Mass Effect Andromeda initial thoughts

So, I have played 5 hours of the Mass Effect: Andromeda campaign. Here are my thoughts.

I tried to keep things less on the spoiler-y side, focusing on aesthetics, combat, and dialog. But since the game does not launch until the 20th, by the very nature of things there will be minor spoilers.

Meet Dick Ryder! I am SO sorry, my beautiful daughter, but I can never pass up a pun.

Continue reading “Mass Effect Andromeda initial thoughts”

Resolution Reflections

Looking back on the resolutions I made in 2016, they’re… wishy-washy at best. I can’t really blame myself for wanting to be gentle, since 2015 was a year that I had spent recovering from 2014!

However, my 2016 was mostly good. I made tangible progress toward finishing my history degree. (If I keep up my momentum, the latest that I will be completely done would be after Fall ’18- FINALLY.) Beefy and I celebrated the marriage of two longtime friends, along with the nuptials of his nephew. We took the longest trip that we’ve ever embarked on together, which was also my first time on an airplane. California was wonderful; I achieved my childhood dream of visiting Disneyland and we got to experience BlizzCon, which was both mine and Jake’s first convention. While we may not attend the actual convention again, we plan on returning to Cali to visit with our Reciprocity guild mates, who have become an eclectic second family for us both.

So this year, I want to set some actual goals.

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Continue reading “Resolution Reflections”

First trip to Disneyland

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Disneyland was everything I expected and more. I absolutely reveled in the atmosphere; it sounds cheesy, but “Disney Magic” is legitimate. Even Jake, who leans a bit stoic than I am, got swept up in the energy. Since we were at the park in early November aka off-season, a few of the rides were closed. I was a little sad I didn’t get to go on the Jungle Cruise but hey, we were already planning on going back. (Hello, Star Wars Land in 2017!) I know that holidays mean more crowds, but someday I must experience Disneyland’s Halloween and Christmas celebrations. The park was just beginning to add some of the Christmas decor during our stay and it was beautiful.

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“What’s this?”

Hands down, my favourite thing we did was watch the Frozen live show at California Adventure. The interactive stage was breathtaking and the actors, wow, they had some chops! Anna was adorable and Elsa’s singing gave me the chills in the best way. We also got to do a meet and greet with Arendelle’s Royalty and Elsa told me what an honour it that I chose to wear a shirt with her on it. It’s dorky to admit, but I was a little tongue tied when I met the actresses because Frozen means a lot to me, but they were both perfectly sweet. (I resonate with Elsa and her attempts to “conceal, don’t feel”. I may not have her ice powers but I know what it’s like to walk on eggshells and pretend that everything’s alright when it isn’t.)

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Lol @ the watermark. Don’t worry, we’re gonna buy the actual picture. 😉

We rode Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (I beat Jake!), Flik’s Flyers, the Haunted Mansion, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train (LOL, whatever, the scented gingerbread was bomb), both King Arthur and King Triton’s Carousels, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roaders, Monsters Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!, Pirates of the Caribbean, Silly Symphony Swings, and Star Tours. Doing the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean with our WoW guild mate, Baybdoll and her husband made those two rides extra special. We were also able to pick up lunch with them at the French Market Restaurant before they split off for more adventurous rides. (The French dip sandwich = fantastic, by the way.)

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Don’t forget your Dole Whip from the Enchanted Tiki Room as well! It’s ICONIC.

What was adorable was how the staff would take notice of my “First Visit” button and become more interactive with me. One of the attendants for Pirates teased me about the shirt I was wearing. (It had the Death Star with the quote “When you wish upon a star…”) Roz from the Monsters Inc ride singled me out, “Hey, girl in row two – NICE EARS.” (I wore glittery Minnie ears the entire trip.)

I got to meet Oswald, Pluto, Anna, Elsa, and BOBA FETT. When I saw Boba, I gasped SO loudly that his attendant quipped, “Wow, to suck all the oxygen out of the room!” (Boba, along with some other Star Wars characters are in a separate building called the Launch Bay, which is designed like it’s a shuttle bay straight out of the movie.) Little touches like that really made the experience all the better.

I’ve already told Jake that this experience made me want to eventually get an annual pass whenever I start teaching. Disney life, happy wife AM I RIGHT?!

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Oswald was the first character I met, right as we entered DCA. 🙂
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Pluto gives the best hugs.
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I met a notorious Bounty Hunter and lived!

Everyday Makeup 2.0

Considering the last time I wrote about my “daily” makeup routine was in 2013, I figured it was time to give it an update! 😉

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My twenty-eight-year-old skin differs from what it was like at twenty-four. Since y’all know I’m a sucker for a compare/contrast bullet list, here we go!

Similarities:
– I’m still ghostly pale.
– Foundation likes to oxidise orange and/or darker than my neck.
– Hereditary dark circles are my bane.

Differences:
– Skin went from combination (with dry patches) to dry-dehydrated.
– More intuitive skin care routine has my facial skin in a healthier place than when I was younger.
– I have the beginning of undereye wrinkles.
– ADULT ACNE.

So here’s what I use and why!

  1. Etude House Proof 10 Eyeshadow Primer. Proof 10 reminds me a lot of Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. (Even down to the original bottle shape, since UDPP is now in a squeezie tube!) The biggest difference between the two is that Etude House’s formula is thinner. A little goes a long way because it’s easy to blend into your skin. On days where I don’t wear shadow, I like to put a little of the primer on my eyelids because it gives a faint shimmer.
  2. Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil. I’ve been in love with this pencil since I first used it back in 2008. I’ve tried other brands and other formulas and I keep coming back to this tried and true pencil. It is fantastic in the water line because it stays put!
  3. Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Colour Correcting Fluid in “Peach”. I use this under my eyes and on acne spots as a little bit of camouflage. It’s a thin liquid so it doesn’t get clogged up in under eye lines. The CC effect isn’t SUPER heavyweight, it’s more natural looking.
  4. Too Faced’s Primed and Poreless Pressed Powder. I like to use Korean BB Creams and a lot of them have a “sheen” to them, as South Korean makeup focuses on bright, luminous skin. (The total opposite of the whole baked and matte trend here in the US!) I use a small amount of this powder to “set” my BB cream and make it less shiny.
  5. Shiseido Senka Aging Care UV Sunscreen SPF 50. I’ve been using this Japanese sunscreen as my facial primer, as it’s important to protect your skin from UV rays. It’s very moisturising and does a fantastic job at preventing sunburns! I wore it to Disneyland and while my partner got a bit of a burn, my face didn’t suffer any.
  6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “Auburn”. Very natural and easy to use! The auburn shade looks flattering with my hair and skin tone. I especially like that it has a spoolie on the opposite end for travel grooming purposes.
  7. Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick in “Ivory Babystar”. One of the biggest complaints about Asian eyeshadows vs. their Western counterpart is a lack of pigmentation. You kiss a lot of frogs before finding a holy grail!  I personally love this shadow; it’s subtle in its colour but BIG in sparkle. Plus, it’s easy peasy to work with.
  8. Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Blooming Fit in “N02 Light Beige”. I LOVE this BB cream. For one, it’s affordable. I’m used to spending $30+ on foundation and feeling meh about them. It’s lightweight, yet moisturising and a pretty good colour match. You can build up the coverage to medium, but I prefer to sheer it out.
  9. Etude House Lash Perm 3 Step Volumecara & Curling. I’ve been switching between Lash Perm and Diorshow and I have to say, I like Lash Perm better. You can build up the volume and length of your lashes by doing a coat at each of the “steps”, but I skip to step 3 and apply two-three coats, which makes my eyelashes look super long. The formula isn’t super wet, but it can be clumpy if you’re not careful.

And here’s what I look like wearing all of the above on an average day! Shoutout to my violently purple undereye circles; I’m on alternative endo medication that puts me into perimenopause (which has RUINED my ability to get restful sleep).

Shoutout to my sweet friend Kiki for gifting me a selfie ring light at BlizzCon, which is 100% why these pictures came out so clear. img_4672 img_4673

Note: I buy 90% of my Asian beauty products off of Amazon. Check seller’s feedback to make sure that they are the real deal! I have yet to run into any issues with buying fraudulent products, but I am very careful with who I purchase from. A lot of the sellers are direct from Japan / South Korea, but you can on occasion purchase Prime deals based in the US at a slightly higher mark up to get your goodies faster. The AsianBeauty SubReddit also has a master list of legitimate sellers and websites.

Life Lately

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Hi, yes, I suck with the blogging thing! Between full-time classes, a renewed interest in WoW, and being super lazy I have not updated since August. Here’s what’s been going on in my world since then.

In September, I turned 28. Umm guys, when did I get so close to 30? I do not fear ageing but last time I checked I was like, 22?! For my birthday, Jake planned a board game night with our good friends Ashlea and Sparkie and invited my high school bestie, Cynthia, to join us as a secret. That totally made my birthday! Our game night ended up being a fantastic time and I’m glad that everyone got along so well. I was the winner of one extremely hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity that ended with everyone else in a second-place tie. I was also surprised with a custom Commander Shepard cake that tasted heavenly (it was chocolate with chocolate ganache and a hidden sea-salt caramel layer) and a t-shirt quilt made out of some of my favourite sorority shirts.

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Commander Shepard cake with the Normandy SR2. Goes well with the Star Wars theme, yeah? 😛
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Delta Zeta quilt from my Mom. Such a touching present.

Later in the month, Jake and I visited Addison’s Oktoberfest with Ashlea and Sparkie. Beer remains disgusting in every form but hey, they were sponsored by Coca Cola so I got me a Diet Coke. Winky face. The fair foods were delicious (foot long bratwurst on a stick, anyone?) and we all purchased some artisan goods. Sparkie got this really intricate ink pen that looks like a dagger and we bought some soy candles for home.

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Best friends! (Some of the best scratch made sarsparilla I’ve tasted is in that Moscow mule cup.)

My Delta Zeta chapter, Iota Psi, was reinstated at UTA, so a bunch of alumnae got together to celebrate Bid Day with the new members. I finally got a cliche big-little picture with my adopted biggie!

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Me and Takara are much the same person, lol. I love her to death!
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Look at all those Dee Zees and friends! Do you see me? 0:)

Early October brought Jake’s 28th birthday. By his wishes, it was a low-key family day that started with breakfast doughnuts from his mom and ended with the biggest chocolate cake I’ve ever seen. I wasted a lot of time playing the Fallout 4 Nuka World expansion in anticipation of Disneyland. (HA!) While I hadn’t been keeping up with a solid gym routine, I managed to hit a non-scale victory of fitting back into 36″ band bras and American Eagle jeans. Happy dance! Also together, we celebrated the wedding of Jake’s nephew, John and his bride Karlei. The venue was gorgeous and it was really sweet seeing his dad and step-mom, Suzanne, dancing to every song. Who knew his dad had moves?!

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I love that they went with a cupcake table verses a more traditional tiered cake.
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Jake and his daddy. They look a lot alike.

Early November meant our trip to Anaheim for BlizzCon and Disneyland was finally a reality. I have a TON of say about both events so they will have their own blog entry. Expect that Soon(TM), along with a post of suggestions to make BlizzCon easier on people who suffer from extreme anxiety. Until then, I leave y’all with a non-descript Disney picture!

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Minnie ears and gigantic grins for the win!

Target’s August Beauty Box: Is it AWESOME or a FAIL?

I have never purchased a beauty box from Target because they tend to sell out quickly, so when I saw August’s “Back to School” themed box pop up on Slickdeals I HAD to jump on it!

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JUICE ORGANICS repairing shampoo and conditioner (10oz  $9.99 each) | SECRET clinical strength smooth solid deodorant in LIGHT AND FRESH (1.6oz $6.59) | CREST 3D Whitestrips professional effects (20 count $40.99) | UP&UP women’s 5 blade razors (5 count $10.39) | OLAY makeup remover wipes (25 count $4.99) | LANEIGE water sleeping mask (2.36oz $24.00) | COVERGIRL katy kat mascara (0.35oz $6.99 – full size) | NYC get it all lip colour in RED (0.13oz $2.99 – full size)

Okay, so I fully admit what made me pull the trigger on this box were the sample sizes of the Secret Clinical Strength deodorant and the makeup remover wipes. The deodorant is the type I use, so I threw it in with the other travel-friendly items I am collecting for BlizzCon. Olay’s remover wipes are not top favourite wipes because they burn my skin slightly upon use, but they do remove eye makeup efficiently. Within 30 seconds after use the stinging vanishes and they do not cause my skin to freak out, so into the sample stash they went!

The other items in the box are new to me, so here are my thoughts.

The Shampoo and Conditioner bundle

This team was sufficient enough. I was surprised at the amount of lather in the shampoo because “natural” products tend to lack the sudsy effect. There is not a strong coconut scent to either the shampoo or conditioner, which disappointed me. I thought it smelled like chemical-laden grape juice with coconut water? Very odd!

After blow-drying, my hair was soft and shiny, with my natural hair texture (weird semi-waves) shining through. Got to say, though – I am glad the weird-ass scent did not stick around outside of the shower!

2.5/5

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My hair after washing and conditioning with the Juice Organics bundle.
Crest 3D Whitestrips LUXE

I hate samples like this. How would ONE APPLICATION of Whitestrips do anything positive, when it takes about a week for a course of whitening applications to start removing yellowing? Pfffft, I say! I do plan on starting a whitening regimen in October, so I will be hanging onto the sample for one extra application.

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Up & Up Women’s 5 Blade Razors

Oh hey, women’s razors! I buy men’s to avoid the pink tax, so these are new to me. The pretty pink body has a soft grippy plastic so you do not fumble while shaving. (Ouch.) I tossed one into my BlizzCon stash and put the second in the bathroom.

The one downside is that you need to use plenty of moisturiser after shaving because these oddly dry out your skin. That little pink strip of “botanical oils” does not do anything to help!

3/5

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Oh boy, oh boy! This is one of the items I was SUPER EXCITED to try! The mask itself has a thick consistency with a nice cooling effect. It does not take much to cover your face and neck, so I can see this generous sample lasting a while.

After two nights of using it in place of my Origins Nite-A-Mins face moisturiser, I can say it does its job to keep my pores tight and skin feeling soft and moisturised. The product also sinks into your skin quickly, so you do not end up with most of it on your pillow! The downside is that it only seems to moisturise; there are no brightening or anti-aging qualities. It is also highly fragranced, so if you are sensitive to fragrances, I would skip it! Since I am not, I can safely say that this product is the bee’s knees.

4/5

Covergirl Katy Kat Mascara

Ooh, a full-sized mascara! Since the box was $7, you could say that you bought the mascara and got the rest of the box for free. Wink.

I had yet to find a Covergirl mascara I genuinely like, but I pushed that thought aside while I put my face on for the day so I could review the Katy Kat mascara without bias.

Okay. So. The formula is very, very wet. Even when being careful, I ended up smudging it under my eyes and on my eyelids and having to take a makeup remover wipe to it. That was irritating! The mascara is prone to clumping, so you have to brush a lot of the mascara off onto the tube before applying and brush your lashes apart after applying. On the positive side, if you like your mascara’s super dark, this one delivers that.

1/5

NYC Get It All Lip Colour in IncREDdible

The second full-sized product in the box.

I need another red lipstick like I need a hole in my head, so I will be passing this along to my niece. It is nice that it came in shrinkwrap – very hygienic!

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Total Score: 10.5/20 – FAIL

Out of all the new products I was introduced to, I will only be interested in possibly repurchasing one going forward.

Astoundingly beautiful Fallout 4 mods you NEED to know about

While I love Fallout 4, there’s something about the environment of the Commonwealth that bothers me. I’m obviously not a climatologist by profession but 210 years after atomic destruction, shouldn’t there be more regrowth and flora blooming across the state? The Commonwealth in its vanilla state feels flat, and after significant time invested… it’s somewhat even boring. The desolation of the Mojave worked in New Vegas because of the arid temperament of the southwestern United States. Coastal New England? Not so much.

Enter some bad ass mods that breathe new life into the Commonwealth. Unique cloud formations! Gorgeous sunsets! Overgrowth on bridges! Moss overtaking old buildings! Weeds! Flowers! Vegetation! CORAL REEFS! What was once a stagnant, lifeless world has come to life in glorious colour.


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MODS USED