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DIY Halloween Cake Stand

At this point, these cake stands are just over a year old.  I filmed this little tutorial back then and it’s been sitting on my computer all that time.  To be honest I totally forgot that I had even filmed it.  But alas, here it is!

What you’ll need:

-2 Corelle Dinner Sized Plates
-1 Candle Holder
-1 Can of High Gloss Spray Paint
-Scrap fabric just larger than the plate
-Jar of Mod Podge
-1 Spool of lace
-Hot Glue Gun
-Paint Brush or sponge

Hi again!

I know its been forever since I’ve done anything between here or YouTube and for a while I was able to blame it on school.  My last semester (Fall 2015) was quite possibly one of the most difficult 6 months of my life!  It was an insane amount of reading and writing, I think I wrote 3000 words 3 times a week for the full 6 months!  If I could keep up that pace with my memoir it would be done by now…

Anyway, once school was done I was forced with a decision.  What direction do I take my blog and YT channel in?  At that same time Nick and I bought a 3d printer and began having fun with that.  To be honest I was having so much fun designing a coffee table that I didn’t even think twice about not blogging or creating videos…  I have missed it though.  But I don’t want to just be posting content for the sake of posting content.

That being said I’m currently in the process of trying to figure out what direction I’d like to go in.  Although I love makeup and I’ll never leave that fully, I don’t think it is the best direction for me to go in.  Maybe dabbling it from time to time but I don’t think its the right place for me to focus on.  I love DIY and I think that would be a good direction to go in, but maybe with a hint of designing?  I’m not sure.

My point though, in this rambling post, is that I’m actively working on it.  I’m hoping to get back to posting great content soon, and I hope you guys are willing to stick around long enough to see where my little corner of the internet lands.  In the meantime I’ll be to posting some photos of what I’ve been up to over the last few months, so stay tuned for that!

Thank you guys for all your support.

Itching Suspicion | A Memoir Post

Driving up all you see is white.  White snow, white trees, and of course an all-white very large New England style building.  The hallways are small and cramped which is surprising based on the size of the building.  Luckily the door I’m going to is only the second one so there isn’t enough time for claustrophobia to set in.  As I open the door to the office I have a feeling that this visit isn’t going to go as planned.  I’ve only been here once before and it was a quick visit to explain what was going to happen.  Today was the day it was going to happen.

When the nurse took me back, my blood pressure was high, white coat syndrome as she put it.  I stepped on the scale and cringed at the 178 pound reading.  Officially the heaviest I’ve ever been.  Already feeling deflated the doctor came in to reassure me that this was going to be a quick and easy procedure and he expected all results to be normal and he would be back in 20 minutes to verify that they were.

54 cups were lined up on the counter in rows ready to be dug into my skin, one by one.  The nurse asks, “Are you ready?”  Unable to speak I simply nod, yes.  Each prick feels like a poisonous puppy tooth stabbing, drawing blood and guaranteeing of a looming disaster.  One after another she pricks my arms until they each arm is fully covered in little red bumps.  “Don’t move.” The nurse says, like I have a choice.  “I’ll be back in 20 minutes with the doctor.”

While I wait, trying not to think of the itching and stinging pain, I try to reach for my phone, but of course it’s just an inch out of my reach.  Instead I sit back and close my eyes, willing the itching away.  My thoughts drift back to the scale.  178. I’m only 5’3, I think, 178 pounds is entirely too much.  How did I let myself get to this point?  How did I not notice I wasn’t becoming massively overweight?  I need to start working out and eating better.  I cannot let myself it the 180 pound mark.  I just can’t.

I open my eyes and look down at my arms.  What was once soft, smooth, pale skin has now been replaced with splotchy red stained skin covered in bumps of varying sizes.  The majority of them are just small irritated bumps resembling inflamed goose bumps.  The rest however are large angry bumps some the size of edamame.  Just as I’m starting to wonder what the bumps signify the nurse steps in followed by the doctor.

The next words that came out of his mouth were a shock to me.  “I see you’ve got some food allergies,” he said with a smile, “Looks like Peanuts, Almonds, and sesame for sure with a mild soy and summer squash.”  I must have had a look of confusion on my face because he followed it up with, “yeah, summer squash is kind of a strange one that doesn’t seem to fit.”

He proceeded to explain to me that I needed to make sure to completely stay away from the first three and keep the last two to a minimum.  I let this sink in for a moment before saying, “but these are my food staples, I eat them every day… Peanut butter toast for breakfast, hummus with lunch, almonds to snack on throughout the day.”  Deep down I’m relieved, it could have been bread or dairy my other staples, and it could have been all nuts instead of just those two. 

Slightly devastated and confused I start to walk down the now claustrophobic hallway.  As I get into my car it finally dawns on me that my eating habits will never be the same again. 

The Meaning of Moderation

baconAn article came out last week stating that low-carb was a better option than low-fat if you’re looking to battle the bulge.  It took me a couple days to figure out why I was angry with the article.  As much as I don’t disagree with the article there is something that continues to irk me when it comes to weight loss.

After years and years of battling my own weight issues of being told how I should eat, what I should eat, when I should eat and why I should eat my body became confused.  Well, confused is an understatement.  My body had no idea what it actually NEEDED.    Throughout the years of telling my body what it needed it no longer knew how to determine what to do on its own.

keep-calm-and-eat-bread-47

In addition to the confusion my body had, my mind was just as confused.  Eat every three hours, eat three meals a day.  Eat carbs, eat fats.  Breakfast is the most important, all meals are equally important.  You get the point.  There are so many “rules” to eating, and all of them contradict each other!  It just becomes impossible for anyone to navigate what is right and what is wrong.

Then add in the elusive term “moderation.”  Cookies, Candies, Cakes, Chocolates! We’re told, indulge and enjoy those things (and more) but only in moderation.  But no one specifically tells you what moderation actually means.  It just this term thrown around meaning different things to everyone who uses it.

I didn’t learn what moderation was until I found out I was mildly allergic to soy.  “Try to only have soy in moderation” is what the doctor told me.  That dreaded word again.  I ended up having to learn what moderation meant for me.

In the end, I can tell you what worked for me, but really you need to find out for yourself.  (If you’re really interested let me know.)  I suggest you stop telling your body how and why to eat and actually asking it how it wants to eat and why.  So much time and energy is wasted by dictating what our bodies need to run, but realistically we all have different bodies, so why are we trying to treat them as if they are in fact the same.  If we would start teaching people how to listen to their own bodies and what they need and want we wouldn’t have to confuse everyone by telling them how to eat.

What-is-moderation

So I urge you to listen to when your body is actually telling you it’s hungry, listen for that grumble or empty feeling, and then eat.  Listen to when you’re full or overfull to learn much your body actually wants.  Listen to your cravings, find out why you’re having them and learn when you can give in and when you shouldn’t.  And most importantly, learn what moderation means to you.  It’s not as confusing as it all seems, I promise.  It just means tuning into you.

Class of Embarrassment | A Memoir Post

Another memoir post.  My goal is to do one of these a week and then my memoir will be ready in about 2 years!  We’ll see if I can keep it up, I’d love the constructive criticism, so please leave me comments or message me!

I’m sitting at my desk when I overhear Jason talking about his daughter being in dance.  She does everything from ballet, to lyrical and she just signed up for jazz.  He isn’t talking to me thankfully because I start to zone out, thinking back to when I was a teenager.  I danced at Arizona Dance & Company and I too did everything from lyrical to hip hop to musical theater.  That isn’t where my mind went though, it went to one particular jazz class.

I walked into the small waiting room, looking through the glass window to see that the class before mine was just about to finish.  I drop my bag to the floor and take my cappezios out before kicking the bag under the bench that ran across the wall.  Against the other wall Sherrie, the owner, has her back turned and is focusing on some papers and Christie, her daughter, is sitting looking at what looks to be a magazine.

I’m the first one to arrive from my class but the other 5 girls should be here soon.  It’s a small quaint class, and I so far it’s one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken.  There is a new teacher this year, Emily.  She has super short blonde hair, she’s spunky.  Over the next 5 minutes the rest of my class shows up.  Just in time as the door opens up and Emily wishes the previous class well and welcomes us saying, “we’ve got a great class today girls!” 

I quickly walk in among the other girls, all of us giddily chatting about what today might bring.  After we’ve warmed up and started to work on our recital routine.  The recital is still months away thankfully because we have only learned about a quarter of the dance.  There is still about 30 minutes left in the class when things start to turn south.

Emily calls Christie and her friend, Lynette, in to help her demonstrate what she wants us to do.  I proceed to watch Christie and Lynette lock arms so that Emily can sit on top of them before doing some fancy move off.  Everyone seems super excited about it, Emily calls three of the other girls and shows them how to lock arms in a circle leaving room for 3 girls to sit. 

Panic starts to rise in me.  Does she really expect them to be able to hold me?  I’m by far the largest girl in the class.  Involuntarily my head starts to shake back and forth and I start to back away from the group.  I quietly after Emily has finished showing what we are to do and Christie and Lynette are helping girls get into place and practicing, I ask Emily if she will switch me to a base instead.

Ugh… No Lauren, I need you to do what I told you to do.”  I’ve never asked for anything in class and always done what I was told, to the best of my ability of course, but the tone of her voice made it seem like my request was offensive and outlandish.  Redness rose to my face as soon as the word No came out of her mouth.  Shame overcame me as I sulked over to my classmates.  Tears welled in my eyes as I tried my best to keep from hurting my fellow classmates. 

My heart wasn’t in it for the rest of the class.  I fought every urge to just leave and not come back, but I did finish.  I walked out the door quickly, being the first to grab my things and leave.  I didn’t even change my shoes before hopping on my bike to ride home.  As I rode the cool night air whipped at me and sent chills down my exhausted and sweaty body; while tears silently streamed down my face.

How an Aesthetician Saved My Skin!

Over the last couple of years I’ve have horrendous problems with my skin. (As I talked about yesterdayhere… oh and here…)  And after being completely fed up with my skin I gave in and decided to go for a facial.  And I don’t mean relax in a dark room with incents, I mean working facial to try to get my skin back to normal (or at least what was normal for me.) Since I wanted a working facial I opted to go to Ulta where there are bright lights, and the aestheticians use Dermalogica and are of course licensed, and hey, it doesn’t hurt that I also earned points on my rewards card! (I’m hoarding them for a massive haul!) My first meeting Jacqueline at Ulta in South Portland, Maine was pleasant.  She was nice and understanding of my concerns, but even more importantly, she wanted to help me resolve the situation.  She gave me a facial tailored to my skin and incorporating the Ultra Calming line of Dermalogica.  And then she shocked me with a recommendation to get allergy tested (see my experience here). PicsArt_1409588083065 The picture above on the left is about 4 months ago, the right is last week. Still a lot of work to be done, but its a start. It’s been a while (about 6 months) since my last facial with Jacqueline and I decided to treat myself to another working facial this weekend.  Again she was very pleasant asked about my concerns, read through ingredient lists and then gave me a thorough facial including extractions.  And then she shocked me again by telling me she things I have mild Rosacea!  She told me to pay attention when I eat spicy foods or when I drink alcohol or caffeine. By the end of the day my skin was already looking better and by the time I woke up the next morning it was like I had a brand new face!  Don’t get me wrong, those pesky little pimples were still there and the red marks from the extractions but I’ll take that over the mess I went in with any day! I try to treat myself AT LEAST twice a year, preferably ever quarter.  How often do you treat yourself to a facial?

Judging Admissions | A Memoir Post

It’s been a while since I’ve done a memoir post and to be completely honest it’s been a while since I’ve even written one.  The other day I felt inspired though so here you go, any constructive criticism would be welcomed, leave comments or send me messages on social media (links to the right —>)

I’ve only told my husband and my parents.  I feel like I need to tell other people but just as I’m about to the frog in my throat takes over my voice and all that comes out are unintelligible croaks that make me look like a fool.  It seems ridiculous to not simply utter the words, I have an eating disorder.  Those five simple words seem like poison in my mouth.

I feel like I need to tell my boss, not Steve, I don’t think he would care or he would be useless.  But someone at work needs to be aware.  Tina would probably be the best option, she is the general manager.  My nerves, or what once was them, seemed to be disintegrating by the second!  I pick up the phone and dial Tina’s office and request a meeting with her to explain the situation.  She hesitantly agrees to the meeting.

The day of the meeting comes quickly.  Too quickly for my liking.  I feel like I haven’t had enough time to prepare.  I’m afraid that the frog in my throat is going to stop me from discussing this, yet again.  But there is no backing down now.  The meeting is in an hour.  I want to cancel.  I can’t.  I just can’t, I keep telling myself.

The walk to the end of the hallway seems like miles instead of the two hundred feet that it is.  As I walk into Tina’s office my heart is pounding so hard that I can’t hear myself think.  It feel as if it is going to jump out of my ears!  I sit down, holding back tears, wondering how long I’ll be able to keep them at bay.  As Tina welcomes me to sit down and asks what she can do for me I stumble over my words.  “I just… I thought… Someone here needed… should know…” insert big long pause here.  I have to say it I sternly tell myself.  “I have… an…” The quizzical look on her face told me I just needed to spit it out. “eating disorder!” I finally spew out, almost too loudly.

The feeling of shame washes over me, a drowning feeling.  I sit, staring at my hands, thumbs twiddling back and forth trying to occupy some sort of business for my brain to focus on waiting for the judgment to come.  “Are you ok? Are you getting help?  What can I do to help you?”  Were the next words out of Tina’s mouth.  That feeling of shame that I had moments before were shocked into relief.  Suddenly my fears of talking about it seemed so ridiculous and over dramatic.  I could hear the concern in her voice.

Over the next hour Tina and I discussed how I was getting help, what I was doing and how the Nonantum could help (which in reality they couldn’t, but more on that later).  She offered, among other things, for me to ride horses with her daughter, saying it had helped her in the past.  I stood up to leave feeling 20 pounds lighter (in a sense), and just as I opened the door to leave Tina said a few more words of encouragement.  I walked out the door and back down the hallway passing the kitchen where my shift wouldn’t start for another two hours, quickly crossed the street and hopped into my car.  I shut the door and uncontrollable horrendous sounds started coming from me.  The sobs continued for a full 30 minutes before I calmed myself down enough to think.  Somehow as the door closed I knew it was a door closing on my past life.  I had just over an hour ago admitted to someone, outside of my family, that I had a serious problem.  Exhausted, feeling like I’d run a marathon, I drove the couple blocks to the beach and allowed the sound of the waves crashing against the nearby rocks to slowly take me away.

Time to Vent | The Haircut Debacle

InstagramCapture_c5e568ec-fc3e-456d-8457-f330b47668b9_jpgEver since I was diagnosed with food allergies I’ve had a hard time with certain products for my hair in particular.  At first it wasn’t that big of a deal, and to be honest it still isn’t except that its been 6 months since my last haircut and my poor hair is in desperateneed of a trim, but there are some things that make a difficult situation even more difficult!

I used to get my hair cut at Ulta, until I was told by the manager that I couldn’t bring in my own shampoo and conditioner anymore (keep in mind it was the Ulta Moisture s/c in the blue bottles), it was against their policy.  When I told her that she was basically telling me that I couldn’t go there anymore she didn’t seem to understand and said, “If that’s the way you feel.”  No lady, its not how I feel, its how my body reacts!

Ever since then I’ve had a hard time finding a place that either carries products I can use or will allow me to bring in my own products.  Brands that I can’t use – Bed Head, Sexy Hair Concepts, Redken, Matrix, and others.  There are a couple products from each of these brands that I can use, but overall the majority I can’t use.

I’ve been trying to get an ingredient list out of Aveda which is a whole different headache.  They don’t list full ingredients on their website and if you call them or email them they’ll only give them to you if you request a specific shampoo/conditioner.  And it didn’t matter how many times I asked if any didn’t contain peanuts, almonds, sesame or soy.  They either told me that they are not an allergy free plant or that nothing would work for me.  Not giving me any other details.

In the end, its just frustrating to have this sort of situation that is not the easiest and to have companies making it even worse by abating the situation or refusing to be accepting.  If you know of any shampoos or conditioners that are free of those things let me know in the comments below.  So far I know I can use Tressa, Not Your Mother’s, Ulta, Fekkai (most), and Neil George.  Unfortunately none of those are regular salon products.

Vent over.  Thanks for listening.  xo

Tag: Lust List

I wanted to do something a little different today so I created a new tag video.  This is kind of a dream wish list of sorts.  Some of the things that I’ve loved and bought and some things that I’m forever dreaming about buying some day!  Do you have any products that you’re lusting over right now?

 

 

Time for an UPDATE!

Hello everyone!

I’ve taken a couple weeks off, mostly because my family was in town for the 4th of July and also because school started and I was having a hard time keeping up with everything!  But I’m back!  Here is what I’m going to do over the next couple of weeks while school is intense (tons of reading for this 7 week class!):

Upload ONE video per week- I know this is quite the departure from my usual 3, but I just don’t have the time to do homework, film and edit 3 videos per week and update my blog daily!

I’m going to post blog posts every MondayWednesday and Friday evening.  If I can I’ll do more often but I’d rather do less consistently than do more and end up overwhelmed in a week.

Lastly I’m still on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day so be sure to follow me for the latest news and updates!

I’ve got some exciting stuff coming up and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!  Oh, and I’ve extended out my Smashbox Primer Giveaway because I haven’t received it yet from Birchbox, so please click here to enter, so far only like 4 people have entered which means you have great odds of winning!

Have a great week everyone!
XO

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