lifestyle

December, Always Been a Problem Child

I’ve been mostly missing this month (and in months past) thanks to a whole lotta life jumping in the way. The MOMENT the last bell of the year rang, I started working on a whole queue of posts I wanna publish ASAP. In the mean time, it’d probably be advantageous if you felt up to speed, eh?

Here’s a blog vomit of lots of a pics and links so we can get over this horrible and lonely part of our reblogonship as I move back in and rebuild. I’ve missed you, my loves. You’re the only ones for me!!!!!

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Style posts that should have been:

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Cool things that’ve happened:

D.C. –

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Paul McCartney –

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New hair –

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Harry Potter Yule Ball (COSTUME CONTEST WINNER RIGHT HERE!) –

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A family wedding –

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Secret Santa –

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(Just a few) www. Wednesday links I missed posting:

+ By now, Colbert’s last episode has already aired, but I still have to share the heartwarming genius that is this interview with he and Jon Stewart. Also, did you see Obama KILL The Word?! I<3MyPresident.

+ A list of slang terms NOT ALLOWED was created by a manager {of a company I will never eat at again} is something I’m going to have to “harvest” for use in my own classroom.

+ 17 things people born in the late 80s are currently experiencing. I think it speaks for itself.

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And on this day, the eve of Christmas, the birthday of many of my favorite friends, my li’l pup’s Gotcha day, a day spent snuggling in bed with my love and then laughing merrily with my family, I wish you all as much joy diving into your dreams as I’ve had catching up on this one.

Life happens, so I simply just disappear to handle it from time to time, but I am going to try my damnedest in the new year to say “NAY, LIFE, YOU WILL WAIT, FOR I HAVE A BLOG ENTRY TO WRITE TODAY!”

I’m blessed to always be able to come back because this is my home. This is my goal. This is my life. If I couldn’t come back, what would I do? I know I’ve said it before, and I know I’ll say it again, but I can’t wait to be back at the keys, typing away, just for my readers.

Cheers! xo, Reyonce

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To the Women…

The drive home from my aunt’s house last night was full of laughter, my grandma and her daughters recounting the time she and Pop-Pop horrified them, using a ripped blouse as inspiration for a pre-date prank.

“Sometimes the Devil just gets inside of you, and you have to go for it!” Sassy Maggie said.

We laughed until we cried, and I just felt so warm inside, the visceral kind that reaches your toes and your bones simultaneously.

I had been surrounded by such strong women all day, women who have survived lost love, lost children, divorces, economic hardship, and the day-in, day-out patriarchal bullshit I’m still putting up with today. And luckily, because we’re strong, we’ve surrounded ourselves with men who build us up; men that know that if they don’t, they’ll be kicked to the curb because we have each other–the women–to pick up the pieces.

Our society is divided by race, sex, and religion more than ever, but I don’t see that in my blended, matriarchal family. And though I’m so thankful for the men in my life (aka some of the strongest feminists I know), and my friends, and my love, and my puppies, and the general blessings of a white, middle-class (i.e. PRIVILEGED) American, I’m still the most thankful when I look around the kitchen in my Grandma’s house in the stark light of a November morning and see women of three different generations relating over and over again. About drugs. About music. About family. About sitting inside together on Black Friday in support of a young man in Ferguson instead of shopping for more shit we don’t need. About making today about someone else.*

It doesn’t matter if we were born in 1921 or 1950 or 1987. Because women are the strongest when we sit together over coffee, realizing that no matter how we differ, we are stronger and better together.

I am so thankful for the women who taught me to rise above the status quo, to strive to listen, to be better, to help, to support, to never let a man sit you down in a corner and tell you “No, you can’t do that.”

And it fills me with joy when I see my cousin teaching his daughter the same things, and letting me teach them to her, too, with 100 percent trust that I have her best interest–as a human, but most importantly, a woman–at heart.

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What women are you thankful for this year? I am proud of oh-so-many of us for breaking boundaries and building bridges this year!

 

* Well, I guess aside from this blog entry.

In Defense of Red Bull

I am addicted to Red Bull. Those near and dear to me know it. My students have tried to convince me the taurine in it is bull semen, which I’ve then had to rebuff with science.

I’ve also told them I’d keep drinking it even if it were true.

I lived most of my life without caffeine, at least at the doses other humans used to get through the day-to-day. When I started having heart issues, I was ordered not to have any, which I obliged for three solid years, including most of my college years AND my first two “real” jobs. I did all of that without the aid of our most popular and acceptable legal drug.

But when I hit my third real job and grad school and my fourth real job and being a full-time girlfriend, puppy mom, self-provider… well, I had to get back on the wagon whether I wanted to or not. At this point, I had my POTS semi-diagnosis, and I had read somewhere along the way that caffeine can help some cases. Why not, right?

Enter caf tea, then coffee, then sodas, then all of the above at once. My life was a joy of artificial awareness! Sweet Moses, how I had missed the bitterness of a strong cup o’ joe on my tongue; longed for the earthy numbness of Yerba mate! Now I could have it all! THE WORLD WAS MINE!

… for a while. When I picked up my old Diet Coke habit I’d had before my doctor ordered me off caffeine completely, all my old issues returned. I realized fast it was due to the aspartame, something I have to avoid in high doses, but I had to cut off the caf while my heart’s rhythmic issues resolved themselves. These months should be renamed The Dark Ages or I Barely Remember Anything Because I Was So Tired ALL. THE. TIME!

It happened by accident, really. It seemed like it had been long enough for me to pick back up the aspartame-free caf. That day in Ohio, the only caf that happened to be around was Red Bull.

It’s been a love affair since. Minus the sugar, it’s actually a damn healthy form of caffeine. It’s full of B-vitamins aka your mother would approve/P.S. YOUR HAIR IS SO SHINY! Oh, and yeah, the sugar isn’t great, but if you’re going to a chain coffee store and getting a mocha latte white chocolate pumpkin green tea frappucino? You are ingesting WAY more than that. Same for sodas: much more sugar.

Bonus: I have always been prone to jitters with caffeine, especially coffee. But get this! No jitters with DA BULL! Plus it’s cold, refreshing, and delicious. Need I say more? OH YEAH! The facts…

The Facts:
Less caffeine than a regular brewed coffee (75-80mg vs. 95-200 mg).
Basically the most “natural” energy drink you can find.
+ At least the sugar is real (not HFCS or aspartame, etc.) if you drink the regular version.
+ Oh, and there is way, way, way less of it (and other bullshit additives) than, say, a grande Starbucks (330mgs of caffeine, too, BY THE WAY.)
+ PACKED with vitamins and amino acids.
+ First ingredient is water, which is the most important ingredient in ANY food and/or beauty product.
+ No known carcinogens.

By the way… the other day, in an effort to appease some of my more concerned students and colleagues, I picked up a protein drink to wake me up. When I put it beside my Red Bull, I laughed too hard (but also cried) because it was PACKED with horrible crap.

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First of all, look at that ingredient list. Are you joking?! SEE HOW MANY INGREDIENTS ARE IN RED BULL? SUPER, I DO, TOO. I can also pronounce all of them and know that all the lesser-known terms on the list are either sugar or vitamins thanks to my time working with a nutrition program.

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But the Muscle Milk is full of disgusting oils, a thickener or two, and even a KNOWN CARCINOGEN, not to mention packed with fat and sodium. Yes, it’s got vitamins on vitamins, but at the cost of drinking canola oil and cellulose potentially NOT derived from a plant.

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I triple dog dare you to try and pronounce some of the terms on that second label. Some are vitamins, yes, but most are food additives that aren’t necessary.

So hey, how about you back off the Red Bull? If you’re drinking it in moderation on a hydrated, healthy body, you have nothing to worry about. It’s just like sipping a cup of coffee or strong tea. It’s only when you, as a user, make bad choices that this drink becomes an issue.

But the same can be said for any drink, can’t it? (LOOKING AT YOU, ALCOHOL!)

Inaugural FOoTW: TOM HIDDLESTON

What IS FOoTW? “Fangirl Object of the Week” is a bloggy creation of mine, dedicated to releasing my (not-so)inner fangirl. Here’s a pretty accurate description of what a “fangirl” is, courtesy of the always reliable Urban Dictionary:

A rabid breed of human female who is obsessed with either a fictional character or an actor. Similar to the breed of fanboy. … Have been known to glomp, grope, and tackle when encountering said obsessions.

This is, like, borderline “Single White Female,” without the murder, sprinkled with a lot of innocence and respect. Every once in a while, I’ll publicly gush over one of these objects of my over-affection because sometimes, you just need to let it out, honey.

Let the love commence.

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Tom, Tom, Tom. Where do I begin?

It wasn’t that long ago when I didn’t know much about you. Heather talked of your appearance in “Thor” a lot, but I had yet to check it out myself. I saw you on the occasional Tumblr post and knew there was a sort of religious following in the vein of Hiddles, but I couldn’t be bothered to research. I was an unemployed 20-something with lots of Internet to cover, okay!?

But one day, my boyfriend suggested we watch “Thor,” and I came away with a new appreciation for the lanky Brit in green and black. The ship started innocently enough… I suggested we dress our dog as Loki for Halloween. That was merely the tip of the iceberg, though.

It was a slow process, starting with Loki research, then some Avengers research, then some HOLY SHIT, LOOK AT ALL OF THESE PHOTOS OF TOM IN DELICIOUS SUITS research. I finally watched “The Avengers,” and all bets were motherfucking off; I shot directly from generic fan into career-Hiddles worship.

I started seeking out more Tommy flicks to watch after that, even if that just meant rewatching the same YouTube clip from The Hollow Crown because damn boy, you sexy.

Then I realized that not only were you a master looker, you were also a master of fun, and if there’s anything on this planet I love most, it’s a jokester. And Tom, Tom, Tom… you are the funniest of the funny with your pranks, your impressions, and those masterful EHEHEHEHE’s. See for yourself, future fangirls.

Now you’re who I rent otherwise shitty movies for. You’re who I drag my boyfriend to the movie theater for on opening night. In fact, you’re the one my boyfriend hates most ’cause I have permission to break the confines of monogamy with you. (Don’t worry… if Marisa Tomei ever shows up, he’ll nab the same privilege.) Not to say you’re a piece of meat or an object as the title of this post suggests; in fact, you are the true opposite–an entirely unique and amazing human being–and that’s why I love you and your face so damn much.

So Tom, thank you for your glorious waves of ever-changing hair. Thank you for looking debonaire in a suit. Thank you for THOSE EYES. Thank you for being a kind dude, especially to batshit fans like myself. Thank you for being romantic as hell in a world where it’s dwindling, and sweet angel, thank you for that CHOCOLATELY smooth voice. Perhaps most of all, thanks for introducing the Internet to a thing called “getting Loki’d.” Where would Tumblr be without you, Tom? THE ANSWER IS NO WHERE.

Tom, you lanky, saucy minx, thank you for saving the Internet world from never believing in love again.

Oh, and as for your proposal of marriage, I shall send you my reply with all of my love within a fortnight. Xoxo, babe.

Reyonce’s Makeup 101 {No-Makeup Look}

I never used to be a daily make-up wearer. Most of this came from some stubborn determination that I could go without, that perhaps I’d be less awesome if I had to slather my face in makeup. This, of course, is the most absurd notion a person could have, as you should put whatever the hell you want on your face to make you feel like a boss-ass bitch.

When I segued into finally wearing makeup everyday, which took finding good products and a job to motivate me to slap it on, I quickly found that what I want everyday is much more minimal that what I want on, say, a femme fatale photo shoot.

I like to go with an easy contour, dark lashes, bright eyes, and a moisturized pout. Of course, to look like I barely have anything on, it takes all of these products:

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As per usual, I try to keep things natural or at least beneficial to my face, which is why you’ll see more skin-friendly and/or natural and/or expensive brands on my shelf. The investment means not having to dump out 34 foundations that sort of worked, but made me break out in the middle of my forehead like an 11-year-old. The cheapest thing pictured is my $1 neutral palette I’ve since replaced with the bangin’ NAKED2 palette.

Steps to this look:
1. Moisturize. As you know from this entry, I normally use an oil or a cream.
2. Spot treat. Cover up any super obvi imperfections with my salicylic acid foundation to tag-team the situation, and occasionally zap the circles under my eyes, too.
3. LIGHT overall powder coverage.
4. Somewhat intense contouring with my bronzer. Depending on the look, I’ll add more or less, or leave it blended or unblended. It’s all subjective, baby.
5. HEAVY overall finishing powder.
6. Highlight with my highlighter stick. If I can’t find it, I use the lightest color in my neutral palette, normally a white!
7. Set the hell out of that shit with the world’s best makeup setter on the planet!

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At this point, your face will be done. It’ll look like the above photo, only probably more put together since I just did this for y’all on a whim. I know, you’re moved. I feel the tears, too.

8. Line lip with extremely close-to-lip-color lipstick.
9. Line eyes with gray liner to keep them shiners poppin’.
10. Mascara all the lashes! Well, except the bottom ones. Don’t ever touch those unless you’re doing something the MOST hardcore.
11. Finish with a light glossing of salve on the lips and VOILA!

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Style: Columbus Day

I’m not one to celebrate a murderous, greedy Italian,—YOU SHAME US, CHRIS!—but when a theme day comes around at work, I’m not one to pass it up.

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I went red and blue using vintage Ralph Lauren silk, suede heels, and one of my favorite necklaces from San Fran’s Chinatown.

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{blouse — thrifted vintage Ralph Lauren} // {pixie pants — old navy} // {heels — michael antonio} // {necklace — boutique in SF Chinatown} // {heart ring — claire’s}

Style: Transition

Summer seems to want to keep its humid grasp on fall this year, so I’ve been finding myself needing to prepare through careful transitional layering.

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{crop top — Nordstrom Rack} // {skirt — thrifted} // {cashmere cardigan — thrifted Gap} // {boots — freebies!} // {sunnies — lucky penny}

Style: Fall Wedding

Last weekend, J and I had the pleasure of camping out and celebrating for his best friend’s birthday in the first fully-fall weekend here in NC. It was beautiful, and the occasion called for a just-right outfit.

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Don’t worry. About an hour later, I was rocking the grey fleece-lined leggings I brought. Good thing, too, because we camped during the first frost of the year!

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Much love to J & K in their new journey!

{dress — consigned Everly} // {capelet — sheinside} // {boots — limelight} // {sunnies — old navy}

www. Wednesday

WOW, how long has it been since I’ve gotten to spread the love for the links I’ve been reading lately?! If you said forever, you’d be incorrect… but close.

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+ First things first: I’VE NEVER READ AN ARTICLE THAT SO DESCRIBED WHAT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO TELL PEOPLE FOR YEARS! An article for people with outgoing characteristics who are INTROVERTS TO THE CORE!! Yes, I tend to be the leader, but I am secretly vomiting inside because I am such an introvert.

+ I know I’m late to the party here because I’ve been absent from the blogosphere lately, but here’s a nice collection of articles explaining why the photo-hacking scandal involving Jennifer Lawrence is literally the worst and also an insanely blatant sex crime.

+ If you love a man in a suit, this article at thesaltcollective is simultaneously suit porn AND the greatest piece of satire ever written. (I’m only peeved Tom Hiddleston didn’t make the photo spread. Mmm, Tom.)

+ As super pro-sunscreen as I am, it made me so, so happy to see this video on Upworthy of people on an ultraviolet camera with and without sunscreen. LOTION UP, SON!

+ It’s really important not to be an offensive douche, so please read this guide to proper head covering titles before you throw around vocabulary you don’t understand.

+ I adore this two-year-old article about how Japan has eliminated deaths by shooting because of their gun law process. It’s about mid-article if you want to read, and seriously reasonable. Check it out no matter where you stand on the issue; it’s nice to see others’ procedures!

+ IMPORTANT FUNDRAISING ANNOUNCEMENT: One of my beautiful friends, S, is in the process of creating a documentary about mental illness in America. This is something those of us who suffer from invisible, yet horrific illnesses, really need. Please donate if you can: http://www.gofundme.com/wearementalillness

+ Oh, and if you get a chance, check out my new business, Stylistic Theorem. This one is here to stay!

The Only Sober Girl in the Room

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I stopped drinking heavily a couple years ago. I stopped drinking altogether a little over six months ago. Sure, I’ve had a few drinks here and there to celebrate my birthday or a new job, but I haven’t participated in the American alcohol binge in quite some time.

Most people cock their head to the side and wonder why a healthy, non-alcoholic girl in her 20s stopped drinking. “Why wouldn’t you want this cold, shitty beer?!” they wonder. What follows is always this look of suspicion as if there’s some extremely deep and/or sinister reason for my sobriety. Truth is, I just like being sober.

The funny thing is, I’ve sort of always been the only sober girl in the room. I’ve always been the one who could handle the bar or a party or a family function without the crutch of alcohol. I was the girl who would volunteer to be DD first because I didn’t mind not libating (and I really, really, really wanted to stop the debate my girlfriends were about to have about whose turn it was behind the wheel). Basically, I’ve been able to dance like a drunk maniac without actually being drunk since I came out of the womb.

But when you tell people, “No thank you, I don’t drink,” there is this uncomfortable silence as if you have somehow betrayed them by not taking their offer of a too-strong rum and coke. They don’t remember the 1,000 times that came before when I sipped Dr. Pepper instead of wine; they seem to be looking for a lost limb I never knew I had. I find myself having the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk with a lot of folks as I let them and their whisky down gently.

I chose to drink, and I chose to stop drinking. The fact of the matter is, my body doesn’t like alcohol. It refuses to participate in the bar scene like Captain Kirk refuses to follow the rules. I can’t function when there’s alcohol running through my blood stream, and I like doing things too much to wait for peak body performance to return. My health became more important than my annoyance for having to explain why I didn’t want red wine with my meal on 99 more occasions. And though I’ve had to explain myself quite a few times since, the benefits from dropping the alcohol have been phenomenal.

My skin is glowing. It has its hormonal days as I do, but it looks more hydrated than it has in years.

I have kept weight off with less effort, especially in the always-problematic torso region.

My hair looks better, even when I neglect it, and it’s actually starting to fill in in a couple of places where there was a lot of frequent breakage.

My mental health, while always a work in progress, only has to deal with the swings of reality without any dizzy nights to confuse it.

I never wake up wondering what I did the night before, the dread washing over me, not knowing if I unreasonably started a fight or lost something important.

And you know what? The only drinks I truly miss are cheap champagne and a quality craft beer. But thanks to the healing ixnaying alcohol has done to my body, I can enjoy those things every once in a blue moon without the consequences of long-term drinking.

I can have my cake and drink it, too… or something like that.