Friday, September 23, 2011

DIY: Spa -- Milk & Honey Face Scrub

DIY: Spa
Despite the fact that I am now a full time working adult, my skin has not caught up and is still teenager disgusting. I ran out of my usual St. Ives apricot scrub and my face was in need of a good exfoliation, so I whipped my easy, cheap, face-fixing concoction – milk & honey face scrub.

It’s super easy, and great for your skin without harsh chemicals, soap, laurel sulfates or any other chemical crap.

I stole a side dip container (see blue cuppie in picture) from Applebee’s a while back—just popped it into my take out box, because I wanted the dip but I didn’t want it to make the rest of my meal soggy, so the cup had to come along.

It’s the perfect size for this, but you can use whatever size container you’d like. For the very lazy of you, however, I do not recommend making a big batch and saving it for future uses, because the baking soda will dissolve more and lose its scrubby-ness.

You Need:

1 tbsp honey (whatever kind you like—organic if you’re fancy and wealthy.)

1 tbsp baking soda

1 tsp milk (optional)

·         Mix all ingredients up in a cup.
(I usually do this in the shower so the steam can open up my pores a little bit more and it’s not a sticky mess on my bathroom sink.)

·         Wet your face with warm water and apply scrub and then scrub like you would normally scrub your face.

·         Leave it on anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes then rinse. It will tingle slightly, if your skin is sensitive then you might want to rinse off sooner than later.

I used it as a body scrub too. It’s good for flaky, dry winter skin too, and it makes you smell awesome. If you want a courser body scrub add a tablespoon of sugar in the raw or course brown sugar (bigger scrubbing particles for bigger areas.) When I got out of the shower, I still had some zits (it is not a miracle worker,) but my face literally looked glowing.

Why it works? Honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase, and when you combined it with water, it produces hydrogen peroxide which acts as a mild antiseptic, killing some zit causing germs on your face. In addition to the glucose oxidase enzyme, honey also contains antioxidants and flavonoids that may function as antibacterial agents. Honey is also a humectant, which means it attracts and helps retain moisture, rebuilding the moisture level in the skin without making it oily. Honey has been around and been used for thousands of years—things have been found preserved in crystallized honey, so maybe it helps preserve your young, youthful face?

Baking soda is made up of small grains that aren’t too harsh on your sensitive face, and it’s also been used for a long time as a cleanser (in the washing machine,) as a rash/sunburn soother/calmer, among other things.

Lactic acid in the milk is a mild exfoliate in itself and has been shown to improve overall skin appearance. Try it and let me know what you think!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Girls Night Out Recap

“GNO”  Recap

(A long post, but well worth the 5 minutes you'll spend reading it.. or at least I think so.)

I last left you with a few frustrated words from the first half of my day that would later be “Girl’s Night Out.”

As I sit here freezing, listening to Glee’s Christmas album, I’m laughing out loud thinking back to Friday night.

Let me begin…

Girl’s Night Out (Hereinafter referred to as GNR) was supposed to begin at 4pm. Every one was supposed to meet at my house at 4 so we could all head over to AC together and have time to settle into our room, walk around, shop, whatever before our dinner reservation at 7. As you can guess, this did not happen.

One thing or another caused everyone (including myself—and I LIVE at my house) to be late. It was around 5 pm by the time seven girls were sitting on my bedroom floor sorting their luggage. (And though we are not alcoholics, we were bringing a couple bottles of classy champagne and other things—unfortunately for me the bottles were all sitting in the middle of my room when my mom walked in and demanded to know if they were sparkling cider or not.)

Despite the fact that we would be spending less than a day in Atlantic City, everyone packed a giant duffel bag, like there would be time for 7 outfit changes throughout the night. In an attempt to consolidate space, we had a fashion show of sorts where we all tried out our outfits and tried to unanimously decide who should wear what so the extra clothes could be left behind. 3 out of the 7 girls ended up wearing dresses from my closet which, sadly, I didn’t fit in anymore, which kind of was a crappy feeling, but they did look HOT in those dresses. Multiple outfit changes and some serious convincing later, we had only eliminated one bag, and we still had to fit an elephant sized air mattress somewhere.

Finally, we were ready to go, and slowly everyone loaded themselves into the awkward minivan—this would have been MUCH easier if the door to the trunk wasn’t broken, but it was, so everyone had the heave the heavy luggage over seats and heads and into the back. I have the key in the ignition when Courtney, who is sitting shotgun, starts dumping the contents of her purse on the floor looking for her keys, which are so inconveniently attached to her mini-wallet and her ID. I go inside to help her look, and 10 minutes later we find them under my sister’s bed. Back in the car, ready to go a second time, I realize that my keys are no longer in the ignition. A symphony of groans erupted from the back seats as I ran inside to find those keys. Two minutes later, I’m back in the car—take 3!

 I very slowly start to back out of my driveway that’s on a slight hill, because it’s hard to see whether or not cars are coming in the back alley, when all of sudden there’s  a horrible bang and a loud scraping. I immediately stop (of course at this point Brian has already made his way over and is laughing and pointing) and tell everyone to get out of the van. I put it in drive, move forward 10 feet, and even more slowly, try to back out into the narrow alley with 8 people standing around in my way. Apparently, the weight of 7 girls and 7 ginormo suitcases was too much for the red minivan. Diagonally blocking any potential traffic through the alley, I parked and let everyone climb back in.

Now, it is six o’clock—we were on our way. As we approached the city, we called P.F. Chang’s to see if we could push back our reservation half an hour in order to give us time to check in and bring our bags up before dinner. The receptionist was a certified ditz-wad, who made things extremely complicated when we informed her that we’d be adding a 7th person to our reservation for 6. She told us that this really complicated things, and we could come whenever (but she could only hold our 7:00 reservation for 15 minutes) and then we’d get a buzzer and have to wait because what would be do about the seventh person?!!?

It took us about 2 minutes after she’d hung to appoint the second most… aggressive… person in the car to call back (Obviously, that would have been me, but I was driving) and explain that we would be showing up at seven and we would be sitting down with all seven people—“Put an extra chair at the table, we’ll squish.”

Once we made it through the parking lot maze, we got to PF Chang’s 5 minutes early, and we were sent downstairs to be seated right away. A disgruntled hostess led us to a table for not 6, not 7, but 8 people. She gave us a dirty look as she grabbed the extra chair and said “I guess I’ll just get this out of your way.” Yes. You. Will. Dinner was lots of fun! We ordered about 20 appetizers and were too full for dessert by the time the check came around. Our waiter was kind enough to give us 8 large paper cups for our room party to follow, since we forgot to get any. Let the night begin.

When we left, Angelica realized that we were parked on the wrong side of the Tropicana, since we were by the Quarter and the hotel rooms were on the totally opposite side. We decided to go back to the parking garage, pile back in the mini van, and go down the spiral exit (me holding the brake the entire way down.) When we got to the bottom, the parking attendant said “Ten dollars please.” I calmly explained that I just wanted to go the other parking garage. He looked at me like I was a crazy person and less calmly explained that this was the only Tropicana garage, and I was just going to have to back up.

The lady behind me was not grasping the concept of reverse, despite the fact that she was about 50 feet away when I first put my hazards and my reverse lights on, while waving my hand out the window. One smooth K turn later, we were going back up the ramp, past our last spot on the 5th floor, to a new spot on the 6th. 20 minutes wasted.

Dragging our extremely heavy luggage through the whole casino was fun, but not as fun as what happened next. It was $180 dollars for the room, and the Trop charges another $25/person for everyone staying in the room besides the original 2 people who booked it, so Angelica and I stood in the check-in line when the others kept a “reasonable following distance” from the hotel lobby to the elevator that would take us to the South Tower.

Sitting on a planter ledge next to the narrow hallway that led to the only elevator up to our room was a very heavy set, suited man. Next to him was a sign explaining that every single person staying in the hotel should have their own room key and this guy was there to check and make sure of it. Oh Crap. Angelica and I had the 2 keys, which meant the 5 following at a safe distance would not be able to get upstairs. Sweating, I signaled the other girls to go wait somewhere else, and the two of us went upstairs.

By the time I got to the room, I was in panic mode. I ruined girl’s night out! They’re never going to be able to get up here. I literally started to get nauseous as Angelica and I tried to devise a plan that included somehow getting them room keys, and I could think about were all the movies I’d seen about people trying to cheat casinos and how they always ended up strapped to a chair in the basement getting beat up by a huge dude in black. It also didn’t help that I had been carrying someone else’s duffel and someone else was carrying my purse, with my phone in it, and I had no one’s number but my own.

Almost an hour and a couple sneaky plans later, all five girls made it upstairs with no problem, probably because the guard was busy flirting with some other girls at the time. Courtney, who works at some fancy shmancy restaurant, needed some champagne popping experience, and she got it.

We got ready and had drinks and snacks and laughs in during the next few hours. It took a few trips and some searching and some elevator rides to actually get a hold of some ice, but when we did, we brought a trash can to fill. Ironically, the huge bottle of Gatorade intended for rehydrating use the next morning was used as a mixer.

Replenish your electrolytes while you imbibe. That’s my motto.

Although the club cover charge was some ridiculous $15/person, Shelly knew someone who knew someone who got us on some list. While standing in line, feeling important Angelica’s heel decided it had enough of my one toe nail, and it came down hard with a vengeance—luckily, I had enough silly juice in me at the time that I could barely feel it. I believe someone took photographic proof of the bloody event. The snobby entrance girl said she did not know the friend of the friend who got us on the list, so only 4 of us were free, but splitting the $30 we got charged was NBD, especially since it saved us $60.

The club was the club. Sweaty, loud, but surprisingly not to gropey. I think Shelly was the only one who got hit on—what does that say about the rest of us?! Ha Ha. Somehow a number of us ended up dancing on some kind of elevated circles. Framing my face was probably my best move of the night. We made it back to our room after a 3am adventure for pizza at Tony Baloney’s—otherwise known as Tony’s Baltimore Grille, where it smelled just like a litter box.

The next morning we made it out of bed. There was a mess in the room, blood in my Bandolino’s and everyone was a little sore or smelly or both—signs of a night well played. We got breakfast (and a lot of it) and called it a day around 1pm on Saturday. It was a very successful GNO, and although it took me most of the weekend to recover from my hang over, I can’t wait for the next one! I’m sure there are details I’ve left out, but after reading all this, don’t you want to come too??

Friday, September 16, 2011

Girl's Night Out is Finally Here!!!

IT’s HERE!!!!

Today is officially “Girl’s Night (and late afternoon and early tomorrow morning) Out!”

What started off as 4 girls in a 2 double bed room has now expanded to 7 girls with a couple of air mattresses in the room—and I am so excited.

What should have started off as a relaxing day off of work, sleeping in and lounging, became a caffeine induced nightmare.  Brian bought me a couple of “Happy Pills” from the Vitamin Shoppe. Literally—they’re 2 tablets in a little package called “Happy Pills” that have stuff in them to make you feel good and energized—herbal stuff like St. John’s Wort and caffeine etc.

I needed to go to the bank and then to the post office to cash a money order and deposit a check. News Flash! The bank was just bought over by another bank—my debit card stops working at 3pm today and the new one I get doesn’t start working until Monday. Awesome. Then I go to the post office by my house (it’s a post office money order, so you can only cash it at the post office,) and they do not have the $192 dollars to give me.

I eat a breakfast sandwich, take one of the two happy pills, and head to the gym, frustrated, but not willing to get pissed off on my good day yet. I was told by the manager of the gym that the class I want to take starts at 10:30, so I spend my first 30 minutes at the gym on the treadmill waiting for the class to start. Kathy Lee was on TV talking about Brazilian waxes, and it was disturbing. Then It’s time for class so I walk upstairs, panting, and am unable to find the room or anyone who knows what they’re talking about. 10 minutes later I find out there is no class, so I just hit the weight room instead. Half way through my intense work out, I get dry mouth, and my heart is racing faster than usual. Whatever, I’m just working out extra hard, I thought. By the time I get to my last stations I’m feeling light headed and seeing spots. I quit a few minutes earlier and head to the car—really hot and jittery—then I realize that it was the STUPID HAPPY PILL that is making me feel like crap!! I’m so not happy at that moment. Thank goodness I took 5 dum-dums from the bank while I was there, because I needed the sugar to help me feel less light headed on my way home.

There’s another post office on my way home, so I stop in trying to cash my money order—surprise! They don’t have the cash. Now I’m annoyed, sweaty, and breathing really funny, with no cash in my pocket. I don’t understand why the post office issues such money orders if they never have the cash to fulfill them. I am about to go to the mall to pick out an outfit for tonight and the lawn mower that Brian bought from Sear’s yesterday. I have high hopes for tonight, but I do feel like I’m tweaking a little bit still. WISH ME LUCK!

By the way, did I mention that I traded cars with my mom so we can all take one car for girl’s night? Well, I’ve been feeling very Juno-y all day, because I’m driving around a red minivan that is so much more frustrating to drive than my Jeep. This day can only get better.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


A good friend’s wedding is this weekend, and I am still dress-less. It completely slipped my mind that I’ll be reading the Bible passage during the ceremony, so I need to look good while I’m doing it! Also, I want Brian to see me in this dress and think “Wow, I have a hot girlfriend.”

I went to Marshall’s (usually my #1 store) and found nothing. Then I went through all 3 floors of Macy’s— Nothing. I even went to H&M—some things, but nothing very WOW! I went into BCBG Max Azria in the Walk last night, in the pouring rain, and was helped by a very perky, helpful fitting room drill sergeant. She had me in about 15 dresses, and one stood out.

I really liked this dress when I put it on. It fit really well, and you can never go wrong with B&W.
It was on sale already for $220, and everything in the store was 50% off—so the dress is now $110. I have a few pairs of shoes that will go, so I’m not too worried about that, but I need some opinions. I’ve always tried to put off higher prices purchases (especially clothing) for a day or 2 so I can think about it. If it keeps popping up in my head, then I know I wasn’t just about to compulsively spend money because I was in a store, and then if I go back and it’s still there in my size, I usually get it.  

·         It is hot.
·         It is stretchy (in the top especially, so I can eat fancy wedding dinner, and it will expand with me.)
·         It is camouflaging of little tummy chub, because of all the bandaging allusions. Also, if I eat too much, the A-line puffy bottom pretty much hides everything anyway.
·         It’s a simple color scheme.
·         It reminds me of a cupcake.

·         It is wrinkly. You can’t tell by the picture, but the bottom half is taffeta and it was super wrinkly when I tried it on. The sales girl told me she would steam it for me, and it would help, but as soon as I get into a car or something, it’ll probably be wrinkly again—it didn’t look awful, just not perfect, like in this picture.
·         It’s $110
·         If I buy it, it’s final sale. There are no returns at BCBG.
·         It reminds me of a cupcake.

So this is where you few readers of my blog come in! What’s your opinion?? It’s on hold at BCBG until tonight at 8pm when they close. I have the rest of the day to make a decision. Tonight is my last shopping night, because tomorrow I have the rehearsal dinner (separate dress for that occasion—casual, grey Cynthia Rowley,) and Saturday is the wedding. To buy, or not to buy (and if not, where do I go look for another dress?!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Three Day Weekend Heaven

Three Day Weekend Heaven

This weekend has been wonderful. Brian finished work on Friday at a decent time, and after taking an extra long shower, shaving my legs, waxing, and giving myself a mani/pedi, I met up with him at his house and proceeded to drink half of a bottle of Korbel [Brut.] I wasn’t going anywhere, I was just enjoying sitting on the couch nursing a slice of pizza, drinking my champagne, and watching his mom show off her new aerobic moves.

The next morning, Duane showed up and we set off for Vernon, NJ to go water parking at Mountain Creek Water Park. The day felt more like fall than a day fitting to splash around in cold, mountain stream water, but Brian and I are alike in the way that when we’re looking forward to something, little can keep us from it. The whole ride up we watched the thermostat in his car fluctuate, dropping from 78 degrees to 76 (oh no, SEVENTY SIX?!)— back to 78, 74(WHAT?!?! Don’t go lower!) and at its lowest, 73(OH MY GOSH! IT WENT LOWER!) Just as Brian was getting really worried about freezing his butt off at the park, we passed a small business that said “SWIM SALE” on a large sign outside. We pulled in, and Brian crossed his fingers, hoping they sold rash guards (He thought they were meant to keep you warm… hence the name—rash guard. Brian is always so cold, he wears a wet suit every time he surfs—no wonder he didn’t know what a rash guard was for.)

SIDENOTE: Anyone reading this who surfs, skates, snowboards, or just likes wearing those sport brand name clothes—if you ever get the chance to buy from this place—do it! It’s a great small business, owned and operated by two guys in the mid to late twenties. Their prices are already competitive, but they’re also open to making you deals. Our total purchase came to $40 (for a new rash guard and a cute winter hat for me!) The owner gave us $20 off our purchase, which was already lower than suggested retail value. Great product at great prices with great service. I’m all about supporting small business, so check this place out if you ever get the chance! (That’s the end of my sales pitch.)

We had a great day at the water park, stopped at Panera Bread on the way home, and I fell asleep early after a good, exhausting day. Sunday we lounged around the house most of the day, after running a couple of errands. I took a dip in the pool to cool off when it got really hot, and set to work on an art project I’ve been planning for a couple of weeks. It got overwhelming, so then I quit. That night we had birthday dinner for Brian’s dad. I split another bottle of champagne [my new, classy drink of choice] with Brian, and went to bed at nine o’clock.

Today was the last day of my three day weekend. I hope everyone else had as good of a Labor Day Weekend as I did. I hung around the house, watched a Denzel Washington movie, stopped at a friend’s birthday BBQ, and finally completed my art project! The only thing left on my to-do list from this week is to buy a dress for a wedding I have coming up this weekend (Yay Jess & Tommy!) QUESTION: What’s the deal with matching your better half at a wedding? Is it too much like prom? Help!

Want to know what’s great about tomorrow? As much as it’s going to SUCK going back to work after a three day weekend, my job recently switched banks, and I think the bank is trying to brown nose us pretty good, because they’re providing us with HOT breakfast tomorrow, and I CANNOT WAIT! It’s funny how something like breakfast will make my day so much better tomorrow. I feel pretty lucky when my biggest complaint is having to wake up at seven am. I’m so thankful for my job, my friends and family—especially the ones I can always count on to show up when they say they will. I’m thankful that my job lets us stay home for a paid holiday today, and I’m thankful that Brian is a hard worker and he woke up at 3:30 am today to go to work without complaining. SIDENOTE: Everyone out there who prays, please keep him in mind! He has an interview for a teaching job this week, and if that doesn’t work out, he’s taking the police academy entrance exam. He’s working so hard, and I just want him to feel accomplished and happy with what he’s doing.