You Can Do It Because It’s Been Done

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I thought a circus picture seemed fitting for the first week back at school.

So, the first week of school is under my belt and it’s always amazing how it simultaneously feels like no time has passed and 100 years has passed in the span of 3 1/2 weeks. I feel that the most in web/interactive design. The only reason I knew I wasn’t in that dream where I am at school on test day and I don’t know the material was that I had clothes on. I wasn’t alone, though, because other people were staring at their monitors and occasionally hitting only the space bar for some unknown reason.

This semester will be more of a challenge for me, time-wise and work-wise and everything-wise. But yesterday I was on the treadmill and I thought that it’s just another way to challenge myself.

Before I started school, I never challenged myself. I thought I did. I had things I wanted to accomplish, but I never took the steps to get there. Looking back, I can see how that led to complacency and put me at the mercy of someone else’s decisions. Putting yourself out there is scary. I mean, just re-read those words: “out there.” It’s not even defined and sounds like a random abyss. But the truth is- it’s not. There is very little in our lives that has not been done before by someone else in the universe.

My overly filled date book for this week. How Tuesday escaped mark-free I have no idea.

My overly filled date book for this week. How Tuesday escaped mark-free I have no idea.

People used to think it was physically impossible for a human being to run a mile in under 4 minutes. In other words- crazy fast. Then, in 1954, Roger Bannister, ran a mile in 3:59. BUT- it gets crazier! He only held the record for 46 days, because his rival, John Landy, broke his record by almost 2 seconds. But there’s more! After that, people started running 4 minute miles like mad. It was as if after one person did it, people thought, “Hey! If he can do it, I can do it, too!” Interesting to note that no woman has broke the 4 minute mark. Someone who isn’t me needs to work on that.

But anyway, my point is that just knowing that someone else has blazed the trail before us and what we want is possible can be that little nudge that takes us further. I’m not going to lie, I’m stressed and a little (a lot) nervous, but there are tons of people who have done it before me, so I know it can be done. Right? RIGHT?!?!

So I’ll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
That tethered mind free from the lies

I Will Wait, Mumford and Sons

Have a great week!

One For The Ladies

butterflyladycollageBeing a woman is awesome. We get to  wear pretty clothes, do fun things with our hair, and rarely have to lift anything heavy or kill our own bugs. Don’t get me wrong, I love men a lot, but with the exception of making slightly more money, I wouldn’t want to be one.

Aside from the whole money thing, there is one area where I am a little jealous of men- the fact that it takes about 10 minutes for them to get ready to walk out the door. I’m not any shade of cute or pretty and there is still a ton of upkeep. Plus, I’ve got Greek genes, so approximately three quarters of my grooming is hair removal. The hair and make up are fun, but sometimes you just want to, you know, leave quickly, but still look presentable.

Anyway, I thought I would share some of my favorite time and money saving tips. Because that’s the other thing-beauty things are EXPENSIVE! The fact that they are expensive doesn’t even guarantee they are going to work well or even do half of what they promise. I am poor as hell and can’t spend a ton of money on crap that doesn’t work. Anyway, without further ado…

Make your own leave-in conditioner/detangler: take an empty spray bottle and about 1-2 tablespoons of regular conditioner from your shower (experiment with the amount to see how much is good for your hair) and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Shake well before each use.

Rosewater: I’m all about multipurpose things and rosewater can be used for everything beauty related. Use it on your hair to detangle, increase shine, or freshen between washes. Spritz it lightly on your face after applying mineral make up to make it last longer and give a nice fresh look. Spritz it on your sheets or clothes for a nice light rose scent. I get it at the health food store for about $4-6 for a 4 ounce bottle.

Vinegar: Did I mention that I love multipurpose products? Because vinegar is their king! You can clean your house with it, add it to laundry, remove household odors, color Easter eggs (the smell alway reminds me of PAAS egg dye), and use it to degunk your hair. Take about a  quarter to a half cup of vinegar and a cup of water and pour it over your hair in the shower. Leave it on for about 2 minutes and then rinse. Follow with your normal shampoo and conditioner. It gets rid of all the built up junk on your scalp and hair. You can also do it with apple cider vinegar. WARNING: Be very careful of your eyes! Vinegar stings and is super painful when it gets in your eyes even when diluted (not that I would know about it firsthand or anything).

Make your own body scrub: Dump some olive oil and some sea salt in a bowl and stir it up. Yeah, that’s the recipe spas are charging you a fortune for. You can also make your own brown sugar scrub the same way. If you want, add some honey and/or vanilla. The vanilla doesn’t do anything, but who doesn’t love the smell of vanilla? Plus, when you’re done with your scrub, you’ll be completely irresistible because you’ll smell like fresh baked cookies.

Vaseline: I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I love multipurpose products. A tub of Vaseline cost like $5 and last you so long that you probably have to will it to someone. Yes, it’s nothing but chemicals, but it’s old-timey chemicals, so I’m pretty sure it’s okay. Slap some on your feet, put some socks on, go to bed, wake up with smooth feet! Put a little on your lips before bed to keep your lips soft (I get extremely dry lips in the winter and this is the only thing that helps). I have very sensitive skin and I swear looking at me hard dries out under my eyes to the point of peeling. The only thing that helps is a tiny, tiny amount of Vaseline patted lightly around my eyes. Put it on your nose if you’ve got a cold to keep your nose from peeling from all the blowing and wiping. Again, with the exception of the feet, we’re talking about teeny tiny amounts. You don’t want to look like you’re melting, slide off your pillowcase, or frighten your loved ones.

My hair is pretty long (about 3-4 inches below my shoulders) and as much as I love it, it’s a pain in the ass when I am in a hurry. Here are two great tutorials for a sock bun and a quick twist. Both are super easy with a little practice you can do either in under 2 minutes.

I cut my own hair. Horrible, I know! To those who know me, it explains why my hair looks like a 3 year old with a case of the shakes cut my hair with safety scissors in a dark room. I wouldn’t recommend it if your hair is above shoulder length or you are making a drastic change, but if your hair is long, you’re just looking to trim it, and feeling adventurous -go for it. Go slow and remember you can take it off, but you can’t put it back on. But here is where I do recommend spending a little cash- get some nice scissors specifically for cutting your hair. Guard them like a secret bank account! Let no one else use them to cut anything other then hair. Otherwise they will dull and if you’ve ever used a dull razor, you know how well that works out. Here’s a very easy method for cutting your own hair, with lots of pictures:

The U-Shaped Trim

Here is the best video I’ve found for cutting your own long hair into layers:

Oh I almost forgot! If you’re looking for excellent style advice, check out Tim Gunn’s A Guide To Quality, Taste and Style. I’m only about halfway through it, but I LOVE it. I always thought I had great posture until I read the section on posture and realized what I was doing wrong. He explained it in a very tangible way and it was easy to correct. Seriously, the quickest way to lose 10 pounds is to fix your posture. Also, forget about the size of your clothes and just wear what fits properly! So simple, but so many people get stuck on the number on the tag instead of buying what fits well. He gave great advice on cleaning out your closet and dresser and I was so inspired that I’ve got 2 huge lawn and leaf bags full of clothes ready to go to Goodwill. I was surprised to find out Tim Gunn was a three dimensional design teacher before he got involved in fashion and he wasn’t always the fashionista we know him as today. So far it’s a fabulous book and I recommend it if you are looking for style advice, because, trust me, a book recommendation is all you want from me in that department.

Have a great week! 🙂