Monday, December 31, 2012

As the new year comes to fruition...

I bid 2012 a joyous adieu. 2012 saw a lot of things... the end to a toxic, dangerous relationship; new health issues with the kids; heartbreak and loss.

There were good moments to be sure, but the majority of the year was spent in unhappiness.

So, it is with a glass-half-full attitude that I sit with Kinder Major and await 2013.

I don't have gargantuan hopes for 2013, just the small dream that it will bring happiness and peace.

Blessings to you, readers, and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Squeee! New work from Ninette Swann!!!

My new favorite contemporary romance author Ninette Swann has just released a new novel in time for Christmas!

I've had a chance to sneak-peak read it, and let me tell you, guys.. it's awesome.  Ninette's best work to date for sure.

Go, pick it up, read it for the holidays! You won't be disappointed!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nothing I can say or do.

Helplessness. That is how I feel right now. Helpless, angry, heartbroken, and frightened.

I have nothing to say or do to bring comfort to those families who lost their babies today. I had nothing to say or do when it happened in Columbine or any other school, either.

But I find myself angry, and wishing desperately that I could.

I want to hold each grieving parent, I want to place flowers at the childrens' graves. I want to go back in time, do something, some ripple, to make this have not happened.

I don't know why this has affected me so deeply. Perhaps because I live with the potential mortality of my children on a daily basis, and school is one of the things that provides me a sense of normalcy in our lives that are in constant upheaval.  This event makes me remember that even normal isn't safe sometimes.

Parents, friends, teachers, know my heart and my thoughts are with you. All of you, past and terribly present.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sweet N' Sexy Tutorial

Hi hi! I bet ya'll thought I forgot how to do makeup.  Don't worry, I didn't.  I've just had allergies and then beel ill.  It's time to get pretty again, kids!

So, obviously, start out with your products.  MSC Optimus Primer eye primer, NYX White shadow base, MSC Dame, Hello, Sweetie, and Mune Glow. UD 24/7 in Perversion, IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes, and MUFE Smoky Lash.

Brushes! I only use three today.  An angled shadow brush, a floofy shadow brush, and a relatively pointed crease brush.

Prime your lids.  Add the shadow base.  Line your lower lash line pretty heavily with UD 24/7 Perversion.  You want it DARK.  Oh, and have coffee, so you don't make the face I'm making.

A close-up of how opaque you want your shadow base.

Start out with Dame.  You're going to use your floofy brush for Dame.

Pat Dame pretty heavily on the inner third of your eyelids.

Now take your pointed crease brush and Hello, Sweetie.  I love this pigment.  It's a pressure sensitive pink that reminds me of cherry blossoms, and it's a matte.  Yes, friends, I use a matte on a regular basis.  MSC's matte base goes on like BUTTAH, though, so I don't seem to have texture issues like I do with other mattes.

Pat Hello, Sweetie on GENTLY on the rest of your lid.  You want to retain that light pink color. Once you've done that, take the point of your crease brush, and apply pressure to the outer third of your lid so it darkens up.  Don't worry, the pressure-sensitive transition from the two colors is pretty seamless, so you don't really need to try and blend.  If you did, you'd lose the light pink.  You're going to pull Dame evvver so gently into Hello, Sweetie, too.

Now your Mune Glow and angled shadow brush.  Mune Glow looks off white in normal lighting, but in direct sunlight it gives off this coral orange hue.  Trust me, it's understated and positively STUNNING.

Run your Mune Glow from your inner duct to your brow.  Don't pat this color, you want to swipe.  That way there's no fallout into the Dame/Hello, Sweetie combo that you have to try and deal with.  You can *very* *gently* pull a little of it down into Dame/Hello, Sweetie in order to avoid a line of demarcation, but remember that Hello, Sweetie is VERY pressure sensitive.

Add your mascara(s).  I was experimenting today with two different brands that I've gotten super lush results with... the outcome was that I don't like to blend them.

The final look!

A nice shot of that dark eyeliner.

Here's lookin' at you, Kid.

A very good closeup of Mune Glow!

I promise I won't stay away so long the next time, and remember...

Stay Madd, Darlings!!!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pneumonia in mom and the special needs child.

Pneumonia is not an easy ailment to deal with.  It leaves you breathless, exhausted, with your head swimming from a lack of oxygen.  You wheeze like an old ford truck on a frosty morning, and you bark like a seal when you cough.  Every muscle hurts from the coughing.

So what the hell do you do when you're coping with this little slice of medical hell and you have a special needs child who demands alllll of your attention allllll of the time?

Number one: Take your damn antibiotics.  Put it on the same timer that your birth control pill is on, take it when you make breakfast, but make sure you take it.

Number two: Pre-made foods are not the devil.  Frozen french toast, bagel bites, and canned ravioli are all acceptable food mediums with which your little darling can paint the room.

Number three: Dora.  Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about that.  These will be your friend whilst you convalesce on the couch, still wheezing like that old ford.

What to do when your little darling demands to be on top of you, because you're an attachment parent and have worn said little darling since day one, and it's now year three and he thinks he still has to be touching you or on you at all times?  You begin the weaning and self-soothing process.

Fair warning, this may involve lollypops as rewards.

The long and the short of it? Take care of yourself.  Your kiddo, while being special needs, IS CAPABLE of playing on their own, soothing on their own, eating on their own, and pottying on their own, when you need them to be.  The NF1 makes Bug a very dependent child in many ways, but these coping mechanisms, while not necessarily the ideal activities for every day, will make it possible for you to take care of yourself while still providing the basic necessities for your child.

Oh, and one more thing - going over all the therapy techniques that are required by the therapists that you see three times or more a week?  Those can slide a little too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The "Woman Child" and my role as one.

I just want to make it boiled-bones clear here.  I do not live with my family because I enjoy it.  I do not live with them because I am afraid to live alone.  I do not live here because I can't hack it in the real world.

I live here because as a single mother to not one, but two special needs children, it is a necessity.  I crunch the numbers on a regular basis, and daydream about paying my own mortgage instead of rent to my parents, and realize that in order for us to survive, I would need to work two to three jobs, and both kids would need daycare.

I'm not willing to put a child who doesn't speak and therefore can't tell me if he's being abused into the hands of strangers.  I'm not willing to put a child with a potentially life threatening condition into the hands of strangers.  It's bad enough that I have to put her in the hands of her teacher every day.  At least, though, that's one room with at least two pairs of adult eyes at all times.  A daycare at her age would mean that she could literally be seizing in a corner and no one would notice because she's a "big kid."

The day will come when I've finished school and have a job that will support the three of us on one single income, and that day will be beautiful regardless of the weather.  Until then, though, we're here.  We're part of a village, my kids get extra love, and whether I like it or not, I've got support when I need it and when I don't.

There's my ground, and I'm standing it.  The rest of you, those holier-than-thou with partners and their own homes who want to write articles, point fingers, or be smug and judgmental can fuck right off.  Go sit in the corner with my ex.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mabon: The colors sound like Dropkick Murphys!

Only not "Tessie," because that's Red Sox colors.

Little known fact: In addition to my other fun brain issues, I'm a synaesthete.  Colors have sounds for me.

This particular look sounds like DKM, with little surprise since it's a greens/brown/foresty look done on and for Mabon.

Gather your supplies: IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes mascara, UD Perversion pencil, NYX Shadow Base in White, MSC Optimus Primer, Afternoon Delight, Witch's Brew, and Steampunk.  Not pictured: Visine for foiling purposes.

Start out with a medium opacity with your base.  This is the NYX Shadow Base over Optimus Primer, of course.  Primer always comes first.

Then line lower water/tight lash line thickly with Perversion, or the blackest black you can find.

Pat on your Witch's Brew to the middle of your pupil. Don't go easy - you want that yellow/gold duochrome to really pop through.

Then add your Steampunk to the outer half of your lids and about 1/2 way in to the crease above the Witch's Brew.

Close up of where that crease should be.

Take a toddler break! If you don't, he will wreak havoc and bring about dooom.

Add your Afternoon Delight to the inner corner and as brow highlight.

Do a little blendy blendy.

Add your mascara....

Voila! A lovely darker green look to acknowledge the coming slide into the darkness.  

May you ever be blessed, Madd Cats, and...
Stay Madd!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pink Challenge, with Danielle!

Fellow Madd Model and I decided we were going to both do looks using nothing but pink after a discussion last night!

I'm pretty pleased with how this one turned out.  Let's get started, shall we?

Start out with your products! From MSC: Optimus Primer, JEM Pink, Seedless, Winter Rose, and Hello, Sweetie! NYX Shadow base in white, MUFE Smoky Lash Mascara, UD Perversion liner, and various brushes.

Line your waterline first.  remember, you want to do this to clean eyeballs.

Then apply first your primer, and over that the NYX shadow base.  You want it to be at a mid-range of opacity.

Close up of lined eyes.

Pat on your seedless.  Seedless is this awesome baby pink with a bright green interference, hence the name - Seedless, like the watermelon. ;)

Apply Hello, Sweetie in the crease.  CUT THAT CREASE!  Hello, Sweetie is a matte that is actually pressure sensitive.  It starts out a very pale pink, but rubs down to a vibrant, almost magenta pink.  Think Cherry Blossoms.

Next, in the duct and as highlight, apply Winter Rose.  Winter Rose is a very sheer, sparkling pink that reminds me of sparkling white zin, actually.

Look at those sparkles with the flash! My camera couldn't even focus!

After a bit of blendy blendy.

Next, set your eyeliner with JEM Pink.  The JEM pink is almost matte, with larger silver sparkle to it.

Apply your mascara, and voila! A rockin' all-pink look that could be used  as sweet or sassy!

Stay madd, darlings!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Liebster Award!

I was just awarded the Liebster Award by none other than the fabulous Dar from Tales of an Unlikely Mother, which originated over at the lovely (and fun) Life in Pint-Sized Form.

The rules are that I tell you all 11 things about me, and deem someone worthy to have the award passed to.

  1. I'm finally coming into myself as an adult.  I no longer feel like I'm a teenager playing grownup; rather, I feel like a grown up who occasionally wishes I could go back to being a teen.
  2. My children are raised in a village.  We home share with my parents, my two siblings, a non-blood roommate, and my niece part-time.  My house is never quiet, and I don't know what I'll do when the day comes that I finally buy my own place.  I'll miss the noise.
  3. I loathe doing dishes.  Doing dishes and floors.  I'll scrub the nastiest toilet, but please, don't make me mop or do dishes.
  4. I've been known to not only talk in my sleep, but sing as well.
  5.  My number of close friends can be counted on one hand.
  6. At least one of those fingers is someone I've never met "in real life."
  7. I have always been a computer geek. From bulletin boards to IRC back in the day, with dialup and the local freenet, to my current cable connection and blogger.  I don't think I could live without my computer.
  8. I have never shoplifted anything.  Not even gum or candy as a kid.
  9. No matter how bad the crisis, how devastating the loss, you put me with a horse and I'll be able to breathe.
  10. My children literally saved my life.  I used to say I refused to live to see 30.  I'll be there in a few short months and plan to keep on kicking.
  11. I don't like wearing a bra.

I'm choosing to pass this award over to KB at Wanderlust. Her life is tumultuous and would break a lesser being, but she manages to bend without snapping, and still find the beauty.  Why don't you go give her a read?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Soul Ravens

I have a little bit of an obsession with one of MSC's newer colors, Raven Feathers.  It's a dark, sultry, delightful color.  I can't get enough of it.  I also can't wear it quite as dark as I'd like to, because I don't do nights out to wear nighttime looks.  SO, I keep playing with it for day wear, and keep being tickled by the results.

Here's a look with Soul Dust, Pew Pew Pow, and of course, Raven Feathers.  Oh, Beauty School Dropout makes an appearance for highlight, too!

So, I picked up this E.L.F. brush set for $0.88, and decided that this look was going to feature these brushes.  Out of the package I was impressed - little shedding, tight ferrules, nice balance in the hand.  More thoughts on them after I use them.

Random Estee Lauder pallette for my brows, NYX white shadow base, MSC Soul Dust, Pew Pew Pow, Beauty School Dropout, Raven Feathers, Awesome Sauce, and Optimus Primer, Sephora Hot Hues liner pencil in sparkly black, and WnW MegaPLUMP mascara.

E.L.F. Studio Professional small smudge brush, crease brush, C shadow brush, Sephora crease brush, pencil brush, flat concealer brush, brow/lash tool.

BIG GLASS OF ICE WATER.  Seriously, this is one of the best kept beauty secrets- keep your skin hydrated by staying hydrated. 

Use that concealer brush with a dot of Awesome Sauce in the NYX primer to make it ALL TEH STICKY! 
Over your primer, that is.

Blend a bit with fingertips.

Pat on the Soul Dust to the inner corners, going up into the crease.

Now pat on your Pew Pew Pow, out to the barest part of your outer lid, taking it up to the crease and meeting it at where the Soul Dust left off.

Finish off the outer V's of your lid with Raven Feathers, and bring that up above the crease just a little.

Apply Beauty School Dropout above the Raven Feathers.  Blend everything gently with fingertips.

Do your brows, line your lower lash line, and add some mascara.


I have to say, I'm impressed with the E.L.F. brushes.  They picked up pigment well, were supple to use, and seem to be well constructed.  Not a bad investment for $0.88 if I do say so myself.

Stay Madd, darlings!