Category: fashion

What I’m Listening, Reading, Viewing and Doing

Sorry it has been a few days since my last post. I have been a little overwhelmed getting ready for my upcoming trip to Spain. I am trying to make sure my youtube channel isn’t dormant during that time so I am trying to get my Family Movie Night, Friday 5’s and Disney Canon Project videos all pre-filmed and scheduled before the trip. Of course, this requires watching all the films, taking notes, filming and editing the videos. No small task. Last weekend I finished all of the Friday 5s for when I’m gone.


I also did last week’s Friday 5 which was songs not in your native language and I went with Hawaiian music!


So last weekend I filmed the Friday 5 for a lot of fun upcoming topics. And I also filmed reviews for Finding Nemo, The Goofy Movie, Independence Day, Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron and 3 unboxing reviews. You can see the Finding Nemo review here.  I should be able to see Finding Dory tomorrow and post the review so keep an eye out for that.

On Monday I got to see an early screening for a new comedy called Central Intelligence and that was really funny. I genuinely laughed a lot.

And then today I did a podcast with my friend Tom on the 3rd Star Trek Movie- Star Trek 3: The Search for Spok

Not only have I had video reviews but also written reviews for my blog and my column for .Make sure you check all of that content out.  In addition I have done some posts for including a review of Make Mine Music and a piece that got a lot of discussion going on The Lego Movie and The Other Pixar Films. I’m tired just reading all of that! Nobody can accuse me of not creating enough content!


But it’s not all viewing I also have done some reading.  Recently I read Lady Susan and Love and Friendship the more obscure Jane Austen novels and loved them. It’s so funny with Love and Friendship Austen feels like a teenager of today complaining about her parents (she wrote it when she was between 11-15). Lady Susan has Austen’s most devious and selfish heroine but she is hilarious. I loved the book and the movie. Check out my review of the movie here. 

I have also finished reading I Am Malala for book club and found it very moving. Here’s my goodreads review:

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanI Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s not going to win any awards for great writing but sometimes life is just captivating on it’s own. I really loved learning about Malala’s family most of all. Her Dad seems like the coolest guy and her Mom as well. The fact they all spoke out at great risk and then had to deal with their daughter getting shot in the face is pretty remarkable. I felt like I got to know her well and that it wasn’t just a fluff type biography. It worked for me.

View all my reviews

I also read Burning Glass a fairly mediocre YA novel but it had some campy fun and good kissing scenes:

Burning Glass (Burning Glass, #1)Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I started out hating it as another YA love triangle, strong mystical woman book but after a while it won me over. It’s extremely silly but I felt it embraced the campy world. The kissing scenes were fun and it was all very over the top with auras melding together and an extremely silly bad guy. Definitely too long and drawn out for how silly it is but I had some fun with it. I don’t think I enjoyed it in the way the author was intending however. It’s pretty dumb. So if you are expecting a great fantasy read than you will probably be disappointed. If you want an over the top campy romance with fantasy elements than you might have fun with it.

I got my first taste of open water for the year last week with my friend Etsuko. That was so much fun! I can’t wait to be in Spain and swimming my heart out.

etsuko and rachel

I got 3 new swimsuits for my trip and I think they are pretty cute!

3 swimsuitsAnd I got my new passport so I am ready to go!

passportFinally I went and saw the Broadway touring company of Newsies and it was everything I wanted and more. I have a lot of nostalgia for the film and the Broadway musical has made it even better. It was so much fun! I also got to do it with the Utah Theater Lovers who I’ve wanted to meet up with for some time. I hope I will continue to be able to see more things with them.

newsies2Finally we had our first meeting Sunday of the new Midsingles Ward and it was amazing! I felt such a good spirit there and I know it is where I need to be. I can’t wait until some activities start and things really start going.

So all in all things are going pretty good in my life. I’m certainly staying busy. I hope things are going well for you.

500 Channel Subscribers and Next Week


Very excited to tell you that I have 500 subscribers to my channel.  Thank you to any of you that have subscribed.  I really appreciate all the support I have gotten from this blog in so many ways. You have no idea what it has and will continue to mean to me.

Just wanted to let you guys know that I am going to be going on a business trip tomorrow. It’s the first time I will be meeting my boss and coworkers in person and I am really excited (and a little nervous if I’m honest!).  I got new suitcoats so hopefully I will fit right in.

business suitsAnyway, I am not sure how much I will be able to post but I will do my best.  If I go a week to 10 days sorry!  Love you guys and wish me luck.  I am so grateful for this blog that really gave me this job.  It got the ball rolling and has helped me reach my dreams so thank you to all of you!

We will talk next week!!

Youtuber Confessions

I usually try and keep my youtube channel and this blog separate but since this is just about me and my videos I thought I would share it with all of you.  Thank you so much for all the support.  I couldn’t have gotten this job without all of you reading this blog over 7 years.  Thank you , thank you, thank you

Straight and Blue Hair Tutorial

1972532_10152157768842239_1911689711_nHey guys! So today I must admit I felt beautiful.  My whole look came together in a way that doesn’t always happen.  I got a lot of positive feedback so I thought it would be fun to dissect the look so that you could try it out. This is something new for the blog so let me know what you think.

10152535_10152157765057239_115113178_nThe whole look is based on starting out with straight hair.  Some of the rules for straightening hair as curly and as long as mine is

1. It must be completely dry.  Any rain or moisture will make it curl up quickly.

2. Have at least an hour (I don’t do it very often because it takes a long time and to be honest my arm gets sore holding up the hair and flat ironing it.)

3. Make sure to use an iron guard to protect your hair from getting too fried.

So let’s start with the flat iron.  I have several but when I am straightening all my hair and it’s as long as it currently is (haven’t cut it since September) I use my full size iron.  These are hard to find and I couldn’t find a great link for you.

I got mine probably 5 years ago from a beauty supply shop that my stylist got me into.  This is the closest I found

P1010512I like to start with dry hair. I usually shower the night before and then do the treatment in the morning.  It wouldn’t make a huge difference but saves you from having to blow dry your hair and given the beating it’s going to take that is a good thing.

Make sure to get the back of your hair and the underneath layers (that’s the part that takes the longest). I also have it on the highest setting because my hair is so curly that’s what it takes which is why…

You must use some protecting treatment on your hair.  My 2 favorites are:

CHI Iron Guard- I’ve had this bottle for years so it is $14 well spent.  It protects your hair from the heat and helps it look silky and smooth. It looks like hair spray but it’s not. You can’t feel it after it is applied and then your flat iron is used, and I put it on quite liberally.

P1010513and VO5 Make It Straight Gel with Heat Protection.  A little of this goes a long way, but I couldn’t even tell you how long I’ve had this bottle. This is also hard to find but here’s a link but they are out of stock.

There are several different variations now of V05 straightening products but the reviews aren’t as good so I don’t know whether to recommend them.

P1010514I also make sure my hair is as tangle free as possible.  This usually means it is puffy and a mess before starting.  I have been enjoying this dry conditioner I got as a birchbox bonus item.

P1010517Then I literally spend an hour taking each section spraying iron guard and then flat ironing it.  Once I’m finished a section I use a high quality hair spray to set the area.

For today’s look I added blue streaks throughout using my latest friend Hot Huez Hair Chalk (any hair chalk will work fine but this is wildly available at Wallgreens and is under $15 for 4 colors).

101_PANAOnce you’ve applied the chalk set with hairspray again.  Also use a little bit of rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to get rid of any chalk on your face. This wears down after a few hours so I wouldn’t recommend it for an all-day affair like a wedding unless you have blonde hair but for an evening out or afternoon it’s a lot of fun.

Another good thing about the hair chalk is that it is just subtle enough to surprise people without being garish or over-the-top.  I love it.

So that was my hair.  Now for my makeup, which I think turned out great too.

Blue Hair Rachel 1First I used my borghese brightening cream foundation. I got this in one of my boxes and I love it.  It’s light and helps with my redness without feeling cakey.

borgheseNext, I used Avon You’re Blushing Plum stick.  I’ve had this forever too, so definitely worth the cost. It’s so easy to apply and doesn’t look heavy (I’m not normally a blush fan).

P1010525For lips I used a Lip Do from Model and Co, which is one of my favorite brands of late.  A birchbox favorite I actually got this duo in my recent Popsugar Must Have box and I really like both the lipstick and lip gloss. The feel is really good.  It lasts a long time and doesn’t dry out my lips.

Here’s a great deal for all 3 color sets and their mascara

101_PANA1For my eyes I used 2 products-

NYC Eyeliner Duet You’ve Got the Power 883. In this case I just used the gray not the black side.  I got this in a box at some point but it is a low cost very useful liner.

P1010523Next I used Covergirl Bombshell Shine Shadow Ice Queen as the eye shadow above the liner.  This is a sample I got in my Birchbox Finds box which featured products from your local pharmacy such as Wallgreens. It’s a really good shadow and not overly glittery or clumpy (I crease really bad with my eye shadow) P1010524I think that is everything.  Let me know what you think of this concept.  Is this something you’d like to see more of?

Some of the photography I will try to do better next time.  The samples are small that the camera struggles to, but I enjoyed experimenting with it.

Have any of you used any of these products or companies?  Do you flat iron your hair?  What do you think of the look? I really felt beautiful and that’s of course more important than anything else.

Purple Hair

Shameless plug


Before starting this entry I want to put in a plug for my youtube channel.  I have just organized my videos by category- swim, faith, boxing, singing, health, food subscriptions, makeup subscriptions and lifestyle subscriptions.

Even if you don’t go on youtube much I would really appreciate it if you could subscribe to my channel, maybe like a few of my videos. I’d love to make the videos more professional, create an intro, maybe review some movies.  I have lots of ideas, so if you feel so inclined head over to


Ok.  So back to the real story.  Growing up my Mother made it very clear if either my sister and I got a tattoo or dyed our hair we would be in big trouble (more for the tattoo but still).   At least that was the impression I had.

I also thought my mother didn’t want me to wear make up which wasn’t true so who knows what her real stance was?  Anyway, she at the least discouraged it but I think part of that is she always loved my natural color of hair, as do I.

That said, I did always wonder what it would be like to have blonde hair or black, something different.  Now mind you I have had basically the same hair style since I was 15 years old (past shoulder, usually curly/wavy with long layers).  This is me at 17 and it’s pretty much never changed:

seniorI had one ill advised attempt at short hair in college which I thankfully do not have a photo of and I vowed to never go short again, especially really short.  My feeling is that once you have short pixie cut you can never go back because the growing out process is so awkward most give up.

A short bob that I had at one point made me look like a poodle because the curls were very pronounced at that length.   Anyway, I’ve always had the same hair and liked it.


On my mission I didn’t get my hair cut one time because I didn’t trust anyone and didn’t want to use precious break time to do it (I was always hoping for a comp who was a stylist but no luck) .  This is me in the last month of my mission.


You can see how long and scraggly it got but I still kind of like it.  My mission was like a pressure cooker of stress, emotion, panic and exaltation and I noticed the within the first 6 months I noticed a gray hair and then another and more.

By the time I went home I had a lot and it was honestly quite upsetting.  I had enough things going against me with my weight and general awkwardness, gray hairs seemed unfair!

I go in spurts where I like to color my own hair but I never cut it by myself
I go in spurts where I like to color my own hair but I never cut it by myself

So, it wasn’t soon after I got home that I started coloring my hair.  Not because I don’t like my color but because I didn’t want the increasingly prominent grays to show.  I have one spot on the left side of my head that is almost entirely gray roots if I did not color it and I’m just not ready for that.  As the divine Nora Ephron said:

“There’s a reason why forty, fifty, and sixty don’t look the way they used to, and it’s not because of feminism, or better living through exercise. It’s because of hair dye. In the 1950’s only 7 percent of American women dyed their hair; today there are parts of Manhattan and Los Angeles where there are no gray-haired women at all.”

Well said.  Once I had given into the idea of hair dye I wondered what sort of colors I should pick.  Most of the time I go with something fairly similar to my natural color because that’s what I like but occasionally I’ve added tints of red, black, and even auburn.  I tend to shy away from highlights because they are so hard and expensive to maintain (plus they don’t really help with the gray problem).

This is me after my last cut and color.  I have colored it once by myself since then.
This is me after my last cut and color. I have colored it once by myself since then.

Nevertheless, I still wanted to try something bolder but never had the guts.  Blonde, maybe a streak of pink, green or purple would be so much fun, but it’s such a big risk and it’s my hair, my beautiful hair.  😉  So I kept it the relatively the same.

Then the other day I was at Wallgreen’s and I always stop by the ‘as seen on tv’ section usually for a good laugh but I saw these:

hot huezHAIR CHALK!  I had never heard of such a thing!  The package is $15.95 for 4 colors (about 2 treatments per palate) and it washes away in one shampoo (more for blonde hair).  I brought it home and gave the purple a try and here’s what it looked like

purple hair 1
It looks like I have short hair in this picture but I don’t.

purple hair 2 I must say I was kind of stunned with how good it looked.  It made me feel happy to see my face in the mirror.  Something about the purple is energizing and alive.  Dont you agree?  Everyone I have talked to loves the purple hair.  I got tons of positive feedback today at church, and my social networking friends on instagram, facebook and twitter have been resoundingly positive.

I have to admit that it has made me wonder.  Should I go purple?  What do you guys think?  Is it too out there for everyday?

I mean I think I could give Katy Perry a run for her money…

katy-perry-premiere-3I would have to find someone to do it that I really trusted which has been tough lately.  I wouldn’t let just anyone dye my hair purple.  Thoughts?

Happy Halloween 2013

For some reason October has historically been a tough month for me.  I think with the end of summer and cold weather my psyche rebels and is unusually sensitive to everything around me.  Sometimes I just feel sadness and it won’t go away, like a pit deep in my stomach trying to drag me down.

I don’t always have a good reason but it just seems to happen that way.  Do you have periods of the year that you are more susceptible than others to the blues?  March is also a tough month because it feels like winter is never going to end.

At least there is Halloween to look forward to in October.  Growing up my Mom made costumes for us every other year and we gathered quite box of dress-ups to play with throughout the year.  I was everything from Raggedy Anne, to Sleeping Beauty to Pocahontas.   Then during my college years Halloween kind of died out and I stopped dressing up (you think that would be prime dressing up time but not for me).

I went on a mission and one Halloween we were angels with little halos and another we wore fairy wings to the ward party.  When I got home I lived in Orem and then moved to American Fork with Megan and Camille.  During our 2 years as roommates we threw some great Halloween parties and I started dressing up again  I was Tracy Turnblat from Hairspray, a Geisha, and Dorothy.

We kept the tradition of the Halloween party going for a while but as is usually the case people moved, things changed and last year I found myself not doing much for Halloween.  Luckily I invited my friend Rachel McGary over and we had soup in pumpkins and chatted.  I also went to a church dance where I dressed up as superwoman.

This year came and October was particularly grueling what with date-gate and the great church meltdown I was hoping to do something for Halloween but nothing was coming up so I didn’t get a costume.  Then my ward announced a party on the 30th and my friend Melissa invited me to her Halloween party.

So, I began the happy task of finding a costume!  It was a welcome distraction believe me. I am not a sewer so that leaves me with either assembled costumes or purchasing a costume.  I usually go for the latter but it can be difficult as I am out of the sizes of some costumes and I don’t want anything with the word ‘sexy’ before it (it’s so strange how many things they are able to make sexy for Halloween!).

Eventually I settled on a witch and I am thrilled with how my costume turned out.  I think it looks like Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter.  What do you think?  I love it!

What are all of you doing for Halloween?  Whatever it is, I hope it is very happy and full of a lot more treats than tricks.  Sure love ya!

mcgonagall halloween2

Gwynnie Bee

Hi guys! I wanted to tell you about a cool new service for plus size fashion.  Readers of this blog may remember my feelings on plus size fashion as featured on this blog 

However, bad fashion aside one of the problems bigger girls like me has is that our sizes can fluctuate greatly depending on a ton of different factors.   I’ve changed sizes in as quick as a month both on the upswing and downswing.  This can be extremely discouraging and expensive.  Most of the time it leaves us girls wearing frumpy clothes that are too lose or tight (both depressing).  You don’t feel pretty but you don’t want to invest in new clothing that you may only wear for a couple of months.  So you end up buying something cheap that is hardly flattering.  Basically you settle.

Well, someone has finally figured out a solution to this problem.  Its called Gwynnie Bee.  It is basically the netflix of clothes.  You log on to the site and then build up your ‘closet’ full of shirts, skirts, dresses and blazers (no pants for some reason?) and all of them are size 10 to 30 and designer names.  You can then pick a plan ranging from $35 for one piece of clothing, $59 for 2, $79 for 3.  For basically the price of a pair of jeans you can look fresh and new.

It only takes 2 days to send you your clothes and it includes a usps bag to seal up the garments when you are finished.  Then in 2-4 days you get the next items on your list.  Here’s an overview

Don’t you think that is a clever idea?  My only concern is that I need pretty modest clothes because of my religion and they have too many short dresses (I am also 5 ‘8 so what is short to me may be just right for some).  Right now you can try for free for 30 days.

What do you guys think?

2 of the looks I got in my gwnnie bee.  What do you think?
2 of the looks I got in my gwnnie bee. What do you think?

What’s In My Purse: Bag Tag

So there is a little youtube trend of showing your viewers what’s in your purse.  I think the idea is that it tells  the viewer something about you, your style and what products you want closest to you.  I don’t know if any of you will find this interesting but I decided to join the bandwagon and make a video of my purse.

Any surprises?

I love that I have not only 1 but 2 swim caps.  Only an open water swimmer! I also got my wallet from Sole Desires.  They are a fun company in my area that gives you the chance to host a shoe party.  They bring a trailer full of shoes and you and your friends can get great deals.  They also have handbags, purses and clothing.  I did my shoe party in 2011 but my wallet is still doing fine.  I would love to do another party if anyone is interested (the last one I threw hardly anyone came).

What essentials do you all have in your purse?

Memorable Jewelry

Lately my fashion has been lacking (really for like the last 2 years!).  I just haven’t been able to get my style back since I lost the initial weight.  I like the styles from around 2005 dark or bright colors, structured colors, slimming waist line, lower waist jeans.  It seems like everything the last few years has been very ruffly, light, pale, vintagy and just not me.

Part of the problem is I am always coming from either the pool or the gym.  A lot of my life ends up being in workout clothes or swimsuits.  I haven’t quite figured that out yet.  Plus, I work from home so sometimes the motivation to have real fashion just isn’t there.  Especially when I don’t like the fashions anyway.

One thing I have developed over the years is a little jewelry collection.  Nothing expensive but a lot of pieces that have meaning. I wear them and I feel they express who I am at that moment.  They remind me of who I am and help me get through hard times.

I prefer necklaces that are longer (around 18′) and that have one distinct feature so I can wear it with many outfits.  The nice thing about necklaces is that they always fit no matter what size I am 🙂

Here are some of my favorites (all of these I got over time and most under $20)

2 sea glass necklaces. I love the idea of carrying a piece of the sea next to my heart always. Non-elephant piece purchased at  Elephant from
The moon to remind me to dream big. Purchased at
Sloth necklace. Wear it when I’m in one of my workaholic modes. Purchased at
This is probably my most prized necklace. I bought it at a dark spot in 2007. It reminds me to be bold, happy and free.  I bought it at Dear Lizzie in Highland.
I got this one earlier this year when going through a tough time. God is bigger. I hold it close to my heart.  This is purchased from  They will stamp any saying on your jewelry.
Swim necklace, need I say more! Purchased at
This is another one I love. It is a mustard seed from Matthew 17:20. “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” From I think it was $12

Anyway, what collections do you have? Why are they special to you?  I know its just a material possession but if I lost my bird necklace I would be devastated.  I love it.