Saturday, February 27, 2010

DIY Headboard

If you live in New York City, it's likely that you're renting your space. Because of small apartments and rules stipulated in leases, it's difficult to make a space your own. I was able to paint my bedroom in my Murray Hill apartment and decided to paint it shortly after moving in. I painted two opposing walls a deep, charcoal gray to add a little warmth and depth to the room. Leaving the two remaining walls white allowed the darker color to not overpower.

Still, even after painting, there was a definite missing piece behind the bed. I needed a headboard. Sure, I could go out and purchase a headboard, but with limited funds, that wasn't really an option. Also, I always have to consider the fact that I might move again. Would I be able to move a headboard and would I be able to find another space large enough for it? My last apartment certainly wasn't!

So, I came up with an idea. I decided that I would make the "illusion" of a headboard by painting directly on the wall behind the bed.

The project itself cost me 5 whole dollars. Home Depot makes "tester" size paints, you can choose whatever color of whatever brand of paint you want and they give you a small jar of it so you can paint a patch and see if you like a color. And, at $2.95, you can't beat the price! For this, I decided to paint two lines (one white, one light blue) using painters tape to give clean lines.

With the bed in its usual space, I marked the wall to determine where I wanted the edge of the "headboard" to be. From there, I measured, making marks of where I wanted each point to be. Then, I simply connected the dots. After taping, I went over each piece with a level to make sure the lines were straight and even.

Then I got to painting. I painted the interior, smaller, line blue and the larger outer line white. I think the differing colors adds some definition to the effect.

So here's the finished product. I don't normally have yellow sheets on my bed (usually I have a set of gray ones on there - they match the walls) but I changed them to something more cheerful during the snow storms.

Personally, I love it. I think it adds something to the wall and makes the bed more of a focal point than it was before. It was a super easy project that anyone could do. And, you could easily paint frames around hanging pictures, windows, or anything!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Old Wounds

Last year, I was contacted by a casting company for an upcoming show about those who planned weddings and, for whatever reason, didn't make it to the altar. I was contacted last May, almost one year after my relationship explosion. Though I had healed a lot, I still had a fresh, wide-open, wounded heart. I would have given anything to share the pain with someone else. Though, I will admit, that my motive for participating at the time was vindictive. I wanted everyone (especially him) to know that I was better off without him in my life - even so much as telling it on national TV. So, I shared my story with the casting director, we spoke for a very long time and I was excited that I would get the chance to share my experience.

Months went by and I heard nothing from the casting director. I assumed the project had been derailed and I had forgotten all about the days I shared my stories with that woman.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I received a call from a man in Los Angeles. He told me he worked with a production company and was wondering if I was still interested in being a part of the television show about "weddings that weren't". Instinctually, I said "Yes! Absolutely!" and took the man's information. He said they were in the process of determining who was still willing to participate and would be in touch with me soon about specifics.

In the 24 hours since that phone call, I've thought a lot about what I want to do. I haven't shared the news with many people (only 2 until now) because I wanted to take some time to get rid of the "OMG I might be on TV!!" feelings and really figure out if this is something that I want to do.

I've done a lot of healing in the past 20 months. I've experienced just about every emotion that a person possibly can. And though I know I haven't completely forgiven him, I've certainly moved on from having any thoughts about him whatsoever. I've come out of it with a large amount of emotional scarring, and I'm pretty sure I will always have trust issues with men. But, I've become a new person and believe it or not, I found I am still able to open my heart, become a little vulnerable, and let someone else in. It's slow, of course, but I have been reassured that it can happen to me.

So, would it be unwise to reopen some of those wounds and share them with a national audience? I'm really riding the fence with this one. Part of me feels that allowing myself to feel those emotions again will push me back into some of those old feelings; and I'll end up in places I swore I never wanted to revisit. Retelling my story will force me to relive it all again - to re-experience each and every detail. Do I want to do that? And, more importantly, am I strong enough to do that?

There's the other side, of course. Sharing my experience could help others who may be in the same situation. Right after it happened, I was humiliated. And as time went on, I encountered more and more people who had experienced something similar. I knew I wasn't alone. Also, I found that a lot of people didn't understand why I was feeling the way I was feeling. Feelings like humiliation and guilt were very prevalent during the whole ordeal and I was constantly asked "Why do you feel guilty? You did nothing wrong.." and I could never really explain where it was coming from. So, could I be someone that could help? Could I be that person that says, "It will be okay, I've been where you are. You will be okay."

Also, I wonder if I'm really a "success story" here - Am I what people would want to look to? Sure, I moved from small-town-North-Carolina to big-city-New-York and have made somewhat of a life for myself here, but I haven't exactly been "successful" (in the monetary sense). Still, I was in the "pit of despair" emotionally and found a way out of it. I became happy again, which is a success in itself.

So, I'm still deciding. Of course, a final decision doesn't have to be made yet because I still don't know the logistics of it all. I'll have to wait and see if I'm contacted again and determine if I will move forward with this project. But I'll ask you, dear readers. What do you think I should do?

Snow Day

Today, I laid in bed and watched the snow fall outside. While I understand the trouble all of this snow causes, it can't be denied that seeing it come down while wrapped in a down comforter is a beautiful thing. Stay warm, friends.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Can we go here, please?

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Defense of Country Music

Today, I woke up moody. It was literally a "woke up on the wrong side of the bed" day, but after listening to some good country music, I started feeling better.

In New York (and many other places), country music isn't well received. I've often heard the "ABC" phrase - "Anything But Country" - but, I'm here today defending country music and maybe offering some insight.

Yes, I understand that a lot of country music is twangy and talks a lot about divorce, dead pets, and trucks, but there's a different side of country music that I love.

The appeal: it's the fantasy. It's the idea that love and happiness do exist - and more importantly, it's the idea that men obsess and long for us as much as we do for them. While it still may be a fantasy, it's a nice one to have -

One of my favorite songs is Chuck Wicks - All I Ever Wanted. Really, isn't that what all girls want? A man that will say, "all I ever wanted was you" (while we're twirling in a sundress, natch!) ah, heartsplosion!

Maybe it's a dream, sure. But, isn't that the whole appeal? Take T.Swift - highschool girls everywhere just want to be kissed in the rain after a football game by the star quarterback. The music and the lyrics take you to a different place. One where love and happiness not only exist, but are felt every moment of every day.

So take that, New York - I will listen to my country music as often as I like. And if you gave it a chance, you might like some of it too ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tales of a Temp

Last year, I didn't update for the entire month of February.

To me, February was always the armpit of the year - I always said that the reason that February is the shortest month is because it's the worst, (Note: last February was the last time I spoke to "He Who Does Not Deserve to be Named" and had my highly embarrassing experience with "The Weeping Willow") but this year, it hasn't been bad. (That might be due to a certain boy - but more on that later)

3 weeks ago, I was planning to move back to North Carolina. I was sitting on my couch, sweating over a post-panic attack and trying to figure out through tears how I could get all of my stuff home by February 28th. It was an awful feeling, a sinking despair knowing that I had failed.

2 hours later, I received a phone call from a woman asking me if I could begin working temporarily the following Monday.

I did a two-week temporary position at the Interactive Advertising Bureau verifying phone numbers for their membership files. I called 3,900 people in 10 days. Luckily, I was able to move seamlessly into another temporary position at a company called Solid State Logic. It's a company that supplies equipment for sound studios. I'm essentially the "receptionist" (except no one comes to this floor) and the "mail girl".

It's not the most glamorous position, but the people are nice enough and I'm at least getting paid. But, doing these temporary jobs, where you're the "disposable" one, is getting really tiresome. When you really think about it, I've been a temp since I graduated from college. With the exception of a 3 month stint in a full-position. So frustrating. I guess the worst part of is the worthless feeling that comes with it - like I can't get a better position - the "not good enough for anything besides "temp". While others I know are able to get hired, one job after another, I'm struggling to stay afloat working at 12-15 dollars an hour. What is it about me that is so undesirable?

I do have a second-round interview set up for the coming Tuesday. It's in sales (again) and could definitely be promising. But, if I'm being honest, I'm afraid to get back into sales. My experience last time was so awful and I'm afraid that if the job is offered to me, I will take it and be unhappy. At what point do you have to say "a job is a job" and take whatever is offered to you? And what is the real cost of doing that?

There's another job that I want very badly - I spoke with them on Monday and I'm waiting to hear back to confirm an interview. The position is a Field Merchandising Coordinator for a handbag company. It would require a lot of travel, but it would be something I'm sure I would love doing and a company I would love working for. I'm trying very hard to not get too worked up over this position because of the inevitable disappointment that will follow if it doesn't come through. But, it seems to be happening anyway. I'm getting antsy and I can't help it.

Of course, this is making it difficult to focus on my upcoming interview for the sales position.

Things seem to be picking up for me (at least, I hope they are), I'm really starting to see some traction from the jobs that I've applied for and I can continue to work temporarily until something does come through. I just hope it happens soon enough.

I'm tired of being pushed completely out to the edge before something finally pulls me back. But I guess that's just how my life is.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

VA Review: Clarisonic Skincare Brush

I have bad skin.

There, I said it. I have acne like a middle school kid. Ironic, isn't it? I didn't have bad acne problems during my "ugly/awkward stage", but I do now. So, I have spent lots of time and lots of money trying to correct the problems I have with acne.

Of course, acne is pretty basic. Dirt, oils, and bacteria get into the pores and cause bumps on our faces. So, a simple solution to dealing with acne is to start with getting a really clean face. When doing some research, I started reading a lot about the Clarisonic skincare system. But, the price of the "machine" always kept me away.

When I really thought about it, I realized that I spent way more than 200 dollars per year on cleansers, creams, exfoliators, and whatever is new and trendy in the acne realm. So one day, I marched into Sephora, picked up the box, and ran directly over to the counter so I wouldn't freak out and not buy it. (Though, I did decide to buy the pink one because they donate proceeds to breast cancer research)

200 dollars later, I was the newest owner of the Clarisonic skincare brush. It had to charge for 24 hours (Why do companies do that? It's just mean) and once it was fully juiced, I tried it out.

The brush has a center section that pulsates and when moved in small circles, with a small outer circle that acts as a "splash guard" so the cleansers don't fly all over the place. It's timed, with a choice between a 1 minute or a 2 minute session. The directions state that you start with the forehead, move to chin and mouth, and then each cheek. The brush pauses and beeps when you're supposed to move to the next section.

It came with 3 different cleansers (non-foaming) and I picked one to try out for the first time.

My oh my... this thing is amazing. First, when was the last time you washed your face for 1 full minute? (Much less, 2 minutes?) After the first time, I could tell my face was clean. In fact, I had washed my face the night before and that morning and I could still see makeup that was removed on the brush head. It was like my face had never been cleaned before!

I started using it twice a day, every day, and my skin started looking really great - my moisturizers went on well, my toners did what they were supposed to, makeup went on better, I was amazed at the results.

Having my Clarisonic forces me to spend time washing my face. It can be used with any cleanser, but non-foaming cleansers work best. (Note: I have used it with foaming cleansers, and they work fine, they just foam up A LOT because of the pulsing) It's waterproof, so it can be used in the shower and it travels really easy. I have to charge it about once every 3 weeks, so it lasts a really long time.

VA Rating: 9

It doesn't get a 10 because of the $200+ price tag, but it did clear my skin up. My skin isn't completely free of acne problems, but I have seen a noticeable difference in the quality of my skin. If you want a spa-like treatment on your face every day, get the Clarisonic. Though, after about 2 weeks of using it, I did have a crazy break out, but I'm going to say that's because it pulled up a bunch of really deep dirt and oils.

So, I definitely recommend. But, notify your family/roommates - it can resemble a vibrator a bit.

Check out the Clarisonic Skincare Brush HERE