1.30.2009

A Burn and Weekend Plans

Happy Friday everyone!

Today has been crazy! I've been running around collecting things I need for classes (books, supplies, my sanity, etc) and now I'm starving! I think I'll have a banana after this post.

Last night I went over to Dan's to cook. The poor guy burnt his hand on a tray (that was 400 degrees) because he thought it was cool. Head on over to his blog to send your condolences. It was not pretty! Despite his injury, he did buy me a cute treat for Valentine's Day coming up:

Gotta love him! :-)

This weekend is super jam packed for me! Tonight, I am just hanging out with Dan but also probably doing some school work. Tomorrow morning I have a SWING DANCE class with Dan and his parents. I am excited but it's important for you to know that while I love to dance, I suck at it. Dan is an excellent dancer (has won awards) and will show me up. After that, I have to run (ha! If I recover from the dance class) and then I'm going to the DC blog meet-up! Meeting you lovely DC ladies will be swell I'm sure. I can't wait! Oh and if I show up in a leg cast from my dance class, I appoligize now. ;-)

Now, for Sunday. Sunday is the SUPERBOWL (as you all know) and I will be bleeding my black and gold to show my undying support for the Pittsburgh Steelers. My friends K and G are having a party and it's going to be great. After that, I suspect I'll be doing homework and/or procrastinating.

Steeler fans check out: Steeler Ladies

GO PITTSBURGH!

Julie

Giant Jewelry

Yesterday, I got a pretty hilarious comment from one of my loyal readers, jlc from French Kiss.

She wrote:

"This has nothing to do with your post but can I tell you how much I appreciate the fact you put 'giant jewelry' as one of your interests????

Love it!!"

Thank you for your comment jlc! If you haven't checked out her blog, go now! You will love it - as I do. Here's my explanation: All my life, I have been exposed to "giant jewelry" as evidenced by pieces like this:

this:

this:

this:

this:

and this (as well as tons more!):

Who is the culprit? This extravagant lady:

That's right! My Bube (grandma) Shirley. All the pictures above are when we took pictures of all her jewelry (for her records) and wow she has a ton! That's where I get my love for giant jewelry! (Ha! It all makes sense now!)

xoxo,

Julie

1.28.2009

Rue La la...

Have you heard of Rue La La?

Awhile back, Preppy Little Dress blogged about this wonderful site that offers boutiques on discounted luxury items/brands. Since you have to be invited, she offered on her blog and I said yes! Since then, I have bought only a couple items because they are still expensive regardless. You do get lucky sometimes though! Right now, Rue La La has these boutiques coming up:

- Matt and Nat
- Stila

...and others. Do you want an invite to Rue La La? It costs nada to join and I'll invite you! Please send an email to wearingmascara at gmail dot com.

xoxo,

Julie

PETA Superbowl Banned Commercial

With the Superbowl coming up soon, I know many of us are excited for not only the game, but the commercials. Recently, PETA had a Superbowl commercial banned from this weekend. Take a look for yourself and let me know your thoughts. It IS racy, so don't look at it in front of your kids! :-)



Discuss!

Express Yo'self

Hello everyone!

Express is having a HUGE sale! Take 40% OFF of already marked down merchandise! Here are some awesome examples:

Ruched Sleeve V-Neck for 11.99

Ruffle Tank for 5.99

Belted Knit Dress for 11.99 (also comes in red!)

Wool Capellete for 17.99 (I really want this!)

Thanks to everyone who wore their pj's inside out last night. The plan half worked - we had a delay instead! I still think they should have closed school. It was pretty dangerous and my car was an ice cube! I couldn't even open my trunk. Either way, it's fine - I'm back home safe and sound.

One more thing: Are you a DC blogger? If so, visit Nautical by Nature and let her know that you're interested in a meet up! Today is the last day to sign-up. I'll be there and you should too :-)

Stay warm,

Julie

1.27.2009

Missile Launcher

Just in case you need one and for only 34.99, who doesn't?

Okay, the treadmill is calling my name.

Good night (for real this time!),

Julie

P.S. Wear your pajamas inside out and then maybe school/work will be canceled!

Um, Okay. Ouch.

Hello!

Per my run yesterday, I am hurting all over. Really. I can barely cross my legs. In fact, I have to pick one up to assist it in crossing over the other. What's hard is that I have to run again today to follow along with my training. Later tonight, I'm hitting the treadmill because there is no way I am stepping outside in this wintery mix! I think that's why my muscles hurt to begin with!

Today was a great day, even with all the snow! I had an int*rpreting job near the Pentagon and while I got lost along the way, it was a great experience. It was a team job where I switched off and on with another int*rpreter. I love those types of jobs because I can watch the other int*rpreter and learn so much! It's hard though because some people don't like to be watched (me included) by other interpreters so I watched for a little and then read blogs on my iPhone.

When I got home, I was exhausted so I made some minestrone soup with crackers and then went straight to my bed for a nap. My days of laziness are numbered because the semester is officially underway. I have to enjoy my naps as I have them right?

Soon, I will go to the grocery store and Office Depot to pick up school supplies and officially organize myself for Spring 2009. Hopefully I can find some cute folders and notebooks because that always brightens up my day and semester! I'm excited to go food shopping because I have two recipes (one chicken tender recipe and one crock pot recipe) that I'm dying to try because they are low fat. Then, I have to hop on the treadmill before I become too lazy and ignore the training.

Ouch. I really hurt.

Have a great night everyone!

Julie

Photography Aspirations

Hello all,

I have many aspirations and apart from psych*logy and Amer*can S*gn Langu*ge (ASL), I love photography.

I always have. It started when I was in high school and I took a class. My parents bought me a Canon Rebel G for my birthday and there I went shooting everything in sight. Since then, my camera has disappeared (cough, cough, I think my sister lost it cough cough) and last year, I made a spontaneous purchase. I bought a Nikon D40 and haven't looked back. Since then, I have taken tons of pictures. I even had the honor to be the photographer at my mother's wedding (small wedding needed a free photographer ;-)). That day gave me such joy I can't even begin to tell you. The pictures that came from that day are priceless to me and my family. I'm sure that they aren't "professional" one bit, but they are my pride and joy. Here, I would like to show you some pictures I have taken in the past year. I don't have a lot of good ones (in my opinion) but here are the ones I think are decent. Enjoy!

In DC

Bird in DC

Clyde who passed away last year. He was so sweet and photogenic!

Another Clyde picture

Here is Dan at Shenandoah State Park in VA (Old Rag)

This is one of my favorites. It's a dock at my favorite place in Pennsylvania!

My mom and her new hubby

Another wedding shot

This picture makes me smile every time... look at her happiness!

This is one of my ratties, Thurston. He is very timid because I adopted him from the Humane Society. I don't think his first family treated him well but he has turned into such a sweetheart!
Of course, no post with pictures would leave out a Liam picture! Here he is at Christmas, 2008!

With advice from a blogger that I found, I recently purchased Photoshop Elements. I want to learn Photoshop, but I simply do not have the money right now. Also, I feel most pictures should become their best in the camera itself but I do want to learn more editting techniques. I can't wait to start using elements. Andrea also recommended a book for me to read! She's great, check out her blog and get inspired!

Also, for all you photography enthusiasts, check out Digital Photography School. It's an awesome website with tools, tricks, forums, fun, and even assignments (for free!).

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Happy photos,

Julie

1.26.2009

Few Things and I Need Photoshop Advice

Today was my first day of class since last week I was absent. Wow, I'm going to have a ton of projects to do that are very involved. I guess this is expected during my last semester of classes, yes?

Very exciting things are coming my way and I know that 2009 will be exciting. I was offered a psychology full-year internship and my professor hinted that she knew of another place that may be offering one to me as well. I am really excited and both are promising opportunities to do what I love. With the two offers comes the reality of moving either here:

Pittsburgh (where I grew up... GO STEELERS!)

or here:
Philadelphia
Awesome right?

In other news, I had my first run for my training today. I ran in between classes all over campus and wowwww... my throat hurt, I'm not gonna lie. It's cold so my run was difficult! I just had to keep reminding myself that the first run back is always most difficult. Tomorrow will be easier!

Question for all you Photoshop users:

I want to buy Photoshop (well, I think I do at least!) and I can only find Adobe Photoshop Extended for a student discount. From what I'm reading, it's different than regular Photshop. Are their pro's or con's to buying the extended version? Are there educational discounts availbale (cheapy!) for regular Photoshop (CS4)?

Any advice is helpful!

Thanks all,

Julie

Training Starts Today: My Thoughts

Well ladies and gent's, my Cherry Blossom training starts TOMORROW.

This is rather scary and exciting for me for many reasons. First, it's important to know that I do not consider myself a "runner" - I never have. But since I tried and succeeded the Couch to 5k program two summers ago, I found out that anything was possible. My mother was a runner for most of her life. She ran about 5 times a week - it was her thing and she always told me about the adrenaline rush or runners "high" (which I never believed until I started running myself). Several years ago, she had problems with her knee and the doctor told her she could either

a) stop running and be able to run if she needed to or

b) continue running and risk never being able to run again.

For safety reasons, she stopped running and focused on walking everywhere all the time (with my dog!) instead. So, with inspiration from my mom (and dad because he ran too!), that is why I decided to try running.

Last year, I trained for the Cherry Blossom but did not show up on race day. There were many occurrences that attributed to this and here they are:

- The Cherry Blossom training program had something wrong with their email system. It wasn't until about 2-3 weeks after the training began that I realized that I wasn't receiving emails and training already started - without me. I tried to jump in where they were but that didn't work out too well because...

- I got shin splints terribly. This was probably because I started training late.

- Early in the program, I emailed the "virtual coach" and asked him if I can train on the treadmill off and on. He said yes so I proceeded. What I didn't know was to always put the treadmill on a little incline to try and match the resistance of being outside. Basically, treadmill + running outside are NOT equal so you must be careful.

When the day of the race came, I did not feel ready. I switched to the Cherry Blossom 5k (which I was ready for) but didn't go to that either. I was disappointed in myself. I trained so hard with so many drawbacks that it was difficult for me to face race day. The training itself though - whether I was ready or not - did wonders for my body, my mood, and my motivation in all aspects of life. Ironically, last spring semester was a great time for me. I wanted to do work, I was more alert and extremely healthy. Indeed, I correlate this to my training so even though I did not show up for the race, I was a success in my own right.

As I start this training program, I will have a good attitude and not be so hard on myself. There were times last year were I cried - feeling like a failure. I refuse to let myself do that again because by training and trying, I am doing more for myself than other people can say. You, my readers, are also working hard for something. We should be happy and thankful that we have goals and are trying our hardest. We can do it - whatever our goals or aspirations may be!

Julie

Real Life Sleeping Beauty

I'm home safely and now off to bed.

Before you go to sleep or whenever you wake up, here is an article for you to read. Fairy tales do come true. ;-)

Julie

1.25.2009

Pillow Barrier

I love to cuddle. Who doesn't? I think cuddling makes any relationship stronger.

When Dan comes over, or I stay at his house, we have a little problem: The Pillow Barrier.

What is this you ask? Well, when I wake up in the morning - excited to cuddle - there is a pillow in between us. Like a line young siblings draw to separate their sides of a shared room. Dan swears it's not his fault.

Oh, but it is Dan, it is. You see, Dan likes to cuddle with a pillow at nighttime and this is where we differ. I like one pillow. Just one that lies beneath my head. Call me simplistic maybe but one pillow will do. Dan, on the other hand, has to have layers upon layers of pillows. Pillows that we simply don't need and pillows that I end up throwing off my side anyways. Why does he need so many and why cuddle with a pillow when he has me? I'm soft! I'm cuddly! Sometimes, I get purely jealous of his plaid pillow. In my half-asleep daze in the morning, I just want to easily cuddle with Dan without taking the time and energy to move the Pillow Barrier (especially since I haven't had my morning coffee yet).


Dan needs to get over his pillow relationship so then maybe we can wake up without the Pillow Barrier. Or, he needs to reserve it for when I'm not there. It's nonsense! I just want to cuddle 'cause I love him!

Does anyone else have a similar problem? ;-)

Julie

*UPDATE: Dan posted a response here. Check it out!*

1.24.2009

It's Cold!

Hello loves,

I got to Ohio yesterday around 7:30 pm and have been hanging out with family ever since. While I was in Pittsurgh, I had an interview for a full year internship in psychology (for my final year). It went very well and I now have a decision to make :-) I will give you more information I promise!


This morning, my sister and brother-in-law made eggs and bacon for breakfast (yum!) while I hung out with the little man:

Liam's Christmas picture, 2008
This morning, I attended my friend's memorial service. The service was beautiful and was attended by much of the community and a sea of blue police officers. Tons. It was unbelievable and know he would have loved to see the community support. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

On a more happy note, my blog designer sent me her first idea for this website and WOW... I cannot believe how beautiful it is! She is going to send me some more ideas, but I was extremely impressed with what she has come up with.

Another piece of news is that my boyfriend Dan has a new blog! It's called the Laughing Soul and he picked the perfect name. It describes him completely! Please go and give him a gigantic welcome! (I know he would love it!).

Recently, the blogosphere has been having a ton of giveaways! This makes me very excited so I want to share two for you.

- Monogram Chick is giving away an Aqua Polka Dot travel mug.
- Danielle from Blogs by Danielle is giving away a blog makeover.
Tell them both I sent you :-)

In a few minutes I'm going out (yes, in the bitterly cold!) to pick up my favorite subs for family dinner. Then we are having family game night complete with beer and wine. Have a great night everyone and again, thank you for all your support in the past few days. It means so much to have such supportive readers!
hugs,
Julie

1.23.2009

Shiva for Grandpa

Hello and happy Friday!

I am posting on my iPhone again. Look at me being all mobile :-)

Yesterday was very difficult but I am happy that my grandfather is at
peace and died so peacefully in his sleep. Isn't that how most of us
want to go? The hard part is that my grandmother was left behind.
She's the one with progressing Alzheimer's and yesterday she kept
forgetting that Larry (my grandpa) died. I think she forgot about 10
times and said "Where is Larry? Is Larry dead?" Then once we told her
it was like her finding out for the first time all over again. I can't
link this because I am posting mobilely, but I wrote a post a couple
months ago about them and their love. They had such an amazing
marriage - like newlyweds all the way until the end. I actually found
out yesterday that he wrote her love letters during their whole
marriage. I hope that we can find those someday! I also hope that when
I get married, I have a love and connection like they did. I wish the
same for all of you as well.

Today, we are sitting Shiva and mourning his death which in Jewish
tradition is 7 days but we are sticking to 3 days. Soon, I will be
heading back to Ohio.

About the picture: my cousins Alyse, Cassie, Max, and Adam were eating
and playing with clemintine's. We find joy in peeling them into spiral
shapes. :-)

Well I will leave you now. Thank you for all the amazing comments and
support. Also, special thanks to Alex for her very informative guest
post earlier today! If you haven't read it yet, see below.

Xoxo,

Julie

P.S. To respond to one if the comments: I am posting from my iPhone by
using email. I am emailing to an address I set-up through blogger
settings. I will go more in depth when I get home.

Guest Post: Cold Weather Running

Hello everyone!

As promised, allow me to introduce my first guest blogger Alex from Running Just as Fast as I Can. Since it's becoming cold outside (or is already!) I thought it was important to provide information about cold weather running. It's January and many of us are signed up for races or just want to exercise more! So, without further ado, here's Alex:

The lovely Julie, asked me to put together a post about cold weather running. As I am a guest blogging virgin, be gentle with me ladies!

In the past I have stuck to the treadmill in the winter. It is obviously a lot easier and you can watch TV (yeah!). But in the past three years, I have been training for marathons and I have found that you can’t train on the treadmill. You have to do some outside running.

Obviously, Maryland and Pennsylvania aren’t the arctic, but it is still cold in the winter. So here are my tips (some stolen from other runners, but I will take credit):

  1. Experiment with layering. I still haven’t mastered it! I find that lots of thinner layers are much better than one really thick layer. For example, a long sleeve t-shirt and my North Face Denali jacket are okay for short runs, but for longer runs I will wear a short sleeve technical t-shirt under a Nike cold weather turtleneck and then put a fleece vest (L.L. Bean) over that. For me personally, my chest and butt get the coldest, so that is where I load up on the layers
  2. I have always been really partial to Nike, but I am recently finding that Under Armour is also really great for cold weather. I know that running clothes are really expensive too, so I only buy 2-3 pieces of each type of clothing. (2 pairs of tights, 2 turtlenecks, etc.) I just wash my clothes all the time.
  3. Keep moving. I know there are times when you want to slow down or walk, but the minute I do, I am so cold. That makes it so hard to start again. For that reason, I try to push on through. If I am really hurting, I will shorten my mileage rather than walking.
  4. Always wear a hat and gloves. I am a hat girl. I have a Nike fleece hat that has a hole in the back for my ponytail. I absolutely love it! Also, a guy from my running club recommended mittens over gloves because it allows you fingers to stay warmer.
  5. In regards to hydration, I am a big drinker. I consume fluids like crazy, so any run that is 8 miles or over, I always run with a water bottle full of Gatorade. My running friends don’t drink anything and it drives me crazy!
  6. Make sure to change out of your running clothes as soon as possible. If we run away from home, I always bring a spare set of clothes in my car. I change as soon as we are finished, so that I can keep my temperature up. Otherwise I am freezing!!

Obviously I am not expert, but this is what I have found from my experience. I hope this helps and any suggestions are always welcome!

Smooches,

Alex from Running Just as Fast as I Can (alexandrarusso24@gmail.com)

1.22.2009

200th Post: Mobile Style

Hello loves,

It's my 200th post and I am posting from my iPhone! I will be
celebrating with something on my blog later on. Maybe when my new
design is up?

I am en route to Pittsburgh to be with family and I am stopped at the
Quizno's along the way. Don't you love Quizno's and how they always
have Sunchips? Mmm..

I am ordering 4 Sammies (2 turkey and 2 italian) for Dan and I because
they are ultra portable for our trip.

Tomorrow, I will have a guest blogger so look for that! Today is going
to be very hard for me but you're comments have been so uplifting -
I'm reading them all the time.

Have a great day everyone!

Julie

Where Are You?

Dear black scarf, red scarf, remote control, and telephone,

Where are you guys? Scarves: I need you! Why aren't you showing up when I need to pack you in my bags for Pittsburgh tomorrow? Don't you see how happy we were together in my profile picture?

Remote control: You can come out now! It's been months since I've seen you!

Telephone: Come on sugar, did I say something wrong? Are you shacking up with the remote control? Whatever I did wrong, I am sorry.

All four of you, I need you in my life. You each have a special place and I have torn up this apartment looking for you. Whatever I did to deserve you running away, let's just put it behind us. The past is the past.

I hope to see you soon,

Love,

Julie

1.21.2009

198th Post

Hola,

This is my 198th post! With everything happening right now, I completely missed that I am close to 200. I want to do something fun on my blog to mark this milestone, but it will have to wait until my life lightens up a bit.

I hate to make this post depressing (I feel like it's becoming a trend), but I need to vent. This morning, I got onto Facebook and someone (who I am "friends" with and honestly don't really know) had on their status message "RIP Officer Jarod D***". I paused and I thought "No... it couldn't be..."

Jarod was one of my friends from high school, we lost touch for a few years and then this past summer reunited at a random meeting while I was out to dinner. He became a police officer out of high school and really enjoyed it. On Monday morning at 5 am, he was called to clear debri from a previous car accident. He parked his car on the side of a highway and was struck by a truck while doing his job. He died instantly and was 24.

It's just amazing how in one split second you can lose your life. Just. Like. That.

Thank you for all your wonderful comments and words of encouragement about my grandfather. I am still feeling pretty numb about it - I'm sure that will change. The service is tomorrow in Pittsburgh. Dan and I are driving separately (he's taking a day trip) and I plan to then drive to Ohio to stay with my family for the weekend. Saturday morning is Jarod's service so I will most likely attend.

On a brighter note, I have will be having a guest blogger talk about running in the cold! I am very excited because I'm usually clueless when it comes to exercising outside. I hope you will enjoy what she has to say.

Please forgive me if I don't post regularly for the next few days.

xoxo,

Julie

1.20.2009

Rest Peacefully Grandpa

Hi everyone,

This will be short and brief because I am numb. My grandfather peacefully passed away tonight. I am trying to be joyful rather than sad because I know he is singing happily and is celebrating the wonderful life he had...

doesn't that photo make you smile?

His funeral will be either Thursday or Friday. More later...

Julie

Innauguration Day and Some Giveaways!

Hello readers!

Happy Inauguration Day! This is such a historical day and I am proud to be an American. No matter who you voted for, I know we can all appreciate the glory and importance of this day.

Today, I plan to work desperately on my comprehensive exam while drinking coffee with fat-free Reddi Whip. I want to thank you for all the positive comments regarding my mascara review. I am human and can have a "dirty" mind and I appreciate you all finding the humor in that.

I apologize for this short post. I suspect this won't be my last today because I have been known to use my blog for procrastination purposes. :-)

Also, please note some fabulous giveaway's that are going on:

- Danielle from Well, That's Just Fabulous is giving away flower pancake molds from William Sonoma!

- Muffy from Muffy Martini is has teamed up with Ashley Brooke Designs to giveaway free stationary.

- Shasta from Bergdorf Blondes is giving away a Pink Clarisonic skincare system as well as some other goodies!

- Miss Anne from Indefinately Definite is having a sweetheart giveaway.

- Pittsburgh Craft Collection Blog is giving away really cool recycled notebooks from Subu.

- Soon to be Mrs. K from Saving Money for a Wedding is giving away wedding greeting cards!

- Good Gals Inc is having a pastie set giveaway!

If I missed one please let me know - have a great day!

xoxo,

Julie

P.S. The STEELERS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL! In case you haven't heard :-)

My R-Rated Review: Dior Mascara

Hello everyone,

I want to be completely honest with you and if I lose readers because of this post, then so be it. The following review of Christian Dior: DiorShow Mascara in black is going to be dirty because I cannot think of another way to describe it. You have been warned and yes, I realize I am typically not a dirty blogger, but here ya go.

Ever since my first post about my favorite mascara, I have been tempted to try this mascara. I kept reading review after review and finally decided to give it ago and bought it for $24 at Sephora. When I first opened it up to apply, it was very large. Very, very large and intimidating. It reminded me of a guy's "part" (this is my first dirty post so the word "part" will have to suffice). It was like, "Wow, that thing is so big and kinda intimidating. How do I deal?" Then, I started to use it. That night, it was so big and scary that I didn't like it. The next day, I vowed to keep trying and used it again. I got used to the how big it was - kinda like how you would get used to a "part" of a guy if he is exceptionally large. Since then, I love it and look forward to applying it daily!

Will I buy it again? Yes. It makes my eyelashes so long and full - I even received compliments! I also loved how it made my eyelashes feel - conditioned and soft.

I hope you enjoyed my mascara review using a dirty comparision.

Cheers,

Julie

1.19.2009

Ultimate Lux Inspired by Holly Golightly

Growing up, I remember watching old movies with fabulous movie stars. Most of them went to bed wearing sleep masks. From a little girls eyes, they are the ultimate luxury.

Holly Golightly

I recently came across these babies from Urban Outfitters:

Isn't this Mary Green Sleep Mask adorable? They are only $12.99 at Urban Outfitters and you can also buy them like this:

Do they remind you of Holly Golightly?

By the way, I was looking on Urban Outfitters because I am on the hunt for cute, yet inexpensive ear muffs. Do you have any ideas?

I was thinking about these from Victoria Secret:

They are Faux Fur ear muffs (in purple) for only $18.99. What do you think? These would strictly be for school and going out. I recently bought a Nike Thermal Run Headband for running outside so I have that covered.

Oh and stay tuned because I will soon be having a guest blogger talk about running outside. With the weather becoming so frigid, I know many of us are clueless (me included!). That should be coming up soon.

kiss-kiss,

Julie

Scarves Therapy

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for your words of support and wisdom as everything is happening with my grandfather. We still haven't heard anything new so I am still here working on stuff for school. I will let you know if I hear anything more. :-(

Today, Dan had to go to the mall because he recently bought a nice coat from Lucky Brand and they left the security tag on it! Such a pain - I hate when stores do that. While he was off to Lucky, I went walking around the mall myself. I wasn't in need of anything but I did pick up some new scarves:

From Madewell... I usually can't afford anything in this store! I found this scarf for $20 off of $70 (score!)

I have been wanting a gray scarf now forever! I fell in love with the color when I bought my gray Uggs. This one is from BP at Nordstrom's for $18.

I picked up French Women Don't Get Fat... it was only $7 and I've been wanting to read it for awhile! Have you read it yet?

Well, back to work for me! Sorry this blog post isn't more exciting. Hopefully I will be back in full swing once my life settles down. I am still in the process of a redesign so stay tuned for that!

xoxo,

Julie

*Update: Check out Blog Goggles post about scarf tying.*

1.18.2009

Why am I Not Crying?

I got a missed call from my sister, V, this morning. I didn't answer because I was sleeping in. Then, I got a missed call from my dad along with a voicemail. In the voicemail, he told me not to call him back - he was driving in the snow to Pittsburgh. My grandpa is not doing well - he hasn't eaten for the past 2 days (news to me) and they think it's just a matter of time.

But, I'm not crying. Even after talking to V who is a wreck - I am still not crying. Is there something wrong with me? Maybe I have become numb to these things? I know in a previous post, I mentioned that I work as a Amer*can S*ign Langu*ge intepreter but that's not what I'm going to graduate school for. I am going for psych*ology. With my training thus far, have I become numb? Why?

I just don't get it. I feel like I should be a mess right now because I have never had a death in my family before. I feel that in preparation for the worst, I should feel worse than I do. Maybe it's because I know that he has had a long and joyful life? I'm not sure.

In the meantime, I am stuck here in DC working on my comprehensive exam for school. It's due Wednesday at noon (when I start school) and I just want to finish it. I know I could ask for an extension (considering the circumstances) but I just want it done and out of my hair.

My grandpa is comfortable though. My dad, his brother and sister will be there with him. I know that in his right mind (he doesn't know what's going on nor recognizes anyone), he would want me to stay put and work on my exam. I saw him a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh and he gave me the sweetest kiss on the cheek before I left. If he passes soon, I know that's how he wants me to remember him: The most joyful man I've ever known.

1.17.2009

My Wallet, Nordstrom Update, Etc

Hello everyone!

Today, I finally went to pick up my Coach wallet from the nice man who found it. Below, is a picture (notice the bottom left corner). So, I probably won't be using it again. I wish I knew what to do with it... any ideas? I'm thinking about donating it.

Ironically enough, there were still some items in the wallet: Apple gift cards, my health insurance cards, my Sephora Beauty Insider card, Israeli money from my trip in May, some receipts, and a picture of my grandmother:

isn't she a beauty? I guess she was about 13-15 here (that's where I get my looks - haha!)

Yesterday, I got some great mail. First, is a nice note from Kristen, a manager at Nordstrom's! She is such a sweetheart and included my recent receipt as promised. I love their customer service!

I also received a heart warming note from my veterinary's office about Kilo. It made me feel so great - they are such gems! I miss Kilo so much. I think I am going to donate some money in his name.

On a sad but serious note, I need some prayers and thoughts from you all. My grandfather is not doing too well. He hasn't been for about 2 weeks now. I haven't mentioned it because when I mention it, it makes it more real. He had pneumonia last week and just isn't getting better which is not good considering he is 91 years old. Yesterday they transferred him to a hospice situation and we are struggling with what to tell my grandmother (80 years old). She is going through Alzheimer's and is still in the early stages. We are also trying to figure out if she should go with him to hospice or stay in the retirement home. Such a mess. If any of you have gone through this with your own relatives, I would love to hear from you. I will keep you updated!

Well, I am going to go get ready to head over to Dan's house. I am bringing my boys with me so I have to pack up their cage and food (they love road trips). I suspect I will stay there until Monday or Tuesday in order to avoid the Inaugural traffic.

Have a great Saturday!

Julie

1.16.2009

Baby Carrots and Cuddling Rats

Hello!

Tonight, I am stuck working on my comprehensive exam for school. School hasn't even started and yet my classmates and I are forced to do a comp. Can we not? Please? Ugh. Basically this means I am busy and kicking myself for not working on it earlier in the break. I am Miss Procrastinator basically. One more semester of graduate school... one more... that's it!

In the meantime, I am enjoying a healthy snack of water, baby carrots and salsa:

They really are the best healthy snack combination ever. You should try it - it fills you up fast and makes your taste buds go "ahh".

This morning, I got out of bed and looked into the rat cage to find this:

Oh yes, that is Thurston (gray) and Spencer (small black one) cuddling in the hammock. The look on Thursty's (nickname) face is: "Mom, please be quiet, we're sleeping!"

That's why I own ratties :-)

Dan is coming over shortly and we're going to watch movies and drink wine. He is bringing a red and a blush - yum! I am excited to see him and do some major cuddling.

Plans for the weekend:

Tonight: Major Cuddling

Tomorrow: Work on comp and then have a triple date at Cheesecake Factory!

Sunday: Work on comp and then have dinner at Dan's parents house!

Monday: Work on comp (hopefully not... hopefully I'll be finished by then!)

Tuesday: Watch the Inauguration on TV and AVOID DC LIKE THE PLAGUE. This means do minimal driving and stay in one place.

Wednesday: CLASSES BEGIN (ugh)

I hope you all have a fantabulous night! :-)

xoxo,

Miss Mascara (ha!)

1.15.2009

Beautiful Blog Designs and a Tweet

Hello loves,

As most of you know, I am in the process of giving my blog a major face lift. With every face life (not that I have any experience), there comes the band aids and bruises along the way. For me, it's confusion. What do I want my blog to look like? Where should I host my blog? What is a host? What colors should I use? Oh my!

My designer S, (who I will be introducing to you I'm sure!) is being an absolute delight to work with. She is so patient with me as I am going through my identity crisis. In the mean time, I have selected a few blog designs that I just adore. Now, I'm not saying these will be copied or anything (I would never do that!). They are just my style and all speak to me individually. I emailed these to her last night for inspiration:

Websites:

Zen Habits (love the simplicity!)

Joshuaink (I loooove nature!)

Random Ramblings About My Crazy Life

Free and Flawed

Mrs. Priss


Cathryn Gray (really cute idea!)

I also emailed her some of my "likes":

- awesome cameras
- computer/technology
- magazines
- purses
- rats
- big obnoxious jewelry
- scarves
- anything gaudy (not sure if that's spelled right)

Also last night I was on Twitter and my favorite blogger (Leo, from Zen Habits) tweeted: Ask Leo: Twitter me questions today-about productivity, simplicity, The Power of Less, Zen Habits, blogging ... and I'll tweet a response. I was shocked - actually tweet Leo and possibly get a tweet in return? He's like a celebrity to me! So, I did. I tweeted: What is your number one piece of advice about simple blog design? I am in the process of designing my blog. Thank you! A few minutes later, he RESPONDED! @wearingmascara Advice for simple blog design? Lots of space. Lots. Every single link, image must be extremely justified to be there. Wow, he is so right! Uncluttered, simple, spacey, and justifiable. Thank you Leo!

You, my readers, know me so well - am I missing anything? Do you have any ideas? Are there any blogs that are so utterly beautiful, simplistic, and unique that you would like to share? I would love to see them. Please leave a comment!

Thank you and have a super night!

Julie

P.S. Miss Anne over at Indefinately Definite is hosting a Sweetheart Giveaway! Head on over there to enter, become a follower, and read her inspirational blog! Tell her I sent you ;-)

1.14.2009

Nordstrom Diaries

As you all know, I'm a huge Nordstrom fan - with caution. I love their stuff (who doesn't) and love them more when they have sales. For me, quality beats quantity and customer service should prevail.

Back in December, my butt was sagging... well, not really my butt, but my jeans. They were too big on me to the point of embarrassment. I knew it was time - time for new jeans. After a recommendation from my friend, M, I decided to visit Nordstrom's at Tyson's Corner. To my utter astonishment, they were having a sale of 30% off denim! With the help of a friendly jeanspert (jean's expert), I was hooked on two pairs of jeans in the dressing room: Citizens of Humanity and Joe's. They both fit me so well although I was hesitant about the Joe's. You see, when I was trying on a pair, the button popped off! My thoughts? It was just one time with one defective pair. No worries - I bought them both.

Fast forward to News Years Day. I was putting on my Joe's jeans at Dan's house and - uh oh - the button popped off! This week, I brought them back to a Nordstrom's at Columbia Mall. The jeanspert was not as nice as the one at Tyson's (tsk tsk) and just did an even exchange without doing much "customer service", if you know what I mean. She didn't recommend I try them on even though I said they looked different and were longer than the other ones. She said they would be "fine". I left very pissy and tried them on at home. My suspicions were correct: they did not fit right at all.

So, today, I went to the Nordstrom's at Montgomery Mall (yea, I know I have like 80 Nordstrom's near my house). The jeanspert there was wonderful! They did not carry the exact Joe's jean (not like I wanted them anyways) so she had me try on tons of different brands. I fell in love with J Brand (like Julie - totally meant to be!) and promptly went to do my exchange. To my disappointment, they wouldn't honor the original 30% off of denim sale that they had back in December. I paid the difference anyways (which was substantial) and went home not quite feeling right. When I got home, I decided to call the same Nordstrom's and spoke with a manager. She was so sweet and told me she would honor the sale and completely understood. My visa has been refunded and she's sending me the receipt in the mail. Now that's customer service! If only that girl over at Columbia Mall would have been so nice too.

Julie

Marilyn Monroe Hormone

Apparently, women with high levels of a hormone called, oestradoil, have:

- an hour-glass figure
- a desire to "trade-up" men
- high self-confidence
- a greater inclination to have sex outside their relationship

See this article. Thoughts?

Interview With Julie

Hello everyone!

Lacey Bean over at Perks of Being a JAP recently had a post in which another bloggie friend interviewed her! Now, she is interviewing me!

Why did you decide to start a blog?
I have a loud mouth and I like to talk. In fact, I talk to much so this blog is a good way to vent. This is also a good way to stay in touch with the technology world and I have always looked up to bloggers. It was just a matter of time until I joined in myself!

If you had to pick a saying for your tombstone to describe your life, what would it be?
"Laugh, eat popcorn, and don't forget the Golden Rule."

Would you rather be on Brett Michaels' Rock of Love, or Flavor Flav's Flavor of Love? "Neither" is not an option.
I would say "neither", but since it's not an option (thanks Lacey!), I pick Rock of Love. I can't explain why.

If you had to choose between listening to bad music for the rest of your life, or watching bad movies for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
Watching bad movies for sure! At least with bad movies there would be silence at some point. Bad music is like when someone is pounding a hammer on your skull.

Can people truly be friends with their exes?
I have particular opinions about this. My first reaction is no, absolutely not. When you break up with a person, you still have a "ting" when you see them. That "ting" will last for a long time until you are completely and utterly over that person. Being friends with an ex is only appropriate 3-4 years down the line when you haven't seen each other for ages and you are completely different people. My answer is rigid because we need to consider the OTHER people involved. If the ex's have a new significant other, they may not be okay with you being friends with an ex (I'm not!). You have to respect the one you are with. This is such a debatable topic so neither is right or wrong. You just need to respect all parties involved (including yourself).

Do you want to be interviewed?

The rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me" AND leave your email address in the comment!
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Can't wait to see who responds!

Julie

P.S. I did my first "set" of push-ups last night and I didn't get very far (I am out of shape!). Today is a new day though!

1.13.2009

Mad Feet and Some Changes

Hello, hello!

I had a great day today because I had work :-) I haven't mentioned this before but my bachelor's degree was in Americ*n S*gn L*nguage interpreting (sorry about the astericks, I would like to not be Googled about my job)... that's right folks. I am an interpreter who works for an agency in this lovely metro area. I do love interpreting but when I graduated I realized I wanted to have more of a "say" instead of speaking for others all the time. That's why I am in graduate school now.

Anyways, I was only supposed to have one job today from 9:30-11. I ended up barely doing ANY interpreting (really... nothing... maybe a few sentences), which was fine with me! Towards the end of my job, my boss called to see if I was available in the afternoon and since I need the money, of course I was available (cha-ching!). However, I was in Georgetown at the time and the job was in Chinatown. Basically, it was just a pain because I had my car at the time. So, I drove to the metro, ate a quick lunch, then metroed to Chinatown. It doesn't sound that bad, but I was wearing my heels. I wish I wasn't. I did so much walking today and now my feet are swollen and mad at me.

when I googled "mad feet", this image came up

Oh well... lesson learned: Don't wear uncomfortable shoes when on an interpreting assignment. Simple :-)

When I got home, I had one thing on my mind: PIZZA. Last night, I could not sleep so I watched Sex and the City. In this one episode, Miranda and Steve were eating NY pizza and I was craving it so much. Ooo those big slices! I'm jealous of those who live in NYC! My craving would not go away so I ordered Papa Johns for dinner tonight.

I also have some delightful news! I decided on a blog designer and we are now in the process of redesigning my blog. I also made a decision that may come as a shock: I am switching to WordPress. My blog name is going to stay the same (I hope I don't change my mind again!) as well as the URL. I am hoping that during this change you will continue to stay with me! I just need a space that's easier to customize and do the things I want to do with this blog.

Also, that you all for your comments and words of wisdom during my Blog Identity Crisis (BIC). You gave me so much insight and thought. I want to specifically thank my mom, my dad, and my sister for leaving comments (I LOVE YOU GUYS!)! They know me so well and all recommended to keep the name, Wearing Mascara. Here are their comments:

My little 20-year old sister V wrote:
Julie! It's your lover and little sis V :)

I LOVE and have ALWAYS LOVED Wearing Mascara. And I agree with everybody else that the tag "... all while wearing mascara" is so freaking chic/modern/catchy/sexy/fun. It's all very Sex and The City meets the digital age of blogging haha. When I hear "wearing mascara" I don't think makeup- I think cool 20-something girl who I am so freaking proud to call my sister. I love your blog and I think the name is fantastic. I wouldn't change...

the guys can get over it ;) - i like how you speak to us.

My Mom wrote (I still want her to do a guest post!):
Hi darling and everyone else reading my private comments to you! This is MOM and my thoughts:

First, what people need to know about you is this is an entirely YOU/Julie thing to be thinking about changing your blog name! It's too funny! Remember when we were in Girl Scouts, and you changed your camp name soooo often that I told you your name should be Switch??? Here you go again.... Believe in yourself first!

Second, isn't your blog all about you and what you're up to, all while wearing mascara? This is such unique branding, I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. You've already attracted readers, and you'll gain more by just continuing what you're doing NOW in the persona in which you have defined yourself. It's a female perspective on all things in your world. What's wrong with that? When you become famous, I want to see the guys coming out of the woodwork claiming to have read you anonymously when they thought they wouldn't get caught!!! Your blog name is NOT holding you back. In my opinion, it's liberating by not boxing in your perspective! If I had the eyelashes you do, I'd be wearing mascara as I babysit Liam!

Julie, as your Mom, I have a unique take and knowledge of you. I wouldn't change your blog name for all the chai in India. You have created something really neat here and I'm proud of you for it.

My dad wrote:
Hi Julie,

I read all your audience's comments and was just getting ready to put my thoughts down when I came upon those of your mom.

I had to laugh as I read her comments because they completely represent my thoughts! How funny! So I won't repeat everything she said except to say that you've done a wonderful job branding your site - - just look at people's affinity toward your site name!

So I'd leave it alone. Besides, only real men would visit a site called Wearing Mascara!

Proudly, Dad

Well that's about it! I still have to do my one-minute of push-ups later tonight. I'll let you know how that goes ;-)

kisses,

Julie

Dan and Strange Movie Weirdness

My boyfriend, Dan, has tons of movies. Tons. One time I counted about 150 (right babe?). Anyways, most of those movies I do not care for (actually, I probably like about 10 and most I haven't seen!). Why is this? Well, I am very weird about my movie watching. During a recent conversation about movies, Dan said he felt I never like the movies that he wanted to watch. I completely disagree! I love his movies - I do. BUT, I am weird about new movies. I don't know how to explain it - I just am. Here is a list of my movie weirdness (most of it is unexplainable):

- I do not like watching movies with a group of friends it I haven't seen the movie yet. When a movie comes on that I really want to watch, I need it to be quiet. I need to focus. I become distracted easily and become confused if people around me are talking! When this happens, I ask questions and therefore frustrate people. This is why I prefer watching movies I've already seen with a group of people.

- I have to be in the right mood to watch a new movie. If Dan is promoting an action-thriller-comic-book-maybe-there-is-nudity movie to me, I may not be too interested if I'm not in the right mood. I can't explain it - that's just how I am! (Sorry baby!)

- I do not like buying movies UNLESS it's a movie I will watch over and over. (examples: Devil Wears Prada, Mama Mia, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Italian Job, etc).

Is anyone as strange as I am? Trust me, I am working on this strange movie-illness that I have. Maybe I need to see someone.

A few days after that conversation (well, after many movie-related conversations!), Dan texted me and said that he bought me a gift. I arrived at his house and he bought me Sleepless in Seattle! Now (don't judge me - PLEASE), I HAVE NOT SEEN SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. He assumed I had seen it and his jaw dropped when I told him I hadn't. Why did he buy it? So, he could have a movie on hand that I would enjoy :-) How sweet is that? Seriously I have the best boyfriend ever. Yes, we have our ups and downs (um, which relationships don't?), but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait to watch it with him.

kisses,

Julie

**UPDATE! The movie Dan bought me was When Harry Met Sally and NOT Sleepless In Seattle! I got the two confused! Oops!**

1.12.2009

Jelly Arms: One Minute Per Day Change

Hello,

I have jelly arms. (jiggle, jiggle...)

Um... no, not like that. But close (in my head) and I want to change it. I want my arms to be strong again but I honestly do not want to put much effort into it. Is that bad? I think not. I am a busy girl after all!

How am I going to do this? Recently, I read an article in one of my magazines about how some women changed their habits for 1-minute a day (I cannot find that article but if/when I do, I will let you know!). Starting tomorrow, I am going to dedicate 1-minute per day to doing push-ups. Just 1-minute to create a habit that I will dedicate myself to for one month (at least). Along the way, I will provide you updates, I promise. I just think that this is a good idea because:

1. No need to change into gym clothes
2. No excuse NOT to do it (of course I have ONE minute to spare!)
3. No equipment needed

What do you all think? Is there a habit you would like to adapt?

Okay... back to watching mindless television during my break... ahhh... (The City starts in 20 minutes!)

xoxo,

Julie

Holy Molly Garlicy Guacamole

Hello everyone!

I have been asked to provide my Holy Molly Garlicy Guacamole recipe so here it is! This version serves about 6 people:

Ingredients:

5 Avacodo's
1/2 Tomato
GARLIC (about two cloves)
Salt
1 Lime (Lemon would work too!)

Chop up the tomato and the garlic to your liking. The garlic I would recommend be as chopped as possible! Then, take the skin off the Avacodos and mash them into a big bowl. Add the tomato and garlic. Add some salt (start slowly... you can always add more! This is a personal taste). Then, cut the lime in half and juice both halves into the mixture (this makes it taste so yummy!). Mush it all together and taste test it... you may choose to add more garlic or more salt.

Now, I'm not too particular about how I make it. I usually add the ingredients until it tastes good to my liking. For example, I love it to be VERY garlicy so two cloves usually works but maybe you are different. You could also add more or less tomato.

Good luck and let me know how you like it!

Julie

Yummy Fiesta!

Hello everyone!

Tonight's Mexican Fiesta was great as evidenced by the pictures of yumminess :-)

notice the Holy Molly Garlicy Guacamole that I made! :-)

After we ate and had a brownie (yum!), everyone passed out on the family room floor. Everyone had a food coma and it was totally worth it!

I hope your Sunday was as great as mine. Now, I am all snuggled up in the new blanket I received at the White Elephant party! I hope you all sleep well!

Sweet dreams,

Julie