Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Literary Creature

"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away,
and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.”  -Roald Dahl
 Necklace: ShopLately (Glint & Gleam)
Dress: Tulle
Shoes: Seychelles 'Ballad'
Blush: Estee Lauder 'Peach Nuance'
Lips: Revlon Lip Butter 'Tutti Frutti'
Our little 1,000 square feet of a house doesn't allow me to have every book at hand, so many of my friends (and enemies) reside in the attic.  I'd love to have a sun room/ library someday with built-in bookshelves.  Until then, I'm pretty satisfied to have all my favorites bunched together.  Rowena and Gabriel have a bookcase as well.  I'm not ashamed to say that I raid it often for a good read.  ("A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” -C.S. Lewis)   I tend to guard my bookcase with my life (exaggeration), as I recently caught my nephew skimming through Lolita.  Someday, kid.  Someday.  

Please tell me your 'must have forever' book.
Love to you~

Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm a Tulle

Top, Skirt: Gap
Scarf: Ross Dress for Less
Tights: c/o We Love Colors
Heels: Seychelles
Lipstick: Milani Fruit Punch
Nails: Orly 
Photo dump alert!  I recently chopped off my hair and I need to post all my pre-haircut photos.  It feels wonderful to have all the death cut off from my head.  I had visions of Scarlett à la Nashville tresses for the summer, but I've come to the sad conclusion that my hair isn't meant for it.

I love pairing red with touches of pink.  A little unexpected, very fresh.  I know I've lamented about the lack of red in my wardrobe before, but I want to reiterate: I need more red in my wardrobe.  


Love to you

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How I Lost 30 Pounds

Before I reveal the whys and wherefores (oh, the redundancy!) of why I lost 30 pounds, I want to provide the answer to how I lost 30 pounds.  Here is a severely unflattering photo of me at my heaviest:
And the after:
      
That's not right.  Let's try again:
How did this picture of severe anxiety and frailty appear?  Ah, senior year of college.  You kill me.  Okay, here we go:
 Look at the air I can get in my bulky Irish sweater! 
(I know you missed my maniacal grin.)

The only negative side effect from losing weight is that my ankle zipper jeans won't seem to leave my body. 

I sincerely hope that these tips will help you.  I put all of these into practice, and I fail all the time.  Keep going.  

Stop eating all treats and desserts.  Go cold turkey on this one right away.  My body was at a point where it needed something sweet every day.  I told my body "screw you" and made it suffer.  It is scary to change... scary to make the decision not to be dependent on more food than your body needs.  It's scary to take control.  For two weeks I had no treats.  No hot chocolate.  I finally allowed myself a piece of pie on Christmas; I had looked forward to it for days and I couldn't even finish it.  Take that, poisonous gateway to yeast infections!

Weigh yourself every day.  For a while, at least.  It was terrifying, TERRIFYING, to step on the scale for the first non-pregnant time in years.  That was the hardest step for me.  After I saw that fateful number on the scale, that was it.  Change needed to happen.  I also decided to make weighing myself fun and interesting.  Weight before and after a bowel movement?  Pre-workout?  Post-workout?  Morning?  Evening?  It's fascinating!  I would recommend putting a cap of two on the times you weigh yourself each day to avoid obsession.  (Just do the pre and post poop, that's a must.)  Also, keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat, your weight fluctuates throughout the month, etc.  Weight is not the most important factor, but it sure is interesting.  I viewed it as a science experiment rather than a number mania.  I now weigh myself once a week from curiosity; otherwise, I go by how my clothes fit.  
You won't see the results on your body right away, but the decreasing number on the scale gives you a helpful visual.

Don't wear deodorant while exercising.  There's something so organic and disgusting to smell like a rotting pot of soup (my personal exercise scent) during and after your 80 degree run.  "My body made this sweat.  My body made this stench."  It's gross, but very effective.  It's also good for your body to naturally lose all those toxins that deodorant doesn't allow to escape your glandily glands.  The cool shower afterward feels more amazing, too.
I was so ecstatic that I could run almost two miles... I took a ridiculous selfie. (2012)

Don't reward yourself with food or gifts; reward yourself with a workout.  This is brainwashing at its finest.  I used to think to myself, "If I work out hard, I can have a wee brownie."  Nope, doesn't work.  I exercised regularly for years and didn't change my diet.  Ergo, I didn't lose weight.  You can't outrun your diet.  (I got that from some inspirational meme floating around. Whatever, it's true.)  The day I started eating less was the day I began to lose weight.  I now say to myself, "If I clean the bathroom and do the dishes, I can work out."  It's exhilarating to manipulate myself and get away with it.  Seriously though, this works.  Give yourself the gift of a positive attitude toward hard work and exercise.

Don't eat after dinner. Nothing.
If you feel like you need to eat after dinner, drink tea. Just tasting something will help curb the craving.  My personal favorites are Trader Joe's Harvest Blend Herbal Tea and Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride.  Both of these are seasonal offerings, dagnabbit.

Eat until you're still a little hungry.  Suffer a bit.  Think of those that don't have enough food on a daily basis.  I hate to say it, but offer it up.  I swear that in the morning, you won't feel the hunger from the day before.  It's as if your body resets itself.  Drink your morning coffee with a bowl of oatmeal under a bed of raisins, toasted pecans, and cinnamon.  Weigh yourself, poop, and weigh yourself again.

I'll admit, I am very proud of my weight loss.  However, I am prouder of that girl who, at thirty pounds heavier, pushed through and ran a 5k.  (Can you believe that we're still at the same running pace?)  She's way cooler than me, actually.  I was always beautiful and awesome... but you knew that.

I will answer any and all questions in the comments!  Thank you for reading.

PS- Do I have to put a disclaimer that I'm not a certified health person?  Does Crazy Go Nuts University count?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

School Spirit?

Why do I always seem to wear Darin's high school colors?  Royal blue and gold, gag me.  (Can you tell I abhor anything to do with any high school?  It's unjust, I know. I'm scarred.)
Beret: Forever 21
Pin: my Grandma's
Turtleneck: Gap
Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: Keds (Do you see the stars?!)
Jacket: Nordstrom BP
Cat: Milton

I hope that you are having a wonderful end to your winter.  My cold and bitter heart cannot wait for spring.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blushing Balmshell

About a year ago, I feel madly in love with blush.  I used to collect shoes, but then lipsticks took over. I don't quite know how it happened, but the magical, transformative nature of THE BLUSH abruptly commandeered my heart.  I now have a stupid drawer full of the addicting stuff.  My face isn't complete without it.  This Instain blush from TheBalm is a newly-acquired friend.  I own one color, and what a color!  "Lace" is like a hot pink punch of flowers to the face.  It is a truly unique color and soft-not-powdery formula.  It is one of my longest-wearing blushes!
Because of its pigmented superpowers, I use a Real Techniques Stippling Brush and gently dot and swirl up the side of my face to my temples.  
TheBalm Instain blushes retail for $22.00 for 6.5 grams of product.  (I scored mine for a mere $11.00 on Hautelook.) As usual with TheBalm, no talc is involved and no animals were tested.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Teacher's Pet

Sweater, leggings: Mossimo by Target
Necklace: ShopLately
Boots: Bronx 
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box (discontinued)
Foundation: Revlon Whipped 'Nude'
Blush: MAC 'Dame'
Lipstick: Laura Geller 'Berry Vanilla'
This is my typical work outfit: pajamas masquerading as clothes.  I can go from teaching class and serving snacks to chucking dodgeballs at kids' heads with ease.  This sweater is the best Target purchase I have ever made.  The quality is shockingly great, the tapestry pattern looks like luxury, and it fits wonderfully.  I wish it was still in stock (and still $9!) so that I could purchase old lady backups.

All right, off to work.  I'm a youth minister for 5-8 graders at a Catholic Church.  It's like being half teacher, half friend.  An odd combination, but I think I've mastered it thanks to many rookie mistakes.  I love my kids.  Here are a few of them unsuccessfully plotting to scare me when I enter the building:
This "doll" mysteriously appeared in the church nursery.  The moment was so earth-shattering, I Instagrammed it.  Nobody knows where it came from.  The fact that the nursery hasn't been used in months adds to the enigma.  We call it Yak Baby.  If you misbehave, you must hold him quietly on your lap for five minutes.  I should probably get a teaching license.
He's always watching.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Forgive me NARS, for I have sinned

Apologies for my temporary blasphemy, Dad, but it was just too perfect.  A few months ago, I wrote a somewhat unfavorable review about NARS' blush in Sin.  I will never write a first-impressions review again!  I don't see the point; how can I judge something without fully getting to know it first?  I need to test it out, play with it, explore our relationship, nurture it, perhaps spoon a little bit...  After really putting it to the test, I love this blush now.  Since NARS blushes have a stiff-like (not to be confused with dry) quality, a dense blush brush is needed.  I stopped using the soft and wonderful Real Techniques Blush Brush and switched to the Ecotools line.  The brush is still easy on the face, but it picks up more product while effectively blending out the edges.  The Real Techniques brush is still my standby for buttery products like MAC's Pro Longwear blush.  I am slowly realizing that my makeup is only as good as my tools.  It makes such a difference!
 NARS Sin is a perfect blend of pink and purple on my fair winter skin.  I usually pair it with violety lips products like Revlon Colorburst 'Lilac' or MAC Rebel, but it also looks fresh with brownies a la MAC Twig.  A surprisingly versatile plum blush!  I give you my blessing to purchase it, because that was the only thing holding you back.


Thank you for reading!
I wonder what my penance will be...
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