Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Father

My father died in 2001. 

Today would have been his 58th birthday. 

I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn't. 

Every milestone, every tragedy, every celebration, every new lesson learned... I wish he was here.  

I wish he was here to play with my nephew, and support my sister while she prepares to bring my nieces into the world. 

I wish he was here to see the man my brother has become. 

Sometimes, I wish he was here because he died before I feel like I really got to know him.  A child only knows their parent as that... a parent.  You don't see them as a person until you become your own person.  I often wonder who he was.  

I wonder what he would think of me.  I wonder if he would be proud of me.  

Sometimes, I wonder what I might be like if it weren't for his death.  

Then I realize that while I sometimes long for his presence, at the time time... much of who and what I am was directly impacted by his death.  And as terrible as it is, I'm grateful for it because I love who I am. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Confession: Admit

This week's prompt:
ADMIT

I'm really good at admitting my problems.  Sometimes, I'm so good at admitting what is wrong with me that I take responsibility for things that aren't my fault because I'm usually more willing to accept that something that happened or went wrong was my fault instead of being someone else's fault, or just one of those "things that happen".

Even though I'm good at admitting things, I suck at actually changing them. 

I'm not good at admitting when my feelings are hurt.  I'd rather shut out the person who hurt them until I'm ready to try again.  This usually doesn't work so well. 

I admit that I occasionally pee in the shower. And for the record, no....I haven't had Athlete's Foot yet. I also believe that anyone who says they haven't tried it is a liar.

I admit that I see the glass as half full when I'm filling it, half empty when I'm emptying it.  And when I just stumble on a glass that is only half full/empty, I wonder who the lazy fucker was that just left their glass there with something still in it. 

I admit that I think the Internet is what is dumbing down America.  Sometimes, I'm ashamed to feel like I'm a part of it. 

I admit that today might have been a day where I should have just stayed in bed. 




Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Confession: Read

This week's prompt:
READ

When I was younger, I often felt there were messages behind people's words, social cues that I just didn't know how to read.  I didn't think I could read between the lines.  I often wished people were readable like the books I spent so much time with my nose in as a child. 

But in a strange way, things are starting to make sense in a way they never did before because I'm starting to believe that when people say things, the message "between the lines" is really everything I might ever need to know about who they are as opposed to what they might be saying about me. 

I keep trying to be friends with my ex.  Not this ex, but THIS ex.  I keep trying to figure out what might have gone wrong when the truth is that he is a sociopath.  

Yes.  I went out for dinner with my ex the other night (as friends!), looked him in the face and told him he is a sociopath. 

I'm so charming.  

The more I think about it, I think about all the things he's said and done over the years and as much as I would like people to see me as I am and not how I may have been in the past the truth is that in many ways I am the same person.  And when I think about the things he used to say, some of which he still does, he was telling me who he was the entire time. 

I've come to realize that all of the things people have said that I took as some kind of sad thing, something that made me want to be a better person in their life was really a statement that should have told me something about THEM.

When we were younger, he used to tell me that you can't trust anyone.  I heard: there is no one trustworthy in my life.  I went above and beyond to be a rock, someone who could be counted on to be honest and reliable.  Truth is... people who ARE something don't say it doesn't exist.  If he was trustworthy, then he wouldn't say such a thing because he would know personally that people can be trusted.

That realization might have changed how I look at my entire world.  The fact that I believe I can be trusted is why I believe people can be trusted.  I don't expect everyone to be like me.  I don't think I'm the best or I'm always right or I have all of the answers.  But I think in a lot of ways... I try.  I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated.  I try to give people the benefit of doubt because when people act shitty I want to believe it is because there is a reason for it... the same way I want people to understand that most of the time when I act shitty it is for a reason. 

 I've spent so much time wondering what went wrong with him, why he said and did the not so great and nice things he has done in the past.  I keep thinking there must be something that went wrong.  But the truth is, he really just isn't a very good person.  He isn't a good human bean (yes, BEAN) but I keep going back and trying to be his friend, be good to him, be kind and a friend because I am a good bean.  

This often gets misinterpreted by people, especially men, who misinterpret the nice things I do as some kind of "red flag" that I'm trying to hone in for a relationship or something they don't want to give.  And that makes me sad, because it tells me that when they do something similar it isn't to just be a good human bean...it might just be because they are trying to hone in for something.

I get burned in relationships, in friendships, in life... because I believe that people can be trusted, that people can change, that people deserve second chances.  And I believe all of these things because I believe I can be trusted, can change, deserve second changes.  I get burnt out sometimes and wind up hiding in my house and hating people because I feel like I'm wrong so often.  But I think I should start learning how to take what people say and consider what the message is really saying about them before extending myself in a way that leaves me hanging when all I want is someone to treat me the way that I treat them.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 12/5/2014


Welcome to another Friday Feats & Fails!  It's been busy.  Very busy.  So let's talk about the week!

FAILS:
-  My Sunday Confession was a day late.  There were problems.  It sucked.

-  I have worked a ridiculous amount of overtime this week.  Ok, not really... I've probably worked more hours in one week when I had two jobs, but I'm exhausted.  I don't mind it because I love my office and the people I work with, but I did over 40 hours between Sunday-Thursday and I still have two days left.  No one wants to work that much, I don't care what anyone says.

-  Cyber Monday kicked my ass.

-  I've eaten out at least 4 times this week. There was Pizza Hut, Texas Roadhouse, and Chinese food... and my boss bought everyone lunch one day!  I need to get that under control.

-  I've tried not to say anything in the interest of not airing dirty laundry and because I try not to be the person who keeps talking about their ups and downs of a relationship ALL THE TIME.  But Bonehead is being a bonehead.  I thought we'd fixed things between us, but the man needs a dose of "Act Right" because in my opinion he hasn't been.  So that sucks, but it isn't what I feel bad about (and perhaps the fact that I don't feel bad ought to be a fail too).  On Thanksgiving, someone asked me about him and I actually said he was one Indian who deserved smallpox for Thanksgiving.  So... that is on my fail list.  Not that fact that I said it about him, but because I said it.  If that makes sense.

-  The car wash made me look like an asshole.  I went in for a simple wash, it kept telling me to drive forward then I overshot which caused the whole thing to shut down and flash red lights for like 8 minutes until an attendant finally appeared and reset the thing.  So... I was the dumbass at the carwash holding up the line, looking like she was too stupid to use the thing.

-  I have one thing ordered for Christmas.  As someone working in online sales, you would think I would know better.

-  I've gotten 7 hours of sleep since 7:00 am on Wednesday morning.  I could not sleep Wednesday night.  I got up for work at 7 am, went out for dinner at 7 pm and then watched a movie and got home sometime around 11:30 and I laid there until it was time to get up for work.  I picked up donuts for my office, got to work and the person I work with who was supposed to work with me showed up 15 minutes late, then worked from 6 am until 7:20 pm.  Got home late Thursday and didn't get to bed until 11:30-12, and was back up at 7 am this morning.

-  I haven't done a damn thing around the house all week.  As a matter of fact, I wore a thong that was a tad too tight for my entire 13.5 hour day at work yesterday.  Can you say OUCH?


FEATS:
+  I have a job where I love being with the people I work with, and I am allowed to work overtime.  There was a problem with the Internet at work and I am being allowed to work from home.  That is pretty awesome.  And my paycheck will be even more awesome.

+  Just because I'm upset about eating out this week doesn't mean I didn't really enjoy the bacon stuffed crust pizza, the steak, the giant margarita with the extra shot of Patron, and the Chinese food.

+  I don't know if you noticed, but today I get to work from home.  That is awesome.  Maybe I'll get my Christmas ordering done.

+  Sweaters on clearance.  I can't find boots in my size to save my life and I really need them, but clearance sweaters I was able to make happen for a very good price.  Like more than 60% off.  While spending the money wasn't the most awesome thing, I DO need them.

+  My sister found out yesterday that she is expecting TWINS.  I'm terrified for her because...well, that's sisterhood.  Hell... I'm terrified for me because I can barely afford to spoil the nephew I've got the way that I do.  I'm also very excited because I love babies and I am hopeful that the two new ones will love and adore me as much as my nephew does.  He is also thrilled at the fact that he will be big brother to two instead of one.

So... I think that wraps it up.  Lots of good things, couple of shitty things.... it is going to be an interesting rest of the year I think.

How about you?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Power






Power is so many things.

I believe that your mouth has power, that by saying something you are sending it out into the universe as something that could be.  That the words you use create a ripple not only in the world, but on the person you use them to or about.

I believe in a higher power.  What that higher power is I'm not sure, but what if "God" is really just a power?  Not good or bad but just "power"?  Are you using that power to propel yourself for good or evil?  Is the agenda or goal you're promoting one that spreads positive ripples or negative ripples?

I believe that we all have power.  Power to change the life of an animal, the life of a person, the condition of things and the way things stand.  We have the power to choose how we are going to see and respond to any situation we encounter.  Sometimes, we don't realize how much power we have.  Sometimes we give away our power.

I believe that sometimes when you want to take power away from something, the best thing you can do is laugh at it.  Someone once told me that if people had laughed at Hitler and kept laughing, World War II might not have ever happened.  In many ways, I believe this could have been true.  I know that in my own life, I am not really ok with something until I can laugh at it and while it might still hurt... I know if I can laugh at it, I can survive it somehow.

Consider your power.  Consider the power you have, how it impacts others,  how it impacts your world... are you using it wisely?


Friday, November 28, 2014

Product Junkie Review: Birchbox November 2014


October was an interesting month for subscriptions.  I received my first Ipsy box this month and between Ipsy and Birchbox I managed to get a blend of products I both loved and wasn't so crazy about.  Overall, I would have to say that I was pretty pleased because the products I got that were really great pretty much made the ones I wasn't so pleased with look not too bad.


Not Soap, Radio Body Wash ($16.00/13.61 fl. oz./402.5 ml) “Awash in a Field of Four-Leaf Clover” is a fragrance with actual four-leaf clover extract from Ireland and green tea to tone and calm the skin.  From the first sniff, I knew it was going to be one of my favorite products and so far it really has been!  I look forward to showering!  The scent is pleasant and enjoyable while in the shower, but doesn't linger long so to interfere with lotions or perfumes you might apply later.  Not only did it smell good, but got me clean and left my skin feeling good.  Plus...it is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates and are never tested on animals.  This was definitely one of my favorite products in this box!


Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask ($58.00/6 tubes .33 oz each) This was my chosen sample selection this month and I was lucky enough to get it.  I was thrilled!!!

This smells AWESOME.  The texture was nice and it applied smoothly.  I was not thrilled about the way it felt on my face... not exactly a burning, but kind of a cooling mentholyptus feeling that I don't care for in any product.  When I washed my face, it rinsed off easily and without harsh scrubbing or needing to use a scrub or cleanser to get all of the product off (which often happens to me).  When I rinsed the first thing I noticed was how fresh faced I felt.  I put on a heavy night moisturizer, and I actually texted a friend to tell her that I felt like my face had just given birth to a new face.  It was an incredible feeling!  I did experience a little redness, but it went away.  There was no dryness and at one point I moved my nose to the side to look at some dryness I had been experiencing on the side and some blackheads that were on top of my nose actually cleared themselves out!  Totally interesting and new experience.  I will definitely be investing in some of this in the future.







Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil ($24.00)  Man, I have been getting a lot of eyeliner lately.  And quite a few purple ones too now that I think about it.  I really didn't notice much of a difference about this one.  The color is nice, pretty true to what is represented.  I didn't notice anything unusual or extraordinary about how long it lasted.  I don't think I'd purchase it for myself because it is a $24.00 eyeliner, but I'm glad I got to try it.  What I can say is that this item actually didn't make it into my box and was supposed to.  Which meant that I got to contact Customer Service for my first missing item ever.  And they were an absolute dream! 







Vosges Petits Chocolats ($20.00/4.8 oz) I would do anything for chocolate, but I don't know about these Vosges Petits Chocolats. 70% cacao dark chocolate shell filled with rich sugar caramel, which comes in four distinct flavors: black salt caramel, pink Himalayan crystal salt caramel, smoke & stout caramel, and blood orange caramel.  I happened to get the Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt Caramel.  I like pink Himalayan sea salt.  It was delicious and completely wonderful.  I love salted caramel that actually tastes like it is salted.  But, $20.00 for 12 caramels is a bit much even for me.





 
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen  ($43.00/1.7oz)  I received a small, magazine sample size of this as a "bonus" with my Laura Mercier eyeliner this month. I didn't even bother because I don't think I'd really get an idea of what I think about it in order to really comment on it. 







Klorane Floral Water Make-up Remover with Soothing Cornflower ($23.00/13.5 fl oz)  This was super gentle and removed my eye-makeup pretty well.  I've been taking a more "relaxed" approach to my eye makeup as of late, but this definitely combated my mascara pretty well and removed effectively for something so gentle.  I probably won't be purchasing it any time soon, but definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a product like this.





Atelier Cologne Absolute Santal Carmin ($195.00/100mL)  I am really unhappy about this cologne.  I received my sample in a small bag with a postcard.  At first sniff, I wasn't sure what to think.  But then I actually put it on and fell in love.  This scent makes me happy and it lasts for hours and hours.  I got more than 10 hours wear with this and could still smell it when I went home after an 11 hour day.  That is incredible and it smells amazing.  So what am I so unhappy about?  The fact that this is something I really can not afford.  I'm going to be saving Birchbox points forever for this one!




Overall, Birchbox was an excellent investment this month.  For people who wonder if Birchbox is worth it, I'd like to point out that in my box I received an entire .33oz tube of the Cuppa Cuppa Mask and when you purchase it you get six; that one sample alone was worth nearly $10 and so worth it!  While I hope not to see anymore eyeliners or tiny, magazine size samples, this month's winning products were totally worth it!

Looking to sign up?  CLICK HERE

And if you gift someone with Birchbox, you get a free box for every subscription you gift someone!!

Friday Feats & Fails 11/28/2014





Holiday!  Celebrate!  Haha... just kidding.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, or at least enjoyed whatever they ended up doing yesterday.  And, of course, I am grateful for those serving in our Armed Forces and Emergency/Human Services who were unable to be home yesterday because they were serving and sacrificing for the people of this country...without them, I wouldn't have the opportunity to have my Feats & Fails or have Thanksgiving.

On to this week...

FAILS:
-  We got a Keurig at work.  I am now drinking two cups a day.  Yay, caffeine dependence!

-  I didn't do shit this past weekend.  Seriously.  Not shit.

-  I think I'm being lied to by someone I care about.  I realize that when it comes to me, it is a fine line between intuition and paranoia because of how people have lied to me and hurt me in the past.  I can say that it has had an intensely negative impact on my life and how I view relationships with others.  I have trust issues.  But there reaches a point where a person's actions say so much about how they feel about you and where they hold you not only in their heart but on their list of priorities.

-  I had the grossest nosebleed ever this week.  It was short, but super gross.  And it was at the Post Office.  Why does gross shit keep happening to me at the Post Office?  What the hell?

-  I was rude to someone who was rude to me.  I try to be better than that and in one instance I wasn't this week.  I won't lie and say that my feelings weren't a little hurt to be spoken to the way I was when I was a attempting to show someone appreciation and pay them a compliment.  At the same time, I'm a little mad at myself for not shrugging it off as someone being a jackhole and unworthy of my time.

-  I have something like 6 product reviews to write over the next few days.

-  I forgot to share the Sunday Confessions topic.  Which sucks.  What sucks more?  The fact that no one noticed. 

-  I've been clenching my teeth in my sleep and waking up with headaches.  This is both painful, uncomfortable and a terrible way to start the day.


FEATS:
+  I feel less stressed.  I still have a mountain of bills, a dirty apartment and more to do that I have energy but somehow I just feel more comfortable with things.  Like they will be taken care of in due time.  I feel ok with this.

+  I was able to help give some support towards a cause I feel very strongly about.  For more information Ryan Holle Petition.

+  Thanksgiving was delicious this year.  There wasn't a single thing I didn't eat seconds of and I don't feel bad about it for one second.

+  Week 3 of my new job and I still love it.  Things are getting busier, people are getting crazier, but I'm still happy to be here.  My coworkers are cool.  My boss seems to genuinely appreciate me.  I just love being here and I feel like a valued contributor.  That is awesome, because I haven't felt that way in a long time.

+  My Mom bought me a new sweater and it is AWESOME.

+  I got a love letter at work last week from a man named Bubba, who called me "Sweetie" and when he called referred to me as "Sweetie" and "Honey".  I love old men who call me "Sweetie".

+  Overtime weekend!

+ I posted an awesome holiday gift guide this week!  READ IT HERE 

+  I was just messaged on Plenty of Fish by a guy who likes larger women and wants to feed me.  I think a dream just came true. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

All I Want For Christmas 2014

'Tis the Season to be Jolly!!

Or something...

I'll admit that even though I KNOW the holidays aren't supposed to be about materialism, I still get a little Grinchy when I don't know what to get someone or where to get something good.  So here are my gift ideas and website recommendations for Christmas 2014.



Custom Jigsaw Puzzles  A great gift for the puzzle person in your family because chances are, they've never put together a puzzle created from their own family photo, pet photo or a picture from that last great vacation.

PortraitPuzzles.com will take your favorite photo and turn it into a custom jigsaw puzzle or use your own design image to create a quality, custom puzzle made to last. 

Puzzles range in size from 16" x 10" to huge floor puzzles.  Price varies according to size and number of pieces, but start as low as $27.99.  They also offer $5.00 Economy shipping within the continental United States as well as shipping to Canada and Australia.  Definitely worth looking into if you have a puzzle lover in the family.

The great part is that they are a small business, so you're supporting a small business owner by purchasing from them.  Plus, More Than Cheese and Beer readers can use code PPORDER06 for $2.00 off their order!


Birchbox  I have been a Birchbox member for over a year now and I am still in LOVE.  Every month I get a box full of goodies for $10.  You can read my reviews here.  They offer three options for gifting starting at $30.00 for 3 months.  Birchbox is also now shipping to Canada! 

https://www.birchbox.com/invite/thbqdI think it is a great gift option for anyone who likes to experiment with products, a teenager who might be new to beauty products and wants to try new things, or anyone who might like a once a month pick-me-up.  This is what I'm getting MYSELF this year!  Purchase a Birchbox Gift Here.



Jamberry Nails  I will admit, I am a new Jamberry fan.  I'd first seen them a little over a year ago and was sent a sample from an incredibly nice Jamberry Consultant who sent me a few in the mail to try.  While I love the application and the patterns Jamberry was selling at the time, unfortunately the nail shields just didn't last for me.  Whether it was my job at the time or the application, I'm not sure but I wasn't thrilled enough to even consider ordering them because my manicure lasted one day.

Since then, however, Jamberry has apparently re-done the nail shields and I was graciously sent another sample by fellow blogger and Jamberry Consultant Anna-May Jeffries.  I can now see why everyone is so in love with them!  The Fall/Winter catalog is incredible and they are currently Buy 3, Get 1 Free!  So you could use them as stocking stuffers, or get a bunch for one person.

They also have the "Nail Art Studio" where you can create your Jamberry Nails with your images!  How cool is that?!?!
To Order: Jamberry by Anna-May  For Specials and Promos follow Anna-May on Facebook.



Penny Jules  I love Penny Jules!  Heather's designs are inspired, creative, super cute, and won't break the bank.  She has everything from Doctor Who inspired jewelry to Day of the Dead Skull earrings.  She even has Disney Princess inspired jewelry and hair combs, which I love because she incorporates wonderful little details and they're suitable for Princess fans of all ages.  

I'll be buying some things from Penny Jules for the people on my list for sure!



Mommy Needs Wine, Not Whine Mugs  She's hot.  She blogs.  She writes rude things on tea cups.  I've gotten so many wonderful things and given away so many wonderful things from this lady, I can't even begin to tell you!  She ships Priority Mail, the mugs are more than reasonably priced especially considering she hand-paints them all in her kitchen while drinking Sauvignon Blanc.

If you're looking for formal tea sets with "Whore", "Slut" or some other obscenity written on it... she's your girl!  She's also been known to crank out humping stick figure mugs and draw dicks on the bottom of coffee cups by request.
 
To get your own Mommy Needs Wine, Not Whine Gift check her out on Facebook.

Her latest stroke of genius?  This amazing Inigo Montoya mug.  I love it.  Get Your Mug On Here.



The Original BeautyBlender  I got one for myself, I wrote the review.  I stand behind the Original BeautyBlender as a great gift because I think gifts should be useful, or something someone might want but not necessarily want to spend the money for which makes the $20 BeautyBlender an awesome gift.  If you're not a Birchbox member, you can also find the BeautyBlender on Amazon for $16.99.
 

PartyLite I don't care what anyone says... candles make the world a happier place.  I am in love with PartyLite's ScentGlow Warmers.  This might be the year I stock up on ALL THE THINGS.  You can order from Jimmy at PartyLite. AND... they are having a 12 Days of Christmas Sale through the 12th!!
Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil. Birchbox says: No more wondering which pencil, powder, or mousse best matches your brows: Pick up this pencil from Ofra, and you’ve got the right shade. Its universally flattering tone works to define and fill brows of any color, and the water-resistant formula stays put all day.  They aren't joking... it really is universally flattering, it really does stay put all day and my brows look fantastic.  Using this pencil actually got me complimented on my eyebrows for the first time in my life.  This is probably one of the best products I've tried all year and I think everyone should have one.  EVERYONE.  Sharing is caring; Give the gift of good brows!  This can be purchase on Birchbox for $13 or you can buy it directly from Ofra.


Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette ($19.95 on Birchbox)  Another Birchbox find, this palette is one of my favorites.  It has a variety of earthy and awesome colors and I have yet to meet anyone who can't find at least one color they like in this palette.  You can find it on Birchbox or on Amazon.com






I am in love with Anti-Clothes t-shirts.  $5.00 a shirt and I've found at least six shirts I want to order for someone in my family (aka my brother), myself and a couple of my friends.  You can't beat the price and a $50 order gets free shipping.  I don't think I will have any problems spending $50 on this site.


Stupid.com Need a gag gift?  Something involving bacon?  An ugly sweater?  Fake barf, poop or hairballs?  Something with zombies or unicorns?  Grumpy cat, Doctor Who, Star Wars or Superhero merchandise?  I know... you think I'm joking, but I'm not.  If is it stupid or just kinda weird you can find it at Stupid.com.  There is no limit to the stupid awesomeness on this site whether it is a gag gift, a white elephant gift for the in-laws you hate, or just something a little different...you can find it here.  I've ordered from them many times before and while the site is stupid, the customer service isn't.  Check out the Stupid here.


Julep It's good to be a Maven!  I've been a Julep Maven for a year and I love it because mavens get first access to new colors and products, and special discounts!  Boxes come with $40 of product for just $20/month. Definitely a good gift for a nail polish connoisseur, not to mention... their Mint Condition Pedi Creme is the best, their Glycolic Hand Scrub will keep your digits soft, and their Oxygen Treatment line has given me the best nails I've ever had (even getting complimented by nail technicians).  

You can give Maven Boxes for 2, 4 or 6 months or sign up to become a Maven yourself (be sure to use code FREEBOX to get your first box free!)


The Honest Company  Oh, Jessica Alba, you're doing something right!  Even though Target now carries some of The Honest Company's products, I'm still receiving bundles because I save money on the items I'm buying and using.  Read my Honest Company Review.  They have an awesome collection of Gifts like the Baby Arrival Gift set, the Mini Diaper Cakes, Bath Time Sets, and you can always give an Essential Gifts Bundle which contains a full month's supply of natural, non-toxic personal care & home cleaning essentials.  It would be an awesome gift for anyone interested in natural, non-toxic products!


Alibris: Books, Music, & MoviesAlibris: Books, Music, & Movies Alibris is one of my favorite book, music and movie sites EVER. They sell both new and used from retailers all over the United States. I have had many great experiences with them. I once used Alibris to find I book I was told would be $100+ because it was out of print. Not only did I get a SIGNED copy, but it was a copy the author had written notes in and gifted to a friend which made it even more special to the person I gave it to...the excitement and joy was priceless. He thought I paid a fortune, I really paid a little over $30.00. Definitely worth checking out for hard to find titles, signed titles, collector worthy books, or if you are just looking for quality, used alternatives to buying new books.

HipsandCurves.com (NSFW)  One of my favorite lingerie websites with items ranging from "Ooh" to "Ooh la la!" and some of the best prices and size options I've seen anywhere.  I've ordered from them in the past and been very happy.  If you're going to get your ho ho ho on, I hope you check them out.

Toy4pleasure.com (NSFW)  Want to make it more XXX than sexy this Christmas?  This is the site.  The best selection of...ahem, "adult accessories" whether you are shopping for yourself, your significant other, or someone else.  Stuff for men, women, and couples, as well as gag gifts, costumes, books, and lotions & potions.  These are the best prices I've seen on and offline.  Shipping is fast, packaging and billing is discrete and you get a free gift with your order.  This is the site if you're looking to jingle your bells this holiday season!


Well, that's it.  That is everywhere I'm shopping this year, I think.  If you can't find a gift for someone on this list, maybe they don't deserve a gift from you. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Always

This week's prompt:
Always

I've always been creeped out by Shaq.

Yes, THAT Shaq. 

He creeps me the hell out. 

I can't explain it. 

Maybe it is because he is a giant. 

Maybe it is all the creepy sex faces he makes in the foot powder commercials. 

Maybe it was the way he wouldn't stop staring at me while making those creepy sex faces when they came out with "Soda Shaq" cream sodas and I wanted one so bad because I love cream soda but wouldn't drink it because...Shaq.

Maybe there is a deep, hidden Freudian thing going on here.  Ew.

Maybe it is the name Shaq.  I've know guys named Shaquille and they don't bother me. 

I don't know what it is, but I've always been creeped out by Shaq and I probably always will be. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 11/21/2014


Ahh, Friday.  Or, POETS Day... as in "Piss On Everything Tomorrow's Saturday".  And that is exactly how I'm feeling.  Except I said I would work tomorrow. Whatever.  Overtime quiets the noise my bills make... or something.  On to the Feats & Fails of the week!

FAILS:
-  I sent all of my Thanksgiving cards out early, because I was convinced Thanksgiving was yesterday until late Monday afternoon.  Seriously.

-  I let a bunch of little things bother me this week.

-  My cat threw up on my bed.  But he didn't just yak on the bed, he yakked on the mattress protector too.  Ugh.  I'm so tired of doing laundry.

-  Last Friday night, I may have told my nephew that if he could only have two gummy vitamins a day because gummy vitamins were made for stupid kids who needed to think they were eating candy instead of vitamins and if he ate more than two he would end up shitting himself, throwing up and needing at IV to rehydrate him after he shit himself and threw up everywhere.  I told him he would shit himself like 4 times.  That's probably a huge Auntie fail, but he laughed and listened so that counts for something...right?

- Weird trip to Walgreens on Thursday.  I went to the one towards the more...let's say economically diverse side of town.  I ended up seeing a guy who I thought was an old friend; The last time I saw him he was struggling with addiction.  He moved away and seemed to be doing better, though I'd heard stories he'd slipped.  I stalk him on Facebook and he seemed to be doing better.  Unfortunately, if he is in town I can't imagine it would be for anything good and I hope like hell it wasn't him.  Then while I was there, I saw a guy that looked like someone I used to know...I almost went up and asked him how he was until I remember that guy died a few years back.  It was just a weird, weird trip to Walgreens.


FEATS:
+  I'm still loving my new job and we got a Keurig.  My boss seems happy with me so far.

+  I got to spend time with my nephew.  He's awesome.  On Friday, I bought him a shirt with a skull wearing a Santa hat. 

+  I told my nephew eating too many gummy vitamins would make him sick and he would shit himself... HOWEVER, he isn't begging for gummy vitamins all day, so I guess that is an Auntie WIN. 

+  I got new socks.  There are very few things I enjoy in the World quite the way I enjoy new socks.

+  Mexican and margaritas Saturday night with a friend.  Delicious!

+  This might be what I like to call a "Happy Little Shitty Thing", but I got some gossip from my old job.  The boss' "pet", who was incredibly socially awkward and known for causing drama on multiple occasions, left the company.  Apparently, she went around and left letters on everyone's desks, no notice, and didn't go back.  She had been "training" a backup for months, and the backup isn't ready to take over (they weren't really training).  It wasn't my job to cover for her, yet because the position of her backup had been so hard to fill for nearly two years I had been doing the job on the rare occasions when she took time off.  I'm no longer there.  The only other person who could cover for her was on vacation this past week.  I'm kind of glad she did it... I hope it shows the people in charge that you can't give someone a very important position and treat them like they don't matter.  Not giving people benefits, raises, and days off isn't a way to keep good people who are trained and knowledgeable.  Maybe I shouldn't be so gleeful, but... part of me feels very vindicated because I knew I was important there and now my boss knows too.

That's it.  That is all I've got. 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Quick

This week's prompt:
Quick

I'm not very quick.  I'm not in a hurry to get things done.  Maybe I should be.  Maybe I should spend more time rushing, pushing, hurrying.  

But somehow I just think that going my pace is the right way to be.  Even if it isn't quick. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 11/14/2014

I know we missed Feats & Fails last week with everything I had going on... and we're running late this week.  Maybe we should make it something we post in the evening?  To purge all that Friday Work Day stuff and free our minds for the weekend?  Let me know what you think in the comments.

FAIL:
-  I made a big boo-boo and did the thing I always tell people not to do to me and I surprised someone with my presence.  Which is fine, except it seriously messed some things up and I feel bad about it. 

-  I didn't get my house cleaned so I could have a fresh new start at home when I started my new job.  Sucky pants.

-  It was a week full of my exes.  Literally.
 I saw The Boyfriend That Was twice this week and he showed up on my newsfeed in a promotion for a local radio station (I have him blocked)... which sucked because I don't even want to see a picture of him. 
I got hate mail from another ex.  I call him The White Demon. Yes... HATE MAIL, with a stamp and everything.  The thing is... he probably doesn't even realize how hateful his message was because it was a mix between insulting me and sexually harassing me.  I'm sure he thinks his sexual harassment is uber-charming or something.  Asshat.
Last but not least, the ex who just won't go away kept messaging me.  His greeting?  "Boobies".  Wish I was kidding.  But yes, my ex sends me a single word message when he wants to talk, and it is "Boobies".  Gawd.  I just quit answering.  Ain't nobody got time fo' dat, fool!

-  Being a cat lady is hard sometimes.  There was some kitty sickness this week and it was not awesome.

-  I still haven't gotten my sister's birthday present.  Shh, don't tell her.


 FEATS:
+  I had an AWESOME first week at my new job.  My new boss is awesome.  His wife is awesome.  My coworkers... I don't know about awesome, but they don't bother me so there's that. I seem to be catching on quick.  My boss said he is very happy and thinks I will do well.  I'm really, really excited and thrilled.

+  Last week, I was really nervous about sitting down, facing rejection, owning up to my behaviors and holding someone accountable for theirs.  Long story short... Bonehead and I had a fight.  BUT... it is in the FEAT section because while I was terrified to face rejection, I still showed up.  And you know what?  While I may have messed some things up, I'm ok that I did because I needed to straighten things out between us.

+  About that fight... we wouldn't have made up if it wasn't for a good friend who helped me through it and stayed on my ass about not chickening out.  Sometimes, you just need someone who knows you to be like, "Hey, trying is the best thing for you".  And I'm so thankful for that.

+  Mom's birthday went well.  I got a cake.  I made a lasagna.  It was a huge lasagna.  And when I say huge I mean I suspect it weighed in at 30 pounds.  So I did a little TOO well, but everyone liked it and I'm proud of myself so I guess that is really all that matters.  And dessert was incredible...see below.


+  It snowed.  Which SUCKED.  But it didn't stick on the sidewalk.  So that is a positive. 

+  I didn't shit myself at the Post Office today.  Thank god for small favors.

+  I got my first Ipsy box.  Review coming shortly.

+  I got my Thanksgiving cards out.  Fucking Yay Me!!


I think that is everything.  Overall, very tiring but super awesome week.  Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Able

This week's prompt:
ABLE

I haven't been able to do a lot of things.  At least I haven't felt like it in a long time.  I haven't been able to do the things I need to do.  I haven't been able to be the person I want to be or the person others need me to be.  I haven't been able to keep up, get it right, get it done.  That's a really rough way to feel about things.  

I've been dealing with my depression.  I've been dealing with the healing that comes with feeling like you've been on the losing end for a long time.  Yesterday, I did something I didn't think I was going to be able to do.  I faced something head on.  It took me two weeks, three instances of chickening out and countless conversations with an encouraging, patient and amazing friend to do it, but I walked in and had a conversation with someone I was afraid to have.  

Maybe that sounds like a little thing to be able to do, but it felt huge to me.  Somewhere along the line, I lost the ability to just do certain things.  Looking back at myself, I often say.... "Man, I used to be able to..." or "I used to do that/get that done/not have a problem with that".  

And I have to wonder, when did I stop being able?  When did I stop just doing all of these things? 

I start a new job tomorrow.  Sometimes I am in awe of people who have been with companies for twenty or thirty or forty years and it is for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is because I think walking into a new job is a reminder and an opportunity to show what you are capable of, what you can do, what you can be.  I'm excited to walk in to a new opportunity to show how I am able to contribute.

Between yesterday and tomorrow, I'm feeling incredible able today.  All I can do is grab that momentum and hope it stays with me and maybe if I just keep going, keep trying to be able... I'll be able to do and be the things I haven't been able to in awhile. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Confession: Solid

This week's prompt:
Solid

As a general rule, I don't see things in black and white. 

It is both a blessing and a curse.  It allows me to accept people with scars, people who have made mistakes, people who known and done some terrible and ugly things.  It has given me some of the best moments of my entire life from the worst people.  

It has shown me that all that glitters is not gold.  It has taught me that monsters do in fact walk in the daylight.  It has shown me that sometimes nothing is what it should be. 

While this makes me the type of person who can see everyone as an individual and judge them on an individual basis, I think it makes ME questionable for all of the things I'm not "against" as a general rule because I can usually see a situation where it is acceptable.  

Sometimes I wish I could be more like the kind of person who decided their position on something and stays it, no matter what.  There are very few things I can make a solid, hard statement about because I can't find a way where it would ever be acceptable.  I feel like this makes people see me as more fluid and not a solid person when it comes to things I do disagree about.  Maybe people see me as wishy-washy and less of the kind of person with a solid, reliable opinion and belief system that I hold myself accountable to.

Maybe that is why I have such a lack of solidity in my life.  Because I don't play by the same rigid and required rules.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Tricks & Treats 10/31/2014


Treat or Treat!  Smell my feet!  Give me something good to eat!!
Happy Halloween!!  It is the most wonderful time of the year and I'm so glad you're stopping by to celebrate with me today!  Thank you!


TRICKS:
-  Seriously creepy dreams Friday night.  I will never mix Pumpkin Pie Beer with Skittles again.  Never. 
-  I tried to do something that I thought was a good thing, and was treated like I did something wrong and I decided "Fuck it".  That "Fuck It" went from being passive anger to outright rage when the person who treated me like I did something wrong realized they were being a jerk and had someone else apologize for them.  Yeah.  That seriously happened.  Which then turned into attitude and an explosion and now... now I just don't know.  I was told this is the end.  I guess we'll see but I'm not going to be the one apologizing.  
-  I was SOOO cranky on Saturday.  And I drank a whole bottle of wine. 
-  I made a seriously poor decision in a moment of weakness and I'm feeling a lot of regret.  It was only made worse by the fact that I missed a day of work the next day... partially because I couldn't bear to face myself.  I'm still trying to make peace.
-  I wasn't ready for Halloween.



TREATS:
+  Finally finished my shopping for my Witchy Halloween Giveaway.  Most of the items are local, so I feel really good about that. (I hope you enjoy your prize, Gayle)
+  My favorite Cheese and Jelly makers were at the Farmer's market, so I was able to get jam to get me through the winter (hopefully).
+  I was cranky on Saturday, but I still got to spend time with my nephew and eat Mexican Lasagna.  And we got to see this doll downtown....
+ Last week, I reviewed the Beautyblender with not so wonderful results.  This week, Birchbox Customer Service came through for me and replaced my ripped BeautyBlender.  And I am SOOO glad they did!
+  I pulled together a last minute costume and I look frickin awesome.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Satisfied

This Week's prompt:
SATISFIED

When I first announced this week's prompt, the two most common reactions I got were about sex or food. 

Interesting.  

To be honest, it was my first thought too.  

But as I sat and thought about it this week I realized that satisfied should really be applied more and I had to ask myself if I'm satisfied in other areas of my life. 

Am I satisfied with my relationships?

Am I satisfied with my home?

Am I satisfied with my job?

Am I satisfied with myself?

There are some people in my life right now who aren't satisfied with themselves.  It bothers me because I think they should be.  They're good people.  They have people who love them.  They have jobs and homes and families.  And yet, somehow... they aren't satisfied and so they look for that satisfaction from people who come along and are willing to tell them a story and sell them a dream.

These people can't provide what they're peddling.  They have no intention to.  Perhaps somewhere in their minds they think they could be the person they want to talk about being, maybe that is someone they actually want to be... but the fact of the matter is that if they were going to be that person they would already be that person.

I think one of the most important things I'm learning is that it is important to ask people if they are satisfied with their life, and then look at their life based on their answer because it will tell you a lot about who they are.  

Are you satisfied?


Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 10/24/2014


Sometimes you  just need to embrace you inner Xena: Warrior Princess.  Happy Friday Everyone!

FAILS:
- Stood in the cold and the rain to spend 20 minutes inside a Halloween thing at the library with my nephew.  But whatever, the kid liked it I guess. 

- Literally spent most of my day in bed Saturday night and Sunday due to a migraine. 

-  My coworker returned from vacation and got sick on the plane.  I've spent most of the week listening to the phlegm rattle around in her lungs.  It doesn't sound all that different than death rale other than her persistent chatter.  Of course, being that she was just on vacation, she wont take a day off.  *Lysols desk AGAIN*

-  The guinea pigs ran out of food.  I always feel guilty when the animals run out of food even if it is only for a little bit.  It had been a long day so I tossed on a camo thermal shirt, grey yoga pants and purple flip flops to run to Wal- Mart.  Then while at the store I *almost* ran into a bunch of people I didn't want to see.  My evening then ended with a text from my ex.  I just don't even have the energy for that drama.  

-  Speaking of drama... ugh.  I'm so tired of drama.  I avoid it as a general rule and I'm practically hiding in my house, not taking phones calls, not getting involved with anything or anyone in an attempt to avoid it and yet somehow it keeps seeking me out and crawling into my lap.

-  I still haven't done my shopping for the Halloween Giveaway.

-  My coworkers were very sad when I told them my most recent bit of news, but it is for the best.

-  Still not counting calories like I'm supposed to be.  In fact, I'm just kind of sucking in the general health area this week.

-  Finally ordered a BeautyBlender, things were problematic to say the least.


FEATS:
+  Stood in the cold and rain, went into the haunted basement with my nephew and took him to the Walls of Mart later that night.  Coolest Auntie Ever status: Still Active

+  Got to see Bonehead and spend quality time together.  Which is always good.

+  My mommy made creamy seafood enchiladas... which are one of my favorite things EVER!

+  Not only was I offered a position that I was very excited about, but I was contacted about interviewing for two others.  I chose to go with the offer instead of waiting to see what would come of the other potential opportunities, and I am very excited to be pursuing a new employment opportunity.  VERY EXCITED.

+  I'm actually taking my medicine and my back is slowly feeling better, so that is good.

+  I'm not counting my calories but I AM doing my walking.  So that is a positive.

Overall, there were quite a few little shitty petty things, but the few good things were BIG good things and I feel like it all evens out.  I'm excited about the coming weeks ahead.

What happened during your week?


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Product Junkie Review: The Original Beauty Blender

I saw the Original beautyblender in stores, but didn't know how to use it and was turned off by the price tag ($20 at most retailers). So far I've made it an incredibly long time without really hearing anything about it or being told I NEED one until recently when my favorite coworker asked me if I'd tried it yet because she'd heard awesome things but didn't want to pay for it only to end up hating it.

Then, as if by magic, Birchbox sent me an email with a special code for certain featured products, including the beautyblender Best Friends set and it was an offer I couldn't resist. So my coworker and I went in together and got it!


We placed the order on Friday and it showed up on Monday!

I wasn't sure what to expect. I have combination skin and because the seasons are changing I'm having a little bit of a problem with dry skin. While I'm pretty blemish free at the moment, my foundation isn't going on very smooth. I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but I couldn't wait to give it a try!

About The Original BeautyBlender:
According to the website:

'Now you can look like a movie star without the pricey services of a major make up artist. Introducing Beautyblender, the ultimate make up sponge applicator. Invented by top Hollywood make up artist Rea Ann Silva, Beautyblender has been created to leave you with a professional finish and a flawless complexion. Silva knows that the key to a perfect face is simple: a perfect blend. So forget your fingers or sharp-edged triangular sponges, these application methods waste make up and can leave visible streaks.'

Beauyblender’s patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease. Its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face, leaving your make up dazzling and undetectable. Beautyblender is latex free, non-allergenic and odor free.’

My First Thoughts:
I was really, really surprised when I took it out of the container. I don't know why but I was honestly expecting something a little firmer like a foam or like other sponges I've used (you know, the kind with the edges and usually contain latex). Boy, was I wrong!!!

The blender is incredibly soft to the touch and squishy.  It really isn't very firm.  It is much small than I expected but when wet doubles in size.

How to use the BeautyBlender:
1. Wet the beauty blender (I just ran mine under the tap while squishing it).

2. The beautyblender will almost double in size when wet (I noticed while watching YouTube videos that some people didn't seem to thoroughly soak it... this really does nearly double in size). When done, squeeze out all the water, then wrap in tissue or towel and squeeze again.

3. I dotted foundation across my face (be sure to use a thicker foundation, not one that is "runny" or pourable. Foundations that have a pump are recommended). Then using the rounded base "bounce" or stipple it across your face pushing the foundation inward.

4. The tip of the sponge can be use to apply concealer and get into those hard to reach areas.

How to clean the Beauty Blender:
There are two cleansers specially created to clean the blender, one is a solid cleanser and the other is a liquid cleanser, which are available on both Birchbox, Amazon and the BeautyBlender site. But the cleansers, in my opinion, are a wee bit pricey. Not to mention the fact that the BeautyBlender site advertises the liquid cleanser as being lavender scented... I'm not really a fan of lavender. Many of the tutorials I've seen say you can use a regular mild cleanser. I opted to use my Honest Company Lemongrass hand soap (read review here) because it is natural, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable and pH balanced... and not lavender scented.

I rubbed a squirt into the blender, then added some water and squished it until there was a foam, then cleaned it under the tap until the water ran clear. Then I placed it on the counter to dry overnight.

For those of you who like YouTube tutorials, here is one on using and cleaning the BeautyBlender from CoffeeBreakWithDani. I found her tutorial looking up how to use the BeautyBlender and she is wonderful. I'll definitely be tuning in to her channel in the future.

What I like about BeautyBlender:
  • super light, almost flawless finish. It was INCREDIBLE! 
  • blended my foundation beautifully (I used two different brands/colors) AND I didn't have any problems with streaks or lines because it blended it all so wonderfully 
  • I don't think the actual application took longer than my normal application, just different. 
  • would be great to make a heavy foundation sheer or lighter 
  • it is cute and pink 
What I do not like about BeautyBlender:
  • between getting it wet, application, and then washing it... it IS time consuming. 
  • this gives a really light coverage. Luckily, I don't need maximum coverage right now, but this isn't going to give someone the same look and coverage they might need or want. 
  • Not suitable for all kinds of foundation. This is going to soak up thinner, more liquid foundations because it is a sponge (and sponges soak up liquids). That being said, people who want to use this might have to try some new products, and there is going to be a certain amount of product that gets "wasted". 
  • Cute and pink does not last long. Mine stained after the first use. There is a black beautyblender, but I prefer being able to see what is on my sponge. 
  • Super soft BeautyBlender could tear easily. In fact, mine did after ONE use. When I went to get it wet the next day, I squished it to see how dry it had gotten (after reading reviews about mold, I wanted to see how dry it had gotten overnight) and looked down at it to see little rips.



















They aren't HUGE tears and I proceeded to use it like normal, but I WAS concerned about the fact that I had used it one time and it was already breaking down. When I contacted BeautyBlender asking if this was common or if I had done something wrong, this was their response:

I don't know that I actually expect a replacement, especially not if I'm doing something wrong (other than not using their expensive cleanser), but their response comes off a little terse with the whole "a determination will be made as to whether a replacement will be sent" especially because I didn't even ask for a replacement or refund.  At the time of this post, I still have yet to hear from Birchbox. 

Final Impression:

I really like it.  I'm going to continue using it to get the flawless, slightly dewy looking complexion which I haven't ever been able to get before.  I'm definitely happier with it than I have been with brushes.  I don't know that I will use it when I need heavier coverage (cue breakout), but I'm very happy overall.  If you're interested in a more natural, flawless look then I highly recommend it especially if you aren't 100% thrilled with brushes or other sponges. 

After reading some reviews on the dupes, I don't know if they're worth it or not.  I might try one in the future just to see what kind of results I get, but just looking at them I can see how the BeautyBlender's softness is a definite advantage over more dense products.  I also have concerns about the latex and wonder if the BeautyBlender helps my skin look so good because I'm not exposing myself to latex (I have a minor latex allergy).  

Have you tried the BeautyBlender?  Have you tried one of the Dupes?  How were your results?