Monday, August 29, 2011

School daze

Today was the first day of the new school year, and I have to say, I feel pretty energized. Is it possible to feel energized and exhausted at the same time? I feel physically exhausted just because it's been a long day, and I was mostly on my feet. But I feel energized because I think today went pretty well, and I'm excited to start anew.

Everyone's doing resolutions for the new school year, so here are mine:

- Stay on top of the grading. I'm notorious for waiting weeks and weeks to grade essays, and that does no one any good. So this year, I'm going to give myself a couple of days after they come in, but then they will be graded.

- Revamp reading in class. Reading has always been problematic for me - if I ask them to read alone, they won't; if I ask them to read aloud, it's kind of, um, excruciating; and if I read aloud to them, I get really, really tired and start to lose my voice. I need a new way to do this.

- Minimize my messing around on the computer during class. I should save it for passing periods or lunch.

- Actually enforce my own rules and guidelines. If I'm requiring MLA headings, then I should demand them, and not be such a softy.

- Be more proactive about contacting parents. I'm having them call/email me, so I should take advantage of that. The PE department has a policy that anyone who is failing receives a phone call home. Maybe I should do the same. And maybe I should try some contacting for positive reasons too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Off the Deep End

Another look using the UD15 palette

- UDPP Original
- Deep End all over the lid
- Evidence in the crease
- Vanilla in the inner corners and on the browbone
- UD eye pencil in Binge along upper lash line
- UD Supercurl mascara

And a touch of NARS lipstick in Love Devotion :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I love a wedding!

aka, My First "Job" as a Makeup Artist

My baby brother (who's actually not a baby, at the age of 24) got married this weekend, and I had the lovely honor of being asked to do my sister-in-law's makeup for the wedding.

Jen is the sort of person who pretty much never wears makeup ever. She doesn't feel the need to wear it, and she's perfectly gorgeous without it, in my opinion. But of course, it's nice to be a little extra special for an extra special occasion like your wedding day, and Jen asked me to do a purple eye look for her - something light and natural-looking, nothing dramatic that would render her unrecognizable. Herself-but-more-purple :)

I was a little nervous but super excited and super flattered - I haven't done other people's makeup in a long time. My brother decided to take pictures of us while I was working.

- UDPP Original
- UD Virgin on the inner half of the lid
- NARS Jolie Poupee matte shade (left side of the duo) on the outer half of the lid and in the crease
- UD Vanilla on the browbone (from the 15th Anni Palette)
- UD eye pencil in Zero smudged into the lash line and lightly blended/topped with UD Virgin. (The point was to create a very soft line, rather than a harsh one.)

- NARS blush in Orgasm, lightly on the cheeks
- UD Razor HD powder, dabbed on with the pouf and blended with a powder brush
- Jen had her own lipstick that she applied later.

The finished result - a light, natural look with hints of color.

Jen made a lovely bride! I'm so happy that she is now my sister, because she is one cool girl :)

As for my own makeup, I didn't get a chance to photograph myself, so the only record of my looks will have to come from the wedding photographer himself. I can tell you what I wore:

- UDPP Original
- UD Woodstock on the inner half of the lid
- UD S&M on the outer half of the lid
- UD Ace (from the 15th Anni palette) in the crease
- Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Liner in Starry along my upper lash line
- One coat each of: MAC Prep+Prime Lash; BeneFit They're Real mascara; NYX Dolleyes mascara in Waterproof Black (because weddings make me cry)
- UD Shadow Pencil in Mercury along my lower lash line

- (Hiding a terrible zit) BeneFit Stay Don't Stray primer over blemish area, followed by MAC Select Moisturecover concealer
- Same concealer on undereye area
- MAC Mineralize foundation
- MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder
- NARS blush in Orgasm
- Milani Baked Bronzer in Soleil
- MAC Prep+Prime Transparent Finishing Powder
- UD All-Nighter setting spray

- MAC lip pencil in Brick
- MAC Viva Glam I lipstick

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Yarn crawl in PDX

Well, sort of. I don't know if you can call it a yarn crawl if you only go to two stores. However, the yarn I got was special to Portland, so that makes it pretty exciting :) My brother, my VERY-soon-to-be-SIL Jen, and I journeyed east on our voyage.

Photo taken by my brother Khoa, who always has his camera handy
First up was Yarnia on SE Division. Yarnia was a must on my LYS list because you get to MAKE YOUR OWN YARN. Seriously! The store is full of cones of different colored threads of different fibers, and you pick your own combination of colors and material to create custom-made yarn. They spin it for you onto a cone. Pictured above is my yarn - I chose a strand of teal alpaca, teal wool, dark espresso-brown merino, and brown metallic lurex for a little sparkle and named it Magical Forest in my Ravelry stash, because it looks like a dark, sparkly pine tree. It came out to about $8 for 3oz (not bad!), and I plan to use it for wristwarmers :)

Photo from
Then we journeyed downtown to Knit Purl on SW Alder and 11th. This stop was a must because Knit Purl is one of the few stores around the nation to carry Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER. I've been a longtime fan of Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed - his designs are classic and beautiful, and his photography is just wonderful! - and when I found out BT was coming out with its own line of worsted wool, I was absolutely interested. However, I wanted to see it in person before I bought it (even though I bought a shade card, I still want to hold the skeins in my hand, you know?), so this was my first opportunity to do so, and it did NOT disappoint. I bought two skeins in Thistle (pictured left) to make BT's Romney Kerchief.

I also bought from Knit Purl a skein of Shibui Knits Silk Cloud in Graphite, this stunning laceweight mohair/silk yarn, perfect for floaty lace things :) None of my local area stores carry Shibui Knits, and I've been wanting lately to make something floaty-lace and fuzzy, so I bought one skein to make Churchmouse's Mohair Bias Loop, because there was one knit from Silk Cloud in the store, and I thought it would be nice and versatile.

I know it sounds weird to be excited about going yarn shopping, but if you've never been to a yarn store (a REAL, local yarn store, not Michaels or Joann's!), you're missing out! (Even if you don't knit or crochet!) It is an absolutely lovely experience for your senses - the range of colorways you'll find are stunning, and it actually is sooooo nice to walk around and fondle the yarn (which you're encouraged to do!) I'm glad I finally got a chance to hit up a couple of Portland's best LYSes this time around.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Overcast purple

First beauty post in a while! I admit, I've had a rather lazy summer break :)

- UDPP Original
- UD e/s in Half-Truth on the outer half of the lid
- UD e/s in Mushroom on the inner half of the lid
- UD e/s in Ace in the crease (Wow, this shade was pigmented like WHOA)
- UD e/s in Midnight 15 as a highlight, to blend the crease
- UD eye pencil in Zero along upper lash line
- Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash mascara

*All the e/s except Mushroom were from the new UD15 palette

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can we get some things straight, here?

I made the ill-advised decision to read comments on something on the internet, and I came across one person who said, "I laugh every time I hear teachers complaining about their salary. They get winter break, spring break, holidays, and summer break!!!"

CAN WE CLEAR SOMETHING UP HERE: Teachers don't get paid for any of those breaks. It's not a nice little paid vacation. Let me PLEASE explain how it works, in my district at least: we are paid based on our 186 WORKING DAYS in a school year. As in, days where either class is in session, or there is an inservice day. WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE HOLIDAYS AND BREAKS. For all intents and purposes, think of those days as furlough days, because those are days where you DON'T work and DON'T get paid. In fact, they encourage us not to show up, though lots of people do anyway.

Honestly? If I could still show up to work during breaks and work all day alone in my classroom (because, good luck trying to convince KIDS to show up during break) and get PAID for it, I would totally do it. I could use the money, and I enjoy the quiet - sometimes I suck at getting work done at home, so the only place I can really work is AT work, but staying after school late is not an option for me. As such, I can come in during breaks if I want to (and occasionally I do), but I won't get paid for it. Just like I'm not getting paid for the hours I spend before the year actually starts, preparing my lesson plans for the year. (Like today, I spent two hours lesson planning. And NOT getting paid for it.) KIDS are the ones who get holidays and breaks off. Not the teachers. Just because kids and teachers show up to the same location every day, it doesn't mean that what is true for them is also true for us.

People in industry or whatever... go ahead, I dare you: take off the same amount of days that teachers have off in a school year without pay. I bet if we compared you to a teacher with the exact same training/educational background and years of experience, you'd still have higher pay than a teacher. I also bet that you would actually be able to spend those days off relaxing and not working. I only truly relax for about 5 weeks of summer before I start getting back to thinking about school again. (But it's always there! In the back of my mind! Lurking and creeping...)

At any rate... please shut up about things you know nothing about. And just because you were a student once, it doesn't mean that you know what it's like to be a teacher. As the saying goes, opinions are like ____: everyone's got one.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy birthday, Jolie!

Two years ago today, August 2nd, Jolie Estelle Fuqua surprised us all by rearing her head 7 weeks early.

She continues to surprise me, with her intelligence, her quirky sense of humor, and her CRAZY curly hair. Jolie is strong and sturdy. She is remarkably independent and rarely wants to me to hold her hand. In fact, she'll push me away! And then give me a sneaky little grin that tells me that she's up to no good. She'll try to figure things out herself FIRST... and if she can't, then I usually hear a shriek of "Mommyyyyyyyyyyy!"

She gets really excited by dogs, birds, and babies. She's shy when you first meet her, but if she decides to warm up to you, then she's a total sweetheart. She's an easy eater - she'll try anything, but she definitely will let you know that she wants THAT particular piece of carrot from her bowl of soup, or THAT particular sprinkle from her ice cream. She loves to dance and spin. Her favorite movies so far have been The Sound of Music because she loves the part where they go "cuckoo!", and Disney's Toy Story movies (all of them!)

I love her more than my own life. She is the prettiest star.