Now

Do you ever look in the mirror and think:

who I am is better

than who I was,

but who I was

is stronger than who I am?

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JingleVox Review 1

Influenster has to be one of my favorite sites to try new things.  When I returned to NYC from visiting WV for Christmas break, I was delighted to find a the winter sample box – “JingleVox.”

Enclosed were:

  • A coupon for a free bag of Ore Ida tater tots
  • Kiss true volume lashes
  • Kiss lash glue
  • 3 packages of Biscoff cookies
  • A Pure Ice nail polish in “Home Run”
  • NYC City Proof 24 Hr. Waterproof Eyeliner; and
  • A Hallmark Rapunzel “Itty Bitty”

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I have only received one other box from Influenster (sometime over the summer) and I will say that I liked this one better.  However, I am always willing to try free things and be completely honest about what I think.  From this box, I am most excited to try the Cetaphil, lashes, and tater tots (yum!).

 

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream:

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I have actually used the Cetaphil lotion before (both the actual brand and the generic “Equate” Walmart Brand), so I already guessed I would like this.  Still true!  Cetaphil is well known for being gentle on skin while still getting the job done.  I have fairly sensitive skin that gets very dry.  I put on the cream after washing with my Aveeno Positivily Radiant Face Wash and this helped ease the after-washing tightness.

The price for this cream is listed in the Influenster insert as $8.99 – $15.99.  I am hoping that, as a sample, this 1 oz jar doesn’t fall anywhere in that scale because that would be a bit high.

Even though I have very dry skin, I try to avoid putting any “creams” on my face.  They always seem too heavy and make me feel kind of sweaty, if that makes sense.  So, I don’t think I would use this for a daily thing.  But a cream is good when used sparingly – I foresee using it on the edges of my nose when they get all dry and flaky (yuck!) from the cold air and nose blowing.  But, we will see!

 

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CVS Bargains

If there is one thing I am super proud of in this world, it is my ability to bargain shop.  Living in New York City provides many opportunities to spend money, but many fewer to save money.  Luckily, with printable coupons, patience, and knowledge of the sales ads, its not too difficult to cut back on expenditures while still getting the necessities.  Here are a few of my best deals from today’s trip to CVS.

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Purchase one: CVS Cleansing and makeup remover towlettes – 15 pack.  These cost $3.19 each or 2/$5.00.  CVS also had a deal that if you spent $5.00 or more on CVS-brand facial products, you received $3.00 in ExtraBucks rewards.  The ExtraBucks rewards are essentially a coupon that can be applied to take a specified amount away from any purchase at CVS.  

$5.00 – $3.00 = $2.00 for the two packs of makeup remover wipes, or 1.00 per pack.  Not bad!

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Purchase 2: This Crest BE dynamic toothpaste normally cost $6.29  for the 4.5 oz tube.  CVS was selling the toothpaste for $4.99 and giving $3.25 in ExtraBucks rewards.  The normal sale price alone was a bargain at only $1.74 after applying the ExtraBucks savings, but I took it one step further.  I had a coupon for this toothpaste for $1.00 off that I printed from coupons.com.  I now have the opportunity to try a new, “lime spearment zest” flavored toothpaste for only $0.74.

 

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And the last major bargain – purchase three: The Crest Pro-Health Rinse in Clean Mint normally costs $7.29 for a 1L bottle.  Although it tastes delicious and is such a pretty purple color, that’s still a bit high for my liking.  CVS was running the same deal on this rinse as it was on the toothpaste – buy it for $4.99 and receive $3.25 in ExtraBucks rewards.  This deal alone brought the price down to 1.74, but once again I added a $1.00 coupon printed from coupons.com.  With my ExtraBucks reward coupons, this large bottle of name-brand mouth rinse cost me only $0.74.  That’s almost a 90% savings!

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Here’s a picture of my ExtraBucks rewards coupons – that’s 9.50 that I won’t have to pay next time!  It may take stocking up on necessities for later, but the deals are out there.  With some planning and coordination, paying full price should rarely be necessary.  Once grocery shopping is done, the planning just centers around where to spend all the money you have saved!  My vote is for something fun!

Until next time, friends!

 

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Feminism

I have a friend who is currently an intern at a prominent magazine targeted for young women.  Not only am I INCREDIBLY JEALOUS, but I also enjoy getting to answer many of the research-related questions she poses on Facebook.
However, the other day, there were two questions that especially caught my interest because they covered an area in which I am passionate: feminism.  To paraphrase, the questions asked: 1) What is Miley Cyrus’s effect on feminism 2) If a woman still needs a man if she has a career and her own money.
The questions bothered me immediately, and I wasn’t sure why, so I spent some time trying to better understand my thought process and reasoning for having this particular belief.  Looking at the basics brings up good question: how do I define feminism?  Why do I care so much about it?  And why did her second question immediately make me angry?
I’ve posted my response to her questions below (maybe if I’m lucky you’ll see them in a magazine!), but I’d also like to have a conversation; tell me your opinion!  I’m not trying to steal the magazine’s idea – you’ll see it soon enough – but I do want to join the discussion.  I believe that just like so many areas in our life, we can easily jump on a cause because we know it’s good, but in order to compel others to also support that cause, we have to know why it’s good.
My responses:
1:
To me, feminism just comes down to a constant quest for equality. I refuse to let my gender define what I can and cannot do, or should and should not do. My talents and abilities should be the sole determination in that. As for Miley Cyrus, I hate that we put so much emphasis on one individual and how they are affecting a movement. She’s not a policy maker, she’s not a judge; she’s a girl who is making her own life decisions, whether we deem them good or bad. The fact that we choose to put so much emphasis on one person and their “poor” decisions, shows that feminism isn’t where it can be. Everyone, male or female, famous or not, should be able to make their own choices and not have it scrutinized and labeled as a setback for an entire gender. We’re stronger than that! If you want to help the cause, talk to policy makers and help shrink the wage gap or go out and show people what you yourself can do as a young woman and individual. Real equality will come and feminism will win when everyone has the same opportunities for success. Who has the biggest power to get our society to that point? It’s not just celebrities…it’s us.
And 2:
As for needing a man, I can’t believe this question is still being asked. Whether an individual chooses to share his or her life with another person should not be dependent on a lack of a career or money, but on trust and love. The fact that we still even wonder if a woman “needs” a man when she has her own career and income shows that we still have a antiquated sense of thinking that the man of the house is the breadwinner. This isn’t always the case anymore, and no one should be feeding into this unjust thought process by acting as if this question should still be relevant today. Further, as a whole, our society has come to be more accepting of all types of relationships – heterosexual and homosexual. A question that only raises relationship questions in a heterosexual sense is disregarding the experiences and viewpoints of those in same sex relationships.
So, let’s talk!  What do you think?  How would you answer those questions?  What would you change about my answer?  Are you a feminist, identify as something else, or completely hate the cause?  What is important to YOU?

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February 12, 2014 · 5:25 pm

10 Things I wish I Had Known when I Moved to New York City

Although I am still fairly new to NYC, I have learned a few tips from trial and error.  I am living in Queens, so I’m not sure how relevant or correct these points are in the other boroughs, but since finding my footing a little bit, life has gotten significantly easier than it was 5 months ago when I first moved here for law school.  New York was also the first time I had ever taken public transportation, so that was one of the biggest adjustments for me and a lot of my tips revolve around the struggles related to traveling.  Enjoy!

1. The back doors on the bus don’t just magically open.  Wait until the green light by the door is on, then push (a little hard) on the yellow tape or handles.

2. Due to the number of small businesses, a lot of places don’t take card.  Cash is necessary.

3. Buses won’t automatically stop at every stop.  Therefore, you need to know which stop you need, and be ready to request it, if necessary.  Do this by pressing the black tape (between every few windows, along top edge of the wall, and by the doors), pressing the button found on the handles, or pulling the string.  A sign saying “stop requested” will light up at the front and center of the bus, and the driver will stop at the immediate next scheduled stop.

4. When a license plate on a car begins with the letter T, that car is a private taxi.  It’s not necessarily as sketchy as it sounds, but private taxis aren’t as monitored as the yellow or green cabs, so they are usually a little more expensive because of the lack of regulations.

5. Express taxis and limited buses don’t stop at every stop – only the major ones, like bus stops at intersections.  You can usually tell on the map which are limited stops because they have some sort of symbol by the street name,

6. If you know which direction you need to go in, get on the side of the street where cars go that way.  This way you get on a bus going in the correct direction!  It sounds simple, but it took me weeks to figure this out  – and have found only one exception.

7. Travel time takes significantly longer than any maps or travel planning websites tell you because everything is late.  Plan for tons of extra time.

8. Because there are so many people, chances are, you won’t run into that random stranger again.  That’s good in some ways, but also causes people to be a lot more forward.  Therefore, to get your point across, either positive or negative, you have to be more forward as well.

9. People are not as mean as the stigma indicates, but they generally aren’t friendly ether.  For the most part (other than flirting) people don’t sit around and talk to strangers.  With that being said, if you have a question, I’ve rarely had a time when someone was very rude or unwilling to answer it.

10.  Buses come less often (or not at all) after midnight.  Plan accordingly to avoid waiting outside (especially by yourself!) late at night.  If the bus isn’t coming for awhile – it’s probably better, and much safer, to spring for a cab.  

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Black Friday

(A poem found while searching through old documents.)

 

 

The crowds close in and

I cannot move

without elbowing my

way through a throng

of people on

cellphones, not

walking, just talking, shoving

me on accident as someone reaches

for a flash drive

marked down to 9.99.

 

They are too busy to

take time

and apologize.

Too close to

look down

at

my clothes.

Too close to

judge.

Too much of a stranger

to know me.

 

Close enough

to see the shine on

my face from both

sweat and excitement.

The rush of being unknown and

fighting for space,

makes me want a life

surrounded by others,

by lights, by music and

 

sidewalks.  A city.

The aisles, walled by freezers

and shelves, an alleyway

between busy streets to move

around the masses.

Although, everyone knows in

a real city, young women

like me

 

should not walk in alleyways.

Last week I read

an email, from my

sister, about a house

she rents out in Baltimore.

Small.

Fit for only

One.

An elderly woman.

 

My sister told me how

one night someone came in

the house and shot

the elderly woman to

steal all the money

that she did not have. How

 

she probably pleaded

for another minute –

life for the price of

a watch, a gold necklace,

even her

wedding ring.  How he,

maybe high, maybe

drunk, probably

just sad, could not

stop his finger

from pulling

 

the trigger.

Didn’t she know?

Everyone knows

that alleyways

are the safe places;

it is home you should fear.

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You are Allowed to Search for “The One”

Yes.  It’s okay for you to want to find the perfect person, the second to your first, the corner piece to your edge piece.  And as obvious as that seems, sometimes we need to hear it.

I have recently moved to New York City to find something.  I’m not exactly sure what that will be – a law degree, I suppose, as that was my means of getting here.  But, I also want to find myself, since it is a big transition, and hopefully, hopefully love.  The problem is, I’m so desperate for something real, I’m afraid that I’m looking too hard or having a nonsensical checklist too easily memorized.

The day of my arrival to NYC was, in two words, a hot mess.  One of my flights was cancelled, both of my rescheduled flights were delayed, and I arrived in the city at about midnight with an address for my apartment, but no idea how to get there.  While standing in an incredibly long line waiting for a taxi, a boy behind me struck up a conversation.  He was funny, very cute, and visiting the city for a little over a week before heading back to Florida.  We chatted for about an hour and discovered that we share the same sense of humor, so when he asked for my number right before we parted ways, I felt safe enough to give it to him.  After all, I didn’t figure he would actually follow through on contacting me, but if he did, I could definitely use a friend in this new city, even if it was only for a week.

A few days went by with me simply traveling the city alone, enjoying myself, when my airport companion called.  We made plans to meet up at the park the next day – plans that I was not entirely positive I wouldn’t cancel, since I didn’t know him.  However, in a mixed moment of braveness, homesickness, and loneliness, I tucked my pepper spray into the outside pocket of my purse, and headed to Central Park.  It wasn’t the perfect day – it rained, it was hot, my hair got frizzy, and we got lost many, many times.  It was still one of the best days I have had since moving here, though (although I realize, yes, I realize I haven’t been here long.), because I had great, new company.

When I got home that night, I felt weird and wasn’t sure why.  It’s this feeling I get that something is pressing to get out, a thought that’s there that I’m not acknowledging, something I need to realize.  And I did realize it: I was sad because I had taken a step closer towards finding whatever it is that I want, and then was left there alone.

It was an enlightening step because it made me think.  If I can, in a day, meet someone who already thinks that what I say is interesting and valuable, then there has to be someone who does for longer.  If there is someone who, within an hour or two of talking wanted to spend more time together, then someone exists who wants to talk for longer and be together for longer.  They exist.  And you know what?  I’m tired of trying to be cool and denying this.  I want to find them!

I want it.  Love.  I want to care for someone and support everything they do.  I want someone to tell puns to.  I want someone who thinks puns are funny.  I want someone to cry to and actually want to cook dinner for, and someone to believe in me when I’m anxious.  I want someone who also believes the world is good and wants to add even more goodness to it.  I want someone who will take risks, challenges, and go through the troubles because they want to be with me and I pinky promise I will do the same.  I want someone who wants to take walks and play with children, and call every little stupid thing we do an adventure because it was new or fun or both and we were together.  I want someone who knows the value of everyone’s thoughts.  I want someone who has their own thoughts and will share them.  I want someone who won’t care that I wear glasses and who understands that sometimes the world physically hurts my heart and at that time, the only solution is a hug.  I want someone who understands that when I love I give you my whole entire heart and they know how scary that is…probably for both of us.  I want someone who is also ready to take on the world, hopefully together, but realizes we could both handle it alone as well.  I want someone who has the bubbles inside that makes them want to explore and learn and never stop doing that.  I want someone who is ready to commit because they know that this time it’s worth it.

I want it all!  I want a love that makes reminds me that I shouldn’t ever have to settle.  A love that makes me feel special, valuable, respected, and important.  I want to make someone else feel that way.  And yeah, expectations that high may require a little searching.

You know what though?  I don’t think it’s unreasonable.

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