Saturday, November 26, 2011

CONFESSIONS OF A NEAT FREAK, or, How I Wish I Could Just Leave My Clothes All Over the Floor

I am a human being with flaws. I am a control freak, I drink too much coffee, I spend too much time on the internet, etc. But here is the worst one of all: I am a neat freak.

Many people would argue that this is not a flaw, but an asset. To some extent I would agree with them; I don't have the "messy gene" that a lot of my friends have, and my apartment is always clean. However, it is that way because I am always cleaning. There is always something for me to clean. I can't stop.

For once, I wish I could just leave something messy. I'm actually jealous when I walk into my freinds' rooms and they have clothes strewn all over the floor or bed. I envy the people who can leave their dishes to wash until they actually feel like doing it. I want to go a day without feeling like I have to clean something right away. Every morning when I change my outfit four times (as I tend to do -- another flaw, whatever), I can't just leave the discarded clothes on my bed, oh god no! They have to be re-folded or hung back up in the closet. After I have my bowl of cereal in the morning, I automatically go to the sink to wash it. If I spill something on the counter, out come the Clorox wet wipes to wipe it down. And all the hair that collects on my bathroom floor? That gets swept up at least twice a week.

I'm not saying I want to be a slob or anything. I don't even want my apartment to be "messy," I just want to be okay with leaving things to be cleaned up later. I would get more satisfaction out of cleaning, and I wouldn't feel like I have some internal force compelling me to make sure every surface of my living space is spotless. I guess that's just something I'll have to work on.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

AN OPEN LETTER TO LIPSTICK, or, The First Sign That I Am Turning Into My Mother

Dear Lipstick,

I know that over the past 22 years, we have had an on-again-off-again relationship. I loved you when I was five and not allowed to wear makeup but I tried to anyway and clumsily smeared your red creamy perfection all around my lips but not actually on them. I used to watch as my mother applied you every time she left the house, her signature shade of dark red-brown, jealous that she could have you and I couldn't.

I hated you when I was twelve and couldn't be bothered with anything that wasn't body glitter or Lip Smackers and didn't smell like artificial fruit. You were no longer desirable unless you had a name like "Krazy Kiwi" or "Cool Cotton Candy."

We were friends when I was sixteen and joined the marching band colorguard and wore cat eye makeup and dark lips for every field show. I learned how to apply you, but I never wanted you to be part of my life off the field.

Throughout college we messed around and sometimes I would cheat on you with shinier glosses that came in a squeezy tube or boasted that they would plump my lips. You helped me when I needed to look nice for my choir concerts or class presentations, but when it wasn't a special occasion, I pushed you to the bottom of my makeup bag.

Now I think I am more mature and can approach our relationship differently. I still enjoy a little lip gloss on the side when I don't want to get too serious, and I will never part with my Blistex Silk and Shine lip balm, but you and I are closer than ever. I feel like a grown up when I wear you, and I don't mind working you into my daily makeup routine. I love it that I can go to the drugstore and buy a new tube of you for several dollars, and the second I put you on, my day is brightened. I love it that I can collect so many different shades of you. I love the way you look displayed on my countertop. I love it that I have finally found the guts to wear you in a shade called "Stoplight Red" and not worry that I will look whorish. I love you, Lipstick. You are no longer that thing my mom used to apply in the car mirror before we would go out to get groceries -- you're something that I wear, too, and while it may make me feel more like my mother, I am totally okay with that.


Friday, November 18, 2011

CRAFTS ARE FOR COOL KIDS, or, How I Spend My Evenings Off Now That I'm Not In College Anymore

So even though I work crazy weird hours at this job, I still have two days off each week. My weekend takes place on Friday and Saturday, and while I sometimes put on my social butterfly wings and hang out with coworkers (read: friends), other times I am content to spend my nights being a hermit in my apartment, watching Gossip Girl on Netflix, eating Cheez-Its, and wearing sweatpants that are two sizes too large for me. Sometimes the trashy TV and snacks change, but I am almost always doing one of the following things in front of the TV: knitting, painting my nails, or crafting. I'm sure I will touch on the first two in future posts, but here I will narrow in on my somewhat sad crafting addiction.

Almost every decoration in my apartment is handmade. I love to throw things together into collages, and while I don't really like the word "crafty" because it conjures up images of a sexually frustrated housewife sitting in her basement surrounded by scrapbooks and rubber stamps, I guess that's what I am. I'm not "artsy" (trust me, I was raised by a mother who is an actual artist and I work at an arts school where the kids produce things much more artistic than anything I've ever done) so "crafty" will have to do. Mixed media is my thing -- I save all my old magazines, and when I'm bored I like to combine cut-out pictures with glitter, puff paint, sequins, and any other textures/patterns I find interesting. My walls are pretty much full, so that means I just end up making killer homemade stationary for the letters I write to my friends across the country.

This past Saturday, I was itching to make something handmade. I needed a new project, and nothing my drawers (yes, plural) of craft supplies seemed to be calling my name. So I made a trip to the dollar store and picked up a few supplies to create my own makeup organization system. It needed to be done -- I have far too much makeup which was all haphazardly strewn about my desk and shelves. I am always lusting after the makeup displays in department stores, so that was my inspiration: something chic and functional to display all my makeup and make it easily accessible. I came home with two glass vases, some white sand, clear marbles, two stackable desk shelves, and two small metal tins. Here's what I came up with...

My brushes are now displayed in the glass vases, which I filled with sand and marbles and tied with some ribbon that I already had. I am in love with the way this looks. Clean and simple, and my brushes are right at my fingertips.

I decorated the metal tins with some floral printed paper from my stash. Mod Podge is my favorite craft adhesive, and it came in quite handy for affixing the paper strips to the tins. Then I tied some ribbon around each tin. One tin has an opening in the lid, perfect for dispensing cotton swabs. I placed the lid of the other one on the bottom so that I could store my eyeliner in it. It is the perfect size.

I turned the plastic desk shelves into storage for my lipstick and eyeshadow. I used Mod Podge to add some decorative paper to these as well, then stacked them. I think the paper really added something to the whole display and tied it together.

The rest of my makeup items -- my lip glosses and stains, for example -- I placed in a simple box with a cute design that I had found in the Target dollar section. I keep my foundation and blushes on my shelving unit that is built into the wall so they are easily accessible, but I may end up fashioning another shelf for these items.

My next organizational DIY project will be finding an inexpensive way to display all of my nail polish, because I have a ridiculous amount of it and my collection just keeps growing every time I set foot in Target or Sally Beauty Supply. How do YOU organize all your beauty essentials?

Monday, November 14, 2011

WHY JIM HALPERT IS THE PERFECT MAN, or, I Will Remain Single for Eternity Because of a Fictional Character

The internet is full of single girls complaining about being single, counting the reasons why they are single, naming all the men they wish would make them un-single, and using their singleness as a reason to cry and eat ludicrous amounts of chocolate. Disclaimer: this is going to be one of those posts. Kind of.

I've been single for pretty much all of my life. I should be the poster child for Unrequited Love. I've come to accept it and while it does make me angsty and sullen sometimes, for the most part I try to enjoy the perks of being unattached. For one, this job would be a lot harder if I had gone into it while in a relationship. Long distance is rough (I'm watching a lot of my coworkers go through it right now) and I'm not sure I would have even been willing to take this job and move twelve hours away if I had a fella back home.

I suppose I could try to attribute my singleness to something normal, like the fact that I'm a commitment-phobe (not really true), I always pick the wrong guys (kind of true), I don't put myself out there (true), or I suck at flirting (very true), but I think I have one main problem contributing to my perpetual state of unattached-ness: I want every guy I meet to be Jim Halpert.

Hear me out. I have been watching The Office for seven seasons, and I am certain that Jim Halpert has all the desirable qualities I could ever wish for in a man.

1. He is funny without being a dick. Do you know how often I find guys like this? ALMOST NEVER.
2. His hair. It's perfect. Enough said.
3. He takes his job seriously without being too serious. He still wants to do well at his job, and he puts in a conscious effort, but he's not above starting an Office Olympics or making friends with his coworkers.
4. He's a family man. (Okay, now I'm really starting to sound like a crazy single girl. I don't need a family man just yet, but I'll obviously need to find one eventually.) His devotion to Pam and his daughter is about the sweetest thing I've ever seen on television.
5. Umm hi, did you even SEE the episode where he and Pam got married and he gave a toast at the rehearsal dinner?!
6. His face. In general.

So there you have it. Jim Halpert has given me unrealistic expectations about men. I know he is just setting me up for disappointment, but I can't help it that my heart skips a beat every time he makes one of his faces at the camera. If you have found your Jim Halpert, kudos to you. I'm still looking or mine, and I'm determined to keep searching until I find him.


Welcome to my blog. I've tried blogging before, and I've always felt like I had nothing to say. I would lose interest and my boring thoughts would eventually be lost in the internet abyss. This time, I have plenty to say. I am out of college, and surprisingly, I am missing the intellectual stimulation it provided. I decided I need to channel my thoughts, be they "intellectual" or not, into some sort of written form. I will be blogging about anything and everything I deem important in my life: music, movies, beauty products, life goals, mistakes, my favorite smells (seriously), that time I spent too much money on new boots...

My life may not be interesting to a single person who comes across this blog. But at least I will be able to re-read it and remember my life as a twenty-something. Here goes nothing.