7.18.2011

Ten.


Well, I am turning 28 tomorrow. Yikes. It's been ten years since I turned 18, which to me is just crazy since it seems like only yesterday. I had gone to my parents house last night to visit and I happened on my Prom dress from 2001. Not even realizing that it marks the dress' 10-year-reunion(ish), I tried it on. I was pleasantly surprised that it still fit, if even being a little too large for me. I blame it solely on the fact that my senior year of high school was a time when I had stopped swimming but still had the appetite of a swimmer. A funny thing that people don't tell you about getting older is that your body wont necessarily get bigger or smaller, but that it simply changes shapes. I don't have any kids, so that probably makes a difference as well. But I have to admit, I still love this dress.


I also feel like my head has gotten longer. Just sayin'.

So to celebrate my ten-years-since-high-school, I want to tell you 10 things that I have learned in the past decade.

1. You, and you alone, are responsible for your own happiness. Seriously.

2. Don't be afraid of a little confrontation. It's good for you.

3. There are plenty of things to worry about in your life. And the majority of those things are things that you can't even fathom before they happen. So stop worrying about the things that you think will matter in the future... they pale in comparison to the things that really will.

4. Take care of your body. The way you feel will reflect in your actions and moods. Eat healthy, get outside, and laugh as often as possible (it's good for your soul!)

5. Stop trying to be who you think other people want you to be. Not only does it never work to please others, but it's SO obvious when you're trying to be someone you're not.

6. Make mistakes. Enjoy them. Learn from them. And then try not to dwell on them again. You're supposed to live by trial and error. The things you think you've done that seem embarrassing are the same things that pretty much everybody else has done. Life is all about moving forward and learning from what you left behind you.

7. Stop waiting for tomorrow to do the stuff you're dreaming about. It's easy to let a day pass you by, and then another day pass you by... be careful not to let too many of those days passed-by turn into a lifetime passed-by.

8. Don't be afraid of your potential. Or your passion. It's much easier to regret the things you did than the things you were too scared to even try.

9. Don't get too caught up in the "party scene" if you can help it. I know your parents are telling you that drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are bad. They're not just saying it because it sounds good. They lived through the 60's, they know what they are talking about. Anyone they/I know who messed with that stuff too much looks and acts like a complete loser later in life.

10. Love someone. Love something. Love someplace. Love everything. You'll never look back on your life and regret that you filled yours and other people's lives with a little love. Too many people fill their lives with hate or discontent. And for what?? It's been my experience that the people who don't fill the world with a little more love are generally too scared to do it for one reason or another. Don't be afraid to show a little love to your world around you.

7.15.2011

A Fool For School.

Well, it's almost time for school. That's right, I'm going back. Now before anyone thinks that I am being noble or trying to actually further myself (wouldn't want to give that impression!), please note that I am not going back for a degree. Why, you ask, would anyone do this? Well...
Quite frankly I'm bored. And I was thinking of all the opportunity I'm wasting by not learning anything new lately. I had given some thought to going back to school while I was planning my trip to Europe, and I couldn't think of a legitimate reason not to go back. And who knows, maybe I will take a few classes and realize that I should be taking something relevant. But for now I am taking classes that interest me. I think the thing I always disliked about school was that I had this set list of classes to take in order to "make something" of my education. But according to whom? I never want to be something to meet any one's standards but my own. So this semester I wanted to take classes that I felt would pursue interests of mine and hopefully improve my standard of living in a few ways. Namely- creative writing and nutritional classes. Two of my great passions. Words cannot express how excited I am to get started. I'm sure the writing class in particular will be tough, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. And like I said- who knows where this starting point will take me? Maybe next I will decide to get another degree...?

7.13.2011

Summer Tunes.




Here's a little something to tap your toes to.

7.12.2011

A few fun things.




I am obsessed with everything about this engagement picture above. The suspenders, the blanket... and her ring (you cant see it very well here) is turquoise and diamonds. Stunning. The picture above it is a part of the shoot as well. Don't worry, I don't have wedding fever, it's just a lovely image.

7.11.2011

No Superman.



Over the weekend (or was it last week? I don't remember) I had a discussion about human frailty. And for whatever reason, it crossed my mind again this morning while I was on my way to work. This is usually when I come up with stuff to blog about, by the way. While I'm on my way to work. So when I post something at nearly 3pm (like today) it means that I have had it on my mind all day and been bursting to write it down but haven't had time.



Anyways I was discussing with someone about what happens when people don't show their frailties to one another. As a matter of fact this is something that pops into my mind quite often. Mainly because there are SO many different types of people in this world. And it always fascinates me to see people who hold up a strong front to the rest of us. I, for one, am not one of those people. I sincerely feel that the "me" I present to the world is one of such a thin layer of protection that it would take very little to poke a hole for the world to see who I am. I am very, very flawed. For one, I am NOTORIOUS for not thinking before I speak and it gets me in a lot of trouble. I think because there is not much I would be willing to tell only a select few and hide from the rest. And since I have nothing to hide, I simply choose not to censor myself.



But there are lots of people who hold back. People who refuse to let the world see that they are fragile. They care about things, they have ideas, they feel strongly about their world and people around them- and yet they hold it all in. They hold it so tightly that we can almost see it on their faces... what are you hiding?? And I guess there must be a certain respectability to that type of self-control. I wouldn't know how difficult it must be to keep it up. But it also runs a great risk that no one will ever know you. And maybe that is the goal, but I can't imagine a life of not being known. I am one of those people who, if I feel a certain way about something, I announce it. Because I would hate to have a piano drop on my head tomorrow and people not know who I was and what I stood for. And honestly, I think a certain level of respect ought to come along with admission of frailty. Because it takes a lot of trust to tell someone, "I care greatly about this. This is my weak spot. This is what can break me," and then trust them not to betray it.



Take for example the frailty of crying. I hate crying. I don't like people who cry often and for no reason. And I have prided myself on not being a person like that. Until maybe the past year or so. And suddenly I am a person who watches sad movies and cries. Oh, and of course I hide my face and I pretend I'm wiping sleep out of my eyes... but I'm not fooling anybody. I'm still working on embarrassment level control here, but all in all I'm not ashamed of it. It's perfectly okay to be someone who shows emotion, and sometimes I have to remind even myself of this.



The funny thing to me is that when you logically look at this type of behavior it seems a bit silly. Why do you now want people to know you're upset or hurting about something? What, because they will know you have feelings? Because you think they will hurt them further?? Guess what, I doubt anybody would be shocked to discover that when something sad happens- you cry. Big shocker of the year: you have emotions! I think so long as they are relatively rational (see: not crying over a spilled glass of Cafe au Lait), you're pretty much in the clear. I don't think you're going down in any one's history books as The Crier, you're in the clear.



But I also think that withholding frailty can actually hurt your relations with people. I believe that a bond is made where people take risks. A bond between friends where one says to the other, "If you do this, it will hurt me. I'm handing you my Kryptonite." And when that goes unused, the friendship takes a turn into the territory of, "And now I KNOW that I can trust you." And from there, bonds ensue. I have a number of people in my life who I know, but I don't really KNOW. And that is because I have never held on to their Kryptonite for safe keeping. I've never been given the opportunity to prove who I can be as their friend. And you know, I get that. I get people being afraid. I'm sure I am afraid of stuff all the time. I still take risks on people and perhaps that is some unyielding faith I have in the goodness of humanity or something equally cheesy sounding. But that's the type of person that I am. And let me tell you, I've been hurt. I've been ground right down into the concrete when I've taken risks. But I will also say that I have reaped some of the greatest rewards of friendship I could have imagined. So that's my take on the whole thing. Only those who take great risks can really appreciate great rewards.

7.08.2011

Sayum.


This is my friend Sayum. She used to live with me. Let me tell you why she's so great.


Sayum was supposed to move into a house with myself and a few other girls back in 2007 or so, and she had found us on Craigslist to rent the room there. When she came by to look at the place we all instantly fell in like with her and wanted her to be our new roommate. The only problem was that we had all planned to move out of that house and look for a new one together. So we called Sayum and told her, "Look: we are moving. And we would like it if you came with us and we looked for a 4 bedroom rather than a 3 bedroom." And that day she voided out the check she had written for her deposit and we found the house that I currently call home. I remember when she first moved in that we weren't particularly close friends, mainly due to the fact that I was never home. But in the nearly 3 years that we shared a house, I'd like to think that she and I have become much closer friends. And it makes me happy.

The first thing that I noticed about her was her loyalty. When I get mad about something or someone, I have a tendency to want to vent about it. I freely admit that to any of my friends... "If I'm mad at you, I'm going to discuss it until I feel resolved." Sayum has always allowed me to vent to her, but she NEVER joins in. And I respect that about her. I know that she is a very, very loyal friend at all times. I think that Sayum's friends are very important to her, more so than with most other people. I see her as the type of friend who, if you called her at 3am stuck somewhere, would throw on some slippers and drive to get you. And she wouldn't ever hold it over your head as any kind of "You owe me one!"

Another thing that I've always admired about Sayum (and quite frankly I think most people notice it too) is how effortlessly stylish she is at all times. Her room at my house, and the handful of places she has lived since, have all been immaculate and adorable. Her outfits- always put together. I don't think you could even attempt to catch her looking anything but super cute. She has a slew of tattoos that are my favorite I've seen, so well done that people have copied them! Normally I would be jealous of someone like her and how easy she makes it all look except that I'm lucky enough to be her friend and can just ask her for tips on how she does it!

I have never once been in a fight with Sayum. I don't think it's her style. And not that she's any kind of push over, just that Sayum is logical. She isn't going to act in a way that will be rude, or selfish, or nonsensical. She's very, very smart and she has always been one of those people who is mature for her age in so many ways. She knows what is important to her and she never pauses to doubt it.

Sayum and her boyfriend Grant just got engaged a few weeks ago and it makes me so happy. He is another one of my absolute most favorite people in the world and they could not be more of a perfect couple. I am beyond excited to see the life that they create with one another because I know how amazing it is going to be. I consider myself very, very lucky to be counted among their friends!!

7.06.2011

Saving Face.

Ever since I can remember, I've been a product junkie. I don't think that I am any kind of guru or anything like that... mainly just a person who has always had an interest in what new cosmetic stuff is out there. I spend a good deal of my time, money, and energy on investigating what works (for me) and what doesn't. I read blogs, I spend HOURS at Sephora and Ulta, and I watch Youtube videos on beauty products. I'm not claiming that I have perfect or even great skin. But I think that I'm making the most out of what my genetics gave me. Anyways- here are some of my staples of stuff that I like. Stuff that feels good on my face, and stuff that I recommend based on over 15 years of reading magazines about what I should be doing to and for my skin.

I have been using Neutrogena since I was probably 14 years old. Maybe younger. I used to use Neutrogena's Deep Clean Gel Wash, but now that I'm getting older and my skin is maturing a little bit I'm using this instead. It's a nice cream scrub so it's hydrating but also heads off any pimples I might get. Yea, I know. What kind of 28 year-old gets pimples? This kind, apparently. I also really love that it is cooling and my face feels really fresh after I wash it.

Another favorite since forever. I love that it's really gritty so it makes me feel like I'm getting a good scrub.

When I was younger I used to be really into spending my extra money on expensive beauty products. Nowadays I don't buy anything really pricey unless I'm pretty sure it's going to be worth it. And this is absolutely worth it. There are a few main ingredients that most magazines will tell you you should be looking for in face products: Vitamin C, Anti-Oxidants, Vitamin E, and Retinol. There might be more but those are the main ones I look for. This Face Peel gives you a nice polish but it also has Vitamin C which I LOVE. I swear my skin always looks brighter after I use this. I'm a huge advocate of most Philosophy products, actually. They've really got it going on in my opinion.

I normally don't get into Murad stuff. It's really expensive and I just haven't had that high of an opinion of the results when I've tried it. However- there is NO beating this face mask. Especially if you've got oily skin or acne. Seriously. I've had days when I've used this and within hours my face has completely cleared up. It's like magic.
The Body Shop just plain rules. They follow Community Trade, their stuff is all natural, and everything they sell is pretty much amazing. I have dreams about their Olive Body Butter. Their Vitamin C line is great and I'm a big fan of the face refreshing spray. It's perfect for a mid-day spritz and I tend to keep one in my car for those hot drives when I start to feel like my skin is getting stale. Bonus: it smells like oranges!


I just tried this for the first time since it was on sale and I have to admit I couldn't be happier. It feels great, it has those Anti-Oxidants that I'm supposed to be using, and it smells delicious. I actually use the night version but will most likely buy this daytime one with the SPF. Obviously we all know how important SPF is, right? Good.

I LOVE this. I like that it has Retinol. I like that it smells incredible (can you tell how into scent I am yet?). And I love the consistency of the cream in that it's not too thick but it doesn't evaporate as soon as I put it on. I usually concentrate on putting this on my forehead and under my eyes, where my genes predict I will show age the most. ROC rocks!




So there you have my list of favorite products. I hope it doesn't come off as arrogant for me to preach about what I use. I just know that I spend a lot of money on face stuff and I've always appreciated knowing what people feel hasn't been a waste of theirs!!

7.05.2011

7.01.2011

InStyle.

I want to be these pretty ladies when I grow up. Every single one of them has the most gorgeous style ever!!






I die!!