Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thoughts of a Stressed Out-Super Busy-Slightly Crazy 20-Something Year Old Girl.

We're busy, and you know what, we work really hard! But sometimes we work too hard and sometimes we have WAAAY too much on our plates! Am I right or am I right?! As the semester rapidly comes to a close, I get more and more burnt out. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Working full time during the day is okay but going to school full time at night as well is just exhausting! I'm sure you'll relate to these thoughts, which may or may not have actually ran through my mind this last week. Okay, Okay, yes they did...I'm not fooling anybody... Welcome to my inner dialogue!

1. I can’t get out of bed, it’s too early. No one will ever know I didn’t shower, right?

2. My hair doesn’t NEED to be washed, I can go another day, I’ll just use some dry shampoo.

3. I don't think I smell bad…maybe I’ll just spray some perfume on, just in case.

4. Ugh, when did I shave my legs last?! Okay, well I guess pants it is.

5. OMG it’s so hot outside…I mean really, how much stubble could anyone actually see if I just roll my pant legs up to be capri’s?

6. I’m feeling self conscious about my legs now...maybe just stay out of the sunlight to make sure no one notices…

7. What do you MEAN we have a test on Monday? But I’ve already made plans to sleep the WHOLE weekend!

8. Ugh. I should be doing homework right now but really, this late, how much would I actually remember of what I did? Best to just give my mind a break and watch Revenge instead.

9. Holy crap! It’s what time? I’ve got to get to bed, but I still haven’t washed my hair…it will be okay, right? That’s what dry shampoo is MADE for.

10. Okay, I’m running late and you can definitely tell my hair is dirty. I guess 4 days of dry shampoo eventually adds up…Oh, I know! Slicked back pony! A la Jennifer Lopez!

11. ….Nope, it still just looks dirty….

12. OH! I can add a headband... or maybe a hairscarf…yes! This will definitely work!

13. When did those dark circle take up residence underneath my eyes!? OMG I look like a freaking zombie.

14. So…tired…If I’m looking at my computer screen and have my hands positioned on the key board just right, I could totally take a nap without anyone ever knowing it!

15. Vending machine food for dinner…but I’ve been eating so healthy lately! HA HA JUST KIDDING! Cheetos it is!!

16. Annnnnd maybe a Snickers. It has peanuts which are protein and it will help me stay up through this 3 hour lecture…

17. …Oh man...I think I’m slipping into a food coma…better go get a Redbull..sugar free though, you know, so it’s a little better.

18. Umm..when was the last time I showered? What is the day today?? Tuesday? Okay, okay, so it’s not that bad.


20. The first thing I doing when I get home is taking a shower. Even if it’s late, it doesn’t matter. I’m walking through the door and directly into the bathroom.

21. I’m so glad to be home! SO TIRED! I need a drink of water. Oh, wasn’t there some ice cream in the freezer? YES!! Okay, I’ll just eat some of this and turn the TV on for just a minute, just while I eat this small cup of ice cream.

22. OOOH! They have Downton Abbey ON DEMAND. I don’t even remember the pilot…and since I’ve already seen it, I totally won’t be tempted to keep watching, so I can turn it off when I’m done!

23. Did I already finish my ice cream? OMG Matthew is SO HOT! Well, I might as well finish this episode.

24. I should really be doing SOMETHING while I sit here..I guess I could finally redo my nails, you can only rock the chipped polish for so long…

25. Oh no, oh no, it’s midnight? I’ve got to hop into the SHOWER!!

26. I think I’m going to fall asleep standing up…must…wash…hair…

27. So I don’t REALLY need to shave, right?

28. Wow, I feel so GOOD! I love curling up in bed after a shower! I feel so CLEAN!

29. Crap! Did I do that homework assignment? No…But it’s not that many points right, I can totally make it up…yeah, I definitely I’ll just go to sleep now.


31. Listen brain, you will go to sleep now. Now. NOW. N-O-W!!!!!

32. Oh my gosh, what time is it?! Did I sleep in?? Where’s my phone, why didn’t my alarm go off?? Oh my gosh, I’m going to be so late!!!

33. Oh, it’s only 5:30? I can go back to sleep! …where was I??

34. What is that sound? OMG make it stop!!!

35. OH CRAP, that’s my alarm! 

36. I thought I took off my eye makeup last night...well I'll put foundation and blush on and then I'll totally look pulled together.

37. Okay, this isn't working...I'll just put eyeliner on over the old stuff and smudge it a little and it will look like it's meant to be rocker-chic. Yeah, yeah I'll do that.

38. Okay, That did not go like it was supposed to and I'm running late!! I'll just wear glasses instead on contacts and then no one will notice!

39. WHY IS THERE SERIOUSLY SO MUCH TRAFFIC!?!? GAH!!!!! Now I understand why there's so many violent crimes in New York City!!

40. Did I brush my teeth??? 

At this point I don't even want to leave the house...
And the thing I'm MOST excited for is the prospect of sleeping! Which I never seem to get enough of these days.
Oh well, T-3 1/3 weeks and counting!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

*My Confessions as a Shopaholic*

I'm not the type of addict that is continually buying anything and everything, but I do have certain vices and I do behave like an addict when I'm ready for my fix. I'm a sporadic addict. This isn't a real thing, in fact, an addiction is an addiction, mine just seems to come in waves. The truth is, just like Diet Coke, chocolate, and sports, I'm addicted to shopping. The first steps are of course realization and acknowledgement. I know it's hit me before, but this time it really hit me.  

I was engaging in a little Spring cleaning (and by little, I mean a complete purging of all the crap that has accumulated in my room over the last semester) and it became very clear to me as I was noticing a trend: a closet full of clothes, bottles and bottles of perfume, a vanity full of makeup, a pile of shoes in front of my shoe stands because there are too many to fit, stacks of books in front of the book shelf because there are too many of THOSE to fit, columns and columns of CD cases, and tons and TONS of movies/tv seasons. When did this happen? When did I become addicted to shopping? 

I immediately thought of Confessions of a Shopaholic, the book series by Sophie Kinsella and the movie starring Isla Fisher, and I realized I felt just like she did. Rebecca Bloomwood has to be one of the most relatable characters, ever.

 "Retail therapy" is not a new idea, I mean come on, how many times have we heard women use this term? (I'm not excluding that guys can't be shopaholics, but I'm sticking to the gals for this one) Is there merit behind the feeling that you get when you spend money? What happens in our brain that makes us feel that way? Does it have emotional ramifications? These are questions that first popped into my head. I know, I know, but as a psych major, I can't help it. Psychology is my life, you guys. 

I realized that I had been making excuses for a while. I need those sandals because I don't have any that color! I need them. I also need ones in black and I'll take those red strappy ones too. I realized that sometimes I wanted to shop, but not because I wanted anything specific, but because I wanted to spend money. It didn't matter what it was on, I had money and by golly, I wanted to spend it! I also realized that it was the feeling I got when I shopped that I liked so much, okay and the actual stuff too, but I really enjoyed the feeling of spending money! 

It seems like when you have extra money and you're not used to it, you just feel the need to SPEND IT. I'm actually a saver, but I didn't used to be-I was always over-spending and racking up debt. But for the last couple years, I've been an excellent saver and budget-er. But lately those good habits and good behaviors have gone out the window. I tried to keep walking, tried to ignore the sale signs and the enticing new clothes and purses and shoes...but to no avail. I went into a straight spending frenzy. And a beast came out.

I know I'm not alone. I know there are many women out there who feel the same way about shopping as I do and who suffer from the need to do it, just like me. But I LIKE to do it. I might feel guilty after I spend money on myself because I could've saved even more that month, but I NEVER regret the products that money buys! I think of Carrie Bradshaw when she says:

 The truth is that I love all these things! I love shoes, purses, clothes, perfume, music and movies. I LOVE how they make me feel and I feel like they're apart of ME! Shopping makes me HAPPY. At first, I couldn't explain it. It made me feel so materialistic and shallow. Until I started doing research into the psychology behind it... Turns out there's physiological reasons WHY shopping makes feel so good!

In an article written by Dan Tynan and published in Women's Health magazine in 2008, he suggests that it's actually good for your mental and physical health. "It releases mood-lifting endorphins, boosts your immune system, keeps your brain nimble and even fulfills basic social needs." Physiologically, it actually releases these feel-good chemicals into your blood, which then sends signals (neurotransmitters) to your brain that tells you that you're happy. Nancy Irwin, a Doctor of Psychology, suggests that those endorphins can significantly boost your mood. No wonder it's an addicting habit, it's hard NOT to feel the urge to shop when your brain knows it's going to deliver those feelings.

A paper published by researchers from Brunel University in the UK found that shopping is linked with an increase in activity in the part of your brain linked with pleasure and positivity (left prefrontal cortex), as well as increased levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that's released when we experience joy or gratification. And in a study done by Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT, when shoppers saw pictures of something that they wanted to buy, dopamine flooded into the brain's reward center (nucleus accumbens). So there are real biological processes going on here! I'm not gonna lie, that made me feel so much better. 

Not that it makes being a shopaholic okay, it just helps me to understand what is going on in my brain when I'm doing it. The stimulation of endorphins and dopamine into your system makes you feel good, it boosts your mood and provides that "high" that most of us look for when we feel blue. Some find it running, others find it shopping. It CAN be a good thing, but if we let it get out of hand, it can be a very awful thing. 

You see, when you realize how much you've actually spent, those little endorphins and dopamine monsters are nowhere to be found. So while it felt great walking out of the store, bags in tow, it doesn't always last. But Becky Bloomwood was onto something when she tells Luke Brandon that the "world gets better" when we shop, because it really, really does. At least, it feels that way. And sometimes that's all we have. That's it. Those 60 minutes of shopping bliss we experience before we head back into the harsh and cruel world. Life doesn't always (or almost never!) go according to our plans, things happen or don't happen, we lose jobs, people, and opportunities. Our hearts break and because life has to go on, we have to struggle to quickly put ourselves back together, because we have jobs and school and things to do! We can't stop time to slowly and gently fit the puzzle pieces back together, we have to pick them up and fashion it together on the run! 

So while shopping isn't the greatest bad habit, it's definitely not the worst of them. Sometimes after I beat myself up about it, I just remind myself that it could be worse. I'm not making excuses. I am working on it and getting better, but sometimes we're so CRITICAL of ourselves, we have to give ourselves a break! And instead of saying "NO SHOPPING AT ALL", I've created a budget that has all my bills paid, money into savings, and then the rest is for play. Because while I may be a recovering Shopaholic, I can't quite cold turkey. 

Plus, you've gotta have a little bit of fun, RIGHT?!


Buy the Shopaholic series here:

Monday, April 14, 2014

*Best of Spring* Picks

Spring is all about a rebirth- not just the plants and weather, but feeling (and sometimes looking!) alive again. Out with the old, in with the new. That's why "Spring cleaning" is what it is, there's just something about the sun shining (but not scorching!), the blue skies and flowers beginning to know what I mean? Well Spring also brings a shift in our wardrobe, as hoodies and boots get packed away and we transition into shorts and sandals. It's a lovely feeling isn't it? I also do the same with my makeup, it's time to move from those dark eye shadows and lipsticks and into something more spring-y. (I can make up my own words if I want to!) So here are some easy ways to go from drab to fab!

Best Perfume: Lancome, La Vie Est Belle

Spring is the best time to shift into a new perfume because the weather starts to warm up. Heat activates the perfume on your skin, so something that is already strong and spicy can become overpowering. It's a good idea to have a softer, lighter fragrance in your arsenal. Last spring I was obsessed with Miss Dior Cheri (which I still love!) but I just bought La Vie Est Belle last month and I absolutely adore it!! It's sweet but not "candy sweet", and lightly floral-it's beautifully feminine. Lancome describes it as using "the first ever iris gourmand.  The juice is made with the most precious natural ingredients, a modern interpretation of an oriental fragrance with a twist of gourmand. It entwines the elegance of iris with the strength of Patchouli and the sweetness of a gourmand blend; for an incredible scent with depth and complexity." It really is! Try it out!

Best Shadow Pallet: Too Faced, Romantic Eye

I absolutely LOVE these colors! The top left color ("Soulmate") is one of the most beautiful and unique base colors out there, because it's a wonderful iridescent shade that blends and transforms ANY shadow color you have! It's stunning! My favorites on this pallet are the middle "Cut the Cake" and "First Dance" (which is actually a dark purple though it doesn't look like it!) I use "Soulmate" as a base, "Cut the Cake" on the lid, and blend "First Dance" into the crease and lower lash line. It's beautifully spring-esque! 

Best Lip Gloss: MAC, Power Supply

This isn't as dark as it seems, but it has some gold in it that gives warmth to your face without washing you out, since most of us don't have our tans quite yet. It's PERFECT for Spring!  

 Best Blush: Tarte Cheek Stain, Tipsy

All of Tarte's cream cheek stains are amazing AND they can be used as lip or eye tint. This actually goes on light, so it's not the color of the bottle at all, don't worry! It's a sheer coral that's a very natural flush and leaves skin glowing, in a healthy I-just-got-some-Vit-D kind of way! But they're amazingly scented (Tipsy has a sweet orange scent) and they're buildable, so you can either have a little flush or a more pronounced look, it's up to you!

Best Nail Polish: Purple:  OPI, Ate Berries in the Canaries

One of my all time favorites! Plus it looks good on any skin tone! I'm actually wearing it on my nails right now! (See above)

Best Nail Polish: Blue: China Glaze, For Audrey

An homage to Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany's, this "Tiffany blue" is beautiful on fingers or toes. This looks good both when I'm still white in the spring and also when I'm tan in the summer, so you'll get a lot of use out of it. It's on my toes as we speak! :) This color is so fun, but also really decadent (and mature!) because of the branding it implies. We can't all afford Tiffany's, but we sure can strut our stuff in their signature color! 

 Best Skin Protection: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock, SPF 70

We're starting to get out in the sun, soaking up those amazing Vit D rays and enjoy the lovely spring weather, so we should start protecting our skin too! Using sunscreen on a regular basis helps our skin keep it's youthfulness (bye bye wrinkles!) as well as helping to protect against skin cancer. A lot of times we don't think about it when it's not hot outside, I know I need to be a lot better about it, but start adding this to your daily routine and you'll thank yourself later. I like the spray because A) I don't have to get it all of my hands to put it on and B) it's fast, easy and convenient, so now there's no more excuses! :) Whether you're exercising, sun bathing, gardening, at a baseball game or whatever, spray down first and enjoy the lovely weather!

Enjoy your Spring everyone!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reasons 90's Kids had the BEST Childhood

I had a great childhood. I know most people think that their childhood was the best, but mine really was. As a 90's kid, we had the BEST everything; the best cartoons, music and we actually played OUTSIDE until it was dark (and sometimes even after that!). I've been thinking about all my favorite things about my childhood and thought I'd share with all the other 90's kids out there!

1.  Saved By the Bell
  Who didn't want to date Zack Morris and be Kelly Kapowski?? (Or vice versa) WHO!?

2.  Will Smith and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire
 Not only did it have the best theme song in the history of television, but ANYONE who's a real 90's kid can sing this by heart at the drop of a hat! My favorite Fresh Prince moments were:

The "Tonto" dance:

And the earthquake episode..."Stuck in a basement sittin' on a tricycle, girl gettin' on my nerves..."

3. Words or phrases like: "sick", "tight", "da bomb", "---- thinks they're all that and a bag of chips!", "whatever", "as if!", and "dope".

4. Scrunchies!!!
How else would your high pony look totally awesome!?

5. Pogs!
 "Wanna trade??"

6. Overall Shorts
Hello, they were both utilitarian and stylish! "She could be a farmer in those clothes!!" Which brings me to the next one...

7. Clueless
 It practically defined an era! Some of the best representation of life in the 90's. And who didn't want Cher's closet??

8. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
 Pretty sure this show is what got me addicted to scary movies/stories at such a young age! I'm also fairly certain that it's where my fear of clowns stems from. "Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society..." all the stories were told by kids meeting up once a week around a bonfire in the woods...HOW COOL IS THAT!? I always wanted to be a member of the Midnight Society! Though we did this sort of thing at sleepovers (and never actually SLEPT!) but it wasn't the same.

9. Goosebumps
Man, our parents sure weren't afraid to let us be scared out of our minds! I loved Goosebumps! And I'm pretty sure I read them all!

10. Rollerblades
With matching helmet, knee and elbow pads...obviously.

11. Lisa Frank EVERYTHING!!

12. Everything could be settled with Rock, Paper, Scissors.

13. Saying things like "Psych!" or "bomb diggity!" or  "if you love it so much than why don't you marry it!?"

14. Boy Bands
I was a "BSB" girl, hard core. Brian Littrell 4 Ever!!

15. And they had the BEST music videos...

Everybody, yeah, rock your body!

16. Speaking of which, MTV was still MUSIC TELEVISION.

17. 90210

18. Also, I've always had the biggest crush on Dylan McKay/Luke Perry
I'm practically certain they're the same person.

19. And also, my very first crush, Zack Morris

20. Oregon Trail
Getting so EXCITED to play this at school! Did anyone EVER make it the whole way??

21. Playing board games was actually still considered FUN. 
(My favorite all time board game)

22. 90's Heart Throbs...

23. Your movies looked like this:
And you actually "taped" stuff off TV onto these...actually, I still say "Can you tape that for me?" all the time! Old habits die hard!

24.You know exactly what this is:

25. We had the BEST cartoons! And we got up every Saturday morning to watching them!

26. Butterfly hair clips
 27.  Full House
Uncle Jesse was the hottest Uncle in the history of TV! And Uncle Joey the funniest! "Cut it out!!"

28. Tomagatchi & Nano pets!
 Which you took everywhere because you HAD to feed them or they'd DIE!!

29. Family Matters...or more famously, the show with  Steve Urkle.
And then your mind was blown when he grew up to be this...

30. Playing "cootie catcher" in class
 31. Skorts
You guys, they were skirts AND shorts!

32. Power Rangers
I always wanted to be the Pink Ranger. The only time I EVER liked pink growing up.

33. Playing MASH helped you figure out life's real questions.
Mansion, Jeep, Paris, and 3 kids...

34. Trolls
What's not to love??

35. War Heads.
And the *CHALLANGES* that come with them!

36. Girl bands & "Girl Power!!"

37. Hula hoops were a regular pass time on the girls' side of the recess lot.

38. Double Dare!

39.  American Gladiators.

 And yes, we always "played this" when my parents weren't home! That's what you get when there are 5 kids! ;)
Doesn't this look like a blast!?

40. Beanie Babies
I have all of these pictured except the caterpillar. If you bend or pull off my tags, I will seriously HURT YOU. 

41. Polly Pocket

 42. 3 hour long Monopoly sessions

43. Words/phrases like: "trippin", "Aiiight", "Boo-yeah!", "chillin", "Yo!", "My Bad!", "dissed and dismissed!", "bounce", "mad props", "sweet", "wiggin", "ill", "Score!", "Hecka", " 'sup?", "I know you are but what am I?", "I'm rubber and you're glue...", 

44. Jellies.

45. Lip Smackers

46. Mood Rings

47. Mall Madness
Charge it!! Maybe that's why our generation has debt issues...

48. Mr. Sketch Scented Markers
Is there any other way to color? 

49. Pretty Pretty Princess
I never knew how this game actually worked, I just know you got jewelry, and that's really all that matters.

50. Caboodles.

51. Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?
No really, where is she?? Did anyone ever find her?

52. Plastic chokers and Ying/Yang
What girl didn't own both of these!?
53. Gushers
What EVERY kid wanted to find in their lunchbox!

54. The Macarena was the greatest dance, ever.

55. Milky pens
For writing notes to your friends' in your "notebooks", obviously.

56. Skip It!
Yeah, you seriously just whip that things around attached to your ankle and jump over it. And it's awesome.

57. Boy Meets World & Home Improvement

58. Bill Bye the Science Guy
The ONLY reason you actually learned anything in science class...

59. Melissa Joan Heart TV shows

60. Really...just actually EVERYTHING about it...

Being a 90's kids was the greatest! You could still walk to the store or go places alone with out your parents freaking out or being worried. The world was a different place then, and I have to say, I miss it. I miss playing "ghosts in the graveyard" outside until it was pitch black, I miss all the good kid shows and the awesome music. I miss being free! Well, here's to all you 90's kids out there, we sure knew how to live!