Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Schizophrenic Style: A Girls Best Friend

   For some time now I have been contemplating on whether to include make-up looks as part of my Schizophrenic Style features since I wear it so infrequently and am by no means an expert. In debating back and forth with myself on the issue I finally came to the conclusion that it is in essence no different than any of the topics I write/post on in terms of my level of experience. I am not a fashion designer, stylist or working personal shopper (though that is one area I do have a little bit of background in) yet I post pictures of my outfits on occasion and write out excerpts on why they were particularly noteworthy to me. I am not an expert mother and many of my entries revolve around not only my reflections on the motherhood journey so far, but also my beliefs on parenting and raising children. I am not a musician and on rare occasion I share a video or audio track for your listening pleasure. 

   When it comes down to it, this is a place for all of the things that make up (no pun intended) me.... and, well... I love cosmetics. I love experimenting and learning by trial and error, watching tutorials online, getting tips and tricks from friends. Color is something that has always permeated my life in almost every area. Even during my goth phase back in high school (that truth be told, I miss dearly) I had to sneak in color somewhere. Usually bold, sometimes deep and saturated, and on the rare occasions a pastel or two... very, very rare occasions. It only makes sense that I would love make-up. It is after all, completely about color.

   So for my very first post on make-up I decided to showcase some of my current favorite products and share a few photos of the finished look instead of attempting to create a tutorial, as my methods are far from meticulous or detailed.

   This look was for date night with the huz. As part of his anniversary gift to me last month he gave me a coupon to re-do our first date, which was so fun to redeem. And I've got to say that although it wasn't entirely historically accurate (because theaters are no longer showing Team America World Police thank God), The Muppets movie was fantastic. Puppets are puppets right? Personally speaking, much better date movie anyway!

   Products Used in this Look:
  • Make Up For Ever HD Foundation (115)
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (original)
  • Sugarpill pressed eyeshadow in Poison Plum from the Burning Heart Pallette
  • Lime Crime magic dust in Medusa
  • Fyrinnae loose shadow in Winter Again (as highlight / inner corner of eyes and dabbed on lips for dimension)
  • Fyrinnae Glow Blush in Seduce
  • Lime Crime lipstick in Chinchilla
  • OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) Lip Tar (clear)
  • Maybelline NY Stiletto liquid liner
  • NYC HD Volume mascara
  • Fyrinnae Fluff (as finishing powder)

   The concealer I used is not worth mentioning, I've had it for years and am not at all happy with it's performance but haven't taken the time to find a good replacement (suggestions??) and though it looked good at the beginning of the night I do not recommend mixing the Lime Crime Lipstick with OCC lip tar, it helped add a bit of shine and worked great for adding the loose shadow, but after a short time the tar sabotaged the opacity of the lipstick (first picture vs. last for comparison sake). Best to keep separate in my opinion... still two of my favorite products on their own.

Any questions about application feel free to ask and I will do my best to explain what worked and didn't work for me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Kickoff

   I have been contemplating, since well before Bastian was born, what Christmas traditions we would create  for our new family unit.... What unique to us customs we would take on as part of our shared history. Things our kids would look back on as essential parts of their holiday experience.

   Today we implemented the first of many. A new tradition starting this year that I like to call Christmas Kickoff. It is roughly based off of the St. Nicholas Day festivities celebrated in other countries and by a few families here and there in the U.S. The goal of our particular version of this celebration is to exchange gifts that are best enjoyed leading up to the holiday itself. Things ranging from Christmas movies and books to Santa socks, red and white reindeer clad pajamas, house decor, holiday themed treats and music. Things that when received on Christmas Day bring on that slight tinge of disappointment you can't help but feel knowing that they won't be fully enjoyed until next December.

   Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE getting and giving these kinds of gifts on the holiday itself, but why not add to the merriment by having some pre-festivity festivies?

   So today when Bastian woke up, after attempting to dispel his trepidation over the fact that we had moved around the furniture to make room for our tree, we then guided him to the front door where earlier he had hung up an empty bag.

Things were a little touch and go at first...

   ...But after the eye crusties and cranky 'just-woke-up' tears subsided, much fun was had. His bag contained three Veggietales DVD's all Christmas related of course, the classic Golden Book "The Christmas Story" and a pair of socks that he received as a gift last year that were too small to wear at the time. We also set out How the Grinch Stole Christmas for good measure since we were unpacking our many, many boxes of holiday paraphernalia.

   Once he realized that they were gifts for him he was pretty stoked. He hugged them, carried them around while making mischievous backwards glances at us, and even mimicked Daddy by saying "DA DA DA DA DA" every time he would quote the Cindy Lou line from the Jim Carrey flick "the, the, the... THE GRINCH!"

    It's been pretty amazing as a new parent transitioning into this stage where he is learning so rapidly, and interacting so much more. The spark of recognition in his eyes over silly everyday things like the suggestion that maybe he may like a banana is purely miraculous. I mean every person at one point in their life went from not recognizing the connection between a word and an object, to understanding... but witnessing it take place before your eyes, happening in the little body that you gave birth to?

   ...I am getting super sappy here. But, really, days like today are what life is all about. How can you not get even a little sappy about that?

Merry Christmas Kickoff to you and yours!

Schizophrenic Style: Pumpkin Minus the Muffin

This Thanksgiving I spent time with family, ate some tasty food, watched parts of the parade on TV, listened to some good music, and I wore shorts.

Shorts aren't normally on my list of things to wear outside of the June-July time of year when it becomes an absolute must... but these. Well these just screamed Thanksgiving to me... or at least autumn.

I found them recently at Forever 21, when stopping in looking for something else and I left with them instead. I had been (am) quickly running out of clothes that fit and even so was I quite shocked when the size small I grabbed off the table slipped right on in the fitting room.

It's been quite a journey and it's definitely not over... but I'd have to say I'm pretty excited by how far I've come. The morning of the 23rd I hopped on the scale for my weekly weigh-in only to discover that I had finally reached my first major goal. Beat it actually by half a pound!

I gained a lot at the end of my pregnancy with Bastian, and though I did lose a decent amount afterwords naturally (without trying) I hit a plateau pretty quickly, and stayed there for quite a long time. The little lifestyle changes I had been making did make a difference, but it really took an overhaul of my eating habits and major increase in my activity level before any noticeable change occurred.

Now? I am nearing a point where I may feel comfortable posting a before and after in the near future. Though I didn't document my "before" until I had already been on the journey for a while, and as such it won't display the full loss. It's still pretty darn exciting!

I feel stronger, and healthier and better able to enjoy my active little boy who insists on climbing everything in sight. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. Stretch marks and all. I am a mom. And I am fit!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Fabric of Life

Photo by Bela Kalman
   Today we are preparing to attend our fourth annual Day Before Thanksgiving Chili Cookoff. It started off with just (somewhat) immediate family members of the band to which my mother belongs... and of course the band itself. As many things do it has grown over the years to include more of our extended family as well as some friends. It's one of those things that started not long after Jason and I became a serious couple and it has since grown into a great tradition that somehow signifies our transition into a family unit of our own. Each year since, it has reminded me that families grow and shift and form anew every day without so much as an announcement. No ceremony or pomp and circumstance... just bonds forming, people connecting, babies being born, couples moving from dating singles to interdependent people. A new creature. A new freedom, a new comfort, new dysfunction in some cases. But always, even as some bonds are severed, new ties are bound, new memories made. There is always room in a family. It is not a static thing that is created then kept the same.

   On this eve of Thanksgiving I am reminded of one of the most important things that I have to be thankful for, the connection and bonds of family, friends and people to which I can relate. Those I don't know, and may never know personally... the people I connect to in person and online. The ones with whom I share this thing called life. Because that's what life really is all about. At the core is relationship. With our creator, with our surroundings, with animals and objects... but also with other people.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Gripe With Gratitude

Most days I don't think about the fact that having things like indoor pluming, heat, air conditioning, a refrigerator, freezer, stove, microwave, my own car, a cell phone, internet, and thousands of other things that may be even less obvious, are not merely conveniences that I am lucky to have because so many in today's world don't... but also because in terms of time these things have only been available at all for what wouldn't even constitute as a blip on the radar. And yet, I was born into a time and place where most of these are considered a given.

I admit, a lot of this "today I am thankful for fill in the blank" social media status updates rub me the wrong way. Not because I am in any way against giving thanks... but because it is so very unnatural to me that it seems that it just must be insincere. Even when I know the person well and know that what they are saying is truthful, I still get that twinge. Because it points me back to my own heart as a reference, before I have a chance to guard it, and then there I sit forced to face the cold hard reality that, while I try, I am not currently a thankful person. Not automatically anyways. The opposite is too far ingrained. It takes a lot of intentional thought to be thankful, and habit forming is hard work... especially thought habits. Heart habits.

I do believe that thankfulness is a habit. Gratitude is a muscle. Not a physical one obviously, but it works in much the same way. My gratitude muscle is currently weak, but like all muscles it has latent potential. Every day that I use it it becomes stronger. Each day this month I have become less annoyed by the posts. My heart is warming up. Becoming more open, willing to see things as a blessing, less cynical and more... well, thankful.

So I wanted to thank you. All of you who have been sharing your grateful spirit with me without even knowing it. Today I am thankful for you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Under My Skin

   So it turns out that piercings can move! If your body decides that it's not a fan of the jewelry (size, shape, material) the placement, or even the simple fact that there is suddenly a foreign object trying to make a new home amidst your flesh. It may also be a mind over matter situation like many other things in life tend to be. Honestly, I'm pretty convinced it's the later despite many logical arguments in support of basic body functions sabotaging my previously mentioned new nose piercing.

   The thing is that from the beginning I was not sold on the placement, and ever since things have been happening that pushed me toward the decision of cutting my losses and starting over. First there was the keloid, then two days after I had the jewelry changed it got dislodged in my sleep and began to close up on me, then... well, it started to move. It began slowly, and almost unnoticeably creeping even farther away from where I would have originally wanted it to sit. Further down towards the edge of my nostril. This went on until, to me at least, it looked like I was wearing a clip on ring that was falling off.

   Still I sat wishy washy about voicing my concerns, and possibly inconveniencing someone to help me fix what I knew was really only a problem to me. Asking myself  "Am I crazy?" "Is is really moving?" "Will the piercer look at me like I'm an idiot for coming in this long after the fact asking for a placement correction?". Then it nearly got ripped out of my face by a silly accident on my part (that involved a decorative pillow and a dramatic collapse onto the couch in exasperation). That was it! I was tired of being secretly unsatisfied with something that was supposed to be a personal reward. I was tired of being self conscious about something I got for the sole reason of it being aesthetically pleasing. It was time to get out of my comfort zone and voice my concern.

   Not just voice my concern, flat out admit that I was unhappy with a service I received, and ask for it to be rectified. This does not seem like a big deal to most people. It probably shouldn't be a big deal... but this is coming from the woman who would rather take her chances puking or peeing herself than to politely ask if I could cut in line for the bathroom when I was 8 months pregnant. The same woman who when asked by the stylist "What do you think?" at the salon she just shelled out $130 for service at, said "It looks great!" even though she asked for fire engine red and got brassy orange. The one who winces whenever anyone she is with lets on in any small way that they are unhappy with the service they are receiving, no matter how insanely polite they were about it or how horrifyingly bad the experience actually was.

So yes, definitely outside my box.

   But also, so very, very worth it! I now have a piercing I am pretty darn happy with and I was pleasantly surprised how willing to help the piercer was as well as how unoffended he was by my being honest about my dissatisfaction. In fact he came right out and said that he would rather do it all over again and have me happy with it that have me just put up with something I was less than keen on.

   So there you have it. It may be an insignificant detail in the grand scheme of things, a silly little nose piercing, but I find these little experiences to be symbolic. What are big things made up of, except for all those little, tiny, seemingly unimportant things?

Here is the end result, one little change has made a big difference for me:

What? That's the best picture I've got!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Boy's First Room

Well here we are four, maybe five... has it really be five months?? I guess so! ...Five months after moving into our first house, and not a single room is "finished" yet. Honestly this doesn't surprise me in the slightest. While I love decorating, it is not top on my life's priority list right now.

There is one room though that is closer to being done than all the rest. The room that is a symbol of the biggest reason we moved in the first place. My son's room. His very first room. I had been dreaming about what his room would look like even before he was conceived... truth be told LONG before he was conceived. I had folders on my home PC, my work PC, endless emails sent to myself with file after file, picture after picture depicting options, themes, tiny details and basic color schemes for the room my one-day baby would live in. Lots, and lots of pictures!

Funny for a girl who once, angrily, informed her mother that she would never be having kids! She would never bring a child into this world!

She must have been extremely self-deceived, because let me tell you you are reading the blog of a baby-crazed fanatic who is completely obsessed with all things baby related... you know except for dirty diapers, feedings of any kind, and lack of sleep... but that is for another day.

Today is the day that she is finally sharing nursery pictures of her own. Though it's not so much a nursery as a little boy's room. What is the difference anyways?

Right! Pictures! Have a peek:

Owl prints are from Parada Creations 

Bedding, curtains, mini fan, mirror, diaper changing pad cover - Target
Hanging toy cubby - Ikea
Crib - Thrifted (and lovingly stripped and repainted by my mother) 
Bunting - Handmade by my sister
Yarn Monogram "B" - Handmade by myself, tutorial soon.

Anything you see that is not notated above was likely a gift or thrifted... feel free to ask if you're curious about something in particular!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Growing. Pain.

From this point of view you look very much the same
though everything has changed.
Every. Little. Thing.
Most of all how little you no longer are.
In comparison to myself, sure
But how can a body grow so much in fourteen months
and still retain it's resilience and willingness,
no eagerness,
to smile.
Didn't it hurt?
Every little part of your being stretching at once?
It makes me wonder
How my capacity for rapid change has grown so small
We were born to grow
and grow you have
faster, stronger and with less resistance than an adult like me can fathom
fragile, maybe
like a sparrow if held too tightly by human hands
but strong
strong enough to withstand bones that double in size beneath your skin
at the same time as teeth rip through gums and muscles tear and rebuild themselves
so that you may chew
and crawl
and walk
I wonder also, if at times my own aversion to change has hindered you
made you go slower or more worriedly than you otherwise might
you go so fast as it is
it's hard to imagine a higher speed
and still...
Do not race to quickly into adulthood my dear son,
there is plenty of time to learn and unlearn your mothers aversion to advancement
for she is looking now to you
in awe
inspired, learning more than she could ever teach
herself through books and writing 
and introspection
the methods she most prefers
on the art of uninhibited development

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chronically Chronological

I would like to be posting a (more well thought out) blog today, but really have no idea which direction to take. My few ideas seem out of place. I never did a 1st birthday party recap post and I wanted to but feel awkward about it now because it's been two months since our little guy turned one. I'm currently in my still-obsessed-with-Halloween-but-secretly-wishing-I-could-justify-turning-on-the-Christmas-music stage. I'll admit I'm not a big Thanksgiving fanatic. Not because I'm against giving thanks, but because the whole thing seems kind of like a farce to me and I'm uncomfortable with it. I enjoy the day, the family traditions and time together, I especially enjoy taking the time to count the things we're thankful for... I just don't feel super festive about the event. It's really just "I get to indulge in pumpkin pie" day for me.

But anyways...

All that being said, I am still wanting to do posts about Halloween since I inadvertently took October off from blogging and, thanks to Pinterest and my few shopping trips this passed week to the already decked out stores I am also wanting to start posting Christmasy things. For that matter I have events
lingering around in my mind that I had planned on blogging about but never got to from last holiday season... those may in fact have cycled back around to being timely and appropriate to blog about. Do I have to wait til next October then to write about the festivities I skipped or never got to this year? Bastian's second birthday to show off the decor I painstakingly made for his first? Or are they simply lost in terms of my bloggers topic queue? Is there a protocol here?

What do you think? Do potential posts about events in your life have an expiration date? Would you want to read about things "out-of-season" so to speak? Am I the only one who worries about these things?

I can't help but wonder if it's my own slight case of O.C.D. that is making this non-chronological posting dilemma into an issue at all. Is it a dilemma? I want your thoughts!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Hauntings; A Holiday Recap

Halloween is a big deal round these parts and so, even though it's a week late I could not neglect to post a recap of sorts. Last Sunday we hosted a very small get together at our place so that my sister, who was in town from school could spend some quality costume time with our little monster. Unfortunately trick or treating on a Monday didn't fit so nicely into her college routine... you know since she is goes to school SEVEN HOURS AWAY!! Oh, how I miss her... but that is for another post. We dressed up, drank cider, talked, laughed, snapped a few pictures (of which the below are the only ones I currently have on my computer to share with you) and played Apples to Apples, which always makes for a good time.

This year, I thought I would take advantage of my ability to control my little guys costume and go for a cleaver... I mean clever play on words. I picked up a 50's-ish housewifey dress and shoes at our local Goodwill, my husband fashioned a makeshift meat clever and my mom threw together a sash reading "Mrs. June" at the last moment. For Bastian I dressed him pretty close to his normal attire but his shirt read "Beaver Creek" and his hat had the most adorable little beaver tail and buck teeth on it. I may be biased... or most definitely am, but isn't he just the cutest beaver you have ever seen, ever??

And the two of us together?? Costume perfection if I do say so myself!

The night wound down with some one on one Grandma / Bastian story time and fond wishes for our transitions back into the real world. 

A few hours after everyone left I became violently ill with the husband to follow in suit 5 hours after, and so this recap is coming to you late due to my inability to recollect the fun times without associating them with the not so fun stuff that took place immediately after. But, here we are solidly into the month of November and as per usual I am regressing back into my Halloween spirit wishing that the festivities were not over. 

That however, is what Nightmare Before Christmas exists for, so excuse me while Bastian and I mix holidays for the rest of our day to make up for a week of a not-so-fun-to-be-around mommy!

Happy Halloween-Thanksgiving-ChristmasKickOff!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Apology

October, though normally my favorite month of the year, turned out to be a rather weird one for me. And mostly because I allowed myself to become complacent. Even though Bastian had already been around for a whole month this time last year I was still unfamiliar with the landscape. It was as if there was no transition of seasons last year and this time it threw me for a loop. What would October look like as a mother?

Really, really different, that's for sure. Not bad. Just very different.

Something about the experience felt, I don't know, private. I wasn't up for writing for an audience. But instead of simply taking a hiatus from blogging I stopped. Writing, that is. Stopped doing the thing that had been fueling me this whole past year... and surprise, surprise I eventually ran out of steam.

{Image c/o Pinterest}
So I am back. Out of practice, again, but back. To my home at the keyboard. To my daily checklists and miscellaneous goals. Back to processing and documenting my experiences rather than letting them whiz by only to be forgotten by the next day. For it is in my nature to live this way. When I am not using words to aid in digesting my input things become hazy, and I suspect I am not the best version of myself to be around.

So for that I am sorry.

Sorry, also, to myself for momentarily forgetting what it is that makes me go. Makes me moves forward. Change. Become more and more authentic with the passage of time. What makes me, me.

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