The politics of fasting

If I’ve learned anything in my 26 short years on this planet, it’s that there is usually a logical reason behind every decision made. Even if you personally do not see it. Even when it comes to religion, which — growing up as a Catholic — did not always make much sense to me. And Catholics always have so many dang rules.

Lenten season is upon us. It is a time for us to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus, who fasted for the 40 days and 40 nights leading up to his death. As early as the first century, Catholics wrote of fasting to commemorate this great sacrifice.

Fasting started with bread, and then evolved to worshipers avoiding meat, eggs, and dairy. By the 13th century, it was widely understood that abstaining from meat only went as far as avoiding warm-blooded, land-locked animals. It did not include cold-blooded animals, such as fish (and would actually include snakes, alligators, and other reptiles, too). So now we have an answer to the popular question, “How is fish not considered meat?” when it’s allowed on Fridays during Lent. Warm-blooded animals were thought to be too delicious… they were believed to be an aphrodisiac, and largely considered a luxury in the 1200s. Catholics needed to remember the sacrifices Jesus made for us by eating food that didn’t taste good. It was said to be a lesson in modesty.

While many Catholics accept the origins of fasting for what it is — ingrained in their tradition; a sacrifice worshippers make, that started shortly after Jesus’ death — others believe history went a just little differently. The conspiracy theory goes as follows: a medieval pope made a secret pact with his fisherman crew to boost the sales in the fishing industry. Though widely popular, this story has never actually been verified.

Regardless of any secret pact that may or may not have been made, for centuries now, many associate holy holidays with fish. The amount of meatless days surpassed just Fridays and went on to include Wednesdays, Saturdays, Advent and Lent, and other sacred days (any Italians ever heard of the Feast of the Seven Fishes?). The fish industry was booming, and fasting days became “central to the growth of the global fishing industry.

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It was the 16th century in England when shit got political.

You all know the story of Henry VIII — he began his reign in 1509, and was married to Catherine of Aragon. He was madly in love with Anne Boleyn and wished to be with her instead. Much to Henry’s dismay, the Pope refused to annul his marriage to Catherine because Catholics didn’t divorce. This prompted Henry to break off from the Roman Catholic Church and start the Church of England, where he could divorce ol’ Catherine and marry his beloved Anne.

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At this time, fish dominated the menu for a good part of the year. But when Henry left to start his own thing, eating fish became political — and thus, abstaining from it was an act of defiance, demonstrating solidarity with the Church of England. When you have an economy that has been so dependent on fishing for such a long time, and all of a sudden people refuse to eat fish… well, it becomes a problem. As a result, Henry’s son, Edward, VI, succeeded his father in 1547 and reinstated days of fasting to boost local fishing businesses.

As recent as the 1960s, fish prices were largely tied to the Catholic church’s stance on how strict they wanted to enforce fasting rules. Whether or not eating meat on Fridays will get you a first row ticket to Hell… well… that remains a mystery.

Sources:


In other news, this Lenten season I decided to give up the same thing I do every year: absolutely nothing. Because honestly, what even is the point anymore?

Then, yesterday — the day after Ash Wednesday — I treated someone whom I deal with on a daily basis very poorly. Partly because they said something rude to me at the beginning of my day, and partly because I’d been fed up with some of their actions for a while now. Later that night, I realized that yesterday was the anniversary of this same person losing a close family member.

And that’s when I decided this year I am going to do better. This year, I will treat every person who is mean or rude to me like they are going through something I don’t know about or wouldn’t understand. I will combat their meanness with kindness, every chance I get.

This year I will be a better me.

I found a new oil and it’s changing my life

If you know me, you know the struggles I’ve faced with my complexion throughout the years. My teenage years were filled with oily, pimply skin and harsh acne creams. When it finally cleared up, I was left with a ton of acne scars, awkward combination skin, and random breakouts that could strike at any moment.

A couple years ago I stumbled across rosehip oil, and it helped with some of the issues I experienced, but it wasn’t my complete solution. I still dealt with breakouts and oily skin at the end of a long day. Then about six months ago, my mom got me hip to witch hazel wipes, and that has truly been a life saver. I saw a noticeable difference in my complexion, my makeup started going on smoother, and I was less oily throughout the typical day. But, throw a stressful week of work at me and I still found myself trying to fend off a painful zit with spot acne treatment or even resorting to — gasp — popping them. I figured keeping this routine was as good as it was going to get for me. Boy, was I wrong.

My December Ipsy bag seemed like nothing out of the ordinary. A lip treatment that reminded me of a milder Carmex, a pricey concealer brush (honestly the item I was most excited about), an eyeliner that I haven’t even opened yet, another highlighter to add to the growing collection… and then there was this tiny 0.23 fl oz bottle of maracuja oil from Tarte Cosmetics.

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So, my first thought was WTF. Ever since discovering rosehip oil, I’m always down for the latest and greatest face oil, but I’m used to buying oils from brands like Aura Acacia or Trader Joe’s…and I’m not necessarily all that trusting of one sold by a cosmetics line. Second, my friend just told me about a bad experience she had throwing an oil on her face all willy-nilly one night, only to wake up with her eyes swollen shut. I was hesitant to say the least, but did some light research on it and figured I’d give it a shot. After all, it was called “Pure Maracuja Oil” and the only ingredient was 100% maracuja oil. What could be the harm in trying it out? It was the best decision I ever made.

This shit has no joke changed my life. I can recall a night in my late teens, it’s seriously still so clear in my mind: I stared closely at the details of my face, all the craters and scars and blemishes, and cried so helplessly because I thought the damage to my face as a result of my struggles with acne were going to be permanent. And I’ve since accepted that fact. But in just two months of use, my acne scars are fading; my pores are shrinking; and my breakouts are fewer and father in-between. I even had the start of a painful zit just before Valentine’s Day (one that even my witch hazel wipes haven’t saved me from in the past), I applied the oil day and night… and. The. Zit. Disappeared. My friends are starting to notice the change in my complexion. They told me they thought the scars were permanent too. So what the hell is this magical oil?

Maracujá is Portuguese for passion fruit, and maracuja oil can be derived from either the passion fruit flower itself or its seeds — the benefits and properties, no matter the derivative, are very similar.

According to Tarte’s product description:

  • maracuja oil: rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin C for firmer, brighter, smoother skin; helps promote active skin recovery and rejuvenation while delivering maximum hydration

Product performance: This powerful, precious skincare oil is cold-pressed from the maracuja fruit, naturally rich in brightening vitamin C and replenishing essential fatty acids to nourish, protect and feed your skin. Harvested from the best in nature to restore balance and harmony, you can apply a few drops of this daily moisturizing face oil to quench dry skin and seal in hydration, as the gentle multi-tasker helps calm excess sebum production on oily and acne-prone skin. You can also mix it with your foundation for enhanced moisture and anti-aging benefits with a dewy, radiant finish. The weightless, hypoallergenic formula helps firm and soften without clogging pores, and works to provide an antioxidant barrier against environmental attack.

In a 6-week consumer study of 53 women,

  • 96% of women saw an overall visible improvement in skin
  • 91% of women saw a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
  • 94% of women saw a visible improvement in skin texture
  • 94% of women thought skin appeared renewed and rejuvenated.

So, my next question is, why is Tarte Cosmetics the only company selling this miraculous product? One website suggests, “only one crop is harvested each year by the amazonian women… Tarte has a cooperative in the Amazon that supports the women of the region.” I wasn’t able to find any information to support that claim, though let’s be real, I didn’t look that deep into it.

I would categorize it as a dry oil, as it absorbs into the skin quick and leaves no oily residue. The smell is pretty neutral, and you aren’t using enough of it at once to really notice it at all. It’s not cheap: a half-ounce bottle will cost you around $15, and 1.7 fl oz at a small discount, $45 (it’s like a $3 savings… yes, I did the math). But 2 drops per night is all you need to experience the multitude of benefits. Attached to the cap is a convenient pump-action eye dropper to help you really control how much you use. My Ipsy sample from December (less than a quarter-ounce) lasted me until last weekend, and I used it every single night.

I can’t say enough good things about my experience using this miracle oil. If you have issues like me, or if you are even just looking for a good nightly product to lock in moisture and even out your skin…

What are you waiting for? 

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*Worth noting that no one even paid me to write this. That’s how much I love this shit.

I’ve always wanted a lover with a gold phallus

It’s been a while since I’ve done an astrology post. But with tomorrow’s new moon in Aquarius, I stumbled across this article from Elephant Journal that shared a rather interesting story about the events taking place tomorrow. Along with the new moon occurs the conjunction of the constellations Osiris and Isis. According to the article, it’s considered an “extremely rare celestial occurrence for Isis and Osiris to conjunct on a new moon and it signifies a vital and essential phase of our soul evolution and our relationship with our twin flame.”

The history of Isis and Osiris is one of the most notable stories in Egyptian mythology. Apparently they were twins fathered by Geb, the earth god and Nut, the sky goddess. The two were born with a deep connection to each other, and became this power couple that ruled over Egypt. Well, they also had a brother named Set who was kind of pissed off at all the attention Osiris and Isis were getting and decided he would murder his bro Osiris in retaliation. Not only did he murder Osiris, but he chopped him up in pieces and scattered them across Egypt.

Isis, in her deep love and connection with Osiris, searches tirelessly for every single piece. Eventually she is able to put him back together, as she finds every piece except for his, well, man piece. She then mummifies him (thus he becomes the first mummy), and decides to give him a golden wang so that she could birth his child.

The significance with Isis and the current twin flame energies is that she shows us the power and force of her feminine energy when she set her mind on retrieving, repairing and healing her loved one’s body and soul.

Wild story, but a deep significance for tomorrow when the two meet again in the sky. As any new moon occurs, it is a time for new beginnings and for us to plant seeds for the future. With the addition of the Isis/Osiris conjunction, “anyone who is involved with a twin flame will have been feeling the strength and intensity of this brewing energy.” If we are with our twin flame, or mirror soul, tomorrow should be an interesting day. I definitely recommend taking the time to read this article [New Moon in Aquarius: The Time is right for a Rare Twin Flame Conjunction] if you’re interested in this stuff. And for more on the New Moon in Aquarius (and a breakdown of every astrological event this month), check out my friend’s site AstroLuminus. I just wanted to share the story of the gold peen with you.

If you ask me, I think she couldn’t find his real junk on purpose.

Easy Cauliflower Crust Pizza

This ain’t no “New Year, New Me” post. Yeah I got a FitBit for Christmas, and I like to at least try and eat healthy to balance out the restaurant dining and binge drinking. But honestly, I just love pizza so much and eat it so often that I honestly can’t discriminate against any kind of pizza. Including a low-carb alternative made sans bread.

So the other day I picked up some cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s after reading that it is one of their most popular products that I never heard of (both fresh and frozen!). It’s basically just cauliflower that has already gone through the food processor for you so you don’t have to deal with the hassle… such a time saver. With all these recipes floating around with cauliflower subs, I was curious, so I got it and made some “fried rice” one night last week. It wasn’t bad, but I was left with so much leftover cauliflower, I needed more options than just frying it up with vegetables.

With the internet being the amazing place it is, all I did was Google a couple cauliflower pizza crust recipes, and realized I already had about 90% of the ingredients I needed to make it. The rest I could improvise.


[Recipe is a combo of this one from PopSugar, and this one from Damn Delicious… and a little improvisation by moi]

Easy Cauliflower Crust Pesto Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick spray
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fresh chives, optional

ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF, line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place cauliflower rice in microwave safe bowl, microwave 5 minutes or until soft. Let cool.
  3. Mix into rice beaten egg, one cup mozzarella, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the parchment. Make sure to press middle down firmly because that will take the longest to cook through. dough
  5. Spray lightly with nonstick spray and bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Top pizza with pesto sauce (or whatever pizza sauce you’d like, at the time this was all that was in my fridge!), 1/4 cup mozzarella, red pepper flakes (and any other desired toppings). Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10-12 minutes. Top with chives before serving.

I’m telling you, this could not be any easier. Guilt-free, no flour, no dough, no hassle. And it comes out tasting pretty damn good.

done

I got a FitBit for Christmas and all it did was show me what a lazy ass I am

I like to think of myself as a generally fit person.

I spend 4 to 5 hours each week at the gym, and rarely ever skip a day. I can bust out ten perfect push-ups and barely break sweat. I’m up and at the gym at 5:45 am every single Thursday morning for one of my classes. I drink protein shakes after my workouts. While lecturing my dad about his cigarette addiction on Christmas, he lectured me about my workout addiction.

So, as you can imagine, I was super psyched to receive a new FitBit Alta in ~*gold*~ this Christmas from my boyfriend. Now I can see and track just how healthy af I already know I am.

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Yeah, notttt quite.

So, as I’m sure most of you already know (since I’m obviously late to the party on the FitBit craze), the default goals (most as recommended by the American Heart Association) are: 10,000 steps per day; 8 hours of sleep per night; five days of 30+ active minutes per day; and for the hours between 9 am and 6 pm, logging at least 250 steps every hour.

Day 1: Last Monday
I logged a whopping 6,248 steps — 3,752 shy of the goal. Slept a total of 9 hours and 5 minutes Sunday night. Despite my trip to the gym, I managed to log a goose egg on active minutes. And through my 8-hour work day, I got up and took 250+ steps only 4 out of the 9 hours.

So, basically you’re telling me I’m not as *fit* and *fab* as I think I am. More like *lazy* and *sleeps a lot*.

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What a humbling experience.

Yes, I work at an office and sit at a computer for a living. Yes, I do more weight training at the gym and avoid cardio. Yes, I despise the treadmill. So after a week of wearing this fitness tracker, I understand why it’s telling me I’m not as active as I think I am. I can do a weight training class at my gym, and since my FitBit does not have a heart rate monitor it likely won’t pick up on active minutes if it isn’t a cardio-based workout. I can be into a project at work and sit for 4 hours straight, ass numb and cross-eyed. I can go home from work, not want to go out, and crash on my couch for the rest of the night and only get half of my recommended steps in for the day. It’s been over a week since I got this and I have yet to hit 10,000 steps.But the most important piece I think this device offers is the awareness of what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

Instead of using the bathroom that is 20 steps from my cubicle, maybe I can take the stairs down to the next floor and use that bathroom. Instead of finding the closest parking spot because it’s cold outside, maybe I will park a little farther today. On a night that my workout involves entirely weight training, maybe I will jog on the treadmill for 10 minutes prior.

Lesson learned.
So maybe I’m not as active as I thought I was, and maybe I’m not even as inactive as my new FitBit is telling me. But now that I know this, I can make small adjustments here and there and work towards my own personal goals (i.e., not sitting on my ass for four hours straight while I’m at work). In the end, awareness is key. Also did I mention I got it in ~*gold*~ ??

Stay humble, my pretties
xoxox

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12 things that have happened since the Browns’ last win

“That’s Cllllllllllleveland — with 12 L’s — to you.”

Welp. The Browns are 0-12. If you’ve followed them at all these last few seasons decades, this may not come as that great a shock to you. But it is actually really hard to be this bad.

Historically, the Browns have been garbage. That’s just a fact. But every season — though they may be historically losing seasons — there comes a game or two where we should not have won, against a team we should not have beat, but for some reason we pull it out by the skin of our teeth. Going winless is not the norm, even for terrible teams. This year is different. Twelve weeks into the season and it is abundantly clear that we can’t win at all, especially after being outscored 174-67 in the second half so far this season. Is it possible we will go 0-16?

Since 1944, only four teams have gone winless in the NFL for an entire season: the 1960 Dallas Cowboys (0–11–1), the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0–14), the 1982 Baltimore Colts (0–8–1), and most recently, the 2008 Detroit Lions (0–16). So the Browns will be in some good company, if you could call it that.


I’d like to take this time to take everyone back to the last time we rejoiced in a win…

The day was December 13, 2015. Our starting quarterback was none other than Mr. Johnny Football. Our opponent: the San Francisco 49ers (who, might I add, are currently an unimpressive 1-10 after week 12). Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? Here’s 12 things that have happened in the world since the Browns’ last W…

1. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won the Oscar he always deserved.

2. This video, for some reason (unknown to me), became a thing:

3. Pokémon Go happened and I started getting random texts like this:

pokemon

4. Zika.

5. Ryan Lochte told everyone he was robbed at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics, really he is just drunk and rachet. Rio was not happy.

6. Brangelina divorce, making love questionable for couples everywhere.

7. This lady couldn’t stop laughing over a Chewbacca mask:

8. Brexit.

9. Everyone’s favorite silver-back gorilla, Harambe, was taken far before his time. Reassuringly, at least one person out there writes him in for president (it was probably Biden).

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10. Donald Trump becomes president after what seemed like the most painful election in modern history.

11. Cavs win the first franchise championship — this one still brings a tear to my eye.

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12. Indians actually go to the World Series and ironically blow a 3-1 lead (I ain’t mad at ya, boys).

And there you have it. A world that keeps truckin’ along, despite the Browns. Well. As they say, I guess there’s always next year… Until then… Thankfully next week is a bye-week.

sad

Maybe we should just be single for a few years and find ourselves

I’ve never been one to get very political.

I think our system is largely predetermined and that democracy is just a meaningless word anymore, told to us to make us feel like we have control, when really we don’t. And, even if I’m incorrect in that assumption, I believe there are systems so well in place that our country can withstand a so-called bad president regardless.

That being said, on the eve of one of the most ridiculous presidential elections in history, there are some things to consider:

1. Being a woman in the business professional world, I’ve been in the presence of many-a narcissistic businessmen for most of my adult life, and one thing is consistent: they will always try to manipulate you. To the point where you think you are making the “right” decision, but in reality it’s a decision that benefits them. I’ve never met a money-driven CEO that was willing to put other’s needs in front of his own personal interests. But he damn sure will make you think he is.

That’s why I don’t think a businessman would make a good president.

2. I also know that there are things that go on in the White House that would make the general public shit its pants if we knew. There are secrets in those walls, and corruption beyond your comprehension. You’re foolish or just plain ignorant if you think otherwise. So think about someone who has been a part of that corrupt system for 30+ years. And while there are a lot of politicians out there that are able to remain innocent and ethical in the public’s eyes during their tenure, I don’t know if I trust someone in the White House who already knows how to rig the system in her favor.

That’s why I don’t think a former president’s wife and — let’s just call a spade a spade — a blatantly corrupt politician would make a good president.

So, basically, what I’m trying to say is, we’re fucked either way. Until our country can stray from this two-party system that has been so ingrained in our political tradition, we’re fucked no matter who wins.

But also, I view the presidency the same as I view the stock market: it has its ups and downs, but eventually it all evens out in the end. So yeah, we’re fucked in the short term… but we’ll probably be fine either way.

At least that’s what they want you to think.

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Monthly subscription takeover

In the 90s, when I think of monthly subscriptions, I think of the kids in the neighborhood that would go door to door, guilting unsuspecting housewives into magazine subscriptions that were completely unnecessary — who needs a year and half subscription to Better Homes and Gardens or Sports Illustrated? For a one-time cost of $16.99, it didn’t seem so bad. And if you were that kid and you were lucky, you could convince your parents to buy one for yourself, securing 12 or 18 copies of the latest Tiger Beat, depending on if they wanted to shell out the extra $5.00 or not.

Birchbox broke through as one of the first successful and widely-known monthly subscription programs, a $10 per month subscription for all the latest high-end beauty product samples. Subscription services continue to evolve today, letting consumers not only get new makeup on their doorstep every month, but also food, razors, active wear, and  now even undergarments. With the click of a button, you can even subscribe your dog to get a monthly box of treats and goodies.

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It’s a thriving market that is sucking a lot of consumers in. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend $10 a month to get a box full of goodies, or $40 a month for a new workout outfit each month. Right?

Ehhh.

I’ve largely stayed away from this trend, mostly because I’m cheap. But also on principle: I have so many things, and most of these things tend to get stowed away in a random drawer and are forgotten about until it’s time to give them away or throw them out. And what if you don’t like what you get? Especially with the idea of clothes or a pantie/bra combo being sent to you monthly–sometimes these subscriptions can be costly, and with your card automatically charged each month, you may not realize how costly it truly can be. It just seems impracticable to me. This article looks into the boom of the subscription era and puts the concept of being dissatisfied perfectly:

“In a month where I don’t use Netflix, I don’t really think about it,” Bennett says. “A month where you don’t like the product shipped to your front door, you’ll have a visible reminder that this wasn’t a good month.”

That’s the biggest reason I’ve kept from getting suckered into one of these things. I have the worst buyers remorse, and these types of trends would definitely perpetuate that. The industry is heavily dependent on bloggers to review each product for their followers, one of the most notable being My Subscription Addiction.

Well, as it seems, I finally caved and decided to try Ipsy a few months ago. I have some friends that use Birchbox and have expressed disappointment with it, saying that after a few months they began to receive the same things over and over. I also read that Birchbox is more sample size, high-end products whereas Ipsy provides more sample and full size but also drugstore brands (which, tbh, is probably the only place I shop for makeup anyway).

I find myself wanting to try a lot of different beauty products these days, but never wanting to go out and buy it myself for fear I will get the wrong thing or dislike what I pick once I try it and waste my money. So, a $10 subscription for five new beauty products a month does sound like a good fit for me. Ipsy claims on its website that the average value of a monthly “Glam Bag” is $53.00. Who wouldn’t want to try that? Pay $10.00 and get $53.00?

Not necessarily.

Ah yes, being the nerd I am, I know there are a lot of different approaches to reach an “average,” which is fodder for companies that like to throw out skewed statistics. So three months in, I’m pretty convinced I’m getting my money’s worth–that is, receiving items that I personally value at $2.00 a piece (I’m very practical, I pay $10 per month for 5 items, so it’s simple in my mind). But when you tell me that each item really is valued at $10.60 a piece on “average”? Now that makes me want to know how much they are really worth. I think a quarter of a year is a good sample size, but I’m also keeping in mind that items may be more or less “better” when you start a subscription, and will invariably taper off because a) Ipsy automatically charges my card each month and knows I probably won’t cancel after a few lackluster bags, and b) at some point, I may not need a new highlighter every single month, despite me telling Ipsy that I like receiving highlighter.

A couple of items to note: sometimes sample sizes are cheaper or more expensive than full size, depending on the brand. To keep everything apples to apples, I’ve just taken the price of a full size item to determine a per-ounce price, and used that to prorate the size that was received. It may not be as accurate as the beauty bloggers, but it’s logical math and that’s my jam.


August Glam Bag

Lord&Berry | 20100 maximatte crayon lipstick
  • Full size = 0.20 oz; sells on their website for $20.00
  • Size received = 0.06 oz
  • Estimated value = $6.00
Beauty For Real | I-LINE 24-7 Eyeliner
  • Full size received; sells on their website for $14.00
  • Estimated value = $14.00
Josie Maran | Whipped Mud Mask
  • Full size = 0.50 oz; collection sells on their website 5 for $48.00 ($9.60/piece)
  • Size received = 0.24 oz
  • Estimated value = $4.61
Organic Surge | Perfecting Face Polish
  • Full size = 2.5 oz; sells on their website for $9.09
  • Size received = 1.0 oz
  • Estimated value = $3.64
NXY Professional Makeup | BORN TO GLOW LIQUID ILLUMINATOR
  • Full size = 0.6 oz; sells on their website for $7.50
  • Size received = 0.5 oz
  • Estimated value = $6.25

Total estimated August Glam Bag value = $34.50


September Glam Bag

Briogeo | Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
  • Full size = 8.0 oz; sells on their website for $36.00
  • Size received = 1.0 oz
  • Estimated Value = $4.50
Waxing Kara | Sweet Lips Honey Lip Balm
  • Full size received; sells on their website for $10.00
  • Estimated value = $10.00
IT Cosmetics | Superhero™ Mascara
  • Full size = 0.304 oz; sells on their website for $24.00
  • Size received = 0.17 oz
  • Estimated value = $13.42
Crown Brush | Ombre Angle Brush
  • Full size received; sells on their website for $7.99
  • Estimated value = $7.99
tre’StiQue | Mini Highlight Stick
  • Full size = 0.21 oz; sells on their website for $34.00
  • Size received = 0.04 oz
  • Estimated value = $6.48

Total estimated September Glam Bag value = $42.39


October Glam Bag

 theBalm Cosmetics | CabanaBoy Blush
  • Full size = 0.30 oz; sells on their website for $21.00
  • Size received = 0.02 oz
  • Estimated value = $1.40
NYX Professional Makeup | Vivid Brights Liner
  • Full size received; sells on their website for $7.00
  • Estimated value = $7.00
Pure Brazilian | Leave In Miracle
  • Size received = 1.0 oz; sells on their website for $6.00
  • Estimated value = $6.00
Indi Beauty | Buttercream Antioxidant Lip Scrub
  • Full size = 0.353 oz; sells on their website for $21.99
  • Size received = 0.169 oz
  • Estimated value = $10.54
tre’StiQue | Matte Lip Crayon
  • Full size = 0.06 oz; sells on their website for $28.00
  • Size received = 0.02 oz
  • Estimated value = $9.33

Total estimated October Glam Bag value = $34.27


Average Glam Bag value over first 3 months = $37.05

So, while certain items may not have hit my $2.00/piece mark (I’m looking at you, worthless sample size of blush that I can’t even use), and I’m certainly nowhere near the $53.00/month average value by my own definition, you can see that one or two items a month hit above the $10.60 threshold. And honestly, each month there are one or two items that I really love (i.e., the face polish, liquid illuminator, mascara, lip scrub – total estimated value of $34.80) which in total are valued at more than the $30 I spent in the last three months. I’d say for those wanting to expand their beauty bags, Ipsy is definitely worth it, at least for the time being. We’ll see if I get roped into any other monthly subscriptions any time soon….

[[Sign up for Ipsy here.]]

This was always our year: Part II

 

Cleveland is on fire (and I say that to include the dumpster fire that is the Browns so far this season, mind you), and there is no stopping us now. The Cavs win the championship for the first time ever and now, with an impressive record of 91-65, the Indians clinch their first division title in nearly a decade?? Is this real life? Hello, October 🙂

As long as you get blackout drunk every Sunday morning before the Browns play, it’s good to be a Cleveland fan in 2016.

More locker room fun at Bottlegate.com.

The unabridged story of how Charles Barkley saved my life

No, not that Charles Barkley.

This Charles Barkley:

CB

Charles has been the man of the house [err…my apartment] for about 10 months now, ever since I adopted him last October when he was just two months old. In that time, he has chewed through just about every cord I own, puked on my hair dryer when I was hungover, ate a leather strap on my new shoe, stepped into the hot wax inside a Scentsy warmer and tracked it throughout my family room (but to be fair, he smelled fantastic for like a week after), and virtually prevented any sense of alone time by barging in on my showers. He’s also been the most affectionate, chillest, and best pet I could ever ask for; always greeting me at the door and there to cuddle on a lame Friday night. I live alone but I’m never actually alone, which I guess is the point of a pet. But CB is definitely the illest.


So fast forward to Saturday night, I’m getting home from my friends house after Conor McGregor won part 2 vs Nate Diaz, at about 1am. I’m getting out of my car to walk the 500 feet to the entrance of my building, and someone from across the parking lot tried to get my attention. But not in an “I need some help” sort of way… in a “hey, you, how you doin’ pretty little thang why you walkin’ away?” sort of way. Alarms sounded in my head and I picked up the pace as I made my way to the door.

As soon as I got in my apartment, I looked out my balcony and noticed the same man was trying to gain access to the building. Yikes. Logic says I should have called 911, but I tried calling my local police department first. No luck. He walked away seconds later and I continued to look out the window but he never came back. Freaked out and adrenaline-filled, I sat in my bed with my lights on and the TV on watching Scandal reruns until the wee hours of the morning. At some point my fear and adrenaline subsided (or maybe I just exhausted myself), and I drifted into a series of anxious, unpleasant dreams.

All of a sudden, I’m woken up by a loud THUNK! noise coming from my spare room. And again. I look at the clock: 4:40am. Did the crazy psycho finally come back for me? Did he get into my apartment? I grab a hammer and turn on the spare room light and couldn’t believe my eyes.

I thought I was dreaming. No glasses to aid my blurred vision, and a slight pang of a hangover creeping through my head, a shadow flew across the room as Charles lunged into the air and all of a sudden… nothing. Silence. Charles was just standing there under my computer chair, staring at me. I was left to figure out what just happened.

Standing in the doorway, I thought very carefully about what I just thought I saw. Was it a bird? A big moth? If it was either of those, wouldn’t it still be flying around? I couldn’t have just imagined it. I flicker the lights. Nothing. Did I just imagine it? Maybe I just need to go back to bed and chalk up tonight as one big loss.

And then I realized Charles’ hair was standing straight up, right where his tail met his ass. I’ve never seen him like that before. He was motionless, staring directly at me and never looking away. He was definitely trying to tell me something, and that’s when I noticed it.

vampire-bat

Charles was standing right between me and a black creature on the floor, as I approached it I realized I was looking at a fucking bat. I’d never seen one up close before, and I was mortified. It was so ugly.

When it occurred to me the steps this cat took to not only alert me that something was wrong, but to also stand between me and this unknown creature, I realized that he was basically acting as my protector. Hell, he was my protector. Charles Barkley saved my damn life that night.

If you’re interested in how this story ends, I’m afraid it didn’t end well for the bat. I got Charles out of that room and closed the door, locking Mr. Dracula in the 14’x9′ space. The good thing about renting an apartment is there is a 24-hour emergency maintenance hotline, so clogged drains and bats finding a way in my apartment don’t have to be my problem if I don’t want them to be. The bad thing is the hired help around here is not very experienced in the way of humane animal treatment… after about 5 minutes of attempting to whistle and snap and yell the bat out the window failed, well… I don’t need to tell you what happened next. Poor guy. They think he found his way in through the bathroom vent.

So yeah. That was my traumatizing Saturday night. At least I have a bad ass roommate to take care of me.

HBDCB