The internet is officially polluted
No wonder facebook is trying hard to create a more tailored experience for not just connecting with people, but also with consumers. Let me tell you a little about this experience I had the past few days.
My hair flat iron died, and if you know anything about my hair, you should know that I can not live without my flat iron. So I went almost two weeks without it because I just did not have time to research and then shop for one. Flat irons are so different across brands, price points, and styles that if you are going to drop $50+ on a piece of equipment you want to know you are going to get something you love.
My previous flat iron was a $20 one from TJ Maxx that retailed at about $90. It lasted me 5 years so I definitely consider it a good run. It probably would have lasted even longer had I not brought it to the Help-Portrait event because it was freezing cold and it probably shorted out because of condensation. The brand I had was a Jilibere Pro Select and it was very basic; an on/off switch, dial for temperature control, and floating ceramic plates (they have a slight spring when you squeeze your hair. I took for granted the great quality of this flat iron because I would always go into Sally’s and marvel at the $80, $120, $150, and $200 flat irons. I thought, even though it didn’t feel this way, that the flat iron I had was somehow inferior.
So I finally have time to do some research on the brands that I saw on the shelf at TJ Maxx and Sally’s and it seems like every darn brand I searched had glowing reviews. Well, that’s quite useless. I tried googling things like “User reviews [brand]” in hopes of finding a real review from a real person, but all I got were what looked liked either people who didn’t really care about the quality of the flat iron or canned reviews that probably stemmed from the company. Then I started realizing that it’s very possible that a good 70% of reviews on various websites could be company written!
I am now ridiculously frustrated with the whole system, and this isn’t the first time it has happened. I have never had an easy time seeking reviews on hair care products, makeup, and other items like that. It seems that the women’s beauty supply industry is full of companies paying for glowing reviews. Before the FCC made the rules that bloggers had to tell people if a review is paid, you couldn’t even trust them!
So I guess I have to find a good beauty supply expert to follow in hopes that she will review some of the items I am looking at. All the while I will be waiting for facebook to somehow create a product review system geared by actual real people. I think it goes without saying you can expect a complete outline of the flat irons I have already tried and returned to hopefully add a little substance to the world of crap out there.
What about you, have you ever tried to find information on something only to find a load of crap reviews and nothing really substantial?
My personal social media blackout
photo by Leanri van Heerden
This little switch flipped inside of me and I realized that I really seriously absolutely need to buckle down, get my ducks in a row, and get my priorities straight. Social media has been pretty much a godsend for me. I have gotten new clients, learned new things, and networked with exciting people all via facebook and twitter. Want to know what else I do with facebook and twitter? Waste time.
So I announced tonight that I will be doing a 7 day social media blackout. That means absolutely no facebook and twitter updates. I will not be responding to private messages, replies, or DMs from any of the mentioned websites and I will stay away from any websites linked to the aforementioned (like daily booth).
It is so hard to not get sucked into all of the interesting stories and articles and videos out there, so I need to figure out how much time I can spend on these sites by cutting them out completely. Personally, I think this is the only way to truly see how much you need social media and/or how much you don’t need it. The sub-goal is to also break my obsessive habit of checking and rechecking and refreshing and all of that stupid garbage!
So is anyone with me? Anyone else want to try a social media blackout? You don’t have to do it this week, and you don’t have to do 7 full days. Just do it on your own time and announce it here so I can check up on you when your days are up!
I have set up an auto-tweeter to just mark each day and let followers (who might not have seen my announcement) know that I have not fallen off the digital earth.
So thanks a bunch for the support and look forward to connecting with you on the tweet-side!
Ohh, and if you do want or need to connect with me, I am not cutting myself off from all digital connection. I am 110% reachable via e-mail and as always I will be responding to comments on my blog.
In order to be a good blogger..
You have to be a narcissist. Not only do you have to be a narcissist, but you need to have someone around you all of the time to feed into your narcissistic tendencies and help that little monster inside of your grow and flourish and eventually become a full blown unstoppable being of self importance. Ok, so I might be a little bit overly dramatic, but I have not seen, read, or met one successful blogger that didn’t have that little monster inside of them telling them how great all of their thoughts and ideas are.
This little monster called narcissism is not a bad thing so long as it stays small and manageable. Having a voice inside of you day in and day out telling you how great you are is a really uplifting and empowering feeling. It gives you that inspiration and urge to do things like start a blog and position yourself somewhere in the wide world of the web as an authority on whatever it is you write about.
The problem. Well, in my opinion there is more that one problem. The first is obviously the very real possibility that your little pet monster becomes unruly and your narcissism starts to stunt your intellectual growth and before you know it you start feeling like you can not learn anything from your constituents and the people around you just “aren’t on your level”. I have seen this happen in a lot of industries, but I have seen it happen more so in the fashion and design blogging worlds than anywhere else. People learn to love themselves and their work so much that they can not take criticism, suggestions, or even inspiration from those who are not on their level.
The other problem is, how do you feed your narcissism and urge to blog about yourself and your life without effecting those around you. I have done lots of really cool things and met some really awesome people over the last few months, yet I have almost nothing to show for it. Aside from the fact that my husband is an amazing photographer I have very few pictures of me doing these interesting things because I feel like a self important fool asking him to take pictures of me.
Have you ever been some where public and seen someone talking into a video camera? Well, I have, and if you haven’t, just watch some of those life vloggers on youtube and you will quickly start to wonder what in the world do you people around them think! There are times that I envy that level of self importance paired with lack of public humility because I know it feeds into the online community’s urge to peek into each others lives. On the other hand I question what makes them feel so important that they have to walk around making a documentary of themselves. Isn’t that the same thing they made fun of on various sketch comedy shows?
I am going to be exploring this whole thing with a friend of mine. We both really want to get back into blogging and documenting our “great exciting adventures” [insert sarcasm here]. So the plan we have hatched includes the following.
- Meet for lunch at least once a week
- Plan at least one really interesting outing each month (either to NYC or some random event)
- Take lots of pictures
- Do not feel insecure about indulging that little monster inside
How is it going to turn out? I have no idea. I would love to hear from some of you bloggers out there about how you have managed this balancing act between real life, online life, and publicity.
Fun Projects, Work Projects, Making a Difference Projects
Right now my life is surrounded with different projects just waiting to have some hands on them bringing them into completion. My post was a sneak peak one of the projects floating around in my head. That project, Creatives for a Cause, is going to be big and requires a lot of hands on time with me and the people I put together to get it started. I love the idea (which I will flesh out for you shortly) and am very excited about being a founding member.
Aside from my own little not for profit venture, I am working with some other major non profit organizations to put together the fashion show event that I have mentioned earlier as well. The brain child of me and a few salon friends is turning into a really exciting project that again, will take quite a bit of man power to pull off.
Oh, did I mention that Matt wants to write/photograph a book? Yep! I am really proud of him for taking on a task such as that, and I think it would be amazing for him to be able to use his creative talents in a non-commercial, entirely art related way. I can’t really tell you the concept because we need to make the book first, but I can tell you it will basically be about art, photography, and design. We are currently looking for an agent to manage and represent the book, so if you know anyone, send them here!
Hmm, what else? Oh yea, there are the paid and commercial projects. These projects are the bread and butter of our business and we would not be here without them. Obviously some are better and more interesting than others, but we love all of them because without those, we could not do the more “creative and artistic” projects that we are planning for the future. Most of our commercial projects are logo designs, identity packages, and websites. The website design is the area of our services that takes the most work and man power because not only do we have to come up with a perfectly branded and user friendly design, but then we have to code and customize it. A lot of times it ends up being more work than anticipated, but that’s because I am a perfectionist. I love the clients who give me a soft deadline but then let me pick away at added features at my leisure. Obviously this really benefits the clients because I am just adding stuff that I think will be useful or fun just because I want to, and not because I am looking to tack on added hours to a bill (we don’t do that here at BSC Design).
Anyways, that’s the deal now! I wish I had some pictures and artwork to share with you, but because of the nature of the work, it is all highly top secret. I don’t really even have any good photos to share of my daily like because, well, my life as been glued to this computer with little to no possibility of me even TRYING to look good.
On the bright side, with all of these new projects and connections, the future of this blog looks to be a bright and shiny one. I will be attending a lot of exciting events, planning one of them, and meeting more and more exciting people, so this blog can only get more interesting. I will do my best to write as often as I can, and the more interest and interaction I get from you, the readers, the more I will write.
Have a good one!
Goin’ to the market..
..and we’re gonna get hoooooonney (to the “Goin’ to the Chapel” Song).
Matt, Cappy and I finally ventured into New Haven to check things out. It was our first trip of the summer to the city that is just right around the corner and down the street. We went there not just for a leisurely walk, but with a purpose. I went there in search of locally harvest honey. Why? Because I read various articles that taking a spoonful of honey that was collected from local bees actually can help cure allergies. It’s one of those things that just makes sense. I mean, local bees collect pollen from local flowers. I am allergic to local flowers. So a tablespoon of honey a day will raise my immunity to the pollens in our area and hopefully cure me of my horrible allergies.
The little Wooster Market was nice. It was funded by the City Seed project which helps to bring natural and locally grown food to the city and to people who would not otherwise have been able to get this type of stuff. The market itself is small but has a lot of interesting farmers, including honey farmers!
After we got my honey we ventured into the down town Yale area of New Haven and just walked around enjoying the sights and sounds of the area. There was a music festival where the original sax player from Billy Joel’s band was playing live. We watched them play “Italian Restaurant” and then continued on our way. We walked up through the Yale dormitories and book store area and popped into a coffee shop where we got our pooch a cup of water and met some nice junior high school basket ball players. Our dog is definitely a conversation piece because of his big giant pegged leg. People stop us on the street to ask what happened to his leg, why he is wearing a cast (it’s not a cast, its a prosthetic) and others just want to pet him. He has one of those inviting happy and smiling faces that everyone wants to say hi to.
So that was my Saturday. One of the first of few that I will take as a truly personal day. I gather experience and think about projects daily, that I can not turn off. What I can turn off is my cell phone and email, even if it’s just for a little while. This was a nice day with my husband and pooch, so I’ll take it and run.
i heart mom
Well, it’s mother’s day and I think it is entirely appropriate to write an i heart post about my mom, why not? I am 27 years old, so I am at that age that I believe every girl ends up at where they look back at their teenage years in horror of some of the things they did. I was quite the rebellious teen and bless my mom’s heart, she let me rebel.
My childhood was a totally awesome one. We never really went on family vacations but did a lot of day trips to the park, water slides, zoo or the beach. Some of my favorite memories were from when I little and my mom would take my brother, my sister, and me to the pond up the road and we would go fishing. It wasn’t just the fishing I loved, the whole day was so much fun. First, we would spend an hour or so searching the yard for worms. I would turn over the rock and my sister would grab the worms and put them into a tin can for bait. Then we would grab a hot dog or two (catfish love hotdogs!) and pack up the cooler, get our fishing rods and walk out the door. I clearly remember the smell of those fishing poles, the tackle box, and it wasn’t fishy gross, it was the definition of the outdoors.
So we would arrive at the pond and we would all rush down to the edge and get our lines and toss them in and just wait for the fish to bite. It was such a great time because although fishing isn’t super exciting on its own, the activity of watching everyone else fish, or feeding the ducks, or just watching the bobber was the most enjoyable thing to do on a nice Connecticut summer afternoon.
Mom would sit there in the grass with us and untangle those crappy plastic fishing pole reels, bait the hooks for us, and most importantly, get the fish off of the hooks. We all loved to cast the pole, catch the fish, reel it in and release it, but baiting the hook and unhooking the fish was totally mom’s job (dad helped too, but this is about mom today). First off, I always felt bad hooking the worms, and mom had no issues with getting that worm nice and on the hook so the fish wouldn’t steal it. Secondly, getting the fish off of the hook was not easy! The pond we fished it was full of Sunny, Blue Gills, or Catfish – all of which can really be scary. Sunnys and Blue Gills have very sharp spikes on their fins and I have seen them drawn blood a time or two when being unhooked. Catfish, on the other hand, were all around scary. I’m not entirely sure if they have teeth or stingers, but I remember my dad telling me that their whiskers were stingers so I have always been scared of them.
Mom would get in there, down and dirty and get the fish off the hook and let us do the honors of releasing. That was the thing, even though mom did all the dirty, gross, tough work, she always stood back and let us enjoy the final moment. Whether it be releasing the fish that just sliced her hand open, or staying up all night working on a school project while we take all the credit, mom was there as the silent pillar holding everything up with it’s solid stature.
So to end the story, we would all pack into the car after a long afternoon of fishing and drive home with that fishing smell all over us. Mom would unpack the car, put all the stuff away, give us baths and cook dinner. It was an awesome time in my life and I am very happy to share it with all of you. Thanks for reading and please enjoy these pictures.
The blizzard that wasn’t
Just last week the powers that be (the weather men) were all screaming their heads off about the massive blizzard that was heading our way. They were screaming from the roof tops to stay indoors, stock up on water and foot, and whatever you do – do not get in your car. They had the snow plows lined up on the side for the roads just waiting for the snow to fall and it was all hands on deck for the state workers.
Well, sadly enough, we did not get the blizzard we were supposed to. Instead we got a pseudo blizzard. There was snow, that’s for sure. And it did snow for a long time, but we only got a few inches, if that! I was very disappointed because when there is a blizzard, there is an excuse not to really work and to stay inside and do something mentally stimulating – at least that’s how I see it. When ever there was a work snow day, I would stay home and do some personal work. It didn’t matter if it was art work, cleaning, or a work out I did something to work on myself and that was always important to me.
Now I work primarily from home it’s even more difficult to get yourself to work on personal projects and jobs when your paid work is sitting there starting you in the face. I have taught myself that I am of no service to my client if I am worked to the bone and completely burnt out. My goal durring this storm was to do something really creative to get those juices flowing. Well, that did not happen and even though I could have done the same thing snow or no snow, I was completely disheartened by the lack of snow! I lost all of that creative fuel that I had so I decided to go for a walk in the middle of the “blizzard” with my hubby and poochy.
P.S. it was really REALLY hard to keep your eyes open in the whipping winds and stinging snow. My eyes were tearing like nuts and makeup was all down my face, probably the most flattering picture ever taken of me.
A tad late Xmas/Holiday Post
I know, I know.. I never wished anyone a happy holiday or a merry christmas here on my blog, but give me a break! I spent plenty of time tweeting it and saying it in person! I mean, aren’t the holidays supposed to be about face to face greetings and sitting around a table full of dinner plates licked clean while we all unbuckle our belts and loosen our pants? Well, if that’s not what it’s supposed to be about, that’s what it is about in my family. We don’t hop on facebook to send digital christmas trees to wish people “Happy Holidays” – well, some of us do, but we also know that the person in question has a serious addiction to digital gifts and we get to see him/her in person anyways.. Face to face time, no matter how long you spend in the car driving back and forth across the state.
Our Christmas starts on Christmas Eve. We go to my mom’s house. We used to go to my Grandma’s house, but since my Grandma just lives upstairs from my mom’s we moved it to my mom’s just because he living room was bigger. When I was a kid everyone thought it was weird that we went “upstairs” to Grandma’s house. We generally spend a few hours there with my mom, brother, sister, Grandma (dad’s mom) and my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins (on my dad’s side). Its an extremely entertaining party because my Uncle has some hilarious stories (he’s totally into Nascar) and my younger cousin (who has autism) is always the life of the party! This year she showed us a video from a cruise that she took with her family where she was one of the judges for the hairy chest contest!!!
Then from there we go to my husband’s family friends’ house. I love them there, they’re so chipper and there’s a lot of them wandering around and coming in and out of the house. There I get to see my in-laws and nephews (shudder). The nephews got marshmallow guns this year – did I ever mention to you that I am always the target of whatever it is that their guns shoot? After deflecting marshmallows from me head for a couple of hours we head back to my mom’s house after the rest of the family leaves and we hang out with my brother, sister, and mom. Its nice to just hang and chat and open presents!
And finally.. CHRISTMAS DAY! We wake up at the butt crack of dawn to go watch the nephews (same ones that pelted me with marshmallows the night before) open their presents from Santa. We eat breakfast and hang out with the in-laws some more until noon comes around. Then we head back to our house to drop off the dog (oh yea, did I mention that he comes everywhere with us?) and take a quick nap. Shower, then head out to my mom’s side of the family, my Aunt’s house. My mom’s side of the family is massive. 27 or 30 or so cousins/aunts/uncles/etc. I LOVE IT! Again. lots of entertainment to be had and no guns!!
So here are our pictures from Christmas. I made cookies this year (took about 8 hours from start to finish) and we didn’t decorate too much aside from the tree and stockings, but we definitely got some good pictures.
Happy (be-lated) Halloween!
I would liked to have posted a nice Happy Halloween post yesterday, on the day of Halloween. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no time in the day to do that. See, Halloween is my all time favorite holiday and it always has been. I love Halloween because it’s the one time that you can get really overly creative and wacky with your outfits. I love to go all out with my costume, and I love to see what other people did with theirs. Of coarse, if you go to down town New Haven in the Yale district, you will see your share of lame costumes. Sexy fireman, sexy policeman, sexy nurse, sexy french maid, sexy Obama. Well, I didn’t see a sexy Obama, but you get the idea, girls will take anything and make it “sexy”. Halloween seems to be a great excuse to run around town scantily clad. These costumes have little to no thought put into them.
The costumes I love are the ones where people go all out. This year, however, we did not go to New Haven to peruse the bars and watch people. We went to a house party for a little more low key costume party. A bunch of people, good music, AMAZING food and fun times (I feel like I am getting old here). There were definitely some cool costumes, but not the ones you see in New Haven.
My costume was an 80′s Gutter Punk. It’s one of those costumes where if I could, I would dress like this every day. I love the dirty, grungy look of punks. The fishnets were a staple in my closet up until I was 19 or 20, and the dark black eyeshadow still holds a special place in my heart and I have a hard time finding a time to wear it out but I love to do it. The hardest part of this costume was obviously the hair. Yes, that really is my hair, and yes it took forever to do.
This was not the first time I wore this costume, I wore it 2 years ago to New Haven to a gay bar Halloween Party – needless to say that year all the girls thought I was playing on their team. Anyways, the first time I tried to do that hair I bought some super duper hold hair spray and uuber hair gel.
It didn’t work. My hair was too long, resulting in the massive mohawk you see there. So I took page directly from the 80′s punk style handbook. I used good old fashioned Elmer’s glue. I bought the Elmer’s school glue because I remembered last year that it worked really well, but I forgot that last year I had the thought to use the gel version of Elmer’s because it supposedly does not flake. This year, again, I had some white flaky hair.
Most people freaked when my answer to “how did you get your hair to stand up like that” was Elmer’s glue. They thought that I had ruined my hair forever and that it would never be the same. They are so wrong! I found this out last year, but when you spend a nice with your hair hardened in Elmer’s glue, the next day your hair feels super soft! And it’s not that hard to get out. It just takes about 10 minutes of hot water in the shower and 1 shampoos – one for cleaning and one for good luck. I must have missed a spot though, because this morning there was a little dried glue on my scalp in the back of my head, it came off pretty easy – like peeling the dried glue from your fingers.
Oh, and I forgot to mention our kickass pumpkins. My cousin and her girlfriend came over to carve with us and it was an awesome time. They brought some Rolling Rocks and their pumpkins and I made a cinnamon apple thing that burned. We spend a few hours carving our awesome pumpkins. Mine is the big pumpkin eating the small one, my cousin’s is the Freddy Krueger (drawn free hand), Jaz did the Corpse Bride pumpkin, and Matty did the tattoo style cat that I draw for him. Overall it was a fun thing to do on mischief night that kept us out of trouble.
So that is it for our Hallowee fun adventure. If you want to read more about the party and see more pictures from the Halloween party, check out Matt’s photo blog over at bscphoto.com/blog.