Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Gem from the Magazine Purge

An article called "Girls of Wisdom" in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes and Garden got me thinking.  How would I answer their (random) questions.  For that matter, how would me many girls of wisdom who are out there answer?

If I were stuck on a desert island, I'd need:
A rubber band & handful of bobby pins, and my Kindle (the desert island magically has internet access right?) 

How to save a bad hair day
Aforementioned rubber band and bobby pins 

Worth the Splurge
I don't really splurge on beauty products because I've never had to.  I swear by my Aveda shampoo, mostly because I only have to shampoo every couple of days and it only costs me $20ish every 6 months.  I don't really splurge on clothing either - unless buying everything on sale so I can buy it all counts!

Cheap, but worth a million
Chapstick in every location I could possibly use it - next to my bed, in the bathroom, a couple in my purse, one in my desk, in the car...

I wish someone had told me
Even though I had perfect skin through college and high school, it isn't always going to be perfect.  Now that I'm stressed out as an adult, I break out when someone looks at my crooked.

I'm so glad someone told me
My mom was a big proponent of the "God made your body the way it's supposed to be" talk when we were kids.  I'm thankful for that every day because it takes the pressure off of looking "perfect."  I'm never going to be a 5'7", size 2.

Beauty pet peeve
Women who get gussied up to go to the gym, grocery store, etc.  It's really ok to go out of the house without making an effort to get ready.

Best bygone beauty
There is nothing better than old-fashioned cold cream to soften your feet over night.  I'm sure it's out there still, it's just harder to find in the generic brands!

I don't leave the house without
(First of all, I hate the answers these women gave.  You really don't leave the house without lipstick and t-zone powder?!  I don't think I actually own t-zone powder.)  My answer is so very simple.  I never leave without my wallet, my keys, and my phone.  That's it.

I wish someone would invent
An instant cat hair remover

Aging is
not scary to me because all of the women who have gone before me - mom, grandmas, great-grandmas - have all aged remarkably gracefully even when they haven't lived easy lives.

Lipstick or gloss
I have never liked lipstick.  Gloss all the way.

I feel confident
Almost all the time.  Whether that's a good thing or bad thing, it's the truth.

Any of my ladies have anything to add?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Color Personality Is...

I've been meaning to downsize for a while and decided to waste a bit of time this afternoon going through old magazines, pulling out things that interested me, and recycling the rest.  6 months worth of Better Homes & Gardens later, I've barely made a dent in the downsizing but I have a stack of "decorating to-do's" an inch high and 57 new recipes to try.

As I embarked on month number 7, February 2011, I decided to check out a web link I had bookmarked during my first perusal of the issue.  What's Your Color Personality?

After answering questions that I thought probably made me sound a little too eclectic, I shook my head at the answer.  Like I needed an online test to tell me this.

 Let's for a moment look at the photos I took when I first moved into, and re-decorated, my current apartment because I don't believe I was blogging when I took these.

I had always wanted a grey room so instead of creating one, I created three.
My bathroom was lime / neon / truly horribly green.  Now it is moody, soothing grey.  It is calming without being boring.  I've paired it with crisp white and pops of color to help energize my in the early morning while I get ready for work.

In the kitchen, I wanted to allow the natural light to do most of the decorating work.  I like that my food shines and I while I at one time believed I would want tangerine orange cabinets, I am so happy to have the calm surround me every time I step foot in my kitchen.  Cooking is one of the ways I de-stress so this color is perfect. 

The need-for-grey actually started in the bedroom.  I have always wanted a grey bedroom.  Interestingly enough, I used the exact same paint in all three rooms but the bedroom feels the warmest.  It is quintessentially cozy and girly and moody all at one time.

Like I said, who needs an online test to give me my color personality?  Grey makes me feel cozy.  It's versatile.  It allows me to change my mind almost daily, which we all know is important to a woman.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Things I Have Said Today...

It's one of THOSE days...

Via Text Message (Regarding the fact that I'm a grouch): I did wear awesome shoes today.  This way if I have to stab someone, I have a weapon AND they make my legs look great.  So that helps.

To My Best Friend (Regarding dating): I really don't know why I ever try... I literally do not have time for this.  But I also don't want to die alone and have someone find me 8 days later after my cats have eaten me or something like that.  So I guess I have to keep hoping there is someone out there who will want to be there to save my dead body from cats.  And that is the most morbid thing I have probably ever said.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hunger Games

Last Sunday, I spent all day in bed reading.  I haven't allowed myself to do that in ages.  I don't even think I turned the television on.  Saturday night I didn't get home until 2:00am so I slept in on Sunday, rolled over and remembered there was a book on the nightstand.  I should have known then that if I wanted to get anything done that day, I should have ignored it.

I read the first two Hunger Games books not long after they came up.  For whatever reason, I never got around to reading the third.  A few weeks ago I borrowed what I thought was the third (clearly we'd had one too many cocktails by the time we were discussing the book) and discovered the next day I had in fact brought home the first.  So of course, I reread it.  Considering how much I enjoyed it the first time around and the fact that the movie comes out in just over a month, I figured it was a good use of my time.

The first book is so incredibly engaging.  You have to wonder what you would do in the same situation. 

What if you were forced to put your own life on the line to save a family member?  I certainly hope that I would do the same thing that Katniss does.  But what if, like in the books, it was an annual occurrence?  By saving her this year, that does not ensure she will be saved in the future.  I know that when we were children, my baby sister would have stepped up to take my place any time and I know that I would do the same.  In fact, she's probably more equipped to deal with a situation like the Hunger Games than I am.  But I cannot imagine subjecting her to the torture and not stepping up to take her place.  But again, we say that now, in a world where chances are I'll never have to make that decision.  What if I had to potentially make that decision multiple times in one year?  What if that were hanging over your head constantly?

Could you, really and truly, hunt other human beings in order to save yourself?  To make your family's life better?   I really don't know.  There are characters in the second book that very much step up so that others do not have to die.  They are not there to kill, however.  What would I do?  Could I kill an innocent on purpose to save myself?  I hope that I would, again, be like Katniss, who really only kills when necessary.  She is not a hunter while playing the games.  She is a survivor.

If given the opportunity, knowing that people in power could make your family's lives so horrible, would you rebel against the situation in any way?  Again, I don't know what I would do.  I can't help but think of the many times in our history that people were just swept along into a situation and couldn't do anything once they realized it was wrong (slavery, Hitler, pretty much every war).  What do you do when doing the right thing could get everyone you love killed?  I'd like to think I'd do the right thing.  But even that isn't so easy because what is right and wrong in a world where the norm is so obviously unethical?  And what if you unknowingly started the rebellion?  Do you try to stop it in order to save yourself, your family?  Do you keep the momentum going?

These books make you ask yourself so many questions.  So after rereading the first book, I couldn't wait to get through the second and third.  I will say that I was a little disappointed with the third book - it just wasn't how I saw the series ending and I think it was a bit of a cop out - but I still read it in one sitting.  From 11am-11pm on Sunday I laid in bed and read both two and three.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Day for Love

If one more person asks me what I'm doing for Valentine's Day, I'm going to scream.  It's a bit ridiculous to think that I have time to do anything for Valentine's Day at all, much less that I have to be doing something in the first place. 

Isn't Valentine's Day about sharing time with those that you love?  Isn't it about telling people that they matter to you? 

I do that every day.  I learned early on that nothing in life is guaranteed.  That you don't know when someone you care about might not be there anymore.  I make a point to talk to the people who are important to me as often as possible.  I tell people that I love them and I live my life to honor those important relationships.

So what am I doing for Valentine's Day?  Probably the same as I do every night.  Calling one of my very best friends on  the way home from work.  Snuggling with my fluff balls.  Talking to my family on the phone.  Chatting with my other very best friend later in the evening.  Just a typical Tuesday.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Where to Lend my Voice

Nothing like a reality tv show to make you feel like you are a complete failure...

I discovered the show The Voice today and I am completely hooked.  The people featured on this show have some much talent.  Every minute that I have watched has made me miss my years singing.  While I'm still known to attend a karaoke event here or there and have sang for special occasions in recent years, I pretty much gave up singing 8 years ago.  While I was still in high school, I gave up both music and theatre because I realized I didn't love them enough to continue devoting the energy.  I still sit down at my keyboard once a week and plunk out a tune here or there and I still sing my heart out in the car but I know, no matter how talented my family says I might be, music isn't wasn't something at which I am good enough to make a difference.

Honestly, it's the same thing with writing.  I used to love it.  I liked putting my words on the page and making others feel something.  But I have come to realize that while I might wish that I had something to say that was worth listening to, really it doesn't matter unless someone wants to read it.  I don't write fiction anymore because my characters fall flat and I wouldn't read flat characters so why would anyone else.  I stopped writing in this blog because no one was reading it anyway.  But I'm going to start up again. Because what I failed to remember was that I wasn't writing in my blog for anyone else to read anyway.  I was writing because I need to write.  Just like, even though I've "given up" my music, I need to play the keyboard on a regular basis.  So we're giving this a go again.  I have things to say.

Back to the reality tv show.  The thing about The Voice that made me think was that I suddenly was afraid that I'm not making an impact in any area.  I'm not performing, I'm not publishing... where am I lending my talents?

And then I realized what a ridiculous thought that was.

Monday-Friday, I go to work and do a job that (I like to think) I'm rather good at.  I make a difference in students' lives every day by helping enhance their education and raising money to maintain the college's excellence while also improving areas of need.

When I come home in the evening, I come to an apartment that, while old and unkempt on the exterior, is cozy and welcoming inside.  I have created my own little haven, my cozy little home, out of virtually nothing.  I live in a city where I knew no one 2 years ago, and where I have no built a little family, furry that they may be, which make this place my home.

Tonight I made a delicious dinner for myself, complete with crusty bread and dipping oil, a salad course, and a glass of red wine.

I browsed through little shops today with a new friend and designed outfits in my head and built complete homes around single pieces of furniture.

All of those are talents that are overlooked as we rush about living our lives.  No - nothing about my career, my cats, my cooking skills, and my ability to dream will get me on television.  But I don't need to be on television to contribute.  To make an impact.

Tomorrow morning, I will get up, bake muffins, brew coffee, and read a book over breakfast.  And it will be a good day because I will remind myself that I make a difference in my own life.

All of this musing because of a silly reality tv show.......

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Touching Base

I'm going to start writing again.  Or at least try to start writing again.  We'll see how it goes.

I've actually been reading again.  For fun.  Even though I'm working long hours and not getting enough sleep, I'm reading a lot.  I need something to escape to and for as long as I can remember books have been my escape.

As a child, I did it in my little twin bed, using a flashlight to read a book under the blankets, my dog curled up on the floor next to me.  I read all the classics - Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, Charlotte's Web.  I loved (and still do love) books.  I don't just read them, I live with them.  The pages are tattered, the corners dog eared, there are notes in the margin of even the most mundane and pedestrian stories, and the covers of my favorites have literally fallen off.

These days, not much has changed,  I carry a book everywhere with me, recently purchasing a purse specifically because it would hold a hardcover book or Kindle.  I have been known to pull out whatever I'm reading at the time while waiting in the grocery store checkout line.  I am not ashamed of the fact that I cannot stop devouring stories.  I end almost every day in my gloriously big and cozy queen sized bed, my Kindle in my hand, and my cats curled up on either side of me.  Not much has changed since elementary school.

I recently read a trilogy that I wish had been around back in the day of flashlights under the blankets.  I hesitate to recommend them as they are obviously a young adult read but I couldn't get enough.  The stories focus on a young girl, Cass, who stumbles through a worm hole (for lack of better explanation) onto a deserted planet.  She spends time alone in survival mode, before being discovered by an "alien" civilization.  The beings who find her are very much human, although they are more in tune with their psychic abilities.  This all sounds so ridiculous as I'm writing it out, so just go and look at the description on Amazon.  I will leave it with the fact that there's a strong female protagonist, a sexy male love interest (not in a throw-it-in-your-face-sorta-way...) who is still haunting my dreams, and enough science fiction to keep it interesting but not so much that it was truly "sci-fi."  Talk about something that offered escape.  I was home sick a few weeks ago and spent the entire 3 days in bed reading this books.  These books will be re-read many times.
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