Raise your hand if you've ever watched the movie Ratatouille, and wondered what it was all about! Raise your other hand if you kept misspelling ratatouille while trying to write this blog post!

Sorry guys, I have no hands left to write this deal,  I'll have to use my elbows. Toes? Nose maybe? It's just sitting there taking up a whole lotta room on my face, being completely useless so... I guess it can get a job.

This is not going in the direction I expected..but when do these posts ever make any sense, ya know?

hashtag rambling.

 Let me tell you some stories instead.

Once upon a time, Costco carried the most magnificent jar of ratatouille sauce. It was spectacularly seasoned, (oh snap! I forgot to put an ingredient on my recipe! I'm gonna have to redo it again. sheesh. carry on....) and made for a great pasta sauce. But as all wonderful things go at Costco, they kept it just long enough for me to fall in love before the swiped it away forever and ever. I have tried to find this glorious food item other places, to no avail. Its been so long now, that I don't even remember the deets on it.

Once upon another time, many many times actually, my madre made her own version of ratatouille, basically throwing in any vegetables the fridge contained with a bowl of noodles and chicken strips.

Twice upon a time, I decided to stop eating meat so that I could get some sleep at night, and also don't eat starches in the evening, and had no idea what to eat for dinner any more. 
Enter ratatouille.

It is a great recipe for a quickish dinner, with no grains or meat products needed. (although, you can certainly add them in) I have a recipe here for ya, but feel free to live a little and mix it up however you please! Add a little more of this, or a little less of that, it don't matter! I, as the girl with garlic running through her veins, will add more garlic on occasion (less if I don't have enough;) or throw in some other vegetables I may have on hand.

Here it is! Ratatouille recipe version 8.3.

Enjoy! xoxo


Red Apple Lipstick

I spent all day today editing pictures...that I also took today...of myself.  Alright, I admit I have a problem. But I got a haircut...and I needed a new picture over there > > So, I mean it was the right thing to do.

But it reminded me that I haven't posted the iPhone selfie explosion that is my Red Apple Lipstick review!

So lets do it! Then I can pretend once again that I did something productive, when I really haven't. This week has just been a wash I think, I'm calling it already. Mayyyybe Friday I'll actually cook something. {insert crossed fingers emoji}

Spotify just pushed out Lips Are Moving into the air, and I feel like all the stars have aligned to help inspire this post tonight. Thanks Meghan Trainer, and you too stars.

Awhile back I posted about how I am trying to purchase beauty products that are definitely gluten free, and also free of all the other junk that they put in cosmetics these days. I also have mentioned somewhere, possibly multiple times, about my new found desire for lipstick. If you were to find yourself pondering Pinterest one night, while watching a Gilmore Girls marathon, waiting for your nail polish to dry, like I have on many occasions...you would see on said Pinterest a plethora of shiny colorful lips. Most of them are advertising how to make your lips like Kylie Jenner, but unless your color stick comes infused with Botox, I don't think thats possible. Just my humble opinion.

Over the years, I have often seen advertisements for this gluten free cosmetic company, Red Apple Lipstick. A few other bloggers have mentioned them, Facebook often pops up their adds, and many a allergy magazines have their sticks plastered across their pages. I finally got the hint. You can stop stalking me now, thanks.

So a couple of months ago, I ordered my first lipstick. I needed a good red lip, and they had about a million different shades to choose from. I chose the Red 101 and Rebel, both blue based reds to go with my pasty-white skin. Some call it porcelain, I just call it a sun magnet. 

They were both perfect. The Red 101 is a brighter funner red, while the Rebel is a little bit darker and more muted. 
Then I got an email from RAL, talking about their buy one get one sale, and because I'm a sucker for those emails I bought some more. 
I got an email today in fact, from Zappos saying they were going to  stop sending me emails since I never click on them. Thats because they don't give me deals, and I promise I won't miss that extra email every day, when I have about fifty other stores not taking the hint. But not you Gap, I love it when you send me little love letters asking me to come back to you.
Now I've realized I haven't bought anything from Gap in a while, and I'm getting really sidetracked... I need help.
Anyhoo, I bought an even darker shade of red, because I'm weird and I already seem to be a vampire so I might as well have vampy lips too, right? I also got a nudeish stick, because I felt I should. 

The darker red is Ravishing, and the nudey pink is Oh My Guava. Choosing a neutral color was incredibly difficult, let me tell ya. Thankfully, they have a girl modeling all the shades so you can sorta tell what they will look like. I was sitting there trying to decide for like a million years, then went with the Oh My Guava, which I loooove. I wear it almost everyday, when I remember to think about it.
Buuut, knowing that you have such a hard life decision to make, they offer little sample sizes. Which I got and also looooved the runner ups I had. So theres that.

They also sent me a sample with both of my orders, so I got extra to try!

I wasn't really a lipstick wearer back in the dark days, of pre-celiac. But I'm pretty positive the regular unhealthy drugstore varieties are not any better then these non cancer forming sticks. But thats just my two-cents.

Here is my face, unedited on a forward facing iPhone camera, showing you each of the lip colors I have tried. I know, I know, you can thank me later.
The problem I have is I loved them all. 
I am obsessed with the Audrey, and the New York, ahhh and Petal Rebel. They are all perfect everyday lips.
Coral crush I loved color wise, but I fell like with my skin it takes a very special makeup situation or I look like a just stepped out of the Claire's two dollar makeup station. read:cheap. So I have to remember to go really light on the eyes and brows to make it work, which I never think about until after I already finished my face.
And lets talk about the Fierce for a second, I really wanted this one in a tube. I changed my mind, and got the Ravishing instead, and Thank goodness for that. I actually really liked it, but no way on this earth would I ever go out in public wearing it. I'm not brave enough for that yet.
The last photo is the Almost Red lipliner that I also got, It is too dark to use with the Red 101, but I have used it with both the Ravishing and Rebel, and also Fierce. I feel a little more confident in the way my lipstick is going to work out, with a liner under it-so I will have to order a nude one soon I think.

And speaking of buying things, because a deal is pushed on me...

I also got the lip exfoliated and balm duo, because the internet made me do it.

The internet also made me just look at all their new colors, and now I want them. Its your fault, you made me link up all the colors I got. Sheesh.

I do need some spring fresh colors here pretty soon though...

Red Apple Lipstick also has some other makeup choices, such as mascara, eyeshade and liner. I have not tried these yet though, so I can't tell you how they work.

They are online only, so you can't go to a store and look at the colors or anything, but they do have a help course on how to choose the right shade ( I did not do this either) and also have incredibly helpful customer service. I think I received emails from both my "personal consultant" and Jay Harper, the founder after signing up.

So there you have it loves! If someone can just invent a magical lip color seal, so that my water bottle doesn't have half a face at the end of the day, that would be great!




Usually, when I have a million things to do, and I'm avoiding doing them...you can find me wasting the day away in photoshop.

Which is what I've been doing all day today.

It did start as a productive activity, but then I had too much fun turning everything into comics. So in an effort to save the days creations and actually post something on this here blog, I just decided to throw some of these masterful creations out there for you.

You're welcome.

and, there's way more where that came from. About twenty more in fact....

I feel like a character in Heroes.

I think I might also have a self portrait problem. But I'm not gonna call them selfies, for obvious reasons.

Happy Monday Friends!
Enjoy, xoxox


Currently // January

{I apparently have not taken any pictures this month, so here's a picture of Alfred, the British butler nutcracker. He pretty much sums up life.}

Watching: One of my New years resolutions is to watch less tv this year. I love television, I love movies, I love Netflix. This will be hard.
Especially since The new seasons of Downton Abbey and The Bachelor started this week...

P.S. I went and saw Into the Woods last week...I liked it. Chris Pine was awesome, and Emily Blunt is just the cutest. The only downside, every time I think about it I have to start singing are we outta the woods yet, are we outta the woods yet, are we outta the woods yet, are we outta the woods. (are we in the clear yet, good.)

Reading: I finally finished all of the Maze Runner books, then realized there was a fourth prequel book. So I'm waiting patiently for Amazon to deliver that to me... also waiting on a couple of moving to London guidebooks. I know absolutely nothing about how anything works on that side of the pond...I barely know whats going on over here.

Wearing: I've been on this cleaning bender lately, getting rid of a million things that I haven't used in a while, or things I shouldn't ever wear again (I'm looking at you ten year old Ugg boots.) That said, I found my old Urban Outfitters slouchy beanie, that I picked out for my sister to get me for Christmas approximately six or seven years ago, and have become reattached to it. The elastic in it is all dead, so its super slouchy and really cozy. Also, mustard yellow. One of my current favorite colors to wear. (paired with my oversized glasses, and always present cardi,  I look like a total hipster child. but whatevs.) (I think that whole sentence was a little bit too hipster actually. ruh-ro.)

Eating: I've gone vegan again guys. Well sort of.
I have struggled with insomnia for basically my entire life. It takes me a million years to fall asleep, and then when I do, I wake up every couple of hours and start the process all over again. Then, when its time to wake up for real, I am so incredibly tired and usually awake with a headache- then struggle with fatigue all day. When I went off of meat a couple of years ago, I noticed during that few weeks that I slept so much better. But then it got too hard, And I forgot about it. Typical. But now, desperate times call for desperate measures. 2015 is going to be a tough one, and by that I mean I am working incredibly hard at whatever I can to get eliminate all of these stupid things that taunt me.

Listening: I discovered Jame Arthur a few weeks before Christmas, and he is amazing. He was on UK X-Factor a few years back I guess...and his album is just perfect. Check it out. Also from the world of the UK and X-Factor, Ella Henderson's album is finally making it's way to the US. There are a handful of songs on Spotify, and they are all awesome. This song is one of my favorites right now, and also this one. In fact, just check out anything from Kodaline or James Bay. Okay? Listen to what I say.

App-ing: I had mentioned somewhere about how I started listening to the podcast Serial, which I've now finished, If you are a crime show junkie like me, its worth a listen. Now, I perusing for another podcast to listen to. I didn't actually realize podcasts where still a thing, last time I listened to one was  on my first generation iPod, and it was Hilarie Burton as her One Tree Hill character Peyton talking about music and stuff. That was like a million years ago.

Craving: Pizza. Always Pizza.

Drinking: I dunno guys, I'm just not really a drink person. I drink water. Occasionally some chocolate almond milk. I tried to drink some Martinelli's over Christmas, and it made my ill. I never have soda or juice, so the sugar and the carbonation where just too much for me. If I'm going to have sugar, I want to eat it where it counts, ya feel me?

Googling: I'm trying to figure out this Tumblr thing. I get the concept of it, and everybody I know who has one loves it, but....I'm just so confused. It seems to me that if Instagram and Pinterest were to have a love child, then that child would be Tumblr. But that child is confusing me in ways its parents never did..

Coloring: White. Let's just paint the whole world clean and white, okay? (I think I'm having a nervous break down of some sort)

Shopping: Nada. I'm poor, and saving for an international move, and paying a boat load for unfun medical things. Can someone just make me a millionaire already?
Actually I take that all back. I just bought a new camera lens. What are your favorite Nikon lenses? 

Playing: Who's got time for that. No but really, I'm enjoying the fact that my nephews can read now, and therefore can actually play real board games with me. Also, my father in ever support of my exempts to master guitar for good, got me a guitar lessons for dummies dvd kit for Christmas. So there's that happening.

Crafting: Ummmm, does throwing everything away and painting everything white count as a craft? 

Remember to follow along on various social media accounts >>>

{instagram:carinamcreations // twitter:carina_dee // pinterest:carina michelle}



Ending up twenty-thirteen, I was sure that the next year was going to be my year. The year that only good things happened to me, the positive year to end a long row of lousy ones. Twenty-fourteen started out with a new niece, a great job with the best people, no debts with money in the bank, no major issues with thee old p.o.t.s, and the goal that this year I would finally make it Europe. Yes 2014 started out alright, I was positive and hopeful and sure that things were starting to turn around for me. After all, the last good new year I had had, before my body started turning against me, was back in two thousand and ten.

We all know how last year worked out though, pneumonia, p.o.t.s becoming medication resistant, trips to Stanford, more medication, and less life lived. Because I was diagnosed as being in a state of severe nervous system crisis, with the possibility of complete failure I had to make some hard decisions. I left my job, dropped as much stress as I could and started working incredibly hard on regaining some aspect of my health. I have had to very slowly build up my exercise tolerance over the last several months, being very careful to not overdo the stress on my system and have created an even stricter diet for myself.

Coming into 2015, my goals are to work even harder.
I have things that I won't to accomplish in life, goals that have been put on hold for the last four years. Dreams that seem so out of reach right now, based of my current state of health. How can I go travel the world, when I can't even make it through five minutes in a grocery store? 
So I'm starting back at the bottom. I believe that a lot of ones health can be resolved by what you are putting into it. I have seen so many people over the years, while working in the medical field, that have various issues that would probably be solved if that just stopped eating big macs and cokes every day. While I know the issues I have are not that easily solved, that they are diseases that I was born with not ones that I created for myself, I can still try.
Comparative to the rest of the world, I eat a very healthy diet. I don't eat fast food, or drink soda or juice, I rarely eat processed foods, intake a lot of protein, and drink a million ounces of water a day. I also really love to eat potato chips and baked goods. I don't eat them everyday, every week even; but I do eat them.

This month I am going to get the necessary tests down to find out what foods are good and bad for my body, eat a vegan diet so that I can be rid of my insomnia, (this is a proven thing for me, I'm not saying it will work for everybody, or even anybody else.) build up the strength in my muscles, and eliminate any unnecessary medications. Hopefully these baby steps will do the trick.

This year is also about healing my mind; more reading and creating, less negativity and finally nailing down that italian and the guitar. It's about finally writing that novel I've been talking about, and not letting the things I can't do impact the things that I can.
For more unicorn onesies and red lips, and less tears and sick days. 
2015 is the year to prepare for the best 2016 I could ever ask for.

It's also about more kitchen dance parties and singing at the top of my lungs. 
Everyone is really excited about that one, I think.

So, with that,
Here we go!