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Let’s talk about fresh, baby

8 Apr

Listen, this is my blog. So of course I’m going to talk about things I want to talk about. I’m hoping that my things will help you with your things, though. Like armpits. Or underarms if you want to be classy.

Why are we talking about armpits? Because I recently switched deodorant. In my efforts to be more green and be nicer to my body, I thought I’d switch to Tom’s of Maine, which I’m now seeing was a mistake, and you’ll see why soon.

I used to use this deodorant, by Suave:

sauve

I liked it well enough. It kept the smells at bay, but it didn’t do a whole lot for antiperspirant. It’s also full of chemicals.

So I switched to Tom’s antiperspirant:

toms

What I didn’t realize until later is that you have to buy the specific Aluminum-free Tom’s if you want to get the supposedly non-cancer causing deodorant.

Now, there are some pros and cons to this antiperspirant.

Pros
– it has a nice smell.
– it has alleviated my sensitive skin issue so that when I shave, it doesn’t get as irritated.
– it’s more natural than my previous deodorant.

Cons
– it has nearly 30% aluminum (the Suave had less than 9%!)
– it is not a very good deodorant; I find myself pretty obnoxious by the end of the day.
– because it’s made from a lot of natural oils, it has a more solid consistency than most deodorants.
– IT HAS NEARLY 30% ALUMINUM! the more I think about it, the more I need to switch to the aluminum-free version.

You never realize how much research you have to do until later when you realized that the chemicals and harmful products you were trying to get away from are the ones that are pumped right into the products you thought were best!

Also, I would like to apologize for the lack of a post about my recent DIY projects. My poor 6-year old MacBook is too ancient to want to let me use WordPress. So uploading a post FULL of pictures can get very tedious. Along with that, the battery in our garage door opening died, leaving us shut out of the (detached) garage for a couple of days, so we only just got the spool inside as of yesterday. I promise to share pictures and how-tos this week!

A goal without a plan is just a wish

29 Mar

Maybe that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry quote will give me the kick in the butt that I need this weekend to get some crafting done!

Because I have some big plans for this weekend. That spool that I posted about? I’m finally going to paint it. Todd is going to craft a middle shelf and add some dowels to make separate areas so it looks more like a bookshelf. I decided to just paint it black and add tons of colorful accessories, like a round cushion and colorful books. I’ve already started compiling some books that I plan to stash there, like the super cool, really old Nancy Drew books with the yellow spine. I found those beauties at a used book store for $0.50 a pop! Steal!

I also plan to try to do some picture transfers onto wood! I found a tutorial that looks pretty easy to follow (not to mention how snarky it is and I love snark) and I’m going to hunt down some pictures tonight. I found these really cool platters that had weirdo Victorian pictures on them of animals dressed in formal attire and I love them with my entire being. If anyone knows where I can find pictures like that to print, LET ME KNOW, because I want that in my house. Forever.

I’m hoping to at least get these two projects done, since we have Monday off from work.

What are you doing this weekend? Any big projects, or Easter plans? I can’t wait to get my craft on!

Who are you?

27 Mar

Yesterday, I had exactly 100 views on my blog! This is the most ever, actually by more than double my previous highest-views.

But, no one commented. On anything. So it makes me wonder, who is looking at my blog? I know some friends do, and my mom does occasionally because she thinks I’m just so special. She’s always loved my “websites” even when they were just geocities links with the simplest HTML codes and pictures of me.

 

Old Owl Lady

Sometimes I pose for photos with old owls and vintage hats.

Paige is Corey is Paige

Sometimes, I look like Corey Feldman, in his 80s childhood stardom.

the boyfriend completes the picture

Usually I’m smiling, while my boyfriend makes faces in the background. And I say usually because this happens often.

chair dance

I like to dance on chairs. At house parties or weddings. I do not discriminate. And this is not the only photographic evidence of such.

that is not the ocean

I like to kayak sometimes! Although water terrifies me. I must be a masochist. That is also not the ocean, despite the kayak stating otherwise. Go home, kayak, you’re drunk.

heyy you guyyys

I also have a Master’s degree in English Literature, which I am clearly very excited about (despite not doing the things I wanted to do with it).

faces

Lastly, I like to make faces. And my best friend creates collages of us with said made faces.

So that’s who I am. But who are you?

Support Equality

26 Mar

Today and tomorrow, the Supreme Court will be discussing same-sex marriage. Basically there are two parts: the first, today’s, was about whether or not California’s Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. In my opinion, it is, but I’ll get to that. Secondly, tomorrow, they will be discussing the federal government and benefits for same-sex couples. Of course, the final decisions won’t be made until the end of the term in June.

equal

Now what does all of this mean? If Proposition 8 is overruled and same-sex couples are recognized nationwide, this means that our friends and family and coworkers who are LGBTQ will be able to not only get married but will also gain other benefits, like insurance and hospital visits, amongst a host of other things.

This means another step towards equality. I say another step because you know this doesn’t mean that everyone will automatically change their views and believe that gay marriage is right or even that homosexuality is not a sin. Some people believe that, and I do not fault them that for their views. But I do not agree.

As long as I can remember, I’ve had gay friends. Mostly, you’d never know they were gay unless they told you. Because gays are not different from you or I. They don’t look or act differently because they are our fellow human beings.

I grew up in a loving household. My dad once told me he didn’t care who I loved, despite being a life-long military man where homosexuality was staunchly and opposed outright for hundreds of years.

My mom’s best friend is gay. And she’s part of our family. When my dad is out of the country, she and my mom go on dates. Fortunately, my family lives in Massachusetts, which was the first state in America to allow same-sex couples to marry. So my mom’s friend has all the same benefits when it comes to her family that my mom and dad have (at least at the state level). And I am grateful for that.

I want that for everyone. Because essentially, your relationship does not change or alter mine. It doesn’t change the meaning of it, or the verity.

I support equality for everyone. Do you?

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Also, if you’re a visual learner like me, see this link to read about what the possible outcomes are of today’s and tomorrow’s discussions.

Give me a hand

25 Mar

Hi all. Sorry again for the lack of posts lately. I have a legitimate excuse: I had surgery on my hand about 9 days ago. I was drugged up for a solid week thanks to some fantastic painkillers, but I rarely got near a computer. I spent a solid amount of time either asleep or reading.

As for what I’ve been reading lately, I’ve slowed down quite a bit. I think I’ve only read about 3 books since the beginning of February. They’re long books though, including Shadow of Night, the sequel to Discovery of Witches, and the first Game of Thrones. I just received (no joke) 5 ebooks from the library though so I’ll be getting my reading on and get back to you with some reviews!

IKEA Hacks: Sort Of (But Not Really)

19 Feb

I love IKEA. Maybe not so much the large crowds of people, but definitely everything else. And I love altering the items I buy there. Any of the furniture in natural wood is perfect for adding your own touches.

(Sidenote: I apologize for any terrible pictures [read: all of them] in this post. They were all taken on my iPhone.)

This weekend they had a giant President’s Day sale going on. Somehow we managed to miss them all. But we still got out under $200, which I think is a huge accomplishment considering how much we got.

A little bit of back story: our apartment is not large, and it does not have ample storage. When we first moved in, we had to add our own kitchen shelves. There were cabinets underneath the counters, but nothing above. So we added IKEA metal shelves that are good for storing glasses. (And whiskey.) We also added metal bars underneath and S hooks to hang things like mugs. (And steins.) I guess you know what kind of people we are now. We also already had a large wooden hutch with four shelves. That sits next to our desk and we keep Cole’s food and water below it. I have pictures of none of this. Clearly I’ve come prepared.

In the year and a half that we’ve been in this place, we’ve worked out a pretty good system for where things go. But I like kitchen stuff – gadgets and cookware and spatulas and cookbooks! I love them and I must have them all. And people know this about me. So I get things like slate cheese boards and GF cookbooks for gifts. And then I have no idea where to put them. You can no longer walk into the pantry because of the wine rack that I repainted and stored in there because there is literally no other place to put it.

So this weekend, we went to IKEA. And I think we’ve finally managed to solve some of our space woes.

First, we got this hutch:

This picture is atrocious. I apologize.

This picture is atrocious. I apologize.

Notice how wonderfully the Crock Pot fits on the bottom shelf.  Previously we just had the trash and recycling cans down there alone. This way they’re at least somewhat hidden in their shame. And the reason I call this an IKEA “hack” is because Todd had to trim down the shelves by about 6 inches to make it fit there. The other side of the fridge is where the wall ends and opens up to the pantry door, so there was no way we were moving that over. It’s already moved over far enough so that I can open the oven door. Yes, our apartment is laid out well, thanks for asking.

The next IKEA “hack” for you is this butcher block mini-island:

The giant glass candy bowl is a new addition as well!

The giant glass candy bowl and the basket for towels are new additions as well!

Again, not really a hack, but I can call it what I want because it’s my blog, right? I taped off the two posts under the slats, and painted the slats green. If you notice the IKEA stepping stool in the back, I used the same paint so it all matches. A lot of things in my kitchen are green as well. Like the tea pot (as you can see in the hutch picture) and the large porcelain canister I use to keep wooden utensils.

Finally, we got a couple of magazine holders. Todd suggested I could use one for cookbooks and my thought for the second was to use it for magazines in the bathroom. I got tired of having them sit on top of the toilet and having to move them every time I cleaned.

in the process

in the process

I got them in natural wood, of course, so I could paint them!

This one I will use for cookbooks:

paisley! (I put a bird on it)

paisley! (I put a bird on it)

And this one for magazines:

chevron!

chevron!

I used the same colors partially because I wanted them to tie together and also because most of my acrylic paint is so old it’s chunky. And that isn’t fun to paint with. But going out and purchasing a few bottles of $3 acrylic paint is just too much effort. And of course I used a clear coat in satin finish to seal these off, but I did that after pictures.

Not pictured:  a very nice, square shelving unit for the bedroom. This one was assembled and left as is because it has a nice finish on it and fit perfectly in the corner of our room!

Living in a tiny apartment has made us very creative with space. Do you have any awesome IKEA hacks that you’d love to share?

“Cupid is Stupid”

14 Feb

I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day. And no, it’s not because I never had anyone to celebrate with or I was cynical about looove or whatever. I just make sure to tell the people I love that I love them whenever I feel the need to. Every day, if I can. Getting off the phone, or just in a text message. Even a silly picture posted on Facebook. And I don’t just mean Todd. I mean Calyn and other friends and my family. I’m always thankful to have people to love that love me back.

source: google images

source: google images

One of my more memorable Valentine’s Days was actually with Calyn and our friend Laura. We got a few bottles of wine, watched Mary Poppins and just hung out. It was really nice and a lot of fun, considering we didn’t have any bottle openers and had to get down MacGyver style.

source: google images

source: google images

Another great one that I remember didn’t actually occur on Valentine’s Day.

In college I was an RA. One of the requirements was that every month we had to create a program for the residents on our floor, and also bring them to a program being hosted somewhere on campus. Sometimes it could be darn difficult to get residents to go to events. A certain amount of those events had to be educational in some way, so oftentimes I would spin my rationale. Like, if it was a concert, I’d say we were becoming more culturally aware through music. It worked well enough.

1327906334469_5500745

source: google images

For Valentine’s Day my junior year, in 2007, I decided to have an event for my residents centered around Valentine’s Day, that I called “Cupid is Stupid.” I got a purchase order for a couple different stores – a party store, KMart, etc. – and got everything I needed for homemade chocolates, cards and gifts; construction paper, ribbon, confetti, foil, chinese boxes, white chocolate, milk chocolate, different colored chocolate! And for the educational aspect: I posted facts all over the walls about St. Valentine and how the holiday came to be.

It was… AWESOME. And it was the best-attended event that year! I had created it solely for my residents (I had about 30 students on my floor) and over 100 students from my building as well as the building next door showed up. At the end of the year when we had our awards ceremony, I won Program of the Year. And afterwards, other RAs had followed in my steps and created their own version of my program. Makes me feel like I left some kind of legacy behind 😉

And for this year’s Valentine’s Day, I’ll be playing volleyball! Todd and I had planned on a date tomorrow but we hadn’t quite figured it out, and it turned into a happy hour double date! What do you have planned for this year’s V-Day? Do you love going all out or are you like me? Either way, Happy Thursday! 🙂