Saturday, November 10, 2012

Negative Nancy Says Winter Means Blahs, Dryness and Frigid Weather

I've talked about winter blues and how to stay warm. Now, it's time to talk about dryness. Dryness is a terror that deserves it's own post. It isn't a footnote in the long list of what is terrible in life about winter.

Instead of focusing on alligator skin and scarecrow hair, let's talk about suggested fixes.

Dry Skin

Aveeno! I love Aveeno. It's genius. It's cheap. It's widely available. All year round I use Aveeno Moisturizing Bars for Dry Skin. This bar is so gentle that it soothes my itchy, irritated skin. (Itchy and irritated are common words to describe me.)

In winter, I buy some kind of Aveeno lotion. It doesn't matter which; they've all been wonderful. This year I bought Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Nourishing Body Lotion, Energizing Pomegranate + Grapefruit. I'm a sucker for bath and body products that are grapefruit scented. (Sometimes, this ends badly, and I end up smelling like dish soap or worse bug spray.) This lotion smells great and once it absorbs is subtle. It does take awhile to sink in - especially on my hands and feet.

My coworker Sue introduced me to Nivea Creme. I buy it in the travel sized tins. The packaging is cute and small. It's easy to carry in the palm of my hand or throw in my purse. I find that I use it most often on the bus! I'm sitting there and BOOM my weirdo cuticles pull a run in my stockings like that is their main function. Solution: mourn the tights, silently swear, moisturize the cuticle.

Dry Eyes

Go to the drugstore. Buy five or sixty bottles of eye drops WITHOUT vasoconstrictors. Put them in your desk at work, every purse you own, in your bathroom, on your mantle. Hang them from your Christmas tree. Make earrings from them! 

Dry Hair

Sometimes lather, rinse, repeat isn't quite good enough. Here are the three things I use on my dry, coarse hair during winter - along with instructions on how to best utilize them.

Biolage by Matrix Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner
wash hair well, massage liberal amount of conditioner into scalp and through hair focusing on roots, sit in tub until unbearably pruney, rinse in a half-assed way

Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream
apply utterly ridiculous amount to dry, dirty (like 3rd day dirty) hair, play video games for four hours OR watch four blood-soaked episodes of Vampire Diaries, take a normal shower

CHI Keratin Mist 
realize your hair is disgustingly dry but you have no time to do anything listed above, hold your ends altogether making your straw hair into a sort of broom, spray that shit until you drown that broom like you're a magician's assistant

Dry Lips

Lately I've been loving Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm SPF 20 Sunscreen. I bought it in cherry. It really doesn't have a color to it (which I like). It tastes good (enough). It isn't sticky.

For those with cash to burn, I do like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15. It tastes good, has a little color (and is sticky in a good way?)

It's better to realize what you don't want than what you do want in makeup (and all things), because then it's easy to say no. What I DON'T want in a chapstick-but-not-chapstick: Glitter, stickiness, strong odor, strong taste, odor or taste that isn't based on something edible (read: floral), no SPF.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Website Love:

This category should be called "Websites You Should Know About if You Want to Go Broke in No Time at All."

Last month I ordered five new nail polishes from 8ty8 Beauty Supply. I was led to this website after going to Sally Beauty Supply and looking through the China Glaze Bohemian collection. We got to talking about China Glaze holographic nail polish collection coming out this summer (I want ALL of them).  In 2009 China Glaze released holographic shades in the OMG collection. The woman helping me dig through a bin of polishes said that by the time she heard of the OMG collection she couldn't find it anywhere and had to order off of 8ty8 Beauty Supply. How she described the website it sounded like an archive (or elephant graveyard) of hard to find nail polishes.

I was a little off. It's more like a no-frills website that sells China Glaze, Color Club and other name brand polishes at lower prices.

I made order in early October.

I ordered China Glaze Twinkle Lights, China Glaze Tinsel Town, China Glaze Cast a Spell, Color Club Cloud Nine, and Color Club Angel Kiss.

China Glaze polishes sell at Ulta for $7.50. 8ty8 Beauty Supply sells the same polish, with the same release dates for $3.00.

The polishes are packed together well in boxes that hold three polishes each. If you order a number of polishes not divisible by three, then they pack that space with newspaper. They ship USPS  priority mail out of New York. I received my first order three days after it shipped.

The only downside I have found, is that shipping is expensive! It's $11.00! And, you have no clue how much the shipping will be until it invoices.

I look through the polishes they offer, and look them up on Google. Generally, Scrangie has covered the older (pre-2010) polishes, and The Polishaholic covers current polishes (2010-present).

I just made an order yesterday! I'm so excited.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Product Review: L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes

Two things:

  1. I don't buy drugstore brand makeup anymore.
  2. I have no idea how false eyelashes work. And, frankly, they frighten me.
However, after reading Gabi Gregg's review on Maybelline Illegal Length Mascara with Fiber Extentions I made an exception to the former. 

I was in Target and couldn't find the Maybeline version of fiber lashes mascara. I ended up buying L'Oreal's Voluminous False Fiber Lashes. 

So far, I've experienced no clumping and find the wand easy to use. I can see a noticeable difference in the appearance of length. If you apply multiple layers, it heightens that illusion. 

I like the packaging. It's gold and geometric. It doesn't look "expensive" but it does look unusual. 

The negative reviews I've read have to do with clumping and having a hard time applying to the lower lashes. I don't put eyeshadow on my lower lashes, so I don't have much to add to that. I usually apply to the top and blink a lot. Voila! My lower lashes are darkened.

Anyone have any drugstore brands they're raving about?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spending Excuses

Hello. My name is Holley. I am a shopper.

There are many reasons that I love shopping. It's exercise, it has a tangible end, it makes me feel accomplished, it's distracting. But one of the best aspects of shopping for me is that I'm good at it. I find gems that cost pennies.

That being said, looking at my bank account and revolving credit line makes me want to puke.

Here are the bogus excuses I use to justify unnecessary spending:

  • I don't own a car, so if I was a normal person this money would get spent on that.
  • I don't drink, and shopping is a better habit than drinking. Instead of spending money on booze, I spend money on cardigans. I can wear cardigans to work. 
  • My living expenses are low.
  • I owe it to myself to do something nice for me and have nice things.
  • I don't plan on having kids, so I don't need to plan for that expense.
  • I have a 401k plan and my job matches my Social Security benefits, so I don't need to save for retirement (right now). 
  • It's not like I'm ever going to get to retire - at this rate no one will.
  • Shopping is cheaper than therapy and at least I get something out of it.
These excuses are just excuses; I need to button down and stop frivolous spending. 

Someone hold me to that. JCP has some cute, bright sweaters - and I am weak.

How I'm Feeling Lately

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Strictly Platonic

Last summer, I posted on Craigslist looking for friends. At the time I didn't find this sad. I didn't have a job and volunteered with kids under 16 all day. There weren't many chances to meet people my own age.

But now, I find it dreadfully sad that I'm going to post again. Now, I have a job, but haven't made any real connections. My work friends and I talk about doing things but don't follow through.  I haven't seen my friend from home who moved up here in over six months. Most of the time, I feel really alone.

When I was a kid, this was the norm for me. I'd go to school, hang out with school friends and come home to be by myself. Once college started, that wasn't an option. I lived with people. I also had an almost intrusive network of friends who I saw outside of school often.

I'd like to talk to someone who isn't Jared more often. I feel like when I go to work, I'm too chatty and unprofessional, because I'm attention starved.

So, here we go again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Product Review: Kose Seikisho Mask White

Fun story: Four out of five of the full days we were in San Francisco were foggy. Although I didn't mind the ambience and it was an experience one should have - my skin did not weather well. Personificationally, my pores had a town hall meeting. Everyone was in attendance. And, together they decided to close their doors and bar them against bacteria fighting agents using sebum as their deadbolt. I.E. I broke out. And, not in the Shawshank with a rock hammer way.

My reaction to my newly cratered mug was to try everything I could think of to pull the crap (sebum, dirt, oil) from my stupid face. I used 15 pore strips in two days. I made a mask out of baking soda. I made a mask out of eggs. I made a mask out of honey. Then, I went to the internet for help.

I love you, internet.

I found this video (those with migraines: watch on mute):

I also checked out the reviews on Makeup Alley. 

What I was looking for was a Biore pore strip for my entire face that would (hopefully) rip all my skin off (Hannibal Lector style). I thought I had found what I needed when all negative reviews complained about the pain of taking the mask off. (Side note: my face has no feeling in it from years of torture.)

I bought the Kose Seikisho Mask White on and received my shipment three days later. 

After all that fluff, here is the review!

The Kose Seikisho Mask White is jet black and can be applied easily with clean hands. The texture is much like glue or tar. It actually takes some effort and soap to wash the mask from your fingertips after application.

The drying time is about 20 to 30 minutes. This would vary by how thick of a layer you apply to your face. I like a thicker, opaque application. 

Removal is easy. You start at the edges and pull off toward the middle (much like a Biore strip).

You can examine the pulled off mask to find small hairs, a few sebum clogs and dead skin. 

The Kose Mask is not like a Biore strip at all in that it will not pull plugs from your pores. However, it is an excellent exfoliant. 

My skin looks clearer and brighter after three uses over a period of two weeks. 

The fresh skin exposed after removing the mask makes makeup application smoother with less flake. Combined with my clindamycin lotion (I use this in place of moisturizer), it has left my skin clearer with a more even skin tone (lightened dark spots). 

I give it a strong B+ for use for acne and a solid A for skin brightening and exfoliating. 

I Need to Raise My Credit Limit: Target + Neiman Marcus is Debuting in December

Target is out for blood with this new collaboration with Neiman Marcus. After seeing the lookbook on A Bullseye View, my credit card has never been more frightened. This is where I need to step up and say that even though I work for Target (SURPRISE), my opinion does not in any way represent the company. 

Okay, now that the disclaimer is out of the way - here's my wish list.

Band of Outsiders made Best Friends hats. A) They remind me of Katie Binning. B) They're Platteville colors. C) They're juvenile. D) I want them.

This dress from Lela Rose is a hundred bucks. I'm going to try it on. If I have an emotional reaction, I'll buy it straight out. If not, ce la vie.

Off-topic: I HATE when nice dresses don't have sleeves. Dress, --- I talk to clothes --- Dress, I cannot wear you to work. This decreases your value in utils to me by over 60%. I have to wear layers and pair you with sweaters. I think it looks ugly when people wear t-shirts under you. Do you want to look ugly? When you have no sleeves and force people to match things to you - you risk looking terrible. Think about that next time you don't want to buy extra fabric or hem arm holes.

I effin' love this bag by Oscar de la Renta.

The color (winter white) is fantastic and unexpected. The print is embroidered. It looks like it could house all my work stuff.

It's fun without being distracting. It's professional without being dawdy.


I love capes. I'm all about capes. I want to own all the capes.

They make me feel like I'm in a live action cartoon show - like I'm about to round-house kick a dragon and eat a turkey leg with my bare hands.

I feel like a brassier, adult version of the chick from Tangled.

Anyways, this cape from Prabal Gurung is $79.99 and it makes me want to stand in line at Target in 20 degree weather

This tree ornament from Rodarte looks like it'd be in a B-Movie spin off of Men in Black.

"The galaxy is on Orion's tree...."

But seriously, this looks awesome. If it looks like the cosmos in person, I'm game.

Your move, Manufacturing.

That's a wrap! PEACE.

(I'm having a weird night.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Inside Jokes

As many of you might know, I am an only child. Which, for me, meant I was home alone quite often. Since I grew up solo, I found ways to entertain myself. In my adult life, this has been a tough habit to kick.

Now that I'm grown and live with Jared, I still talk and joke with myself. I make up inside jokes that I only get.

Maybe everyone does this. After all, one's idea of normal is based on oneself. Normal is in the eye of the beholder? Or is that average? I'm off topic.

Here are a few examples of things I do (now mostly in my head) that entertain me throughout the day. Before assimilating to social norms... I did many of these out loud.

Every morning when I go into my sock drawer or pick up my shoes, I chant/sing to myself, "Shoes and socks! Socks and shoes!"

When people make direct statements, I like to say, "Well, isn't that ironic." I do this, because I hate when people talk about things being ironic... so I'm saying, "Well, isn't that ironic," ironically. Unfortunately, no one is in on the joke, and I end up sounding really stupid.
Coworker-friend: Yea, Jason loves baseball!
Me: Well, isn't that ironic.
When I don't know the words to songs, I usually know the melody. Instead of just humming, I sing words that fit the melody that I can hear in my head as mumbles. I did this recently to Lady Gaga's Telephone... I had no idea what song I was singing. My coworker got a good laugh.

When I read emails, I give the person a funny voice and add emphasis on words that were not meant to be emphasized.

What's something you do that keeps you laughing?

Would anyone be interested in a post about my skin care regimen? I feel like it wouldn't apply well to other people... unless everyone is oily, acne-prone and has dermographia.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gizmo Post. You're Welcome.

Interview Dog

Preparation for (Failed) Leprechaun Dog

Gizmo, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?

Bond, Gizmo Bond.

Avast! I'm a dog!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Brand Love: Paul Green

Paul Green is a German based shoe brand. They make excellent shoes for flat feet that aren't incredibly ugly.

I've bought (let's say several) several pairs of shoes from Macy's in this brand... for research purposes.

This all started on my weekly trip to Macy's. I had stopped by NARS and wandered into the shoe section to mainly waste time. I was looking at born ankle boots and talking about navy flats. Salli, my shoe-friend, told me she was coveting a pair of navy heels across the way. I had to check that out.

That day, I bought my first pair of heels since senior prom (the ones I wore 10 minutes and twisted my ankle). They're these great navy suede 2 1/2 inch wedges with an ankle strap. The arch support held up through multiple days of work and public transportation. The ankle strap is snap on, with an elastic strip, and an adjustable buckle.

Since then I've purchased a second pair in tan... and three pairs of flats.

One of the best things about the brand is how well the shoe stays on my foot! I know this sounds ridiculous. But, I have flat feet that are a size 6.5 and 8.5. Because my feet are so wide - I buy nines. I usually have to add a strap to the top of my flats. These fit great! I don't need to add a strap.

I would like to say is buy these bad boys on sale. The retail for $280.00. I bought mine for around $70.00 each.


Friday, October 5, 2012

San Francisco 2012

Hey Readers, I went to San Francisco without you. Here is my vacation slideshow.

We went to Japan town and I went shopping while my Aunt Leigh and Jared 
bonded over how boring shopping is. Later, we ate sushi with Tomoko. 

We went to Muir Woods and stared at trees. (Seriously, one of my 
favorite parts of the trip.) Then, I went to the gift shop. 

We went to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was foggy and cold. 

But then Aunt Leigh grabbed a tiny boat and things got interesting. Then, 
I went to the gift shop.

We went to the Castro. 

We met Sister Roma and Sister Dana.

We went to Pier 39. 

I ate some cotton candy.

We went to the aquarium.

We were eaten by a giant shark.

We got really excited about a cable car ride.

We went to China Town.

All of China Town is shopping. It was awesome.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pros and Cons of Birchbox: A Personal Opinion

I just cancelled my Birchbox subscription in favor of a different month-to-month GLOSSYBOX [sic].

You can see from that statement where this is going. Sorry for the spoiler.

I do want to say that this is totally my opinion of the service and what for me is a con might be a pro for you.

I received Birchbox every month from March to September.

SHIPPING CONSISTENCY: It shipped on time (around the 10th of the month). I received email confirmations for when it was shipped.
PACKAGING: It was in a box. So, goody for them. (I know this is a reach, but two things is not a list.)
RECEIVED FOUR THINGS I LIKED: I received two deluxe sample nail polishes from Color Club and Hollywood Fashion Tape (which I bought more of from Amazon) - and they threw in a pair of neon colored earbuds (note: not makeup).

ONE TIME USE SAMPLES:  Some of the samples I received were in tear open packages or were in super small, one time use packages. I hate that! How can you really find out if you like something after a single use? I can't even tell if I'm allergic to something in one use.
PERFUME PERFUME PERFUME: Every Birchbox I received had at least one perfume sample in it. What the heck? Are people really into perfume that much? It doesn't even make sense to include a (let's say) $2.00 sample of perfume and expect a $60 pay off with a purchase of that perfume... in every box. Plus, when I contacted Birchbox and let them know I can't wear perfume, they just let me know that they can't do anything about allergies.
COST DOES NOT EQUAL PRODUCT: $2.00 samples of perfume aside, each box probably did include $10 of merchandise (retail price). But, the samples I received in the tear open packages could have easily been obtained at Macy's or Sephora - for free.
THROW AWAY ITEMS: Sometimes...  my Birchbox contained throw away items (like notecards and granola bars). I don't really understand that. I didn't sign up for a granola bar of the month club.

Here is a list of the items I received each month as well as the categories I'd put the samples in:

Perfume BVLGARI Mon Jasmin Noir
Tear-Open WEI™ to Go Sleep Over Kit: Real Clean and Ideal Skin
ACTUAL SAMPLE Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
ACTUAL SAMPLE Birchbox and Color Club® Custom Collection
Not Makeup twistband™ Lace up for Fall
Not Makeup The Brush Guard Variety

Not Makeup Schick Hydro Silk Razor
Tiny Tiny Sample Juice Beauty Oil-free Moisturizer
ACTUAL SAMPLE Eye Rock Designer Liner
Perfume Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur
Tiny Tiny Sample Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
ACTUAL SAMPLE boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens
ACTUAL SAMPLE Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner
Perfume Oscar de la Renta live in love
Not Makeup LÄRABAR® über
Not Makeup Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds
Perfume Wonderstruck Taylor Swift 3.4 oz
ACTUAL SAMPLE stila one step bronze
Tear-Open Comodynes Self-Tanning Intensive
ACTUAL SAMPLE theBalm® cosmetics Stainiac
Not Makeup LUNA Bar
Perfume Arquiste L'Etrog
Tiny Tiny Sample Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+
ACTUAL SAMPLE Color Club® Foil Collection
ACTUAL SAMPLE beautyblender® blendercleanser
Not Makeup twistband™ Skinny Headband
Not Makeup Birchbox Notecards

There you have it! And, that's why I cancelled. We'll see how GLOSSYBOX works out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

10,000+ Views!

Hurrah! We have 10,000+ views!!!

To celebrate, I'm not shopping until 2013.

No, this has nothing to do with being overpowered with a lust for shoes this month... nothing at all.

My poor, emaciated bank account....

P.S. 200th post!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Financial Planning the Broke Way

Where my next next next paycheck is going:
Tickets for Ren Fest

Where my next next next next paycheck is going:
Minnesota State Fair

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Makeup Summer 2012

Summer 2012 is all about red lips, colorful eyes and  bronze everything else. To read about these trends, I would like to send you to the Makeup Geek.

Here I want to discuss what I'm loving this summer. 

Let's start with a basic: sunblock. I hate sunblock. It smells terrible, feels terrible and sweats off in less than an hour. Unfortunately, I'm of European descent and flush to a bright red after very little time in the sun. 

For the past few months, I've been dusting on a layer of Bare Escentuals - SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen. I layer it on over makeup if I'm going downtown for the day. I wear it alone when I'm on my day off. It works beautifully as long as I stay dry. Today, I went to the lake and am very very burnt after two hours of fun in the sun. 

I don't add color to my face during the summer time, because I am flushed most days over 70 degrees. Instead, I add color and shimmer with eyeshadow and lipstick. 

For eyes, I like to have different options for the level of maintenance I'm willing to put in that day. 

This year, I've been all about Urban Decay eye shadows. The vintage formula is awesome and the new formula is somehow even better. It's creamier and has better staying powder. It seems to blend better, too.

Pictured Top: X. Bottom left 
to right:  Kush and Last Call
On the kind of day where I'm a little tired and would rather watch Jane by Design on Hulu than fix myself up, I cover my entire lid in Urban Decay eyeshadow X. The color is iridescent and has a nice shimmer. It seems to change from gold to a pale pink. The photo on the left does not do it justice. 

The days where I'm in less of a hurry and haven't worn my usual bright colored outfits, I wear Urban Decay eyeshadow in Last Call and Kush. Sometimes I wear all three shadows together. Sometimes I wear one alone. Sometimes two at a time. The trio blends well together and are well pigmented. Usually if I wear Kush or Last Call "alone," I'll blend using ABC Gum. 


During the winter, I use NARS Manhunt to brighten my my pale pale face. In summer, I'm flushed (as stated above). I've been slathering on Fresh - Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Sugar Plum. I keep this in my purse to avoid dry, chapped (and sunburned) lips. It adds enough color to boost my natural lip tone without overwhelming my face when wearing bright eyeshadow. 

Confession: I do not have the complexion for a lot of bronzer. Against my skin a lot of bronzer products make me look dirty. (I'm a strong believer in not wearing shimmer on your skin. You don't put glitter on a zit. Matte bronzer is great to layer over blush in winter, but worn alone looks bad on fair skin.) 

To hop on the bronze everywhere for everyone trend, I've purchased NARS (lipstick brand of choice) Hot Voodoo Semi Matte Lipstick. Even the name "Hot Voodoo" is fun! You can't tell from the picture here, but it's a pretty, metallic bronze. The semi matte formula is just sheer enough to see my natural lip color under the tint. It makes a great neutral lip tone and goes with all my eyeshadows (even those not listed in this blog post). I'm in lust.

That's a wrap. I might buy something new sometime this summer, but I feel like I am done. Summer 2012 is the season of shimmer (at least for me!).

Griping About Griping

I feel like I'm constantly bombarded by other people's negativity.

People complaining about their weight
People complaining about not exercising enough
People complaining about their jobs
People telling me that the schedule I want isn't going to go through

I don't understand how complaining helps. I get venting. I understand laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

Every time I hear/read this type of thing, all I can think is "who cares!?"

You think you're fat? That's your problem. Maybe you should consider developing a positive body image instead of pinning thinspiration for the world to see.

You hate your job? Maybe the energy you put into Facebook posts could be put towards job applications or putting together a more dynamic resume.

I'm a big believer in you ask for it, you declare it to the world and you work toward it. You don't gripe about it. (And if you do, say it once and then act. There needs to be some kind of action even if it's just accepting that some things can't change.)

Here I go complaining about complaining again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Thanks to my doctor, I'm feeling grr-eat!

Thursday, I took my pants to the tailor, got a haircut, purchased decaf tea from Target, went to Neiman's, talked to jewelry repair in Macy's, and then went to a networking function and picked up a Pride shirt. I was home by seven!

Saturday, I looked at condos, put in an offer, took the dog to the dog park, washed the dog, went to dinner, went through my closet and pulled stuff to sell and Buffalo Exchange, cleaned all of my purses, and laundry is in the wash.

I'm avoiding Pride, and it makes me feel like a jerk. But, the idea of the crowd scares me. I need to make sure I go. It'd be a great experience, and I'll regret not going. Tomorrow, I need to get to the tailor by 5 pm and to Buffalo Exchange by 7 pm.

Busy is better than exhausted.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Free Write

I'm not handling grieving as well as I should. Katie is the first person I've ever cared about who has died. Everyone else I was too young to remember holding strong emotional ties with. I met Katie in the summer of 2008. I was moonlighting at registration as the Dean of Performing Arts' assistant. I signed her up for classes along with all the new registrants for the Art Department. I had just changed my major to Art the year before and as luck would have it - took several classes along side Katie as independent studies. Katie and I ran Art Club together for two years. We went on trips together. We shared details of our lives together. I understand that there are those who knew her better than I did. I understand that I was not her closest friend. But, being as closed off as I am - she was one of my closest friends. When I found out about this tragedy, I was on the phone with a clinic setting up a doctor's appointment. I was put on hold and decided to check Facebook. I was petrified. A lot of people mention experiencing a numbness, a sort of distance that allows you to function for however long you have to before reality hits you. I didn't get that.

I have never felt as sad as I do right now.

The way I usually cope with sadness is to turn it into anger and burn it all off... but try as I might - I can't stay angry. Or at least, any anger I have is squashed by this overwhelming sadness.

I think I understand now what so many people have tried to instill in me over years of psychology classes and counselling sessions. This is what it feels like when you are sad for a reason. On the lighter side, at least we know I'm not depressed.

For the last two days, I've been pushing aside my emotions, drinking large quantities of soda and forcing myself to go somewhere - anywhere to get away from myself. This game of running away from reality is fun for a very short while and then I get tired. I come home and, thanks to modern technology, I am confronted with the hard truth that I will never see my friend again. It's selfish to think of it that way. For some reason, typing the ways to think of it that aren't selfish seems so much worse.

So what can I do?

I send in comments to news stations that say her name wrong.

I read old Facebook posts, her webpage. I look at her photos. I think about taking a picture trying to hold the spoon at the Walker Sculpture Garden. I think about the squinty lemon face she'd make sometimes. I laugh and remember the strange musical beat boxing she and Amelia would do. I brag to Jared about how Katie could free-hand a drawing of any dinosaur.

And sometimes I get sad and think about all the things - all the things.... I don't even know.

We're all in this together now.
Edit: And, the world keeps spinning.
Edit again: And, I hate it.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My friend died. 

First I was uncontrollably crying and upset.

Now, I'm angry. Very angry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Fifty, Thirty, Twenty Budget

If you've been following my blog, you'd know that I suck at budgeting, dieting and not-shopping. I don't go into debt horribly. I don't spend more than I make (except that small period of unemployment). I just have a difficult time saving. I think a big issue that I have with the whole thing is that I cut way down and save for a few weeks, maybe even a month and then freak out and spend spend spend.

This time, I'm not going cold turkey. I've set up my direct deposit to split into three separate accounts. 50% of my income goes to Needs. 30% goes to Wants. 20% goes to Savings.

I'm coming to the end of my first pay period with this budget. Let's see how I did!

Cell Phone Bill Payment
Dog Wellness Plan Payment

3 Bottles of Pop
Chinese Food
2 Lunches at work
Sodas at a work event
Ticket to CONvergence
Sandals for Jared
Jimmy John's (twice, and it was delicious. I have no regrets.)
Biore Pore Strips
Pantone + Sephora Make Up Brush Roll :D
$50 to my Macy's Bill
Dinner at Peninsula

Haven't touched a red cent!

We bought groceries for two weeks before this pay period. I went over on Wants. I'll need to work on that.

Additionally, I shoved some money into the San Francisco targeted savings account I started up. I figure I'll need $1500 for San Francisco in September, $2000 for Disney in January, $500 for Irish Fest in August and $200 for CONvergence in July.

I'd also like to save up 6 months bills in my emergency account. After that, the majority of my "Savings" will go to paying off my student loans.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In 14 days...

It will be JUNE and I will be writing my six month goals for the end of the year 2012. AND I'll be reviewing my previously set goals. 

Let's see what I can do.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Marriage and My Boyfriend, the Republican

Without the exciting experience of getting to know a new partner - I'm now dating a Republican.

The talk radio that Jared listens to two hours a day, four days a week has made his political views face right. I'm not saying that he's a bat-shit-crazy right-winger (yet), but his moderate views have taken a swing for the conservative. A part of me wonders if he has done this in order to argue more often. Everyone loves a good debate, amiright?

Anyway, the way this came about was that Jared and I discussed gay marriage after the President made his view known. Like all our political talks, we did not discuss our personal views. Instead we argued over semantics. I think that marriage was created and exists in order to provide a stable financial unit in which to raise a child. Jared thinks that marriage exists in order to encourage people to have children. (I don't think people need to be encouraged to breed.)

Where this led to was that straight marriage creates people, gay marriage on the other hand can lead to the fostering and adoption of people in need. So, being me, the debate ended with the following statement, "Well then, by your definition I'm pro Gay Marriage and anti Straight Marriage."


Why is everyone getting engaged right now? It's always insane the number of people getting married in the summer. Can't we all just agree to not cheat without permission and to buy one another jewelry on occasion?

Not Really a Blog Post

I just spent an hour trying to make a VLOG and it's all useless. The problem is that I have nothing to talk about. Anyways, here are some videos I like.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview Style Hahtchachacha

It's very difficult to update a blog after a long absence. I wish I could just have a Q&A. I'll try to predict your questions and answer them here.

How are you doing?
I'm pretty good. I have been trying to stabilize my sleep schedule. Last week was awesome; I was waking up at the same time everyday and getting to bed at the same time everyday. It was like the sun shone for me. Birds sang. Grass was green. Everyday was the best day of the week.
This week, I've been keeping up a solid bed-time, but waking up really late. I am exhausted a lot of the time. I need to work on that.

Otherwise, my hair is growing out really well. In two months I plan on perming it again. It's getting to that so-straight-and-heavy-I-want-to-chop-it-all-off length.

I've been going to Jungle Red on Nicolett and getting facial's with Jodi. Last Thursday after my facial, I looked like a burn-victim! A makeup artist at Macy's stopped me to offer me an exfoliant. People were nicer. Homeless men stared at me for all the wrong reasons. I felt like Liz Lemon when she dressed like a crazy lady. Hopefully, one day I'll recover.

How's work?
It's going. I have a new boss. She's really great and wants to see me improve. I've been talking to people in different departments seeing what they're all about. I'm happy and satisfied with my job and the company I work for.

However, I've had a sinus headache all day from the vents clearing out. I felt groggy and out of it for hours - and now I'm clear headed and want to stay awake all night long.

What have you been doing in your free time?
On my day off, I like to go downtown and walk around. I shop a little. Mostly, I enjoy being able to travel where I want without bumming a ride. The city is beautiful and busy. It's a whole new world.

On weekends, Jared and I go to the dog park with Gizmo. We've been going to dog-themed work events as well. It's great to get out and enjoy nature. It's even better to see my dog running at high speed, all feet off the ground.

What's your latest favorite thing?
My new love is NARS Sheer Lipstick in Manhunt. It looks far too red out of the tube, but it's more of a berry when you wear it. It makes me feel confident and modern. The formula is awesome. It doesn't clump up or get chalky the way matte lipsticks tend to do. It doesn't feel sticky or heavy the way a lot of glosses do. It has excellent staying power. When it wears off it looks like a stain. I have nothing bad to say about this lipstick. I've been pairing it with nude/brown eyes.

Now accepting Q's for A's in a future post. VLOG goes up in June!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Makeup Extravaganza

Yesterday, I went nuts at Sephora.

Really, you can't blame me. I had a terrible experience at two different malls. Macy's was having a One Day Sale and Herberger's sale percent off was at 85%. I spent a long while digging through heaps of discards and found really beautiful pieces in not-my-sizes. It was extremely frustrating, especially when Herberger's doesn't keep track of yellow-tag merchandise and everything I liked at Macy's was at the Mall of America. (The Mall of America is one of the worst places to be on the weekend. It's a combination of hard floors, swarms of people and loud noises.)

Here I was after two miserable shopping days. I was newly full and exhausted having awoke at 6:30 AM to deliver my dog to the vet. I went into Sephora planning to buy some bronzer. I met with a woman at the door who pointed me in three different directions toward matte bronzers. I tried them out only to find everything was way too dark on my pale pale face. I then met a woman named Meesa. She was so patient with me! I was having a very hard time expressing what I wanted, but we got through it. I tried out a few different blushes and bronzers. I ended up going with Sephora's Los Cabos bronzer and Tarte's Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in Tipsy. Then, I remembered: Rachel Berry from Glee carried an Urban Decay compact. I had to try that out. And, it is amazing. The makeup is pale enough for me. I got it in "Illusion." The cream to powder texture is smooth and sticks. The color covers so well I look like I just gave blood. It's a great canvas for my beautiful light coral blush too. Was this enough to settle my makeup craving? No way. I also grabbed up OPI for Sephora 3-in-1 clear polish and Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray.

I went a little insane this shopping trip.

I'll review the makeup in about a month (once I figure out how allergic I am to it). And, sometime in the next two weeks or so I'll review Jungle Red. (I need to wait on the facial to see how this turns out.)

Hurrah for beauty. Also, hurrah for a disposable income. First time for everything!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Breaking Habits

I have a lot of compulsive habits that I shouldn't let rule me.

I window shop online a lot: hours a day almost everyday. I don't purchase things often. I don't trust sizing. I don't trust return policies for online merchandise. I'm too lazy to take my returns to the post office. I don't understand why I am on there flash websites or what I think I'm looking for. I do not want for anything. Anything I do need I can buy full price. These websites are stealing away my time.

I'm taking an internet hiatus.

I can check my email once a day.

I can watch shows on Hulu, but I cannot multitask.

That is all.

I also need to work on not picking.
I should also avoid dairy and soda.
What has gotten into me this week?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Condition My Condition Is In

I have been thinking a lot lately about the god-awful condition my skin is in.

Recently, I read about how Cetaphil (Dermatologist recommended) contains potentially cancer-causing parabens. Immediately after reading this, I tossed my half-used jar of moisturizer under the sink into the land of forgotten beauty products. As a replacement, I picked up an previously tossed aside, unopened bottle of jojoba oil.

But considering the condition my condition was in... I took it a step further and ordered a sulfur mask from Sephora and a cleanser+toner from Bliss.

To add to this last attempt at skin normality, I started up taking zinc again. Luckily, past me - whose immune system took a nose dive after taking too large of a dose over the course of three weeks - broke all the pills in half for future me.

Now, I'm pondering a ridiculously hard diet change. I just read an article on dairy and sugar causing acne. The dairy bit doesn't make sense to me personally, because I didn't really drink milk/eat cheese until college. I do, however, take in a lot of sugar.

Here is a list of everything I have eaten today:
Leftovers from V-day dinner, Sauerbraten (marinated beef and spaetzle)
Chinese food, Beef and broccoli with chicken fried rice and egg drop soup
Instant pudding
Sweet Tea

Here is a list of the items I have eaten today that do not contain sugar or dairy:
Egg drop soup

My impending diet of egg drop soup and pickles reminds me of a joke.
Patient: Doctor, do you think that I shall live until I am ninety?
Doctor: How old are you now?
Patient: 40
Doctor: Do you drink, gamble, smoke or do you have any other vice?
Patient: No. I don't drink. I don't gamble. I don't smoke. I have no vice.
Doctor: Then why do you want to live for another fifty years?
I don't think it would be miserable to not eat my favorite foods... I just don't think it's a step I'm willing to take... today. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. My aunt once subsisted on peanut butter and banana sandwiches. A hearty diet of nothing but plants, water, rice and personally cooked meats wouldn't mean the end of days.

For now, I'll keep up with doing the sulfur mask once a week, washing twice a day with the Bliss cleanser... taking zinc at night and rubbing jojoba oil frantically on my combination skin while sacrificing a goat to Lucifer and promising to be a better, more generous person to God. If all this nonsense doesn't work out, I could move to an even colder climate and wear a ski mask all hours of the day OR move to a tropical climate and be constantly sun-burnt as a way to distract from acne. The lobster look is trending.

If only.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finances Update, Pinterest, Makeup Post

Finance Update + House Update
Week 1 of my 26 week financial fast is complete! I made a small slip and bought a replacement waist belt. I broke the one I would use often and I needed it for the majority of my dresses to fit right. Darn thick arms, broad shoulders and a normal sized waist!

I did my weekly total and should be able to put away enough for a down-payment on a house in September and for my San Francisco trip in May (or possibly June, I'm still working out the details).

As for real estate ... we saw a few houses two weeks ago that weren't up to snuff. This week another house dropped in price, but is further north than I want to live. Seeing that the last apartment we saw on the only day we looked at apartments was perfect, the house in Platteville sold just in time for us to move into said apartment, I learned of my volunteer gig just before it started, my contracting job started soon after my volunteer gig ended, my contracting job ended and my real job started... and we met Gizmo and adopted him in the same day... and everything that has happened seems to just happen in a timely manner - I'm going to bank on just the right house appearing on the market just in time. What can I say? I'm lucky.

I joined Pinterest this week. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on and the best use for the website. Now, it's kind of addicting. It's a great way to keep tracking of street wear blogs I like, and to keep track of home decorating ideas on Apartment Therapy.

I would suggest it.

Makeup Blog posts
I am considering making a weekly post about makeup I own and have tried often enough to form an opinion. I'd like to get an idea of my audience before embarking on this. Mostly, I wonder if I have an audience and whether you, my audience, would want to read something like that. Comment on Facebook, message me, comment here - whatever works for you.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fabulous February of Frugality?

Last weekend, Jared and I went and saw three houses in our price range. Nothing quite hit a home run, but it got me thinking.

I need to start saving up my half of the downpayment.

Viva the February Financial Fast. The rules are simple: no purchasing non-consumable goods; we can only eat out once a week; every cent out of my bank account must be tracked on paper.

Length of time: six months. End date: 8/2/2012. (My birthday, and hopefully the day we find a house we can't pass up.)

Goal: $5,000.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When I was 15...

When I was 15, I lived with my mother and step-father in a two bedroom house (at times classified as a mobile home) in Destin, Fl. I didn't go to the beach. I spent the majority of my free-time in front of a computer using Gaia Online as a social network under the user name "Trugoy."  At the time, I was well known in the Gaia Online art forum for having a lot of gold.

I had no interest in driving a car. I had never been to a party that didn't involve a cake with candles. I had no idea that we'd be moving to Wisconsin in one year.

I had long, slightly wavy hair with a pale face full of acne and freckles. I thought I was fat and ugly, but hilarious and smart. I had a penchant for matching my shirt with large, beaded accessories my Gram made. I wore red, suede Vans and Tilt jeans almost everyday.

I loved Metric, Maroon 5, Pink, Trick Pony and The Postal Service. My favorite movie was Encino Man or Airheads... or Monkey Bone. Really, I was madly in love with Brendan Fraser.

I worked for my parents off and on compiling a database of rental homes in the Florida panhandle.

That year, almost immediately following my 15th birthday, I started at Okaloosa-Walton Community College Collegiate High School. Depending on who you ask, I wanted to be a psychologist, an artist or a politician. In reality, I wanted to be retired.

I didn't really have a best friend. I had many friends who I very much liked, but (excuses excuses) I had a hard time opening myself up to people (as I do now). That said, I bounced between Amanda, Lizzy, Liz, Michelle and Michael as being my good friends. I started dating Michael that September. It was nice to be around his family who are devoted to each other.

In 2012, I'm living with my boyfriend (and best friend) Jared in our own apartment in Minneapolis. I'm out of school, and I work for a Fortune 500 company at their headquarters. I want to be the best me possible. I still have no interest in driving. I look basically the same. My favorite bands are Metric, Death Cab for Cutie, Kanye West and The Hold Steady. I sometimes am on Gaia Online... like twice a year to check my mail. I still love Brendan Fraser, but my favorite movie is Amelie.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Things to Come

Now that I have landed an awesome job, I have the luxury of upping my goals.

Start a career Establish myself in my new career
Move to a bigger apartment Buy a house
Go to Disney in late fall October
Visit Aunt Leigh in San Francisco in late spring/early summer May
Spend 5 days at the cabin in summer
Go to the State Fair
Go to the Aquatennial
Buy a nice, foldout couch
Buy a queen sized bed
Start paying off Student Loans
Show Amanda around town

Now, to make the bigger of those goals achievable and on a time frame (the trips are already on a time frame).

Establish myself in my new career
I got the job! I got the job!

Now, I need to have fantastic statistics and excellent quality reviews. I also want people to A) know who I am and B) want me around. I'd also like to get in on as many projects as possible. I want to be trained on anything I can get my hands on. And, I want everything to be done with a smile!

If I can do all of this, I might have a fighting chance at a future promotion. ;) Or maybe that's just ambition talking.

Buy a house
Right now, mortgages are cheaper than rent. We could double the square feet we live in, avoid noisy neighbors and the crazy ghost clanking noise I keep hearing at 3 am... and have a yard for Gizmo to run in!

I want a place on the bus line for work, at least 900 sq feet, and in a great neighborhood. The house also needs at least a hook up for a washer and dryer (bonus points for actually having the appliances). Jared and I both work full-time, so we don't want a fixer upper. All that for under $100,000, and we will have found the perfect place!

We'd most likely renew our rent here and save money for a down-payment. Hopefully, I can get a mortgage pre-approval set up within the next three months. It wouldn't make sense to move twice just to change locations. After we find a place, we can start working toward the new couch and bed.

Start paying off Student Loans
After I've established an emergency fund (most likely in March), I'm going to start throwing money into the house fund and at my student loans. I'm going to go at it with the snowball method... and aggressively. What I mean is that I'm going to hand over big chunks of my income toward one loan at a time. I'm thinking I'll be (student loan) debt free in two years.

So, as plans go (it's more of a guideline) that is going to be my 2012!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Annual Purge

One thing that I've never had and do not miss is a sense of occasion. We put our Christmas tree up in January. I give gifts as soon as I purchase them. Birthdays mean free desserts from restaurants we already frequent. Turkey is usually dry and flavorless... even on the third week of November. We do celebrate February 15th; half-priced candy is all the rage.

Sometimes my urges match up in a timely way. This is one of those times. 

The combination of self-help with an arbitrary holiday makes my whole brain shut down. In that way, I dislike traditional New Year's resolutions. However, weight loss and spring cleaning is all I can think about. 

I'm not going on a diet. I'm going to start eating the "Healthy Choice" option four days a week in the cafe at work. I'm going to purchase a Wii Fit bundle and start playing that instead of shopping. Which ties in with my other problem...

I'm annoyed and angry about how much stuff is in my house. My apartment is filthy and cluttered. I believe the root cause is A) the lack of tools to clean, and B) too much stuff and not enough space. 

As a first leap, I bought a vacuum. Not the glorified dust buster we purchased on Black Friday, but a full-on, in your face, sucking the floor off your apartment... vacuum. I've named her Muriel. 

I've also decided to throw out or donate everything I don't use frequently. I feel like I do this every year. I need to stop buying stuff that I don't love or absolutely need. I mean my sweater collection is impressive... and I'm totally cool with having as many as I do. But, why did I buy two pairs of Nike's when I only wear my KEEN tennis shoes? This needs to stop before I start looking like the junk lady from the Labyrinth.

That's hot.

Part of me feels like I need to create a psychological reason for my shopping. Perhaps I am collecting things as a way to anchor myself and create security. Perhaps it's something from my childhood... like how as a child I was surrounded by things I did not choose. Many times I was in a situation I could not control. Now, I'm choosing things myself in an effort to control my life. Or maybe, I just like shopping. Yea, I think that's it. 

I have everything that I need. Now, I just need to get rid of the things I don't. Sentimentality be damned. 

TL;DR: I'm a fat slob. Something has to give. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Things to Do 2012

Start a career
Move to a bigger apartment
Go to Disney in late fall
Visit Aunt Leigh in San Francisco in late spring/early summer
Spend 5 days at the cabin in summer
Go to the State Fair
Go to the Aquatennial
Buy a nice, foldout couch
Buy a queen sized bed
Start paying off Student Loans
Show Amanda around town
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