Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - instead of asking him how much of your time is left, ask how much of your mind, baby

1. The Nike ad that aired during the Oscars caused a swell in my chest. I loved every frame of it and how it called out everything people do to and say about women to hold them down and turned it on its head, using what they call crazy as motive and a way forward. Fierce and empowering. If you haven't seen it, Here it is. The comments are not a must though. Not even a maybe or a might.

2. Speaking of comments, I don't even argue with anti-feminists or racists and I certainly do not fuck with anyone who has eaten the Fox News lithium jello and refers to the late term pregnancy law in New York as killing babies after they're born. I cannot adequately express how fucking vile I think people who say that are, and how unfortunate for the small brain nutters of the world that they would have to themselves physically experience birthing a stillborn baby or dying in order to grasp how not a goddamn person would ever make that choice lightly or willingly like oh I've carried my baby for eight months but nah I changed my mind abortion time. There is a hell and you're going there because you pile more anguish on top of women who are already dying inside over a health issue of theirs or their babies that they can't do a fucking thing about. You are the absolute lowest of the low.

3. Well that went off the rails, but I'm in a don't fuck with me mood this week. I'm sick of wearing winter coats and feeling stuck inside and seeing gray skies and counting pennies and problem solving and commuting and internet comment sections and trump tweets and dogs throwing up and a bunch of other shit right now. Give me the sun and the shore and a few good breaks and let me live

4. I've spent a lot of the week in line at the post office on lunch breaks. Tomorrow I list the last big batch of clothes I'm selling then I move on to dealing with possessions in the kitchen and basement.

5. When I can't immediately recall the last time I washed my hair, it is definitely time to wash my hair. I'm trying a new dry shampoo this week as mentioned in Instagram stories on Monday. I swear that no dry shampoo allows me to go as long between washes as my favorite Living Proof.

6. In more hair news,  got this Silk18 Shampoo free from Maple Holistics to try. I tried their tea tree shampoo and conditioner a while back and still use it, so you know it's good. They've changed their overall packaging and I like it better. This shampoo is nice, lots of sudsy bubbles, which isn't always the case with sulfate free stuff. I like suds. Maple Holistics products are cruelty-free and holistic and I'm all about that. I like that they're local-ish to me in NJ as well. They have a lot of good alternatives to Head & Shoulders for those of you who need that type of product - I'm going to check some out for MFD. They also sell essential oils, bubble baths, massage oils, etc.

7. Since MFD or I went to the grocery store last Friday, Saturday, and twice on freaking Sunday, I only need a few things this week. Praise the lort. Time to finish cleaning out the freezer, no more on a whim meals until that’s done.

8. Could any GOP Senator get off the presidential dick long enough in the Cohen hearings to actually ask questions that have to do with what happened and not with Cohen's character? No, they could not, and yes, they are all complicit in any unconstitutional fuckery or campaign finance violations etc because they are just going along with it. They liked Cohen very very recently, when he worked for trump. I didn't like him them and I don't like him now. Country over party used to be a thing. No more. Senators need to step the fuck up.

9. Reminder: I don't hold grudges because that hurts me and no one else. I sure do hold boundaries and many times people act as if the two are interchangeable. They're not. Don't let anyone bully you into lowering a boundary because they're calling it a grudge.

10. Ecard of the week: In fact, it is, today. I would love to wake up tomorrow to 50 or above through the next two weeks. I know, pipe dreams.

How YOU doin'?

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Let's Go Crazy by Prince

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February 2019 Recommendations

True Detective Season 3. This season makes Season 2 seem like that nightmare you can barely remember from childhood. Mahershala Ali is awesome - if he doesn't win awards for this there is something wrong. And look at Stephen Dorff crawling out from whatever rock he was under. We just watched the finale last night and I'm still mulling it over but I fully enjoyed the season and performances.

Evaluating what you have. Do you use and need what you have? If there’s something you need and don’t have, will something else you own suit the purpose? I never knew I would find such joy in reusing.

Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner. I have the travel size ($12), although I don't know what makes it travel size, it looks full size to me. It stays all day and is easy to apply which is a must for me as eyeliner is not my strong suit. I wish it came in navy.

Aldi Small Dog Treats. They are $1.45 for a box, made in the USA, and my dogs love them. I'm considering trying their dry food for the dogs too. They currently eat Holistic Select. 

Tarte Tarteist Double Take EyelinerTarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Without you in my life I'd slowly wilt and die

Dramatic, yes, but the title comes from an 80s hairband love song (Without You by Motley Crue) so there's simply no other way for it to be. I read a post on the topic of daily essentials from Steph and immediately started thinking about mine. Nothing is essential for me in the true definition of the term aside from air and water. Most of us have our own definition of essential, which falls along the line of miserable without. If I forget these things (which is very rare), I am miserable without. Can I live without them for a day? Certainly. Do I want to? No I do not.

Sunglasses. I wear them every day, sometimes even when it's spitting rain or when I'm inside. My eyes are super sensitive to light. I keep a spare pair at work and in my car, and there have been days in the past where I've forgotten them and dumped my stuff in the office to turn right around and go out and buy a cheap pair. I will simply not continue my day without them.

Book. I always have the book I'm reading with me. Always. It gets stowed in my purse even when I'm going somewhere I know it will not be read. If that's the case, it will sit on the floorboard of my car until I get back in it, then will be put back in my purse. A lot of my reading happens in five minutes here or there spurts. When I finish a physical book and I'm out I panic a little until I remember I have the kindle app on my phone in case of emergency.

Water bottle. I don't go to the store five minutes down the street from my house without bringing water with me to the car.

Phone. Not so people can get in touch with me, not so I can post on social media...but so I can take photos. I love doing it and always have. It felt so freeing when cameras on phones got good enough so I didn't have to carry a digital point & shoot with me everywhere.

Coffee did not make the list only because my true inclination is to put iced coffee, which I drink all year, but I have proven able to thrive without it out west on our National Parks trip, in Ireland and Scotland, and in South Africa. I drank regular coffee at those times and it's fine. I'm fine. It was fine. Coffee is fuel that I prefer to have, iced coffee is joy that makes my day better. Good iced coffee only though. No watery shit. See why this wasn't a point?

What are you be miserable without?

Happy birthday to my mother in law today!

Monday, February 25, 2019

TWTW - the bookful one

Friday Mexican stuffed shells fromthe freezer and steamed cauliflower was an easy dinner. My mother in law arrived to stay for the weekend and we all lounged around. I finished a book (The Lost Man) and started another (The Fire This Time) after midnight, not advisable.  
Saturday I am a primary color. I finished The Fire This Time, read Winter in Paradise and Mine in their entirety, sorted some clothes I'm selling and giving away, went to Target for groceries where they were totally out of chicken, and made a quick and easy stir fry for dinner. Return of the Jedi was MFD's movie pick of the night. 
Sunday My plan was to sleep in but Bruce did not approve. I hit the gd grocery store again, changed the sheets, did a little food prep, started a new book, and settled in to watch some episodes of The Great British Baking Show - MFD changed my Netflix avatar to the rooster. LOL forever. 
Sunday night dinner at our house with the fam for my mother-in-law's birthday. When everyone left we watched The Oscars. I haven't seen most of the movies but a lot of people I like won and I can definitely see myself seeing them when they are accessible via streaming service. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast is scrambled eggs and blueberries, a series of leftovers for lunch, sliced bell peppers for snacks. Sunday we had MFD's family over for his mom's birthday dinner and I made Jusy's chicken with a side of rice and a veggie pasta with mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, onion, and truffle oil. Salad, rolls, and a Cramer's cake brought by the fam rounded out the show.  

Monday again. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Some days are diamonds

Yesterday was one.

New book, three longer walks including one with the fam, lots of fresh air, some sunshine, gorgeous mural art, acupuncture appointment (I rarely feel as good as I do when I strut out of that office - new body, who dis?), fresh nails (OPI Silken Cord), check marks next to large work projects...a series of small things that added up to a diamond of a day, which was  unexpected and lovely given my shitty attitude this week. I forgot my sunglasses and my mouse and was still grinning. Forgetting my sunglasses is usually a torpedo into my day. Sensitive eyes and all.
I capped it off feeling extra good about myself because MFD watched Behind the Curve, a flat earther documentary, and no matter what else is happening in my life, I am not a flat earther and that is something to be thankful for. Get the F out of here with that.

Wishing you a diamond day today. Hell, have yourself a diamond weekend. Go on.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - let's tighten it up now

1. I am a child of the moon, and it cast a magnificent glow Monday night.

2. My attitude was shit Monday, bolstered by a long, hot, thirsty, standing train ride into the city. By Tuesday I was fully settled into my February snarkiness that hits every year this week. I need more light and time outdoors. Bring me spring.

3. Given my attitude, I didn't mind making my work from home day Wednesday, especially with the snow. Working from home wardrobe > in office wardrobe.
4. Other working from home scenes because. Because. Bruce refuses to come in when it snows. He prefers to stay outside and eat it like it's a grand delicacy.
5. I won these masks from Gina at Ciao Bella! (she's a new blogger and doesn't do social media, which I love, so please go say hey) and Pam sent me these cute towels for sending her some books! Thanks ladies.
6. My wasteful paper cupcake things are finally done. I got these from Target - washable, freezable, no waste. Silicone, not my favorite, but they'll do in lieu of throwing out paper every time. Some of my muffins won't freeze and come out okay if I don't use something that's not just the pan. 

7. I have spent a shit ton of money on dog treats through the years. Geege always turned his nose up at simple biscuits so I got used to buying other stuff. You know what these dogs like? The $1.45 box of made in the USA biscuits from Aldi. I'm not complaining. Do you know how many treats four dogs go through?

8. What else about this week? It feels draggy and blah. I've eaten a lot of carrot cake Oreos and they are delicious. I've been killing it for weeks with my night skincare routine, I usually dick out one or two nights but it's been strong. Although there is an under the skin Kilimanjaro size pimple threatening to distort my chin line. I dragged through reading the fourth Tracy Crosswhite novel. I kept not making an acupuncture appointment and my entire pinched nerve affected side is killing me so I desperately need one and it's finally today at 3. I miss the shore. 

9. Reminder:

10. Ecard of the week:

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Tighten Up by Archie Bell & The Drells

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Weaning myself off of fast fashion

Since last fall, my brain's been swirling around the concept of consumption in different areas of my life. Sometimes when I'm mulling over things in my head figuring out a new way forward, I don't write about them or feel the urge to write about anything, because I'm busy thinking. But I always reach a point where I'm just spinning my wheels in there because no thoughts are leaving my head, so I'll just pick a point and start.

Fast fashion - inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass market retailers in response to the latest trends - is contributing to a huge environmental problem of too much shit with nowhere for it to go (read more on that here, article is old but the cycle of clothes is still relevant). I pride myself on being pretty environmentally friendly in my home, but when I started following Aja Barber on Instagram last year, I realized a huge part of my identity as a consumer was wasteful as fuck: my clothes buying.

I wanted to learn more, so I subscribed to Aja's Patreon (if sustainable, ethical fashion or anti-racism work interests you, you are missing out if you have an extra $5 or $10 a month and are not following her work - knowledge is power and we must be willing to pay our teachers). So much of the work she's doing in writing about sustainable fashion struck a chord in me every time I read a piece of hers. I started really examining my habits clothes-wise and was absolutely disgusted with myself. I have been way too flippant with the privilege of purchasing. I was embarrassed that I was coming to this so late in life and had barely thought about my footprint in regards to clothes up until now.

Also inspired by Aja's commentary, I started thinking about the changes I could make or at least work towards making: investing in clothes that are going to last - clothes that are going to be easier on the planet, clothes that allow the workers making them to bring home a livable wage and not $1 a day in a shitty unsafe factory. This is not to say that all cheaper clothes don't last - I have sweaters from Old Navy that are eight years old - but in general, I had been cycling through a lot of stuff, quickly. For no reason. How many $5 t-shirts have I bought on a whim and gotten rid of in under two years that are now in a landfill somewhere, and two years later the woman who made them is still in that shitty unsafe factory making nothing in terrible conditions while I just buy more shit?

In the blogging world alone, how many times are we urged to buy buy buy? Everywhere, constantly. I'm not one to post my outfits because I am quite far from a fashion lady, but I swear I'm going to start calling out how old things I'm wearing are when I remember to. For the health of the planet and our wallets, I want keeping things to be cooler than the allure of shiny new things we don't need and won't still own two years from now. I don't begrudge one person making money off of affiliate links because we've all got to eat, but when you have to keep buying new to show new, it's a vicious cycle of waste. How much new shit are we buying that we don't need? How many resources are we consuming? How much money are we wasting? Why are we doing this?

As my stuff wears out, I'll be looking to make purchases more in line with my views on environmental sustainability, ethics, representation, the liberation of all women being bound up together, and all workers all over the world making a living wage. I want to know how a company who is producing my clothes operates before I buy from them. I can't be pro-conservation and equal opportunity for women - especially representation of marginalized black/indigenous/women of color in all industries - and continue to consume clothing the way I've been consuming clothing. The head and the actions are not lining up in my clothing life and that's a problem for me now. The fact that it hasn't been up until now is straight white privilege.

I'm late to the game on ethical fashion, way late. So I'm trying to catch up and learn. Instagram has been great for following a lot of people having conversations about ethical, sustainable fashion, and I'm doing a hell of a lot of listening and not talking in those spaces. I'm talking here after ruminating on it for a few months, because if you're out there considering being more sustainable and ethical in what you wear and consume, I want you to know I'm doing the same. Or maybe you haven't thought about it, but you're thinking about it now. Maybe you don't know where to start, like I didn't. Along with Aja I'm following BuyfromBIPOC on Instagram, which highlights BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) makers with a focus on slow, ethical, and sustainable fashion. I've started reading the Clothed in Abundance blog. Following Dominque Drakeford. Keila LeistLittle Koto's Closet. There are a lot of BIPOC women out there who have been leading this for years and I am getting in line behind them and learning as much as I can.

Will I refuse to buy something from Old Navy again? No. My relationship with retail isn't going to end overnight, and I don't have a wallet wide enough to invest in higher priced items all the time. That's why the title of this post is weaning myself, not ridding myself. I am typically an all or nothing person when I look to change something, but making some small changes in what, why, when, and from where I buy will make a huge difference in my impact on the environment as well as my mindset on consumption. I've got to start somewhere with textile waste. We all do if we want a planet that will remain.

Monday, February 18, 2019

TWTW - the one that was different than expected

Friday My plan was to come home, get in pajamas, and read. Instead I painted my nails (Inst-Dri Matte Violet Velvet) while MFD finished work and we decided to use one of our gift certificates from Christmas for a sushi dinner at Sakura with an Aldi trip on the way. But first a knock on my window at the light and we pulled over to help a senior stranded motorist who didn't have a phone, pushing her car into the gas station with our car before MFD and another guy physically pushed her into a spot. After putting laundry away, I was in bed reading by 10. 

Saturday I started a new book, photographed a shit ton of clothes to sell under the supervision of Bruce and Bender, went to the library and the post office, made a big salad, picked up pizza from Brothers for dinner at Dad & Carol's (MFD had to bring Carol's walker from hip replacement into the photo, never a dull moment), and on the way home we went to Target. Together. And that's always an adventure. 
Sunday I met one of last summer's renters to return hoodies he left from July, picked up around the house, changed the sheets, washed sheets, read, went to see the cutest little Annabelle baby finally, packed up a big bag of clothes to send to Thred Up, finished a book, and putzed around while MFD worked in the afternoon.
Sunday night dinner at Mom & Rich's with the whole fam- I stuffed myself silly then came home to watch True Detective. Luckily we were at my mom’s because we left our house without a house key. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast burritos from the freezer and strawberries for breakfasts, PB&J for lunch (only need three days), sliced bell peppers for snacks, rice and beans and Mexican stuffed shells from the freezer for dinners. It was nice to only have to slice veggies and pack fruit this weekend. 

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first Show Us Your Books Readathon! Three prizes were two $15 gift cards and a $25 gift card to the booksellers of choice to the winners. I meant to spend most of the weekend reading but only read on the fringes, which is typical of how a lot of weekends in life go. 

How was yours? Are you off today? I'm in.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - When it's right the light just comes shining through

Hey. Hi. Hey. I'm tired and didn't feel like doing the typical Thursday Thoughts in which I cuttingly point out the hypocrisy of Mr. Both Sides Have Very Fine People President (where "both sides" are Nazis, one of which ran a woman over and killed her, and Nazi protestors) and his swamp of asskissing traitors go full throttle after three women of color in Congress instead of calling their own racist hateful antisemitic people in like they of all people should be anti-semitism police, so instead here's a 10 list of things I'm loving right now:

1. Birthday Countdown: we're about a month out, people. If you've read here for long, you knew this was coming, as is the month-long celebration. I always buy my own birthday gifts and those are always sneakers or athleisure shoes, nail polish, and books. I have ordered the sneakers and nail polish (going full on Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes this year, so I got four for the price of two OPIs and used a Target gift card so they were free). Still nailing down which books I want, and will use an Amazon gift card so they'll be free too. Free is for me. The sneakers, not free, but only $50 so a win.

2. Shore House Countdown: I try not to think of it when I can't go there. This is the longest I've gone without going to get something or drop something off or check in on the house. MFD has been doing that, my Dad and Carol stopped in in December, and Rich did a drive by last week. I'm feeling the absence of the shore in my life heavily right now. I am officially on overnight temp weather watch and always hoping for an early spring.

3. Dollar Store Bowls: They're the white ones below. The stripes are the final two bowls remaining from my shower in 2009. The ones in the back are the only ones left from World Market expensive ass bowls that all chipped. The Dollar Store bowls are the real MVP. They don't chip. I have them at the shore too.
4. The Bruce and Bender Show: these two are so cute and a riot together, even when they're wreaking havoc or destroying shit. Yesterday MFD reported that they got ramen out of the pantry and ate it in the living room.
5. Radical self love: getting up close and personal with yourself, even the parts you don't like, and loving yourself through it all.
6. A weekend of reading ahead: Well, a weekend of reading is usually ahead, but it's like a group activity this weekend. Are you joining in?

7. The ability to work from home: bless it, very seriously. I worked from home Tuesday and am working from home today.

8. Baked goods from Mom. Last night she dropped off cookies and a pound cake with strawberry icing. I ate all of the cookies and called it dinner.

9. Fake sun and fake massage: Both improve my mood immensely. If you feel any type of way without the sunlight in the winter, I am telling you to get the Sun Touch Plus and park your ass in front of it for a half hour a few times a week. It's a season changer. If you are like me you'll combine that time with your massager and get up off the couch a half hour later feeling like a new person. Don't mind the dog hair, feel the serenity.
Amazon links are affiliate links

10. Ecards.

What are you loving today? 
Aside from should be on your own love it list every day.
If you aren't, what can we do to get you on there?
Holding space in my heart for Parkland students, families, and community today and every day.

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Caught Up in You by 38 Special
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