Monday, October 30, 2017

Behind The Scenes: October Birchbox

I actually seemed to use all of my products BEFORE the end of the month ( for once ) And with two days to spare, here are my reviews for "Behind The Scenes": October's Birchbox...



Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream

I was unsure what exactly this product was; a facial cream, a zit repair, iunno. Luckily, if the sample does not really have "instructions", you can view them on the app. They describe this cream as a "complexion cure-all" and I tried it out yesterday before applying my make-up. They tell you to use a dime-sized amount, but I feel like I didn't even need that much. It took a bit to dry before I could apply my BareMinerals, but it was light and smelled nice. Very faint scent but not that gross "unscented" smell. When I woke up this morning I had no new breakouts so all-in-all, I'm pleased with the product.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

The description states that it's "fadeproof" but I smudged it a few times. Maybe they mean that it stays as intense from application to removal, but I totally messed my eyeliner up when I wore it. Granted, it wasn't a great day and I was a bit emotional/teary-eyed, so it may just have been me. As far as application, though, it goes on bold and simple. I like an eyeliner that I don't have to go over a few times to get it a solid, thick line...and this eyeliner does the trick. One swipe and a straighten-up and I was good to go. Also, the sample is the perfect size to keep the pen stable and to do a good cat-eye.

Lavanila The Healthy Fragrance Pure Vanilla Eau de Parfum

I'm not really a fan of vanilla-scented stuff; candles, perfumes, lotions, etc. I feel like the scent of vanilla is far too strong in products like this--it's a scent that is just very hard to tone down. Although I don't really like the scent, I think anyone who DOES enjoy the scent of vanilla would like this perfume. It's not something I would purchase for myself, though.

OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil

I actually really like this product. Although I feel like it would be better to have in a spritzer instead of a squeeze, the scent is just enough, it leaves my tattoos looking bright and fresh, and it works well in the hair. I used it one morning to help hold down fly-aways, and then I rubbed the excess on my skin. I really like the mild scent and it dries very quickly. I'm really bad with moisturizing my skin and as I age, I really need to be more on top of it. I wouldn't mind using a body oil like this in my daily regimen

Milk Makeup Highlighter

The only product I DIDN'T use, I'm not much of a cosmetic connoisseur to care about things like highlighter. I don't really know how to use it, I don't truly understand it's purpose and I don't really need it. Although I will say that the "stick" seems to me like it would work better for application purposes, unlike some of the others that were liquids in a tube. I may just give this product to a friend.

As I continue my subscription, I've realized that I think I liked Ipsy better. Although I don't always have a purpose for the bags, I feel like the products were more selected for ME and weren't the same things over and over again. I like make-up samples far more than face creams and hair products for wavy hair ( which I don't even have ) I've even considered stopping with beauty boxes and doing a snack box next time. 

I'm not really sure how many people read this blog to begin with, anyway. But hey, writing helps me decompress so...writing I will do!


Saturday, October 28, 2017

RIP Haley =[




"My boyfriend Nathan and I lost our 12 year old chocolate lab, Haley, on Sunday. She’s been by Nate’s side since she was 8 weeks old and he’s having a really hard time.

This year started off with a false CHF diagnosis, Haley almost suffocating to death in front of me, an ER visit, costly laryngeal paralysis surgery and then...we were fine. But then last week, she started showing signs that seemed like Cushings ( thanks to the Internet ) We took her to the vet, they did X-rays and saw nothing. Since we’d already spent $8900+ in vet bills for the year, we opted out of blood work.
Towards the end of last week, her appetite staggered. She was barely eating, but still pretty lively and drinking. Concerned though, I called on Saturday to set up an appointment for Monday.

On Sunday she wouldn’t eat at all. She was lethargic, still able to move around ( just slowly ), antsy, she vomited water once, cold wet nose, urinating fine with no accidents...but her gums looked slightly jaundice.

When Nate told Haley it was time for bed, he took her to our room, put her in the bed and laid beside her because he knew she wasn’t feeling good. Within 30 seconds she was gone. She died at 9:34 PM.

We had a private cremation the next day. The man who performed the cremation said that in his experience, it sounded like a cyst/tumor metastasized and burst. He confirmed when we picked up her ashes that there was a tumor the size of a softball. Of course, that was no medical diagnosis and I’m unsure of the validity of that.

My dog, Lola, is to me what Haley was to Nate. Lola just turned 10 in June so I can only imagine how he feels losing his best friend. And although I’m mourning for Haley because I loved her too, I’m trying to be there to support Nate because their connection was stronger. But I’m lost. At age 30, I’ve only experienced the death of a pet twice—2 years ago was the first time, and then now. 

I know this is a lot, I’m sorry. I’m so confused and lost as to how to help him mourn/deal/heal. My heart hurts for the loss of Haley and for the pain Nate is going through."



...I've told the story so many times between friends, my therapist and in support groups online that I thought I would just copy/paste what I wrote on Veterinary Wisdom's Facebook group verbatim. It's been a physically and emotionally exhausting week for myself, but is definitely 10x worse for Nate. Haley is to Nate what Lola is to me, and it's a really rough time--trying to grieve, being at a loss, not being certain exactly what took Haley's life--and for me, personally, reliving the horrifying reality of her passing at the foot of the bed while I was half asleep and Nate lay beside her. I keep seeing the terror in Nate's face and hearing it in his voice...recalling him trying to give her CPR...grabbing my stethoscope to make certain I heard no respiration or a heartbeat. Calling Peaceful Pet Passage ( which, once the ache has settled a bit, I will write a blog about how pleased I was by their company ) and taking her in for cremation. My nerves are still shot; my body still jittery.  

Nate and I talked the other day and a little anger arose in his voice, because I don't know how this is for him. I loved Haley, but that was his baby. That was his Lola. I have to be the strong one to support him during this time, because when Lola's time comes, I will need just what he does. But I don't understand the hurt he's feeling. I've only lost one pet before ( Andrew ) and, although I loved him, the connection wasn't like the one I have with Lola. He passed suddenly, without warning. It broke my heart, but it surely wasn't as devastating as this is for him. I'm trying my best to support him, grieve in my own time for Haley and Nathan both, and get through the days without having a mental breakdown.



If anyone who reads this blog has any advice/resources/personal experiences they would like to share, I would greatly appreciate it. It's hard...very hard...and with other stresses in life also going on ( because, yes, life does go on... ) it's a heavy weight to bear. 

And please, keep Nathan in your thoughts and/or prayers for healing and comfort and for the days to becoming easier as we move forward...but never forget...


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Can't Take Much More

I'm currently livid. Absolutely irate. One, because the situation at hand is giving me PTSD from a past friendship from years ago and two, because I just can't understand how narcissism and "playing the victim" can give certain people so much fucking undeserved power! 

It's been a rough few weeks. I haven't really been blogging because my mind has been all over the place. 

Haley hasn't really eaten for about 3-4 days and has a vet visit tomorrow. What I assumed was probably Cushing's disease is now exhibiting traits of renal failure. We aren't certain and we will only be able to tell by blood work, but after thousands of dollars this year to save Haley's life and numerous blood panels that came up clean, Nate may be losing his best friend of 13 years. 

But who cares, right?

I don't really talk about it to friends, coworkers or family because...I don't like people to pity me or ( as a grown-ass woman ) sound like I'm playing the "victim" card. But clearly, other people have no issue doing so. And that's why I'm so angry...

Why is it that the most manipulative, malicious, conniving, narcissistic people get everything handed to them on a silver fucking platter?

Maybe I need to surround myself with assholes instead of genuinely good people who get taking for granted and break their necks to cater to the non-deserving simply because they are kind-hearted?

( yes, that was a run-on sentence, because the frustration and anger I feel right now is run-on! )

Why is it that society "rewards" those who are lazy, unreliable, full of excuses, play the "pity card", cry about asinine things, always complain, try to divert the negative attention from themselves by criticizing others, and are just hateful, horrible people? Why do we cater to people like that? 

It's like with welfare. People know how to work the system. And if they are assholes, they will. They will get whatever they can from the government, while those who genuinely need it get nothing because they follow the rules, yet still don't qualify. They have a false sense of being "owed" shit in life, and NO ONE IS OWED ANYTHING IN LIFE!

What an unfair world we live in.

Yes, I know, "life isn't fair". But why can't it be unfair to people who deserve it a little more? Why do we cater to the people who play with other's minds for their own benefit? Why do we just give in to these asshole's demands to "save face" or play savior?

You can't save everyone. And guaranteed, if someone word-vomits their "problems" on a regular basis, THEY are causing their own demise...and they shouldn't have to be saved by someone else.

Look, we all have issues...but it's about what we do about those issues. You can't just cry that you have problems and not do anything actively to fix them. We all have pasts and most of them aren't ideal...but that's NO excuse to be a shitty, horrible, disgusting piece of shit. 

I'm fucking over it.

Medical News Today published an article about narcissistic personality disorder. Read it. It may have you looking at some people a little differently...if you're intelligent enough to see the signs and let yourself believe them!

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141126084350-327533989-narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms

Ever. Single. Point. Here. Is. Relevant. To. The. Situation.    

I've dealt with far too many narcissistic people in my life. And although you can't always avoid them, to know they receive preferential treatment from peers outright disgusts me! All because they are manipulative and play on the kindness of others for their own benefit. 

I try my DAMNEDEST to be a decent fucking human being, and where has that gotten me? Why do I even bother working hard, holding my tongue, helping others when needed, doing for others without being asked, being someone's shoulder to lean on, being reliable and empathetic when only the assholes get handed everything in life?! WHY AM I EVEN BOTHERING TO BE A GOOD PERSON WHEN ONLY BAD PEOPLE SEEM TO WIN AT LIFE!?

It angers me to the deepest of my core. It eats away at me to a point where I don't understand why I even bother anymore. Maybe I should just quit my job and move to the farm with Nate. Maybe I should give up my independence and my life and just start over. Because clearly I'm not as important to people as I thought I was...and that's a really shitty way to feel.

...to feel like everything you do to be flexible, understanding, kind and hard-working is all for nothing.  

I wish people would just open their eyes and stop making excuses for horrible behavior. It's not fucking okay!


Evil wins in this world, and unfortunately...I don't have it in me to be so hateful and mean. So where am I to go from here...........?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Belated September Box Review

Welp, late again. 

It's the third day in October and I failed to write my September Birchbox review IN September. 

Ooops...*bad Jenn!*

But hey, late is better than never, amiright?!


amika Un.Done Texture Spray
I used this spray when I curled my hair for a wedding, and it seemed to work pretty well for me. My hair doesn't like to hold curl so I usually have to use a ton of product for it to "stick". By the time we were leaving the reception, I still had some curl to my hair so I guess all-in-all, it was a success. I really love the way the amika products smell, so that's also an advantage.

Daily Concepts Your Facial Micro Scrubber
I seriously LOVE this little dude! I use it in the shower to wash my face daily. It is sensitive on my skin but also definitely makes it feel clean once I'm done using it with one of my numerous Ipsy/Birchbox face washes. LOL. I hang it off of the shower head to dry thoroughly between uses, but I love that this little guy makes a pea-sized amount of product go a long way. I definitely give this scrubber a 5/5!

Arrow Enhance Waterproof Eyeliner + Brightener
I think I only got the brightener half of this duo, which bummed me out a tad. Also, I had issues getting the cap off and took the entire tip of the product off along with it. It's a nice pink color that would be awesome to brighten ones eyes, but I'll be honest...I haven't tried it yet. I was kinda bummed, though, to not get the eyeliner, too.

MAC Cosmetics in Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara
This was my choice for this month, mostly because they had a product that I really didn't want so I thought if I chose this, I wouldn't get it ( and I didn't! ) Honestly, until I started writing this, I totally forgot I even got this product! But I tried it this AM to make me look less dead for work, and I really like it. It goes on smooth, not clumpy, and definitely gives me the length and volume. Of course I wouldn't expect much less from a MAC product ( since they are one of the major companies ) But this is my first MAC product that I own and I definitely like it.

Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion
So, um, I don't have wavy hair. And even on my profile I state such. So I'm unsure why I keep receiving items for people with wavy hair. In either case, I gave it to my coworker Kyla...so hopefully it's helpful for her. It served no use for me, sadly enough...

The choices for October/the Featured Box weren't anything too impressive to me...so I opted for Birchbox to just surprise me with my 5 items this month. This will be month 7 for this subscription, and I'm already debating on doing a different box next year.

Does anyone have any favorite box subscriptions that they would recommend I check out?


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Life Update

Well I feel like it's been quite a while since I sat down and typed. I feel like this month has been absolutely insane. Between work, back-to-back activities over the weekends and ( of course ) anxiety lingering in the back of everything, I'm just EXHAUSTED. But I thought I'd update you a little bit on what I did this September.
 
My calendar literally gave me heart palpitations.
 
Of course, Lola had her surgery.  In my last post I told you that her biopsy came back clean and she does not have cancer! Thank GOD! A week after we received the results, we took her for staple removal and she no longer has to wear the Surgi-Snuggly, which is nice ( Nate was super excited about that part ) Her incision looks great and is about 99% healed. I may give her a bath this weekend since she's cleared at this point; clean up the area and just make her a smell-good-pug. But I'm so thankful that she's okay. Haley has been panting non-stop lately but I assume it has to do with just being old since she's had no changes in activity, personality or diet. But jeez it's annoying...

On the 16th we went to the neighbors to celebrate Mason and Marlee's birthdays. I went down a little early to help with setting up and unsuccessfully help make a balloon arch. It was a good time though. Lots of food and fun, beers and chit-chat. We watched the kids open their gifts and then helped clean up a bit as people started to leave. 

Then on the 17th, my friends Katy and Kyle were married. They had their wedding at the Capital Rotunda, which I didn't even know was a thing! The building is absolutely gorgeous! Although it was a little hard to hear since the area is so large, Katy looked absolutely beautiful and her gown was gorgeous! The reception was held right over the Harvey Taylor Bridge in Camp Hill, and it was a nice set up. Buffet style with all types of drinks. We stayed to watch their first dance and the dad/daughter dance, but left right after the bouquet toss since it was coming close to 8:00 PM. I'm super thankful that I was invited to share this day with them.
 
Mr and Mrs Rhoads!
 
The following Saturday was Andrea and George's wedding at their home in Carlisle. It turned out amazing! They put in a new gazebo and a shed and they were married in the gazebo. The food was finger foods but delicious, and there was a wine and beer bar. Although it was SUPER hot for late-September, we all had a great time. But by 8:30 I was ready to head home. Andrea looked stunning and also had a gorgeous dress for her big day. It was wonderful to see two of my best friends get married, for sure!
 
Mr and Mrs Shickler!
 
That Sunday, then, was Woofstock at Riverfront Park. I usually volunteer for about a 2 hour window so that I can still take a walk around the event and check out the vendors/booths/activities. It ended up being a beautiful day...but very hot. I knew Lola was ready to leave because she was becoming slower and panting a good bit. I didn't leave without first getting an artisan grilled cheese from Mad Dash and a chair massage from the HACC students. I didn't really end up doing too much else since I forgot to/didn't have time to get cash before the event. Oh well.
 
Pug really wanted some of my grilled cheese...
 
So now THIS weekend, I was HOPING to just relax...of course that's not the case. Haley's panting has been an issue for a few days now and it's making me wonder if she didn't have CHF all along on TOP of the LP. She woke up his AM and started it up immediately, so I gave her a Trazadone to calm her and we gave her the lasix/hbp rx that she was prescribed before just to see if it would help. Along with that, she threw up a few times...and so did Sadie. So I have two vomiting dogs, I have no clue what the hell is the cause for either, I have PTSD from Haley almost dying in front of me months ago so now every out-of-character thing that happens with any of these damn dogs throws me into a tizzy. I'm 3/4 of the way to a panic attack between that and other things. After spending $8500 ( cash and credit ) on these 2 dogs, I don't know how much more financially I can take, either.

...now I can only pray that tomorrow is relaxing and without dramatics ( yeah right! )
 
 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Lola Update!

Well, guys, guess what?

LOLA IS CANCER-FREE!!!!!


I don't even have the words to describe how RELIEVED I am about this news. Not only because I couldn't possibly afford cancer treatment for my dear furry love, but because the stress of finding a way to would have put me in a mental asylum ( if they even really have those anymore ) I would have, though. I would have done whatever I had to. 

We took Lola into Rye yesterday for a one-week post op check and I hoped they'd have the pathology report ( which they did ) It came back that the lumps were just mammary cysts that were benign...at least at this point in time. They, of course, could have become cancerous but since we removed them, they never got the chance to be. 

She has an incision on her belly about 8-9" long...with staples...which broke this mama's heart. But Dr. Whalen said that they incision looks fantastic. Very little redness, little-to-no swelling; she's lost a few staples, but she said that's normal. Instead of an Elizabethan collar they gave us this nifty doohicky called a Surgi-Snuggly, which is like a doggy onesie. It's been working great! It prevents Lola from licking or chewing her surgical site and also, it prevents staples from snagging on clothing or blankets. I definitely recommend the use of one if your vet usually gives an E-collar.

She has the staples removed next Wednesday. I cannot wait

I'm so happy that she's in the clear. And I'm thankful for everyone's good thoughts and prayers during this time. Lola is my little everything, and I couldn't imagine losing her. Everyone knows that she's my baby...literally. I would've drained my savings account and gone into debt to save her. But now I can ease my mind for a while, knowing that surgery NOW hopefully preventing major issues down the road. 

So, yeah...that's 2 dogs down...with one more to go...*sigh* We already know that Sadie is going to need a cyst removed at the base of her tail, so that's gonna be another surgery. But hopefully it'll be a simple, quick and less-stressful procedure for her!

Time to start saving up! 😂😢



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Social (me)dia & (me)ntal Health

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. These are all platforms to show our lives and our opinions. But when does it stop getting fun and start becoming harmful?

Social media is a way to express ourselves. We get to share a little bit of our lives with friends and strangers alike. With the use of hashtags, we can connect with people all over the world that have similar interests and tastes. I've become friends with a girl out of state whom I have a lot in common with such as our love for pugs, crafting and sarcasm. Cara is a pretty cool chick and someone I would have never met outside the realm of Instagram. 

But then there are the negatives to such apps. The trolls; the obsession with posting or searching-out posts. 

I follow a gal from Tennessee ( I think? ) who has been working on a healthier lifestyle for years.  Last year, she leaned out and competed in her first fitness competition. Afterwards, she learned that it's not about having the "perfect body" but about being a better you each and every day, and living a healthy life. Yes, she's gained some of the weight back. But she's okay with that. Since she decided to share her life with people on Instagram, though, she now has to deal with comments like these:





Tesia is a strong woman who is just trying to be comfortable in her own skin. She's realized that the "fit" life isn't always the "healthy" life, and while trying to be inspiring to those who still struggle, she's harassed and judged but complete strangers.

This is just one major downfall with the "social media age".

 
Another major downfall of such sites is the fact that we compare ourselves to others. 

Why can't I be as skinny and beautiful as her?
Look at her expensive shoes and handbag!...I wish I had money like that.
She looks so put together--her life must be perfect!

We get down on ourselves when we see how "great" others have it. But what we must understand is, just like a photograph, they always show the good times and rarely the bad. You don't take pictures or write statuses about the hard times ( well, usually... ) Things like that cause pity. We want to mask the bad by over-accentuating the good. Lavish trips. Expensive objects. In social media, WE have "the power" to show the world whatever we would like to. And while some are crudely honest to a fault, others show only the good side of things...leading one to believe they have the perfect life.

The younger generation knows nothing but this technological age, and I feel bad for them. Self-esteem is at an all-time low and kids feel like they will only gain acceptance in the amount of friends and followers they have. They post pictures for 'likes' because they don't know how to like themselves. 

And just like how these apps make us feel like crap about ourselves, they are also a way to make people feel bad for US. Get on your Facebook once...I bet you have at least one friend who only posts negative shit. Whether it be statuses about "how much their life sucks" or vague quotes about life, insinuating that theirs sucks. They strive for attention, because they feel whether it's bad or good, at least it's attention. I have an old friend who has been constantly posting about her "failing life", trying to make excuses like karma isn't to blame. No excuses!...if you're a bad person to others, people will be bad to you. The first step in becoming a better person is being REAL with yourself and your downfalls. Don't play the boo-hoo-pity-party card and make everyone feel bad for you when YOU are the cause of the chaos. 

...which leads me to the last issue with social media: it prevents us from letting go of the past. 

We reopen wounds when we go searching for our ex-boyfriends or ex-friends. We go in search of things we were never meant to see, thus causing undue pain that could be easily avoidable. Why do we torture ourselves? Because it's so easy to.

Why do you care about what your ex-girlfriend is doing? You want to compare lives. You want to make sure that you're doing better than her. What check out your ex-BFFs page? Because you want to see if karma came back around. But what does that solve? It only angers you more. It brings about bad feelings. 

WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?!

It is not a healthy way to live. And even though social media has a lot of benefits when it comes to current events, bringing people together for a cause, education, etc...there's always bad with the good. There's always people who will abuse the system and use it for evil. 

I, myself, have learned that I really need to disconnect. I need to block people I don't have reason to care about; I need not follow people with whom I compare my looks/attitude/skills with; I need to focus on ME and not strangers 5000 miles away.

We all only get one time to live our lives...

...why be sad the whole time that we aren't living someone elses?