Archive for July, 2013

Cosmetics recommendation: Benefit’s Sugarlicious kit

July 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Benefit has partnered with Sephora to release kits containing some of their most popular items like Benetint. For a little under 30 dollars, I present Sugarlicious:

Benefit’s Sugarlicious kit

This package contains a mini Sugarbomb cheek powder, High Beam, Benetint, and a Sugarbomb lip gloss. I’m the type of person that doesn’t really like to go too deep into the bronzer territory, so this combination provides a nice pinkish color to your cheeks. I also like High Beam for its highlighter ability. Plus, it’s all very easy to apply 🙂

This is a great way to experience several products from their line without breaking the bank too badly. There are instructions that are included in the kit to show you how to apply them, which is always helpful. I know there’s a video specifically for this package out there, so if I find it I’ll add it to this post.

Sounds for the Summer silly season (music review)

July 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Queens of the Stone Age


Over the past few months a few new titles have been released that I felt the need to review. The first was Queens of the Stone Age’s “…Like Clockwork”.

If you like QOTSA’s previous brand of dirty rock (and I do), this is a departure from that style of in your face riffs and swagger. In this album, Josh Homme actually gets introspective. The songs are more downtempo on the whole (sexier in a twisted way, even?) and have a reference in his previous brush with death on the surgery table during a knee operation. Listen to this album in comparison to their earlier material, and note the difference. It’s a great album with not a filler song to be had.

Here is one of the more uptempo tracks; “My God is the Sun”. Enjoy:

The other album to be reviewed:

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories


Perhaps this is the season for introspection. Daft Punk’s return to the music arena shows the Robots getting jiggy with the disco roots of electronic music. With Nile Rodgers along for the ride, they get funky and sexier starting with the juggernaut single “Get Lucky”. You all know that song, everyone’s heard it at least once. Don’t lie 😛

My favorite track so far is “Lose Yourself to Dance”. Gets the head bobbing before you even realize what is happening.

Note: If you’re looking for tracks similar in tempo to “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” or “Da Funk”, don’t look here. If you’re looking for some of the funk, then stick around and enjoy the ride.

Movie review: Pacific Rim (spoilers possible) – oh, and a little True Blood (major spoiler)

July 21, 2013 2 comments

Believe it or not, I hadn’t made a trip to the movie theatre since spring. Yes, summer is the time for blockbusters, but until a couple of weeks ago there really wasn’t a flick I wanted to brave the large crowds to watch. Until, Pacific Rim.

If you’ve ever watched anime or even Godzilla, you’d get the “drift” of this movie very quickly. Large alien creatures (Kaiju) want to destroy the Earth, and large robots with human handlers (Jaegers) are created to fight them. Right there would be enough for me to watch this. Add the fact that Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) directed this movie, and I’m sold right then and there.

Pacific Rim is what Transformers was trying to be, but didn’t quite get there, in my humble opinion. I wonder how much better it would have been in del Toro’s capable hands instead of Michael Bay’s. Hmmm… food for thought.

Starring Idris Elba (Prometheus, Luther), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and of course, Ron Perlman (it is a del Toro flick after all), Pacific Rim is worth a 1st and even 2nd viewing at the theatre. I plan to watch it again very soon.

Here be major True Blood Spoilers! (below):

Robert Kuzinsky (Chuck Hansen) is currently starring in True Blood as Warlow/Ben. He’s the only half fae/half vampire that can hang out during the day. I know Sookie was promised to him long ago, but damn it, she should be with Eric! He’s kind of busy with the vampire killers, but at some point things will calm down again. Maybe next season.

Healthy choices when you’re on the go and need to stay fueled

July 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Fruit ‘n Yogurt – delicious!

Breakfast Woes

This morning I unexpectedly had to come into work early, so I did not have my usual breakfast at home. One bad habit of mine is driving by the local gas station and stopping in for a breakfast taco. Sounds weird, right? Believe it or not, the local Stripes convenience stores have staff who make hot, fresh, made to order breakfast tacos that are delicious. But, they’re not exactly diet-friendly, for so many reasons.

My usual go to breakfast includes the following:

  • 1 large egg + 7 egg whites, scrambled and topped with a little bit of shredded cheese and picante sauce (my favorite is Pace Extra Mild)
  • 1 packet plain Quaker oatmeal, with sweetener

The above nets about 350 calories, 8 grams of fat and 35 grams of protein. Sure, there are carbs (about 20 grams, for those counting), but if you work out more than 90 minutes a day, you need some to keep your energy levels up. I watch my carb intake, but I’m not overly concerned about it for the most part. When I was keeping a much stricter eye on them, I was having issues with my energy levels when I’d get to martial arts classes later in the day. Once I eased up on the strict carb intake, I had more energy to burn.

That’s just what works for me though; your energy needs may be different from mine.

So, back to the problem I had… what choices can I pick up that won’t throw me off the rest of the day? We talked about tacos, which aren’t really an option. There’s other restaurants around like Burger King, Subway, and Jack in the Box. Who had the best healthy choice this morning?

Believe it or not, it was McDonald’s.

Their new Egg White Delight consists of a whole grain English muffin, egg whites, white cheddar cheese, and the usual Canadian bacon. Total damage: 250 calories, 7 grams of fat, 18 g of protein, and 32 grams of carbs. The hash browns are loaded with the bad stuff, so what’s an alternative side?

Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait (without granola) to the rescue!

At 120 calories, 4 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of Fat, and 24 grams of carbs, it’s the perfect sweet treat to satisfy.

A decent healthy breakfast at 370 calories is a great way to start the day.

Protein Bars and Shakes

I do strength training throughout the week, both in class and out. It’s important for women especially to build good muscle. I know a lot of females shy away from it because they don’t want to bulk up. The fact of the matter is, unless you’re eating 5000 calories a day and power lifting constantly, you will not bulk up.

The old argument that I’ve heard thousands of times is a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. If you look at strictly what a pound is, then yes it does. A pound of something is a pound of something is a pound of something. However, a pound of muscle is way more dense than a pound of fat and takes up much less room. So take two women who weigh about 160 lbs and are about the same height. One of them strength trains and has put on muscle, and the other does not. Guess which one looks leaner and more toned?

To stave off the soreness that can happen with strength training, I’ve been increasing my protein intake in the foods that I eat. I also partake in protein bars and shakes in between meals to supplement my diet and keep me from dying of the hunger.

You have to be careful with bars and shakes. Some of them are considered meal replacements. Sure they have 20 g of protein, but are also a staggering 370 calories a pop!

The downside to bars and shakes is that they can get a bit pricy, but unfortunately in this country, it’s cheaper to eat bad things than good.

Two options that I recommend:

Quest Protein bars (I like the Chocolate Brownie one):

Quest Bars nutritional information

Pretty decent for 170 calories, 6 grams of fat and 1 gram of sugar, yeah?

And then there’s the EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control line of protein shakes:

These particular shakes are great because they top out at 110 calories (depending on flavor), 3 grams of carbs, and 17 grams of protein. And they taste great. My favorite is the Rich Dark Chocolate. Plus, they’re pretty inexpensive, relatively speaking. A pack of 4 will run you a little under 5 bucks at Wal Mart. I make sure to drink one of these at maximum a half hour after training to help the muscles recuperate and limit soreness.

So there you have it; my little spiel on nutrition. As always, I’m still on the journey to health and swole, but I can definitely say that I’ve been seeing great results with adopting a healthier eating style and having a great fitness program. Martial arts + Yoga/Pilates + strength training keeps me working hard and constantly challenged and motivated.

The hardest part to all this is finding your personal combination of fitness and nutrition so you can stick with it. It’s entirely doable, but it all depends on you.

Happy training!

The Making of… King of The Hill (if you’ve never seen it)

July 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Hank and Bobby bonding over grilling.

KOTH is one of my all time favorite shows, and I “just” found the making of documentary on Youtube. Enjoy 🙂 I know I did.

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