Monday, September 17, 2012

"Things Can Only Get Better!" (Long Post)

While driving to work this morning, I was listening to XM First Wave station (XM 33) and Howard Jones' "Things Can Only Get Better" boldly streamed into my car.  The sound was filled with memories of my 80s childhood paired with a positive message that truly, things are seemingly getting better!

Over the course of the last two years, I have gained 12-15 pounds.  It was seven years ago this month I began my weight loss journey.  When I reached my goal weight in early 2006 (lost 33 pounds), I felt amazing.  I promised never to be unhealthy again.  Yet, in June of this year, there I was standing in front of a mirror, unable to fit into a skirt I bought a year ago.  I broke the once-heralded promise I made to myself and I felt like crap.

In July, I decided "enough was enough" and after a little self-inventory, I began to keep a food journal again and I cut out all alcohol for 4 weeks.  I hit the gym more often and instead of eating McDonald's Fish Filet on the weekends, I make low-calorie falafel pitas paired with carrot sticks and tons of water.  Instead of eating three slices of Papa John's pizza, I eat one piece and have a big salad.  After a month of solid progress, I tried on that pesky skirt and it fit!  Hell, it fit better than when I first bought it last year!  I was so excited! (After two + months, the skirt is even looser now!!)

I am now back to my "good" weight of 127 or 9 stone.  I would like to lose 5 more pounds but I will continue to do so in a healthy way.  If I do not make it to 122, I will not beat myself up.  I just want to focus on eating healthy and staying active.  Let me tell you, losing weight is hard but keeping it off is even harder!  It is all about balanced living and learning to make the right choices and stay motivated.  (Some days I just want a cupcake and a martini!)

Another positive element going on right now is that my dad seems to be doing really well with his early-onset Alzheimers.  He is active, takes daily walks with my mom, keeps busy around the house and garden, and he is on a better CPAP (sleep apnea) machine.  I feel like the old Dad is back!  Now, I know my dad will never be the same but each day is a small achievement which is a BIG step in helping to maintain his mental state.

Moreover, after four years of not having any tattoos done, I have decided to take the plunge and get a new piece done.  Some of you may know that my artist and friend, Kauri Tiyme, was killed almost four years ago.  I once told her that she would be the only artist to touch me.  I stated this with the intention Kauri would be alive but after she was gone, I took that sentiment to mean "never ever again."

After much soul-searching, I feel I am ready to get tattooed again.  I cannot say for sure if Kauri would mind.  I think she would understand but I am not certain.  I know that I am ready and the process of getting tattooed will be the closure that I need.  I will always miss Kauri and I will forever treasure the art she gave me.

Nevertheless, on the 16th of October at 3pm, I am going to Cirque Du Rouge in Washington, D.C. for my tattoo session with Liaa Walter.  I am excited and nervous!
I am having a few Alpine Forget-Me-Not flowers along with a few mid-century starburts done on my inner left wrist.  I had my right wrist done in 2006 and then re-done (so much better) by Kauri in September 2008.  Anyone who has a tattoo done on the wrist knows how icky the sensation can be! That is what's making me nervous!  After my tattoo is done, I will be sure to post pictures!

I am looking forward to life for sure these days and it feels good.  I know some days are going to be better than others but I really feel "things can only get better!"

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Rumble in Lipstick Land!

First and foremost, I want to apologize for being away for a while.  I have been occupied with a busy work schedule and taking care of family issues.  For those of you who may know, my father is in the early stages of Alzheimers. Things have been good lately but some days are better than others.  I took my parents away on a little holiday to the beach for a few days and we all had a lovely time.

Nevertheless, I want to talk about the craziness that ensued regarding MAC Cosmetics' release of their "MAC By Request" collection.  Back in March, MAC had an open vote on their Facebook for customers to chose discontinued shades of lipstick, eyeshadow, and lipgloss.  Once the tallies were in, MAC debuted the winning three lipsticks, three eyeshadows, and three lipglosses. The shades were amazing for sure!  I really was pleased with the lipsticks.

The collection was released exclusively online in three parts.  First the lipstick, the lipglosses (a few days later) and then the glosses (a week after the lipsticks).  Due to the buzz generated on various websites (ie, several people were 'site'stalking' the MAC online site in anticipation of the collections' release (especially the lipstick).  On, fellow MAC devotees stated how they stayed up all night waiting to get their hands on the coveted colors. I got up early on the first morning of the lipstick release and was able to order two "Moxie" lipsticks and one "Candy Yum Yum."
Once the lipsticks were made available for purchase, the real "feeding frenzy" began!  By mid-afternoon the first day, "Candy Yum Yum" was sold out. The next day, "Moxie" was gone too.  (MAC stated that once the colors were sold out, they would be gone for good).

The eBay auctions for the three lipsticks further intensified the flurry of buying activity.  Get this, these lipsticks were not even shipped to the sellers, and they were getting bids (even on the first morning the lipsticks were up for sale)!!  I saw one auction for "Moxie" with 7 bids and it was already up to $70.49 USD!  This was for ONE lipstick, girls! ONE!! MAC lipsticks normally retail for $15.00 USD and people were willing to shell out over 70.00 bucks.

Another ugly element to this makeup frenzy is how people were trying to buy 5  or even 8 of each shade! I called MAC customer service to place my order (my computer refused to work for a few days) and the MAC representative told me that MAC would reject any order that contained more than 4 lipsticks per color.  When I asked if multiple orders were common, the MAC rep said she had scores of customers calling to demand why their orders for 6 "Moxies" and 7 "Candy Yum Yum" were cancelled.  Now, I bought two Moxies but why would I need more than that?  I mean how quickly does one go through a lipstick?  I, for one, wear lipstick everyday, and I have colors I wear often (like Besame Red) but after nearly two years of having Besame Red, I still have quite a bit left.

I understand that these colors were limited edition but why do people go crazy when buying?  I am a self-confessed makeup nut but even I have my limits. Why buy scores of lipsticks that may or may not get used?  Why pay 70.00 dollars for a color (that's normally 15 USD bucks), even if it's "special?"  Now, my real question is: if MAC knew the draw this collection would have, why not make more available? Maybe it's the whole "supply and demand" aspect, I am not sure.

What do you girls think?  How do you feel about "limited edition" and/or special release makeup collections?  Do they warrant the buying frenzy and do they just encourage hoarding by customers?