I've also come to the conclusion that I seem to have my best metaphysical conversations in the shower.
Too bad no one's around to hear them.
I pull aside the curtain and turn on the water. Switch the dial to hot, hotter, boiling. Why does the faucet always switch from hot to cold since I've last used the shower? Who comes in and switches the temperature? Gnomes? God?
Pull the catch on the faucet so the water comes from the shower nozzle. Remove clothing. Turn on the fan. Turn off the lights.
Close the door.
Why do I shower in the dark? Good question. I've been doing it for years, in at least four different showers. First time, like the first time I had sex, was unintentional: the power went out, and there I was, warm water running down my body, suddenly blind and in a whole new world, soap running down long hair into my now superfluous eyes.
I guess there's some womb aspect of it. Maybe I'd like to train myself just in case I should be struck blind, found suddenly vacated of the sense I take so very much for granted. Test the water's temperature. Enter on side opposite from water. Get bearings. Find shampoo. I only need a little nowadays, the result of a time when I just couldn't take long hair anymore, -- not so much my mother's, but my sister's -- snide comments anymore, and then there was the heartbreak factor where I was suddenly torn in two and had to do something to reinvent myself.
Lather. Rinse. Repent. How does the universe work? Do we call it infinite just because we can't see the end? I can't see the end of the shower right now, I can't perceive with any of my senses the toilet that's six feet away... does that mean it isn't there? What if it isn't? Remember when you were a kid and thought that the world ended where you didn't see it any longer? Was I ever that naive? Am I still?
Conditioner. Just a dab. It smells like dryer sheets. Man, I love that.
Wash it out. Wash it all out, then grab the soap. Rub in the hands and work the lather into every crevice you can. This is a soul cleansing. When the body is free of debris, the mind is free to explore new boundaries and God shines into us all. Or does God even care? Is God a celestial engineer and all of us mere unknowing cogs in a machine of which we have no hope of comprehending the purpose?
Wash off the soap, scrub out the armpits. Or perhaps God cares very much, speaks to us every day. Maybe we don't hear. Or we don't know how to listen. Maybe if we knew how to listen to God, there'd be no death. Maybe that's why death is so painful. Maybe we're meant to pursue pleasure, and pain is a trigger to show when we're doing something wrong. Maybe we're not supposed to die. Or maybe we're all just doing it wrong.
Stand under the nozzle, water pounding onto eyelids. Sing sing sing to yourself and the neighbors "Infinity bottles of beer on the wall, infinity bottles of beer..."
Lather, rinse, repeat until dead.
was once a vegetarian and found myself facing a very meaty Thanksgiving with relatives who tended to cook all vegetables with chunks of pork. Nowadays that sounds delicious, but I would still happily eat any variation of the following.
This works as a main or side dish, can be partially made ahead of time, and can be made vegan- or vegetarian-style (or you can fill it full of meat).
It makes a totally cute centerpiece and topic of conversation, and then you get to destroy it by slicing off pieces of the pumpkin's walls as you serve up its delicious innards.
The short version: cook up a bunch of wild rice and veggies, spiced to your liking. Hollow out a pumpkin, fill with rice mixture, cook until pumpkin is done through, eat it.
I don't have a proper recipe for this, but here are some general guidelines that worked for me:
For reasons of texture and flavor, you want a sugar pumpkin, which may also be called a pie pumpkin. These are the medium-sized ones, not the wee decorative useless ones nor the huge ones meant for jack-o-lanterns. They're usually about 8-10 inches across. If possible, pick one that's wide rather than tall; this will be easier to serve from. And make sure it has a good grabbable stem, which will function as a lid handle.
The procedure that worked best for me was to cook up some wild rice, separately sautee a bunch of vegetables (I used green beans, corn, carrots, celery, and black beand), then fill the pumpkin with these and finish it in the oven.
I also added a bit of cooked soy-based beef crumble approximation, which can be weird but was excellent in this context. These days I'd either use ground turkey, or skip it altogether. If you're going meat-style, I can't imagine bacon would be out of place. You could probably get crazy with some dried cranberries and toasted pecans in there, too.
It's probably best to take the rice off the heat when it's not quite done - it won't really continue to cook inside the pumpkin, but will soak up more liquid. Also, if using wild rice, make sure you budget enough time, as it takes forever.
Taste the rice + stuff before it goes into the pumpkin!! This is your last chance to season it. In particular, make sure it has enough salt, as you're going to be serving this with slices of unseasoned pumpkin. This works fine if the contents of the pumpkin are appropriately seasoned (sage is great in this).
While the rice, etc. are cooking, deal with the pumpkin. Rinse the exterior and scrub off anything gross (the oven will sterilize it, but they do grow in mud). Cut a lid out of the top in the classic jack-o-lantern style. Do yourself a favor and make the shape of this lid large and somewhat irregular! This will keep you from going crazy trying to fit that piece back in, later.
Scrape out the seeds and disgusting business inside. Be thorough. Shine a flashlight in there if you have to.
You can wait until this point to fill the raw pumpkin with the rice stuff and bake it; you can also give your pumpkin a head start, cooking it partway before the rice mixture is done.
Pumpkins are forgiving; if you need to cook it for a while, then take it out of the oven and finish cooking it later, that will work fine, provided you keep its lid on and don't let it dry out. (drying out? spritz with water)
You'll thank yourself if you bake the pumpkin, filled or empty, in a roasting pan, or at least on a cookie sheet with a rim. By the time it's done all the way through, it may be a little leaky.
Cooking time varies, but should be around an hour at 350 F (175 C) on your oven's bottom rack. It's done when easily pierced with a knife.
Don't worry, we won't go crazy since this is only the first of possibly more beauty posts this week. Today I share my weekend beauty routine. It's simple and to the point:
Brush hair, put in pony
Brush on powder
A sweep of MAC copper glitter pigment
Hard candy fishnet liquid eyeliner
A ton of benefit "They're real!" Mascara
Clinique cherry cordial lipstick
Brush on a dash of bronzer
Put on stockings and black outfit of some sort
head out the door!
I was given Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation to review. I am one of the very first to test Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation - it doesn't even hit stores until January 2014! To be honest with you, I was skeptical to try it at first. I have been a mineral foundation girl for quite some time. But, I love trying new makeup and beauty products, so I was up for giving it a shot.
Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation
I tried the True Ivory color. Although I am Guatewhite... I am seriously fair skinned, especially in the winter when there are less days spent outside in the sun. The color blended perfectly with my skin tone. It was easy to apply, I just used my fingers. But, anyone who uses brushes or sponges wouldn't have a problem either. The foundation is smooth and just the right amount of creamy. Not to mention, it was feather light when I applied it. It didn’t feel at all cake-y or thick on my skin. My face was immediately flawless.
Best part: at the end of a day of running errands and even a nap on the couch... I was still pleased with my skin. No blotchiness, nothing creasing around my eyes.
I will most definitely purchase this as something to wear on weekends—when I want to slap on a little base color and go out the door. Worry free makeup is my best friend on Saturday mornings when I need to get out the door to run errands!
This makeup is a winner. I’m thrilled with the turn out, and hope my sample can last me until it hits shelves in January! If you like worry free, light as air-nothing there, but still full coverage makeup. This is for you. Have you tried it too? Let me know what you think!
Do you have a different makeup routine on weekends too?
Have you ever been skeptical about a makeup and turned out loving it?
*I received Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation for free to review. I was not paid for this writing about it. And of course all opinions are 110% my own.
This quote from Pablo Picasso lies at the very foundations of Modernism stretching forward through Cubism, Expressionism, and Absurdism to right... now!, and backward through Romanticism, neo-Classicism, and Catholicism, etc., back to the very beginnings of myth— the very first time someone at a camp fire piped up and said, "We're all sitting on the back of this really huge turtle."
This is the converse of Chekhov's only slightly earlier axiom, "Art tells the truth," which, while seemingly self-evident, was nearly as radical as Picasso's assertion when pushed to its limits by the good doctor's unflinching and unerring eye, especially in his short stories.
I originally heard this quote as, "Art is a lie...," but the specifying "the" takes the meaning of the statement much deeper: Art is not merely a lie; it is the lie, and the only lie that tells the truth. Thus, if something tells the truth and is also false, it must be art. If it tells the truth, and is also truth, then it must be something other than art, like history or journalism or science. Picasso seems to be saying that it is only by feigning-- or perhaps more charitably, bending-- reality as we perceive it, can we hope to move another person to see something new in a truly new way. Joseph Campbell offers an excellent description of what I'm trying to get at:
Creative artists... are mankind's wakeners to recollection: summoners of our outward mind to conscious contact with ourselves, not as participants in this or that morsel of history, but as spirit, in the consciousness of being. Their task, therefore, is to communicate directly from one inward world to another, in such a way that an actual shock of experience will have been rendered: not a mere statement for the information or persuasion of a brain, but an effective communication across the void of space and time from one center of consciousness to another.
Perhaps this is why some of the best actors I know are terrible liars. I think maybe somewhere deep in their artist's conscience they understand that to use their talent in the service of anything other than good drama, is like when Spider-Man uses his power for personal gain: an opened-up Lamborghini tear down the smooth paved highway to hell.
There is a portrait of Kim Jong Il
(and his father)
Which is brightly lit in the abandoned dark of dawn
All who can leave are long gone,
All who can dream are sleeping.
All who are awake are still, very still
They wait (for the appointed hour).
The portraits of tyrants are bright in dark countries
The tombs of tyrants are dark in bright countries
I am not sure which is more dangerous:
Memory, or forgetfulness.
We will not speak of a nation with Stockholm Syndrome
It would be in poor taste
We will not speak of their dutiful eulogies
(or their clenched jaws)
We will not speak of decay and rot, nor blackouts of any sort,
(whether by the bottle, the pen, or the powerplant)
Nor star chambers, nor brain drain
Nor the ways in which tyranny is never the crucible
Of art (or true love) or right reason.
It would be in poor taste
And the family is always watching.
We can instead speak of how the cherry blossoms
Never knew his name
We can instead speak of how the propagandists
Never wrote lullabyes
We can instead speak of Ozymandias
And the inexorability of time and change
Because time is change
Hope, rage, revolution, intention, these are only accellerants
(hurry up please)
In the end it is simple
And it will be
(and it will be)
Is there anything better than finding an outfit that fits absolutely perfectly? I have a great collection of clothes but some of them are just in need of a tiny adjustment to be ideal. Eventually I will get them tailored but for now I’m stuck with the annoyance of having a dress or skirt that just doesn’t quite fit the way I want. And when I do get the pieces tailored, I’ll have had to pay extra to get just what I wanted.
That’s why eShakti was created. The company understands that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to a woman’s body type and wants to ensure that everyone gets that perfect style and fit every time. The company offers custom fit and style options on all its clothing so that whether you prefer long sleeves, short skirts or collars, you can get an outfit you’ll love that fits you perfectly. I was so excited when I got the chance to review one of the company’s items for myself. After hours of oogling dresses, I chose this black and houndstooth dress, inspired by mad men. I adored the heavy retro feel of this fifties inspired dress. It has asymmetrical buttons and looks lively with my favorite Mary janes, pumps, or a pair of cable knit flats with a matching cardigan!There are new arrivals at eShakti all the time, so shopping is always a fresh experience. Once I’d chosen my item of clothing, it was time for the fun part…customizing it just for me! I decided on a knee-length skirt and a cap sleeve style. Then I took my measurements to ensure that the dress fit just right. Everything from my height to my chest, waist and hip measurements went into a custom form so that my dress would fit just right. I was pretty excited for it to arrive!
Less than a week later, I had my custom-made dress. The material was nice and thick, perfect for winter wear. I loved the wrap-around style of the dress too. I pulled it on and checked out the fit. I loved the way the dress fit in the chest; I have a bigger chest and I often find I have to choose between a shirt that fits my waist and one that fist my upper body. I did find the dress didn’t hug my waist quite the way I wanted. Maybe it’s cut a bit loose to be comfortable, or maybe I was a little bloated the day I did the measurements! Still, overall the dress fit better than most items of clothing I purchase. And because eShakti is passionate about customer satisfaction, the company offers a no-hassle return policy on its clothing if you’re not completely satisfied!
In addition to cute dresses, eShakti offers skirts and blouses all with custom fit options that help ensure your clothing fits just the way you want it to. Check out the new fall collection and treat yourself to a new dress, skirt or blouse. You’ll love the luxury of having clothing that was made just for your shape!
When I received a bottle of the Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser by Sibu Beauty for review, I was intrigued. I had never heard of Sea Buckthorn Berries, or about its benefits as a skincare product. It turns out that these berries are a naturally sustainable resource that grow in the Tibetan Himalayas, and they’ve been a source of health and beauty for centuries.
Sea Buckthorn contains tons of essential vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids and the elusive Omega-7 fatty acid, which helps to neutralize free radicals and aid in the production of collagen (see: less lines and wrinkles!). These vitamins and nutrients claim to protect, revitalize and repair skin, and all four of the Omega fatty acids are critical in providing cellular support for healthy skin, hair and nails.
The Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser is slated for use on all skin types, and claims to gently exfoliate, remove excess oil and impurities and leave skin feeling and looking radiant and refreshed. It also claims to be useful for removing makeup.
I was a little hesitant to try a new cleanser, only because my skin is dry and so sensitive and I had just gotten done with a terrifying breakout, but the ingredient list seemed gentle enough so I figured I’d give it a go.
The cleanser is a light feeling gel-like substance. Mixed with a bit of water, it lathers lightly on the skin. It has a citrus scent which I found very refreshing. After washing, my skin felt good. Normal. Not dry or tight, which I struggle with as a result of cleansers that are a little too harsh or stripping for my dry, sensitive skin.
It did a good job of removing most of my makeup. Although, in Sibu Beauty’s defense, I wear a TON of mascara – it’s not exactly easy to remove. But it did remove most of it, and it even removed my heavily put on pigment easily, which can be quite the feat. All in all, as a cleanser and makeup remover in one, this is a contender.
I’ve been using the Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser for a couple of weeks now, only at night because I just splash water on my face in the morning. My skin has not gotten red or irritated, or broken out at all from using this product. I actually feel like I have a little bit more of a glow. That could also be from the fact that this product is helping my skin maintain an optimal moisture balance and not drying it out. But honestly, I don’t care where the glow is coming from, I’m just happy that I have it.
The best part is that Sibu Beauty products, including their Sea Buckthron Balancing Facial Cleanser, are all-natural, cruelty-free (yay!), paraben-free and sulfate-free, and the brand practices free trade. And they’re now 100% vegan as well! Very cool.
You can check out Sibu Beauty here if you’re interested in learning more!
I was sent a product for review; however I was not otherwise compensated for this post.
All opinions are 100% my own.
Every night, I'd look for a sign.
Something, anything, to tell me that it wasn't real.
I'm not here. This isn't happening
My balcony became my refuge, on those clear, autumn nights. Standing alone, with only the dim light of a slowly smouldering cigarette, and the stars. The television was almost always on, adding it's cold, blue light.
I couldn't really watch it for long. But I needed the noise. Always pacing, there was no way I could stand in the one place. Motion was life. Inactivity hurt. 3am journeys around the lake became an essential escape.
And the ducks, startled into sudden action, in an explosion of movement and noise, reminded me that I could still feel.
It was about this time, that I began searching for shooting stars. And praying to a God that I don't know if I fully believe in. Because I knew...if I asked for a sign, and that shooting star appeared, things would be alright. Confirmation of what I knew had to be true.
It was all a mistake. Everything would turn around, and I could live again.
So began my nightly vigil. Walk into my room, the place where my entire life's efforts were placed, and wait for the sun to set. And I saw some amazing sunsets. It seems I paid more attention when I was waiting for night to cover the land. I'd wait, and turn my head to the sky, searching for my sign.
I can't remember the transition from autumn to winter of this year. The cold couldn't touch me, it just meant that I had longer nights to search the sky. And the air was so clear. Misting in front of my face, drifting off around me, blending with the denser smoke. I could sometimes hear the crackling of the tobacco as it burnt, flared bright in front of my eyes. Some nights, I saw the fog gradually form, blanketing the city. Forming halos around street lights, and reducing the silence to something even quieter. I could never truly appreciate it's beauty though. All I saw, was that it was obscuring the stars.
Irony is a wonderful thing. It was a cloudy night, when my sign finally came. Light reflected off the low cloud, tears in the cover allowing occasional glimpses to the clear sky above. I guess I'll never know why I chose to look up right at that point, why my eyes were drawn straight to the hole which had appeared in the clouds. But there it was. From one side of that window to the heavens to the other, a shooting star, burning bright. For a moment, my heart felt as though it had stopped, and a shiver ran up my spine, as I wished the only thing I had any desire for. As I hoped, that maybe, I would feel alive again.
And nothing happened
Life went on, just the same as before. Each day I felt the same. Every night, I stayed up late, not caring to sleep, because every time I'd close my eyes, I knew, that another day had passed. And that before too long, a new day would dawn - just the same as the last.
And every day, I remembered that shooting star, as though I was seeing it for the very first time. And I wondered, where it's power had gone. Why nothing was different. All the time I felt that the world should have changed - somehow warped around me, and bought things back to the way they were before. While all the time, everything was dragging me further away.
I began to doubt in the power of my shooting star
Time passes, days slip away. Feelings change, and emotions are transformed. Insight comes with time, unclouded by the fear of of those moments in life, untainted by memory. It's strange sometimes how long it takes for understanding to come. Because I was so fixed upon my shooting star meaning one thing, that I was blind to the possibility that it could ever mean anything else. And now life has changed. Feelings have changed. Everything's different.
I realise now, that I did receive a sign that cold winter night - and only now have I been able to acknowledge that things are better. So I lay down to sleep at night, knowing that my days haven't been wasted. Knowing that there's life - hope - in the future for me now.
These summer nights, I will walk to a mountain top, lie on a rock still warm from the day's sun. And I will scan the skies.
Searching for a shooting star.
You know, How good honey can be for your skin? From making your skin softer and smoother, helping reduce scars to being an all natural anti-aging ingredient, Honey has been an essential in women's beauty regimen since ancient history. There's just one teeny-tiny problem with it. I, often do not like how sticky it feels on my skin.
As much as I would like to use honey daily on my skin, its use didn't go beyond its addition to my morning tea. ...Until Yesterday! What changed? I found the goodness of honey in a jar. iFabbo sent across Perlier Imperial Honey body butter for review. Given my past experiences with them and now after feeling the goodness of this body butter, I am sold! Normally, I'm pretty loyal to small etailers or Korean beauty brands. This Italian prestige brand makes some amazing products, though. In the psst, I've tried several of their bath and hand creams. This was my first perlier body butter, and I was pleasantly surprised at how little it took and how emollient and decadent the product felt on my parched, tattooed skin.
This marvelous melting body butter from the rare honey of Black Bees, combined with Royal Jelly is a true beauty formulation. It nourishes the skin with the sensual notes of honey and Oriental Woods. This body butter is perfect to moisturize the skin in the harsh winter months.
It is starting to get colder here in Oklahoma, which means much drier skin a perfect time to try this product. This body butter is very rich & creamy and leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth & hydrated. The best part is that it takes only a small amount of the body butter to do this.
I tried it first thing in the morning when my skin tends to be very dry, and have been using this prior to waxing my legs/underarms/lady bits. My skin instantly feels supple, and it does away with any irritation. The smell can be a bit overwhelming, but its perfect for winter and I advise mixing this one with perfumes of any sort. There's enough scent in this product to last you long throughout the day.
Perlier Imperial Honey Body Butter can be purchased on HSN and retails for $40.00. You can get $5.00 off your purchase with code iFabbo5.
Have you tried any products by Perlier? How about Italian beauty in general? This girl is absolutely enamored by product from other countries! Please do let me know through your comments on our Facebook!
Have a great day
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored or paid by Perlier USA to write the review of the "Perlier Imperial Body Butter". All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I received this product as a sample I chose from iFabbo. #PerlierOnHSN
Don't know if it's a miracle but it is absolutely one of the most ingenious and freaky-cool cosmetic products I've ever used. The mask itself is a thick charcoal-colored emollient cream, with gritty particles. Those are tiny iron particles. When the time is up, you hold the magnet bar and run it over the face, removing the particles but leaving the oil-cream behind. Oh. My. GAWD, I am in gadget-geek heaven here. Besides the coolness, does it work? I must admit my skin is smoother for a few days after I do the mask, it isn't anything earth-shaking though. The package cautions against using it on blemished skin, and that's probably a good idea if you're sensitive to lanolin. It's definitely more on the moisturising than cleansing side. Still, I can't get over the sheer delight of it and will continue to use it even if it doesn't do any good. You can purchase this mask along with lots of nifty other products here.
EDIT: To my great regret I have discovered that this gives me pimples. I'm going to use this on my hands and feet to finish it off, though. overall, its a great product. Miracle mask noir is priced at 239.99 and you can purchase this and lots of other nifty products at http://www.premiercosmetics.com
Okay, so most of you know that in real life, i'm huge on being a nerdy domestic. Due to the recent formation of team Talley, I'm back on my domestic game and finding all sorts of crazy cute projects to do around the house and in the kitchen.
How flippin rad are these Bunny Shaped Rolls? The secret to shaping the ears is Kitchen Shears! Use your favorite rolls recipe to bake these bunnies or try the one below. Your family will love to see these cute bunnies on the Easter dinner table this year.
**Please note that you will probably want to practice the ear shaping technique ahead of time because the photo above is from a professional chef. Your results may vary. Also please note that the recipe below is NOT the recipe used in the picture you see above.**
2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
Put the butter, the sour cream and water in a small saucepan and heat, but do not cook. Cool to tepid then add the remaining ingredients. Put in a kneader (or use your kneader attachment on your mixer if you have one). If thick add more water.
Let it rise double and cut into 16 equal parts.
Baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone baking mat and cut the ears with kitchen shears. When the dough is STILL SOFT, Make sure you smooth the edges around, so you do not end up with gremlin shaped horns.
The eyes can then be put in, use pepper grains or similar.
Bake at 375° for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Thanksgiving is a very nice holiday. It's all in good spirit, and I applaud anyone responsible for its engraving into American culture. However, despite my appreciation of family, friends and cooking (and my love of the holiday season), I can't say much in defense of the actual contents of Thanksgiving dinner.
Because, really, when it comes down to it, the food served at Thanksgiving isn't all that exciting. I mean, come on, turkey? Why turkey? Why not shrimp, or something? Pasta? It just doesn't make sense. My mother is a fabulous cook, and she spends hours preparing the food (turkey, yams, potatoes, pies, etc.). I always share my gratitude with her and whoever else may be with us, always eating until full. But this is all facade. To me, the food has the integrity of a piece of toast. And yet everyone acts (authentically or not, I don't know) as if it's the best thing they've ever tasted. Supposedly it's a prerequisite that eating at Thanksgiving has to be like finding god or winning freedom or losing your virginity.
These customs are ridiculous. How did they get put into place? And why?
The past few years I've cooked a traditional thanksgiving dinner with a tofurkey substitite as a house girlfriend. I've recently learned that when living in sin, a house girlfriends duties are never done. This year, things are a bit more different. This is Bumble's first thanksgiving. I don't want to serve the traditional garb, because we eat weird ish. So far it'll only be the two of us and his best friend, who doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving either. These dudes will eat literally anything. Spam, lengua, old stuffing, tin cans.. I'd make a fortune selling them to food network, but I kind of adore my bumble a bit too much and oz is a packaged deal.
So, to please the palettes of my two exotic eaters and to celebrate the recent addition of poultry to my diet, I'm delving deep into my roots and doing a .... Hispanic spin on Thanksgiving with recipes abuela Mary and Enoch taught me, altered for more exotic taste buds.
Turkey Tamales With Guajillo-cranberry Mole
1 stem seeds
4 guajillo chiles
2 dried ancho chiles
1 stem seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 yellow onion (medium, cut into wedges)
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup pecans
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes (canned, drained)
1 corn tortilla (torn into strips)
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups turkey (shredded)
salt (to taste)
1 cup lard (shortening or butter, room temperature)
4 cups masa harina
2 cups turkey (chicken or turkey broth)
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt (to taste)
To make the mole, in a dry skillet heated on high, toast the guajillo and ancho chiles on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover chiles. Leave the heat on until water begins to boil and then turn off the heat and let chiles soak until soft, about 45 minutes. Once hydrated, discard the soaking water, rinse the chiles and place into a blender.
Meanwhile, pick through the cornhusks and choose the widest ones. You'll need 24 for the tamales plus a couple of more to rip into strips for fastening the tamales. Place the cornhusks in a pan of boiling water, turn off the heat and submerge until completely covered. Let soak for 45 minutes or until soft and pliable.
Add the vegetable oil to the skillet and while stirring occasionally cook on medium-low heat the onions and garlic cloves until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Lift the onions and garlic from the skillet with a slotted spatula and place into the blender. In the same skillet, add the pecans and while stirring occasionally cook on medium-low heat until they are slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and cook for 1 more minute. Add the roasted nuts to the blender.
Also add to the blender the cranberries, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, crushed tomatoes, corn tortilla strips and broth. Blend on high speed until smooth.
Pour the mole into a pot, and cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, tasting and adjusting spices and adding salt if necessary. Once the mole has cooked, pour out half the mole and set aside. Add the shredded turkey to the pot with the remaining mole and stir until the meat and mole are well combined.
To make the masa dough, in a mixer, beat the lard or butter until fluffy and creamy. Add the masa harina, chicken broth and cayenne and continue to beat until the dough comes together into a moist dough. Taste and add salt if necessary
To form the tamales, take a moistened cornhusk, which you’ll notice has four sides and is in sort of a cone shape. Place the cornhusk in front of you, with the pointed end at your right. In the center of the husk, spoon out 1/4 cup of the masa and spread it leaving a clean border around the masa. Place 1 tablespoon of the sauced turkey in the center of the masa along with 1 teaspoon of the mole salsa.
Now, join together the two long sides (not the pointed side and the wide side) and then roll the husk until it’s about the width of a cigar. Take the narrower, pointed end and fold it up about 1/4 way of the tamale. You can leave it like this or you can rip strips from a cornhusk and tie the tamale in the middle. Alternatively, you can rip strips from a cornhusk and after rolling, tie up each end like it’s a package.
In a large pot, place a steamer basket or a colander. Add water to the pot just to the base of the basket. Place the tamales in the basket seam side down, bring the water to a boil and then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low.
Check the water level occasionally to make sure there’s enough in the pot, and steam the tamales for 2 hours. You’ll know they’re done when the masa pulls cleanly away from the husk. Serve with additional mole sauce. They will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days and can also be frozen. To reheat the tamales, once thawed, steam them for 20 minutes.
Yield: 24 tamales.
Note: If you’re not a fan of mole, try making the tamales with a tomatillo salsa instead. You can find masa harina and dried chiles at Mexican grocers.
Of course, this isn't all were having. Just alli have time to post today. :)
It all started when I was 2. My mother gave me a package of Crayolas (tm) and some blank white paper. Beautiful, beautiful, white paper, just dying for the softest mark. I was amazed at how the colored wax merged with the sleek virgin sheets. Or.. at least... I probably was. I don't really remember, but hey, it's my memory.
Anyway, so there I was when it occurred to me. The walls. The biggest, blankest, whitest canvas I would ever find to hold the glory of my 16 differently-colored friends. It goes without saying that my mother was not very pleased. She took my beloveds away from me; little did she know she was setting off a chain of events that would change mankind forever!
Like some sort of Freudian nightmare, I became fixated on that which my mother had tried to deny me. Fast forward to high school. I'm the girl with the bookbag full of supplies. Pens, pencils, lightweight three-hole-punch, white out, book covers in various designs; you name it, I had it. I looked forward to the start of every project, every term, for that meant fresh, new supplies. I would lose myself in the home office section of the store for what seemed like days. My love, my life, my school supplies.
I spent a long time considering a career in education. Mostly because it would mean that I can hide my dirty little secret. No one questions a teacher who's got a room full of school supplies. I mean, if not her.. than who? I began disguising my addiction with rationalizations like, "Oh I'm just stocking up on this glue for my someday-classroom while it's cheap" or "Well in case one of the kids needs 112 different colors for a project, I should get this set..." It wasn't pretty. I was headed in a downward spiral. I was falling out of control.
A teachers aide. Suddenly, I was making $7/hour to participate in what was essentially a personal orgy for me. Me and 15 of my peers in a warehouse of school supplies. I bagged them, stocked them, ordered them from catalogs, loved them, memorized their positions, and at the end of every 2 weeks, I took the best ones home with me. It was my nirvana. It was also my hell. My addiction had overtaken my life.
When my friends and family began to notice the problem, that's when I knew I had to do something. We'd go to Wal*Mart and my best friends would push me past the school supply aisle, insisting I not look. When semesters started no one wanted to go with me to the book store or the office supply store. I had to get help.
I quit my job at OfficeMax, but that wasn't enough. I'd soon started up as a lab monitor. It dawned on me that virtually every job I'd ever had was closely involved with office supplies. It was a sick and heartbreaking discovery.
I am still searching for the pencils that I was so fond of in my childhood: the #2 Empire pastel pencils with matching erasers (in shades of pink, blue, green and yellow). And I still have more loose leaf paper than I know what to do with; people come to me first when they need a pair of scissors. But I'm learning to budget myself. Either that, or I've got so many school supplies I've saturated my craving for a few years. Whatever the case, I'm learning to live with myself--even if I am a school supply junkie.
Korean skincare is the absolute most decadent thing in the world. I'm addicted! Our counters are covered with everything from skin79 bbcream to exotic face packs with odd ingredients. Fact is, I will try anything fun on my skin. If it offers whitening results without hydroquinone, I'm all over it!
Due to my love of skincare, I was beyond giddy to have the opportunity to work with racinne, a luxury skincare brand formulated in Korea and made in Canada. They offer a line for each age group and are a pricey (yet worth every penny) line of skincare. Being only 26, half Guatemalan and just starting to age, I chose the Aqua Blanc line for review.
Upon receipt of this product, I was astonished at how lovely the packaging is! (Pictured below)
not only do these products deliver, but they look gorgeous sitting in your countertop. I was skeptical, but started noticing changes such as a decrease in sebum and acne spots fading after about seven days, which is surprising because it takes 28 days for your skin cells to regenerate. I follow a traditional seven step Korean skincare routine, as follows:
1. MAC cleansing oil
2. Clinique take the day off eye makeup remover
3. Racinne aqua blanc toner
4. The face shop su hyung snow white mask
5. Racinne aqua blanc emulsion
6. Racinne aqua blanc cream
7. Kiehls avocado eye cream
This sounds like a lot off stuff to put on your face, but I'm bound and determined to take the utmost care of my skin. It DOES pay off to not skimp on product and apply it from the forehead to the bust line, as your chest is the first area to show signs of aging. This is definitely a line to look into, even if you have a low maintenance skin regime. I've tried everything from Clinique's 3 step to most of the Philosophy line and have yet to find a line to compare to Racinne.
The Raccine line ranges boast an advanced biotechnology formula, known as “Callus Cultivation Technology” providing nourishment, hydration and protection to skin. Discovered by the Canadian-born brand in collaboration with world-leading Korean skin care laboratories, the formula which is a few years ahead of the western world’s plant stem cell technology, is known to improve the capability of the skins cells ability to survive and reproduce.
Key active ingredients in the ranges such as snow lotus within the Ultimate Aqua Blanc Series and grape callus culture extract within Ultimate Hydra Perfection Series, are clinically proven to promote the skin’s natural defence system, strengthening skin cells’ capacity to retain moisture whilst preventing signs of aging.
Jennifer Gerace, Business Development Manager for RACINNE International says, “The new ranges penetrate to the deepest layers of skin improving dull, dehydrated and aged skin, which is a common side effect of a naturally warmer climate such as in Australia. RACINNE is redefining the beauty category with its vanguard scientific research, and its formulation of cutting-edge products, offering the most advanced active ingredients," Gerace said.
Martha Stewart, most everybody’s favorite homemaker, is actually a demon from space
trapped here on the blue marble
who preternaturally extends her life by draining small boys of every drop of bodily fluid!
Because she is rich, she is allowed certain “eccentricities” which include a lot of uninterrupted
private time with a supply of young boys kept steady by her staff and her fans.
Any doubts you may have should be shorn away and rent asunder by this fact...
Martha Stewart has released her 1st ever CD. She doesn’t sing, she doesn’t give tips on how to make your home a beautiful prison, no, she doesn’t even read stories with that dry as skulls in the crypt voice of hers...
It is a Halloween CD called "Spooky Sounds" and it is filled with blood curdling, nerve shattering, bone jarring, soul shredding shrieks of pure horror, desperate pleas for mercy and the sound of flesh being ripped from bone, shredded between gnashing teeth, the nauseating wet sounds of things that were never meant to leave a living body.
As well as the otherworldly,inhuman roars of triumph trumpeting from some unspeakable thing…
In stores NOW!
Now where do you suppose she got those noises, and why would she release such a "spooky" disk as her 1st?...
It was enough to convince me of what I already suspected...
Look into that place in you that knows things before your conscious mind even suspects,
you know in your soul that it’s true.
I never fail to be amazed by this one incredible aspect of human anatomy. We just fit together so perfectly. Whether through evolution or through the actions of some benevolent deity, this ability has been given to us. It is a blessing. It is a curse. To be with somebody in such a way is very much a fulfilling experience. Unfortunately, after the slightest taste of this, being alone becomes something worse. The Yin and the Yang represent perfect harmony. What can one be without the other if not complete chaos?
When we are together, we become something more. We are not quite one being, but we aren't separate, either. We are much greater than the sum of our parts.
Hips pressing against one another.
Arms wrapped around all over, keeping us here for as long as possible.
Passing the hours in this way is nothing short of bliss. There is no awkwardness. We can just stay still, whispering our thoughts and devouring each other with our senses. Our imperfections melt away.
When we are finally pulled apart by the force of cruel circumstance, we are diminished. Separately, we are less than half of what we are when we embrace so fully. Yin without Yang. Yang without Yin. Our bodies are not defined by their actual physical shape. We become aware of what isn't there rather than what is. We are haunted by the echoes of heartbeats and breathing. We are intensely aware of how much warmer we could be.
Together, we are something more beautiful than we ever could imagine.
Apart, we are smaller and more alone than ever before.
There is a common misconception surrounding karma. It really has nothing to do with a karmic bank of good and bad deeds. This is because any deed you do can have a wide range of effects. If you looked at that with the outdated version of karma, it would leave you very confused wouldn't it?
The idea is that you have chosen your experience; you don't have to experience what makes you feel uncomfortable or shut down, you can choose to send a situation into a new direction at any time. The concept of Karma will challenge a person's way of looking at the world previous to incorporating it into their lives. A time when you feel like life is not fair, when you fantasize about a knight in shining armor or a sudden windfall of prosperity and happiness. Karma is meant to teach that life is not about luck, and that you are not powerless in the face of upheavals. Every experience has something teach you, you are to learn how to create experiences that make you feel fulfilled. In other words, you can achieve what ever type of happiness you can imagine. The law of Karma as well as all other spiritual laws come into a person's life at the right time. They are meant to get you back on track to a life of purpose and happiness.
The karmic bank idea is essentially useless, and I'm not sure how karma could be confused. For example, you help an old lady carry her groceries across the street. Don't expect to experience some sort of reward in the future. It would be foolish to add up deeds like this into a bank inside your head. You are simply wasting your time and are selfishly motivated. The karmic effect in this situation is the inner happiness you feel.
You can judge whether or not you are on the right path by assessing your happiness and behavioral patterns. If karma is going to be understood and used in a persons life than it needs to be broken down into something you can understand and use throughout your day. It needs to be applied to the moment that you're in. Otherwise how can it be grasped?
Sometimes I read things I've written, and they make me cry. I'm always astounded when I create something I think is beautiful. This might sound like some twisted sort of vanity, but its not meant to; once I write something down, I don't feel like it is me anymore. It is it. It is beautiful for its own reasons.
I like stories.
Dreamy-eyed and far-away, you're not here. You're lost in a dream. You recount a perfect moment of love beneath stars. I've never seen you this honest before. I'm lucky to be here, to be listening.
I will keep your story wrapped up in my silver box, for it has amazed me.
Capture my attention and tell me what your Grandmother's house smelled like at Christmas.
Tell me about grass stains.
I will tell you of peonies and dirt.
Christina Rosetti set to music.
The moon of the plains.
The stupid things we never write down, and never tell anyone, but will never cease to make us smile.
I first heard of Model in a Bottle when it was reviewed, among other beauty products, on a Daily Mail internet article. This makeup setting spray claims to keep your makeup looking fabulous all day long, with no need for touch ups. I was immediately sold on the adorable name and packaging and was absolutely thrilled by the opportunity to work with model in a bottle!
I was sent a large bottle of makeup setting spray, eyebrow setting liquid, lipstick setting solution and a really cute eyelash curler for review.
As you can see I'm almost half way through the 60ml bottle, which is meant to contain more than 300 sprays. This one is the "sensitive skin" formula, and listen up ladies, because this stuff is liquid gold! I know the concept of spritzing your face with liquid after spending forever on makeup sounds odd. I was a bit weary at first, as I generally spend about an hour on my face every morning and touch up every few hours. It seems like no matter how much primer or pressed powder I used, its running off of me by mid day in our humid Oklahoma weather!
I started using these products as soon as they arrived, and i'm generally pretty picky with what goes on my skin. This is now my go to, staple product for long mornings or all nighters. It doesn't feel sticky like the MAC makeup setting spray, nor leave my face all tight like Urban Decay's formula. Not only has model in a bottle kept my makeup in place for a good eight hours everyday, but its also saving me tons of powder and lipstick, and is keeping me fresh looking and matte. This product seems to keep my crazy oil glands in check, too. I'm very fond of the eyebrow formula and little travel eyelash curler as well, because the powder I use to tint the brows (Kat Von D in Lucifer) is usually gone by mid day, and if I'm not curling my thick lashes, they end up looking like one big eyelash when I'm done setting my face.
My only complaint is after a couple of weeks of using this daily, I began to breakout in spots really bad. I didn't link the two though at all. I continued to use the product and every night I was looking at my makeup free, spotty skin thinking, why aren't my spots going? When I went for my Dermalogica facial my therapist picked up on it immediately and asked me if I'd changed anything in my routine. Using Model in a Bottle was the only new product I'd been using on my face.
Once at home I checked the ingredients in Model in a Bottle and compared it against a small list of cosmetic ingredients my therapist advised I avoid, ones that would aggravate my skin. One ingredient that is in Model in a Bottle and was on this list was SD Alcohol. I've looked up this ingredient online and it is a pure form of alcohol that is often used in products for oily skin, as it temporarily gets rid of oil, which explains why my oil glands were seemingly in check. However, with long term use the skin will begin to overproduce oil to make up for the oil that has been removed by the alcohol. Once I stopped using SO much of the spray, it took a couple of weeks, but my spots did clear and my skin went back to normal. A little goes a long way here, two spritzes will do you!
It's an amazing product that really does work, but if you have acne or spot prone skin I would avoid using this on a regular basis. I love to use it if I am going on a night out, which might be a couple of times a month at the most. At the end of the night I can confirm my makeup looks as good as it did at the beginning of the night, I don't even really have to touch it up!
You can purchase Model in a Bottle here. I definitely recommend this product for those who don't have breakout issues. Its a lifesaver!
Do you use makeup setting spray? What's your experience?
Admission: Sometimes, just for kicks, I spend an hour or two just browsing funny t-shirt websites to pass the time and get a good chuckle.
After all, they say laughter IS the best medicine right?
So you must imagine my excitement when I was actually able to work with and do a review for Five Finger Tees, the mother of funny t-shirt websites!
Some information about the company directly from their website:
"FiveFingerTees.com opened in July, 2009 and is completely family owned and operated. We offer a wide variety of movie/TV, pop-culture inspired and down right funny t-shirts for only $9.99! Our philosophy is simple, we do all the work! From customer service, designing, printing, photography, shipping, web site design, and trying to watch our kids at the same time! By doing this, we keep our overhead really low which gives you the customer a great deal, without having to sacrifice on quality."
Not only can you find hundreds of humorous t-shirts (if that isn't variety, I don't know what is!) to choose from on their website, all of which are perfectly categorized and organized under specific themes on their left-hand sidebar, once you've decided, you can customize your t-shirt by choosing your size, style and color.
You can also Meet the Thieves-people like you who submitted their photos wearing their t-shirts (note to self:: Take awesome picture in tee and submit).
Some other good things to keep in mind about the company and products:
T-shirts are professionally screen printed in the U.S.A.
They use soft preshrunk 100% cotton shirts with double-needle stitching throughout and a seamless rib at the neck.
Orders usually ship from their store within 1 to 2 business days (please allow 5-7 days delivery for hoodies).
I spent quite awhile deciding on which t-shirt I wanted; it was a hard decision with the variety they provide! I couldn't decide, so I decided to let my boyfriend, bumble pick one out. He chose the black skynet tee. When asked why, he said, "because its terminator, yo!" Five finger definitely has something for everyone. Usually when bumble reviews a product for me here, he spends hours upon hours picking it out. He was able to navigate the website quite easily, and found a shirt within minutes.
When his highly anticipated t-shirt arrived, I was very impressed! It looked a little big at first glance, but when he put it on his small frame, it fit perfectly. The material of the shirt is nice as well-sometimes you'll find inexpensive shirts to be scratchy, but for the price you're paying, you're definitely getting quality.
Aside from their actual products, I was thoroughly impressed with the service they provided. Friendly people, easy navigation, and fast shipping. All equals wonderful company in my opinion ^.^
*We were provided with a T-shirt for review from five finger tees. All thoughts on disclosed products and services are entirely our own.
Thanks again, five finger tees!
As an avid skincare product user, it’s only natural that eye creams are integrated into my daily skincare routine. Please remember that my day time and night time routines are different because my skin requires different treatments. I use the Kiehl‘s Creamy Eye Treatment at night because 1.) it doesn’t contain sunscreen; 2.) it is thick and emollient. These key points make it ideal for night time application (for me).
The thick creamy texture is not optimal for day time application because it makes my eyelids oily and makeup application (especially eyeliner) is NOT ideal. It also takes some time to absorb into the skin, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t have time to spare in the mornings – and, I certainly can’t be bothered with waiting for my eye cream to dry!
A Kiehl’s classic for a burst of hydration to the eye area:
•Creamy preparation with Avocado Oil gently moisturizes the delicate eye area.
•Unique, concentrated texture does not migrate into eyes.
•Ophthalmologist- and Dermatologist-tested.
•Kiehl’s Insider Tip: Tap delicately around eye area until you feel the quick-burst release of hydration.
Avocado Oil, derived from the fruit of a tropical American tree, is a rich, fatty-acid emollient. Avocado Oil is known to be the most moisturizing of any fruit oil. It is also a natural source of Amino Acid proteins, Vitamins A, D, E, and potassium. Helps to restore the natural moisture of the skin.
Beta-Carotene is a naturally derived antioxidant predominantly found in many orange/red vegetables such as carrots. It is used in Vitamin A production and gives an orange tint when used in skin care products.
Shea Butter is the natural fat obtained from the fruit of the African Karate tree and is widely used in lotions and cleansing products for its hydrating properties. Protects skin from dehydration, restores skin’s suppleness and improves the appearance of dry skin.
As you can see, I’ve only got a few uses left so I feel like I am able to produce a thorough review at this point. This eye cream has lasted me exactly 1 year, while using it once a day every night. Because I don’t suffer from major wrinkles and dark circles, I refuse to pay the price of some eye creams out there. Of course, purchase whatever suits your needs.
I liked the hydration this cream provided for my eye area. I felt that when I woke up, my skin was well moisturized and ready to go for the day. However, it didn’t really do much beyond that. The thick texture allows you to PAT the product and not smear it on, which I liked.
Would I re-purchase this? No. Quite frankly, I was eager to move on because this product lasted me so long, so at least I can say that it was well worth it. Since I’m looking for hydration, this did the job, but didn’t do anything else so I got bored. For those looking for an anti-aging, ant-wrinkle eye cream – this may not be for you because this product isn’t designed for that. For those looking for a hydrating eye treatment, you may want to give this a go. I am not going to re-purchase this because it didn’t impress me with anything magical and it was just okay for me. However, I feel that it was age-appropriate, and for the price, it was nice using a product to prevent eye issues for the future.
Retails for $28.50.
Rather rare, similar to girl geeks, and there is likely a lot of overlap between the two.
Even more rare are hard-core girl gamers, the ones who really like a large variety of games, and aren't afraid to admit it. They're the ones you see kicking some behind on Quake, or otherwise getting that kind of attention. Contrary to general belief, not ALL girls who melt faces playing league of legends, StarCraft, or Civ 5 look like trolls.
Many girls who play online don't like making their gender known because of the hordes of adolescents who somehow think they have to treat them differently, or that they're somehow special.
I'm one of that group. I suspect it had something to do with both of my parents being into games - I spent plenty of days as a youngster playing galaga, or the Infocom classics, and later on we fought a little (though in a friendly way) over who got to play the latest RPG on the Super Nintendo.
I also seem to notice there are very few girls who play in Nomics, whether here, or anywhere else on the internet.
One thing I've noticed about us when playing net games like Diablo II is that we seem to do better than the guys at that whole cooperation thing; we "play well with others". Every single time I've played in a party instead of by myself, and found it worth my time and effort, has been with other girls. Maybe it's just due to the abnormally high number of teenage morons doing all that stupid stuff that's got me thinking this way, but the only players I've enjoyed working enough to write their account/character name down for playing with later happened to be estrogen-based. Maybe it's the tendency to share fairly, not be a hero and run ahead and do it all, and the fun little chatter during playing that does it...
Next march is the first gaming convention in Oklahoma city, ever. I'm already planning my league of legends or borderlands cosplay. Sponsors are mad appreciated!
This tinted, lightweight, eye cream helps disguise dark circles with its combination of three cosmetic pigments: titanium dioxide, mica, and iron oxides. The titanium dioxide (the most prominent) provides a brightening effect, the mica adds shine to help reflect light away from shadowed areas, and the iron oxides are used to give this product its light flesh-toned color. In a way, you can think of this as a sheer concealer for dark circles, but a regular concealer is going to give you much better coverage.
In terms of treating dark circles, this product doesn't contain anything that will permanently lighten them. However, the formula does have a beautiful array of anti-aging ingredients to help strengthen skin around the eyes (or elsewhere on the face) so it is better able to resist signs of aging that make dark circles look worse. Plus, its silky texture and smoothing ingredients will make dark circles less apparent, just as any smooth-textured serum or moisturizer would. In other words, Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector has a temporary, cosmetic effect on dark circles, but that's it. And if you're not diligent about daily sunscreen use around your eyes, dark circles will get worse (surprise, sun damage wreaks havoc on undereye darkness, too).
The rating assigned to this fragrance-free product is due to its impressive array of beneficial ingredients, including notable antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients. If you're already using a moisturizer and/or serum with these types of ingredients, you don't need to add a product like this to your routine; however, if you're not one to use concealer yet your undereye darkness is bothersome, the cosmetic effect this has can help, and it's suitable for all skin types.
One more comment: the smooth, angled metal-tip applicator this product is dispensed from feels cooling without being irritating. Clinique maintains it "breaks up puffs" but it only works if your puffiness is due to fluid retention (causing skin to swell). It has no impact on "undereye bags" caused from aging, where fat pads slip out of place and cause pouching beneath the eye. That type of puffiness can only be corrected by cosmetic surgery.
I started using anti-aging skin products about 2 years ago, not because I have wrinkles or fine lines, but because I find that these products work better on my aging skin. I’ve used a number of products, all of which I will share in a separate post, but I want to dedicate this post to Hydroxatone AM/PM Anti-Wrinkle Complex.
Hydroxatone contains Hyaluronic Acid, Matrixl3000, Agireline and SPf15 which helps skin to retain moisture, promote natural levels of collagen, provide fast result and protect the skin against the suns harmful rays.
According to their site, Hydroxatone is clinically proven to:
Enhance production of healthy skin
Reduce fine lines, wrinkles and age spots
Exfoliate dead, unhealthy skin cells
Replenish skin with deep conditioning
I actually tried the product at the end of 2011 along with their intensive youth serum when I was having issues with dry, taut, flaking skin brought on by the cold, dry air. At that time, I certainly couldn’t say that I noticed any of the results that they claimed but it did wonders in hydrating my skin.
It’s a heavy cream though that tends to be oily when first applied. Because of that reason I didn’t think it would be a good solution for me during warmer months when my skin tends to be Jermaine Jackson grade oily. However, I’ve been using the AM/PM cream for the last two weeks and I am actually happy with it. It’s heavy (I can’t even emphasize that enough) so I use a smaller amount and massage it onto my face. I was surprised to find that it actually absorbs quickly into my skin and while it does leave a glow on my skin, its not “greazy” looking.
I had a really bad acne breakout back in April (this was what prompted the emergency doctor visit mentioned here… Yeah, it was that bad!) and I was still dealing with some of the left over dark spots (hyperpigmentation) from the breakout. I have definitely noticed an overall improvement in my skin since I started using it this time around. My skin looks brighter, my pores look smaller, my skin looks more even and most of the spots, especially the ones on my lower cheeks are now gone. I did get a few additional pimples since I started using the product, but I believe that it’s part of the same issue that started back in April.
Hydroxatone’s AM/PM Anti-Wrinkle Complex is not a budgetbabe or frugalista price range product, though. It sells online and at retailers like Ulta for $69.00. The essential beauty box looks like a great value, however. It contains: Advanced Under Eye Treatment, .5 oz AM/PM Anti-Wrinkle Complex, 1 oz, Revitalizing Microdermabrasion, & 90 second Instant Effects all for $49 also at Ulta.
DISCLOSURE: The product mentioned in this post was provided as a press sample for consideration via iFabbo. All opinions are honest, and most importantly, my own.
So I am “reviewing” this product and by that I mean I’m recording in a post, everything my boyfriend has said to me about this skincare shave set from HydforMen because I didn’t use it myself. He's a bit nervous as this is his very first blog "review", but as ifabbo instructed, here's beaus thoughts on Hyd!
I received this from ifabbo so I guess you could say they’ve sponsored the review, though I haven’t received any money or anything, just the products which my boyfriend has been using. They were very generous sized samples in prestige packaging with a really inviting smell to them!
So, basically he loves the set. He gets a ridiculously close shave when using these products, no razor burn and he said his razor does actually last longer so there’s that. Aside from that, he has somewhat sensitive acne-prone skin and this doesn’t irritate or break him out. It’s really hydrating, but it’s not oily or anything because, if it was, he would refuse to use it. I was sincerely surprised he ended up liking the kit, to be honest, but really glad that he did. The buffer stick was his favorite, and it has just enough exfoliators to slough off those dead skin cells!
In his words – ” Where do we buy this stuff? It’s worth whatever it costs… as long as it’s not TOO expensive…”
Haha, he swears like I was going to tell him he couldn’t get it if it was too expensive which I thought was kind of adorable and funny. Anyhow, so he loves the kit!
If you or your boyfriend, dad, uncles, brothers, husband, etc. need something for shaving and skin conditioning, this would be a great one to buy them as a gift for the holidays. Also, if they need some effective, yet minimal skincare stuff that focuses on shaving with added benefits of hydration and skin conditioning, this is perfect. Another bonus is that they use all natural ingredients so you don’t have to worry about the nasties they put in drugstore men brands; this doesn’t have any of that.
You can learn more about these products – here.
I can only think of one genuine reason not to wear makeup: laziness. All the other reasons I have ever heard carry the same weight with me as reasons not to wear deodorant do. They tend to be facetious and superior, feeble excuses attempting to disguise the fact that the speaker is either too lazy or too timid to take up an extra daily self-care routine.
To me, putting my makeup on is no different than showering and washing my hair: a part of my daily grooming. Yes, I do it because I'm vain, but then again I equally don't wear laddered tights or scuffed shoes because I'm vain: there's no actual law against looking like a dog's dinner. Why makeup is accorded its own category of vanity is quite beyond me. You iron your clothes, you brush your hair, you paint your face.
First off, I see no reason whatsoever not to try and look my best in all times. That's like saying you don't actually want to reach you maximum amount of income for some silly reason. I've got looks, why on earth not make the most of them? What conceivable argument can ever be made in favour of selling yourself short? I just do not get it - and my firm belief is that in fact, there's nothing to get. It's all the protestations of people who are not prepared to put in the same amount of effort as me, and then try to shift the burden of inadequacy onto me.
Secondly, I consider good grooming to be not only an obvious mark of self respect, but also a mark of respect for others. People at work have to look at me and smell me all day. The least I can do is make that experience marginally pleasurable for them. Fair enough, not everyone shares my taste in clothes or appreciates my makeup, but at least I'm trying to meet them half way. Besides, I find that people, mainly the ones who protest against makeup most loudly, actually don't even notice that it's there. Nobody's ever said to me that I'm wearing too much mascara; but if for some reason I show up to work without it, worried enquiries pour in about why I'm looking so "tired" and "pale".
So it's an expense. Big deal. So is a decent steak or a good bottle of wine. What have you got money for, to sit on it? Your own wellbeing is the most important investment you can make, it's not "wasting it". Nobody's making you buy the most expensive stuff, same as nobody's making you buy makeup that's been tested on animals; I sure as hell don't. Makeup is like food or clothing or any other personal or domestic expense: you do it within your means and to your own standards.
As for people spoiling their looks by applying makeup badly, this is certainly something that happens. However, if there was less sneering about the uselessness and frivolity of makeup, then perhaps more people - women and men both - would find it easier to take an interest, as well as to find information about the best uses of it. I learned everything I know from women's magazines - in most other ways a thing of evil, but occasionally full of useful tips - but a makeup lesson or a free session with a sales beautician in a department store are just as good for getting yourself started on both the techniques and the products you would do best to use.
Don't give me all this natural shit. If you're so natural, stop brushing your teeth and see how your popularity plummets. We're too far away from nature at this stage to use it as an excuse to be plain old ugly.
I've slacked on posting pics lately due to major life changes and am just now getting back into the swing of things at abundance.
Let's see. I moved! I went through detox for opiates, then suboxone. I finally got settled, met an awesome person, have a new relationship and moms had two strokes. It took awhile, but I learned to smile again. Bear with me as I'm posting in the rain from a mobile app. I've tons of reviews and stories in the works!
In the computer game Tetris there are six differently shaped blocks or tetrominoes. Each block consists of four square, connected by an entire edge.
These blocks, being of different shapes, end up being fitted into the tetris pit in a variety of different ways. Because of this, some may end up being considered more cool than others.
The I-shaped Tetris Block
This block is known for being incredibly useful. If you have a vertical hole anywhere, you can just shove this into it and watch as the long, smooth shaft of the block slides perfectly into the crevice. Sometimes I build up a solid mass everywhere except one vertical mine-shaft down into the pit, waiting for one of these marvellous guys to come around and jump into it. However, the ease with which this can be fitted into the Tetris pit causes many to consider it a loser block - one that any newbie can perfect the use of with the greatest of ease, a block that requires no intellectual effort, no concentration, no strategy..
The L-shaped Tetris Block
Like the I-shaped block, this block has a long end to it, perfect for filling up vertical holes in the mass of blocks. However, the hook on the end will catch the edge of thin passages, making it more difficult to correctly utilise than the simplistic I block. I consider it quite lovely in form and function.
The Gamma-shaped Tetris Block
A reflected image of the L-block, this too has a long and a hook. It can make some nice and pretty shapes, if you want.
The S-shaped Tetris Block
A beautiful piece of work, this block is. Perfect for filling up little hole or one-square size, as long as there is ample space for it on the pit level above said hole. It can also fill up two-square gaps, also provided there is space above for him to rest his weary head. An unhelpful strategy which can be performed easily with these blocks is stacking them on top of each other to form a big tower.
The Z-shaped Tetris Block
Little more than a mirror image of the S Block, this block fits into the same type of holes, merely the other way around. When building a tower, the two are best not used together, as they do not fit into each other.
The Square Tetris Block
A totally uncooperative lump of tetris matter. This has no funky tendrils, protrusions, lumps, cancer, or other things sticking out of it anywhere. It just sits there, doing nothing to help you play the game in any way. When placed on top of another block it usually leaves a hole underneath it. A royal pain in the ass. Avoid it if at all possible.
The Tetris Block in the Shape of the Arrow Keys on my Keyboard
A total masterpiece. This is a Rembrandt, a Beethoven, a Savage Garden, a Blizzard. This is a divinely inspired piece of work. This is one block you don't want to miss.
Able to fit into all kinds of nooks and crannies in amazing, creative and exciting ways, this single block can be the key to winning or losing a game. Never waste one - every time you are given one by the unknowable mind determining the blocks handed out, you must use it wisely. Practise with these, until you are certain you know every little thing there is to know about them - their structure, their behaviour, their applications, their lifestyles, their tastes in clothing, etc.
Whenever I find one of these, I get a surge of adrenaline and rush of other hormones, and sometimes have to pause the game and wait for it to die down so that I can actually concentrate on what I want to do with this fantastic block.
You may reach different conclusions, but if you disagree with me then you are wrong.
Before we start let me state this write up is pretty long since almost every phase of the government has been affected by the shutdown. Let me also state that it’s time for our elected officials from both sides of the aisle to start acting like adults and get this thing resolved. To the rest of the world, we look like idiots.
The United States Federal Government shutdown is now entering its eleventh day and approximately 800,000 people have been furloughed, laid off or switched to part time work. I thought it might be interesting to see where those numbers come from. The following is a list government agencies and what impact the shutdown has had on them, and if you’re a United States citizen, possibly you.
American Battle Monuments Commission
The commission is charged with maintaining monument and cemeteries for Americans that were killed in battle. Twenty four of them are located overseas and an additional twenty six are located stateside. All of them will be closed for the duration of the shutdown.
Hah! Those most responsible for this mess on both sides of the aisle are probably the least affected. They are guaranteed to keep getting a paycheck and are given a pretty wide swath on which staff they are allowed to maintain. While some members have laid off some staff, many others have not. Shit, even the “congressional gym” will stay open during this fiasco but it will only remain so for House members. Not so for the Congressional gym for staff, alas, it will be closed.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
There will be no product recalls during the shutdown unless the product poses a clear and imminent threat to consumer safety. I don’t think anybody has defined exactly what a “clear and imminent threat” is though.
Department of Agriculture
Hurray! Our meat, poultry and grains will still be inspected! On the flip side, no statistical data will be released regarding prices or supply levels. All campgrounds run by the department will also be closed as well as other recreational sites.
The government will not contribute any new funds to the Food Stamps program so if you’re looking to sign up, you’re going to have to wait.
The Forest Service is essentially shutdown and only a minimum of staff such as law enforcement and firefighters remain on duty. That means timber companies had to stop logging operations in the national forests after the seventh day of the shutdown.
Department of Commerce
Of its 46,420 employees, 40,234 will be furloughed. During the shutdown, the Commerce Department will not issue any statistics on the state of the economy. The patent and trademark office will remain open but only if the shutdown doesn’t exceed 14 days after which time it will run out of money.
Our friends at the National Weather Service will remain vigilant in warning us about severe weather conditions should the situation arise.
Department of Defense
Members of the military will continue to serve and be paid for the duration of the shutdown. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you happen to be killed in action your family won’t receive the approximate $100,000.00 in death benefits until the shutdown is over.
I haven’t seen any statistics on the number of civilian contractors who work for the military that have been furloughed or laid off. I’m guessing that it might be due to matters of national security.
All civilian faculty members have been furloughed. As a result many classes have had to be canceled. Even the library at the Air Force Academy has been forced to close. The students and Naval Academy and Military Academy should consider themselves lucky. Their libraries remain open but no books are allowed to be checked out.
Department of Education
The Department of Education will lay off 3,983 of its 4,225 employees. It will still issues Pell Grants and student loans but the process will take much longer.
Department of Energy
Out if its 13,814 employees, 9,584 will be spending the coming days at home conserving whatever energy they have..
Department of Health and Human Services
Fifty two percent of the staff will be let go. The Head Start Program also failed to deliver funds to twenty programs in eleven states. Most of those funds were designated to younger children and other preschool programs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Let’s hope to God some strange epidemic doesn’t hit while the government is shutdown. Sixty eight percent of the CDC’s staff will be let go and no new research will be conducted to link any outbreaks that occur during the shutdown.
Food and Drug Administration
The FDA will lay off about 45% of its staff (approximately 14,477 people). While we’re at it, we can say goodbye to routine safety inspections as well any new or ongoing research.
National Institutes of Health
I think their website says it all. Users are greeted with a banner message that reads as follows.
”Due to the lapse in government funding, the information on this web site may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the web site may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.
To me, that reads “Enter at your own risk.”
Department of Homeland Security
Most employees of the department will remain employed during the shutdown. Only fourteen percent of the staff of approximately 231,000 were deemed “non-essential” and let go. If you plan on flying, you’ll still be screened at airports but if you plan on buying a boat, the Coast Guard will not issue you a new license. The United States Secret Service will still be keeping secrets and the Border Patrol will remain on duty.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
I hope you’re not planning on applying for a new home loan to buy that dream house you’ve wished for. A whopping ninety six percent of the staff has been let go.
Department of the Interior
The National Park Service is essentially shutdown completely. All of their 401 units have been told to stay home. That means if you were planning on visiting any monuments in the DC area you can forget about it. If you’re vacationing in a national park, you have forty eight hours to vacate the premises before whatever staff remains haul you off the grounds.
There will be no new permits issued or renewed for oil and gas exploration nor will there be any work done on offshore energy production.
Department of Justice
Where would we be without lawyers? Only 15 percent of the staff will be let go and any civil litigation will come to a grinding halt.
Department of Labor
OSHA will cease any workplace safety inspections unless their deemed “death worthy”. If you plan on filing a report on your wages being stolen, forget it. Any workplace discrimination claims will also not be investigated until the shutdown is over. In all, eighty two percent of the Labor Departments 16,304 employees will find themselves without any labor to do.
Department of State
You can still apply for a visa or a passport but expect longer than normal processing times. However, the Office of the Inspector General is no longer open for inspection.
Department of Transportation
There will be no new auto recalls for the duration of the shutdown. You can still file a complaint but it will fall on deaf ears. The Merchant Marine Academy has been closed and the FAA has furloughed 15,500 of its 46,000 workers. Among them were 3,000 airline safety inspectors.
Department of the Treasury
If you want to try your hand at money laundering, now might be the time to do it. Ninety one percent of the people in charge of monitoring those kinds of things have been let go. Worse yet, no new alcoholic beverages will come to market since the department will not approve the labels.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Vets have already received payments for things like pensions and disability payments for October so they should be good. November is another story though. If the shutdown lasts more than two or three weeks those payments are in jeopardy. No new disability claims will be processed and all appeals of outstanding claims will be put on hold. Any veterans with medical or mental health appointments can't go to them during the shutdown. They are also unable to fill their prescriptions at VA pharmacies. Veterans' education benefits are also not being paid. In addition The task force responsible for beating down the backlog on service connected disability claims is also furloughed. All in all, 14,224 employees out of 332,025 will be let go.
Environmental Protection Agency
Who gives a shit about the environment? Apparently nobody because ninety three percent of the staff will be furloughed. That means no new licenses or permits will be issued and cleanup efforts at 505 Superfund sites has been suspended.
Federal Communications Commission
The FCC employs 1,754 people. Ninety eight percent of them are now out of job.
General Services Administration
Only 4,094 employees out of a staff of 11,821 people will be reporting to work. These people are responsible for doing general maintenance to federal buildings and other properties owned by the government.
Seventy percent of the civilian workforce will be let go. The super secret NSA and the somewhat super secret CIA have been mum on the issue so far but as far as I can determine thousands of mathematicians and other techno geeks have temporarily been let go. .
Internal Revenue Service
I’m guessing the IRS is the most hated branch of the government and if you thought they weren’t helpful the last time you needed them, now you’re just about guaranteed they won’t assist you. Ninety percent of the staff has been let go. Hope you’re not still waiting on the refund money!
Library of Congress
Completely shut down.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Only about 600 people out of more than 18,000 at NASA will report to work. Most of them are there to monitor existing programs like Hubble and the Mars Rover.
Completely shut down.
National Labor Relations Board
I don’t really know what the agency does but there’s only 11 out of the 1,600 employees left to do it.
National Science Foundation
If you’re a scientist expecting payment from the NSF for some work you’ve done you might be waiting a long time. No payments will go out for the duration of the shutdown nor will any new grants be issued.
For those people doing research for the United States Antarctic Service they will find their roles reduced to something called “caretaker” status. In their words “"all field and research activities not essential to human safety and preservation of property will be suspended". Since most of the field work is done in October through February if the shutdown is not resolved all American led research in the area may be cancelled for the 2013-2014 season.
National Transportation Safety Board
Let’s hope that there aren’t any aviation disasters during the shutdown because the NTSB will not be able to conduct a thorough investigation regarding the circumstances.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The NRC will furlough 3,600 of its 3,900 employees. That means there’s only 300 left to conduct safety inspections, react to any emergencies and monitor waste disposal.
Office of Special Counsel
With a staff of 110 individuals only 3 will remain on the job. That means no new investigation of government malfeasance and investigations currently underway have come to a halt. If you want to “blow the whistle” on something you see going wrong you can forget it. Any whistleblowing complaints will not be accepted for the duration of the shutdown.
Small Business Administration
If you want to open a new business and need to get a loan from the SBA to start it up you’re out of luck. Mentoring programs for business owners, including veterans have also stopped. Sixty two percent of the people that work for the Small Business Administration now have no business to conduct.
The Smithsonian Institution is closed. The same goes for the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum and the National Zoological Park. Don’t worry, the animals in the zoo will still get fed by a skeleton crew.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security folks will still be sending out payment for the foreseeable future but an extended shutdown could see retirees and other beneficiaries see their payments come to a temporary halt until it is resolved.
Out of a staff of 1,701, 1,265 have been told to stay home I don’t think tours are being conducted and social functions and visiting dignitaries have been curtailed.
There you have it folks, government at its finest.