Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dating Down the Rabbit Hole

I want to first start by saying that there are still some amazing people out there and maintaining a positive, optimistic attitude is more powerful than the alternative.  We live in an age where it is easy to meet new people every second of each day.  It is easy to get connected for free on a lot of platforms without having to spend a dime.  Social media has made it convenient to stay connected with people from around the world, not just those in your area.  This is fantastic to a fault.   I have noticed that this fault is more than simply overlooking the fact that your partner snores when they sleep.  These faults are starting to add up to something more serious that is chipping away at the sanity and emotions of some.

I remember when I was growing up having to race to the phone when it rang in hopes it was that cute person you’ve had your eye on all month or school year.  Especially if you had siblings, you knew of the dreaded panic hearing someone else pick up another phone in the house.  There was no real privacy and even when your parents installed that awesome second line, you still had to share it with everyone else in the house.  Also, there was the great feeling of slamming the phone down on someone who broke your heart.  You knew that was justified as a slap in the face to the offender.  Were these truly better times?  I can see their benefit.  Today, we rely so heavily on text messages, emails and broken phone conversations, that is if you can even get someone on the phone.  There are benefits to this but let’s be honest; is this shortcut way of life really the best way to build and maintain a relationship?

There are many different kinds of people you can meet but there are some personalities that you seem to meet more often than you should and you should avoid:  They are the secretly married, bitterly bitter, overly independent, or leech.  Yes, some of these personalities overlap but for the most part, they are of their own right scary, somewhat dangerous, and can be sniffed out with some good sense and patience.

Secretly Married:  Ah, yes, the, “my partner doesn’t understand me” or “they won’t have enough sex with me” type.  They usually disguise their true intention unless they are in an open marriage.  They also tend to have a type and you are never the only one they are talking to or dealing with.  They start off with a casual approach, but it becomes obvious what is really going on.  With so many free dating platforms and applications, it makes it easy for them to seek out others.  If they are willing to let you go, thank them and move on.  This only ends one way and it is with you utterly heartbroken, gaining 20lbs and being a world champion in eating junk food.  Yeah, brownies are amazing but eating 1 to 5 pans of it isn’t healthy.

Bitterly Bitter:  This type tends to spew some seriously verbal abuse when you tell them you are not interested or are ending your time with them.  They are quick to say how worthless you are or how you will never be anything without them.  I hear situations like this all the time from friends, family and colleagues and have experienced them myself.  We all have been burned in one way or another when it comes to relationships but healing and moving on from the past needs to happen before we move on to a new situation.  Sometimes there are those who seek out new people who resemble a part of their past so they can stay in that part of their life.  It is best to recognize this early on so their toxicity doesn’t become part of who you are.  Misery does indeed love company.  This is usually disguised by those who are obsessed over their ex.  If he or she is not interested in getting to know who you are, they then make assumptions about who you are, and spends more time mentioning the past, notice the red flag and head for the hills.

Overly Independent:  There is absolutely nothing wrong in being independent.  Working hard and getting an education are vital in life but we have to remember to keep in balance that you do in fact need other people.  Even the busiest person needs human affection.  Sometimes we need a hug, handshake or a high five; sometimes we need more than that.  Love is so important in our species and you are not meant to be “forever alone.”  Those who claim they don’t need anyone else are the ones hurting the most.  This type, if you have the patience, will open up once they feel comfortable.  That time may also not come either.   If they are pushing you away or pushing you too hard to configure yourself into something you aren’t, it is best to let them go.  You have enough going on in your life to play therapist in their lives.

Leech:   Aren’t familiar with what a leech does?  Google that sometime.  They are little bloodsuckers that never let go.  Yes, they once had medicinal purposes but if you happen to be walking through a jungle, you aren’t going to consider them to be a good thing.  They hold on and never let go.  You either have to pull very hard or use a lighter to burn them off.  Same rules apply to these kind of people.  They are the ones who send novels for text messages, endless voice-mails wondering where you are or show up at your place of employment unexpectedly.  They show their true colors from the start.  They will latch on from the start and never want to let go.  It usually takes a lot of energy, force and threats of a restraining order to get them out of your life.  There is a healthy amount of inter-dependence in a relationship then there is somewhat stalker behavior if not a true stalker.   Keep an eye out!

It is rough out there in our modern dating world but it is not impossible to find someone.  It is important to remember who you are, what your goals are and if this person you are meeting is truly in line with them.  Do they value true conversation or are they asking for dirty pictures from the start? Do they solely rely on text and email? I always say you can determine their true intentions within 2 weeks.  Watch for signs so you won’t spend years with someone who never intended on getting serious with you from the start.  Do not be afraid to communicate your desires.  If something is important to you, you will find that person who respects that and wants something similar.  I don’t believe in settling for anything but you have to remain optimistic.  Your partner won’t be able to be everything and leap over tall buildings or volunteer saving cute animals on the side.  We are only human after all.

You are amazing just the way you are, never forget that!  I wish you all the success in the world out there!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Product Review - Motions Leave in Conditioner

I have spent a lot of money and time trying to find the best balance when it comes to conditioning my hair because even though it is oily, it tends to dry out fairly easily.  It’s a delicate dance I play with chemistry.  I decided to try Motions brand leave in conditioner.  It’s under $4 a bottle and can be found in most beauty supply places.  I haven’t seen it in stores like Target or Walmart.

Results?   I’m not crazy about it at all.  My hair feels stiff and straw-like and doesn’t have the shine that I like.  There are other products that I like better as a leave in that give my hair life and make it soft, shiny and beautiful.

Recommend?  I’d skip this.  It’s inexpensive but the results aren’t worth it.

Here I am sans makeup after using the product during my hair routine.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to School Stress

I encourage you to stay focused on your education.  Worrying about what is on your back versus the degree hanging on your wall is completely pointless.  Yes, it is fun to look good but it is also fun to stretch your mind and ascend to higher levels of education.  Some career paths demand you to be a full time employee and part time student and it’s important to maintain it.

Stay Organized:  I can not stress this enough!  If you are not the type then take some time and meet with those who are.  Buying endless calenders isn’t worth your time if you aren’t going to use it.  Since we live in an age with smart phones and tablets are becoming more inexpensive, get one.  Program it with your daily life schedule and make a habit to keep a paper copy just in case your technological best friend dies on you.  Getting into a good routine will help you in the long run.

Set realistic goals:  I am a firm believer that at any age you can start over.  There was a woman who in her 80s wanted to go to law school did.  Just because your current career path, job or lifestyle causes setbacks, find the core issues and rise above them.  It is possible and you are capable!

Carve out me time:  It is important that you remember how much you mean to the world.  To live a life that is full of stress and frustration harms the very being you are.  Whether you take time each day to unwind or do something special each week for yourself – do it and maintain it.

Remember to have fun:  It’s that simple.  Whether you need to hop on Tumblr during your lunch break or you need to watch Golden Girls each night before bed (I know, I do) stick it in your routine like you would add lemon zest.  Sprinkle in some fun to take the edge off.  It works better than coffee (almost, anyway).

At the beginning of the year you are worried about having the right “look” but come midterms before Thanksgiving, you will be headed to class in somewhat clean sweatpants and Ugg like boots with 3 pencils in your hair.  It’s a reality of school and life so just remember to shower and stay focused on studying.

Have a great year! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is 20 Really the New 30? I Don't Think So

Every so often you hear the phrase, “30 is the new 20″ or “40 is the new 30″ and so on.  It annoys me because it is simply not true  and shows how youth obsessed we are as a culture.  This year, in December, I will be turning 30 and you know what?  I’m glad it won’t be a repeat of my early 20s.  I have grown so much as a person in the last 10 years and frankly, I don’t ever want to return there.  I had a great time over the last decade and where I am now, and am going with my life is more of an adventure to me than feeling as though I can “restart” at some point in my life.

My body has changed in all aspects.  I can see some lines being drawn on my face by time, I can feel a difference in my skin, my hair, teeth – everything and I am okay with it.  I respect the flow of life and events and have adapted to what I currently have.  Something I found that helped keep my mind level was creating smaller goals for myself and sticking to them.  Currently, I am aiming at losing another 40lbs of fat.  I started lifting weights last December and a few weeks ago started Zumba (which is amazing).  I am not doing this to fall into what is “beautiful”; I am doing it for me and my family.  I’m in this life for the long haul, God willing.  I want to make a difference in others’ lives and I want to be an example for my son to start healthy and stay healthy as an adult, in mind, body and soul.  For everyone else, whatever age you are, be that age, have fun and learn from your mistakes.  I remember the 16 year old me, the 21 year old me and now the 29 year old me and they are so different that if they were in the same room together, they wouldn’t know each other.  It’s a good thing and can only go up from here.  I’m not afraid of failure and know that around the next corner I will find my success as will you.

As I enter the next decade, I hope to make many more new friends, open my life up to numerous new and exciting opportunities and do more traveling.  For those worried or hoping to be 20-something again, find inspiration in your current 20,30,40,50+ something.  Each decade brings us closer to that true enlightenment.  Each new line, wrinkle, or gray hair is a mark that we lived our lives fully and completely.  Embrace it!

Me at 29 (currently)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cleaning Out Your Closets

I do my best each season to clean out my closet, beauty bag and beauty containers.  This way I don't feel as guilty splurging for new items.  Also, when you donate your goods, you can deduct them at the end of the year.  Cool, huh?  It's like cash just sitting around in your closet collecting dust.  If you aren't into that, having multiple yard sales through the year is another great resource for turning a profit on things you no longer need, want or use.  The other end of this is by visiting various yard sales or visiting your local thrift shop, you can find new goods at low prices.  There are some consignment stores that do this, but sometimes they can be as expensive as the name brand store itself. 

With Fall approaching, don't focus too much on which trends are floating around.  Some of those trends are very ill fitting on a curvy woman and it is better to stock up on the basics while adding a hint of color, pattern or personality to each outfit. 

Work Basics:  Fitted jackets, great slacks and skirts, cute flats and modest heels - It's good to have various pieces that can be mixed and matched together, that way you will never run out of things to wear.  You can always throw in various pattern tights for a fun twist in the office. 

Casual Basics:  If you are a demin kind of woman, invest in a quality pair of jeans.  It can be very hard to find jeans that fit.  I personally hate them but to each their own.  It is better to invest in a more expensive pair that fits you well because it will last longer.  If you opt for something cheaper, be prepared for it to fade and not last more than a year.  Other basics to remember are thin and thick style tops that can be layered that are various sleeve length.  Here in the North East part of the US, our Fall weather can be just about anything from somewhat warm days to very cold nights before winter sets in.  Be ready!  Hoodies and sweatshirts are great for those cool nights but look for something more put together.  Save the super casual stuff for nights in at home. 

Dressy Basics:  Wedding season isn't just once a year anymore, it can be all year round for some.  It's important to have some cocktail dresses stocked in your closet just in case.  I can't count how many times I have had to rush to a store in search of something to wear to a formal occasion.  It's a pain, it's annoying and it's unnecessary.  Buying a few key items that you can switch things up by adding a scarf, new shoes or great jewelry helps and extends the life of the items in your closet.  I like to browse and shop at the end of a season when things are on sale or already on clearance.  You'd be surprised at how a cardigan or blazer can change a dress or how opaque tights can warm you up but also slim you down.  Give a shot - be bold!

Makeup Basics:  Play with new colors that blend well with neutrals for your skin tone that can go from day to night or meetings to that great dinner date.  A time saver for your makeup routine is to do basic foundation, eye liner, mascara, and your favorite color lip gloss or lipstick.  This fall, deep crimson and various mauve's can be your best friend through either lip gloss or lip stick. 

Remember to have some fun when it comes to fashion and keep it tasteful.  It is more important to showcase who you are versus what item you have on your body.

 You are timeless and unique.