Day Off Date!

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It’s kinda’ funny how we, as human beings, can forget to take care of or treat ourselves in little, simple ways- especially with how hectic, stressful or distracting life can be at times. We get so wrapped up in the bigger picture and agonizing over all the details that go into making that very same picture that we can often (and unintentionally) deprive ourselves from smaller things that make us happy along the way- enjoying our favorite meal, singing along to our favorite songs, savoring a quiet evening walk after a tough day at work- or even something as frivolous as getting a long overdue manicure and pedicure.

All of those things are activities that bring me a bit of joy but have been subsequently put on the back burner as of late while I’ve been working overtime at my full-time job and actively trying to repair not only myself- but my longtime friendship/connection with someone very near and dear to me, too. At the end of May, I briefly talked about moving forward with love and forgiveness in regards to the recent crossroads I had arrived at with someone in my life, and while it has been challenging at times to stay upbeat and optimistic through the transition towards whatever lies ahead- especially given some recent circumstances and previously unknown information about the past coming to light- I’m doing my best and I’m trying.

However, It feels nice knowing that I’m not trying by myself. It helps ease the uncertainty and makes the future look a little bit brighter to know I’m not the only one fighting to make things better.

While pouring myself into work and patching up my personal life- I also took some time to have a couple of suspect freckles checked out for signs of skin cancer as part of my company’s recent “Global Health Week” activities and also for my own peace of mind. For those of you who didn’t follow my old, long-since-purged blog- I got a really, really bad sunburn a few years ago. The sunscreen my friends had brought for a day at the beach had expired without any of us knowing- making our multiple re-applications useless. I fell asleep on my towel- and was rendered bed-ridden with a serious case of sun poisoning and heat stroke for a week afterwards as a result. My skin was fried, split, and I couldn’t move for days.

Since then, I’ve had a few small freckles appear in a couple of the areas were I was badly burned. For the most part, they appear relatively normal (and I check them often to stay on top of things) but I wanted to be sure and have a professional take a look at them, as well. Given the toll cancer has taken on my family- I was a nervous wreck throughout preparing for my biopsy, the actual biopsy itself, and waiting for the results after the fact.

Thankfully- my results were good- and I’m still catching my breath over it. I can’t stress it enough though: replace your sunscreen and replace it often.

Finally, right before taking this past Tuesday off for some long overdue self-love and pampering- some rapscallions or whippersnappers (side note: I actually have my own suspicions of who did it) messed with/vandalized my car while it was parked and unattended in Western Massachusetts. The damage was minimal and easily fixed- but even still- it was an unnecessary headache on top of an already omnipresent migraine.

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That’s why on my day off this past week, I said enough is enough and devoted my day to enjoying the little things to center myself and get my state of mind back where it needs to be and where it’s strayed from for the past couple of weeks: indulging in my favorite food, blasting my favorite songs while I drove through picturesque Massachusetts, and stopping just long enough to get my first manicure in months and my first pedicure of the season in bright, Summery colors- and I gotta’ say- it made me feel so much better. It’s wild how something as simple as enjoying an iced chai latte in the sun, listening to The Killers at maximum volume, or a fresh coat of polish and a floral design on your toes can just brighten your day and relax you almost instantly.

PRO-TIP: Make the time to enjoy the little things and treat yourself. You deserve it. We all do.

Now that I’m feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and much more de-stressed- I’m ready to tackle some plans I’ve got in the next couple of weeks with a clearer mind and much more focus.

But first- I’ve got work and some dinner plans tonight.

‘Til next time!

xx

March Hits List!

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Good Morning and Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’m up bright and early today- not only because it’s my day off and I don’t want to waste a single minute of it- but because I’m also going to look at a beautiful studio loft apartment in Western Massachusetts a little later on this morning to see if it’s a good fit for me. I’m excited, a little anxious, but hopeful. Even if I’m unable to secure the apartment or even if it’s not “the one”- it’s still a step in the right direction- and it’ll still keep me motivated.

My end-of-the-month wrap-up will be up on the blog this coming Thursday- but before I get around to discussing some exciting news about my job and the details of an even more exciting mini-road trip I’m embarking on at the end of next week- I wanted to share some of the random things that have helped to completely make my March!

As usual (well, usual since I’ve started writing these posts every month, anyway)– I thought I’d start with the products/pieces I’ve been coveting over these past few weeks and then go into the stuff that I can’t exactly photograph easily.

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With Spring (kinda’) here- I’ve been preparing to trade in my favorite pair of knee-high black boots for more seasonally appropriate flats, sandals, and sneakers- and since I haven’t bought myself a decent pair of kicks in a while- I thought I’d splurge a little bit on these limited edition, glow-in-the-dark Andy Warhol-inspired high-tops from Converse. I’m absolutely loving the bright pops of color on these shoes- and like my other (and much more weathered) pairs of high-tops I’ve owned since high school (!!!)– these sneakers are just the most comfortable things to wear. My feet never get tired in Chuck Taylors. They just don’t. They are my favorite shoes- even if they make my feet look gigantic- and I intend on getting plenty of wear out of these ones, too.

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Of course, if I’m going to start rocking flats and sandals again- that means I have to make sure my feet look and feel good, first. I’m always down for a good pedicure (it’s the calf rub, honestly. I could sit in that cushy chair at the spa and just have my calves rubbed for three hours)– but I wanted to try an at-home treatment prior to my first pedi of the season so that I could spend more time getting my calves massaged and less time getting abused by the pumice stone. After reading many, MANY reviews (and being both horrified and fascinated by the post-application photos I saw)– I caved and ordered a package of Baby Foot Exfoliation Peel off of Amazon.

For those who have never heard of ‘Baby Foot’- the package comes equipped with two gel-soaked booties you strap onto your feet and leave on for an hour before rinsing the gel off and going about your business. Within a few days, however- the dry, dead skin on your feet begins to peel- and when I saw “peel”, I mean you are essentially a shedding snake for a good week/week and a half. Your skin comes off (painlessly!) in SHEETS. It’s disgusting and awesome at the same time- and when all that dead skin is gone- all you’re left with is super soft heels and toes. The stuff is incredible.

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Is it possible to fall madly and deeply in love with a liquid foundation? Because I think I did- and the love affair is still going strong. Some of you my recognize this full coverage Amazonian Clay Foundation from Tarte from my most recent Sephora Haul, but this stuff has truly been a lifesaver in ways I hadn’t even anticipated. Not only does it match my skin (FINALLY!), but it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything at all while I have it on- which is an amazing feat in itself for a product that covers every imperfection so ridiculously well. Please, Tarte- I beg of you- don’t ever discontinue this. You don’t understand how much it means to me.

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Even though we’re only in the early days of Spring, I’ve already opted for citrus, beach-y fragrances to get me through the next few months (I can’t do florals this year. I just can’t. Every year I do florals and I just needed a break from them.) I recently stocked up on body washes, lotions, and spritzes from Bath & Body Works‘ Hawaiian-inspired collection, specifically their Honolulu Sun (coconut and warm sand!) and Golden Pineapple Luau fragrances. Now every shower transports me to the beautiful beach-side communities in Southern California that I adore so much. I love smelling like I just sipped a smoothie by the ocean. Even if it’s only March.

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One other product from B&BW that made it onto this month’s ‘Hits List’ was this Mahogany Coconut 3-wick candle. Now, I’m devoted to Yankee Candle 100%- but sometimes, on occasion- I like to stock up on these ones, too. They don’t last very long- but they’re strong- and the scent lingers well after the candle is done burning. This fragrance, a mixture of sandalwood and coconut- smells crisp and refreshing- and is perfect to have lit while Spring cleaning and preparing to open the windows to let in some fresh air this season.

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Over the weekend, Sean and I headed to Somerville to redeem a birthday present for me that he’d made reservations for back in January. The event- “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie” is exactly what it sounds like. You, and a handful of other participants, are locked in a puzzle-filled room for an hour with a zombie. Your objective is to work together to solve each puzzle in order to find the key and escape before your clock runs out. The kicker? Every five minutes- the zombie’s chain gets a little longer- and you lose if he grabs you.

Years of playing ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Silent Hill’ had pretty much prepared me for this moment- and my team escaped with a scary-close three minutes to spare. It was an absolute BLAST– one of the most unique and fun things I’d ever participated in- and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the Boston area anytime soon! You won’t regret it!

VICTORY!

VICTORY!

And now, for the stuff that couldn’t be photographed:

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • ‘Schitt’s Creek’ – One of my favorite Canadian comedies returned for it’s second season this past month, and it’s even better than the first season. Starring Eugene Levy (and his totally dreamboat son, Daniel Levy) and Catherine O’Hara- the 30-minute show follows the Rose Family, who move to the small, dead-end town of Schitt’s Creek after businessman and father Johnny (Eugene Levy) loses the family’s fortune. The show is so witty and genuinely funny- and Chris Elliot plays the mayor- Roland Schitt. It doesn’t get much better than that.
  • ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ – John Goodman might be one of the most lovable people on the planet, but good God- when he wants to terrify the living Hell out of you- he DOES it, and really, really well at that. I might be in the minority of people who really enjoyed the original ‘Cloverfield’ movie (motion sickness and all) so I was excited to return to the world of a still unexplained and very vague alien invasion. I liked how this was a completely different take on the events unfolding in the first movie- but was twice as scary and unsettling.

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • Costume Designing! – With the 2016 Comic-Con circuit officially getting underway, I have a couple of months before things kick off here on the East Coast with Boston & Rhode Island Comic-Con, ‘Walker Stalker’, MegaFest, etc. Last year, despite being pretty busy- I had managed to pull of a really great Agent Carter costume I was very proud of. This year, now that my schedule is a little easier to manage- I have a series of three costumes I’m going to attempt (two of which are ‘Walking Dead’-related, of course!) The process of getting started is always the most fun- and I’ve been having a blast browsing tools and fabrics and writing out my plans. I’m hoping to share my progress once I get going!

And I think that’s everything for the month of March! As always, I’d love to hear your favorites for this past month and/or recommendations for things to try and do in April! Leave a comment or drop me an e-mail!

I’m off to look at the apartment. Wish me luck!

xx