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This is how you adult, right?

Types of Friends

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Get you a friendship like Cory and Shawn

Throughout life, you will meet hundreds of people, maybe thousands – no, MILLIONS! I don’t know your life but I don’t think I’ve met millions but that is because I enjoy being a hermit. Can we say FOMO? Is that right? Did I use that right? Oh, you kids and your new lingo…! ūüôā

Anyway! Throughout your life, you will meet a substantial amount of people and some of those encounters will blossom into friendships, even life long friendships. Like regular people, these friendships may not feel the same. You may even find yourself putting them into categories because it is 2018 and we need to categorize everything or else OUR WORLD IS OUT OF ORDER. Here are the type of friends you’ll have.

  1. The Distance Friend
    You know which ones these are. It’s the friend that had to move away (or you moved away). You say, “We’ll keep in touch,” but never do, however, sometimes, we do meet amazing people that are worth staying in touch with. You text all the time, FaceTime, Facebook video chat each other to keep the other person involved in your life. You don’t go too many days without hearing from them. These friends normally tend to cherish the friendship. These are the best people.
  2. The Frenemy… Friend…?
    These toxic ass people need to be left where they festered from – middle school or high school. Frenemy (friends that are enemies) are never good people, in fact, they can be very damaging to your self esteem if you allow them to be. Whenever something terrible happens, they relish on it; whenever something positive happens to you, they rain on your parade. Why do they exist? I don’t know. Why are you friends with them? I don’t know but you will reach an age where you’ll just end the connection and realize you don’t need that negativity in your life.

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    Anyone catch this reference?
  3. The Time Invested Friend
    The Throw Back Friend, the friend you have scandalous pictures of before there were phones and social media readily available. This is the one you had met when you couldn’t even spell your name correctly. I have two who fit this criteria: one whose parents were friends with my parents and the other who I learned how to write the alphabet with. You can’t let go of these friends because not only do they have a SHIT ton of dirt on you but these were the ones who know the real you, not the Instagram lie you lead.
  4. The Spouse Friend
    Surprisingly enough, you’d be shocked how many married couples do not see their spouse as their friend, just a person they ended up marrying. Go ahead, ask some of your parents and if they say they are besties, REALLY watch their interactions, you’ll be questioning love forever. It took me years to see my husband as someone I can confide in, not just as a spouse but as a friend who has been there for me as a human being because they chose to – not out of marital obligation.
  5. The Down Ass Friend
    You can depend on this person to always lift your spirits and bring out the best of you. They are always down to hang out in any situation and have a good time! Whether it’s just having a drink or going out somewhere new. They won’t tear you down and they will remind you how awesome you are.

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    Where my Broad City girls at?!
  6. The One That Got Away Friend
    When a friendship ends, it’s never a fun time and it’s worse when there was a lot of time invested. I know I had said earlier how you need to keep these people in your life but, sometimes, the friendship may not be worth saving. At some point, I had to cut a friend loose because I felt it was very one sided despite knowing each other for years. It hurt but I also knew it wasn’t genuine.¬† We either both put in effort or kick rocks!
  7. The Cat Pee Friend
    This is what I call the “Jealous” friend. These are people who only make plans with one person and then get upset when that said person hangs out with others. I refer to them as Cat Pee because they will mark their scent on someone as if to say, “This person is MY FRIEND, MINE. YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO HANG OUT WITH THIS PERSON.” Lord forbid Jealous finds out their friend spent time with someone else “behind their back”. I have met a few people like this and there is a reason I don’t hang out with them. I don’t need them to post pictures or updates whenever we are together. Just be friends, dude, don’t show me off like a pawn to make people jealous. Unless it’s Ryan Reynolds, then PLEASE TAKE PICTURES OF US TOGETHER!

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    Deadpool as Ryan Reynolds
  8. The Chill At Home Friend
    This is my type of friend. The one you are comfortable enough with to just walk into their home, take a blanket and just cuddle up on the couch for either movies, shows, chit chat, what have you. You don’t feel pressure to do anything and can literally spend all day there without doing much and just enjoy their company (vice versa). Ya’ll would rather lounge about than go out to bars. *UVA, anyone?

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    That WAS my bed until she took over it with her pups!

There you have it! How many of these friends do you have? Cut that frenemy off! Just like pineapples on pizza, they are just out for a terrible time and ruin everything around you… I STAND BY MY CHOICE.

 

 

*UVA is like the Uber Eats in Puerto Rico ūüėÄ

What I would tell my younger self 10 years ago

If someone told me, at 21, that at 31, I would be married to someone completely different, with no kids, and living in Puerto Rico with two dogs, I would have said… BITCH, YEAH RIGHT!

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Ah, so young and full of hope and, yet, so stupid

#FlashBackFriday
2008 was the year I regretted piercing my tongue, wore my studded belt with every outfit, and was in the middle of frying my hair with my straightener and dye jobs. My college dorm was my “residency” and I somehow managed to balance my grades, partying, and a long term relationship. Often, I was asked what I planned on doing with my life and I never had a solid answer. I didn’t exactly have a path to follow so I latched on to someone else’s idea of what sort of life plan I had for myself.

Growing up the younger of two, the only daughter, and in a traditional Latin home, I wasn’t exactly given too many choices or options of what I wanted to do with myself. School, however, was never up for debate – I had to go, like it or not. College was absolutely amazing but, at the time, I wasn’t living for myself. It wasn’t until 2009 that life kicked me in my lady balls and showed me I had to do something with my life but in 2008? I was lost. I was lost in this pressure of finding out what I wanted to do; will I marry him? Will I start a family? Will I be a working mom? Why am I in college? I had no guide to help me through these decisions.

So, if I could go back in time 10 years ago, here are a few things I would let Allison (no one called me Ally yet) know.

  1. No, I didn’t bring anything back from the future, so, you’re just going to have to believe me.
  2. You will find your calling in school, just not at this very moment. You will need to be alone to figure out what drives you and what makes you happy. Don’t give up on school. This will be your security.
  3. Yes, your brother marries her. Their love will open a part of your heart you didn’t know existed and your nephew, Damian, will draw out emotions you thought you’d never feel for a human being. You will understand what “fighting for your life” really means and how delicate life can be but Damian will also teach you how strong someone can be, no matter their size.
     

  4. That nervous tick you have with shaking your leg is going to be a sign of anxiety. You won’t get diagnosed until about 7 years later. It’s going to suck and you’ll cry because you won’t fully understand why it happens or what is triggering it. I’m still trying to figure it out so just be patient. Not everyone will understand and while some will try to “out do” your pain, there will be others who will empathize and help you.
  5. That piercing you have, you’re going to take it out and pierce it about two more times. The last time will be the least painful one and eventually, you’ll get bored of it and take it out every now and then. You’ll still have it at 31.

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    It’s all fun and games until you rip the hole or swallow the jewelry
  6. Don’t try so hard to hold on to people. Those who will make the effort to stay in your life, will. Jen will be one of those. She will go through life turmoils but will finally find her happy place. You’ll be lucky enough to meet her son, Orion, and be proud of the woman she has become all while reminiscing with her about the time you both shared a toilet to throw up in during a drunken night at Webster Hall.

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    Jen, thank you for all your spontaneous joy rides to 6 Flags and down the shore
  7. You’re going to go through your first heartbreak really soon and it’s going to hurt, bad,¬†but¬†it will be worth it. It will take a few years to get over the pain but you’ll reach a day when you can look back at Louie’s old pictures and say, “I’m okay.” I promise you, it will be for the best. Besides, your husband is much funnier, nicer, and he absolutely adores you.
  8. Stop being so hard on yourself. No one has their shit together. Have fun and screw what anyone thinks of you. You’re going to make mistakes but this is how you will learn.Follow up: there will be two apps where everyone will take pictures and videos to showcase their daily lives where they pretend to be happy; create and patent the apps Instgram and Snapchat. You’re welcome.
  9. Jessica will be your best college roommate. Trust me.
     

  10. Your best concert buddy is actually your brother and you will have a blast cockblocking him at concerts so go to as many as possible.

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    Enjoying In This Moment with my brother
  11. The love of your life will finally meet you in the perfect circumstance and take you to places you’ve never dreamed of seeing. He will also bring you two dogs that will love you unconditionally. In this relationship, you will learn you never really wanted kids to begin with.

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    D’aw!
  12. There will always be people that don’t like you and that’s OK. You don’t need to be their friend. You are going to keep meeting people you don’t like for whatever reason as well. That’s just life; you can’t win everyone over.
  13. Not only will you get a job, you will graduate, get a better job, and you’ll buy your own car with money you’ve saved without needing a co-signer. It’ll be terrifying but worth it.

You’re never going to like wearing office clothes, you’ll still wear cartoons on your shirt, you’ll have blue hair, and you’ll still get excited about Sailor Moon. It looks like you’ll always be young at heart… or an idiot. Just enjoy the ride!

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My lonely Valentines

Military spouses are no strangers to being alone on important holidays and I can understand why they would dread spending today alone. After all, you are surrounded by pink and red colors, the word “love” splashed everywhere, and happy couples while you only have Netflix to depend on.

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Yes.

Where did this sappy holiday come from?
Lemme school you on where this joyous holiday came from. St. Valentine was a Christian priest who literally died for love. He found it unfair for Emperor Claudius II to ban engagements and weddings for the sake of having more soldiers. Claudius was pretty much a dick because he got into so many wars that he was running out of soldiers and lovers did not want to leave their families to fight Claudius’ battles. On top of being a fan of war, he didn’t really treat his people fairly so it is understandable why no one wanted to fight for him anymore. St. Valentine was not having any of Claudius’ shit and believed love should never be banned or prohibited (are you listening, you Judgey Judies?), so, he secretly began marrying couples. When he was outed, he was sent to prison and was put to death but not before confessing his love to a blind girl. How did he do this? No, not with a pen, but with ink squeezed from violets. That’s right, he wrote her a sonnet composed of ink squeezed from violets. Sadly, he was still put to death the next day. Valentine’s day is celebrated on February 14 because it is believed lovebirds, doves, and owls began to mate that day after the Catholic Church granted him Sainthood.

Now that you know the history of why we celebrate this day, I can admit that I’ve never been one to celebrate this holiday. After learning about the saint, I can absolutely respect the day and the man but I just don’t expect my husband to give me gifts because it’s just another day. Plus it has become sooo commercialized, I mean, c’mon, before you read this, did you know who Saint Valentine was and why he is honored? No, because HE isn’t honored, per se, the action of love, what he died for, is celebrated. With that being said, does it change your perspective on today?

Still a V-day Grinch? Celebrate the other “holidays” that are on February¬†14!
This love and sex filled date is also shared with Library Lovers’ Day (Australia), International Book Giving day, National Cream Filled Chocolate day, and Quirkyalone Day. No one said you couldn’t acknowledge any other event going on in the world so here are a few things you can try and do today besides wallow in your emotions.

  1. Be a fun parent if your spouse is deployed. Have the kids make some sort of arts and craft gift for their parent so when they do come back, they’ll have piles of cards and gifts. Plus, it’ll keep the kids busy and your mind occupied.
  2. Love isn’t just for marriages and relationships. Go visit a children’s hospital, bring them Valentine Cards or even little snacks. They can always use new visitors and it’ll be a nice feeling for them to be acknowledged by someone besides their parents.
  3. Pamper yourself. This doesn’t just go for women, I’m sure there are “Me” things husbands can do to make themselves feel good. Ladies, get dolled up for yourselves, make yourselves a HAPPY dinner, not a sad, woo is me, dinner-for-one meals.
  4. While you’re all sexified, take a few pictures or even videos for your boo thing and send them to their phone or have a photo shoot printed out so when they return home, they have an extra goodie.
  5. Buy cream filled chocolates! You don’t have to share with ANYONE!
  6. Don’t be bitter. Just because your spouse is away absolutely does not give you a free bitter card. Don’t be jealous or say the famous “Must be nice…” phrase to other couples. You don’t know how many other meaningful days they had to spend away from each other nor do you know their struggles. Don’t rain on their parade.

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    Don’t be shitty.
  7. If you’re a military spouse, invite some other spouses whose S/O are away. Bring out the board games, snacks, PJ’s, or dress up! Something lively so you don’t end the night on a sad, tearful note.
  8. Do what YOU want to do. Reread an amazing book or watch trashy TV. Dive into something you love to indulge in that you normally wouldn’t be able to do with your spouse around (*ahem* KUWTK).

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PERIOD panties! Thinx or Padkix?

Every month I get this pesky little thing called a period. It’s basically my body’s way of relaying a nasty message to me signed from my uterus.

The gift that keeps on giving
My uterus fights me every month because I refuse to give it a baby. This fight consists of bloating, making me feel like I have about 20 extra pounds from my waist down, bleeding, losing the uterus lining in chunks, and terrible hormonal swings. If that wasn’t enough, I must sacrifice good panties for ugly period panties that will not escape the inevitable. I hold a viking funeral in their honor.

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So one day, in my inebriated stage, I was just hanging around at home just cruising YouTube as I always do, hammered or not, I just enjoy YouTube holes. I came across this Buzzfeed video where the girls try Padkix period panties and this YouTuber I follow, Safiya Nygaard who also tried Thinx, another period panty. I had just finished my period and thought I should try these!

Life changing moment
I had gotten my first period at the age of 11 and since then, it has been a bloodbath – no pun intended. Because I come from an immigrant family and my mother is religious, I was NOT encouraged to wear tampons so I strictly wore pads, the bulky kind all through my preteen and teenage years. It wasn’t until I went shopping with my cousin and saw her buy the Ultra Thin pads¬†with wings! Mind blown. I immediately switched out to those until I hit about 21 years old. I had went to a pool party and planned on just hanging out because my beloved menzies showed up unceremoniously. Then… a wizard appeared before me and offered me a tampon. This 16 year old wizard showed me a whole new world.

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A whole new world!

She handed me a Playtex Sport tampon. What a game changer. It took me about three tries to actually figure out how to use it but once I did, holy shit, I never went back. Now, because I didn’t treat my anxiety at that time, I had unrealistic fears such as…

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This was and always will be a fear in my head. I know it doesn’t make sense nor will it happen but this is what I envision in a pool.

Along with pool swimming sharks, I am constantly worrying about Toxic Shock Syndrome so I refuse to sleep with a tampon inside. Instead, I usually wear overnight pads which aren’t the most comfortable. Between the diaper feeling and the crinkle noises, it’s just a inconvenience. After watching both YouTube videos, I decided to give it a go and try out both.

Pulling the trigger
I first went to the Thinx website and ordered a Large Bikini in black. Looking back, I should have gotten a medium but the only reason I opted for a large was because Safiya mentioned in her video that the panty felt a little snug around the leg opening and if I am going to wear these, I wanted to be comfortable. This panty cost $37.00 with shipping included. I ordered it January 11 and I received it on the 16th. Next I went to Padkix and ordered a Medium in polkadot. The cost was $36.00 altogether with shipping as well and I received this one on the 17th.

When I first opened the packages my initial reaction was, “Holy hell, they are HUGE!” but not bad. Thinx was a plain black panty. It looked almost identical to regular black panties I would normally wear except with a liner, pad, or a tampon. The Padkix was cute with its polkadot pattern and, considering I don’t wear cute panties during my flow, it was a comforting fact knowing this company was so confident on no spills that they made this black and white pattern.

The experiment
I decided to wear the Padkix on my first night of my period. As adorable as these polka dots looked, it felt like I had a lot going on down there. The bottom inside has a fleece like material so it’s warm. The outer side of the panty feels kind of like a swimsuit. Imagine wearing one of those swimsuit that holds everything in but has an outer layer that is slightly loose, that’s what it feels like. It’s not uncomfortable but I was aware these were not regular panties. I did feel secure that nothing was going to leak out on the sides. You can see the slightly placed lining of the “extra padding material” on the back and if anyone touches your butt, they WILL feel the padding. It’s not very discreet so I’m not entirely comfortable wearing these with leggings or tight pants at all. My lady bits did feel like they were being snuggled by a pillow so that was a plus.

When I went to bed, I was hesitant but thank goodness the bedsheets were red colored already! I slept the whole night and when I woke up, there was no spillage and no leaking but it also appeared that I didn’t bleed that much to begin with. I decided to wear them during my morning routine: waking up at 5:30am to make breakfast for my husband and myself, let the dogs out in the yard to potty, eat said breakfast, take the dogs out for a 2 mile walk, and did some light household work. All of that seemed to do the trick to get things flowing down there. Although it was soft and comfortable, it felt a little bulky and I was very aware of what I was wearing. When I went to shower, I saw the massacre that was my period. The care instructions advise to wring out your worn period panty before washing them. I’m not stranger to blood but that part seemed the most unpleasant was having to wring out. I get why you should do this, I do, but, man, that was A LOT of blood. I would recommend doing this in your laundry sink or in the shower. After I did this, I tossed it in my laundry, washed it, and hung it to dry. No stains, no odor, nothing. It was good to go!

I wore the Thinx pair the following night. These look like actual panties and this is from their new line of cotton underwear. This black undie is way more discreet than Padkix but what it lacks in cuteness, makes up with comfort. Because I bought one that is all black, you can’t really see the lining but you can’t feel it either. I was a little apprehensive that it wasn’t going to secure my second night flow because it is a size larger than my normal size so imagine my surprise when I woke up and, once again, no leakage, no spillage, no stains. The clean up process was the same as the Padkix – it was a massacre in my sink. Once they were wrung out, I tossed them in the wash and hung them to dry.

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Am I a changed woman?
Padkix has their cute design and with their black and white pattern, it is easy to tell if you’ve had any leakage but I’m not sure how I feel about the fleece lining. It’s definitely secured but the padding would make me feel paranoid if I wore it in public under dress pants or leggings. With that said, despite the “full” feeling down there, you KNOW it is working. The Thinx were light weight and the lining was barely visable. It’s breathable so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a diaper but I feel as though I may have to retry them again on my first day on a light run to really test how much it can hold. If next month they both feel comfortable, I may just buy them both again, Padkix in another design and the Thinx in a beige color and smaller size and style.

Personally, I would wear them again because not having to put a tampon in or wearing a pad is SO freeing. I would recommend you try at least one of them. Pull them up, throw on some sweat pants, get comfy on the couch while you stuff your face with chocolate and use your hormonal tears to wash it down!

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Embracing my natural hair

When I was about 11 years old I participated in my older cousin’s Sweet 15. On the day of the party, all the girls had to get their hair done. The style was a simple, blow out – not wavy but pin straight.¬†I saw what I looked like in the mirror and I couldn’t believe how great I looked.¬†This was the first time I had ever saw myself with straight hair and began hating my natural hair.

Bleach. Dye. Gel. Repeat.
All through middle school, I rocked a pony tail with my frizzy hair because I didn’t know how to style it. Once I hit high school I would wake up, dunk my head in water, then in a tub of gel (which held a BUNCH of alcohol as ingredients) that I would buy from the dollar store, make it nice and crunchy and then break the gel once I got to school. If I couldn’t be bothered to do that or flat iron it, I would just wear pigtails and call it a day.

 

The darkest time my hair faced was college. During those years, I had blue, purple, green, orange, yellow, red hair and that meant a lot of dying and frying. I was completely oblivious of the harsh chemicals bleach gave off and on top of that, I would take a flat iron to my damp hair. I wouldn’t even let it completely dry before going over it with my Chi flat iron.

Blue da ba dee
At the age of, oh, let’s say 28 or 29, bleaching everything and dying my whole head blue sounded like a good idea. Not highlights, not ombre – all blue. Although, I wanted to fuck with my hair as much as my dark roots allowed me to, I made sure to talk to the colorists and stress the fact I wanted to protect my hair as much as possible and they understood. From then on, I began to deep condition my hair, use cool/cold water, and only wash it once or twice a week.

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Blue and pigtails, once again, because my hair wouldn’t cooperate.

As much as loved my blue hair, I found myself actually missing my curls and decided mid November 2017 that I will no longer straighten my hair. Of course, to achieve my goal, I would have to give up dying it as well. I was conflicted! On one hand, I have always loved having extreme hair since college, my husband adores and encourages it, and we joke that our dogs can always spot me out because of my blue color (yes, dogs can see blue). While on the other hand, my hair will never reach its full potential of healthy curls, I’ll be spending over $100 every couple of months for the upkeep, and constant frizz!

So, I decided to switch up my hair care
I started to research articles, magazines, and YouTubing beauty gurus. CurlyPenny has an excellent YouTube channel where she shows her curly hair routine, what products she enjoys, and even searches for products at reasonable prices. I use only CF (Cruelty Free) make up so it is only natural I look for CF hair products such as the Shea Moisture line. January 27, 2018 was the first time I did a cowash, meaning, when I went to wash my hair, I washed with only conditioner and omitting shampoo altogether. These were my results after my first co washing, using Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk and using a blow dryer diffuser. Keep in mind, I had not applied heat to my hair for over a two months, I massaged Jojoba oil on my scalp to promote hair growth, and limited my use of products with sulfate and parabens.

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My natural hair trying to repair itself.

I am stilling in the trial and error phase on finding CF products that work for me. Lots of money down the drain but it’s not as annoying as the next paragraph!

No, you may not touch it
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Please… don’t touch my hair. No, I am not being rude, I’m not being uptight, I don’t think I’m full of myself. This is what I have to do to my hair:

  • Use a satin pillow case, which by the way, IS NOT AS COMFORTABLE AS YOU’D THINK!
  • Use scrunchies because, suddenly, it’s the 90’s!
  • Sleep with my hair in a loose pony tail INSIDE a silk bonnet if my satin pillow case is dirty
  • Immediately use product while my hair is still wet to control my curls. This means my shower routine is still not finished by the time I leave my shower
  • Delicately and lightly dry my hair with a T-shirt BUT ONLY FOR A MOMENT or else frizz happens
  • Carefully scrunch more product in my hair with my fingers BUT ONLY FOR A MOMENT or else more frizz happens
  • Blow dry my hair for about 30 minutes just enough to leave it slightly damp because my arms are exhausted from massaging my scalp, washing my hair, de-tangling my hair, and holding the blow dryer.

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Basically, it takes a lot of work, patience, and time for me to “just” wash my hair to get my hair as healthy as I possibly can during this time. Second, third, fourth day hair is even harder to manage because any touch can make my hair frizz. Once my hair is finally grown out I can do the big chop (unless I just start getting trims) and maybe I won’t need to work so hard and I won’t be as anal about people touching my hair.

Love what ya got!
Straight or curly, just love what you have. All straight haired girls would love to have our volume and bounciness while we, us curly haired, would enjoy waking up, brushing our hair and going out the door. Both have their pros and cons but at the end of the day, you just have to accept what you have and find the beauty in it.

 

“Why did you stop?”

In mid November, I had met up with a high school friend, Diandra, and when she asked me, “So, what are you doing in Puerto Rico?!”

I replied,

“Nothing. Just a housewife.”

Catching up just to sit down
I had went back to New Jersey for a few weeks due to hurricane Maria ripping through Puerto Rico. I stayed with my parents and I was able to catch up with some friends, mainly my high school girls, Mimi and Joy. Thankfully, we all live close to each other and decided to meet up and catch up on what has been going on in our lives.

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Old friends

Mimi struggled with anxiety but works hard to not let it run her life. She dished about her amazing job, the comfortable pay, exciting trip she took to Europe last year, and even about a new man in her life. Despite it all, she looked and sounded genuinely happy. Despite her demons, she was able to overcome all of her hardship and find herself on top.

Joy will be getting married in March, she is a registered nurse, and she is still climbing up, focused on actually helping people, and secure her future. After seeing her with someone for over 10 years who, not only mentally abused her, but constantly cheated and actually held her back from her full potential, it was heart warming to know she was able to rise up and realize her self worth.

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Friends

When it was my turn to speak, I was already mentally preparing myself for the same conversation with Diandra and I was ready to recite, once again, “Nothing. Just a housewife.” Instead, these powerful, ambitious, independent women asked:

“Are you still running?”
“What happened to your blog?”
“Why did you stop writing?”
“What about drawing?”

Once I heard these questions, it was as if they were describing this unique, happy, free individual with talent and ambition. Those talents and pastimes just floated in the air to form a person who was full of life, just to be let down and shut out. That wasn’t me or, I guess, it used to be but not anymore. To be honest, they caught me off guard, I was surprised they knew that much about me!

So, why did I stop?
I guess I stopped doing these things because I am afraid of failing. I am afraid my writing has suffered because I haven’t been on top of it. I am afraid of running because I haven’t in so long. I’m afraid of drawing because I don’t feel good enough to do so. I am afraid of updating my blog because I will feel insignificant and whiny. I would be lying if I didn’t think Annie (my anxiety) had something to do with how I am feeling. My anxiety does pull me down but hearing my friends actually care about little things I enjoyed doing gave me the little push I needed.

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My wedding day

I had been away from my friends for so long and have settled for others due to my living situation that I forgot who I was. Of course, I don’t mean I NEED them to get me back on track but to be reminded of the person you once were from the people who actually took notice, does help¬† me put things into perspective. It’s so easy to meet people but most just want to talk about themselves rather than get to know you and through that, I lost who I was. Yes, this does sound needy but sometimes, you just need real encouragement from friends who know the real you.

Trying is better than not
I am not one of those people who go around shouting “New Year, New Me!” Whenever I say I am going to change something about myself, I never do. In fact, I get overwhelmed by the pressure and end up doing the opposite and stop. What they said stuck with me and slowly I was getting my itch to doodle and write again. I worked on a little doodle D had been asking for, I wrote down some ideas for the blog, and had to buy a new charger to use my laptop. It would be too easy to say I will be updating more often but I would also be lying. I am hoping to keep up and actually do it and that’s all I can say.

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Everything will fall into place

 

 

Morning with Annie pt. 1

I wake up, check my phone, and see messages from friends.

“Hey, can you help me with something? Want to go to the beach today in about two hours? Work out today? I think I’m hungry, what are you up to?”

It doesn’t matter who sends what – it might as well be in one message. It is too much and I haven’t had breakfast yet. Let me get out of bed to let my dogs outside. It’s really sunny out, that means people are enjoying the hot weather. There are people walking around outside. I wish I had an app that worked like Uber, except for people. I can see who is where and how close they are to me without leaving my home. That way, I can avoid them.

It’s 8am or close to so I feed my precious dogs in our sunroom so they get fresh air and enjoy the nice climate. All they do in the morning is nap in between sun bathing. I go back inside to make myself coffee and, most likely, eggs of some sort. While the burner is heating up, I try to think of clever way to use social media without people knowing I’m active on chat. If they see me active, the messages will continue. Annie likes to take this moment and whisper, “You’re a shitty friend and sooner or later, they will stop asking for you.” With that said, I am forced to open the messages and pretend to be interested in whatever daily run ins I have.

Do you¬†really need help? I can’t make it out of my door but I can’t tell you this because I’ll sound crazy. The thought of even getting dressed to shower is already stressing me out. The beach? Shit, I need an excuse because if I agree to go, I immediately imagine myself sitting in the car and imagining all the different ways I am going to get into a car accident. What if I pee myself, poop myself, throw up because of the imaginary accident that will happen… any… minute… NOW. I play with my tongue ring when I am quiet, what if a car crashes into us and we survive but I have now bitten into my tongue so hard that I can’t stop the bleeding. What if an accident happens and no one can check on my dogs? I die, my husband has to go into the barracks, what will happen to my dogs? Will they go back to my parents? Of course, but then they will have to take care of my dogs, their dog, and cat. It’ll be chaotic. These thoughts run wild and cause my hands to sweat, chest tighten up, speaking of which, I have to say yes or no to working about. Let me handle this beach situation first before I answer to work out but I should work out before going to the beach. She is depending on me to work out. She’ll think of me as lazy and not committed. Fuck, why am I thinking of working out when I haven’t answered her back about the beach? Wait, who did I answer ‘yes’ to? Did I just agree to help her this afternoon? I have to cook dinner eventually! Wait, wait, wait, and my skillet is smoking because the butter burnt. I still haven’t even cracked the eggs.

I yell at Annie to STFU for a minute, put my phone down, cook my eggs, drink my coffee, put on a show on my laptop to watch and relax to. I forget for about 40 minutes that Annie even exists. I’ll wash the dishes later.

Back to these fucking messages. I agree to working out with her, helping her, and chit chat with her. The mindless chit chat makes me feel good. No pressure but she also understands when Annie comes around I am a different person. I love her, she is always honest with me. Am I talking about Annie? Or my friend? I don’t know anymore. I open the beach message and reply no. Not because I am busy, not because I don’t want to, I just can’t. My body and my mind will not let me. Annie won’t let me die today, I guess she is looking out for me.

I constantly look at the time because there is not enough time in the world for everything. It’s time to get ready and work out. Why. Are. All. These. People. Here?! Why did they all look at me as I was walking over? “Do I walk funny,” I ask Annie, “Yes,” she replies confidently, “You are not matching colors, you don’t walk femininely, and why are you wearing sleeveless tops like your arms are toned?” My legs are moving but I feel like I am dragging wights behind me. “I’m going to work out, why should my clothes matter? I don’t feel comfortable with sleeves when I work out,” but Annie always has an answer, “Look at their arms, they can wear what YOU want because they work out consistently. You haven’t earned the right to wear these clothes. They are judging you because of your double chin, flabby arms, round belly, blue hair. Everything about you is a joke.” I shake my head and remember where I am. I have finally crossed the street to work out. Where am I again? Why did it feel like 30 minutes pass as I walked across the street? Work it out.

We have the option to run or jog as a warm up. FUCK. ME. I guess I have to keep up. Annie runs next to me without skipping a beat, “No one expects you to run because they know your weight slows you down. So, walk and take forever or run and make it back breathless. It’s funny you care so much about what they think.” So, I run. Despite my shin pain, despite Annie weighing me down, despite the sun glare in my eyes. I just want to make this warm up finish now so I don’t have to hear Annie’s bullshit in my ear anymore. This is where I confuse struggling to run and struggling to beat an anxiety attack. “Don’t cry. More attention will be spotted on you. You cant run home because all your stuff is here. What excuse will you use now?” Finally, I make it back. I am mute. I say nothing.

We do survival work outs and somehow, for some reason, I cannot keep up. I feel like the last picked person in gym because I can’t fucking keep up. This is a strange feeling. I was always picked instantly as if it was an urgent mission to get the best of the best. I could run circles around the girls in gym who didn’t care to break a sweat. I am 30. My tooth hurts, my shins hurt, my neck was messed up, I get migraines, if I sleep in a different position during the night, I wake up in pain. Why is my body failing? I am working out with moms who take better care of themselves. Why can’t I keep up? “Because you’re lazy and you think you can cook but you don’t cook healthy,” Annie says as performs her squatting chest press with ease, “Now, you’re bringing your husband down with you.” Am I a shitty wife? No! I take care of him! Do I? This thought circles in my head with every new exercise because every time I stop for a break, Annie is shouting in my head. That’s it. I can’t take it. ANNIE, YOU WIN!

I don’t feel good. I am going to home.

I drag myself home as I hear laughter behind my back. Who is laughing? No one but Annie said everyone. “These voices won’t leave me alone.” That’s crazy, right? I don’t HEAR voices but I do. That IS crazy. Why does it take another 30 minutes? Why can’t I just RUN across the damn street? I can’t tell people this. Annie said people won’t understand. Everyone has anxiety so I’m not special. Why can’t I function right? Spell it out, a-n-i-x-e-t-y. It’s not even noon.

I shower and wash off my disappointment. Naked, I crawl back into bed while both my dogs follow. Mmmm, my dogs have that warm puppy smell. I run my fingers through the top of Potato’s (my dog) neck. She is so furry there. With every light tug I give her, I can feel my senses heighten as I close my eyes. My body flows out of the sheets like water. As I pet her, it feels as good as rubbing my feet on brand new, thick carpeting. If I keep running my hands on her body, I can feel my fingers push her fur up and feel her breathing. I put my fingers right by her armpit and I feel her pulse. Her pulse runs up my knuckles, up to my shoulders, and into my heart. Her heart beats for me. I must stay alive for her. I am her whole world. Her little paw pads feel smooth and ALWAYS smell like corn chips. I can feel my heart beat easing down with every breath I inhale of her scent. Why does she smell like shes been rolling around on concrete? Dammit. There goes my nice moment. Chimi (my little dog) always likes to lie down and curl up by my butt or crotch. I guess it’s the warmest part of my body? He will curl up and rest his head ¬†in a position where he can still look at me. He is like my tail – always behind me. He tried to follow me everywhere to make sure I am close by. He has these huge, typical, chihuahua eyes that melt my heart. If I throw him a little kiss, without hesitation, he gets up, walks over my body to cuddle. I feel like tiny paws kneading my stomach as he passes up. He becomes this ball of fur next to my neck and rests his throat on mine. Somehow, this brings me warmth and comfort. For a moment, Annie isn’t allowed inside and I am normal. I don’t feel sick – I’m OK.

I Got LASIK

I love how my glasses always fall down my nose, fog up when I walk into someplace warm after being in the cold, and when they collect rain droplets – said no one! I couldn’t take the discomfort any longer so I had LASIK done last month ūüėÄ

What is LASIK?
If you have terrible eye sight, such as myself, you can be eligible for Lasik eye surgey which consists of reshaping your cornea through a flap the doctor will make in your eye. The laser itself reshapes the cornea and the flap goes back down. Don’t worry, the flap immediately gets sucked back down naturally. However, if you have poor eye sight along with other vision difficulties, such as astigmatism, you will probably be recommended to have PRK. PRK is essentially the same thing except no flap is made and this procedure takes a few more days of healing, whereas Lasik, you’re good to go the next day. If you’d like more details, you can click the link for¬†Horizon Eye Care.

Shitty eyes
I have needed glasses since I was in third grade (9 years old). I can thank my dad for my terrible eye sight. He’s always had glasses or contacts, in fact, I can’t recall a time he didn’t need them. My parents kept me away from too much TV as they possibly could and never let me sit too close. Needless to say, they tried their best but it was just something they couldn’t avoid. Once I started high school (13/14 years old), I started to use contact lenses which came pretty easy to me. However, just because using contact lenses helped my eye sight, didn’t mean it would not come at a price. Every now and then, my eyes would go through this period where one or both eyes would become inflamed compelling me to use my glasses for several days allowing my eyes to rest.

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Ahh, the preteen years

Fast forward to last year. I was 29 years old and my eyes could no longer support contact lenses. These past few months had become aggravating wearing my glasses all the time because I could not see things standing a few feet away from me. I even bought a new phone with a bigger screen because looking at my tiny iPhone 5s began hurting my eyes. Don’t get me started on using that phone as a GPS while we dodged man holes! I came to the conclusion to get LASIK done.

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I spoke to my husband about it and he also supported my idea since he saw how miserable I was. I started doing research this past February and asking around for info. With my luck, my neighbor, who also happens to be from New Jersey, recommended this doctor who did her procedure years ago. I had narrowed down my search to about 4 doctors and decided to go with the NJ doctor. I scheduled my appointment for May.

Day of LASIK
When I walked in, I had told the nurses I have anxiety. I guess they didn’t think it was that bad until one of them patted me on my back and said, “Wow, you’re really warm!”
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Yes, I’m warm! In fact, I’m burning up from the inside because my anxiety is being triggered by the fact I will have a LASER COMING AT MY EYE BALLS! I told them to double me up on Ativan because I will freak out. As I sat on this hospital bed with my scrubs on and light blue cap on my head, I waited for the Ativan to kick in – it never did, well, it did but at the wrong time. After being asked several times if I was calm yet, I lied and said, “Yes.” It was a two hour ride back home so I just wanted to get it over with. I walked inside this operating room and they told me to lie down on this bed type thing and rest my head under this contraption.¬†The Ativan finally kicked in midway through the second eye procedure and it was finally over.

Did it hurt?: No. TBH, I didn’t feel anything except when they used this suction cup that freaked me out.
Did you see the blade coming at you?: I didn’t see anything because I had to focus on this little red light. Everything went blurry, really blurry so I just saw shadows moving in front of me.
What happened when you needed to blink?: The numbing drops prevent you from doing so. You don’t get the sensation to blink, plus, they are flushing your eyes anyway.
How long did it take?: The laser itself had a count down from 25 seconds (which helped my anxiety so I counted along with the nurse). The whole thing was about 5 minutes, maybe less. The prepping took longer.
Were you able to see instantly?: By the time I left the O.R. and the office and walked into the elevator, I was able to see the signs by the buttons.
What was the worse part?: Them taping my eye lids open and using this small metallic object to keep my eyes open. It didn’t hurt, just felt uncomfortable.

The nurses escorted me to the previous hospital bed I was on and after a few minutes the doctor came to check my eyes. He gave me the thumbs up, I waddled my way in my parents car, threw back some Advil PMs (they recommend me taking them so I just sleep the rest of the day/night) and knocked out until dinner time. Oh, yeah, before I was able to go to sleep, I sent this picture to the hubs.

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I was doped up on 2 Ativans and 2 Advil PMs

I was given those fancy shades to protect my eyes for about a month. Why these shades? Because these wrap around my eyes so I can avoid getting debris in my eyes. I was also given these shnazzy, clear goggles to sleep in. Apparently, when we sleep, we subconsciously rub our eyes. These goggles helped protect myself from my hands, pillow, and pet hair. I had to wear these for about 4 nights but I slept in them for about a week to be safe.

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I wasn’t doing one of those “bae-caught-me-sleeping-even-though-I-clearly-took-this-photo-myself” shot. I forgot my phone had that bright ass flash on the front side of my screen so it order to take a picture, I had to shut my eyes so the light wouldn’t, you know, kill me. Why didn’t I just adjust the setting to my phone for no flash? I was supposed to be sleeping. I wasn’t supposed to be awake and watching TV, reading, much less, be on my phone. Finally, I had fallen asleep for the night.

The morning after
I woke up like a kid on Christmas day. To my surprise, I was able to see crystal clear. Nothing hurt, nothing itched but my eyes did feel dry. At this point, I had to put in wetting drops every couple of hours to ease the dryness along with my prescribed medication. There was some bruising inside my eyes but it was very minimal.

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I’d like to audition as an extra for The Walking Dead, please!

My eyes looked pretty glossy the next couple of days. According to my best friend, I looked stoned. I wish! Well, not really. My eyes were dry enough, I didn’t need them to get worse. The doctor told me I would feel a sensation in my eyes almost as if I had an eye lash inside. The sensation I felt was less annoying. It didn’t stop me from doing anything at all.

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A month after LASIK
I am finally back home, on the island, with my little family. I could see everything without any assistance from eye wear. It’s like seeing everything for the first time. Now, I can wash my hair normally, wash my face, apply and remove make up, cook, go to the beach, walk my dogs, do everything comfortably and confidently.

I would highly recommend this if you can afford it, if you can stay calm, and if you’re just sick and tired of wearing glasses. It was quite possibly the best decision I have ever made. I would definitely avoid watching YouTube videos prior or else you might freak yourself out. Trust me, it looks a lot scarier than it is but it is completely worth it!

Why I Choose Cruelty Free Make Up Products [warning: graphic images]

When I first started my switch to cruelty free cosmetics, I took a trip to Sephora. Once I told one of the reps what kind I wanted, to my surprise, she asked me, “Why do you only want cruelty free make up?” I didn’t know I had to explain myself.

Cruelty free make up are products that do not test on animals. Vegan cosmetics are products that do not have any animal ingredients in them. According to LogicalHarmony, “This includes, but is not limited to, honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin, and many others.” What many people may¬†not know is that just because a product is vegan does not mean it is cruelty free. I know, right? MIND FUCKING BLOWN.

What are some brands that are cruelty free?
I have discovered quiet of few cosmetic lines that are cruelty free (some are also vegan!). I have always shopped at Sephora and dug around for the cosmetics that fit my criteria. The first line that comes to mind is Kat Von D. For years she has expressed her love of animals and she has recently (I believe in 2015) decided to become vegan. She posted a YouTube video where she explained her decision (not that anyone needs to explain why) on how she came to this resolution. Not only did she want to lessen the horrific treatment of animals but Kat also realized how harmful breeding cattle is for the environment. I have purchased a bundle of her make up and even posted a review¬†on some products a while back. Anastasia Beverly Hills¬†is also cruelty free but may not be vegan (they have used beeswax in their lipsticks before). I have been trying to get my hands on their lipsticks but either they don’t have the shade I want or simply forget to pick it up!

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If you are looking for cheaper make up (price wise, not product),¬†WetNWild¬†has been my new obsession recently. I absolutely love their Liquid Catsuit matte lipstick and I am determined to get all the shades. They also have vegan make up brushes as well. The best part about this line is it’s available at drugstores. I have been buying all of my WetNWild at Walgreens. I live in PR at the moment so the prices are about $4-$5 which is super cheap for the long lasting wear the Catsuit provides! E.L.F.¬†is another brand that can be found in drugstores, including TJMaxx. Another brand that is not only cruelty free but vegan as well is Pacifica. I haven’t found this yet but I will keep my eyes out for this brand as it also sells in drugstores.

Which companies hate bunnies?
It’s safe to say that big companies such as Bobbi Brown, Maybelline, Avon, Clinique, Cover Girl and the majority make up commercials you see are¬†not cruelty free. I found two lists online to confirm which products are cruelty free and which are not. Some companies that push they are cruelty free can be a little tricky due to their parent company. Tarte, for instance was bought by KOSE, a Japanese cosmetic brand that do test on animals. Urban Decay is another disappointment; they are owned by L’Oreal who also test on animals.¬†I was able to obtain and confirm this information by YouTuber boxes of foxes. She calls them out and raises a few good points. Why “proudly stand by cruelty free” if your parent company still tests on animals? If you’re interested to see what other companies are and are not cruelty free, check out LogicalHarmony¬†and CrueltyFreeKitty.

Basically any line that is sold in China¬†must¬†be tested on animals by law regulations. The practice in which¬†they test on our furry friends is pretty harsh. Along with being shaved to determine skin irritation, they also get solutions dripped into their eyes. After suffering for beauty’s sake, they get forced fed to detect lethal dosages. In other words, the testers want to see how much of the product do you have to ingest until you die. Of course, not every test subject gets that death sentence. The other animals that show bleeding on their skin, organ damage, and even birth defects are not given any pain killers, instead, their necks get manually snapped or are asphyxiated.

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Why I made the change
It’s no secret that I absolutely love my animals and I donate money to the ASPCA. I wanted to make some sort of a change for myself to better the world. I thought about what I could sacrifice or what I could change about myself and as well as commit to. I tried going vegan (and vegetarian) ¬†and that was an absolute disaster. I barely made it half way through the day. So I figured, my make up! Make up is something I definitely don’t need but it’s a luxury, not to mention costly AF! So I did some research and found out a few cosmetic lines that are and are not cruelty free.

Why I am not a hypocrite because I eat meat
Unlike Kat Von D, I do not have the discipline to give up dairy and meat and technically, no, we do not¬†need meat (unless you have a condition where you can easily get the nutrients you need from meat rather than any other form) as well as I don’t need make up. I choose to purchase and wear it, just not at the expense of an animal. I wear sneakers, drive a car with rubber tires, use sugar, and even dye my hair with Rusk. Giving up make up was an easy change and a small change. I have committed to it for over a year now and my next step will be changing my hair products. Although, I know I may or may not ever become vegan or vegetarian, I still feel good about myself knowing there is one less person hurting animals JUST to look pretty.

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I will never lecture someone (except this one blog post) why they should purchase certain brands of cosmetics but if you ask my opinion on what lipstick is long lasting, what blush goes on best, or what foundation I am wearing, I will always recommend a cruelty free brand. If I can just convince someone to change their beauty regiment on the sake of saving animals, then I know I reached my goal.

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Thanks, Charissa!

 

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