05 March 2012

Day 3

3. Guilty pleasure things/secrets. That thing you like that people might make fun of you for.

Certain television shows definitely fit into this category. I loooove investigation/crime shows. Ever since netflix got a whole bunch of stuff from the investigation discovery channel, it's pretty much all I've been watching. I'm watching one right now.

I also love ranch and sriracha. Seriously, if left to my own devices I will put them both on anything. If I go to dennys, I will even mix ranch and hot sauce together to dip fries in.

Hm, what else? I like to bitch about stuff. Not a lot, really, but it feels stress-relieving to get off work and bitch with other co-workers about stupid customers or annoying situations. Mostly because we can sympathize with each other and laugh about it.

I like corny totally hollywood-ized romantic comedies. Like Sydney White, The Holiday, 50 first dates, 27 dresses, you know the deal. They're just so simple and formulaic and feel-good.

Maybe the weirdest thing I like to do is go to cemeteries during the day. I've been doing it since senior year, when me and my best friend megan used to have picnics in cemeteries and then look at the different graves. We lost touch shortly after I moved away for college, but I still go to a couple of the cemeteries in Prescott. One is up on a high hill in the middle of town, kind of tucked away so you wouldn't know it's there unless you paid really close attention. I like to drive up to that one, park my car on the edge, and look out on the city while listening to music and thinking/writing. The other one is much larger, and I like to walk around and think or just sit and enjoy the sunlight/breeze/grass. I know it sounds weird but it's actually quite calming and serene.

And last but not least, I really like taco bell. I know it's disgusting, but some of it (minus the beef and guacamole) is delicious.


02 March 2012

Life. Or, that silly little thing that gets in the way of all your plans: A lookback on 2011.

me at the beginning of 2011. i was in mexico when i made my new years reolutions. lookin' fresh and ready for the roller coaster ride of a year ahead of me.
 I have a habit of setting goals for myself. I think it's because I love to make lists, and I love the idea of bettering myself in all sorts of ways. Sometimes they are healthy, attainable goals- like getting rid of products and using cheap homemade alternatives, like I talked about in my post yesterday. But lots of times I just bite off way more than I can chew, assuming that everything is going to go according to plan and nothing tricky or difficult is going to get in the way.

The good thing is, I don't feel too bad about myself when I don't achieve all the goals I set for myself, because I know that I did my best under the circumstances.

So, I want to look back at some of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of 2011. I accomplished some of them, and a lot of them I never really got around to completing. But you know what? That's life. If I've ever had a year where life got in the way of all my plans and good intentions, 2011 was that year. Life totally kicked my ass, actually. It didn't just send me down a road I wasn't planning on going down, it sent me to an entire different dimension.

Anyways, here were my new years resolutions of 2011:
1. Continue to strive for happiness (above all other things). I think I did this pretty well. There were a lot of times throughout 2011 that I threw caution to the wind and did something that was going to make me happy despite how unconventional it might have been. I took a lot of risks and had a great time. After Linn died I found it difficult to know or remember what made me happy, but I think I did the right thing in taking the last 2 months of the year to just be with myself and remember.
2. Maintain a weight of 120 pounds. I did this all year, until Linn died. then I blew up a bit. Now I'm working on getting back down. No more alcohol and eddas cheesy bread for me!
3. Be more outgoing and make several new friends. I think I pulled this off pretty well. I got really close with everyone I went on the Greece trip with, and now I'm good friends with all my coworkers at Brooklyn. In 2011 I also got much closer to my friends from Eddas.
4. Spend more carefully and save more money. I accomplished this in that I got a job and took a personal finance class, but I didn't actually save much.
5. Continue going on dates, playing games, laughing, joking, and loving with Stewart. Hmm. Well, Stewart and I had a great spring semester together, although shortly after I returned from Greece we broke up. Luckily, we stayed very close friends and lived together for the rest of 2011. So I guess I accomplished this.
6. Find more things to be passionate about. I love a lot of things, but I don't know that I found anything new to be passionate about this year. Unless Pinterest counts.
7. Always be reading a book. I'm in the middle of several books right now, but unfortunately I haven't read much since I got back from Greece. I'd like to start again. I feel like before shit went crazy last year I had so much time and I was doing so many things at once. School, working out, blogging, reading, socializing, traveling... I hope I remember how to do that again.
8. Worry less. Hm. I think I definitely became more apt to try risks, but new fears were also introduced into my life. But that's the way it goes, right? I think a small dose of fear is healthy. It keeps us from doing stupid things.
9. Do more creative things. I think I accomplished this. I learned to play some new songs on the piano, and spent a lot of time singing. I also wrote a few poems and started a couple stories. My film production class last semester also provided a great creative outlet. When linn died, I wrote a lot and also constructed a lovely 20 page scrapbook that helped me to take my crazed, grieving energy and focus it into something that turned out to be beautiful and healing.
10. Write 300 blog posts. Obviously I failed at this, but I don't really care. One of those things where life got in the way :)
11. Start compiling recipes and cooking new ones from online, cookbooks, magazines, etc. I think I accomplished this. With the help of foodgawker and pinterest, I was very cuisine-inspired last year. My favorite dishes included alton brown's chicken pot pie, that absolutely divine crazy feta recipe I posted, the pioneer woman's burgundy mushrooms, some feta saganaki I made when I returned from Greece, and pdubs brined turkey. A church down the street gave me a turkey for thanksgiving, and I was really excited to cook it because I had never tried before. Totally easier than the movies make it out to be.

Here are things I accomplished in 2011 that I didn't even fathom would happen:

1. Date Linn, who I secretly had a crush on since I met him in May of 2010.
2. Get a tattoo. In a very visible place, no less.
3. Be the guest of honor at a surprise party
4. Get roofied in Greece. Not exactly something I wanted to happen, but a crazy story and life experience, none the less.
5. Hike the Samarian Gorge. Something much better that happened in Greece.
6. Learn to cope with immeasurable loss.
7. Record a song
8. Work on foley for an independent film
9. Successfully live with my ex-boyfriend
10. Love something unconditionally, no matter how early it wakes me up with barking and gnawing on my fingers or how many times it pees on the carpet.
11.  Pull off catering for a camp after a sleep-deprived month in a different time zone.
12. Pull myself together and push through it all, coming out on the other side (mostly) unscathed.

Obviously this is a little late, but I wanted to talk about it anyways. New Years resolutions are funny. We can try and attain all these goals we set for ourselves, but I've found that most of the time life seems to get in the way. Hopefully its for the better.

I hope your new years resolutions are already working out :) I'm not sure if I'll make a list for this year (now that we're one sixth of the way through) but we'll see. Have a lovely weekend!


Day 2

2. Some of your favorite things. Smells, songs, food, movies etc. Why are they your favorite?

Favorites! That's a fun topic. I have lots of favorites. I'm one of those people that goes to the same restaurant over and over again, always thinking I'm going to try something else for once... but I always get the same thing. Like at mexican restaurants. It depends on which restaurant, but I'm always going to get either a quesadilla (hugos in prescott or taco bell), spinach enchiladas (casa alvarez, macayos), or a chimichanga (any other mexican restaurant i go to ever). I'll try to break this down into actual categories though.

smells: some people have photographic memories, i have a smellographic memory. I will catch a whiff of something walking down the street and it will bring me back to an exact memory. For instance, I might smell the cologne that one of my past boyfriends used to wear and it will give me butterflys in my stomach. That's definitely one of my favorite smells. The cologne of someone I love/used to love. I also love the very stereotypical smells of rain, roses, and a hot cop of coffee in the morning.

songs: I've been in love with first aid kit for a super long time now. I love "I met up with a king", "ghost town", and "heavy storm" the most. I also have always loved modest mouse, it reminds me of high school. I love "missed the boat" the best. hmm... what else? get up and go by broadcast 2000, bon iver's skinny love (linn loved this song), and many many others.

food: i'm such a foodie. I'm really not picky at all. I love me some good cheese (on bread with a side of fresh grapes? mmm.). I also love Indian food, particularly the taj mahal in prescott. Speaking of prescott, Hugo's is always a winner too. Basically I just love food. Spicy is always a plus.

etc: my favorite day of the week is saturday, because it's the only day I don't have work or school. My favorite season is autumn, because it's beautiful and inspiring. My favorite holiday is st. patrick's day, because I love making irish food, drinking irish beer, and wearing green and gold. 

and those are just a few of my many, many favorite things. here's another one:

01 March 2012

Shampoo? Toothpaste? Face wash? Who needs 'em!

I am all about the semi-recent movement from fancy, expensive store-brought products to healthy, cheap alternatives. It turns out most of the things we are raised to believe are absolutely essential to personal hygiene are actually doing the opposite of what we want them to! One by one I've ditched my once-beloved products and moved on to things that not only feel better, save the environment and save me a whole lot of money.

1. The first things to go were shampoo and conditioner. I stopped washing my hair with them about a year ago and I haven't looked back. I wash my hair maybe once every two weeks with baking soda and vinegar, and other than that I just rinse it well when I shower. Shampoo is designed to strip our hair of it's natural oils, which is not only irritating to the skin but is completely counterproductive. These natural oils are responsible for shiny (not greasy), healthy, protected hair. When they are stripped away, our scalps overcompensate and create too many oils, leading to greasy hair that needs to be washed more often. Conditioner is just there to replace the oils that Shampoo takes out... so really it's entirely unnecessary if you leave the oils alone in the first place.
 When I wash my hair, I use a combination of a couple tablespoons of baking soda (because I have verrry long hair) and hot water, poured over my head in the shower and lightly massaged in. This gets rid of the dirt and grime without irritating my scalp or stripping away too many oils. I follow this with a mixture of a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and hot water, which acts as a natural conditioner/softener and leaves my hair shiny, soft, and voluminous.
To read more about washing your hair without shampoo and condition, you can look here.

2. I just ditched toothpaste about a week ago. That might sound absolutely appalling, but toothpaste is actually a pretty modern invention. One of those ways corporations trick us into paying money year after year when we don't really have to, you know? Instead of toothpaste, which is full of all kinds of fancy chemicals that I can't even begin to try to pronounce, I use a combination of baking soda and sea salt. Baking soda. It's just so useful, isn't it? Not just for the back corner of the fridge anymore. I made a mixture that was probably about 75% baking soda and 25% sea salt and I store it in a quarter pint sized mason jar in my bathroom. The mason jar helps keep the mixture air tight and moisture-free. I just wet my toothbrush, shake out the excess water, then dip the tip into the powder. 

When I first tried it I was pretty worried about the baking soda flavor- I am not a fan of the whole baking soda/warm water heart burn relief method- but I pretty much just tasted the salt. This was no problem for me because lately I've tended to prefer savory over sweet anyways. The baking soda cleans and whitens teeth (my teeth are whiter than they're ever been with "whitening" toothpastes), and the salt gently scrubs and promotes the production of saliva which keeps gums healthy.

Honestly I didn't research this nearly as much as I first researched using BS and ACV on my hair, but I felt pretty confident today when I went to the Co-op grocery store on 4th ave today (a haven of all things super healthy... and overpriced) and found a small bottle selling for 5 bucks called "tooth powder". The ingredients? baking soda, salt, and a small amount of peppermint to give a minty flavor. If the co-op is selling it and touting its health benefits, I feel pretty good about doing it for cents in my own home. For more info, you can look here.

3. I haven't officially tried this one, but it's getting hype all over the blogosphere. The idea is to ditch your fancy shmancy 8$ face wash (or 30$ if you use proactiv, like I did when I was a teenager) and wash your face with oil. Yes, oil. It's the same idea as the shampoo thing. Face wash basically strips your face of oil, which contrary to popular belief is NOT the cause of acne. Acne is caused by changing hormone levels and dirt and bacteria that clog the pores. Face wash gets rid of the grime, but also the naturally created oils that keep our skin radiant and soft. Thus, our skin over-produces oil, making our faces greasy and more likely to get clogged. Washing your face with oil dissolves the grease and grime and replaces it with clean, healthy oils. Also, it's apparently a great makeup remover.
When I stopped by the co-op today, I picked up a bottle of castor oil. I already had a bottle of grapeseed oil from some beauty products I made my mom and sister for christmas, however, I've heard extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, and several other types work well also. When I got home I mixed the two in a bottle I used for icing cookies last year (75% grapeseed, 25% castor). I plan on using it tonight for the first time. Here's what you do: put a small amount of oil in your hand. massage it onto your DRY face for about a minute. Get your tap water as hot as you can, and wet a washcloth with it. Put the washcloth over your face and just wait until the cloth reaches room temperature. Doesn't that sound like a great way to start/finish the day? Like a mini spa. Anyways, then rinse the washcloth and wipe the oil off your face. And that's it! Soft, smooth, radiant skin. Or so I hear. I'm super stoked to try this. Supposedly you only need to do it once a day (tops) for results. For more information, look here

Do you guys have any diy beauty products that you swear by? I'm pretty sure the next thing to go is going to be my deodorant, and then probably my volumizing mousse and hairspray. Let me know if you have any other suggestions!