Saturday, April 19, 2014

i got a facelift

Hey guys, I'm hoping you immediately clicked the link based on blog title along, secretly hoping that I was going to be revealing some new plastic surgery like those people on that ol' MTV gem I Want A Famous Face. [Tangent: Or these weird stories!] (Un?)Fortunately, I am not newly blessed with designer body parts, but I do have a new least my blog does! CHECK OUT MY CUTE NEW MASTHEAD!

I have been feeling like my blog needed gussying for some time now; frankly, it was long overdue.  I have had this same basic look for years and had that weird little bitstrip Kimmie in the masthead (yeah...remember her) as a place-filler for much too long. Daily, I have looked at it and dissected what wasn't working for finally I decided she needed to be sent off to cartoon heaven and I needed to come up with something new.

this was one of the original sketches she sent me! So cute!
 Initially, I had wanted to illustrate my own little Kimmie avatar to greet new visitors, but I knew seeing something I had drawn stare at me everyday would drive me to to would a straight up photo of me.[Tangent: Given I am childless, this blog is kind of my baby. Sad and depressing, I realize. I like to see it change and grow, but like the fact that I have been the sole one to have design influence over it. Unfortunately, I can't sequester it and homeschool it forever...I need to release it and let it thrive and grow under someone else's tuteledge.] Months ago, I asked around and found through my bookmaker/blogger friend Jenna that the lovely Michelle from the blog and etsy store CreatureType was the dame for the job. I checked out her work and I felt like she was the lady for the job because I knew whatever she came up with would be drastically different than what I would do...which is exactly the point! 

She did not disappoint. I sent her some pics of me and after some back and forth conversations, we arrived at the awesome image above, which seems to work awesomely with the fonts that I already had in place. I couldn't be happier with it! [Tangent: I love it so much that I want to take it to the stylist next time I get a trim because this is exactly what my hair looks like in my mind! This would not be completely out of the question because my hairdresser told me that on more than one occasion she has been brought a cartoon character's photo to replicate. Apparently the "after" haircut in Tangled was very chic. ] Go check out Michelle's etsy! She is a doll.

Monday, April 14, 2014

american blogger: what do you think?

As someone who spends a good percentage of her day consuming media, I am always surprised when something completely flies under my radar. [Tangent: Ugh. That made me sound really information entitled. Oh well, you know what I mean.] Last night, I got the following text from my ardent sister in popular culture, Laura.

I was so floored with my unfamiliarity on this topic that my fingers couldn't type "American Blogger"fast enough. After a thorough googling and trailer viewing, I felt super weird. When things hit close to home, it's very easy to be overly judgemental and find them cringe worthy...that's just science. [Tangent: I'm looking at you Crazy Hearts: Nashville and The Private Lives of Nashville Wives.] Of course I have been lazily campaigning for a blogger show on Bravo, but we all know the reality of that situation is- NO ONE would watch. I mean, watching me blog in my yoga pants while drinking coffee and talking back to the screen during The Chew isn't exactly appointment TV. Truthfully, that's what most bloggers do...It's not as epic as this trailer has you believe. Although I kind of wish it was.

My immediate response:

I agree with this director in that there are a lot of great bloggers out there with amazing back stories and it's great to see the connectivity and community that blogging creates being celebrated. [Tangent: You know how I feel about all my blogger friends!] But does it really address bloggers as a whole?

After sifting through the backlash, I kinda get the point from all the pushback...where IS the diversity? No one looks like me or a lot of bloggers I know. The whole point of blogging is for people to find their niche and celebrate what makes them unique, and despite being titled "American blogger", this film just seems to cover 30s white lifestyle bloggers who all look and dress similarly.

 It will be interesting to see if they talk real things like internet trolls and writers block and getting eye rolls from loved ones or being called obnoxious. I fear those things will take the back burner to sweeping shots of succulent gardens and chevron'd anthropologie throws...that's if I am judging a film by it's trailer.[Tangent: I mean everyone is blonde and gorgeous and living a perfect little boho chic "a beautiful mess" existence. The cinematography, though really pretty, may as well be brought to you by the Mayfield and Valencia filters.] It seems to reinforce a lot of cliches that bloggers are just self-important hipsters and I feel like in drawing attention to all the great things about blogging, it may also just get a collective "UGGHHHHHH, who gives a shit !?!" from everyone else. I'm really hoping that I am wrong and that the prettiness of it doesn't overshadow the message. I can't hate on anyone that is following a passion and doing what they love...and I don't envy these people for being "the voice" for such an outspoken opinionated movement of people.

In reading about the film and the controversy, I found the blog response of Chris Wiegand's wife (he is the director and dude in the airstream). The spirit of the film is a good one...I just fear that style will take a front seat to substance...and those aren't the kinds of blogs I like to read. [Tangent:....but of course I will be downloading it in June to see for myself.]

Thursday, April 10, 2014

in defense of Derek

As discussed more times than I can count on this blog, I love to find a good Netflix show and gorge myself on it, so it is literally the subject of  every sentence that comes out of my mouth. One of the last shows I became obsessed with was the Ricky Gervais dramedic gem, Derek, about a sweet-natured man with an undisclosed disability who works at a retirement home. [Tangent: The entire first season is seven 22 minute episodes, so you can knock it out easily in an evening on Netflix.]

 I entered into it fully expecting to laugh uncontrollably or at least be in the midst of that signature irreverence; trust, it is there, but brace yourself that you are gonna cry at least twice at very unexpected times. I was impressed with Gervais's ability to reel it in and not play it overboard.

This made me well up....pretty bad.

After finishing episode seven, I fiercely started googling to see when season 2 would be upon us. [Tangent: My mourning won't be long because it's in May. WHEW!!!] One of the articles I stumbled upon was this one about a father of a teenager with autism who was deeply offended by the show. Spoiler alert: I disagreed. [Tangent: This should not be shocking. Ya'll know I am contrary.] Another Spoiler: I don't have autism. However as someone with a disability, I understand paying close attention to a depiction in the media that is close to your own. [Tangent: It should also be noted that I am the same gal that wrote a 10 page paper in college in defense of the Jimmy and Timmy on South Park as modern day advocates. Don't get me started on this subject...because I get very long-winded, but long story/short- they were completely mainstreamed educationally and socially and act as an astonishingly accurate commentary on the politics that go on within the physically disabled community. Maybe one day I will post it and you all will see how incredibly dorky I am....or it will blow your mind.]

I'm the champion of most anytime a person with a difference is featured in a media role. Instead of approaching it with scrutiny and judgement [Tangent: Which is really hard given my snarky tendencies!] , I usually try to approach it with what they are doing right. Having a person be in the forefront with some kind of disability is rarely a bad thing, because it normalizes disability and makes it less of a taboo. The more you see it, the less you will stare at it for being unusual. 

The man featured in the article said that Gervais's Derek is offensive to those on the autistic spectrum and that he is too often played for laughs. [Tangent: A part of me wants to know what this man thinks of the character of Max on Parenthood.]  Although I honor his feelings, I seriously could not disagree more. Primarily because it is not even stated for sure what Derek has autism. At one point, a visitor tries to question him about his diagnosis and Derek says he is not interested, so it's unfair to assume that he should be the spokesperson for that disability.

Secondly, Derek is not the fall guy or the butt of all the jokes. [Tangent: least no more than anyone else. He is treated equally, which is a very progressive step.  If anything, he is probably shown as more the voice of reason more than anything else among the cast of misfits.] He is the show's protagonist and moral fiber without playing it like he is on a pedestal or an inspiration or any of those "after school special/very special episode" devices. He has quirks and layers and is a fully formed character that you cheer for and care about. [Tangent: Some very hardcore men have admitted that they teared up at the finale.] 

Even if you are not watching it to dissect it's PC-ness, you should watch to see things like this:


What do you think? How hard did you cry? Is the baby monkey riding on a pig song still in your head?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

what's with today, today?

OK, I realized I bludgeoned you into submission with mid-90's nostalgia yesterday with my Weezer Blue album post  and you thought that you had at least a week or so grace period before I brought up something from that era, well, clearly you don't know me very well at all. Anyway, you can't be negative...

I know it is not an official Hallmark/calendar holiday (YET!!!), but the internet has deemed April 8th the day to celebrate all things Rex Manning and Empire Records, so say no more, mon amour. That is what I am going to do. [Tangent: Since the moment I watched Empire Records in middle school, I was obsessed. It gave me the delusion that working in retail was a super sexy fun time blast...I would later learn this is completely false. Romantic entanglements were minimal and my boss never kept a drum kt in her office. However, it has clearly influenced my adult decisions, because I've  thought many times that my boyfriend is basically Mark/Marc.] Here are some simple ways to add a little Rex Manning into your day without embezzling money from your employer, hitting up Atlantic city, brandishing a gun, taking speed or stealing some metal, rap and Whitney Houston CDs from your local retailer. [Tangent: I don't endorse those things at all.]

  • Glue some quarters to the floor
  • Pull out your finest flannel or combat boots
  • Hold a faux funeral for your depressive friend to make them realize how important they are (on the clock of course)
  • Buy a pack of pink Bic daisy razors with moisturizing strips 
  • Listen to Sugar High at least once
  • Shave your head
  • Celebrate all things Lucas and don't leave the couch...if you have to leave, take a cushion with you (also speak philosophically and wear a turtleneck!)
  • Make cupcakes to take to work to celebrate your childhood celebrity crush!
  • Only pronounce the word orange like Gina (ReneeZellwegger) does (ooooor-inge)
  • Watch  Gwar while while eating brownies (ingredients are up to you) 
  • Visit and buy some stuff from your local record shop and tell them "they think they are so superior" (Ok, maybe not the second part. That would make you kind of a B-hole.)
  • Tell a stranger your name is Warren Beatty and then flip out when they repeatedly call you that
  • Make some buttons and/or buy these on etsy
I think that is a good start! [Tangent: To be honest I will likely just listen to my soundtrack!] How would you celebrate?

Monday, April 7, 2014

preezer and weezer blue album show at ryman

I am not gonna lie- Saturday was pretty awesome. In the company of hoards of earnest lyric shouters (myself included), my fella, my friends and I went to go see Weezer perform the Blue album in its entirety at my favorite venue, the Ryman. [Tangent: I'm absolutely admittedly, a fairweather fan of the band, which I know is a dagger in the heart of everyone who is hopelessly devoted. I never left them completely, but I can avow that I never bought into anything wholeheartedly as I did their first work- the blue album.  That album was my youth and has resurfaced and always stayed relavent in my life. I remember in middle school getting my hands on it for the first time, memorizing it and then my sister and I changing the words of "My Name is Jonas" to make it about Days of Our Lives characters. (See, I told you, I have no shame in trying to appear cool.)I have probably bought it three or four times. For this reason, there was little hesitation when I bought my tickets- this had the 90s addict in me hooked from the word go.] I wanted to be there to go hoarse screaming "LIKE FATHER, STEPFATHER...THE SON IS DROWNING IN THE FLOOOOOOOD!" ...but first as in all good things there was a pre-party. A preezer, if you will. 

Thankfully, I have incredibly equally ardent and dorky friends...who love a theme. I mean when Weezer-ing, you need to be adequately carb loaded while listening to Weezer pandora.  Here was our snack spread [minus the 'scuse me if I dogs. I never got a good pic. I'm sure Rae will write a better blog about all this sometime this week...but really she should...I mean her blog is called Say it Ain't So, after all. ]
my offering was "somebody's heine is crowding my icebox...pie"

el scorcho party mix made by my fella

Rae's pink triangle cookies
Nettie's islands in the sun gnocci
everyone took a turn snapping a picture of Rae's boob area, so they could get a shot of this vintage homemade button.
 It was a packed house/sold out show. Thankfully, the finicky bastard that is the handicapped seating reserve process proved to be a blessing, because I scored tickets even when a lot of people I know got totally locked out. Here's the obligatory front facing camera concert selfie. [Tangent: Possibly being photo bombed by Clare Bowen, Scarlett from Nashville. Maybe not...but I like to imagine that is happening.] This was us after being super excited to be relocated to a better section where I could see better. High five, sweet old lady Ryman usher- YOU DA BEST!

The show started with a retrospective of one song off every album going from most recent to what we all came to see. There was a brief intermission slideshow, which was a personal touch to their longtime fans because it was like they had taken you back in time, before the band came out and blew me away with blue album goodness. [Tangent: I can safely affirm I have never back sweated at a concert so much as I did during "Undone (The Sweater Song)". My back was dripping, ya'll! ] I wish I could say I took some hard hitting rock 'n roll photography at the show, but I was up in the balcony and frankly, too busy white girl wheelchair dancing, so I will rely on youtube and instagram to share some of my favorite things about the show.  The band took a moment respected the venue and went front stage to do an accoustic rendition of Suzanne. [Tanegnt: never has a song from Mallrats sounded so purty.]


The show ended perfectly, with the band lined up in front of a blue screen to mimic their album cover. No encore needed. [Tangent: Unless you went to Pinkerton night on Sunday!]

Thursday, April 3, 2014

the internet is weird: volume 1738919381271819 (sock weirdnesss)

OK, so that number is an approximation, but seriously ya'll, I am sorry (but completely not sorry) that this is all I blog about sometimes, but finding the crazy on the internet is just too easy and enticing.  This madness pretty much just falls into my lap...or rather my inbox.

Today was no exception. I was messing around on my blog's facebook page and noticed I had a new private (oops. not anymore)  message:

Sorry, I removed the email if you are into this weridness, you can research it yourself if you are so inclined...but seriously ewww.

The line is super fine  between innocent past time and then someone trying to combine several feisthes into one instragram account. [Tangent: The dead giveaway is the very loose grasp on the English language.] This seemed like the latter so needless to say, this dude isn't gonna see my tootsies today...unless he looks on instagram hard enough...or even finds my Sock Panda review I did last year...I guess what I am saying is, do your your research insta-creep. Why is this even a thing????

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

march insta-dump (dream phone, weddings, boner dollars and ice storms)

OK, remember  the other day when I said I have been a shitty blogger...well, I decided I am gonna continue the trend today and just do an insta-dump. [Tangent: OK. No, pervs...not what you are thinking...I do not cater to that niche market. This just means I am gonna dump on here some of my instagram pictures to fill in the blanks on some March happenings that didn't make the blog...but that definitely should have. Act interested....] I know it seems lazy, and those that  follow me on instagram don't really care, but oh well.

At the beginning of the month, I found out from my friend at Spashionista that the super talented Megan at the blog Megan Mae Daily was doing a limited run of caricatures for $10. This seemed like fun, so of course I partook and I think she did an awesome job. Look how cute anime Kimmie turned out. Also, thanks to Megan for being SUPER generous in the boob area.

 The beginning of March also came with a freakish ice storm that brought down a reign of terror on my van. All those pretty icy branches that look like they should be in whatever country Frozen took place in are actually hateful assholes that shatter windows and dent up roofs. Ugh. Nature .

I got the best change ever at Sonic.

 My lovely friend Alex got married and had one of the most fun weddings I have ever attended. When the pictures come back from the photographer, I will likely post a bunch on here of me dancing to SuperBass or being silly with my friends in my dress which I described as my princess cowboy cupcake dress! I loved it!
I got together with some of my friends from pub trivia at Rae's house to play preteen girl board games (Dream Phone and of course Heartthrob) and sing karaoke [Tangent: Naturally, I Lisa Loebed it and didn't need the words...and Rae did her standby "Lips of an Angel"] in lieu of playing trivia. I love playing games made for girls with my adult male friends. They get really into it. [Tangent/Sidenote: Dreamphone is kinda complicated....I don't consider myself a dense person, but we were almost done with the game before I realized what the hell was going on!]

I ordered a used iPod on eBay because there is no way in hell that I can get all my music off my computer and only my overstuffed phone. [Tangent: The Sophie's choice of what songs go and which songs stay on there is overwhelming.] Anyway, the treat in buying a pre-owned music device is you get to see the crazy assortment of music that the previous owner couldn't live without. There were only about 15 songs....all gems. Unfortunately, I do delete all this to make room for my stuff. I will never know how to dougie.

After the prodding of my friends, I decided to become a big girl and buy red lipstick and try to pepper it into my routine. [Tangent: I have always been aversed to any lip product that requires a mirror for application.]  I'm usually too big a pussy in the lipstick department out of fear I will look like Pennywise or the Joker, but here is my "BABY'S FIRST RED LIPS" pic. Wish me luck on this new attempt to step outside the box.

Last, but certainly far from least, I got my tickets in the mail for the Weezer Blue Album concert at the Ryman this weekend. I am so damned excited! It sold out so quickly that I thought I wasn't gonna get tickets.  Can't wait! 

How was your March?

Monday, March 31, 2014

billy joel, ya'll

Hey remember me? I am the slacker that writes this blog. Sometimes I feel like I do cool things that I should write about, but then suddenly, my best-laid plans are derailed by writing for Nerds and Nomsense or some bonkers search terms need addressing or I'll suddenly remember that I need to finish watching True Detective [Tangent :...WHICH I HAVE! SO GOOD! Sorry Louisiana, but this was not a ringing endorsement for your state. HBO has kinda made you all look like murderry devil worshiping swamp folk and/or vampires.] Anyway, there are lots of cool things that I've been up to...I mean a couple weeks ago I went to go see Billy Joel, ya'll. WILLIAM EFFING JOEL!

 As soon as I heard that Billy Joel was doing a limited tour to a few of his favorite cities, I knew price was no obstacle (ok...who are we kidding...I'm not Lady Von not a MAJOR deterrent). However, I have seen him live before and I recall the show being so high energy and fun that I wanted to attend with my mom and sister. I wish I could say I took winning action-packed photos, but we were far from close, so this is all you get.

When I saw him a few we years back, I recall the audience being a lot older, so I was happy to see that the fans were a mixed bag demographically. Anyway I shouldn't be surprised that people in my age group  were hooting and hollering [Tangent: I mean I know Lauren from Old Red Boots was there too because we bitched to each other via text about the random opening act.], I grew up with 80's Billy Joel [Tangent: Just the Way You Are was the only pre-programmed song on my Casio 100 sound effect keyboard so whenever I hear it, I mentally insert a barking dog and shattering glass. Also We Didn't Start the Fire enlightened me, as a then 7-year-old, about Bernie Goetz and Thalydamide deformities. The more you knooooow. ]  and as an adult learned by heart learned his double greatest hits album. He was ever present.

The show, obviously didn't disappoint. It was hit after hit after hit...lots of crazy laser lights....and a very jazzy sax player in a polka dotted blouse [Tangen: My sister and I agreed he was truly selling it...]...and Billy Joel drank the entire time from a Bill Joel coffee mug...presumably from the merch booth. It was awesome.  [Tangent: What wasn't as awesome was powering through the Widespread Panic fans filtering out of The Ryman on my way back to my car. A crowded gaultlet of people dispensing nitris balloons and grilled cheesies mixed with hyped Billy Joel fans is a bit of a cluster.]

Also, I decided as Billy Joel gets older, he is basically shape shifting into the friendlier doppelganger of Mike from Breaking Bad.

Or maybe they have always been basically the same person. Here is 70's Joanthan Banks [Tangent: Probably from his awesome/terrible instructional movie about periods] and 70's Billy Joel. Hubba Hubba. Bedroom eyes for days.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

blog search terms...running off the rails (AGAIN!)

At midnight the other night, I was rabidly sifting through my iPhone's photo gallery looking for things I could pitch to free up valuable space for crucial things  like game updates and more photos (seriously, I have carved it down to 1200 essential images. That's all I can do! ). To be quite honest, a great percentage of those pictures are not really pictures at all...but screenshots of things... Textchanges. Ridiculous ads. And mostly blog statistics that make me pee. [Tangent: In fact, "blog stats that make me pee" could likely be its own crowded sub folder on my phone.]

The ones that are funny, but still safe for the workplace, I post on my blog's Facebook page, while I usually save the bluer material for my fellow bloggers and pervy friends. The other day, while texting them around, Lladybird Lauren informed me that these were really too good to not share with the masses, so I thought I would unroll the archives of questionable search terms. Yes, some of these are appalling and ridiculous...don't judge me...judge yourselves.  [Tangent: If you have never read my search terms posts before. I'll explain what you were looking at. As part of my blogger dashboard, I am privy to all kinds of analytical data like what countries I am popular in...what sites are linking to me (like and have me questioning my bizarre Russian fan base.) and what google terms lead people to me. The latter is always both upsetting and hilarious. These are the vibes I am sending out into the ether. I can't make this shit up.]

I wish I could select a favorite from this list...and I also wish I knew if you could feed your chiweenie grits! That's one for yahoo answers.

all of these are SUPER normal everyday search terms....seriously.

Is this a question or a declarative statement? Yes, Kirk Cameron was sexy in 1988...since then he is terrifying. Next question?

hasidic flaming lips? I am all in.
so many winners...none of which have anything to do with my blog.

I wish I knew the answer to this one. Really. Can someone weigh in?

this phrase makes me giggle so hard. I am clearly 12.

WHO IS GOOGLING THIS!?!??!?! Also, what if it was an image search and my picture came up...I am horrified.

I now want to google this.

yep. totally normal.

I am really happy that in a 24 hour period- 4 people searched "jungle 2 jungle VHS".

Ok, And Just for good measure I will throw in a little gem I pulled out of my spam folder. It always floors me how they lure you in with flattery and then BAIT AND SWITCH...BUY MY PENIS CREAM!

How about ya'll? Any fellow bloggers get such sick enjoyment from this stuff or am I alone? I was told once by a regular reader that she found me inadvertently by googling "wheelchair zombie," which made me really really happy! Whatever works.  I am eager to hear what kind of weirdos you attract!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

free stuff from Influenster- j'adore vox box review

OK, so I am streets behind on a lot of things and I am the first to admit it. The other day I realized I hadn't done my February Influenster box review yet. [Tangent: Not that ya'll care...because let's be honest, you probably don't. I am sure absolutely 0% of you are waiting on pins and needles to know what I thought of my box of free products. However, I'm a weirdo and love a good product review. Reading blogs is how I have learned about a ton of cool doohickies and whatnots. I don't like to shell money out on something unless it's gotten the thumbs up from someone I trust. Also, I wanna keep getting free stuff from them. I am human, after all...and shameless.]

If you didn't read the lowdown from last time, I'll just give you the abbreviated version, Influenster is a product review system that is completely free and open to anyone. [Tangent: I love getting goodies in the mail but am too cheap/chickenshit to pull the trigger and subscribe to a paid one.] All you have to do is share your opinions, which frankly I am really really skilled at. It seems like a fairly even trade. Also, it is fairly thrilling to get a mystery box on your doorstep!

The box featured above  is one that I got in February around Valentine's day [Tangent: See..I told you...streets behind.] so it was loaded with things that apparently screamed chocolate and tea and fake lashes? There were some definite winners and then some not so winners.

selfies always make me mildly cross-eyed.
Kiss Looks so Natural Lashes ($3.99 retail)
Little known fact. I love fake lashes, however my lifestyle is one that doesn't call for them on a day to day basis (or ever really). They just don't go with yoga pants and thrift store t-shirts. [Tangent: I went through a phase many years ago where I wore them on most special occasions because their transformative power can take you from boring to Kardashian in 2 seconds flat.] Anyway, I finally broke them out over the weekend to wear for my friend Alex's wedding and I pretty much think I have found my lash soul mates. These are super affordable [Tangent: Which is good, because I could never rationalize paying top dollar for MAC lashes..I mean really it's a one or maybe two time use product, not worth more than $5.] and they don't scream "HEY LOOK AT MY CRAZY LASHES!" They feel very natural and soft and you pretty much forget you are wearing them. The one caveat is that you need to know how to apply the glue and trim them down as needed, or else they may look not so natural, afterall...aka your makeup will be a shit show.

Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray ($9.99 retail)
OK, so I don't have naturally curly hair so my opinion on this can really only speak for ladies like me with chronically thick and poufy hair. Generally, I use a straightening iron to get the bulk out of my hair and get it to lay flatter. This stuff definitely did the damn thing.  You apply it while hair is still wet and then use it to set your styling for days at a time. Because I am lazy and like to go days without hair washing, I felt this was made for me. [Tangent: I was very concerned that it would be serum-y and make my hair greasy. My hair needs no help in that department. It was light and didn't add much weight or gunk.] I got lots of compliments on my hair...and that rarely happens.

Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas ($4.49 retail)
The flavors intrigued me because they were lemon chiffon and creme caramel. I have never heard of/tried this brand, but it seemed pretty yummy and they smelled really potent...but in a good way. Overall, if you are a tea fan, they are worth a shot. I mean it's tea...what's not to love!

Hershey's Kisses- 18.5 oz bag ($5.29 retail)
Well...I mean it's kind of a winner because...well...chocolate!  However, on a personal level, I am not much of a milk chocolate fan so most of these have been ingested by other because I am completely spoiled by dark chocolate. [Tangent: I did think this was kind of an odd selection for a review box, because who needs a review of Hershey kisses?!?!? Seriously, I am pretty sure even cloistered nuns and the Amish eat these on a regular basis. It's not really something you HAVE to get the word out about.]

On the Fence about/Not so Winner
pardon my dour look.
Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask ($9.39 retail)
Ok, you can tell by my expression that the Boots mask bummed me out a little. [Tangent: Don't get me wrong, it made my skin feel really good and totally deep cleaned, which is why I am not making a loser category...just a "not so winner"] This is the product I was most excited about when I opened the box because it was something I probably wouldn't buy on my own and I had really loved the Montagne Jeunesse mask in my last review box. My expectations were probably too high. When I opened it, the clay mask went everywhere...all over my counter and floors and clothes. It was a waterry mess. I tried to shake it up, and still, it was thin and very hard to apply without getting it everywhere. If only there was a better applicator or different packaging or clear instructions that you had to shake it like crazy beforehand.

Monday, March 17, 2014

5 things I have learned from 500 blogs

Hey ya'll. Today marks my 500th blog, which to me is bizarre. Completely 100% weird.  Since this milestone has been on the horizon, I have thought about what to do for it. [Tangent: I will not bore you with some weird screenshot montage set to Mariah Carey's Butterfly...although that is always in my back pocket.] Also...this is probably how I am more likely to be celebrating.

As you all probably have gleaned, I love a good diversion and that's why I started TGITW...that and it served as a catalyst to get me to write and as a selfish means to keep a record of things in my life. [Tangent: GOD KNOWS I LOVE NOSTALGIA!] Those were my main real agenda or expectations. I knew shit about blogging at the time, so needless to say these 500 rambling tangent-filled posts have taught me some really unexpected things. [Tangent: By no means am I an expert...AT ALL, but I often get a lot of questions from people who want to blog or who are new to the blogosphere and they usually want some kind of advice, so I thought I would heed the call.]

1. To grow as a blogger, you have to read blogs.
When I typed out my first blog entry, I went in semi-blind. There were a maybe two blogs that I followed with little regularity so I was working off the cuff. I consider this a blessing in disguise, because I was not influenced by anyone really except the voices in my head.

However, a blog is like a fish tank. It gets really stagnet if you don't change the water every once in a while and everyone since the beginning of time has said that to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. These maxims are true as hell. So many tips and tricks are things I have just learned by observation. This is how I learned about handy widgets like bloglovin and disqus that have made staying in touch with my readers so much easier.

Also, I quickly learned that the more you follow others regularly, the more they will follow you. If you want some great ones to sample, go to my reading list and find a couple that resonate. They are all ones I read daily and endorse wholeheartedly and there is something for everyone...whether you are a movie buff, bike enthusiast, seamstress, mom or fashionista. 

2. Embrace the community
This kind of goes along with #1, but it is a VERY important one. Although blogging is a solo sport, it is far from lonely. If you so choose, you can easily connect to others that share your enthusiasm for internet stuff. [Tangent: I try not to talk blogging too much with most of my friends. I feel like they would react in a similar fashion to how I react when my brother tries to talk football with me. My mind wanders and I just start humming the lyrics to old Disney songs in my head.] For this reason, don't be afraid to reach out to other bloggers or people that read your blog regularly. Making friends with virtual strangers is probably the most unexpected gift. The people I have met are incredible and so diverse and interesting. We truly rally like a community!

some Nashville Lady Bloggers out on the town

blatantly stolen from LLadybird Lauren's instagram

More than once a week I will get a tag or a link posted to my Facebook page of someone emails me to tell me a story that I might find funny. [Tangent: Especially in the disability world. When Lady Gaga got a gold wheelchair or when the story broke about the disabled Disney concierges, I was overwhelmed with people telling me, "YOU HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT THIS!!!" So I oblige because it makes me happy that people care what I have to say. That is all I dream about. ] I gotta say if you are a blogger and not using social media, please tell me your secrets!!! Because I have found Facebook and Twitter especially to be total game changers and they go so hand-in-hand with blogging that I don't understand how you can have one without the other.
pardon my was 100 degrees...but here is me with Beth of "In case of Fire, Use Stairs" and Alicia from "Spashionista", (Although Beth is not a blogging friend, she's a college friend :))
 I'm the first to admit this whole "Hello Stranger, I know all about you already and vice versa" thing is incredibly Brave New World and can be slightly creepy,  but it has resulted in some great connections. [Tangent: Anyway, I love that book!]

3. Google stuff 
Despite the fact that I have a sliver of graphic design experience, I knew absolutely nada about coding and html and all that jazz, I just knew that I DIDN'T want my blog to look like a 1999 geocities site, but I DID want to do it myself. How did I figure out how to code buttons and get all the additions over time...GOOGLING! It will carry you so far. [Tangent: If Jeeves were indeed a real person, he would be so over me asking him so many questions.] Don't be overwhelmed, the processes are usually pretty step by step because other thoughtful bloggers have idiot proofed them. 

4. Inspiration is everywhere
A lot of times people tell me they have writer's block, which I can fully relate to. Bloggers have all had weeks where they feel forced and like nothing they are writing is compelling. I guess what I have learned is that it doesn't have to be. Not everything has to be an opus. I have been inspired by everything from US Weekly articles to Facebook posts. Sometimes you don't wanna write about deep issue and feelings and stuff, you just wanna write about that weird commercial that is currently annoying the ever-loving shit out of you.

I look at it this way: Have you ever told a story to a friend or posted a status on Facebook that sparked a conversation and then later thought, "I had so many other things I could have added to that to make it more interesting." Bloggers have that chance to put in their two cents on anything! That is such power. 

5. Honesty is the best policy even if people don't like it
I was always secretly kinda jealous of bloggers that had haters, because to me you can't say you've made it until you have gotten hate mail or pissed someone off.  Sometimes you just wanna have your Beyonce moment where you toss your weave at the haters. [Tangent: Full disclosure, I don't have weave, but I would get some to have that moment!] Although hearing negative things is sometimes hard, it's par for the course. It's part of putting yourself out there, because internet trolls are real, ya'll. 

Luckily most of the emails and comments have been incredibly supportive (especially within the disability community), but there are always those that don't love my weird sense of humor or who think in fact that this blog is being ghost written by someone not disabled and that the wheelchair is a marketing ploy. [Tangent: That one was one I heard early on and is still crazy to me. I've always laughed it off even though it is in reality incredibly offensive.] 

Even though I try to choose my words thoughtfully and try not to be offensive, I don't stress too much over it. I curse sometimes. I use run-on sentences and lots of adverbs. That's one of the glorious truths about being a blogger; you have complete control and can present things any way you want. People will tell you that you are wrong or that your feelings are invalid...which is their right...even if it's wrong. All you can do is be honest and do the damn thing. I try to remember to just be natural and write the way I talk...The greatest compliment I can ever get is that my blog sounds just like me.  

Hopefully I can keep it coming for 500 more at least...or until you all are begging me to shut up and get off the internet. In the meantime...

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