Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mr. Pretentious

I'm really fucking sick and tired of reading the bullshit and the judgments and the banter. Who and/or what gives you the right to determine if someone is living the "correct" way or not?! Why is it that you feel that only your way is the right way?! It grinds my MOTHER-FUCKING GEARS!...

And may I ask what you're doing with your life...? You may have "escaped" but you're not really living, now are you? You may be "seeing" things, but you aren't experiencing them. So what's holding you back? You have all these high expectations of other people but, what the fuck are you doing with your time on Earth?

You may not want the conventional way of life but, guess what, some people DO want that. You don't want to get married?...cool. You don't want children?...lots of people are opting out. You want to travel?...go for it. But don't stick your nose in the air and talk down to people for what they want to do. Bullying and bullshitting isn't going to make people change or think the way that you do...it's only going to piss people off. Like me.

I've heard the spiel time and time again. Directed either towards me or about others. I'm tired of it. 

Not everyone wants to travel. It's scary. It's intimidating. It's expensive. Sure, it's nice to see new things...but soon, new things become old things. Homesickness kicks in. I love to venture to new places every now and again, but after a few days I do literally get homesick. I really don't think I could ever travel out of the country and enjoy it the entire time. I give kudos to those who pick up and backpack through other countries while sleeping on strangers' couches and taking odd jobs to barter for a meal...but that's not me. It's not for everyone, and that's okay.

Some people WANT to get married. Even those hipster vegans who live off the land and don't shower just want to be loved. What is WRONG with wanting to spend your life with someone? To wake up next to a living, breathing person who at any moment can grab you and pull you close to them? Someone to come home and talk about your day with. Someone to share experiences with and who will love you no matter how much of a bitch you may be sometimes. Someone to cook dinner with and laugh with and cry to when you're sad. Someone to care for you when you're sick and to make the day-to-day just a little more worth it. It's not about needing someone, but about enjoying someone. And those who are a product of divorce find solace in marriage and children. When you haven't grown up with a healthy, loving relationship you tend to want that as an adult. And that's not a sin. Even before my parents divorced, I wanted to be a wife and mother someday. Some things change, and some things don't.

If people want to reproduce, let them. Without judgment. Don't you get pissed when people have a cow about you not wanting children? So why is it okay for you to judge others for wanting them? That's not fair and total bullshit. Just like with animals; there's always going to be an overabundance and there's always going to be ones left unwanted: why should a couple suffer because of another person's choice by being told they shouldn't have children? Why is having kids considered "settling"? Why do you think the "American dream" is a cop-out? 

You're allowed to have an opinion, but so is everyone else. It doesn't make it wrong, but it doesn't make it right either. Hopefully someday you will realize that people are going to do what they want no matter what you may "believe" they should be doing...and it's shitty that you think so highly of yourself that only your ideals are correct. 

You're smarter than that ( but not smarter than everyone... )


Friday, June 24, 2016

Mother May I?

Those of you who know me, pretty much know my story. Myself, as a person, am a pretty "open book". I have nothing to hide and I see it as that the more you know about a person, the more you can understand why a person is the way that they are. 

I haven't spoken to my mother in 16 years.

My last vivid memory of that time was that, per the divorce agreement between my parents, we would spend the school year with him and the summer with her and each parent would be responsible to fly us one way: when it came time to send us down, my mother stated that if we were sent down and dad didn't pay our way back, we were "stuck" ( backstory: I hated Florida. I had barely any friends. Kids at school would call me 'whore' and 'slut' at an age where no one truly understands the meaning...I hadn't even had my first kiss yet! ) This had nothing personally to do with my mother. But after that, the calls from her became fewer and fewer and kids will be kids, and eventually...there was no communication between any of us.

At 12/13 years old, I shouldn't be responsible to pursue a relationship with my biological mother. At that age I barely knew what the fuck was going on. How could I be held accountable for a failed relationship with one of my parents? 

And the years went by. Since then, my sister has seen my mother once and tried to restart a relationship with her to no avail. The emails eventually stopped coming. My grandmother ( God rest her soul ) kept us updated on her life and told us time and time again that we should write or call her...but why should I beg the person who gave me life to want to have a relationship with me?! Yes, I'm hurt. Yes, I resent her. Will I ever get the answers I need?...I may never know.

Why I write this is because I've noticed a lot lately that when I fall very ill or just feel lousy, I always retract to my "I want my mommy" mentality. It's only started in the last few years, but when I'm sick I will literally start crying and wishing I had a mother to take care of me. It's been over a decade since I've felt "motherly love" and at almost 30 I think it's really starting to hit me. I see these girls with awesome relationships with their mothers and I just wish I had something like that. And I also see girls who are annoyed that their mothers love them so much and I just want to slap them upside the head and tell them to wake the hell up! Some of us don't have the pleasure to have their mother around, dead or alive...be grateful!

My mother is a stranger. Sometimes I have to really dig deep to remember details of my life with her in it. She has her problems but, being younger, I never realized them. She was to herself a lot, but she always tucked us in and kissed us goodnight and took care of us when we were sick. My family was never very affectionate but I never doubted that my mother loved me growing up.




And some people will say that she isn't dead, and that I still have the opportunity to form a relationship with her, but I don't know that woman anymore. I had no one when I was going through puberty. I had no one to talk about relationships or sex or my changing body or emotions with ( that's a whole other story... ) My sister tried to have a relationship with her and she completely disregarded it. 

Maybe she resents that Carol and I left Florida to move back up to Pennsylvania with dad. Maybe she assumed it had something to do with her - like we abandoned her. But you can't put that on two kids. I had my reasons for choosing to move back here...and, although it didn't work out as I'd hoped, I feel that my life turned out for the better up here than it would have there. 

Do not judge a situation unless you know the entire story. Just because my mother hasn't passed does not invalidate my feelings that I "do not have a mother"...and it doesn't make the pain any less...



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My June Glam Bag Review


I was pleased with my glam bag for this month, give or take a couple of items. But I love the bag itself! I like the graffiti print and its size. And I love how I can use it as a cosmetic bag for in my purse during the week! This one is PERFECT for that.

So, on to the reviews...

Patchology Flashmasque Illuminate masks
I love playing with masks. Usually I do a Walmart-bought peel mask ( mostly because I like peeling the mask off, lol ) that you can purchase for like a buck and a quarter. This was the first time I've used a sheet mask. This mask sat very flush to my face, which I liked. It was also cool and smelled great. I left the mask on for longer than the 5 minutes it recommends, which I didn't find to be an issue. When I removed the mask, though, I noticed that it took a while for my face to dry...and it felt sticky. Aside from that fact, I did like the product.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Fireball
I really like the color that I got. I do not like the packaging. The sample that was sent was more like a replacement palette color so it has to stay in its "plastic" if you don't already own a palette. I. Do not. The shadow is long-lasting and a beautiful shade, though, so aside from the packaging choice I'm pleased with the shadow. It just would have been nice if it was in a small compact or something.

Seraphine Botanicals Happy Hibiscus Blush
This blush is SO pretty...but, unfortunately, it is too dark for my complexion. The first time I wore it, I looked like a clown. I think I used too much of a heavy hand when applying it to my blush brush, so when I applied it a second time I only swiped my brush once or twice across the color before applying. That seemed to help. I think this color would look much better on someone with tan or olive skin.

Doucce Boombastic Lash Volumizer Mascara
Dudettes, I love this mascara! It's a small sample size but I may just have to purchase a full size. Great length, great coverage, and I love the brush bristles. They are short enough to not smudge mascara all over my eyelids but long enough to give me the length I like. Definitely my favorite item in this months Glam Bag!

Rodial Stem Cell Cleansing Cream
Meh. It's cleansing cream. I wasn't really impressed by it. You can also use this product as a mask but I have not tried that yet. Maybe I'll like it more once I do.

EXTRA
Ice Water Eyes by ToGoSpa
This was the first purchase I made with my Ipsy Points! I used these under eye treatments right after I used my sheet mask. These things are SO nice. You can refrigerate them for extra coolness but I chose not to; they were still nice and chilly! Great for bags under the eyes or a quick pick-me-up. The box came with 3 sets so I'm going to try a set after refrigeration and see if it's even better. 

Stay tuned to see what I have to say about next month's bag!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Groceries on a Budget

I've been there: you have $10 to last you until payday, nothing in your fridge but an expired half-gallon of milk and a few Cup O' Noodle in your pantry. Between gas, utilities, rent and fun, groceries aren't really a priority to a twenty-something. But living the "good life" has taught me a few valuable lessons when it comes to budgeting for a grocery haul.

Eating out regularly actually IS more expensive.
Think about it this way: if you're getting food off of the dollar menu twice/thrice a day, you're probably spending AT LEAST $3 a trip. So, technically that is about $9-10 a DAY ( depending on if you're actually eating three meals a day ) You're looking at $40-50+ a week...which is a lot of money. It's the same with drinking. I know you wanna go out and have fun with your friends at the bar, but you're spending at least $3.50/each on beer ( and even more per drink for mixers ) And if you have to pay a cover?...at least $10 right there. Saving some of that money to actually invest in groceries or even a 12-pack will save you money in the end. 

Coupons can help.
Now I'm no "Extreme Couponer" or anything like that, but you can actually find some really good coupons if you look in your Sunday paper every now and then. Even online they have websites where you can clip coupons for products. I've found excellent coupons on hair color before, so now any time I need to touch it up, I immediately look for the brand's coupons. Once I went to Target for hair color, had a $2 off coupon AND Target was running a special that if you bought that certain hair color you'd get a $5 Target GC. I pretty much got that box of dye fo' FREE. You don't have to snip the entire coupon section, but if you write a list of what you need you can easy take a glimpse at offers available to you.

Download the ibotta app: trust.
Visit ibotta on your mobile phone and download. this. app. My sister told me about it a few weeks ago and I wish I would have downloaded it sooner. This app is not about coupons, but about rebates on items you may already buy. These rebates are not only for groceries but also clothing, beer, dining and pharmacy. When you first sign up, ibotta gives you $10 for joining and then you actually earn money when you go shopping. You click the rebates you want to unlock and then once you're all done shopping, all you have to do is scan the products barcode and snap a pic of your receipt. BAM!...money in your account. This money can then be sent to your PayPal account or can be used to cash in on gift cards for various places. It's a nice way to make money back from your shopping. There is one disadvantage, though: not all stores participate. So if you're going to a local grocery like Karn's or Darrenkamp's, they will not be valid.


Just because it's generic does NOT mean it's bad.
A lot of generic food items are actually produced by name brand companies. I was living on my own for a few years before I discovered all that is Aldi. I love this store. They have all the essentials AND they also carry pretty decent produce. I'm not a huge fan of their meat selection, but, we can't win them all. I feel like I have saved a good amount of money by purchasing my groceries at Aldi. And I was told that their brand is actually packaged by Trader Joe's, which is a fairly high-end grocery store. Now, I will admit, there's some things that generic just can't cut. Nothing beats Kraft Mac & Cheese or name-brand soda. But if you're looking to cut the cost at the register, check out your local Aldi Food Store.

Buy meat in bulk/learn how to cook.
Look, cooking really isn't that hard. You can find awesome recipes on Pinterest and tutorials on YouTube. Eating fast food all the time WILL make you fat eventually, so you may as well learn a valuable trade and cook your own damn food. That being said, meat can be hella expensive. I've found that places like Giant and Karns run really awesome meat specials that you should keep an eye out for. Giant seems to mark down a lot of their meat on Sundays ( if there's a better day that anyone else knows of, hit a sister UP! ) and Karns has weekly meat specials. Buy larger sizes when the price-per-pound is low and then freeze that -ish! I usually only eat a 4 oz. portion of meat so I can eat a regularly sized chicken breast in a few sittings, which also helps cut cost. 


If you have any other great tips on saving money on the necessities, please share with the class. Until next time!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Pug List: A Review


The Pug List by Alison Hodgson is actually a christian life book, so at first I was a little turned off by it. I went into Barnes & Noble knowing of the book, and when the employee directed to the Christian section I was taken aback. But I LOVE pugs and enjoy reading, so I decided to give the book a shot.

Alison writes about their family tragedy. One night they awoke to the reality that an arsonist had set their family home on fire from the garage ( horrible, right?! ) The first half of the book largely goes into the rise and fall of their family and faith after their home was lost, and how a resilient little girl and her "pug list" helped to mend a family.

The book was cute. It was an easy read, and it actually gave me a lot of insight into the paperwork that goes into such tragedies when dealing with insurance and law enforcement. In a way, it makes you rethink your own "emergency plan". The fact that I love pugs was also a bonus. 

At the end of the book, she tries to end it on a happy note...but there's a little speed bump in the last 2 chapters. I won't give it away but not all was lost in the story of little Oliver.

The second half of the book goes more into the beautiful story of a girl and her dog, and the unconditional love and bond between the two. It reminded me a lot of my love for animals and how much Lola has helped me through hard times. The love of a dog can heal hearts, and I am a firm believer. You never know true love until you love a dog...

Out of 5 stars, I'd give this book a 4. It was less about the dog than I expected BUT the story line was still interesting. My heart broke for the family and again, it made me think. Anything can happen. But also, the book gets a little too "Christian-y" for me. She talks a lot about prayer. Now, I have no issues with religion and I see myself as Christian, but I didn't grow up in the church and so when people speak of prayer I still get a little uneasy. Not sure why, it's just how I get. 

If you like pugs, though, and you want a fast read ( or you just like inspirational/Christian life books ) pick up The Pug List from Amazon or your local bookstore!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Lola Jane

My baby girl turned NINE yesterday! I cannot believe it! I've had my little princess for 8 years and 10 months...and I don't know what I would've done without her.

She's been through numerous moves. Through bad break ups. Through job losses and loss of friends. She's snuggled me when I needed it and licked my tears away. She's shit on my floor and broken my foot. She's had to have stitches and she had unexpected puppies with the neighbor dog. She's been a pain in my ass, but the biggest blessing I've ever received.

Growing up, I was always a cat person. But that was before I knew the unconditional love of a canine companion. She's my everything; my child. She's the sweetest puggle a girl could ask for. And everyone who meets her falls in love with her ( and if they don't, there is something wrong with them )

She's getting old, but she's as spunky as a pup. She may be a lazy piggy but she can be full of energy. I can hear her joints crackle every now and then, but she's a healthy gal and the vet said she looks good. So I'm hoping with all of my heart that my girl gives me another good 6 years. It makes my heart hurt thinking about life without my Pugness Everdeen.

I had her very first "birthday party" yesterday, where the doggies got party hats and were given some wet food with treats on top ( yeah, I'm that person! ) They loved it.

Party pups ( Sadie, Lola & Haley )

My birthday girl!

Here's to hoping for MANY more birthdays!


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Friendship

I don't have many friends. Is it because I don't like people? Maybe. Is it because people don't like me? Probably. 

I've been through my fair share of shitty friendships. I mean, who hasn't? And because of this, I'm hesitant and sometimes untrusting. I would like to say that it keeps me from putting up with other peoples' shit, but I can't. I still get taken for granted and I still usually put up with it. But there is always a boiling point, and once it has been reached, this pot runs over. 

I've had "friends" who have belittled me while claiming to be my bestie. Ones who have called me fat and Shamu ( back when I ACTUALLY was skinny ) and degraded me to their utmost ability. People who have tried to make other people not like me by spreading lies and telling my secrets. Those who have interfered with my relationships, including sleeping with my ex-fiance and then acting like a victim. Ones who have given and inch but taken a mile. I just can't do it anymore.

Sometimes people just grow apart. And sometimes you try to blind yourself to the reality, simply because you think that person means well. But what if they don't? Why should you be friends with shitty people simply because you want friends?

Looking at my track record, I really have to wonder, "Is it them, or me?" I honestly don't think that I'm very hard to get along with. It's rare when I blow up, and when I'm upset or frustrated I kind of just get quiet until I have the chance to sort my thoughts. I've always been aware that if you can't say something nice, you shouldn't say anything at all. But I don't think I've ever blatantly been rude to anyone on purpose. I just don't want to deal with the bullshit anymore. I've dealt with so much. And it's harder as you get older to make "adult friends"...everyone has their group and it's hard to become included in that. So I see it as, as long as you have a handful of decent people in your life, what's wrong with that?

So as I look more in depth into that topic, I kind-of made a "checklist" of things that help me to decide if a friendship is worth salvaging or not.

(1) Could you call this person in an emergency and they would drop everything to come to you?
Let's say...you've been arrested. Some crazy-girl shit like throwing a rock through your exes window. You're in holding and it's 2 AM. You make your call. Who would that person be? Who would you know and trust to drop everything and come to get you? Who would be sober? Who would deal with lack of sleep and being woken up in the middle of the night? Who would not ask questions and just be there by your side? Who would never throw it in your face? If someone can't fit that criteria, I think it's time to re-evaluate your relationship. You need to know that someone is going to be there for you when shit gets real. Now, I'm not saying that, if you're just a hot-ass-mess of a person, someone needs to be ready at the drop of a hat whenever you get yourself into a pickle. But when you're REALLY in trouble and you need them, are they going to be there?

(2) Can you trust them with your emotions?
Are you able to be unapologetically you? Can you cry and be depressed and not fear being judged by them, or must you restrain yourself? Can you have fun with them and share crazy experiences without having to worry that they will hold it against you later? Can you believe that they will keep your secrets to themselves and empathize as best they can?

(3) Do they respect you?
Friendship is about mutual respect; you meet each other half way. If you have a friend who has to have everything done on their watch, there's something wrong. It's not fair. If they are constantly late, they don't value your time. If you must always do what they want instead of what you may want, they are being selfish. Do you always have to pay their way if you want to go out? Do they try to get pity from you to get what they want? And do they value your opinion? If they respect you, they know that if they come to you with an important life decision you're going to keep it 100% real with them. And they WANT that opinion because it should mean a lot to them.

(4) Would you be okay leaving them alone with your significant other?
Unfortunately, I've had FAR too many "girl friends" with whom I wasn't. One girl slept with my ex while we were friends. One girl got mad at a guy for texting me, even though we had approached him at the bar for me. One who instigated a potential threesome with an ex and his friend-while I was still dating him. One who flashed her tits at my then-boyfriend and then proceeded to let him come on to her via internet, "failing" to inform me. Girls in high school that would pass my guy around like a toy and then smile in my face. If you can't trust her with your guy, it's time to say good-bye!

(5) Do you have similar interests or has one of you changed?
When you're in your early 20s, you like to party...and most of your friendships are based on getting drunk and being crazy. But as you get older, priorities shift. We get married. We have children. We get adult jobs and have adult lives. Our bodies can't take the beating they were once able to. So, as you grow, are your friendships growing WITH you...or AWAY from you? 

(6) Do they ask their other friends for advice, or do they just bitch about you? 
It's one thing to be frustrated with a friend and vent to someone else you trust just for an opinion. It's ANOTHER to go on a bashing spree about that friend and say horrible, mean, degrading things. If you have that much to say about someone, why do you even consider them a "friend"? I'm sorry, but if someone has horrible things to say about me like that, I don't want to be their friend!

(7) Do they stand up for you when you're not around?
Mutual friends. They happen. You become friends with someone, and they introduce you to THEIR friends, and it's one big happy family. But what happens when there is a falling out between one of you? If you cannot trust that your other friends can be neutral, it's time to part ways. It's hard enough going to get-togethers and having to see someone you don't particularly like anymore, but to know your other friends may be feeding into the turmoil is not cool. Can you trust that person to stick up for you during these times? If not, they are not a true friend.

I am in no way saying that I am the perfect friend. And people have probably gotten sick of my shit, too. I have anxiety and depression and I can fall off the face of the Earth for weeks at a time. I can get sick and tired of the BS and get snippy. I can be selfish sometimes, too. After a bad break-up, I was a puddle of *blah* for probably a year, no lie. But I always try to keep my heart in the right place. I always try to empathize and see things from a person's POV. Those people in my life that love me despite those downfalls are the ones I want to continue to have in my life. Everyday I try to be a better person, and yes, sometimes I fall back. But those people that stand by me and see friendship the same way that I do are the ones I need in my life...and those that I appreciate every day. That decide to put the same time and work into the friendship that I do. Just like a romantic relationship, a friendship is 50/50 and give-and-take...if one person is doing all the taking, eventually that bond is going to break.

That being said, I'd rather have a handful of genuine, loving, amazing friends than dozens of "friends". And I'm so thankful for people like Mallory, Andrea, John, Summer and a few others ( you should know who you are! ) who have showed me what real, mutual friendship is all about. Thank you guys so, SO much!




Sunday, June 5, 2016

Things That I Know Now...

When you're 19, you think you know it all; you genuinely belive that you have your shit together and there couldn't possibly be anything else to learn. WRONG.

As I was laying in bed last night, I was thinking about a few of those things I never cared about 10 years ago that I care about now...and how they affect me currently. So here are just a few examples of what I was contemplating.

Girls, take your makeup off before you go to sleep. When you're in your early 20s, you party 'til 2 AM and don't really make it a priority to remove all that makeup and sweat that you have junked all over your face before passing out. You're drunk and tired and just want to go to bed. But while you're sleeping, your pores are absorbing all of that and causing those breakouts and sties. Make sure to use a makeup remover and a moisturizer prior to hitting the pillow to keep your face fresh and blemish-free.

Stay in shape. It's much easier to maintain your weight if you're exercising regularly and eating well. I'm not saying to completely skip the pizza, but I am telling you ( from personal experience ) that it is so much easier to avoid getting fat than it is to gain weight and try to take it off. I've been fighting this battle since 2010 and it's NOT fun. With beer and working and living off Ramen noodles, it can be hard...but don't let yourself fall into a slump and put on excess weight...because it's a bitch to take off!

Invest in a 401K. I was 26 when I finally took this seriously. I know it sounds like a hassle when you're working a shit job to put money back, but even a few dollars can help from each paycheck. We are only getting older...and our generation may not have the resources people have today when we are at retirement age. Even 1-2% is a good start. If your job doesn't offer it, speak to someone at your bank about your options. You want to know that you have something to fall back on when you get older, and the earlier you start, the better. 

Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's one thing to need assistance every now and then, and another to expect help all the time. Everyone falls on to hard times; life isn't easy, y'all. But if you're struggling, financially or even emotionally, don't feel bad for needing some help. We live in a society where people think it's a sign of weakness to ask for this, which is sad. Swallow your pride and ask! We all need to know that someone loves and cares for us.

Depression is more common than you think. Mental health issues are still taboo. Even though there are plenty of studies and medication out there, some people still think it's just those being "drama queens". End the stigma. Be kind. Empathize. "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about"...

Live below your means. If you're newly independent, this is a BIG ONE. No one wants to not have nice things, but you need to be smart about it. Do you really need the one-bedroom apartment in the new complex for $950/mo or can you settle for one in town for $500...when you only make $10/hr? Do you NEED that new furniture or can you just take your aunt's hand-me-downs? Moving out on your own is a large reality check. Yes, you want those nice things...but you need to realize that those things cost money. Unless you've been at home for a while and have been saving thousands of dollars, you need not expect this right off the bat. Be smart about your spending. You don't want to have to deal with eviction, car repo, etc. Which brings me to...

Don't go open a bunch of credit cards! SERIOUSLY! Credit cards are great...for some things. When I turned 18 I decided to get one in case of emergencies; I wanted to build my credit up and have something to fall back on "just in case". Big mistake. I maxed out that card twice before I even turned 20. It wasn't a large credit limit: about $1000 when I opened it. But when you're working a *meh* job that just pays the rent and you need groceries, or you have a sudden LOSS of job, costs rack up quickly. Aside from my car, I am only a few hundred dollars in credit card debt at this point. Technically I could pay that off with my savings now if I wanted to, but I don't want to crack into my nest egg. So I pay more than the minimum payment to then HELP my credit ( it's good to have debt, but you need to be conscious of your debt-to-income ratio ) And the word "financing" looks reallllllllly nice to those who WANT those nice things but don't have the money in the bank. Well, don't buy it. If you don't have the money to be able to pay for something, you don't have the funds to pay for it on credit, either. Be smart about credit cards; it can seriously affect you in the future when you want to buy a new car or apply for a mortgage. Just because you have nice things to show, doesn't technically mean you have money.

I just wanted to throw a little knowledge and experience at ya today. The rain is on its way and it's supposed to hit hard, so keep dry guys! Until next time.