Friday, November 19, 2010

Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush

Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush
Liquid/paste blush.
It seems like whenever I carry in my purse or in my suitcase a powder make-up. It ALWAYS brakes. I end up with powder, eye shadow, blush- everywhere, or at least all over the inside of my make-up bag. One time when there was a sale on Make-up I picked up this paste blush. Just because. I think the sale may have been a buy one get one free sale. It sat on my dresser top for a long time, and one day I was packing for a trip and it dawned on me that this blush wouldn't brake and make a mess in my bag. So I put it in my suitcase. And I've been traveling with it ever since. I keep it in my emergency make-up in my purse and in my travel make-up bag for trips. I have even bought their liquid/paste eyeshadow too. It works great, looks great as make-up goes, but never has the mess in your bag. 
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

When in Rome (movie)

"When in Rome" starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel ( link)
When this was in the theaters it looked like a cute movie and I like Kristen Bell as an actress (stems from my enjoyment of the TV show Veronica Mars. But the movie didn't sound like something my husband would enjoy and not something I felt the need to pay movie theater prices to see. Now that it is available on DVD, I had the opportunity to watch it. I love it. Such a cute movie. It was a much more enjoyable plot then the previews and trailers made it out to be- they did not do this movie justice.
Basic plot: Beth (Kristen Bell) has been overly occupied with achieving success in her career. When out of nowhere her sister Joan (Alexis Dziena) announces she is getting married- in Rome. While at the reception Beth gets herself a little drunk and takes a dip (in her brides maid dress) in a fountain, known as the fountain of love, while there she pulls 5 coins out of the fountain. The supposed legend of this fountain is that you wish for love by throwing in a coin, by the same if you pull a coin out of the fountain the legend says that person will be under your spell.
It is such a cute movie. Maybe not for your husband (although not too bad, I would try to get my husband to watch it with me the next time I watch it).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flat Out Bread

Flat Out Bread ( link) Flat Out Bread (Official Website)
I bought these at Costco in a huge pack. I bought them and tried to use them. I was looking forward to them because they are only 1 Weight Watcher point each. Compared to most tortillas that is really healthy. I had some people tell me that they were really tasty. I ate them a few times, being completely unimpressed. Now they are sitting in my freezer and fridge taking up space. They are nothing special for how expensive they are. But I know a good number of people who think that for how healthy they are, they are wonderful and yummy. Try them for yourself. But I wouldn't buy a giant package like I did unless you know that you already like them.
Part 2:
I need to use these up. I can't have them in my fridge forever, and I can't get myself to throw them away and waste the money. If you eat them, how do you enjoy them? Do you use them in any recipes? Anyone have any suggestions for their use?
Thanks for reading.

Update:  We tried making homemade pizzas with them as suggested on their site. They were really tasty this way. Good stuff. I should try some more of their recipes. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dial H for Hitchcock by Susan Kandel

Dial H for Hitchcock  by Susan Kandel
This is the 4th book in the Cece Caruso mystery series. To catch you up to speed Cece is an author. She writes biographies about mystery authors. As she investigates these authors' lives, she steps into a mystery that could be right out of the pages one of the author's novels. 
For a mystery buff, like myself, this is fantastic. Its as though these long past authors are alive again and writing a new mystery. Yes after 4 books I can tell what is Kandel's style of writing from the various authors. But she does a fabulous job telling the stories in the dead authors way of doing it. The first book I read was actually the first in the series (that never happens, I normally find  book 2,3 or 6 first). Its called. I found it because I was doing random searches on Perry Mason on the internet. You might say I'm obsessed with Perry Mason. Since I am obsessed I just had to find and read a book called  'I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason'. It think it could have been better named, but I many not of found it if it had been. The book was wonderful. I had to find more. I then read all her others that were currently released. While waiting for 'Dial H for Hitchcock' I anticipated it so much it was worse for me than waiting for a Harry Potter book. I can't wait for her next book. I haven't heard what her next book is, but it can't come out soon enough.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Matta's Mexican Grill and Cantina

Matta's Mexican Grill and Cantina
I love Matta's food. I have been eating their food since I was a child. My parents have been eating their food since they were children. Back in 2007 Matta's main restaurant closed. The only way we'd could eat their food after that was going to the Matta's Grill on Higley (in Mesa, AZ). But the food was never quite the same. It tasted more like fast food (which it is) rather then the quality of a restaurant. 
Last month Matta's finally opened a new restaurant. It was opened at the Mesa Riverview complex. The restaurant is so well done inside. They did it in the Spanish architecture style, just like the old place. They also brought over from the old location the large sign, the stain glass, and many other artistic decor to decorate this location. 
The food was just as I remembered it. My husband had only ever eaten at the Grill location. I had feared that my emotional memories of eating at the original Matta's was influencing my memory of what the food actually tasted like. I worried that once the new restaurant opened and my husband tried it that he'd be disappointed by how it tasted. My fears were not justified. For just as it was as I remembered, my husband was overwhelmed by how wonderful everything tasted, even down tot he beans and rice. That made me so happy.   
I can't wait to go up to Mesa again just to eat at Matta's Mexican Grill and Cantina, mmmmm.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fiber Bars

I've tried the Kellogg's brand, the Fiber ONE brand, and the Quaker Brand bars. Out of all 3 I like the Kellogg's the most (Peanut butter is my favorite). Quaker is still okay, but they are my least favorite.  I like that they are yummy snacks. They are low point if you do point counting. They taste almost like a candy bar without all those extra calories. Also I've become a huge fan of Fiber. (Sorry I don't have journal article references, without access through a college, finding the right journal articles are difficult). It has been understood for years that your body has to work hard (burn more calories) to digest fiber. Due to this and other factors, fiber helps keep your digestive system moving and healthier. I recently learned of a study (sorry I can't find the reference again) that's initial research shows that fat and fiber actually bind together causing you to pass more of the fat you eat. Also fiber allows me to reduce my point intake but increase how much food I eat while doing Weight Watchers. 
Between all 3 brands I tend to eat the actual Fiber ONE brand the most. This is because 1-They tend to be on sale more, and the taste difference isn't big enough to pay full price when something else is on sale. 2- Fiber ONE is available at Costco, and when I can purchase something at Costco, its the one I'm going to buy. I love buying in bulk. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Learning Curve Sippy Cups

Learning Curve Sippy cups
We have graduated pass the bottles and on to sippy cups. I would have loved to take the step to the normal cup, but my 15 month old hasn't learned how to not make a mess, and not play with liquids. So sippy cups it is. 
We've tried a number of brands. So just aren't "spill-proof" like they say and others are so "spill-proof" that my son can't seem to get anything out of them no matter how hard he tries. 
The brand that seems to be the best, for us, for both are the Learning Curve brand. They have a rubber closure in the plastic nipple space that keeps it from spilling, but also allows a suction to flow. There is also a pressure hold opposite the nibble, for air flow that is also rubber. Its rare this sippy drips, and my son has no problems drinking it.
It comes in all sorts of character prints: Sesame Street, Toy Story, Disney Princesses, and others. I'm not a big character promoter, they do have some plain colored cups but everywhere I looked those cups where more expensive than the character prints. Well at least I don't have to pay more for the copyrighted prints.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book: Murder on the Orient Express- Agatha Christie

Book: Murder on the Orient Express- Agatha Christie
I have seen more than one version of this book on film. I've seen the 1974 version and the Poirot series' version done this year. This book is arguable Christie's most famous. I already knew the end from the beginning. I would put a spoiler here assuming that there isn't a person alive that doesn't know who did it already, except that when I watched the Poirot series version with my husband- he was completely surprised. So there are no spoilers here.
I had never actually read this book. I have read many others of Christie's but not this one. I had less interest already knowing who it was. But I did own it. One day on learning about the Poirot's version I decided it was time to read it. I enjoyed it as a story, but in the back of my head I kept asking myself. 'Would I pick up on all the clues?' 'If I didn't already know, who I guess who it was?' I don't know. The clues are there. In the end it is the most logical solution to the problem. But it being so different would I have known? I don't know, and its one of those things that I can't pull myself away from and ever know.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Magazine: Cooking Light

Cooking Light
My mother-in-law gave me a gift subscription to this magazine. Mainly because she really wanted a subscription. So I've had it over the last year. I really enjoy their recipes. My favorite has been their German Chocolate Moose. Their online site is excellent. All the recipes can also be found online. I've enjoyed receiving this magazine so much that I renewed my subscription and in addition I purchased a gift subscription for my mother-in-law.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book: Murder in the Lincoln Bedroom- by Elliot Roosevelt

Book: Murder in the Lincoln Bedroom- by Elliot Roosevelt
Another find at a thrift store for me. I saw it and thought, "I've never heard of a mystery series around Eleanor Roosevelt." I read it and enjoyed it. The storyline itself wasn't anything amazing, although I didn't see it coming right away, and that has to say something. I'd say more but I don't want to give any spoilers. What I did enjoy most was the historical aspect of it. It was so true to the time frame. For someone who at one time wanted to be a fashion historian- I just loved it!
I've found another one of the series at the Library's used book sale. I'm looking forward to reading that one soon. It might be a while there are a couple of books inline in front of it and I read really slow.

Friday, August 13, 2010 and other sites like it

I have been one of those people, for a long time now, that follow a few daily sites. Many of which I have never bought anything from in my life. But I still check everyday, just in case.
I have really enjoyed a site called and their partner site
Both have fun daily "steals" for you or your children. I've got some cool things through them. But most of the time the "steal" price is still more expensive than I'd ever spend on such an item. But its fun to look everyday.
Besides those two sites I've also learned and started watching My brothers introduced me to woot. My husband loves their TV shirts (although the one shirt he loved is now gone). 
I haven't bought anything from the daily but I have bought a few cool things from
I'm sort of split sharing these sites with you. Because one more person watching these site means one more person who might sell out an item before I get to get it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ancient Egyptians (Documentary mini-series)

Ancient Egyptians (Documentary mini-series) 
I have been on a bit of an Educational film kick lately. I have always loved educational shows, but I've been more in the mood lately to watch them. I had added this to my Netflix cue a long time ago and when I went on my kick I moved all the documentaries to the top of the cue. I was expecting this series to be like most others, a history of Egypt's history. Instead this was a series that took writings from everyday life on papyrus. It then acted out the stories, giving the view a looking into what we currently understand what their lives are like. These are actual stories found on papyrus, they are told with what I expect to be plenty of literary licence, but all the same, really well done. There were some parts that were a little disturbing with how much detail (mostly gore) they included. But on the same thread there were parts where I felt the gore was really downplayed, for which I am grateful seeing how my toddler was in the room while I was watching them, plus I don't enjoy watching that stuff.
Well done. If you're interested in what daily life for the Egyptians might have been like, or you're like me and educational TV then this is a good series to check out.  Good luck finding it. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

KFC's Double Down (grilled)

There was something so alluring about the Double Down when I first learned about it. Sounds like a low-carb dieters dream. While pregnant I was put on a low-carb (high protein and veggie diet). This would have been perfect. What is a Double Down? For those who don't already know about this tasty meaty goodness here is a definition for you. Double Down: two chicken breasts sandwich, no bun, with a jalapeƱo mayo, cheese, and bacon inside. If you get the chicken grilled instead of crispy breaded original then it is only 11 Weight Watchers points. That is less than most hamburgers out there.
So what did I think? Tasty. Looked small. But it fulled me up really well. I would want to get it again. However, it tasted like something was missing. Maybe when you get the chicken original it that fulfills what it needs. But here are some ideas for making it tastier. It could be wrapped in lettuce with tomato slices, like the Low-Carb burger at Carls JR. Served on sandwich thins. I wonder if our local KFC would wrap it in lettuce for me.
It was very yummy. Any of ya'll out there ever have it before? Would you eat it again? I guess we'll learn the ultimate answer to that if KFC continues to carry it on their menu. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sophia's Italian Ristorante

Sophia's Italian Ristorante
I had a friend, who is a friend of the owner recommend them to me as an excellent Italian restaurant. I knew that they were going to be a bit more expensive than our average dinner spots (Applebees and Chilies). So we went to celebrate our 2 years Anniversary. It is tastefully decorated and has a quite peaceful atmosphere.We had the stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer. They were so good. I don't even like mushrooms and I couldn't stop eating them. And the bread's cheese and vinegar dip they serve is fantastic. I could have just eaten that until I was stuffed.  My husband had the scallops and I had the spinach lasagna. for dessert my husband had the tiramesu and I had a small bowl of the chocolate gelato. I tasted his and it was really good. I loved my gelato. Both were excellent. In the end we spend between $60-70 for the 2 of us, 3 courses plus tip. That's on par with when we go out to Outback or steakhouses, and that is cheaper than our favorite Italian place to go has been. They have lunch hours and a lunch menu that I've been told is much more affordable for a budget. I have not yet had the opportunity to eat there for lunch.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Angels and Demons- by Dan Brown

Angels and Demons-by Dan Brown
I enjoy Dan Brown's books. There are those who do not, to them I ask if the only book of his they have read is the DaVinci Code- which I enjoyed but all the sexual orgies stuff really upset me and made me never want to read another book of his AGAIN! That was until we watched Angels and Demons with my in-laws and there wasn't even a hint of such vulgarity. I then was talking to my Father-in-law, who had read the book if he remembered anything-no- and that is because there isn't. Overall I enjoyed this book so much more than I did the DaVinci Code. It was less predictable (although I already knew the beginning from the end) if I hadn't I don't know at what point I would have guessed it. Unlike the DaVinci Code where I called it after all the characters were introduced. Both books I enjoyed the historical and art history information. Sure I heard some of it back in college in my required Western Civ Art and History class, but I didn't retain any of that stuff. In contrast. I already have retained more than I ever did in class because I know more details, I have something to relate it to. I appreciate it more, I look into it and learn more on my own. I feel smarting while reading Brown's books. 
Angels and Demons is the first book in the Robert Langdon series. I had been told it was written as a pre-quell but this is incorrect. It was written and published long before the DaVinci Code.  It did moderately well on its own, but it got the attention after the DaVinci Code readers found out that Brown had another book out in the series. I liked the characters in this book. I even felt a likableness in the antagonist, although it did leave me asking- was he crazy? insane? power crazy? His likableness made me feel a sadness at his choices. It is that sort of realness that is a sign of a well written story. From the first few pages to the end I was interested and didn't want to stop reading.
Take some time to read this no-sex book and enjoy learning about history, just take it with reservations because it is fiction and fiction skews the past to fit to their story. Read and then go out there and learn.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Movie: Bright Star

Bright Star
I saw a trailer for this and it looked like something I would enjoy. So I looked it up on Netflix and added it to my cue. I had forgotten everything the trailer had told me about it because none of had seemed familiar. I did greatly enjoy it. Such a sweet story. I cheered for them and felt like crying for them (I rarely cry so it might make you cry if you are a sensitive person). I was overall enjoyable and sweet.
It was clean, no sex, no impropriety, I would recommend it to my other who rarely watches movies made after 1970, except children's films, because of smut in the movies. But this is a movie I know she could watch and feel comfortable.
The storyline focuses around John Keats, a real person, a British Romantic poet  in the early 1800's, and a young lady who Keats falls in love with named Fanny Brawn. Their relationship is well documented and that part of the story is true. The poem, Bright Star, written by Keats is known to have been given to Miss Brawn as a token of his love for her. Hence the title of the movie, Bright Star. How much of the events that follow in the movie are true- I don't know. All the actors did an excellent job. They were all believable to me and I could like them for who they were. I'm glad I saw the trailer and put it into my cue. I don't know how long I would have waited before hearing about it if not.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chocolate Cheerios

Chocolate Cheerios
This has been my favorite thing to eat for breakfast for the past few weeks. I am such a chocoholic. Although I've never been a huge chocolate for breakfast person. 
Chocolate Cheerios are the healthiest way to eat chocolate (all chocolate for breakfast- I have not compared those cereals with chocolate bits in a healthy cereal). Its the least number of calories, fat, and sugar per serving size of cereal. For someone who is watching those things that is win. And it doesn't sluff off so much of the chocolate into your milk. Other chocolate cereals you end up with a sick unappetizing chocolate milk at the bottom of you bowl. Chocolate Cheerios leaves a bit of chocolate in the milk but not so much that if you enjoy drinking the last of your milk, it won't make you feel sick to do so. I think these are wins.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Mourning- by Kathy Reichs

Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs
As you will come to learn, I am a fan of libraries, but as a new mother it just takes me so long to finish a book that I can't do the re-new, re-checkout, re-new, re-checkout cycle I go through these days. So instead I go to used bookstores, thrift stores, the library withdrawn book sales and buy my books. Then I go through them on my own time. If I think I might ever want to read it again I put it into our book collection when I'm done, and if I don't care to again, then I donate it somewhere. The reason I am mentioning this is, given the option I choose to read the first book in a series. Often I find a book in the middle of series (mostly mystery series) read it, and if I enjoy it I will search out the first book and read the series starting there. 
I have no idea where in the series of the Temperance Brennan series Monday Mourning falls. It was obvious that I picked up somewhere in the middle of her life as readers know it. There was so many details that I got the impression I had missed in a previous book. This effected my opinion of the book  negatively . It made it really hard for me to get into the mystery itself. Reichs spends a lot of time focusing on the personal lives side stories of her characters. I enjoy the TV series Bones. But these characters are not the Bones and Booth characters I love on that series. I was okay with that. But going back to how I was effected negatively, the person lives drew my focus away from figuring out the mystery myself. It also made me less interested in finishing when I was reading parts about their lives. I think this was in part because I don't like the character that Tempe is dating in this book. He is a conceded jerk and even though Reichs tries to redeem his character in the end so you can like him again, I still thought he was a jerk and Tempe deserved better. Sorry to anyone if that is somehow a spoiler.
The mystery part of this story was well written. It had me thinking. When I was in those sections of the book I was drawn in, didn't want to put it down. That was until I reached a part focusing on their personal lives and then I had no problem. 
Overall it was worth what I spent on it and it was worth the read. If you enjoy all the details about character's personal lives- then you'll love this book. If you're like me, go back to a Perry Mason novel and watch the TV series instead.  I will be giving Kathy Reichs a second try. I found another one of her books at a thrift store. It also isn't the first in the series. But maybe this time it will be different. We'll see.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chocolate Roses: a Jane Eyre parody- by Joan Sowards

I have always felt that one of the tells of a classic story is that it can transcend all time. A Classic tale is the same basic story but in any time place,or in any place. Shakespeare is the most common example of how this can be done, although I'm not saying it has to be done exactly word for word like Shakespeare is often done, but that the story can be taken and placed into a modern situation and still be the same delightful beautiful story.
Chocolate Roses is an example of this. It takes the Classic tale of a girl who has had a hard life, falls in love with a man who she can't marry or be with and watch the story unfold. The ways that Joan Sowards takes the basics of the original story and places it into a modern world with all of our problems and joys. She does a brilliant job of paralleling the two stories and making it completely believable. Her characters are LDS, which is not over barring and would be just as cute, but maybe not as sweet, if the main characters weren't so rooted in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Joan Sowards not only wrote a great story, but she created lovable normal characters. Her main female Rose (the Jane Eyre character) is so normal and innocent that you can't help but love her. 
If you are a fan of Jane Eyre or just a fan of a good clean sweet romance story- this is a book for you.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Review Ever: Darrell Lea Australian Liquorice

First review, that was intimidating. Where to start? I finally decided to write a review on my favorite liquorice. Darrell Lea Australian Liquorice 
My brother introduced us to this brand when he brought it home from his mission with him. He also brought home Tim Tams and Milo. But today we are talking about Aussie liquorice. Fantastic stuff it is. Yummy as the days. In honest, I could eat that stuff all day everyday. But alas I am doing Weight Watchers and portion control and lack of points keep me from eating more than I should. Also the fact that they aren't readily available in every store is probably a good thing for me. It is fat free, too back its not calorie free or even low cal.
My favorite flavor is strawberry, but may of the other flavors are good too. Why is it different than everything else out there? To be honest I haven't quite put my finger on it. Personally I think they are sweeter and stronger flavored than American liquorices. They are also much more soft and chewy, there is no tugging or pulling. 
There are lots of Aussie liquorice brands out there to buy. I've tried a number of them, many of them are good, but they aren't Darrell Lea's. Where can you buy it? I'm sure you can on the internet, although I've never tried. I normally purchase it at Cost Plus World Market. But I don't live near one anymore. I did learn semi-recently that Ace Hardware of all places sells it. I don't know if its just our local store has found a market for it, or if all Ace's stock it. But in our small town we don't have a Cost Plus, but we do have an Ace.

Why Reviews

The other day I was talking to my mom, and she asked me what I've read lately. In full disclosure my mother is a published author. She publishes in the LDS fiction genre. She reads a lot of LDS fiction and reviews it on her writer's blog. In the course of the conversation she told me that I should be reviewing every book I read-at least somewhere. Unless the book is a huge name best selling author they don't get much publicity or marketing done on them. Especially in the LDS genre. 
Well this conversation got me thinking. Why not write reviews of what I read. But why stop there? Why not just about anything I could write a review about: books, movies, plays, concerts, restaurants, fast food, video games, internet sites, products... the list could be forever. 
So I don't know what I will all end up reviewing, but it might be fun along the way, and then, at least I'm putting it out there.