Nov 28, 2011

Hands are for giving


I've noticed a few of you are reading from retailers or businesses. First off, THANK YOU! I mean, I don't advocate reading this thing on company time... but if you're bored out of your minds, I appreciate that you're reading this little guy.

Second, I have a point: I want to do some special things this December. If you have any ideas or suggestions of companies, small businesses, etc. that participate in blogger outreach, PLEASE (please please) contact me at I would love to do some nice things for those in need this Christmas. I'm looking for everything, but here are some ideas I have. If you can help with any of these (or know anyone who can), please let me know:
  • Send a 20-something home for the holidays
  • Provide clothing, shoes and tolietries for a struggling family
  • Toy giveaways for a children's home
  • School supplies for underprivileged classrooms
That's a start. You don't have to be in the LA area -- I'm looking for donations from around the country (the world?) to help make this all come to fruition. Ultimately, I'd like to do a contest where readers write-in to help those in need.

Another idea I had is to set up a PayPal account to accept donations. At the end of the donation period, I'd donate all the money to a family in need this Christmas.

Sound good? Send me your ideas! I want this to be a collaborative effort. I can't do it without you!

Nov 27, 2011

Waking up in Vegas

Last Sunday, I traveled to Vegas with the girls for the Marine Corps Ball. Going to Vegas is always something to get excited about, but we were all especially thrilled at the idea of meeting some military men.

Before I get anyone's hopes up, we didn't meet any men. Most men that go to a military ball? They're in a relationship or brought a date. DUH. But it didn't matter. Sometimes, just getting to look at the juice is worth the squeeze -- if you know what I'm saying.

Anyway, we were all pretty psyched about the fact that we'd get a night to party and a night to dress up in gowns. When was the last time we got to wear a gown? When would be the next? It's a pretty monumental occasion, none the less. Kudos to Emily who actually wore her Senior Prom dress. Girlfriend is skinny. Looking good, Em. 

Free din at Lavo! 

I simultaneously love and hate Vegas. For instance, after the ball, we went to Marquee: the number one  nightclub in Vegas. You couldn't tell though, between the three piles of vomit, the eight flights of stairs we had to take, and the all-around craptastic human beings we had to expose ourselves to there. It was pretty Bush League, in my opinion. LMFAO was playing, and our promoter "friend" invited us to join, along with probably 3,000 other people. Once we got to the club, some bouncer asked us if we wanted to get "free drinks at a table with guys that weren't old" and we obliged, 100% because we wanted free drinks. These men were all from the Jersey Shore. Actually, from Hoboken. Seemed nice enough but they were all "bro-ing out" to the max and barely said two words to us. Within 10 minutes, the bouncer was back to escort us away from the table, probably because they realized our vaginas weren't hanging out, but mostly because we didn't look like transvestites (coincidentally, the women they brought over after us looked like a walking tranny convention). 

However, the first night we got there, we enjoyed ourselves at the Concierge Lounge at the Palazzo = free booze and light nomage, which essentially equated to a free dinner. One reason I loooooove Vegas. Then we made our way to gamble and ended up meeting a promoter, who not only set us up with a free table at Lavo, but called us to ask if we wanted a comped dinner before hand -- someone had just cancelled and all we had to do is walk in and say we were "Jen Regina." I am down with free tables as along as men aren't there, because most men you meet in Vegas are epic douchelords.

Minus Emily spilling an entire spread of Penne alla Vodka all over her dress (and subsequently ruining it -- and people calling her "greasy pasta ass"), we had a blast that night. In fact, we had been drinking since 5:00. Therefore, we were in bed no later than 12:30. I wish I was kidding. The saddest part about that entire situation is that Prince Harry was in town at XS, which we were supposed to go to after the "greasy pasta ass" incident. My mother's dream of me becoming a royal could have come true. Now we'll never know...

Meanwhile, a wicked cold was brewing this entire trip. I had a pretty ill Thanksgiving, and not ill in a "wicked awesome" kind of way. Ill as in "sick." (Not a good sick. Drainage and coughing sick.) So we spent most of the day on Monday in our room before we had to start preparing for the ball. I kid you not. We didn't even venture outside. We didn't gamble. We didn't shop. We got up early, ate breakfast at the lounge (for free!) and then went back to the room and proceeded to nap, watch YouTube videos and figure out who passed the bar and who didn't (a simple pleasure for many 3Ls). 

Let's get to it: the ball. Here are the deets:

I wore a lovely gown from David Meister, that I actually rented from Rent the Runway. I highly recommend doing this, especially if you have a fancy event coming up and you need a dress for one night. I wanted to wear something gorgeous, but frankly couldn't afford spending $600 on a dress I could wear just once. (Maybe someday.) The entire RTR experience was fab. The dress arrived on time, and they send you two sizes, both which come with self-addressed, stamped packages to send them back in. I rented mine for eight days for $160.00, and because I was having issues ordering, they threw in a free accessory for me to wear (earrings -- however, I wore my own instead). They also send you fashion tape in the event you need it, and everything is dry cleaned and in pristine condition when you receive it. You don't have to worry about cleaning it yourself, or if anything falls off or you spill wine, because it comes with insurance (added into the cost).

I did, however, have issues with the fit. The size two was perfect all over, except the length. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I got a temporary hem and just cut the thread before sending the gown back. Worked like a charm and the dress looked like it was tailor made for my body. I absolutely loved it! My earrings and bracelet I both got at Nordstrom a few years ago; the shoes are Charles by Charles David ($60.00 DSW) and the clutch is Poppy ($30.00 at DSW). 

The ball was at the Hard Rock. There are a few components to the entire night: the ceremony, which lasts an hour, dinner, and then the party. I was crying pretty much the entire ceremony. They had a celebration of the Marines since they started, and had current servicemen dressed up in fatigues and dress blues from over the years to depict monumental moments in our country's history, like Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Then a video was shown which went more in depth about how much our Marines contribute to our country. It's hard to watch a video of those planes crashing into the Twin Towers and not have your heart break all over again. They interviewed Marines in the video, who talked about when 9/11 happened, they weren't actively serving, but pulled out their badge (card?) and showed NYPD, who gladly let them help with search and rescue. One man recalled going to the rubble and screaming, "United States Marine Corps! Is anybody there?" And people from all over, trapped, started yelling for help; some cheering, because they knew the Marines would save them.

It's really hard to express the emotional gravity of the video or the ceremony. It was very touching, especially being among the men themselves in their dress blues. Whenever they would stand, the would stand at attention. No matter how young or old, they did it. I loved absolutely every minute of it, especially how they commemorated every event, good or bad.

During one portion of the night, they cut the (delicious) birthday cake. They had a kid up there who was born in 1992 and he was from Round Rock! He was the youngest Marine there. He's my brother's age... crazy to think of what he has done and seen in such a short life so far. 

Within the ceremony, one speaker (the Commanding Officer, Colonel David J. Furness) talked about the Marines and how it's similar to a church, with annual rituals and relationships that are built within the following. He also talked about how being a Marine wasn't a job, it was calling. Marines feel that way about their job. It's not a duty, it's a God-given necessity.

My dad was in the Marines for 13 years, and the National Guard for seven. I remember when he could come home in fatigues and that one of my favorite shirts to wear was his ARMY tee. I was soft and I loved wearing it around the house. I am thankful for my father and all of our servicemen, active or retired. Going and experiencing this entire event made me appreciate them even more and see things from another perspective.

By the way, we know this dude is from the Navy. They had some of the Marines' comrades there. However, one of them wasn't too appreciative of the Marines, as he kept bashing them and saying the Navy was were it's at. Uh, dude, do you realize you're at the MARINE CORPS BALL? You probably should shut up. He didn't. He then went on to say he didn't like the Officer sitting across from us, which just so happened to be Emily's uncle. Good one, dude... (Note: it wasn't the guy I'm pictured with.)

All in all, we had an absolute blast during our two-day Vegas stint. I feel like we have another trip in store for us in 2012!

My Week with Marilyn -- a review

I'm not going to give away the plot, don't worry. However, you have to be living in a black hole to not understand or expect what happened in this movie.

I have been infatuated with the idea for this film since seeing stills of Michelle Williams walking off the jet, absolutely identical to Marilyn Monroe herself. The fact of the matter is though, if you don't know much about Marilyn Monroe, you will simply see Williams as an actor, giving a great performance; not as attempting to portray the famous starlet. Instead, you'll see a character with a frail yet charming personality; charisma for days, beauty that doesn't seem to be fleeting, and a shaken, unstable past. (This is the best way to see this movie, by the way.)

I must be among the worst women in the world. I have not seen a film with Monroe in it. The information I have about her is from a book report I did in fourth or fifth grade. I remember that she had been "touched inappropriately" from the book; she also had many abortions. She was beautiful to me, but reading these things before seeing any of her glamour onscreen took away from her allure for me, which helped me go into this movie with the correct expectations.

Still, Marilyn Monroe is, in fact, the most glamourous woman who I never had the privilege of being alive with. She is an icon to many people; she is the epitome of the mere thought that women, in fact, rule the world. She could dazzle with a wink and put men in a tizzy with a giggle. 

After watching this film, I ran home, found a scarf to tie my hair with and applied some red lipstick. Yes, I am laying in bed right now, writing this, in full homage to Marilyn. She truly had that affect on people, even after death.

So here's the deal on the movie: well-written. Funny. Insightful. I think a lot of people think, "Oh! A movie on Marilyn Monroe. This will be fabulous!" Those people clearly don't read tabloids. This woman was troubled, clearly, as I had mentioned her disturbing past.

The film follows Colin Clark, a 23-year-old aspiring to break into the entertainment world. You will fall in love with him as he shows his ambition, innocence and determination right off the bat. It shows Marilyn's antics on set -- a true, original diva, making cast and crew wait on bended knee for her arrival. No matter how long the wait, everyone made sure she was always accommodated and complimented.

The saddest thing about Marilyn has to be that people worshiped her: acclaimed actors, royalty; common folk. Yet she, in her mind, was never good enough. She never felt loved. I think that is the saddest feeling of all to feel, however I cannot say I have felt this way myself, ever. It has to be a lonely, sickening emotion. 

Hollywood hasn't seem to have changed. In the movie, Colin says he left his home and family to "join the circus." And how. To this day, people are still kissing one another's asses, regardless of what might be going on. Marilyn needed someone firstly to love her, but secondly, to love her the right way. Loving someone doesn't mean giving in to every want they might have. Loving someone means giving them what they need, and sometimes, what people need isn't going to make them happy. Perhaps if someone took away her pills and her alcohol, she would have been forced to face her demons -- her insecurities -- and start living the right way. Then again, maybe she wasn't "Marilyn Monroe" without the pills and the alcohol. The movie paints her as an insecurity-ridden, needy woman, with a talent that simply can't be learned. Unfortunately, she constantly doubts herself, and nobody will be able to save her.

I remember when Heath Ledger died, and thinking that that was the first big Hollywood drug death I had ever heard of. I didn't think it was a prevalent thing, but then shortly thereafter Anna Nicole Smith died. Then Britney Spears lost her sh*t (royally I might add) and Lindsay Lohan was on her sexually confused, drug binge period: her obvious attempts for attention. I wondered how things could get so out of control in our generation. But, obviously, this isn't new. This has been happening since Marilyn; probably earlier. John Belushi, River Phoenix and many others lost their life to drugs. It's sad that nobody intervened with these people, whether it was calling the cops, sending them to rehab or just being an ally. Marilyn felt like she had none. 

Marilyn boils down to this: she had a constant need for attention. When she didn't have it, she needed to not remember not having it. She would do absolutely ridiculous things, whether it be keeping a crew for hours, exposing herself to someone other than her husband, turning on the glitz for the paparazzi, etc. Yet, once she was left alone to reflect on all of those things, she felt ashamed, and would again try to not remember any of it.

One further comment on the movie: they kept referring to how wonderful of an actress Marilyn was. I can't tell if they told her that just to raise her confidence, or if they truly meant it. I haven't seen her films, therefore I don't know. Was she? Was she one of the greatest actresses of her time? Or was she merely a mesmerizing, pretty face, with superior comedic timing? 

While Britney Spears may not be Marilyn Monroe, I feel she is one of the biggest stars of our time. I am truly thankful her father intervened in her life. I feel like if he hadn't, she would not be here today. I don't know her, but when you've seen someone consistently since you were 12, you start to care about them. (Sue me.) 

Watching this movie, I couldn't help but to make the obvious Lindsay Lohan comparison. I wish I couldn't make it, because it's obvious she strives to have that reference and takes it as a compliment. But let's be clear: nobody looks at Lindsay Lohan and wants to be her, like Marilyn. Nobody thinks she's glamourous. They don't find her as a huge star. They don't compare her to great actresses. She is maybe the greatest lost talent of our generation. The girl has "it." But she ruins her opportunities to use "it."

Much like Marilyn, she has had zero guidance. Marilyn grew up in an orphanage; Lindsay might as well have. She's had literally zero parental supervision. The overwhelming similarities in how Marilyn acted out for attention with Lindsay's cries for help (they're all obvious, so no need to state them) are uncanny. 

Hopefully, one day, someone will intervene in Lindsay Lohan's life, before she ends up living (and ending) a life -- identical to her idol's. 

PS: wasn't lying about the Marilyn garb. I feel incredibly glamorous wearing this in bed! 

Nov 23, 2011

The Noise Complaint Letter

Most of you that follow me on Twitter will recall that I moved into a new apartment in August. Being an apartment, we expected normal noise to occur, given we are on the first floor. However, our landlord only informed us of the person who lived upstairs after we signed the lease -- and now we know why.

She plays the bass guitar.

NOT like I have a problem with bass guitar. I actually enjoy it. Living underneath someone who plays it at the most obnoxious times of the day (i.e. early mornings on weekends and late nights)? I don't enjoy. 

Our apartment is older, but we really love it. It's hardwood, so we can hear her traipsing across the floor in her rocker boots during wee hours of the morning when she gets in; I'm assuming her bathroom is directly above my room, because I swear she drops a brush the size of Texas on the floor at approximately 10:45 every night, and of course, when she plays the bass or blares her stereo, the entire complex gets to hear Adele's "Someone Like You" 85 times -- that or some heavy metal bullsh*t that I've had enough of.

When my parents were in town, after suppressing the urge, I wrote her a nice note. My friends and coworkers know that I have a low tolerance for irritating, idiotic people, so me writing a note without any passive-aggressive tones or sarcasm is a feat in itself. But I wrote her maybe eight sentences, apologizing that we haven't met in person yet, but that we hear literally everything (including her screaming at God knows who -- which I left out, obviously) and if she would try to help us out, we'd greatly appreciate it, because it's startling to us and it makes it difficult to enjoy the night. The end. Then we gave her a homemade popcorn ball as a token of peace.

The next day, her chicken scratch appeared in a note on my door... along with the popcorn ball.

It basically said that we were "annoying" with our "heels and slamming doors" in the morning and that she had wanted to say something to us before but didn't know how, and that she already talked to our landlord about us. Excuse me, but you think we didn't go to him first about you? Child, please. Also, we didn't throw the word "annoying" around, but now I have no qualms in doing so, as "annoying" can be considered a noise violation, as deciphered by the LAPD. 

I actually attempted to meet this girl, kill her with kindness, etc. I should have taken the hint by the returned popcorn ball, because as I went to approach her, she RAN THE HELL AWAY FROM ME. Yes. It's true. Girlfriend aborted the mission and pretended not to see nor hear me.

Last night, after an alcohol-and-minimal-sleep filled two days in Vegas, I (somehow) got sick. I'm a big girl when I'm sick. I'm not helpless. (I'm headed to run errands and work out soon.) But my tolerance for people I already cannot tolerate in perfect health? It's pretty low, given my ears won't pop for hours on end and I have a stuffy nose and I feel like I can't breathe.

It's 11:25 PM, I'm laying in bed, and I'm watching TV to try to fall asleep. (By the way, Ghost Whisperer is actually a decent show! Who knew?) Except I am sidetracked because, what else, the bass is blaring in the background. Imagine trying to talk to someone and anything personal is talking directly into your ear the entire time. Distracting, right? Annoying? Obviously.

I will not be going home for Thanksgiving this year and you can bet your bottom dollar I will not be dealing with this crap all weekend long. Therefore, the following masterpiece is the final notice I sent my landlord, before I call the cops. I copied the apartment owner as well. Feel free to use the template if you have a noise complaint.

Hi (redacted), 
Hope you are feeling better -- Erin mentioned you were sick the last time I wrote.  
I am copying (redacted) on this as I need to make sure every appropriate party is notified. I will be calling LAPD this week on (redacted), upstairs. The noise is absolutely ridiculous, but I wanted you to have the opportunity to either a) forewarn her or b) figure out a resolve to this ongoing issue. 
I've emailed about this now three times, which is why I feel like I need to go to the LAPD. I know we can't fix things like loud thuds or the way she walks upstairs, as that is normal when it comes to an apartment. However, as I write this in bed, I hear her bass blaring through the floor. Can't be sure if it's her bass guitar or her stereo, but I am sick and I'm frankly at my wit's end. 
Like I've mentioned previously, I have gone straight to her myself to ask (politely) if she wouldn't mind keeping the noise down and to keep in mind we hear everything she does -- whether it's a blasting stereo, yelling at whomever she yells at lately (another issue entirely), or merely stomping across the apartment. It's startling, especially in the early morning hours. We wrote a very polite note, gave her a baked good, and tried to establish a relationship. She wrote back complaining to us about shutting doors and walking in the house with heels on, calling us "annoying" and actually running away from me when I made the effort to introduce myself in person. 
Erin and myself are gone 8-10 hours a day; Erin is gone most weekends, and I make minimal noise. Getting ready for work Monday-Friday during normal operating business hours and walking out the door 10 steps in heels does not render a noise complaint, however, loud music and instruments at 10:00 PM and beyond/early mornings on weekends does. I am somewhat irritated in that we were suspect upon move-in, given we are two young girls and I recall being questioned about our "partying" habits, which I would assume is a direct correlation to how loud we would be. We are making normal noise for an apartment, if any at all, yet we have a neighbor who refuses to compromise on the issue. 
I know I'm not the first nor the last person to complain about her. This situation is getting to be not only unacceptable, but is affecting the peace in our home. Also, I know there are certain hours she is allowed to play (albeit she doesn't abide by them), however I found this to justify my complaint.
Thank you for your time and for helping us out with this situation. Hope you both have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Nov 19, 2011

Well my friends, the time has come

... to raise the roof and have some fun. In T-12 hours, we'll be in heading to the desert in the Black Widow for Vegas and the Marine Corps Ball. Holla atcha gurl. 

I'm sitting here in the midst of a college football meltdown. This is occurring in the midst of my own, personal meltdown. 

So Oklahoma State loses to Iowa State, which is sad on many levels; USC beats #4 Oregon and BAYLOR beats #5 Oklahoma. I mean really. This is why people absolutely adore and plot to murder coaches in college football. Just a reminder: don't get cocky during the beginning of the season and start hashtagging your impending "winning season" because, inevitably, this shit will happen. Remember last year? Alabama lost, Ohio State lost the next week to Wisconsin, etc. 

Anyway, my personal meltdown happened yesterday when I received my dress. I got it from Rent the Runway, which is awesome because I got a beautiful designer gown that I didn't have to spend a fortune on to buy. However, I was crapping myself all week because a) I didn't get the dress until Friday, and we leave on Sunday, and b) They only had a 2L or a 4R. They said the long was the one I needed because the regular was too short for someone my height, however, I am normally a four (or so I thought). 

Turns out, the 2L fit perfectly, minus the fact that the front of the dress was too long. Here's the thing: runway dresses are made for, well, the runway. Therefore, they are made for models with no ta-tas and flat butts. But I have more ass than the models (Kanye), so while the dress was essentially "lifted" in the back to not drag on the floor (a time I am grateful for the booty), it left the front too long.

I ended up on the man-hunt for five inch heels. I don't know exactly how to measure off-handedly very well so I found the tallest pair of soft gold sandal heels I could find and ran home to try them on with my dress. Still, it was too long. I got up this morning to find another pair of shoes, but my mom suggested I run to Nordy's and ask their alterations department to perform a temporary hem on the dress so that I can cut the string and remove it when I need to. I thought she was crazy, but I went.

AND I DID. AND IT WORKED. If you are ever in need of a magnificent alterations lady on the fly, I highly suggest Osvanna at The Grove store. She was able to hand stitch the temporary hem and had it to me same day, which was essential since we're leaving before the store opens tomorrow.

I don't think men realize how much it takes for women to get ready for grand balls like this. This is not your normal, bush league sorority formal attempt. However, finding a dress and preparing reminds me of college. Every year for four years, we'd scramble around at the outlet mall on Thanksgiving weekend in an attempt to find the best dress we could for formal. There were a few conditions: 
  • It had to look expensive but be cheap. 
  • We could be able to spill on it and not worry about the repercussions.
  • Nobody else could have it.
The stipulations for finding this Marine Corps dress we more mature: 
  • It had to look like we could pass at the Oscars or on a red carpet, but it needed to be cheap. Real cheap.
  • We have to be able to pass as refined women who will actually being drinking Ciroc Coconut in the hotel room prior.
  • Nobody else could have it.
So after finding a dress, finding matching shoes, finding the jewelry, the purse; getting my nails did, getting a bloody airbrush tan (I'm a shade away from JWOWW) and eating eggs for breakfast and dinner for a week, I'd like to imagine that I've dedicated some serious time and effort to this ball. Women don't just show up and look wonderful. They have to put forth the effort, guys. So a simple, "Wow!" or "You look amazing!" is always appreciated.

My mom is also acting somewhat psychotic with this ball and she isn't even going. She's asked my father which men I should be "looking" for. The underlying meaning of "looking" is "finding yourself a man." Apparently the guys I'm "looking" for are the Officers, because they have college degrees and (essentially) make more money. Glad my mom is offering me this advice. She even told me how I can decipher the Officers from the other gentlemen. Oh yeah, and this exchange happened: 

"Find yourself a man."
"Mom, I'm not going to this to 'find myself a man.'"
"FIND YOURSELF A MAN. YOU ARE IN THE BEST POSSIBLE PLACE TO DO SO. And the men are extremely handsome in their dress blues, and they're stand up guys. Find yourself a MAN."

I guess there are absolutely no questions as to what my mother wants out of me. But unless Clay Matthews is walking in there in his Packers uniform, I'm not looking for no man!

Nov 15, 2011

I have a lot to say...

... just not enough time to say it. 

Things have been a whirlwind the past few weeks. However, I have a ton of topics I want to post on, and I plan on pumping those out before I leave for Vegas. And not beauty posts, either. Real-life content. Some humorous, some heartfelt. (You know, the good stuff.)

Anyway, I've been super giddy lately. I can't really explain it. It's just this happiness has been ignited in my soul and I feel truly like my heart is on fire, just thrilled to wake up and go through the day. I'm going to be honest: I feel like myself again. I haven't felt this way in about a year and a half. My mother and I are very connected and she mentioned she felt this same exact way last night. I don't know what this giddiness means, but I do know it's willed by God for us to be happy, regardless of our circumstances. Nothing particularly amazing or inspiring has happened, which is really thrilling to me because that means I'm content without the glitz and the glam, without having to "have" something to make me feel this way. Then again, nothing before made me feel like this either. I'm happy to be back!

My Aunt Bonnie said "God is preparing your spirit." So who knows! I have a great feeling about 2012 and I think it's going to be a great year for everyone.

Until next time...

"I'm not going to live by what I see
I'm not going to live by what I feel
Deep down I know you're here with me
I can do all things because you give me strength
Nothing is impossible" 

And the winner is...

Good morning!

Thank you all who entered the giveaway. I encourage you all to keep entering contests because without support I can't keep doing them. So thanks!

The person who a) followed the rules and b) was randomly selected was...

Caitlin Hines! Congrats!

Caitlin won:
  • A $50 gift card to Rent the Runway
  • A piece of jewelry from Kate Bosworth's Jewelmint
  • Products from Arcona, Organix and NYX
Caitlin, I'll be emailing you soon so I can send you your product!

Thanks again, everyone, for entering and for some beautiful outfit suggestions! I ended up gonig with this look from David Meister, which I actually rented from Rent the Runway. I've never done this before, but knowing I wanted a designer gown, minus the cost, I think this was a great choice. They send you two sizes, just in case one fits, and I'll have the dress eight days. Then I simply return it. I rarely wear nice dresses more than once so this seems like the more economical option. Too bad I can't find my prom dress from 2005...

Also, I don't have to fret about a wine stain or a missing sequin because my $5.00 insurance covers normal wear and tear. Wahoo! Now I just need a pair of heels and some jewelry to match.

In the navy

Nov 11, 2011

Winter Beauty Tips

Yeah, it's definitely not winter yet. However, climates across the country are proving otherwise! (Snow on Halloween, anyone?) always has fun contests to enter, so I went ahead and submitted my Winter Beauty Tips featuring some of my absolute favorite products. From peppermint scents to liquid liner; smoothing scrubs and healing hydrators, here are few of my favorite things!

Scrub, Rinse; Hydrate and Decorate

What are some of your favorite products for the winter? Do you have any products you want me to review before you buy? Let me know!

Nov 9, 2011

Is the world about to implode?

Oh man. My Twitter feed is AMAZING tonight. I can't even explain to you the sh*t going on right now. But I will try.

So, as you all know, I've been tweeting about how much of a PR Crisis FAIL this whole Penn State thing is. Nobody handled anything correctly at all, and it's become a cluster of epic proportions. At least the Trustees have some brain cells, because Joe Pa was fired, for obvious reasons. I mean, the man willingly protected a rapist. Good job Joe Pa, you're a real winner.

Meanwhile, Penn State students have all lost THEIR DAMN MINDS and started some kind of Bush League riot, minus any kind of garbage cans being lit on fire or looting; instead, some mase was involved along with a few picketing posters. Also, this gem is what they were screaming: 

"F-ck the trustees!"

For those that don't see the poor choice of words and complete and utter irony in that statement, I don't know what to tell you. It's mind boggling that students are rioting the firing of a coach who was literally PROTECTING A RAPIST! Hello? Earth to Penn State? 

All of this is happening and it's like a sh*t storm of comments on Twitter. Various other things are happening: Piers Morgan is quitting America's Got Talent, which makes sense, because hell, isn't he British? The CMAs are going on and Taylor Swift is pretending to be surprised about winning the 948th time, Miranda Lambert needs a stylist; my mom is griping about how girls are wearing strapless dresses and have zero posture so they're tugging them up all night long. And, apparently, they can't afford a decent sound system at the CMA's, so everyone sounds like crap.

Also, earlier in the night, Rick Perry pretty much kissed his entire campaign good-bye by not knowing anything (as per usual) and again proving to us he really has no idea what he's talking about. (Surprisingly, I'm not liberal.)

Then, I go into pilates for an hour, only to check my Twitter (obviously) and Ashton Kutcher has dug himself yet another hole with this tweet (that he's since deleted):

"How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass"

It appears to be an honest mistake; he thought it was some kind of "football issue," not something about a rapist cover-up, you know, since Ashton is pretty much the #1 advocate of stopping sexual slavery. He's retweeting people calling him ignorant and an asshole and all this other stuff. My point is this: he's Ashton Kutcher, not Barack Obama. His one purpose in life is to be hot as hell, sell cameras, and look good naked while looking not as crazy as Charlie Sheen. Some of the best quotes from this Twitter crisis:

"Look! You DO have to be crazy to be on Two and a Half Men!"

"Didn't you cheat on your wife on your anniversary? Yeah, you're an expert on class!"

"That's the type of person supporting Joe PA right now: Ashton Kutcher. Let that one sink in, rioters."

I don't think we need to burn Ashton at the stake. I kind of love him and hope he wasn't an infidel... I also wish he would read more and stop being naked all the time.

MEANWHILE, Blake Griffin is asking the questions we all want to know: "Is Joe Paterno on Twitter or Facebook?" and some epic dipwad named @MailePRMedia is going through the motions with THIS Twitter convo. PS: I have no idea who this person is. PPS: I'm purple, she is pink and black.

The argument that Paterno is an "icon" is absurd. You can be an icon, doesn't mean you do what's right

(response out of nowhere)

 Ekkkkkk football coahces get burned @ the stake and my dad is one. You can't conroll everything that happensn trust me!

@MailePRMedia I'm sorry, but he knew about all of this. He deserves to go. It's a crime.
  if my dad who is an #NCAA #CollegeCoach thought he could controll me in collage..... #GoodLuck....

@MailePRMedia based on your comments, you clearly know nothing about this case.
Hmmmmm ok. I just can't burn a fottball coach at the steak for a socitey crime.... The cannot controll the entire commity. #Sorry

@MailePRMedia it wasn't a society crime. He knowingly let rape happen on school grounds; multiple officials were told
@MailePRMedia and nobody did anything about it because it would mess with the football program.
 Maybe he's guilty. But based on the slash and burn of  and  I can't just jump on the band wagon....

Youre entitled to your opinion, but being the coaches' daughter doesn't mean you know what the hell you're talking about @MailePRMedia
@MailePRMedia try reading the case and then put up a fight if you think it was wrong to fire him. As someone in PR, you should know better

 Ummmm at Colorado or eslewhere b/c Barnett & his players were found innocent but no1 publicized that....

Everyone give @aplusk a friggen break. His job is to be hot, promote Nikon and look like a lesser idiot than Sheen. Not know worldly things.

 Ok I am too emotionally connected. Read about my father  a SuperBowlChamp and moral / religous leader. 

@MailePRMedia so you're emotionally connected to this story, about a coach who protected a man who was RAPING CHILDREN?

 maybe I am basing all  on my experience but my father is a shiny example of how it should be done. 
 Read on article about my family and fooball and you'll understand.

Understand having a family member in the media spotlight? No way! RT @MailePRMedia: Read about my family and football... you'll understand.

 ofcourse being coaches daughter means I understand!  chews and spits out coaches for no reason... Why wouldn't ?
@MailePRMedia you are an epic dumbass. The end. You have NO IDEA about this man and you're still defending him. He's not your father.

In case anyone cares, @MailePRMedia thinks that people who protect rapists shouldn't be fired, because her dad is a coach. Hmm. Great logic.

So yeah, THAT HAPPENED. Maybe I'm the clueless one for not knowing who her father is and maybe lack in sports knowledge, because (apparently) her dad is the Patron Saint of football, so much so that he alone makes it okay for other coaches to knowingly let a rapist roam free and molest young children in the Penn State locker room. I really need to meet this man. He makes the immoral, moral!

In all seriousness, I looked up Brian Cabral and he doesn't seem like a bad guy. NFL Linebacker, played for several teams including Green Bay, so I instantly like him because we all know I heart the Packers. And he won a Super Bowl with the Bears. He recently met our President since the Bears didn't get to hit the White House after their Super Bowl win. I would venture to say I have respect for this guy. However, I have to wonder what makes his daughter so passionate about a man who covers up rape.

I'll attribute it to the fact that Thursday night we have a Full Moon, which definitely brings out the crazy!

Allow yourself to dream

I haven't done one of these in awhile, but I'm feeling rather festive and I figure when my heart is full of emotion, there is only one thing to do: write, write, write.

Do you have a dream for your life? 

Allow yourself to have a dream. Allow yourself to have a grandiose vision for what you want your life to be. It might not be God's will, however, in the process of getting to "your" dreams, God will lead you to His. Otherwise, we're sitting around, complacent. Right?

I think a lot of us are scared to admit things we truly want out of life. I joke a lot online and can dish it as well as I can take it, but in the end, I truly want to find love. I want to be married. I want to find another person who, I feel, completes every ounce of my being. I don't know if that is God's will for me. Maybe I am meant to be alone. Which would be totally fine, if that was his will. But right now, I admit that I am longing to find someone to love, even though I repress that feeling most of the time. (Caaan an-y-bod-y find me somebody to love?)

Stupid, girly emotions! :) But really, I think that could be the greatest thing in life. To love another and receive it in return.

I also have a grand dream (several, actually) for my career. I know in my heart what I want. And I hope that it comes true, only because in the end, I hope I can provide things for the people I care about, and take care of others in need. Maybe in the process of getting to where I'd like to be, God is helping me achieve those things. Only time will tell.

Don't feel stupid or naive for having a dream, or multiple dreams. Remember when you were a kid and anything was possible? Maybe you didn't feel that way, or didn't have a life that allowed you to feel that way. I want to send your some encouragement. Getting older means more responsibilities and more opportunities to feel like we can't do what we really want, or we can't. You can, and you should. Do things that ignite your soul, set fire in your heart, and make you truly blissful.

I'm at a period in my life where I am truly independent. I take that back. I am somewhat independent: I am single; I have a family, but I know I can't rely on them for everything. I have friends, but they can't fight my battles. The only thing I can truly rely on is my faith in God, which has been tested the past two years. I find it to be the most fulfilling relationship I've ever had. (Sorry Mom.)

Some of you may say, "I had dreams for my life, but I had to give them up," or "My dreams didn't come true." Just because one dream didn't go as you had hoped, it doesn't mean that you should give up on that one in particular, or give up on dreaming all together. Dreams give us hope and something to look forward to. Listen, you might not be the star of the basketball team anymore; you might not have made it to the collegiate or NBA level. But you can reassess what you're truly good at and reinvent your dreams.  You might not have gotten that recording contract, but you could be the star of your town. You could become a vocal coach or choir leader. Or maybe your dreams will take you away from your original intentions. That's the beauty of them: they're not set in stone. You can alter and change them to benefit you.
Sometimes, initial dreams you might have for yourself might not go the path you'd like, but they will help you in your walk through life to benefit others, the greatest gift each have within. I'm going to write this carefully because it's about my Mima, who I am missing. I miss her most around the holidays and I just think about what a gem she was to our entire family. My mom's initial aspirations in life were to go to law school. She didn't because our family wasn't wealthy in the slightest, and she spent her life working to help Mima pay the bills and help send some money to my uncle while he was in college. She ended up going to cosmetology school, a huge benefit to me (I must say) because she's the only living soul I trust to shape my eyebrows, and she gives a great men's haircut. But most importantly, when Mima got COPD, she couldn't handle the smell of hair salons, but always wanted her hair to look nice. So Mom would do her hair for her in the comfort of her own home. And that was the purpose of Mom going to cosmetology school.

Mom didn't go to law school, but she ended up being a paralegal for some years working for a (crazy) lawyer. Her experience there has helped her tremendously the past four years, something she wasn't expecting to go through.

Have faith and dream those dreams! Know that even when times are tough, when things aren't going "as planned," and when you feel like you're the lowest of low, you can only go up. That struggle you're going through is bringing you closer to the finish line. Stay confident, don't like anything break you, and allow yourself to dream.

As one my favorites, Oprah, has said: "Live your truth. God has bigger dreams for you than you could ever have for yourself." 

Or, as my most favorite has said, "Set the woods on fire." 

Nov 8, 2011

Samaritan's Purse: Collection Week November 12-19

UPDATED for 2012

It's that time of year...

I am absolutely, 100% passionate about Operation Christmas Child. Samartian's Purse, every year, collects boxes for needy children around the world, in an effort to give every child a merry Christmas.

I started with this organization back in college and there is nothing more fulfilling that knowing you are going to bring a smile to a child's face, or perhaps keep them warm when they're cold, or touch a parent's heart. Every year, around this time, I go to Target and grab two plastic boxes that are approximately the size of a shoebox. (You can use an actual shoebox, but I feel like the plastic ones are more sturdy.) I always do a boy and a girl because I always have a complex about doing a gift for one and not the other. I also choose two different age ranges. For instance, a boy between 2-4 and a girl between 10-14.  

Visit the OCC website to see what to pack and where to send it. There are several drop off locations to choose from, or, you can send to the national headquarters. Get the packing labels here.

Don't wait! Time is of the essence. National Collection Week starts November 12th - November 19th, and it's essential the packed shoeboxes get in at that time.

Also, remember to pay it forward. This is one of my favorites memories and I hope it touches your heart as it did mine!

Nov 6, 2011

Marine Corps Ball giveaway featuring Jewelmint & Rent the Runway!

I love giveaways and I figured this was a great reason to throw another one!

I'm attending the Marine Corps Birthday Ball this year, thanks to my friend Emily, in Vegas at the Hard Rock. Most of you are familiar with this ball solely on the fact that people like JT and Mila Kunis has been invited, however, it's more than just a celebrity affair. My dad has gone to a few and Emily's Uncle is one of our active servicemen, so he happily offered to get us tickets.

This is going to be a single woman's paradise. Have you seen an Officer and a Gentleman? So help me God, I'm going to need some serious strength and a chastity belt to get through the weekend. (Just kidding about the chastity belt thing. But you get the point.)

What is it about a man in uniform? It's not that they look just so breathtakingly gorgeous, but when a woman sees a man in his dress blues, it's magical. Not every man is allowed the privilege of wearing the uniform, and it's also apparent that men who are allowed the privilege are true men, who have offered something invaluable to our country: their service.

I imagine this entire trip being something similar to that episode of Sex and the City when it's Fleet Week and a bunch of hot men from the Navy are frolicking around New York in search for women. I can see Vegas being transformed into a Marine Corps paradise, with men in white gloves buying us drinks and offering to dance with us to swing music.

Or it could be a hot mess...

Anyway, here's the deal. I'm going shopping this coming weekend for *the* dress. And I want some inspiration!

KG2H's Marine Corps Ball Giveaway
Rules & Regulations

Enter to win great prizes from Rent the Runway, Jewelmint, and more!

Send me an outfit to wear via Polyvore. Note: you don't have to submit a design to win. However, you do have to be a Facebook Fan and following me on Twitter, with a comment on this post.

  • Designs must be created on, the web’s largest community of tastemakers and trendseekers
  • Submissions should include:
    • One item from Rent the Runway, a community dedicated to affordable high fashion
    • One accessory from Beachmint (Jewelmint or Beautymint), companies with big names like Kate Bosworth and Jessica Simpson backing the sites with their fashion and beauty expertise
    • Criteria for the outfit
      (Criteria must be met or entries will be disqualified)
      • Dress can be any length, but please lean towards either gowns or knee-length; if using Rent the Runway, use the Polyvore Clipping Tool to save the dress or accessory of your choice.
      • Look in categories such as “Black Tie” or “Dresses à Length à Long or Short”
      • Dresses must be under $250, rented or purchased
      • Shoes should be $150 or less
      • Unlimited cost on accessories
    Be creative and think outside the box. If you find a dress under $250 on another site that you love, use it and then use Rent the Runway to rent a bangle, Jewelmint for earrings, etc.

    Entry period opens on Monday, November 7th and ends Tuesday, November 15th at 9:00 PM PST (12:00 AM EST). Submissions must be published on Polyvore, then submitted to as a link (or embedded) in the comments section of the giveaway post. Please include your name and email in the comment so I can easily contact the winner.

    Example* is as follows:

    Marine Corps Ball Giveaway

    *Just an example. Design your own outfit based on the guidelines.

    The winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 16th and will win:
    • A $50 Gift Certificate to Rent the Runway
    • A gift certificate to Jewelmint
    • A skincare set from Arcona (Magic White Ice, Tea Tree Mask & Desert Mist)
    • Polish from NYX
    • Shampoo & Conditioner from Organix 
    and more!

    For ad sales, swag bag donations and press inquiries, contact me at
    Find me on Twitter (@kirbiej), Facebook (,  Youtube, and my national beauty column on Powered by Blogger.
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