Friday, August 29, 2014

Heading to YouTube?!


I’ve been told by several people that I should do YouTube videos. I’m pretty sure everyone is nuts because… why would anyone want to watch me run my gob when there are so many gifted YouTubers already? But after seeing some truly horrific videos and realizing mine can’t be that bad, I’ve decided I might give it a go.

I will post a few videos from the Kansas concert I attended months back. Henry, thank you for reminding me I had those videos. I’d completely forgotten them! And there will probably be numerous adorable creature videos. Whether or not I get around to being a proper YouTuber remains to be seen.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

L'Oréal RevitaFAIL

I’m obsessed with sunscreen the way most women are obsessed with foundation. I wear sunscreen every single day, rain or shine, and usually very little else. It’s not because I think I’m oh-so-lovely without makeup, either. It’s just laziness. I would rather sleep five more minutes than put on makeup. I know, I know. It’s awful. 


But I digress. Sunscreen. I’m thirty-one, though I’m often mistaken for a decade younger (because of the sunscreen usage!), and I would like to stay that way. That in mind, I decided to give a sunscreen containing retinol a go. (Yes, you can wear retinol during the day. The raw ingredient itself degrades when exposed to sunlight, but it does not harm the skin or increase sun sensitivity!)


I saw L’Oréal Revitalift Complete Day Lotion SPF 30 on sale (gee, wonder why!) and grabbed it. I’ve heard great things about the line, and I figured it would be a great SPF for cloudy days.

While I stand by the idea behind this product, it did not quite go as planned. And when I say “not quite,” I mean my face turned into a blotchy, red mess, and it stung. I don’t know if I reacted to the fragrance added or one of the many, many, many other ingredients. I do know that this will be passed on to my adopted sister, whose skin is much less sensitive than mine.


Just… check out the blotches and redness. (And pardon the gray roots...) My poor face is still recovering. If you have any sensitivity to fragrance in products, if sunscreens break you out, or if you generally have easily-aggravated skin, I would pass this one up. 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

TheBalm Bombs


Do you ever look through old pictures on your phone and go, “Oh, wow, I forgot I took this?” I had a moment like that the other day, but I can’t believe I forgot about this particular disaster!

Like me, my mom suffers from rosacea, so certain products break her out like crazy. One such product was TheBalm’s Balm Shelter Tinted Moisturizer, which she took on holiday with her… for Christmas. Yup, it’s almost September, and I just now rediscovered these pictures, photographed in Houston, Texas. 


You almost escaped my wrath, TheBalm. Almost


While the product looked lovely on the skin, you can see what said skin looked like after it was removed. A blotchy, red, pustule-covered mess. (I did ask my mom’s permission before photographing the hot mess that was her face post-washing for this. Please don’t think I got all up in there without asking first).

Needless to say, she never used the stuff again, and we still don’t know what it was that caused such a terrible reaction. All we do know is that we will never recommend it to anyone with remotely sensitive skin.

(And now I'll go back to torturing my own skin. Between this stuff and the Sonic disaster, I'm kind of ganging up on my poor mother!) 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Restaurant Review: Sonic, You Fail!


Today my mom and I both had sore throats, so we decided to head to the local Sonic for Happy Hour slushes. I try to watch my sugar intake, and my mom is diabetic, so we both opted for the “sugar-free” blackberry slushes. They were delicious. I was so in love that I instantly looked online to see which artificial sweetener they used to make their slushes so amazing…

Only to discover they were not completely sugar-free. The blackberry syrup might be, but the base of the slush itself does contain sugar. I immediately told my mom, who had to check her blood sugar and take insulin. 

Bad move, Sonic. Very bad move. 

What would have happened if we had been on the road, she’d stopped for a slush, thinking it was sugar free, and her blood sugar had spiked so high she lost consciousness behind the wheel? What the beejesus were you idiots thinking when you decided to claim a drink is sugar-free when it isn’t

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Update


After a full week of my shoulder being swollen, sore, and almost impossible to move, it’s finally started to behave normally again. That weird upper body soreness is also gone, and that was what really had me concerned because it was just, well, weird

I always get slightly irritated when I read, “I’ve just been invited to do something cool, but I can’t talk about it!” So… yeah, I’ve been invited to do something cool, but I can’t talk about it yet! Soon, though. Very soon! 

What’s everyone been up to?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ouch


I had all these post ideas, and I just couldn’t finish them. My shoulder still hurts, but now my entire torso feels sore and tender to the touch. It’s really weird, and I don’t know what to make of it. 

Has this ever happened to anyone else? It’s freaking me out.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

#TBT

To when I was blonde and my baby Teeny was, well, teeny. My shoulder is still giving me fits and keeping me from sleeping properly, so in between bouts of solitaire and boredom-induced nail-painting — because I’m not supposed to keep my stupid shoulder 100% still or it could freeze — I looked at cat baby pictures. 


Just… look at her adorable little face. Teeny was about three months old here and so small I could hold her tucked in the crook of my arm. Argh! I can’t even handle the cuteness, and she’s just as beautiful today.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Everyday Rudeness

When I say rudeness, I’m not talking about having a potty mouth or occasionally talking with one’s mouth full. Both are examples of rudeness, but these instances are categorized as minor infractions. They’re harmless. 

They aren’t, say, going to plow a woman using a walker off her feet. 

Allow me to set the stage: Food Network chef (and Mississippi native) Cat Cora was in Jackson last night for the Mississippi Culanthropy — a food-based charity event benefitting the UMMC School of Nursing scholarships. I was not in attendance, but my aunt (who loves Cat Cora the way I love Neil Gaiman) and uncle were. 


There was a silent auction for one of Cat’s chef jackets, which she would autograph for the winner of the bid. Bidding ended at 8:00 pm. As my aunt went to turn in her bid, a dreadful woman from a prominent Jackson family (and that’s all I’m saying about her identity because I don’t want to be slammed with a libel suit) attempted to change her bid… at 8:02. That alone was rude. 

Here’s the kicker. My aunt suffered a stroke after contracting West Nile Virus, and as a result, uses a walker. That woman — who will henceforth be referred to as Rude Vile Pig, RVP for short — slammed into her and almost knocked her off her feet. 

She body-slammed a woman using a walker. So she could attempt to change her bid. After the auction closed. 

Let that sink in. Imagine it’s your ninety-year-old grandmother if that helps you understand my outrage. 

It isn’t smacking your gum or answering your phone while ordering your coffee. It’s an ingrained form of everyday rudeness that speaks of a lifelong sense of entitlement and blatant lack of regard for others. 

RVP’s attempt to alter her bid was shot down by the auctioneer. My aunt won the jacket and had her picture taken with Cat Cora, who is as lovely in person as she seems on television. And, fortunately, my uncle didn’t lose his temper. (I say fortunately because I’m not entirely sure who would win if my uncle got into a fight with Dave Bautista).


To the RVPs of the world: I know you’re unlikely to change. I know you probably stopped reading two sentences in, but I have something to say to you. People notice your behavior, and sometimes the people who notice do have the power to put you in your place. Everyone who’s dealt with your kind relishes these moments. They will increase in frequency because people are becoming increasingly disgusted by the plethora of piggish behavior in the world. You've enjoyed your reign of terror pushing people around. Get used to being pushed back.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

All the Things Are Brown...


We all have our likes and dislikes, but for many years, I legitimately despised anything beige, tan, or brown. If it wasn’t black, I wasn’t having it. End of discussion. I slowly branched out into gray, my current favorite color, and even olive green (which I stubbornly refused to acknowledge is closer to brown than green), but I still couldn’t abide real browns. 


Slowly, very slowly, I began to tolerate beige and cream, which I still classified as “very light brown” and therefore hated. Then, literally overnight, I began swooning over anything whiskey colored. Uh… what? Yeah, I have no idea. 


So many different options have opened up to me. I still hate navy blue and pale yellow, but in my defense, I look like an absolute corpse wearing them. 



Have you ever changed your mind about a color family or a trend?

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Mini Haul

My shoulder is actually Satan. It’s so swollen and stiff it makes getting comfortable long enough to sleep impossible, so here’s a tiny haul of pressies from my mom.


Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Shampoo and Conditioner: I’ve heard good things about them, and they were on sale for two dollars each. If the shampoo sucks, it can be used as a shower gel, and if the conditioner sucks, it will work as shaving cream, so I can’t lose.



Zara Mini City Bag: I’m going to my cousin’s wedding this September. My dress is pink with yellow flowers, my cardigan matches the flowers, and my shoes are beige. Until placing my order, I didn’t own a bag that wasn’t black (too dark for my outfit) or a bright color (which would clash with my outfit), so this one is en route!

Has anyone else done any recent shopping?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Restaurant Review: Biaggi's

Yesterday my mom and I popped into Biaggi’s for soup (me) and salad (her), expecting the usual — great food, great atmosphere, great service. We got one out of three. 

Let me start off by saying there were no other tables in the room where we were. It was me, my mom, and the servers bustling around. So it was a bit strange when the hostess sat a grandmother and a five year old girl in the booth that butted up against ours. 

I figured, “How bad could it be? She’s old enough to know how to behave.” Oh, how wrong I was. She babbled incessantly, alternating between actual words and nonsensical strings of “ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba” and “woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo” not quite at the top of her lungs, but just a little below that level.

She kicked the back of my mom’s seat, danced in her booth, kept sticking her head over the booth, and her grandmother said absolutely nothing despite undoubtedly hearing us remark on her behavior. As someone who suffers from frequent, sound-triggered migraines, I despise loud children. I don’t want to be around them, and a nicer restaurant is certainly not the place for them. My mom has much more patience, so when she was angry enough to go complain to the hostess, you know things are bad. 

The hostess said in a snotty tone, “Well, we can’t do anything about children.” My mother remarked that they could have been seated at any of the empty tables instead of directly on top of us, and she rolled her eyes. Charming.

When the demon from hell began to chant “ba-ba-ba-ba-ba,” this time reaching full volume, our waiter finally scrambled to move us... a whopping five minutes before they left. Thank God.


My tomato soup was wonderful, so there is that. But when faced with the prospect of dealing with inconsiderate staff who value not having to clean an extra table over their customers' satisfaction? I think I’ll be finding somewhere else to have tomato soup.

Get your act together, Biaggi's. When you have plenty of space, do not seat a small child next to other customers. And tell your staff that snapping at customers and rolling their eyes at them? Yeah, not the way to keep them. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sick Day Sadness

Everything aches. My head feels like it’s not really connected to my body anymore. My throat feels like I ate ground glass for dinner. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I know I feel like Utter Hell. In the hope of making myself feel less like reheated death, I plan on bundling up under several layers of polar fleece and breaking out some old favorites. 


1.) Chloraseptic Warming Sore Throat Lozenges: These things are amazing. They taste pretty good, but I would love them even if they tasted disgusting because they actually work. I only have a few left. I need to stock up soon.


2.) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: Possibly my favorite book of all time. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out. It’s witty. It’s light-hearted. It makes me happy when I’m down in the dumps — or when I feel like I’ve been flushed down the toilet. 


3.) Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack: I just saw the movie with my uncle and adored it. One of the reasons was the soundtrack. Some of the songs are horrifically cheesy, but they’re the songs I grew up hearing, and nothing is more comforting when you feel like death than familiar music.

4.) NyQuil: For when I just can’t handle being awake anymore but feel too dreadful to sleep, that’s where this wonder drug kicks in. NyQuil, I love you. Never leave me. 

What are your sick day requirements?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WTF? and Lauren Bacall

In light of Robin Williams’ death and the loss of trailblazer Lauren Bacall, I think we all need something to laugh at. Behold!


Those are $450.00 brass nail plates. Yes, you read that price correctly. Four hundred fifty dollars. For fake nails made of brass. 

I can’t even… I have lost the ability to can. (And, evidently, to use proper grammar).

I certainly can’t imagine the lovely Ms. Bacall wearing those atrocities during any point in her life. 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bangarang!


I never considered Robin Williams one of my favorite actors. He appeared in many of my favorite films — Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, Dead Poets Society, Insomnia, Patch Adams — but when asked for a list of my favorites, he never featured. 

To me, he was never Robin Williams when he was working. He was Mrs. Doubtfire. He was Genie. He was Patch. Robin Williams was another entity. He was the man who struggled with addiction and health problems but was always there for his loved ones. The avid gamer who named his daughter Zelda. The gentleman who approached his fans before they could approach him with a smile and a handshake. The source of endless warmth who introduced himself to Redditors during his AMA (ask me anything) by saying “you grew up with me.” 

We did, and we will never forget that.

It’s heartbreaking that a man who made everyone feel welcome and dedicated his life to making people laugh suffered so much in his private life. There are no words anyone to say that will ease his family and friends’ pain. If those words exist, I’m sure they’ll be found in their memories of Robin. 

Depression affects everyone. It can take root in the hearts of the wealthy as well as the poor, in people with families as well as those who are alone. If you’re suffering from depression, please talk to someone. There are free, anonymous resources online if you don’t have anyone else to talk to. 

I guess I’ll close this the only way I can. It’s fitting, I think.

“Thank you for gracing my life with your lovely presence, for adding the sweet measure of your soul to my existence.” Richard Matheson, What Dreams May Come


Monday, August 11, 2014

All Dried Out: Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion


Let’s face it (pardon the pun), zits happen. They happen when we’re stressed, when we’re sick, when it’s that time of the month… They usually happen right before an important event, which is always nice. I’ve found a product that doesn’t make them vanish overnight — because when that happens? it’s a miraculous event, not the norm — but does make them manageable. 

Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion is formulated with calamine, camphor, colloidal sulfur, salicylic acid, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and talc. You use it by taking a q-tip, dipping it into the pink guck at the bottom of the bottle (there’s a layer of isopropyl alcohol on top to prevent the drying lotion from, you know, drying out), and applying it to any nasties.

I find it especially good at treating those volcanic zits that have already come to a head and are about to blow. (TMI? We’ve all been there!)

As someone with hypersensitive skin, I was terrified the first time I used this product. There was a slight burn at first, but that quickly faded. Best of all, I saw a noticeable difference in the inflamed area the next day. 

It’s pricey at $17 for a small bottle, but considering you only use the tiniest amount, I think it’s well worth it. 

Have you tried drying lotion?

Friday, August 8, 2014

The WORST Shampoo and Conditioner of All Time


Back in July I trialled the new Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture* line. My hair is still in recovery. 

I must have been a glutton for punishment the last time we visited Atlanta since I only brought the horrible Andalou Naturals BB Cream as my sunscreen, and these two tubes of Satanic evil were my only shampoo and conditioner. 

The first time I washed my hair with them, my mom remarked that it looked a bit drier than usual, kind of frizzy. I agreed, but because it was about to rain, I chalked it up to the humidity. The next time I washed my hair, it looked even worse, but I had also left my hair to dry completely naturally without any leave-in conditioner. I blamed that. 

We returned to Madison, and I tried the duo again, thinking it must have been the climate, surely, and not these harmless products — they promise moisture! it’s right there in the name! — and my mom remarked, “Your hair looks fried.” 

And it did. It looked like the ratty ends of a well-used broom, and it felt just as bad. A month of deep conditioning treatments later, and I’m still able to feel a difference between my hair now and before these revolting products entered my life.

These are disgusting. Do not buy these. If someone attempts to give them to you for free, do not accept them. This person clearly hates you and wants you to have bad hair. Hell no, Dove. Hell no!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Coping with Loss


Losing a fur-baby is never easy. It’s been close to two weeks since my mooing puppy died, and I’m just now reaching a point where I can think about dealing with it in a productive way. Lovely people have e-mailed and messaged me links, so I thought I would post them here in case anyone else needs them. I hope no one needs them right now.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday Wants #9

I need another pair of ballet flats. I have one pair I wear semi-religiously, and while I love them and feel tempted to buy a duplicate pair in another color, I’m sorely tempted by these Rowan Reed beauties at Anthropologie. 

Just look at them. They’re so cute! The polka dots are vintage inspired, but the shape is modern. These may be my latest acquisition… 


Monday, August 4, 2014

Product Fail: Andalou Naturals Oil Control Beauty Balm

I usually save my most disliked products for my favorites/fails posts, but this particular tube of sludge was such a disappointment I felt it deserved its own post. A word to brands out there: if your product sucks so much it warrants a spotlight post in which I bang on about how much it sucks? You fail, I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. 

Ahem. Shall we?

Flash back to late June. It’s hot and humid in Mississippi, but not overly sunny while I’m cruising Whole Foods, and I’m in need of a new sunscreen for cloudy days so I don’t use up my higher SPF too quickly. 


I spot an adorable tube on the shelf, and it sounds amazing! “Andalou Naturals with fruit stem cells. I should try to use more natural products,” I think. Best of all, it promises oil control. I don’t believe in stripping the skin of oils — that creates a rebound effect and causes overprotection of oil — but I do use mattifying products to keep the shine at bay. This sounds right up my street.


I happily plunk down my money and plan to pack this sunscreen for my trip to Atlanta. I try it the morning we leave (it feels sticky and drags on the skin, but I’ve had other sunscreens do that, so I don’t think anything of it) and toss it in my makeup bag. I figure with as little time as I spend outside, SPF 30 should be fine, so it’s the only sunscreen I take with me. 

This is a mistake. 

Not even an hour after I’ve applied the supposedly mattifying BB cream, my face is a hot mess. I look like I’ve been sprayed with the glycerin used for fake sweat in movies and TV. I use blotting papers. An hour later, I’m an oil slick again. The cycle continues.

And, I feel this bears repeating, this is the only damn sunscreen I have with me on the trip

Basically, what I’m saying is that Andalou Naturals must have asked their Z Team to create this miserable tube of glue-like, oily yuck

I hate wasting money, so I’ll save this for winter when my skin is dry and needs to feel oilier. Only knowing how absolutely horrendous this stuff was, it will only mattify during the cooler months. We’ll see. In the meantime, I won’t be swayed by Andalou Naturals’ pretty packaging or fruit stems cells ever again.

The only good things I can say about this creamy crap-fest are that it did not break me out, and it actually provided sun protection. 

Rating: 2/10, would not buy again.

July Non-Beauty Favorites

As I mentioned before, July was a horrible month for me, so I don’t even have many non-beauty favorites. The few things I did love, I really adored.


The Tale of Onora: The Boy and the Peddler of Death by Dylan Saccoccio: In the interest of full disclosure, the author and I follow each other on Twitter, and Dylan is a sweet, generous person. That being said, I am not being paid to endorse the book. I bought it with my own money, and I wouldn’t have mentioned it if I didn’t love it. That out of the way, I really did love this book and am eager to read book two. It’s a light, easy read full of fantasy, engaging plot twists, and likable characters. It’s been described as Harry Potter for adults, and while I can see making that comparison, this is not a Harry Potter rip-off. It’s its own rich, unique world, and I definitely recommend it to all you fantasy fans out there.


The Strain: The tagline for the show when they were first running the adds was “vampires just got scary again.” Truer words were never spoken. The Strain is genuinely creepy, fast-paced, and has just enough dark humor to keep it from becoming too heavy. The characters are complex and well-rounded — our “hero” is not exactly the nicest guy in the world, is he? — and the cinematography is impressive. For everyone who was offended by Edward Cullen glittering in the sun, this one’s for you.


The Bridge: We’re officially caught up on season one, and all I can say is wow. I’m that obnoxious person who lets out an annoyed huff twenty minutes into a “thriller” because I’ve figured out who the killer is. Not the case here. The big reveal was a shock, and so were the last few episodes of the season. This is honestly one of the most impressive shows I’ve ever watched. The writing, the acting, everything. FX is really impressing me lately. I guess the channel should be a favorite. I’m about to start season two, so we’ll see. 

What have you been loving lately?