Sunday, August 24, 2014

Race recap: Santa Rosa Half Marathon

Kind of a crazy day!

As the rest of the internet can attest, there was a 6.0 earthquake at 3:20 in the morning, and its epicenter was in Napa, which wasn't too far from where my coworkers and I were in Santa Rosa, so we really felt it. My hotel bed was shaking like in The Exorcist.

I was already having trouble sleeping (I don't really sleep well in hotels, especially before races), and I was pretty much wide awake after the earthquake, managing to ALMOST doze off before my alarm finally went off at 4:50am.

A group of us former and current MHS teachers signed up to run this together, and for various reasons (including the earthquake!) there ended up being only four of us at the start line. It's my first race since the SJR Half in June and my first race since getting seriously back into fitness (running and Crossfit) and losing a little weight (which matters only in that it means I can run faster), so I had high hopes that I would do pretty well on this one. Technically, I was only supposed to run eight miles today (training for CIM), but I cut out a weekday run to balance out the mileage, and told myself that I just had to hang in there for eight miles and then I could ease up.

I felt really strong! My overall pace, which includes the walk breaks, was actually sub-13:00 for the first half, which is even faster than my weekday runs (although, I do those on the treadmill, and I just kind of pick the same run speed every time, for simplicity). I only just started doing 3/1 intervals this week just to see if I could (I could!), so the longest I've run at that interval has been three miles (since my last long run was done at 3/2). I felt powerful and happy, and I really enjoyed those first nine miles thanks to that and to the beautiful scenery of the race course. (The sky was overcast the entire time, pretty much, which was nice.)

Of course, that didn't last forever. I managed to maintain my interval for NINE miles, and I think I could've gone further if my head hadn't started to hurt and if my right leg (calf and butt) hadn't started cramping/seizing up. It wasn't that I was tired (which was nuts, considering how I woke up before 3:30), but that my body was acting up a bit, so I eked out some sort of 1/1 or 1:30/1 interval for most of the rest of the way. (And THEN I got tired, especially for the last two miles.)

I still managed to run the last quarter mile (spurred on by some Resurrection Roller Girls, who came out to cheer!) and finished in 3:05:41 (official), which is not fast and not my best time, but is my best time since June 2013, so I'm still really happy about it because I feel like I'm back on track with my running.

Next up: October, San Jose Rock 'n' Roll. I'm DOING it this time. (Last year I missed it due to my knee injury.)

Beautiful bibs this year. The full marathon bib had the winery on it.

They didn't have the jackets ready for the expo, so they gave everyone long-sleeved techy shirts, and then happened to be able to hand out jackets post-race. They were sweatshirt hoodies this time instead of windbreaker jackets like last year:

Saturday, August 2, 2014


I'm blonde now!

And here's my eye makeup look.

- NYX Eye Shadow Base in white
- ColourPop Dare all over the lid
- Sugarpill Hotsy Totsy in the crease
- UD Righteous on the browbone and blended into the crease
- Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner in black
- ELF Mascara Primer (dude, this is awesome and super cheap)
- L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Midnight Black mascara

Just as an FYI, everything except UD and Stila were under $15, and everything other than those and Sugarpill were under $10, so yes, you CAN do cool stuff with budget brands!

with NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita and Tarte 12-Hour Amazonian Clay blush in Blushing Bride. Cheers!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I've been pretty MIA lately because we recently moved house, and everything's just been CRAZY and I only just got real internet now. (Blogger, y u no work on iOS?)

So basically, we've just been trying to get settled in and get things back to normal...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ipsy - July 2014

It's Ipsy time, friends!

This month's theme was "Sensationally Sunkissed." It came in a bright pink faux-leather pouch with scalloped edges, which you can see in the photo above, and my Ipsy bag contained the following:

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil

I am someone who tans ridiculously easily even at the mere hint of sunshine, so I don't really have any use for this product, but... hey cool?

Marrakesh Hair Care - Endz Split End Mender & Preventer

Definitely something I want to try. I don't know how much of a split ends problem I actually have since I've had a pixie cut on and off for the last couple of years and get my hair cut pretty much every month. It says "argan & hemp oil therapy," so even if it doesn't do anything split-ends-y to my hair, maybe it will still do some good anyway.

wHet Nail Polish in Facetious

I always love a blue nail polish. I like this formula - it's not quite opaque in two coats, but it applies easily and dries quickly. We'll see how long it lasts (although, since I'm moving house, it's not necessarily a fair test of nail polish endurance to lift furniture and boxes). The translucence of the formula reminds me of jelly.

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink

I admit, when I first saw this, I was disappointed because it's a very pale pink balm, which for me usually means that it will practically apply clear. The Pixi website tells me that this shade self-adjusts according to your pH level, which is pretty nifty, but for me... yeah, I only got a faint pinkish hue. Not much of a pH reaction there. *shrug* Oh well. It feels nice on my lips though. I would be interested in trying this in other shades that would hopefully lend some color.

bareMinerals 5 in 1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Shadow in Barely Nude

It's funny, when I first looked at this, I didn't read the entire name on the package, and just assumed it was a BB cream sample and was like, "Oooh, bareMinerals is doing BB creams now?... Oh, but this shade is waaaay too pale for me," and then got disappointed. Ha! Luckily it's a cream shadow. It's smooth, pigmented, and stays on pretty well. In my swatch over there, the left side is how it looks freshly applied, and the right is after it's dried a bit. This will make a great base/primer.

So yeah, that's all for my July bag. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the stuff I got. I haven't been wearing makeup much since summer break started, but I'm glad to have some of these - the balm and the cream shadow especially are good makeup stash staples.

If you are interested in signing up for Ipsy, you are welcome to use my referral link. Thanks!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

ColourPop Cosmetics Super Shock Shadows are TOTALLY AWESOME

Reminiscent of MAC packaging, no?
Top L to R: 3, Eye Candy, Girly
Bottom L to R: Liberty, Envy, Dare, Pop Rocks

Well, ColourPop, you SURE know how to impress a girl!

1) Yesterday, after reading Phyrra's review, I decided I had to place my own order. This is important to note because I did in fact place this order YESTERDAY MORNING and it arrived in the mail TODAY. Which is the quickest turnaround I've ever experienced. (Well, it helps that they and I are both in the same state. BUT STILL.)

2) This is the thank you note I received with my order:

3) The actual product itself, their Super Shock Shadows, are awwwwwwwesome.

As an Urban Decay/Sugarpill superfan, I appreciated their range of shades and finishes (neons, neutrals, pastels, glitters, metallics, shimmers... no mattes though) and their amazing pigmentation. Considering how the swatches on my arm left stains, I think they will hold up fairly well throughout the day (or an evening out - I forget not everyone is allowed to sparkle at work). They're kind of on the creamy side, in terms of texture, which is probably why they recommend that you cap the containers TIGHTLY and don't let them sit out open for too long.

The containers are white twist-offs and feel weighty and sturdy in my hands, which adds to sense of lux. They feel like high-quality, expensive eye shadows in packaging as well as product.

They aren't, though. (Expensive, I mean. They are high-quality.) Each one is five dollars. Yup. That's it. And since I happened to receive their July 4th sale code WHILE I was placing my order, I ended up getting 7 shadows for the price of 6 (and they normally offer free shipping for orders of $30 and above).

HIGH FIVE, you guys. I think I have fallen in love. ColourPop, you have won my heart. Expect to see me mentioning them more around here.

Swatches below.

Summer reading blitz, update #3

Okay! It's been a little while since my last book update, but that's because I haven't been reading much these last two weeks - I've been learning a new craft (needlepoint), sucking terribly at videogames, and dealing with a bad summer cold. But I did read a few things that I wanted to update about, and there are a couple books coming out this week that I am very excited about as well.

"Fairy Debt" is an adorable short story by one of my favorite authors, Gail Carriger, with all the cheekiness and tea typically found in her works.

Bella Fugglecups is a young fairy tasked with repaying her mother's debt to the king, since he saved her life once. Since she's not a full-fledged fairy yet (and therefore cannot be anyone's fairy godmother), the only power she really has is the ability to bake/help other people's baked good turn out well. Reluctantly she agrees to be a jester in the king's court.

She befriends the king's daughter, Princess Anastasia Clementina Lanagoob, who asks her to help her understand the lives of the people in her kingdom. When the princess' life is in danger, it's her banana puff cupcakes that save the day...

This was a really cute story, and I loved the positive friendship between Cups and Goob. Also, this story really left me craving banana puff cupcakes, and I don't even really know what they entail. They just sound really good.

I read Book 5 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and honestly... I think I'm good with stopping here. I'm sure there are many likeable aspects of this series, but it's just SO problematic for me. This book is Vishous' story, and I was primarily disappointed by two things:

1. The previous book or two teases some romantic feelings between Vishous and Butch, and I thought, hey, this could be really interesting here, something different from the usual bodice-ripping hetero romance novel pairings. Here is an opportunity to cover something that has historically not been covered in this genre. But no, his true love is still a woman.

2. The way he, uh, acquires said woman is by kidnapping her. She's a doctor, and she operates on him, and when the Brothers show up to bust him out, they take her as well, at his request. He doesn't hurt her or anything, but still... HE KIDNAPS HER. She is even FULLY self-aware with regards to Stockholm Syndrome and yet, their relationship still happens, because he's such an irresistible piece of mancake with a sensitive soul or whatever.

Not that his story isn't interesting, but seriously... I just give up. Since the main character of the next book is not remotely interesting to me, I'm going to stop here.

I was SUPER excited about this book, because I am a huge Lizzie Bennet Diaries fan, and I've been bereft ever since the series ended. There's always fanfic, of course, but nothing is more exciting then getting a new CANON part of the story.

I'm not going to go into summarizing the series, beyond "vlog-style Youtube adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that is full of awesome," since you can actually read about (and watch!) the series yourself. The book is a novelization (novel companion?) to the series, and provides some background details that weren't included in the series because it wouldn't have made sense for Lizzie (or the other characters) to reveal that information on the Internet for strangers. For example, remember when Lydia said "I've got stuff on Charlotte" when she took over Lizzie's video the first time? Yeah, you'll get to find out what that is, as well as other things even more surprising.

I loved the extra details I got, and I think they could've worked in more. I feel a little cheated that for two of the biggest moments in the story - Darcy's first "proposal" (episode 60) and the moment they finally get together (episode 98) - we just get transcripts of the episodes. Um, thanks? I can watch those for myself. I don't get why Lizzie wouldn't have talked more about what she was thinking during and after those videos. Or even during the cuts! And there were some things that were skipped entirely (like adorable episode 83 with Darcy totally making her laugh.) There are also some things that didn't line up with official canon of the videos as well as the transmedia, so that bothered me a little bit.

But overall, I'm happy about the existence of this book - it gave me something new to squeal over. I would very much like a Secret Diary from all the other characters now. K. Thanks.

There was a lot of fuss being made over the recently released We Were Liars, so I definitely had to pick it up, since the other book I've read from E. Lockhart (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks) was utterly wonderful.

Liars is totally different though - also utterly wonderful, but not at all light-hearted and fun like Frankie. I could tell by the very first chapter that I was diving into a story with a much heavier tone.

I will give away no details of the plot, since the ending is a major spoiler, but I will say that Liars is like a cross between Fight Club (thanks, Josie, for that comparison!) and King Lear, made into YAF. I read it all in one sitting, because I HAD to know what was going on, and once I found out, I was crying into a pillow. That is all I will say about that. It's an amazing book, if you can handle the disjointed narrative style. My tip is to pay attention to her verb tenses in order to keep track of chronology.

So yeah, that's it... right now I am working on the first Harry Potter book and Sense and Sensibility, and this week is the new short story collection from Veronica Roth about Four (from Divergent) and Rainbow Rowell's new book.

Happy reading!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Race recap: See Jane Run Half Marathon in Alameda, CA

I am pretty darn sore today, my friends.

But I feel pretty good. Considering how yesterday's race wasn't the one I was training for and I STILL met my (very conservative) goal, I'm pleased.

So my training run for this weekend was only supposed to be six miles. (Actually, my schedule shows me it was supposed to be five - whoops.) I suppose I could've easily just signed up for the 5k and added another two miles later that day, but who wants to do that? If I'm driving all that way for a race, I might as well get it ALL done, and make the gas worth it =P

My best friend Becca and I decided to do the half, but not race it - we were going to keep up our training interval for six miles, as if we were doing  our normal weekend long run, and then take it easy for the rest of the race. With a walker-friendly four-hour course limit, I had no reason to worry. In fact, I was banking on finishing in 3:30.

So that's exactly what we did - we did a 2/1 interval for the first six miles. The course as a whole is flat and easy, aside from being in direct sunlight for most of it - that was pretty brutal, and because there was no sunscreen at any of the aid stations, we were both feeling pretty roasted by the end. (SJR - Please fix that for next time please! Sunscreen and Biofreeze at the aid stations!) If it had been overcast, it would've been PERFECT. It's a beautiful course, since we get to look out at the water for most of it. Parts of the course were the same as the Mermaid Du I just did two weeks ago, so that helped.

By that point, Becca was feeling pretty beat. We walked the next two miles, and then with her blessing, I took off on my own and mostly kept up the intervals until about mile 10, when I flip-flopped my interval, so I wasn't totally walking the last 5k. I came in at 3:29:57 (official) - not my best time, but not my worst, and considering how I haven't run a half since January, and I definitely haven't run anywhere near that much in my training for a very long time, I'm glad that I finished on my own two feet and that I wasn't in any pain. (Afterward when I got home? Totally different story. I had to stay off my feet entirely for most of the rest of the day because my bad knee was throbbing really horribly.)

The race was tons of fun - as always, it was high energy, friendly, and well-organized, and the finisher swag is spectacular. Also, I got to meet a couple of my fellow Ambassadors there at the race, which was awesome. (Special shout-out to Gaby who is not only a fellow Ambassador, but also a member of my running group on Ravelry, Running with Sharp Objects!)

It was a pleasure to represent this company and this event, and I hope I get to continue on as an Ambassador for next year!

Pre-race selfie!
Start line in the distance behind us. This is our third SJR together.
I never actually drink the champagne - I just like the glasses
The 5k medal was the same, but smaller
Post-race. I look way better than I feel.
Hell yeah!
Next up: Brazen Racing's Dirty Dozen 6-Hour Endurance Run. One of my favorite events!