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Why I am unique, and how my environment affects this.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Beauty and interior design

I read a lot of beauty blogs. Yes, I know they aren’t on the sidebar, but I have been very lazy about updating my blog page. As a woman, I use a lot of products, much to the dismay of Jason. From what I’ve been reading, he should be happy I don’t spend more than I already do (you hear that, honey?) So, I was wandering around. This lady was talking about how she need to draw up a budget, then she goes on to describe her latest shopping trip where she buys like 6 cashmere sweaters. YIKES!!! I wish I had her ‘budget’. Then I was reading a past entry, and I noticed that she had purchased one of the new Coach Hamptons bags. Now I love those little bags from Coach, I even have one. I bought it last year for my birthday, at the Coach Outlet. You see, I just can’t SEE spending 300 plus DOLLARS on a HANDBAG that I will get sick of. I am sick to death, death, death of this handbag. I am just biding my time until we make the journey to the outlets and I can buy another one. I just can’t see paying full price for a handbag. Call me cheap. Okay, done. It’s a purse, people. Ok, that had nothing to do with beauty, so let’s move on now. I was reading a beauty blog. The woman on the blog used a lot of drugstore brand products. Not that I have anything against drugstore products…ok well I do actually. I think they have little pigmentation, they don’t last, the shadows crease, the blushes do not go on smoothly (hello, blotches), the lipsticks are drying, and the lip glosses are runny. The only thing they do reasonably well on is foundation and concealer, if you can find the right shade. Good luck with that. So you go to CVS (or Walgreens, WalMart, whatever) and buy some make-up, and you don’t like the color/texture/etc. You are SOL. Most places won’t take a return. I say, go to the Mac counter or store. MAC, you exclaim. I can’t afford that. Yes you can. MAC is on of the cheapest make-up lines out there. It is only a little higher than drugstore brands. But you can try before you buy, with STERILE applicators. And if you get home and hate the color, you can take it back for a new one. As much as I love MAC makeup, some MAC I don’t do. I don’t do MAC foundation, concealer or powder. I don’t do MAC lipstick. I love their shadows, blushes, pigments, eyeliners, and lip glosses though. I very rarely buy any other brand for eye shadow these days. MAC has a lot of colors, to very trendy to neutral. So, what do I use for foundation, you ask. I use Prescriptives. Their matching is uncanny. Once again, if you buy the wrong shade, take it back. It isn’t so cheap though. I think that one really should skimp on foundation. I don’t care how great your makeup looks, if you are wearing bad foundation, that is all anyone will see. So treat yourself and get a good foundation, and concealer. Speaking of concealer, I read an article somewhere that said no woman should ever leave home without concealer. Amen. Powder? I use T.LeClerc, and Coty Airspun. Yes, I know. One is drugstore, the other is very high end. I love them both. I’ll leave skin care to another post. Oh, and sorry for the long posts lately. I do try and break them up, so if you get sick of reading, or if you only want to read the one section. Interior Design When I was home on Maternity Leave, as many of you may know, all you can do with a newborn is pretty much sit there and take care of the baby. With television this is no longer the taxing job it once was. So while the baby was sleeping and nursing, I would watch TV. There isn’t a lot of good TV on during the day, so I made my way over to HGTV, and I would watch countless shows on home design, etc. My question is. Do people really live like this? Or is is just a ploy to make the rest of us feel like crap. I mean, it seems like no couple shares the same sink. Everyone has huge walk-in closets; everyone had a master SUITE, and just copious amounts of interior décor. As of yet, we still have to hang curtains in every room. We have mini blinds up. Oh, I take that back. I have matching curtain in my kitchen. The family room still needs a curtain rod so I can hang the curtains which are sitting in a bag. The office has curtains currently being sews and also needs a curtain rod hung. Our bedroom has curtains in the bag, but need new rods hung. The kid’s room has a jury-rigged shade of sorts. Oh yes, and our living room is EMPTY, and still unpainted. With the hand-me-down drapes left by the previous owners, and they will most definitely not match with whatever furniture we buy (cuz they is UGLY).

Monday, March 27, 2006

Happy Monday

First on the list, is this article, Marriage is for White People. 'Marriage Is for White People' By Joy Jones Sunday, March 26, 2006; Page B01 I grew up in a time when two-parent families were still the norm, in both black and white America. Then, as an adult, I saw divorce become more commonplace, then almost a rite of passage. Today it would appear that many -- particularly in the black community -- have dispensed with marriage altogether. But as a black woman, I have witnessed the outrage of girlfriends when the ex failed to show up for his weekend with the kids, and I've seen the disappointment of children who missed having a dad around. Having enjoyed a close relationship with my own father, I made a conscious decision that I wanted a husband, not a live-in boyfriend and not a "baby's daddy," when it came my time to mate and marry. Please read the rest if you can. If you can’t access the article and you really want to read it, let me know. I read the article and I was amazed at how narrow minded the author is. I think too many people walk through life with a half-preconceived notion of their spouse/mate. Be more flexible and you will be more successful. Period. An example, if you are only looking for a person between the height of six feet and six feet two inches, no smoking, likes only medium sized dogs and tropical fish, attends church 5-6 times a year, likes chicken but not turkey, and brushes his teeth twice a day, are you going to throw the man away who is all but one of these? Probably not, you’ll say, but a lot of people do. Now, let us change the example to: a person between the height of six feet and six feet two inches, no smoking, likes only medium sized dogs and tropical fish, attends church 5-6 times a year, if of Vietnamese descent, likes chicken but not turkey, and brushes his teeth twice a day. Did you notice the difference? It’s called the race factor, and I think it is greatly over-rated. I don’t buy into the color-blind stance, because that is impossible in the world today. It is possible to be race apathetic. I notice a person’s race, sure. I really do try not to buy into the pre-conceived notions that come with it, however. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. The fact is, once race is removed from the equation and you have to classify a person based on their remaining characteristics, what you will find is a person that you like or you don’t like. If you don’t like the person, chances are, it will be for a race-independent reason. That’s all I’m saying. All these people out there with such a narrow definition of the person they want to marry (or whatever), are bound to be disappointed. It’s like trying to find a job. If you say you can only work in Anywhere, Anystate, then you had better make sure you are trained in something the area can support. Do not go to school and become a Nuclear engineer, then move to Fargo, North Dakota. I’m just saying. There is so much more I could say about this article, but I’ll just stop right there. The kids are growing up way too fast, or they need to be potty trained. I spent yesterday sewing six new diaper covers. Three size small for Emma, the incredible growing baby who at 9 weeks has left newborn sizes behind. Three size large for Martin who at 22 months has finally gotten to size large. I had made him three size larges a couple of months back, but they were these super cute covers with a knot fabric covering, that wicked like a mo-fo, because Martin is AKA Cpt. Pee-pee. Us cloth diapering Mommies say wicking as opposed to leaking, just so you know. The end result is the same, wet clothes, wet baby. Nuff said. Still on my cutting table, waiting to be sewn are, a new skirt for me, a new slip for said skirt, and a summer outfit for Emma. In my basket is a cut out shirt for me and a linen skirt for me. To be sewn in the “near” (ha ha ha) future are another 2 summer outfits for Emma and a dress for me. Which brings me to things currently taking up my time. These are things outside the obvious work, sleep and family. Hobbies, if you will. These things are sewing, reading and gaming. All of these things are in direct competition with each other for my time. I can read while I nurse Emma, so that isn’t so bad. I can also read in bed at night while Jason watches TV, also not so bad. Sewing I can only do when I am well-rested and have no distractions. So mostly during Martin’s nap on the weekends. If Emma is quiet or I can get someone else to watch her. Gaming, I can do during Martin’s nap if I have Emma on my lap. I can also nurse her while I game, but this is a bit more tricky, and can only be done on the left side, because I am right handed. But I really do need to get through those sewing projects. I haven’t been buying clothes because of all the sewing I want to do, but it is HARD with two little ones. Easier, really to just go shopping, but nice clothes are SOOOOO expensive. Anyway, I think I have gone on for long enough.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Emma post

So I was at home yesterday. It was Emma's two month checkup at the pediatrician. This meant, her first shots. Emma was born in a birthing center, so she hasn't had any immunizations yet. She just had the Vit. K shot. Then about a million heel pricks for bilirubin levels, and the horrible IV experience, but no immunizations yet. She was mostly cranky all day yesterday, when she wasn't sleeping, poor thing. When I left this morning, she was sleeping in her swing. The amazing thing is, she was 12lbs 14 oz, and 60 cm long. WOW!!! At two months! Martin was such a tiny thing, I don't have his measurements off the top of my head, but he was also below 50% on the charts, but Emma topped out at 95%. I have already put most of her newborn clothes away. I thought I would have another tiny baby, so I did buy a lot of newborn things, figuring that like Martin, she would be in them until summer. I had to put away all the little onesies, and her cute little footed jammies. She has more onesies, courtesy of Martin, but they aren't all cute and pink. My sister bought her a couple of footed jammies, and I have a few gift all-in-one outfits she can wear now, also. So that is the baby post. You would think I would have a appropriate photo to post, but we are bad, lazy parents who are taking their second child for granted and not taking pictures of her every other minute.

Right, whatever

I think I get more work done when I work at home than when I work at work. Go figure. It's not like I have a lot of distractions at work, it is a small office (personnel-wise) with a lot of space. One must really go out of ones (do I need an apostrophe for possession?) way to find intra-personal distractions. No, my distractions are all based in cyber-space. I bought these shoes while on Maternity leave to replace a pair on Nine West shoes I bought more than 10 years ago. I love mary janes, and I wanted a low heel for everyday use. They are a tiny bit too big. That is the problem with buying shoes online. You are never sure of the fit. When you buy shoes in a shop, you can try up and down a size, ensuring that you get the appropriate size. Now, I think I got the right size, a half size smaller would leave me in agony probably. I just inserted a foot petal to keep my foot from sloshing around inside, and that remedied the situation quite nicely. Besides, I would much rather have a teeny bit big than a teeny bit small, KWIM?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hair and other stuff, like hair.

Hello!!! Hair It is a wondrous thing. I just (well, about three weeks ago now) purchased the Holy Grail of hair-straightening devices, The Chi by Farouk. I got it at Beauty First. They have a frequent shopper program there. I was first attracted to the store because they carry the Dirty Girl brand and I like the lip balm they make. They also carry all the salon hair care lines, and other stuff as well, ie OPI, Essie, hair notions, etc. I think they have a few lines of cosmetics there as well. Oh yes, and the frequent shopper card. Basically this card enabled me to a coupon that I would always forget to use. When I bought The Chi, however, I was informed by the SA that she was taking my card and giving me a new one. Barely paying attention, I replied something along the lines of, oh did you get new cards, and she responded that no, I had jut spent enough money to upgrade to the Gold Program. Yikes!!! Had I spent that much? Apparently I had. Well, it was worth it to keep my hair from frying, thought I. After all, I was using the Aveda damage restructuring line (with Quinoa, no less!). Well, now with my new and improved Gold Card, I was entitled to a 20% discount the first Tuesday of the month. So now I will switch back to some other salon line, as they don't sell Aveda there. But I get 20% off! Wheee! She also threw in a tiny bottle of something called "Biosilk". Eh, thought I. I mostly use a homemade concoction on my hair. I make it out of: Water, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, emulsifying wax, Various essential oils. It is very nice, and very hydrating. I recently started buying some Dove products, that have the word "smooth" in the title. Basically they are silicone based products which act to smooth the hair cuticle, while affording some heat protection as well. I got home and threw the Biosilk into my drawer and never looked back. Yesterday, I colored my hair. I had some wicked grays popping up (gasp!) and they had to go. I used Clairol Hydrience in Driftwood which was apparently a medium ash brown. My natural color is a dark brown. The Driftwood is a very nice color, brown but not too red, or too light. The gray-coverage is crap though. I have light brown hairs instead of gray hairs. I'll have to go back to my Feria, which covered gray very nicely. I don't have the patience to sit around for 45 minutes with hair color on my head. Also, I was noticing that I may need THREE bottles of color, as the two I had offered meager, at best, coverage of my massive head of hair (think lion mane). Anyhoo. I proceeded onto the "straightening" process, which simply (Ha!) requires me to detangle (ouch), pile goop onto my hair, then use my Ionic, Digital, and Ceramic Hot Tools dryer (with the comb attachment), then The Chi to get it super straight and add a bit of curl. I saw the Biosilk and thought, why not? Just what I need, more silicone. And besides, it may keep my hair from burning. I love it. I love The Biosilk. It kept my hair from burning (no more burning hair smell!!!), and wow, the curls! It also acted as a setting lotion, so now I have straight hair, with a tiny bit of hard curl. I did need to use The Chi again this morning, but hopefully it will last for a few more days. My hair looks Fantastic! I love The Biosilk. I cringe at the thought of how much it must cost though. So please, don't tell me. At least I get 20% off.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dueling mommies and my reality TV addiction

Back before I was a mommy, I had no idea of the war that existed. The war between the mommy who is home with the kiddies, and the mommy who works in drudgery in some office, then comes home to her kiddies. I still don't get it. In a perfect world, I could work for 2.5 days a week, and stay home (and work) for 2.5 days a week. Alas, it is not a perfect world. And I could speak for hours about how this world would be better if they let women do exactly that, but no nevermind. Whenever I see a mommy who stays at home (and let me get one thing straight here, for the playa'-haters, I know that stay home mommies work hard, ok?) I either get two feelings, depending on where I am centered that day/minute. I either feel envy and wish I could stay home to (happened this morning on my way to work) or I feel sympathy (poor woman, she has to stay home with those kids driving her bat-crazy). I guess my point is that it is silly for women to divide themselves into these stupid categories. I think it is a waste of time. Why can't we all just get along? Now, onto what I really want to talk about. My addiction to reality TV. I just finished watching VH1's Celebrity Fit Club 3 and the Flavor of Love. CFC3 was cool. I just love watching c-list celebrities on reality TV. You already know who they are. I think it is way cooler to watch Kelly LeBrock than say, Joe Schmo. Flavor of Love is just a twist of the stupid dating show. I usually don't watch these, but come on, Flavor Flav!!! I think he is the ugliest, silliest little man ever. I could not fathom why these women were throwing themselves at him. Oh right. The money. Duh. I actually felt sorry for the girl he ended up picking, then I saw some pictures of her on the internet, and decided that she got what she deserves. I hope I don't get fired for looking at those, but she was wearing "clothes". I think. I didn't scroll down to the bottom of the page. When I saw where the wind was blowing, I left. Ok, I gotta run.

Monday, March 13, 2006

No more apologies

Except for this last one. Sorry I have been away, but having a baby will do that to you. Knowing that I had to return to work when Emma was all of seven weeks old (today), was always in my mind. My days were filled with my daughter and nothing else. So instead of updating my blog, ad sending out announcements and thank you notes, I decided that could wait until I was back at work (today). I am sure you all understand, and I love you for it. I am back at work (today). It was hard getting out of the house. 'nuff said. It was a bit sad leaving Emma and Martin. I had really grown accustomed to their little bodies, snuggled up next to me. It was nice spending the time with Martin. It seemed day to day that I was spending so much time with Emma and not him, but looking back I realize that I spent a lot of time with him also. I am still part-time for the near future so it isn't like I will be back at work full-time, nose to the grind stone. Talking with my co-worker though, I realize I have a lot to catch up on. So I will go and do that now. Cheers.