Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boys don't make passes...

Today was the first day in my life that I felt confident wearing my glasses.

The Backstory
My kindergarten teacher spotted me squinting pretty severely at the pages in my book, and she recommended that my parents get me to an eye-doctor.  So, from a very young age, I've been correcting my vision.  I am far-sighted, which means that I have difficulty focusing on objects that are close by.  Unfortunately, I am pretty extreme in far-sightedness, so I have trouble focus on objects at any distance.  This means I am always correcting my vision - either with glasses or with contact lenses, and I do not qualify for laser eye surgery due to the extreme nature of my poor vision.

My glasses are super thick.  Think Milton from "Office Space".  Yeah, that thick.  So thick I couldn't get wire frames until the technology finally allowed optometrists to get slimmer glass lenses.  My parents wouldn't let me get contacts until I was 12, so I had to endure almost 8 years of torture from my peers because of those gigantic glasses.  I learned to never look people in the eye because they'd see how magnified my eyes were in my glasses.  The scars from that experience lasted long into my contact lens years.

A New Pair
A couple years ago, a coworker recommended an optometrist in Manhattan, where I was living at the time, and through him, I got a great-looking pair of glasses.  Red Ralph Lauren frames, small and chic.  Very Tina Fey.  Although I liked them, I still did not wear them in public.  My eyes just looked too magnified and people always stared.  Why would I spend the day pushing my glasses back up on my nose when I can just wear contacts, which correct my vision just as good, if not better, and then I don't even have to think about it.  Cut to a couple years later, and it's almost Thanksgiving.  My office was practically empty today because everyone is traveling.  I've been spending really long hours in front of a computer screen, and I felt like my eyes could use the break.  So, I woke up this morning and decided to actually try wearing my glasses in public.

Nerdy Chic
I wore my hair down in loose waves using a big curling iron, put on a pretty sparkly scarf from J.Crew, went light on the eye makeup (what with the whole magnifying my eyes thing and all), and held my head up high.  I even looked people in the eye.  It turns out, it's not so bad, wearing glasses.

I'm not convinced the outfit and hair made it all of a sudden so much better than before.  I think what made the difference was my confidence.  We're not 8 anymore.  People spend a lot of money on mascara that magnifies their lashes, and I have glasses that do it for free.  And if someone makes fun of my magnified eyes, it's because they're an ass... and if my glasses are the worst thing you can make fun of about me, then I guess I'm pretty awesome, glasses and all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Birchbox

I made a video for my November Birchbox, and this time, I reviewed all the products.

Here are the products:

  • Borghese Fango Active Mud
  • Zoya nail polish in Izzy
  • Atelier cologne (vanilla)
  • LaROCCA Skincare Champagne shimmer cream
  • 2 paper coasters (which actually work pretty well)
  • A wood and leather bracelet from Bauble Bar
Great box this month!

Project: Banned until Pan

It's interesting timing, since I'm just now getting back into regular blogging, but I've decided to go on a beauty product ban.  I'm attempting to finish up 10 beauty products in my collection before allowing myself to purchase any more.  I think this is a good way to force myself to use a lot of things that I normally neglect, and maybe even rediscover some former loves.  I thought it would be fun to blog about the experience and write little "homages" to the products that get retired.

So the first product was finished this week, so I will be dedicating the first Banned Until Pan post to it, and I'll talk about whether or not I'm going to purchase it again and my experiences with it, so that's coming soon.

Now I'm off to steam clean the kitchen floor for the first time.  We'll see how it goes!

Monday, November 21, 2011


While sitting at a work Thanksgiving luncheon today, I got into a conversation with some coworkers about the wonderful benefits of quinoa.  Some people had never heard of it, and my basic description made me realize I don't know a whole lot about it either, so I thought I'd do my research!

What I already know
Quinoa is really similar to couscous.  In fact, I thought my coworker's dish was couscous, but it was quinoa.  Basically, it's a small grain that you cook in the same manner as rice or couscous.  It's also a complete protein, which is very good for you.  It apparently contains a lot of nutrients that help with brain function, and so on.  It seems to be some kind of miracle food, from what I know.

So, quinoa sounds fantastic, doesn't it?  I thought so too, until my coworker said that she heard that quinoa is becoming so popular, that the people who are native to the country where it's grown are starving because all of their food is being exported to other countries.  This sounds horrible, so I decided to do some internet sleuthing.

Disclaimer:  It's the internet, not a medical encyclopedia, so we have to do our best to find reliable information.

So, let's get started!

What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a grain related to beets and spinach (two other extremely nutritious foods), made of edible seeds.  Quinoa sold in North America is most often processed to remove the bitter taste from the coating on the seeds.

Why is it good for you?
Quinoa really is chock full of great nutrients, including lysene, amino acids, calcium, iron, and phosphorous.  Even NASA has praised quinoa for its excellent nutritional value, and recognized it as a viable source of easily-sustained nutrition for astronauts.

Are people starving because of quinoa's popularity?
Well, not really.  According to the New York Times, because quinoa has become increasingly in demand in richer countries like America, farmers are able to export their crop for a higher price than before.  Now that quinoa is becoming more expensive (because of demand), the fear is that the natives of Bolivia are turning to more processed foods for sustenance.  Of course, the article also notes that younger generations in Bolivia tend to prefer noodles over quinoa, so changes in diets may also be due to changes in taste preferences.  The distinction is unclear, and the article seems to be a little more alarmist than the evidence suggests.

How do I eat quinoa?
In much the same way as you'd eat rice or couscous.  I frequently make brown rice in our rice cooker (we even had it tonight), and we have several recipes for couscous that we love.  Over the next few weeks, I will research and try out some different ways to prepare quinoa, and post successful recipes here, so check back.

Venus ProSkin

Recently I received my Cosmo VoxBox from, and I wanted to post about my favorite product from that box, which was the Venus ProSkin razor from Gillette.

I fully admit that I never would have purchased this item had it not been sent to me complimentary to try out and review.  Razors with the "moisturizing" bar surrounding the blades never appealed to me, and I was skeptical in their effectiveness to really get your legs and underarms nice and smooth.  I like the Gillette brand, and I've used other razors from the Venus line, so I figured I'd give this one a shot and see how it worked.

I have to say, it's one great razor!  I actually use it for quick shaves when I don't have time to lather up my legs with foaming shave gel.  I'm a tall girl, and it seems to take me forever to shave.  Not having to use a shaving cream/gel makes the process a lot quicker and easier.  I simply use the razor as normal, and voila! My legs are smooth and hair-free, and I haven't had trouble with razor-burn or lack of moisture.  I don't even have to use lotion after I shave, and that saves me even more time.

I have fine hair (you'll hear more and more about my hair woes as this blog grows and matures), and I'm blonde, so I don't have too much trouble with coarse body hair like some girls.  I find that the Venus ProSkin razor works well for removing hair both on my legs and on my underarms.  I find that it does a fairly decent job around the bikini line, but without as much precision as a smaller razor (one without the surrounding moisture bar).  However, I find I have less razor-burn in the bikini area after using this razor, so perhaps I just haven't gotten the hang of using it for that purpose.  Regardless, this razor is the first one to actually impress me, and I plan to purchase refill cartridges for it and keep it as my regular razor.

The Venus ProSkin has three blades, and I find that it does just as good of a job, if not better, than other razors with four blades.  The "moisture bar" are gel bars that contain body butters, so the moisturizing is great.  The razor and 2 blade cartridges retail just under 10 dollars, which is pretty standard in price.  I have used it in both the shower and in a bubble bath, and have found that the moisture bars are long-lasting and can withstand being submerged in very warm to hot water and in soapy water just fine.

The Venus ProSkin website is here:

I received this complimentary, as part of my Cosmo VoxBox from Influenster, but the opinions stated here are my own.  I have and would recommend this to my close personal friends, and I do plan to purchase this product in the future.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kelly: An Introduction

Hello readers, whoever you are.

I thought the best way to introduce myself and this blog is to just have a little Q and A, so without any further ado, here we go!

Who are you?
I'm Kelly.  I'm in my early 30s, and I live with my fiance and my cat in the northeastern US.  And yes, I have blonde hair.  And yes, it's my natural color.  (I get that question so often, I need a t-shirt made.)

What do you do?
I'm a researcher by profession, and by nature.  I went to school for a very long time to do what I do  (Grad school stories are bound to pop up here on this blog now and again), and I love it.  The obsession with makeup and all things beauty is just a hobby.

Have you ever blogged before?
Yes.  Years ago, I had a LiveJournal account, which I believe still exists somewhere, although I've long forgotten my log-in info.  It was mostly just a place to dump my personal thoughts while going through my graduate program, and allow total strangers to read them.  Eventually it got old and I let it go.  I had a beauty blog up until recently, but I found that I wasn't blogging for the right reasons, so I deleted it and decided to just start over.

Why blog again?
I found that I really enjoy writing, and I love writing reviews.  I joined Epinions, and have been reviewing things on there, and I frequently give feedback at various online shopping sites.  Although reviews are for other people, I also like writing for me.  I find it to be cathartic and sometimes even energizing to put words onto the screen.  So, this blog is for me.  In the past 8 months, I've gotten engaged, bought my first house, and begun planning a wedding.  I've gotten to travel to some amazing places, and met some wonderful people.  Needless to say, it's been a very busy year, and it's only getting busier!  I like to think that writing in this blog about various things, getting in shape for the wedding, my neverending quest for the perfect conditioner, healthy and tasty recipes, home decor and upkeep, makeup, etc, can not only help me, but maybe it can help others too.

What about a "vlog"?
A video blog seems really cool, and although I really enjoy public speaking, I'm definitely more of a writer than an actor.  However, I do have a YouTube channel, where I post mostly videos of the monthly Birchbox goodies.  I've begun a new format where I review all the products in the video.  My channel is here:  I may be adding a greater variety of videos as time goes on.

Okay, this introduction isn't so brief, so I'll end here.  Until next time!