Archive for the ‘Girl Talk’ Category

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Girl Talk Thursday – Time Savers

May 20, 2010

I feel no shame in admitting that I use time savers.

The shame is more in the fact that  I don’t use them because I’m BUSY or IMPORTANT and don’t have TIME to do things.

Instead the shame rests solely on the fact that I am butt-ass LAZY.

So I will give you my “Top Five Time-savers I Could Not / Will Not Live Without (In No Particular Order)”  or “TFTSICNWNLW(INPO)” because acronyms are cool and will totally save you time.

Though it’s not one of my TFTSICNWNLW(INPO). Because that’s just silly.

1. CARDIGANS!. I cannot shout this loud enough for you to understand how much time cardigans! save me.

Have to get ready for work in 10 minutes because I slept in until 7:40am and have to leave the house by 7:50am to get to work by 8:05am and pretend I am on time? Throw on a (hopefully) clean t-shirt or top and cover it with a Cardigan!. Maybe add a scarf to Jaunt It Up!

I own maybe 6 or 7 cardigans! and (try to) rotate them, though I’ve been known to wear the same one 5 out of 7 days. And I don’t even care.

2. Slip on flats.

At any given time I own between 3 and 7 pairs. Currently I have a pair of dark green, a pair of red, and two pairs of black (one smooth, one suede-y). In addition, I have a pair with a candy print and a strap, a pair with cut-outs shaped like flowers, and a “fancy” pair with ~JEWELS~ (not to be confused with JULES) on their sides.

Flats are awesome for multiple reasons – quick to put on, good for pants or dresses, quick to take off, cute!, and pretty affordable.

I am currently coveting these:

3. SHREDDED CHEESE!

wait.

There we go.

Ok. Shredded cheese. My time and life saver.

It’s 8:30pm. We haven’t made dinner. We don’t want to.

What have we got? CHEESE. PRE SHREDDED. A MILLION OPTIONS ARE OPEN TO US! And we wont skin our knuckles off trying to shred our Costco block of cheddar!

Top 3 things that are quick to make and DELISHUS

-Quesadillas – we always have tortillas in the house. Because otherwise you are Un-American. Or something. (Usually we go for Quesadillas with veggies and maybe, if we are feeling industrious, some meat thrown in).

-Breakfast nachos – eggs, bacon, shredded cheese, bell peppers, onions, sometimes potatoes over chips. Bake or broil for 2 – 5 minutes, or until cheese is gooey. Not the most healthy but delicious and easy.

-Groiled Cheese – not grilled (though also delicious) but GROILED. Lightly toasted bread, fresh smushed garlic* spread on the toast, a slice of lunch meat (i go turkey) a slice of tomato or tomato sauce, topped with some shredded cheese. Broil for 2 – 5 minutes or until cheese is as melted as you want it. Eat like an open-faced sandwich.

*I usually microwave a couple of tablespoons of butter and mix in the garlic so it’s a GARLIC BUTTER. You can also prepare this butter ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer for a while to be used on whatever you please. Add more or less garlic to your taste.

4. Not Washing My Hair

Most people do some variation on this, but I have a system that saves me more time that I expected it to when I first worked it out.(Please note: I shower in the morning 90% of the time so my hair is usually wet daily and works for me.)

Day 1: Wash hair. Condition. Style/Wear/Etc.

Day 2: Ignore hair in shower. Style/Wear/Etc.

Day 3: Condition. Style/Wear/Etc.

Day 4: Ignore hair again. Style/Wear/Etc.

By day 4, the natural oils and the condition work together to overpower whatever goo you’ve put in your hair in the first place and I have no problem waiting that long to wash my hair. Plus, styling it gets easier because I fight with it less and put in less effort. TWO FOLD TIME SAVER!

Add in the time you save IN THE SHOWER washing it (it’s only like 3 minutes but man, that can be a LONG time!) and it becomes THREE-FOLD!

5. Roller Color Eye Shadow

Maybelline makes this roll-on eye shadow that my mom and I found at a Longs a few years ago. It’s quick and easy and saves me worrying about make-up in the morning. It’s enough for me to feel like I’ve put effort in without being a pain-in-the-ass.

I don’t use a pink (mine is a softer, lighter color that doesn’t appear to be on their list?) but highly recommend it if you ever bother with eye make up.

(I’m including a #6 that used to be #5 cause I remembered what #5 was supposed to be.)

6. Making my boyfriend drive me to work every morning

I almost used a different one but I think this really is one of the biggest. I didn’t want to put it in, because it’s not really that I make him drive me to work.

It was actually his idea. It wakes him up early enough to be on time to work in another town, and lets us have a little extra morning together time.

Plus I don’t have to leave the house 15 minutes earlier than normal to get to the bus stop in time to be on time to work. And I hate the bus.

If I didn’t get that ride every morning, my routine would be completely off and I wouldn’t have nearly as much time to get ready in the morning.

Time saver! And sleep saver! And sanity saver! Woo!

So those are the TFTSICNWNLW(INPO) that save ME time.

How about you?

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McCrystle

May 14, 2010

The Manbear asked, based on GTTs Teacher theme, if I would post something he wrote about his favorite teacher. Which, um, duh.

In my years of schooling I’ve had quite a few teachers who stood out as wonderful, a few who stood out as terrible, and a lot were too average to remember clearly. There is one, however that stands out in my mind far above all the rest.

I only ever had one class with him. It was my Senior year of High School and in all honesty I don’t remember a whole lot of the content of the class. The class was titled Conflict in the Modern World, and as you might guess, it covered the various wars, revolutions, genocides and uprisings happening around the globe. Lots of talk about Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and the historical setting in which these modern conflicts were happening. What made the class though, and why I still consider it one of the most important moments in my educational history, was the teacher: Mr. Patrick McCrystle:

crystle.jpg

Mr. McCrystle took his job as an educator very seriously but considered his job to be comprehensive, not topical. He made sure that we were not just learning about the struggles in Myanmar and Sudan, but also that we were learning what it meant to be responsible, thinking, adult men.

Going into his classroom was always an exercise in the unexpected. Most often we’d sit down and hear about something that was in line with the course description, but there were days, oh those glorious days!, when he’d pull one of the empty desks to the front of the class, turn it around and set himself right on top of it. These were the days where I really learned.

One day, perched awkwardly on the top of that desk he read “The Laughing Man” from J. D. Salinger’s Nine Stories. Then discussed it with us, asked our views, talked about similarities in our own lives and used it to connect with us personally.

He told us of his travels. Of running the bulls (and nearly dying) in Pamplona with one of his closest friends. Being the last through the gate, mere yards in front of the first bull and the shower of flowers and money that rained on them from the onlooking crowd. Of visiting Northern Ireland during The Struggles and trying to get some official IRA literature. Ducking into a half-sized door at the end of an alley and walking a long, narrow, dimly-lit hallway to a small waiting room; the only other occupant a large, rough man who looked very frightened and who’s knee had obviously been shot at some point in the past. Stories about a life well lived, if not lived wisely.

Another day he spent lampooning the Church of Scientology, explaining its roots, crazy, money-driven, sometimes murderous practices and the utterly interesting and insane life of the religion’s founder L. Ron Hubbard.

-scientology.jpg

The day that most stands out was one he spent talking about fatherhood. I went to an all-male, Jesuit College Prep school, and Mr. McCrystle though it was important for all of us young men, many of whom would likely one day be fathers ourselves, to know something of fatherhood.

First he told stories about his own father, an F.B.I. agent and hardass of a man. His father would often show up to his soccer games and, not thinking of how other people would react, remove his jacket. There he would stand on the sideline on a sunny summer day, yelling encouragement to the kids, criticism at the refs, all with his holstered sidearm strapped securely under his arm. Mr. McCrystal, then only Patrick, would note the 15 feet of empty space space surrounding his father and would run to the sideline and plead with him to put his coat back on.

He also talked about himself as a father and about his young daughters. At that time they were probably about 4 and 6 years old, and Mr. McCrystle seemed to be doing a very fine job of raising them.

There was a rule in his house: you could play with any toys you liked throughout the day, but before you went to bed you had to put them away. It wasn’t something that he or his wife made habit of reminding them; the girls knew they had to clean up, so they either would or they wouldn’t. If they didn’t clean up though, then the parents would. If the parents had to though, the toys would get put away in a different closet and were unavailable for use the next day. The girl’s often complained, but they didn’t get their toys that day. Its just the way it worked.

The sword cut both ways though. On more than one occasion Mr. McCrystal would change into his running shorts and go to the closet for his running shoes and not find them there. “Has anyone seen my running shoes?” “You didn’t put them away last night, Daddy! You can’t have them back ‘till tomorrow!” He wouldn’t demand his daughters return his shoes. He wouldn’t find some other shoes to run in. He’d change back into his day clothes and not go running that evening because even though he’s the one who made them, he too had to follow the rules of the house.

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Girl Talk Thursday – Teachers I have Loved (Too Much?)

May 13, 2010

I have two favorite teachers from high school who are almost opposites of each other. The third stood apart.

Ms Joe was tiny – all smiles and wit and quick jokes. She was very smart and very kind. She taught, among other things, Honors English. Everyone adored her. She made me love learning again and that was a nice thing to have. Ms Joe taught the sophomores, weeded out the trouble makers, the idiots, the kids who didn’t care, and helped those who did shine. She always listened, always noticed. She lived in a tree house and wore the crab hat I got her all day. She was willing to make fun of herself to make herself more accessible.

Ms Wolfe was terrifying. Mean and quick to snap, and smart. She made people cry in her class. AP Lit, AP American Government, AP Econ, AP American History – all classes I decided I wanted, tested into, and cried in because she taught them. And yet, we all secretly loved her. She scared the crap out of us and it helped us learn. ‘Cause if you didnt know the answer, she would point it out and no one wanted that. But we learned. And while she pretended to be a super hard ass, she also let us do short films instead of essays for some of our group projects, which were an amazing way to learn.

Ms Joe and Ms Wolfe taught my Paidea Program classes. The honors and AP English and History at a public school not known for its grades. If you wanted to learn though, they were there for you.

No one got below a 4 on any of the tests they gave the years I took them. The combination of Ms Joe’s loving coaxing treatment of literature paired with The Wolfe’s military tactics seemed to work wonders.

All of their students got into college, all were adequately prepared and, in some cases (mine!), over-prepared. Classes I took to “acclimate me” to college were easy. I described them as Crayon Classes to my mother, a term we still use to describe having to do something far below your intellectual level, generally for work. Stuffing envelopes, for example, is a Crayon Exercise (AND HOW!).

As much as we all knew we hated Ms Wolfe for the ridicule, the clear cut dislike she showed us all, we also appreciated how hard she worked to prepare us and to make sure we learned. We loved Ms Joe for her sweetness and open enjoyment of teacher, but we loved Ms Wolfe more for caring enough to be a bitch.

Last but not least is Mr Merrill, the Engineering teacher. While my school was not known for its academics, it was known for the Academies it maintained – focused classes that prepped you for what you (thought you) wanted to do with your life. Education, Healthy, Teaching and Engineering were multi-year classes with increasing degrees of difficulty and interest.

I got to learn about mechanical and theoretical physics, as well as descriptive geometry and architecture. Mr Merrill was silly. He raced cars at Laguna Seca on the weekends. He had us build bridges in pursuit of academics. He entered people into County and State Fairs. In Descriptive Geometry he made weird shapes become real with a zeal that is hard to match. His huge classroom of computers and drafting desks was a sanctuary to all us nerds with nowhere else to go for lunch. We clung to it and he was willing to oblige. He proudly displayed the award winning projects his students bestowed upon him on his walls, as any proud parent would.

He built a giant ball of masking tape – old tape that we used to secure our papers to our desks for the delicate mathematical and geometrical processes to find their true shapes piled upon each other until it weight over 20 pounds. It was 4 feet tall and sat on  its own desk.

For all I hated high school for a lot of reasons, those three teachers allowed me to be who I was – who I am – a nerdy girl who loves literature, writing, history, and is fascinated by shapes in space. They encouraged and accepted, something all teachers should do. And they were awesome.

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GTT: Ballerina Princess Bride

April 29, 2010

Girl Talk Thursday this week is “What did you want to be when you grew up”.

We’ll skip the “LET’S PRETEND I AM A GROWNUP HAR HAR” joke (because I know I would totally make it and I’m trying NOT to) and get down to the point.

A Ballerina Princess Bride.

Not JUST a Ballerina.

That wasn’t enough. But I wanted that grace and elegance – the pointed toes, the long legs, the perfect bun.

And not JUST a Princess.

Not enough either. I wanted to be royal and wear a crown and be loved and rich. But not just that.

And not JUST a Bride.

Totally needed more, though the veil and the ring and the LOVE we good additions.

My mom would ask “What about a Ballerina Princess?”

“NO!”

“What about a Princess Bride?”

“NO NO NO!”

“What about a Ballerina Bride?”

“NOOOO! I have to be a Ballerina PRINCESS Bride!”

And now I am!

Dreams DO come true!

I wanted to be a writer.

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BEAUTY SECRETS: Girl Talk Thursday

January 28, 2010

My beauty secret for everyone this week (who would have thought I had one of those?! OR COULD UPLOAD TO YOUTUBE?!) is my hair-do, as that lovely video stated.

This style is super quick and easy, and easily done for people with long or short, curly or straight hair.

So lets start! I hope you enjoy it!

QUICK WARNING: This post ended up being SUUUUPER long. That was unintentional. And i didnt even include ALL the pictures. Woof!

To begin, grab the stuff you’re going to need:  a comb or brush, bobby pins and hair product*.

*I’m using Davines Protein Sculpting Lotion which is awesome for curly hair – good curls without being crunchy, oily or sticky. I also sometimes use Matrix.Curl which gives a more defined and slightly crunchier look and feel.

Your product can be hair spray, mousse, gel, whatever you’ve got or usually use. It just needs to be able to get your hair to stay in the shape you put it in. If you have curly hair, it’s not a HUGE deal, but your hair will be a little more poofy. Straight hair needs SOMETHING in it or it will fall out at the end of the day. I’ve kept this ‘do in for 2 days straight (eww) with only minor maintenance, but I’ve got curls so that could have something to do with it.

STEP ONE:

Get yo’ hair wet.

STEP TWO:

brush / comb / detangle / finger / fork it* to make sure you’ve got no knots.

*Like the Little Mermaid!

STEP THREE:

Add your product. I know you just combed it and now you’re adding product? I DON’T EVEN! THAT! WHAT! MAKES NO SENSE, etc.

trust me. it works better this way. IVE TRIED IT THE OTHER WAY AND I AM SAVING YOU THE TROUBLE.

product product product

Then, part on the side. Whichever side you prefer a part on. You could do it down the middle if you want. I usually part mine on my left. Just kind of how it happened (and keeps happening).

THIS IS MY PART ISNT IT AWESOME.

STEP FOUR:

grab some bobby pins. Starting with one is good.

STEP FIVE:

Starting on the SMALLER side of your part, grab the chunk of your hair starting at your part and ending in front of your ear and pull it back. As you do this, twist it once or twice:

Ive found that its easier for me to wrap OVER rather than under. (The hair underneath over the top.)

Pin this twist in place. I usually use two bobby pins criss-crossed to hold it in place. (below.)

You can ignore the fact that my scalp is showing. Between the hair DRYING and the tidying you do later, this is easily fixed.

STEP SIX:

Pull out your bangs. If you have actual bangs, just don’t grab them. If you DON’T have bangs, or have LONG bangs, pull out the front chunk of them, they’ll get used later:

Then repeat the twist – and – pin on the other side:

The amount of bangs you leave out depends totally on how big you want your front twist to be.

You should look something like this. Except with your face, not mine. Cause that would be weird:

You can stop here if you want. The back at this point looks cute and its simple. OR YOU CAN PRESS ON:

This is where it starts to get tricky. Partially because I do this ON THE BACK OF MY HEAD and partially because pictures don’t really make it super clear. Sorry.

STEP SEVEN:

Pinch the two ends of your twists together, or at least pull them into the center of your head. You want them tucked together so they don’t puff out. If you have longer hair, it helps if you make a mini-bun and use a pin or two to make sure they’re secure. If you DO pin your twist-ends in, make sure they are a little bit below where your twists are pinned. Shorter hair wont need to be pinned.

Then collect the rest of your hair (the BOTTOM) and bring it up to about even with your pinned twists.

The ends should flop forward on their own (if not, just tuck them forward with your free hand). Make sure they are in FRONT of the hair you’ve pulled up (not hanging down the back of your head).

It doesn’t need to be pretty or tidy at this point. The clean up comes later (WHEN YOU CAN USE BOTH HANDS!)

At this point, all your ends (twist ends and bottom ends) should be tucked inside this jumble. A few ends may stick out based on your hair type / length, but the main amount should be inside. This is what will make it puff out.

STEP EIGHT:

Now we pin this lump into place.

Decide which side of your head you’re going to start on. DONT start in the middle. Everything will fall apart.

Holding the main lump of hair in one hand, bobby pin a loop or section of your folded and tucked up hair into place.

Ive found it works better if you snag some hair and slide the pin sideways, then down and in.

One or two pins on each side should be enough to hold it for now. It doesn’t have to be 100% secure, but it needs to hold enough for you to feel comfortable letting go.

STEP NINE:

Repeat on other side:

Remember to NOT pin in the center. UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR HAIR TO BE V-SHAPED.

pins pins pins

At this point you should have a nice mildly messy lump of hair:

It should be secure enough that you aren’t concerned about it falling at the moment.

STEP TEN:

TIDY TIDY TIDY

From here on out (except for the last stage) all we’re going to do it tidy up the loose bits, smooth out the strays and secure the hair to your head. Like I said, Ive slept in this and its lasted.

Using as many bobby pins as you want (this hair style lends itself to hiding them for the most part), snag the loose bits and pin them into the space between your skull and the lump youve pinned up.

This secures it AND gives your roll definition.

please ignore the clutter that is my sink.

In the end, you can smooth as much as you want. Ive spent 20 minutes making sure everything was perfectly tucked in, but (ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE CURLS) it doesn’t have to be perfect by any stretch.

And there you have it!

Now you’re all asking me, BUT KAT. WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS SHIT?!:

WELL I AM GETTING TO THAT OK!

STEP ELEVEN:

(Holy crap i didn’t realize this would end up being so many steps! sorry!)

Bangs.

If you have short bangs, or want to leave your longer bangs loose, you can skip this step.

Pull your bangs to the LARGER side of your part (again, trust me on this).

Twist the chunk towards you (like you’re starting your car. unless you have a prius. in that case, fuck your car starty button thing). Make sure the top and front of this twist are smooth or you end up with lumps (like this). Twist basically ALL of this hair, like to the end (not just once or twice like at the beginning).

Pull this back to where you pinned your OTHER twist on this side, and pin into place.

You’ll have the little end part, so just tuck that into the back and pin the tip into the crease.

And then you’re really done!

Ta-dah!

You WILL get compliments on this. It also gets a lot easier to do once you’ve done it a few times.

You can embellish by adding cute bobby pins, bows or headbands. Instead of the fancy tuck in the back, you can twist your hair into a simple bun (just tuck in the edges) and pin the front bangs the same way. Sometimes I leave a few shorter curls out at the bottom. MILLIONS OF VARIATIONS!

So, thats my beauty secret. From me to you. Let me know if you try it!

Love,

Kat

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