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I Like It. You Don't? Get Your Own Blog.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Adventures in Being a Girl (continued)

Day Unemployed: 2
Jobs Applied To: 10

So I'm still trying to work through this whole "being a girl" business and while we were on vacation, I was informed that I am not properly washing my face. The lovely woman who took care of me at the Spa told me my face washing methods was 100% incorrect. Who knew something like washing your face could be such a big deal?! I thought I was doing the right thing, I use an Aveeno scrub in the shower each morning, I blot with oil absorbing sheets throughout the day if I feel a little greasy and then at night I wash the day's dirt off my face with an unscented Dove bar.

I had heard years ago that the unscented Dove bar was the greatest product to use when washing your face and that it was even recommended by dermatologists. How could I go wrong? Well when I broke down my facial cleansing routine to Karin (spelled with an "i" like my cousin) from South Africa, she, in a very sweet accented voice, asked me why on Earth I would use soap on my face? She then went on to explain that soap is soap no matter what kind of moisturizers the manufacturer puts in each bar. I was further informed that exfoliating my face should only be done one to two times per week rather then daily like I had been doing.

Now I don't tamper with a lot of "products" especially when it comes to my face. I moisturize in the morning after my shower and aside from the daily Aveeno scrub and the Dove bar at night, I don't use anything else on my face. Well, at the advice of my South African pampering guru, I have now added a soothing Deep Cleanser and Alcohol-Free Toner to my daily routine.

I've had blackheads on either side of my nose that I just haven't been able to get rid of and I didn't understand what the deal was. I mean I wash and exfoliate everyday, what more can be done? Karin explained that using the facial cleanser at night followed by the toner, would remove all access dirt accumulated throughout the day and make my pores smaller, decreasing my chances of getting blackheads. She said that the toner was the greatest product for this because even after washing, your face still has access dirt that the toner washes out.

Granted after our session she tried to get me to buy each of these products at the Spa store for a whopping $30 bucks a pop to which I kindly turned down, opting instead to put that money towards her tip (which I think is a nicer investment don't you agree?) Instead I went out and found nice name brand products in the store for a more fiscally responsible $6 dollars a pop. Here's what I got:

Now, L'Oreal has a variety of deep cleansers but this one is exfoliant-free and specially formulated for sensitive skin. Given my recent sunburn, I figured this would be a good product to try out. It even comes with this super cute handheld facial scrubber tool that sticks to the shower wall when not in use. It's squishy and very soft and makes washing your face a very nice experience. Now, I washed my face after taking a shower and was shocked to discover Karin was completely right. I used the toner a sure enough, access dirt was on the cotton ball and my pores were, for the first time, completely clear! Hello?!  I showered and washed my face and there was STILL dirt in my pores?! How rude! 

Boy am I glad I treated myself to a morning at the Spa, I learned so much! Hopefully my skin will start to improve and my pores will no longer be plagued with blackheads. 

Here's the fabulous toner I picked up:

This stuff is great! It's really refreshing on your skin and doesn't sting because it's alcohol-free. I have used other toners before and after feeling stinging and irritation on my skin, was completely turned off from the product but this stuff has totally made a believer out of me.

So the new routine, moisturize after showering in the morning; deep cleanse and then tone at night. Exfoliate one to two times per week. I think I'll designate Fridays and Sundays as my official exfoliating days. Those are the days I usually shave my legs so why not round off the weekly upkeep with a good facial scrubbing? Sounds like a plan. 

Having clear skin that makes me look my age? I like it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do You, Boo Boo

I've been giving that exact advice for a long time now; as recently as last night in fact. And today it's come full circle.
I was laid off this evening.
I'm not mad and I certainly don't hold any ill will. I'm just very disappointed.

But now I have to lace up my boots and start walkin' so to speak.
Every time you leave a job, whether it be on your terms or theirs, you start a new adventure.

Sure times are tough and the job market makes people act all kinds of crazy, but I'm going to take things one day at a time and hope for the best. I've been unemployed before and while it totally sucks, it also helps you reflect on the goals and desires you have for your next position.

This will now give me time to reorganize my life and once again strive for a job more suitable to what I want in  a long term career.

It's going to be hard, and money is going to be extremely tight. I might cry, a lot, but I'm going to push forward as always because that's really all you can do. You can't change the past, so you gotta do you, boo boo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's a Hell of a Day at Sea Sir!

Well, five days to be exact. We're back!
The cruise was amazing and way more insanely awesome then I had ever hoped! A lot of firsts happened over the course of our vacation and I'll never be able to put the entire experience into words. 

As I mentioned before, our cruise was going to St John, New Brunswick, Canada and we set sail from NYC. It was really cool starting the journey in the city because we passed all of the major landmarks on our way to the Atlantic. We sat on the deck of the ship as the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Freedom Tower (under construction) and the Statue of Liberty passed by. Our ship even went underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which made everyone pause for a second and hold their breath as it looked as if we were going to clear it by a few feet. I'm sure we had plenty of room but from where we were sitting, it looked seriously sketchy. Very cool indeed. 

The weather was a huge concern for us since we were heading north and had no idea what to expect. The weather reports all week leading up to the trip predicted terrible storms the entire time but we lucked out and missed all of the major thunderstorms by about thirty minutes during each leg of the trip. When we left NYC, everyone was out on deck enjoying the beautiful sunshine and the moment we could access our rooms,we went and got changed into our bathing suits and hit the pool and crazy-awesome-twisting water slide. About an hour later, we were leaning against the railing on the back of the ship, watching an insane thunderstorm wash over the city we had just left. The lightning was absolutely uncanny and we thanked our lucky stars our ship didn't have to pass through any of that. It was a perfect start to the trip. There was a lovely breeze and four of us stood at the back of the ship, watching mother nature's amazing light show do her thing as the sun went down. 

A little sidenote about the water slide..... We had not gone into the pool yet and thought the water slide would be a perfect way to get acclimated to the chilly waters down below. This would have been a great plan had someone informed us the water in all of the pools was of the salt variety and not chlorine as we had thought and were prepared for. Nothing like being jettisoned down a huge plastic tube consisting of about six insane turns only to land in a huge wave as salt water blasts into your mouth and up your nose. I honestly thought I was going to die. It was disgusting and my lips tasted like a salt lick for hours afterward. Really would have appreciated a heads up about the salt water, just sayin'.

I'm not going to go into detail about everything we had done but it was definitely a blasty-blast. Picture a giant hotel on water that had a buffet, movie theater, casino, performance stage and mall all in one. All of the activities, shows and most of the food were included. We had nothing to worry about and spent our five days at sea relaxing. If we felt like seeing a show, we would go see a show. If we felt like taking a nap and skipping dinner, we'd go take a nap and grab some pizza for a late night snack and then walk around the ship at midnight while the rest of the passengers attended parties or slept. It was the most relaxing vacation one could ever ask for. 

I wanted to get a couples massage with Joe at the on board spa but that service was around $300 bucks so we opted out of that. Joe and his father took an exclusive tour of the ship and got to meet the captain and while they did that, I hit up the spa for a cheaper, salon sampler and got good and pampered. I'd never been to a spa before so that was a lovely first. 

I then reversed pretty much everything that I had done afterward because I'm an idiot. The guys weren't going to be done with their tour for another two hours so I thought I'd wait for them and get some sun. I changed into my bathing suit and put sunscreen on my face. I only protected my face because it was still early in the morning and the sky was quite overcast so I wasn't expecting to get too toasty. A two hour nap later and I woke up feeling very warm and uncomfortable and when I went back to my room I noticed I had managed to get quite crispy. And the sunblock I had put on my face failed me completely. I had worn my giant sunglasses I bought on our trip to Nebraska which only added to my overall ridiculous look. Now, I don't look nearly as bad as our friend Kim Kardashian here, but I certainly felt like I did:  

So the mini facial I had just gotten at the spa was all for naught. I did get a nice foot massage though and luckily my toes didn't fry in the morning sun. I also received a hair conditioning treatment which consisted of oil being poured over my head as my hair was teased into what could only be described as the Trojan "blow your hair back" look:

I felt like I had a greasy rats nest hanging off of the back of my head and the oil was nearly impossible to rinse out. Two days later however, my hair feels luxurious. Luckily the oil was stronger then the morning sun and my hair didn't get bleached or fried from the product it was soaking in. I did rinse some of it out and put my hair in a nice braid so at least I didn't look a complete mess as I was baking by the pool. 

Now I had asked a lot of people about their cruise experiences and the one thing I was really excited for was the towel animals. Yes, I'm lame, I cared about towel animals more then anything else. It was my first cruise ever and all I wanted to see each night was what towel animal would be awaiting me in our room. Well here they are:

Now, the monkey was not ours, they made different animals each night for everyone and Joe's father and sister got the monkey in their room. The other four animals are from our room and the only one we can really decipher is the seal on the bottom. It's a weird (almost phallic) seal but at least you can figure out what it's suppose to be. We think the first one is a bunny although it was the first animal we got on the trip so there's a chance it's suppose to resemble the whale-tail chimney on the back of the boat. The other two are just too asexual to figure out. I think the second one is a cat and the third possibly a bear? No idea. Joe's sister Marie even got an instructional book on making these creatures and the first three weren't even in it so who knows?

I had looked so forward to getting these animals that I had even put each one aside to keep it nice and safe in the hopes that I could line them all up at the end of the trip for a cute towel animal group shot. That's a waste of perfectly good towels apparently and each night we got back to the room to discover that evening's towel animal had replaced the one from the night before. Oh well.

In addition to the huge buffet, the ship had three restaurants and each night we'd all change into business casual attire and enjoy a nice meal together. There was eight of us in our group and each day we'd all go off and do our own thing so it was nice to sit down and talk about our day each night. The waitstaff was very nice and at the end of the meal they would put on a little show. The maitre d' would say "showtime" and the lights would flash and change color and then he would don a wig and sunglasses and walk around the restaurant singing to everyone. I wouldn't make such a big deal about this normally.... but the maitre d' looked and sounded like Borat, I kid you not.

Imagine this guy in a very nice nautical style suit singing "That's Amore" while the other members of the waitstaff stood around swinging linen napkins over their heads and singing along. It was hilarious and extremely weird. I mean really take a moment and think about that for a second. A grown man with a middle eastern accent, dressed in a curly wig, wearing sunglasses and singing an Italian song. Very odd/super awesome. 

Now our voyage took us to St John where the big tourist attraction for the town was the Reverse Falls in the Bay of Fundy. Here's a video of the Falls:

I did not take this video so I apologize for the weird sounds in the background but that's what we saw. The video is actually a little better because when we visited it was extremely foggy and the visibility wasn't the best. But basically what happens each day, is the sea water from the Atlantic, pours into the freshwater bay and huge whirlpools are created throughout and the tides ebb and flow at tremendous heights and speeds. The video is taken at high tide and when we went the tide was low. Here's a picture from our trip-compare the distance of the water to the bridge between the video and the picture:

The dark line along the bottom of the rock face is the water line. The picture is taken from some distance away but the tides go up about 25 feet. Pretty crazy. The whirlpools were really fun to watch as well. Some were tiny little pools that looked like your sink draining after doing dishes while others were huge and would open up into gaping black holes that reminded me of the end of the Little Mermaid when Eric crashes the sunken ship into Ursula. None of them were big enough to actually swallow a ship but still, they were impressive. 

We got to ride through the city in super cute double decker buses that were sponsored by the Canadian Breast Cancer Society and as such, were wrapped in super cute bright pink graphics. So fun! I even got a little model bus to add to my already "kitsched-out" desk at the office. It was a great trip. And riding a double decker bus-another first!

As many of you know, I love me some free swag. And when I travel, I always make it a point to bring my own toiletries so I can pocket the free stuff we're given by the hotel, or in this case, ship. Now when we arrived, I found a few sample lotions and hair care products and also a travel size bottle of this:

At first I was a little bummed that we had gotten name brand samples because I like getting trip specific swag, not stuff we could easily pick up in the super market. But thank you Carnival Cruiseline! After we got settled in at home I realized I wouldn't be able to use my regular shower gel because it had exfoliating beads in it that would positively destroy my sun burnt skin. So I pulled out the Caress sample I brought home from the ship and O.M.G!!!! The Velvet Bliss in Blackberry and Vanilla is my dream scent! It smells exactly like the beach! For years I have been trying to find that perfect sunblock that everyone else at the beach seems to be wearing and have never found anything that makes me smell like the perfect combination of sunkissed sands and tropical fruits. Until today. I am going to run to the nearest super market and pick up about 50 bottles of this body wash sent from the heavens! I'm telling you people, go get it. I've been home for a day and when I put that stuff on I felt like I was back on the lido deck catching some rays as the soothing ocean air swept over me. Just heaven I tell you! What a perfect way to come home from a vacation! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Alright, so I've successfully used the Dry Shampoo every few days for nearly two weeks now. The second time I tried it I made sure to go easy on the application and it turned out much better. I'll even be bringing it with us on our cruise.

Speaking of which, I'm going on a cruise!!!!!!
I know you already knew that, I just love saying it. We're leaving tomorrow in fact and I have been counting down the minutes!

Why is it every time you set off on a big trip, everything around you goes nuts the day before you leave? Seriously-work was a super hot mess today! Luckily everything was under control before I left so I hope nothing crazy happens while I'm away. Don't you just love those, "Welcome back! How was your trip? Your computer exploded..." greetings?

And just in case you forget and try to contact me, here's a little reminder kiddies:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bed Head

Completely accurate in every way. Especially the areas marked "bed"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Is Chaulky a Real Word?

Because that's the only way I can describe my hair after using the Dry Shampoo for the first time. I don't know if I used too much, but when I sprayed my hair, I looked kind of like this poor girl:

Granted, once you brush it out your hair is back to it's normal color but still, I felt like I was about to play the roll as the elderly neighbor in some low budget elementary school play. While it did keep me from feeling totally disgusting all day, my hair felt like it had been set on fire and then covered in foundation. It was frizzed out and filmy. Dry, but not at all normal. You know how your hands feel after you apply a ton of baby powder? Yeah, hair felt just like that. Greasy yet dry, very bizarre. I still put it up in a messy bun but I was thankful I didn't feel grimy the entire day. 

I'll definitely use it again but I'll be able to actually shower the next time around so I'll feel completely clean-hooray! The only question I have is, should I use a shower cap like an old school champ? Or just throw her in an updo and move along? I have amassed quite the collection of complementary shower caps from my days working for a hotel so maybe I'll give the grandma look a try. 

I'm gonna keep the "no daily shampooing" train a'going and see if anything improves. Perhaps I can break the apparently bad cycle of daily shampooing and have even healthier hair (I never thought I had hair issues in the past but alright) then ever before.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. President!

Yes he does, and I'm a proud member!

Da da da-da da, da-da da-da da-da da!
Happy Birthday to our Commander and Chief! Have a wonderful Birthday Barack!
I hope those punks in Washington don't mess up your groove! (Or the incompetents on Fox News for that matter)
Today it's all about you sir. Live-it-up!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Adventures of Being a Girl

So I'm taking small steps at being a girl. My boss had this lovely beginning of summer party at his home in June and I made it a point to venture out and find a nice party dress. I never wear dresses because I never feel completely "put together" in a dress. When you don't feel completely together, you're not comfortable and when you're not comfortable you can't enjoy yourself. But this was my first, really adult, party and I wanted to do more then just throw on a simple pair of jeans and decent top, I wanted to do what adults do and go shop for something special.

After a full evening of shopping I finally found a nice cotton dress that fit pretty well except for the straps-they were a little loose. I got the dress for a delicious price and since it was a simple cotton design, I was able to shorten the straps so the fit turned out perfectly. I'm not a seamstress by any means so I don't go around cutting up fabrics or tearing hems apart, but I'm good with a needle and thread so I folded the straps down and tightly sewed the folds down so the straps were the perfect length.

The great part about this, now I have a perfect dress to take with us on our cruise as well! Double bonus!

Now, I'm getting into hair care products. I've always been a huge advocate of keeping my hair au natural. I have pin straight hair so I can't say I know what it's like to have serious hair issues. I don't have to worry about humidity or moisture so keeping my locks product free has been pretty easy throughout my life. But lately I feel like my hair is changing.

Now with the summer being as dreadful as it has been, I've started cutting back on conditioning because by the end of the day, my hair feels like it's drenched in oil. I've been told you shouldn't condition on a daily basis as it is so I started cutting back and conditioning every other day.

I haven't had a second to get a much needed hair cut so right now my hair is longer then it has ever been and it's driving me crazy. It's too hot to wear down and with this ridiculous length, it's been too much of a pain in the booty to completely blow dry. So I've taken the easy way out and just thrown it up in a messy bun or clip it up off my neck.

Recently I've been feeling a little off and wanted to get checked out before setting off on our cruise. It's nothing major, but I have health insurance so I always check on anything that might need a little looking into. So after seeing my doctor this week, he asked that I wear a heart monitor for 24 hours. This means I cannot shower for one day.

This normally isn't a big deal for me on the weekends, especially if I'm not leaving the house; but I have huge issue with going to work without being able to fully wash my hair. I've also heard over the years that you shouldn't wash your hair on a daily basis. I've always had issues with this because I just don't like the way my hair feels when I go without washing it.

I heard a long time ago about this stuff called Dry-Shampoo but I always considered it was something people who regularly style their hair would use. Perfect example, Heidi Montag of Hills fame, was the one that turned me onto this stuff. The first time I'd ever heard of this product was right here in this gem of a reality show clip:

Is it wrong that when I heard I couldn't shower, this clip was the first thing that came to mind? Specifically her line "they tore all of the labels off my dry-shampoo" boo-hoo. Just gold I tell you. Anyways, so I did a little research and apparently this stuff is getting pretty popular and can be found in a variety of product lines. I picked up the TRESemme FreshStart dry-shampoo for straight hair and a giant brush. I haven't used a brush on my hair for a really long time too so this is all a big ole step for me. I usually comb it when it's wet and then blow dry or let my hair dry naturally. Well with this dry shampoo I have to brush my hair straight, spray the product, let it sit for a minute or two, and then brush my hair out again. Supposedly this will remove all of the oils and "dirt" without having to ever wet my long locks. 

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm very skeptical because this is the kind of thing that makes me think it'll work and feel great for the first half of my day but then when 5pm rolls around, will feel just as gross as if I didn't shower at all. We'll see. If it works, I might take the professionals advice and not wash my hair every day. I'll still shower, no worries there folks, but maybe I'll try and work a little more on "being a girl" and adding some new products and routines to my life. Check back for my report, I'll also let you know what the heart monitor uncovers (though I don't think it'll uncover anything, I might just be experiencing heartburn for the first time in my life, we'll see)