Friday, December 30, 2011

I’m on Fire!


My brother’s a genius and I fell for it.

Where were we?  I think we were sitting in the restaurant for Brother’s dinner a few months ago, talking about whatever as usual.  Brother said something like “I’m wondering if I should get the Kindle Fire…” to which I said, “It looks good!”

Brother says, “yes but I also have my [insert tech device here]…”

Guess what Brother got me for Christmas?  Yep, the Kindle Fire!

Ahhhhhh….

So I’m happy with it of course!  That's a photo of the Fire in its case, being charged up.

And now I will reveal another neurosis [is that the right word?] I have; I have probably mentioned it before.  I love giving gifts.  I like thinking about people, I like seeing something that makes me think of someone and getting it for them if I can afford it or making it if I can figure it out.  I like surprising people with a gift.  I like putting a lot of thought and/ or effort into a gift. 

Which is why I sometimes don’t give a gift at an expected time- because I tend to give a gift as soon as I have it and I see them, so I end up giving unexpected gifts at unexpected times, otherwise I might forget that I have the gift or forget where I stored the gift.  Then it comes to a birthday or Christmas, expected gift times, and I’m out of ideas. 

And I get stumped when it comes to Brother because some of the things he’s into are rather unfamiliar for me, like anime or he sometimes gets Japanese movies to watch- the only Japanese thing I can understand is sushi.  Add to it that, while he isn’t rich, Brother makes good money, enough to afford to get what he likes for himself. 

One year I saw a Monty Python book at the store and got that for Brother.  I figured he likes British humor, and Monty Python, and books.  A thoughtful gift, right?

This year, I wanted to get him a blender or a mixer- Brother’s a good cook and I didn’t think he had a blender yet.  However, the thought of a blender threw me into this thinking-too-much thing because I don’t know what would be a good brand for a blender, if he would get more use out of a regular one or a single-ready-to-serve one, or about blender speeds, etc.

I looked at blenders.  I didn’t get him a blender.  I didn't get him a mixer either.  Dad said Bro already has a slow cooker.  I wanted to get him something useful.  And his cats are already spoiled.

Hmmm… what to do…

So I ran out of time and I gave him a CD of Hawaiian Christmas music, one that I like, and thought that he could play it in the background whenever his friends make their holiday party at his place.  Not as great as a Kindle Fire, not even close. 

I know it’s not about money and things but I just don’t know how to show my brother how much I think he’s a good brother.

One year I got a multi-photo frame and put together family photos in it for Brother.  I thought about making one with photos of his cats but I don’t know that I have a lot of pics of them. 
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Another crazy thing I do is that I think too much about such gifts… for example, when Bro got me an iPod, I don’t think I touched it for months- well, I think I used it some at home.  I didn’t want it to get stolen, I didn’t want to break it, I didn’t have iTunes yet so I put thought into setting up that account, etc.  Then I finally got a protective sleeve for it, and finally put songs from CDs onto iTunes, and after thinking too much about which songs to put on the iPod, I finally started to use the iPod a lot and actually took it outside the house… mostly to the gym with me. 

Nowadays, I take it almost everywhere with me.  Though, I still am protective of it.  I don’t like using it at bus stops while I wait because I don’t want people to know I have something that might be of value to them.  I will use it on the bus, and then put it away before I reach my destination so that when I get off the bus, people don’t know that I have it. 

My thinking is that if someone gives me a gift, even if it’s a stuffed animal or something, I want to take good care of it.  If someone gives me a gift card, I want to use it wisely.  I think it was last year that Bro got me a gift card for iTunes, and while I love music and there are a lot of it that I would want, I have yet to use up the gift card [I’m close] because I want to make sure I get only THE songs I really want. 

So now with the Kindle Fire, I am putting a lot of thought into which book will be the first on it!  I’m having fun just thinking about it and reading all these book descriptions and such.

I have put forth the request for book suggestions to my friends on Facebook.  I’ve gotten suggestions so far.  I feel like it needs to be a classic or something, like… Jane Eyre!  It probably won’t be a classic though.  I am already close to making the pick, and it’s not one of the suggestions, though one of the suggestions is in the running.  I’m going to give the thought a little more time.

Oh, but at least as far as protecting the Fire goes, Bro also got me a cover for it.  I’m going to look for a good screen protector for it but I’m not so worried about hurting the Fire right now.  I just make sure I put it on a safe surface [where the cats won’t walk on it or have it fall off the table or something] when I go to sleep.

So far, I have downloaded the YouVersion Bible app- check it out- and a sports app so that I can find out game scores and such.  That’s about it so far.
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What have you learned about me from all of this?  I think a lot.  Too much at times.  Too too much. 

So much so that, believe it or not, I actually do some things without much thought at all because I’m too busy thinking about everything else to force one more thought in there. 

Like my laundry.  What?  What’s a “delicate?”  Just throw it all in.  Where’s the “normal” setting on this thing?  I need a “normal” setting!  It’s enough that I separate whites and colors….


You also learned that I love giving gifts.  I once saw a quarter machine- one of those old ones where you put quarters in to get candy or a toy- this one had temp tattoos; I had enough quarters to get a tattoo each for the ladies at Bible study later that night, and I got a bag of chocolates for the guys- it was something like that. 



Thank you Brother for the Fire!

And thank you for reading this post.  Leave a comment below if there is a book you would like to suggest for me- doesn’t matter what genre- I love to read- or if there is a screen protector you would suggest.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Welcome To The Family, McBride!


I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it many times more: “O Holy Night” is my favorite all-time song.  That is across the genres, never gets old to me.  I don’t know how it gets any better than a message of hope for “the weary world” coming in the birth of a child and one’s (appropriate) response to it (“Fall on your knees… Oh hear the angel voices…”). 

“Truly He taught us to love one anoooooother….” Okay, I’ll stop.  Back to writing about the song…  If only we remembered the lesson better on a more consistent basis…  I listen to it all year long to remind me to be more gracious.  Sometimes it does help remind me to be better.

The song has its origins as a poem (1847) in French, written by Placide Cappeau, and put to music by Adolphe Adam sometime after.  In 1855, it was put to English words by John Dwight.  You can read more here [http://www.faithclipart.com/guide/Christian-Holidays/holiday-songs/o-holy-night,-the-song-and-the-story.html].  At least, this is what I have read in common with other websites. 

The music works.  Get a great voice to make the words soar.  Acoustic, a capella, full-spread orchestra, Apocalyptica edging it a little with violins…

One great song. Never gets old.



Here are versions (artist/ album) I generally keep on my iPod… all year long:

Leigh Nash and Michael Tait, City on a Hill: It’s Christmas Time
Christina Aguilera, My Kind of Christmas
Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom, A Hawaiian Christmas
Placido Domingo, Christmas Favorites from the World’s Favorite Tenors
Nat “King” Cole, the Christmas Song



The first three I have on CDs (what are CDs?).  For Nash and Tait, I like how their voices work together.  It’s probably the version I would play in the background for a Christmas party.  Aguilera is the… flashy, all-out version that I have; her voice is just amazing.  In the middle, she breaks to speak the words of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13).

Gilliom’s version, one might guess, is in Hawaiian as “Po Hemolele.”  I love her voice.  It is accompanied by the ukulele and other instruments.

Placido’s version-  a friend alerted me to this one after learning that I love this song.  It starts in the original French “Cantique De Noel” and then in English. 

Cole was added last year among Christmas songs that were discounted on iTunes.  This is a very classy version.


This year… add to the list please….

MARTINA MCBRIDE!

From her album “White Christmas.”  And I’m glad.  *Grins*

I think you can still find all of these versions on iTunes.

Are there any version you think I might like? 

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Don’t Like Waking Up


Bad things happen when I wake up.

If that’s a quote from somewhere, let me know.  I think there is something like that…

Anyways, I hope everyone is enjoying some part of the Christmas season!

Today, I woke up and got ready to go to the post office- one more package to send off.  Everything went fine. 

I was driving back home, approaching my street, when the big black SUV in front of me starts slowing down… we’re approaching my street… I’m thinking the person might be lost and checking out the street name or something so I’m patient… the SUV stops a little before my street… then moves up a little more… Now the SUV is blocking the street.  The lady starts opening her door.... 

What is she doing?!   So I honk.  I can see her in the SUV throwing up her hand.  She pulls up past the street and stops again.  This big dog comes from the area of my house and towards the SUV.  I pull onto the street and into my driveway.

Mom was outside with her dog.  I asked, “What was that lady thinking, stopping and blocking the street?!”  Mom said that I guess she was trying to block her dog from going somewhere else. 

STILL!  You don’t block the street!  I’m still thinking.  I mean, even with a big SUV, blocking the driving part of the road, the dog could still get past and run wherever he wanted to.

*Shaking my head.   I know you can shorten that to “smh” now but I see that and think “smacking my head.”

Sigh.  I hope that lady got her dog safely home and secured.  I get it that things like this will happen, your dog gets out, you’re trying to get it back…  [btw, I did not see a collar on that dog] you’re probably not actually thinking things all the way through… but don’t get upset with me getting annoyed that you’re blocking the street that I live on.  When I had honked at her, I hadn't seen the dog yet, I didn’t know she was trying to get her dog and still… I don’t understand blocking the street. 

Then wait until I do something like that….


And I think I had seen her dog the other day on a sidewalk taking a dump.  Someone was nearby and I guess I had thought it was their dog.  I don’t know.  So I guess the dog might have been lost for more than a day, and maybe the lady had been worried for more than a day.  I’m glad she got him back.

Still, don’t block a street.  I think there’s some kind of law about that….  I don’t know.

Okay, so my responsibility in the frustration is that when I was approaching the SUV and came up behind it, I think she might have waved me to go past, that was when I honked and then I threw on my turn signal.  The street I live on is in a residential neighborhood, off of a street that is off of the main drive.  So when I am approaching the street that I live on, I don’t normally put on the turn signal.  Some people do, some people don’t on that street.  One just expects people to keep driving or to pull over.  One doesn’t expect someone looking for their dog to stop and block the street.  It should have been somewhat logical to think that if I had meant to continue going forward on the street, I would have passed her.  There must have been a reason why I was waiting for her to pass the street. 

So I could have thrown my signal on earlier.  *Big sigh.  

I wasn't that irritated until she got irritated with me for honking.  I know we don't really honk in Hawaii, but if you're blocking the street I live on, I'm going to honk at you.  If she hadn't been in her car at the time that I approached it and she was blocking the street, I would have called the police.
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I have no idea why I think runaway dogs are males.  ??

Thank you for reading and please keep your dog safe.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Moving Over [Revised]


This post was originally written for my old journal.  It was to let people know that I moved the journal to this address.  Links to entry references are to the old journal posts.  I guess I could've kept the old one used under this new account but that would irritate me as well because I would've shown up as two different people.  Nevermind.  Just read this journal.
Thank you, 
Jennifer


When I started this journal, my email was with hotmail.  I had since changed my email but on blogger, I couldn’t just change my email account and keep the same blog address.  For about two or three years now, I’ve been signing out of my email and signing in to here to post things.  It was a hassle but I like my blog address. 

I have given up.

I’ve decided to move this journal over so that I don’t have to sign in and out and in and out from my account in order to post entries. 


Basically it’s the old address without the “and.”  I feel like this new one has a more arrogant tone to it, as if I’m going to be answering all the tough questions like “What is the meaning of life?” or that I even KNOW all the answers.  I don’t.  I have few answers to anything. 

It’s supposed to be viewed in connection to the journal title of “Who I Am.”  As if someone were to ask me, “What’s your favorite color?”  Then I would say, in quiz show-like fashion, “And the answer is…..  YELLOW.” 

In the theater of my mind, that totally makes sense.  So now you know and knowing is only a quarter of the battle when it has to do with knowing me.  I’m not even sure if that makes sense.

I thought I would do a complete restart, and I was going to move it over on December 31st, I could clean up all the labels and such. 

But there’s a history here.  There are some entries that I think are still pretty good, ones I might want to reference in the future.

This is who I am.  For me, completely starting from scratch again, when I’ll be writing from my style and perspective, it would be lying.  I’m still going to struggle.  I’m still going to celebrate.  I’m still going to do the wrong thing from time to time.  I don’t want to keep doing the same wrong thing over and over. I want to continue learning from those rough times and have the hope that I would do better. 

Like this post, I wish I could forget it.  I wish it hadn’t happened.  I wish there had been no cause of it.  There’s some truth in it, but I was wrong.  I was unmerciful, I was crying, and I grieved God by it.  I think God is grieved by broken relationships and I was tired of being the one actively trying to heal that particular relationship, but who would I be if God had given up being the one actively trying to heal my relationship with himself?

And then there are posts like this one, championing a cause, trying to bring more awareness to an organization which is doing a lot of good.

And posts like this, showing how I’m getting involved in doing good for others and hopefully inspiring more people to take action also.  It’s so easy to get involved.  There’s so many things to be done.  Do the something that YOU can do!

And posts full of ridiculosity like this one where I had a secret to keep and you learn NOTHING but that I am a bad liar.





And this is who I am.

I am full of faith, full of doubts, full of chicken, full of passion, full of humanness.

So friends, old faithfuls and new, continue the journey with me at the new address!


Still the same crazy me, hopefully getting better with time!

Thank you and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Scent Is On


Last year, Jenn picked me up and we went early to theshopping center to meet her other friends for her birthday dinner.  Her friend L had gotten Jenn a gift card or…makeup session from Sephora, so that’s why we went early, for Jenn to get hermakeup done for her dinner. 

After the session though, there was something strange about Jennnot having the gift card with her or something since L had paid for it or… Idon’t know.  We were both confused aboutwhat the lady was saying.  So Jenn had tobuy like $25 or $50 worth of merchandise? 

Well, Jenn couldn’t really think of much that shewanted.  She did get a Clinique thing, Ithink, that she needed a replacement of or something.  So she asked me to pick something out formyself.

At first I was like, what? It’s YOUR birthday.  Still shekept insisting.  Something around $20 orso. 

I decided it would be good if I could have a purse-sizedbottle of perfume.  I have a travel sizeof the Calgon Morning Glory body mist, the scent that I use almost every day,but it’s a daily scent and I might want something more sophisticated andslightly stronger for a date or night out. I have a couple perfumes, but they’re in medium sized bottles and arenot easily carried in a bag- I’m always worried that I might forget it’s in mypurse and that I’ll crack the bottle.

I thought I might get a purse-size of DKNY’s Be DeliciousFresh Blossom, of which I had gotten the medium bottle a couple years ago.  I really like the scent for specialoccasions.  The mini comes as arollerball duo with the regular Be Delicious. The regular smells good too but I wasn’t sure. 

Then I thoughtthat since I have this chance, I’ll go with something I normally wouldn’tpurchase for myself.  I finally decidedon Juicy Couture’s Viva La Juicy Roll-on. Here’s the description from Sephora.com: Juicy Couture presents Viva La Juicy,an enticing scent of wild berries and mandarins, honeysuckle, gardenia, andjasmine. To round it out, amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood, and praline addjust the right touch of sweetness.”

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With that being done, we had a great time at Jenn’sdinner.  Then she drove me home. 

And I forgot to get the perfume from her bag. Sigh.

And then Jenn moved and lost it for a bit.

So then I finally got it this year at Jenn’s birthdaydinner! 

And I still like the scent of Viva La Juicy very much.  I can’t wait to wear it!

[Oh look what I found- a scent by fresh called "Sugar Lychee." I like lychee.  I wonder if it smells good?]

Thank you for reading.


*To buy Juicy Couture products,  start here.
**DKNY Be Delicious, Viva La Juicy, and Fresh photos from Sephora.com.  Morning Glory photo from Calgon.






Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Diamond in the Rough… Candle?


I think I’m finally getting around to writing about somestuff that have come my way because it’s the giving season of Christmas andall.  So maybe these entries can givesomeone a gift idea in time!

It is getting rainy and sometimes cold over here.  This is when I get out my heating pad for mybed, just in case, and thicker blankets and drink hot tea more often.  Still cozier and more fun than all of that are mycandles! 

When it gets cold I love lighting candles.  It keeps my whole room warm, gives off wonderfulscents, and just helps me feel more at home. I would light candles year round if it didn’t get so hot here most ofthe time.

You can read a previous entry on tricks I’ve used to keepwarm and candles that I like here

I still love the Apple Slice candle from Melaleuca’s SunValley Soy collection.  If you would likesomething from Melaleuca, I can get it for you or you can sign up under me toget things for yourself; it’s one of those companies where you can build yourown business from it and so far Melaleuca is the best one for my family that mymom has had us try.

What was I…? Candles. Yes. 

I have decided that I do not like the Citrus Grove scentedone so much.  Melaleuca used to have aCafĂ© Caramel candle from an old collection that they don’t sell anymore.  I only have one left and I’m kind of sad andsaving it for later.  If you find a goodsmelling caramel candle, please let me know from where?  I’ve looked online but haven’t found one I’mwilling to try and for the price.  Iwould burn the Caramel and the Apple candles at the same time and thecombination smelled OH SO GOOD.

This year I decided to try the Meadow Mist candle, also fromthe Sun Valley Soy collection.  I likeit.  It smells just like meadow mist, orrather just like how I IMAGINE meadow mist might smell.  Overall, it smells like just-washed laundry,something I enjoy very much.
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Last year for the Christmas season, I stopped by The BodyShop  for some stocking stuffers. They had a great deal going on [which they probably have every year atthat time, I just don’t go to malls often] and so along with gifts, I alsopicked up some fragrance oils of which I’d been waiting to get more.

I picked up [for myself]: Satsuma, Cranberry Joy, andExotic.  I had a cranberry scent fromthem before and I don’t know if this is the same one, but I liked the first oneso I thought I’d get C-Joy this time and I’m glad. 

I had Exotic before also and had liked it; I don’t know howto describe the scent.  The website says: “Best if you want to: Perk up yourspirits with an energetic and fruity aroma in a scented oil that can be usedseveral ways to fragrance your home and help create your desired atmosphere.”   Not the bestdescription job I’ve seen but it is a fruity scent.  It’s more crisp than creamy.  I don’t know about energetic.  Still, I like it.

And then Satsuma is an orangy citrus scent.  Love it.

Previously I have also had Black Cherry and Mandarin Peel,both of which I liked. I don’t think they have cherry one anymore and theSatsuma is a good replacement of Mandarin.
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One of my YouTube subscriptions is to Elle Fowler’sAllThatGlitters21 channel.  It is mostlyabout makeup and such: hair care, nail care, etc.  She did a recent haul video on candles.  Here’s the link to the video: Candles on AllThatGlitters21.


If you’d rather not watch the video, I’ll just tell youabout it.  She reviewed candles from afew companies [listed in her video description] but I thought that DiamondCandles had an extra little fun factor to it. 

Diamond Candles are soy candles that comes with a diamondring inside!  It’s like a CrackerJack boxwith a prize inside!  I used to lovehaving CrackerJacks and I always wanted the fake tattoos or the plastic ringfrom it.

Well, here is the description from Diamond Candles:
Foil with Ring Inside
We are so glad you are here! If you don't know much about us yetwe have real rings worth $10, $100, $1,000, or $5,000 in every single earthfriendly, all natural soy candle that we make. 

Thecombination of highly fragrant premium quality soy candles, an exciting and fun'ring reveal' experience (what ring will you find?), and a ring to wear formonths and years to come means making something as boring as burning candles inyour home something to look forward to.”

They have several scents that I think I would enjoy.  So for my first Diamond Candles, I decided Iwould try Strawberry Bliss and White Chocolate. From the day I purchased them to the day they arrived was 7 days, prettygood.  I couldn’t wait and burned themright away!

Like the caramel and apple combination, I had decided on thestrawberry and chocolate candles to maybe make another great combination.  I’m a good strawberry person and usually notmuch of a chocolate person as scents or flavors.  When I burn these two candles together, thewhite chocolate dominates I think.  Ihave a hard time picking out any strawberry hints.  Not a bad thing but at least I tried.

The white chocolate on its own is okay but like I said, I’m notmuch of a chocolate person overall.  Thestrawberry one on its own I like better. Neither is an overwhelming scent. For some reason, I can smell them more in the hallway or the otherbedroom than when they’re close in my own room. I think both have a kind of buttery undertone to them.  There are other scents from the company thatI would like to try eventually but I would get these two again as well.


And the rings in both candles were near the top.  I think I got them out the second day that Iburned the candles, so after about 5 hours of burn time or so?  The rings were in little bags and then wrapped in foil before being put into the candles.

Ring in the Little Zip Bag
Ring in the Foil











I got the pink ring from the strawberry candle and thepurple from the chocolate candle.  I likepink more than purple, actually I was hoping for a blue or a yellow ring.  I think they’re both either $10 or $100 ringsbut definitely not more than that. Anyways, it was still fun to get them like a prize!  Well, fun for someone like me.

And to further the fun, I’m thinking about what I’ll use thejars for after the candles have been burnt. I’ve used the Sun Valley candle glasses as a little vases so far.  I saw this and it has sparked a desire topossibly be a little more creative…  Idea for Candle Jar Second Life.  I think I will also use one of the jars to hold some of my Lush products.

So consider giving away a candle for a gift- and if the persondoesn’t actually like the scent that you chose for them, it makes a great giftfor them to give away!  And so on, and soon, the candle will find a home eventually…

And PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND SAFE ABOUT BURNING YOURCANDLES!  Especially in trimming down thewicks periodically to keep the flame height low- I’m definitely doing thisregularly with my Diamond Candles.


Leave a comment below if you a) find a caramel-scented soy candle, or b) would like me to get you a Melaleuca candle, or c) get/give someone a Diamond Candle please?  You can let me know which candles/scents you use which you think I might like to try!

Thank you for joining Who I Am for this candle-and-diamond-filled funreading.

Next!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sleeping Lush Products


Along with using mostly fresh and natural ingredients, Lushis also a rather eco-friendly company regarding packaging and such.  Whatever product does NOT need formalpackaging is sold loose and given in yellow bags that will disintegrate and canbe used for compost.  Read more about their eco-friendly steps here.

As one can imagine, it becomes a question of how to storeLush unpackaged products while they are not being used for the moment.  The oils from the products will start to leakthrough the yellow bags.  If one leavessomething really natural out, one might find critters around and on one’sproducts [I’m only saying this part because I found a roach hiding inside a bagof lush products, which the products were protected in their individual Ziplocbags; otherwise, I don’t find ants and things crawling around the products].

So, what to do?

I started with putting loose products into Ziplocbaggies.  Even though it kind of defeatsthe purpose of being eco-friendly, the bags were what I had on hand. 

Recently I started to put as many soap chunks as possibleinto the containers that the samples had come in once I had used up thesamples.  Here is a picture of the SexyPeel and the Honey I Washed the Kids soaps in the two sample containers that Ihad.  One can see the bottom label says“Flying Fox”- that was the sample but the picture has Honey I Washed the Kidssoap in there.  Some people on YouTubelabel their containers but I only have a small collection of products and knowwhat they are just by looking.  Still, itcould be fun and decorative to make labels for the containers if one would liketo.

For the solid products that I use currently, I keep them inthe square body butter travel tin.  Icarry the smaller chunks of soaps and solid shampoo in the tin to carry backand forth from my room to the shower. When not in use, I like to keep the tin in my room and opened so thatthe products dry out and stay better.

Also note: the solid shampoo is rather softer and can breakapart easily if left damp.  So I drainexcess water from the travel tin before taking it back to my room, and I makesure to stand up the shampoo on its edge instead of flat.  This way, more of it will dry faster and theshampoo stays mostly as one piece; some smaller pieces might get soft andsettle on the bottom of the tin anyway but not much. 

Related note: I don’t remember if I’ve said this before butI’ll say it here with photos also.  I usethe solid shampoo and the soaps on their thinnest edges and wear them down thatway.  I find that if I use them on theirflattest, broadest surface, as I normally would if I used other brand soapslike Dove or Irish Spring or Melaleuca, etc., then the Lush soap/solid shampootends to break up a lot as it wears thin and I end up with a bunch of little pieces. So to keep the soap/ solid shampoo in one piece longer, I wear it downon its smallest edge and it starts to become like a ball.

The picture shows an unused Godiva solid shampoo to the upper right- it looks like a hockey puck.  Then on the left is what the Godiva looks like as I wear it down on its narrow edge- the bottom of that piece where it looks flat is the edge that I use to lather it into my hair.  The small ball is a piece of Sexy Peel soap- I put it in the middle of my washcloth, cover it up, and sort of rub it into the washcloth, then I can put it in the tin and continue rubbing the washcloth together to lather up more.

I keep an unused fresh Godiva solid shampoo in its tin.  When you buy 2 solid shampoos or body buttersor massage bars, you will get a free tin, a small round one for the shampoos ora medium square tin for the body butters, and some of the massage bars comewith an oval tin. 

And as part of Lush’s recycling program, one can “bring back5 [empty] black pots and get a fresh face mask free.”  Says so on the black pot label.  Nice. So far, I’ve only gotten the R&B that comes in the black pot, soit’ll be a long while before I get to try a mask.  
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I also have a storage idea coming up.  I will have to burn up a candle first.  Then when that is done, I'm going to clean out the candle jar and turn it into storage for various Lush products.  I'm going to post soon about the candle itself and then also the storage idea.

Thank you for reading.

P.S. When I've been adding on that Lush products make great gifts, I wasn't hinting about me but just to give anyone an idea for week-before-Christmas gifts for your loved one.  To find a Lush store near you or to shop online, visit http://www.lushusa.com/shop.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wander-Lush


This Lush visitwas caused by the sample I got on the previous visit.

So on the firststore visit, I had been given a hand lotion sample that I ended up forgettingabout when I got home and so threw it away. This time I decided I would actually try the sample of....

The Flying Foxshower gel.  Here’s what Lush has to say:  "Share a shower with our Flying Fox to ground and calm you.Our Foxy shower gel has the stunningly sensual scent of jasmine, ylang, cypressand palmarosa. It's is so relaxing that even the most frantic, frazzled personwill relax into a restful mood after a warm shower.”

I wasn’t lookingforward to trying it based on the scent. I don’t know exactly how to describe it other than… a little on the muskside?  Like pure flower extract.  I’m mostly a citrus-scent kind ofperson and sometimes berries too.  FlyingFox is not citrusy nor berry-like.

After the firstuse, it worked well in lathering, then cleaning and softening my skin but Istill wasn’t too crazy for the scent. After the second use, I went to bed later that night and caught a scentof it from my skin and thought it’s actually a little pleasant.  Then I used it again and decided to like theshower gel all around. 

It was goneafter the fourth use and I found myself wanting more of it.  Off to Lush I went… after a few months.  I got the 250 mL bottle of Flying Fox and Iam happy!

I let the salesassociate try to sell me on a few of the liquid shampoos and conditioners.  I decided to try one of the conditioners as Ihave an abundance of shampoos to use up at home but not as muchconditioners.  I bought the smaller 100mL bottle of American Cream conditioner. From Lush: The scent of honey, vanilla,strawberries and oranges is so sexy and sweet that dates can't stay away. Ifyour hair gets a bit messed up, American Cream makes it easy to brush throughand smooth out again.” 

American Cream does look and smell a bit like a creamymilkshake.  I think it makes my hair feela little… waxy in the shower.  Then afterdoing my usual hair routine of straightening and drying, my hair didn’t reallyfeel soft.  Plus, I should have read thebottle a little more because the overall lingering scent is of vanilla- not abad thing except that I don’t personally like the scent of vanilla; I couldn’tsmell the vanilla when it was in the store, I don’t know why.  Also, none of the other Lush products I've used so far have a strongly lingering scent except for R&B.  So I guess it works okay for me and it mightwork better on someone else’s hair.  Goodthing I got the small bottle of it yet I’ve already used it about 15 times andam only halfway down to using it up. 

Oh and if I use R&B on my hair after using the AmericanCream, my hair smells like coconut! Haha- I didn’t know that vanilla + orange blossom = coconut!  Well, R&B does use coconut in it, it justdoesn’t smell like coconut on its own. And this doesn’t help American Cream’s case with me because… I don’tlike the scent of coconut either.  Toobad.  I like eating and drinking freshcoconut but I don’t like processed coconut products.

This time the salesperson gave me a sample of RehabShampoo.  Lush says: “Olive andjojoba oil shampoo to restore strength and flexibility to abused hair. Rehab isshampoo for hair which has been abused and needs some rest and relaxation. It doesn't take long for this shampooto restore your hair to youth and vitality. Enzymic papaya cleanses, whilealmond oil softens the follicles. Once your badly conditioned hair has been putinto Rehab, you'll never look back.”  Well, whether on its own or used with American Cream, Rehab isokay.  It didn’t impress me nor disgustme.  The scent after use is not much andso I guess I could use it and mask any scent of it with R&B.  I think I’ll be sticking to Godiva and othershampoos that work as well or better and smells better to me.

I decided that I wanted to try another solid soap; I stillhad Sexy Peel at home.  I got a wedgeslice of Honey, I Washed the Kids soap. Lush says: “The irresistible toffee and honey. Once you'veunwrapped this mouth-watering toffee scented soap, you'll immediately want towash yourself all over with it - and then wash your honey, and then the kidsand maybe even gran if she's lucky.”  It looked like cheesecake witha honeycomb pattern on the top.  When Igot it home, it quickly started turning brownish, like a cocoa color- remember,it’s made of fresh natural ingredients so this is okay. 

I like the Honey soap too! It does smell like toffee and honey, both of which I like very much. Inthe shower, it gives off an extra little sweetness to the scent.  My skin feels good after the shower too. 

And lastly, I bought one of their gorilla perfumes.  They are mostly inspired by signature Lushscents, like the Karma perfume to match the Karma soap and Karma body cream and Karma bubble bar, etc. 

I was considering the Orange Blossom which I liked butdecide on the Lust perfume because it matches the scent of the Flying Foxshower gel that I was getting, as well as the Godiva shampoo I alreadyuse.  It also doesn’t smell like anyother perfume that I already have.  Ilove the scent of Lust!  Lush says: “It's a very heady perfume that's not for the shy and retiring. Itstarts off as strong, pure jasmine and warms on the skin to a seductive floralscent. It lasts for hours and hours. Unlike some other things we couldmention.”
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So… a summaryupdate:

Like and wouldbuy again: Godiva solid shampoo, Sexy Peel solid soap, R&B hair treatment,Strawberry Feels Forever massage bar, Flying Fox shower gel, Honey I Washed theKids soap, Lust perfume.

Need to use morein order to decide: Sunny side bubble bar.

Would not buyagain: American Cream (scent), Rehab shampoo (free sample item; average).

Note on costs:some of the products might seem expensive, but at least for the ones that I’veused, you won’t need a huge amount of product for each use; you’ll need verylittle of the product and so you should be able to get more uses out of it thanfrom other cheaper, common products. 


If you've tried a Lush product, leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it.  Also leave a comment if you have an opinion on the blog layout- I changed to it only a few days ago.


Thank you forreading and check out Lush products [they also make nice gifts *wink wink*].

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lush Run

Earlier this year, I made a visit to the Lush store in Ala Moana. I was running out of the Sexy Peel soap and Godiva solid shampoo, both of which I like and have written about here, so that is what I went to pick up. Short story: they work well and would be good if one likes citrus scents (Sexy Peel) or jasmine scents (Godiva).

The solid shampoo are usually sold “Buy 1, get 1 free” so I got 2 Godivas. I am going to give one to my friend who likes being outdoors. The solid shampoo is great for taking on travels as they dry out and so one doesn’t have to worry about spills all over one’s bag. I hope my friend will like it.

Godiva
Sexy Peel

The store associate sold me on trying out their new R&B hair care product. “R&B” stands for “revive and balance.” Lush says: “Enjoy some smooth R&B stylings. The tropical butters and candelilla wax will help to moisturize and control frizzy, flyaway hair, but this works to soothe dry scalps, too, with calming oat milk. And once you smell the orange blossom, your hair will truly get its groove back.” 

I am delighted with R&B. It really softens and smooths my hair, leaving it smelling wonderfully of flowers. After showering, I get a small amount of R&B on my fingertips and warm it up just rubbing the fingers together, as the associate had demonstrated in the store. Then I run my fingers along the ends of my damp hair. I like my hair straightened so I use a straightener that’s good to use on damp or dry hair. The heat from the straightener seals in the scent of the R&B; even after the next shampoo, my hair will still have a hint of the scent.

My friend keeps asking me if I'm wearing perfume because I smell so good. It's the R&B.

I have shoulder-length thick hair. The 3.5 jar of R&B has lasted for several months already with frequent use and it’s only halfway through. I enjoy the scent so much that I sometimes use it to soothe dry skin on my hands and legs.

When one makes a purchase, Lush will throw in a free sample of one product. This time, I received a sample of the Flying Fox Shower Gel. I will review it next Lush entry.

From watching a few Lush haul videos on YouTube, one will also receive free samples of things with online orders.

Lush Online

Their products make great gifts! *hint hint*




Thank you for reading.

PS. How do you like the new layout and design?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Update [November 1, 2011]

Welcome to November 2011! I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Halloween/ Harvest festivities!

I’ve had another costume buddy move away this year. I need to meet another maybe. I could not much get into the spirit this year. A part of me each year wonders if I’ll ever have anything as good as when I was WonderWoman for Halloween. Ahh, that was a good Halloween, wasn’t it, Jules? "I'm NOT Bat-girl! I'm Cat-woman! Get it RIGHT!"

So I am enjoying all the costume-ness through Facebook this year.



I saw something I liked and thought I’d mention it: I went to the bank yesterday and they were all in the Halloween spirit! Well, I mean that they were decked out at least. I’m guessing the theme was “the NFL.” They were wearing NFL jerseys of different teams, some with eye-black on, some wearing NFL team caps, etc. One was in referee stripes- I wonder if she was the boss or if her personality is neutral or…. Their leisure screen was tuned to ESPN- which I enjoy generally- instead of the bank’s ads. And they are mostly if not all female employees.

I also had to go to another bank and they had candy bowls at the teller stations. No costumes. No other decorations.

I just thought it was great to see a bank get with the spirit of the day! I’m sorry that I didn’t get a photo as I normally would, but you understand- I didn’t think it wise to take a camara out inside the bank and photo it.



Also, I really enjoyed DWTS last night. Another reason I enjoy the show is the wonderful HW band for live music, the fantastic costuming, and the unbelievable set designs! And of course they went all out for Halloween! I would love to work on that show- most likely with set design.

Anyways, I might take too long on that and I want to get moving this time.

If you get to YouTubing one of the dances, I would suggest Rob Kardashian’s tango to “The Addam’s Family” theme song, Ricki Lake’s paso doble, or Team Paso’s paso to “Bring Me to Life.” Sometimes I am simply amazed with how the pros choreograph certain dances they get to the songs they get. THAT is a GIFT!

The Paso Doble is one of my favorite dances that the show features. It’s strong, powerful, aggressive, it’s got controlled passion, …. And Ricki Lake got the high scores of the night to the paso choreographed by her partner Derek Hough. It was a delight!

Rob looked great and strong in the tango. The dance was a treat- such a rather somber and controlled dance to a kooky, well-recognized Halloween favorite of a song! The tone of the dance was wonderfully blended with the character of the song.

And I greatly like “Bring Me…” Hey, it’s the main ringer on my phone! Haha- the ringer starts at the “Wake me up!” part of the song. But also, the team danced the paso well!



Finally, among the FB posts, I really enjoyed one from my friend David. The photo has him in a banana suit, carrying his happy happy child in monkey outfit. The caption says, “When you have kids, its all about them. I’m just an accessory now. Happy Halloween”. Aww David, we still love you as well! [I’d show the pic if I could but didn’t get around to asking permission first].


Thank you for reading! If you’d like, share a Halloween moment in the comments below- I’d enjoy it! I'll read them while I stuff my face with chocolates...

“Neeeeeext………!”

Friday, October 28, 2011

Peeping On Polar Bears

I have a friend who referred to himself as a polar bear because he always has the AC on HIGH; I have been calling him “Polar Bear” ever since.

And this is NOT about him at all, okay! I have NOT been peeping on people!

I thought I’d share this because I don’t get enough genuine surprise and laughter in my days, well, I barely get any at all. How sad is that?

I’m taking a grad course this semester. It’s a little informal at times. We meet in a conference room and sit around several tables put together. Out of about 12 of us, only 2 of us are locals and the rest come from the mainland US, one from Palau, Sweden, and such. Half are usually on their laptop computers, taking notes and what-not. [What-not = Facebook]

I was sitting in class this past week and the professor let us have a break late. I came back from break and start talking a little with Naomi next to me. She starts telling me about what she’s been doing on her laptop during class that day. She can barely get through it ‘cuz she’s laughing as she talks. She turns her screen to me…. and it’s a polar bear cam!

She found this site where I guess scientists are tracking the migration or something. We can watch the polar bear [I only saw one on the vid at the time] 24/7. It looked like ground covered with pieces of bark or something in the middle of a field, it was brown. And a white puffy thing in a little burrow. She said it’s the cutest thing and every so often it will put its head up, look around and then go back to sleep!

I tried to see what the website was but then the prof started up class again.

But I thought that was so funny! Of all the things, I thought Naomi was going to show me something maybe her friend posted on Facebook [the guy next to me was on Facebook during class]- NOPE! It’s a sleeping polar bear!

And I still can’t find the website… Hmmm… maybe I’ll ask her next time. I don't know why but I'm fascinated by whatever makes someone light up like that- Naomi was so happy with the polar bear!

Thank you to Naomi for making me laugh! [And that polar bear was cute!]

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

And We’re Dancing

Hey, some people keep up with soap operas or reality TV shows, I like competitions. And I wish I could dance. At all. Just like I don’t know how to play Chopsticks on the piano, I can’t even do the Cabbage Patch or Running Man in dancing; it’s mostly because I haven’t really been taught or have tried all three of those. I probably could figure out the Macarena on my own but that song just annoys me.


It’s the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars. The season is already heading into it’s fourth week- the first contestants to be voted off were [in order] Metta World Peace [NBA player Ron Artest], Elisabetta Canalis and Kristin Cavallari. The remaining competitors are David Arquette, Chaz Bono, Nancy Grace, Rob Kardashian, Carson Kressley, Ricki Lake, J.R. Martinez, Chynna Phillips, and Hope Solo.

If you don’t know who some… or most… of these people are, that’s okay, me too.

I haven’t watched every single episode of every single season, but I’ve watched enough that I start watching with a critical eye… you know, where I start thinking that I could actually judge dances well. Don’t laugh at me, I know you do it too!

No, I actually don’t know that you do that also but I suspect you do with whatever you’re interested in.

Oh! They’re not allowed lifts in that dance! He needs to keep his shoulders down and keep his frame strong. Oh, she had good leg action in that one!

Anyways, was I writing about the show? Here it is. I’m not all that invested as a fan of any particular cast member this season but my pick is going to be Hope Solo. Why? Umm… for reasons in which you will only find “Jennifer logic.” I don’t necessarily go for top dogs or underdogs but I tend towards people who are totally out of their element and with an attitude of “I don’t know how but I’m going to do this,” an attitude of overcoming the circumstance.

Hope Solo is the starting goalkeeper for the United States women’s national soccer team; one can read more about her here http://www.ussoccer.com/Teams/WNT/S/Hope-Solo.aspx. Hope is out of her element in dancing in that she’s having to bring out more femininity and gracefulness and performance acting in this different kind of competition. There’s just not much about diving on a soccer ball or jumping up and blocking with your body that is graceful. Goalkeeping and dancing are different skills, movements, instincts, etc. There’s a difference between being a part of a team, like for soccer with several others, and being a partner, with one other person and having to be a bit balanced in it.

And there is something about all of that, of Hope being in a dance competition, to which I can relate.

And I wish I had a tenth of the ab muscle or shoulder strength that she has.

And I’d like to have her partner Maksim teach me how to dance. If he were to be my teacher, I’m sure I can get the steps right!



Other things of some note: I’m getting to like Carson Kressley- it’s not that I didn’t like him before and I don’t know him personally, but I just don’t know what to make of flamboyant personalities, male or female- and being that I have very little fashion sense, I don’t know why a guy having more fashion sense than I do should bother me! Aside from that, I thought he improved greatly between week 1 and week 2. The judges pointed out that Carson had put in the most rehearsal time and worked hard; I love that kind of go-for-it attitude. I hope he does well. I enjoyed his week 3 tango.

I can relate to Rob Kardashian being shy and putting himself out into the spotlight for once. I kind of think of my brother as the superstar and my parents could’ve stopped there- I’m the token female child- I KNOW it’s not the truth and that our parent love us both equally, really they do- that’s just how I feel. It seems Rob is starting to get into how dance can help bring him out and shine. I think he’ll do well- and I mostly watch DWTS for his professional partner Cheryl- she’s one of my faves of the female pros.

And there’s Ricki Lake. Her pro partner Derek is one of my faves male pro dancers. People think Ricki is the one to beat and I see why they think so. Besides her seemingly natural ability to perform and a charismatic personality, I like the fact that her outfit for the jive was… I’ll say it this way- usually big female competitors have a full-covered outfit, especially around the middle. Ricki looked confident in a pink frilly short-skirt thing with her torso part a nude-colored sparkly material, like it would be if she were a thinner dancer. I like it!

And there’s Nancy Grace’s pro partner Tristan. I just wanted to mention that he’s Irish, accent and all, and I enjoy hearing him speak.



Any Monday night that I am able to, I’ll be indulging the dancing child within me by watching Dancing with the Stars. Trust me, it’s safer this way; a friend once tried to twirl and dip me at a club- I became unbalanced and almost socked him in the jaw on the way. Very graceful….

Thank you for reading and get out those dancing shoes!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How A Young Man Made A Grown Woman Cry

Okay, so the words “grown” and “woman” in the post title are relative. I still have difficulty thinking of myself in those terms. When did that move from “girl” to “woman” happen? Was I there?



I had been away from the church for 5 months when I received a message from the young man. “Hi Jennifer, long time no see! I miss seeing you around Church! Where are you buddy?”

I finally gathered up enough courage and words to respond to him last month. “I apologize for not being such a good friend by this long and silent absence. I miss seeing your genuinely friendly face as well!”

His quick response was that I didn’t need to apologize for anything, he’ll be praying for me, and he knows that I “will continue to live [my] life for Christ!”



How can someone have such faith in me? Or better yet, have so much faith that God is mighty enough and loving enough to draw me back?

THAT makes me cry?!

Oh yeah, each and every time I read that message. It’s far from the dark cynicism I usually meet. Among other things, it’s refreshing.

I got to know the young man from volunteering with the youth department and it had been a privilege to watch him grow his love for Jesus.

One can imagine I had more thoughts to go in this entry? Hmm…

Thank you for reading.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flying Cats and Fines

I have been on a leave of absence from the U. Yesterday I had an advising meeting to see if I could come back this semester.



Knowing it would be a bear to find parking near the school, and being that my leg is still weak, Mom dropped me off at campus. I had about an hour to the appointment so I dropped off some [late] books to the library.



Then I went to wait the rest of the time at this inner courtyard of the building next to the SoA.



Out of the building doors came 5 Japanese students- 4 ladies and a guy. They had a box with them. In the box was some kind of game called “Cat-a-pult.” I’ve been trying to find this game online somewhere to find out what it is and maybe consider why Japanese students would be given it as an assignment, because this wasn’t the first time I have seen a group of Japanese students come out of that building with a Cat-a-pult box.



Anyways, I found a lot of links about catapults, that monster arm-like assistant to castle-storming and other age old fun pastimes. This is the only link I found to the specific game I am talking about; it’s a NY Times patent review of the game written in 2003, mentioning how difficult it is to describe this game.



Well, allow me to try.



From what I could tell, there are five catapult-like launching apparatuses. Instead of a bowl in which to place the ammunition, there is a… pedestal onto which fits a rubber cat figure. The front side of the catapult has a platform.



Nevermind, I found a video! Isn’t YouTube fantastic?







“Yay…” “Incredible!” “Slooooww motion.”



Laugh out loud!



Well, one of the Japanese girls caught me watching them try to figure out the game. She alerted the rest of the group to the surveillance and they waved at me! Please don’t tell my ninja group, they might disown me. All of a sudden I felt like a creeper amateur spy trying to use a book to hide the observing.



I waved back. I think they gestured an invite but I declined. It was enough to watch the cats flying through the air.

____________________________



I went to the advising appointment. It went well I think. I am a week behind everyone and still have to find a course that I can jump into and have it go towards the thesis. Easy piece, right? Sigh.



The SoA has a great Graduate Advisor at the moment. I mentioned having to pay off a library fine before I will be allowed to register and she had good info about how the fine should be reduced since I’ve returned the books.



So after the advising, I went to take care of that fine at the library. The lady at the office was very helpful and friendly through the matter as I had her check that the returned books were logged in, asked questions about how this might affect the fines, and apologized for all the hassle of helping me with my problem. The fine was reduced greatly and I had enough on hand to pay for the remaining total- thank God! It was a great load off of my nerves to be able to take care of that right away.



[Aside: if I find a book in the store that I want AND I can afford to buy it then, I buy it. I figure in my case, it’s cheaper than buying a wing of the library that will never be named after me.]



Next I went to another building where I thought the physical IT help desk was located. It wasn’t. So I stopped in at another office where the student worker helped me figure out where I needed to go. Turns out, I needed to go back to the library where I had just been! I went back and got that part taken care of also, which was that of having trouble accessing my U tools online. The student worker at the computer lab was able to help me out. It took no more than five minutes- thank God again!

____________________________



Later on, I headed on to the bus towards home.



Across the aisle sat one man, another man was seated in front of me facing the center. A woman sat next to the man across. The bus wasn’t crowded. After a couple stops, the woman moved to sit next to me. I thought maybe she’s like me, more comfortable sitting with another female and maybe she hadn’t seen me earlier when she first sat down.



As the bus approached a station, the guy across started… giggling (?) to himself. The man in front looked at him, then looked at us. I thought I might be hearing wrong as I had my iPod on, which I never have the volume very loud either. I turned it down and yup, the guy was laughing with himself.



He got off the bus at the station. The guy in front turned to us and motioned his hand towards his mouth, saying, “Smoking.” I’m thinking he meant that the giggler was probably on ice. Well, at least he kept to himself…?



Sigh.



Anyways, the bus ride was uncomfortable for my leg. If I sit up, my foot doesn’t reach the floor flat. If I make my foot flat on the floor, the slouching makes my back ache. I figure it’s better to keep my back okay- sorry leg.

____________________________



When I got home, I was physically exhausted. It felt good! Well, except for my leg. I think it went to sleep before the rest of me did. Getting closer to getting back into the gym!



Thank you for reading.