ouch!  The result of poking myself with mascara. 

First BzzAgent Campaign

Bzz, Bzz,Bzz

It's official!  I have been chosen to participate in my very first BzzAgent Campain. I cannot give you any details yet about the product that I will be trying. It's a big secret for now!  Check back soon for the details and my review!

Are you interested in trying new products and spreading the news about your opinion of them?  How about giving feedback to the companies that make these products before they are released?  Check out the website linked below for details on how you can be a BzzAgent too!

February 12, 2014

February 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag

Ipsy Glam Bag Subscription

I just got my February bag and thought this would be a good time to do a post on them.  The cost is $10 a month with free shipping. 
You will usually receive 4-5 deluxe size samples in each bag, but sometimes they are smaller.  What you get is based on your choices on their beauty quiz.   I like to compare it a little bit to gambling.   You pay for something in hopes of "winning" some nice items that you have never tried or maybe have always wanted to try, but couldn't afford.
There is a waiting list when you first sign up.  My wait was only about a month or so. You will receive an email letting you know when you are official. There is no charge until your first bag ships. 
Ok, so what did I get?  Drumroll please.....

February's Glam Bag~

February Ipsy Glam Bag

I was really excited to receive this months bag.  I do have some mixed opinions about these products. That is why it is important to do the reviews of the samples you receive.  The more info they have on your preferences the better match they can make on your Iitems.  I am including a photo of me jokingly wearing the false eye lashes they sent me. I've never worn any and these are crazy long!  It did make me want longer lashes though.  Maybe I will buy some that won't make my children laugh so hard to try out!  This is my sexy pose?

Ready for my close up!

February 10, 2014

Just a note...

Thank you to those of you that have been viewing my little blog.  I have been using my iphone or my son's tablet to do these posts.  My laptop should be fixed or I may even get a new one in March.  I can do things so much quicker on it.  I am also continuing to learn about blogger and hoping to learn qickly.  The kids, doctor appointments, and even the dirty dishes are determined to slow me down I think!
Thanks again for the visit and I hope you all are well.


Faves Feb, 2014 Part 3

Here is the last half of my faves list.  It was supposed to be twenty products, but one snuck into the picture!
  1. NYX Nude on Nude~ This set contains twenty shadows and ten shades of lip gloss. There are some great shades in here and of course the usual colors that don't work for me. There is a nice mix of matte and shimmer colors. The case is a nice quality with a mirror and a pull out section that contains the lip glosses. I really don't get much use from the lip glosses. I prefer something I can throw in my purse and reapply.  I've  seen mixed reviews on this pallet, but for half the price of an Urban Decay Naked pallet this is a great deal!
  2. L.A. Colors Color Craze nail polish~ I have several of these and they are such a great bargain!  The one shown is called "wired." It's a nice bright blue color.  They have a lot of beautiful colors to choose from. 
  3. Hard Candy Crush Baked Blush~ These are beautiful blushes!  I own the "Living Doll" and have honestly been looking for this shade my entire life!  I's a buildable color that can be both subtle and bright.  These come in three colors and are sold exclusively at Walmart. 
  4. Moodmatcher Lip Color by Fran Wilson~ These have been around since I was a teenager. I remember using them because we thought it was "cool" to see what color it would turn into. I plan on doing a dedicated page to these in the near future . For now I will say that these are surprisingly moisturizing and super long lasting. So much better than a lip stain and a great bargain too!
  5. L'Oreal Magic Lumi Concealer/Corrector~ I  have mixed feelings about this product. I only use it under my eyes when they need a little brightening. For highlighting around my face I prefer a plain white cream shadow pencil.  What I don't like about this is the applicator. The brush on the pen is globby with product, hence the mixed review. 
  6. Sally Girl Eyeshadow~ These eyeshadows come in separate compacts that can be connected to each other. These are very small sample sizes, but last surprisingly long. The color "soft pink" is shown. It's a nice pink that isn't overly shimmery. These sample size shadows are a perfect way to try a lot of different colors without spending a lot of money. 
  7. Pure Ice nail polish~ I have quite a few of these gorgeous nail polishes. The one shown is called "Busted."  These are an awesome deal at Walmart. I really love their selection and the price!  I usually have a hard time deciding what color to pick. 
  8. Be A Bombshell The One Stick~ I have this in "Girl Crush."  It's a really pretty natural light pink color. It can be used as blush, eye shadow, and a face highlighter. I've only tried it as a blush personally. It goes on creamy and blends well.  I like to use this alone or under my powder blush. I received this in an Ipsy glam bag. It retails for $16 so I'm really glad that I got this with my $10 subscription!
  9. L.A. Colors Jumbo Eye Pencil~ Ok, I'm going to tell you a secret...expensive doesn't always equal better. These eye pencils are dirt cheap and I love them!  I have not tried them all, but I do have a favorite color. It is a beautiful purple color called "tropical bliss."  I use it to line my lid and then I blend it in with a little eyeliner brush. It lasts all day and I have a hard time using anything else. 
  10. NYC Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil~ Yet another cheap eyeliner that I'm a huge fan of!  I have several of these eyeliners. They go on smoothly and blend well on the upper lid and really pop on the waterline. These do last longer than my other eyeliners, however  I do need to reapply. My favorite color is the Teal. It makes my eyes really stand out and enhances my natural eye color.
  11. NYC Sparkle Eye Dust~ Another product I've seen mixed opinions about. I have the "Golden Champagne" and think it's a fun way to add a little sparkle to the eyes. Does it have fall out?  Yes, but it's easily wiped away with a tissue. I like that it is a cross between a powder and a cream.  I plan to try more colors soon.  

February 9, 2014

Faves Feb, 2014 Part 2

My faves continued...

My last post was a picture of my favorite makeup items.  In this post I will name the products and tell you what I like about them.  I'm a stay at home mom and just cannot afford to spend a lot of money on makeup. Would I like to? Yes...more like love to really!!  I do occasionally splurge when I have some extra cash to spend. I hope to be able to review some higher end makeup products in the near future.  :-) This post covers the first ten items.
  1. e.l.f.  Daily Moisture Stick~  This is a gel formula that is lightweight and easy to carry. I didn't think that I would use this much, but I tried it and now I am a fan. I use it for patchy dry spots including my eyebrows.  The description says it can be used on other places such as elbows and knees too. 
  2. Maybelline Age Rewind~ I decided to give this a try after researching reviews online and onYouTube. Forget all the technical stuff...I like that it works and that the applicator is super soft. It feels really nice on the delicate eye area.   
  3. Nivea Face/Hands/Body~ Ugh face moisturizer is so hard to find that works for me. I have combination skin with dry patches especially in the winter. This moisturizer is amazing!  It is not too thick or runny. It rubs in well without leaving a greasy feeling or appearance. I am just about out of this and have not been able to find this exact formula again. I will order online if I need to. 
  4. e.l.f. eye palette~ This palette in "everyday" has 32 colors most of which seem to have a shimmer. At $6 why not try it?  Does it compare to a higher end brand?  No, but I use this everyday along with a few other eyeshadows and they work just fine. 
  5. Pond's Luminous Finish BB+ cream~  This is an amazing product!  I requested a sample of this through Pond's website and instantly fell in love with it.  I use this alone and it covers nicely and evens out my skin tone without any heavy feeling. It also doesn't have that greasy feeling that some BB creams have.  It really does fade dark spots! I had some darker freckles and one sun spot (or maybe a big freckle?) and in less than two weeks they are barely there!  I highly recommend that you give this a try!
  6. Kiss Classic Nail Dress~ I included these nail strips based on one use. I applied them to my big toes and then painted the rest of my toes. I had a hard time filing off the extra at the end of my toenail and had to cut mine. They are supposed to last up to 10 days and I know mine lasted longer. These are fun and can be used on your fingernails as well. 
  7. Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder~  This is great powder!  From the picture you can see I've almost used mine up. The formula is oil absorbing and supposed to be pore minimizing. I haven't noticed a difference in pore size before or after applying, but it definitely does keep the shine away. I don't know how this differs for someone with oily skin. Your mileage may vary I suppose!
  8. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara~ This mascara claims to lengthen lashes. My lashes have never been long, but they look longer when I use this mascara!  It has a buildable formula and a great brush that separates lashes. I'm not a mascara expert, but I kind of feel like one after switching to this mascara!
  9. Rimmel Natural Bronzer~ This is my first attempt at using a bronzer. I used reviews to help me pick one that wouldn't make me look silly. Well, I hope I don't look silly!  I use this to highlight my cheeks, the sides of my face, and on my neck. It isn't very noticeable, but I can tell a difference when I use it. The shade I use is Sun Light. 
  10. Smooth Shadow~ I got this in my December Ipsy glam bag. I plan on making a dedicated post to the products I get from my subscription. This made my list here as well. These are gel pencils that can be used on lids, the waterline, or as a highlighter. I received the color "Penny" and it is a great coppery color. These go on easily and have a little shimmer. 

Favorite beauty buys Feb, 2014 Part 1

Current Favorite Products

My faves don't change very often. What can I say, I'm a loyal fan of each. I do however come across items on sale or that catch my eye that ultimately bump one off my current list. I will do updates to my faves list whenever that happens. I only buy drugstore brands for the most part. Maybe I will venture away from that a little.

Here is a picture I took of them.  It took me about an hour to get everything the way I wanted it. I still didn't achieve an award winning pic, but it was on my iphone. See if you can recognize any if them. Just remember this is 2014, so if you stumble upon this post in 2020 these items may not even be around!  Wow, hello future reader!  ;-)

February 8, 2014

One step forward...

Under Construction

This blog business is going to give me a headache!  I am still learning about blogger. I think I've changed or added something cool and poof I look later and somehow it's gone.

Ugh, please bare with my trial and error. This is another test by using the blogger app to do this post. Let's see what it looks like!

I wonder if other people change things on their blog as much as I have.  I have changed the template several times and I don't even know how many times I have changed or tweeked the colors.  I hope to get everything the way I like it so that I can concentrate on writing my blog!  

February 7, 2014

Finding out just how much I love lip balm and lipgloss

 My lip balm and lip gloss obsession

 I think I may have a problem.   I have a lot of lip balms, lip glosses, and whatever else they can be. To find out just how bad its become I made a list of what I have.

My purse pockets and anywhere else they migrated to:
1.  Blistex Lip Vibrance~ a current favorite
2.  Palmer's Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick~ originally purchased to apply to a scar from surgery on my spine and found it to be great on lips too
3.  Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers x 2
4.  Blistex Simple Repair
5.  Softlips Pearl~ another favorite
6.  Burt's Bees plain~ my least favorite from this group

My makeup bag I put into my purse where my faves usually end up:
7.  NYC Big Bold Plumping lip gloss
8.  Baby Lips
9.  NYC Applelicious glossy lip balm
10. Mary Kay lipgloss
11. Nivea lip butter
12. A stack of four glosses I bought at Ulta~ I rarely use these, but they are just so cute to see in my bag
13. The best no name lip balm ever~ given out by my dentist 

My nightstand, bathroom drawer, and closet:
14. Cherry Chapstick~ bleh
15. Lip balm from my dentist x 2
16. Nivea lip butter 
17. Carmex Moisture Plus Color
18. EOS ball thingys x 2~ I only buy these because they are cute to be honest
19. Generic lip balms my daughter got for Christmas with cute animals on them and glitter tops x 2
20. Generic lip balm from a hospital~nice gesture, but yucky
21. Carmex original~ just like the smell
22. Random yucky lip glosses x 2~ trash please!
23. Avon Glazewear

My big makeup bag:
24. Mary Kay lipgloss
25. Covergirl Wetslicks
26. Avon Glazewear x 2
27. ELF lip stain that never would even color my lips~where is that trash?
28. LA Colors glitter lipgloss x 2~ no doubt about the thick glitter :-/
29. The Big Lip Pencil by J. Cat Beauty~ from an Ipsy glam bag

And finally my car with the fewest:

30. Mary Kay tinted lip balm~ another favorite
31. Sally Hansen Smile Brightening lipgloss
32. And a random lipstick I've thrown in 

Whew!  That was a lot of work.  I could have just said that I have thirty some odd lip balms, but I thought this would be more interesting. (or not!!)  Anyways, I want to know if anyone else out there has this same problem.   Comment and let me know.  What is your favorite and least favorite lip product?

February 6, 2014

Random Tips

  Sometimes technical difficulties come up and I find an answer by accident or by searching online.  I thought I would start a page for these tips.  Hopefully this info will be useful to someone. 

Iphone-dreaded white or black screen
  If you are ever faced with a locked white or black screen on your iphone don't panic! (I already did the panicking for you!)  This is some glitch that is supposed to be fixed at some point.  In the meantime here is how you reset your phone.
***Hold the top button that you use to turn your phone on and off.  Keep holding it down and hold the home button at same time.  Keep holding both buttons down for what feels like an eternity.  When the apple logo shows up on your screen you can let go.  Just wait again for another seemingly long time and voila your lock screen should pop up!

Twitter/Facebook full site on your phone or tablet
  The mobile sites on websites are usually sufficient for normal use.  However, you miss out on a lot on these mobile sites.  This can be a major problem if you don't have access to a regular computer or laptop. The reason I found myself looking for a quick fix to override this is so that I could change my photo on Twitter.  I was tired of having an egg for a picture!  Here is what you do to force the full site.
***Login to your account like normal.  Next you type in this address to take you to the full site...



These both worked for me  today 2/6/2014. Be sure to bookmark the site so that you don't have to keep typing in the alternate addresses. 

That's all I have for now.  If I come across any more useful info or problem fixes I will add them here.  

February 5, 2014

About me...let's get this over with!

  Part One

  I want to tell you about me, myself, and I.  I am married and have two children.   My boy is a preteen and is already preparing me for his teenage years.  My girl will be starting kindergarten this fall.  I am a stay at home mom and I must admit that I am excited to have some time to myself when they are both at school!  Shhh, don't tell anyone.
  Now for the rest...I had planned to go back to work around the time my daughter was two.  I did this with my son and it worked out well.  My hubby and I always agreed that we could make do until our children were old enough to talk.  We wanted to be able to ask them about what was going on at daycare and things like that.
  Right about the time that I started looking for a job I started to have pain in my neck and upper back.  I had a horrible headache that lasted at least a month and made me very sensitive to noise.   I begged my doctor to help me. She referred me to a pain management doctor.   So I had to wait for an appointment...and wait.  In the meantime my headache (just one never ending one) continued and my neck pain worsened.   It hurt to move.  Driving was very hard for me. Turning my head to look over my shoulder was so painful that I would try to stay in one lane for as long as possible.
  My first experience with a pain specialist was not so great.  The place was very busy and that made me feel uneasy.   I looked around and wondered if any of the people there really didn't need to be.  I later learned that they had on site physical therapy.   The worst part was dealing with so many people. They each came in and out of my room before the doctor spent her five minutes.  One person took my vitals, and another had me do some test.  A few minutes later I saw two more people doing two more tests.  The doctor gave me a prescription for a Butrans patch and Lyrica.  She said that they would order an MRI and to expect a call from the facility the next week. Well a  week went by and I called the office to remind them that I needed the MRI.  Another week and yet another call.  In the meantime my pain was no better and I was absolutely miserable.   My headache was making me feel crazy with the sensitivity to noises. I wore ear plugs just to be around my own family.  I called my primary doctor and went to see her.  She would not help me with my headache because I was seeing the pain doctor now.  Finally the MRI was scheduled, but Thanksgiving was later that week.  I went back to my doctor's office and saw a nurse practitioner instead of my regular doctor.  She examined me and listened to what I was saying.  Her advice was to get the MRI quickly because it would show the source of my pain.  She was so sweet and prescribed a Medrol dose pack to help with my headache.  It relived enough of the inflammation in my neck and shoulders that my headache finally started to fade.  I could go to Thanksgiving dinner without wearing ear plugs!   Why couldn't one of the other doctors do this?

I finally got the results of my MRI back.  I had herniated discs in my neck and she was going to refer me to a neurosurgeon.   She didn't think I would need surgery (boy was she wrong!) and wanted me to start physical therapy.   She even asked me in this very same appointment if after they "took care" of my neck would she be done with me.  Wow! Trying to blow me off after only two appointments!!  I was full of so many different emotions.  I cried all the way home.  It hurt so bad to move and I worried that nobody was going to help me.
  Needless to say, they never called to schedule the consult with the other doctor.  I researched pain specialists on my own and found one that sounded great.  I also found my own neurosurgeon.The new pain doctor required a copy of my records to determine if they would see me.  I was called back the same day to schedule an appointment!  Of course I had to wait a couple of weeks to get in.
  My first appointment was very different.   There was nobody waiting in the lobby.  It was quiet and very professional.   I had hope for the first time in months.  I am still seeing this doctor to this day.
  I'm stopping part one here.  It will be a three part story I think.  A huge thank you if you read this all the way through!  Please leave a comment if you have had a similar experience.

Added a little color to help this show up.
The two dark blobs are the herniated discs.
They were touching my spinal cord.  

Why I am doing this blog

  I recently joined a website called BzzAgent.  Basically if you do surveys, reviews, and participate on their site, then you could be invited to do a Bzzcampaign.  They send products for you to review and spread the word about whether you like it or not. I have just joined and will let you know when I start a campaign!  It could take a few months. I am not dedicating my blog to this one site for this reason.
  I have also now joined Influenster and Shespeaks.  They work pretty much the same as BzzAgent. I will be using this blog for those reviews as well!  There are no guarantees that I will be selected to review their products.  I will be posting random things as well.
  I had a two level fusion surgery in my neck (ACDF) in 2012 and will be posting about  that as well. Someone out there may benefit from reading about my experience. I know that I searched for as much info as possible before I had my surgery. I have some advice I can share as well.  I have some other health problems now as well, but I will save that for another time.

~I participate in the websites listed below.  Please let me know if I am missing a good one!
My Points
Ipsy/glam bag $10 monthly (paid subscription)
P&G Everyday
I have applied to Shespeaks

February 4, 2014

Random Chronic Beauty Blog

Hello! This is so random...

This is my first ever attempt at a blog. I'm excited, terrified, and a little embarrassed all at once. I think I have the power of being anonymous on my side or I definitely would not be brave enough to do this. Silly, but I'm sure I'm not the only one!

This blog is going to be kind of random....like my own thoughts!  I will share some things about myself and what I am doing. I also would like to be able to include some tips about beauty, parenting, saving money, and whatever else I come across. 
Please bare with me if you come across my little blog. Hopefully it will blossom into much more than I can imagine it will at this moment!

Please feel free to comment on anything and everything. I do ask that your comments be polite and respectful of others. I don't expect anyone to agree with everyone or everything, but if your comment is hateful or ugly I will delete it. 

Ok, so let's do this!!!