How Have I Lived So Long Without A Roku 3?

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By the time I’d only had my Roku 3 for a couple of days, it had already changed the way I watch TV. And for that, it was love at first sight!

About a month later, here are my full thoughts on the device.

We have Time Warner Cable in our household. I’m not a fan of them, but they do a couple of things really well; 1) their mobile app and 2) unlimited data. I took particular notice upon learning Roku included the TWC App in their channel store. Chromecast didn’t. Apple TV didn’t. And, to my knowledge, Amazon’s Fire TV also did not.

A little background: I have basic cable in my room. And Time Warner takes a couple additional channels away from “basic” every year. Usually if I want to see everything our subscription has to offer, I have to relocate to a TV with digital cable, or whip out my iPad. I’m a lazy individual, so that hasn’t been an ideal situation. (more…)

Hackers Suck!

In the wake of the celebrity nude photo hacking scandal, I’ve been dealing with my own “hacking” situation. No, there aren’t nudes of me floating around the net. Of course, I’d have to have taken some for that to happen. Nevertheless, I digress.

I’ve been dealing with routine hackings into this very domain for the past few months. Every time I think I’ve got it under control, they find another way in, and start right up again. This weekend, I completely deleted my website from my web hosting account, and did a fresh install. That means, I only uploaded my old pictures and posts. I did a mass deletion of user accounts, and installed a fresh copy of all my plugins and themes.

I’m also looking into addition security through premium services such as Wordfence (I use the free version) and Sucuri. They’re pricy, but desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures!

So, I just wanted to let y’all know what’s been going on with the site, if you’d been trying to access it this past weekend. Things seem to working smoothly thus far. I’m still bracing myself for the next attack. Ahh, the life of a blogger!

P.S. Sorry for the serious drought of posts. I have ideas almost every day, and think I’ll write one, but don’t. I’m so easily distracted. It’s out of control! I’ll get better! Maybe I need to do a 2014 version of the #31WriteNow challenge to get out of this funk.

Bare Minerals Creeping Into My Skincare Routine

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Will you take a look here? Suz has been buying Bare Minerals products that don’t fall into the “makeup” category!

Y’all know I’m always glued to each and every QVC presentation of Bare Minerals. Well, this year, they introduced some new products that have caught my attention. I’m already a fan of the new liquid foundation (1, 2), but now some skincare items have made their way into my collection; the Biolucent Minerals Brightening Treatment and the Mineralixirs Facial Cleansing Oil.

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The Great Barefoot Turbo Fire Experiment

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It’s a Fitness Miracle!

Ok, let me back up get y’all up to speed on the situation. I have been putting off doing another round of Turbo Fire, my soul mate workout, because some of the HIIT workouts were hurting my feet. I took that as a sign to replace my workout shoes. It’s long overdue, and I don’t need any injuries slowing me down.

As I was researching shoes that would be good for my mostly flat feet, I came across a post on Shaun T’s website, where he talked about what he uses for his own program, Insanity. Turns out he often goes barefoot. And, as I read through the comments I noticed that a lot of others did the barefoot thing too. Shaun T recommended a “minimal” shoe, and lots of folks revealed that they wore Vibram 5-fingers for his workouts. A specific shoe Shaun mentioned was the Reebok CrossFit Trainers.

So, after the seed was planted in my head about barefoot workouts (in terms of impact, Turbo Fire is pretty close to T25 and Insantiy, especially the HIIT workouts), I paused my shoe researching and committed to a week of barefoot Turbo Fire workouts. Today was Day 1 and I did the HIIT 15 workout. This is a short one, but the 3rd segment of the workout always, without fail, makes me feet hurt. Doesn’t matter the shoe I use, without fail, the balls of my feet ache. Usually to the point where I have to either stop or heavily modify the moves. No bueno.

After finishing my workout, I am pleased to report that my feet feel fine. During the combo, where they’re usually on fire, I kept anticipating when the pain would start, but it never did! I was able to jump higher and didn’t have to take it easy at all. Pivoting was pretty easy as well! My knees don’t hurt, nothing hurts! As I write this post, 3 hours later, I’m still in shock.

I’m looking forward to doing some more workouts to see if those results are similar, but I gotta say, so far, so good! If my findings hold, I could save myself close to $100!

Do any of you do workouts barefoot? How’d it go for you?

Cleaning Up My Diet

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Actually, that title is quite misleading. I’m not a “diet” person, and I’m also not really doing a lot of things that people often associate with dieting. But I am making changes to what I put in my body, and that’s what I’m going to outline today.

Remember my post talking about decreasing my intake of Mountain Dew? I had to endure a 3-4 day caffeine headache to accomplish that task, but I did it. I now also get my 8 glasses of water in per day, comfortably. That was the next step I wanted to take after getting down to one pop per day. And it’s soooo easy to get water in when the weather is warm. The body simply craves it.

After that step, I decided I need to squeeze more fruits and veggies into my day. I actually like veggies and LOVE fruit, so it’s not a matter of not wanting to eat it. It’s more a matter of making sure I have lots of it in the house and reminding myself to eat it. (I don’t eat a lot to begin with.)

So, the other day, I went to the grocery store and loaded up on fruits and veggies. Got a couple of platters too, so I can do “drive-by kitchen snacking” when need be. So far, so good!

I’m not changing anything else at this time. I’m a big fan of moderation, and always have been. If I want a cheeseburger, I’ma eat a cheeseburger. But no, I won’t eat 3 of them in one sitting, ya dig? But I will share with you that I didn’t drink a Mountain Dew today. I subbed a pineapple mango smoothie for it. This wasn’t anything I actually planned today, but hooray for baby steps!

Did CVS Change Their Coupon Policy?

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I ask this because of an employee interaction on my most recent trip to CVS.

As an obviously valued CVS ExtraCare Card member, I get emailed coupons and X dollar off discounts on a weekly basis. Last week, I was sent a 30% off my purchase coupon. I usually get 20% or 25% coupons, so I was thinking about what I needed, so I could maximize my savings.

Well, when I got to CVS, I went to the NYX display because I wanted to get a coupon of their Slide-On eyeliners. That plan fell through because Jet Black was out of stock. In fact, it’s always out of stock when I stop by lately. An employee placed a stock re-order for me, so I guess next time I visit, it could actually be in stock.

I ended up grabbing something that I couldn’t use my coupon on because it was on sale that week. After the cashier told me that, I told her to just throw away my coupon since it was the last day it was valid. Then she told me to hold onto it because they take expired coupons. I said “What?!” and asked her for how much longer and she said “a couple of months, or so.”

Color me surprised. I mean, I only recently learned that Bed, Bath, & Beyond took expired coupons, but I didn’t know CVS did. Or do they?

Has anyone else had this happen to them? Does CVS really take expired coupons? I’m leaning towards the cashier not really knowing what she’s talking about, but maybe it is true. I’m going to hit up some other locations and see if I can get some more confirmation on this. Because this could be a game changer for me, seeing as how I get coupons emailed to me every week!

Chime in and let me know what you think? Has anyone else heard about this? Let a sista know!

I Will Refresh My C25K Podcasts This Year

I know, I know. I’ve been promising this for a while, but it will happen… soonish.

As you may or may not have known, my father was battling heart disease all last year and we lost him almost 3 months ago. Most of my day-to-day activities were in the role of care giver, as we those of my mother and brother. Things were hectic, but we all squeezed every last moment of family time that we could out of of 2013. So that is the reason for a lot of delays.

Now that we’re all finally starting to heal, and Spring may be finally showing itself, I’m thinking about my podcasts. So, with the exception of the 2011 Faves (which only featured Weeks 1-3), I will be refreshing the set. It came to my attention that I have not used a Justin Timberlake song on a podcast yet. That will be remedied. There will be more Kesha, Lady Gaga, Rihanna (songs that are not on the 2011 Faves playlist), Katy Perry, and other songs that have made their way to my “Most Played” iTunes playlists.

As always, you can suggest songs in the comments, below, or on Facebook. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll make the cut, but I don’t have all my favorite songs on my iPod (in order to save space), so I may need a refresher!

I just completed my first run of the year last night and it feels to be back out there, hitting the pavement. Running is so relaxing and therapeutic. I’ve missed it.

Stay tuned!

Lifetime Network Has Stepped Up Their Game!

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I don’t know how I didn’t write this post last fall… actually, I do, but better late than never, right?!

Last year, I was reading through my “Entertainment” Twitter list and saw a story about a Marc Cherry dramedy called Devious Maids, which was being Executive Produced by Eva Longoria. Longtime Desperate Housewives fans, like me, recognize both of those names, so I was immediately intrigued. I learned that ABC passed on the show and Lifetime picked it up. I was all “Lifetime? Really?” but vowed to check out the show when it aired.

Boy, am I glad I followed up on that promise! I absolutely loved the show! It filled the void that Desperate Housewives left in my soul. It was part Wisteria Lane and part telenovela and I was addicted! I enjoyed the hell outta that show and was sad when it started winding down.

But as that happened, Lifetime started showing promos for another new series called Witches of East End. I don’t what it was about that show, but I was super interested in watching that as well. Did Lifetime suddenly discover the recipe for getting me addicted to TV shows?

Well, I watched Witches of East End, too, and loved it! I was immediately sucked in and practically held my breath while I waited to hear if it was going to be renewed for Season 2. (It was.)

Devious Maids fans, all across the country welcomed the show back this past Sunday. It also marked the first episode Eva Longoria directed. And during the premiere, we got our first look at Season 2 of Witches of East End, which is advertised as “coming this summer.”

Take a look:

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I cannot wait!

Thank you, Lifetime, for bringing more shows into my life! I have trust issues with the major networks, as they constantly display their itchy trigger finger when it comes to deciding a show’s fate.

What are your guilty pleasure shows? Is there a network that’s stepped up to the plate for you?

Bare Minerals bareSkin Serum Foundation: Working 9 to 5!

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Ok, y’all. I’m sorry, but I totally have to brag on this foundation again. It has once again blown my mind!

So, yesterday was Easter Sunday. For me, that meant church service plus a mid-afternoon brunch with my extended family. It’s truly one of my favorite days of the year. But because this day is not about me, I didn’t want to have to wonder about my makeup all day. Turns out, thanks to Bare Minerals and Rimmel, I didn’t have to!

Now, while I’m still mad Rimmel refuses to acknowledge ANY deep skin tones with their foundations, their Stay Matte Primer is bomb.com/forrealyall.htm! I used it underneath my “Mineral Veil sandwich” and it worked wonders on my T-zone! I usually have to blot a few times, which isn’t the end of the world, but yesterday, I did not blot once!

I also applied my Bronzing Mineral Veil, using a patting method I saw in one of Wayne Goss’ YouTube videos. I usually use a powder brush, which apparently isn’t the best method for really setting your makeup. I learn so much from his YouTube channel!

So, anyway, I put my makeup on 9:30AM, and returned home to take it off at 5:30PM. I looked in the mirror and I wasn’t shiny! Not even around my nose! I was just slightly dewy, which my skin doesn’t ever do. Ever. I’m either extremely matte (right after application) or shiny, at the end of the day. There isn’t an in between.

I liked the dewy look on my skin. I could get used to it, but I’m not going to hold my breath! Humid season hasn’t hit the Midwest yet, so I won’t get ahead of myself just yet. All I know is that I just may have stumbled upon a method to help control my oily spots, and it’s mostly because of the new Bare Minerals bareSkin serum foundation, which continues to impress me!

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Review: Bare Minerals bareSkin Serum Foundation

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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…)

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