Friday, October 30, 2009

Burning the candle at Both Ends

There are just some weeks that I feel SOOOOO worn out and defeated.
I feel like my calander has SOMETHING on it every day, apart from school or clients.
It is finally calming down. I need to learn to schedule things better and not try and take on too much.
I dont know why I feel the need to over-extend myself.  i CAN say no, but I dont.

At school our class is coming up with fundraisers. Well next week we are doing Funnel cake Monday. I came up with the idea and pitched it to a few others and they all said "yum", so we will be making and selling funnel cakes to the students and clients, and all the proceeds will benefit the Local Battered Womens shelter.  There are like 16 of us in the class...but do I delegate? No. I do not.  I take it all on myself, so I know it gets done the way I feel it should be done.  I have only delegated responsibilities to 2 other girls, who I trust implicitly, as I feel their standards are up to mine. I feel that if you are going to do it, then it should be done right and if I trust others it wont be done right.  Isnt that awful? I just dont trust anyone with this stuff.
Why do I insist on doing this and not ask for help when I really need it? Pride, perhaps. I guess when it turns out a success I want to be able to take a lot of the credit...which is selfish and horrible. (but then again, I AM a Cancer, which  makes me endearingly eccentric, yet insecure about how others perceive me. I want them to perceive me as being an organized person, who knows how to put together a hell of a fundraiser and can make a mean funnel cake) . I HATE delegating out to others, but I love helping people out, so they dont have to take so much on themselves. I know, I know a huge contradiction...but again, I am a cancer.

So how can I stop over extending myself? Am I able to say no? Probably not. I dont want people to think I cant handle everything that has come my way.  I had a daughter that passed away. I have spent months and months and months in hospitals with Peter. He had a heart transplant and has required so much care. I am in school full time, and a mom full time. For the past 12 years my life has been inside out, upside down and all ways, shapes and colors. Surely I can handle a dozen cupcakes for a bake sale. Surely I can squeeze in one more client for some extra pocket cash. If I can handle all the other crap(errr, blessings? lessons?) that has happened, then I certainly should be able to take Peter to get new braces for his feet, get to the grocery store before we use up the last 1/8" of milk in the carton. I certainly should be able to read my scriptures every day and read 30 minutes with my kids every night. I certainly should get them to the dentist, and fulfill my church callings and exercise.  I can make lip balms, homemade salsa, jewelry, scrapbook, make my own christmas cards...right???
But please ignore the pile of neglected laundry...or the kitchen sink full of dishes...or the rug under the kitchen table in sore need of vacuuming.

I guess I need to figure out what is the most important and quit worrying about what other people think. Maybe I have to let other people do a little extra work every now and then. Sometimes I just have to say no.
But can I??

No.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Top 5 Skin and Beauty MUST HAVES

I get asked every day "What do you recommend". 
So I sat down and thought long and hard about it.
What are the top 5 things every woman MUST have in her skin care/make-up arsenal?
What do I use every day?  What would I recommend to others? What should EVERY woman have for her skin/make-up routine? 

So here we go:

1. Skin Care Cleansing products.  Your skin care regiment is so important. Your skin is the canvas. Dont take care of it, the painting will not be as vibrant. I use Mary Kay 3 step cleansing system, formulated for my skin type.  Twice a day I cleanse, tone and moisturize.  Once a week I add a masque.  If anything, clean, tone and moisturize once a day. MK is not for everyone, I understand that. Find a system that works for you and USE IT.  Your skin will thank you.  MOISTURIZE MOISTURIZE MOISTURIZE.  Try and find a moisturizer that has SPF in it. Oily Skin? Try a formulation specifically for oily or blemish prone skin. Even if your skin cleansing is as simple as a washcloth and water, DO IT.


2. Mineral Foundation.  I was always a cream/liquid foundation girl. Always. You couldnt change my mind to the contrary. I Like them. I Do. But then I had "a moment"...I discovered Mineral make-up.  I use Mineral foundation in my skin tone and blend until I get the coverage I want.  It stays put. It is a natural SPF. It makes my skin look airbrushed and flawless.  I use Bare Minerals. It is AMAZING.  And fork out the money for a proper Buki brush to go with it. regular powder brushes are too loose and wont cover like a mineral brush will.  find a good mineral make-up. You will never look back.  Try Bare minerals. For $60 you get a ton of stuff. I absolutely SWEAR by mineral foundation. Dont just get the cheapest crap you can find off the shelf.  All Mineral Make-ups are NOT created the same. find one that works for you.


3. MASCARA!! If you get out of the house with ANY sort of make-up, it NEEDS to be mascara.  Mascara can turn you from blah to ta-da. A good mascara can make all the difference. It can transform you from looking tired and worn to looking alert and perky.  I recommend Avon Astonishing Lengths  or Avon Super Shock.  You wont believe the difference in your lashes.  i also LOVE Lancome Definicils.  Any one of those will give you excellent results.  Start applying on your bottom lashes first. Then move up to the tops. This will keep you from looking up too much and keep the mascara off your eyelids and on your lashes where it belongs.

4. A good set of Make-up Brushes.  Invest in a set of make-up brushes. They will last you forever and you can apply your make-up so much more smoothly, evenly and professionally. It REALLY makes a high difference.  I got a set of brushes at Sallys Beauty supply. You can get them at Target and Walmart as well. Clean them once a week with warm soapy water, let them air-dry and fluff them up, your brushes will be your friends for a long, long time.

5. Tweezers.  Get a GOOD set of tweezers. Sallys Beauty Supply carries Tweezerman, they are 3.99.
Keep your eyebrows tweezed. Make sure you get those hairs between your eyebrows. Get those hairs that stray from your eyebrows and turn your arches into caterpillars. Your eyebrows should follow the natural bone along the eye. The brow should arch naturally around the middle of your eye. Also, invest in a good brow liner in case you go too long between tweezing or waxing. It can make your eyebrow a little more pronounced and draw attention away from those stray hairs hanging around.
The best time to pluck your brows is right after a hot shower. Make sure you are in good lighting. Pull the skin taut and pluck in the opposite direction on the growth. use an aloe vera gel to soothe afterwards and ward off the red puffies (tell tale pluck symptom).

so those are my top 5 skin/make up must haves. what are yours? What can you not live without?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Honey...we need to talk

My husband and i have been married for 12 years. TWELVE...LOOOOONNNNGGGGG....YEARS.
I thought I knew everything about him. His wishes. His desires. All his secrets.
Our is a happy marriage. ..or so I thought.
Imagine my shock when i found THIS in the cruise photos.

Charles, you have some 'splainin to do.



**** for those of you who DONT know, this is my Husband and his brother Daniel.
Apparently one night after I went to bed they decided to sneak out and visit all the photographers on the ship and make comeplete jackasses of themselves.  There were at LEAST 10 pictures of them.
This was by far the best.

Looks like they finally found true love.

My two favorite pictures

Charles and I took several pictures together throughout the ship. On every deck they had various photography stands set up, so every night we would go visit them and have our pictures taken together. There was a marble hall, romantic sunsets, garden benches, grand pianos and more. Surely I could take a least ONE good picture, right?
The following night I would look through our photos and just be SO disappointed.
my face looked fat. I blinked. His smile was velveeta. he blinked. there was a glare. my slip was showing. my mascara was raccooning under my eyes.  Just a host of problems.  I had given up hope on taking any good pictures together that I could frame and put on our wall.  Our final night we decided to give it one more try.  None of the stuffy formal poses. We went for something fun. I think that made all the difference.
I was thrilled when I saw the results. I immediately bought both.



The ONLY pictures Charles and I have together in our house(on display) is
1. Our wedding photo from 12 years ago
2. Our engagement photo from 12 years ago
3. the family photo of us on the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios where Finn is screaming so hard his eyebrows are straight up and down.

So I am thrilled to have another one to add to the collection

Our Towel animals

Every night we would come back to our stateroom and find a towel animal.
Our room steward made some really great animals for us. 
One night we had a comedian as entertainment.  He asked how many of us liked the towel animals. We all cheered.  he then asked "How many of you have taken pictures of the towel animals?" 
again, a bunch of us cheered (including me).  He then said "People...they're towels!"  I then found out we could purchase a book of towel animal tricks and tips for the low low price of 24.95.

I dont care if they are just towels, I think they are cute. So here is the week of towel animals, the carnival menagerie







.




Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 6- Cozumel

Day 6 in Cozumel SUCKED. We got off the boat to a slightly overcast sky and sprinkling.
As we walked around sightseeing we found that the shops in the port area were full of overpriced trinkets and really pushy salespeople. Apparently In mexico my spanish name is "Hey Lady"
We took a cab down to the Aqua Safari pier about 10 minutes away. There we found souvenir stores MUCH more to our financial liking. It was SO much cheaper away from the port.
EXAMPLE:
port: 1 litre mexican vanilla was $14
away from port: Same litre (exact same) was $6
port: T-shirts $8 each
away from port: exact same shirts 3 for $10
port: biodegradable sunblock $14
away from port: exact same sunblock $8
In cozumel you have to wear special biodegradable sunblock. It helps protect the reefs.
We bought Finn a Pan Flute (now he has his own instead of always trying to play with the ones Charles got in Peru). Peter got a wallet. They each got a big shell with a picture of chichen itza carved into it. I got my parents a bottle of pure mexican vanilla and I also got myself a GIANT bottle of Mexican vanilla. All in all we only spent like $25.
We then went to Tanzanite International. I picked out a BEAUTIFUL Tanzanite ring. It was a thick white gold band with channel set diamonds down each side. On the top was a rounded rectangle 1 carat tanzanite stone. It was a beautiful bluish purple. It was just gorgeous. I talked them down to $275, including free sizing AND it would be ready in 2 hours. We went to pull out the Visa card and realized it was still in the safe in our room on the boat. We didnt have enough cash on us to buy it. And with our tour starting in 30 minutes there was no way I could have gotten back to the boat for the visa and then gotten all the way back to get the ring. I was bummed. It was just so perfect for me. So I was a little sad.
We then went on a Glass Bottom Boat Tour. And by Glass Bottom I mean a little boat that had a strip of foggy plexiglass on the floor, surrounded by a wall type structure. It actually made me seasick to look down over this wall into the plexiglass.
We stopped in several locations to snorkel. The snorkeling itself was really cool. Lots of great coral. Deep water, big coral with lots of tunnels and drops and twists and turns.I think I would have enjoyed it more if it were sunny. But the rain picked up, and it started to thunder and lightening. It was really overcast so a lot of the pictures didnt turn out. the colors were murky and blah.

This was just a cool picture. It is me underwater in Cozumel, but the rest of me is above water.So as the rain started to really pick up and the lightening started to strike all around us we were herded back into the boat and headed back. We had a serious Gilligans Island moment. It was raining so hard and the boat was getting tossed around. It was COLD. I almost wanted to grab Charles cell phone out of our bag and text my mom and dad and say "take care of the boys when we die". But the person driving the boat did a great job of getting us through it.

When we got back to the pier, of course, it stopped raining and the sun started to come out again. We were SOAKING wet. So we went to McDonalds to change and to eat. Let me just say I think they are deep frying their fries in some sort of beef lard. The fries were a nice dark yellowy brown color, just like they used to be here in the states before all the health people went apesh** about our heart and cholesterol and nonsense like that. THEY WERE SO GOOD!!!! I dont know what they are frying them in, but it is a heck of a lot better than what we've now got going on with our french fries here in America.

Yes...we ate at McDonalds. You knew it was bound to happen. Plus the bathrooms were for paying customers only.

After McDonalds we took a cab back to the pier and did a little more shopping, I got an outdoor plaster aztec calander to mount on a tree or wall, or use as a garden stone.

we then got back on the boat,and took nice hot showers to get the chill out of our bones.

I was really disappointed in Cozumel. I think I would have enjoyed it more had our tour been better, had the weather been better etc. Oh well. Cant win em all.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 5-Belize and Lamanai Ruins

This was my favorite day the entire trip...


On Thursday we were in Belize. Our entire group of 25 went to the Lamanai Ruins. We used Belize Cruise Excursions. They were wonderful!
We started out at the port. Here I am, being a rebel:we then boarded a bus for a 1 hour bus ride to the New River. Our tour guide, Ivar, was FANTASTIC. He knew everything! we had lots of history lessons, lots of flora/fauna lessons, stories and more. He made the hour long ride go by fast.

When we got to the New River we took a 40 minute boat ride up to Lamanai Ruins.

This is the Mennonite Farm. They are the wealthiest people in All of Belize. They immigrated here in the 1950s and are really prosperous farmers and merchants.Here is a local man showing us what he caught for the day.

Here are some other pictures from the river
We Arrived at Lamanai, which means Submerged Crocodile. Lamanai was the most successful Mayan city. When all the other cities were being deserted, Lamanai still flourished. They estimate that there were over 75,000 people in the city of Lamanai, which was occupied until the 1600s. this is amazing, as archaeologists believe that Lamanai was populated as early as the 16th century BC. LDS Scholars and archaeologists believe that Lamanai is a strong candidate for the City of Gerson as mentioned in the book of Mormon.

Only 1% of Lamanai has been excavated. You can see the structures covered by mounds of dirt, knowing something is underneath. But since it hasnt been excavated yet, you can only guess.
Lamanai is smack Dab in the middle of the jungle. and it was HOT and HUMID!!!
All of Belize is flat. The Mayan liked to build things up. So we would be walking along these hills and realize that to either side it was flat. Everything we walked on was built up by rocks and dirt etc.
The first structure we came to was the mask Temple. The interesting thing about Lamanai is that much of the Lamanai archaeological site was built in layers. Successive populations built upon the temples of their ancestors, instead of destroying them.


We next came to the High Temple. This was AMAZING.



We got to climb to the top, which was a HUGE undertaking. The pyramid went straight up. The steps were tall and narrow and all we had to hold on to was a yellow nylon rope.


Here are a few different views from where I was climbing.

i DID make it to the top. I am right in the middle, kind of beind some people in the purple shirt.

The view from the top of the high temple was spectacular. You could see over the entire jungle canopy.


And let me say the trip DOWN was A LOT harder than the trip UP! When I got to the bottom again my legs were JELLO. It was the hardest(apart from childbirth) yet most exhilarating and exciting thing I think I have done in a long, long time.
So here we are back safely at the bottom, giving a thumbs up to ourselves.



we then continued on. Here is the Ball Court . I dont know what kind of ball they played.We then moved on to the Jaguar Temple. Here is a retaining wall on the edge of the plaza. The Jaguar Temple was huge. And there was a large plaza type square, where the people would congregate. the high priest would climb to the top of the temple, wearing a 5 ft tall headdress and speak.The Maya were pretty tall, so it must have been an impressive sight back in the day. The acoustics were amazing. You could hear someone from the top of the pyramid down at the bottom.



Here are the Jaguars...hence the name, Jaguar Temple



After the ruins we went back up the river and ate a traditional Belizean lunch. Stewed chicken, rice and black beans with a habanero salsa, papaya and watermelon and fried plantains. It was the best meal I had the entire week.
This was the best excursion and best trip we took. I absolutely LOVED Belize. I cannot wait to go back again.