Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cake Beauty Sale 50% Off

I have never tried Cake Beauty before, but will be ordering what looks like a huge batch of products. Hey, at 50% off, anything on the site looks great to try out!

Cake products are 100% paraben- and petrochemical-free. An eco-conscious company, they continue to use 90-95% natural ingredients in all their products.

There's a 40% off sale going on now until June 26th with one code on their homepage, but if you enter SCARLETTSUMMER you'll get 50% off until June 24th, noon EST.

Shipping only to Canadian and US addresses only, free above $75. Prices in Canadian Dollars.

Some of the products I'll be purchasing...

The Satin Sugar Trio for Darker Hues
Their best selling line! As described on their website...

New Satin Sugar All Purpose Treatment Balm
Infused with 86% shea butter this all in one smoothes frizzy ends & flyaways, treats dry spots on skin, lips, cuticles, knees ... and the list keeps going on. It's 'da-balm'!

Satin Sugar Hair and Body Refreshing Powder for Darker Hues
This cocoa coloured powder is ideal for beauty queens with red, black and brown hair (or any hue in between!). This double-duty formula is talc-free and infused with calendula and chamomile to smooth and soften.

Satin Sugar Refreshing Hair and Body Mist
Mist onto hair and body whenever you need a delectable pick-me-up. Vitamin B3 refreshes and tones while aloe vera soothes and comforts, leaving you smelling fresh and feeling clean.

Last year, Nov 2008, Cake Beauty and Mattel launched their first bath and body Barbie collection to coincide with Barbie's 50th Anniversary. All the Barbie products are infused with the

A blissful twist of sweet lemon, toasted vanilla, sugar, caramel and fresh cream.

Sounds heavenly!

Some things I have my eye on are the Indulgent Lip Butter (pictured above), Solid Scentsability (a tin of solid perfume), and Sweet Smell of Success (a hair and body mist). They also have an enticing body scrub and luxurious body mousse.

I'm all about the summer mani/pedi so their Cake Walk TripleMint Foot Creme and Milk Made Smoothing Hand and Cuticle Buffer sound perfect.

So, only about 12 hours left on this short sale...don't forget to enter the code SCARLETTSUMMER.

Once I get my order in, I'll review them for you all!

Happy shopping!

Photos courtesy of

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Flamingos, Anyone?

Driving home today from a BBQ, hubby wanted to avoid the crazy traffic on the main roads and started driving through side streets. At one fork in the road, in the distance, this amazing eyesore beckoned us, so I excitedly told him to drive by it...

If you could only see this mecca in person, it truly is eye candy...for someone. I'm just not sure that someone is me.

I kid you not: this is a real house! I could probably direct you there if you lived in town. The colours in the photo don't even come close to how vibrant the house is in reality. My jaw dropped...I think I drooled on my chin, flabbergasted.

I can only imagine what the neighbours are thinking!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FOTD Homage to Dad

Ok, not so much an homage but a "hey, I'll look pretty for you, Dad" because it's your birthday today.

The kids and my mom and I were going to a filipino restaurant for lunch (wouldn't you know it: I was going to take pics of the yummy food, but I got distracted by the kids and forgot! -- crispy pata, deep fried bangus, palabok, lumpiang sariwa!), so I had to prep myself up and look presentable, unlike the past few makeup-less days.

Everything used is Adorned with Grace, unless otherwise noted:

Divine Oil-Control PowderPrimer
Concealer in Grace 3.8
Foundation in Grace 4.2
Supreme finishing powder in Medium Tint
Sensational shimmer blush

UDPP as base
Polished, all-over
Genuine, crease
Stunning, v and liner, wet-lined, top and bottom
Amiable, highlight under brows and inner lid
Lash Blast by Cover Girl in Very Black, waterproof

Plum l/l by MAC
Skinny Dip l/g by Silk Naturals

I still haven't splurged on a great collection of eye brushes, but working with the two Sebastien brushes I own. My next big splurge, I think, will be finding an awesome set of eye brushes, then finally learning to blend with skill and ease. I've got a lot to learn still!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Good Friends...and a Career Change?

I'm not a social butterfly.

I think it's, in part, due to my introvert nature. I've somewhat come out of that shell-of-a-child I once was and am definitely more comfortable in large groups. However, I'm not one to keep many close to my heart. Other than family, I would say it's pretty difficult for someone to break into my inner circle unless I spend a lot of time with them. Plus I'm big on heart-to-heart talks and being able to share my beefs. Laughs? Most definitely!

My closest and dearest friends are from high school elementary school. With the exception of one friend who I met late in high school (it's like I've known her for way longer!), I've known them since Grade 2, since I moved here from Quebec. Although I don't see them as frequent as others, we make it a point to TRY and get together each month, but in reality it turns out every 4-5 months instead, each of us busy in our careers and family lives.

Last Friday was one such night. We went out for dinner, as we always do, to enjoy good food with good company.

Because there are five of us, it's usually difficult to have one big conversation, depending on how we're arranged at dinner, so most of the time we split in half and have more intimate conversations.

My heart-to-heart was with K this time...and, boy, did she rattle my brain!

I can't quite remember how we got to talking about my job, but we wound up discussing what I would have been, career-wise, if I didn't wind up doing what I do.

Not a lot of people know what I do for a living; not many can describe it. Many simply know that I work in a hospital: some would assume I'm a nurse, while others know that I work in the lab, somewhere. Yes, I'm a medical technologist, not a nurse. Not just any medical technologist but a cytogenetic laboratory technologist.

Say what?

Yup, a mouthful, and I don't usually make it a point to elaborate as much. What do you do for a living? When asked, I just say I work in genetics: most people understand that much, and either are piqued enough to ask more questions or are shell-shocked and carry on to more graspable topics.

[For reference: a cytogenetic technologist analyzes human chromosomes to:

1) determine any abnormalities in unborn children - analysis of amniotic fluid or cord blood
2) determine a cause of recurrent pregnancy loss in infertile couples or individuals - analysis of whole blood
3) diagnose, classify and prognose various tumours or leukemic diseases, like Acute or Chronic Myeloid Leukemia - analysis of bone marrow or bone biopsies]

So, back to my story...

After all these years, K is still surprised that I didn't do a communications degree instead of a science degree. She unabashedly showered me with so many compliments about all the apparent qualities I have with regards to everything media-related -- my love for tech, my writing skills -- that I had to acknowledge that I, too, often wondered why I didn't do a communications degree.

I wouldn't go so far and suggest that I be an anchorwoman, like she suggested (me, on TV? oh, gosh!....) but if I could be a writer...

She proceeded to tell me of a woman she knew of whose job was to simply travel and review spas. Imagine! Getting a massage, trying on mud masques, all for the sake of work? If only...

But I'm too secure in my job to do anything else, much to the chagrin of another friend who insists on not doing anything simply for the benefits. Sure, give me the health and pension benefits of my current job, and I'll do anything more creative, more fulfilling. Don't get me wrong: I like my job, and I think I'm good at what I do, but perhaps, I got to thinking, that there is another job out there for me that I can do better in, comparatively.

I gave a one-hour presentation last year at a scientific conference to 75 peers, and although I shitted bricks leading up to it, the adrenaline pumped right through me and I rocked that presentation.

Sure beat being at a microscope all day!

So although my regrets on not advancing on to medical school are far behind me, perhaps one day I'll find my true calling and end up at my dream job. Who knows if it involves writing for a living. I believe I'm good at what I currently do, although not the best, I admit; maybe I'll eventually find something I'm great at doing, and be better than just good. Perhaps the opportunity will present itself, perhaps not.

Whichever way Life goes, at least my friends give me a good laugh, a different perspective, unfathomable visions and a neverending horizon.

Save 25% at MAC

Sumo Savings!

Enter SAVE25 at checkout, and save 25% on all your M.A.C. online purchases! Offer is valid only from June 16-18 on orders shipped to Canadian addresses, and not valid on Viva Glam products.

Free shipping when you spend $75, otherwise $7.50 for standard, or $14 for Express.

Happy Spending!

Edit: 25% is also applicable on the US website too! Different shippping rules apply.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reading Between The Lines

Ok, this is not a Debbie Gibson post, even though none of you know that Reading Between The Lines came from her 1988 Album Out of The Blue...but I digress...

Have you ever been told something and then thought later, "oh, did they mean ME?" Being oblivious to a lot of things these days, I think this happened to me today.

As you may be aware, I tweeted today about considering joining a cardio kickbox session this summer. 18 classes. Not for the faint-of-heart, literally. The instructor requires a doctor's note approving participation in his program if you've given birth in the past 12 months.

First off, birthing is the most kick-ass workout your body can have (rah rah, mommies!)...but all kidding aside, yes, he wants approval. Having never spoken to the instructor before besides emails, this guy likes to talk. He rambles on on how he believes in the safety of his participants and doesn't want anyone to injure themselves in the process. A verbal yes from the doctor isn't good enough, as I SUPPOSE there are people out there who, because they desire to do their body GOOD and not HARM themselves in the process (!), will actually PRETEND that their doctor said it's okay to join when in fact it would be unsafe, for whatever reasons. Um, why would I intentionally subject myself to the pain of his classes, thinking I was helping myself when in fact the opposite would be true, and waste my money in the process because I hurt myself so bad I would have to bow out and not receive any refunds? I can find plenty of ways to hurt myself (walking included) that don't cost me a dime! Okay, fella, I'll go get that doctor's note...

So my doctor's office is mailing me a note, at no charge (because EVERYTHING is starting to cost something these days). But in the last email the instructor sends me, outlining how his cardio kickboxing class is "unlike any bootcamp class out there", "extremely high-impact", involving "kicking and punching pads at full speed" (oh, so you don't say....BRING IT ON!), he continues to beat me down with his worries about injuries. Okay, I get the picture!

So, here's the kicker. In his post-script, he asks me who referred me to him, as he doesn't advertise and he likes "to screen people coming into the class to make sure they don't bring negative vibes or trouble to the class."

So, with the Mommy Brain I have, it dawns on me an hour later..."does he mean ME? I would bring negative vibes? I would bring trouble? He's screening ME?" I don't get screened...

First off, bring on your silly little martial arts class and let me kick ass. Secondly, I'm the most unobtrusive character he'll probably ever have in his class. I don't talk in large groups (though I can, but refuse to unless asked), I don't crack jokes (though I can, but I doubt anyone would find me funny), and I don't complain (though I can, but why pay him to listen? I get that at home for free!).

Am I reading between the lines, or what? Is it me or was that condescending?

Has this ever happened to you?

PS: The instructor has since emailed me back and acknowledged my misinterpretation of his email. In his lengthy email (again!) he explains his expectations to each new participant and will actually refuse people entry or ask them to leave if this is the case. He has since invited me to watch a class before committing.

Geez, it's like I'm joining The Armed Forces or something.

"Apology" accepted.

Photo Credit:
Boxing Gloves by andysteel

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I don't know about you, but I need my coffee in the morning.

It's been a ritual of mine since my university days, guzzling cup after cup to and from class, just to make it through the day. You actually weren't anyone in class unless you had your coffee. I actually did need it, to stay awake in the complicated world of genetics and biology classes that I threw myself in. Needed it then, and still need it now.

I was a regular at my local Starbucks before my maternity leave, always stopping by for my grande Americano misto or extra-hot, non-fat, vanilla latte. I filled up my Starbucks Card so frequently, I often wondered why I just didn't slap a hundred on there and be done with it.

And, now, here I am, I can't even finish a hot coffee. I always end up staring into my half-drunk mug of cold java, yearning for another full hot mug, wondering how come I never got to finish it. Oh, yeah, I've got kids. Each evening, I vow that I will enjoy a whole mug, at a high enough temperature that won't let me cringe in grief, and the next day, it happens again, and I find myself staring at half-a-mug of worse-than-cold coffee.

Maybe one of these days I'll enjoy my coffee whole and hot!

What's your one vice that takes you through your day? The guiltier the better!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Success, One Pound At A Time

As you may have read, I joined Weight Watchers last week, in an attempt to lose the 33 pounds I gained over 2 pregnancies. Every week, I'm supposed to weigh in (WI) and record it. Today marked my first WI.

I lost 6 pounds! I'm sure most of it is water or cleansing of some sort. I'm actually eating better while on WW, getting in my fruits and vegetables (extra fiber, hence cleansing), cutting out the unhealthy starches I used to consume. I don't imagine that I'll be losing as much each week, but at least it's working for now!

Now that I'm no longer exclusively breastfeeding, but supplementing with solid foods and formula, my Points Allowance got reduced by 5...that's like a whole meal! With any luck, this week will be as easy and encouraging as the last.

Little successes at a time, right?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I guess you could say I'm a breastfeeding advocate. Having breastfed my first child until he decided to stop at 16 months, I was very proud of the fact that he had only ever had 7 oz of formula in his life. I thought I would be as lucky to have such a lengthy experience with Mr. B....so not the case.

Mr. B was born at just under 7 lbs, a pretty average weight, but more than a pound lighter than his older brother. Breastfeeding is always difficult at first, as I learned with the first one, and thought I had a good handle over it for the second kid.

Mr. B has gone in for his 2-month and 4-month shots and each time he only hit the 25th-percentile in weight gain. Today, we went in for his 6-month shots and he dropped in weight to the zero-percentile. What does that mean? Of one hundred babies, 99 babies would weigh heavier than him.

I don't think that's a great stat to brag about.

So, now, I have to wrap my head around the fact that I simply can no longer support him on my milk alone. I'm quite disappointed. Disappointed in that my desire to provide the best possible nutrition does not supercede my ability to do so. I'm saddened that I may no longer be able to foster the closeness and warmth between me and Mr. B. But nor do I wish him to spiral into sub-zero-percentile at his next weigh-in three months from now.

Now my thoughts are preoccupied with how many bottles I need to buy, what type of formula to consider (ready-to-feed vs concentrated vs powder), feeding schedules, how much to give, how to be mobile with a "baby and bottle", how many bottles to make, when to make them...the list goes on, none of which I had concerns with when I was exclusively breastfeeding.

Today, I picked up a book The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk, by Diana West. Still distraught at the thought of switching straight to formula only, I thought the book could impart some wisdom and insight into my situation. I was hoping I would read this 300-page book cover to cover tonight, in my attempt to provide calm and peace to my otherwise ravaged mind, but, as a mother, just couldn't find the time to spare. I skipped to the chapter on Supplementing without Decreasing your Supply, then flipped to the beginning when random page-reading left my head a-turning.

As a haven't read much yet, here is a brief review if you're interested. Recommended by the La Leche League, this book may provide the solace I so desperately need. The authors also have a website, lowmilksupply.org.

So I will be attempting to supplement at each feed but continue to breastfeed first, if he'll take it. Even if ultimately I end up exclusively formula-feeding Mr. B, this excerpt taken from my new purchase helps alleviate my pain:

Realize that you are a successful breastfeeding mother. This is not about how much milk you were able to produce or how long you were able to breastfeed. It is about the commitment you made to give your baby the best start in life and the tremendous effort your put into pursuing that goal. Even if breastfeeding didn't work out quite the way you may have hoped, you undoubtedly shared some special moments that you would not have had otherwise.....Most of all, remember that success lies not in ounces but with love. What a lucky baby you have whose mother is making the effort to give him the best of herself!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dreamworld Minerals Review

I don't recall having put up a review for the Dreamworld Minerals haul a few weeks back, so I thought I'd post one.

Ellamae had a 22% off sale not too long ago so I decided to pick up some samples to try out, since I heard some good reviews of her foundations and finishing powders.

Dreamworld Minerals have fantasy names taken from mythology, so the names are quite unique. If you have trouble working your way around the site, the Dreamworld Vox site is a little easier to navigate.

I ordered DW's Foundation Kit, where you get to select 6 foundations samples (saves about $1 over individual baggies). I selected Bia, Sekhmet, Sirara, Nintu, and Nammu. I might have forgotten to select the formula (there are several, but namely Luna, Cloud and Sand), so I was given Luna, which is the heaviest coverage available. I managed to also receive a sample of Nammu in Cloud, which is their mica-free, medium to heavy coverage.

Turns out that Nammu is my best shade of the bunch, and I prefer the Cloud formula for no real reason other than the minimal ingredients, as I don't think I'm allergic to mica, but if it works without it, why not? There is a colour difference between the Cloud and Luna formula in the bags: the heavier the coverage (Luna), the darker the foundation appears. Application, though, appears to come across as similar. You can see a pic of me wearing Nammu here.

Swatched on a baby wipe, as suggested by Aileen:

A rundown:
Nintu and the darker Nammu are Yellow with Olive Undertones.
Sekhmet and the darker Sirara are True Olive with Glow (a bit of youthful glitter added).
Bia is True Olive without Glow, and according to the website, may be darker than Sirara.
Demeter is Neutral with Yellow and Olive Undertones (I swatched it little heavy)

I've tried Demeter and it doesn't seem to give me a more immediate healthyness like Nammu does, probably because it's lacking the stronger yellow in my skin. Over time, it appears to suit me not too bad, but I would probably try Ina next time, a shade darker.

One day, I tried Bia on one side of my face and Nintu on the other. They both came across chaulky, probably because they were too light a shade for me. This was most apparent on my forehead, where I tend to get too much sun, and hence am a little darker there. :P

I haven't tried the Sekhmet or Sirara, as I think they would leave me looking lifeless without the yellow (why I ordered it, I don't know!).

They are creamy and go on well. Coverage is definitely medium with the Cloud formula, though you could go heavy if you wanted to, but I find it does cake too much if you do. You're probably off with Luna if you want heavier coverage. I personally didn't find too much of a difference in coverage. If I had to compare to Adorned with Grace's foundations, DW isn't AS creamy, but pretty close. I would compare Nammu closer to Yellow than Hope 4.2 is (leaning more on Olive), and I'm thinking that Nammu is more up my alley.

I also heard many, many good things about DW Creme Toppings. These are the finishing powders, and they come in several shades to complement your foundation. The samples I received were Butter, Peanut Butter, Butterscotch, Cocoa, Cafe au Lait and Angel. They contain clay and/or silica, depending on your preference. I like the clay/silica combo for my oily skin and the diffusing properties of the silica. I've read that some use these as both a primer and a finisher, and swear by the results. I haven't tried this yet, but will.

I also bought Whipped Strawberries, a Silk Finishing Powder. Gives a very light, rosier hue, like a healthy glow.

Overall, I do like Dreamworld Minerals, but I do have one comment to make that I've never come across with mineral makeup before: some of these mineral samples reek of something musty. I can't pinpoint whether it's cigarette smoke but, for example, my Angel creme topping has it, but not my Butter creme and Nammu in Cloud. I read that some minerals have an intrinsic smell to them, but I can't figure out why, for example, not all my creme toppings smell. One of the foundies I tried has the same issue, and it's only when I start to apply it can I smell it off the brush. I haven't emailed DW about this, but will if it becomes a greater issue. I'm going to give DW the benefit of the doubt, for now, and continue using at least the ones that don't smell.

In closing, Dreamworld has so many foundations, you would be sure to find your match. Swatches on the site are incomplete and often misleading so I would either email Ellamae or hunt around online to find your "shade twins". I like the creme toppings for layering over different foundations, for toning darker or lighter.

I hope this helps some folks out there. I'd like to hear your opinion if you've tried Dreamworld Minerals before...do you have issues?

Mr. B

I call my little one Mr. B. I have a friend who started calling him this and it stuck. He is a little mister: he dictates how our days are run, how long we stay out for and when we get to sleep.

On Sunday he started eating solid foods, aka rice cereal, and I snapped a few pics.

He ate the whole tablespoon of rice cereal, diluted with a good amount of formula to make it liquid-y and much creamier than adding just water. He loved it! I went to church afterwards and he was so full that he didn't budge one bit, smiling and staring at us choir members, and even fell asleep for a while on his own.

He was such a good baby today!

I fed him more at dinner, but he was so full from all the milk he drank, he only ate 3/4 of the amount fed to him in the morning. I'm blogging at 2am, typing away, making noise, and he's so sound asleep. Shhhh!

Mr. B. is growing up fast!