My So-Called Oily Life

For the last couple years I’ve been dabbling in essential oils, but went hardcore into Young Living after being introduced to Thieves (my gateway drug) last winter by my friend Keely. Thieves 2

When I lived in Austin, pretty much the majority of my life, I suffered every fall & spring with allergies, so much so that I would get steroid shots in my tush to knock the allergies out of my system.  Austin is a great outdoor lifestyle city, but it is a huge hub for allergies.  Ugh.  About seven years ago I moved to the Houston area, & low and behold, my allergies disappeared!  Y’all, I thought I won the lottery…until about two years ago.  I was lucky enough (eyes rolling all the way back inside my head) to develop new allergies. allergies

So, while babysitting Keely’s boys I had the sniffles, but told her not worry that it was just allergies.  She quickly suggested diffusing a concoction of oils while I sleep to help get rid of them.  I just as quickly thanked her & promptly blew her off…until I stopped being able to sleep due to said allergies.

I ordered an oil diffuser from Amazon & some essential oils.  The oils I ordered were not anything special and helped maybe only slightly.  I was also “guilty” of buying oils from the grocery store.  cheap oilsAt this point I was not fully onboard with the whole essential oil trend, but ordered Young Living lavender & peppermint from Keely.  Side note: with quality oils, lavender + peppermint + lemon + eucalyptus is the magic blend for allergy sufferers.  I encourage everyone with generic lavender to get a bottle of YL lavender & just smell the difference…it is a game changer.

Last winter I got really sick with the flu, like I was down for two weeks.  I had chills, aches, the fever tears (you know when your eyes leak hot tears).  Keely came by my house & dropped off a 3-pack of Thieves spray – it is THE oil to use for immunity.  At this point, I was already too sick for anything but antibiotics to help me.  Yes, you read that right, medicine still has it’s time & place.  Once I was better, I used Thieves every night on the bottoms of my feet.  Y’all, I haven’t even had drainage, a cough, a sniffle, nothing since New Years.  We are now at November 20th, let that sink in.

To this day, my nightly routine is:

  1. Wash face, put on glow serum (made from oils).
  2. Diffuse lavender + cedarwood + frankincense – best combo to sleep like the dead.
  3. Spray Thieves on the bottom of my feet.
  4. Lights out, sweet dreams.

Okay, let me tell you a little about what oils are, etc. YL

What are they?
Essential Oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plants.  The oil can be obtained from the roots, seeds, shrub, flowers, leaves, & trees and bring health & healing to the body.  The chemistry is extremely complex & may consist of hundreds of different & unique chemical compounds.  They are able to reach every part of our bodies on a cellular level.

Ways to use them:
Topically: apply to your skin or use a carrier oil.
Aromatically: diffuse using a Young Living ultrasonic diffuser or inhale directly from the bottle.
Internally: place oils in a vegetable capsule, fill with a carrier oil, & take like a supplement, add oils to food or drinks, or place directly in your mouth.

Fun facts:
Oils reach the brain within 22 seconds.
Within 2 minutes, they are found in your bloodstream.
And within 20 minutes, they will affect every cell in the body.

Are essential Oils safe?
Essential oils have been used to support our bodies for thousands of years across the world; therefore, we have thousands of years of history & research behind what they can do.  Although is may that essential oils are trendy, rest assured that they have been used for a long time.  In the spirit of the Holiday Season, two of the three Wisemen brought  Frankincense & Myrrh to the manger.

With that said, it’s important to get your oils from the right place to ensure you are only getting the pure oil & no other additives such as fragrance & fillers.  Unfortunately, there is no FDA regulation for essential oils; so many companies are claiming to have pure, therapeutic grade oils but testing shows they are not.  These can actually be dangerous, & many times when you hear stories about pets or people being harmed, it’s usually not the oil, but the additive.  how to

Scary Information About Everyday Products:
There is no federal regulation on chemicals in household products.  In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.

The average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals, per environmental experts.  We’re exposed to the routinely, from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners.  Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption, & neurotoxicity.  Chronic exposure adds to the body’s “toxic burden,” the number of chemicals stored in its issues at a given time.

Words to Know:
Phthalates:
Found in: many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper.  Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their scents, so you won’t find phthalates on a label.  If you see “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present.

Perchloroethylene:
Found in: Dry-cleaning solutions, stain removers, & carpet and upholstery cleaners.

Health risks: Perc is a neurotoxin, according to the chief scientist of environmental protection for New York Attorney General’s office.  And, the EPA classifies Perc as a “possible carcinogen” as well.

Triclosan:
Found in: Most liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial.”

Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.  Other studies have now found dangerous concentrations of triclosan in rivers & streams, where it is toxic to algae.  the EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function.  It is a probable carcinogen.

Quats (Quarternary Ammonium Compounds):
Found in: Fabric softener liquids & sheets, most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial.”  Quats are another type of antimicrobial, & thus pose the same problem as triclosan by helping breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

They’re also a skin irritant & are suspected as a culprit for respiratory disorders.

2-Butoxyetanol:
Found in: Window, kitchen, & multipurpose cleaners.

Health risks: 2-Butoxyethanol is the key ingredient in many window cleaners & gives them their characteristic sweet smell.  It belongs in the category of “glycol ethers,” a set of powerful solvents that don’t mess around.  Law does not require 2-Butoxyethanol to be listed on a product’s label.  According to the EPA’s website, in addition to causing sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, & severe liver & kidney damage.

Ammonia:
Found in: Polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks, & jewelry; also in glass cleaner.  Because ammonia evaporates & doesn’t leave streaks, it’s another common ingredient in commercial window cleaners.  Ammonia is very dangerous to elderly people with lung issues & breathing problems & people who get a lot of ammonia exposure, like housekeepers, will often develop chronic bronchitis & asthma.  Ammoinia can also create poisonous gas if it’s mixed with bleach.

Candles:
Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene & toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens).  In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes. safe

So, why did I choose Young Living?

  1. It is the only company that has FDA approved oils for ingestion.  That’s right, you can cook with these oils, or spray Thieves in the back of your throat to suppress a cold.
  2. Over the next 5 years, YL will take their global operations to zero waste status.  I love this so much!
  3. I am now basically my own apothecary.  I’ve made the following so far: glow serum for my face, body butter, “soft scrub,” household cleaner, hair detangler, bug spray, spider spray for the house, under eye serum…that’s all I can recall at the moment.

Some of my Young Living favorites:
NingXia Red: NingXia provides natural energy support, promotes glowing skin, powerful antioxidant, supports healthy blood sugar levels, contributes to overall wellness, & provides an immune boost.

One serving of NingXia Red has the antioxidant equivalent of: 73 strawberries, 100 oranges, 85 pounds of spinach, 22 carrots, 34 onions, 59 heads of broccoli, 93 apples, 33 pounds of almonds, & 814 blueberries.

Super B vitamins: B vitamins are the only vitamins that the body doesn’t naturally reproduce, so we have to replenish them daily.  Two of these a day gets the job done!  Full disclosure, take them with food or a flavored beverage if you are sensitive to smell.

Thieves household cleaner, foaming hand soap (I hated foaming soap before), & laundry detergent.  I’m trying to use up all my dishwasher detergent & dish soap before switching to Thieves.

Pretty much everything else I make with the oils I get.  My next endeavor will be in the laundry room: stain remover & EO “bleach.”  I also have some fun treats coming up for the gals coming to my birthday wine weekend in December!

I’ve thrown out all of my candles & now exclusively use my diffuser.  I’m not crazy, or a hippie – this is an investment.  It is not inexpensive.  I recommend slowly easing your way into getting rid of the toxins in your home.  replace the bad with the good.  Figure out what your gateway drug will be.

If you are interested in Young Living or ahve any questions, you are welcome to get in touch with me.  If you get nothing else out of this, I hope you now have some food oils for thought…

Kiss Hug,

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Harvey: Houston Strong

Hi All,

I do promise to get back to recapping our favorite shows, Bachelor in Paradise, Real Housewives, etc.  But, I want to take a moment to talk to you about Hurricane Harvey & the Houston Flood.  This is my personal account of my first hurricane & the last six days…that’s right, six (6) days!  This is truly analogy of my reality.

Let’s start at the beginning…

Thursday, August 24th:  Houston expected some rain with possible flooding.
Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit between Brownsville, TX & Corpus Christi, TX.

I had no idea what I needed to do to prep for a hurricane, but my fellow coworkers quickly educated me.  I was told to go buy as much water as I can, food that doesn’t need to be kept cold & food that I wouldn’t have to cook, & to fill my bath tub with water (I thought this one was so strange).  By Thursday evening, most water was sold out from grocery stores, but I managed to get six 32 ounce bottles from Walgreens, which I will be donating to a local shelter.  I was told the purpose of filling up your bathtub is for when the power goes out, you can use that water to boil & to fill your toilet tank so you can flush it.  Color me shocked!  I also learned to charge all electronics & keep them plugged in as much as possible – makes sense.  I’ve never been so happy that I spent $40 on my 10 foot charging cord.

Thursday evening I discovered that my water heater had been spewing water all over my garage for part of the day, so that was fun.  I had to call my landlord out to turn it off as I couldn’t figure it out.  Let’s just be clear here, not a huge problem by any means, but I had no water at the start of a potential natural disaster.

Friday, August 25th:  Light rain falling in Houston
Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit Corpus Christi, TX, which is 200 miles from Houston.

I went into work as usual.  I arrived at the office around 7am, & I was the first one there – this never happens.  I immediately got worried that the proverbial “they” had cancelled work & forgot to tell me.  I went about my business & turned on all the lights & got to work.   After about 15 minutes, other coworkers arrived – whew!  Around 9am, our HSE Manager informed everyone that our four Houston offices would be closing at noon.

Since Friday was a pay day, yes that really made a difference, I went back to the grocery store to get food that didn’t need to be kept cold or cooked.  Bananas, apples, bread, peanut butter, crackers, batteries for flashlights…you get the idea.

Around this time, my landlord informed me that a plumber couldn’t to my house until Saturday as they were prepping for the rain, which I thought was crazy because the weather was supposed to be worse on Saturday.

At this point, Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner (I love him) told Houston residents not to evacuate; we still assumed that the Houston area would just be getting some rain much like San Antonio & Austin.  Governor Abbott, who does not reside in the Houston area, told people to evacuate.  Clear miscommunication here.  You can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes at Governor Abbott.

Once I got home, I was glued to my TV watching the Weather Channel.  At 10pm, Hurricane Harvey hit Port Aransas, TX as a Category 4 hurricane, moving at only 2 miles per hour.  Parts of Port A (Texans call it that) were a 100% loss.

Harvey’s projected path as of Friday: Harvey's Path

Rain steadily increased throughout the night.

Saturday, August 26th:
Lots of rain as I woke up Saturday morning.  However, this was the view from my front porch in The Woodlands, about 15 miles north of Houston.  This ditch fills, but drains very quickly…My house

My TV wasn’t working, so I got a lot of my news from social media this morning. I turned my AC way down, anticipating that the electricity would go out at some point, & thinking that it would help take time for my house to heat back up.  Its still August in Texas, y’all.

I learned that Hurricane Harvey had been downgraded over night to Tropical Storm Harvey, but only moving at 1-2 miles per hour.  That meant it was spinning over Port Aransas & Victoria, TX & that the “dirty” side of the storm was hovering over Houston dropping 3-6″ of rain per hour.  At this point, people were being asked to shelter in place as the roads were quickly flooding.

Good news was that my water heater was fixed!

Sunday, August 27th:
I woke up to this image on the news Sunday morning: Sunday

My house was still safe & dry with only 20″ of rain falling so far at my house, but I could not turn away from the devastation being reported.  Let me put this in perspective, I had 20″ of rain over 2 days; parts of Houston got 20″ of rain in a few hours.  Some people had flooding in their homes in a matter of 45 minutes.  I couldn’t help but be so thankful that I was safe & warm; I also cried intermittently because I was so overwhelmed at the loss I was seeing.

People were told to get on their roofs, & if they couldn’t to put a white sheet, towel, or paper in their window so first responders knew to evacuate the people in those homes. Hospitals became flooded.  All of the news coverage was focused on Houston & southern suburbs, so I kept checking Facebook for updates on The Woodlands.

Spring Creek, which runs throughout The Woodlands & Spring, finally crested & over flowed Sunday afternoon.

Help from everywhere flooded the city & surrounding areas.  Citizens with jet skis, boats, & high-water vehicles were asked to lend a helping hand. Neighbors helping neighbors. Help arrived in the form of: the National Guard, the US Coast Guard, the Cajun Navy, Red Cross, FEMA, United Way, local & state law enforcement, fire fighters, & so many others.

Monday, August 28th:
My office was closed due to flooding.  Luckily, our suite is on the second floor.

The rain seemed to slow down a bit, at least at my house, but the water was still on the rise.  All rain north of the Houston area was flowing south trying to get to the Gulf of Mexico.

Things finally seemed calm enough for me to venture out, so I went to my friend Amy’s house.  Her husband was bbq’ing, & I learned how to play “Crazy” Rumi, with special family rules.  We have to take the light-hearted moments where we can get them.

Tuesday, August 29th:
The office is still closed.  I’m working from home, while gathering clothes & such to donate.

Harris County (Houston) & Montgomery County (The Woodlands) are doing controlled releases of the local reservoirs & levees to help maintain the integrity of the dams hoping to minimize flooding.

As of 2:22pm, 9 civilians & Sergeant Steven Perez, of the Houston PD, have lost their lives.  Please keep the fine folks of Texas in your thoughts & prayers.

Why didn’t people evacuate?
Red this article: Why Didn’t Officials Order The Evacuation Of Houston?

Victim

How you can help:
General help:
Text 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross
Donate to the United Way
Donate at youcaring.org/JJWatt
Purchase a Texas Forever tshirt from theshopforward.com or Magnolia
Purchase something from Kendra ScottKendra Scott

Help children:
Donate to Texas Diaper Bank
Donate to The Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi

Help animals:
Donate to Houston SPCA
Donate to Austin Pets Alive!

Help people with medical needs:
Donate to Portlight
Donate to Direct Relief USA

Help farmers:
Donate to STAR Fund

Help the homeless:
Donate to Coalition for the Houston Homeless

Food Banks:
Houston Food Bank
832-369-9390
houstonfoodbank.org
Galveston Food Bank
409-945-4232
galvestoncountyfoodbank.org
Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
361-578-0591
victoriafoodbank.org
Closed Friday
Corpus Christi Food Bank
361-887-6291
foodbankcc.com
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
409-839-8777
setxfoodbank.org
Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley (Pharr)
956-682-8101
foodbankrgv.com
Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan)
979-779-3663
bvfb.org
Central Texas Food Bank (Austin)
512-282-2111
centraltexasfoodbank.org
San Antonio Food Bank
210-337-3663
safoodbank.org
You can also list your home on Airbnb for those displaced.

Things I’ve learned:
Ant beds float…as if bugs weren’t gross enough.
The Texas Rangers are assholes.  Read this article from Deadspin.
Houstonians are beautiful and awesome and hopeful.  This is the America I know & love. Houston
The reporters covering this catastrophe need raises.  They risked their lives to help rescue folks in need.  ABC 13’s Courtney Fischer gave me all the feels.

I’ll be honest, I’ve really had to force myself to not be offended by non-Texans talking about things other than Harvey.  I’m sorry, but I can’t bring myself to care about the MMA fight, or the VMAs, or Taylor Swift’s new song right now.  I just don’t care.  These trivial things do not matter at the best of times.

I’m happy to be safe & dry.  I will be volunteering this week at local shelters.  Please do what you can to help, even if it is just sending positive vibes our way.  Thank you.

Kiss Hug,

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Bachelor Recap: The End

Y’all, I’ve been so bad!  SorryI took an impromptu break from recapping The Bachelor.  It inadvertently coincided with the announcement of Rachel as the next Bachelorette, which I’m so thrilled about.  However, once she left the show I knew Vanessa was the shew-in for the final rose; oddly enough, it didn’t hurt my feelings that Rachel was announced so early.

On the other hand, I got so bored with Nick’s season.  I felt like he was kind of producing as he went along, being that he is a veteran in the Bachelor community.  Y’all know my love/hate relationship with the show.  Once they’ve been on The Bachelor/ette & BIP, they’ve run their course & I’m done with them.

Another grievance I have with the show, ahem Mike Fleiss ahem, is that the show seems to be going more towards competing with UnREAL in the drama department & I am so not into that.  Love UnREAL & I love the Bachelor, but I want a separation of church & state.  I’m miss the good ol’ days of Andrew Firestone, Brad Womack, Emily Maynard, & Jillian Harris.  They actually seemed to be in it to find love.  Yes, I said Brad Womack & I mean it…both his seasons.  I actually wouldn’t mind if he came back for a third season – he’s so pretty!  Somewhere I have a picture of me with Brad, & his twin Chad, outside Manuel’s on South Congress in Austin.  Swoon – they are beautiful!  Swoon

All this to say, I will be back recapping soon with Southern Charm (my GOAT), RHONY, & The Bachelorette!  Within the next week, I will update my #SoutherCharm Cast Analysis, which you can read here.  In case you’re wondering -& I know you are – I still have the hots for Shep Rose. Shep

Keep checking back for new content…I swear I will be better!

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Warm & Cozy

warm-cozy

For this next playlist, I want you to imagine that you are on a winter vacation.  It’s cold & snowing outside, so you decide to stay in.  Warm, & snuggled in by the fire.  Perhaps you’re sipping on mulled wine or hot chocolate, whatever your pleasure.  Then you click on this playlist.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll also be reading a book or doing a jigsaw puzzle.

Christmas Makes Me Cry – Kacey musgraves

Moonlight In Vermont – Seth MacFarlane

2000 Miles – Pretenders

Petit Papa Noel – Josh Groban

Trains And Winter Rains – Enya

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

Old Time Christmas – Randy Travis

You’re All I Want For Christmas – Caro Emerald & Brook Benton

Never Do a Tango With an Eskimo – Alma Cogan

Hard Candy Christmas – Cyndi Lauper

25th December – Everything But The Girl

Father Christmas – The Kinks

When A Child Is Born – Johnny Mathis

Honky Tonk Christmas – Alan Jackson

Ding Dong! Merrily on High – Choir of Clare College, Cambridge

Dear Mister Santa Claus – Hank Jones

Wish You a Merry Christmas – Kim Weston

Merry Christmas (Wherever You Are) – George Strait

Poppa Santa Claus – Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters

Ole Santa – Dinah Washington

Christmas Here With You – Four Tops & Aretha Franklin

Next week will be the last Christmas playlist; I’ll post it earlier than the norm so you can it enjoy all week long before NYE.

Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best the holiday has to offer.
May this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you joy that lasts throughout the year.

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Gone But Not Forgotten

Y’all I have a love for music from the 1950’s, 60’s, & 70’s. I blame Mama J for not letting me listen to heavy metal in the car.  The radio was almost always tuned to 103.5 (Austin), & I quickly fell in love with the music of yonder years.  You know, the music based on talent, musicality, & harmonies.  I was particularly fond of The Drifters, Lesley Gore, Carole King, & Connie Francis. I feel like most modern music should be ashamed of itself.  They don’t make ’em like they used to as my dad would say…

You can listen to my favorites here: Oldies But Goodies

Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters

A Teenager In Love – Dion & The Belmonts

Stupid Cupid – Connie Francis

Rockin’ Robin – The Jackson 5

Do You Believe in Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful

Walk On By – Dionne Warwick

All Shook Up – Elvis Presley

Just My Imagination – The Temptations

Where The Boys Are – Connie Francis

Take Good Care of My Baby – Bobby Vee

You Keep Me Hangin’ On – The Supremes

I Fall to Pieces – Patsy Cline

Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers

Devil or Angel – Bobby Vee

Locomotion – Carole King

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bun) – Four Tops

You Don’t Own Me – Lesley Gore

Surfer Girl – The Beach Boys

Breaking Up is Had to Do – Neil Sedaka

Close To You – Carpenters

Joy To the World – Three Dog Night

I Want to Hold You Hand – The Beatles

Poetry In Motion – Bobby Vee

So Far Away – Carole King

All I Have to Do is Dream – The Everly Brothers

Walk Like A Man – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

American Pie – Don McLean

I Want You Back – The Jackson 5

Save the Last Dance for Me – The Drifters

Band of Gold – Freda Payne

No Matter What – Badfinger

My Girl – The Temptations

You’ve Lost The Lovin’ Feelin’ – The Righteous Brothers

Up on the Roof – The Drifters

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Frankie Valli

Knock Three Times – Tony Orlando

Chapel of Love – Lesley Gore

This Magic Moment – The Drifters

Sugar, Sugar – The Archies

Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder

There Goes My Baby – The Drifters

Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes

Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles

Earth Angel – The Penguins

Blue Moon – The Marcels

My Guy – Mary Wells

The Shoop Shoop Song – Betty Everett

It’s My Party – Lesley Gore

Do y’all like oldies?  Did I miss anyone from this playlist?  I hope you enjoy…

Starting Friday, November 4th I will be posting a holiday playlist.  This is my favorite time of year & I almost exclusively listen to Christmas music after Halloween (yes, I know this is annoying to some).  Feel free to save my playlists until December. 🙂

Kiss Hug,

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PS – Did you notice I revamped the blog a bit?  What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Below Deck Recap: Roses Are Red, Roses are Blue

Okay y’all, this will be a short recap…I want to watch the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown tonight before the debates.

We start the episode with Kate & Ro still grossing everyone out with their PDA.

Captain Lee is still on a rampage against the deck crew.  Can Kelley drive a boat?  It did look windy.  The deck crew took all the toys out for naught – the guests weren’t interested.

Back on the Valor, it’s Valentine’s Day.  Kyle asked Sierra on a date.  Kelley, Nico, & Ben like Emily; Emily likes Ben – he gave her blue roses.  Who knew those existed?  Poor Lauren got “Joey Pottered” again.  The Charter guests are feeling romantic; one couple got engaged.  love

PS – I think Rachel is regretting having yellow nail polish on to take the first pictures of her new engagement ring.

Ben is nervous to make a proposal dinner.  He feels that the fate of her answer rests on his food.  nervous-ben

Kyle, Sierra, Emily, & Kelley go on a double-date, much to Kyle’s dismay.  Nico & Lauren are bummed to stay behind & de-salt those windows.  Five seconds later, Ben asks Emily out to dinner.

All in all, this was a fun episode.  What do y’all think about this season of #BelowDeck?

Kiss Hug,

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BIP Recap: What’s His Name?

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First I want to apologize for not posting a recap last week.  I was babysitting during the live shows, & after watching on my DVR I deleted them thinking I would remember what happened.  Well, at 32 I’m old & can’t remember shit. So, without further ado…

We pick up in the Rose Ceremony Cocktail Party (RCCP), & guess who’s crying?  Ashley I . of course.  Daniel held court over Sarah, Emily & Haley, & Ashley…it was pretty gross to witness the ladies trying to earn his rose.  Daniel loved it in his own weird way, of course.

Rose Ceremony:
Grant: Lace
Josh: Amanda
Nick: Jenn
Vinny: Izzy
Evan: Carly
Jared: Caila
Daniel: Haley (WTF!!!  How could he send my favorite, & Carly’s BFF, Sarah home?!?!)

Ashley got into her car, got a little ways down the road, & made her driver stop.  She went back to crash the rose celebratory champagne toast.  She basically begged the group to let her stay & the twins immediately agreed, which seemed to peer pressure the others to agree.  Great…  She vows to use this time in Paradise to move on from Jared…y’all, I’m holding my breath.

Carl joins Paradise – who is he?  Emily salivates over him.  No one can remember his name…poor Carl.  That’s what you get for having a horrible name.  He is hot though…according to Vinny.  Carl

Brett also immediately joins…with a lamp.  Who is he?  Ashley is almost, maybe interested in him.  Izzy is overwhelmed with her attraction for him.  Brett is in Paradise specifically to meet Caila, which Ashley loves for the possibilities this may leave for her & Jared.  Ashley told Brett to ask out who he wants to ask out, regardless of who is coupled up.  Caila agreed to his date without even thinking about it, much less consulting Jared.

Unpopular opinion, but I think Caila is manipulative & seeks attention anyway she can get it.  I have a theory that she comes off somewhat shy & uses that to manipulate the situation to her advantage.  Something just doesn’t add up for me, but she does have magical hair.

Caila proceeded to change her mind 87,000 times with both Jared & Brett.  She got what she wanted…Jared essentially begged her not to go, while Brett begged her to go.  Attention seeking…just sayin’.  Evan said, “Brett came in with a lamp, & Caila flipped the switch on Jared.”  Side note, what is with Brett’s jeans?  Do his tight jeans shrink wrap to his ankles if they get wet???  Jared thinks this is karma & that he deserves this…get some self-esteem people!  Ashley tells us that, “Jared is the new Ashley.”  God help us all.

On the double date, Carl & Emily, Caila & Brett dance on a booze cruise with a bunch of townies?  Emily & Carl totally hit if off & suck face a la Josh & Amanda.  Brett tried to give Caila a lap dance, which she turned down.  “No thanks.  I’m good.”  She’s missing the magical being that is Jared.  Ashley took advantage of Caila being away to move in on Jared.  Caila did have the decency to apologize to Brett on their date & say that she shouldn’t have gone on the booze cruise.  Back from the date, she runs straight to Jared & confirmed her feelings for him are “genuine.”  Ashley cries in the background while they makeout.  Ashley

Later that night Ryan arrived – he’s from Kaitlyn’s season.  You probably don’t recognize him because 1.) you don’t remember him, or 2.) he now has a beard & has grown his hair out.  Jared tried to pawn Ashley off on him, but she can only talk about her Jared obsession so he opts for Haley.  Daniel immediately dubs Ryan as the “Silver Fox.”  That is not the insult he thinks it is.  Side note: why does everyone still call her Ashley I. when she is the only Ashley there?

Ryan & Haley go horseback riding.  Been there, done that, but I want a twin to succeed.  So. I support this date.  Back at the resort, Grant takes Lace on a self-made 1-on-1…a couple’s massage.  This was great in concept, but then Grant mucked it up by professing his love for Lace.  Her response: “Why?”  Obviously, this bodes well for their relationship.Lace

Izzy flirts with Brett, while Vinny broods a stone’s throw away.  She then breaks up confesses her doubts with Vinny & crushes his soul.  Vinny does not take it well.  Sad face.  The next morning, or as we learned on After Paradise, that Vinny woke Izzy up, around 3pm, to announce that he was going home.  All the other couples are freaked out.

Jade & Tanner swung by the resort to hand out a date card.  Despite Ashley’s sabotage plan, they gave the date card to Jared & Caila.  I do believe that Caila has been in Paradise for 3 days & has been on 3 dates…  Grant & Lace basically fell apart while Jade & Tanner interviewed them.

Meanwhile, Jenn pulled Nick aside to make sure they were on the same page.  Does Jenn remind anyone else of Sharlene Joynt from Juan Pablo’s season?  As in, she is calm, cool, & collected.  Nick doesn’t want to be a joke (aka made a fool of) or a Trivial Pursuit question…is it just me or is that a weird way say that?

Jared & Caila had a typically boring date…making out in their underwear in a river.  Caila wore black panties, & if you’ve ever seen 10 Things I Hate About You you know what that means.  Caila’s damn hair still looks perfect in the rain.  Bitch.

Evan & Carly go on another terrible looking date.  I was terrified that it was going to be Tantric yoga, but turned out to hot meditation/confessionals.  Carly managed to get her lady boner back for Evan.  God Bless…  Didn’t Carly have a similar date with Chris Soules?

Y’all, I can’t believe I’m even thinking this, much less confessing it here, but Evan gave me some Patrick Swayze vibes in that hut!!!

Meanwhile, Ashley got her hooks into Jared deep.  She seems to take great pleasure in mind-f*cking with him & Caila.  While, I do agree that Caila is a bit robotic & standoff-ish.  I applaud her for confronting Ashley, & she was correct in everything she said to Ashley on the beach.

We leave this week with previews of a big fight between Josh & Nick…looks so good!

My favorite Tweets of the night:  3.13.23.33.43.53.63.73.83.9

What did you all think of this week’s episode(s)?  When is Wells going to get there & woo Ashley?  I can’t take anymore Jared obsession.

I’ll be live tweeting #RHONY tonight, while I make potato soup, & the recap will be up tomorrow.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or like the Analogy of Reality page on Facebook. 🙂

Kiss Hug,

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Rainy Day Playlist

It has been raining for a few days here in Texas, which I’m not complaining about as my yard needed it.  In fact, I have a special place in my heart for rainy days.  Who doesn’t love a day spent on the couch reading a book while listening to melancholy music?  And, sometimes we just need a good cry to reset our minds.

All by Myself

I came up with a perfectly mellow playlist, in my humble opinion.

  1. Everblue by Mandy Moore – This is such a beautiful, moody song.  Mandy-Pants, that’s what I call her because I feel like we could be friends like that, was clearly going through a rough patch when she wrote this song.  It is my go to when I’m in a broody kind of place.
  2. Between the Lines by Sara Bareilles – So, y’all know I’m a huge fan of Sara.  I think she is an amazing songwriter.  I’d love to go see her in Waitress on Broadway in NYC.  This was one of my first favorites by the lovely Sara.
  3. Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez – I originally heard this song on an Anthropologie playlist & fell in love with it.
  4. Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy – This is the first song I ever heard by A Fine Frenzy.  I was hooked by the end of it.  Kind of OBSESSED.
  5. Forever & Always by Parachute – Okay, real talk.  I cannot listen to this song without crying, so be prepared.  It’s a beautifully tragic love song.
  6. Magnolia Mountain by Ryan Adams – My absolute favorite song by Ryan Adams.  If I’m being honest I tend to think the vast majority of his music is melancholy & moody.
  7. I Bruise Easily by Natasha Bedingfield – I can’t really put my finger on it, but this song gives me total Joni Mitchell vibes, & we already know I love her so this song was quickly loved as well.
  8. Lost Stars by Adam Levine – This song is from the movie Begin Again, which Adam Levine was in.  This is really the only song from this movie that I loved, preferably the slow version.
  9. Good Enough by Evanescence – Whew!  If ever you have a down in the dumps, feel sorry for yourself moment, this song will help you wallow in it.
  10. Mayday by Cam – I love Cam; who doesn’t?  The Bobby Bones Show helped bring her to the forefront of radio in the last year or so.  This song, off her debut album, is my favorite.
  11. Not An Addict by K’s Choice – This song brings me back to high school.  I used to be in a club called P.R.I.D.E. & we went around to the younger schools to talk about peer pressure, drug abuse, etc.  We did a skit to this song, & I always picture it when listening to this song.  It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
  12.  Can’t Tell You Why by The Eagles – So, we all know that The Eagles are my GOAT; however, my favorite song changes every so often.  For the last year this has been THE ONE.  It’s mellow, but the harmonies are amazing.  Plus, I sing this song really well during my Car Concerts.
  13. Maybe by Kelly Clarkson – I love Kelly Clarkson!  She’s a fellow Texan & she just gets it, you know?  This is kind of a girl anthem meets a moody break up song.  There’s chord changes from major to minor keys, it’s fast, it’s slow, it’s all over the place & I love it.
  14. Insensitive by Jann Arden – As most great songs are, this is one of the many about love & loss.  Total classic.  There is a great cover of this song by Leann Rimes.
  15. Can’t Stop A Heart by Aubrey Peeples – It took me quite some time to be able to listen to this song without crying.  If you watched the show Nashville then you probably know that Layla wrote this song about Jeff & performed it after his death.  It’s dark & sad & I love it.
  16. Losing My Religion by R.E.M. – Really?  Yes, this is one of the ultimate sad jams.  ‘Nough said.
  17. Dimming Light by Tennis – This is a somewhat new song to me.  I believe Tennis only has an EP out, but I heard this song randomly on Spotify & immediately gravitated to it.
  18. Lemon Parade by Tonic – Tonic is one of my favorite bands from the 90’s & most of their songs are fairly mellow.  This particular one really resonates with me.
  19. Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold) by Dan Seals – I love, love, love this song.  It’s a typical country love song – tragic.  This song is about a woman leaving her daughter & husband, & the song is written from his point-of-view.  I particularly love it because the little girl’s name is Casey & the horse’s name is Red (my dad’s name).  When I was little I thought this song was about us…it totally isn’t.  Ahh, to be young & naive  again.
  20. Up & Up by Coldplay – I love Coldplay.  I’d say that 90% of all Coldplay songs could be on this playlist, but I especially love this one off their newest album.  It’s actually a very uplifting song, but it’s so mellow thus how it landed here.

What are some of your favorite Rainy Day Tunes?

Kiss Hug,

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Teddy Bears for Baton Rouge

So my friend, Maureen, lived in New Orleans (her hometown) during Hurricane Katrina.  Maureen is a naturally very giving person, but especially to the state of Louisiana when needed.  As I’m sure many of you know, Baton Rouge has had a tough time lately due to flooding.  21″ of rain fell steadily in less than 24 hours.  You can read about it here: Louisiana – The Skimm

Last night, instead of watching Bachelor In Paradise, I babysat for my some of my favorite 9 & 10 year-olds.  It quickly turned into a sleepover, but instead of playing on their iPads, etc. they opted to do something kind for others.  #Pimpinjoy, if you will.  Teddy Bears made out of towels.

One of Maureen’s friends bought all the towels at Target & TJ Maxx, then promptly gave half to Maureen to assemble.  With my supervision, Abby, Bridget, Ella, & Jadyn made a bajillion teddy bears.  Yes, bajillion is a word.  Maureen’s friend will be delivering the bears this weekend.

Watch the tutorial here: DIY Teddy Bear

Ella was a bear making machine, while it took the rest of us a bit longer to get it.  I blame our perfectionism.  Checkout the girls’ masterpieces: Named Girls

If you are interested in helping, please follow the link.  Help Baton Rouge Flood Victims

Kiss Hug,

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Conceal Those Raccoon Eyes

So, I inherited several things from my grandma, Nanny.  I got the Sherman T&A, as we call it in our family, in addition to awesomely thick hair, salt & pepper hair, & dark under eye circles.  Thanks Nanny – you could have kept some of these things!

I came across this concealer, probably on Pinterest or somewhere online.  It was super cheap, so I thought I’d give it a try.  NYX

It works amazingly well!  Color me shocked & pleasantly surprised.  With Without 2

Since it’s the weekend, I tend to wear less makeup…just a little concealer, blush, mascara (my lashes are blonde), & some chap stick.  However, multiple concealers are essential for to fulfill different needs.  I have four that I use regularly – green for blemishes under my BB Cream, NYX for under eye circles, white as a highlighter, & another that reflects light away from less than perfect areas.  I don’t use the highlighter in the typical brow area, but rather on my top lip.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a mustache but I do get a weird shadow from time to time.  Here are my favorite concealers at the moment.  Concealers

One last thing, I tried coconut gel eye treatments for the first time this morning.  I was so impressed!  These came in my POPSUGAR Must Have Mini Box.  LOVED!!!Coconut Eyes

Do y’all have any great tips & tricks?  What’s your favorite concealer?

Kiss Hug,

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