Inside the Mind of Suz

What happens when Suz is allowed to blog

Review: Bare Minerals bareSkin Serum Foundation

20140411-012514.jpg

I had high hopes when it was announced that Bare Minerals was finally going to dip its toe in the liquid foundation pool. While I have their matte mineral foundation (and earlier tried the pressed Ready formula, which I didn’t like), part of me has always preferred liquid foundations. Revlon’s Colorstay and Cover Girl’s Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation are my two favorite options. They’re about as close to “Holy Grail” status as any foundation has gotten for me… that is, until this new Bare Minerals liquid foundation came along.

I’ve been trying to pump the breaks — ever since I got it — and not get too ahead of myself when it comes to this product, but I’m just so darn impressed so far! I pre-ordered the darkest shade available (more on that later) via QVC back in February. It shipped 2 days early and got here last Wednesday. I couldn’t wait to try it out!

After shaking, and just letting 2 drops fall into the brush’s custom reservoir (seriously, this brush is cool!), I scoffed at the idea that it could cover half of my face, but let me tell you that it totally did! I was amazed. I said “WOW!” out loud. No wonder that bottle is supposed to last forever! (more…)

‘DCC: Making The Team’ Will Be Back For Season 9

dcc

I was scrolling through my Pages feed on Facebook a few days ago when I saw the news. Because I “liked” the page long ago, I see the updates, whenever they happen to post them, and I squeed upon reading the news that one of my favorite shows, “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team” would return to CMT for a 9th season. (By now, you know I’m a huge fan.) Hell yea!

CMT has also greenlit a ninth season of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team, the network’s longest-running reality series.

Music to my ears! Now, hopefully the season is a little longer (like it was for Season 7) where we got to see the girls in many episodes after they’d made the team. I thought that was just as fun as the competition to make the team itself.

*fingers crossed*

Caffeine Withdrawal Headaches Are So Real!

headache

OUCH!

I don’t know when it happened, but at some point, my occasional 2 Mt. Dews per day treat turned into an every day thing. Thinking back, I can’t even figure out when I started doing this. I’m sure I was stressed out, due my father’s deteriorating health condition, but I have got to get this thing under control!

On Sunday night, I decided to take action. Instead of two per day, I decided to start by going back to one per day. And then, after that, if things are going well, maybe 3-4 per week. I did manage that right after I moved home from college and I ended up losing a ton of weight. I don’t have a ton of weight to lose, anymore, but cutting out that many calories can’t be a bad thing, can it?

I just love the taste of Mt. Dew so much. It completes me. Is there a 12-step program for this?

In any case, I started Monday. I had my one Dew per day after dinner as a sort of dessert. I also decided to up my intake of water. I doubled how much I was drinking before. I woke up Tuesday with a headache. I figured I was probably stressing about something, so I shrugged it off.

Then I woke up with it on Wednesday. I was not pleased. I’m pretty good at sleeping off my headaches, so when this one didn’t go away after a good night of sleep, I took some medicine. That’ll teach that stupid headache!

Nope. It was still there yesterday, when I woke up. How was I unable to defeat this headache? I don’t think I’ve ever had a migraine in my life, so I was stumped… until I hopped on Google. The only thing that had changed in my routine was the cutting back on Mt. Dew and increasing water. And I found out that what I was experiencing is commonly referred to as “caffeine withdrawal headaches.”

I read stories of some women who drank liters per day, or pots of coffees, and how their headaches completely debilitated them. Going from two cans to one didn’t seem like a big deal, but obviously to my body it is! Continuing to read, I learned that the headaches would linger for about a week or so, until my body got used to things. That’s cool.

I’m just glad I know what’s going on now. *whew*

Another YA Week Of Happiness!

divergent

Every so often, there comes a week when there are so many goodies happening with my YA book fandoms, that I just can’t seem to wipe a smile off my face. This is one of those weeks!

Last night, The Maze Runner official movie poster and first trailer made its debut. After I finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy, and as much of the Divergent, The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series as was available at the time, I took more recommendations from my Tumblr family on what to read next. They told me to pick up The Maze Runner trilogy and I did. I also chose the series because it was 100% completed.

I’ve posted before that I hate getting into a series only to have to wait a year or two for the next book to be released. (Looking at you, Veronica Roth and Cassandra Clare!) So The Maze Runner checked all those boxes. There was even an available prequel book, which I finished reading about a month ago.

So, I was all set for the first trailer to finally grace us with its presence! That day ended up being yesterday and oh boy, am I pumped! I figured the trailer would be shown before the Divergent movie (and it still might), so last night was a treat.

The Divergent movie opens later this week and I will be seeing it twice this weekend. Once on Thursday with my brother, and again on Saturday with my friend Shannen. Both of my tickets (and my brother’s) are free, thanks to Viggle, Swagbucks, and Shopkick. I’m tellin y’all. If you’re not taking advantage of these programs, you’re missing out! (Well, except for Viggle.)

So yes. I’m excited about this week! I’m up to my armpits in Divergent news, pictures, interviews, and hype. The red carpet premier is tonight! And I’ve also done my fangirl duty with The Maze Runner trailer as well. I put the first leaked version of it on my Tumblr, and created a handful of GIF sets to please the Gladers.

Ahh, my book life is good.

Is Viggle Worth Your Time? Suz Says: “Skip It!”

viggle

So, a few months ago, I said I’d give Viggle a go. It seemed simple enough. Open the app, and use its mic to check into programs that were airing on my TV. And for certain shows, there are Viggle Live quiz opportunities to earn bonus points. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is, but it’s not a very rewarding use of my time.

I wrote that initial post back in mid-October. And since then, I’ve managed to accumulate 35,000 points. Sounds like a lot, right? On SwagBucks, 35k is $350! On Shopkick, it’s $140! So we’re talking big money!

On Viggle, I think 35k points translates to about $14. My math is a little rusty and I originally wrote this post at about 2AM. A few days ago I checked the Gift Card section and saw that there were $5 Fandango Gift Cards for 15k. Yup. That was it for me. So I redeemed some of my points to get one. I tried to do another one immediately afterwards, but the app told me I’d already gotten one. (I forgot that one can only redeem one gift card brand per day) So then I was stuck with 20k points. The only available reward that I could afford was a 1-day Redbox Movie Rental. Yippee?

Now, I wasn’t a die hard Viggler during these past 5 months, but I did check in almost every day. To have only really earned enough for two $5 gift cards really isn’t a good use of my time. Especially when I can spend just an hour or two per day on SwagBucks and acquire a $5 gift card, to my retailer of choice, every 5 days! You read that correctly. I earn enough on SwagBucks to, on average, cash in for a $5 gift card every week. Every. Week!

So 5 months? No thanks!

And let’s talk about how most gift cards aren’t even in stock at any given time on Viggle. They don’t have Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Sephora, Starbucks, or any of those retailer cards readily available. Every so often, a desirable $25 gift card will appear in the app (and for something like 60k points), but if you aren’t quick — as in taking action within the first few minutes — it’ll go out of stock and you’re SOL. Like, I said, not very rewarding to me. I don’t know many people who have the patience to, after they earn a bunch of points, continually open and refresh an app in hopes that a Gift Card reward will appear.

I just now redeemed another 15k of my points for a second $5 Fandango code. That leaves me with about 5k in points. I’m not trying for more rewards on this app. 5k is negligible. So, I’m just going to delete it.

I hear that back before Viggle got really big, it used to be easier to get rewards; more on par with how SwagBucks and Shopkick are for me now. The OGs all over the Internet and social media are constantly posting about it. It’s a shame, too. It’s a great idea that would probably be a lot more popular if it weren’t so hard to earn rewards.

A Funny Thing Happens When I Push Play On P90X3 Workouts

p90x3

After my long layoff from workouts, it’s taken a little kick in the booty to get me back on my grind. I decided to go with a workout I hadn’t done before in P90X3. I also chose it because I bailed on P90X two workouts in, a couple of years ago, and because these workouts are just 30 minutes long. I need to work my way back up to where I was before with the occasional 45-60 minute workouts.

I’m just not wired like the folks who can work out forever every day. Unless I’m doing a fun workout, once I get to the 45 minute mark, I become extremely aware that I’m working out and don’t enjoy or maximize whatever time is left. I envy folks who can do hour plus workouts. I just don’t have the attention span. I’d rather work really, really hard for about 30 minutes and get it over with. And it’s working with P90X3! That’s what I want to talk about today.

The past week, I’ve felt really blah going into the time I’ve slotted for my workouts. I even contemplate not doing it at all. But that passes, and then I talk myself into just hitting play and half-assing it. I figure any effort is better than none. But, by the time I finish the workout I realize that there was no slacking on my part during the workout. I still ended up going all out!

How does this happen? I might have an idea. Tony Horton basically has us doing exercises and moves for about a minute apiece. Just about anyone can give their all for 60 seconds, right? So before you get to the point where you’re not feeling the workout anymore, it’s time for a break or to move on to the next exercise. Plus, for me, Tony Horton is hilarious. His sense of humor distracts me from even realizing I’m doing a workout sometimes, and he helps the workouts just fly by. Before I know it, there are just 5 minutes left and I’m pushing to finish strong!

Whatever you’re doing, Tony, keep it up! You’re helping me get through my winter funk a lot more easily than I anticipated! Thank you!

A Valentine’s Day Rant; No, Not What You Think!

Valentines-Day-2014-Clip-arts-4

“And, what’s the deal with Valentine’s Day?” – said in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice.

Why are people so angry and bitter? Let it be known that I usually hate the word “bitter” used in conjunction with anything having to do with Valentine’s Day. But, you know what. I do know why people are all bah-humbug (yes, I know, wrong holiday) when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Brands and card companies have turned the holiday into a couples thing instead of simply a love thing.

Think about it. Almost, if not all, of the advertising you see is for couples. That was not the message Valentine’s Day had in my household growing up, and I’m grateful for that. It wasn’t just about couples in a romantic relationship. It was about everyone you loved, be it a friend, sibling, pet etc. So yes, that included your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/boo-thang, whomever, but potentially so many more people in your life. I gotta say that I enjoy that message more. Growing up, we all got V-Day presents for each other. I got them from my parents and my brother, and we gave them to each other and yes, even our pets. It was just all about love!

And, if you’re a brand, why wouldn’t you want to emphasize love, in general? Wouldn’t that lead to more profits? I feel like so many people are anti-Valentine’s Day because they think it’s all about couples and they feel left out. If it were celebrated more like it is in my house that’d equal more money for retailers and more happiness for everyone else. Maybe my family was just ahead of the curve? ;)

Everyone loves somebody, even if it’s just yourself. So, don’t be mad, sad, or upset on Valentine’s Day. Spread the love! After all, “what the world needs now is love sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, all! xo

My Top 10 Super Bowl Ads: 2014 Edition

I did this last year, so why not do it again? Exactly!

I didn’t think the selection of Super Bowl commercials were that great as I was watching the game. The day after, I still am underwhelmed, but that didn’t stop me from having some favorites.

Here is a list, in no particular order.

Coca-Cola: Going All the Way
YouTube Preview Image

Budweiser: A Hero’s Welcome
YouTube Preview Image

Budweiser: Puppy Love
YouTube Preview Image

(more…)

Getting On Track In 2014

turn page

The calendar year has only just begun for me. January 2014 was an extension of a terrible 2013 in my household. After being diagnosed with heart disease in late 2012, my father deteriorated all through 2013, including multiple hospitalizations. Knowing there was no cure, and that his particular type of heart disease would eventually take his life, our family banded together and took care of him. We were all caregivers, so his remaining time was as comfortable as possible. We accomplished that and my father has gone home to be with The Lord.

I spent a lot of quality time with my Dad that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But, in the process, my commitment to fitness fell by the wayside; especially from August on. I usually fight hard to avoid the late summer/fall slump, but it got me this year, and that’s perfectly fine.

So, I am now officially starting my 2014. And what better way than with a new fitness program that I haven’t fully committed to before? I dabbled with T25 a couple of times and it looks like a good challenge. I’m also intrigued by P90X3. (It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Beachbody programs, even though I’m no longer a coach.)

In the next couple of days I will decide which program to dive into and purchase. (Feel free to chime in with any suggestions/recommendations.)

I’m also going get more back on track with my nutrition. Staying up to make sure my Dad was ok around the clock (I had the graveyard shift) or spending extended hours in a hospital visiting, doesn’t tend to help with eating right. So I’m going to slowly overhaul what I put in my body, starting with more water! Gonna down a glass/bottle first thing when I wake up and keep myself hydrated throughout the day. I’ve been drinking tons of Mt. Dew in recent months. And while I’ll still allow myself to drink it, I don’t want to consume the quantities I have been! It’s my favorite pop!

So here’s to a much better year!

Happy New Year!

new-year-resolutions

So now that the New Year’s celebrations have come and gone, I started to think about putting together a list of “resolutions” for my blog. (My overall resolution is still TBD)

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

1. Post more! I completed that #31WriteNow, in August, and then completely fell off the posting wagon. So shameful, especially since I had plenty to say. Many a time, I said “I should blog about that…” but didn’t. I’ll be better in 2014! I promise!

2. I said I was working on an updated set to my Couch to 5k podcasts, which I fully intended to create and share last year. I didn’t even get started. But I will do that this summer, so that everyone (myself included) can use it once Spring comes along.

3. Find a new theme. This one cool for like a minute, then I saw a bunch of other blogs using it as well. I typically try to use a theme that not a lot of others are, so I’m going to work a little harder to give my blog a more unique look; even if it’s a premium theme.

4. Share more updates on my fitness journey. I fell into a fall slump last year. With my father being ill, and myself keeping such strange hours, I put my workouts aside. I’ll be officially back on Monday!

5. More makeup reviews. With the way I hoard makeup, I should be talking more about it. And not just when I resist the urge to buy things from bareMinerals’ QVC shows. I’m not beauty expert, or beauty blogger, but I know what I like. I plan to share!

I think that’s it for now. If I think of other things, y’all will know!