Tag Archives: Lists

A Month To Go

23 Sep

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Down to the wire. With only a month until the big celebration, Nate and I finally realized that, “Oh yeah, we should probably get some stuff done.” For our part, that included finalizing the guest list, reserving a hotel room, and making wedding registries at various stores. The last item was daunting, as we have such a tiny apartment (bigger than most in this area, I like to boast!) and closets that are already full of stuff. If I lived in a house or a place with more space, I’d go crazy over kitchen gadgets and Fiestaware. The other problem is we don’t know where we are going to be in a year. Maybe we will stay here for a while, head back to the Midwest, or to a PhD program for Nate. Who knows? So I keep picturing those beautiful dishes just falling and breaking in a moving truck … I’ve had nightmares. Luckily, my aunts are throwing me a gift card shower – I think if those fell in a truck, they’d be fine.

This weekend was filled with more wedding planning – lining up musicians, readings, etc. – by the time we were finished with that task, we were exuberant. “Let’s keep going!” we exclaimed. So we headed over to Macy’s to find a suit for Nate. Oh, and a belt, shoes, shirt, and ties for the whole guys’ section of the wedding party. Armed with a 20 percent WOW Savings Pass, I knew it would be a good day. Four hours later, seriously, I was spent. I had no idea spending that much time in the men’s department would be so exhausting. In between watching some nature show on a T.V. near the dressing room and being surrounded by so many different collared shirts and ties, Nate would come out in his attire to me saying, “No,” “Definitely no,” “Should you add cowboy neck attire to that shirt? C’mon!” I am really bossy when it comes to clothing. Hey, if you ever need someone to tell you the truth when clothes shopping, I’m your girl, I don’t pussyfoot on that issue. By the time we went to the checkout, I was done. “I just want to go home.” No free candle at Bath And Body Works. No checking out the sales at Sephora, I just wanted to go. Shocking. I had no idea (well, some idea) what we had in our happy Macy’s bags, all I knew is that I wanted a cold Coke and some nachos.

So while catching up with one of my bridesmaids on the phone, Nate decided to try on all of his new gear. “What do you think?” he asked. I turned around and was completely shocked. In all the chaos of sales, I had no idea the ensemble would turn out as well as it did. Nate’s a suit guy, and I hope in the future he will have more reasons to wear them. It looked perfect. He looked perfect. “You are going to show me up,” I said. “And I’m the bride.” Although I’m marrying Nate for more than his looks, in that instant I was almost giddy thinking about this good-looking guy standing by my side. It definitely brought a smile to my face.

Well, the planning is definitely not over on our end. This includes informing the guys of what they are wearing, picking out our engagement photos, and ordering wedding bands.

And how is this whole planning situation/coordination going from two separate time zones? That’s another column altogether.

Top 5 ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark’ episodes

14 Aug

s5_topI miss SNICK. Every Saturday night, without fail, my brother and I would sit in front of the TV waiting for our favorite television shows to come on. We’d sometimes watch the entire two hours of programming, if “The Adventures of Pete & Pete” was on, but we never missed an episode of “Are You Afraid Of The Dark”. The intro, with the empty row boat in the water and the lone swing swaying in the wind and the ominous “woos” being sung in the background, still gives me the shivers.

Looking back, I can see why my parents were so okay with us watching the “scary” episodes. They ended much like R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” books did – sometimes terrifying, sometimes without a definite ending, and sometimes all wrapped nicely like a bow. They made you think and were not always as formulaic as they could have been. The show was really a “Twilight Zone” for junior high kids.

And while I sometimes go on YouTube to look up past episodes, there are a few that really stick out to me as favorites. Here are five of the ones that make the grade:

1. “The Tale of the Pinball Wizard” — Season 1, Episode 13

The story starts out with a boy named Ross who loves pinball games. While at the gaming store in the mall, he disobeys the shop owner who had forbid him from playing a certain game. Ross gets stuck inside the game (now being played in the real world, inside the closed mall). While he himself now has to save the princess, he encounters scary creatures and characters. This one doesn’t end so pleasantly, if I recall.

2. “The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor” — Season 2, Episode 4

Siblings Karen and Billy love to play hockey in their awesome apartment building, which includes an empty skating rink-sized loft on the top floor. A creepy/crazy toy factory moves in (how is this space even big enough for that?) and it turns out that the owners are actuallyaliens in search of their daughter … KAREN! It’s a bit weird and Twilight Zone-y. So I like.

3. “The Tale of the Whispering Walls” — Season 2, Episode 8

On a drive back home from somewhere, I don’t remember, a babysitter and the two she is in charge of get lost. They end up going to a creepy tavern run by a guy who looks like he spends most of his time gaming at his mom’s house. He gives them really bad directions (on purpose), and they arrive at an old Victorian mansion slash fun house. I love this one, especially when a baby the sitter is holding turns into a giant snake.

4. “The Tale of Watcher’s Woods” — Season 3, Episode 3

This might be my favorite one. Kelly and Sarah are at an all-girls summer camp. They get lost in these super creepy woods nearby, where three campers were lost long ago. Turns out, these three lost girls turned into ghostly old hags who want to eat the young ones and cook them in a stew. Yay!

5. “The Tale of the Unfinished Painting” — Season 4, Episode 11

Okay, disclaimer – I really dislike the actress (Jewel Staite) who stars in this episode. She was also in an episode about a girl who loves to sleep and gets trapped in her dreams. Unfortunately, the powers that be at AYAOTD decided that she needed to be in the better written episodes, so sigh, but so annoying. Anyhoo, this girl goes to a painting class and the teacher wants her to finish her painting with a “special” paintbrush. She gets trapped in the painting, just like the people in the pictures displayed in the evil teacher’s gallery. I always wondered if some works of art were a bit too real.

BONUS: “The Tale of the Vacant Lot” — Season 5, Episode 10

So I actually had 6 in mind, but a Top 6 just isn’t sexy enough. High-school student Catherine just doesn’t feel like she fits in with the rest of her classmates. She can’t run fast, she doesn’t have the right clothes – being a white girl in middle-class America just sucks. AMIRITE?  She comes across a mysterious tent in a vacant lot. It’s a store run by the strange Marie. She offers all that Catherine could possibly want, but at a price. And the price is every self-centered high school girl’s nightmare! Mu-ha-ha-ha!

I didn’t list any of the Dr. Vink (DR. VINK!) episodes or some of the creepier ones (note, the first episode of the entire series was definitely too horrifying for 11-year-old me), but I like them all. I have now graduated to “The Twilight Zone”, and can’t get enough of their marathons during the holiday season. I am glad that this was available to me as a kid, and hope that there is some sort of comparative show for pre-teens now. Probably not.

Classic Books From My Past

24 Apr

Books have been an integral part of my life. I despised, repeat despised, any kind of forced sport in the summer, and would rather spend my time curled up in my air-conditioned local library (shout-out to Kendall Young, seriously the best library I have EVER been in). If I wasn’t there, I was sitting on my bed with my Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies and any number of books. My bookshelf was always overflowing, and I never just checked out two or three books at a time. I was fortunate, in that my mother gave me $5 each month for my Scholastic book order. I was overjoyed when I received the thin-sheeted catalog and always stretched that money and bought the cheaper books. When a book sale came to school, I was given money there too. Sheer excitement for any and every book.

Now, I still read books meant for middle-school readers and have recently begun to restock my library as I had gotten rid of many over the years (why???). Here are a few (or more than a few) that helped shape my literary world and became quite dog-eared in the process.

(Note: Haven’t included board books or The American Girl classics from my past … OR a list of my absolute FAVE Sweet Valley Twins, those all seem like longer lists for another day. Also, these are just the ones I remember at the moment. I’m sure tonight, there will be a ton of other ones I wish I had mentioned.)

Interstellar Pig

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I never thought of myself as someone who enjoyed the science fiction genre, but this one just kicked serious behind. A boy goes on vacation, gets bored, starts playing games … with ALIENS. It’s pretty great.

The Giver

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What is not to love about this book? I still read it at least twice a year, and feel that it is the best Dystopian novel that I have ever read. Oh, I love The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Road, and stories like The Lottery – this one is just the best. Each time, I come away with a different conclusion.

Tuck Everlasting

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This was, for me, my Where The Red Fern Grows. That book made me cry just a bit too much. I became too emotionally invested in this book, and had to step away from it for awhile. (It was always a bit hard to separate fantasy from reality for me as a kid.)

Blubber

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This is the actual book cover of the one in my collection when I was younger, which I find somewhat disturbing now. It was my first Judy Blume book. And while it is an older read, I really find this book to be a great learning tool for children to prevent bullying. The main character isn’t exactly a nice person, and I really enjoyed having a non-hero as the story’s teller.

The Long Winter

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I never got rid of any of my Laura Ingalls Wilder books. That might have been blasphemous. And while I count all of her novels as “favorites,” this was my go-to. Every winter, without fail, I’d cozy up and learn about the plight of the Ingalls family and all of their neighbors during a horrible blizzard.

The Wish Giver

9780590420402Amazing. One of my absolute faves. After attending a local fair, four people are left with “wish cards.” Unfortunately, three of their wishes do not go as planned. SOOO GOOD!

The Indian In The Cupboard

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Going to be honest: If any doll or toy becomes real, I will instantly love it. There is one book, Melony, Melody, I don’t know, it starts with an ‘M’, about a mean fashion doll becoming real. The copy that my sister and I owned was in absolute pieces from the amount of times we read that sucker.

Charlotte’s Web

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“That’ll do, pig.” This book is just a classic. So sad, so poetic, so wonderful.

The Best Loved Doll

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I’m getting into more younger book territory here, but I have continuously read this book throughout the years. A little girl brings her favorite doll to a party. She could pick one of her more fancy dolls, something impressive, but she chooses to bring the one she loves best. It’s ratty and torn, but very loved. The Store Bought Doll and Corduroy come to mind when thinking of this book.

From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

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Oh, wow, this book is so good. Two children decide to run away from home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And live there. What is not to like about this story?

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

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Rats helping Mrs. Frisby (a mouse) and her family escape from spring plowing. It is such a beautiful tale, and it makes me cry every time.

The Baby-Sitters Club: Baby-Sitters On Board!

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I honestly wasn’t a huge TBC fan. I had a few of these on my bookshelf, but they were far outnumbered by the Sweet Valley Twins. Yet, I had one that I would read constantly, and this was it. The club goes on a cruise and to Disneyland (some have to work, while others can breeze on through the vacation, which I felt was unfair) but it tells the tale from multiple viewpoints (like the other books, but this one just worked even better). I wanted to be on that trip with them. I wanted to be Stacey (without diabetes) or Claudia (who was just plain awesome). Not Kristy, though. Never Kristy. She scared me.

Little Women

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I read this very early in my career as a reader. First, with one of those easy-to-read versions and moving on to the real thing. If it is not my favorite book, it is definitely in the top 3 of all time.

The Devil’s Arithmetic

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I have had the pleasure of seeing Jane Yolen speak on a few occasions. One of these days, I’m going to thank her for writing this book. During a Passover Seder supper, Hannah (who is Jewish) is transported to Poland in 1942, where she is sent to a Nazi concentration camp. It is an absolutely attention-grabbing read, and led to many, many other books on the subject of World War II. At the time period that I first read this novel, I was only buying books that told of tales from the Holocaust. I was pretty young, and I remember my parents taking away my WWII books because I couldn’t sleep at night. This is a book I recommend ANYONE read.

The Secret Garden

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This was not the book jacket of the book I own (to this day). Mine is beautiful, and I would stare at it for a long time before opening because of its breathtaking artwork. I would pretend that I had a secret garden, which was actually an outdoor art studio in my neighborhood. No one knew about it, except for obviously the photographer and his family, but I pretended it was all mine.

tumblr_m8tnl4nalC1qzgrn9o1_400R.L. Stine really should be mentioned because he was my gateway author to Christopher Pike. I mean, I read all of their books, reiterate ALL, but this is the book I will still read. A girl runs away from home and her problems, and ends up picking up a couple of hitchhikers. She reveals more and more of her back story, and it is just an absolutely wild tale. This one isn’t just a horror novel, it is one that makes you think. After reading this book, I was ready for the world that Stephen King offered.

Sweet Valley Twins: The Magic Christmas

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Ask any of my family members (extended, even) what my favorite books from yesteryear include, and they will say “Sweet Valley Twins.” I have them all. Every single one of them. I have read them all more than four or five times each. And when I was packing away my life’s belongings to move to NYC, this is the box of items I left at home for safe storage. I will never sell them. And while I love all of the books and specials, The Magic Christmas is my absolute favorite. After arguing and fighting on Christmas Day, the girls are transported along with their dolls to a magical land. I wanted to be one of the twins most of the time, but never more than in this novel. I still read it every Christmas.

I could have listed young adult or middle school books that I read now, like the Harry Potter and The Hunger Games series, but I didn’t discover those until I was out of grade school. And there are so many other books I could list that I so enjoyed, like the Pick Your Own Adventure series, but these are the few I will still go to every once and awhile and get to remember what I was like as a kid. Reading these remind me of certain moments of my life and how I felt at those times. And so while I enjoy these books for the texts contained in them, I also read them to cherish my childhood once more.

Sleepover!

19 Apr

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I’m pretty excited for this weekend. One of my best grade school friends is coming to visit. And this time, I feel a bit more prepared. We have had visitors, but they all came within a couple of months of us moving to the NYC area. We were definitely newbies, didn’t know exactly how to use all the public transit systems, and were iffy when it came to general directions. I knew where the important things were: the mall, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Times Square. So after being here for more than half a year, we can act a bit more like residents instead of tourists. We have our favorite watering holes, restaurants, and areas of the city. So, yeah, exciting.

But what I’m most excited about is having a friend spend the night. At my apartment. Okay, as a late twenty-something, that isn’t so exhilarating as it once was, but it used to be! Remember gearing up to spend the night at someone’s house? Be it a birthday party or some other occasion, it was something you looked forward to all week-long. And you were nervous about it, too. Sometimes more the latter for me. Will it be fun? Will everyone like me? Will I be able to go to sleep in a different house? The only time I ever didn’t feel like that was when I was spending the night at one of my cousin’s houses. Because it felt almost exactly like my house. So anyways, here are a few of the top things I almost peed my pants about with slumber parties:

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Many times you went to a slumber party for someone’s birthday. In that case, you either went roller skating or bowling. So awesome.

11-mini-individual-pizza-ready-cookThe food. A lot of times it was make-your-own-pizza. Sometimes it was make-your-own cookie pizza. Whatever the occasion, it always included pizza. And occasionally I would throw up said pizza after a whole night of no sleep and getting sick because of it. Yum.

what-are-the-best-late-night-snacks-1351168261-nov-9-2012-1-600x400And snacks. Always snacks. Whether it was popcorn, M&M’s or cake – there was always something. Sometimes my parents served sparkling cider. I felt like I was a million bucks – the snobby little kid I was.

6a00d83451761569e2017c34ca9bf0970b-800wiGames. You played some kind of game. It could have been on a Super Nintendo game, but I always remember playing Jenga. Perhaps it was because I never owned the stellar game myself.

Girl-Talk-A-Game-of-Truth-or-Dare-Board-GameNot exactly this game, per say. But, the game of Truth or Dare. God, I hated that game. I always was stuck with the most outrageous dare or telling my deepest darkest secrets. For some reason, I remember running around houses in my underwear more than a couple times. It’s a bit disturbing. And why was that the first thing that people thought of? Run around the house in your underwear. Please. Then another girl would have something SOOOOO damn easy, like hold your breath for a few seconds, and it would just piss me off.

cootiecatcher-LASTPICAnd this. Cootie catcher, paper fortune-teller – whatever. We made these constantly at slumber parties. And yes, they were completely accurate. And if you wanted a do-over, you couldn’t. Because that was the rules.

mash1997You had to play this game. I think it might have been required? Pretty sure there was a written requirement that MASH had to be played. And I always ended up in an apartment or a shack. And I never ended up with the right guy, enough money, or a great car. It really gave me high hopes for the future.

catsTwice, there were times when I felt like demons had entered my body and were allowing the person to float. Once, I was the one floating and the other, I was using all my strength to carry the girl with my hands. But it felt real. 2 a.m. and a room full of middle-school-aged girls definitely is a magical time.

ouija-boardOh, I played. I sure did. I felt bad and dirty about doing it. That I was going to hell or was somehow in an initiation to become a witch (I didn’t understand a lot about religion back then).

After all the games, we’d start talking about our secret crushes. Our Top 10 hottest list of boys in the school. These top-secret conversations were never recorded, so those guys could never prove it ever happened. If though, you attended a slumber party where you knew that a certain girl also had the same crush, you kept said boy’s name to yourself. You didn’t want no middle school cat fight to break out. Nu-uh.

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Oh, I heart you nameless boys that will never, ever know that I hearted you so much.

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After all that, if we had time, we’d bring in our stashes of nail polish and go to town. I loved the horrible colors – silver, green, and brown. Grrreeaaat.

MV5BMTUyMjYxODg0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTU4MzU5._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_Maybe, at 4 a.m., we’d watch a movie. This was always a go-to at our slumber parties. BECAUSE I LOVE THIS MOVIE, SO MUCH. I wanted to be Idgie so bad.

ice-cubes-for-toned-glowing-skinAnd you just hoped, just hoped, that you wouldn’t fall asleep first. Your bra was frozen or you had ice cubes stuck in your sleeping bag. Again, strict rules for slumber parties. Just had to happen. Both super uncomfortable. And made for one crabby pre-teen.

Last, but not least, the most nerve-wracking part of a slumber party was wondering if you would be invited. This was a super valid question, and was frequently a downer for me. I’d feel oh-so-bad walking home from school, knowing that many of my friends would be sharing secrets, pizza, and having fun with NOT ME. Oh well, I always had these people on Friday night.

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Carrie’s makeup must-haves

9 Apr

Perhaps no one cares, but I thought it would be fun to list out my favorite beauty must-haves. Yes, this is really girly, but I’m a girl, so that works. And while I like to pretend sometimes that I am a no-nonsense, easy-peasy kind of girl, that is far from the truth. My boyfriend and family members can vouch for that. I like makeup … a lot.  One, again, I’m a girly-girl; and two, I’m a pasty-white ghost. Thank you to my very Irish heritage for that one. So makeup is kind of a must if I don’t want to look like the walking dead. Another disclaimer, I’m really, really picky in this category.

I wish I could give a list of my favorite makeup items that could just be picked up at Target or another box chain store, but no, I kind of have to go to other places (Sephora, cough, cough) to get all of my tools.

So here are a few things that Carrie must have at all times:

I’m a five-minute face gal. But that doesn’t mean I have three items in my disposal to work with. No, I do the whole enchilada every day. And when it’s a special occasion, I just make that enchilada extra loaded. I just complete the whole beauty routine super quickly – it’s down to a science.

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First, face moisturizer. I don’t have a specific go-to, but I have been using Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream. I have used Kiehl’s, Aveeno, and others – as long as it is light, not heavy and with an SPF of at least 15, I’m usually okay.

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Primer. Yeah, I’m a huge fan of primer. There has been a big hoopla over BB cream (sunblock, moisturizer, foundation, serum, etc.), and I have tried it. But I have a better face result with separate products. I’ve used Sephora and Stila brands, but I have been happy with Tarte lately.

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Sometimes I put on serum, eye primer, and foundation – but most of the time I just add a tinted moisturizer. Stila is my absolute favorite. I can get the right shade and I have more moisturized skin and SPF. (Yeah, I like to load it all on.) My skin isn’t super oily and I don’t have huge skin problems – so this works for me.

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Concealer. If I have a zit, I’ll use some kind of light cream concealer. But my major problem is the dark black pits of despair known as my under-eye circles. With my porcelain yellow-white skin, they show like a mother. And there is only one concealer that I have been happy with. Cover Girl stick concealer. It’s heavy-duty, thick and stays put. It works, so I don’t have any reason to try something super expensive.

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Then them there eyes. I love shadows from Benefit and Stila, but I like trying multiple colors – so again no preference. I usually try to work with my brows, but yeah, I’m not picky here either. And eyeliner is my big thing – and I have at least 10 liners in my stash constantly. Again, I try them all – department and chain store. But when it comes to mascara, there is only one that I deem worthy. Lancôme Hypnose. My eyelashes suck. They are light brown and need some thickness, and this is absolutely perfect. You can plump them up multiple times without feeling like your eyelashes have just become gobs of black goo. I will never, ever try another product ever. Seriously.

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Blush, yeah I wear it sometimes. But I am much more into highlighters and cheek stains. Mary Kay Cheek Stain in Pomegranate is totally awesome, as is Benefit’s Fine One One (this is a brightening color for cheeks and lips). I’m not a fan of powdery substances, so both of these are winners in my book.

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For the highlighter, I usually go with High Beam by Benefit, but I also have a shimmer stick in my purse from Pixi Beauty, which is pretty fab.

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Lip gloss. Frick, I have loads of these. I really like any color of Stila Lip Glaze, as well as the new tinted lip gloss tubes by Burt’s Bees.

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And because I’m so transparent in color, I love me some lipstick. Preferably of the red variety. My collection varies, but I love, love, love anything by NARS, Stila or MAC.

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Afterwards, I usually put on some kind of powder (sparingly, because I hate it). Usually I have Clean and Clear blotting papers in my disposal. Which I find necessary (especially in the afternoon.)

Other things I love that are necessary to my beauty routine?

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Aveeno Sunblock Spray. I never leave home without it. I have learned my lessons well to protect my fair skin. (There was a couple-year stint in high school where I tried to tan my skin to a different color, but only ended up with moles that needed removed because of it.) A dermatologist warned me about the effects of skin damage (shout out to Dr. Ernst-Woodhouse!), and I take her advice seriously. I love this formula because if I don’t have face sunblock on hand, I can spray this without fear of breakouts or super oily skin. The very light scent is another point in its favor.

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Secret Clinical Strength deodorant. If you haven’t switched over, do it. Even if you don’t have seriously stinky armpits, I still recommend it. I bought it after learning that walking a mile to work each day is just not an odor-friendly activity. Still, I use it every day and notice how much better it is than the regular formula.

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LUSH BIG shampoo. Amazing. So awesome. It smells like the beach, is gritty like the beach – basically its sand for your hair in a cup. The texture gave me pause when I first started using it, but man, it has become my favorite hair product. For fine hair, like mine, it’s also a great friend. The only must when using it is to apply conditioner as well, otherwise your hair may come out a bit dry feeling.

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Origins Ginger Essence perfume. I love to smell like a clean hippy. That is why I use this. That is the only way I can describe it.

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And my absolute must: Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinoid Eye Repair. This is a bit pricey, but it’s a bit of a necessity for me. Again, I’m pro-anything-that-keeps-your-skin-awesome, and was told by a skin doctor that retinoid can be pretty super spectacular (pretty sure they used other words, so I’m paraphrasing.) The first couple weeks can make you second guess the product (the skin under your eyes may get red and dry), but hold on. If you hold on for one more day, things’ll go your way. FO’ SURE!

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And last but not least, if you don’t have tons of money to spend on makeup supplies, or you just like to be a cheap ass like me sometimes – try out Pixi Beauty Cosmetics. Ohmigod, these products are great. Seriously, I can only say great things about this line. Even before looking at Sephora or other brands of products, go to Target and give them a try. Totally worth it.

So there you go. Too many words on what I use. Now you can mock me and tell me that I’m doing it wrong or spending too much money or tell me that the routine is not working or blabbidy-blah-blah. Don’t care. But that is life.

Favorite candy of all time

24 Oct

Something about a Mamba…oh yeah, it’s AWESOME. It’s candy and when you open it, there is three packages of candy. And then you open that and there is seven pieces of candy inside the wrapper inside THAT wrapper. Just like those Russian dolls, pure beauty.

This Wednesday’s Listing: CANDY

For a bit of change in the middle of the week, I’m declaring LIST DAY. I know, I know, it is often called Hump Day (which often just sounds disgusting) or what many bloggers call Wordless Wednesday. Instead, I want to make it wordier. But with pictures. And be able to satisfy my OCD.

Lists are great. I always carry notepad paper in my purse just for this purpose. When I am expected to take a note or write down an address, I panic. I can’t write on my list paper! This is not bullet-point presentation worthy.

So today, I write about my favorite candies of all time. Halloween is just around the corner and the ultimate, No. 1 best thing about the holiday is the haul of candy.

On top of that list, is the Mamba. Maybe the fact that they named a candy after such a ferocious snake makes it a tad cooler. The absolute real reason for me it is so cool? The wrapping. I mean, Starbursts are great and all, but they have nothing on Mamba candy. It’s much longer (which means more candy), and inside the main wrapper are three wrapped candies. And inside each those wrappers are several wrapped candies. Compartmentalized. Each flavor (the raspberry is the best, BTW) was a bit plastic fruit tasting (which I love). There was only two problems with the candy. First problem is the flavors were separated. So you would have to open them all and destroy the neatness that I so enjoyed. Secondly, if you ate the whole bar in one sitting, you had the worst jaw ache ever.

I always wanted to eat the orange and lemon flavored candy first so that I could savor the raspberry. They were divine.

My childhood summer was spent running between the pool and the library. After we headed for a swim, my cousins and I would hop on our bikes to the Dollar Stretcher in downtown Webster City. For some Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip. After consuming so many of these sugary treats, I still wonder why my teeth aren’t filled with holes. The fact that you could eat the dipping stick was part of the fun. This was not a candy that my mom would ever buy for me, so it was fun being naughty and consuming flavored sugar.

Three flavors for your cavity enjoyment.

The kids on the package are having such fun. So it can’t be that bad for you, right?

Warheads. (I am especially listing this because my brother might be reading.) I enjoyed these? Maybe? The question marks come because older brother Steve kind of forced his will on these. I didn’t want to put one on the tongue, but I didn’t want to be considered a pansy either. Sour doesn’t begin to describe these. Pure torture. Of the good kind. Not to sound ignorant or anything, but I really thought at one time these were produced by the military. No joke. It was somewhat of a torture device.

Sour, sour, sour. That is all.

While gum isn’t always considered a candy, as much as I chewed and swallowed it, it was. We would ride our bikes to the local Fareway and spend a good majority of our allowance money on the different flavors Bubbilicious offered. My favorite was the Tornado. I didn’t mind cotton candy either. I just hated that after 30 seconds of chewing, it was just a grey giant wad of flavorless gum in your mouth. Oh well, you just added another piece to the gigantic piece and kept chewing.

Watermelon and Grape were always safe flavors in the bubblegum arena. And delicious, too.

Other gum of notable reference:

Big League Chew. If your dad was as into baseball as mine, you got a package of this every once and awhile. Which was fine by me. It was shredded and had a very “pink” flavor to it. Way better than the stabbing pain of eating a piece of gum from one of his baseball card packs.

And this:

I always tried to save my bubble tape. Bad decision. It always dried out like jerky after a couple days.

And this:

Because it was SO PRETTY! Too pretty to eat. And the wrappers made such fancy bracelets.

As mentioned before, my dad was really into baseball. So of course, he was on a league and I would always go to the games. One reason: Lollies. I would find a dime, and I had sweetness in my hand. Unfortunately, the chalky candy would be easy to bite into, and alas, your candy was gone.

Memories on a stick.

Favorite parade candy? That is easy. Gotta be the Frooties.

Each Fourth of July, I would decorate a paper bag to fill with these treats. I did not care about any other candy. These were supreme and came in at least 10 different flavors.

Favorite pool candy? Laffy Taffy, duh.

You could buy so many for a dollar. It was the best bang for your buck. Back then, they had vanilla flavored ones. Don’t know if they still do??? They were divine.

My sister Emily had a big hankering for anything in gummy form. Swedish Fish were her main desire. So whenever we stopped at Cub Foods Grocery Store, we always scooped up tons. There were bears, root beer bottles, sour sharks, strawberries, animals, the list would go on and on. We just knew we were in candy heaven.

Always a pretty sight, gummy candy.

For a more “adult” candy treat (if there is such a thing) I will bring you my favorite all-time chocolate bar. The Mars Bar, American-style. I cannot tell you how upset I was after it was discontinued. It was a perfect concoction of caramel and almond. I went to Europe backpacking and found Mars Bars. I was so excited. I picked up no less than five to eat while I was in Ireland. While the European version is delightful, it tastes more like a Milky Way. Not the same. I have heard rumors that the U.S. delight was relaunched in 2010, but I have yet to find it. Until then, I settle for a Snickers with Almonds.

You mean the world to me, you are my everything, I swear the only thing that matters … maybe not that extreme, but I do love a Mars Bar.

I could go on and on about candy. There are so many more to list. Runts, Brach’s individual candies, Jelly Belly’s, Sour Patch Kids, but I don’t have time. I have TV shows on the DVR just shouting my name.

I will leave you with one candy that I can’t decide if I even liked. It would stay in my teeth and the Later part was not my favorite by any means. Happy Candy-ing.

The taste was great. Just chewing was a challenge and cleaning out your teeth was always a problem. It just seemed like more work than they were worth.

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