Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Midlife crisis before reaching mid life?

Is it possible to be plagued with more life and career anxiety after now being a few years in the workforce rather than at college graduation? There’s not a week that goes by where I don’t ask myself “Am I doing this right?” or say “I’d give anything for nap time to be instated.” At 26, it’s finally clicking with me that I am in fact, not invincible. I can not do it all.

My husband and I just recently purchased our first home and like any other dreaming American, we have many plans in hopes of making it our own. We’ve learned that planning is one thing, but actually muscling the elbow grease (or forking over the money) to put things into motion is another. In college we can study all night, go out with friends, and take exams at eight am without skipping a beat. Nowadays we’re lucky if we can make it to ten pm. My whole perspective on life and my capabilities is changing. Dare I say it, but were my parents right? You mean they do know what they are talking about? It’s hard work to balance a career, family, and social life. Throw bills and continuing education into the mix and you’ve got a pretty heavy load on your shoulders. I tip my hat to those who work full time and come home at the end of the day only to switch from Employee #87561 to Employee #Mom/Dad/Wife/Husband.

While it’s pretty depressing to think about wide eyed youthful days slipping away, it’s also pretty fulfilling to look back on where we’ve come from and where we’re going. To think about the sacrifices my family has made and the time my mentors have spent on me makes me really thankful. It’s also humbling to think of those who may not be equipped with the same blessings. It’s a long, hard road to adulthood and it’s an even longer and harder one to stay on track.

To my fellow “young professionals” who may feel like the waves are rockier than expected, all I can say is keep going. These ups, downs, and uncertainties is what life is made of. You will trip and fall. You will come to a fork in the road. Just keep going and surround yourself with people who will push you to continue and make you give one hundred and ten percent.

So here I am, Employee #7827364, reporting for duty. Mind passing the apsecreme?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

You had 9 lives and 1 by 1 you chewed them up...

It's been one month today that my Dad passed away.  Tomorrow would have been his 50th birthday.  For most of my life, my Dad was a deadbeat who'd rather spend his money on drugs than child support.  From ages 13-25, we did not see each other.  From 15-25, we did not speak.  Last year, my Dad went into a coma and had heart surgery.  He had dialysis three days a week.  This year, he had heart surgery...again.  Heavy smoker.  Horrible eating habits.  Type 2 diabetes.  Noting to live for before it was too late.

In 2009, my Uncle convinced me to come down to Tampa to see my Dad, as he was in horrible shape and it was obvious that time was running out.  I had a lot of anger towards my Dad.  I planned to give him hell and show him how much better I was than him.  I sat outside as a bloated and already defeated figure made his way outside.  It was an uncomfortable and sad, yet calming moment.  All of the hate and anger I had carried with me was nowhere to be found.  There was no need for me to punish this man...he has done enough of it to himself.  We reconciled during that trip and one year later we said goodbye. 

That past few months of this year were met with surgeries and stays in assisted living facilities.  The man had yet again been given another chance to straighten himself up, but he refused to do any of his physical therapy.  We visited him in the beginning of September.  The first week of October he was gone.  The last thing he said to me was that he was sorry that he was always sick when I saw him.  I knew by his tone he meant not only during these past two years, but when I was younger and he was sick from drug addiction. 

I can't begin to describe how my heart aches at the thought that i will never see, speak to, or know this man anymore.  However, I'm sure this pales in comparison to the remorse and regret I would have bared if I had not reconciled with him.  What hurts even more is that I'm heading in the same direction as him and won't get off my ass to do anything about it.  I'm 26 years old.  I'm overweight.  I'm prediabetic.  I take pills for high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and depression.  I shake my head at my father's actions, yet I do some of the same things myself.  I am a hypocrite and it burdens my heart and mind on a daily basis.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because maybe I can use it to get the hell off my ass for once.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Start Something.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Makeup Dupes = Money Saved (MAC Dupes)

These days everyone's pretty much trying to save money in any way they can....using coupons, buying store brands, and etc.  I used to have this list of MAC dupes posted, but took it down.  After thinking about it, I put it back up because it's a great way for people to save money.  Why pay more money for something when there's another item that's half the price and may work as well?  How crappy is it when you lust over a particular shadow shade only to get it home and realize it looks horrible?

Also, did you know that even though makeup may be branded under different names, one company may make the same product?  For example, Estee Lauder makes MAC, Flirt (found in Kohls), Clinique, Aveda, and Smashbox among others?  You can find MAC dupes really easily in the Flirt line of cosmetics at Kohls and pay half of what MAC charges.  And, because it's the same company, it's pretty much the same formula.  Also, L'Oreal makes Maybelline and Lancome, as well as its own line.

MAC Dupes
  • All That Glitters- NYX Champagne
  • Amber Lights- Milani Sun Goddess, NYX Golden, Coastal Scents S36
  • Aqua- Coastal Scents M12
  • Aquadisiac- Jane Millionare
  • Aquavert- Coastal Scents S01
  • Atlas- Ulta Silk
  • Azalea- Coastal Scents M18
  • Bamboo- Coastal Scents M04
  • Band on Blue- NYX Lanikai
  • Banshee- Milani Spice
  • Beaded- NYX Sahara
  • Beautiful Iris- Ulta Iris
  • Big T- NYX Wild Fire
  • Bitter- Coastal Scents S18
  • Black Tied -Milani Storm, Prestige Onyx, Jane Clubbing, Cover Girl Shimmering Onyx
  • Blue Brown- Loreal HIP duo in Intrepid
  • Blue Noir- Prestige Ink
  • Bold and Brazen- Coastal Scents S33
  • Brick- Coastal Scents S22
  • Brill- Coastal Scents S02
  • Bronze- Victoria's Secret Between the Sheets
  • Brulee- NYX Nude, Milani Almondine
  • Brun- Maybelline Natural Smokes Quad (Outer Corner color)
  • Camel- Revlon Pro Bamboo
  • Carbon -NYX Black
  • Casa Blanca- Coastal Scents M01
  • Charcoal Brown- Coastal Scents M16
  • Colbalt- Coastal Scents M15
  • Contrast- Coastal Scents S14
  • Coppering- Milani Flare, NYX Copper
  • Coquette- Almay Khaki Eye Gel
  • Cork- NYX Dark Brown, Cover Girl Swiss Chocolate
  • Cornflower- Physician's Formula Eye-Tech
  • Cranberry- Coastal Scents S17, NYX Rust
  • Crème de Violet- Aromaleigh's Pure Eyes Frost in Desire, Ulta Iris
  • Crystal- Loreal Beauty Queen on the Loose
  • Dark Soul (Pigment)- Jane Clubbing
  • Dazzleray (Pigment)- NYC Eye Dust in Champagne
  • D'Bohemia- Ulta Knit
  • Deep Truth- Coastal Scents S23, Loreal Night Fever
  • Dementhe- Milani Clover
  • Dreammaker- Coastal Scents S03
  • Electra- Coastal Scents S26, Jane Hi Ho Silver
  • Electric- Coral (Pigment) NYX Tropical
  • Electric- Eel Milani Atlantis, NYX Irises
  • Embark- Jane Brownie Points, Flirt Coconutty
  • Emote- NYX Taupe
  • Eyepopping- NYX Lime Juice
  • Fab and Flashy- NYX Golden Orange
  • Fire in Her Eyes- Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Duo in Iced Coffee (light color)
  • Fountainbleu- Coastal Scents M11
  • French Gray- NYX Iced Mocha
  • Freshwater- Coastal Scents S12
  • Gesso- Coastal Scents M19
  • Girl Meets Boy- NYX Antique Gold
  • Glare- Prestige Golden Sun, Ulta Silk
  • Going Bananas- NYX Yellow Pearl
  • Goldmine- Prestige Golden Retriever
  • Gorgeous- Gold Loreals Enlighted Emerald Duo
  • Guacamole- Milani Limbo Lime
  • Gulf Stream- Coastal Scents S25
  • Hepcat- Prestige Blossom
  • Honey Lust- Coastal Scents S09
  • Humid- Milani Clover, Ulta Shamrock, Wet n Wild Sensual Sage, NYX Mermaid
  • Hypnotique- Prestige Saturn
  • Hypnotizing- Maybelline Lavender Fields Quad (Crease color)
  • Jest- Milani Peachy Peach, Maybelline Pink Sands, Ulta Bermuda Sand
  • Jewel Blue- Jane Surfer Girl
  • Juxt- Milani Garden Mist, Coastal Scents S01, NYX Springleaf
  • Kelly- Coastal Scents S11, Coastal Scents M02
  • Kicky Blue- Loreal Holographic Blue
  • Knight Divine- Hard Candy In The Shadows Eye Shadow Collection in 022 Splendid (top charcoal color)
  • Leisure Time- Loreal On the Loose in Flash Light
  • Lime- Coastal Scents M03
  • Little Madam- Milani Illusion
  • Lucky Green- NYX Lime
  • Lustreleaf- Coastal Scents S01
  • Meadow- Coastal Scents M05
  • Meadowland- Loreal Wear Infinite in Glistening Sea
  • Meet the Fleet- Coastal Scents M17
  • Melody- Jane Millionare
  • Metamorph- Rimmel Hope
  • Midnight Blue- Jane Blue Jeans. Prestige Horizon
  • Mulch- Milani Java Bean, Loreal HIP in Saucy
  • Naked Lunch- NYX Sahara, NYX Aloha, Wet n Wild Fine Wink, Victoria's Secret Champagne
  • Nocturnelle- Milani Shock, Coastal Scents S16
  • Nylon- NYX Barely There, Milani Shock
  • Paradisco- NYX Tropical, Coastal Scents S15, Flirt Feeling Hot
  • Parfait Amour- Milani Enchantment
  • Parrot- Ulta Deep Sea, NYX Ocean, Loreal HIP in Showy
  • Passionate- NYX Cherry, Redhead, or Sunrise
  • Patina- Coastal Scents S05
  • Perverted Pearl- Milani Silver Bullet
  • Phloof- Hard Candy High Maintenance duo (Light color)
  • Pink- Freeze Milani Taffy, Prestige Ballet, Cover Girl Pink Chiffon
  • Pink Papillon- Coastal Scents S30
  • Plum Dressing- Loreal HIP duo in Cheeky, Coastal Scents S06, Coastal Scents M08
  • Print- Coastal Scents S27
  • Purple Haze- Coastal Scents S08
  • Retrospeck- Coastal Scents S37
  • Ricepaper- NYX Frosted Flake
  • Romping- Coastal Scents S21
  • Rose- Jane Prom Queen
  • Rye- Coastal Scents S28
  • Sable- Milani Java Bean, Hard Candy High Maintenance (Dark color)
  • Saddle- Coastal Scents M14
  • Satin Taupe- NYX Root Beer, Iced Mocha, or Toffee, Coastal Scents S35, Maybelline Natural Smokes Quad (Lid color), Maybelline Silken Taupe, Ulta Twilight, Rimmel Strength
  • Say Yeah- Coastal Scents S31
  • Shadowy Lady- Loreal HIP duo in Wicked
  • Shale- Milani icy Plum
  • Shimmermoss- Coastal Scents S24
  • Shroom- Milani Classic beige, NYX Frosted Flakes
  • Signed, Sealed- Coastal Scents M06
  • Sketch- Milani Marooned, Coastal Scents S28
  • Soft Brown- Coastal Scents M07
  • Solar White- Coastal Scents S07
  • Spell No. 9- Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Duo in Iced Coffee (dark color)
  • Stars n Rockets- Milani Shock
  • Steamy- Milani Clover
  • Sumptuous Olive- Milani Antiqued Gold, Coastal Scents S10, Ulta Golden Olive
  • Texture- Coastal Scents S32
  • Trax- Coastal Scents S13, Milani Desire, Flirt Glamourazzi, Prestige Flushed
  • Twinks- Coastal Scents S29
  • Typographic- Coastal Scents M23
  • Vanilla- Milani Snow Frost, Cover Girl French Vanilla, Coastal Scents M09, Maybelline Natural Smokes Quad (Brow bone color)
  • Vellum- Milani Moonlight
  • Vibrant Grape- Coastal Scents S20
  • Wedge- Loreal HIP duo in Shady
  • Woodwinked- Milani Golden Bronze, Loreal HIP duo in Wicked, Flirt Golden Lady, NYX Walnut Bronze
  • Zonk Bleu- Coastal Scents S04

Monday, November 01, 2010

Put that leftover Halloween candy to good use!

Most years we have a good bit of candy left over on Halloween and some of it goes to waste.  If you’re like me and want to actually do something with the leftovers, check out these ideas on what to do with some of it . . .

  • Donate candy to the troops overseasThe troops love the candy for themselves, but also to give out to the children in the communities they patrol.
  • Take candy to a dentist's office in your areaSome have a buy back program and donate the candy for you.
  • Save some to make treats for the upcoming holidays!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Isn't It Pretty To Think So?

Have you ever reached the point in your life where you realize you’re not a kid anymore? And, upon thinking about said realization, you look back at the past few years and realize that life is being slowly drained from you? Or maybe you’ve just been going through the motions so well that you forgot to turn your head along the way to see what surrounds you. I’m at that moment, but I think I’ve caught it early enough to retrain my brain. It’s pretty depressing actually. 8 to 5 Mon- Fri job…weekends catching up on sleep…all evenings filled with lethargy stemmed from eating out too much. The checking account decreases while the waist lines increase. Surely this is not what life is meant to be at 26?

How the hell do people manage work, social life, family, chores, and hobbies without losing their mind or depending on caffeine pills? (Jessie Spano, anyone? I’m so excited….I’m so…so…scared!) There’s a quote from my favorite book that mentions life passing by and the response is that only bull fighters know how to live life. Why can’t I get off my ass to grab the bull by the horns for once?

Cohn: “I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it."
Jake: “Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters.”
-The Sun Also Rises

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ten Questions: Sara @ SoapRehab

I was so excited about my SoapRehab experience that I asked Sara, the owner if it would be alright if I asked her some questions for this blog. It’s always fun to learn about the people behind great products and ideas. Hope you enjoy! Don't forget to checkout my review! Thanks for sharing your time, Sara!

1. How did you get into soap making and how long have you been doing it?
The women in my family (aunts, mom, sister, grandma) used to do a lot of crafting together when I was young. As a result of this crafty childhood, I got together with my sister eight years ago and we decided to make soap as a fun project to do one Saturday, and I was completely hooked. I've made soap ever since. My sister had fun, too, but she ended up finding her artistry passion with yarn.

2. How long have you been selling soap and what motivated you to do so?
I've been selling my soap about a year and a half. I was motivated by seeing the joy it brought to others, and the empowering feeling of selling a product that I made. Also, partly by the desire to bring in additional income so that I can stay home with my son.

3. How did soap making evolve into lotions, balms, and sugar polishes?
From a very young age, I've always been keenly interested in skin care, not just face, but all over body skin care. I was reading skin care books by age 12 and never really stopped. I got my Esthetician license and learned a lot about ingredients. And once I realized I could successfully make soap, it gave me the confidence to start making lotions and other bath and body products.

4. What’s one story where an item you were making came out disastrously (or humorously) wrong?
My worst soap disaster is pretty bad!!!! It was supposed to be a vanilla, but ended up smelling like disposable diapers...that plastic-y smell. And it didn't come out of the mold well, so it ended up a crumbly, brown, lumpy, diaper-y mess. Funny, but yuck!

5. What is your favorite item to make and why?
Lotions are my favorite to make. There's just something so fun and satisfying about watching it go from a bunch of melted mess into lovely, creamy, whipped up lotion. mmm.

6. What is your best selling item?
My best selling item is my Brown Sugar Pecan Soap.

7. Your site mentions that soap is detergent and paraben free. What does this mean and why is it important?
Detergents are synthetic cleansers that are harsh on your skin, and some of which (those with phosphates specifically) are bad for the environment when washed down the drain. Some of them have molecules that are small enough to penetrate your skin, when really all you want and need from your soap is to pick up the dirt and wash you clean. This is why detergent free handmade soaps feel so much better on your skin. Parabens are preservatives sometimes used in lotions and other bath and body products. While it's a good thing to keep the bugs away (yeasts, molds, fungus, bacteria), parabens are becoming increasingly controversial as their safety has come into question. Since the jury is still out on that, I keep them out of my products.

8. You create soap by using the cold process method. What is this and how is it different that other methods?
There are a few different methods for making soap. Cold Process involves combining oils and butters with a lye solution which creates the chemical reaction that produces soap. Curing time of about 4-6 weeks is required. Hot process is a method by which the cold process soap is already made up, usually pretty fresh, then it's grated and melted down. Then additional oils, fragrances, or other additives are thrown in, and when it's finished, it doesn't require those weeks of curing. Soap like this doesn't melt all the way down to a liquid, so you have a different consistency using this method. Melt and Pour soaps, also known as glycerin soaps, are made using an already prepared base that has extra glycerin added (all handmade soap retains the glycerin as part of the chemical process, this just has extra), and is formulated to be able to melt completely. It also has a very different feel, look, and consistency. I started offering a few of these glycerin soaps in my shop, too, because I can do some really creative things with it, and some people really like the way they feel.

9. What are your future plans for SoapRehab?
I would like to continue to build my business, yet still be able to be available for my family.

10. What is one random fact about yourself?
I used to get really irritated when someone would ask my favorite color. I love all colors, I didn't want to have to play favorites! But then I took a look around me...turns out my wardrobe is mostly green, my living room scheme, several soaps I have swirled green...so ok even though I love them all, I admit: I do have a favorite color, it's green. :)

SoapRehab Store: soaprehab.etsy.com/

Off the Beaten Path: SoapRehab

It’s probably safe to say that I am a soap fiend. Through the years my skin has become so dry and sensitive, that even the “gentlest” of soaps dry out my skin and make it feel uncomfortably tight. (Aren’t you still supposed to feel radiant, glowing, and youthful in your 20s? 25 is still young, right? Did I really use the term “young whippersnappers” yesterday?)

A few months ago I was checking out Etsy and came across SoapRehab. Although I didn’t make a purchase right away, I added the shop to my favorites and decided to lust from afar until it was time for my next (self-imposed) monthly allowance. During this time, I continued my Etsy scouting, but still found myself checking back on SoapRehab. There was something so visually appealing and comforting to me that kept me coming back. Though my wish list was a mile long, I decided to start with the Buttercream Frosting Shaving bar and the Caramel Latte Exfoliating bar. (I also purchased the Caramel Latte Bath Soak, but one of you lucky readers will be the one who gets to try it! The bath soak is one out of a mountain of items included in my giveaway!)
A few weeks ago after getting home from the gym one night, my package was waiting for me. What better time to try out soap than when you’re getting back from a sweaty workout? I ran the shower, opened up the buttercream bar and lathered up my hands. As the sweet aroma filled the shower, the first words out of my mouth was “Holy s**t!” I can not begin to describe just how amazing this soap smelled. It was like holding a piece of fresh baked cake in my hands. My mouth began to water and in all honesty, I actually began contemplating if I should give the soap a quick lick. (I wanted to, but I didn’t.) This soap has a nice smooth lather to it and glides nicely over the skin. It also allowed my razor to glide against my skin very easily and left my skin feeling smooth and fresh. I was excited it wasn’t still or tight feeling. I can’t wait to try the Caramel Latte Exfoliating bar which has small coffee granules that gently exfoliate the skin….mmm sounds invigorating!
SoapRehab Store: soaprehab.etsy.com/
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