On The Internet

Here’s a link post that’s been sitting in my draft folder for awhile. I guess it’s time to call it done, don’t you think?

Musical Therapy

This past weekend, one of my friends suffered a devastating loss. We are a really tight-knit group, so our friend’s loss affected us all. Our hearts hurt, many of us had trouble sleeping, and many of us were teary-eyed as we went through the shock of loss together.

It started, for me, with hearing Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” on the radio. I think there’s something magical about his music. He could be singing about the most horrible things, but for some reason, the mood that the music itself brings up is just the thing to make me feel better. Adding to the magic is that one of his songs will come on the radio at exactly the moment I need it.

There seems to be a perfect song for every feeling, for every relationship, for every situation. Sitting at my computer, unable to concentrate on my usual internet activities, I went back and forth between being online with my friends and surfing my music collection. After hearing Van, I was very intent on digging into my collection to find the songs that would soothe my soul.

I found just the song – one with the just the right mood, that perfectly expresses how I feel about this group of friends – rather, how we all feel about each other. And it’s a song that soothed me just when I needed it.

Also, please, hug your loved ones today.

Ideas – I Got ‘Em

I’m starting to come up with more ideas on how to revamp my blog, to make it into a space that’s more me, and to make it something I can manage with my busy schedule. I’ve got a bunch of stuff written down, and I need to start working on it so that I can implement these changes.

It’s tough, having been blogging for as long as I have been. It will be 7 years in March. Seven whole years.

I started as a measly little personal blog, writing out my feelings about whatever I wanted. Then more real life people started reading, and I started holding back more. Then I met Mister, and moved in with him and got married, and had a life outside of this here blog. That’s contributed.

But I think I figured out the biggest thing holding me back. I’m disorganized. There, I said it. It’s hard to admit that out loud, considering that I once wanted to organize the world. But I haven’t felt disorganized in years.

So that’s my immediate goal. I need to get organized. Not just with my online stuff, but my physical space as well. I feel like once I’m able to make progress there, I’ll be able to make progress in other areas of my life as well. In the meantime, I hope to gather some more ideas and get those organized… so I can start implementing them.

Neutral Territory

Ever since I started wearing makeup, I’ve been trying to be a bit more adventurous. Just wearing makeup has been a major step up, since I had been going bare-faced for so long. And before my visit to Sephora last year, I never really knew how to apply it to best flatter me. Now I know, but I feel like I’m getting myself stuck in a rut.

Most of my collection is neutrals. Sure, they look good on everyone. I know how to apply neutrals a bunch of different ways and have it come out looking good. But sometimes, I want more color. And here’s where I get stuck.

I do not have the coloring for more color.

On the eyes, I can manage purples if they are more on the plum side of things. Too blue, and I look bruised. I can also handle greens if they stay more olive/emerald. I can’t figure out how to make my favorite color in all the world, aquatealquoise, look good on me. And not for lack of trying, either. The Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette is my go-to, and I love just about every color in there.

On my lips, I have a boatload of lipsticks and glosses in pretty much the same color. I don’t like darker colors on me, so nothing dark. Pink just does not work with my coloring. I wish it did – it would open a whole new world of color. Instead, I stick with lighter peachy browns that have just a hint of pink. I love the Clinique Almost Lipstick in Tender Honey, and recently bought the Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Sugarbomb and the Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Naked, and while I love all of those shades, they’re all the same. I also have the Stila Lip & Cheek Stain in Mango, which I love. It’s orange, but not too orange, and the color lasts a long time.

Recently I went shopping for more color in my life. I purchased the Urban Decay Vice Palette, and I’ve been experimenting with a few looks from there. In the lip department, I haven’t made much headway. I went out this weekend and purchased some Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain in Adore (lovely color) and Romantic (a bit to bright red orange for me), and some Revlon Lip Butters in Fig Jam (another great color on me) and Tutti Frutti (a bit orange but will probably be nice in the summer). I’ll probably struggle more with the lip color issue than the eyeshadow colors, since lips are just there. I can’t use just a tiny pop of color on my lips and blend it out with mostly neutrals, since lip colors don’t work that way. And I really do love the neutral lips, but I’m not sure if I want to keep buying different formulas and brands of what is basically the same color.

Any tips on how to add my color to my makeup routine without feeling like a clown?

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It snowed here last week. This week, temperatures fell into the single digits, and it’s been a bit breezy, so this morning, according to my local newspaper’s twitter, it was 6°F with a wind chill of -6°F. A bit chilly.

Oh, and remember when I blogged about the cold? About how I was missing it? (I also wrote about how Greta wasn’t a fan, but more on that in a minute.) I’m over getting bundled up to go outside, of having to remember the proper footwear so my feet stay warm and dry and/or I don’t slip and fall. I’m over trying to remember gloves to keep my hands warm but still having to take them off to be able use the doggie doo-doo bags. And I’m definitely over the icy roads. So, except for being able to bake stuff without turning my house into a sweatbox, I’m pretty much over this winter stuff. I’m ready for it to get warm out again.

Greta, on the other hand, is sticking to her original assessment regarding cold weather. She doesn’t like it one bit.

When it first snowed, she didn’t want to go outside because it felt too much like rain, and my little desert dog is not a fan of rain. Once it stopped snowing and a path was cleared, she had fun bouncing around. She was so spry and energetic! Then, just like that, she decided that she didn’t like it anymore.

The snow itself she still likes. Just not the cold part.

I have a nice warm sherpa-style doggie coat that I put on her before we go outside. When we get out there, she stands on the pavement with one front paw and the opposite back paw raised so they won’t touch the cold pavement. She looks at me pleading to let her back in the house. She runs to the door every chance she gets. She does everything she can think of to go back to the warmth of the house, except going potty. That she saves for inside.

Usually, whenever one of the household humans (aka Mister or I) puts on a coat, pants, shoes, or even just walks near the front door, Greta gets all excited because she thinks she’s going outside or for a ride in the car. Normally she loves outside, and car rides are the Best! Thing! Ever! But this morning, after freezing her little paws off, she heard me getting ready for work, came out of my office to see me putting my coat on, let out a big sigh and walked back into my office to go back to bed. She is so over this weather.

After consulting with my imaginary internet friends, Mister and I are going change up the way we do positive reinforcement. She currently gets treats for going potty outside, but lately, with all the winter gear we have to take off before getting to the treat jar in the kitchen, it would seem that Greta sees her treats as reward for coming in the house – sort of how a snow-covered child gets a cup of hot cocoa and some cookies after playing in the snow. The time lapse is too great for her to associate the treat with potty. So we’re taking the treats outside. Last night, she got a treat once we got out of leash range of the front door. Then it took her a couple minutes to go potty, and she headed straight for the door as soon as she was done. But I stood in the same spot and called her back for a treat, and she actually came back in the snow to get it. So hopefully we can re-train her brain to think of the cold outside potty as a good thing.

Until then, I know both Greta and I will be thinking of warmer, cozier things.